Women Power, R.I.D. Elizabeth Demaray

For more than 80 years, Rotary’s Bylaws stated that members shall be ‘men’ of good character in professional occupations. This was done because, in the early 1900s, most jobs outside the home were held by men only. In 1989 at the Council on Legislation, delegates realized that women were now having careers beyond the home, and were now in those same professional occupations alongside their male counterparts. The Council voted at that time that membership shall be open to both genders. 

As we look at today’s businesses and professional occupations, we see that in many cultures, men and women hold these positions equally. As it was in the early 1900s, Rotary should reflect the make-up of the community in which it resides. Clubs are strongly encouraged to invite both males and females to membership.

As I’ve visited many clubs around the world, I have seen firsthand that the clubs who have become dual gender are the stronger Rotary clubs. I don’t say this because I think it is the women who have made the club stronger. I say this because clubs that are balanced with diversity of gender (as well as race, religion and classifications), are generally stronger clubs.

Men and women have different strengths, different talents, different management styles and different ways of dealing with situations. It is this mix of differences that gives the club the ability to get things done most effectively. The all male or all female clubs are missing a great opportunity that diversity brings.

Now and then we hear from all male clubs that they are “open” to women, however they “haven’t found any” to invite. To that I say….open your eyes! 

R.I.D. Betsy

District Chair Support from RI!

Dear Rotarians:

Greetings from Evanston!  On behalf of the Rotary Service Department, we are writing to inform you about the support we offer to some of the district chairs that you will be working with throughout the year.

Our department provides support to the following district chair positions:

·         Rotary Fellowships

·         Rotary Friendship Exchange

·         Community Service

·         Vocational Service

·         World Community Service*

·         Rotary Volunteers*

*Please note: the World Community Service and Rotary Volunteers programs have been phased out and are being replaced by a resource-based model for International Service. For the 2011-12 Rotary year, District Rotary Friendship Exchange, World Community Service, and Rotary Volunteers committees are being encouraged to work together to coordinate fellowship, service, and volunteer activities. In future years, district governors will be asked to appoint an International Service chair in place of World Community Service and Rotary Volunteers.

In June we emailed each group of district chairs an information kit highlighting their role and responsibilities for the year, as well as various online resources to assist them in their work.  Following are some important key messages we that we have emphasized to the district chairs:

·         Review the District Committee Manual (249-EN) for information and guidance on performing the functions of a district chair.

·         Encourage clubs to align their activities with the RI Strategic Plan.

·         Encourage clubs to undertake activities in each of the avenues of service to qualify for RI President Kalyan Banerjee’s Changemaker Award.

·         Encourage clubs to consider Rotary’s six areas of focus when planning new projects.  Refer to the new publication Rotary’s Areas of Focus (965-EN) for ideas.

·         Use RI’s ProjectLINK database to find project partners.

·         Visit the Service and Fellowship section of the RI website for information and resources related to planning service projects, making connections in Rotary, partnering, and other topics. This section of the website will be revised in early September, so please revisit then for updated information.

Our department communicates with the district chairs throughout the year with brief, topical email updates.  We will include you in these updates and we encourage you to share them freely with Rotarians in your zones.

Please feel free to contact us at rotary.service@rotary.org if we can be of any assistance to you.  Thank you for all your hard work and we wish you a successful Rotary year!

Best regards,

Jesse Allerton

Supervisor, Rotary Service Department

Susan Schneider

Supervisor, Rotary Service Department

Ryan Hall

Coordinator, Rotary Coordinator (RC) Program Rotary International ryan.hall@rotary.org 847-866-3830

Possible E-club for Snow Birds

The increasing number of snowbirds in Canada and other cold, winter climates, has made it difficult for Rotarians to maintain their membership and stay connected with their club. Many have given up membership, just for that reason.

District 5370 (Central/Western Canada), may have found a solution and is exploring the chartering of an E-club

We are currently conducting a survey to gauge levels of interest among existing members of clubs in this District and within Canada. If you are interested in possible membership of this E-club or would like to receive more information about its formation, please complete the attached survey. The results will used to determine its viability.

E-clubs are an exciting innovation by RI, offering a new form of Rotary participation. This first E-club to be established in District 5370, will be designed to accommodate current and former Rotarians who spend the winter months away and are not able to participate in regular club activities year round. Former members of Rotary who left for this reason may also consider this option.

Membership with an e-club requires the same level of Rotary “attendance” as a traditional Rotary club and the same level of commitment to the full range of a club’s activities and projects except that ‘meetings’ are conducted via the internet. Service projects may involve hands-on work and/or fundraising and fellowship may entail occasional social gatherings.  (Note: This is not an adjunct to current club membership – as you can only belong to one club.)

Send this to friends, prospective or former Rotarians who may have an interest in exploring this option and return the completed form no later than September 6, 2011 per instructions on the form.  The form IS HERE

Questions about e-clubs? http://www.rotaryeclubs.com  or contact PDG Elly Contreras miselly2@platinum.ca.