Rotary is weird…probably not something I should be saying to start off this address to the club, but it is. Or at least I think so. Rotary, and all the work it does, can be hard to describe in your typical “elevator speech.” Where do you start…would it be with all the close friendships you develop with fellow club members? Having been in Sunrise Rotary for a little over seven years of its thirty years of existence, I can honestly say some of my best friends are in this club. I miss being at our Wednesday meetings when I am not able to attend. Without Rotary, the likelihood of developing these friendships would have been remote at best. Rotary is an organization that brings people of all different backgrounds and walks of life together for the common good. I observed this firsthand during the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg last week. Not many organizations can say that. Maybe you would start with the good Rotary does in the world and our community? We all know of the great work the foundation has done addressing the fight to end polio worldwide. Our work is not complete, but we are getting closer. The work Sunrise has done in our community is far reaching. Over the last few years we have helped Ashley House, Children’s Advocacy Center, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, and many others. Our focus this year will be wrapping up our commitment to I Pour Life. Our district grant money will be spent helping to improve the meeting space shared by so many at risk youth in our community so they will have a positive, safe place to hang out and thrive. If you have an opportunity to meet the staff and young adults at I Pour Life, put it on your calendar. Trust me, it will make a positive impact on your life as well. The Rotary theme this year is “Rotary Connects the World.” The focus will be to expand connections to our communities and to embrace innovative membership models. Sunrise Rotary is a vibrant, growing club. This last Rotary year, we have added more new members than any year in recent memory. These are the members who will be leading this club over the next 30 years. I can honestly say, Rotary and more specifically, Sunrise Rotary Club has made me a better person. Our club is special, but more to the point, the people in our club are special!! I know all clubs feel that way, so don’t just take my word for it. Come join us at Sunrise Rotary! That is an invitation to either new members, or current members who have been out of the loop for a while. We are doing fun and exciting things to make this community we live in a better place than it was yesterday. You really do not want to miss out of all the fun!
RI President Barry Rassin's theme for 2018-19, Be the Inspiration, asks Rotarians to inspire change in the world and in each other. "I ask all of you to Be the Inspiration to help Rotary move from reaction to action - to take a hard look at the environmental issues that affect health and welfare around the world and do what we can to help."