The Rotary Heart
As the countdown begins and my year as Niles Rotary president enters its final months, I once again think about how different this year has been. No holiday parties, no Reverse Raffle, no Rotary International convention fun. Past President Bruce has done his best to try and bring social events to the club. Terri and the community service team have eked out a project here and there, again trying to find safe projects that make us all feel fulfilled as Rotarians. Merna and the youth service team have worked hard to deliver the Richard D King speech contest in extraordinary times…. with pretty good success I might add. Steven Lloyd has looked to international and faced delays as a result of COVID, but in time we’ll see projects come to fruition. I’m happy to say that Paul Iannaccone, through the generosity of Niles Rotarians, has seen ongoing success with The Rotary Foundation. Steve Landon has taken the newest avenue of service, the environment, by the horns. Kimberly MacFarlane has done foundational work for vocational services. I look forward to seeing how both environment and vocational services develop in the months and years to come. Sam has done his best with club admin, as that certainly is an area that is nothing like the times when we had live meetings. President-elect Audrey is hard at work planning the alternative to our 25th annual Reverse Raffle – the Spring Fling. Additionally, she has the challenge of an unpredictable new Rotary year ahead!
I’ve mentioned these things in the context of those things I’ve missed most about our live Rotary meetings. You! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved seeing you each during our weekly zoom meetings. But, as past Niles Rotary President Chuck Canada always says, it’s the energy in the room that I miss so much. In the weeks to come, I hope to attempt hybrid meetings where we can test and experiment with the technology necessary to have live meetings once again. Part of that energy that we experience is celebrating our fellow Rotarians. Past presidents of our club have celebrated the Rotarian of the Month, singling out those members who went above and beyond! Although many of you continue to do that in your Rotary service, zoom has made it more difficult to recognize this. Therefore, starting this month, I will introduce the Rotary Heart award. With the help of our We Care Queen Margo Hood, we will be celebrating some of our unsung heroes in Niles Rotary…..those members who epitomize having the Rotary heart. I acknowledge that each member of our club possesses the Rotary heart…. and would appreciate hearing those stories of our members and how their Rotary heart has made our community and world a better place. Lastly, I want to again acknowledge how Rotary makes us ALL bloom!