District governor: Youths future of Rotary
by BRIAN GRAVES Banner Staff Writer
Aug 07, 2014 | 445 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rotary Club of Cleveland President Tim Spires presents a Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce travel bag with good humor to District Governor Jerry Weir, whose son is the mayor of Pigeon Forge. Banner photo, BRIAN GRAVES
Rotary Club of Cleveland President Tim Spires presents a Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce travel bag with good humor to District Governor Jerry Weir, whose son is the mayor of Pigeon Forge. Banner photo, BRIAN GRAVES
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Rotary District Governor Jerry Weir says the future of Rotary “Is our youth.”

He made the statement during a visit to the Rotary Club of Cleveland Tuesday, when he also said the club should not be shy in letting the community know of its good works.

“It’s what you do that makes a difference in the world,” Weir said.

He noted the theme of Rotary this year is “Light Up Rotary.”

“Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang thinks we as Rotarians are too often not known in the community and the world around, because we don’t talk about a lot of things we do in our community,” Weir said.

He said 40 percent of Americans currently do not know what Rotary is about.

“We’ve got to tell people what we do because our membership is going down, and we have to attract new people. To do that, we have to tell them and show them what we do,” Weir said.

He said the Rotary Club of Cleveland “is a strong club.”

“You accomplish so much,” he said. “Sponsoring of three Interact clubs. The possibility of a Roteract club in the future. The activities you do with youth exchange. The dictionary projects you do with youth. Those are things that strike a tone with me. The future of Rotary is our youth.”

He said youth want to give back to the community.

“They want to share, but they want to do things in action,” Weir said. “We want to foster that and encourage that. Through those youth programs you sponsor, you are encouraging those students.”

He said the youth exchange program teaches them something “they can never learn from a book.”

“They learn about other countries,” he said. “Yes, we’re different but we’re so much alike. We don’t want everybody to be the same. But, we want to be able to appreciate our differences, and that’s what youth exchange is all about.”

He said Rotary was founded as a form of networking and by using the expertise found in a community and bringing it together, “you can get so much done.”

Weir also recognized those whose generosity has earned them the Paul Harris Fellow honor.

They included William Lillios, Ronnie Key, Aaron Weatherford, Joseph McCoin, Norman Fontana and Tom Thomas.