2008-12-18 / News

Spreading a little hope

By David Reardon

For a few weeks I have been struggling to write an article about Rotary as the president of the club. As I was driving through Providence, I noticed a large billboard with the word "HOPE." Then it hit me… hope!

Words and ideas came fast and I started writing notes while driving south. (I do not recommend this practice, plus the notes were hard to read later) As you may know, the seal and arms of our beloved state contain the word "hope." In fact the word hope has been part of our state's seal since 1664. With the holiday season upon us, isn't spreading hope part of the true meaning of the season? Given the economic crisis our state and country is facing, isn't hope necessary?

Hope. This is the one word that sums up what our group attempts to spread. We wish to give hope to those who do not have use of their legs. Hope to those who may be struggling to feed their families in these tough economic times. Hope to those who only have disease-tainted water to drink. Hope for universal understanding among all human kind. Hope for a world without polio. Hope for a better life.

Our club, one of more than 32,000 Rotary Clubs throughout the world, holds various events throughout the year that raise funds to allow us to support the causes that generate hope. Our events are the May Breakfast, Doughboy Shack at Fool's Rules Regatta, our Annual Appeal and the Jamestown Classic, our largest event.

Our club has supported the VOSH wheelchair project, a literacy project in Ghana, contributions to the local food bank, Teen Center and Boy Scouts to name just a few. Our belief is that by helping others internationally, we build a better understanding of the differences of other cultures. In our last fiscal year, we contributed more than $24,000 and have disbursed more than $5,000 in the first few months of this fiscal year.

Our umbrella organization, Rotary International, is in the final stages of eradicating polio. There are still pockets of the disease in a few countries and the disease is only a plane ride away! Rotary International is providing hope to those who are the most susceptible to this crippling and deadly disease: children.

As I sit here listening to Christmas carols and pounding on the keys of my computer, I wish hope to all… for a great and safe Holiday Season. Our successes are derived from the efforts of many; as a group we can effect change for the better of all.

Our club meets at the Lionel Champlin House every Thursday morning for friendship and fun. We usually have very interesting speakers and of course a fantastic homemade breakfast. Feel free to drop by to hear what the song of the day is! You can get more information about our club at www.jamestownclassic.org/rotary, or feel free to e-mail me at jamestownclassic@cox.net.

In the words of Saint Nicholas in Clement Clarke Moore's "Twas the Night before Christmas" poem, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

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