Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (Ryla) Rotary Float In Rose Parade
Rotary Village Corps Still More Rotary Firsts
ROTARY FRIENDSHIP EXCHANGE
An interesting Rotary program of fellowship is the Rotary Friendship Exchange. This activity, originally recommended by the New Horizons Committee in 1981, is intended to encourage Rotarians and spouses to visit with Rotarian families in other parts of the world. It may be conducted on a club-to-club or district-to-district basis.
The idea is for several Rotarian couples to travel to another country on the Rotary Friendship Exchange. Later the hospitality is reversed when the visit is exchanged. After a successful pilot experiment, the Rotary Friendship Exchange has become a permanent program of Rotary.
The Rotary Friendship Exchange is frequently compared to the Group Study Exchange program of The Rotary Foundation, except that it involves Rotarian couples who personally pay for all expenses of their intercountry experience. Doors of friendship are opened in a way which could not be duplicated except in Rotary.
Rotarians seeking an unusual vacation and fellowship experience should learn more about the Rotary Friendship Exchange. Some unusual Rotary adventures are awaiting you!
ROTARY YOUTH LEADERSHIP AWARDS (RYLA)
Each summer thousands of young people are selected to attend Rotary-sponsored leadership camps or seminars in the United States, Australia, Canada, India, France, Argentina, Korea and numerous other countries. In an informal out-of-doors atmosphere, 50 to 75 outstanding young men and/or women spend a week in a challenging program of discussions, inspirational addresses, leadership training and social activities designed to enhance personal development, leadership skills and good citizenship. The official name of this activity is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program (RYLA), although the event is occasionally referred to as Camp Royal, Camp Enterprise, Youth Leaders Seminars, Youth Conferences or other terms.
The RYLA program began in Australia in 1959, when young people throughout the state of Queensland were selected to meet with Princess Alexandra, the young cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. The Rotarians of Brisbane, who hosted the participants, were impressed with the quality of the young leaders. It was decided to bring youth leaders together each year for a week of social, cultural and educational activities. The RYLA program gradually grew throughout all the Rotary districts of Australia and New Zealand. In 1971, the RI Board of Directors adopted RYLA as an official program of Rotary International.
ROTARY VILLAGE CORPS
One of the newer programs in Rotary's panoply of worldwide service activities and projects is the Rotary Village Corps. This new form of grass roots self-help service was initiated by RI President M.A.T. Caparas in 1986 as a means of improving the quality of life in villages, neighborhoods and communities. Frequently there is an abundance of available labor, but no process to mobilize men and women to conduct useful projects of community improvement.
A Rotary Village Corps-or Rotary Community Corps as they are called in industrialized countries-is a Rotary club-sponsored group of non-Rotarians who desire to help their own community by conducting a specific improvement project. The Rotary members provide the guidance, encouragement, organizational structure and some of the material assistance for the Rotary Village Corps, which in turn contributes the manpower to help their own community. Thus, the Rotary Village Corps provides a totally new process for Rotarians to serve in communities of great need.
Rotary Community Corps have been organized mainly in depressed ghetto areas of major cities where groups of individuals need the organizational and managerial skills of Rotarians to undertake valuable self-help community projects.
The Rotary Village Corps program offers a totally new dimension to the concept of service to improve the quality of life.
Interact, the Rotary youth program, was launched by the RI Board of Directors in 1962. The first Interact club was established by the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Florida. Interact clubs provide opportunities for boys and girls of secondary school age to work together in a world fellowship of service and international understanding. The term, Interact, is derived from "inter" for international, and "act" for action. Every Interact club must be sponsored and supervised by a Rotary club and must plan annual projects of service to its school, community and in the world.
Today there are over 7,200 Interact clubs with more than 155,000 members in 88 countries. "Interactors" develop skills in leadership and attain practical experience in conducting service projects, thereby learning the satisfaction that comes from serving others. A major goal of Interact is to provide opportunities for young people to create greater understanding and goodwill with youth throughout the world.
After the success of Interact clubs for high school-age youth in the early 1960s, the RI board created Rotaract in 1968. The new organization was designed to promote responsible citizenship and leadership potential in clubs of young men and women, aged 18 to 30. The first Rotaract club was chartered by the Charlotte North Rotary Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1994 there were more than 149,000 members in more than 6,500 Rotaract clubs in 107 countries.
Rotaract clubs emphasize the importance of individual responsibility as the basis of personal success and community involvement. Each club sponsors an annual project to promote high ethical standards in one's business and professional life. Rotaract also provides opportunities leading to greater international understanding and goodwill. Rotaractors enjoy many social activities as well as programs to improve their community. A Rotaract club can exist only when continuously sponsored, guided and counseled by a Rotary club. The programs of Rotaract are built around the motto "Fellowship Through Service."
ROTARY FLOAT IN ROSE PARADE
The Rotary International float in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade is undoubtedly the largest public relations project of the Rotary clubs of the United States and Canada. Since 1924 a Rotary float has been entered 18 times including every year since 1981. The famous Pasadena, California, parade is seen by an estimated 125 million people via worldwide television.
Funds for the construction of the Rotary parade entry are voluntarily given by Rotarians and clubs in the U.S. and Canada. The cost of designing, constructing and flower covering a Rose Parade float begins at about $120,000.
A multi-district Rotary committee in Southern California coordinates planning of the Rotary float and provides hundreds of volunteer hours of service. The Rotary float must portray the annual parade theme, usually depicting one of the worldwide service programs of Rotary International.
Each New Year's Day, Rotarians take pride in seeing their attractive float and realize they have shared in its construction by contributing a dollar or two to this beautiful public relations project.
STILL MORE ROTARY FIRSTS
Rotary first presented "Significant Achievement Awards" in 1969 to clubs with outstanding international or community services projects.
Rotary's first Interact club was organized in Melbourne, Florida, in 1962 to become the pioneer for about 7,200 Interact clubs in 88 countries.
Rotary's first convention held in the Southern Hemisphere was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1948.
Rotary was assigned the copyright on the "4-Way Test" in 1954 when its author, Herbert Taylor, became president of Rotary International.
Rotary's first Community Service project took place in 1907 when Chicago Rotarians led a campaign to install a public "comfort station" in the city hall.
1964-65 was the first year when The Rotary Foundation received total contributions of a million dollars in a single year. Today more than $45 million is given annually. Contributions since 1917 total more than $750 million.
Rotary's first appeal for aid to disaster victims was in 1913 when $25,000 was given for flood relief in Ohio and Indiana.
Rotary's motto, "He Profits Most Who Serves Best," was first expressed at Rotary's very first Convention in Chicago in 1910.