Rotarians in attendance at District 6440's 2010 Annual Conference in Lake Geneva were among the first to learn of the addition of New Generations to Rotary's legendary Avenues of Service.
It came during an address by R.I.'s President-Elect Nominee Kalyan Banerjee to the Friday evening dinner at the conference. Appropriately, the focus of the dinner was the district's participation in Rotary youth exchange. Banerjee arrived at the conference after attending the final session of Rotary's tri-annual Council of Legislation in Chicago.

According to a news release from RI, the Council adopted an amendment to change the name from Youth Service, as originally proposed, to New Generations and then supported the addition to Article 5 of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution by a narrow 263-250 vote.

New Generations joins Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service, and International Service as the foundation of club activity. Before starting a project, Rotarians are asked to think broadly about how their club and its members could contribute within each avenue.

"It's a significant change, a historic day in Rotary," said Council Chair Mark Daniel Maloney. "Rotarians have always strongly supported youth activities even though they were never part of the four Avenues of Service. I think this strengthens our commitment."

The Avenue of New Generations recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults involved in leadership development activities, community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.

Representative Ronald P. Sekkel, of District 5170 (California), proposed the enactment by saying that New Generations is the future of Rotary. Opponents argued that youth services are already covered by the four Avenues of Service. One representative said that adding a fifth avenue could decrease emphasis on the other four avenues.

Representative Emile M. Rijcken, of District 1900 (Germany), said the new avenue is well deserved. "The volume of activity in youth programs shows how strong Rotary can be," she said. "The addition of New Generations to the Avenues of Service will contribute in an enormous way toward public opinion."

The 2010 District Conference was held April 29 - May 2 at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, WI.