Fonville Morisey ITB Agent, incoming President of the Rotary Club of Raleigh, and soon to be featured REALTOR® on an upcoming episode of HGTV’s House Hunters, Cindy Poole contributes this wonderful piece about her recent trip to Bangkok, Thailand on behalf of her Rotary club. Kudos to you, Cindy, for representing Rotary, the Triangle community, and Fonville Morisey well!
I was very blessed to be able to represent the Rotary Club of Raleigh as its President for the 2012-2013 year where I joined over 35,000 Rotarians from over 200 countries at the Rotary International (RI) convention this May in Bangkok, Thailand. The convention included an elaborate opening ceremony with entertainment showing the culture of Thailand, and an even more elaborate closing ceremony introducing the incoming Japanese RI President, with Japanese entertainment! I met Rotarians from such places as South Africa, Australia and even one from Oklahoma (while on top of a temple!).
The convention also had amazing tours and side trips set up. I spent a day on temple tours, another day on a canal tour and I even got to partake in a fabulous Thai cooking class too! Of course, shopping the huge flea market and downtown Bangkok was quite interesting as well.
It was a wonderful experience and I felt quite honored be able to go.
Speakers from around the world spoke about the many humanitarian projects that Rotary is involved with, including a message from Bill Gates encouraging us to continue our fight to eradicate polio, something that Rotary has been very involved in, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DCD, and the World Health Organization. Bill Gates had proposed a challenge to RI, and we have met his challenge by raising over $215 million to assist in the fight. They announced that India has just been declared polio free: no new cases in the past year! Three countries remain, so the effort continues.
Breakout sessions introduced us to clean water projects in Africa, micro-lending to women in Afghanistan, and many other projects that are being carried out by volunteers to fight poverty and combat hunger, as well as assisting in educating and providing better health to women and children.
One of the coolest things I saw was Shelter Box, an organization that supplies victims of disasters (hurricanes, tsunamis, etc.) with a tent and life-saving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless after such life-changing events. Each box bears its own unique number so that as a Donor, you can track your box all the way to its recipient country via the web site!
What I walked away from the convention with was that eradicating polio, the Shelterbox idea, and many of the projects I learned about, all came about because of the idea of one person. This is what I love about being a Rotarian.
With over 1.2 million Rotarians around the world who’s motto is “Service Above Self”, and the funds that can be accessed through grants, it truly is possible to change the lives of others in our community and communities around the world. ~ Cindy Poole
Congratulations to Cindy on her recent election as President of the Rotary Club of Raleigh! We know she will continue to accomplish great things in our community and throughout the world.
Look for more information (including broadcast dates & times) via the Fonville Morisey – Inside the Beltline Office Facebook Page on Cindy’s upcoming episode of HGTV’s House Hunters too. We’ll keep you posted!
In the meantime, tell us about what club(s) you’re a part of in your community where you are making a difference daily. We love to inspire our readers. Maybe your story will do just that! Leave a comment below.
Click on an image in the gallery below to view as a slide show!
The top image is Cindy Poole with her family at the Rotary Club of Raleigh installation of officers for 2012-2013.