Every year at this time, there is a changing of the guard involving 1.2 million people around the world. In 32,000 Rotary International Clubs around the globe, celebrations are held for the outgoing and incoming officers, board members and chairpersons of each club. Part of that annual revelry includes a bit of rivalry for awards based on the accomplishments of each club.
Each year, whatever their size, clubs strive to provide community service to both the local and international communities, addressing concerns such as healthcare, hunger, poverty, illiteracy and the environment. Rotary International has addressed critical humanitarian issues on local and international levels for over 100 years as the world’s first service organization.
But Rotary is not all work and no play. Rotary was founded on fellowship, an ideal that remains a major attraction of membership today. Club projects offer opportunities to develop enduring friendships through fun social activities.
Rotary club members are men and women who represent a cross-section of the community’s leaders, business owners, executives, managers, professionals and retirees from a variety of fields. But they all have one thing in common: Their business is mankind; their product is service.
Rotarians believe strongly in their motto, Service Above Self, and experience the fulfillment and rich rewards that come from giving back to the community. Weekly Rotary club programs keep members informed about pertinent issues, which keeps them motivated to make a difference.
You may feel that in these tough times, you have nothing to give. But the true test of character comes when we are called to sacrifice a bit of ourselves for others—our time, talent and treasure. If a society is ultimately judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members, we have a continuing opportunity to demonstrate our kokua and aloha, and help ensure the safety, security, health and happiness for those in need in Maui County and around the globe.
If you think you are up for a little friendly competition, stop by one of Maui’s nine Rotary clubs—Kahului, Kihei Sunrise, Kihei-Wailea, Lahaina, Lahaina Sunrise, Maui, Upcountry, Valley Isle Sunset and Wailuku—which meet at various times and locations throughout the island, or call Maui Assistant District Governor Mark Harbison at 283-3785.
And yes, the competition is tough. Looks like you have to get up pretty early in the morning to one-up the Rotary Club of Kihei Sunrise (www.mauiweekly.com/page/content.detail/id/501830/K-hei-Sunrise-Rotary-Wins-Small-Club-of-the-Year.html). But what could be more gratifying than going for the gold to do the most good?