In 1982 the Rotary International Board set forth the goal to immunize every child in the world against the devastating disease of Polio. At the time there were a quarter of a million US citizens permanently paralyzed by Polio, some 350,000 new cases striking citizens of every nation each year, and between ten and twenty million Polio survivors worldwide. Never had such an audacious goal been set by any organization, nor one that would have as sweeping an effect on every man, woman, and child on the planet. Rotarians took up this cause with unmatched enthusiasm, raising hundreds of millions of dollars and partnering with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the CDC, and now The Gates Foundation. Then, as only Rotarians do, they went themselves to every corner of the globe, to vast cities and the smallest villages, into jungles and war zones, to administer the life-saving vaccine into the very mouths of children, two drops at a time. This feat was nothing short of astounding and changed our world forever. That is Rotary: Vision, Focus, and Action in service of humanity.
This past year we were confronted by another devastating disease, the Global pandemic of COVID-19. Rotary faced strains on fundraising and stresses on membership while working to uphold its commitment and legacy to serve humanity when in need. Through these trials, we have emerged stronger, with new tools and capabilities to reach out and come together. Now is the time to draw upon our history, as a well of strength, then surge ahead, setting out at a sprint to meet new goals of membership development and service. It is time for us to demonstrate our energy and our value, to be OBSESSED!
This year let us think like those Rotarians in 1982; audacious, with vision and focus, taking action do what was never before conceived. Let us seek to change the world and serve our neighbors. Let us revel in fellowship, creating essential and addictive club experiences so that members and guests alike cannot wait to get through the door each week!
I’m OBSESSED and I’m just getting started! Will you join me?