Every month represents something. February is Black History Month. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Rotary International Club, along with its various chapters throughout the world, has established January as Rotary Awareness Month.

Marcus McEntire, Duncan Rotary Club president, said, “A lot of people don’t know what Rotary International does. We want to get the word out.”

One of the biggest focuses of the club is working to eliminate polio. The club has worked closely with World Health Organization (WHO) and the Gates Foundation in this effort.

“We pretty much have polio eliminated except for two or three pockets,” McEntire said.

The club has been working to raise $200 million to match $355 million in grants from the Gates Foundation. This will provide $555 million to combat polio worldwide.

Still, polio isn’t the only focus of the Rotary Club.

Rotary International has also focused on literacy and clean water. Club members have gone to various areas of the world to help map out well locations and to help provide water filters.

At the local level, members have helped with the United Way with its campaign and helps other charitable ventures when they arise.

“We help pretty much anyone who needs it,” McEntire said.

Each year, the Duncan club also gives six to seven scholarships, and awards one teacher with a $1,000 stipend.

McEntire said the organization usually isn’t an organization people may know much about, but members don’t quit working to help others, whether to eliminate polio, establish clean drinking water or to help local charities.

“We work a lot behind the scenes,” McEntire said. “But there’s really stuff being done.”

Because of the club’s ability to help those in need, McEntire chose to get involved when invited. He said it’s still a decision he stands by.

“Rotary is a great organization,” McEntire said. “I’m proud to be a part of it.”

The Duncan club has 80 members. He said Rotarian members throughout the world follow the save four-way test. The questions addressed by the test include: Is it the truth, fair to all concerned, will it build goodwill and better friendships, and will it be beneficial to all concerned?

McEntire said people have to be invited into the club, and someone must vouch for them. They are admitted into the club if they pass the four-way test.

“We try to live that,” he said.

— Derrick Miller is a reporter for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354, Ext. 160, or via e-mail at derrick.miller@duncanbanner.com.

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