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For more than 25 years I have had the privilege of serving our community along with 230 other business and professional people who make up the local Rotary clubs in Juneau.
In turn, we join with over 2,500 Rotarians that make up our particular Rotary District. More impressive, we stand with more than 1.2 million Rotarians in 163 other countries who all subscribe to Rotary's motto, "Service Above Self." The good works of 1.2 million people continues to astound me.
As Rotary celebrates its 100th anniversary, one can't help but be impressed with the vision of Paul Harris, the attorney in Chicago who started Rotary. His vision to create a service organization that harnessed the resources of the business community to solve community problems quickly spread across our nation and eventually to other countries.
Today, Rotary clubs serve their individual communities with a multitude of local projects, and join together to solve more global issues through the Rotary Foundation. Imagine setting a goal like "eradicate polio from the face of the earth," which is what Rotary set out to do in 1986. The result is that the world is nearly polio free.
Rotary has been part of the Juneau landscape since 1935 when the first club was chartered. As the community grew, two more clubs were added, the Glacier Valley Club and the Gastineau Club.
Look around the community and you might be surprised how many projects local Rotarians had a hand in. Ever wonder who built the viewing platform along the wetlands on Egan Drive, the picnic shelter in Cope Park, or refurbished the totem pole now on display in the high school? Those are a just a few examples of how Juneau's Rotarians make community service a reality.
To top it off, the Rotary District in which we operate is the largest in the Rotary world, and the only one that includes eastern Russia, Alaska and the Yukon Territory. Sharing our Rotary responsibilities with Russia and our neighbors in the Yukon gives us a first hand opportunity to work together across national and cultural borders.
I am honored to be counted among the many in Juneau who dedicate themselves to improving the quality of life at home and abroad. Please join me in celebrating Rotary's 100th anniversary.
Craig E. Dahl, assistant district governor
Rotary District 5010