With apologies to Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a Rotary club in possession of a good membership, must be in want of new recruits. Niles Rotary is no exception to this rule. As Rick Hood and Chuck Canada, our Membership Committee chairs, remind us, if the club isn’t attracting new members, then we are in trouble. With the leadership of the Membership Committee and the commitment from recent past presidents, club members have introduced in an unparalleled group of new Rotarians who have brought fresh ideas and great energy to the club. You only have to look around and see what is being accomplished: Simon Cho led the way at the Rotary International Convention in Seoul, Korea; Geeta Kadambi is going to catapult us into a new realm of international service with SightNow; Aggie Freeman is working with the Rotaract club to help strengthen its membership; Maria Mendoza is leveraging her position at Republic Services to help with service projects; the list goes on and on. The contributions of our new members are keeping our club vibrant and relevant. And through the mentoring program, we have done an admirable job of retaining new club members.
August was membership month in Rotary, and Rick and Chuck have asked me to lead the charge in attracting new members this Rotary year. So, over the next couple of weeks, you’ll be hearing about a new membership challenge that we will launch, asking everyone to participate in bringing friends and acquaintances to lunch at the Club. Stay tuned as we get ready to roll this out. Actually, to be perfectly frank, Rick and Chuck have been ready for weeks and have been very patient waiting for me to get my act together. Thank you, guys!
August was also great month at Niles Rotary, with a host of opportunities to socialize and support the club’s service projects. Thank you, Bruce Prescott, for hosting the annual Bocce tournament at your house, and thank you Bubba Hagg for grilling dinner for us all. A little later in the month, Harry Avila hosted Hit n’ Giggles at Castlewood Country Club, which was very well attended. At the end of the month, we held a fundraiser for SightNow at Big Dog Winery in Milpitas. This was one well-attended club event, with over eighty people there to support the project championed by Geeta Kadambi. The hors d’oeuvres were delicious, the band was rockin’, the wine flowed freely, the setting was beautiful and . . . best of all, we raised over $5,000 for SightNow, which primes the pump nicely for our ambitious plans for the project. A host of people made this happen: Audrey Kearns had the vision, Manuel Franco contributed the band, Geeta organized the hors d’oeuvres, Nader Ayad donated a watch for the raffle, and club members showed up in droves. Thank you to everyone who helped and attended!
Next up, September. September is Education and Literacy Month for Rotary International, which is very apropos, as the District Governor Partner’s Project this year (called “Read Me A Picture”) aims to put a book in the hands of elementary school kids throughout Rotary District 5170. District Governor Jeff Orth and his wife Barbara will be visiting the club on September 29, when we will hear more about this terrific initiative. For our club, discussions have begun with Fremont Unified about how we can help students most effectively; thank you President Elect Rose and Jim Morris for initiating discussions. Also, on September 10, Paul Andrus and Past President Steve Landon have orchestrated a big service project for the club at Blacow School. They have organized an impressive number of upgrades for us to get accomplished, so please plan to attend and support our local schools.
Thank you, everyone, for everything that you do for Niles Rotary. The club is its members! Get involved, lend us a hand, pitch in, do your bit . . . and don’t forget to Keep Calm and Serve On!