Clubs Varilek addresses Vermillion Rotarians

The Vermillion Rotarians, with past-past president Barry Vickrey standing in, met for our weekly lunch Tuesday at the Neuharth Center. Guests were Chuck Aman, Mark Froke and Charlie Gross. For our program, Matt Varilek, currently serving as a legislative assistant for economic development in Sen. Daschle's office, spoke to us about an important program of Rotary that he benefited from personally. Some years back Matt was selected as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar which supported him for graduate study in Glasgow, Scotland. He had emerged from Carleton College (MN) with a degree in philosophy and a somewhat late emerging interest in economics. A stint in Paraguay, where he observed close up some of the problems of poverty in the larger world, along with some personal concern that he, himself, not join the ranks of the poor, however enlightened through philosophy, found him anxious to pursue further study, this time in economics. And Rotary came through with the support that let him go to Scotland to study on a full stomach (of haggis, thistles, and stuff like that). Later he worked, shortly, for the devils in Wall Street, but subsequently found his way to working more for the commonweal as a legislative assistant for economic development. He reminded us of the great good that Rotary often does through its support of education in the international context. Not only does a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar get to study abroad at a university, but, as an "ambassador," he (or she) is drawn into contact with Rotarians in that host country and most often gains greatly from that broader contact.

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