SMETHPORT — Ken Flesson, District 7280 Governor of Rotary International, visited the Smethport Rotary Club Tuesday at The Desert Rose Cafe.
Prior to the noon meeting, Fleeson, a member of the Rich-Mar Rotary Club in Valencia, met with the local club officers.
During his remarks, Fleeson explained Rotary International President Mark Maloney’s 2019-20 theme of “Rotary Connecting the World,” through which Rotarians can unite people by taking significant action through their clubs’ activities.
“Mark wants Rotarians to think about growing Rotary, mainly by publicizing their clubs’ good activities that can encourage new members,” Fleeson said.
“Rotary activities should not compete with families, but should complement them,” said Fleeson adding, “Rotary activities teach values to children. Remember, children are our future.”
As for his goals as district governor, Fleeson said, “I want to learn about our clubs, support their activities and attend projects.”
Fleeson encouraged club members to support Rotary’s vocational school scholarships, which can benefit students at District 7280’s 11 vocational schools.
He also spoke about Rotary International’s Haitian Outreach project that drills wells for clean water and will be community-managed in that island nation.
Another important Rotary International project that Fleeson requested continued support is the Peace Initiative that is conducted at Duke University and fights bullying and advocates conflict resolution.
The district governor also noted the importance of Rise Zambia, a Rotary International project that is addressing the huge need for nurses and midwives and Plus 14 that builds schools of nursing and hospitals in the African country.
“The district conference on May 15-17, 2020, in Cranberry,” Fleeson noted, “is about family and fun, and Rotarians are encouraged to attend along with their children and grandchildren.” Children’s games and activities are planned.
Smethport Rotary President David London presented Fleeson with three checks on behalf of the club. They were $320 for district governor’s projects; $100 for vocational school scholarships and $100 for the Rotary International Foundation.
Smethport Rotarian Patty Witchen, representing the Smethport American Legion, presented Fleeson and Rotarian David Seipp with commemorative medallions that were issued during the recent parade in Smethport that recognized the national American Legion’s centennial anniversary. The Smethport Rotary Club entered a float in that parade.