Rotary’s 110th Annual Convention Concludes

City Hall

Rotary’s 110th annual convention concludes; one of Hamburg’s most multicultural, non-profit gatherings

  • More than 26,000 registrants representing 3,605 Rotary clubs in 170 countries
  • Rotary commits US$102 million this year to end polio
  • Hamburg gains €24 million in tourism revenue
  • First German nominated to serve as Rotary International president in 2020
  • mytaxi donates €70,000 to German Rotary club projects
  • 35 speeches and 98 breakout sessions
  • 334 exhibit booths of which 200 featured Rotary humanitarian projects

HAMBURG, Germany (5 June 2019): As Rotary closes its 110th annual international meeting at the Hamburg Messe und Congress on 5 June, Rotary members will bring home indelible memories and new insights on how to improve lives and bring positive, lasting change to communities around the world. 

In his keynote address, Rotary International President Barry Rassin said, “Service to others is an integral part of our mission, whether it’s through the plans and actions of individual clubs, Rotary’s six areas of focus, or the transformational support of The Rotary Foundation. And the service that most defines us and our global mission is the ongoing goal to rid the world of polio.”

Alongside partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in polio cases since spearheading the initiative more than 30 years ago. Since then, Rotary members have contributed $1.9 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from polio. Today, just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rotary is committed to raising $50 million per year, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars through a matching agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Including the matching funds, Rotary is committing another US$102 million this year to fund polio eradication efforts in 13 countries. 

Michel Zaffran, director of polio eradication for the World Health Organization (WHO) presented on the progress and global significance of the initiative. “We’re truly on the cusp of eradicating a disease for only the second time in human history,” said Zaffran. “Our responsibility is nothing less than to ensure that no child anywhere will ever again be paralyzed by the poliovirus.” 

German Rotary members have contributed more than US$31 million to end polio, and on 1 July 2020, Holger Knaack, owner of the real estate company Knaack KG, will oversee this effort as the first German to serve as Rotary International president. Knaack of Ratzeburg said, “I’m honored to have the confidence and support of Rotary’s 1.2 million members,” said Knaack. “As president, I plan to highlight the best Rotary has to offer where people of all backgrounds can see themselves reflected in our service and impact.”

During the four-day event, attendees heard from an array of world class speakers, including:

  • Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of Hamburg
  • Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • On the closing day, Eckart Diepenhorst, CEO of mytaxi presented a check for €70,000, representing 100 percent of the proceeds from all rides to and from the Hamburg Messe from 31 May through 5 June to support the following German Rotary club projects:
    • A bee pasture project developed by the Rotary Club of Ahrensburg to help the dwindling bee and butterfly populations;
    • Emotions Training for Autism, developed by Rotaract Germany, to support those with autism spectrum disorder thrive; and
    • HANWASH, a collaborative initiative by local Rotary members, The Rotary Foundation and DINEPA to bring clean water to Haiti.

About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Germany’s 56,000 members and 1,100 clubs are taking action to make the world a better place at home and abroad. 

Welcome New Rotarians!

President Edi Birsan and Dan Torres
President Edi Birsan and Raymond Padilla

Dan Torres is a Business Agent at Sprinkler Fitters Local 483 and was inducted at the Rotary Club of Concord Diablo on April 24, 2019.

Raymond Padilla is a Diversion Specialist with Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery and was inducted on April 24, 2019.

Welcome and we look forward to working with both of you!

Gleaning Update:

Happy Pickin!
Fresh lemons, tree to table!

In the first week of June 2019, a total of 532 pounds of lemons and grapefruit was gleaned in Concord. All lemons and grapefruit were donated to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano who’s mission is to fight and end hunger in our community.

In the first week of June 2019, a total of 532 pounds of lemons and grapefruit was gleaned in Concord. All lemons and grapefruit were donated to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano who’s mission is to fight and end hunger in our community.

Interesting fact: One in eight residents turn to the Food Bank and last year, over 20 million pounds of food was distributed to our local community. The Rotary Club of Concord – Diablo has picked 2,271 pounds of fruit YTD. All produce has been donated to our local community services that provide food for those in need.

A special thank you to Lee Koellermeier and Brigitte and Jim Ross who are always at the forefront of this community project.

If you have fruit that needs to be picked or would like to volunteer, please email

Bowled over!!

It’s amazing what can be accomplished when people come together for a common goal of helping others. As a Rotarian from the small but mighty Rotary Club of Concord-Diablo, I am proud of the impact we can make in our community. We are just one of 35,000 Clubs in over 200 lands all over the world with over 1,200,000 Rotarians and growing.

Last night our 5th Annual Bowling Bash was held at the Clayton Valley Bowl. Along with lots of fellowship and fun we raised funds that will go back to our local community in various ways such as Project Second Chance, Cambridge Child Development Center, Concord High Schools, and Camp Venture, just to name a few.

The 5th Annual Bowling Bash was a huge success thanks to Rotarians from our Club and the Rotary Club of Concord, friends and family and a HUGE thank you to our Sponsors! Thank you to ALL!