WINNIPEG, CANADA — Throughout his tenure as Rotary International District 7790 Governor, Belgrade Lake’s Al Feather extolled to the members of the 53 clubs across Maine and Quebec the importance of being happy.
This last weekend in Winnipeg, Canada, Feather had a lot to be happy about as his district was awarded three prestigious awards at the Zone 24 and 32 Rotary Zone Institute. There are 530 Rotary districts that are grouped into 34 geographic zones. Zones 24 and 32 include Bermuda, Canada, France and the United States and is bilingual and the honor, Feather said, was tremendous.
Feather said he was absolutely thrilled with his district’s recognition and success.
“The district 7790 Rotarians can be very proud to have received these awards for their extraordinary efforts through the 2015-16 Rotary year. It was truly my honor and I was very happy working with them as their district governor,” he said.
According to the Rotary International website, “Rotarians are 1.2 million neighbors, friends and community leaders who come together to create positive lasting change in our communities and around the world.”
Founded in 1905, these community leaders focus on service and making a local and global impact to help end Polio, provide clean water, help mothers and children, promote peace, support education, and boost local economies.
“We are Rotarians and the best gift is to help the other,” said Dino Marzaro, a past president of the Quebec Rotary Club, and former zone assistant coordinator.
Feather’s district received the Public Image Award in recognition and appreciation for contributions to the enhancement of Rotary International’s Public Image presentation, the Membership Development Award, which was presented on behalf of the Board of Directors of Rotary International to congratulate District 7790 in recognition of achieving the highest number of club’s with 100% member retention in Zone 24 and the End Polio Now Award for the district’s financial contributions sent to help fulfill Rotary International’s promise to the children of the world that polio will be eradicated.
The district’s donation to the Rotary Foundation was approximately $25,000, which was designated to the End Polio Now Campaign. The donation was then matched by the Rotary Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a grand total of $112,500.00 to help reach Rotary’s goal of eradicating Polio around the world.
“The membership award is a great testament to all the amazing work being done by every Rotarian in District 7790,” Feather said. “Our district 7790 rotary clubs are so active in engaging their club members that we led the way for Zone 24 in clubs retaining 100 % of their membership during the 2015-16 year.”
Rotary International is a global organization with over 1.3 million members. Clubs in the United States and the rest of North America have had to focus on how to attract and engage young professionals.
“Retention is as important as bringing in new members, in the development of vibrant Rotary Clubs,” Feather said.
A key component to retaining and attracting members is public image, sharing the good that Rotarians do in their communities and throughout the world.
“This year District 7790 took a multi-facetted approach to public relations and public image by expanding our district Facebook page, improving and encourage the use of our district website, and creating an active and dynamic district public image committee. We used these tools to connect our district clubs by sharing all the great projects along with activities as well promoting service through Rotary International,” Feather said. “We also have the benefit of having a very active and engaging public image chair in Carrie Jones who made presentations at our district events and clubs throughout the year. Her enthusiasm and knowledge have been invaluable to this effort.”
To learn more about Rotary International or to locate a local club near you, visit rotary.org