GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Rotarians with the Grand Canyon Rotary on the Rim Club is gearing up for an exciting week as they host the 2010 Rotary District conference. This year, Rotarians with local District 5480 will stay in Tusayan at the Grand Canyon Best Western Squire Inn. The conference begins this week. Local Rotarians will host Group Study Exchange (GSE) team members as well, according to local Rotarian Greg Bryan. Bryan is also manager of the Squire Inn.
"Each year the outgoing governor of the district hosts a conference for all the Rotarians in our area. This year it will be hosted at Grand Canyon Best Western Squire Inn. We hosted it in 2004 as well," Bryan said. "It's a time when Rotarians from across the district come in to share educational opportunities. This year they will be hosting some different GSE teams, which are Group Study Exchange people, at different locations along the rim, to help with educational opportunities about what their program is about, where they went to a different country and became involved, and what they learned about that country in the particular profession they had. In particular, the park service will have some interpretive people at different locations to talk about our great resource here in the Grand Canyon National Park."
Conference guests typically include international Rotary Club members, Bryan said.
"Oftentimes it has been the Rotary International president who has come in and shared with us," Bryan said. "We will have Group Study Exchange teams, one from Australia and one from India that will be staying here. The Australian team, hosted by our club, will be staying here and the India team will be hosted by the Williams Club. On Thursday morning one of our Rotarians, Clarinda Vail, is going to be taking the Group Study Exchange people on a hike into the Grand Canyon."
Bryan added that a number of functions are also planned for the visiting Rotarians. Up to 150 to 200 visitors are expected as part of the conference.
"There will be two functions, primarily food functions for entertainment," Bryan said. "One on Friday night, which is more of a fiesta type event. On Saturday night they will have kind of a dress-up dinner, and then on Sunday morning they always have a church service and an opportunity to recognize Rotarians that have passed away in the last year. All during the day there will be, again, educational opportunities, as well as Rotary business. There will be opportunities for people to learn about different service kinds of programs and different kinds of areas, not only in the district, but also internationally.
Preparing for the conference, Bryan said, has been a lot of work, but exciting as well.
"We've done it before so we have some history with it," Bryan said. "Rotarians, like a lot of people, they don't plan their trip until the last minute, so it's been difficult to work on some of the meal counts and that sort of thing, but it's an exciting time for Rotarians to come and share what their doing in their home town, what they're doing with their club, and ideas about how we can do more service, both within our community, our district, as well as internationally."