Being An Active Rotarian

The Four-Way Test Of The Things We Think, Say or Do

The 2014-2015 Board of Directors for the Rotary Club of Palm Springs will be meeting for the first time following the ‘Holiday Lunch’ next week. One of the tasks for this meeting will be to elect the President Nominee for 2015-2016. On July 1 the new Rotary year will begin. In order to ensure that the our Club has an effective year for 2014-2015,  I sent a message to all Club members asking them ‘Are You Interersted?’

We are very fortunate in the Rotary Club of Palm Springs because we have some very active Rotarians that set an outstanding example for our Club’s membership.

Are you interested in becoming more active in your Rotary Club?

An active Rotarian is someone who cares about their community. Being an active Rotarian involves supporting your local community (or beyond). This can be done in a number of ways.

Being an active Rotarian is what you make of it! All you need is a desire to see your community change or improve and lots of enthusiasm.

I asked a number of people what they thought an active Rotarian was … here are some of the answers they gave:

‘Someone who gets involved’

‘Someone who gives back to their community’

‘An active Rotarian cares for others in their community, shows they can be involved and committed’

‘Active Rotarians are people who believe we all count, and individually and together, we can make a difference’

‘One who cares about their community and doesn’t just sit and wait – they do things’

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Congressman Ruiz at Rotary Club

The speaker for the Rotary Club of Palm Springs on November 6, 2013 was Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D.  He was a great speaker.  After his remarks he was presented a ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ to exemplify how much we appreciate and recognize Dr. Ruiz‘ contributions to humanity.

He expressed appreciation to Rotary and our Club in particular, for its remarkable record of community service, saying he was privileged to be with us, and emphasizing that we are “all in this together” to help our citizens.

Doctor Ruiz, was a practicing emergency room physician before being elected to Congress last November.  He emphasized his focus on–and the importance of–providing constituent services.  He said that he and his staff have opened 669 cases, and so far 504 have been resolved.  These cases have primarily involved such matters as jobs, VA surgeries, veterans benefit backlogs, immigration, IRS conflicts.  But the majority have centered on military veterans’ issues.  He serves on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and also the Committee on Natural Resources.  Congressman Ruiz discussed the launch of his “Veterans Initiatives.”  He sees his role is to serve people and solve problems, not only through legislation.  Among his priorities  is to launch a “Veterans’ University,” which will soon help in assisting veterans and providing them with access to more jobs and services.

He commented on the extreme Congressional “gridlock” in Washington, adding that he has been successful in working “across the aisle” in a bipartisan way to help veterans and their problems.

Dr. Ruiz discussed our mutual social responsibilities, and emphasized how important it is to “forget politics and partisanship” to accomplish these goals.

The day’s event was especially meaningful since I had spent months trying to get Congressman Ruiz confirmed as a speaker.  After meeting with him and his staff at a reception a few months ago, I was able to get a date where he would be the speaker.  He is a good example of Service above Self  with his work in Haiti, his work as an ER Doctor, and his support for so many difference causes in the Coachella Valley.  It was indeed an honor for him to be the speaker today.

Seeing all the smiles and watching all the folks that attended the meeting today was confirmation that the hours spent in scheduling this very busy Congressman was worthwhile.  The meeting was a HIT!!!!

Another highlight of the day was being presented the ‘Benefactor’ Certificate and “wings”.   The presentation was meaningful and will always be a memory that I cherish.    I was asked to “Wear them proudly!    They are a sign of commitment to The Rotary Foundation and willingness to step up through Rotary to perform miracles!”

Rotary and Interact

I was asked to speak to the Interact Club at the high school about :   “What Is Rotary and Interact?”   It is always enjoyable to share with others especially about Rotary.

November 4, 2013  INTERACT   Palm Springs High School

Mission – The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs doing good all over the world.  Rotary is in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.   Rotary’s work impacts lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. 

