Do you leave your Rotary meetings inspired?  Are you excited to tell friends and colleagues about Rotary?  Do you raise your hand when a club member is looking for volunteers?  Are you excited to get involved with a fundraiser?  If you can say Yes to all these……… CONGRATULATIONS, you are NOT A RINO!  Rotary isn’t just a club for people to join but rather an invitation to endless opportunities. 

 2021/22 RI President Shekhar Mehta’s theme is Serve to Change Lives and his personal mantra is “Service is the rent that we pay for the space we occupy on this earth”   President Shekhar’s main goal for 2021/22 is to grow Rotary to 1.3 million by July 2022.  We can help with this goal by embracing his initiatives:

Each one Bring one – every Rotarian introduce a friend, relative or colleague to Rotary.

Do more Grow more – the more involved we are in club activities, the more we get out of our Rotary experience and the more likely we are to attract new Rotarians.  The good work of Rotary can only be accomplished by ensuring we maintain or grow our membership base.

Rotary Service Days – organize a hands-on service project in your community.  We are all Rotary ambassadors and should be proud to share our Rotary story.  When we tell others about our good deeds, we grow the capacity to do even more.

Rotary’s past was a focus on perfect attendance, Rotary’s future is to focus on perfect engagement.

To ensure you are not a RINO, during the 2021/22 Rotary year I challenge each Rotarian in District 5020 to ‘Serve to Change Lives’ by:

    1. Introducing at least one person to Rotary
    2. Taking part in at least one club fundraiser
    3. Taking part in at least one club service project

In addition to President Shekhar’s initiatives, this Rotary year the District is implementing its own initiatives in which clubs can participate:

    1. Matching grants up to $500 each to assist clubs with promotion and marketing of their clubs. Ideas such as, but not limited to, ensuring current Rotary logo on community signage/club brochures/bookmarks/websites, a reception to attract new members, a rewards program for members who bring in new members etc.
    2. A ‘People of Action’ photo contest. Clubs can submit action photos and if photo is a finalist the club could share in the $2500 prize money.
    3. Initiative to promote ‘Rotary Direct’ – clubs with the highest percentage of members signed up for Rotary Direct by November 30th will be eligible to win one of the following prizes 1ST prize $2500, 2ND prize $1,000, 3RD prize $500. Prize money is to be used for a club local or international project and can be used towards a district grant.
    4. The District will give every new member $10US towards their first Paul Harris. If the new member makes a further $15US contribution to the Rotary Foundation (Annual Fund or PolioPlus) before June 30, 2022, their Foundation account will be credited with an additional 200 recognition points (essentially, they will then have $225 towards their first Paul Harris).
    5. Every time a Rotarian sponsors a new member the sponsor Rotarian’s name will be entered into a draw to attend the RI Convention in Houston (includes convention fee, accommodation and return flight).

During this Rotary year and as we come out of the pandemic, we will most likely see some changes which inevitably will help grow Rotary.   Clubs will have the ability to incorporate virtual options in several ways that we have become familiar with over the past year.  There are so many exciting opportunities to explore: Rotary meetings where you can invite speakers from around the world; the ability to visit clubs on every continent; the potential to attend club meetings from the comfort of your home, while traveling or from the office.  Embracing these changes can reduce meal costs and travel times and allow for some very interesting programs.  Clubs can also build on successful virtual fundraisers held this past year!

As exciting as all of this is, we are all looking forward to the time when we can meet in person and shake hands again! It looks like meeting restrictions will be lifted soon and I am very hopeful the border will open in the fall, giving me the opportunity to do club visits and meet many of you in person.

Please put May 13/14th, 2022 in your calendar to attend the District Training and Conference in Victoria!  More information about this exciting event to come . . . . . .

Thank you to all of you for what you do for Rotary and for being engaged.