Larry and I are presently at a district conference of Rotary International (RI), whose motto has been “Service Above Self” since 1905! The world's largest and oldest service organization boasts over 1.2 million members in over 200 countries.
It's always been our desire to make a difference in the world - and we can do that through the many “Health, Hunger and Humanity” programs of RI. (I realize these are really only “snapshots” and not “photographs”, but I wanted to share our day with you!)
This is the slogan for this year's Rotary International clubs
The wonderful gentleman is Wallace Williams, the governor of our Rotary district 6110, which is the largest in the United States and covers 4 states
The opening patriotic music was performed by gold medal Olympian in the 800m, Madeline Manning Mims, now the chaplain of the Tulsa Shocks, a women's professional basketball team
Christopher J. Lewis is the son of Jerry Lewis, the famous actor, comedian and organizer of the Annual Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. Fellow Rotarian Chris is quite a humanitarian himself through his American Wheelchair Mission, that has distributed over 760,000 new wheelchairs to the needy in 120 countries! (We went on one of his deliveries to remote areas of Mexico in 2009.)
Jie Yuan is from China and has won piano competitions throughout Asia, Europe and the US and has been a guest soloist with the world's finest orchestras. Jie (Jay) was “adopted” by the Tulsa Rotary Club and he is now working on his master's degree at the world-famous Julliard School of Music in New York City. I liked this shot between the keyboard and the top of the grand piano. Look at the concentration and the passion as he played a piece from Chopin.
One of the most impressive projects every undertaken by any group or country has been the total eradication of polio throughout the world - and it's Rotary's vision that has brought it about. Now there are only small pockets of polio in areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Nigeria, where we are not allowed to give the two drops of vaccine. This man is Carl Chinnery, one of five brothers who were all striken with polio. He read a letter his mother wrote about the ordeal and the death of her oldest son by the terribly crippling disease. We were all in tears!
Larry and me after we spoke to one of the sessions about new member information. (No one can take a picture without shaking the camera! Where were y'all when we needed a good photog?)