BAR HARBOR – Rotary International District Governor Lincoln Ehrlenbach spoke to the Bar Harbor (MDI) Rotary Club at Birch Bay Village on Wednesday, August 9, praising the club for its efforts to improve the community and also for its gender diversity. Many people mistakenly believe that Rotary is a mens-only club. The Bar Harbor Club’s membership is almost evenly split between men and women.
The Bar Harbor stop was one of many for Ehrlenbach and his wife, Debbie, who will visit all fifty clubs in District 7790, a bilingual district that bridges parts of Maine and Quebec.
“We are a multi-cultural district, speaking English and French, but we all have the same love in our hearts for Rotary and doing good in the world,” Ehrlenbach wrote on the district’s website.
Part of Ehrlenbach’s mission is to inspire Rotarians to tell the stories of what they do to make both their local and international communities better. Rotarians are people of action. Leaders who see problems and join together to make positive change in the world. An example of this is Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio.
“You believe in Rotary and what it stands for?” Ehrlenbach asked the Rotarians, then he said that if they believe in Rotary’s mission then they had to go out and tell their stories about the good Rotary does for them and the community.
For the Bar Harbor club, those stories go back over forty years and include raising thousands of dollars to help eradicate polio and sending and fitting wheelchairs to Panama, Belize and Costa Rica as well participating in anti-Malaria efforts. Rotarians spearheaded the culmination and rebuild of the Park Street Playground, launched the Bar Harbor Kids Book Festival, managed the 46th Annual Fourth of July Seafood Festival and Pancake Breakfast that fed thousands, distributed local scholarships, fought polio, supported the Park Street Playground Project via numerous events as well as fundraising and volunteer support, raised money to fight human trafficking, increased awareness of human trafficking, supported the local food pantry and other local food programs, supported an international inoculation program, supported the MDI High School Interact Club, supported local non-profits and programs, cleaned up roadside debris and volunteered countless hours supporting the community on boards or through volunteer hours.
“If you are truly passionate about Rotary and what it stands for then go out and share that belief,” Ehrlenbach said. “Everyone can make a difference. It all starts with one person and one idea.”
Ehrlenbach hopes to raise funds to bring at least 500 wheelchairs to Bolivia and Ecuador in 2019. Bar Harbor Rotary pledged to be a part of that effort.
The Bar Harbor Club is open to new membership. To find out more, look at its website www.mdirotary.org or contact membership chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. To access broadcast quality video footage and still photos go to: The Newsmarket