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Tuesday, Oct 08 2013 06:00 AM

Rotary members host guest speaker

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Rotary Club members wait to hear guest speaker Rotary District 5240 Governor Jack McClenahan and their luncheon on Oct. 3 at Don Juan’s Latin Grill, 20700 South St. Photo courtesy of Linda Carhart

Numbering 31, members and potential members attended the Rotary Club of Tehachapi's luncheon meeting at Don Juan's Latin Grill, 20700 South St., Oct. 3, to hear guest speaker Rotary District 5240 Governor Jack McClenahan.

McClenahan has attended many conferences, but highlighted the Rotary International Conference in Munich, Germany, in 1987, where two historic events took place.

First, Rotary established Polio Plus to eradicate polio. This project is ongoing and today only a few African countries, along with Pakistan and Afghanistan, have reported incidents of polio. The continual immunization against this disease has all but eliminated polio in the rest of the world.

Second, since its founding in 1905, women were not allowed membership in Rotary. At the 1987 international conference, Rotary ratified the inclusion of women. The benefits to Rotary Clubs was immediately evident. Female membership has increased the number of service projects being done at club level since women are very aware of unmet needs in the community and many women are skilled at grant writing. In the United States, 25 percent of Rotary's membership is women.

Women fill leadership roles at every level of Rotary. The Rotary Club of Tehachapi has Judy Trujillo as president and Lisa Ross is president-elect, which means she is attending trainings this year in order to take on the role of president next year. The change of the second Rotarian motto in 2004, from, "He profits most who serves best," to, "They profit most who serve best," 99 years after its foundation, illustrates the move to general acceptance of women members in Rotary. Our local club was chartered in 1987 and includes such service projects as hosting a holiday luncheon for seniors, doing battery replacements for seniors, providing kindergarten students with individualized books to promote literacy, and supporting an orphanage in Tijuana.

The club has donated $1,200 directly to Polio Plus from the proceeds of the recent Fashion Show and has donated $2,000 to Relay For Life.

Rotary Club of Tehachapi supports Interact Clubs at Tehachapi High School, Valley Oaks Charter School and Jacobson Middle School. Several students were selected to attend Camp RYLA, a youth leadership training Camp for next year's high school seniors and tomorrow's leaders.

We also have a Rotaract Club (ages 18 though 30-somethings), and two members will be sponsored to attend the District Conference.

For more information about Rotary Club of Tehachapi, email rotary.tehachapi@gmail.com.

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