Nation’s only female Rotary district chief makes waves
After taking the helm of Rotary International District 3480 last July, Naomi Lin ( ), the only female district governor in Taiwan, is overseeing the greatest number of clubs while raising the largest donations in a given year.
There are currently 114 Rotary clubs under District 3480, and Lin has set the goal of establishing 15 more clubs along with 15 new satellite clubs by the end of her tenure in June. Six of them have already been approved.
There are nearly 5,000 members in District 3480, and Lin has the ambition to notch it up by another 1,000 or so during her tenure.
The expansion effort goes in tandem with a target set by Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang ( ), the first ethnic Chinese president in the organization’s history. Huang, who was inaugurated at the same time as Lin last July, wants to see Rotary’s members grow to 1.3 million worldwide.
It is not an easy task, since a Rotary member is usually required to give both a substantial time commitment and monetary donations. But Lin is up for the challenge. Under her governorship, about US$1.5 million has been raised in District 3480.
Membership head count and the number of donations go hand in hand. A series of activities has been held by District 3480 to raise public awareness of Rotary. Shortly after taking office, Lin sponsored Rotary Day on July 5, 2014 — a carnival event at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
Humanitarian Efforts to Help
Those in Need
As Rotary International’s mis- sion focuses on social contribution, District 3480 organized a marathon in Taipei last August and raised NT$1.2 million for charity.
Lin also chaired the “End Polio Cycling Tour” in October last year. Under the catchphrase “one dollar per kilometer ridden,” Rotary members biked around the island and raised a total of US$200,000 dedicated to fighting polio. The goal is to eradicate the disease from the planet by 2018, stressed Lin.
Rotary did not stand by when gas explosions wrecked Kaohsiung City last year. District 3480 rushed NT$3 million to the scene quickly and later donated a chemical firefighting truck worth NT$12 million to the city government.
Chiu Jung-Kuang ( ) from the Rotary Club of Taipei Hakka, under District 3480, stressed that the monetary donations were designated to households with windows and doors blasted apart by the explosions. The immediate repair provided a sense of security, he said.
Also, six infrared thermography instruments that will help protect firefighters will be delivered to Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen Tsan ( ) at District 3480’s annual meeting on April 18. Last January six firefighters lost their lives while trying to put out a fire inside a bowling alley in Taoyuan. The new instruments will help prevent such disasters from happening again.
A landmark achievement was made last year when Rotary International recognized Mandarin Chinese as one of its supporting official languages. It was the result of 10 years of hard effort. The promotion of Rotary will see fewer barriers in the future, Lin said.
Naomi Lin ( ), district governor of Rotary International District 3480, poses for a photo with her husband Louis Hsu in Taipei on March 10. Their gesture in the picture stands for: “We are this close to ending polio.”