Monday, March 27, 2023 By: Lisa Glodine McCurdyOur support of disaster relief in Turkey and Syria was one of our most comprehensive to date.
On February 22, 2023, the Board of our Club’s Foundation, the Rotary Foundation of Washington, DC, voted to accept the recommendation of the Foundation’s Disaster Working Group to support a proposal providing funding for Turkey and Syria, specifically to provide “emergency shelter and essential household items depending on what is needed”—tents and shelter kits, stoves, thermal blankets, clothing to keep people warm through the freezing winter nights, and solar lights that help people when there is no electricity, or cash to help people buy what they need to survive. A donation of $1000 was distributed to each of two organizations known to be Rotary International partners — Disaster Aid USA and ShelterBox USA.
The Foundation Board established a process for funding disaster relief efforts at our November 2021 Board meeting, which includes the Working Group receiving and processing disaster relief applications from Club members, calling for competing applications for relief concerning the same disaster, ranking the applications, and recommending the highest-ranked proposal to the full Foundation Board for a vote on funding.Read MoreShare
The Working Group consists of Foundation President Lynn Holec, Club President Marilyn Nevy Cruz, Past President Bill Dent, Foundation Director Irene Koerner, Foundation Treasurer Linda Solomon, and Past President Lisa McCurdy as the Group’s Chairperson.
A second round of giving to Turkey and Syria was spearheaded in February. The Rotary Club of Washington, DC Shelter Box fundraising campaign raised $4,040.00, and that was matched so Shelter Box received $8,080 from our Club thru that effort.
There was another $800 donated to the Club Foundation since the “match” was announced, and therefore $960.00 was donated to the Foundation to fulfill the $5,000.00 match commitment. This will help to fund additional Disaster Relief through the Foundation.
Due to the generous annual donations of club members, bequests of past club members through their estate plans, and the sound stewardship of the Foundation Board over the past century, our Rotary Club can fund disaster relief initiatives in addition to the many other worthy projects, programs, and activities through its Foundation. We should be proud of our legacy and make every effort to expand our reach.
Monday, March 27, 2023 By: Dylan J. WhiteOn March 15, 2023, the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, held its regular weekly meeting in person at the University Club of Washington, D.C. and via Zoom and welcomed the Rotaract Club of Washington, D.C. who conducted the meeting. On March 15, 2023, the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, held its regular weekly meeting in person at the University Club of Washington, D.C. and via Zoom and invited the Rotaract Club of Washington, D.C. to conduct the meeting. Read MoreShare
Rotaract President Allison (Allie) Rivera called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM.
Rotaract Member Ta-Sha Watkins led the pledge of allegiance.
Rotaract Secretary Jhosse Rivera provided the secretary’s report and welcomed our guests.
Rotaract Treasurer Maria Schweitzer recognized three birthdays and zero member anniversaries.
Rotaract Membership Chair Julia Moluf shared words of inspiration in the form of a quote by the late Disability Rights activist Judy Huemann.
President Marilyn Nevy Cruz welcomed the Rotaract Club and shared a brief background on Rotaract and inducted new Rotary Club of Washington, DC members Frank Gamez and Arden Demirayak.
Sterling Hoffman shared a Rotary Foundation Moment and made an appeal for donations to the Rotary International Foundation Fundraiser. Sterling shared the following information about current donations to date:
Donnie Shaw provided a recap of the Career Fair hosted by the Rotary Club of Washington, DC at Richard Wright Public Charter School. Donnie recognized several other members that contributed to the success of the event. A video recap of the event, produced by Elijah from Richard Wright, was shared to the club.
- Currently raised: $26,783 USD from 41 donors (approximately 1/3 of club members)
- Sterling shared information on how to donate at Rotary.org and shared that his business, Sterling Portraits, will offer discounted rates on portraits to those club members whose donations exceed $500.00 USD.
