Spreading Hospitality Around the World
EVERY YEAR ROTARY LEADERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD COME TO ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA. AND ON THEIR WAY DOZENS STOP FOR A WEEK IN ROCHESTER.
There are more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas, all organized into 530 Districts.Each District is led by a District Governor. A big job. A big job that requires training before tackling it. So every year in January, Governors-Elect gather for a week of training in Anaheim prior to their year starting in July.
As you would expect, many of these Governors-Elect have several thousand miles to travel. Like from Australia. Or Sri Lanka. Or India. Or Germany. Trips that can take a lot out of a person. Only to be followed by a grueling week of training? What if they could leave a week early, and stop over for a week to recharge their batteries, do some sightseeing and enjoy the fellowship of other Rotarians in their homes.That was the inspiration Brighton Rotarian, Milt Matthews, had back in 1968 when he had the brainstorm to start the Governor-Elect Hospitality Program that now bears his name.
As we approach the 48th edition of the Milt Matthews Governor-Elect Hospitality Program, over 1,000 Governors-Elect and their spouses have been entertained by Club members, along with members of other clubs in District 7120.
Typically, for the first half of their week, half the Governors-Elect and their spouses stay with Club members in the Rochester area, and half with Club members from the Southern Tier. Then, for the second half of the week, then they switch. All are welcomed with a brunch on the first Sunday, with Club members from across the District in attendance.
In addition to to having plenty of time to bond with their hosts, who have an opportunity to take their guests to dinner, wineries, shows, shopping and more. Several group activities are planned as well— including Niagara Falls, the George Eastman House, and of course, Wegmans.
In 47 years, one thing has proven to be true. The program changes the lives of everyone who participates.Lifelong friendships are made. And from a hosting perspective, several Club members have hosted Governors-Elect dozens of times.