By Rennie Davis
VANDALIA—On Thursday, Nov. 2, Rotary District Gov. Valerie Sorensen made her official visit to The Vandalia Rotary Club. Assistant Gov. Stevens Plowman introduced her at Cooper Hall at the New Life Tabernacle Church, where the club met for its metting.
Sorensen spoke of the theme of Rotary International President R. Gordon R. McInally—“To Create Hope in the World.”
“The goal is to restore hope—to help the world heal from destructive conflicts and, in turn, to help us achieve lasting change for ourselves,” McInally said. He also noted Rotary’s continuing fight to eradicate Polio. To do this, Rotary must continue to raise at least $50 million annually to receive a full 2 – 1 funding match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Sorensen mentioned charitable initiatives such as the Navajo water project in association with Dig Deep to help get water in some Navajo homes where 50% of the homes have no running water. She asked that each Rotarian donate $5 to the project.
Valerie talked about Community Assistance Program Grants, Global Grants, Humanitarian gifts, Healthcare projects, and Peace Day. A $500 Empowering Girls grant received by the Vandalia Rotary Club and funded by the Rotary Foundation helped purchase softball belts and socks for Van-Far Softball Teams.
Valerie’s husband, Mike, then talked another Rotary project—Shoes for Orphan Souls. Back in 2002, Larry Lunsford, governor of District 6040, partnered with Buckner International in the Shoes for Orphan Souls program.
Three Rotary districts collected 70,000 pairs of shoes in 2005. The Vandalia Rotary Club is part of District 6060, which named the campaign Let’s Bury Larry. District 6060 is trying to collect 20,000 pairs of shoes before the District Conference in April 2024 in order to meet this campaign goal to “Bury Larry” (under a pile of collected shoes).
To date, District 6060 has collected 11,400 pairs. Mike said the shoes would be distributed in the U.S., the Dominican Republic, Kenya, and Peru. Mike stated the shoes help with school attendance and cut down on diseases.
The meeting ended with the usual coin toss to raise money for the Rotary Foundation.