Happy Rotary New Year Fellow Rotarians!
What an exciting time this is for our Club! A new year always brings a feeling of renewed hope and rejuvenated energy!
The theme of Rotary International this year is "Making a Difference" and our District's theme is “Grow Stronger, Serve Better”. This year our Rotary E-Club of the Caribbean will strive for success in this combined vision.  Our Club will work to improve on and increase our community projects and to increase our opportunities to fellowship with each other.  As your president, I recognize that our Club stands on the achievements of those that served before me and paved the way for us to accomplish more, this and every year.  We have such a great Club!  If we each do our part to serve, our end result will become that much more excellent. I urge each Rotarian to accept the challenge each day by asking, “How have I served my fellow man today?”
Our District’s theme this year is a clear call to action for every Rotarian.  As each Rotary club grows in membership and experience, our ability to expand the impact of Rotary likewise grows.  Therefore, I extend a challenge to each Member to make a difference in a community. In the District community whenever possible, but also in any community that you can assist or support in some way.  I ask every Member to re-commit to the ideals of Rotary and to your personal goals of serving humanity.  As you go about your daily life, look around your community.  Ask yourself, how can the ideals and goals of Rotary help this community?  Can our Club make a difference? Can we help others to make a difference?
In a recent meeting, AG Amarylis made mention of Members visiting clubs and exchanging flags. I encourage you to collaborate with other clubs and introduce them to our Club.  Do this whenever possible. We serve in an organization that is powerful in our outreach to the impoverished and vulnerable.  In the Rotary E-Club, we reside in different communities, but we share common bonds and the collective interest of building opportunity for disadvantaged in our 7020 District.  As we enhance the capabilities of our Rotary E-Club, let’s set the example for excellence in outreach.
This year we will take bold new steps.  After taking a complete and hard look at our Club, we will improve on issues and areas that work well for us and we will consider abandoning others that do not.   In the first month July, we will analyze, revise and ratify our Bylaws to accommodate our ever changing needs.
One of our major projects for this year involves providing educational tools for marginalized pregnant adolescents of Jamaica’s society.  These young women have decided that early pregnancy will not remain a barrier to a better life, but rather, a bump on the long road to success.  We will support them by providing the infrastructure required for their continued education.  Thank you for your support on this project!  It will make a difference in the lives of mothers and children, affecting multiple generations of Jamaican society.
Another major project for this year is Homeopaths Without Borders.  Since affording traditional health care remains elusive for many in Haiti, and with the realization by many traditional doctors that homeopathy solutions actually work, we are partnering with Homeopaths Without Borders to increase the areas of treatment for those in need in the Haitian community.  Rotary is making a tremendous difference in Haiti. Our District Governor Robert is proud to see the initiative that our Club is taking.  Thank you for your support on this project.
Our keystone project for this year is our now famous Butterfly StoryBook.  This will be our fifth anniversary edition.  The response by the District has steadily increased since the first edition and we were proud to easily sell two hundred copies on our District Conference Cruise.  We have continued demand for the books in both English and French and we hope to sell even more in the upcoming year.  Congratulations to everyone who has worked diligently each year to make this project a resounding success!  We are inspiring young authors to become all that they aspire to be.
We are exploring the possibility of chartering an Interact Club in the US Virgin Islands.  As most of us may be aware, Rotary works closely with youth in our various communities, providing mentoring and support from sponsor Rotary Clubs.  We are very excited about the possibilities that this will bring and you will be hearing more on this potential project in the weeks to come.
I ask every Member to visit Clubrunner and Rotary Central to learn all that you can about Rotary.  We will have occasional contests during our regular meetings, with prizes for those that are able to deliver answers to the Rotary-related questions.  We challenge you to collect the most prizes over the course of the year for a special recognition.
I ask everyone to contribute to The Rotary Foundation, which has celebrated 100 years.  In the past 100 years, The Rotary Foundation has spent over $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.  The Foundation has impacted the lives of millions of people around the world, but the work continues.  At this year’s conference, we witnessed a small club in our District that achieved 100% Paul Harris Fellowship this past year.  Recognition is given as a Paul Harris Fellow to persons contributing $1000 to the Foundation.  While we do not expect this from our Members, we ask that you give whatever you can.  No gift is too small.  90% of donations to the Foundation go directly to service projects around the world.
We will have an agenda distributed for our regular Saturday meetings, which remains the official meeting of our club, as well as our Board meetings.  It is important to plan effectively and move decisively on issues of the day.  We recognize that everyone’s time is very valuable and we appreciate the commitment that each Member has made to serve.  We will also distribute a shared calendar to each Member so you can have clear expectations and we can plan as a team to achieve our shared goals. 
Let us remember, that each of us has a responsibility to serve. I am very passionate about Rotary and it is a part of my DNA. I boast about our club all the time. My administration has received a real solid foundation, so let's build on it and make a difference in our communities.  Let us contribute to the foundation in an unprecedented manner and ensure that we do our part to help.
Finally, I ask that you spread the word about Rotary. Spread the word to your family, friends and co-workers.  Tell them your Rotary story.  Each of us has one.  It’s the story of why we decided to join Rotary, about why we put aside time on our Saturday mornings and about why we give what we can of our time and resources to Rotary.  I urge each Member to bring at least one prospective new member to our Club this year.  Encourage them first to visit us during our regular Saturday meetings and listen and observe as we embark on our mission of service.
I thank President Paul for the leadership that he has guided us with over the past year and I thank each Member for the vote of confidence that you have expressed in me as your President.  I look forward to making you proud as your Head Coach and Chief Cheerleader.
- Lesli