Posted by Craig Gillis, District Governor 2018-19
As I begin Week 5 of Club Visits... I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have a role that enables me to immerse myself in the culture of so many of our clubs.   This is such a welcoming and inclusive Rotary District. I urge Rotarians to take advantage of opportunities to visit other clubs. So often you will see different routines, practices and traditions – each example deepens our appreciation of the many and varied ways in which we carry out the service of Rotary. There is much ‘wise practice’ within Rotary District 5020.   We have much to learn from and teach one another!
Photo Caption:  Tacoma Narrows Induction of New Members
August is Membership and Extension Month. As I visit clubs and meet with club leadership teams, the topic of membership often surfaces. I am learning that every club considers membership growth a priority. In essence, we know that more Rotary members means more hands and hearts to carry out service on behalf of Rotary. For those who experience the fellowship, the fun, and the imprint of Rotary’s work in our communities, Rotary seems a natural place to invest time and talent.  Perhaps we need to focus our attention on how much we gain by being members of this impressive worldwide organization.
At a recent session at the Rotary International Convention in Toronto, I realized that often in our promotion of Rotary we neglect to remind ourselves and others of the benefits of Rotary membership. We identify what we do or have done, but don’t always explain how we have personally gained. Whether developing organizational or marketing skills, learning to speak before a group, creating a business plan for a project, learning more from informative or passionate speakers... we are enriched by the knowledge and the skills that we develop. However, it is truly that animated ‘buzz’ often heard when entering a club’s meeting space that reveals the importance of those social connections – ultimately ‘we’ become important to one another as Rotarians. When we work with others selling duck tickets in Comox, barbecue hot dogs at a county fair, or help to paint an older portable classroom in Duncan – the experience of sharing a task with others creates a sense of ‘team’ that makes us want to return to Rotary again and again. As members grow to know one another in a club they develop a greater sense of commitment and connection to each other – in short our membership makes us part of the ‘family’ we call Rotary.
As we enter into a month dedicated to Membership Extension... think of someone you feel would not only contribute to your club but also gain from membership.   Make this the month that you practice your ‘ASK’... and invite someone to the family of Rotary!
Recently,  District 5020 Membership Chair, Corey Lopardi, did some research for me. Kudos to the following clubs who have inducted 5 or more members... since the start of this year...  Let’s congratulation them and ask how they attracted those members!  
Tacoma Narrows9
Tacoma 88
Puyallup South Hill5
West Olympia5
DG Craig