The Victor-Farmington Rotary Club recently held an international fellowship dinner in Victor to welcome seven incoming Rotary governors from various countries.
The officials were in the local area during a Rotary home hosting program that provided them an opportunity to learn about life in the Rochester-Finger Lakes area.
Three of the dinner guests were hosted in Ontario County. Richard Akpoto-Kougbleno from Togo and his spouse, Georgette, were hosted by Janet and Kim Tenreiro from the Canandaigua Rotary Club. Ros Kelly, of Australia, was hosted by Bruce and Versa Chapman from Victor-Farmington Rotary. Victor-Farmington Rotarians Ross and Bonnie Cottone hosted Miguel Angel Cruz Jr. from Argentina.
Also attending the dinner were other district governor-elects from Australia, Chile, Indonesia and Pakistan, as well as Rotarian hosts from Fairport, Rush-Henrietta, Penfield, Spencerport and Waterloo. Victor-Farmington Rotary exchange student Joaquin Ellena, of Argentina, participated in the hosting program.
Fairport Rotarian John Hall, chair for the District 7120 Governor-elect Hospitality Committee, made welcoming remarks to the guests. He shared the idea that the contacts and new friends the guests were making could be of value in the future when they engage in joint projects with other clubs from different areas of the world.
In 2017, a Rotary Foundation grant project involving Victor-Farmington Rotary working with the Rotary Club of Asuncion, Paraguay, and a club in Munich was recognized as one of the top 20 Rotary International projects from the previous year. This project involved providing a modern farm tractor, associated implements and hands-on training for farmers in a remote area of Paraguay. The genesis of that project was contacts made at a previous District 7120 Governor-elect Hospitality program involving the Victor-Farmington and Asuncion clubs.
Ross Cottone, president of Victor-Farmington Rotary, presented a club banner to each district governor-elect as a memento of their visit.
Rotarian Dave Luitweiler served as the dinner’s master of ceremonies. He made brief comments about cooperative service projects involving clubs around the world acting in a partnership to serve others. These often develop through networking facilitated by events such as the hospitality program. He discussed the club’s current project to provide clean water to the village of La Palma, Nicaragua.
Each guest spoke about their career in Rotary, as well as their families and professional careers. Their comments followed a common theme of appreciation for the hospitality extended to them, and the opportunity to meet and interact with fellow Rotarians from around the world to discuss issues of common concern. The governors departed from Rochester to attend a training seminar in San Diego.