Monday, March 1, 2010 at 6:22pm
Rotaract is dedicated to making the world a better place, but might see the world from a slightly different perspective than Rotary. Rotaractors are between the ages of 18 and 30, and are typically very early in their careers. Although still fresh to the professional world, they are future leaders in business, politics and the community.
Those in attendance at the Rotaract Pre-Convention 2009 in Birmingham, England came from backgrounds including medicine, law, the U.S. Foreign Service, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, American Civil Liberties Union, Peace Corps, German Luftwaffe Office Corps, European royalty, consulting firms, investment banking, and a plethora of small businesses started by Rotaractors themselves. Rotaractors will be shaping the world, and they’re passionately involved in Rotary International to make that happen.
Rotaract needs the support of local Rotary Clubs, but doesn’t require hand-holding. A successful Rotaract Club must function independently – guided by Rotarians, but led by Rotaractors. Rotary Clubs can work to develop Rotaract Clubs by first identifying a solid group of sociable young leaders who are able to motivate and inspire both friends and strangers. These people are most frequently the children of Rotarians or those that have participated in Rotary youth programs. Once a core group has been established and the new Rotaractors have a basic understanding of Rotary International, service projects should become the primary focus. From there Rotaractors can participate in local and international service projects in partnership with other clubs and organizations, attend conferences around the state, country and world and even take an active role in the leadership of the global organization.
Each Rotaract Club develops on its own and finds its own causes to support. The Rotaract Club of Phoenix, currently the only Rotaract Club in District 5490, is best known for its annual Water Drive benefitting St. Vincent DePaul and other valley homeless shelters. During the summer of 2009 the club raised and donated 17 tons of bottled water (20,000 bottles) to valley homeless shelters; enough water to support valley shelters for an entire month. This project is possible thanks to the generous support of Rotary Clubs throughout Arizona, the Rotaract Clubs of ASU and East Valley and ENSO Biodegradable Bottles.
Phoenix Rotaract works on service projects throughout the year and has partnered with Project C.U.R.E., Friendly House, and UMOM. Additionally, the Club was recently represented for the second year in a row in Caborca, Sonora, Mexico for the PolioPlus campaign there. Currently, Phoenix Rotaract is working with Bridging AZ Furniture Bank on an estate sale taking place on the weekend of April 30 at the southwest corner of 32nd Street & Indian School Road in Phoenix. The Club has created an inventory system and catalogue of items being sold and is in charge of promoting the event across the Phoenix metropolitan area.
In order to support these projects Phoenix Rotaract is developing a series of fundraisers. The Club is selling tickets to the opening weekend of the Arizona Diamondbacks for the Saturday, April 10 game against Pittsburg. Additionally, the club is planning an outing at the Scottsdale Drive-In for fall 2010 and is developing a volleyball tournament. Supporting these events and Phoenix Rotaract allows the Club to send members to local, national and international conferences, send members to Mexico to participate in PolioPlus projects and supports causes like the Water Drive.