If You Are Not Criticized, You May Not Be Doing Much – What a great line to remember if you are a leader breaking away from the buffalo herd! In the South, there are creatures called Blue Crabs. Let’s say you catch a bunch of Blue Crabs, and you put them in a bucket. You can walk away, leave your bucket, and you don’t have to worry about any of the crabs escaping, because when one of those crabs gets up to the top of the bucket rim, another crab pulls it back in the bucket.
Rotary clubs around the world are experimenting with club flexibility and membership types, but how does a club go about offering an alternative membership type? Before making changes, clubs should ask themselves questions like:
Why do we want to offer this new membership type?
How would our club benefit?
What membership issues do we expect it to address?
If a club wants to engage family members, then offering family memberships may be a strategy to consider.
District 5710 in Kansas has a provisional club almost entirely designed around family memberships. A parent is listed as the active Rotarian, but the annual fees cover participation for the entire family. Meetings are held on Sunday afternoons and children are invited to attend meetings, projects, etc. The club also appoints an unofficial leadership role to one of the children, which rotates between the kids over time, to help them build leadership and responsibility skills. At the start of the year, eight families were participating and interest is growing!
Would you like to enjoy a taste of French culture without traveling to France? You can do that right here in North America by attending the upcoming Rotary International Convention in Toronto, Canada, on June 24 through 27. You will rub shoulders with Rotarians from around the world at the convention. The convention schedule is filled with general sessions featuring reports by Rotary leaders and dignitaries as well as smaller breakout sessions on Rotary topics during which you can ask questions and contribute to the conversations. In addition, there will be time available when you can visit the House of Friendship where there are literally hundreds of booths publicizing club and district humanitarian projects, dispensing Rotary materials, advertising tours abroad, and selling a wide variety of products from around the world, including Rotary clothing, jewelry, logo pins, and more.
From all accounts, District Conference was a success. Attendees heard sessions on Rotary service, the Rotary Foundation, Visioning, Polio Plus, and reports on international humanitarian projects. It seemed that everyone had a favorite session. One Rotarian observed that she had not heard such a thorough explanation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, while another person marveled at the outstanding international projects underway in the District. Still another person was persuaded to push his club to hold another visioning session this year. Attendees heard presentations from visiting Rotarians Brent Rosenthal from Columbus, OH and Elizabeth Usovicz of Kansas City as well as persuasive speakers from District 6080. Youth Exchange, RYLA, Interact clubs and Rotaract clubs were also featured. Special thanks goes to all those who led sessions and those were involved in planning and assisting at the Conference.
I want to urge you to attend the District Conference and to encourage his/her club members to attend the District Conference on October 28-29 at the Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark. We have an outstanding conference agenda planned that will be both informative and inspiring. Club officers, members of the Board, committee chairs, and past presidents are among those who should be attending the District Conference. Every club should be sending four to eight club members to the Conference. A copy of the agenda for the conference will be distributed soon. The deadline for registering for the Conference and for obtaining lodging at the Lodge of Four Seasons is October 20. All lodging reservations made after October 20 will not qualify for the Conference rate. I am also writing to announce the selection of Jacqueline Howard of the Pulaski County Rotary Club as the new District Governor Nominee Designate by the Governor Nomination Committee. That committee is comprised of three Past District Governors and two Immediate Past Presidents of clubs chosen by random. Jackie will be the District Governor during the 2020-21 Rotary year. Jackie is currently serving as the District Visioning Chair. I hope that many of you will want to send notes of congratulations to her. Jeffrey Long of the Branson-Hollister Rotary Club has been appointed to succeed Wade Robson who has moved to Bentonville, AR to accept a promotion in his bank. Jeff will serve the four Branson areas clubs. Assistant Governors may wish to send him a welcoming message. … Read More
Notes from the Governor
It is with a tremendous amount of emotion that I write my last Governor notes. I feel a bit like a marathon runner who has been on a record pace, but only by seconds. The finish line is so close there is nothing left in reserve and yet finishing the race at this record pace is the difference between success and failure. This has been the experience of a lifetime. Being Governor has shaped my life in ways that I have yet to even appreciate, and I owe all of you a debt of gratitude. I have had the privilege of seeing things and gaining perspective that only a few have been afforded.
