BAR HARBOR — Rotary International District Governor Lincoln Ehrlenbach spoke to the Bar Harbor (MDI) Rotary Club at Birch Bay Village on Wednesday, Aug. 9, praising the club for its efforts to improve the community and also for its gender diversity. According to some in Rotary, many people mistakenly believe that Rotary is a mens-only club. The Bar Harbor Club’s membership is split almost evenly between men and women.
The Bar Harbor stop was one of many for Ehrlenbach and his wife, Debby, who will visit all 50 clubs in District 7790, a bilingual district that bridges parts of Maine and Quebec.
“We are a multicultural district, speaking English and French, but we all have the same love in our hearts for Rotary and doing good in the world,” Ehrlenbach wrote on the district’s website.
Part of Ehrlenbach’s mission is to inspire Rotarians to tell the stories of what they do to make both their local and international communities better. Rotarians are people of action. Leaders who see problems and join together to make positive change in the world. An example of this is Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio.
“You believe in Rotary and what it stands for?” Ehrlenbach asked the Rotarians, then he said that if they believe in Rotary’s mission, then they had to go out and tell their stories about the good Rotary does for them and the community.
For the Bar Harbor club, those stories go back over 40 years and include raising thousands of dollars to help eradicate polio and sending and fitting wheelchairs to Panama, Belize and Costa Rica, as well participating in antimalaria efforts. Rotarians spearheaded the culmination and rebuild of the Park Street Playground, launched the Bar Harbor Kids Book Festival, managed the 46th annual Fourth of July Seafood Festival and Pancake Breakfast that fed thousands, distributed local scholarships, fought polio, raised money to fight human trafficking, increased awareness of human trafficking, supported the local food pantry and other local food programs, supported an international inoculation program, supported the MDI High School Interact Club, supported local nonprofits and programs, cleaned up roadside debris and volunteered countless hours supporting the community on boards or through volunteer hours.
Ehrlenbach hopes to raise funds to bring at least 500 wheelchairs to Bolivia and Ecuador in 2019. Bar Harbor Rotary pledged to be a part of that effort.
The Bar Harbor Club is open to new membership. Visit www.mdirotary.org or email membership chair at [email protected]