Rotary International’s theme this year is Light Up Rotary, and carrying the torch for that effort in Columbus is Ryan Clements. He just became president of the Rotary Club of Columbus. Greg Camp, last year’s president, passed the torch to Ryan at Wednesday’s meeting.
President Ryan – local Rotarians stick to first names – said, “This is an exciting theme for me because it encourages all of us to tell the Rotary story and to invite our family and friends to celebrate Rotary with us.” I can’t go into all of the Rotary story in this short space, but I can tell you that a major part of it is supporting the Rotary Foundation, which raises hundreds of millions of dollars to help people in parts of the world who. as Ryan says. “would otherwise go without basic necessities such as clean water, proper sanitation, and fundamental nutrition.”
Vice-President Greg, who is an executive at the National infanrty Museum, said that the drive for Rotary Foundation Funds during his term as president exceeded its goal. In order to keep that ball rolling and hopefully raise impressive funds for Rotary’s “greatest cause, the eradication of polio,” President Ryan, who is in the construction consulting business, will lead the club in reviving the 1983 Run to the Sea, a relay race of 275 miles from Columbus to Jekyll Island. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed to match funds for polio eradication 2 to 1 up to $35 million a year through 2018.
When you add this effort to all of the other services Rotary offers the Columbus community, local Rotarians should have no problem at all Lighting Up Rotary by spreading the word on how remarkable the Rotary experience can be.