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Looking back on another successful year for Rotarians

By Staff | Jan 3, 2011

2010 was an extremely gratifying year for our Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club members. The club has made thousands of dollars of contributions in the last calendar year to local, national, and global causes, as well as scholarships; had a plethora of amazing speakers; have enjoyed working shoulder to shoulder with other non-profits on the island helping them raise funds for their specific causes and have participated in a variety of civic activities within the community.

The club has welcomed a number of new members, who have generously agreed to join our ongoing committees and some have even taken on leadership roles for important projects for the club. Our members exemplify what service clubs across our nation and worldwide dedicate their time and resources toward, and that is participating in a purposeful life. For Rotarians, that is living their motto of “Service Above Self.”

Rotary is one of the largest and most influential international humanitarian service organizations in the world. Rotary’s 1.2 million members worldwide belong to more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. As volunteers, Rotary members have been serving the needs of communities worldwide since 1905.

Rotary is a global network of business, professional, and community leaders. Through volunteer service, the women and men of Rotary build friendships and enlarge their circle of business, professional, community acquaintances. Participating in our service projects allows Rotary members to connect with people from around the world and promote cross-cultural understanding.

Rotary promotes peace and international understanding through its educational and humanitarian programs. Rotary sponsors the largest privately funded international scholarship program in the world. Since 1947, Rotary has contributed roughly US$500 million to fund 38,000 students from 100 countries. These cultural ambassadors use the skills they acquire through their studies abroad to help their communities. Rotary clubs promote peace by initiating thousands of humanitarian projects every year that address the underlying causes of social instability and conflict-such as hunger, poverty, disease and illiteracy.

One of Rotary’s top philanthropic goals is to eradicate polio worldwide. Since 1985, Rotary members have donated their time and money to help immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries. To date, Rotary has contributed $800 million and countless volunteer hours to fighting the disease. In 2007 and 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded The Rotary Foundation grants totaling $355 million. In return, Rotary is committed to raising $200 million by June 30, 2012.

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club made local financial donations last year to: Barbara Friends, Blessing in a Backpack, Brightest Horizons, F.I.S.H., Friends Who Care, Teddy Bears, local Boy Scout Troop, CROW, Community-Cooperative Ministries, Inc. (CCMI), J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and awards two Florida college scholarships. Our club’s national contributions go to supply matching funds for the many ongoing and special Rotary projects throughout the states.

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary club also funds projects of their own throughout the world:

• Sending Shelter Boxes to Haiti after the hurricane that struck that country early this year, contributing funding to Rotary’s Wheelchair Foundation.

• Working with other non-profit agencies toward the rebuilding in Haiti.

• Construction of a water system at St. Marcs School and supplying building materials to construct new classrooms.

• Sending medical supplies, and food supplies for hurricane victims in Haiti.

• Working on fresh drinking water systems in Guatemala.

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club is once again meeting at the Beachview Steakhouse Restaurant on Par View Drive starting at 7 a.m. on Friday mornings. If you are thinking about becoming a Rotarian, join us for breakfast or contact Shirley Jewell at 337-1099.