DG Bob Blacker 2008-2009 welcome all Rotarians to the new Rotary Year. 


Make Dreams Real to end child mortality - what an appropriate theme that RI President D.K. Lee passed along to all Governors Elect in San Diego in January 2008. All who were present understood quickly what President DK was asking of Rotarians. He went on to say 30,000 children die each day throughout the world from preventable causes and that we should address issues surrounding health, hunger, clean water and literacy.

Over the past year I have observed what our District has been doing in relation to the four areas that President DK was referring to. To my surprise I found that many clubs were partnering with Rotary Districts around the world to address issues surrounding clean water, health, hunger and literacy but feel that more can be accomplished. As our 2007 - 2008 Rotary year comes to a close I note that our matching grants from the District Designated Funds (DDF) have not been totally spent. It is my goal for 2008 - 2009 to encourage clubs to take on projects addressing child mortality and use up all of our matching grant funds. World Community Service Chair Peter Ackhurst has made a commitment that his committee will assist clubs through an easy to understand process as they apply for matching grant funds.

Another opportunity has arisen in relation to child mortality and literacy as a result of a conversation with the Lt.Governor of British Columbia, the Honorable Stephen Point. He pointed out that during many of his visits to isolated communities throughout British Columbia he found that those communities had no books or libraries. He felt, given the opportunity, children from those communities would enjoy what many children throughout British Columbia already have if they were given books to read. As a result of this conversation our Rotary District has been asked to partner with the Government House Foundation to assist in providing books and building mini libraries in partnership with those communities identified by the Lt.Governor.

Finally as we move into our new rotary year, 2008 - 2009, I see a resurgence of our district in relation to membership and a record breaking year of giving to our Rotary Foundation. I also see and feel positive energy from Rotarians throughout the district and see the future for our district is going to be a healthy and vibrant one. Both Judy and I look forward to visiting your clubs during my year.

Yours in Rotary Service
Bob Blacker