View the digital magazine or download the PDF October 2013 Building bridges to the future
The drive into Spittal an der Drau is beautiful. Even in the rain. A wide valley is a stage of villages among fields — many abloom in flowers. Austria’s Gurktal Alps are the backdrop, draped with a dense curtain of trees. Here and there, embedded in the slopes, are clearings with farm houses, surrounded by square pastures.
Gunter Gasser is driving home through the rain-soaked scene. His windshield wipers have been busy for much of the drive from Vienna. Suddenly, the sun cuts through the clouds. The rain slows to a drizzle. A rainbow arches over the valley and plunges its colorful beams into the green hillside ahead.
Gasser glances at his passenger. “I arranged that just for you,” he says with deadpan sincerity. Then he punctuates the comment with a thin smile, confirming the obvious. It’s a joke.
Yet his hyperbole is more amusing because it’s almost — almost — believable that an engineer, quality management expert, activities planner and Kiwanian has the wherewithal to orchestrate light-spectrum shows across picturesque valleys. Instead, 2013–14 Kiwanis International President Gunter Gasser is intent on erecting more permanent structures: bridges.
“This year,” he says of 2013–14, “we are building bridges for children to the future. ‘We’ means it will take teamwork. ‘Build’ stands for result-oriented projects. ‘Bridges’ normally provide a safe path over a difficult crossing. ‘Children,’ of course, are our target group. And the ‘future’ means we’re creating projects with concrete solutions and great sustainability.”;
Meet your 2013-14 Kiwanis International president by downloading or reading the October Kiwanis magazine. There, you'll also find Kiwanis stories about a eerie US$14,000 fundraiser, two Italian craftsmen and creative ideas to help your club raise money for The Eliminate Project.