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Why be a Rotarian?
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To the editor,

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends and problem-solvers who share ideas, join with leaders and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.

Rotary isn’t just another club to join but an organization with endless opportunities. It is the greatest and most powerful humanitarian organization in the world. We are doing what we love for the betterment of humanity.

We Great Bend Rotarians work together with more than 35,000 other Rotary clubs to take action on the world’s most persistent issues. This past year alone, our club’s projects and programs at our bi-monthly meetings have been dealing with Rotary’s Seven Areas of Focus:

1) Promote Peace. Well known Kansan Sam Brownback, who most recently served as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, will speak Sept. 13 on “The State of Religious Freedom Around the World.”

2) Fight Disease. Our club put out “smiley face” Rotary yard signs and received front-page newspaper publicity to promote the need for COVID-19 vaccinations. Also, we were part of our 60-club district’s effort to raise an impressive $528,000 in a continuing effort to eradicate polio worldwide.

3) Maternal and child health. Our club served as a hub for surrounding Rotary clubs in two massive food distribution campaigns to provide food to our neighbors experiencing food scarcity.

4) Support education. The size of the scholarships could double this next year with the resumption of the popular Half-Court Basketball Shot at home games if the club receives a District Grant.

5) Grow local economies. We held a specially tailored meeting, “How to Match People Up with the Right Jobs,” which advised businesses about how to save thousands of dollars by hiring the right employee. Another innovative program was given on growing hemp in Kansas as a promising new

cash crop.

6) Protect the environment. Our club manages Rotary Lake in cooperation with the City of Great Bend.

7) Provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene. Our club and district approve and support Rotary Global Grants of this nature to underdeveloped and emerging countries every year through The Rotary Foundation worth thousands and thousands of dollars.

The two Rotary mottoes are “Service Above Self” and “One Profits Most who Serves Best.” Great Bend Rotary isn’t “just another club.” We were founded in 1923, and are approaching 99 years of existence.

We are “people of action.” Please contact any Rotarian about the role Rotary can play in your life.

Austin LaViolette, Great Bend Rotary Club president