Dear Fellow Rotarians,


I was captivated by, Kalyan Banerjee, Rotary International (RI) President, when he gave his recent address to Rotarians and clubs across the world on this year's focus, "Reach Within To Embrace Humanity".  He struck a personal chord with me when he quoted Gandhi, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world!"  How profound.  I was totally engaged and deeply moved as I am sure every Rotarian was, for that is what Rotary is all about to me.


Like, Kalyan Banerjee, I believe before talking global peace, we must start with ourselves and work outward.  When we find our own peace, then we can establish peace in our homes, our families, and our communities.  We can not work to build peace in the world without building peace and tolerance in our own neighborhoods first.


Banerjee explains, in building strong families with strong foundations, that inner strength can be used to work together to better serve humanity. Rotarians are not common people.  We are uncommon; that is what sets us apart from others.  We look to change the world for the better.  Why else would we be Rotarians?  This is why this year's RI emphasis is on three areas, so that we can continue to do just that: 


First, Family - Good homes create good neighbors, good citizens, good communities, which in turn create good countries and peaceful relationships.  With mother and child at the core of every family, it is RI's hope that clubs across the world will focus on education and family endeavors to build those strong foundations.


Second, Continuity - There are many things we do very well. We need to have courage to see, identify, and change the things we could do better by taking them to the next level to help even more people.  Prosperity leads to peace which can be reached by continuing to build and improve water, eliminating diseases and illness, spreading literacy, striving for peace, and working with new generations to reach our younger populations to tell the story of Rotary to the world.  We must build larger Rotary networks through social media to connect with other populations.  In doing so and working together to change the world for the better, we elevate ourselves and the world around us.


Last, it is important for each Rotarian to start by actually being that change we wish to see in the world.  If we want peace, we must start by living and building peaceful lives in our homes and communities.  If we want to end polio, diseases, illness, child mortality, prevent hunger, and spread literacy, then each of us must be that instrument of change and recognize that it starts within each of us to bring about a better future for our community and our world.


With regard to that, our Georgetown club is setting that bar high.  We are a leader in the Rotary community, accomplishing the unthinkable.  For those not familiar or involved with all that our club is doing, this is an opportunity to reach within and find avenues to use your talents to help our club to better our community and world through our clubs efforts. You can support our club's strong emphasis on education by volunteering to be a Rotary Mentor for GISD students so that they may have a better future.  Beyond mentoring, take the unforgettable opportunity to reach within to commit and assist our Rotary club committee chairs to support RI's emphasis through fellowship in numerous other service endeavors this year such as:

·       Matching International and local Grants for Fire Equipment in Mexico, an ambulance for Nepal, Books for Samoa, and Help for Homeless students at own Eagles Nest.

·       Get involved with DAP grant projects like Light Texas-enrichment program and living community for adults with brain injuries and the Blue Teddy Bear project for children in crisis.

·       Help with High School Scholarships for seniors, including scholarships and rewards for GISD teachers.

·       Engage with Christmas Adopt & support a family, Baptist Children's home, and homeless High School youth holiday giving projects.

·       Coordinate with Ambassadorial Scholars and GSE Teams.

·       Assist with Club Membership and New Generations in telling the world our rotary story through YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter engaging other populations.

·       Help with Books of Love in Africa, Wheel chairs in Haiti, Polio elimination through Polio Plus, Blood Drives saving lives, Shelter Box disaster help.

·       And give of yourself to the Golf Tournament and Rotary Auction BBQ fundraising endeavors so that we may have the funds to continue to make life better for others.


I hope you have the courage to reach within yourself to be that instrument of change that you wish to see in the world so that we may all experience the joy of Rotarian fellowship and work side by side to build a better community and future for our world.  "Reach Within To Embrace Humanity".



Laura Antoine

President, Rotary Club of Georgetown