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  • Writer's pictureRay Sanford

Guiding Lights

Bolivian prosthetic legs delivered by Rotary.

The Power of Mentorship in Rotary

When new members join a Rotary club, they often find themselves navigating a vast network of opportunities and responsibilities. This is where mentorship plays a crucial role, bridging the gap between experience and enthusiasm.

One such mentor for me was Mike Brunhober of Villa Park Rotary. For years, Mike was the District grants guru. Mike had an impressive record of success. Every single grant that passed Mike's scrutiny was approved by The Rotary Foundation.

More importantly, the project would be set up in such a way it could survive. One of Mike's mantras was that control of all funds would be escrowed in the U.S. and be parceled out only with proof of the work being done. This is similar to the way a construction project is managed. With a grant to provide prosthetic legs in Bolivia, this became a cruical element when the local Rotary club disbanded early in the project. We were able to continue the project directly with the clinic building the limbs.

The clinic would send us a photo and medical records of a block of five or more patients who had received new prosthetics and we would send the agreed-upon funds. This continued until we had successfully completed the project to supply more than 100 new prosthetics.

In Rotary, we recognize that our strength lies not just in our global reach, but in the connections forged between members. Mentoring relationships are the threads that weave this tapestry of experience, knowledge, and passion for service.

These mentoring connections serve multiple purposes:

Knowledge Transfer: Preserving institutional knowledge and Rotary's rich history.

Skill Development: Enhancing leadership, project management, and community engagement abilities.

Networking: Opening doors to wider collaboration within Rotary.

Personal Growth: Fostering self-reflection and development for both mentors and mentees.

Strengthening Club Bonds: Creating deeper connections, leading to increased retention and engagement.

Actively promoting mentoring shows a ripple effect of benefits. New members feel more welcomed and integrated, retention rates improve, and cross-generational exchange of ideas sparks innovation in service projects and club operations.

Mentoring in Rotary is not just about professional development—it's about building a community of informed, passionate individuals ready to tackle global challenges. It creates a space where wisdom meets fresh perspective, where tradition embraces innovation.

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We know the need is significant and rotary will achieve all of its goals. Ray Sandford is one of my hero’s and please help this project. Warmest Regards, Jean Hobart

(949) 244-6098

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