DG Keith Key

DG Keith Key

FLORENCE – District Governor Keith Key urged Florence Rotarians not to lose sight of the power of humanitarian service amid the chaos occurring worldwide.

“We are seeing political change sweeping the world,” he said. “We are seeing economic change sweeping the world. We have wiped out the middle class by eliminating the manufacturing industry and creating inequality.

“The one thing that we should keep the same focus on as Rotarians is health, hunger and humanitarian needs.”

Key, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch in Lexington, made his first visit to the Florence Rotary Club as district governor for Kentucky Rotary District 6740 at a luncheon on Monday, July 18. He spoke to the group about what it means to be a Rotarian and his goals for the year.

Key said the Rotary International Theme for the year – Rotary Serving Humanity – speaks to the powerful role clubs and individual members can play in a changing world. He noted that Rotary International introduced its fight to end polio with a float in the 1986 Rose Bowl Parade. So far this year, only 19 new cases of polio have been reported worldwide, he said.

“Going around the world and doing projects like this (End Polio Now) puts us in an ideal position to bring the world together one person at a time,” Key said. “We have a great opportunity to engage in conflict management around the world by doing this kind of work.”

Involvement in service projects is the mark of a “real Rotarian” in Key’s view. Development of a fifth grade graduation program for inner city schools made the difference for him. He recalled the joy of staging a graduation ceremony with a policeman or a firefighter at each table to promote positive community relations.

“That’s when I became a real Rotarian,” Key said.

A real Rotarian has a passion for has a passion for personal growth and a passion for helping other people, he noted. The personal growth comes from stepping up to serve when a community need arises.”

“A real Rotarian feels a sense of compassion to meet those needs,” Key said.

Key’s goals for the year are increasing membership and per capita giving to the Rotary Foundation. Achieving those goals will provide additional manpower and resources to support projects worldwide.

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