What’s up in District 7550?

Rotaract at Concord University is up and running!  Students spent the much of the fall semester getting organized and working through the administrative side of setting up a club, but they also had some fun and did some good!  

Most of the fifteen charter members of the club are freshmen, so they also spent the semester getting acclimated to college life.  Participation in Rotaract has given them an anchor during this uncertain time.

The club did a campus-wide Halloween activity, and volunteered with the Princeton Rotary Club in their pancake fundraiser.  Some of the Rotaract members have visited the Princeton Rotary Club at their Friday noon meetings. 

They’ve also done some planning for the spring semester, and have already decided on two fundraisers for the club. Students want to be involved in the District water project, a local food bank, and other campus activities as well. 

Great work, CU Rotaract, and thanks to Gina Boggess and Deb Halsey-Hunter for your guidance with this new club!

Membership Focus

Increasing membership in our clubs is one of my goals for my year as your Governor. The clubs in our district have been steadily losing membership over the past several years, and this is a trend that we MUST reverse! Fewer members means fewer people bringing in new ideas, new energy, and fewer hands to spread the work.

This trend of declining membership is shared among many districts across North America, so Rotary International has developed a number of resources to help clubs get the growth spark back. Here are a couple of my favorites, but you can find lots more on MyRotary.org:

Videos on Vimeo: Get inspired through the membership channel at https://vimeo.com/channels/rotarymembership

Find simple strategies for making your club more vibrant in this guide developed by RI: https://my.rotary.org/en/document/be-vibrant-club-your-club-leadership-plan-north-america-245en

Growing membership allows clubs to do more in their communities, and to expand the reach of Rotary Serving Humanity.

January is Vocational Service Month

Vocational Service focuses on:

  • Adherence to and promotion of the highest ethical standards in all occupations, including fair treatment of employers, employees, associates, competitors, and the public.
  • The recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, not just those that are pursued by Rotarians.
  • The contribution of your vocational talents to solving the problems of society and meeting the needs of the community.

During January, Rotarians are encouraged to focus on this important avenue of Rotary service. Discussions on vocational service can lead to projects that not only develop the ethical consciousness and vocational skills of Rotarians, but also develop talents within their communities.

Vocational Service Month is an opportunity to begin year-long vocational service activities, ranging from Rotary discussions to awards and community projects. Following are some suggested activities for Vocational Service Month:

  • Devote a meeting in January to examining the second Avenue of Service, including The Four-Way Test and The Declaration of Rotarians in Business and Professions. After expanding members’ awareness, encourage them to plan projects for the remainder of the year.
  • Introduce a “mini-classifications talk” series in which each member gives a five-minute talk on his or her vocation. Schedule one speaker for the beginning of each meeting until everyone has made a presentation. The purpose of these talks is to promote vocational awareness among Rotarians and help them recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations.
  • Present a vocational award to someone in the community who has exemplified outstanding professional achievement while maintaining very high ethical standards. Promote the presentation within the community, and consider making it an annual event.
  • Invite an expert to give a presentation on the vocational needs of your community and develop a project in response to those needs. Possible projects could focus on developing character, providing career information to youth, mentoring small businesses, or organizing workshops that provide employees with new skills.
  • Encourage club members to put their vocational skills to work as Rotary Volunteers. Volunteer opportunities are available on ProjectLINK, a valuable resource that lists many vocational projects that clubs and districts can also choose to support financially or with donated goods. ProjectLINK also includes examples of successful vocational service projects that Rotary clubs can model as they plan their own activities.

Update on Flood Relief

Rotary Homes.”  There are a number of homebuilding initiatives underway across the District.  The Appalachian Service Project is building and repairing homes in western Greenbrier County.  Homes for White Sulphur Springs and its partner Homes for West Virginia are building homes in eastern Greenbrier County and funding homebuilding initiatives in other counties.  Neighbors Loving Neighbors is building homes in Greenbrier County and other counties.  These three organizations are partnering with each other and other organizations to build homes.  Using donated labor and land, cost for these donated new homes is between $50-$55,000.

The District Disaster Recovery Team has decided to partner with these organizations and fund construction of five homes: White Sulphur Springs/Eastern Greenbrier County; Rainelle/Western Greenbrier County; Richwood; Clendenin; and Clay County.  The Rotary District 7550 Foundation will contribute $25,000 for each home for a total contribution of $125,000.

Subsequent conversations with the organizations mentioned above confirmed their willingness to partner with the District on this initiative.  Governor Powell is meeting with their principals on January 13th to firm up these partnerships.

The District Disaster Recovery Team continues to assess areas of need, consider requests for funding, and will provide updates along the way.

Don’t Miss the RI Convention in Atlanta!

Rotarians from around the world are gathering in Atlanta, Georgia, June 10-14, 2017, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, and to share their interest in Rotary. Don’t miss the fun as thousands of Rotarians descend on Atlanta! Here are just a few of the events the host committee has planned: http://www.rotaryconvention2017.org/festival-events

Register and get more information here: http://www.riconvention.org/


Get on the Bus!

Don’t forget the District 7550 Atlanta bus trip! Round trip fare is just $100 per person! Find more information and sign up here: http://rotary7550.org/bus-trip-atlanta/

District 7550 All Clubs Conference

Mark your calendar and plan to come to Glade Springs May 19-21, 2017, for a gathering of all the Rotary Clubs from District 7550! You’ll meet Rotarians from across southern West Virginia, hear about our successes, celebrate the good Rotary is doing around the state and around the world, and a some fun with folks who share your passion for Service Above Self! Registration information will be on DaCdb in late January!

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