- Sterling shared that there are currently 79 Paul Harris pin recipients in the club with and additional 8 pins to be distributed at the March 22, 2023, regular club lunch meeting.
Alexandar Tsu welcomed and moderated a panel of students from CHEC, Cardozo, and Richard Wright to share their experiences and answer/ask questions following the RYLA leadership training. Students shared their key takeaways from the weekend, including what they learned and what they did on the retreat.
President Marilyn Nevy Cruz welcomed President Elect Lisa Cohen and President Nominee Bob Schott to take a photo with the students and reminded members to donate to the Rotary Club of Washington, DC Foundation, which funds this type of project.
Rotaract President Allison (Allie) Rivera shared a presentation in which she recognized individual Rotaract board of directors and provided updates on Rotaract’s recent events, including,
- District Clean Ups Brookland
- World Polio Day
- Fundraiser for Food Justice
- Best Buddies Gala
- MLK Day of Service
- District Clean Ups-Capitol Hill
- Volunteering with Food Justice
Rotaract President Allison (Allie) Rivera thanked the Rotary Club of Washington for funds that help support Rotaract and shared upcoming events that the Rotary Club of Washington members are invited to attend. Events and registration can be found on MeetUp: https://meetu.ps/e/LTcSj/1K8Lc/i
- Fellowship Events:
- Summer Potluck
- Cook out
- Fall induction ceremony
- Halloween Scavenger Hunt and Bar Crawl
- Music Trivia
- Ice Skating
- Professional Development
- September: Rotary Connection
- October: Home Buying
- December: Goal Setting
- January: Taxes
- International Connections:
- Cultural Exchange with Rotaract Sri Lanka
- Careers in Foreign Service Panel
- Partnership with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Group (ins and outs of hiring process and challenges/ demands of roles)
- ShelterBox Fundraiser (in conjunction with other Rotaract clubs across the country)
Belek Toktosunov conducted the raffle and announced small pot winner at $29. No large pot drawing was conducted.
Rotaract President Allison Rivera adjourned the meeting at 1:23 PM.
Steve Liston was the producer on Zoom, Megan Miller and Ahmed Eltally were greeters, Brian Blum and Maria Schweitzer provided hospitality, and Dylan White wrote the meeting in review.
Saturday, March 11, 2023 By: W Todd MillerOn March 8, 2023, the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, held its regular weekly meeting in person at the University Club of Washington, D.C. and via Zoom and welcomed guest speaker the Honorable H.E. Hilda Suka-Mafudze, the African Union Ambassador to the United States of America.
On March 8, 2023, the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, held its regular weekly meeting in person at the University Club of Washington, D.C. and via Zoom. Read MoreShare
Past President Nancy Riker called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM and led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Sergeant-at-Arms Lola Perez recognized birthdays and anniversaries for the week.
Secretary Todd Miller introduced the guests and visiting Rotarians. Past District Governor Rich Carson attended the meeting and brought with him Daniel Jimenez as a prospective member. Other guests included Terry Hill, a guest of Bill Busker, Ayce Ozerdem, a guest of May O’Brien who has applied for membership, Ronan Taylor, a guest of President Marilyn Nevy Cruz, and Julie Fischer, a guest of Sterling Hoffman.
Deputy Secretary Debbie Peters introduced the speaker, the Honorable H.E. Hilda Suka-Mafudze, noting that the Ambassador was a role model for her as one of the first female parliamentarians in Zimbabwe and a picture of grace. Ambassador Suka-Mafudze is the African Union Ambassador to the United States of America since October 2021. She was nominated by H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, to lead the African Union Mission in the USA, the first bilateral diplomatic Mission opened by the AU in 2007.
Ambassador Hilda Suka-Mafudze is the Permanent Representative of the African Union to the United States of America. Her core mandate is to enhance and maintain existing bilateral ties. These ties strengthen democratic institutions, advance trade and investment, knowledge sharing, promote peace and security, mutual relationships between the U.S and all 55 AU member countries based on culture and shared values.
