Alexandria Rotary Bulletin—News and Activities, November 2023

The Club sponsors events like Swim for Engie to help improve the lives of metastatic breast cancer patients. (Courtesy photo)

Alexandria, VA – What is Rotary?

Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on February 23, 1905 so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.

Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision gradually extended to humanitarian service. Members have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities and around the world.

That commitment endures today through an organization that remains truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Over 1.4 million members now span the globe, in 200 countries, with approximately 46,000 clubs working to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.

Rotary members believe that they have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s most persistent issues. Our 46,000+ clubs work together to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, save mothers and children, support education, grow local economies, and protect the environment.

Rotarians usually gather weekly for breakfast, lunch, or dinner to fulfill their first guiding principle to develop friendships as an opportunity for service. “It is the duty of all Rotarians,” states their Manual of Procedure” outside their clubs, to be active as individuals in as many legally constituted groups and organizations as possible to promote, not only in words but through exemplary dedication, awareness of the dignity of all people and the respect of the consequent human rights of the individual.” The Rotarian’s primary motto is “Service Above Self”; its secondary motto is “One profits most who serves best.”

Alexandria Has Five Rotary Clubs!!

There are five clubs in Alexandria from Mount Vernon to the West End aka Area 7, District 7610.  Last year, the clubs provided books, backpacks, and school supplies to the Alexandria Public Schools, donated toys to the Volunteer Alexandria Toy Drive, granted scholarships for basic computer training as well as for graduate education, supported a school in Honduras, provided medical equipment for a hospital in Bangladesh and cleaned up the Ivy Hill Cemetery to name only a few of the Clubs’ community and international projects.

The clubs have worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for several years to administer polio vaccinations in underdeveloped countries.  The clubs meet at different times, in person and virtually, at different locations.

If you are interested in joining something that is truly monumental, contact any of the clubs listed on these pages or [email protected] and join us and the other 1.4 million persons in 46,000 clubs worldwide and make a difference in your community and the world!

MODEL pointing at camera with a satisfied, confident, friendly smile, choosing you

The Alexandria Rotary Clubs

Rotary Club of Alexandria (RCoA)

The Rotary Club of Alexandria meets each Tuesday at noon at the Belle Haven Country Club, 6023 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria, VA 22307.  The Rotary Club of Alexandria is hosting “Taste for Giving” on Saturday, November 3, 2023 at 6:30 pm.  All funds raised from this event will be used to support the community. For more information about this event and the Rotary Club of Alexandria, please contact the President, Bob McClure, at [email protected]

Attendees at the 2022 Taste for Giving. (Courtesy photo)
RCoA President Bob McClure (Photo: Lucelle O’Flaherty)

Rotary Club of Mount Vernon (RCoMV)

The Rotary Club of Mount Vernon meets via Zoom on Wednesdays and in person at a local restaurant for dinner on the fourth Wednesday of the month.  The group annually honors community members for outstanding service and this year presented its “You Make A Difference Award” to Laura Wainwright. They have speakers at their meetings and last month, they included Sarah Drexler from At Home Mount Vernon and Sophie Cameron.  For more information about their upcoming speaker series, the Zoom link, and the RCoMtV, please contact the President, Mike Jones, at [email protected]

Chuck Court, Helen Walutes, Mike Jones, Laura Wainwright, and Karen Joseph. (Courtesy photo)
RcoMV President Mike Jones (Courtesy photo)

Rotary Club of Alexandria South (RCoAS)                                                     

The Rotary Club of Alexandria South meets via Zoom on Fridays and in person the first Friday of the month.  On the first Friday of the month, the Club meets at the Gerry Hyland Government Center, Room 220, 8350 Richmond Hwy Alexandria, VA 22309, 8:00 am-9:00 am.  One of the projects of the Rotary Club of Alexandria South is supporting United Community, a leading human services non-profit agency, through ongoing financial donations and volunteering at their distribution center sorting, stocking, and distributing food.  For more information about this project and the Rotary Club of Alexandria South, please contact the President, Ullyses James, at [email protected]

RCoAS President Ulysses James (Courtesy photo)

