Rotary Club Prague International
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This week's RCPI club meeting was kindly hosted by His Excellency the Ambassador Aldo Amati at the Italian Embassy in Prague. Ambassador Amati addressed the Rotarians and commented on a number of very topical issues such as the plight of the refugees coming to Europe and the special burden Italy and Greece have due to their geographic position whereby both countries become the primary countries of entry to the European Union. Ambassador Amati was most engaging as he moved on to other topics including the Italian Embassy in Prague. RCPI President, Sanan Phutrakul, thanked the ambassador on behalf of all the members of the club for a most interesting and informative evening.
Rotary District Govenor, Stepan de Wolf, presented RCPI the award for the highest Rotary Foundation contribution per member out of the 72 clubs in the District. The foundation is the charitable arm of Rotary. It taps into a global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into , such as and . Foundation empower Rotarians to approach challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition with sustainable solutions that leave a lasting impact. Strong , a stellar , and a unique mean that the foundation make the very most of every donation. RCPI has an innovative approach to increasing donations, members receive activity points for their contribution club activities and these in turn are transformed into donations to the Foundation. RCPI President, Sanan Phutrakul, received the award on behalf of the club.
RCPI also received the award for Membership Development. This award is given to the club which has attracted the most members in the previous Rotary year. Fernanda Escobar, RCPI Membership Chair, accepted the award from DG Stepan de Wolf.
Ambassador Ed Hoeks of the Netherlands  joined Rotarians, visitors and friends at our recent club meetings. Following club proceedings and dinner he presented Brexit in the broader context of events both contemporary and historical. Drawing a link between the French revolution, the Russian Revolution and the rise of nationalism, he proposed that we are exiting a period of libertarianism and are entering uncertain times as nations focus inwards and on themselves rather than having themes of cooperation. Ambassador Hoeks went on to share how he had also not predicted that the UK would vote to exit the European Union and that a great partner of the Netherlands will distance itself. Of course no view of Brexit would be complete without a comment on the election of the US president and Ambassador Hoeks drew parallels by observing that the less affluent middle classes, previously silent have now shaped the course for history for years to come. His insightful remarks and observations kept the attention of the audience and some lively questions rounded off a most interesting evening.
The debutantes walzed to “My Life is Love and Pleasure” by Josef Strauss as part of the opening ceremony of the Ball der Österreicher held at the stunning Palac Zofin in Prague. Rotary Club Prague International was represented in the opening ceremony by two of our exchange students Laura Chironi, from Italy and  Anusri Aral from India who were accompanied by their Czech dance partners. Rotarians and friends danced the night away to traditional walzes and polkas as well as some rather more modern disco beats in the smaller hall of the Zofin.
The 2017 Dragon Boat Charity Challenge is open and the races will be on the 13th May 2017. Enter a team, have fun  and raise funds for three very worthwhile Czech charities. Find out more by clicking HERE
Peter Kysel joined Members, visitors and friends at our club meeting in Prague. Peter is an experienced Investment Banker and Consultant and has been actively involved in the voluntary sector since 1986. He spoke to us in his capacity of Board member of the Friends of Czech Heritage, an organisation dedicated to preserving fine examples of Czech architecture. Peter explained that his organisation uses their funds as seed corn to leverage further fund and to set projects off on a path to completion. "Very often a relatively small sum will will demonstrate to others that the project has backing and other grant money will begin to flow" said Peter. The organisation also helps in very practical ways by organising volunteers where willing and able individuals spend time physically working on a project. "no experience necessary" explained Peter "we provide all the know how - you just have to be willing and have a pair of gloves and wellington boots". Expert consultancy to help owners of historic buildings to consider how to preserve the building whilst always bearing in mind that an ultimate purpose and use is really important. "we restore and preserve so that the building has a use. Without this it would fall into disrepair again in 5 years" said Peter. The club thanked Peter for a very interesting and enlightening talk. More at
Peter Kyse
Over 35 Rotarians and friends enjoyed an evening of bowling in Prague as part of our series of fun club meetings. Bowling, chatting and a few glasses of good Czech beer made a very enjoyable evening. It was great to have some of our exchange students and friends at the meeting which spanned an age range of 13 to over 70.
