On January 15-21, 2012, my wife, Donna, and I were honored to represent Missouri District 6040 at the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego. That week of Rotary filled both my wife and myself to the brim with the spirit of Rotary. That week of Rotary work was exciting, invigorating, exhausting, thrilling, and enlightening.  We exchanged business cards and pins, many new friends were met, many rotary connections were made. There are many great things happening in the Rotary world, things we should all be extremely proud to be a part of.


  • John Germ, the $200 Million Dollar Challenge Chair, announced that Rotary has met and exceeded the challenge by 6 months.  As of January 13, 2012, $202,600,037.25 was raised.  Immediately following John Germ was Jeff Raikes, CEO of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who announced the Gates Foundation will throw in another $ 50 million to the Polio fight.
  • The Rotary Foundation’s new administrative structure, Future Visions, will continue to develop and roll-out to the non-pilot districts.  This new structure will keep the costs of administering the Foundation programs low and streamlined.
  •  RI General Secretary John Hewko announced that Rotary International will begin assessing the scope and value of local projects that clubs perform in their community.  He in under the impression that Rotary’s contribution to the world will be increased tremendously if we would have a way to verify and document the work we do.

There is much more to tell.  I was honored to meet and talk to a fellow 2012-13 DG Classmate, Sylvia Whitlock- D5300, the first woman in Rotary.  Rotary recognizes that we have to change with the times.  We have to re-invigorate ourselves.  We have to appeal to younger members, without diminishing what our traditions are.  All of this can and will be done, and we will continue to be the best humanitarian service organization ever.

Words cannot describe the level of pride at being a Rotarian.  I thank all of you for allowing me to represent you in Rotary.

 Yours in Rotary Service and Friendship,

 Kenny Harris, DGE