I wish I had the words to give you the perspective that I have been afforded by serving you this year. It is truly humbling to see how many of you tirelessly go about the work of Rotary while people like me go around and take the bows for all your hard work. Words can’t express how grateful I am for your service and your generosity. Please know that what you are doing matters. If the world is going to be a better place tomorrow, it will be because you made that happen.
I am so proud to be part of a District that doesn’t just excel in the local mission of Rotary, you are making a huge difference in the international mission of Rotary as well. So much so that we have run out of money to do global grants. We now have global grants that are waiting to be funded. However, there is more good news, we are on the verge of a record breaking year for Foundation and Polio Plus giving, but only if we finish strong. The ability to fund all our local and global grants with Foundation dollars is hanging in the balance. It’s all coming down to the last few days of the year. Let’s finish this year like we started it. “Let’s do this.”
Notes from the Governor
It’s here all ready the final quarter of the Rotary year. All those things you promised yourself in June of last year that you were going to accomplish in the 2016-17 Rotary year are either done or waiting to be completed before the ball drops on June 30 at midnight. There are less than ten weeks left in the 2016-17 Rotary year. As I’m looking at my own list of things I wanted to accomplish this year, I’m beginning to realize that I’m long on list and short on time. Doing some prioritizing seems to be in order.
My list of goals certainly contains things that are a higher priority than others. The important goals, however, always seem to be the most time consuming. As I prioritize, I’m looking for some lowhanging fruitthese items that with a little effort could make me feel better by getting a few things crossed off my list. Getting bogged down in a big daunting project has a way of undermining my enthusiasm.
Elephants are best eaten one bite at a time, and I certainly have more than one elephant on my list. I’m using every available resource to finish this year strong and get as many of my Rotary goals completed as possible. Don’t hesitate to use the resources that are available to you in the District as well. Even the Governor is willing to help. I, of all people, have a vested interest in helping you have the best Rotary year you and your club have ever had. So when it comes to eating your Rotary elephant, pass the salt and let’s do this together.
5 Reasons to join Rotary.
1. Increase your social capital. Ever heard the phrase it’s not what you know it’s who you know. Rotary can have a huge impact on how many people you know.
2. World perspective. Rotary is a great place to find out why your community does or doesn’t need something as well as an opportunity to gain insight on what’s happening in the rest of the world.
3. Community involvement. As rewarding as it is to do things in the community, it’s even more rewarding to do them shoulder to shoulder with friends. What would be a tall order for one person to accomplish can often be done by a Rotary club in hours.
4. Global community involvement. There is nothing like seeing a need in another country and being able to say, “We should do something about that problem,” and know that you have the resources of your club, your District, and the Foun-dation at your finger tips.
5.Personal growth and development. Rotary will constantly challenge you with opportunities to be a leader, stretch yourself outside your comfort zone, and do something you didn’t even know you were capable of doing.
Who do you know that might find one or more of these reasons compelling enough to join Rotary?
Someone asked me the other day, “Why did you join Rotary.” I wanted to be able to say that I had this altruistic idea of helping make the world a better place, but the truth is that I joined Rotary to make connections with other people, hoping those connections would lead to a more successful business. Low and behold it worked. However, it took a whole lot longer than I was planning on—fifteen years longer to be exact.
