"The Information Age of
by Jane Lawicki, senior public relations specialist
with the R.I. Public Information Department (Jan 2000
issue of Rotarian)
In our continuing quest
to be of service by helping Rotarians worldwide communicate
and stay informed through technology, District 7150 and Webmeister
Marlene B. Brown are honored to have been featured in an article
about the Information Age in the January 2000 issue of The
"I Discovered a Rotary
by Jim Johannsen, WCSRN, PDG, D5240, (Released
“Dear RI and RF Staff,
I am writing this e-mail to all of you because I recently
discovered a 'Rotary Gold Mine' that I believe will very shortly
be part of a 'Rotary Gold Rush'. I would hope that each of
you will contribute to the announcement of the location of
First a bit of background:
As you probably already know, in 1997 the RI B/D created the
World Community Service Resource Network, the WCSRN (See October
issue of Rotarian, Page 53). Twelve appointees as initial
WCSRN specialists have been working now for about a year and
a half to find ways to make it easier, quicker, and less expensive
to do WCS and Matching Grant projects.
Much of our work is
in the area of defining information resources that exist or
need to be created so that Rotarians, Clubs, and District
Staff can access tips, guides, knowledgeable Rotarians, etc.
Our concepts virtually always relate to availability of databases
of project related information and connecting need requests
with sources of help. On another Rotary project, I recently
compiled a database of the DGEs that have e-mail addresses
and found that only 195 of 529 or 37% have them. There is
no way of knowing how many Districts have Web Sites. I am
sure that there are many more e-mail addresses available that
were not listed when the DGE's election notification to RI
However, our work on
the WCSRN is showing us that without e-mail now, and probably
soon, without a Web Site, the information gap will widen and
as we all know information is the life blood of Rotary projects.
The ability to communicate throughout the world of Rotary
is an absolute must, and e-mail and the Web are fantastic
tools that will bring us all closer together.
The very first "strike"
in the Rotary Gold Rush is, in my opinion, the creation of
"World Wide Rotary Links", a project of District 7150 in New
York State, Marlene B. Brown, Webmeister. She and D7150 Governors
have, at no cost to RI or the RF, built a Web Site (www.rotarydistrict7150.org)
that will provide links to Clubs, Districts, Interact Clubs,
Rotaract Clubs, and virtually anything related to Rotary.
After working on the
WCSRN for almost two years, I was amazed to, only last week,
discover this Web Site and after thinking it over for a week
decided that we must bring this to the attention of the Rotary
World for many reasons, not the least of which is that the
success of our WCSRN may well depend on it.
To those of you that
are publication editors, I hope you will contact Marlene through
the Web Site (that way you get an idea of the power of what
they have done) or at e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a real story
of creativity and volunteerism and the result is one of the
most powerful and relevant tools I have seen in my 35 years
of Rotary. I am sure you will want to give this resource maximum
publicity so the Database of Web Sites can be expanded as
rapidly as possible.
For Scott, our RI Webmaster,
I hope you can immediately, (if not sooner), put a link on
the RI Web Page to connect all Rotarians to this "Switchboard
to the Rotary World".
I am leaving tomorrow
for a month in Greece, Turkey and Egypt so I will not be able
to be reached until November 29, but Marlene has given me
permission to alert you to this terrific story and Rotary
tool, so please contact her directly. If I have sounded a
bit excited, I am.
I think this D7150
project provides a tool which will enable us to more rapidly
and effectively, interface to projects that will save thousands
of lives and enhance the quality of life for millions. Can
anyone disagree? Yours in Rotary Service, Jim Johannsen,
PDG 1992-93, D5240, Santa Barbara, California
Dear Marlene, Please
accept my genuine thanks for all you are doing toward making
the WCSRN a knowledgeable and worthwhile entity for concerned
Rotarians. Dispensing information about the availability of
help for those interested in WCS projects is our number one
goal. As more and more people become aware of our existence
We have developed already
a 'step-by-step' guide that is available from the Secretariat.
My article in The Rotarian, October issue, "A Path to Success"
was mostly for information purposes. Yet, our database in
so many areas is lacking. We need names of people, like yourself,
who can be called upon for their specific areas of expertise.