A career diplomat with experience that spans the African continent, Ambassador Suka-Mafudze assumed her most recent duties on November 2, 2020. Prior to coming to the U.S., she helped lead diplomacy for more than two decades in a variety of top government positions in her home country, Zimbabwe. Well known as a “quiet champion of democracy,” Ambassador SukaMafudze held ambassadorial positions representing her country in Khartoum Sudan and South Sudan between 2010 and 2019, and most recently, in the Republic of Malawi.
With a staunch commitment to democracy and the will of the people, Ambassador Suka-Mafudze worked fastidiously with the 55 AU member countries to promote and deepen democracy and democratic elections on the African continent. While Ambassador to Malawi, she chaired the group of regional ambassadors representing the South African Development Community (SADC), a regional Economic Community comprising 16 member states. With an agreed objective to coordinate efforts and settle issues of a contested national election, the Ambassadors engaged deeply with the African Union Election Observers and other international observers. Ambassador Suka-Mafudze herself was serving as an international observer. In Khartoum, Sudan and South Sudan, she led important high-level political processes that continue to move the entire region toward greater peace and security. In 2007, Ambassador Suka-Mafudze was the Executive Director of Community Development where she was responsible for the day-to-day running of an organization and technical professional staff who interfaced with the government, civil society, and private sector. She worked to ensure civil society's needs were articulated and streamlined in public policies and programs.
From 2000 to 2005, Ambassador Suka-Mafudze served as an elected member of Zimbabwe’s Parliament. As one of the few women parliamentarians, she was an influential voice committed to ensuring Zimbabwe’s laws were balanced and served the interests of the poor and other marginalized groups – women, youth, the elderly and children.
Ambassador Suka-Mafudze has a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and World Order from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Gender Development from the Women’s University in Africa (WUA). Located in Marondera, Zimbabwe, WUA is a private university that works to address gender disparity and foster equity in tertiary education while developing knowledge and skills in areas of vital importance for women.
Ambassador Suka-Mafudze’s other professional and academic training include: The United Nations Senior Mission Leaders’ Course, Interaction Leadership from the British Council, a professional certificate in Networking Leadership, Diplomacy, and Mediation Skills, Leading in Conflict Environments and Skills for Conflict Transformation. Ambassador Suka-Mafudze is fluent in English, with working knowledge of French and some Southern African languages, including Shona and Ndebele.
Ambassador Suka-Mafudze is married with four children.
Ambassador Suka-Mafudze mentioned that today was International Women’s Day and discussed where Africa is today with regard to women. She recognized the important role that Rotary plays in Africa and invited Rotarians to get even more involved. She stressed the need for transformation of access to digital technology for women, explaining that women are important to the business world of Africa but lag behind in access to and knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
She discussed the recent US-Africa Summit and the Biden Administration’s commitment to allow increased 2-way trade with Africa. The Ambassador urged the US to get more involved in Africa, where there is generally a favorable view of the country. This is critical since everyone is vying for access to Africa’s minerals.
After a lively question and answer session, Past President Nancy presented Ambassador Suka-Mafudze with both an Honorary Membership in the Club and with a certificate for the planting of a tree under the Club’s Trees for the Capital program.
May O’Brien discussed the International Service Committee and invited everyone’s participation, particularly those with grants experience to do country assessments. She explained that the ISC has funded projects in 33 countries over the years. The goal is to fund high impact projects that support one of the Rotary themes (most of which were listed by Ombudsman David Klaus, supplemented by May O’Brien). This year the ISC has $28,900 to distribute.
Past President Nancy Riker, in Sterling Hoffman’s absence, asked everyone to support the Rotary Foundation. She emphasized that the Rotary Foundation returns money to the Club and we are seeking to meet the challenge of Every Member, Every Year.
Todd Miller invited everyone to participate in the Community Service Grants Committee, noting that the recommendation meeting had been set for April 1 at a place to be determined, and to nominate a Hero.
