First-ever Rotary Day at White House Honors 'Champions of Change'
Exemplary Rotary club volunteers to be recognized at historic D.C. event April 20
EVANSTON, Ill., April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The White House on April 20 will honor ten U.S. Rotary club members from across the country as Champions of Change for their volunteer work to improve the lives of others during the first-ever Rotary Day at the White House.
The day-long event for the first time combines two weekly White House public engagement programs – Champions of Change and the Community Leaders Briefing series -- to recognize the contributions of a single organization: the humanitarian service group Rotary International.
"Rotary International and Rotary Clubs across America are not only affecting change in their hometowns but improving the lives of others in countless communities abroad," said Director of the Office of Public Engagement, Jon Carson . "Rotarians' commitment to service perfectly captures the spirit and mission of Champions of Change."
"Rotary International is honored to be a part of the first White House Champions of Change awards to Rotarians who have helped make a difference in lives and communities around the world," said Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee , who will attend the day's events with Rotary International CEO John Hewko and Director Elizabeth Demaray . "Rotary club members are grassroots volunteers, successful business and professional leaders who want to give back to make the world a better place. Champions of Change could not be a more appropriate description of what Rotary is all about."
Rotary's Champions of Change are:
- Terrence Allen , St. Joseph, Mich.: A member of the Rotary Club of Lakeshore, Allen and his wife Liz devote their volunteer time to the Children's Safe Water Project, which provides clean water to thousands of families in the Dominican Republic. His volunteerism has inspired other Rotary clubs to become involved.
- Jim Fulgham , Arlington, Texas: A member of the Rotary Club of Arlington, Fulgham has been a driving force behind the Rotary Scholarship Program at Webb Elementary School. Focused on helping children from disadvantaged families, the program provides a scholarship to every sixth-grader who goes on to finish high school and enroll in college. So far, 150 students have gone on to college.
- Noelle Galperin , Coral Gables, Fla.: A member of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, Galperin has spearheaded her club's Haiti recovery efforts in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. She also has helped raise more than $325,000 for polio eradication, Rotary's top priority, and has led teams of Rotary volunteers to India to immunize children against this paralyzing infectious disease.
- Anil Garg, Simi Valley, Calif.: A member of the Rotary Club of Simi Valley, Garg has led multiple teams of Rotary volunteers to his native India to immunize children against polio. He also is a strong advocate for literacy and has worked as a tutor in adult literacy programs. He also teaches Hindi to elementary school students.
- Richard J Kemme, Greeley, Colo.: A member of the Rotary Club of Greeley, Kemme uses his background in orthopedic surgery to train orthopedic surgeons in the southeast African nation of Malawi. He also launched a Rotary-supported micro-loan program that now serves nearly 22,600 Malawians.
- David Kester , Anchorage, Alaska: A member of the Rotary Club of Anchorage East, Kester and his club have been instrumental in the success of the Mobile Food Pantry of Anchorage, which has provided more than three million pounds of produce, dairy products and other perishable foods to thousands of Alaskan families in need over the past six years.
- Henry Lowentritt , Metairie, La.: A member of the Rotary Club of New Orleans, Lowentritt led his club's effort to renovate and reopen historic Warren Easton High School after it was nearly destroyed by the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina. The reopening of the 100-year-old, predominately African-American school was an early and significant sign that the city was on its way back after its devastating losses.
- Carolyn Crowley Meub , Rutland, Vt.: A member of the Rotary Club of Rutland, Meub heads Pure Water for the World, transforming a small Rotary club project into an effective international charity that has brought clean water and sanitation to thousands of families in Honduras and Haiti.
- Fary Moini , San Diego, Calif.: A member of the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle, Moini has led her club in a series of successful projects to increase educational opportunities for girls and young women and enhance the training of health care professionals in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
- Fred Thompson , Manakin-Sabot, Va.: A member of the Rotary Club of Innsbrook, Thompson led his club in the expansion of the Coal Pit Learning Center, which provides enriched pre-schooling opportunities to children from low-income families
Prior to the afternoon Champions of Change program, more than 160 Rotary club members will attend a morning round of Community Leaders Briefing sessions in which Administration experts will speak on a variety of relevant topics, including maternal and child health, disease prevention, economic development, youth and education, water and sanitation, and peace-building.
Rotary is a global humanitarian organization with more than 1.2 million members in 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary members are men and women who are business, professional and community leaders with a shared commitment to make the world a better place through humanitarian service. Rotary's top priority is the global eradication of polio. For images and broadcast quality video visit Rotary's Media Center.
Rotary Day at the White House will be on a live video stream at White House video stream starting at 9 a.m. (EDT), Friday, 20 April.
A Twitter chat with #atthewh will take place on 20 April at 12 noon – 12:45. Jon Carson (@joncarson44), White House director of public engagement, and John Hewko (@johnhewko), RI general secretary and CEO will answer questions on how people can make a difference in their communities and abroad.
Rotary Day coincides with the U.S. presidential proclamation of National Volunteer Week, which is 15-21 April. Each of the Champions of Change will receive a copy of the president's proclamation.
SOURCE Rotary International
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