Commencement is Upon Us!
We have all heard the commencement addresses and the speeches, gotten the diplomas, sat through the hundreds (or maybe thousands) of students getting their names called and walking across the stage.
We have heard as speakers talk about what has been accomplished over the last period of time. And we have all heard what commencement actually means. Not the end but the beginning. (Mostly we pray that the talks will be short and the air conditioning works.)
So here we are at the end of another Rotary year (well almost). And what have we done over the last year that we can look at? (BTW this will be a bit long winded but stick with me.)
Failures? Sure we have had a few stumbles.
False starts? Yea. One or two.
Successes? You better believe it.
To say that this club has reached new heights would be a huge understatement.
Where to begin? How about 17 new members? Hopefully you know them by now. Chris, Jeff, Guy, Carla, Jack, Mychal, Mary, Becky, Lonnie, Derek, Chris, Melissa, Cara, Michelle, Jeff, Jeremy, and Chris Chase (for a 2nd time). And before the end of the month we will add Ken and maybe 1 more. There are 13 clubs in the district that have 17 or fewer members total.
Thanks Terry and Maggie and Jim and Marty and everyone that sponsored a member.
How about Oktoberfest? From an estimated net of $65k to an actual net of close to $98k, not a bad weekends work. Yea I know it is more than a weekend and lots of people. But it is the backbone to what funds our operations.
Danke Jim and Amy and Clyde and Ted and Neil and Mike and all the committee chairs, volunteers, or those who just showed up to have some fun.
How about that International Committee? Cambodia, Nicaragua, Kenya, a $210k grant request submitted for a project in South Africa (the first Global Grant in the clubs history which features a $40k commitment from the RCCC), World Peace and Understanding Expo, 305 bikes collected for Bikes for the World (BTW the goal next year is 365, one bike for each day of the year), approximately $25k in grants/aid to international efforts, and on and on.
Gracias Pete and Jean-Louis and Dick and Norm and Jonathan and Mary, and all the rest of you.
And Fellowship? Who didn’t have fun at all the events we had? Bowling, Santa Run, baseball game, happy hours, more happy hours, more happy hours, Christmas Party, Paul Harris dinner, etc. etc. Ok so the committee spent a few extra $$$$ than in the budget but in 20 years who will remember that?
Thanks Linda and Jim and Carla and David and Bonnie and Pat and Jan and Patti and Susan and ……. You guys and gals know how to have a fun time. I tip my wine glass to you. And I’ll buy the next round.
Hands on Projects? Did we have a few? By my count we have completed 18 projects with a few more to go. Hundreds of man/woman hours, lots of planning, many organizations helped, and great fellowship.
Many thanks Simona and George and all those that chaired a project or volunteered for one (or more). Many organizations are grateful.
Community Service? You bet. About $25k in grants to the community, another $6k or so to Lincoln Elementary (not to mention math, chess, reading, STEM support, Fountain Rock, Panther Run Club, mentors/tutors/coaches), and Officer of the Month, Dictionary Project and more.
Thanks Josh and Nicki and Fred and Wayne and Matt and Clyde and Doug and all the others that picked up a book or a shovel to help out.
New Generations? Yea, there is a new generation. We heard about the baby boomers, the gen x’ers, the millenials, but how about those Interactors and Rotaractors, and other actors? RYLA, Middletown Interviews, the 4 Way Test and District Scholarships ?
Thanks Mary and Ed and Eric and Michelle and Susie, Susa and Paul for guiding our future Rotarians through some of their efforts.
Marcos, Marcos, Marcos. How do you get someone from Brazil to Frederick, into school, host families, shuttles, trips, incorporating him into an existing family?
Susan, Sharon, Ed and Mark found a way. Muito Obrigado.
Lisa, Jason and Bernard. How do you say thanks for what you have helped to create in Lucas Village. Imagine a little club like ours of ALL volunteers that is helping to change peoples lives by something as simple as getting jobs. Bravo!!!!!!
A Star Spangled Conference? What in the world is that? But through no small part of the RCCC we showed off not just the best of Frederick but what a truly GREAT club can accomplish. Biggest and best conference I can ever remember.
Thanks Andy and Mary and Nancy and Bob and Wayne and all those that opened your homes to visiting Rotarians.
The first Chris Judd Service Above Self award. And the winner is…..
Mr. Foot, your service, enthusiasm, and generosity are overwhelming. Thanks again.
Foundation giving. How about $612,500 in total giving by the club over the years. 250 Paul Harris Fellows awards given to members. 112 current Paul Harris Fellows in the club. Over 50 community Paul Harris Fellow awards given. 13 Paul Harris Society members. That’s a lotta dough.
Thanks Mr. Pitts and an award well deserved.
The Next Big Project. Finished Splashes of Hope and on to the next one (and by the way the Band Shell was finally completed). By the end of the year the committee will have looked at, discussed, vetted, questioned, visited and voted on their idea for spending the $75k that the club has committed to our next big project. I think we should be proud of how this small group of people called the RCCC has changed the face of many things in Frederick.
Thanks Pat and Pat and Melissa and Bryan and Nicki and Neil and Doug and all the rest of you.
Ok. I have babbled on long enough. And I apologize for leaving out some of the other accomplishments. Bulletins, marketing, website, programs. But I have to say a HUGE thanks to all of those that actually make this club run on a day to day, meeting to meeting basis.
Have you ever wondered how sausage gets made? Well the following people are the sausage makers of the club.
6:15am or so every Wednesday. You are in bed hoping the alarm doesn’t work. You get up, brush those pearly whites, hop in the car, drive to the meeting, come in, chat a little, eat, listen to a GREAT program (Thanks Sharon) and go on about your day. How did that happen?
6:00am every Wednesday the Sergeant at Arms committee and Welcoming committee are there setting things up. (Canapés gets there about 4-4:30am for cooking). And they stay after to clean up as you are walking out the door for your 9-5. Red Badges, Blue Badges, Pins, banners, flags, the bell, sign in sheets, pens, 50-50, etc, etc. Yep that’s those folks. Off site? No problem. District Conference? No problem (Well maybe a few)
Thanks Bob and Wayne and Kevin and Doug and Sean and Eric and Jack and Mike and all you others.
And lastly the REAL people that keep the show rolling and the fun happening. Believe me it is not me or the Fine Masters (although Mike and Chip and Darrell and Fred and Marty-you guys are funny.)
The 2 people that keep the good ship RCCC afloat and on an even keel and make nice with Rotary International are the 2 people that probably volunteer more of their time and energy to causes big and small than anyone I have ever met. My most sincere thanks and appreciation go out to our treasurer and secretary, Kim Chaney and Doug Murphy. When I agreed to serve as President the first people I asked to help were Kim and Doug. Both said yes with no hesitation. They are the true brains behind the curtain.
So I will wrap up my last column as president by saying thanks to everyone for making this a truly fun and rewarding experience. Someone asked me if it was hard to get up each week and lead the meeting and I have to say that it is extremely easy. I get to look out at 168 of my best friends who don’t know how to say no to a cause and will always find a way to just git ‘er done. That makes it so easy.
22 years ago I joined the club and my classification talk was about the day my daughter was born. I have just seen my daughter graduate from college and is now commencing on her own path. The RCCC is now commencing on another 22+ years of fun, fellowship, and great times.
It’s all yours Jason.