Probably the most important
need we have is in two categories ; First, we continue to
have trouble getting supplies and equipment across national
borders, so we need to know how to access those officials
who can help; and secondly, and particularly in the developed
countries, warehousing space is a critical need. In the US
we can collect equipment that can be shipped to a needy project,
but do not know of that project when the equipment becomes
available. We need to store the equipment until there is a
specific need for it. And, storage areas need to be near airports,
and in the US, close to Navy and Airforce bases, because of
our ability to use 'space available' on their flights.
expertise, as evidenced by your Web sites, can be a definite
help to those clubs and districts who desire their own. While
many districts have their own Web pages, many desire a better
one. Could I use your name as reference for this kind of help?
FYI we are beginning
(we, being the Communications Committee of RI of which I am
Chairman) to suggest cyberspace meetings. 'Chat Rooms', both
locally and internationally, are being established. And even
before 'chat rooms', the interim step of bringing specific
groups together to have their say about issues at anytime
convenient is beginning to catch on. Your thoughts on any
of the above will be appreciated.
At this juncture I
can forsee several areas where you can help, especially in
getting the word out that we're looking for knowledgeable
people. Please send me your last Memo for my own understanding
of it. Several cyberspace meetings are in the planning stage.
In our District (7570)
a committee to propose legislation to the next Council on
Legislation is grouped in a 'listserv', conveniently making
comments. Ultimately, we can go into a 'chat room' mode for
final proposals. On two other fronts, my Communications Committee
is asking the RI Board for permission to develop a communications
and public relations strategy, strictly done in cyberspace,
and, at no cost to Rotary.
I think this will be
the first time Rotary will have a meeting of a standing committee
in cyberspace, which will of necessity have to be in a 'chat
room' setting. Another 'listserv' which will include editors
of regional magazines (27 of them) is being brought together
with the Arts and Communications Vocational Fellowship for
the purpose of sharing editorial materials, technological
expertise and editorial writings on selected subject matter.
A very knowledgeable
Rotarian, Vito Di Bari of Milano, Italy has just been appointed
to the Board of UNESCO as their expert in communications technology.
He is also a member of my Communications Committee. The entire
field of rapid communications is taking on a life of its own.
Just how the leadership of RI responds to these opportunities
remains to be seen.
Of course I want you
to be a resource person for WCSRN. We are just now, in WCSRN,
beginning to see the fruit of several years of labor. I envision
a database of experts all over the Rotary world who can, at
any given time, facilitate and expedite WCS projects. We will
work toward that goal, and Jim Johannsen, Bill Waterfield,
Sonny Brown, Jack Maxwell, Juan Forster, Lore Veneracion (
I won't name them all) will be happy for any input you can
give us. Again, mucho gracis !
Thanks for the Memo,
Marlene. It was the kind of information that dedicated Rotarians
need to be hearing. Rotary tries to do this on a world wide
basis in the 'Rotary News Basket' and the 'Rotary World'.
Yet, they somehow miss the personal touch that yours achieves.
I will be meeting with selected Rotarians for leadership training
this weekend and will mention your willingness to help, along
with your address. Keep up the good work ! Warm regards, Ed
Hatcher, Chairman - WCSRN
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"The 7 Habits of
an Effective Rotarian"
by Dr. Jagdish Bhatt, District 3140, India (Released January
1. ATTENDANCE: Effective Rotarians always
try to attend their club meetings or make up at other clubs as much
as possible. They are aware that regular attendance is an important
part of their membership commitment and do not miss a chance to attend.
They participate on committees which they are members of, plus others
if invited. They are keen to attend all club events and district functions.
They participate in the District Assembly and District Conference
each year, and have attended a recent Rotary International Convention.
2. FELLOWSHIP: Effective Rotarians enjoy
meeting other members and often feel this fellowship is as important
to Rotary as the actual business part of a meeting. They go out of
their way to talk to those whom they do not know and believe a stranger
is just a friend they have not met yet. Outside of Rotary they also
enjoy meeting people and getting acquainted with them. At large Rotary
gatherings they make an effort to meet others, rather than just fraternizing
with friends from their own club.
