PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE MEETING PLACE
You may find that five days
aren’t enough to do everything
we have planned for the 2017
Rotary International Convention
But you can try.
We’re celebrating The Rotary
Foundation’s centennial, hosting
our first-ever film festival, and
exploring Rotary’s impact on
peace. The Host Organization
Committee is planning activities to
help you discover Atlanta. And, of
course, the always popular House
of Friendship, breakout sessions,
speakers, and entertainment are
also on the agenda.
The Rotary Foundation’s
yearlong centennial celebration
culminates at the 2017 convention.
We’re commemorating the
milestone with the debut of the
People of Action Film Festival,
7-9 June. Open to the public, the
festival will feature films about
people actively tackling the world’s
most persistent humanitarian
challenges, including preventing
disease, safeguarding the health of
women and children, supporting
education, growing economies,
providing clean water, and
promoting peace. There’ll also be
conversations with leading experts
“I’m excited about our film festival
and the chance to celebrate the work
our Foundation supports,” says
2016-17 RI President John F. Germ.
The Host Organization
Committee is taking advantage
of the convention venue’s
downtown Atlanta location to
organize events within easy
walking distance. You’ll be able
to dine at the World of Coca-Cola
and the College Football Hall of
Fame; enjoy bluegrass, barbecue,
and socializing at Centennial
Olympic Park; and watch a special
screening of “Gone With the
Wind” a little further away, at the
historic Fox Theatre.
Peace and conflict resolution is the
focus of the presidential peace
conference being held 9-10 June.
This special two-day event is open
to the public and all preconvention
and convention attendees.
We’ll celebrate our successes,
exploring the goals of our Peace
Centers, and our work on the
underlying causes of conflict.
And we’ll look ahead to what we
can accomplish during the next
Register for the convention
Find other host events
Use the convention
promotion kit to encourage
members to attend
Sign up for the convention
We talk a lot about change in Rotary.
Some argue that we need to change
dramatically, and others don’t feel that any
change is needed, while plenty of others
are somewhere in between. If you look at
our history, Rotary is actually no stranger
to transformational change. The most
dramatic example happened over 30 years
ago when we conceived of a project to
immunize the children of the world against
polio to create a polio-free world.
Before our PolioPlus program, Rotary focused on smaller club and
district efforts. Some of them were terrific projects that improved life in
communities throughout the world. But none of them united all of our
members, and very few of them received any significant recognition.
PolioPlus changed all that. We were joined in our mission by the
World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, and later by the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation. Suddenly, we were working with major international
players in the world of public health, on a historic effort to eradicate a
disease — something that had been done only once before, in 1980,
when smallpox was eliminated.
The day when polio has been eradicated will come. Only Afghanistan
and Pakistan are on the list of polio-endemic countries. But we’re
not done yet. That’s why I’m asking you and your fellow Rotarians to
continue making polio your top priority, until we have finally eradicated
this disease. It should be the most important thing on your agenda,
something that every Rotary club is talking about and working on.
That is how we’re going to get to the end of this: together, as a team.
Today, we can easily see how PolioPlus revolutionized Rotary, but I don’t
think the leaders of 1985 imagined how far this program would bring us.
Transformational change can be a little frightening. But we can’t
stand still, even if we want to. The world’s demands are relentless
and the need for our service is growing every day. So we in Rotary
must continue to change, to grow, and to use all of our resources and
compassion to continue to be part of Rotary Serving Humanity.
JOHN F. GERM
Share this promotional video with your members to get them excited about the
2017 Rotary Convention in Atlanta, 10-14 June.