The Rotary Club of Palm Springs was chartered in 1941.  Projects include book giveaways to elementary students, Angel View Prom, senior citizen projects such as Change the Batteries.   Scholarships are provided annually to students, and financial support is provided to senior center, community arts organizations, and internationally for water and buses.

Interact: a service organization organized and sponsored by Rotary clubs for young adults aged up to age 18. There are more than 12,300 Interact clubs in 133 countries.

Interact is a club for youth up to 18 who want to connect with others in their community or school. Interact club members have fun while carrying out service projects and learning about the world. Interact clubs organize at least two service projects a year: one that benefits their community and one that encourages international understanding. While Interact clubs receive guidance from individual Rotary clubs, they govern and support themselves.

Rotarians contribute their time, energy and passion to sustainable, long-term projects in local communities across the globe. Projects focus on important issues like peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy and economic and community development.

Every Rotarian joins Rotary for his or her own reasons. Often, the reason someone decides to join isn’t the same as the reason that person ultimately decides to stay.

Rotary Committees

Doing the work of Rotary begins in Committees

Furthering the work of Rotary in our community, our region or internationally happens in our committees. There is  an enormous opportunity as a volunteer in Rotary Club of Palm Springs to become involved and active. It’s personally rewarding and great fun!  I have found being the Program Chair this year and the Fundraising Chair last year to be very rewarding.

We have many levels of time commitments as well as different kinds of service to the club and community.   Committee work is where you really get to know fellow Rotarians and share the fellowship that ties us all together.

Being part of a committee is the best way to get to know members, enjoy personal rewards and contribute to the success of Rotary.

Membership

Some of the key points of Rotary membership:

  • The Three Fundamentals of Growing Our Club:  1.  Create the Rotary Culture, 2.  Attract New Members,  3.  Keep them for life.
  • What is the Rotary Culture?  1.  Treating each other as family.  2.  Being service-focused.  3.  Calling the missing person the same day.  4.  Being inclusive of all people.  5.  Being the conscience of our community.  6.  Our members are our first customers.  7.  Living the Rotary Lifestyle.
  • Recruitment and Retention.  1.  Recruit people who are already living the lifestyle of a Rotarian.  2.  Find people active in serving their community.  3.  Do they have passion to make a difference?  4.  Assure that they have credibility and can network.  Also – the keys to Recruitment and Retention:  The club should be 1.  Low-cost.  2.  Fun-raising.  3.  Service-driven.  4.  Friendship-based.  5.  Community Anchored.
  • How to improve retention:  1.  Immediate involvement.  2.  Meaningful Leadership Role.  3.  Make friends, not members.  4.  Mentoring by an active member.  5.  Social activities in-between the meetings.

So What is Rotary?

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

  • FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
  • SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  • THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
  • FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

    Avenues of Service

    Based on the Object of Rotary, the Avenues of Service are Rotary’s philosophical cornerstone and the foundation on which club activity is based:

  • Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club.
  • Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards.
  • Community Service covers the projects and activities the club undertakes to improve life in its community.
  • International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the globe and to promote world understanding and peace.

The Four-Way Test

The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Mission

The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

Diversity and Rotary

Rotary International recognizes the value of diversity within individual clubs.   Rotary encourages clubs to assess those in their communities who are eligible for membership, under existing membership guidelines, and to endeavor to include the appropriate range of individuals in their clubs.   A club that reflects its community with regard to professional and business classification, gender, age, religion, and ethnicity is a club with the key to its future.

Moving toward the future

Rotary International has developed  a strategic plan to guide the organization as it entered its second century of service.   There are seven priorities identified:

  • Eradicate polio.
  • Advance the internal and external recognition and public image of Rotary.
  • Increase Rotary’s capacity to provide service to others.
  • Expand membership globally in both numbers and quality.
  • Emphasize Rotary’s unique vocational service commitment.
  • Optimize the use and development of leadership talents within RI.
  • Fully implement the strategic planning process to ensure continuity and consistency throughout the organization.

