Our District Governor for District 5710 energized and empowered us at last week's meeting. Debra Rodenbaugh-Schaub got her start in Rotary in 1993 when she answered an advertisement in the Topeka Capital World newspaper to become part of an International Business Exchange program. She made the team and was one of 4 non-Rotarians to spend 6 weeks in Sweden. Everyone was separated by vocation and their Mondays-Fridays were spent in an intensive interactive setting from 7am -8pm exploring economic development, banking and commerce. 
When she returned to the states, Rotarian Roy Browning asker her to join the club, and she has never looked back. "He changed my life forever by inviting me in - it's up to me to do the rest." Debra was struck by the true scope of what Rotary is as a global organization. She experienced tremendous mentoring and was able to work with District Executives before she moved to Manhattan to further her career. 
Her Rotary experience in Manhattan is very different than ours in Louisburg. There are two clubs - a morning and a noon - the morning club welcomed its 101st member last week and the average age in the club is about 35, she said. The noon club has 200 members and the average age is about 70. She served as president in 2009-10 and still feels that the most rewarding part of leading such a strong group is making a difference, "it's the opportunity to make things happen - to light a fire," she said.
One of her favorite projects in her Manhattan club has been a partnership they have engaged in with their namesake, Manhattan, NY. From the Little Apple, to the Big Apple, everyone makes a difference - and they took that show on the road to raise an incredible amount of money toward PolioPlus, that was matched by the Gates Foundation. "We all have the gift of Rotary, and it's something we need to give," she said, "It's something we need to share."
When our club members were asked, they responded that the reasons they come very week are varied:
  • camaraderie
  • synergy
  • partnership
  • education
  • compassion
  • opportunities to make a difference locally and globally
  • surprise
  • intrigue
Her question was simple. "Why would we hold that back?!" Together we have hearts of giving and hearts of service. We are bound together by a 4-Way Test that could truly change the world if we would all give it a chance and make it matter. The Rotary experience is also magical because while we need to share it and give it away, we also get to keep it - it becomes who we are and no one can ever take that from us.
In Other News:
  • Our night to do Wildcat Concessions is at the first home football game on Friday, September 12
  • We received a Thank You note from the organizers of Freedom Fest for our donation.
  • ShelterBox is currently helping 7K families in the Philipines after a typhoon and more throughout the world.
  • The NEW TEACHER LUNCHEON is Friday, August 8th @ 11:30 @ LMS. Rotary helps pay for the teachers - each member who attends is responsible for paying for his/her own lunch.
  • Saturday, August 9 is the Rotary Foundation Membership/Leadership Conference in Topeka from 8:30-3pm. There is no fee - it is a great day of learning.
  • Saturday, November 15 is the District Foundation Banquet at the Sheraton in Overland Park. It is inspiring and motivating - you won't regret attending.
  • May 8-9, 2014 is the District Conference in Manhattan. This year there will be an opening golf tournament on Friday. It will be at the new Discovery Center and there will be a balloon release to celebrate the life or the memory of someone important to you. The cost is $20.18 because THAT is the year we WILL eradicate Polio!!
  • There are only THREE COUNTRIES LEFT: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria