My mother always said I had ants in my pants. Still does. I haven't changed much. I don't think I'm alone. I've heard and read that many Rotarians want Rotary International to set a new agenda. Eradicating polio was a success. Times are changing and Rotary needs to get younger. There are 1.2 million members and that's not enough. There are over 35,000 clubs and that's not enough. The Montgomery/Rocky Hill Rotary Club has thirty six members but we need more. We had 900 runners last year but want 2,000.
We should never rest on our laurels. But first, we need to finish the job.
Graeme and I visited Terhune's on Saturday for the first time in a very long while. To me, the experience of Terhune's on a beautiful autumn Saturday is the epitome of feng shui. Police are directing the hundreds of car drivers trying to park as close as possible, even though the walk from the field right across the street is only five minutes. People are EVERYWHERE! They come to make scarecrows or sample the wine or pick apples or study the pumpkins to make sure they get not only the perfect one for their jack-o-lantern, but more importantly, a better one than their neighbor's.
George reminds me that the meetings when new members are inducted are the best of the entire year. We will be fortunate to have our District Governor Bob Zeglarski for the swearing in of Heather Achenbach.Though our club has consistently maintained its number of members over the years, elsewhere they are down, which has triggered the merger of our District 7510 with District 7470 to form District 7475. This will include 89 clubs and almost 2,200 members, allowing us to have a bigger impact on local, national and international outreach.
Heather is joining an incredible club. I hope she is an active member for many years to come. Please check back here on the website for the transcript of the ceremony.
Yours in Rotary,
I haven't gone back to read George's and Dick's President's Messages from the past few years, but my guess is they didn't cover what to me has been the perennial topic of the first week of September: BACK TO SCHOOL! Our boys seem to change dramatically from the last day of one school year to the first day of the next. They want to dress differently. They care about different things. Their friend groups morph and diversify. This year both Harry (senior) and Graeme (sophomore) say they are looking forward to the first day of school. Summer has been fun, but with the cooler weather comes the time for structure and discipline and goals and getting things done. Same goes for our next few Rotary months.
There are so many fantastic organizations in our area that are doing incredible work, it doesn't seem fair to ever single out just one. Visit the Our Club page as a reminder of the groups we love to support, and please be thinking of a signature project we can spearhead, eliciting the assistance of local Rotary and other clubs. The HomeFront playground was the perfect model of a project with a substantial cost requiring serious people and planning. Let's do it again!
Today starts a project that will involve everyone in the club. Don't worry, it won't hurt a bit. At Monday's board meeting we stepped through the list of all the organizations and projects with which we are involved, sometimes sporadically, sometimes on a regular basis. Usually we dive deep into a particular organization twice a year: when we allocate funds for the giving budget and when an advocate speaks on its behalf at a Rotary meeting. We want to make sure that information is front and center at all times for our members and anyone else who wants to know more.
We have a great club. Our members span practically every niche of our community, and when we have a major undertaking, we can rally support from hundreds of people. We use a lot of energy to make things happen. Then along comes summer, which provides that much-needed opportunity to chill, to relax with friends and family, to give the brain time to wander.
Four days from now I'll be sitting on my bike, setting out for a 112 mile ride. The 2.4 mile swim will be behind me, and I'll hopefully be ignoring the prospect of the 26.2 mile run around Mirror Lake. Thanks to everyone who has already donated. I reached my $5,000 goal in under an hour back on May 23. That was the day Christine entered Sloan-Kettering hospital to get a massive dose of chemotherapy, followed by stem cell replacement two days later, to treat multiple myeloma. She was diagnosed last fall, right around the same time my friend Bill Capuzzi sent me a simple text: "up for an Ironman?". The coincidence that the fundraiser for Lake Placid is multiple myeloma made it impossible to say no.
July is the time everyone seems to be setting goals. Summer book lists. Mid-year work assessments. Thoughts about the upcoming school year. How and when do we set goals, and are there times when we should avoid them?
I'm a huge fan of Montgomery Township and Rocky Hill, of the swath comprised of Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex counties, of Jersey City and the Jersey Shore, and really all things New Jersey. I've lived here for 21 years, both boys were born at Princeton Hospital, and have been fortunate to have neighbors who moved here and raised their families here and are still here. The twelve kids in our neighborhood still hang out every chance they can even through they range in age from 21 to 11.
Our Rotary Club
Since its founding in 1990, Montgomery-Rocky Hill Rotarians have offered their personal time to people in need and for projects in Montgomery and Rocky Hill and have raised hundreds of thousands for worthwhile causes, primarily through our signature fundraiser, the Run With Rotary.
Address: Rotary Club of Montgomery/Rocky Hill P.O. Box 333, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org