In This Issue:
Club Meetings and Photos
Niles Park Cleanup – Community Service
Niles Rotary Heart Recognition – Larry & Kathy Day
Food Handler Certificate Information
End Polio Now Update
As we enter the final quarter of my presidency of Niles Rotary, I am once again reminded how very unorthodox a year it has been. As I started out last July, I began with a video, something that you’ve come to know is not unusual for me! In that video, I stated that I would shake things up a bit in the next 12 months. At that recording, little did I know that it would last my entire year! Prior to the pandemic, I recall that one of my major objectives was to begin the process of making our meetings available electronically. Who would have guessed that Zoom would become the norm? As I ponder my final quarter as Niles Rotary President, I must start thinking about the eventual transition back to live Rotary meetings. At this writing, we are about to have our first hybrid meeting where we will have safely gathered a limited number of Niles Rotarians as allowed in our current Orange level. Those asked to participate were asked because we’ve not seen them over the past 9 months. I want to emphasize that a great deal of thought and planning have gone into this first hybrid meeting adhering to all safety measures. My thanks to our Area Governor- my wife Lisa- who provided perspective from the other District clubs that have already started hybrid meetings. I’ve asked past Niles Rotary Presidents Craig Steckler to sit in for me at this first meeting because I will be behind the scenes making sure all safety cautions are followed and that the technology works!
If anyone from our Rotary family wishes to attend an upcoming hybrid meeting in person, please let me know. We will be transitioning to a format that more closely mimics our live meetings. We are working to come up with the means to reserve a seat at future meetings until we can gather a greater number of Niles Rotarians together. We will be able to provide a meal via food trucks, which can be purchased on site for the traditional fee of $20. Just as was the case at Washington West, 3/4 of the fee charged will cover the food cost whereas the remaining five dollars will be contributed to the club. While on the subject of fees, let’s visit for the sake of our newer members and some of us older ones, the dues and fees collected from Niles Rotarians and how they financially support club operations.
Niles Rotary member dues for the past 7 years or so have been $160, of which Rotary International and District 5170 (our Rotary district) take approximately $145 from that which is collected from each Rotary club member. The balance of about $15 per member funds a small part of our operating budget for the year. The majority of the club operating budget is funded by weekly meeting fees collected when attending live meetings at Washington West. Of the $20 charged to attend, approximately five dollars goes to fund club operations. The balance pays the cost having our meeting at Washington West. Because of the uncertainty about the ability to have full live meetings for the balance of 2021, your board has met to discuss ways of shift shifting the burden of funding the club operations from the meeting fees to annual dues. This dues restructure will assess our members $250 a year, netting the club $105.00 per member instead of the $15 under the old dues structure (these are approximate figures rounded to the nearest dollar). However, if you do not attend a meeting, there will be no make up or meeting fee assessed as was the case in the past.
The new fee structure was presented to the Board and passed at the March 14 meeting. I’d like to give a shout out to Don Cole who worked numerous financial scenarios needed to arrive at a recommendation that balances the need to support club operations, yet considered what Rotarians in other clubs within our area pay. Please know that this decision was made after countless hours of meetings and consultations Our Membership Development Committee members weighed in on some aspects of early proposals to help get the dues committee to a point that we felt was fair to all concerned. The unknown nature of resuming live meetings presented a threat to the financial well-being of our club; therefore, it became important that we shift funding club operations from meeting fees to a more stable annual dues structure. As mentioned, your board approved the new dues restructure and stated that it will be reassessed in time as we settle back into our new normal….whatever that might look like. Lastly for now, please know that the new dues restructure does not render additional money over and above club budgets of the last several years. It is my sincere hope that Niles Rotarians see the wisdom in these trying times to address the uncertainty of the future as Niles Rotary becomes more flexible and reacts to our changing times. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions!
May you continue to bloom in Rotary service,
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!
How do you feel?
Seems like a very appropriate question does it not? Last month I welcomed the new year and stated “By the time you are reading this, we’ve kicked off 2021 and are all hopeful that soon we will emerge from the pandemic that has sheltered us in place since March.” Well….as the pandemic continues, the realization that I will be the first President in Niles Rotary history to NOT have a live meeting is setting in. Our Rotary lives have been virtual. As the president of your club and to gain perspective, I lean into something Past Rotary International President Richard King told me…. and countless others for that matter. He talks of the Eagle….and three attributes an eagle is known for…..Conviction, Vision, and Commitment! You see, I have been fortunate to host Richard in our “studio” over the past several months while he delivers speeches to districts and zones all over the country. On this very iPad that I now type this message, I have stored many amazing and inspirational speeches that Richard has delivered. (Along with quite a few songs I will add). In each speech, he reminds Rotarians of the following:
We’ve made the best of our virtual meetings….as our meeting team strives to make them entertaining while at the same time getting the work of Rotary done. We work to attract visitors to our entertaining meetings …and allow the news to spread that Niles Rotary is a relevant and fun service organization….even in zoom times! Please share our meeting link with those who have a heart for service!
