Frank Reitz, governor of Rotary District 5370 from the Rotary Club of Fort McMurray presented Rotary global grant student Megan Haycock with a district and international rotary pin. The grant is helping her to obtain an international law degree in international studies. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
Rotary District 5370 governor Frank Reitz has a mission to strengthen membership and the community image of the 57 clubs under his wing.
He delivered that message to the Rotary Club of Lloydminster’s lunch on Monday with help from his wife Barb, at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds.
While the Lloyd club has about 50 members, Reitz said they struggle with membership in the district, including his own Rotary Club of Fort McMurray.
“In North America, we are struggling with membership,” he said.
“What we need is to get a little more passion in our community images and in our projects and the way we present them to the community, to bring more members into the Rotary life.”
Reitz called the Lloydminster club a great club with many passionate members involved in everything from supporting Pioneer House, The Olive Tree, and community youth.
He presented district and international Rotary pins to local student Megan Haycock who is a recipient of a global Rotary scholarship grant.
“It’s a privilege and a prerogative of the governor to hand out district pins and international pins to deserving individuals,” he said.
Reitz expects a sizeable group of district Rotarians to attend a Presidential Peacekeeping Conference in Vancouver on Feb. 9-11, 2018, at the invitation of Rotary international president, Ian Riseley.
“I’ve indicated to our committee that I’d like to see all our exchange students attend the conference, because they will spend a year in our district and then go back home to where ever they are from in the world,” said Reitz.
“And chances are there will be a peace conference in one of their areas.”
Reitz explained the conference speaks to trying to bring peace initiatives to the various regions that Rotary tries to work in, and bring some of their volunteer efforts to fruition.
“If it’s not a peaceful region, we can’t send people in harm’s way to do volunteer work,” he said.
Rotary is also involved with disaster relief with Rotarians around the world coming to the aid of Fort Mac residents who were evacuated during the 2016 wildfires.
“In turn, we are dispersing almost $1 million to needs in Fort McMurray to cover some of the fire loss,” said Reitz.
He said Rotarians will be asked to do the same thing to help Rotarians in other areas in B.C. impacted by this year’s forest fires.
Every Rotarian in Fort Mac has contributed $100 to their foundation.
Reitz also spoke about Rotary’s quest to end polio and reported there have only been eight new cases diagnosed this year in the world.
“We’re projecting that this year will be the last year that we see any new cases diagnosed,” he said.
“At that point, we need to be polio free for three years before the World Health Organization declares the world polio free.”
Reitz noted Rotary has committed over $1 billion over the years in the fight to eliminate polio.
They require another $1.5 billion over the next three years to ensure victory over the disease.