President’s Letter – November 14, 2019

President’s Letter – November 14, 2019

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

I was thinking about you today. I was having lunch with a new acquaintance and we got onto the subject of community. Not community in the broad, general sense but a more subjective idea of community. The kind of community that individuals seek to be a part of. The idea of community that attracts many of us to Rotary. What makes a group of people a community? Shared values, common goals, mutual reliance, and acceptance of the idea that the needs of the entity, or the greater good, sometimes requires individuals to be more altruistic and engaged than they would be in other circumstances. A community is defined by what the individuals that comprise it contribute.

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara is a community whose look and feel has changed over its almost 101 years, but what defines our club has been constant. It is still a club—a community—of people with shared values who want to use their collective strength and goodwill to make their greater community and the world a better place through philanthropy and service. Last week when we made our first teacher recognition award of the year, I felt great pride to be a part of that decades long tradition of our club. 

Our club’s commitment to helping vulnerable communities in Guatemala improve their lives and opportunities for their children is another great source of pride. As are the countess miles and hours members of our club spend delivering meals with Meals on Wheels, packing food for Rise Against Hunger, giving money to local and international charities, and participating in career day and mock job interviews for high school students with Partners in Education. 

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara is a service club whose members are engaged in service formally with the club and individually, through their churches, and with other community organizations. I am inspired every time I hear about the ways our members serve others. I encourage you to share your stories of service with the rest of us at our weekly meetings. Maybe you don’t even think about it because service is such a natural part of your life. But I would love to hear about what you are doing, and I know your fellow Rotarians would too.

On December 6 we will have another member-only club meeting. It is our annual meeting at which time we will elect new officers. We will discuss the club’s financial condition (spoiler alert—it is looking much better!), the results of the club survey, and what goals are important to us for the second half of the year. We will have  lot to do so please arrive on time and get your lunch right away. We will start the election at 12:10 (I hope you can eat and vote at the same time!) and hope to have the ballots counted by 12:30 so that we can spend a full hour on other club business that will keep our Rotary Club of Santa Barbara community vibrant and strong.

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday—please RSVP so we know how much food to order and nobody goes home hungry.

Sincerely,
Dean

 

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