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Rotary Club, local schools team up

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Brazil Rotary Club is taking part in a national contest in order to increase its involvement with the local high schools.

Clay County high school students can compete in the contest by preparing a four to six minute speech based on the Four-Way Test and its application to life, leadership and service. Through the experience, students can learn about Rotary and the Four-Way Test.

According to the Rotary's website, the Four-Way Test was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor, when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. The test is a code of ethics for employees to follow in their business and personal lives. It asks the following of what members say and do:

* Is it the truth?

* Is it fair to all concerned?

* Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

* Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

"It lets them see basic principles that the world needs -- doing what is right," Brazil Rotary President Duane Butt said.

Students may enter the contest by filling out an application at their school, and students will present their speeches to a board of judges Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The winner of the contest will present his or her speech to the local Rotary club during a luncheon, providing the members with a chance to meet a future community leader. The winner will also receive a monetary scholarship from the Rotary club.

Chairman of the District Contest Jim Gislason explained Rotary is about, "service above self, community service, club service, international service and youth service."

"Each local club does their own things, and together as a district we serve on an international level," Gislason said. "We give hundreds of scholarships, and each year we send someone to a foreign country to study for year."

The local contest winner will have the opportunity to compete in the District competition on March 3, in Vincennes, where he or she could win $500 for first place, $300 for second place or $200 for third place.

"Rotary does a lot of good in the community, the state and throughout the world," Butt said. "We're a service club, and that's what this is about."

One of the Rotary's missions throughout the world is to eliminate all polio cases. Rotary has raised over $2 million for the cause.

"In the world, the mission is 99 percent complete," Gislason said. "But that 1 percent is a real doozy."

In 1983, 375,000 cases of polio existed around the world. In 2011, there were a little over 1,300 cases left to be cured. The cases that still exist are in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria.

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