President Elect Lisa Cohen discussed her attendance at CPETS, the Chesapeake President Elect Training Seminar. She confirmed the value of the experience and noted her belief that the experience will help her have a better year as president and to support her theme of having fun.
Past President Nancy encouraged everyone to participate in the Dictionary Project, a signature program of the Club. She noted that the dictionaries are more like mini-encyclopedias and contain a lot of valuable and fascinating material.
Past President Nancy also announced the Spring Soiree on March 30 at Andy Cook’s offices at K&L Gates. She also discussed World Rotaract Week and explained that the March 15 meeting will be run by the two Rotaract Clubs sponsored by the Club.
Ombudsman David Klaus conducted the Raffle, which was won by Sofia DeMartino, but the Ace of Spades was not drawn.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM. Salvador Farfán was the producer on Zoom, and Steve Liston the producer in the room. Dr. Sam Hancock was the greeter and Sofia DeMartino provided hospitality.
Saturday, March 4, 2023 By: Sofia DeMartinoOn February 22, 2023, the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, held its regular weekly meeting in person at the University Club of Washington, D.C. and via Zoom, and welcomed guest speaker Celeste Marinelli Minister Counselor of the Embassy of the Republic of Guatemala to the United States. On February 22, 2023, the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, held its regular weekly meeting in person at the University Club of Washington, D.C. and via Zoom. Read MoreShare
Past President Andy Cook called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM and also led the pledge of allegiance.
Deputy Secretary Debbie Peters read our list of visiting Rotarians:
Sergeant-at-Arms Lola Perez recognized birthdays and anniversaries for the week.
- Anna Kaflik, guest of Bill Day
- Jaquelyn Riloff, Rotoract DC
- Molly Hanrahan, Rotoract DC
- Miles Bernhard, guest of John Kropf
- Yohanis Temteme, guest of Alexander Tu
- Reginald Read, guest of Adrian Allen
- Jose Diaz-Asper, guest of David Klaus
There was a Member Moment from Marianna Keita-Thiero: she shared her story from early dreams and plans for a career in fashion to working in television, redirecting to international communications, and finally launching her independent consulting firm here in the DMV.
President Nominee Bob Schott made an appeal to support the Club’s Foundation.
Donnie Shaw announced tomorrow’s Career Fair at Richard Wright PCS.
Past President Lisa McCurdy offered a reminder for the Write Lunch with Free Minds event on March 1st. Rotarians will have the opportunity to give encouragement and feedback to returning citizens on their writing projects. Free Minds also works to support job readiness and outreach activities to reduce recidivism.
Past President Andy Cook offered a reminder to the club for the Twin Cities Club Open House. Participating clubs will include Tokyo, Edinburgh, Santiago, Athens, Manila and more.
David Klaus introduced our speaker. From Iowa roots, David has had the opportunity to visit many South American nations with the World Bank, including Guatemala. Our speaker Celeste Marinelli serves as Minister Counselor of the Embassy of Guatemala.
Ms. Marinelli has been the Minister Counselor of the Embassy of the Republic of Guatemala in the United States since 2021. Prior to her post to the United States, she was the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Guatemala to Thailand, Counselor of the Embassy of the Republic of Guatemala to the Kingdom of The Netherlands, and Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala. She received her master’s degree from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Affairs from the Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Ms. Marinelli began her talk by first acknowledging the efforts of Rotary on healthcare and food insecurity in the nation of Guatemala, then offered a bilateral relations summary. Guatemala is the size of Tennessee, and is home to a population of 17 milllion. The GDP is $80B. Guatemala is diverse in both climate and in ethnic groups. Priorities for the nation of Guatemala are increasing trade and investment, and decreasing drug and human trafficking.
