Saturday, January 27, 2018

Rotary Membership-Some thoughts

Membership-Some thoughts
At zone it was mentioned that most of our clubs are based on a specific idea or way to be a Rotarian. A lot of the appeal of a club is the connection/interactions between Rotarians. Friendships are established and that keeps you coming back to the club. 
Some Rotarians invite lots of people to join and others not so much. 

In any case there are three steps to get and retain new members 1) invite people to come to one or more meetings/gatherings and then invite them to become a member, 2) induct them into the club and 3) help them establish connections/interactions with other Rotarians so that they feel a part of it. We have left it to members to do 1) and we have left 3) to chance.

So what can clubs do to help. 1) Public events. Clubs can organize events which are open to the public and are publicized. These can be cocktail hours, small service projects(packaging gifts for children at the holidays), or any other planned event. Put it in the paper, talk it up by members. Just informally do something together. Don't do it solely to get new members, do it as part of the clubs' regular business but open it up to the public. Mystic Rotary club has done this monthly, recently and gotten 11 new members. They had a series of small public events and invited people to come. Eleven new members.
David Cruthers the President Elect at Mystic where they have inducted eleven new members
2) After a member is inducted into the club we need to help her/him establish connections/interactions with existing members or other new members. As part of the normal club process we should ask new members and existing members to work together. This does not have to be a big thing, it can be a small piece of a project or even just dealing cards together or whatever happens during the regular meeting. The key thing is to ask new members and existing members to work together over a period of time. And we don't hit it off with everyone, so do this with a bunch of different existing members for every new member.

At New Haven Rotary Club-Two new members with PDG Colin Gershon

So two things clubs can do 1) have some small public events which are publicized and 2) invite new members to work alongside multiple existing members on small projects and tasks.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Newtown Rotary Club-January 22

What a night at Newtown Rotary Club. They inducted two new members and converted an Honorary Member(former Selectperson) to a regular member, had student of the month from three schools and welcomed Governor Elect Larry back from San Diego.
Here's President Joe Hemingway conducting the meeting
Here's the induction of  three new members. The club has a neat custom of shaking hands with each new member by each club member right after the induction. This results in an interesting scrum(whatever the phrase used in Rugby)

District Governor Elect Larry Gardner talking about his trip to San Diego and the upcoming President Elect Event

And PDG Brian Amey was there as well as PDG Alan Hurst. We were PDG rich.

Visiting our Clubs

I've been visiting clubs in our District. What a remarkable experience. Each club is different and unique with remarkable similarities. For example in Mystic I saw a serviceperson given a Serviceman of the month Award. This fellow has done more community service than almost any Rotarian.
A service man receiving an Award at Mystic Rotary Club

 In Montville I met a scholarship winner who goes to college in Boston and is a budding entrepreneur. She is the CEO of a school company that is making water bottles.
A scholarship winner returning to thank the Montville Rotary Club

Every club there's a story. The clubs all do community service in such a variety of ways. For example District Managed Grants can be used for community service. One club provided an aquarium to an elementary school. Another club provided a freezer for a food kitchen. And still another is helping the town build a playscape. Every club can use a District Managed Grant within their town for an important need.
Martine Nolletti from Milford talking about Governor Trish's water project at Ledyard Rotary Club

And global interests. At one club I heard again about Governor Trish's project. And what struck me was the prestory. Years ago a woman from Africa came to Connecticut and got involved with Orange Rotary Club. She went back to Africa and started a school for all young people. This remarkable school is the one that Governor Trish wants to provide a stable water system.  At times we see the problems of the world and say to ourselves, they are so big, how can we possibly solve them. The answer is that we solve them one project at a time.  Project Amigo, Alan's Honduras involvement, Jeremy Haiti and Governor Trish's water project, one project at a time.

Fairfield Rotary Club-January 22

Fairfield Rotary Club meets for lunch on Monday. PDG Alan Hurst and I were there on a day when the basement was flooded. Since Rotary stores a lot of equipment there, Rotarians were cleaning up and moving stuff. Nevertheless there was a great meeting. They heard from a local high school student on her interests and goals.

