As you read this column, I am attending the 2011 Rotary International Convention in New Orleans.
More than 20,000 Rotarians have come to New Orleans from over 180 countries, including dozens of Rotarians from Costa Mesa and Irvine. President-elects Bill Hossfield, Newport-Balboa; Cynthia Cowell, Newport Beach Sunrise and Uzo Okereke of Newport Irvine are leading delegations to the convention from their respective clubs.
The convention is for the education and motivation of Rotarians.
Monday's plenary session focused on Rotary activities in Africa and new rules of engagement for Generation Y. The 40-member Simon Estes Music High School Alumni Choir from South Africa closed out the meeting with an exciting musical performance.
On Tuesday afternoon, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has invested $355 million in Rotary's billion-dollar drive to end polio, was scheduled to address the convention, to thank Rotarians for their leadership and partnership in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. The Rotary campaign has vaccinated more than two billion children against the disease.
Lions help local charities
Harbor Mesa Lions during the past year have donated more than $12,000 to charitable organizations. At a recent meeting, representatives of various charities, including The Boys and Girls Club of the Harbor Area, Youth Employment Services, Share Ourselves Soup Kitchen, Angels Charities, Interfaith Shelter, and many others, were given the money and spoke about their organizations.
Each group told touching stories about how the funds have helped those in need. The Lions are always at the forefront in responding to disasters and when a need for help arises in the community.
The funds are raised with events such as a casino night, bingo night, spaghetti dinner and the garage sale. Visit their website at: nhcmlionsclub.com for further information.
Special Award for a Local Rotarian
Every year the local Rotary International Clubs meet for a district conference, and some special honors are presented to a few Rotarian members who have excelled in living their motto of "Service Above Self."
Of the 1.2 million Rotary members, only 150 were honored with the Service Above Self award from Rotary International, and it was a member of the Newport-Balboa Rotary Club.
Dr. Raj Desai has fervently led a campaign to attack the problem of deafness, and has made a significant contribution to helping those in India. He received the Service Above Self award from the District Gov. Johrita Solari.
Thought for the day
"Life is never boring, but some people choose to be bored ... Boredom is a choice."
— Wayne Dyer
UPCOMING SERVICE CLUB MEETINGS:
You are invited to attend a service club meeting this coming week to learn more about opportunities for service. Most clubs will buy your first meal for you as you get acquainted with them.
Noon: The Exchange Club of Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar.
5:15 p.m.: The 10-member Rotary Club of Costa Mesa meets at the Ramada Inn & Suites, 1680 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa. Visit http://www.costamesarotary.org.
6 p.m.: The 65-member Rotary Club of Newport Balboa meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for a program by high school students who attend RYLA. Visit http://www.newportbalboa.org.
7 a.m.: The 20-member Costa Mesa Orange Coast Lions Club meets at Mimi's Café, Newport and Harbor boulevards, Costa Mesa.
Noon: The 45-member Kiwanis Club of Newport Beach-Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. For more information, visit http://www.newportbeachkiwanis.org.
The 95-member Exchange Club of Newport Harbor meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for a program by Penny Lambright on "Clutter Cleaner." For more information, visit http://www.nhexchange.org.
The 40-member Kiwanis Club of Costa Mesa meets at the Costa Mesa Golf and Country Club, 1701 Golf Course Drive, Costa Mesa. For more information, visit http://www.costamesakiwanis.org.
The 65-member Rotary Club of Newport Irvine meets at the University Club, 801 E. Peltason Drive, Irvine, for a Newport Beach Police Department Awards Program. Visit http://www.ni-rotary.org.
7:15 a.m.: The Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club meets at Five Crowns restaurant, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, for a program by Lane Calvert and Rae Shirer, "Fifth Avenue of Service." Visit http://www.newportbeachsunriserotary.org.
COMMUNITY & CLUBS is published twice monthly on Wednesdays. Send your service club's meeting information by fax to (714) 921-8655 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.