Volume XIII, Issue 7: August 22, 2014

Announcements & Our Portuguese Lesson
Last Friday, District Governor Kevin Eisenberg made his official visit to our Club. President Barbara “semi-officially” presented him with traditional Arcata breakfast fare: oatmeal, peanut butter, and bananas. Go native, Kevin!

Barbara also noted that the Participation Grid is filling quickly. Be sure to get your name up there to be eligible for the drawing for a Paul Harris Fellowship, which will be awarded soon. If you miss this round, or if your name isn’t drawn, don’t despair – another Grid will follow.

Scott Heller announced that new RCAS T-Shirts are available. Our Club logo and the Rotary Wheel are on the front, while a larger Wheel is on the back, along with the words “ROTARIAN AT WORK” and “Service Above Self” . He also showed us a large heavy plaque that will be placed at the entrance to the Jacoby Storehouse, to let everyone know that “Rotary Meets Here”.

Terri Clark said that once we have read our copies of the Rotarian magazine, please bring them to her. She will provide them to members of our two local Rotaract Clubs. The subscription is part of our dues, but not theirs. So bring ’em on in!

Ashleigh, Jessica, & Christina

And three members of the North Bay Rotaract, Ashleigh, Jessica, and Christina, joined us last week to tell us that “we’ve had a busy month” since their Charter Night on July 16th. Ashleigh said that the only attendance problem has been finding enough chairs for their meetings. Their focus for the year is child advocacy, and they will be working with CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) and with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. On September 6th, they will be having a yard sale in Ferndale to support CASA, and on October 11th, they will field a team for the CASA Kids Walk. The group is also organizing a “Fun Run” to be held in the spring, which will also support CASA. They will also be working with the Lost Coast Rotaract and other Rotaract Clubs in District 5130 to produce a cookbook, which they hope to have available for Christmas. For more information, you can visit their website at www.nbrotaract.org, or (even better) you can attend one of their meetings. They meet in the Robert Goodman Winery Conference Room on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.

Mozara Abdalla, our Rotary Exchange Student from Brazil, told us that she spent the previous weekend at Lake Tahoe, which was “pretty cool”. At our last meeting, she taught us how to say “Good Morning” in Portuguese: “Bom Dia“.

On The Calendar
September 6: North Bay Rotaract Yard Sale in Ferndale
September 11: RISE EVENT – Mad River Brewery Tour – 5 pm
September 20: RISE EVENT – Redwood Curtain Theatre’s “Equivocation” – 8 pm

Welcome, Alyson!

DG Kevin, Alyson, and Ian

Last week, DG Kevin helped us welcome our newest Sunriser – Alyson Hunter. Alyson is a Senior Planner with the City of Arcata, and her sponsor is Ian Schatz. She likes yoga, gardening, hiking, cooking, and community service. We’re glad to have you in the Club, Alyson!

Paul Harris Recognitions
Kevin joined Terri Clark in congratulating and thanking our newest multiple Paul Harris Fellows. Kevin reminded us that, when we contribute to the Rotary Foundation, we are doing more than just donating money. “One thousand dollars,” he said, “is 600 doses of polio vaccine. It’s water for a small village in a developing country. It’s equipping a school for girls in a country where girls don’t normally get an education. The thousand dollars is translated into so many good works.”

And so he thanked Matt Babich, Bob Johnson, Joyce Hinrichs, and Scott Heller for their contributions and for saving lives. “There is another way you can donate money,” Kevin reminded us. “It’s called the Bequest Society – and this doesn’t cost you any money up front.” You join by designating in your will or trust to donate at least $10,000 to the Rotary Foundation. Last Friday, we honored Jessica McKnight as the latest member from our Club.

District Governor Kevin’s Presentation
DG Kevin decided to save some time as he started his official address to our Club. “In the interest of time,” he said, “and getting everybody to work, we’re not going to do the long introduction – listen, I did a bunch of junk in Rotary.” He noted that it was the second time the North Bay Rotaractors had heard his speech, “So you know it’s good!”

He began by citing RI President Gary Hwang’s theme, “Light Up Rotary”. He acknowledged that the phrase has generated many jokes. Kevin said that there hasn’t been a Rotary theme that has inspired so much humor since “Sow the Seeds of Love” in 2002-2003. “Sow the seeds of love had a big advantage,” he said, “because it produced a lot of new Rotarians.” 

But there is a serious message behind “Light Up Rotary”. President Gary is from Taiwan, and there is an ancient Chinese saying – “It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness”.  This is the essence of Rotary to Kevin. It is what all Rotary Clubs do, including the our Club. Each of our projects is like a candle that provides light where it was previously dark. “If you multiply that by the 35,000 Rotary Clubs … and put all those candles of service together,” he noted, “and you get a serious fire hazard. But aside from that, what you also get is a world that is changed – a world that is changed for the better, every day.”

President Gary also intends for us to “Light up” the Rotary brand. To let people know the good work that our Clubs accomplish and what the Rotary Foundation does. We want the world to know how special Rotary is and how special Rotarians are. There is no other service organization that has a code of ethics like the Four-Way Test. The more we can show the world what Rotary does and is, the easier it is to collaborative efforts to provide service around the world.

President Barbara with District Governor Kevin

A third meaning that President Gary placed on his theme, and that is that we should “Lighten Up, Rotary!” As we do the amazing things we do, we need to make sure that we (and those who work with us) are having fun. Kevin said that we have been granted “official permission to have fun without any guilt whatsoever”. 

Kevin has his own theme for the Rotary year – “Pride and Joy”, which complements and reflects President Gary’s theme. He reminded us that given “the things that you see accomplished [in Rotary] … you have a lot of reason to be proud to be a Rotarian. You do amazing things. You deserve to be proud.”

Kevin also said that the other piece of his theme is somewhat automatic. “Just doing service,” he noted, “brings you joy.” He cited studies that have shown that doing service for others makes us happier.

He asked us all to think about what brings us pride and joy in being a Rotarian and specifically members of the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise. He didn’t ask for answers, but he does want us to be able to articulate that to others, so we can share our pride and joy with our community, with our co-workers, and with our families. If we share our pride and joy, there will be no membership problem ever. “People cannot resist the sincerity that Rotarians express … when they talk about why they are Rotarians.” And, he went on, if we share pride in Rotary nationally and internationally, “That’s the Rotary brand, right there.”

Kevin encouraged us to wear our Rotary pins often. When people see them, they often ask about Rotary, which gives us the opportunity to share our pride and joy with them. It is also an entree for Rotarians to other Clubs, of course, and Kevin noted that it also serves to remind him that he is a Rotarian. “It’s not showing off,” he said, “it’s sharing.”

Kevin also discussed the Rotary Foundation and its six areas of focus:

  • Disease Eradication
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Basic Education and Literacy
  • Economic Development 
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution

As for PolioPlus, Kevin noted that we are making incredible strides. Although the last miles are proving to be the most difficult, we are striving to contain the disease as we work to eradicate it. By stopping the vector of transmission – inoculating people as they travel from areas where the disease persists – we are reducing the chances that an outbreak will occur outside of those hot zones. 

Kevin put in a plug for the District Conference, which will be held from April 24 – 26, 2015 at the Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite National Park. Discounted rates are still available, but the block of rooms is filling up quickly. You can get more information by visiting the District 5130 District Conference web page.

Kevin closed by saying, “You know that he world can appear to be a very dark and difficult place. But I want you to remember, you – the Rotarians of Arcata Sunrise – Rotarians throughout the world – you are the beacons of light illuminating the path to better communities and a better world. So take pride and joy, and share your pride and joy in Rotary, and Light Up Rotary!”