Birds of a Feather Flock Together on Rotary Fellowships
Give yourself the gift of global friendship. Reach across continents and build a bridge. One person at a time can do this by participating in any one of more than 55 diverse Fellowships officially recognized by Rotary International.
Rotary Fellowships are shared interest groups that bring together Rotarians from around the world. Do you collect stamps, play chess, run marathons, do quilting and fiber art? Are you a traveler, sailor, canoer, curler, birdwatcher or golfer? Some Fellowships hold meetings in conjunction with annual Rotary International conventions. Others host activities before or after conventions. For example, the International Travel and Hosting Fellowship has organized a tour starting in Memphis and on to New Orleans.
The Fellowship I am most familiar with is the International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians (IFRM). From our booth at the convention we encourage singing of Rotary songs. Our members sing in the World Choir at the interfaith service. We also provide entertainers for the House of Friendship stage. We have a newsletter and a Yahoo site where more than 500 members can communicate with each other. (See www.ifrm.com)
Do you want to start a new Fellowship? Virginia Beatty (RC of Evanston), noticed that there was no Plant and Garden Fellowship. During the Montreal convention she enlisted gardeners from many countries and now is coordinating the formation of the International Fellowship of Gardening Rotarians (IFGR). One of the projects of this Fellowship is to compile a list of interesting places for Rotarian plant people to visit in various countries. "People of the world can grow together," says Virginia. (For information, contact Virginia at email@example.com).
I'm a new member of the Rotarian Singles Fellowship International (RSFI) and have been asked to start a chapter in our District. (This is not a dating service.) Chapters are worldwide and participate in service projects as well as social events. Rotarian singles can make friendships across the miles and exchange information, for example, about making travel easier and more economical. If you are a single Rotarian, don't be alone at a District Conference, Convention or other Rotary activities. With a District 6440 Singles Fellowship, find connections with other single Rotarians. For information, visit www.rsfinternational.org, read their newsletter, "Rotasolo" or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than bridging continents, participation in Fellowships can help clubs retain members because of this enhancement of the Rotary experience. Visit www.rotaryfellowships.org to learn about existing fellowships as well as those in formation.
- By Ada Kahn, District Fellowships Chair