Happy New "Rotary" Year! Rotary International President, Gary Huang, chose Light Up Rotary as his theme for 2014-2015.

When I first heard the theme I was quite excited, thinking that we could really have some fun with this. After all, we have a pyromaniac (Jerry Cleveland) in the club, and wouldn’t it be cool to set off fireworks as the theme is introduced to the club?  But of course, our meeting venue doesn’t permit it. Instead, I’ve chosen to share this short video clip of President Huang introducing the theme and explaining what Light Up Rotary means to him. 

President Huang absolutely got it right: “It is better to light a single candle, than to sit and curse the darkness.”

How do we light that candle in our club? Or, have we already done it?


In the literal sense, of course, we have lit up Rotary with Rotary Winter Wonderland.  And metaphorically, that particular act of service above self has helped illuminate our community.

President Huang is urging clubs to light up rotary in a number of ways: By hosting a Rotary Day, continuing our fight against polio, and increasing club membership.

The Rotary Day concept is a simple one: it is to hold a fun, informal event in our community for the non-Rotary public and use it as an opportunity to introduce them to Rotary. It’s that easy.  An event like this has potential for us to collaborate with the noon club, maybe it’s something that can be held in conjunction with Rotary Winter Wonderland, or perhaps it’s an event where we could actually light those fireworks! At any rate, it’s something I’ll be working on and would welcome your ideas.

An event like a Rotary Day also has the potential to spark interest in club membership. Huang’s goal for membership is to increase to a total of 1.3 million members worldwide (there are currently 1.2 M Rotarians). My goal for membership is to increase from 60 to 65 members in Marshfield Sunrise. To achieve our membership goals we are asking Rotarians to invite spouses, family, friends, and colleagues to join Rotary. Let others know what it is you like about Rotary – what lights up rotary in you – and perhaps that will spark an interest in them.

We will also Light up Rotary – and make history – by eradicating polio. Thanks to our support we are “this” close, and with the help of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, our money works three times as hard. With the current momentum Rotary is on track to achieve full polio eradication by 2018.


By continuing to fight against polio, setting an example in our community, and growing membership, Huang hopes to see Rotary shine brighter than ever. As he mentioned in the video, “The Rotary way is to light a candle. I light one, you light one, 1.2 million Rotarians light one. Together, we light up the world.” 

Marshfield Sunrise Rotary, let’s Light Up Rotary – together!