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Gilchrist Rotary receives 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club Banner from District Governor

By Rosemary McDaniel
On Monday, Gilchrist Rotary Club had the pleasure of welcoming Jan Pooley, our District Governor of Rotary International District 6940 who provided updates on many things Rotary. Jan is a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Walton Beach, FL and is serving as District Governor for the 2020-2021 year.
Prior to Jan’s updates, another guest, John Medina, Sr., who serves on the Rotary Foundation Board as Assistant Regional Foundation Coordinator, awarded the Gilchrist Rotary Club with a banner which recognizes the club as a 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club. Medina is a member of the Lake City Rotary Club.
The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation. Rotary established the recognition in 1957 to encourage and show appreciation for substantial contributions to what was then the Foundation’s only program. Jan read a letter from K.R. Ravindran, Chair of the Rotary Foundation, congratulating the Gilchrist Rotary club for being a 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club.
Regarding District updates, Jan announced many new incentives, including the need to increase membership numbers, and stated that a new committee was being formed which will address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the membership. Members were asked to consider volunteering for the committee.
Disaster relief related to recent hurricanes in Florida resulted in donations by Rotarians from the United States as well as from foreign Rotary members. Our District is currently taking pledges for the purchase of a “disaster trailer” to assist with disaster relief in the future. The funds will be in addition to a grant that is expected to be provided.
Ukraine is in need of help from other countries around the world and a District Committee has been formed for that purpose. Rotary is also working to provide a million meals for food insecure areas. Haiti is in dire need of clean water that is not available in all areas of the island, so Rotary International is assisting.
The Rotary Leadership Institute has not been able to hold in-person classes, but has resorted to holding on-line courses instead. The Rotary Youth Leadership and Exchange Programs have not been conducted, but should resume in 2022-2023, we hope.
Lastly, Jan mentioned the Rotary District 6940 Conference which will be held May 14-16, 2021, at Callaway Resort & Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia. The conference theme this year is Dare to Fly.
At the close of the meeting District Governor Jan Pooley announced that Gilchrist Rotary Club’s President Lowell Chesborough will be the Area Governor next year, which includes the five clubs in this area.