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Posted by John Schorr
July was the first month of the new Rotary year, and it was my first month as the CMIRC President. I am truly honored to have been selected by the club for this leadership role and hope that I will live up to the faith and trust the club has put in me. I am the fifth president of our young club and am following in the footsteps of our Charter President Roger Lindley, PP Joe Evans, PP Shana Kongmun, and PP Jerry Nelson. In their own ways, all are impossible acts to follow and have contributed to the strong and vibrant club we have today. 

We begin the year with twenty-one active members and two honorary members; five excellent service projects -- all focused on child safety, health and education; and, a record of charitable giving that reached 1,000,000 Baht (US$30,000) in the past twelve months! Our club and members have been active participants in Rotary events, workshops, and meetings at the international, national, district, and local level. I believe we have demonstrated that the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self” is a guiding principle for our club and our members! But, as one of our members recently told me, “ [just because we are doing something well] does not diminish [our] opportunity to improve…!”  That statement captures the spirit of CMIRC, so with that in mind, here are some goals for Rotary Year 2018-2019: (Bulletin readers who are not members of CMIRC, we welcome your ideas and support concerning these goals):

Let’s grow and get more members directly or indirectly involved in service projects. Let’s be sure that every CMIRC member has an opportunity to contribute in some way to the wonderful service we are doing to improve child safety, health and education.  Project champions, find creative ways to increase member involvement. Also remember that Rotary is a huge network; there are 16 clubs here in Chiang Mai and over 330 clubs and 9,000 Rotarians in Thailand. Community members reading this, what are the unmet needs for children here in Chiang Mai and in Thailand, and are there ways Rotary can help?

As PP Jerry has often said “as a club, we are fighting above our weight class.” It’s true! Our record of accomplishment certainly exceeds what would be expected from a young, small club like ours. But, even the toughest fighters tire, we currently have twenty-one active members, but past club discussions have focused on thirty-five members as an ideal number. Let’s try to add 5 of the 14 members we need to reach that ideal size this year.

Let’s remember there are many ways to give. We have reached the 1,000,000 baht level of charitable giving this year, but I would maintain that we have given far more than that through our voluntarism. When we say “please give what you can” to our members and our community, let’s keep in mind that there are many ways to help improve child safety, health, and education, and some of the best examples do not involve dollars or baht! 
So, the message this month ends with an emphasis on what we can do this year to make our great service even better, to expand membership opportunity for more Chiang Mai residents, and to plan to give more this year in the ways that best suit our resources of time, skill, creativity, and, yes, money.