August is Membership and New Club Development Month. The District’s goal for this year is to increase membership by 5%, with 50% of the new members being women and 75% being less than 50 years old. As President Elect, Jeff Cheek is our Membership Chair and he and I are meeting soon to finalize our membership strategy for the year and will be looking for committee members to support our plan. We also need our members to think of friends and colleagues that would make good Rotarians and ask them if they would like to join other leaders to share ideas and make a difference in the world. Many people have no idea what Rotary does, but once they find out, they often want to be a part of it.
On the morning of Saturday August 20th, District 6780 will hold a free training seminar for club members interested in Youth Services, the Rotary Foundation, and Membership. This is a great opportunity for a club’s leadership team and other interested club members to attend a learn more about attracting and retaining members; about The Rotary Foundation and why and how funds are returned to the District/Clubs for grants; about Youth Service and the many ways Rotary and our District serves the youth of the world. To learn more and register, see the calendar for this date on DacDb or click here: Membership, Foundation & Youth Services Seminar
As we move into the second month in the Rotary Year, our club is already doing so much to fulfill this year’s RI President’s theme of “Rotary Serving Humanity.” Nancy Harrison is our Community Services director and has a project planned for every month. Our club has already been very busy – we have made a contribution to Hunters for the Hungry to make meals available to those in our community who are in need of food, we are collecting gently used shoes for “Soles for Souls” and our $96,000 RI Global Grant for our Medical Mission to Ghana is well underway. RCOR member Elanie Bunick is the lead for this grant. She and Adolf King, also of our club, were members of the team that recently spent time in Ghana where the team treated over 1,800 patients and set the wheels in motion to begin work to equip and renovate the Medical Center in Wurupong.
Anne Dunthorn, our club Secretary and Elaine Bunick are planning to join Rotary’s Heart 2 Heart (H2H) trip to Mexico on November 2-9. If you would like to join them on this trip to see Rotary’s service projects first hand, let Anne know. More infromation is available at: Heart 2 Heart Mexico Trip
Because of the uncertainty surrounding the OR Women’s Shelter Facility, the Board decided to return our District Grant to the District this year, with the intent of slipping it to Rotary Year 2017-2018. Instead, we are now undertaking a service project that will develop an Oak Ridge Community Garden to be located in the Scarborough area. The Garden will be divided into plots which people will be able to use to grow food for themselves and for the community. PDG Jack Bailey is taking the lead for this project and can be reached at email@example.com if you want to get involved or know more about it.
In addition, we have awarded 2 Vocational Scholarships to ORHS students and Jennifer Enderson, Vocational Services Director, has several other vocational awards planned for this year. Jan Melcher has announced that our exchange student has arrived from France and will be attending ORHS this year. We look forward to getting to know him! Carroll Welch and Mary Jane White are co-chairing Youth Services this year and have already gained a lot of momentum working with ORHS to get support for the Interact Club and RYLA.
Of course most of this good work requires funding, so we have an exciting fundraiser planned for next month. Don Tillar is the General Manger of Centennial Golf Course and a member of our club and he has taken the lead for our Golf Tournament Fundraiser to be held at Centennial Golf Course on Friday September 23rd. So start working with your golfing friends now to get up a foursome and let Don know if you are willing to help out with this club initiative to raise funds for our new Community Garden project. We will need folks at the Golf Course to help with registration, direct the golfers, serve food, etc. For more information, Don can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We continue to make efforts to utilize electronic media to improve our club operations. Jeff Phillips is our Treasurer this year and will be happy to answer any questions you may have associated with paying your dues or making contributions to the Foundation via our new payment portals. Charlie Jernigan has been working hard to re-vitalize our website (Rotaryor.org) and Naomi Asher has been sharing our successes on our Facebook Page. If you haven’t seen our Facebook Page yet, check it out at The Rotary Club of Oak Ridge on Facebook.
As you can see, the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge is being led by a vibrant board of directors and with the help of our club members and support from District 6780, we are making a difference in the lives of people in our community and in the world this year! I am honored to be a part of this great club!