Governor's Message
   Why Rotary?
 
Just a little more than 12 years ago, I was no different than the great majority of folks in our communities-- I didn't know much about Rotary.  I had snippets of information:  I knew Dave Lourie and remember always seeing him covered in powdered sugar at Rotary's Family Fun Day fried dough trailer.  I knew Rotary ran the Christmas tree sale in Mill Creek Park and each year a dutiful volunteer would eagerly ask me if I "wanted an inch off the bottom" so my tree would drink more water.
 
I began to learn more when Frank Butterworth asked me to join and I became engaged in my club when Tony Wagner asked me to serve on his board.  I learned from Mike McGovern and Dan Mooers about the early days of the campaign against polio--and how Rotary surprised some of the leading health organizations in the world after they had challenged Rotary to raise $100 million to show it was serious about eradicating polio--and Rotary came back a year later with over $200 million!
 
Ann Lee Hussey was governor the year I served as president of my club.  I learned a lot from her.  I was very psyched at the Atlanta Convention when Bill Gates told tens of thousands of Rotarians from around the world about Ann Lee's efforts in the fight against polio.  The Gates Foundation has contributed nearly a billion dollars to Rotary in the fight against polio--that tells you something about our organization!
 
I served as an Assistant Governor for Governors Carolyn Johnson, Sheila Rollins and Lawrence Furbish.  Carolyn's literacy efforts in Guatemala and elsewhere, Sheila's passion in the fight against human trafficking, and Lawrence's commitment to ending polio all inspire me.
 
Now, it seems I can't go into a community anywhere without seeing evidence that a Rotary club has done something to make that community better.  Wonderful people who seek to engage with each other to make their communities a better place and who, collectively, have made the world a better place--that is Rotary.
 
It seems very fitting that this year's theme is "Be the Inspiration."  You and your incredible work are an inspiration to me.
 
I feel very lucky to be part of this organization and humbled to be among so many wonderful people who have done so much to make the world a better place.  
 
Have a great Rotary year!
 
John