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Rotarians gather for District Conference

From left, Rotary International District 5050 Governor Larry Jubie and Apoorva Mallya, a program officer in immunization programs and vaccine delivery at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, stand in front of a T-shirt autographed by Rotary International Past President D.K. Lee, current President John Kenny, incoming President Ray Klinginsmith and Bill Gates, which has already raised an estimated $18,500 at auctions. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Rotary International District 5050 Governor Larry Jubie and Apoorva Mallya, a program officer in immunization programs and vaccine delivery at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, stand in front of a T-shirt autographed by Rotary International Past President D.K. Lee, current President John Kenny, incoming President Ray Klinginsmith and Bill Gates, which has already raised an estimated $18,500 at auctions.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

EVERETT — The Rotary International District 5050 Conference gave Rotarians from Marysville, Arlington and beyond an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments over the course of the past year.

Because District Governor Larry Jubie resides in Marysville, this year’s conference took place at the Tulalip Resort Hotel and Casino from May 13-16.

Past District Governor Harv Jubie estimated that the Marysville Rotary had raised $60,000 and cited its host of international volunteer work. Both Jubies were among several Marysville Rotarians who traveled to Ethiopia Oct. 17-31 of last year, as part of a group that distributed a total of 1,000 polio drops to children 5 years and younger. The Jubie brothers also traveled to Guatemala March 12-21, as part of a group of nearly a dozen Marysville and Everett Rotarians who helped construct a three-room school building in the village of Nuevo Cuchumatan, followed by a one-room school building in the village of Montequino.

Arlington Rotary President Kurt McVay noted that Arlington Rotarians’ overseas humanitarian projects have included supplying clean water in Guatemala and bunk beds for orphanages in Romania, while its local charity efforts have included raising money for the Arlington Cocoon House, supplying Christmas food baskets to families in need, sponsoring the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, and helping fund the Burned Children Recovery Foundation, with Arlington Rotarian Jim Minifie lending the children the use of his house for a party each year.

With 320 district members in 57 Rotary Clubs, from Mukilteo to just south of Vancouver, B.C., Larry Jubie described his term as their district governor as a rewarding experience.

“The work these Rotarians has done demonstrates how dedicated they are to providing services to the less fortunate,” Jubie said.

Ron Burton, vice chair of the Rotary Foundation and director of Rotary International, appeared at this year’s conference on behalf of Rotary International President John Kenny, and praised the area Rotarians in attendance.

“The key to Rotary’s success is its individual Rotarians,” Burton said. “The Rotarians in this district have taken on so many different projects. Every day of the week, they’re doing something good for their fellow man, and their creativity for coming up with ways to put service above self is unlimited.”

While Rotary Clubs throughout Rotary International have contributed to the construction of schools in Afghanistan, an even more ambitious project has been Rotary International’s goal of eradicating polio worldwide. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $355 million to this cause, with the stipulation that Rotary International raise $200 on its own by 2012. With $122 million already raised, Burton hopes Rotary International will make up the difference by next year.

“I spoke to this same district two years ago about this goal,” said Apoorva Mallya, a program officer in immunization programs and vaccine delivery at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “It’s been exciting to see that situation change in a positive way. We’re not there yet, but we’re much further along than we were. Rotary International and the Gates Foundation have forged a strong partnership of joint contributions, both financially and in decision-making. The finish line is in sight, so we just have to keep up that momentum.”

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