So, what does that headline mean to you and to your community?
It means people from businesses and organizations within the city are forming their own chapter of Rotary International, a worldwide volunteer organization of men and women working together to make their communities, and the world, a better place.
To do so, after a series of planning sessions over the past two months, Troy Rotary’s first public membership-and-information meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, at the Troy Kitchen, 77 Congress Street downtown. And, you’re invited — to learn more about Rotary, to sign up as a Charter Member, to network with other people of action from throughout the city, and sample some of the wares of food vendors located in the Troy Kitchen. A cash bar will be available.
The new Troy Rotary will join a long-established network of clubs operating throughout the nine-county Greater Capital Region. Its startup is being sponsored by the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club (that’s why we’re piggybacking on their website while ours is under development). Several of that club’s members will be on hand along with District officials to answer your questions.
Meanwhile, here are a few things commonly-asked questions about Rotary you may find helpful:
AN FAQ GUIDE FOR PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS
• What IS Rotary?
Well, for starters, Rotary International is a 114-year-old global association of independently-run Rotary Clubs with 1.23 million members. Its volunteer members and staff work without regard to nationality, race, religion, age or gender to improve communities everywhere in the fields of health, education, human services, and peace.
Its administration, headquartered in the Chicago area, is handled by officers, directors, and committees chosen from all over the world. Its purpose is to provide not only a framework on which the clubs can build, but also to service all clubs in consistency and effectiveness.
• How Is It Set Up?
The world of Rotary is divided into Zones. Zones are divided into numbered Districts (we’re in 7190). Each District is served by an elected District Governor and a set of District officers and committees. Each individual Rotary Club is guided by officers and directors elected by club members. The club has a constitution and bylaws controlling its actions. The Rotary Year runs from July 1 through June 30.
• How Do I Qualify for Membership?
Rotary welcomes energetic men and women 21 and older who are of good character and good standing in the community, and we celebrate diversity of every kind. The individual candidate may be involved in a business or profession, a non-profit organization, or be a full-time homemaker, a retiree, or even a self-supporting non-worker. Current members nominate and sponsor prospective members. And, we offer “Corporate” memberships for those whose schedules may not currently allow full-time participation but wish to share a membership with others in their group.
• How Involved Do I Have To Be?
One of the key obligations of Rotary is regularity of participation through some combination of regular meetings, work projects, fundraising events, social activities, and so forth. Being busy is no excuse for not being involved, for all Rotarians are busy persons. That is one of the characteristics that makes them a force in their community. As we tell incoming members, “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”
In addition to being involved with some of our many community and global service initiatives, including those that often spring from their own individual ideas and passions, Rotarians can stay in contact with the organization by doing makeup visits at any other Rotary club in the world; you’re always welcomed by other clubs in this truly global organization.
You also can stay active via a wide range of Rotary Fellowship groups that are associations of Rotarians everywhere who share common outside interests; by being active online with an “e” club, and there are other possibilities that arise from time to time.
• What Will Membership Cost Me?
Besides your time and efforts? Not a lot. Annual individual dues are just $150 or the first year and $175 after that, and that covers your international and local membership. A “Corporate” membership is just $350 for an unlimited number of members, although groups can cast only one vote on matters coming before the membership.
Dues are payable by June 30 for the Rotary fiscal year which annually commences on July 1. However, if it is easier for you, dues may be paid in two equal installments, by June 30 and by December 31. That would mean the initial payment for individuals would be only $75, for “Corporate” groups. Dues help support local and global initiatives of the club, the district and Rotary International. (Please note: Checks or money orders only.)
• OK, You Have Me Interested. What Do I Do Next?
When you’re ready to pay us a visit, just drop us an email at TroyNYrotary@gmail.com and we’ll get you set up.
If you’d like to directly contact our lead Troy organizer, email Kareem Jandali at email@example.com or call him at 518-542-3506