After I became “rewired” in 2016 (working in service to others instead of for money), two friends separately said, “you should look into your local Rotary club”.
One is a long-time friend, a member of so-called Seattle-4 (the downtown Seattle Rotary club, the 4th one created since 1905 among over 35,000 found internationally today in over 200 countries and encompassing over 1.2 million members).
One is a relatively new friend, a member of a Denver Rotary club who I met while on an extensive tour of Vietnam.
Nevertheless, it took me a while to act on their advice. By 2018, I was ready. I met with the West Seattle Rotary’s Membership Chair over coffee. After an hour of mutual Q&A, he suggested, “you should be our guest at a few catered lunchtime meetings.” I readily agreed. Before long, I applied to be a member and was accepted.
I applied because I found good people working together cooperatively in service to others at the local and international levels while having fun. I saw that they are people from a wide span of ages, from those in their 30s starting-up families and careers to others who are also retired. That’s the kind of club I want to be a part of and contribute significantly to.
I enthusiastically “sampled” all four Service Committees, and settled on Youth Services. I was given significant encouragement and support when I tried to pilot a new, innovative youth services project, despite being a newbie. Although it did not work out, I was well recognized for having tried.
Before long, and without the goal of higher office, in June of 2020 I was nominated and voted-in to be the President-Elect (PE). Consequently, on July 1st of 2021, I became the Club’s 74th President and will serve until June 30, 2022.
Our Club will celebrate its 74th Anniversary in October, and thus enter into its 75th year. Looking backward in appreciation of our history while looking forward to establish our vision, I have declared that our motto during my year as President is “High Impact Engagement – 75”. That means we aim to have 100% of our members:
- Contributing high impact time to one or more “avenue of service” (four Service Committees, Club governance, or Service Foundation governance);
- Donating what they can afford to our Service Foundation and to the Rotary International Foundation;
- Participating in our weekly Club meetings and social activities;
all while showing that “service above self” (Rotary’s motto) is a lot of fun and terrifically rewarding.