Article Contributed by
Rotary Club of Jamestown
During the Aug. 10 meeting of the Jamestown Noon Rotary Club, members enjoyed a presentation from Olivia Valone, who spent last year in Germany as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program. She brought with her a Rotary banner from the Rotary Club Potsdam, located in the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. The banner exchange is one of Rotary’s more colorful traditions, as Rotarians traveling to distant locations often take along banners that can be exchanged when they visit other clubs. Each banner is colorful, unique, expresses the community and country of which the Club is a part, and tells a story of community pride. Exchanging Club banners is a longstanding custom that offers Rotarians the world over a tangible symbol of international fellowship.
One of Rotary’s most important initiatives is the development of youth into leader and the Jamestown Noon Rotary Club has always been deeply involved in these initiatives. In April, the club sent two students, Gillian Lutton and Jared Yaggie, to a weekend-long leadership development program in Canada. And last year, the club sent Olivia Valone to Germany for a year through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.
During its Aug. 10 meeting, club members heard a presentation from Yaggie and Valone detailing their experiences and what they had learned. Yaggie, who plans to become an active Rotarian, left the leadership development program with a more defined sense of his leadership style and qualities. But he didn’t stop there … he took the program’s directors up on their challenge to start an Interact Club and, with the help of his school’s Board of Education, has established one at Southwestern Middle School. The club will become active this fall.
Valone spent a year in Potsdam, the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. She also enjoyed the opportunity to tour Europe with other Rotary Youth Exchange members. As a result of her trip, Valone plans to study international relations at American University.