Engaging Rotary, Changing Lives - A look back at the year 2013-2014

The second full year of our EClub has now come to an end, and it has been an honor and a privilege to serve you, our members and our many new friends, over the past twelve months. I extend my sincere appreciation to the Board of Directors for their support and advice, to our wonderful Honorary members, and to the entire Active membership for their participation and feedback.

This year has been about membership growth, and has also been a year where we have tried to streamline and define our roles in the club, improve our communication channels and website, and to connect with our members. Largely due to the geographical and time differences, we have not always been successful in bringing members together, and this is something we will continue as a work in progress until we find workable solutions.

Membership

We started the Rotary year with 48 active members on the roster, but with several new members in the process of joining the club. It is with great pleasure that I can report that we now have 70 Active and 4 Honorary members, with 2 more about to be inducted into membership.

We share Rotary fellowship and friendship with members from 22 countries, who collectively can communicate in 31 different languages. Surely there is no other club that can boast such a diverse membership base.

Credit for the membership increase goes to IPP Dick Strayer who officially sponsored at least 6 new members, and had a quiet hand in the induction of several more; to Rotarian Catherine Bonifant who introduced 5 new members; and to Rotarians George Firican, Ozlem Kocanaogullari, PE Dawn O'Bar and PEN Susan Weaver. Other members also assisted by visiting their Buddy Clubs and spreading the word about our EClub.

Through the hard work and perseverance of Rtn. Catherine Bonifant, we are working on ways to encourage the network of Rotary Peace Fellows to join us in fellowship and subsequent membership of our club.

Communication

Information is shared by several methods, including e-mail, Facebook, weekly meeting notices, the monthly bulletin and occasionally by video-conferencing. We have not been successful in the last method, due to difficulty in setting a convenient time for members in different time zones, and also problems with connectivity caused by less than perfect internet connections and other contributing factors. We are working on new methods, which now include wiki, Skype and the reactivation of the Forum, which can be accessed by all members through our website.

Full credit for keeping our website going goes to Rtn. Wendy Campanella and Rtn. George Firican. Kudos and thanks to both. Thanks are also extended to Rtn. Juan Bujosa, Rtn. Wendy Campanella, Rtn. Nik Nesynov and Rtn. Kelly Greene for keeping our electronic and social networking communication channels open.

Most of the year's achievements can be found in our newsletters, which were edited and created by Rtn. Vic Swan and subsequently by yours truly. These can be found on our website at http://www.oneworldrotary.org/index.php/newsletters - and are available for viewing by anyone accessing the website.

Programs

This has been a wonderful year for programs with no black-out dates, and a series of informative and thought-provoking weekly meetings. This rested almost entirely on the shoulders of Rtn. George Firican and IPP Dick Strayer who contributed the majority of the programs. To those members who stepped up and offered meeting content, we offer our appreciation. To those who have not yet done a program, please be assured that it is not difficult and requires no programming or special computer skills. All that is needed is a topic of interest (except for religion or politics), some information in a Word document, a few photographs, diagrams or pictures and maybe a video on the topic pulled from YouTube or similar video-sharing channels.

I cannot emphasize enough the need for members to provide meeting content. This is what brings people to our site, whether as make-ups or as a source of new members. Approximately 1,700 make-ups have been done on our site this year, many of those resulting in not only glowing comments and feedback, but much needed finance for club activities through donations. We will be contacting members very soon in this regard.

Although there are several Rotarians with 100% attendance, attendance at meetings can be significantly improved, given that there is no fixed time and meetings can be viewed at any time of the day for an entire week. The contribution of Rtn. Ralph Kleemeyer has been significant in this area, issuing weekly reminders to those who may have forgotten to attend. It only takes 30 minutes per week, at your convenience, to attend a meeting, so I look forward to improved attendance figures in the new Rotary year.

Activities

Our members have completed or are working on many diverse projects around the world, either in small groups or with their Buddy Clubs. The Buddy Club initiative introduced by IPP Dick has been pivotal in achieving our fellowship goals while providing opportunities for global community service.

If you missed it, please check out Dick Strayer's January 17, 2014, program on Buddy Clubs on the E-Club One World website.

Some examples are:


Members Ralph and Cindy joined their Buddy Club, Rotary Club of Simi Sunset, at the Trucks for Troops event.


Solar lights from Unite To Light were presented to families living without electricity in Guyana, South America

A team of 5 Rotarians traveled down to Tampico Mexico to help distribute 550 Wheel Chairs. The project was a Rotary Foundation $35,000 Matching Grant project, with support from the E-Club of One World and District 5890 of Houston. The team consisted of Charter President Dick Strayer, Ernie Gilbert—Simi Sunrise RC, Debbie Murphy and son—Carpinteria RC, Murray Ray—Montecito and PDG Wade Nomura, Honorary member of the EClub of OneWorld

Rtn. Tom Mulvihill (center in red shirt) with the Rotary Club of China Lake participating in the local March of One Thousand Flags.


Rtn. Zvi Sharoni during an enjoyable four day appointment as "Sergeant at Arms" for the Jerusalem Institute 2013 for Zones 14,19 and 20.


