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Building peace in Chicago

18 Feb

Service in Action

By Past District Governor Patricia Merryweather, District Foundation Chair of District 6450 (Illinois, USA); Rotary Club of Naperville

As District Governor-elect at the 2012 International Assembly, I remember tears streamed down my face when President-elect Tanaka announced the 2012-13 Rotary theme Peace Through Service.

Fast forward to our District’s Conference in May 2012 as I wondered how we could bring peace to the streets of Chicago. A few weeks later, our district sprang into action when Heaven, a seven year old girl in Chicago was shot and killed by stray gunfire while she was out selling candy to raise money for a trip to Disney World.  A group of our District Rotarians started to talk about what we could do to create peace in Chicago. With Chicago averaging seven people shot each day and at least 10 people killed each week by gun fire, inaction was no longer an…

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