I haven't had this many opportunities to smile like an idiot or to tear up as I have this week. Monday evening was Harry's final banquet at Montgomery High School, his and my twelfth over four years. For the first time we (the leaders of the track and field booster club) put on the gala at Cherry Valley rather than in the commons at the high school. I called Josh at 5PM and he was there at 6:15, taking some amazing pictures of the young men and women.
Then on Tuesday I had the honor and privilege of presenting eight scholarships to very worthy recipients, having know some of them since they were little kids. They're not little anymore. It was an absolutely amazing event that was beautifully executed and a sheer pleasure for all involved. Many of those in this picture also received scholarships, another example of the well-rounded young people we have in our community.
The next car I buy will be the last car I buy. In fact, I predict my boys will NEVER buy a car. Harry has grandpa's Honda Civic which Graeme will drive once Harry heads to college in some city where having a car will be a liability, not an asset. He'll then live and work in a city, at least for a short time. That's not the only thing our kids will never experience.
It's fun to think about the future. The difference between our imaginings back when we were kids is that they seemed like science fiction dreams. Today, there isn't anything kids think about that won't come to fruition in their lifetimes.
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.
By David Munshine and Julia Kathan
The classic American holiday season song says "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," but for people thinking about making a donation to charity, it can be the most wondering time of the year — wondering where to give, how much to give, and how generous others really are.
Many wonder if they can really make a difference. The answer is a resounding yes, and with a little research you can do the most good for your favorite causes. Here are few myths clouding philanthropy that we'd like to clear up:
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.
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