Rotarian Joe Ramos, eClub One World Rotary PE Dawn O'Bar and her spouse, One World Rotary Community Service Director Susan Weaver and spouse, and Phoenix Decorating staff member Debbie, getting prepared to decorate this year's Rotary Rose Float entry in the Rose Parade


Solar Light A Hope Project—The Philippines with Rtn. Elmer Francisco - Rotary E-Club of One World, Rotary Clubs of Cebu West and Mactan with Unite to Light. Also completed were projects distributing water filters in these areas with Rtn. Larry Siegel.

Distribution of 550 wheelchairs in Guyana, South America. Another Rotary Foundation $35,000 Matching Grant project, with support from the E-Club of One World and Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise, Rotary Club of Carpenteria Morning, District 5240 and the Rotary Club of Georgetown Central.


PEN Susan Weaver assisting at the Ojai Valley Youth Ethics and Leadership Conference, which was sponsored by her buddy club, RC Ojai. This first-time-in-Ojai-event brought together forty-six sophomores and juniors from each of the six Ojai high schools - both public and private - to consider and discuss some of the ethical dilemmas that face students today.


One World Rotary continues sending shirts outside of the United States. Over 5,000 shirts have been shipped. Six cases, about 400 shirts, were sent to the Philippines. The majority of the items are In-N-Out shirts with pictures on the back, and locations on the front, like Southern California. Credit goes to IPP Dick Strayer and John C Coudray, President, American Silkscreen Inc.

The Rotary Foundation

It is with great pleasure that we can report that the Rotary Eclub of One World has surpassed its target for Rotary Foundation donations for 2013-14 by at least 128% (contributions continue to come in for June 2014)

As at the end of May we have been able to contribute $3,660 to the Foundation, mostly through the generosity of our members, and the untiring efforts of Rtn. Allan Pacela. For those members who had not yet contributed, a donation of $15 was made to the Annual Fund on their behalf by the club, so that each member has contributed to the Foundation, and has points accumulated towards a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Rtn. Allan has been a tower of strength and patience throughout the year, willingly providing advice and information, and also all the quotations and Foundation moments for the entire year. Innovative and persuasive, he has truly excelled this year.

Paul Harris Fellowships are presented to those whose life and contributions demonstrate a shared purpose with the objectives and mission of The Rotary Foundation to build world understanding and peace. Paul Harris Fellow awards were presented to Rtn. Sue Davenport of the EClub of One World, Rtn. PP Gail Robinson and Rtn. PP Orville Fraser of the Rotary Club of Georgetown Central in Guyana, and one other will be presented very soon to an outstanding Rotarian from the EClub of One World. These were made possible through generous donations of recognition points by members of the club.



Ongoing and Upcoming Projects

Ghana Vocational Training Project

The Rotary E-Club of One World is pleased to be joining with the Rotary Club of Ojai in funding a Global Grant that will provide vocational training for teenage street girls living and working on the streets of Accra, the capital of Ghana. These street girls live in dangerous and degrading conditions and are eager for opportunity to improve their situations.

This $70,065 Global Grant will offer motivated street girls and street mothers the opportunity to develop a more stable life for themselves and their children through two training programs:

ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILL-BUILDING AND MENTORING

SKILLS TRAINING IN COMMERCIAL AND SELF-EMPLOYED LAUNDRY SERVICES

Chile Medivan Project

We are also joining with the Rotary Club of Ventura-South in a Grant to purchase a van to transport patients from outlying rural areas to the Olmue Valley's Main health center in Chile. The project will provide a transportation solution to the people suffering from diseases and need of early childhood controls. Their remote/isolated location and low family income make the transportation to the Health Care Center a critical need. Completing this project will grant them access to medical benefits.

Rotary Stories

Our own Rtn. Nik Nesynov on behalf of the One World Rotary Club has launched a writing contest among the participants of exchange programs and other members of the Rotary family. The theme is "Stories about Rotary" in the life of Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, Exchange Students, Ambassadorial Scholars, Peace Fellows and all members of the Rotary family.

Polio Corrective Surgeries in India

A Global Grant Application has been submitted for Polio corrective surgeries at St Stephens in India, spearheaded by One World Member Esha Chhabra who has been to India to volunteer for the polio campaign for the past five years consecutively. Given that she can speak the local languages, she has spent considerable time in the field, speaking with everyone from the $1 day health worker to the Chairman of the National Polio Committee ; they've all affirmed her belief that we need to support an on-going program for polio corrective surgeries in the country.

Schools4Freedom

As fellow One World club members learned from the “Facing the Monster” program in April, 29.8 million people are enslaved throughout the world. Although slavery is illegal in every country, it also exists in every nation. Whether it is called human trafficking or modern slavery, it is a crime against humanity that must be ended.

Service Above Self awardee and One World member Rtn. Carol Metzker is kicking this off with $200, plus a matching amount from a recent fundraiser in Pennsylvania—to be given on behalf of One World.

Summary

This year has highlighted many of the differences between the administration of an EClub as opposed to a traditional club, and the challenges to be faced. Our EClub requires innovation and the willingness to change and adapt to the vast opportunities available in an environment where messages can move around the world in seconds, and members can connect across continents. On behalf of the Board of Directors for 2013-14 I thank you all for your service and support, and urge you to participate fully in the activities planned by PE Dawn and the incoming Board as you Light Up Rotary in 2014-2015.

I salute and congratulate you PE Dawn, and now officially demit office and hand over the reins of a vibrant and healthy EClub of One World.

Members and friends, I give you - President Dawn O'Bar.

Amanda Richards

President 2013-2014

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