On Tuesday, June 28, over 80 Rotarians met at the Hilo Yacht Club to install the new President and Board for the upcoming Rotary year that begins annually on July 1.  In addition to a great dinner and the installation was a heartfelt “Mahalo” to outgoing President Wally Wong.
Randy Hart, long time Rotarian, was installed as the new year’s President by the incoming District 5000 Governor Clint Schroeder. Rotary International’s theme for this new year is “Rotary Serving Humanity”, an appropriate phrase as Rotarians help both their local communities and other communities around the world.  One of the most outstanding accomplishments of Rotary International has been the drastic reduction of countries still harboring the endemic Polio virus.  Beginning in 1984, Rotary along with the Bill Gates Foundation, unicef and other organizations has made huge strides in eliminating this horrible disease.  In 1988, there were over 350,000 cases of Polio in many countries around the world.  Today, the Polio cases have been reduced by 99%, with only two countries left that still report active cases.
Along the lines of the Rotary International theme, Hart plans to continue the Club’s efforts to help Fiji after their devastating cyclone of February 2016.  The Club was able to coordinate efforts amongst Rotary and the local community to raise over $57,000 for the first emergency relief handled through another Rotary project “ShelterBox”.
“My Club theme for this year,” said Hart, “is ‘If you want to travel fast, travel alone.  If you want to travel far, travel together’,” Hart said.  “Rotary members here and around the world help humanity everyday.  Proceeds from our just finished Hilo Brewfest will go to help two local non-profits, The Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of East Hawaii that assists abused children and the Hilo Medical Foundation’s Residency Program that encourages newly trained doctors to remain here in East Hawaii.  A portion of the proceeds also goes to the club’s own foundation that helps with many special projects and needs in our community,” concluded Hart.
If you would like to “travel together” with the club and are interested in visiting the Rotary Club of Hilo at a weekly meeting, you can use the CONTACT US tab on the club’s website