Six months have flown by as president of the Rotary Club of Montgomery and Rocky Hill. So much has happened that was planned from the outset, but there has been much more we have taken on as a club that we didn't see coming. It is time to take stock of where we are and what every single member needs to do to ensure we reach our goals not only for the next six months, but over the next 2-1/2 years.
The new College Possibilities night is on January 11 at The College of New Jersey. This is a brand new event spearheaded by Bill Cleave of the Rotary Club of Trenton. Though this does not require heavy lifting on our part, we want to have a strong contingency to support the event and help in any way we can. All who CAN attend SHOULD attend.
Where we will need all hands on deck will be for the expanded Run With Rotary. Tony has brought together an incredible consortium of businesses and organizations to make for a premier Montgomery event. The 1-mile and 5k runs in the morning, along with Earth Day in the afternoon, will be bridged by a half-time of arts and science. Yes, we need everyone to chip in throughout the day, but we also need people to step up and take on the organizational tasks required to make this a success.
Not only will the Run be bigger and better than ever, it will be the impetus for a new way of raising funds for those in need. Sapphire and Diamond sponsorships will be earmarked solely for the major fundraising goal of the year. In addition, our 50% of the funds from the 50/50 raffle will go to the fundraiser, which should be a significant number as the price has been raised to $25 per ticket, $100 for six. Furthermore, all Rotarians can sell the tickets, a huge win that could not have happened without the dogged perseverance of Jim Bartolomei and Bill Beachell.
We have always worked well with the various organizations we support. 2017 has ushered in a whole new era of congeniality and commitment through multiple alliances. Our club has joined with those from Mercer County on a Presidents Forum that gathers monthly to discuss operations and work on projects and events. Tony has expanded this with another group of Rotarians centered around Somerville and stretching across the district.
Jim Bushong has taken it upon himself to strengthen our ties with Marge Smith and Community Works. If you have never attended the annual event, you should. This year it is on Monday, January 29 from 5pm to 9:15pm at the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University. Check out the latest at www.princetoncommunityworks.org.
Speaking of community, we are making a major effort to work more closely with the Big 8 groups in any town, acting as a facilitator and coordinator to help organize and communicate. The Big 8 are:
This deserves a section of its own. Sharon has taken our relationship with the three Interact clubs to a whole new level. There is still much to do. The ultimate goal is for kids to join Interact because it's the right thing to do, not just because it looks good on a college application. These kids should truly understand what Rotary is all about, and their parents should learn from their kids and want to become Rotarians. Baby steps, certainly. Let's strive for incremental improvement.
With the welcome addition of Paul Blodgett as our newest member, we have added three new members, which include Heather Achenbach and Jim Bushong. Amongst our thirty seven members we have:
You all know how much fun meetings are. Simply invite a friend out for breakfast and they're hooked.
Without loosing focus of our amazing accomplishments, we also need to heighten our attention on other goals for the fiscal year. Please jump in if there is something you want to take on as your own.
We are actively working with Jim Murray and the Eastern States Student Exchange (ESSEX) to bring an exchange student to Montgomery for the 2018-2019 school year. We've done this before, and the hope would be that we would do this for years to come.
With the merger of our District 7510 and District 7470, our clubs will cover a huge swath of New Jersey. Along with that will come amazing possibilities. Many clubs are doing great things, while others need help in their focus and organization. We can learn and we can teach.
The merged District Conference is May 18-20 in Valley Forge, and the Rotary International Conference is June 23-27 in Toronto. These are great events to learn, share, and have a lot of fun. Please consider attending.
We can not be complacent when it comes to our use of technology. The platform upon which our club and Run websites are built has incredible functionalities we are yet to tap. This requires a change of mindset. All events, articles, and scribe write-ups should first be posted to the website. They can then be shared to Facebook and tagged to appear in the weekly newsletter. The goal is to make communications both easy and elegant while increasing traffic to the website, leading to better outreach and to new members. We should be the club all others look to regarding communications and technology. Who can help?
There is much to do over the next six months. Tony is poised to hit the ground running. With your help his term will be the model upon which all others are built.
Happy New Year to all!
Yours In Rotary,