I Joined Rotary to Change the World But Rotary Changed Me                        with Dean Rohrs and Betty Screpnik

Long time friends Dean Rohrs and Betty Screpnik are driving forces at the Rotary Foundation Canada.

Join us for our conversation about their work, their travel adventures and the impact of Rotary.


Peter Tonge 0:20
Welcome to this episode of Talking Rotary. I’m Peter Tonge and I’m a member of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg Charleswood.

Mandy Kwasnica 0:27
And I’m Mandy Kwasnica Past President and also a member of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg. Charleswood. We are so happy you have joined us here and I are so excited for this new podcast and thankful to our many listeners. Let’s start Talking Rotary.

Peter Tonge 1:06
Everyone, welcome to another episode of Talking Rotary. I am Peter Tonge, and I’m here with Dean Rohrs in Betty Screpnek. They’re both involved with the Rotary Foundation candidate and lots of other neat things. But we’re going to talk about all of those. Dean maybe I’ll start with you. Where are you in the world?

Dean Rohrs 1:27
Oh, I’m in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I’m situated on the west coast of Canada in beautiful British Columbia, in Vancouver. It’s absolutely stunning. A little cloudy today. But I think I live in the best part of the world.

Peter Tonge 1:44
I have to be honest, I agree with you. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities. I enjoy when I spend time there. And I’m also here with Betty Screpnik. Betty, where are you in the world?

Betty Screpnik 1:55
Well, I’m in the second most beautiful place in the world and visit Vancouver because we love it as well. So I’m just outside of Edmonton in the province of Alberta and Western Canada. And so we’re neighbors with with where Dean lives in the province of British Columbia.

Peter Tonge 2:15
Right. And I’m in Winnipeg. So we’re all covering the west of Canada at the moment. But you guys have been all over the world. And we’ll get into that. And at a certain point. I’d like to start. And I don’t know who wants to answer this. But Can somebody just give me a sort of a basic overview of the Rotary Foundation Canada for those Rotarians that are new to the foundation.

Dean Rohrs 2:41
Certainly, I happen to be have the honor of being President of the Rotary Foundation in Canada, the Rotary Foundation has associate foundations spread across the world. We are constituted specifically for one reason, and that is to be able to issue our donors in Canada, a Canadian tax certificate. But to be a registered charity, issuing tax certificates means that we have to conform to all the tax laws of Canada as well. With this instance, this means that all donations given by Canadian Rotarians for just for you know 4444 I can’t say 100% of them, but most of them remain in Canada, are invested in Canada, and are administered by us here according to the Canadian tax laws. And then as the Rotary Foundation and needs the funds in support of global grants, district grants and all the other areas where these monies originally come for. They are released and are used by the Rotary Foundation. So not only look after steward, and manage the investments for the Canadian Rotarians that we also advocate on their behalf with the government to receive certain government grants, certain government funding, we also actively advocate for our polio donations. So we work very strongly on behalf of all our Canadian Rotarians. In essence, I think that’s in a nutshell.

Peter Tonge 4:33
I think that’s a very good nutshell. Thank you. And you, you talked about working along with the Canadian government and that sort of thing. And reasonably global affairs, Canada and the Rotary Foundation Canada entered into a rather significant agreement, right?

Dean Rohrs 4:50
Yes, we did. In the past, we used to have relationships with the Government of Canada in a grant process which was administered with this was a pretty top heavy and, and bottom heavy type of situation. So this is the latest grant that we have administered. And I’m going to go to Betty to explain exactly what that was. Barry, you worked so hard on this grant. So you take it away.

