Dear Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, and Friends of Rotary,
                In December I completed my official club presentations by meeting with the Sodus and Livonia Rotary Clubs.  That completed 69 Rotary Clubs in just over 5 months, and it was a most enjoyable experience to see the variation among clubs and communities while recognizing the similarities within the mission of “Service Above Self.”  It was also my pleasure to attend holiday parties with Livonia, Sodus, and a joint event with Ontario-Walworth and Gananda; new member induction ceremonies at Rochester Southwest and Newark; Paul Harris Fellow recognition ceremonies in Greece, Newark, Ontario-Walworth, and Gananda; fundraising events for Canandaigua and Rochester, both involving the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; and district meetings of the Governors Tract and the Milt Matthews District Governor-Elect Hospitality Program.
                On February 23 we will mark the 115th anniversary of Rotary’s founding by Paul Harris in Chicago.  Could he even remotely envision then where we would be today?  However, he did live to see Rotary become an international service organization that was growing exponentially.  We can all wonder where Rotary will evolve in our lifetimes and those of our children and grandchildren.
                In that regard, one of the greatest opportunities before us is the ROTARY YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAM.  The beneficiaries of this program are not just the students, but the host families, the host Rotary clubs, the school districts, the communities, and peacebuilding in the world at large.  I refer you to page 39 of the January 2020 issue of The Rotarian.  In the annual section, “What It’s Like To…,” there is an article titled, “Host Two Generations of Youth Exchange Students,” by my friends 7150 District Governor Randy Wilson and Sauquoit Rotarian Janet Wilson.  Years ago, they hosted an exchange student from India, and then years later they hosted his daughter.  It is a remarkable story, which they close saying, “If you agree to host a student from a foreign country for several months in your home, you will host them in your heart for the rest of your lives.”
                I ask each of you Rotarians to market this program within your communities and your school districts.  We need students from our district to apply to go outbound for a year, and we need families in our communities to host inbound students.  I hope every club will adopt this program part of their strategic plan.  This is not a simple project, but the rewards are lifelong.  If this will be new for your Rotary club, let’s get started now!  District 7120 has devoted Youth Exchange Committee members willing to meet with you.
DG Dave Hannan