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Douglas resident Wanda Cooksey was recently appointed Governor of District 5010 of Rotary International for 2001-2002. The district covers Alaska, the Yukon Territory of Canada, and Siberia and the Far East of Russia.
District 5010 contains 71 clubs and spans 11 time zones, Cooksey told Downtown Rotary Club members at a luncheon July 17.
Cooksey has made communication her main priority for her time in office. She is working on a new Web site, and will be compiling a weekly newsletter issued every Friday on the site.
She reminded members of Rotary's theme, "Mankind is our business," and said that "We have to do things outside the box" in order to do that business. She mentioned that this year's Rotary pin contains a starburst; the light of the star symbolizes to her that space "outside the box," and the need to set up a cyber group.
Her second priority is raising membership - "Not just to raise the number but to get more work done." By 2005, the 100th anniversary of Rotary, Rotary International would like to raise its membership from the present 1.3 million to 1.5 million. To that end, Cooksey is challenging every Alaska club to take in one new member per month for a net gain of five by the end of the year.
Rotary has three clubs in Juneau, and clubs in 160 countries. It promotes the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. Truth and fairness are Rotary watchwords.
"There are lots of rotary members out there who are not Rotary members," she said, meaning that many share the philosophy of Rotary and the ideal of service to the community and high ethnical standards for business, without knowing it. "We have to let people know what we do. We don't only build parks, although we have some great Rotary parks in Juneau." She specifically challenged Downtown president Scott Fischer to bring in new members, and said she would be organizing a membership seminar on Aug. 11.
Cooksey can be reached at 586-9073 or (773) 680-9120. Downtown Rotary Club meetings are Tuesdays at noon at the Baranof Hotel, Treadwell Room.