There are many differences between the United States and Guatemala, particularly in terms of the power dynamic. However, the goal is to find common interests. The U.S. has 3 main objectives for Guatemala – reducing irregular immigration, combatting drug trafficking, and strengthening the rule of law. For Guatemala, its goals with the U.S. are to increase exports and investments and ensuring the rights of Guatemalans in the United States are being respected. Public policy common ground can be found – Guatemala hopes to achieve circular immigration with seasonal workers who return to Guatemala. This must be a local policy process. On trade: Guatemala hopes to enhance and grow trade. The United States and Canada are Guatemala’s biggest trading partners. On drug transit and criminality: Guatemala is not a producer, trafficking is the issue.
Guatemala’s U.S. partners in the effort to pursue aligned goals are the DOJ, CBP, DOS, DOL, and Congress. There were many seizures last year, and they are working on dismantling structures and systems that facilitate human trafficking. Other issues include child labor in the United States and wage theft – Guatemala hopes through an awareness campaign to encourage Guatemalans living in the United States to know their rights and responsibilities, and to reach out for assistance if they are being taken advantage of by an employer.
While there is asymmetry in the power dynamic between the United States and Guatemala, there are also common goals. Guatemala is committed to working with the U.S. to achieve prosperity for both nations and peoples.
Following Ms. Marinelli’s talk, questions and answers were facilitated by Past President Nancy Riker.
Past President Andy presented our speaker with her certificate for a Tree planted in her honor.
Sterling Hoffman led the raffle drawing, Sofia DeMartino won the small pot, but did not draw the Ace of Spades.
The Meeting was adjourned at 1:30 pm by Past President Andy.
Salvador Farfán was the producer on Zoom, and Past President Nancy the producer in the room. James Corey was the greeter, and Ali Nettles provided hospitality.
Friday, March 3, 2023 By: W Todd MillerOn March 1, 2023, the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, held its regular weekly meeting as a hybrid live/Zoom meeting, and welcomed the former President of Rotary International, our District Governor Dr. Sean McAllister, Rotary Club Presidents, and other distinguished Rotarians to a Presidential Assembly to introduce Club Members to the Club’s Twin Clubs.
On March 1, 2023, the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, held its regular weekly meeting as a hybrid live/Zoom meeting. The meeting was a Presidential Assembly to introduce Club Members to the Club’s Twin Clubs. Read MoreShare
President Marilyn Nevy Cruz called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM and led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Secretary Todd Miller led the introduction of guests and visiting Rotarians.
Sergeant-at-Arms Lola Perez recognized birthdays and anniversaries for the week.
President Marilyn noted the beginning of the Assembly and acknowledged the District Governors for each Rotary District in which a Twin Club is located. She gave a special thanks to DG Bala Murthy and welcomed Past Rotary International President Gary Huang who participated from Taiwan by Zoom. She also acknowledged our own DG Sean McAllister who attended in person.
Steve Liston introduced the program and explained that each Twin Club would have a few minutes to discuss their Club. He emphasized that the primary purpose of today’s assembly was to encourage fellowship with and understanding of our Twin Clubs. After thanking him for all his effort in putting today’s Assembly together, he turned the program over to Mark Wilson. Mark introduced the President of the Rotary Club of Athens, followed by the President of the Rotary Club of Bangkok and then the President Elect of the Rotary Club of Edinburgh. President Marilyn introduced the President of the Rotary Club of San Salvador Maquilishaut; Debbie Peters introduced the Past President of the Harare Dawn Rotary Club. Mark Wilson then introduced a video presented by the Rotary Club of Manila, followed by a representative from the Paris Academies Rotary Club. Erminia Scarcella introduced a representative of the Roma Appia Antica Rotary Club. Mark Wilson presented on behalf of the Santiago Rotary Club. Ambassador Jasmine Huggins attended the meeting in person and presented on behalf of the Rotary Club of Taipei, where she had been an honorary member during her tenure as Ambassador there. May O’Brien introduced the video presented by the Rotary Club of Tokyo, and Linda Solomon introduced a representative of the Tunis Doyen Rotary Club. The Rotary Club of Seoul was unable to attend.