Betty Screpnik 5:18
Thank you, Dean, it was actually quite a pleasure and certainly a learning experience and what an opportunity to work with our government in partnership to make a difference in the world. So in the agreement, we were allocated 156, excuse me, $6 million. We use that money over a period of five years, so $1.2 million a year, that would have been Canadian dollars. So what we had to do is get the information across Canada to all of our clubs, in order to let them know that this was an opportunity, a golden opportunity to work with our government, we, we certainly had a bit of a slow start, because we had to get the forms out and make the forms and develop a process as to how we were going to do this in a very fair way, all the way across Canada for all of our clubs. That happened. And we that what was amazing about that is that we started with five years of $6 million. And with matching with the Government of Canada dollars, and with the rotary, Rotary International dollars from the foundation, we ended up impacting the world with $15 million. You can imagine what a difference that made. And so we we were very, very excited about this project. And we certainly hope that it’s going to continue, I think when COVID is done, or close, we will continue that partnership.

Peter Tonge 7:09
I hope so. And I mean, that’s the beauty of the Rotary Foundation with all the matching grants and whatever, right, you’ve taken that that pot of money and turned it into so much more failure. Without going into too much detail. Can you tell me a little bit about how taking the time to establish this process is going to help you moving forward as we do this again?

Betty Screpnik 7:33
Well, we know what worked, and we know what didn’t work. And we know what we can do better, that are Rotarians across Canada are already familiar with the process and the program. And it won’t take that long to kick it off the ground again and and make it work. So yeah, we know what we’re doing, we will go forward with a lot more ease and more efficiency for sure.

Peter Tonge 8:01
Well, that’s great. So it’d be nice to sort of take this on again, and I’m, I’m sure I’m sure that the foundation and rotary in general was a good partner. So I’m hoping that the government will be open to doing more of it.

Dean Rohrs 8:14
At the beginning, we actually took members of Global Affairs Canada to Evanston introduced them to the Rotary Foundation. And they did a whole sort of audit, you could say, of our Rotary Foundation, what it stands for, how it does, how it stewards the funds out, invest the funds, etc. And it was because of that initiation because of their exposure to exactly what was did that led to this grant being made available for us in support of any any global grant application from a Canadian Club. They really appreciated the way that we looked after the funds, and the way we stewarded the funds, and then the reporting systems that we were able to give them with the data that were extracted from the 137 Global grants that we finally did complete over the five years. So it was an amazing initiative. But something else is to understand, and that this was done totally on a volunteer basis by the Rotarians that were involved, very myself, put together a team of volunteer Rotarians who actually looked at every single grant looked at the parameters looked at each application looked how it fitted into the conditions under the Global Affairs Canada contract looks at it from our perspective and then either approved or disapproved whatever the grant application was. So the amount of hours that went in over the five years is actually extremely extended. So, and that was done purely purely on a volunteer basis, so thanks to Rotarians, who give so freely of their time and expertise,

Peter Tonge 10:09
that’s a very good point, because it takes that team effort to put it together. And the other thing that comes to mind, as we’re talking about, this is good good for you and your team for the brilliant approach of Making Global Affairs Canada, comfortable with with the rotary stewardship of the funds and the reporting and all that because, of course, they want to make sure that funds are being spent appropriately, and they’re going to be more comfortable to do it again.

Betty Screpnik 10:36
You know, Peter, if anyone would like to go to the Rotary Foundation, Canada to our website, there is a link to the final report that Dean mentioned. And the statistics in there are phenomenal how we did it, where we did it, the countries, we impacted the number of children mothers, it’s all in that report it, it gives you what you want, and certainly for another government and another associate foundation that wants to start and get involved in it. It’s all there for them. It’s all laid out. Great.

Peter Tonge 11:15
Yeah. The other thing, if I’m understanding correctly, that a lot of the projects under this particular grand structure were focused on women, right?

Betty Screpnik 11:25
That was one of the areas.

Peter Tonge 11:27

Dean Rohrs 11:29
So Canadian government has an emphasis of the advancement of women and the girl child. So that was one of the initiatives that they really asked us to focus on. So that was one of the criteria. It wasn’t, you know, it wasn’t a final factor decision criteria. But we did ask for the projects to include somewhere along the line, something that had to do for the development and advancement of women and the girl child. And it was astounding, it was astounding to see that 90% of the projects that came through actually had an impact. So we were very proud, we’re very proud of those results,

Peter Tonge 12:09
As well, you should be. Now I know, there’s been been a number of projects over the five years, I’m wondering if there’s one or two in particular that you’d like to highlight, that gives us a good a good feel for the process or some of your favorite projects. Along the way, they’re all important, but there’s always one or two that stand out.