3. VOCATION: Effective Rotarians respect
every vocation and understand how the classification system is the
basis of Rotary. They firmly believe that each vocation provides a
cog in the wheel and is important, however insignificant it may appear.
They firmly believe each member should try to excel in their job and
they try to support and help others to reach their full potential.
4. DISCIPLINE: Effective Rotarians understand
the value of self-discipline and know that productive accomplishments
are hard to achieve without it. They realize that both inner and outer
discipline must be maintained in a proper balance and can enforce
both disciplines when and where required.
5. TIME, MONEY & ENERGY: Effective Rotarians
know they have a purpose in Rotary and fully realize they must earmark
a certain amount of time, money and energy to maintain this commitment.
They also realize these three things should be shared in proper balance
between their family, vocation and community.
6. EMPATHY: Effective Rotarians put themselves
in the position of the other person, especially if that person is
in difficulty. They know that mere sympathy may not be enough, can
be empathetic and feel compassion for the difficulties of others.
They believe that what they are doing for their community is merely
returning a small part of what they have already received from it.
While they may appreciate recognition for their efforts they do not
hanker for it.
7. IMAGE OF ROTARY: Effective Rotarians
may sometimes feel that all is not right with Rotary or there are
too many 'politics'. They know some elements in Rotary need improvement
but rather than be negative they use a positive approach to help rectify
things. They maintain a positive attitude and portray a good image
of Rotary, both inside and outside the organization.
for printable PDF format
Back to Top
"Mom, I Want to be a Rotarian
when I Grow Up"
by Jenny Doane, VP Eastwood Rotary Club (Released
"Why is that dear”?
“Well, I heard that Rotarians
help others in their community and raise money through fundraising
projects that benefits their community as well.”
“They have some awesome
projects and give money away. Have you ever heard of such a
“This sounds like something
I would want to do when I grow up and get a job.”
This is only a dream
in my mind. Something that we would love to hear our children
say at the dinner table and/or in passing as they are on their
way up the stairs to turn on their computer.
Like the Armed Forces,
we need a few good men and women to help lead the charge into
the new century. We need people who are going to commit to a
weekly meeting, hard work and fulfillment beyond their wildest
dreams. We need people who are not scared to work for others,
to make new friends and learn what it is like to be accepted
for themselves, and put in extra time going to a few meetings
Qualifications to become
a Rotarian: you must be employed, be willing to attend a Rotary
meeting weekly and work. Work hard to help others less fortunate
than you. To work to help the children and adults of this great
planet who will thank you over and over for giving of yourself
for the little that they receive. We can never do enough for
our fellow man, but you can make a dent in the need of the world
by becoming a Rotarian in your community.
Please visit a Rotary
meeting in your area and see how much fun and fulfilling it
can be. (Visit the club meeting times featured here
on our Rotary Int’l web site)
"An Impossible Community
Rotary Dream Came True"
by Marlene Brown, Utica Rotary Club (Released
kind of Community programs can Rotary Clubs undertake? In this
article, we'll describe how District 7150's Utica Rotary Club
started, and is continuing, a project of value to Rotarians
and Community members alike. In the middle of a January 1998
blizzard in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA, at the Regional Conference,
the Urban Concerns Committee of District 7150 met to discuss
a community project.
When they returned, then
President John Kogut convened a series of meetings with interested
people in the club and representatives of many organizations
in town who work with people in the real inner city of Utica.
This group talked with representatives of the YMCA, Family Nurturing
Center, city schools, and many others. From all of this information,
there developed the idea that Utica Rotary should do something,
but start small so as to achieve some success from which to
build upon. And so the idea of working with children in one
school grew. Meetings were held with the administration of Columbus
The school represented
everything good and bad about urban America. There are almost
800 students comprising 35 classes (K-6) at Columbus making
it the largest elementary school in the Utica City district.
Within these classes are an ethnically diverse population which
includes over 20 foreign languages, and 180 students in the
ESL program. 75 percent of the total enrollment reads below
state standards. The school currently lacks a playground and
many items we take for granted in most schools.
