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Rotary 04-29-2005




Humble Intercontinantal Rotary Club
Humble Rotary members help to ring the bell for Salvation Army at Super-Walmart on 12/18/2004.
picture of rotary Rotary picture
Ray Shotwell, David Beasley, Jim Mccary   David Beasley and Yun Yang Wang
Rotary picture Rotary picture
Ray Shotwell, Jim Mccary, unkwon guest, David Beasley   Ray Shotwell and David Beasley

Paul Harris History
Today, Rotary is well known throughout the world for its dedication to service and international goodwill. Changing the world through service, however, was hardly uppermost in the mind of Paul P. Harris when he founded the organization in 1905. Harris, a lawyer in Chicago, Illinois, USA had been raised in a rural village in Vermont. He envisioned a new kind of club for professionals that would kindle the fellowship and friendly spirit that he had known in his youth.
On the evening of 23 February 1905, Harris invited three friends to a meeting. Silvester Schiele, a coal dealer, Hiram Shorey, a merchant tailor, and Gustavus Loehr, a mining engineer, gathered with Harris in Loehr's business office in Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago. They discussed Harris' idea that business leaders should meet periodically to enjoy camaraderie and to enlarge their circle of business and professional acquaintances. The club met weekly; membership was limited to one representative from each business and profession. Though the men didn't use the term Rotary that night, that gathering is commonly regarded as the first Rotary club meeting.
As they continued to convene, members began rotating their meeting among their places of business, hence the name Rotary. After enlisting a fifth member, printer Harry Ruggles, and the group was formally organized as the Rotary Club of Chicago. The original club emblem, a wagon wheel design, was the precursor of the familiar cogwheel emblem now used by Rotarians worldwide.
By the end of 1905, the club's roster showed a membership of 30, with Shiele a president and Ruggles as treasurer. Paul Harris declined office in the new cub and didn't become its president until two years later. Club membership grew, making it difficult to gather in offices, so the members shifted their meeting to hotels and restaurants, where many Rotary club meetings are held today.
These early "Rotarians" realized that the fellowship and mutual self-interest were not enough to keep a club of busy professionals meeting each week. Reaching out to improve the lives of the less fortunate proved to be an even more powerful motivation. The Rotary commitment to service began in 1907 when the Rotary Club of Chicago constructed that city's first public lavatory. With this inaugural project, Rotary became the world's first service-club organization.
Rotary's popularity began to spread throughout the USA. The second Rotary club was chartered in 1908 in San Francisco, California, with a third club formed in Oakland, California. Others soon followed in Seattle, Washington; Los Angeles, California; and New York, New York. When the National Association of Rotary Clubs held its first convention in 1910, Harris was elected president.
At the following year's convention, speakers used the phrases "Service, Not Self" and "He Profits Most Who Serves Best," which became the organization's mottoes. "Service, Not Self," was later changed to "Service Above Self" and has since been adopted as Rotary's primary motto.

Rotarians Reach Out to Victims of Hurricane Charley
Soon after Hurricane Charley hit southern Florida, USA, local Rotarians were there to help, joining thousands of community volunteers collecting and distributing relief items to victims.
More than 1.4 million people were evacuated from their homes on the weekend of 14 August as the hurricane tore through Florida and parts of nearby South Carolina. Twenty-five Florida counties were declared federal disaster areas. Residents sustained an estimated US$10 billion to $15 billion in losses, including damages to businesses, homes, and infrastructure. As many as 25 residents lost their lives and hundreds more were injured.
Veronica Billordo, an Ambassadorial Scholar from Santiago Del Estero, Argentina, had been in Florida for only two weeks when the hurricane struck. She accompanied her hosts, John Steakley, president of the Rotary club of Fort Myers-Sunrise, and his wife, Charlene, to a local Red Cross shelter. Billordo provided translation services for nearly 300 Latino immigrants who needed to communicate with local authorities and relief agencies.
"In this very stressful time, [the immigrants] found Veronica's calm presence and pleasant personality comforting," says Jim Henry of the Rotary Club of Sebring Sunrise. "One of the goals of the Ambassadorial Scholarships program is to participate in local humanitarian efforts. Veronica has already earned her wings."
In district 6960, club members have made generous contributions to an emergency und set up by Rotary leaders, despite their own needs, " An early survey indicates that 10 of our 54 clubs have been directly affected by Hurricane Charley, with some 300 to 500 Rotary families involved," says Richard Dodderidge, a past district governor and RI's Family of Rotary Task Force coordinator for Zone 34.
"District Governor Jerry Hearn has just advised me that…more than $25,000 has been committed by clubs and members. Jerry is receiving nearly 100 e-mails a day from districts and clubs around the world offering support."
In addition to receiving or channeling donations of supplies such as batteries, blankets, clothing, food, ice, insect repellant, towels, and water, Rotary clubs have helped establish meal services, temporary shelters, delivery networks, and volunteers for relief efforts.
"The tremendous response from Rotarians to the Hurricane Charley relief program is a classic example of the importance of the family of Rotary," says Dodderidge. "Rotary members have always been sensitive to the needs and interests of members of their own club and have been generous to the concerns of unfortunate people around the world. But, unfortunately, it is rare that a need this dramatic has happened right in our own front yard, Every resident of Florida knows it could have happened to them and has a strong feeling of support for others in the state who were less fortunate."
Rotarians wishing to contribute to relief and rebuilding efforts can contact individual clubs and districts directly or make contributions through established relief organizations such as the Red Cross, In District 6960, check should be made payable to "Rotary District 6960- Hurricane Relief" and sent to District Governor Jerry Hearn 11011 Water Lily Way, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202. Other district contacts will be published on the RI Web site as they are received.