As of Thursday, January 2, 2014
Spreading the message, "Be inspired by the magic of Rotary," Rotary International District 5060 Governor Darrell Blue of Yakima this past Wednesday morning stopped to visit with Sunnyside Daybreak Rotarians. He said he has believed in magic since he turned 8-years-old. His parents hired a magician for his birthday party and he was mesmerized. "Magic makes the inexplicable things occur seemingly of supernatural power," said Blue. Exploring his fascination with magic, Blue said he has learned that magic really involves a willingness to make things happen with knowledge. Rotary, he said, performs magic as a service organization. Blue said his purpose as district governor is to help others become inspired by that magic. Detailing the history of Rotary International, which was formed in Chicago in 1905, Blue said changes within the organization have developed many magical accomplishments. He said the organization has grown from groups that shared songs, jokes and pranks to an international effort to improving the lives of others. The first service project completed by Rotarians involved the installment of "public comfort stations" for those living in Chicago. Those stations provided citizens restroom facilities. The Easter Seals Society was created by the efforts of Rotarians, and in 1945 Rotary provided support services for a 50-nation assembly in San Francisco that created the United Nations charter. "Rotary has since been an observer of the United Nations," said Blue. He said there are 537 Rotary districts worldwide. That amounts to more than 36,000 clubs serving community members at local and international levels. "The greatest magic that Rotary has done is to fight polio," Blue said, stating he remembers the fear in youngsters while he was growing up because of the disease's effects. He said he was prohibited from swimming in a public pool due to his mother's fear that he might get polio from others there. Fear was also cemented in the minds of youngsters like him because of displays like the one he saw at a local fair. Blue said a woman in an iron lung was at an educational booth at the fair. The fight against polio has come a long way, said Blue. Rotary International has played a big role, helping to nearly eliminate the disease through its vaccination program. "My hope is that the word about the magic of Rotary will be spread," said Blue.