The 2007-08 theme Rotary Shares will act as a daily reminder of what ordinary people can accomplish through the extraordinary work of Rotary, said RI President-elect Wilfrid J. Wilkinson at the 2007 International Assembly's opening session today.
RI President-elect Wilfrid J. Wilkinson unveils next year's theme at the International Assembly.
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from the 2007 International Assembly


"What makes Rotary great is our expressing the love in our hearts through the work of our hands and our minds," said Wilkinson. "As Rotarians, we don't just sit back and talk about loving other human beings. As Rotarians, we demonstrate that love, and we share that love, through helping each other."

Almost everything Rotary does involves sharing, Wilkinson told more than 500 district governors-elect gathered at the meeting in San Diego, California, USA. "We share our time, we share our talents, and we share our money with others who need our help."

Furthermore, he said, "In Rotary, sharing doesn't mean giving away what you have to spare, what you don't need for yourself. Sharing means giving of yourself, selflessly, for the good of others."

And Rotarians don't need to do this alone. They know that when the need for service in their community can't be met by one club alone, they can call on Rotarians from around the world to help, said Wilkinson.

More than a theme, Rotary Shares is a call to action. As the incoming governors begin preparing for the year ahead with the training, leadership, and inspiration they receive at the International Assembly, Wilkinson asked them to focus on sharing their leadership, skills, and dedication to making clubs and districts stronger.

Sharing Rotary does more than strengthens Rotary; it ensures that Rotary continues a second century of service. Rotary Shares means inviting people to join their local Rotary clubs.

"Rotary will only be able to continue sharing if it continues to grow," said Wilkinson. To help Rotary grow, Wilkinson requested that all of the incoming governors ask their club presidents to bring in one new club member during their year in office.

"Without new members, nothing else matters," he said. Without our youth and new members, "it will only take a few decades for Rotary to disappear, and we've already seen that happen in other service clubs."

In addition to the crucial job of welcoming new club members, the president-elect said Rotarians should not forget their past. He asked them to reach out to former club members, including club members' widows and widowers.

Wilkinson reminded the audience that the opportunities they'll have to help may not come their way again.

"This year is your chance to be a district governor, to help your clubs, to guide them, to share your strengths and your love."

In the year ahead, a great deal will be asked of Rotarians, said Wilkinson.

"I ask you all, this year, to share Rotary freely and fully. Work hard, and work with love. And remember that everything you do in service to others is part of the magic of Rotary, the magic that allows ordinary people, like you and me, do absolutely amazing things."



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