By Lawrence Loiseau
Rotary Club of 100 Mile House president Wolfgang Paasche says the local club was proud to celebrate its 40th Anniversaryat the Valley Room in 100 Mile House on Oct. 22.
More than a century old, Rotary International has a long and esteemed history. It was first chartered in Chicago in 1905 andspread into Canada in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1910.
The year 2016 is of special importance for the Rotary Foundation, Paasche explains.
“The foundation, which manages Rotary’s sizable monetary accounts, was formed in 1916. It is the foundation’s 100thanniversary.”
One of the Rotary’s prouder international achievements concerns its fight against polio, Paasche says.
“In 1986, the club decided to eradicate polio. Polio had been eliminated in North America and Europe, but there remained300,000 cases in the world annually.”
Rotary International has invested $700 million in the cause, and partnered with the United Nations, the World TradeOrganization and Centre for Disease Control to fight the disease.
“Now, there are only 15 individual recurring cases per year, in countries, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Paasche notes Rotary International is remarkably efficient in channeling resources to its ongoing projects.
“Since the club almost always has people on site – it has members all over the world – it is able to channel 100 per cent ofthe donations toward projects.”
The business-friendly organization currently has 1.2 million members worldwide.
Paasche says the club has future plans in 100 Mile House.
Currently, the Rotary Club is exploring ways to help create a pavilion in Centennial Park. Rotarians hope to replace the usualmobile stage it uses for events in the park with a permanent wooden stage.
Rotary has also started working with KidSport in 100 Mile House, Paasche says.
“We have just taken on KidSport, a Canada-wide organization that helps pay registration for youth in sports. There are now48 chapters in B.C.”
Paasche notes there are advantages of joining the club.
The benefits of belonging to the Rotary Club are “the joy of community service and its fellowship.”
“You must be proposed to the group by a currently presiding member. This helps ensure harmony among club members.”