OKC Sunrise Rotary

OKC Sunrise

Service Above Self

1st & 3rd Thursday @ 7am
Hampton Inn
920 SW 77th Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73139
United States
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September 2021
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Club Executives & Directors
President
President Elect
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Road Trip to Tulsa
Sep 23, 2021 1:00 PM
Greenwood District and Vernon A.M.E. Church
Club BBQ and Swim Party
Sep 30, 2021 6:00 PM
Special Guest - District Governor Matt Tipton
 
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Home Page Stories

As we focus on membership in Rotary this month, I ask you to help make history this year. For more than 20 years, our membership has stood at 1.2 million. Rotary is a vibrant organization with a 116-year history, members in more than 220 countries and geographic areas, and a rich legacy of work in polio eradication and other humanitarian programs. Rotary has changed so much in our own lives and the lives of others. As we Serve to Change Lives, don’t you think Rotary could have an even greater impact on the world if more people were practicing Service Above Self?

My vision is to increase Rotary membership to 1.3 million by July 2022, and the call to action is simple: Each One, Bring One. This year, I want every Rotarian and Rotaractor to introduce a new person into their club.

We are a membership organization, and members are our greatest asset. You are the ones who contribute so generously to The Rotary Foundation. You are the ones who dream big to bring good into the world through meaningful projects. And of course, you are the ones who have put the world on the brink of eradicating polio.

As we make membership a priority this year, let us focus on diversity by reaching out to younger people and especially to women. Every club should celebrate its new members, and every Rotarian who sponsors a member will be personally recognized by me. And those who are successful in bringing in 25 or more members will be part of our new Membership Society.

Even as we share the gift of Rotary with others, let us be sure to engage these new members, because an engaged Rotarian is an asset forever. And remember that engaging our current members and keeping them in our clubs is just as important as bringing in newcomers. Let us also be ready to form new clubs, especially flexible ones. I am very bullish on clubs that hold virtual or hybrid meetings, and satellite clubs and cause-based clubs can also be very effective ways of growing Rotary.

As you grow more, you will be able to do more. Let us keep empowering girls through our work in each of the areas of focus. Scholarships for girls, toilets in schools, health and hygiene education — there is so much we can do. Projects focused on the environment are also attracting interest the world over. Do participate in these projects locally and internationally to make this world a better place for us and for all species.

Each of you is a Rotary brand ambassador, and all of the wonderful work done by Rotarians around the world needs to be shared outside the Rotary community. Use social media to tell your friends, colleagues, and relatives the stories of Service Above Self.

Finally, I’m challenging every club, during the coming year, to plan at least one Rotary Day of Service that will bring together volunteers from inside and outside Rotary and will celebrate and showcase the work of your club in your community. Visit rotary.org to find out more about all of these initiatives, along with other ways to Serve to Change Lives.

Here in the USA...About a dozen Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Eau Claire Morning, Wisconsin, along with some of their family members, used a product called Invisible Spray to stencil temporary, water-activated artwork on sidewalks throughout the city. Rainworks, manufacturer of the hydrophobic, nontoxic liquid spray, donated the product, which allows users to create designs that only appear when the sidewalks get wet. At a cost of about $130, 16 ounces can cover up to 110 square feet. “We thought in the difficult times of the pandemic, we could bring smiles to our community” and inspire other organizations to do the same, says Sarah Stackhouse, a co-president of the club. A “thank you” below an image of a firefighter’s hat was traced outside a fire station, while a drawing at the entrance to a theater featured musical notes and suggested “singing in the rain.”

Sri Lanka...With 11,000 followers on Facebook and nearly 3,000 on Instagram, the Rotaract Club of Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) collects clicks when it takes on a cause. In September, the 331-member club wrapped up an initiative to use those social media platforms, as well as its YouTube channel, to promote pandemic-stricken businesses in and around Colombo, one of the nation’s two capital cities. The Rotaractors produced and posted 10 video interviews with the operators of various enterprises, including bakeries, an event-organizing company, and an auto parts supplier. “Many small business owners faced a lot of downfalls in surviving the crisis,” says Sharoni Anthony, a club member. “We hoped to make the public aware of them and their amazing products and services.”

Shekhar Mehta

President 2021-22

Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar

West Bengal, India

Mehta, an accountant, is chair of the Skyline Group, a real estate development company he founded. He is also a director of Operation Eyesight Universal (India), a Canada-based organization.

Mehta has been actively involved in disaster response and is a trustee of ShelterBox, UK. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, he helped build nearly 500 homes for families affected by the disaster.

He pioneered a program that has performed more than 1,500 life-changing heart surgeries in South Asia. He is also the architect of the TEACH Program, which promotes literacy throughout India and has reached thousands of schools.

A Rotary member since 1984, Mehta has served Rotary as director, member or chair of several committees, zone coordinator, training leader, member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, and district governor. He is also the chair of Rotary Foundation (India).

Mehta has received Rotary's Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation's Citation for Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service Awards.

He and his wife, Rashi, are Major Donors and members of the Bequest Society.

By Michael Collins, Executive Director Americas, Institute for Economics and Peace

In June, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) released its 15th annual Global Peace Index, one of the leading measures of peacefulness globally. Since 2017, the IEP and Rotary have been in a strategic partnership, providing members with new tools to effectively build peace in communities around the world. It has been my pleasure to work with Rotary members as I have been involved in the process of creating a number of global peace indexes.

What can we glean from the latest report? Well, there’s good news and bad news. Overall, the 2021 Global Peace Index reveals a world in which decades-old conflicts are beginning to abate. But at the same time, civil unrest and political instability are creating new challenges as the world looks toward a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. For the ninth time in 12 years, the level of global peacefulness has declined, but it was also the smallest decline recorded by the index.

Peace is much more than the absence of violence. The Rotary Positive Peace Academy introduces the concept of Positive Peace, which describes the attitudes, structures, and institutions that underpin and sustain peaceful societies. The IEP has developed a conceptual framework, known as the Pillars of Peace, that outlines a system of eight factors that work together to build positive peace. Derived from a statistical analysis of over 24,000 datasets, the Pillars of Peace provides a roadmap to overcome adversity and conflict, and to build lasting peace.

Former refugees help recent defectors adapt to South Korea...by Seoha Lee

Since the end of World War II, the Korean Peninsula has been divided. Partitioned in 1945 — the North under Soviet occupation and the South under U.S. occupation — the nations, still in conflict, have struggled for decades to achieve a peaceful relationship.

In the years since the divide, more than 30,000 people from the North have escaped through China and come to South Korea for a new beginning. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people defecting has drastically declined due to increased border security. Before the outbreak, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime had also increased border patrols and added an electrified fence, making escape more difficult.

Those who make it to South Korea go through a government-run, three-month resettlement process. Once they are released, a police officer is assigned to watch them. The work of building a new life in a different Korean culture is up to them.

The relationship between North and South Koreans is complex. As part of a single nation for thousands of years, they share the same language and observe the same traditional holidays. However, the memory of espionage after the Korean War lingers. In South Korea, those from the North must adapt to an unfamiliar capitalist system and culture without any family or friends, while enduring suspicions and prejudice against them.

In 2016, with support from the Rotary Club of Ulsan Daeduck, North Korean immigrants chartered the Rotary Club of Ulsan Freedom — a fitting name for those who risked their lives for their freedom.

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