Greetings District 7680 Rotarians!
I’ll start by saying that it is honestly an honor and a privilege to serve as District Governor for this Rotary year. Some of you have heard me say this before but I want to repeat it here for those who have not: this is our year, not mine. And since it is our year, you have my pledge that I will do everything in my power to help your club succeed in achieving your goals.
GOALS: It’s important that each of our clubs have goals entered into DACdb. If your club needs any assistance in getting those goals entered, please check with your respective Assistant Governor (AG) and she or he will be able to assist you. Our AGs are engaged and dedicated to helping each of you succeed as well. Please don’t hesitate to contact them if you have any questions regarding anything related to your goals, projects, service opportunities, or anything related to making your Club more engaging, productive, and fun!
INITIATIVES: As many of you know, we have several initiatives that I would like to emphasize and support during this year, all of them in concert with Rotary International priorities and following the lead of President Shakir. They include:
- ·Empowering women and girls/addressing human trafficking.
- ·Peace and conflict resolution.
- ·Food insecurity.
- ·Embracing the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- We have District-level committees and leads involved in supporting these initiatives including:
- ·District 7680 Positive Peace Committee chaired by Yves-Renee Jennings
- ·District 7680 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee chaired by Lorena Prince
- ·District 7680 Project Coordinators Linda Rakvic and Sean Gautam
SERVICE PROJECTS: Our District Project Coordinators, Linda and Sean, are past Assistant Governors for the District and have graciously taken on the role of identifying and communicating information about service projects which we as a District, may wish to champion. The very first initiative is one we call RUSH (Rotarians United to Stop Hunger) and it involves a number of smaller projects. We have set a District goal of raising the equivalent of $10,000 for distribution to the food banks serving our 14-county District. We intend to do this by having food drives or other service projects at food pantries with the goal of tracking the number of items we collect and the hours we devote to these projects. All of these metrics will feed into our Zone’s “Ten Million Meal” initiative which is coordinated by AG Paula Smith.
DISTRICT CONFERENCE: While it was disappointing to postpone our District Conference this year, that action was taken for all the right reasons. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our members, families and friends, and holding the conference at that time may have placed us and our loved ones at an unacceptable risk during these challenging days of COVID. I remain excited at the prospect of holding the Conference in late February which will coincide with the anniversary of Rotary’s birth. We may also combine our mid-year Assembly with our Conference to optimize the time. The Conference will be held at the beautiful Grand Bohemian Hotel in Charlotte and represents the first time a District Conference has been held in the city in a number of years.
SASSY AWARDS: I’m excited also about our SASSY Awards, scheduled for May 21, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville, SC. Since our motto this year is appropriately themed as “Serve to Change Lives”, our SASSY awards will appropriately recognize those in District 7680 who selflessly volunteer their time and talent.
You will note that I purposely end my written communications with the words, “I serve the servants of Rotary.” I do that because I truly believe it, especially in this year, our year, where we all serve to change lives.