President Looks Forward to the New Rotary Year

Vision for 2010-2011

First of all, I want to thank Clarence Jones for his help in transitioning to this New Year, 2010-2011. As the incoming President of the Bonners Ferry Rotary Club, I'd like to provide you with some thoughts concerning my vision for the new Rotary year that began July 1st.

Rotary International's 2010-2011 theme is "Building Communities, Bridging Continents", a concept that aligns well with my goals for the club.

An effective Rotary Club is able to (1) sustain or increase its membership base; (2) implement successful projects that address the needs of their community and communities in other countries; and (3) support the Rotary Foundation through both program participation and financial contributions. It does these things by seeing that the Club operates in the most effective and efficient manner. It also accomplishes these three things by enhancing the public image and awareness of the Club. Now you see why we need the five key committees (membership, foundation, service, club administration and public relations).

Membership will be the primary focus as we continue to position Bonners Ferry Rotary as the premiere community service club where Bonners Ferry business and community leaders join together to get things done. Literacy is an objective of the Club's outreach projects, promoting literacy among youth, both financially and hands-on. Next year, could a Bonners Ferry Rotarian be assigned to each of our community's schools to better advocate for each school and identify needs that can be met by the Rotary Club's participation?

I want to see more fund raisers and service projects that contribute directly to our community. We need to finish a project that was started at the Boundary County Museum and also complete the "Welcome To Bonners Ferry" sign program approaching the community from the north side of town. Could we think of doing or assisting with a Halloween Carnival, a Kootenai River cleanup, holiday food baskets, assisting the Second Chance animal shelter? How about a workday on a Saturday to replace a regular Tuesday meeting? Could we organize a wine and cheese tasting fundraiser?

Bonners Ferry Rotary Club's brand value is significant. Our community will see that if something really needs to be done, give it to a Bonners Ferry Rotarian. We need to expand our presence in the local media and get the word out that Rotary is where things are happening. How about a weekly report of our speakers in the local newspapers? Club service funds will focus on projects that offer a strong return for the community and leverage the most from our club's involvement. Could we look at "Coats for Kids", The Dictionary Project, Stocking Area Food Banks, Disaster Relief? This is pure Rotary where hands-on participation by members is the heart of Rotary.

I would like to see Bonners Ferry Rotary be more involved in vocational recognition projects, such as an annual Teacher of the Year Recognition and Public Service Awards for Bonners Ferry EMS workers, Police and Firefighters. I also would like to see Bonners Ferry Rotary become involved in and sponsor New Generations programs of Interact and Rotaract because Rotary must nurture young adults -- they are the future Rotarians.

International Service will continue with projects that combine service and funds to achieve high levels of hands-on involvement and broad reach. We are currently reaching a conclusion on a water project with a community in Ecuador. Bonners Ferry Rotary is also committed to the Rotary Student Exchange Program and will co-sponsor a student once again in 2010-2011. And we all contribute to the Rotary Foundation where the #1 goal is the eradication of Polio. Rotarians will continue to contribute generously to the community as individuals. Currently, Bonners Ferry Rotarians serve on boards, are members of nonprofits, collect unused food for food banks, and provide leadership in our community's healthcare and learning institutions.

In conclusion, the Bonners Ferry Rotary Club has much to be proud of as we continue to build on the leadership and accomplishments of previous Rotary years. Our work in awarding scholarships is admirable. Our contributions for local events continue to expand - for example, the Lacrosse Team and Junior Miss. We will fine-tune all of these programs, and others, to increase service among members and our community.

I want each of you to think about the Who, Why, What, Where and When factors related to Rotary and the Bonners Ferry Rotary Club. WHO is a Rotarian? WHY did you join Rotary -- was it for fellowship or service or both? WHAT is expected of you as a Rotarian? WHERE is Rotary now (Bonners Ferry & Worldwide)? WHEN can we expect you? We all need the mindset that Rotary has a meaning and a passion in everything that we do. We may not have sensed that when we joined, but after spending some time here, it becomes quite obvious. Volunteer labor should not be thought of as volunteer work. Keep the idea of enlightened self-interest in mind when thinking of your Rotary membership. In other words, everything we do is for our own benefit (self-interest) but it is through helping others that we will benefit the most (enlightened).

I look forward to serving as your President this year and to working with the new Board of Directors who will oversee the vision I have presented to you today. Thank you very much.