RI President helps charter Korean American Club

District 6440 has a new club, in part due to the recruiting prowess of RI President Dong Kurn Lee.

Lee presented the club charter to the Rotary Club of Chicagoland Korean-Northbrook with District 6440 Governor Pamela Kerr on 22 August in Northbrook, Illinois, USA.

Attendees were asked to make a $50 donation to Rotary's US$100 Million Challenge. About 175 people attended the charter night and the event raised $6,000.

The club's 54 members are Korean American, and club business will mostly be conducted in Korean. But that is the beauty of Rotary, Lee told the charter night audience.

"What matters in Rotary is not what language we speak, or where we come from, or how much English we remember from high school," Lee said. "What matters in Rotary is fellowship, friendship, and building bridges of goodwill."

Getting organized

District leaders spoke with members of the Rotary Club of Korea Town-Los Angeles to get an idea of how a Korean club would fit into their district.

"We think it will bring people into Rotary who would not have joined Rotary otherwise," says Mike Yesner, assistant governor coordinator for District 6440.

Club president Sung Wun Kim says it is an honor to join Rotary during Lee's year as RI president and that Lee is an invaluable asset to the club.

"I cannot really explain how much he has helped us," Kim says. "It's tremendous how much he is supporting us and encouraging us to do service work."

Kim says the new club is getting organized, and members are getting to know each other. Eventually, the club hopes to do service projects in the Korean community, raise funds for polio eradication, and work with other clubs in the district on combined projects.

Lee asked district governors to bring two new clubs into Rotary this year as part of his ambitious membership goals. The Rotary clubs of Northbrook, Skokie Valley, Evanston Lighthouse, and Korea Town-Los Angeles sponsored the new club.