RI President-elect K.R. Ravindran introduced a member benefits program at the 9 June closing session of the 2015 Rotary International Convention, saying that many more hands are needed to continue Rotary’s work around the world.

The program, Rotary Global Rewards, aims to boost membership and enhance member satisfaction. It will debut on 1 July.

“This innovative new program will allow Rotary members to connect with hundreds of businesses and service providers from around the world — and that number is growing,” said Ravindran. “These establishments will offer Rotarians discounts and concessions on the everyday business that you do. And, in many cases, not only will you benefit, but our Foundation will as well, by receiving a contribution with each transaction.”

The program will include discounts on car rentals, hotels, dining, and entertainment. Discounts on more products and services from companies worldwide are expected to be added throughout the year.

“It will be another way to benefit from being a Rotarian and being part of the Rotary network,” said Ravindran, whose presidential theme for 2015-16 is Be a Gift to the World. “I urge all of you to become a part of that scheme.”

HUANG BIDS FAREWELL
RI President Gary C.K. Huang joined Ravindran on stage to exchange club banners, a convention tradition that unofficially marks the changing of the guard.

The four-day convention in São Paulo attracted more than 14,500 attendees from more than 150 countries. Huang told convention goers that it was an honor to serve them as Rotary president.

“But what I value most [as president] are the conversations with Rotarians that, taken together, tell the story of Rotary,” he said. “Some of their stories make me laugh. Others, which may sound simple and ordinary, deeply move me.”

Huang talked about the projects he visited all over the world during his term, and how much they inspired him.

“Each time I witnessed projects, I always wondered: How many lives could we change for the better by bringing more people into Rotary?” We know great things don’t happen by themselves. We have to constantly challenge ourselves and others, and push the boundaries. Sometimes, all it takes is to ask someone to join Rotary.

“Rotary has shaped and changed my life,” he added. “I want to use my story to urge Rotarians to continue to welcome promising young people in your communities and to take care of those who need a little push from us. Someday, those we have helped might become a future president of Rotary International, or a successful businessperson, a mayor, or the president of a country. Within Rotary, anything is possible.”

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