Betty Screpnik 12:30
Maybe Dean you could address the first one,

Dean Rohrs 12:32
Every single one is important. And you know, it’s so exciting. It really is so exciting to have seen it from from you could say from the moment of conception to the final reports and to have babysat that process through where it goes. And the very, very first project that we approved, was an educational project in Kenya. And it was the development of a school’s access to computers, a school’s access to the internet, a school’s access to training mechanisms that come via computerization, in a school, the training of the teachers, the administration of the actual school, a whole application that came through a system that was so important within that area that the Kenyan education department has now taken it on. And it’s being utilized throughout the education system in Kenya. That’s the kind of result that we had from from some of the projects we had. And then it’s a small project, just a little one, but one which to me, just touched my heart and every single awareness one that video and I actually went and audited saw visibly. And that was a water filtration system up in the mountains of Columbia. I mean it was just so stunning. And it was by a sand filters that were being manufactured in a local, you could say a little, some some commercial yard, which had been donated to the Rotary Club for access to build these concrete bio sand filters. The distribution of these filters into the whole community up there in the mountains, where there just wasn’t any clean water, to see the pride and to see just the whole administration of every single filter. They tracked those photos, they visited them they they train the families. If a family moved, that photo was brought back again it was redistributed to another family. The families were so proud and so thrilled with their filter that they had crocheted doilies over them they had the pride of place in our home, every home was identified with a sticker. And it just it made your heart sing. Remember, these are not our projects, these are somebody else’s dream. And so the privilege for us to be able to see somebody else’s dream in, in practice, what was the gift was an absolute gift.

Peter Tonge 15:23
Absolutely, and those, and those were the blue stickers that were mentioned in the article that people would post up the bag clean water available right

Betty Screpnik 15:32
They are actually a painted water droplet and amazing about that is the whole village knew that that that rotary was there, they knew that. So when we traveled in the mountains and went into the homes, as Dean says, it was, yes, the crochet diet and everything is clean, absolutely clean, and there’s so proud. And so what happens if other villagers do not have the water filter, they know that they can go there, and they can share that water. So you look at this big cement basin filled with black water, black, brown water, and it comes into these filters. Clear. No, no disease from it. I mean, just healthy, beautiful water. And as dean mentioned, I think in one of the articles, we traveled with two Rotarians that go there on a regular basis to make sure they’re changing the filters, and they’re doing all that they need to do. And really, the villagers know, they’re from Rotary, even the dogs know, they’re from rotary because they know their names. And and it’s just a wonderful, wonderful experience. And I think that’s why we stay in Rotary.

Peter Tonge 16:52
I mean, those are my favorite kinds of projects. It doesn’t need to be a huge, multi million dollar project to have a huge impact. I mean, I’ve interviewed other rotary clubs around the world that are doing water filtration for projects. And there’s, there’s one fellow who we interviewed, who was working in Laos doing water filters. And he said, and we said, well, you know, how, how, how many valleys have been impacted? He said, Oh, 30,000 families and he said, it was like, it was 100 families. Oh, 30,000. I’m just like, wow.

Dean Rohrs 17:31
No one doesn’t know the ripple effect. You know, because families there are large, but a family serves the community as well. So it might not just be only that household. And this is about the third generation of this project is the third global grant, which is continuing each time it’s another 100 bios and photos or another 150, bios and filters. So those are being distributed. And as I say they have a permanent lifetime lifespan. So if a family moves and gets used again, it gets reallocated again, so they know where every single one of those photos are. And they make sure they’re being used in the right way.

Betty Screpnik 18:13
And you know, when we talk about the impact, it’s the community and the business community, if that is impacted as well, they started off and maybe Dean can remember the numbers, but it like quadruples to the amount of dollars that they had to build these filters. And one of the corporations in the city decided that they would they would give their, their their space, their ability to make the value centers right in their company. Well, what an opportunity that was because now the corporation is involved with Rotary. And it just goes on and on. It’s a wonderful story.

