Rotary District 6860
My Friends, Fellow Rotarians, and Rotary Club Members,
We have ended Bill's year as District Governor and started mine in the midst of a pandemic and much civil unrest. Our communities, both local, national, and international, are divided along political, racial, ethnic, and religious boundaries. What a great privilege we have to belong to an organization that recognizes the positive qualities of all who want to help our world and its inhabitants, without consideration to those characteristics that make us different.
First of all, I want to congratulate Bill on a great year. He has done a wonderful job in streamlining our leadership committees, implementing changes to our grant funding model, reengaging this district into Rotary's Youth Exchange Program, leading the district past the one million dollar mark in our program supporting Children's of Alabama's Critical Care Transport, and creating an atmosphere where we can engage, diversify and thrive.
Now it is my turn. Most of our objectives will not change. I want to grow Rotary in this district. That will take action on all levels. Most importantly will be that of club leadership in engaging all Rotarians. Rotary is a value proposition and all members must see their worth. That is a clubs' leadership responsibility. Secondly, we need to increase our giving to The Rotary Foundation. My congratulations to the Rotary Clubs of Cullman, Madison, and Decatur Daybreak for being the top per capita giving clubs in 2019-20. I would also like to congratulate the 14 Rotary Clubs that had over 90% of their members contribute to The Rotary Foundation. Most importantly, I look forward to working with the 8 clubs in our district that did not contribute to The Rotary Foundation in 2019-20.
Hopefully you will see and appreciate some changes to our district leadership structure. I had the opportunity to appoint 8 of 13 Assistant District Governors and I did so with great deliberation and intent. In the past, clubs have been told they needed to have a public image program. Well, they do. This year we are funding a district wide public image project that is intended to help all clubs. That is being handled by a standalone committee with a life span of one year. Additionally, we have created a Social Media Chair, combining our webpage operation, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts and it is being chaired by a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham.
Our District continues to contribute 20% of our District Designated Funds to the eradication of polio. This year, our contribution is $46,400. This contribution was matched by The Rotary Foundation's World Fund dollar for dollar which was then matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, two to one. Our District's contribution to the eradication of polio, so far, has created a totaled donation of $278,400. We also continue to be known as a Peace Builder District because of our continued contribution to The Rotary Foundation's Peace Initiative. The district also received the designation last year as being a Pillar of Children's of Alabama having contributed over a million dollars to Children's of Alabama's Critical Care Transport.
Some of the things that you can expect next year will be an emphasis on membership retention, increase Foundation giving, continued support of Children's of Alabama through Boiling `n Bragging, continuing to enhance our Rotary Youth Exchange program, an increased public image campaign, more social media presence, and a true effort to help Rotary Club members become Rotarians. We will be heavily involved in the Rotary Peace Conference to be held in our district in 2023 and the NewGen Peacebuilders Program that will be rolled out to 15 high schools in January.
I look forward to meeting with each of you during the upcoming year. We have started off with challenges, but I believe that with our principles and with a lot of effort we will be stronger than ever.
In Rotary Service,