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In Rotary, we mark August as Membership and Extension Month. There is a good reason why we remind ourselves of the importance of membership early in every Rotary year: because the job of growing our membership is one that we can never begin too soon. It is also a job that we can never stop working on. In order to keep serving, Rotary always needs to be growing!
 

In Rotary, we mark August as Membership and Extension Month. There is a good reason why we remind ourselves of the importance of membership early in every Rotary year: because the job of growing our membership is one that we can never begin too soon. It is also a job that we can never stop working on. In order to keep serving, Rotary always needs to be growing!

We have talked for many years about the importance of the family of Rotary. In this Rotary year, I want to make not just the family of Rotary, but our own Rotary families, a priority in our membership. After 37 years of following me in Rotary, my wife, Corinna, finally became a Rotarian last year. We attended the chartering of a new club in Taiwan together, and she said, "It's time for me to become a Rotarian too!" So she joined that club. And soon, so did a lot of other people. Now that club has 102 members, and it's the second-largest club in Taiwan.

Inviting our spouses into Rotary isn't just about getting our numbers up. It addresses the reality that Rotary still has far more men as members than it does women, and that is something we need to work on. When we bring more women into Rotary, our clubs become more appealing to prospective female members – and become more productive as well.

This year we are going to have something new in Rotary: a membership support team pin. This means that if you invite a new member into Rotary, you get a special pin to wear with your Rotary gearwheel. But we all know that the job of growing membership doesn't end when a new member joins. It ends only when a new member is enjoying being a Rotarian and never wants to leave! And making sure that our clubs are enjoyable places to be is a key part of growing membership.

People come into Rotary for all kinds of reasons, but they stay because Rotary is fun to be a part of. So I want to remind all of you to have fun in your clubs and your districts. Rotary is based on the idea that our service is more effective when we serve together with our friends. So let's enjoy our Rotary service, share it with others, and Light Up Rotary together!

 
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Gary C.K. Huang
President, Rotary International, 2014-15
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