The Mission and Vision
were exciting and lofty. The Mission: To enhance the education
of children at Columbus School through a partnership of Rotarians,
students, administrators, faculty, family, and the community.
The Vision for the Community: For every child to successfully
complete high school and have the resources and opportunities
to continue their education and pursue meaningful careers. PPJohn
and PLinda worked to have a smooth transition, to focus on making
the dreams a reality.
In August of 1998, Columbus
School principal Karen Kunkel (a Greater Utica Sunrise Rotarian)
, along with Superintendent of Schools Dan Lowengard (a Utica
Rotarian) introduced us to our adopted school, as they spoke
at our weekly meeting. On September 18, 1998, the Utica Rotary
Club held its weekly meeting with teachers and administrators
at Columbus Elementary School. This was the official kick-off
of the long-term commitment to pursue a project that that would
make a difference within our urban community. Rotarians and
teachers shared tables to brainstorm a wish list for the club
to focus on.
After selecting Columbus
as their focus, it was obvious that literacy would have to be
addressed immediately. As such, the club has committed to have
36 Rotarians read to their assigned class once each month. The
environmental committee headed up a recycling project to collect
slightly used and/or new pencils and children's books. The goal
is to provide books for every student to take home to read or
be read to. This effort is being extended to include books written
PLinda's thought was
to have the established Rotary committees each play a role in
the activities at Columbus School. John Kogut and Dave Jones
co-ordinate the work of the group and keep everyone on track.
As activities are suggested, they are either referred to an
established committee or undertaken by the Urban Concerns group.
The Environmental committee collected the pencils; the Senior
Citizens committee recruited knitters at the Senior Centers
for mittens; the Literacy Committee coordinated the readers.
Other activities include ESL classes with MVCC, a dental clinic,
and the spotlighting of honor roll students.
On opening day of school
in September, each teacher received a large pencil box loaded
with pencils. Teachers reported that many students do not have
the basic tools at home to learn to read or write. This recycling
project is ongoing as collections are made at our weekly meeting.
Two 1st grade classrooms had new carpets for their reading corner
provided by Rotarian Dave Enjem. A week before Thanksgiving,
the club hosted an educational dinner to acquaint new refugees
with the holiday and provide recipes in the languages of the
It was also clear at
the onset that the mission would go nowhere without the cooperative
efforts of the children's families. Ms. Kunkel has set up parents
support groups that meet each Thursday from 6 - 7 pm. The groups
first meet together in the Parents Room and then branch out
to one of five support sessions. Russian, Hispanic, Bosnian,
grandparents raising children, or parents of children with disabilities
(including ADHD) are so far represented. The role of Rotarians
is to provide refreshment to the participants of these support
President Linda submitted
an application to RI for a Children's Opportunities Grant of
$25,000. This grant was designed to meet the needs of children
ages 0-16 which will provide a wonderful opportunity for the
project. It is the hope that this grant will supplement the
club's funds in the following four areas: securing bilingual
books; providing incentives (ex - groceries, clothing) to families
to attract them to the support group sessions; to fund field
trips; and to enhance the infrastructure of the Parents Room
with software and other educational aides.
Rotarian Marlene Brown,
District Webmeister, volunteered to create a Web site for Columbus.
Rotarian John Ryder donated the space on his Internet Service
Provider. The site is up and excitedly growing with pictures
of students and activities involving the club, parents, children,
and administrators. An ongoing project, it can be viewed here.
At Christmas time, the
top 25 students in Columbus school were guests for lunch at
our weekly meeting, where they were presented Follow Your Dream
Rotary pins by District Governor Ed Paparella, and brand new
mittens. Local media covered the event, and the overflow crowd
was treated to the students singing a medley of holiday songs.
In January of '99, Josh Kamp delivered to Columbus 800 recycled
children's books as part of his Eagle Scout Merit Award for
Committee Co-Chairs Dave
Jones and John Kogut said, "We hope to have Columbus serve as
a model for our District as we address the needs within our
Columbus School not only
serves as a model for our District -- it serves as a model for
Rotary Clubs worldwide. Click here
for pictures on the Community and Urban Concerns page. -
Rebirth of a Website
by Ray Allen, Oriskany/Whitestown Club
Rotarians and friends
of District 7150 across the world, we invite you to visit and
browse through the new District 7150 websites. They consist
of nearly 60 pages of information, pictures, music and more,
all related to our District. The District can be found at www.rotarydistrict7150.org.
