If you want to make a difference, Rotary is the perfect place to start!
I do a lot of volunteer work. I am not saying that to boast, there is a lot of need, I spend a lot of time serving, and it is barely enough to create a ripple in my community. There is so much need. There is so little time. I do a lot of volunteer work and yet there is so much that remains to be done. We live in an imperfect world and we need more good to happen.
A few years ago a lawyer, Travis Vance, in town asked me to lunch to talk about Rotary. He had heard that I was doing volunteer work and wanted to tell me about his organization. I knew of it, but really did not know the full story. As he spoke about Rotary I could see there was something special about this organization. It turns out that Rotary is magical for those that want to transform their community. It allows a small group of passionate people in Rockingham County to help people across the world. His club, Rockingham County Rotary Club helped people in Limpopo Province of South Africa with a ceramic technology that cleans their water. His club also provides SoapBox Derby cars to kids in town through the Boys and Girls Club. It turns out his club also supports First Step, kids at Christmas through DSS, local parks system, On the Road Collaborative, Ronald McDonald House, Valley Business Keynote, Summer Peace Building Institute, and purchases books for elementary schools to build financial literacy just to name a few things. This small clubs makes a big ripple in the community and around the world. Travis welcomed me to the Rotary experience and asked me to give it a try.
What he did not tell me was that Rotary becomes your family. You build friendships each week. You learn about your community. You partner to make your community better for people you may never meet. You do all this with a diverse group of people: men, women, young, old, and you do it as equals, shoulder to shoulder.
Rotary is built on the 4-way test. It is not an exclusive club that only some can belong to in your community. It is a welcoming group of friends that want to help you make our community a better place. Rotary unites people from all continents and cultures. It allows for the exchange of ideas. It builds friendships and professional connections.
I want to invite you to experience the magic of Rotary. I want to invite you to breakfast with a group of my closest friends. We meet each Tuesday morning at 7am at the Golden Pony restaurant in Harrisonburg. Please come as my guest. If that is too early or the wrong day, don’t be discouraged. There are lunch clubs that meet on Monday and Thursday and a dinner club that meets on Tuesday all in our immediate area. If you don’t live close enough to Harrisonburg, there are clubs around the world. Let me know where you are and I will get you an invitation to your local club.
I really do believe if we all read the 4-way test and acted on it daily this would be a better world. I know if we all built friendships based on a common interest of making our community better we would all benefit. I know Rotary is magic and you deserve to experience it. I know that having you as part of Rotary will make Rotary better. Please let me know where you are and I will help you find the right club of friends that will welcome you with open arms.