Richard goes on to say that “More things get accomplished because of how people feel.” So, how do you feel…..about Rotary? What is your commitment to our Club? Invite a friend to attend. Help spread the word and in so doing, feel good about telling the world that YOU are a Rotarian.
Now, more than ever, we need to feel good about Rotary. In doing so, we can “feel good” about ourselves! Always remember, Niles Rotary Makes US Bloom!
Keep on Blooming!
Looking back while looking forward….
Happy New Year Niles Rotary! By the time you are reading this, we will have kicked off 2021, and we are all hopeful that soon we will emerge from the pandemic that has sheltered us in place since March. I am optimistic that this new year will bring us back together meeting in person just as in the good ol days…and I am hopeful that I may actually get to preside over a live meeting or two. It is my hope that 2021 well see us all back together – yet, we will likely never be quite the same.
Speaking of those good ol’ days, I decided to kick off the year with a new opening to our meetertainment meetings. I wanted to pay tribute to Niles Rotarians through the years as a way of looking back, respecting those members who helped build our Rotary and those who have kept it Niles Strong through its 83 year history. I sincerely enjoyed reviewing the archives, downloading pictures of past and current Niles Rotarians, and them passing them on to the creative geniuses that make our meetings so enjoyable. Additionally, I asked past Rotary International President Richard King to kick off our first meeting of 2021 reflecting on Rotary’s past and where he feels its future will take us.
Speaking of the future, our membership committee has provided excellent feedback regarding proposed changes to membership requirements. President Elect Audrey and I have worked together closely with a shared vision regarding membership far beyond my time as President. It is with deep and abiding respect of our Niles Rotary past and a vision to the future that we contemplate the changes that need to be made to keep our club relevant into the future. As we move forward in our contemplations on membership, we want to consider each member and the time, treasure, and talent that each bring to our shared Rotary table. Additionally, we want to make sure that any changes are fair to all concern. The importance of such deliberation with the input from our Membership Development Committee has taken longer than I expected. Yet, any such changes need to be carefully thought out. Rest assured that once we arrive at a shared vision, we will bring it to the club for additional input.
Onward into 2021 we go…..and it is my sincere hope and prayer that we are all blessed with great health as we continue to virtually meet on zoom!
Keep on Blooming!
And the Beat Goes On
Happy holidays Rotarians. As we kick off the Christmas season, I look back on what has been the first half of my presidency and can’t believe how time has flown. I recall past president Rose telling me that after Christmas, the time goes by even faster and pretty soon it’s demotion time. Now that said, we’re lagging on our demotions for obvious reasons as well as pretty much every other fellowship event for which we’ve traditionally gathered. I think I speak for each and every Niles Rotarian when I say how much we’ve missed one another physically. Yet, I think we are very grateful for the good health that our physical distancing has afforded us. I pray that as we set our sights on a new year, we will have new treatments and vaccines that will get us to the point where we can physically be together once again.
As I reflect on the first half of my presidency, my overwhelming thought goes to how Niles Rotarians have continued to be generous with their support of community and Rotary International efforts worldwide. I must also express my gratitude towards the Rotarians behind the scenes that have made our weekly Rotary meetertainment meeting …. entertaining! Jeff Schinkel, Aziz Akbari, Paul Phipps, and many others have contributed to creating unique meetings that we hope keep you engaged to the degree possible during unprecedented times. By the time you read this, we will be having our December 3 meeting to elect a new president-elect-elect and 2 board members (P.E.E. …. In again, a most unusual way). My hope for president-elect Audrey is that she can begin her year in traditional Niles Rotary fashion – and that our new P.E.E. can count on meetings that are what we’ve experienced for over 80 years – in person fellowship and fun while serving others.
As our attention starts to turn to the new year, I am excited for our Spring Fling event. This will be a new experience for Niles Rotary in having a fundraising event that is virtual. I want to once again remind the club that this does not replace the Elimination Raffle, as that will return in 2022. As you well know, the Spring Fling theme is based on the Laugh In show. The zany brain trust that is Niles Rotary will certainly entertain us that evening. Therefore, the beat will go on, in the form of the traditional Niles Rotary generosity to our community. This year, we will focus on purchasing chrome books for select elementary schools in our district.
My hope is that our members who celebrated Diwali enjoyed family and friendship and great food! For those celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas under challenging times, my prayer is that you can lean into your faith and find the peace necessary to carry you through the holiday season and into a new year full of good health and prosperity.
Keep on Blooming
We meet Thursdays at 12:00 p.m.
Washington Hospital West
2500 Mowry Avenue
Conrad Anderson Auditorium
Fremont, CA 94538-1605
Map & Directions
Save the Date!
The Niles Rotary Spring Fling
March 20, 2021
Tune in to the Niles Rotary “meetertainment” meeting at 12 noon on Thursdays via Zoom for speakers and events.
We’d love to hear from you!
Key Contact List