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Why I am a Rotarian


February 24, 2011

bennington rotary club
BENNINGTON - I've often been asked why I joined Rotary. My husband was a Rotarian in Edgerton, Wisconsin during the 1960s. It was a small mid-western town with the population of about 4.500. At that time he was vice president of employee and public relations for his company. He was on the Rotary Scholarship committee and enjoyed working with the exceptional students who were scholarship winners and our exchange students as well. He arranged tours of his company for elementary and secondary school students, and he gave talks at the high school regarding his philosophy toward public and employee relations, which was simply to follow the Golden Rule. This easily carried over into his work as a Rotarian.

I joined Rotary because it gives me the opportunity to be part of an organization that is over a million strong, working together to rid the world of polio, bring clean water to those who have none, and help with other tragedies that may occur around the world caused by careless acts of mankind or Mother Nature. By myself I can do little, but being part of something so great, so grand, makes what I do count.

This year the Rotary International 2011 Convention will be held in New Orleans. And what better place to celebrate. New Orleans is a city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and then recently the Gulf Coast was devastated by the British Petroleum oil spill. The city is still proud and beautiful and is returning to its former grandeur, but much still remains to be done.

Rotarians across the country and around the world jumped to action to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina and are still volunteering with such projects as helping rebuild homes for low-income, the elderly and disabled through Habitat for Humanity. The New Orleans Mission Library Project will begin right after the convention. The mission is the largest provider of shelter and food for homeless adults and children in the New Orleans area. Rotarian volunteers will also be working to help restore historic above-ground cemeteries in New Orleans that were devastated during the hurricane.

For information on how you can help with these projects, go to www.habitat-nola.org; www.neworleansmission.org; and www.saveourcemeteries.org.

The Bennington Rotary Club meets Fridays at noon at Bennington Station. We enjoy warm camaraderie, a delicious buffet luncheon and interesting speakers. At the present time we are planning our Spaghetti Supper to be held Wednesday, March 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Bennington Elks Lodge, Washington Street, Bennington, Vermont. Tickets are available at Kevin's Sports Pub, North Bennington, the Bennington Chamber of Commerce and TriState Pennysaver News in downtown Bennington. Proceeds from this dinner will benefit the Bennington Rotary Club Scholarship Fund. For more information, or if you are interested in joining Rotary, please e-mail President Ted Bird at tbird@benningtonrotary.com, or go to the Bennington Rotary Web site at www.benningtonrotary.com. For information regarding Rotary International, please see the Web site at www.Rotary.org.

Author: Susan J. Coons - Bennington Rotary Club Member


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