A few thoughts…
Each month one of the tasks for the president of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek is to write a short, insightful, earth moving, grammatically correct, witty, mostly non-controversial, and very touching piece for the monthly news letter. And for the most part each president since the advent of the RCCC Town Crier has done an admirable job at putting into prose what they were thinking that would move this club to even greater heights. We have already scaled 5 of the 6 highest peaks on the planet so what next?
So as I sit here looking out the window at more snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, etc. and wonder how I am going to get motivated to run this afternoon with the Panther Running Club, nothing insightful or witty is making it from brain to fingers onto the blank screen in front of me.
Then the RCCC emails start. And as I read them I think this club not only scaled 5 of the top 6 peaks but is setting its sights on peaks that have not been discovered. Here is an example of a few of the emails in the in box.
One from the committee chair of the club’s Next Big Project asking for some direction on moving forward with the $75k the club has committed to this endeavor.
The next one from the committee in charge of the clubs Oktoberfest planning, an event that generates about $250k in revenue over a weekend in October, with proceeds going to fund 3 Rotary club’s activities.
One from the President of the noon Rotary club asking to pass on a note to the group in our club trying to put together a grant totaling over $200k in South Africa that will involve about 8 Rotary clubs.
Several emails from the group putting together the Paul Harris recognition dinner on May 28th (yes, mark your calendars) to recognize someone in our community for their Service Above Self.
Then one from the club’s chair of the Rotary Foundation efforts wanting to see if we can squeeze in a few minutes at the next meeting to recognize new and “upgrading” Paul Harris members.
And finally one from a member that wonders if we can recognize a young lady that attended a Rotary Youth Leadership session who just received an award for her efforts to raise over $26k for Leukemia/Lymphoma.
Ok so you get the idea. Our club is all about BIG dollars and BIG events right?
Not so fast my friend.
Another email shows up looking for just 12 members to help out on a Saturday to paint a house for Community Living to make their part of the world just a bit nicer.
One from a few members that want to see if it is alright to send an email to club members asking for food donations to help the local food bank make it through a particularly tough stretch.
Several from our chair of Bikes for the World looking for assistance on moving bikes that we collect to a barn he set up for storage.
A couple more explaining the hands on project being set up at Visitation Academy during the District Conference.
And finally, one from the Chair of the Rotary District Conference asking if we could get the Lincoln Elementary Choir to sing at the memorial service honoring Rotarians that have died in the past year. (Which reminds me I need to get on that.)
Ok so this club is all about BIG projects and BIG $$$ as well as not so big projects, right?
Once again, not so fast my friend.
As the flood of emails (ok that might be a slight exaggeration) continues I realize once again that I have never seen or been involved with a volunteer organization that sets its sights on so many peaks and then goes out and finds a way to scale them all. BIG, small, BIG $$$, no dollars, lots of volunteers, few volunteers. It doesn’t matter. The peaks just get scaled.
When the first Next Big Project was being discussed I wondered how this small, non-profit called Rotary could come up with $50k to donate. And we did. And the project to transform Heartly House over a weekend. How could that be done? But we did. And Oktoberfest. No way we could tackle that. But we did.
So now I quit asking our club if it is possible and just ask what the timeline is and how many volunteers are needed. Because in my 20 or so years in this club I have learned that there are lots of peaks out there but that is all they are. Just a bump in the road to be gotten over by the people that come up with the idea. That’s what I call Service Above Self.