Peter Tonge 18:56
Plus all the knock ons about the you know, the impacts on the health care system and all that when people are getting clean water right.

Dean Rohrs 19:06
Now what’s what’s the famous saying that when you give a family clean water, you stop the children from dying?

Peter Tonge 19:11
Well, that about as good as it gets isn’t it. As I say that doesn’t have to be a big I mean, there are some very wonderful big projects, but I love those smaller ones where you’re having such an impact.

Rotary Ad 19:27
Possibilities are all around us. We see potential in unexpected places. And when we share our knowledge, vision, and connections, we turn great ideas into action. Together, we can make real change happen. We’re Rotary, we are people of action. Get involved today at rotary.org/action.

Peter Tonge 19:55
Now I want to talk to both of you about your travels because then The short article that I read it sounds like you guys have been in some fascinating places. So what do you want to tell me about that? That’s a big undertaking, we go halfway around the world.

Dean Rohrs 20:10
Betty, you start with that one?

Betty Screpnik 20:12
Well, I’m going to tell you, Peter, there was 13. plane rides in 10 days. We moved, we totally moved. I didn’t know when I was leaving what that was going to be like, I just knew that I needed to get a lot of sleep before I left, because there was going to be no sleep. We just moved constantly, we were invited by Rotarians. And they took us around all over the place. I mean, there were some experiences where Dean and I were actually left alone. But you know, there were some places that we slept in suspect beds, because we were in the jungle. And we woke up in the morning with windows wide open with a cow and a horse saying good morning to us right at the window. bathrooms were suspect as well, sure, people were generous, they gave whatever they could to make us feel comfortable. And I would say it was one of my most humbling experiences.

Peter Tonge 21:28
Yeah, I would think about traveling in in some of the more remote parts of the world that makes you very patient and very humble at the same time. That’s right.

Dean Rohrs 21:40
And you got to understand that Betty and I are very good friends. And we’ve known each other for many years, and we make good traveling companions, because there were some times we were in very close and personal quarters, there was no forgiving for anybody getting out of control there. So and we left at the end, better friends and when we started so it was thanks to my wonderful traveling companion, who was so flexible with me and all my bits and pieces. But when she talks about the cow and a horse greeting as very it wasn’t a window, it was a mosquito screen that we had from where we were sleeping. It was just as low a wall and then needing our room but at least we were screened. We didn’t have the bugs with us. That’s good.

Betty Screpnik 22:29
And I’d forgotten that.

Peter Tonge 22:32
You didn’t discover any scorpions in your boots or anything like that?

Betty Screpnik 22:36
No I checked and shook first.

Peter Tonge 22:38
Yeah, that’s a story that I hear frequently about traveling in Africa is kicked over the scorpions that year.

Dean Rohrs 22:45
That while that wasn’t Peter, I you know, it was pretty. And I think, for me, my memorable experience is having to change little boats in the middle of the flooded Amazon river because we have to get from one, one, the personal little boat that was taking us from where we had been way, way, way up the Amazon right through the tributaries where we were in the sort of bank, a camp on the edge of the river. And we had to get to our ferry to get us back to Manasse to get us out of there. And we met the ferry halfway in the middle of this massive river. I had visions of rotary having to pay my family insurance, because Dean was flooding down the Amazon River in full flood and in full sail. But we did it safely and we got where we were supposed to go. No, it was amazing. It was amazing knowing that here we were. And one of the projects that we then visited was up one tributary of this amazing Amazon River. And because it was in flood, all the the islands or the sides of the river for miles and miles inland was flooded. So we were actually going along in the treetops to get to where we were going. And that was an amazing experience to this, this flooded river going where we had no idea where we were going if our families would ever see us again. But our guides who took us they knew exactly where they were and you’d come across these tiny little villages or sets of compounds you would say of homes, on these isolated a higher level islands completely surrounded by the flooded river. And each one was functioning each one was you know, doing the things they normally do and amazing experience.

