Posts Tagged ‘Rotary International’

The Bloomberg Donation Stirs Memories of Meeting Eleanor Roosevelt

May 21, 2013

When I finished reading in the Rotarian magazine about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropic foundation’s gift of $100 million to support polio eradication efforts,   memories came flooding in about this crusade which was started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The one that stands out the most for me is when I interviewed Eleanor Roosevelt and Dr. Jona Salk in  January of 1958. I was working for WSB Radio in Atlanta at the time.  The station sent me to Warm Springs to do a piece for NBC Radio.  Mrs. Roosevelt and Dr. Jonas Salk, developer of the Salk polio vaccine, were among those who gathered at the small Georgia village made famous by FDR to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Foundation  for Infantile Paralysis.

I don’t remember what either of them said, but I do remember the impressions I got from those interviews.  Mrs. Roosevelt was gracious and all I had to do was get her started. Her words flowed easily as she enthusiastically talked about the Foundation. Dr. Salk was a lot more reserved and didn’t appear as comfortable being interviewed.  That could have been because she was an international public figure a long time before he became one. 

Not only did NBC Radio air rhe report nationally, but originated the Today Show with Dave Garraway, and Queen for a Day on NBC TV from Warm Springs that week.  

The Rotary Foundation has raised many millions as a global partner with Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the World Health organization, UNICEF, U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The effort has paid off with polio just about eradicated world-wide.

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The Rotary Club of Columbus was the Center of the Rotary World Today

February 15, 2012

ROTARY INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT KALYAN BANERJEE OF INDIA ADDRESSES COLUMBUS ROTARIANS

Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee speaking to Columbus area Rotarians

What a day at Rotary today. As my old broadcast journalism friend Phil Scoggins – I brought him to Columbus from Albany when I hired him as Sports Director for WRBL back in the early 1970s – said the top story for our area today was happening as he spoke.  He gave a short newscast at the beginning of the Rotary Club of Columbus meeting.  That was something I did for many years until I passed the baton to Phil.

The President of Rotary International, Kalyan Banerjee of  Calcutta, India, chose the Columbus club for his visit to the state of Georgia.  He did that because the Rotary Club of Columbus is the largest 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club in the world.  That means that every one of the clubs more than 300 members is a Paul  Harris Fellow.  Rotarians who give $1000 to the Rotary Foundation become Paul  Harris Fellows. 

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, who is now a Paul Harris Fellow beacuse she was given the award by the Rotary Club of Columbus, honors RI President Banerjee by declaring Kaylan Banerjee Day in Columbus, GA. She's not a Rotarian, but President Banerjee says she should become one.

RI President Banerjee and Mayor Tomlinson displaying proclamation honoring President Banerjee. (Photo by Jim Cawthorne, Camera1.)

The Rotary Foundation is a major contributor to eradicating polio  in the world. President Banerjee told of how India,  his country, went from being an endemic polio country to a country virtually free of the disease. It went from 40 cases in 2010 to 1 case last year.

Polio  is not the only beneficiary of  the Rotary Foundation. President Banerjee told the story of a 12-year-old girl in Nigeria who couldn’t see. Her sight was restored by Indian Doctors who operated an Eye Camp sponsored by the Rotary Foundation. Banerjee said nothing we do is more important than things like that.

He also told of how such efforts can bring countries together. He reported on a meeting in India of the last 4 countries that still have polio problems, with one of the those countries being Pakistan. Pakistan, an enemy of India for a long time, was represented at  that meeting as the countries came together to fight polio.

As a gift to President Banerjee, the Columbus area Rotary Clubs gave $99,200 in his name toward the refurbishing of one of the cabins  that can be used for recuperating patients at Warm Springs in connection with the polio museum. Club President Jimmy Elder said he was sure that the $800 to raise it to $100,000 would be donated before the day was over.

I have been a Rotarian since 1972.  I can’t recall a bigger Rotary day than this one. The Columbus club is one of the largest in the world, the largest one that President Banerjee has visited. And, no doubt, it  has one of the biggest hearts in the service club world, which makes me extremely honored to be a member.    

 

Some Folks That Truly Deserve to be Called STARS

January 28, 2010

ROTARY CLUB OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA HONORS 2010 MUSCOGEE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS STAR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS.