The Youth Exchange program can be found at www.therotaryyouthexchange.org
...Both sites are cross linked. We guarantee, it's worth your
The District Technology
Committee met in July at the request of DG Ed Paparella and
discussed the goals he had set for electronically bringing the
District into the 21st Century. It was firmly established that
a District website should serve the needs of District 7150 Rotarians
and also attract web browsers. The site had to be graphically
pleasing, current and functional. The site had to not only provide
timely information but also had to have the capability for the
clubs to report monthly administrative data and allow visitors
to easily send questions and information to the DG and others.
The site does this and
more. Assignments were given to various Committee members and
a work site was established where drafts of revisions and new
ideas could be posted. This allowed committee members to comment
and vote on the final version. It was quickly apparent that
it was in the best interests of the District to move the site
server to a local company to improve the service and speed.
Borg Internet Services Inc. in Utica was selected. John Ryder,
one of Borg's owners and a Utica Club Rotarian, volunteered
his services at no cost to help the committee and assure a smooth
transition. Marlene Brown, another Utica Club Rotarian and owner
of Marmel Consulting Firm, a company that develops websites
among other services, volunteered to "make it a reality". With
the help of other committee members, Al Kalter, Ray Allen, Larry
Golden, Fran Combar and Paul Nelson, the personal involvement
of DG Ed and Barb Paparella (Barb was our key proof reader),
we started compiling information and developed drafts for the
committee to review.
The site expanded daily
as Marlene posted draft pages and members sent e-mail comments
back and forth. The final decisions on format and content were
reserved for DG Ed following a series of votes. The enthusiasm
grew as we worked together and our dream become a reality. As
a surprise to DG Ed, Ray Allen convinced RI to give us the first
copy of the 1998-99 Rotary theme song in a digitized electronic
file. Marlene and Borg implemented it so viewers can click and
hear the Rotary theme music. To the best of our knowledge, we
are the only Rotary website in the world, and certainly the
first, to be playing this music. Al and Ray also asked the Youth
Exchange Committee to get photos of Inbound and Outbound student
and write short biographical sketches. This, with other YE background
information, a digitized file of the new RI Long Term Application
and "YE Host", the YE newsletter for club YEO's and Host Families
was forwarded along with a draft of the YE webpages, to Marlene
for her to do her magic.
At 11:30 pm August 15,
1998, four weeks from the start, the new site was posted on
the web for the world to visit. We are still tweaking pages
here and there. When you visit you will see that some pages
are updated almost weekly. New information dealing with other
key District programs including Gift of Life, Group Study Exchange,
Literacy and Community/Urban Concerns will be added soon.
If your club has a website,
please let us know and we will link you to the District site.
If a District Committee has material they want posted, send
it to DG Ed or
for consideration. Club
Presidents and Secretaries, please note that you can now send
your monthly attendance reports direct via e-mail from our website.
We hope you enjoy your
visit. Please send us comments and suggestions for improvement.
Continue to dream of the future. There are no limits. The Technology
Committee wants to personally thank DG Ed and Barb for their
work in helping to make our dream come true. Everyone is invited
to our workshop at District Conference. We will demonstrate
the District 7150 website, our new YE website, and provide you
with ideas and guidelines on developing a website for your club.
time and effort have gone into producing this website for our
district. We are proud of our unique look and feel. We hope
that you are able to use it as a guide in creating your own
site and gathering ideas regards information and subject matter
that's nice to be included. Rather than utilizing our work,
we would appreciate your respecting our copyright and creating
your own unique site design. Let us know how we can assist.
We'd be happy to help. Thank you and enjoy all our site has
Meeting: Syracuse, NY - July 1998
L. to R. -
Marlene Brown, Ray Allen, Ed Paparella, Paul Nelson, Fran Combar
Technology Committee Meeting: Clark
Mills, NY - May 2000
Bruce Frassinelli, Ward Vuillemot, Dennis McDermott, Ray Allen,
Excerpted from The COG of Auburn
published by Dean
Here is a Generic Grace if
you are asked to give the invocation:
give us time.
