Madison Rotary Club
The Madison Rotary Club was honored to have Rotary District 7550 Governor Ernie Hays and his wife Beth visit Madison on October 4.
Governor Hays brought greetings from Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka and announced the 2012 Rotary International theme, “Peace Through Service,” selected by President Tanaka for his year of service.
“It is a compelling theme to guide Rotarians and our clubs in this upcoming year’s good works and projects,” said the district governor. “We all wish for a peaceful world and by working to help others as Rotarians, we can help bring peace to the world.”
Governor Hays explained the district’s goals for the 2012 club year, and particularly emphasized the importance of all clubs participation in the Water Jug Project that will help provide water wells in South Sudan.
“This is a country torn by strife, poverty, and war whose people are stuck with a terrible parasite, the guinea worm which exists because of unsafe water conditions,” he said. “Rotary is helping assist in digging, drilling and refurbishing these water wells, giving these people clean, safe water. Rotary helped Ghana completely abolish the guinea worm and is now helping abolish this parasite world-wide.”
District Governor Hays is asking Rotarians in his district to put $1.00 each club meeting into a water jug that will help secure matching grants for this important cause. The Madison Rotary Club is participating in this project.
The district governor is from Bluefield and is a retired attorney and also a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U. S. Army Reserve. He has been a member of the Bluefield Rotary Club since 1982, and has held nearly every office in his club, including president.
District 7550 is part of Rotary International, a service organization of nearly 1,206,000 business and professional leaders formed in 1905 and includes over 33,575 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries. District 7550 is one of 534 districts worldwide. Established in 1915, District 7550, of which the Madison club is a part, covers southern West Virginia from Huntington and Kenova, through Charleston, south to Bluefield, then east through White Sulfur Springs, with a total of 1,350 members and 28 clubs.
The Madison Rotary Club was chartered in March of 1925, and presently has 32 members. The Madison Rotarians meet each Thursday at 12:15 in the fellowship hall of the Madison United Methodist Church. Although the club contributes to Rotary International projects—including Rotary’s enormous and successful project of eliminating Polio throughout the world—the Madison club’s principal focus is on providing scholarships to deserving local high school graduates who show an interest in furthering their education. Since the program began over 20 years ago, the Madison club has raised more than $150,000 for scholarships.