Posted by Don Griffing on Nov 13, 2017

Foundation Trustee Mary Beth Growney Selene mentions the lasting bonds that are forged because of your continued support of The Rotary Foundation.  We have the potential to create these bonds at any time.  For example, two Rotarians met over 40 years ago at the RI Convention and discovered that were from sister-cities.  From this coincidental meeting, the Rotary Club of Nagasaki, Japan and St. Paul, Minnesota, US have exchanged RYE students since.  These Rotarians became life-long friends and partners in service, frequently travelling to the other’s country.  Only death ended their earthly bond.

Some of you are aware that my wife, Marj, was a RYE student sponsored by the Rotary Club of St. Paul to Nagasaki.  During her year in Japan, Rotarians stressed The Object of Rotary.  Years later, when she had gotten established in her career, she contacted the St. Paul Club to help youth exchange as non-Rotarian.  Soon, she was invited to join the Club.  With RYE, RYLA, and GSE activities, I formed bonds with members of her Club.  Because of those bonds and being shown how service can be part of one’s personal, business, and community life, I joined Rotary and began creating my own set of bonds.

The multi-generational, multi-cultural aspects of these bonds brings a special richness, a special depth to them.  Since the start of this Rotary year, I have been able to spend time with two of the four RYE students who Marj and I have hosted.  And, these are the bonds, the inspirations that we are aware.  In August, we learned how a RYE student attending her school in Australia was the spark for Brittany Arthur find meaning in international service, even serving as President of the Rotaract Club of Berlin, Germany.

Since its beginnings, The Rotary Foundation has funded service projects that have changed lives in millions of people – directly or indirectly.  If Rotarians are to continue to be a force for making a difference, your Foundation needs your support.  The funds that you donate to the Annual Fund-SHARE this year, will be available for projects in RID 5495 and around the world in 2021/22.  The funds that you donate to PolioPlus will go to eradicating the debilitant disease from the world.  Please consider donating to TRF so that we can forge new bonds in service and further RI President Ian Riseley's theme, Rotary: Making a Difference.