Sam Topal the President making some announcements

Their speaker was     me? It was fun. Lots of old friends here.
And here's Alan, Sam and me after my talk.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ledyard Rotary Club-January 18, 2018

Ledyard Rotary Club meets in the morning at the Best Western Olympic Hotel in Groton? They had a great meeting. 
Here's Michael Chin the President of the Club giving some announcements. They do an
antique car show every year, they call it the Car Cruise.

This is Doug Chung who closes their meetings with little known facts about the date.
Today he amused the club with the fact that it was Winnie the Pooh Day. That's because it's
AA Milne's birthday.

And here is Martine Nolletti who talked about Governor Trish's project for providing
water to a school in Kenya.  She gave a moving presentation about the value of the
school and the need to provide water. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Montville Rotary Club-January 16, 2018

Montville meets for breakfast at the Uncasville Diner. It was early and cold but a great meeting.

A scholarship winner showed up to thank the club. She is attending Babson College, near Boston, and described a project she is involved with. The students do an entrepreneurial project, in this case making and selling intelligent water bottles. The bottle tells you if you've drunk enough water that day. They are having bottles made, will sell them and she is CEO. A great scholarship winner.

The club has applied for a District Managed Grant and after some learning they have everything in and ready to go. They will update their Social Service facility in town(food bank and other services). 

Here's some of their club members, the Treasurer, Don Dykes has white hair and
the Secretary, Barbara Brown is to his right. At the right of this picture is
Jessica Izzarelli the President

To the left in this picture is Bill Hermann who is President Elect.

They adopted a family over the holidays, will have a Trivia night fundraiser, April 27 and are going on a tour of Millstone the end of January. A vibrant club.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

EastHamptonopoly Game-An Opportunity for any Rotary Club

You can make a Monopoly Game specifically for your town. This can be a fund raiser for your Rotary Club. You offer the board properties, the money and other game objects to businesses and individuals in your town. If you do this right you can pay for having the games manufactured. You can then sell the games for $20 each or whatever you wish. The money from selling the games is all profit. Maybe you can sell 750, 1000 or ??  games. So here's the game that East Hampton Rotary Club made.

Kevin Reich the President of East Hampton Rotary Club was instrumental in creating this fundraiser and game.  You can do it in your town too.

Here's the cover of the box. Note that we are celebrating the 250th anniversary of East Hanmpton and the 75th anniversary of the East Hampton Rotary Club. There are neat histrorical pictures.

Here's the  board. Note that you can sell dedications in the center and have some neat pictures. All the properties are sold
to local businesses. You can see Angelicos, a local restaurant, KOCO a childcare center and numerous others.

And here are the property cards. No Boardwalk and Park Place here. You have ACE hardware and lots of
other local businesses. Many of the property owners are Rotarians

And here's the cash, note that each type of bill is sold. My favorite is the $50 bill which
has Laurel Island our Island.

And this whole deal is enabled by Express Printing.

And now New Haven Rotary Club is creating NewHavenopoly as a fund raiser for their town

Here's Dick Popilowski of New Haven Rotary Club holding their
board. They are approaching New Haven businesses to sell the
board positions, money, etc.

And here's Dick with Kevin Reich of East Hampton RC, who
led the creation of East Hamptonopoly

Madison Rotary Club-January 11, 2018

The Madison Rotary club is a vibrant club with Michael Perry as President.

Here's Michael running the meeting and introducing the speaker.

And here's Kent Sprague doing his Sargent at Arms duties very effectively.

Jim Lang of BH Care was the speaker. He talked about their programs for substance abuse, physical and mental abuse and others. BH Care operates in the areas of many of our Rotary Clubs,

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Haven Rotary Club-January 9, 2018

New Haven Rotary Club meets at the Graduate Club for lunch. Many old friends were at the meeting Doug Lisk, PDG Colin Gershon, Ron Osach and many new friends. Maybeth Marino, the President ran a great meeting.

The speaker was Terri Eickel who works for the Connecticut Cancer Foundation which has a close connection to many baseball players. They raise money to provide to people and families who are suffering with cancer.  But she is also an opera singer. Maybe a duet with Val is in order.

And the New Haven club has two new members, here they are sitting on the other side of the table with Colin Gershon in the foreground.