Betty Screpnik 24:48
And you should know that I am total fear of water. I don’t swim. I’ve taken scared to swim lessons four times and I flunked every time. So do you know Oh, you reminded me of changing the boats to the ferry? I think I must have blocked that out. So thank you for reminding me of that. But you know, I can remember going down the tributaries singing. Going lion hunting, I’m not afraid. By my side. Yeah, it was it was joyful. It was exciting. It was fearful idea I’d never I’d been on the Amazon but not in that way. I don’t know if we even had life jackets on that boat.

Dean Rohrs 25:39
Not not on that little one, not on others we did. But remember that on the theory that one ferry that we got on, the seats had all collapsed, it was literally sitting, you know, at a 45 degree angle, because the whole side of your seat had collapsed, that life is set they had for us were completely non functional. And that ferry was jam packed with people. Do you remember the fascination of the little boy with your iWatch? How does take his eyes have your iWatch? And if so nation he had when you share that with him, you know, it’s those little things that really leapt out at up that it’s not only the rotary side, but it’s the human side that you see the fact that at one of the camps where we stayed at for breakfast, we got chicken soup, I must admit, it’s the best chicken soup I have ever eaten in my life. And I don’t think you know, but I’m not sure that I will ever repeat the experience of having good old chicken soup for breakfast. But it was the stunning experience. They gave us the best that they had.

Betty Screpnik 26:50
Exactly. And it was in the location where the horse and the cow led us to the kitchen.

Peter Tonge 26:58
And we got a morning greeting and a great breakfast.

Betty Screpnik 27:01
Absolutely didn’t get any better than that.

Dean Rohrs 27:05
You tell me you tell me. Yeah.

Peter Tonge 27:08
And these stories are so important. Because that’s, that’s the joy of Rotary, we can talk about projects. And we can talk about granting, and we can talk about money and all that. But it’s really the community building and making the world a smaller place that these projects do.

Betty Screpnik 27:25
I think sharing these stories. Certainly Dean and I are going to be doing a presentation at a district conference very shortly the end of May. And we’re going to talk about this because I think that this will help more Rotarians experienced these kind of projects go out on them. Because once you do, and you realize that they’re sustainable, that’s the magic, we make sure projects are sustainable. When Dean talks about that first project, we did think about that. I mean, the government is using the curriculum. So it’s sustainable at we know we’re spending the money in the right place. And then we know why we’re giving up a lot a day or more to do this kind of work. But until you get involved in a community project, a local project, or a global project. You just don’t dig deep into your pockets. It’s easier, I should say it’s easier to dig into your pockets when you experience the joy of children. And and what happens with that money. It’s easy. It’s easy to leave a legacy.

Peter Tonge 28:39
And you two are such a great example because one of my favorite expressions in Rotary is when you bring together volunteerism and friendship. We make magic.

Betty Screpnik 28:53
You’re right.

Dean Rohrs 28:54
No question, no question about that. And you know, we talking about ourselves within the center we talking about the recipients of the projects. But there’s that whole army of Rotarians who make it possible on the ground level on the other side. So that again, was the most amazing thing to be met in a keeper with this amazing Rotarian and his wife, oh my god, they fed us like I can’t tell you we were taken to this one amazing restaurant after the other maybe we ate more food than I’ve eaten in a year. I think in the two days that we can play. But we were spoiled, rotten. We were absolutely because we were literally the first people they could touch who had made this possible for their Rotary Club to do the work that they were doing. It was we met so many Rotarians we spoke at so many clubs and to feel their warmth and to feel a huge huge appreciation and of the fact that we specifically from North America are so generous with our global grant giving, and the fact that we partner with them and we make it possible for their, their communities to benefit from this is fabulous. That’s also a huge part of it, that one touch from one material to another area and within this, it builds relationships which go away beyond anything that we can describe. So we must never never forget that personal relationship that makes the ground successful. The relationship from we who give those that receive.

