Rotary International and Rotary Foundation CEO (Aired on October 18, 2020)

Through the magic of Zoom. RadioRotary interviews John Hewko, the General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of both Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation. As CEO he directs some 800 Rotary employees in the United States and around the world—Rotary has 1.2 million members worldwide, with only about 25% of them in the United States. Rotarians are committed to doing good in the world as well as making person connections with like-minded others. In addition to contributing $400 million for projects through The Rotary Foundation, Rotarians contribute about 47 million people hours to make those projects work—and these numbers do not count the gifts and projects of the 35,000 individual clubs that make up Rotary. With numbers like that, Rotary embarked on a huge project in 1985 (later joined but other international organizations) to eliminate polio. At this point they have succeeded everywhere except Pakistan and Afghanistan where there remain a few cases annually. Another emphasis of Rotary is enrolling youth in both projects to improve communities but also in supporting peace through annual youth exchanges
between countries around the world.

Learn more:
General Secretary and CEO: https://my.rotary.org/en/general-secretary-and-chief-executive-officer
Rotary International: https://www.rotary.org/en
The Rotary Foundation: https://www.rotary.org/en/about-rotary/rotary-foundation
Polio Eradication: https://polioeradication.org/
Rotary Youth Programs: https://www.rotary.org/en/our-programs/youth-programs

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Community Meets Pandemic Challenges (Aired on October 11, 2020)

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck Red Hook, NY, Dan Budd, a local businessman with ties to the youth community and a high-school student, Chris Donahue, decided that they could organize volunteers to solve some of the immediate problems the community faces. RadioRotary on this program interviews Red Hook Responds cofounder Dan Budd, owner of Taste Budd’s Café in Red Hook Village, about how Red Hook Responds works and about the related venture, Shop Red Hook. Aside for medical needs, the two main problems Red Hook residents faced with the stay-in-place rules of the State response to the pandemic have been delivery of essential items and the loss of human interactions. The nearly 500 volunteers of Red Hook Responds, many of them students, deliver groceries or medicines and also provide neighborly chats over the telephone; but the most important service has been production of and delivery of more than 8,000 prepared dinners (so far). School-district supplied breakfasts and lunches are also delivered to those who need them. Shop Red Hook is another service—an online conduit between farms and food banks.

Learn more:
Red Hook Responds: https://www.redhookresponds.org/
Shop Red Hook Food Exchange: https://shopredhook.com/
Taste Budd’s Café: https://www.tastebudds.com/
Town of Red Hook, NY: https://www.tastebudds.com/

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October 20, 2020 · Posted in Humanitarian Service, Nutrition, Support Groups, Volunteers, Youth  

RI President 2020-21 Holger Knaack (Aired on August 1 and 2, 2020)

RadioRotary welcomes Rotary International (RI) President Holger Knaack (via Zoom), a member since 1992 of the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln, Germany. He is proud to be the first RI president from Germany. President Knaack has held many posts in Rotary from Club President and District Governor to Director and Treasurer of Rotary International. His special interests have been the youth-exchange program and Rotaract, the Rotary adjunct for young adults between the age of 18 and 30. He and his wife have not just supported youth- exchange; they have hosted some 40 students themselves. He says “Rotary is the greatest organization in the world” because of its work in fighting disease, promoting peace, encouraging literacy, and aiding disaster recovery with ShelterBox. Because of the COVID-19 situation, he is the first RI president who cannot travel to Rotary Clubs all over the world, but he visits thousands of Rotarians via Zoom every day.

Learn more:
RI Theme 2020-21: https://www.rotary.org/en/holger-knaack-sees-opportunities-rotary-change-thrive
Rotary International: https://www.rotary.org/en
Rotary Youth Exchange: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_Youth_Exchange
Rotaract on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rotaractor/
ShelterBox: https://www.shelterboxusa.org/

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August 9, 2020 · Posted in Disaster Relief, Peace, PolioPlus, Rotary International, Youth  

Millbrook Schools Handle Shelter-in-Place (Aired on June 20 and 21, 2020)

Millbrook Rotarian Brian Fried, Assistant Superintendent for Business, Finance, and Operations at the Millbrook Central School District, visits RadioRotary to describe how the District is handling the dislocation of normal practices caused by the steps required by New York State to slow the spread of COVID-19. Schools in Dutchess County were all required to stop holding live classes in mid-March, with a significant amount of the school year unfinished. Among the steps that Mr. Fried describes are making sure that every student has broadband access and a computer so that they can participate with classes and in interactions with teachers or school psychologists; arranging with the cafeteria staff and drivers to see that 175 students under age 18 who need nutrition assistance get breakfast and lunch delivered 7 days a week; and maintaining school spirit with car parades and signs on the lawns of all graduating seniors, as well as planning a memorable graduation event. No one knows exactly what future problems must be faced, but this program reveals that the Millbrook Central Schools are getting ready for anything.

Learn more:
Millbrook Central School District: https://www.millbrookcsd.org/
Millbrook Rotary Club: https://millbrookrotary.org/
New York State on Pause: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-pause

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June 29, 2020 · Posted in Education, Nutrition, Youth  

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