The R.I. theme that year called on clubs to “Create Awareness, Take Action.” And that was precisely what Pres. Roland “Roland” Young did.
He raised awareness for a cause he was passionate about by engaging in a multi-pronged program that cemented the Club’s initiation to the cause and secured its stature as an ardent advocate. More significantly, he acted on his designs and turned objectives into done deals.
Environment was the apple of his Rotary eye.
To contribute to efforts to reverse the massive denudation of the La Mesa Reservation in Quezon City, a major source of water for Metro Manila’s 12 million-strong population, he forged an agreement with the ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Kalikasan (Nature Watch) that called for the Club to plant some 47,800 trees on 76.5 hectares of the endangered watershed over a three-year period, with funds from a TRF matching grant of US$75,400 supported by contributions from RCs Itako, Kuala Lumpur Diraja, Hong Kong. Deachon, Peninsula Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu and District 3620 Korea.
The reforestation scheme was complemented by an awareness and advocacy program among the youth made concrete by the creation of Angels Clubs in public elementary and high schools in Makati City. Angels, an acronym for Agents of the New Generation of Environment Lovers and Saviors, became the platform for students to undertake projects and activities to protect, preserve and renew the environment. The project also involved tree planting activities in Makati and Taguig and in the campuses of 36 public schools in Makati, seminars and workshops on sanitation and solid waste management in schools, and the construction of nine drinking stations at the La Mesa Ecopark.
Pres. Roland’s vision inspired two long-range measures—one, the integration of environment issues and concerns into the annual programs of public schools in Makati; and two, the creation of the Makati Environment Foundation among the Makati City Government, Makati Commercial Estate Association, and civic groups like RC Makati, bound by the shared mission of promoting a healthier environment in Makati. Its aim: to advance the cause of the environment through programs, projects and activities that improve and safeguard the quality of air, water and land resources and preserve them for future generations. With Roland Young as founding president, the Foundation initiated an annual tree-planting program in Makati and a continuing awareness and advocacy campaign in schools and barangays on solid waste management, sanitation, and clean air.
During the year, the Club conducted workshops and demonstrations in rag-making, meat preservation, and massage for the womenfolk of Tejeros Tenement, and workshops on family violence for the entire family, using the Rotary Community Corps (previously known as Rotary Village Corps) as a platform for these community activities.
It provided homestay for a Rotary Exchange group from Kuala Lumpur and hosted a Group Study Exchange team from the United States. It also maintained relations with five sister clubs-- RC Kota Kinabalu, RC Itako, RC Peninsula-HK, RC Kuala Lumpur Diraja and RC Hong Kong, and revived ties with RC Osaka Shirokita-Japan.
Meetings were made alive with outstanding speakers, notably former President Fidel Ramos, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Wall Street’s Gloom-Boom-and-Doom analyst Marc Faber.
In June 2001, Roland Young’s efforts in all the avenues of service were crowned with the Most Outstanding Club President –Overall award at the district yearend awards.