Rotary Friendship Exchange (RFE)
|Susan Hanner||Eugene Southtowne|
Are you interested in fellowship with Rotarians overseas?
How about broadening your Rotary horizons by developing friendships with international Rotarians? Rotary Friendship Exchange (RFE) is an excellent program for traveling to other Rotary districts around the world and experiencing a new place while being hosted by local Rotarians. The hosting district reciprocates with a visit to District 5110 and is hosted by our Rotarians. The District 5110 RFE Committee encourages and coordinates these district-to-district friendship exchanges.
To learn more about Rotary Friendship Exchange, read the Rotary Friendship Exchange Handbook, go to the RFE page on the Rotary International website or contact Susie Hanner, the 2012-2013 RFE chair. You can also view a PowerPoint presentation on RFE.
Rotary Friendship Exchange Committee December 2012 Report
District 2420 Inbound Team 2012 was a busy year for the RFE Committee. In June, a team of eleven people visited our district from Istanbul, Turkey, District 2420. They were with us from June 5-June 14, splitting their time between Port Orford and Eugene. In Eugene the hosts were Paul and Cathy Peschiera, Camille and Jim Ronzio, Ginny and Roger Reich, Terry and George Kimball, and Gary and Marsha Pierpoint. In addition, Dick and Sally Briggs, Jim Ronzio, and Max and Miriam Jordan hosted several events and Bill Maier helped with transportation. Our Eugene-area outings with the team included a “road trip” up the McKenzie River; several shopping trips (a high priority for the team); several local museums (Air and Space Museum, UO Art Museum, UO Natural History Museum); an evening of live jazz; and a picnic at a winery. Additionally the Eugene Airport Club graciously hosted the team at their weekly Thursday morning meeting.
In Port Orford the team was hosted by Rick and Emily Francona, Jim and Karen Auborn, Mike and Theresia Hewitt, John and Sally Johnston, Jo and Roger Rieber and Gary and Jennifer Robertson. Experiences that were shared with the team included a trip to a cranberry bog and plant; a Rogue River jet boat trip; a tour of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse; visits to art galleries; a tour of a golf resort; and a visit to Bandon’s Old Town.
Many of the District 2420 team members had been hosts for our outbound team in the fall of 2011. It was wonderful to see those people again and to renew those friendships. We also started new friendships with those who were new to us, including the man who will be DG in 2014-2015. We've already talked about repeating an exchange during his DG year.
UPDATE: DG Mufit has committed to an exchange in the 2014-2015 year!!
District 1010 Outbound Team At the end of June, twelve people representing six clubs from District 5110 visited District 1010 in northeast Scotland for two weeks. The team was comprised of Lew and Alice Marks, Rick and Emily Francona (team co-leaders), Bill and Jeannette Maier, Camille and Jim Ronzio, Larry and Sandy Wilkins, and Don Arkell and Laurie Powers. During their stay, the team was home-based in four different areas of the district and had the opportunity to visit a variety of sights, including Wallace Monument, Falkirk Wheel, a state-of-the-art bonded warehouse, Forth Bridge, the RMS Discovery, the ancient university town of St. Andrews (the birthplace of golf), Glamis Castle, Fettercairn Distillery, and a steamship cruise on a loch.
The team in Dundee, Scotland
For more information and photos, see the RFE Scotland page.
District 5110 RFE Team Contribution to Scotland Charity As part of the new direction of the RFE program to combine service with a friendship exchange, the District 5110 team collected funds prior to the trip to contribute to a suitable Rotary project or other charitable organization as a way of expressing gratitude to the local district Rotarians for their hospitality.
One of the team's hosts was the Rotary Club of Aberdeen, located in that port city on the northeast coast of Scotland - a large city with a booming economy thanks to the oil industry supporting the numerous oil drilling and pumping rigs in the North Sea.
Lew and Alice Marks were hosted by Aberdeen Rotarian Debbie Thomson, Chief Executive Officer of the CLAN Cancer Support organization. CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity for anyone affected by any type of cancer at any time from diagnosis onwards. The organization is based in Aberdeen and provides services in Grampian, Orkney and Shetland through a network of local services in the cities of Ballater, Inverurie, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Kirkwall and Lerwick. There is also a lodging facility in Aberdeen for those traveling long distances for treatment.
The team was fortunate to have Lew on the team - Lew has almost 40 years of experience in therapy and counseling. In his words:
"CLAN is one of the most professional service agencies I have seen in all aspects from design of buildings to therapies used; especially children therapy. I was amazed at the children's books their staff created to help kids, and brought some of them home to see if they our helpful to our local cancer center.
"When you visit their facility you do not see things and staff indicating they do a good job, you can feel it. One way to get a great sense of what they do is to go into their website and spend a few minutes looking at the video."
Based on Lew's positive remarks, the team donated $600 to the organization.
We received this in response:
"Dear Friends - I just heard that your donation was successfully received and wanted to thank you again for your generosity. As mentioned in previous email we will put this donation of £353.25 (US$600) towards furnishing our new drop-in centre in Inverurie as we want the premises to be as warm, welcoming and child/family friendly as all our other bases. Negotiating the lease is taking longer than anticipated but we hope to have open early in 2013 to provide drop-in where those affected by cancer can come in for a chat and cup of tea/coffee and some emotional support. As well as providing information (literature and information for all ages), the facilities are large enough for group meetings and activities, we will have a room for counselling and therapies. We will be basing one of our Children & Families Workers there too as the need for this type of support is growing across the remote and rural areas of North Aberdeenshire. We will get our before pictures and send along with the after pictures so you can see what a difference you are helping us to make.
Our very best wishes to you all, Debbie and team"
District 1010 Inbound Team Beginning September 1, ten people from District 1010 were hosted by Rotarians in our district. Their schedule here was three nights in Bend/Redmond, three nights in Newport, four nights in Eugene, and four nights in Ashland. We shared many favorite Oregon sights and lots of laughs. You can read the team’s journal (i.e. their perspective) here: The Scottish Team Journal of their visit to District 5110!
UPCOMING RFE PLANS
District Conference The committee will have a display at the district conference with the intention of informing more people about the program.
Future possible exchanges We are currently communicating with three districts in Italy and two districts in Sweden about setting up exchanges. Efforts to develop exchanges with Argentina, India and Ireland have been unsuccessful to date. A future domestic exchange with Tucson, AZ, may also be a possibility.
Rotary International has directed RFE programs to incorporate service into the friendship exchanges. Our district RFE committee has decided to, in the future, collect $100 per outgoing team member (in addition to the $25 that is collected to help with costs of inbound teams) that will be available for service projects that we encounter in our travels.
- Scotland (District 1010) - Photos and more information
- Turkey (District 2420) - Photos and trip wrap-up
Committee Details: FriendshipExchange