June 24 – President’s Day, Jamie Schrader , President Rotary Club of Lexington, Closing Remarks
LEXINGTON, KY – The Rotary Club of Lexington will held its weekly meeting Thursday, June 24, at the Red Mile and via Zoom. The program was the annual Presidents Day, Jamie Schrader, will give his closing remarks and recognize those that have gone above and beyond in service to the club in 2020-21. To attend via Zoom please email, email@example.com. To register for the in person meeting and pre pay lunch click here: June Weekly Meetings
ARM IN ARM………. SIX FEET APART
Until 2020, most of us probably gave only passing consideration to the risks of a world-wide pandemic and phrases such as “social distancing,” “contract tracing,” “mask up,” and “zoom” were practically unknown. While most of us are understandably eager to “move on,” it is impossible to recount the past Rotary year without discussing the profound impact COVID-19 had and continues to have on our fellow Rotarians and their family members, our community, and our neighbors around the world. No person, organization, or country could simply opt out of a virus that knew no borders and the Rotary Club of Lexington was no exception. We adapted, we modified, we tried new things, and most importantly, we did our part to minimize the impact of the pandemic and to encourage our fellow Lexingtonians with a simple messaging campaign to get vaccinated and follow good health protocols. The “We Can Do This” message was positive, simple, and targeted to everyone in our community.
In recapping our year and my term as the president of the greatest Rotary Club, I believe the lyrics of a Neil Young song applies: “The devil fools with the best laid plan.” To say that nothing played out as I envisioned when formulating our theme, “It’s Time to Grow,” would be understatement. However, standing “Arm in Arm, Six Feet Apart” and working together, we did grow as an organization—just not in the ways that anyone could have anticipated. What follows are a few ways in which we “grew” during a most unusual year.
- We recruited nine new members without having in-person meetings. Our new members are engaged and involved, looking forward to meeting our members. Recruiting young members is a key goal of Rotary International and many of our new members are younger than our average membership.
- We embraced technology and connected our members with chat rooms, opinion polling, virtual meetings, and we fine-tuned a process that allowed our members to attend meetings whether at their office or vacationing anywhere around the world. This experience will allow us to attract new members who may not be able to attend in-person meetings every Thursday. A few busy Rotarians said they preferred the ability to log in and eat lunch at their desk while “attending” Rotary.
- Our speakers informed, entertained, and opened our minds to new topics as never before. Incoming president Bill Wilson lined up the most diverse group of speakers in our club’s history, and technology allowed us to recruit speakers from around the world. We discussed and tried to better understand “hot button” issues such as climate change, civil rights, racial discrimination, and opioid addiction. I am excited about the energy and leadership of Bill Wilson and thank him for leading us in the upcoming year.
- We tried new concepts and new ways to connect our members. Back To Our Roots small group discussions, Rotary Book Club, outdoor meetings (always tricky in Kentucky), home deliveries, phone trees, and drive-by directory pick-up were just a few ways in which we connected. Many members told me that the small groups enabled them to meet and learn more about each other than they ever could by attending a large Rotary meeting.
- We used the Rotary platform and our roles as community leaders to deliver public service messages via the media encouraging masking, social distancing, hand washing, and vaccination. Special thanks to Rotarians Chris Aldridge, Crystal Newton, Andrew Shenkan, and Dan Koett, who used their talents and resources with their organizations to film and broadcast the We Can Do This campaign, the Telethon (our first) and the Dancing with the Lexington Stars The Rotary name and message of Service Above Self blanketed the airwaves in 2020 and 2021.
It was a challenging year, but we stayed connected Arm in Arm, Six Feet Apart and succeeded in our goal of Service Above Self, including funding a new scholarship the Rotary DELTA Heathcare Scholarship.