This year our Rotary theme is “Rotary Serving Humanity.” Since WWII, there has probably has not been a time when there is a greater need. Conflicts in all corners of the world and weather-related catastrophes, give Rotarians more opportunities to serve than ever before.
As Rotarians we often focus on the needs of those in other countries. Those projects include drilling water wells, micro credit loans programs and providing computer labs to name a few. There are several things these projects have in common. First, a majority of the money gets to the intended cause. Not many charities can make that claim! Second, they are sustainable. Once a project is finished, it will have a life of its own. Projects also bring Rotary clubs from all over the world together. In the process of serving humanity, we are cultivating relationships throughout the world. These relationships, coupled with our Peace Scholar programs, place Rotary in a unique position to promote peace throughout the world, eclipsing religion, nationalism and politics.
While our work worldwide is essential, it is time to look at need in our own communities more carefully. Many of our own citizens now go without the basic essentials of a quality life. Governments, churches and other entities are stretched beyond their limits. Now is the time for Rotarians to “up their game” and look for even more local projects. In order to expand meeting the needs of our communities, we need more resources. A good place to start is to find people who want to improve their community and recruit them to be members of your Rotary club; not to simply socialize, but to take action!!! A key to club growth is to have a defined purpose. Improving our communities is a great purpose that will aide us in recruitment.
This is a very exciting year to be a Rotarian. In 2017 the International Convention is in Atlanta. At that time we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Rotary International Foundation. Also, our district is partnering with District 6080 to do a joint conference in Branson, Missouri. Hopefully, this will be the first of many conferences with other districts.
Last, but not least, this may be the year that polio is finally eradicated. At last check, only been 17 cases of have been reported this year. Once that number drops to zero, we will still need two years before Pakistan and Afghanistan are declared polio free. PLEASE CONTINUE GIVING!!! We still need 1.5 billion dollars to accomplish this task.
As we start our new year, please give to end polio, bring in a new member, give to the Rotary Foundation, attend the International Convention, start a new project in your club, attend the District Conference, and most importantly – HAVE FUN!
Don was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1949. His family moved to the United States in 1956 and became American citizens in 1963.
Since becoming a member of Southside Tulsa Rotary Club in 1986, Don has served his club in a variety of capacities, including president and several terms as a board member. He also served as president of the Southside Rotary Foundation. For the past several years, Don has been instrumental in the club’s “Fireside Chats” for new members.
Don has served District 6110 as assistant governor, MAPETS facilitator, member of the District Visioning Team and is a graduate of the District 6110 Leadership Academy. Don and his wife Judy are major donors as well as members of the Bequest Society. Additionally, Don is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Benefactor and a Bequest Paul Harris Society member.
Don served in the United States Army from 1968-1971. Following a career in communication systems sales, Don founded Communications World of Tulsa, dba Edge Technologies, in 1985. He recently retired and is now an independent sales representative for that same company which sells, installs and maintains traditional business telephone systems.
Don graduated from Southern Colorado State College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Don and Judy have been married for 45 years and have two children; David, an architect with Rust Orling in Washington, D.C. and Katie, a news producer with ABC in New York City. Judy retired after 43 years as a classroom teacher. Judy, David and Katie are Paul Harris Fellows.
Don is serving Rotary District 6110 as District Governor in 2016-2017.