President’s Column for April Pinion
First, I would like to begin with a word of thanks to Niles Rotary. Last fall, Barbara Orth, the First Lady of Rotary District 5170, announced that the Governor’s Partner’s Project would be a fundraiser called “Read Me a Picture,” which aimed to buy books promoting visual literacy for elementary-school students throughout the District. With the help of all our generous club members and the cooperation of Fremont Unified School District, the members of Niles Rotary Club contributed $4,100 to buy books for second-grade students in FUSD. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all for your generosity. I am particularly grateful to Sam Forbes, the champion of this project, who steered the ship safely into the fund-raising harbor after I dithered and procrastinated for several months. Thank you, Sam!
While I am on the subject of thanking people, I would like to take my hat off to President Elect Rose and the entire Reverse Raffle Committee for pulling off a fabulous event in March. What an evening to remember. The banquet room looked beautiful; I felt right at home in all that tartan and heather. The dinner was delicious. The wait staff was attentive and friendly.
Best of all, the auctions generated tremendous activity to support non-profits in our community. The fund-a-need auction resulted in more than $10,000 for SAVE’s Community Oriented Prevention Services program, which trains advocates to help domestic-violence victims at the Fremont Police Department and establish longer-term relationships with clients. Conservatively, I am going to say that from ticket sales and auction income we will provide the Gifting Committee more than $90,000 to distribute among the charities that submit grant applications this spring. This contribution is really at the heart of all the hard work that club members contribute to the event. Rotarians get the ball rolling by serving on the committee. Rotarians drive attendance by selling tickets. Rotarians make the silent and live auctions attractive by donating unique items and experiences. And Rotarians generate income for the event by bidding on those items throughout the evening. I couldn’t be prouder of all that Niles Rotary contributes to the community than I was on the evening of the Reverse Raffle.
Did you notice, by the way, that everyone had a great evening? There was so much laughter in the audience, that I could barely hear the auctioneer at times. As Past President Chuck always points out, the first rule of Rotary is “Have Fun.” And who has more fun than Bruce Prescott, the winner of the Elimination Raffle $5,000 prize? In true Karmic fashion, Bruce’s boat finally came in. All he had to do was lead the charge with ticket sales for more than five years and dress up as Cher. Bruce, you earned every penny of that prize money. Thank you for all your hard work and for your generous donation of a portion of the winnings. Keep it up.
Now we are into the final quarter of my presidency. Soon President Elect Rose will be ringing the bell and helping the club thrive. Before then, though, we have two service projects, a District Assembly and Conference, a Day at the A’s, and the event whose name must not be spoken. I look forward to seeing you at the club each Thursday and at many of these co-curricular events. Thank you, everyone, for making our club such a success.