Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Professional Development - Kirsty Halliday

Yesterday we enjoyed the presentation by Rotarian Kirsty Halliday from our sponsoring Rotary Club of Philadelphia.

Kirsty spoke on her personal career developmental and her international background. She was born in Germany, moved to Scotland with her family and throughout her life also moved to England and to the US, where she's currently residing.

Kirsty emphasized the importance of networking and not being afraid to speak out even if you're a little shy. In the end, you will not be left wondering what could have happened. It's important to seize each and every opportunity because it's rarely presented more than once.

Lastly, in an international world, Kirsty pointed out that you need to be mindful and sensative to cultural interpretations - What you may say to someone may be misinterpretated due different cultural rules or customs.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cherry Blossom Gala - April 23, 2009

Rotaract Club of Philadelphia hosted an annual benefit called the Cherry Blossom Gala on April 23, 2009. It was held at the Triumph Brewing Company in Old City, Philadelphia. This year we raised support for an international project called Adopt a Village (AAV)(www.toadoptavillage.org).

AAV is an international effort to raise a village out of poverty, which was started by a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Sebastopol, California. This US-based Rotary Club partners up with a Rotary Club in an impoverished region of the world, who then selects, surveys, and contacts a local indigenous village. The US-based Rotary Club promotes and collects funding for a specific village. In 2008, at the height of its publicity, the founder presented the project on “Rotary International at the UN Day.”

Our club is partially sponsoring a village in Uganda, Africa, called Mbazzi. It is made up of approximately 1200 people. AAV will use our donations along with others to improve on three main components of the village’s life: Education, health and hunger. Those are the pillars of Adopt of Village - AAV believes that one cannot be achieved without the other two elements.

To raise funds for this project, we organized the Cherry Blossom Gala where our guests enjoyed wine and beer at the bar and display-style hors d'oeuvres. We decorated in spring fashion with sunny flower arrangements on tables. With the cooperation of international and local artists, we hung up paintings and photographs, which guests could bid on in the silent auction or purchase for the full price.
Aside from the silent auction tables that were crowded with beautiful artwork, we also had donated items from local businesses that submitted theater tickets, sports tickets, spa baskets, wine arrangement and others.

Halfway through the evening, we generated additional revenue by auctioning a date with one eligible bachelorette and bachelor. Rotaract Club of Philadelphia gave complimentary Philadelphia Museum of Art tickets to the highest two bidders.

The club made over $1,300 in profit that would benefit Adopt a Village.