Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders. Rotarians provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

There are 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 207 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are non-political, nonreligious and open to all cultures, races and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self , Rotary’s main objective is service – in the community, in the workplace and throughout the world.

I‘d like to share with you Rotary’s international involvement and some of the things that our club does.

The Rotary International Polio Plus Campaign is responsible for the almost complete eradication of polio worldwide. After 20 years of hard work Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating this disease. Rotary is working to raise $200 million to match the $355 million dollars in challenge grants we have received from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The resulting $555 million will directly support immunization campaigns in developing countries where polio continues to infect and paralyze children, robbing them of their futures and compounding the hardships faced by their families.

Rotary worked with Shelter Box Canada to deliver emergency aid after the Haitian Earthquake, Japanese tsunami, Philippine Typhoon and other calamities. Our club contributed shelter boxes to provide temporary housing.

We collaborated with other local Rotary clubs and combined resources and effort to build the Rotary Centennial Playground for Children of all Abilities at Brewer Park on Bronson Avenue in Central Ottawa.

Our club sponsors and works with the Michele Heights Community to provide volunteers for an after school homework club, and contributes to the Michele Heights Community Library. We also funded the refurbishment of their computer room.

We worked with the City of Ottawa to build a much-needed park and play ground at Winthrop Court, an Ottawa Community Housing community. We provided a gazebo in the park for an outdoor community meeting place for parents and adults.

We are working with the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre and community partners on an entrepreneurship program for youth in west-end community housing.

We have adopted a portion of West Hunt Club Road under the Adopt a Roadway Program and each year we clean our portion of Hunt Club.

We also contribute support to other group’s fundraising initiatives around Ottawa such as Trek for Tourettes, Kindeness Week and Ride for Dad.

Rotary is an active sponsor of Rotary programs for students and young professionals.

The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Program brings participants 30 and younger together for a weekend of leadership training and development.

Our club participates in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program sponsoring a student to spend a year abroad on an educational/cultural exchange and hosting a student here for the school year to experience our culture. These students become ambassadors for our Rotary club, for Canada and experience a learning opportunity that would not be possible without our assistance.

Our club has delivered our signature program “Adventure in High Tech” for almost 30 years. The program brings senior high school students to Ottawa for 4-day exposure to the wide variety of technology opportunities and education facilities in our area.

We also support students each year with our Bursary Award program. We provide $1,000.00 assistance to students to continue their post secondary education. The qualifying criteria for this award is not just academic achievement. We require students to be active community leaders as well. Their community involvement exemplifies the best Rotarian principles.

We are able to contribute to all of these initiatives through our various fundraising efforts during the year. We have sold chrysanthemums at Thanksgiving, Rotary cash calendars, Entertainment Books, and we run a charity bingo several times each month.

Our members meet weekly for fellowship and to discuss project possibilities and fundraising opportunities. Each week we have a speaker presentation on a variety of subjects.