25 June 2012 — Once More Around The Sun


This is the final Monday of the 2011-2012 Rotary Year.  On July 1, I will begin what should be–what must be–my final year as President of the Rotary E-Club of The Greater San Fernando Valley.

That may sound ominous but in truth it is the most optimistic comment any Rotary Club President could make.  It means that we will develop new leadership at our Club level, with so many good people in our Club over such a long period of time and far, far into the future that no one will ever have to serve a second year as President.  All over the San Fernando Valley, and many parts of the Rotary world, some Clubs have become so stagnant or so small that there is no choice but to recycle Presidents.  It’s the one area of life on this planet where recycling is not a good thing!

We believe as Rotarians that there is nothing we cannot accomplish once we have decided to accomplish it.  There are some wonderful, fun tasks for us to accomplish, all of us together as individuals and as a team, over the next few weeks and months, and then for what will be the long and successful history of our Rotary Club 100 years from now and beyond.  I know that I am very focused on Rotary–when I’m not bleeding L.A. Kings black and white or L.A. Dodger blue, I’m bleeding Rotary colors–and I don’t expect anyone else to be quite as obsessed.

But I do ask now that all of us take a few more steps to meet me farther along the path from where we are as a provisional Rotary Club to where we will be, must be, very soon: a chartered, active, growing Rotary Club with the consistent participation of all Club members, more fellowship as we build a stronger team that has even more fun, and the occasional huge bursts of activity Rotarians are known for when it’s time to implement a service project that makes the world a better place.

WIthout being a fully-chartered Club, we have our upcoming Dance Marathon, our Languages project, our OMI Food Drives (the first one just ten hours into the new Rotary year!), and our Letters to Tohoku Japan relief project.  We have an amazing set of projects in the planning stages, too: bone marrow database and donation (how many lives will we save just with our Club’s efforts?), connecting literacy and youth sports in North America and around the world in partnership with the National Hockey League Players Association, planting trees locally where they’re needed, supporting our Valley-based Veterans, seeking ways to help the growing population of homeless single mothers, reading to and with children in the area, making music available to underprivileged local children and adult polio survivors in Kenya in an international project, and on the “someday” list a local, Valley-based celebration of peace, diversity, and culture inviting every Los Angeles based Consul General to a big signature event.

Imagine how many people we will help, how many lives we will save, how much fun we will have…when we are an official, accredited Rotary Club and we have 30 great people making these projects happen–and bringing their own (your own) ideas.

The world needs Rotary.  Rotary needs each of us.  And our Rotary E-Club of The Greater San Fernando Valley, to take the next step and solve some of the problems in our own community and around the world, needs more than a pledge of intentions but a firm commitment.  The world asks us for that commitment, Rotary asks us for that commitment, and so today I ask each of you for that firm commitment, a commitment to establish the good habits of a Rotary Club, to establish the commitment we make as leaders to ensure the success of this team.  The world needs us.

I commit to thirty minutes devoted to Rotary every week, just thirty minutes, on my schedule, but never missing a week.

I commit to investing some or all of that time visiting our Club’s weekly program…weekly…and I commit to commenting and even engaging in ongoing conversation online about the topics of interest and ways we can serve and have more fun.

When our Club establishes a day and time for a weekly telephone conference call (as we will within the next month), I commit to participating on that call as often as I possibly can, because the team needs me and because I will get more out of my membership in this Rotary Club by participating.

I commit to engaging in the wider world of Rotary (because it’s fun, and because I might learn of an idea that our Club can implement) by visiting another local Rotary Club once in a while, by poking around on www.rotary.org and www.rotary5280.org once in a while just to see what’s going on, by joining one of the many Rotary International Fellowships (see last week’s program…find at least one zero-dues group and join…feel free to join dues groups…if you don’t see one that grabs you, tell me your hobbies and interests and we will work to create one).

I commit to making Rotary happen for myself, not just waiting for Rotary to come to me.

I commit to being a leader among leaders (which we already are as members of a Rotary Club) by leading a project team, by joining one of the standing committees (stand by for those within a couple of weeks), ultimately by serving as an officer and then President of this Rotary Club.

If these commitments aren’t for you, or aren’t for you right now, that’s OK.  Please send me an e-mail to rotarymelpowell@aol.com and tell me.  The door will always be open for you to come back when you’re ready.

If you have read all the way to this point, it probably means you’re in.  Please say so in the comments below.  Let’s do this.  Let’s change the world, starting with our home community.  Let’s have fun doing it, let’s grow to 25 (and charter) and beyond, let’s be the best team we can possibly be.  Where else but Rotary can we have a local team of close friends, a worldwide team of friends, and a chance to save the world?

See you in 2012-2013…starting this Sunday with our Food Drive, after which some families in the Valley will eat when they might not have otherwise.  How’s that for saving the world one person at a time?

11 responses to 25 June 2012 — Once More Around The Sun

  1. I’m in and very much looking forward to a lot of fun and successful projects in the 2012-2013 year. “Namaste” to President Banerjee and “konnichiwa” to President Tanaka. (And thank you, the Mother Language Project, for teaching me these beautiful words!)

  2. I am in and will see all of you on Sunday at Gelson’s. Having been in Rotary now for 25 years-joining the North Hollywood Rotary Club in 1987, the first month that women were allowed in Rotary-I am looking forward to growing our club and expanding my ever growing friendship with Rotarians locally and worldwide.

    Cheers for the New Year for the Rotary E-Club of the Greater SFV !

  3. I’m in. That’s not likely a big surprise, but I’m saying it anyway. Let’s build this!

  4. I’m in and looking forward to an active new year coming up. It is exciting to be part of a new concept in Rotary Clubs. Let’s have a great start with the food drive on Sunday!

  5. May I be counted as a friend of the eClub? I am committed Calabasas, my home Club, but I visit your site weekly (even when I don’t need to make up a meeting) and will commit to participating this year in your projects and hopefully, if not undermined by my faulty memory, will attend one of your monthly meetings (does the eClub still do that?).

    • Of course! You are already a friend of the Club. :-) We’re not meeting for July, because instead we have our big public Food Drive this Sunday…but I’ll keep you in the loop for August. Should be the first Sunday unless there’s a holiday or other very compelling reason.

      If you can find ways for the E-Club and Calabasas to partner up, we’re always listening. We’re partnering with NoHo this Sunday.

      • Hi Linda, If you are checking in I hope you see his before Sunday but if you are available, please swing by the Gelson’s Market on Van Nuys Blvd just north of Ventura Blvd on Sunday July 1st to say Hi. We would love to see you and say Hi back. We are going to be there from 9 – 5 so hope you can drop in. Thanks

    • Yoko said on July 5, 2012

      Hi Linda. Thank you for always visiting out website. Your comments are always appreciated. Please keep visiting our “meetings.”

  6. Nice sincere message mel. Felt good reading it and knowing you mean it. cool stuff.
    See you Sunday. So does Sunday count as the monthly meet?

  7. Yes I’m in. Mel – if you weren’t such a Rotary enthusiast, I’d think you were an Optimist! Good to be positive and future-thinking.

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