We were recently invited to attend the annual Rotary Gala for one of our local Rotary chapters. Although we are not Rotarians, at least not yet, we thought it would be a perfect way to learn more about this international service organization.
A Bit About Rotary
According to the official Rotary website, Rotary is a “global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change-across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”
The impact of the Rotary throughout the world cannot be denied. Their reach of influence touches all corners of the world, starting from local communities and stretching across international borders. Issues that Rotarians take persistent action on include: peace, health, clean water, helping mothers and children, supporting education and helping local economies grow.
For example, one local Rotary organization provides dictionaries for each 3rd grade student in their local school district. Another Rotary organization focusing on international education, has sponsored a non-profit called, From Book to Brilliance for years. From Books to Brilliance has built numerous libraries in Central America and is able to do their work, thanks to the Rotary.
The Purpose of the Gala
The Gala serves many purposes. First, it is one of the largest fundraisers each Rotarian chapter puts on each year. Along with the work each Rotarian does, having the funds to complete their vision is imperative. The Gala is one such method of raising capital.
Second, the Rotary Gala is an opportunity for Rotarians to come together and celebrate their projects and recognize the people who made such projects come to life. Rotarians work hard. They truly are a service organization that is willing to tackle work that is demanding, and quite frankly, just hard work. It is important to recognize the efforts, and the people, who are committed to doing work that is often seen as thankless, or even invisible.
Third, the Gala is a time for Rotarians to come together and reconnect with their fellow Rotarians. Each Rotary Chapter is large. And with various subcommittee and people working on different projects, it may be difficult to actually connect with everyone. The Gala is a festive time when you can connect and share stories of the previous year. The Gala allows people to really remember the purpose of the Rotary and the value of Rotarian relationships. This ultimately strengthens the Rotary.
An Organization Worth Exploring
After attending the Gala, the one idea I cannot turn away from is how hard Rotarians work to support each other, the mission of the Rotary, and the people of their community and international partners. The ties that bind Rotarians together is their hard work and selfless dedication to the work they do.
Local Backroads was invited to attend the Gala as guests. We all left feeling a powerful energy of community and were inspired by the faces of each Rotarian we were honored of meeting.
If you are looking a way to impact the local community, or even the larger world community– the Rotary is a perfect place to start. The time, dedication and commitmentto the organization and the work is heavy, but the experience and the impactyou can have on your local backroads is priceless.