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Treasurer Folwell celebrates Rotary International’s 116th anniversary

RALEIGH — State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, heralded today the anniversary of Rotary International and its 116 years of uniting friends, neighbors and leaders to take action in creating lasting change across the world, at home and in ourselves.

Rotary was started in Chicago, Illinois, on Feb. 23, 1905, by Chicago attorney Paul Harris. There are currently more than 1.2 million worldwide members of the organization comprised of professionals and business leaders in more than 32,000 clubs in 200 countries.

“I’ve had the pleasure to speak to hundreds of Rotaries in my career,” Folwell said. “I can tell you that their motto, ‘Service Above Self’ is not just a saying but a way of life for the members. I’ve been honored to be able to talk to them about the important responsibilities we have here at the treasurer’s office and, at the same time, to hear about the great work they do in North Carolina and across the globe.”

Rotary clubs fund club projects and sponsor volunteers with community expertise to provide medical supplies, health care, clean water, food production, job training and education to millions in need, particularly in developing countries. In 1985, Rotary launched PolioPlus, spearheading efforts with the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF to immunize the children of the world against polio.

In 1932, Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor was asked to take charge of a company facing bankruptcy. Taylor decided that not only did the company need to be able to compete with its competitors but needed something that the others could not have in equal amounts — character, dependability and service mindedness of our personnel. To that end, he developed four questions now known as the four-way-test:

1. Is it the truth?
2. Is it fair to all concerned?
3. Will it build good will and better friendships?
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

“Imagine what the world would be like if all public servants — state and federal alike — operated by these standards,” Folwell said. “I’d imagine the divisiveness that has separated this country would disappear and we could all move forward with a renewed common purpose.”