Rotary -- the answer to my questions
I was moving to a strange town where I knew virtually no one. Starting a business in a community without an existing contact base was scary. Would I make friends in this town? How could I find out what's going on in this community? Who are the mo...
I was moving to a strange town where I knew virtually no one. Starting a business in a community without an existing contact base was scary. Would I make friends in this town? How could I find out what's going on in this community? Who are the movers and shakers in town?
The questions just kept coming and frankly made me a little afraid. I subscribed in advance to the newspaper, made contact with the Chamber of Commerce, and scoped out my new place of business. But much of my uneasiness remained.
Then I was invited to the Breakfast Rotary Club.
At my very first meeting I found a surprisingly energetic environment and was welcomed with open arms. People introduced themselves and invited me to come back.
Within a couple of weeks, I was helping to clean a ditch near Frazee and socializing with my new friends. Each week, through our programs I learned about things that are being done in the community to improve the quality of life in the area.
Soon, I found myself running the Peach Sale, helping with the Meatball Dinner and participating in nearly every service project that our club undertakes. All the while meeting more and more truly great people and forming solid friendships.
After a couple of years, I chose to attend the Rotary District Conference where I learned about the amazing work that Rotary does throughout the country and the world. And at the conference, I met even more friendly, committed Rotarians from throughout North Dakota, Northern Minnesota and Southern Ontario.
Nearly five years later, I find myself as involved as ever. I look around and see how our club has grown since I started and realize that I'm not the only one who has been touched by this amazing group of people. My club mates are some of the best friends I have. As a result, this area is really home to me.
Some of my motivation to join the club was to just network a bit from a business perspective. But I have never looked at my affiliation with Rotary in terms of how much business I could get out of it.
The Rotary motto is "Service Above Self." This club lives that motto and it's become an even greater part of who I am. And what a philosophy for life! The miracle of service is that what you give comes back to you ten-fold and I certainly feel that way about all that I give to Rotary.
Are you new to town? Have you ever felt like you don't know what's going on in town? Do you feel like you would like a new experience with new friends? Do you need to jump-start your day with some energy? Are you looking for an outlet to "give back"?
I hope that my story at least peaks your interest in checking out the Breakfast Rotary Club. We meet every Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. at the Speak Easy. I can tell you with absolute confidence that joining this club has been one of the best things that's happened to me in my life. Can you get a better endorsement than that?
Perhaps morning meetings just don't work in your schedule. Check out the Noon Rotary Club (Thursdays at Holiday Inn) or one of the other service organizations in town. But get involved -- your community needs you and the world needs you. And you have everything to gain.