Gary Whiting Named Rotarian of the Month
Dr. Honora Norton, Public Image Chair
The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) is proud to name Gary Whiting as its July 2021 Rotarian of the Month. At a recent meeting, Club President Jon Lyons stated, “We were very fortunate when Gary joined our club in February, 1995. Gary, who has been a Rotarian since 1967, has been leading the club’s communication efforts by continually updating and keeping current the club’s website and Facebook page. We are very fortunate to have Gary as an outstanding club member. Rotary International (RI) and our RI District have been blessed by his service.”
Since becoming an RCSL member, Gary has served as fundraising chair, membership chair, community service chair, club meeting programs chair, club treasurer, vice president, president-elect, and 2000-01 club president. While an RCSL member, Gary also served RI District 5510 as PolioPlus chair, club service chair, membership chair, PETS facilitator, assistant governor, district governor nominee, district governor elect, and 2004-05 Centennial District Governor (responsible for 46 Rotary clubs with 1,648 members). Gary is a multiple RI Paul Harris Fellow and an RI Bequest Society member. Additionally, Gary has been involved in various human service nonprofits, such as Gift of Life-Arizona Foundation (past board president), Navajo Nation Clean Water project, and others.
Gary holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in education from Washington State University. After 26 years, Gary retired from IBM as its area marketing manager. Gary’s spouse, Barbara “Bonnie” Whiting, joins Gary as an RCSL member.
High School Speech Contest Winner
Dr. Honora Norton, Public Image Chair
Bill McCoach, representing the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL), introduced the club’s Four-Way Test Speech contest winner Navaneeth Unnikrishnan, a senior at Chandler’s Hamilton High School, to Rotarians and guests attending the Rotary International 5495 Year-End Celebration held at the Wigwam Arizona in Litchfield Park, Ariz.
In his statements to the attendees, Mr. McCoach stated, “The RCSL is a strong supporter of education in the East Valley, and one scholastic aspect is the club’s annual Four-Way Test Speech Contest. This past year was the club’s sixth consecutive year of the event. The Four-Way Test was originated by Herbert J. Taylor, a Rotary International director. In the 1930s he developed the Four-Way Test of the things we think, say, or do as a means to help save a distribution company from bankruptcy. Adopted by Rotary International (www.rotary.org) in 1943, the Four-Way Test is still relevant today and transcends generations and national boundaries.”
The Four-Way Test has captured the imaginations of generations of Rotarians as a simple checklist to help ensure that Rotarians are applying this positive and powerful ethics code to how one lives his/her life and serves others. Each year, RCSL gets one student from each of the six Chandler high schools to compete. Student speeches are five to seven minutes in length, and students are asked to apply the Rotary Four-Way Test in their everyday relationships with their peer group or to events of today’s world. The speech must show clearly the practical application of all four points of the Rotary Four-Way Test. RCSL awards the first place winner $500, second place $250, and runners-up $100 each.
Navaneeth related the following Four-Way Test questions to his and other young students’ work, stress, anguish, and determination to “get into” the right ivy league college/university.
1. Is it the truth?
2. Is it fair to all concerned?
3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Navaneeth’s speech highlighted his ability to express one’s thoughts and ideas clearly, concisely, and persuasively. He stated young people are living in a culture of college admission competition and detachment like never before, and it can feel like they do not have much control. He noted that too many students arrive at the end of high school feeling defeated and approach college admission as if it is a burden they must “get through,” or for some, avoid altogether.
Mr. McCoach invited other Rotarians to introduce this speech contest to their own clubs. To join in and learn more about this and other RCSL education programs, visit www.sunlakesrotary.com.