About Our Club

The Rotary Club of  Palm Springs has been in existence for 72 years and continues to thrive today.   Our club includes some of  Palm Springs  finest men and woman.

Spaghetti Dinner for Mayor’s Race

The Spaghetti Dinner was held on April 19 held in conjunction with the city of Palm Springs Mayor’s Race .  I had the chance to Chair this fundraising activity this yearIt was a fun event and successful in raising funds.  The net proceeds from the dinner were shared with the Interact and Earlyact clubsThis represents about a fifty percent increase from what was budgeted and from last year’s results.  

The Spaghetti Dinner was a success because of the great support from the Club membership.  I sent out a message yo thank each person for their support following the dinner.  The contributions made by those who volunteered, sold tickets, purchased tickets or let someone know about the event were essential to the event’s success.  Also, the Interact and Earlyact students and advisors participation was much appreciated.   Based on my observations over ninty percent of all ticket sales were attributable directly to the Rotary Club of Palm Springs membership.

Thank you so much to all of you for your hard work and to all the members of the committee for organizing this fun event!

Rotarian

ON BEING A ROTARIAN
What does it mean to be a Rotarian?  Whatever is said in reply almost certainly will be drawn from the Rotarian’s own personal experiences.
What Rotary stands for is stated in the Object of Rotary.
1
Above all, Rotarians believe in “Service Above Self”, Rotary’s international motto. Rotarians believe in sharing Rotary with others. Being a Rotarian means more than the sum of what a Rotarian believes about Rotary; it means maintaining high ethical standards in one’s business, one’s profession, and in one’s personal life. Being an Rotarian means having the opportunity to experience the warm fellowship of a Rotary Club which can greatly expand one’s circle of acquaintance, foster lifelong friendships, and help one do for his or her community what he or she might never accomplish alone. Being a Rotarian means to be actively involved in the affairs and service projects of one’s club. Rotarians look for ways to get involved. Rotarians demonstrate the strength of their commitment to Rotary in the service they render to their club, through their club to the community, and through the Rotary Foundation to people throughout the world. Being a Rotarian is a way of life and can be a satisfying lifelong adventure for those who are willing to give of themselves to enjoy and benefit from all that Rotary has to offer.
The Object of Rotary:
First
. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for
service;
Second
. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the
worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
Third.
. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life; and
Fourth.
. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service

Garage Sale

The Rotary Annual Garage Sales was today at the senior center.  It was well attended and made money for the Club.  There was a good turnout of members and everyone seemed to enjoy the day in the sun.

Yesterday we loaded the truck where we had been storing everything.  Then this morning beginning at 5:30am a group was there to unload and set up.   Reinforcements came for different shifts.  And by 3:15pm this afternoon the leftovers had been loaded onto the donation truck.

It was a great project.  Since Rotary is about community service this project in many ways was a great example of seeing Rotary at work.

Principal for the Day

Today I had the honor of being the Principal for the Day at an elementary school in Palm Springs.  It was an informative and interesting day.

I arrived at the school before 8:30am and was taken on a short tour.  Then I led the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag at the school assembly.  Visiting several classrooms and a special assembly on bullying was really interesting.  Seeing the students and interacting with the teachers was a really good experience.  It was such a moving experience when a first grader grabbed me by surprise and gave me a big hug!   Priceless!

The Principal and I attended a luncheon at the Administrative Offices with the School District Superintendent and several elected members of the School Board.  All the Principals throughout the District and the other designated Principals for the Day were in attendance.  There were news anchors, radio personalities,  philanthropic types, college administrators, police chiefs and fire chiefs that had been selected for this beneficial experience.

Each of us made short remarks about the experience.  I stated that it was great to observe first hand what is right with education today.  The principal was an inspiring leader who demonstrated outstanding administrative, instructional and personal attributes.

This experience as Principal for the Day will be something that I will always remember.  When I was introduced as President Elect Nominee for Rotary Club of Palm Springs it made me smile and have a proud feeling.