President Marilyn thanked Mark Wilson for his herculean effort towards today’s Assembly.
President Marilyn announced that the Member of the Month was Mary Goldsmith, but a more formal presentation of the award would be done at a future meeting. She also reminded everyone to nominate a Hero.
Todd Miller reminded everyone of that evening’s Community Service Grants Committee meeting.
Sterling Hoffman conducted the raffle, which was won by David Klaus. He drew the Ace of Spades and took home a very substantial pot. For his own safety, we will not disclose the amount, but suffice it to say that he could buy every Club member a couple of drinks and still have a lot of money left over.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:39 PM. Past President Nancy Riker and Steve Liston were the room producers and Sarah Ross was the producer on Zoom. Dr. Sam Hancock was the greeter, and Amaa Damdindorj provided hospitality.
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 By: Sterling Cecil Hoffman
Greetings fellow Rotarians,
As you know, I am the committee Chair for the Rotary International Foundation fundraiser for this fiscal year.
We had a very successful initial drive this past October and November and are starting a fiscal year-end drive in March and April.
Our motto is “Every Club, Every Member, Every Year”.
The beauty of being a part of such a large club, is we can raise a lot of money, even with small donations! Some can afford to give $25,000, some $2500, some $500, and others maybe only $25. It’s all good, appreciated and it all adds up.
Why is it so critically important to donate?
Because Rotary International, one of the largest service organizations on the planet, needs funding to continue its global projects - humanitarian, health, educational, disaster-relief. They are ongoing, every day. Only through our worldwide donations can Rotary International fulfill its 118-year missions.
So how do I donate?
- go to Rotary.org
- Click to donate tab
- Click on annual fund – SHARE
- Select your amount
- Sign in with your email and Rotary password
- Enter your credit card information
How much should I donate?
As much as you can afford and choose to. Any amount is appreciated.
How do I receive a Paul Harris Society (PHS) pin?
The Paul Harris Society pin is prestigious and is recognized worldwide as a symbol of a $1000 donation to Rotary International. This can be incrementally or in full during one fiscal year.
Our club fortunately has “points“ which can be donated on your behalf to supplement your $500 donation so you qualify for the PHS pin. Download or see me for the form and submit it for your points allocation request.
Sterling’s Portraits Offer.
If you are in need of an updated executive/branding portrait, you can receive a $500 credit towards your portrait with your $500 donation to Rotary International! Studio session $400
Prepaid digital file $400
- $500 RI credit
$300 + tax
You may use your digital file image for any of your headshot needs - including updating your profile image on the Rotary website.
If you want a more comprehensive portrait session of you, you and your spouse/significant other, or your family, use your $500 Rotary donation as a credit to our standard portrait commission pricing.
Your Sterling portrait can be created in the studio at your home or at any location worldwide
This is a great opportunity to experience a wonderful session and portrait for you and your loved ones.
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 By: Shahbaz Khan
Dear DC Rotary Club Members,
Wanted to report about my visit to Rotary Club in Pakistan. Last week I visited Lahore Pakistan my birth country and visited two rotary clubs in Lahore- Rotary Club Lahore Garrison and Rotary Club of Lahore-
With Rotary Club Lahore Garrison member Shehzad, I visited Aabroo school and learned that Rotary Club Lahore Garrison has been supporting Aabroo school for some time in various projects. Aabroo school provides education for children who are not able to afford an education and toured the school library and computer labs and classrooms and met with school teachers and students and members of the Aabroo school Rotaract members. Rotary Club Lahore Garrison has helped Aabroo school with books, computers, school supplies.
Afterwards we went and toured Mayo Hospital surgical ward and met with Mayo Hospital surgeons and staff and toured the operation rooms and saw the surgical room equipment. Rotary Club Lahore Garrison has supported Mayo Hospital Surgery center by providing medication and equipment.
