#WomenWednesday Rotary Profile – Jacqueline Mulvey

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It is a pleasure to share Jacqueline Mulvey’s profile with you as part of our Profiles of Women in Rotary. Jacqueline joined Rotary over three years ago feels that belonging to Rotary has “changed her life.”

A lawyer for almost 20 years, Jaci is a sole practitioner in a General Law Practice with a focus on family law and real estate.  She practices out of a century home in downtown Kitchener that she and her husband purchased and restored. They have three amazing children, Emily age 15, Ben age 13, and Ella age nine.

It was a long-time client who introduced Jaci to Rotary.

With a busy practice and family life, Jaci felt she didn’t have enough time to be involved with Rotary. But, after a single breakfast meeting at the Walper Hotel, Jaci was hooked.

When she entered the room for her first meeting, she felt she belonged. She found the members welcoming, and it wasn’t long before she was calling them friends.

Jaci got involved immediately in the Club’s local Allocations Committee. The Committee’s responsibility is to allocate funds to community projects, including schools and other child-focused organizations. The Rotary Club of Kitchener Grand River’s primary focus (and the mission statement for their club) is to help local children, particularly those who are underprivileged. It has been a rewarding experience, and she has been involved with this Committee ever since. Jaci states that she “loves being a part of helping under privileged children in our community”.

Jaci has also been involved in the Kidsability Fun Fair committee for the last five years. The event is a local Rotary initiative, combining all five clubs. It provides a fun-filled day for the children involved with KidsAbilty and their families. A day for them just to be kids.

The annual event has had a tremendous impact on Jaci. She finds herself teary-eyed when she witnesses first hand, a child with leg braces have the opportunity to take their braces off to jump in a bouncy castle just like his/her peers. She finds the smiles on the children’s faces “contagious and unforgettable”.

At last year’s Fun Fair, Jaci was standing with a few other Rotarians when one of the parents approached them. She thanked them for putting on such a wonderful event and told them that they “had no idea how much this event meant to her son.”

A mother herself, the comment resonated with Jaci. She understood the specialness and power of Rotary, but more importantly, that the difference she made as a Rotarian was felt not just globally, but locally, and certainly to this one Waterloo Region family.

Last year, Jaci proudly stepped into the President-Elect role for the Kitchener-Grand River Rotary Club. She feels that being a part of Rotary has opened her eyes to something wonderful; a local group of people with a similar interest in making a difference in their community and in the world. This June she will attend the Rotary International Convention in Australia where she looks forward to having the opportunity to meet Rotarians from all over the world.

The values of Rotary, service above self, is something Jaci believes applies in her family life as well. She hopes that her involvement in Rotary will have an impact on her children; that they will realize the importance of helping people in need in their community. She has brought her children to Rotary meetings and events, and indicates that she would be so proud if one or all of them were Rotarians one day!

To find out more about Rotary and how you can have an impact locally or globally, visit the Rotary Club of Kitchener Grand River website, check out their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

Rotary Youth Exchange shaped my life

Rotary Voices

Denise DiNoto Denise DiNoto

By Denise DiNoto, Rotary Club of Colonie-Guilderland, New York, USA

In August 1990, I left my hometown in rural upstate New York, for a year as an exchange student to Tasmania, Australia. The experience helped shape my adult life, as it has for many other exchange students. However, my situation was unique because I was one of the first students with a mobility impairment to participate in Rotary Youth Exchange.

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How Rotary supports the environment

Great blog in honour of Earth Day.

Rotary Voices

On Earth Day, billions of people worldwide take action to protect our planet by holding demonstrations, cleaning up their communities, planting trees, contacting elected officials, or otherwise showing their support for renewable energy and conservation. Rotary is committed to the environment, too. Follow the links below to learn how Rotary clubs are protecting our planet all year long, particularly through managing our vital resources and providing clean water.

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Rotary, a matter of the heart

Rotary Voices

Manaka Manaka Kuwabara

By Joseph Batory, past president of the Rotary Club of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Six years ago, I agreed to serve on my district’s scholarship committee. I now have many fond memories of helping 12 students attain fully subsidized Rotary International scholarships abroad. I have also counseled and befriended 23 Rotary scholars from around the world who have studied in Philadelphia.

I could easily highlight some of the “scholar characters” I have met or even some marriages that have occurred among Rotary scholars studying here in Philadelphia, but I would rather emphasize just one story that illustrates the magnificence of Rotary.

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You are never too young to change the world

Rotary Voices

RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay (left) and RI President Ron Burton present a certificate to Lucia Gomez Garcia during the Presidential New Generations Conference in Rosario, Argentina. RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay (left) and RI President Ron Burton recognize Lucia Gomez Garcia during the Presidential New Generations Conference in Rosario, Argentina.

By RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay, Rotary Club of Arrecifes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

When RI President Ron Burton asked me to convene one of his five Presidential New Generations Conferences, I was thrilled with the idea. I know firsthand the potential our youth represent, especially after accompanying my husband, Luis Vicente, as President of Rotary International in 1996-97, as we took part in 21 Presidential Conferences for New Generations around the world that year. Luis’ vision for youth set the stage for Rotary International’s support of New Generations and the creation of Rotary clubs composed of young people.

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#WomenWednesday – Audrey Wipper

AW Twitter header - lrgAudrey Wipper – Scholar, Horsewoman, Benefactor, Rotarian

Audrey Wipper has been a member of the Rotary Club of Kitchener since 1993, holding distinction as the third woman to join the club—but that that is not her only distinction!

Born and raised in St. Catharines, Audrey attended McGill University. She graduated in Arts in 1952 before moving on to complete a Master’s Degree in Sociology and further graduate studies at the University of California – Berkley. In the early 60s she went to East Africa and worked out of Makerere University in Kampala.

A pioneer in the field of scholarship on African women and development issues, her PH.D studies focussed on various religious movements involving both Christian and indigenous women in western Kenya. After receiving her Doctorate she returned to Kenya for post-doctorate studies. While there she was offered a position in the new Sociology Faculty at the University of Waterloo where she spent the rest of her career. She retired as Professor in 1996.

Over the years Audrey has had an active academic career authoring many books and editing journals, many most having  to do with conditions in Africa including: Towards a General Explanation of Protest Movements in Colonial Kenya, Equal Rights for Women in Kenya? and Bishops and Prophets in a Black City – African Independent Churches in Soweto.

For much of her life, Audrey owned her own horse and enjoyed riding most days. She was involved in competitive riding and dressage where she often travelled to shows pulling her horse trailer. Her Master`s thesis was on people who rode horses, hunters and jumpers.

As busy as her life was, Audrey maintained regular attendance at Rotary meetings. Her incredible work earned her a rare eighth level Paul Harris Fellow–the highest in the Club. In 2005, Audrey went to India as part of a Rotary National Immunization Campaign against Polio and helped vaccinate hundreds of children.

In 2009, Audrey approached club leaders to set up a fund that would support the university education of African women. It was her belief that educated African women could have a profound effect on their society and family. In this effort, and with a substantial personal contribution, the Audrey Wipper Educational Fund was created.

The Fund is administered by the Rotary African Women’s Education Fund (RAWEF) Committee. Since its inception, the fund has enabled 13 young women who survived capture from their Ugandan school dorm by rebel soldiers in Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, to complete secondary and post-secondary education. The women, from Uganda and Kenya, are expected to return to work in their communities in order to provide leadership.

To find out more about the women who have benefit from the Audrey Wipper Educational Fund, visit http://www.rawef.com/ .