Posted by Mary Lou Harrison, District 7070 Governor 2018-19

Taking Action to Create Change

“This is a changing world: we must be prepared to change with it.

The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.”  Paul Harris, 1935

“Taking Action” to create change is the second objective of Rotary’s new vision statement. Often, taking action is about hands-on service projects like cooking at a food bank or reading with children in an after-school program. Sometimes, it’s about providing access to clean water so that children don’t die before the age of five or eradicating a devastating disease, like polio, from the world.

We also take action with our words, with what we say we believe in. Rotary International, in its publication “Rotary Basics”, describes our organization’s core values as integrity, diversity, service, leadership, and fellowship, or friendship.


In part, embracing diversity means we do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, colour, faith, national origin, or sexual orientation. But if we really want to foster a culture of inclusion in Rotary, we will get behind our words and take action to demonstrate diversity as one of our core values.


This is why I asked the 2018-19 Rotary Club Presidents of District 7070 to consider Rotary participation in the Pride Toronto 2019 Parade. And three presidents have volunteered to get us organized! If you would like to join the Rotary Pride Committee, please contact President Jeff Dobson of the Rotary Club of Toronto (, President Karen Somerville of the Rotary Club of Toronto East (, or President Nicole Patterson of the Rotary Club of East York ( I’ll look forward to marching with you in June! 


Thank you to everyone who takes action to create change in our communities and across the globe. Special thanks to Nasir Azam, Chair of the 2018 Rotary Foundation Walk, and to the Rotary Clubs of Alliston, Aurora, Kleinberg, Nobleton & Schomberg, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Markham-Unionville, Markham Sunrise, and Woodbridge for organizing an amazing walk at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on September 30. Thanks to the generosity of walkers and sponsors, we raised over $100,000. That is action that will create a lot of change!

Yours in Rotary, 

Mary Lou


Mary Lou Harrison, District Governor 2018-19 

P.S. If you’re looking to learn about more opportunities to Take Action, make sure to register for the 2018 Rotary District 7070 Conference – Rotary Reunion, happening on Saturday, October 27 in Wellington, Prince Edward County. Don’t miss it!