Just some of the RCPI Bowling Crowd
The Rotary Dragon Boat Charity Challenge is fast becoming the premier charity event of a Prague Spring. This year's event takes place on the 17th May. It’s an event that combines Team-building, Corporate social responsibility, live entertainment and family fun in one great programme. The sight of teams of highly motivated paddlers going all out for the finish line makes an exciting spectacle that draws big crowds.
We expect more than 30 teams to enter, some for fun and some to earnestly compete to win. If you are a company, a club or association or just a great group of friends, now is the time to enter your team. All the details you need in Czech and English are HERE.
The Indian Food for Indian schools project was more successful than ever in 2016.
A record 547 Indian lunches were delivered to hungry customers over 9 days during October. Thanks to additional donations from Rotarians we were able to send 250,000 Indian Rupees [94,000 Kč] to support one large primary school and an anganwadi in Rajsamand.  175 Children were helped and the school was provided with some computer equipment, classroom furniture and kitchen equipment as well as sports & music supplies.
11 More able children with good academic results from poorer families who were also given financial scholarships.
We also visited schools that were helped in 2013 and 2014 and were pleased to notice that progress had been maintained.
More pictures from our trip HERE
Irena Brichta and Stuart Amesbury from our club will be traveling to San Diego to take part as Training Leaders in the Rotary International Assembly which is Rotary's annual training meeting for incoming district governors. Irena and Stuart were trainers at the assembly last year and have the honour of having been asked back for a second year to be discussion leaders and help District Governors elect (including our own DGE, Julius Tomka (RC Banska Bystrica) share their insights, experience and knowledge with the other incoming district governors from around the world. Whilst San Diego may sound enticing, the event is hard work for the trainers who start at 6.30am to set up the workshop rooms, and do not finish until 8pm in a tightly packed programme of lectures and workshops. “Stuart and I are really looking forward to meeting the incoming DGs and their partners” said Irena, “One can really see the power of Rotary through the representation of leaders from all continents”.
A five day training program for the trainers precedes the International Assembly where the trainers familiarise themselves with the newest concepts and ideas emanating from Rotary and have an opportunity to practice the teaching sessions prior to the arrival of over 530 incoming district governors.
It is that time of year again for officer elections for the next Rotary year, which begins on July 1, 2017. According to the club's by-laws, the club officers are defined as follows (current holder in brackets):
  • The President (Sanan Phutrakul)
  • The President Elect (Helen Noll)
  • The Immediate Past President (Petr Smejcky)
  • The Secretary (Radka Rajska)
  • The Treasurer (Karin Genton L'Epee)
Next year, Helen becomes President and I become Immediate Past President, so we will be electing all three incoming officer positions for the Rotary Year 2017/2018. These are:
  • President Nominee (will be President Elect in 2017/18)
  • Secretary Elect (Radka will step down at the end of the current Rotary year)
  • Treasurer Elect (Karin will step down at the end of the current Rotary year)
If you would like to submit yourself as a nominee, please email . If you would like to nominate someone else, please make sure that you first get his/her consent before doing so. Please submit your nominations by January 16, 2017. Elections will take place at our club assembly on January 30, 2017 @ 18:00-20:00.
If you are considering a position as an officer and/or have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me or any officer above.
Kindest regards,
Sanan Phutrakul
Club President 2016/17
RC Prague International

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Club Directors
President Elect
Sergeant at Arms
Community Service Chair
Vocational Services Chair
Club Service Chair
International Liason Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair
WASH Committee Chair
Youth Exchange Officer
Interact Coordinator
Rotaract Coordinator
Innovative Club Chair
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Immediate Past President
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