 Rotary Club of Columbus President Bob Jones, Muscogeee Cunty System-wide STAR Student Andrei Markov, his STAR Teacher Luther Richardson (Photo Courtesy:  Jim Cawthorne Camera 1)

 

THE SYSTEM-WIDE STAR STUDENT IS ANDREI MARKOV  OF COLUMBUS HIGH SCHOOL,  AND HE SELECTED LUTHER RICHARDS  TO BE HIS STAR TEACHER. ANDREI HAD THE HIGHEST S.A.T AND GRADE POINT AVERAGE.  ROTARY CLUB OF COLUMBUS PRESIDENT BOB JONES PRESENTED THE AWARDS.  

 

SCHOOL STUDENT WINNERS WERE: 

BROOKSTONE: CAROLINE ADAMS AND MICHAEL IPPOLITO; CALVARY CHRISTIAN: McKENZIE HARRISON; CARVER: MARQUIS WAGNER; COLUMBUS: ANDREI MARKOV; HARDAWAY: ASHLEY LEE; JORDAN: JULIAN PLOWDEN; KENDRICK: MARQUISE WESTBROOK; NORTHSIDE: LIZ CARSON; SHAW : SAMANTHA SPECIAL; SPENCER: ANDREW RAMOS; ST. ANNE PACELLI: KATE BIERENFELD.

SCHOOL TEACHER WINNERS WERE: 

 BROOKSTONE: DALE EPPERSON; CALVARY CHRISTIAN: DIANE McGOWAN; CARVER: JOYCE LEE; COLUMBUS: LUTHER RICHARDSON; HARDAWAY:PATSY HALE; JORDAN: JOSEPH POLLOCK; KENDRICK : CAROLYN RANDOLPH; NORTHSIDE: COURTNEY BURNETTE; SHAW : LYNN BUTLER; SPENCER: DEBRA EVERETTE; ST. ANNE PACELLI: JEFFERY KLOTZ.

CONGRATULATIONS! MAY YOUR TRIBE INCREASE. 

STAR stands for Student Teacher Achievement Recognition  program.  More than 21,500 Georgia high school seniors, and the teachers they chose as their STAR Teachers,  have been honored by this program over the last 51 years.

Photographs are courtesy of Jim Cawthorne, Camera 1.

 

 

 

A Different Kind of Change of Command Ceremony

July 2, 2008

  Having covered a few change of command ceremonies at Fort Benning over the years, I am familiar with the pomp and ritual of those affairs. Not as familiar as Rotary Club of Columbus President Carmen Cavezza, though. He’s participated in quite a few, ending up as a three star Lieutenant General before he retired.  

 

  But this one was totally different. He compared a Rotary Club meeting with one at a church. First of all, you “don’t sit in someone else’s seat. That’s followed by a prayer. Then you take up a collection. And you’d better not run overtime.” Rotarians, recognizing the truth in what he was saying, laughed. In fact, he gave us quite a few laughs. We thank him for that. There are no laughs in a military change of command ceremony – well, there had better not be.

 

 

 

Past Rotary Presidents

Past Rotary Club of Columbus Presidents

 

 

  34 former Rotary Club presidents, along with a couple hundred other Rotarians, got to see President Carmen (it’s traditional for Rotarians to call each other by first name, even the president) hand over the presidency of the club to U.S. Federal Court Magistrate Mallon Faircloth. He now gets to preside over the 333 member club, the largest service club in Columbus and one of the largest in the state.

 

 

 

Pres Carmen and Pre Mallon

 Rotary President Carmen Cavezza pins president’s pin on incoming President Mallon Faircloth.

 

 

  Rotary Clubs all over the world do a lot of good work. They raise hundreds of millions of dollars to do things like eradicating polio. The Rotary Club of Columbus raised 77 thousand dollars during President Carmen’s reign for the Rotary Foundation which supplies the funds for such humane projects.  President Mallon promises to keep up the good work, locally and internationally.

 

  And you just might be surprised to know where some Rotary Clubs are in the world. For instance, there are three in the People’s Republic of China. That’s right, Rotary Clubs, which are made up of business and professional leaders, in communist China. They have been busy raising funds to help victims of the earthquake that ravaged Sichuan Province. Revolutions can be gradual. The Soviet Union is no more and that came about without a violent revolution. Are there Rotary Clubs in Russia? Yes, quite a few,

 

  Yes, the world is changing, but, then, it always has been.