Joe ‘Keet’ Hamilton, a name some may remember from his days as superintendent of Fremont Union High School District, is the new Rotary International district governor for 2012-13.
In this volunteer role Hamilton, a Cupertino resident who retired from FUHSD in 2002, will coordinate community and international service projects for the 53 clubs in district 5170, which includes the and clubs in the South and East Bay.
“The main goal for the coming year is for each Rotarian to engage community minded individuals to join us in our commitment to enhance lives and create positive opportunities within our communities and around the world,” Hamilton said at his installation ceremony last month, according to a statement.
Hamilton has been a member of the Sunnyvale Rotary club since 1993.
“I joined Rotary for business, but soon realized, as a member of Rotary I was part of something much larger than my own immediate world,” he said in a statement.
Locally, the Cupertino Rotary club provides myriad assistance across the city and surrounding communities, such as Operation Snowflake when members build a mountain of snow for special needs kids to play in; and full turkey dinners with all the fixins given to low-income families in the area at Thanksgiving; and most recently .
But the work Rotary does is international and Hamilton has been particularly active.
“Within Rotary I could help make a real difference. Whether it was feeding the homeless in the local Armory or placing Polio immunization drops in the mouth of a baby in Ghana, Rotary provided me an avenue to impact the larger local and world community,” Hamilton continued.
“I have observed surgeries in Guatemala, met the poorest families in the slums of Djibouti, been to the homes of the wealthy in several countries, been hosted by Chinese government officials in a banquet in Hunan Province in China, and distributed mosquito nets to mothers in Ghana who's greatest desire was to protect their babies from Malaria. Rotary opens doors to the greatest adventures and the most interesting individuals one can imagine,” he said.
The financial assistance the clubs he represent are large, including $1.5 million that will help introduce youth to subjects that scream Silicon Valley—science, technology, engineering and math—plus the money sponsors leadership camps, feeds and clothes the hungry, assists with healthcare for the uninsured, and more.
Hamilton’s term lasts until June 30, 2013. He is among 532 Rotarians worldwide serving as a district governor.