Rotary Club of Alexandria Central (RCoAC)

The Rotary Club of Alexandria Central initiated District 7610’s newest Interact Club at the Alexandria City High School in Alexandria Virginia.  More than forty students signed up to join and Lisa Farmer was assigned as the Advisor for the Interact Club.  President Fitsum Habtemariam and the District 7610 Interact Chair, Dr Angela Contee welcomed the students and provided information about Rotary and Interact at the initial gathering at the Alexandria City High School in Alexandria Virginia on Wednesday, September 27, 2023.  Also in attendance were the Assistant Governor for Area 7, Dr. Elisabeth Johnson and Rotarian Jim Holcombe who welcomed the students and their advisor, Lisa Farmer on behalf of Rotary International. For more information about the Rotary Club of Alexandria Central please contact the President at [email protected]

Martha Habtemariam, Fitsum Habtemariam, Dr. Elisabeth Johnson, Lisa Farmer, Dr. Angela Contee and Jim Holcombe. (Courtesy photo)
RCoAW President Fitsum Habtemariam (Courtesy photo)

Rotary Club of Alexandria West (RCoAW)

The Rotary Club of Alexandria West meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month.  The second Thursday of the month is in person at Cameron Cafe; the meeting on the fourth Thursday is via  Zoom.   The Rotary Club of Alexandria West welcomes back Past President Nadia Mokhtar.  Nadia Mokhtar rejoins the club to lead the initiative to promote the Engie Mokhtar Foundation which improves the lives of Stage IV, metastatic breast cancer patients and their families.  If you would like more information about this project, contact Nadia Mokhtar at [email protected].  If you would like more information about the RCoAW, please contact the President, Crystal Lander, at [email protected]

The Club sponsors events like Swim for Engie to help improve the lives of metastatic breast cancer patients. (Courtesy photo)
RCoAW President Crystal Lander (Courtesy photo)


Computer Core Needs

Ahmad, student, and Donna James, Executive Director. (Please note the students do not give last names.)

All five Alexandria Clubs have joined with Computer Core to collect used PC laptops, Macs, desktops, cord mice and keyboards.  If you want to donate your used computers, you can do it each Friday from 12-2 pm at 201 N. Union Street Suite 110. If any questions, email [email protected]

District Governor Visiting

The District Governor for District 7610. Renee Laws will be visiting the clubs in Area 7 in November.  You are invited to join her at any of the meetings and learn about the new developments in Rotary International.  For a schedule of her visits please contact AG Elisabeth Johnson at [email protected]

Elisabeth Johnson Named Assistant Governor

Elisabeth Johnson (Photo: Tisara Photography)

Elisabeth Johnson, Ph.D. has been selected as the new Assistant Governor for Area 7 District, 7610 Rotary International.

A committed Rotarian, Dr. Johnson looks forward to working with the five clubs to continue their legacy of community and international service projects which in the past have included providing scholarships and grants to local students, building schools in underserved countries, providing medical equipment for hospitals in war-torn countries, and assisting with refugee settlement. Additionally, Dr. Johnson welcomes the opportunity for community partnerships and looks forward to speaking about Rotary membership.  (You may email [email protected] for opportunities to participate in a service project)

Dr. Johnson has been a Rotarian for more than a decade and previously served as President of the Rotary Club of Alexandria Central, where she was named Outstanding Small Club President for 2022-2023 by District 7610; she succeeds Sharon Meisel, who remains a member of the Rotary Club of Alexandria.

Rotary Club Presidents Meet

Ul James, Jonathan Lucas, Elisabeth Johnson, Mike Jones, Fitsum Habtemariam, Bob McClure. (Photo: Lucelle O’Flaherty)

The five Clubs in Rotary District 7610 Area 7 first met on July 27, 2023.   It was an informal evening at the home of Assistant Governor Elisabeth Johnson, where the presidents introduced themselves and shared information about their clubs.  A representative, Karl Bach, from ALIVE! joined the group to speak about opportunities to partner with ALIVE!.  Afterward, Thad Parsons, sommelier, entertained the group with a very informative talk about wines and shared five wines with the group.

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