On 8/26/2014, District Governor Don Taylor (and wife Barbara) and District Membership Development/Retention Chair John Hathaway visited the Magnolia Rotary Club. Pictured above from left to right are: District Membership Development/Retention Chair John Hathaway, Magnolia Rotary Club President Dan Lowe, and DG Don Taylor.


DG Don Taylor spoke about the importance of Rotary to communities and people around the world. He told us that he has already visited 14 or 15 of the clubs in our district and is amazed by both the breath and depth of the efforts of the members in our district. Don told us that the current 2014-2015 Rotary International President Gay Huang quoted Confucius as saying "It is better to light one candle than it is to curse the dark". That is why this year's slogan is "Light Up Rotary" and if each of the 1.2 million Rotarians do something (light a candle) to help others, just think how much good can be accomplished.  Don then touched on the following areas of importance to Rotary:

  • Membership - Although over a million new members have joined Rotary over the last ten years, the total number of Rotarians has remained steady at around 1.2 million members. Each Rotary Club needs to grow and each Rotarian needs to invite potential members to join as well as tell non-members what Rotary does throughout the world.
  • World Problems - There are many problems in the world that Rotary can either solve or help greatly. Don was pleased to tell us that the Magnolia Rotary Club is #2 in the district for Rotary Foundation giving and has achieved 100% of its members giving at least $100 to the Rotary Foundation for several years now.
  • Rotary Awareness - It is important to let the world find out about what Rotary accomplishes each and every day. Doing this can also help draw in new members. John Hathaway has been tasked with increased membership and retention this year.
  • Group Study - Our district is sponsoring a group study next May 2015 in the southern part of New Zealand. There are 12 Team Leaders who are Rotarians and 4 non-Rotarians for each each team leader who will attend (60 individuals in all). Then in October 2015, the non-members who took part in the group study will be interviewed to determine their thoughts about Rotary and where they might see improvements. Also, some of them may decide to join Rotary.
  • RYLA - Don was happy to see that our club sent 7 students to RYLA this past year. He feels that RYLA is a great program for teaching students how to be productive members of society.
  • Youth Exchange - Don noted that our club has had youth exchange students in previous although we did not sponsor a student this year.
  • Polio - Since 1985, Rotary has contributed approximately one billion dollars to help immunize 2 billion children in 122 countries. In addition to administering the polio vaccine, the team thanked our partners for their many years of work in the fight against polio: the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Center for Disease Control. However,
    Rotary must raise $200 million to match $355 million in challenge grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The resulting $555 million will directly support immunization campaigns in developing countries, where polio continues to infect and paralyze children, robbing them of their futures and compounding the hardships faced by their families. Don said there were only 147 new cases of Polio in the world in 2014 which means Rotary is close to eradicating Polio but the fight must continue until it is fully eradicated. There only 3 countries left in the world today where new cases of Polio have occurred. However, a single plane trip could cause new outbreaks.
  • Membership and Foundation Seminar - Don noted how important it is for all members to attend the seminar that is to be held on 9/20/2014 at the South Shore Harbour Resort & Spa. The times are from 08:45 AM to 03:00 PM.
  • Skeet Shoot - Don mentioned that there is a Skeet Shoot being planned for Beaumont, Texas but he did not yet have any specifics. However, he asked anyone who is interested to watch the district website for more information as it becomes available.

President Dan Lowe then presented DG Don Taylor a check for $100 made out to "Rotary International". Don Taylor thanked our club for the check and its hospitality to his group.