07/25/04 — Rotary's Centennial Bell coming to Wayne

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Rotary's Centennial Bell coming to Wayne

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on July 25, 2004 8:20 AM

Similar to the traveling Olympic Torch, a Centennial Bell will be coming to Wayne County next month to ring in Rotary International's 100th year.

The bell will make stops at four Rotary clubs in Wayne County.

It will arrive Aug. 3 at 1 p.m. at the Goldsboro Rotary Club, which meets at the Goldsboro Country Club; on Aug. 4 at 7 a.m. at the Goldsboro Three Eagles Rotary Club, which meets at the Family Y on Parkway Drive; and on Aug. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mount Olive Rotary Club, which meets at the Southern Belle Restaurant.

The bell will also come to the Fremont Rotary Club on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Capital Cafe.

Rotary's Centennial Bells have been traveling all over the world and are going to all 46 clubs in District 7720, which spans northeastern North Carolina.

On July 12, the bell arrived in Wilson to ring at the first club organized in the district.

The ringing of the bell will commemorate 100 years of Rotary friendship, community service, high ethical standards and international projects to build goodwill, well-being and peace around the world, says Barbara Stiles, president of the Three Eagles Rotary Club.

Bill Rogister, the district's governor, will bring the Centennial Bell to the Wayne County clubs and recognize outstanding service projects of the clubs. He will encourage the clubs to "Celebrate Rotary," which is the Centennial theme, and remind Rotarians that the best way to honor Rotary during the Centennial Year is to continue to put into practice the motto, "Service above Self."

Five Rotary Centennial bells are being circulating to clubs in every Rotary country to symbolize the organization's international reach. The bell's travels began in June 2003 in Australia.

The journeys will end in Chicago in June 2005, when they ring in the start of the Centennial Rotary Internat-ional Convention.

The world's first service club was the Rotary Club of Chicago. The club was formed Feb. 23, 1905 by lawyer Paul P. Harris and three friends of different vocations, merchant, coal dealer and mining engineer. The mission of this fellowship quickly became service in the community, in the workplace and around the world.

Today, there are 30,000 Rotary clubs with 1.2 million members in 162 countries.

Rotary members are professional men and women who work as volunteers to improve the quality of life in their home and world community. Club membership represents a cross-section of local business and professional leaders. Rotary clubs are non-political, non-religious and open to all cultures, races and creeds.

A major Rotary project is eradication of polio. Since 1988, when there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries, Rotarians have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars and mobilized millions of volunteers to transport the polio vaccine and health workers to immunization posts, support workers on site and promote public awareness of the program. This year, polio is confined to about 10 countries, primarily in Africa, with only a few hundred new cases. Working with partners -- the World Health Organization, UNICEF and CDC -- Rotary strives toward another milestone in elimination of polio next year.

Since 1947, Rotary International has awarded over 34,000 scholarships for students to earn an advanced degree in a university of another country. Since 1965, about 40,000 young professionals have traveled to another country with a Rotarian leader in Group Study Exchange. About 2,400 matching grants have been provided by The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International for humanitarian projects.