Mandy Kwasnica 30:40
Talking Rotary is a proud supporter of shelter box, which is an international disaster relief charity that handle livers the emergency shelter, and tools families need to self recover after natural disasters and conflicts around the world. Shelterbox is proud to be rotary International’s project partner in disaster relief, further strengthening a global circle of friendship. Together Shelterbox and rotary are transforming despair into hope for families after disaster. Learn more by visiting Shelterbox canada.org

Betty Screpnik 31:12
To give me an example of generosity. I learned really quickly when we were traveling that we were at a dinner with some Rotarians in Iquitos. No, it wasn’t Iquitos it was obika. And, and I’m fascinated with beautiful jewelry. And so I said to this gal, she had this gorgeous turquoise necklace. That was huge. And I said, Ah, what a gorgeous necklace. Well, in two minutes. I was wearing it. And there was no I can’t pay, you know, this is a gift from us. Amazing. Just totally amazing. I didn’t give those kinds of compliments anymore.

Peter Tonge 31:54
Yeah, that’s yeah, I find that that line, right? For sure. So I’m curious. So for you to what’s next. What’s your next?

Betty Screpnik 32:07
Anothe project with the Government of Canada and this time? 10 million!

Peter Tonge 32:11
I like it. I like it.

Dean Rohrs 32:14
Yes, you know, it’s, we just need to get through what the world is facing at the moment. We need to get through what COVID The results of COVID we it’s the light is at the end of the tunnel. We’re emerging slowly. But we’re emerging into a new world. And we’re not 100% sure where this will lead us. We are faced with the absolute horrors of what’s happening in Ukraine. And those areas rotary is working so specifically at the moment in supporting the Ukrainian crisis, when I heard this morning that our donations to the disaster relief fund are sitting at over 13 million. So we have we’ve done amazing work. And that’s through the Disaster Relief Fund. That’s not the direct Rotarian to Rotarian efforts that are going on, which I think are 10 times more than what we have in the fund itself. We need to get through that Peter, we have a lot of work to do to help and support that at this particular moment. From the Rotary Foundation Canada, we just need to make sure that our donations keep coming through that we support our annual fund that we support all our programs so that we have the money available as the world calls, calls for those needs. You know, that’s that’s from from that side, from my own personal side? I don’t know. It all depends what Rotary? What rotary asks me to do. It’s, it’s an amazing organization. And my family keeps saying to me, do you know you can say No, Mom, you can say no. But the reality is that it’s such an exciting, exciting things that come my way up. Can I say no? Yeah,

Peter Tonge 34:03
I was going to say yes, practically, you can say no, but I don’t get the impression that that’s something that you’re comfortable doing.

Dean Rohrs 34:12
Anyway, I think I think though, it is time, my journey as a trustee comes to the end at the end of next year.

Peter Tonge 34:20

Dean Rohrs 34:21
I think age wise as well. We have to walk the walk and talk the talk in Rodri. And if we talk about giving our younger members better opportunities is for those of us in senior leadership positions, who are reaching the end of our shelf life to also step down and make next space make space for our emerging leaders. So yeah, I think I’m going to sail down the Amazon River to a terrier, Rotarian retirement of somewhere along the way and put my feet up.

Peter Tonge 35:02
Well, I think you’ve already made some fabulous contributions. But I also have a feeling there are many more to come. Whether whether it’s sort of on in a more relaxed mode or not, I don’t see you coming to a complete stop.

Dean Rohrs 35:18
Rotary becomes a way of life. And I must admit, I love being in the center of the hubbub and all the gossip and knowing all the ins and outs of Rotary. That’s it. keeps you going.

Peter Tonge 35:29
Absolutely. Absolutely. Now, I only have one standard question in my podcast. And I’m going to ask each of you this. And it’s you both been involved in rotary for a long time and given a lot of your time and energy, why Rotary? You could do it for many organizations?

