Here we are together at the beginning of a new Rotary year. Janie Duewel is passing the baton to me in our never-ending relay of Rotary service. Rogue Gateway Rotary team members have gained much from Janie’s leadership over the past year. She led with enthusiasm and inspired us to be the best Rotarians we can be. I hope I can follow in her footsteps.
I was once tasked with reading a book that dealt specifically with transitions. These come with both threats and opportunities. Transition can be messy, so I ask for your patience as I stumble through the first steps of my presidential journey. Transition is also an opportunity for creativity. In the midst of the unknowns we continue to encounter, I know by working together, we will be innovators and thrive despite the challenges we may face.
We will do what we do best – keep our focus on service to our communities, both local and global. In step with Rotary International, we will emphasize connecting our members with opportunities that reference their passions and their expertise. We will do as much as we can to support Rotary’s foundation and our own, knowing that the resources we give are carefully managed and that we have the power to direct funds to the areas needing them most. And we will take advantage of the best ways to get the word out about what Rotarians do, by celebrating and sharing our accomplishments. We are all about Friendship, Funds and Fame, having Fun throughout our work.
RI President Holger Knaack chose “Rotary Opens Opportunities” as this year’s theme. As we do what we can to help with the development of Foundry Village, we are literally opening doors for those who are homeless, and giving these temporary residents opportunities to pull themselves out of poverty. Our club’s Foundry Village project plans epitomize Holger’s plan for this year and beyond.
As the baton passes from Janie to me, I’m imagining moving beyond the relay metaphor to that of a symphony. This year I may be the conductor holding the baton, but all I’m really doing is supporting our amazing members as they combine their gifts to create something extraordinary. Yes, we will orchestrate solutions that allow us to overcome a pandemic, promote social justice and facilitate more peaceful conversations. Together, we will create the opportunities to make a difference in this transitional time despite the many challenges it presents.
Rogue Gateway Rotary President