Hello fellow Rotarians! Thank you for allowing me to be your President in what is bound to be the most unprecedented start of any Rotary year ever. I know I express our entire club’s gratitude when I give a huge shout out to now Past President Bruce. His steady leadership, guidance and humor through what has turned out to be the most unprecedented END to any Rotary year ever cannot be overstated. Thank you PP Bruce … we all look forward to your demotion … whatever form that may eventually take!
Today, as I flip through The Rotarian magazine, I see article after article that reminds me why I was inspired to make “Rotary makes US Bloom” my tag line for my year as Niles Rotary President. Basically, being a Rotarian brings out what is naturally within each of us. It provides an avenue to channel that which is good within every member of this club and Rotary International. Yet … attending a meeting of Niles Rotarians is the very best way to see how each of us “bloom” in Rotary. At the time I am writing this article, we are all still “zooming” our meetings. I can’t tell you how anxious I am to be able to once again look around the tables in the room at Washington West and celebrate in person how each of YOU adds to what I’d consider to be the most beautiful “bouquet” I’ve ever seen. Each member contributes in their own way … yet no one member is more “beautiful” to the overall “bouquet” than any other. The fertile soils of Rotary’s motto “service above self” certainly allow Niles Rotarians to Bloom!
As stated earlier, it’s an unprecedented start to my year as president. At the beginning of March, I had a different set of goals and objectives than I now have. By the end of March I started thinking about a total “reboot” of my year. My thoughts of membership growth became some sleepless nights of contemplating membership retention. Knowing how the pandemic affected my business, I worried about others in the club whose businesses were dramatically altered. I contemplated our club’s tradition of generosity … yet how we could best serve members who may need financial help maintaining their membership. As the next few months unfold, we will be contemplating what needs to be done to address these and other issues in our efforts to maintain the vitality and financial footing of our 82 year old club. Yet … of great importance is that we continue to ENJOY Rotary. I will elaborate on what I mean by this in the coming weeks. It will help us investigate new opportunities to keep Niles Rotary fun and relevant.
As Rotary International President Holger Knaack’s theme for the year states: “Rotary Opens Opportunities” … among those include the ability to allow each of us to bloom as a Niles Rotarian.
Now let's all hope we can soon “open” the doors of Washington West and be together again. Once we do, I’ve proposed a Niles Rotary Family Reunion theme for that day. In the words of past president Brian Hughes … When we all can meet and come together, “let the good times roll!” Thank you for your Rotary heart and your membership in Niles Rotary!
Keep on Blooming!