Time for patience,
Time for understanding.
Time to remember thoughtful deeds to do.
Time to believe in our fellow men,
and time to perceive the value of being a Rotarian.
An Example of the Use of Electronic
(Submitted by Harriet Schloer - March 1999)
Harriett H. Schloer, PHF
In this fast-past
electronic world we now live in, RI is sorely pressed at
the International level to keep up with and adjust to it
all in a timely manner. For the first time in this organization's
nearly 100 year history, it is being driven from the club
level UP, rather than the International level DOWN. Through
the use of electronic communications, we have completely
by-passed RI at the International (and in some cases the
District) level and the clubs are working one-to-one to
get things done and things are GETTING DONE!!
Here's a really
Last year at the
RI convention in Indianapolis, President Glenn Kinross announced
the establishment of the "Children's Opportunities Grants"
on a "one time only basis" for the 1998-99 Rotary Year.
The $20 Million (US) in funds came from "extraordinary return
on investments by the Rotary Foundation". He indicated that
the funds would be available to local clubs to do work in
local communities (as apposed to typical TRF funds which
require that funds be used on an "International" basis).
My husband (President of his club) and I were very excited
about the possibility of being able to bring a $25,000 grant
(why not go for the MAX) into our community to benefit children.
In September, we received preliminary information on the
types of projects that would be considered. We (I) decided
to submit an immunization grant. We live in the state of
Oregon which currently ranks 47th out of 50 states in successfully
immunizing its children ages 0 - 3. In addition, the county
we live in ranks 35th out of 36 counties in the state on
the same criteria. I began putting the pieces together.
At the same time,
our DG, began pushing, prodding, and poking all of the clubs
in the district to look at the preliminary grant info, think
of how each club might participate and be ready to submit
immediately once the actual applications were available.
He did this on a weekly basis through our broadcast fax
system and in two DG's newsletter all during the months
of September and October. Through a couple of calls to RI
I learned that the official grant application and brochure
would be posted to the Internet sometime in late October
on the RI web site on the same day they were being mailed
to every club president and district Governor. Early submission
was important because each grant would be considered on
a "first come - first served" basis on its own individual
merit and would not be held or put aside to determine if
something better might come along later. I began monitoring
the RI web site on a daily basis, and I also asked Scott
Gordon (the RI webmaster) to let me know when the forms
were available. The forms were posted to the Net at 12:00
noon the same day they were mailed. at 12:15 PM,
I downloaded same
and five minutes later distributed them District wide to
every club in the district via our POSTA bulk Email delivery
system. Within 30 minutes of posting the notification to
the clubs 11 clubs had downloaded the forms and brochures.
The rest, as they say, is History. Those 11 clubs were ready
(including my husband's) and the formal applications were
completed and returned to RI. Nine of those applications
were received and date-stamped by RI THREE DAYS BEFORE THE
FORMS WHICH HAD BEEN MAILED WERE EVEN RECEIVED BY THE CLUBS!
What were the results? District 5110 has submitted 19 COG
grants applications. To date, 7 of those grants have been
approved (including the $25,000 immunization grant which
I wrote for my husband's club) for a total of $97,500 in
funds. Of the nearly 8000 grants which were received by
RI, these seven grants had a tracking number no higher than
374. The grant I wrote was #154. The Foundation is currently
reviewing 5 others which are still eligible for funds (their
numbers are low enough). The remaining 7 grants which were
submitted were probably submitted to late . . . . the funds
will have run out by the time they are reviewed.
As our DG has met
with his other zone counterparts during the past few months,
he (and D5110) have become something of a "legend". Most
of them did not even get a grant and that fact that we received
7 has been totally amazing to all of them. He credits our
success to ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS!
Bend-Mt. Bachelor Rotary Club (Bend, OR, USA)
Director: District Communications (1999-2000)
Chair: Electronic Communications (1998-1999)
District Webmaster: District Web Site: http://www.district5110.org
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