I am proud to be a Rotarian! For ten years I have been active in our District and during that time I have developed my own opinions about what a successful Rotary Club looks like. Now after visiting 20 Rotary Clubs this past month, I believe I've identified a key characteristic - perhaps THE key characteristic - of a successful club. In successful clubs, the members are doing life together. Yes, clubs have service projects, networking opportunities, community partnerships, organizational structures, rules, processes, tools, reports, etc... but if the members are committed to one another, then magic happens.
Clubs are successful when members invest in one another, when members serve one another, and when members honor and support their newest members. If this part is done right, all of the other stuff tends to fall right in line. Rotary is not just a service organization; it is a membership organization that serves. Clubs thrive when members are committed to one another. I've seen this in each of our clubs and I could not be any prouder of them.
Can you tell where this photo was taken? Hint - it wasn't 105 degrees!
There are a couple of other things on my mind this month too, so let's get to them. First, I encourage you as a Rotarian to take advantage of the personal leadership development opportunities that are available through Rotary. These opportunities will help you in your club, your career, your family, and your community. The interesting thing about these opportunities is that they are usually disguised as something else. We oftentimes call them seminars, training assemblies, or conferences. Several personal leadership development events are happening in the next 60 days, and I'd like to highlight them here (register for them, and learn more about them, by clicking on them in the District Events calendar to the right of this note).
In September and October we will be conducting three identical events in Lake Havasu City (9/20), Sedona (10/4) and Peoria (10/25). From 9 a.m. to Noon on each of these dates, a Grant Management Seminar will be held. This event is perfect for club Rotary Foundation Chairs and their committee members. In order to apply for Global or District grants next year, your club must have at least two members attend one of these seminars. From 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on each of these dates a Membership Seminar will also be held. This event is ideal for club Membership Chairs and their committee members. Of course, all Rotarians are welcome to both seminars. Register this week for one or both of these seminars.
You will also notice on the calendar, an Ethics Seminar on September 27th in Phoenix - brought to us by The Ethics Initiative (EI). EI's mission is to develop and provide resources that promote integrity and character in the personal and vocational lives of youth and adults through Rotary Clubs and Districts. We are confident you'll love this event - EI is so sure of this that they have given a money-back guarantee. You won't want to miss this!
Another personal development opportunity that I hope you take advantage of is the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) on October 11th in Phoenix. If you are looking to develop or strengthen your leadership skills, RLI is perfect for you. RLI is also an ideal way to learn a great deal about Rotary in a very short amount of time. Talk to your club President about RLI this week!
Next on my mind is our late friend, Past District Governor Gary McEachern. Gary had (and still has) a significant effect on the trajectory of my life. His enthusiasm was contagious, and he showed me just how cool that could be! On September 13th, the Buckeye and White Tanks Rotary Clubs are hosting The Gary McEachern Memorial Golf Tournament "Gary's Cup" to raise funds for RYLA and Youth Exchange scholarships for use in their communities. To learn how you can participate, click HERE.
Our 2014-15 "End Sex Trafficking" awareness initiative is making great strides. Our District's End Sex Trafficking Committee, led by Dick Eisenach (Phoenix Rotary 100), has been trained by the Arizona Attorney General's Office, and has nearly completed development of the "Rotary Club End Sex Trafficking Toolkit" for raising awareness in our clubs and our communities. Look for detailed information and next steps in September!
Finally, I hope you are proud to be a Rotarian and proud of this great gift we have been given - our own local Rotary Club. Make it a great September!
Tony Hauserman (Sedona Red Rocks Rotary Club) recently shared: "My wife mentioned to a friend of mine who works as a handy-man that we need a roof over our wood pile to protect it from rain. So, he came one day, measured it bought materials and built an outdoor roof over our wood pile. It was an awesome job. When I offered to pay him, he refused payment as he felt it was a job done for a friend not a job for profit. I insisted he be paid, he still refused. We came to an awkward moment. Just then, I thought of Rotary and of the 4 way test. I told my friend that I am a Rotarian and I believe in its precepts encapsulated in our 4 way test. I recited for him our 4 way test and told him that no. 2 was "Is it fair to all concerned" and that I could not live up to that if he did work for me and accepted no payment. Under this explanation he accepted payment and was happy to do so. From this application of Rotary precepts we both came away happy."
Exciting things are happening with our district’s Youth Services that are spreading throughout Arizona, and are beginning to draw the attention of other parts of the Rotary world.
Think about it: Rotarians are significantly impacting the lives of more that 500,000 youth every year through our Rotary-sponsored youth programs, and we are developing some incredible young leaders. So why, with this enormous base of youth participation, has Rotary been struggling with any kind of membership problems?
The first USA Mexico Friendship Conference I ever attended was in Cuernavaca, Morelos. But that wasn’t my first trip to Cuernavaca. In fact, I lived there for a time and really learned to love Mexico while I was there. It was also where I learned to speak Spanish through an immersion program. So I am very excited about this year’s upcoming conference to be held again in the “City of Eternal Spring.”
For 14 years, Arizona and Mexico Rotarians have alternated travel to each other’s districts for a very special time of building international goodwill and better friendships and finding ways to support each other’s projects through matching grants.
Have you visited the District Website lately? You can find stories about upcoming events, various club activities, links to outside resources and much more. Many individual content contributors and a talented webmaster (Rusty Pile) work hard to maintain this central repository for information.
How do I make a difference in our dynamic and ever changing world? Where there are so many in need of assistance, how can I take action? How can I do this as a Rotarian? When I joined Rotary, I found men and women pursuing the same thing – helping others by performing service and by supporting significant projects in my community and in communities throughout the world. The answer for me was Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.
How marvelous that members of 9 different Rotary clubs gathered together at the Glendale West Rotary Club meeting on August 20 to welcome guest speaker Dave Berry and his wife/fellow Rotarian Mary Ann Berry.
Great news! The Rotary Foundation announced approval August 2, 2014 of our Microcredit Matching Grant for Rotary year 2013-2014. Contributing Rotarians and Clubs can expect to see Paul Harris credits to their accounts shortly.
To receive special recognition at the 2015 District Conference, participating Rotary Clubs, Rotaract Clubs and Interact Clubs will perform two or more activities in one or both of these initiatives by April 30, 2015: The 2014-2015 District 5490 Ethics Initiative; The 2014-2015 District 5490 End Sex Trafficking Awareness Initiative