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New Rotary Board to Focus on Environment

Rotary BOD 2018-19

Rotary Club of Vero Beach 2018–19 Officers and Board of Directors: Daniel Fourmont, Past President; Kathryn Barton, Treasurer; Ken Ligon; Michael Kanuka, President; Richard Carlin; Brenda Bradley, Secretary; Stuart Kennedy, President-Elect; Camille Yates, Vice President; Jim Brumbaugh and Larry Parks. (not pictured – Tom Mitchell).

The Rotary Club of Vero Beach (Vero’s 1st Club) recently celebrated its 92nd birthday. Chartered on June 9, 1926, club members through the years have exemplified Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self,” by donating their time and resources to the local community.

“Rotary is all about connecting and providing service to the community, fellowship with members, and personal and professional development,” says Michael Kanuka, President of the Rotary Club of Vero Beach. “We are the oldest Rotary Club in the area and have proudly helped at least 45 local charitable organizations who serve thousands of people. We have raised money in various ways, and established our Vero Beach Rotary Charities Foundation which has donated more than $100,000 to help local children and adults in need.”

In addition to helping those in need locally, the Rotary Club of Vero Beach works on international projects including ones that bring clean water and dental care to people in the Dominican Republic. They also participate in a Homestay program hosting international Rotarians to give them a perspective of what it’s like to live in Indian River County.

“We are committed to continuously improving our community and our strategic focus is now on the environment,” says Kanuka. “Our recently installed Board of Directors have been brainstorming new civic projects which we will soon be announcing.”

Rotary is an international organization boasting more than 1.2 million members in almost 35,500 clubs around the world. The Rotary Club of Vero Beach meets every Thursday at 11:45 am at the Vero Beach Yacht Club, 3601 Rio Vista Blvd., Vero Beach, FL 32963. For membership information contact President, Michael Kanuka at [email protected] or visit www.rotaryofverobeach.com.

The Light of Rotary

There is a tradition at a local Rotary Club (the original Rotary Club of Vero Beach) wherein an award is presented each year at Christmas to the member who exhibited “Service Above Self” – someone who has clearly exhibited the true meaning of “giving” in the Club over the past year. The emphasis is mainly on personal volunteer efforts, with the focus on active involvement in a cause that helped local charities.

The recipient of the Light of Rotary Award receives well-deserved recognition for his or her contributions, including a prize in the form of an idiosyncratic lamp that has a very colorful history. Their name is engraved on this trophy, which also lists the other exemplary recipients before them. It is fitting that the award be a lamp, because the good deeds performed were truly meant to light-up the lives of those less fortunate in the community.

One of the expectations is for each recipient to leave a little of their personality with the lamp. It could be a surprise decoration hung from the shade, a flag or sticker affixed to the stem, or something else with special meaning. Such contributions have molded and transformed the lamp – as if to bring it to life as the perfect Rotarian.

Those most deserving of any humanitarian award are genuinely shocked when they find out they were selected as the recipient. Why? Because they had no expectation whatsoever about receiving it… their time and effort was truly for someone else’s benefit – and not their own.

Here’s the Point: ’Tis the season to give freely to others like never before – with no expectation of gratitude, but rather to just feel good about helping someone else.

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