Later we toured another hospital Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and toured the pediatric wards and adult cancer wards and learned about the rotary club projects at the cancer hospital.
On Feb 21, I attended the meeting of Rotary Club of Lahore- this club is the oldest Rotary Club in Asia and was chartered on Dec 7, 1927. I was invited to be the chief guest of the meeting and spoke at the meeting about myself and our DC Rotary Club.
It was a wonderful opportunity for me to see all the various Rotary Club projects at the schools and hospitals and attend the meeting of the Rotary Club in Lahore. I am attaching pictures of all the activities.
Additionally, I spoke with Saleem Zamindar in Karachi and emailed Asif Bhally’s dad to convey regards from Bill and May and although I could not go to Karachi to attend Karachi Club meeting, I spoke with Saleem and he sends his regards as well.
Tuesday, February 28, 2023 By: William Harold DentFirst of all, I wish to thank President Marilyn Nevy Cruz for her proactive and supportive role this year in the Membership arena, even as she serves as Club President.
Membership Development. As you know, we continue to have a steady stream of new membership applications and, as a result, our membership numbers are up. Our total Club membership as of the January Board meeting stood at 127. We could call this a “post-pandemic” phenomenon but what I continue to hear when I do a "Past President’s Interview” of membership applicants is the interest of today’s young professionals to “give back” and be engaged in the community and community service.
Getting involved. It is indeed great to see that the ideal of Rotary, “Service above Self”, resonates with many. I have found that each of our new members is anxious to find their best fit in the Club by identifying and becoming engage on one of our dynamic committees, which is where our Club members truly become “People of Action” and make a difference through specific projects and programs.
Guides. Nancy and, occasionally, I have continued to help new members identify a more veteran Club member to serve as a ‘Guide’ for each of our new members. Besides helping guide the new member through the Red-badge-to-Blue-badge process, a key initial task of the Guide is to help the new member find at least one committee that fits his/her interests well and get them introduced to the respective committee chair. I have even tried to do this when I do the Past-President’s interview. There is no time to waste in getting a new member on board and involved.
Member Moments. Many of us in the Club look forward to the ‘Member Moment’ segments that have become a regular part of our meetings, seemingly at least once a month. They have proven to be a great way to get acquainted with new member and even an additional way to welcome them. It is important that we continue to also invite long-time members to do a MM, since they often provide great insights into the professional and personal lives of our fellow Club members, which, otherwise, may never have come to our attention. Bill Busker is currently in charge of scheduling Member Moments. In speaking with him, I was surprised, even a little taken aback, to learn that he has faced challenges in getting some new members to commit to doing a MM. In a few cases, they have not even acknowledged his email.
Outreach & Expressions. This important Club function continues to be ably handled by PP Nancy Riker, with the same personal touch that is her hallmark. For example, all members over 75 are mailed an actual physical card for their anniversaries and birthday. For other members, she sends an email or text on or about the respective date. Nancy also has made a practice to reach out to members we know are facing serious health issues and send out ‘Get Well’ cards, as appropriate.
Fellowship Events. These continue to be organized very ably by Mary Goldsmith. The most recent one was, of course, the beautifully-done Holiday Party in December. Something, no doubt, will be planned soon to welcome spring.
Committee Meetings. The Membership Committee continues to have committee meetings, as well as once every six weeks a new & prospective “Orientation” meetings to introduce Club leaders via Zoom and provide background information on the Club, its Committees, membership fees, etc. A ‘Fireside Chat’ was also organized at Lynn Holec’s home, continuing that long tradition, providing an in-person experience for the same purpose.
New membership categories. We continue to make periodic announcements at Club meetings about the availability of the two new membership categories, respectively, for organizations and for family members/domestic partners. Unfortunately, we have had no one sign up for either. For that reason, the Committee should continue to review them and determine if any further tweaks to them are required.