Let the New Year’s resolutions begin. Whatever the good intentions last year, now is the time we all start fresh, highly motivated and ready to make a difference. I am certainly no exception. We are half way through this Rotary year. The first half I must say I feel pretty good about, but there is plenty more to be done and resting on what has already been done is not on my list of resolutions. My list goes something like this: I hope you are thinking about your list and what matters to you this year. There is never a better time to take a moment to be thankful for all our blessings and to do a little soul searching for what matters most to us. Don’t discount the power of writing down your goals. There is something about putting them on paper that makes a difference. Oh and by the way, if you really want to make sure you get your goals accomplished, tell someone your goals who will hold you accountable. In closing, let me just say thanks for helping me have a successful year by holding me accountable. David Bixler
Wow, where has this year gone? It’s that time of year when we all look back and reflect on the year and eval-uate all the things that went well and those things that didn’t go as well as we had hoped. While we are making these mental lists we begin to recognize all the things and people that have blessed us. At the top of my list of blessings are all my fellow Rotarians with whom I have had the privilege of working this year. I have been able to see and experi-ence things that I would not have been able to see and experience without be-ing in this position. I have met people that I wouldn’t have met and renewed friendships that I wouldn’t have even thought about renewing. Best of all, I have spent time listening to Rotarians talk about what they are doing to make this world a better place. I wish I could take all of you with me so that you could hear all the stories about how Rotary has enriched one Rotarian after another. Time and time again the reoccurring theme in the stories I’m told is that the initial goal when they set out was to bless someone else and the end result is that they were the ones who were blessed the most. The take away is that if you are feeling down and out, need a lift, or just need to feel good about something, the sure-fire solution is to do something for someone else. If … Read More
November is Foundation month and our Foundation is about to celebrate its 100-year anniversary. What an amazing tool we have at our finger tips. With all of us contributing a few hundred dollars a year, we can truly make the world a better place. I personally don’t have the resources to send a Vocational Training Team half way around the world or the $40,000 it takes to fund a scholarship or even the money to save families who are living off the garbage piles in Ethiopia. With the Foundation, I can not only do one of those projects, I can even be a part of them all at the same time in the same year. When you see a need and you want to help, you don’t have to walk on by because you don’t have the resources. You have the Foundation behind you. So dream big, follow your heart, and know that all of us together have your back. A little bit from all of us every year is all it takes. Where else can you turn $10,000 into $35,000? Just as an example, if your club or group of clubs can raise $10,000 for a project, that $10,000 is matched by the District with funds from the Foundation dollar for dollar so your $10,000 just became $20,000. Then the Foundation will match the money from the District dollar for dollar so $20,000 becomes $30,000. But we’re not done yet. The Founda-tion will then match the clubs original $10,000 .$50 cents on the dollar … Read More
We are finishing the quarter strong. There is so much going on in this Dis-trict. Our Youth Exchange is under way, RYLA is working on having two sessions this year, ShowMe Rotary is hard at work planning President Elect and Secretary Elect Training. District Conference is weeks away. Clubs like Branson-Hollister are celebrating mile-stone anniversaries. Global grant ap-plications are being written at unprec-edented levels. Fund raisers are hap-pening everywhere as clubs fund all kinds of projects. I really thought I had a good idea what was going on in our District. I’m find-ing out that I didn’t have a clue how much we are doing and yet I haven’t’ met anyone yet that doesn’t want to do even more. What an amazing organization we be-long to that not only provide a vehicle for us to use our talents to help oth-ers, but also provides an opportunity to develop talents that some of us never new we had. The cool thing about giving back is that the more you are willing to give the more blessings and personal growth you will receive. The end result is we want to do more.
We are nearing the end of the first quarter of our Rotary year. The energy level is high, and the commitment is strong. Foundation giving is off to a good start. So far we are ahead of last year’s record-breaking year. We still have a long way to go, but it’s exciting to see everyone renew and even expand their com-mitment to what makes us such a special organization. Our Foundation allows the vision of one person to become a reality. Polio Plus giving is off to a great start as well. It’s critical that we continue our support of our #1 project. With 14 cases in Pakistan, 8 in Afghanistan and 3 new cases in Borno, Nigeria we are not only working against a virus, we are also working against tremendous unrest and violence in the remaining affected areas. It’s truly exciting to travel the District and see the impact of our Foundation as clubs begin to use their District Simplified Grants and work on global grants. There are at least 4 groups of clubs working on global grants. The District matches club contributions $1 for $1 until the global District Designated Funds are depleted for the year. District Designated Funds (DDF) are distributed on a first-come first-serve basis. Grant applications must be completed, approved and club funding must be in place in order to be eligible for available DDF. Any grants not funded this year are certainly eligi-ble for funding next year, so keep up the great work. There are all kinds of … Read More
Out new Rotary year with the theme of Rotary Serving Humanity is well under way. I have spent the better part of the month of July on the road visiting clubs. I thought I knew a little about Rotary or at least our District. Man, was I wrong. I am truly over-whelmed by all the things the clubs in this District are doing. We have small clubs doing big projects. Large clubs are doing monster projects. Then there are all the projects that clubs, both large and small, are doing that almost go unnoticed because they will never hit the 6 pm news or the newspaper. How-ever, they make an enormous difference in the lives of a small group of people. Oftentimes, these projects are the most rewarding because if not for a Rotarian’s intervention, the situation would be hopeless. Giving hope to the hopeless is what Rotarians are all about. So we quietly go about the business of miracles. I am truly humbled to be part of such an amazing group of Rotarians. Keep up the good work. Humanity needs you.