Wrapping things up. A two article series.
After concluding a fun meetertainment that we called Disney Day at Niles Rotary, Sandi Pantages dropped by to pick up a speaker gift and deliver it to the prior week’s speaker. In doing so, she reminded me that we were approaching the Pinion deadline. The thought occurred to me at that moment how difficult it is to believe how the months have passed so quickly. It also occurred to me that this will be my second to the last Pinion article. I figure I’m going to need both articles for May and June to adequately reflect on my year and thank so many people for what was an unprecedented and unique time in Niles Rotary history.
To kick this off, I decided to pull my first video from the archives. During a meeting in June, I would like to share that video once again to see if I delivered on what I said I would as your President. As I reviewed that video from June 2020, I stated to my fellow Rotarians that our world and community need Niles Rotary. I mentioned that Rotary International was asking us to remain flexible, be relevant, and be ready for change if we want to build membership and continue the work that our community and world needs. My fellow Rotarians, I believe Niles Rotary will never be quite the same as it was. Yet, it is my fervent hope that I have emphasized throughout my year that the fellowship and personal friendships achieved through live meetings are irreplaceable. It’s a Niles Rotary hallmark! Once again, I can’t help but quote what past president Chuck always says….”it’s the energy in the room” that makes Niles Rotary so special. Yet….change has happened, whether we wanted it to or not!
Our new way of doing Rotary has forced us to rethink our dues structure to support our club financially. Please recall, your board has approved a dues “restructure” that shifts some club financing away from meeting fees to an increase in annual dues. ($160.00 to $250.00 per year…the first increase in about 6 years. Yet, we will not require makeup fees for live meetings that are missed as we have in the past, since we will continue to offer a Zoom option. The fee for attending a live meeting will remain at $20. Depending on a Rotarian’s historic attendance at meetings, the increase in total dues/meeting fees paid throughout the year will be minimal. This will be reassessed by our next Board of Directors as we exit our current pandemic and have a better idea of what our Rotary meeting future looks like.
It is my belief that live streaming of meetings is here to stay. Prior to the pandemic, I was working with tech savvy Rotarians and Washington West staff to determine how Niles Rotary could “broadcast” our meetings to a wider audience. That work was put on hold as we progressed through the pandemic. Going forward, we will once again take up that task as President-Elect Audrey assumes the helm and we have an idea of when we might return to our home…Washington West. Because there will still be sensitive Niles Rotary populations and new members who have only known our Rotary Zoom existence, it is essential that we continue live streaming via interactive means to those members.
I am excited by what I believe is a number of individuals who wish to become Niles Rotarians. My sources tell me that we are on the cusp of considering four to five potential new members. I am anxious for the next two months to see how this develops.
In that first video, I asked you to “hold onto your seat as we, in the immortal words of Past President Sandra Young, are going to shake things up a bit.” I think we have delivered on that promise! This said…..I will now begin to contemplate my next Pinion article where I will make an attempt to adequately thank those who have shaped this wacky Rotary year. From a fundraising haircut to your generosity for Henry Phipps Paul Harris, I will highlight what will definitely be my best year in Rotary! At this writing….only 8 more meetings!
Keep on Blooming in Niles Rotary Service!