Expect Rotarians in Norfolk County (Ontario, Canada – D 7090) and beyond to cultivate a higher profile in the communities they serve.
After reviewing the image and activities of its membership, Rotary International has come to the conclusion that the club could do with a healthy dose of activism.
What that means locally was on display Thursday at King Flower and Garden Centre south of Simcoe.
Nearly 70 volunteers representing Rotary International, the Rotary Club of Simcoe, the Rotary Club of Delhi, the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise, and Norfolk Rotaract spent the morning arranging daisies and roses into attractive displays for delivery to 12 nursing homes across the county.
A total of 180 arrangements were dropped off as a gesture of goodwill and as thanks to elderly residents for all they’ve done to help make Norfolk what it is today.
“We’re honouring our seniors while bringing a little joy into their day,” said Lisa Bishop of the Rotary Club of Delhi, assistant governor of Rotary Area 1.
Local Rotarians’ “Day of Action” coincided with a visit from Melisa Schrock of Akron, New York.
Schrock is governor of Rotary District 7090 in Canada and the United States.
She is the regional leader of 68 clubs representing 2,150 Rotarians. This includes all members in Norfolk.
Schrock said Rotary International in North America is in the midst of an image adjustment.
Change is essential, Schrock said, to appeal to an upcoming generation that wants tangible opportunities to have an impact on the community.
Schrock added there is more to Rotary membership than formal speaking engagements that end with everyone writing a cheque and going home.
“I’m anything but traditional,” Schrock said.
“My mission is to bring Rotary into the new millennium. I suggest we do the work of Rotary instead of just talking about it.”
“We need to change our image. We need to reach out to millennials. Who’s going to want to join if we just sit around listening to speeches? We need to get out and start doing things. Rotary has an image of being ‘male, pale and stale.’ We need to change that. We need to be people of action. We’re more than just a meeting. We’re more than just cutting a cheque.”
Rotary’s Day of Action also involved maintenance on displays featured in Simcoe during the annual Christmas Panorama celebration.
This is another responsibility local Rotarians have taken on.
“This is more than I could’ve imagined,” Schrock said.
“It develops a great sense of community. I hope it carries on.”
Dave King, owner of King Flowers and Garden Centre, is president of the Simcoe Rotary Club.
He said Thursday’s festivities were structured to foster networking and cooperation among local Rotarians.
“Hopefully, this is the first of other ‘Days of Action’ to come,” King said.
“It’s not just about doing stuff. It’s about building relationships within Rotary itself.”
Source: Simcoe Reformer