Rotary International District 6780
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Rotary International

Rotary International Board adopts new zone structure

At its January 2017 meeting, the Rotary International Board of Directors adopted a new zone structure for Rotary clubs. Rotary bylaws require the Board to complete a comprehensive review of the 34 Rotary zones no less often than every eight years to ensure that each zone has an approximately equal number of Rotarians. The Board’s previous review of the zones occurred in 2008. The Board earlier approved the creation of three regional workgroups to develop rezoning proposals for Asia, Europe/Africa, and the Americas. These workgroups comprised one representative (either a current director,...

Centennial celebration honors 20 noteworthy global grant projects

Through The Rotary Foundation, Rotary members have supported thousands of projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, save mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies. We’ve also led the fight to eradicate polio worldwide. As part of our celebration of the Foundation’s centennial, we’re honoring 20 global grant projects with special recognition. Learn more about the projects using our interactive map.

Convention: Southern hospitality

The Atlanta Host Organization Committee is offering some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality at the Rotary International Convention from 10 to 14 June. It has planned a wide range of activities featuring everything from good food and music to inspiring tours of local landmarks. If it’s your first convention, these events are chances to meet fellow Rotarians from around the world, and if you’re an experienced convention goer, you can catch up with old friends. Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron will host Rotarians for a “Strike Out Polio” night at the new SunTrust Park, where you’ll...

Member spotlight: The power of the press

When Teguest Yilma helped found the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa Entoto in 2002, she thought polio had already been eradicated from most of the world. But while Ethiopia had been free of the disease, Yilma was shocked to learn that new cases had started cropping up in surrounding countries such as Somalia. “I was thinking, it’s not possible, we can’t be free if the countries around us are not free,” she says. Yilma, the managing editor of Capital, Ethiopia’s largest English weekly newspaper, has brought a journalist’s skills to the fight against polio. She became vice chair of the Ethiopia...

Member interview: Writer sheds light on FDR’s right-hand woman

Battling breast cancer in 2000, Kathryn Smith found comfort pursuing her lifelong interest in Franklin D. Roosevelt. The more she read, the more intrigued she became with the 32nd U.S. president’s private secretary, Marguerite Alice “Missy” LeHand. “I thought, what a fascinating life she had because she was by his side through the polio crisis, establishing the polio rehabilitation center in Warm Springs and then after his return to politics,” she says. Smith, a past president of the Rotary Club of Greater Anderson, S.C., and a longtime newspaper journalist, turned that curiosity into a book...

International Service Chair and committee members

International service occurs when two or more countries collaborate on a community service project that involves Rotarians from one or more countries. The International Service Committee is committed to helping our district’s clubs establish international club-to-club relationships and humanitarian projects. 

2016-17 International Service Committee:

Ricky White, Lafayette, Chair (2)

Barbara Blanton, Shelbyville

Phil Baker, Cookeville

Ely Driver, North Knoxville

David M. Elliot, Chattanooga Hamilton Place

Betty Robertson, Pigeon Forge

David Sergeant, Chattanooga Breakfast

Neal Cox, McMinnville Breakfast

Ken Thomas, Kingston

Pepe Perron, Crossville


According to Rotary International, the overall objective of an international service committee is to "promote greater awareness, direct lines of communication, and accountability for all types of international service."

The District 6780 International Service Committee has developed the following goals for 2016-2017.


    1.   Increase awareness of, and participation in, the various international service opportunities that are available to every club, including the following:

            a.    investment in international projects and grants

b.    speakers and programs in international service

c.    projects done in other districts

d.    related international connections such as youth exchange, friendship exchange, RI international convention, volunteer service opportunities, Rotary Peace Centers, Polio Plus, and international scholars.

    2.   Coordinate and share, through the website and otherwise, information and activities from every District 6780 club in international service.

    3.   Provide assistance to clubs in Rotary Grants/Future Vision implementation (either directly or by making connections) and other related Rotary Foundation issues as applicable. 

    4.   Support the Assistant Governors in their efforts to encourage clubs to develop and complete the newly revised Globe Club award.


The International Service Committee encourages every club to be involved in one or more international service projects. Some clubs have projects one-on-one with an organization and/or Rotary club overseas, and some clubs partner with other clubs for international service. Projects usually include financial support and/or hands-on service work.

Rotary Foundation matching grants can be available for some international service projects. For smaller projects, a club can apply for a District Grant. For larger projects, a club can apply for a Global Grant. Clubs are encouraged to partner with other district clubs for either of these grants. Clubs also can be partners in Global Grants with other districts. For more information about these grants, please contact the International Service Committee Chair or your club's Committee contact (see below).

A good source of ideas for international service projects is the listing of what our clubs are currently planning. The International Service Committee is gathering information about international service from every club, and we will list that information in this section as is it gathered. (Please note that this information does not include support of the Polio Plus effort, which is anticipated to be done by every club.)

Another source of ideas for projects is the new "Rotary Showcase". This can be found on the first page of the Rotary International website. Our district has an entry under water and sanitation for both the Thailand water project and for the Mexico Heart 2 Heart water tank project. 

Club International Service Plans for 2016-2017:


International Service Training and Speaker Opportunities

The International Service Committee can present training material suitable for a club meeting or international committee meeting, to help a club understand international service opportunities and select an appropriate project. The Committee can also provide speakers for a wide variety of international service projects and issues. If your club is interested in training or speakers, please contact any International Service Committee member.

Model for Successful Projects

Projects that are completed successfully and grow into a lasting club-to-club relationship usually share these characteristics:

  • Traveler -- someone who regularly travels between the two countries.
  • Salesman -- someone to keep the project on the club's radar screen.
  • Contact -- need a good person on the ground in the project country; doesn't need to be a Rotarian.
  • Project leader -- can be in either country and need not be a Rotarian. Carries the vision for the project and keeps things moving forward.
  • Project -- a confirmed need that must be sized right for the clubs in terms of complexity and duration.
  • Money -- source of funding can be within the club, other clubs or matching grants. It needs to match the project and the clubs.
  • Money controls -- checks to be sure the money is well-spent.
  • Feedback -- frequent photos, e-mails etc. about the project and the people.
  • Balance -- reasonable involvement of partner clubs.


We have revised the District Globe Club Award to recognize excellence in International Service. The International Service Committee works with the Assistant Governors and the clubs to help clubs achieve this recognition. Please review the new criteria. Every club, regardless of size or location, can now reasonably achieve the Globe Club Award. Click HERE for a PDF version of the form.


Committee Chair:      

Ricky White