District governor challenges local club

Published 9:08 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Brundidge Rotary Club welcomed a visit from its District Governor Joe Saloom in a meeting Wednesday.

Each year the International Rotary President coins a theme. Last year that theme was: “The Future of Rotary is in your Hands”.

Saloom took that motto a step further.

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“I think the future of the world is in our hands,” he said to the roomful of Rotarians.

Saloom said it all starts with each of the individual clubs in communities around the world.

“Rotary starts here at the club level,” he said. “The clubs do the work.”

The BRC is one of tens-of-thousands of clubs worldwide. It is within district number 6880, which is one of 531 districts worldwide and only two in Alabama.

More than one million Rotarians make up the grassroots organization.

Saloom said it is the work of each member of each club that makes a difference.

He told the story of the “challenge coin”. The challenge coin was an actual coin struck by an American WWI veteran. The pilot modeled the coin after his unit insignia and distributed it to his fellow flyers in his squadron. As fate would have it, the pilot was shot down over France and it was the coin that convinced the French he was American, thereby saving his life. That pilot encouraged everyone in his unit to carry the coin at all times and the unit coin became a military tradition.

“I am, as district governor, moving it to a whole new level,” Saloom said.

He then presented a coin to President and Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport.

“I am going to challenge you Moses,” Saloom said “I am going to challenge you to get your Presidential Citation fulfilled.”

The Presidential Citation is a set of guidelines handed down to individual rotary clubs to guide them in their yearly activities. Clubs that are able to meet all the guidelines earn a prestigious award.

Saloom highlighted some ways to get on track to fulfilling those requirements such as obtaining a $100 contribution to the club per year per member. He encouraged the club to be active in Rotary functions such as its dictionary project, Group Study Exchange and Youth Exchange.

Saloom also updated the club on Rotary Internationals’ continuing battle against polio.

When Rotary International first began its campaign to eradicate polio nearly 25 years ago, 350,000 new cases were being reported every year.

“A child got sick every two minutes,” Saloom said. “It’s a crippling and deadly disease.”

Since then, Rotary has made significant progress in the fight, diminishing the number to only 642 cases yearly.

“We have done something no one else has been able to do,” Saloom proudly announced.

In another proud announcement, Saloom presented the Paul Harris Fellow Award to member Henry Moore.

“I’m very honored to have been named a recipient of this award,” Moore said. “It’s because of you working so diligently,” he said to his fellow members. “I’m thankful and I love you, each of you.”

The Paul Harris Fellow Award is distributed to individuals who display service above self as well as contribute at least $1,000 in a year to the rotary club. They are nominated for the award and voted on by a committee. BRC members Jimmy Hollis and immediate past president Jason Trahan also received the award this year.

“I want to encourage your club to continue the work that you do,” Saloom said.

He closed with a favorite quote of his by Winston Churchill.

“You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give.”