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Service Above Self, More Than Just a Club Motto

Rotary’s official mottos, Service Above Self and One Profits Most Who Serves Best, trace back to the early days of the organization.

In 1911, He Profits Most Who Serves Best was approved as the Rotary motto at the second convention of the National Association of Rotary Clubs of America, in Portland, Oregon. It was adapted from a speech made by Rotarian Arthur Frederick Sheldon to the first convention, held in Chicago the previous year. Sheldon declared that

"only the science of right conduct toward others pays. Business is the science of human services. He profits most who serves his fellows best."

The Portland convention also inspired the motto Service Above Self. During a convention outing on the Columbia River, Ben Collins, president of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, talked with Seattle Rotarian J.E. Pinkham about the proper way to organize a Rotary club, offering the principle his club had adopted: Service, Not Self. Pinkham invited Paul P. Harris, who also was on the boat trip, to join their conversation. Harris asked Collins to address the convention, and the phrase Service, Not Self was met with great enthusiasm.

At the 1950 RI Convention in Detroit, slightly modified versions of the two slogans were formally approved as the official mot­tos of Rotary: He Profits Most Who Serves Best and Service Above Self.

As we start the Rotary fiscal year 2018/19 the Merritt Island Rotary club has taken this motto to heart. We are happy to announce the start of our Mobility Chair Program.

It was brought to the attention of our Incoming President Russ McCarthy that there is a need for our community residents to have immediate access to electric wheelchairs while waiting for approval to obtain one through Medicare or Private Health Insurance. After advocating to provide an intermediate solution Rotarian Bill Frederick graciously donated a Jet 3 electric wheelchair to the cause and fellow club Rotarian Greg Bonenberger contracted with Brevard Medical Equipment to manage the delivery and maintenance for the program.

The Goal of the program is to provide assistance to our local community members currently in limbo who are lacking the most essential part of independent care, mobility.

The program is in place, and the Jet 3 is ready to be loaned out to a Merritt Island residence in need. Once a permanent solution is in place, the chair will be returned to Brevard Medical Equipment for general maintenance before being loaned out to another local resident. Should Medicare/Insurance not approve a wheelchair, arrangements can be made to purchase or rent a chair in place of the Rotary loaner.

Contact if you know of a person who would benefit from this program.

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