A Message from 2016-17 District Governor Gary Dills
Welcome to Rotary Year 2016-17 and new opportunities for Serving Humanity through Rotary – our theme for 2016-17. Many of you know me but, for those who do not, I am Gary Dills and I am proud to be a Rotarian and honored to be your District Governor for 2016-17.
I am a Rotarian because I believe in serving people – to give them an opportunity to have better lives because of our service. The kids who may never see a book without our help, the young woman in India who leaves school because there are no bathrooms for women, the village cut off from the world when the monsoon starts, the family who is constantly ill because their water is polluted, the community without a school – these are the people WE give an opportunity to live healthier, happier and more productive lives – because we are Rotarians.
I have never heard it said better than when our RI President for 2016-17, John Germ, said:
“Every day that you serve in Rotary, you have the opportunity to change lives.
Those opportunities might look small. You might sometimes think that what you do doesn’t matter. But they’re not small. And everything you do matters, especially to the people you help and the people you love, in this generation and the next and the next.
Every good work you do in your life makes the world better for them all. One good work at a time. One day at a time. That’s all it takes. That’s what we’re here for in Rotary. That’s what we do…”
You probably realize by now that our focus this year is Service. Do not misunderstand me, however. We also must grow our Membership and we must grow our Foundation Contributions if we are to grow in our service to the people in our community and around the world.
I should not have to remind any Rotarian how important it is to induct service oriented members, and to give generously to our charity, the Rotary Foundation. THESE ARE OUR BASIC RESPONSIBILITIES AS A ROTARIAN. Help prove me right by growing your club and increasing your contribution to The Rotary Foundation.
This year we not only have a theme which represents the essence of Rotary, we also celebrate 100 years of the Rotary Foundation’s ‘Doing Good in the World’. Plus we have an opportunity to celebrate the Young Leaders in our communities, – our Interact and Rotaract clubs – a key part of the celebration of our Rotary Clubs’ work at our District Conference in Hickory next April.
The Celebration in Hickory is a prelude to the granddaddy of celebrations – the 2016-17 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta. The focus of Atlanta is the 100th Anniversary of the Rotary Foundation. Our Foundation started in Atlanta with a contribution of $26.50 and since then has provided over $3 Billion to give opportunity to the world.
I also cautiously predict that, during this Rotary Year, Polio will be erased from the face of this planet. The dream has been ‘that there will be no more children with crippled limps who will never walk and who will not live a long, healthy life because of polio’. This year that dream can become a reality — on our watch.
Join me in this work, join me in building our membership and our foundation, join me in these celebrations, and join me in hoping and praying that Polio is beaten this year. The District Governor and all the Rotarians serving in District tasks are here to help Clubs in service. This is not about me, or you, it is about ‘Serving Humanity Through Rotary.”
GARY D. DILLS
Rotary — Doing Good in the World