The theme for this Rotary year is “Making a Difference” but the Rotary motto is “Service above Self”. Founded on 23rd February 1905 Rotary has in many ways tried to change people's lives for the better, by men and women giving of their time, energy and resources in a variety of ways. It's a mixture of fun, graft and fellowship but at the end of the day it's about Rotarians wanting to make a difference.
And that difference is seen in my own club through its fundraising, charitable giving, support of individuals and groups who are striving to do incredible things in their own lives. We have planted crocus bulbs in local schools and Burton hospital as part of the Eradicate Polio Now campaign, by bringing awareness of the dreadful illness and to highlight how close it is to creating a completely clear of polio world.
We support young people in our young chef award, young photographers and young footballers. In a few weeks time three of us will sleep out for the local YMCA.
And through all of this and much more we have fun, fun, fun !
This weekend we have danced, laughed but learnt also of what Rotary is achieving in local communities and internationally.
Particularly good has been Andy Cope under the heading “The art of Brilliance” explaining about the mindset to be happy and positive; look him up on YouTube.
Another good speaker was Malcolm Wells about Canine Partners (assistance dogs) and we found ourselves caught up in his enthusiasm.
Tomorrow, we have more including Children's Air Ambulance and a keynote speech from Geoff Miller, OBE, a former England international cricketer.
So, to anyone who thinks Rotary is just a bunch of old men and women sitting around being grumpy, WE'RE NOT. We are trying to make a difference.
Why not consider asking your local Rotary Club if you too can make a difference ?