Betty Screpnik 35:46
Do you want me to go, all right. I started rotary in 1996. And I soon learned that my money is being well used. And to be able to go on a trip like this, I’ve been involved in a project in Ukraine, Belize, Guatemala, and, and the list goes on. And so I know where the money’s going. Charity Navigator tells us where our money is going. We’re on the top. I know that we’re working as volunteers. And so there is no paid employees, other than ones in Chicago that we absolutely need, and in an office and headquarters to run the organization. But we’re just a composition of of volunteers that give of their time and their hearts and their money. And so it’s where I want to be it’s my second church actually, is the way I’ve described it. It is my second church is where I’m supposed to be and it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

Peter Tonge 37:06
And Dean how about you?

Dean Rohrs 37:08
Well, mine is a very different story, because I didn’t have much choice in my life. I got born into a rotary family, okay. I had this father who was a Past District Governor and all sorts of things. And my mother was the queen of Rotary ends. And I was voluntold into every single one of their projects and things and I hated it. I hated Rotary and I hated it with a passion. And as I like to say, well, then I took the next step and I married a Rotarian. I didn’t have much choice in my life, I automatically became a Rotary Ann. And then when women were allowed in Rotary, I had to make a decision. Because you know, I either had to accept rotary into my life, or, you know, have half of my husband and my family life something which I want didn’t want access to. So I joined Rotary in 1989, when when women were officially permitted, what I can’t say that I was a Rotarian. I was a member of a Rotary Club. And I think you’ve heard the story so many times, right through until 2000, for me to actually become a true Rotarian. And that is, I went off and did some adventures in Africa, I found my African version of villagers, I saw a need, and I had my passion buttons pushed. And that pushed me into a role of being an active Rotarian. But when, when you use Rotary, like I use Rotary, with the global grants with with building these programs and projects, you have an obligation to give back as well. You can’t just take you have to give. But what I found it was easier to give than to take. And then as the adventures from rotary as the adventurous opportunities from rotary came my way. And I have been extremely privileged and honored at the opportunities that I’ve had. Because every single time it’s a new door that gives me a new exposure, a new vision of just what rotary means to the world and the communities it serves. And each time that you understand just exactly that the world needs Rotary. Then how can you not be a passionate Rotarian?

Peter Tonge 39:32
No, I agree with you. And that’s why I love to hear the stories.

Betty Screpnik 39:38
Yeah, that’s really important.

Peter Tonge 39:40
Yeah. And it certainly will.

Dean Rohrs 39:44
I think there’s one thing that I really would like to say, okay, and that is that we’ve come through COVID We have come through huge changes in our world. We have come through huge changes in our Rotary clubs and the way that We have done service. Let’s take that experience and move forward with it. We are at a crossroads in Rotary 117, 118 years old, we need to stop looking through the rearview mirror. We need to make a decision and say, We need to change we need to move into tomorrow, not just today. But tomorrow, we have to design a Rotary for the future built on the experience of the past, but let’s build a new house that will suit the generations of Rotarians that follow us. We have to change, not those that come after us. So that’s just my message, be open to change, be open to a new Rotary be open to a new way of service, embrace what is coming us the past. But don’t let it dictate

Peter Tonge 41:03
Dean I couldn’t agree with you more.Our listeners can’t tell because it’s only audio but I’m sitting there nodding like a bobble head. I completely agree that Rotary has to evolve into the future. And we’re starting that. But we have we have a way to go and and but I think your message is a very important one. I really do.

Betty Screpnik 41:27
If I could just add one more comment when I was governor in 2013-14. I had a car that was pasted with Rotary and on it it said I joined Rotary to change the world but Rotary changed me.

Peter Tonge 41:46
Betty, Dean. Thank you both so much. Your listeners are gonna learn so much from this. And we’re going to introduce some folks to the brewery foundation Canada because I know as people come into rotary, it takes them a while to sort of learn all those structures and things. So this is going to be really helpful. Thank you so much.

Mandy Kwasnica 42:32
Thank you so much for joining us on another great episode of talking Rotary. We would love to hear from you. Please send us your comments and story ideas and you can share with us easily by sending us an email at feedback at talking rotary.org Let’s keep Talking Rotary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *