The last two years have offered challenges to every aspect of life in America. Many of us have lost family members, friends, or businesses. We learn, work, and play differently. Other Rotary clubs, community service, and social clubs have struggled, but our club is thriving.
We went from in-person meetings to virtual meetings and continued in a blended virtual and in-person mode. However, the club lost Bill Mitzefeld, Dick Gorges, and former member Peggy Kralik. We have continued to attract new members adding five new members in the first six months of our Rotary year, and another person is ready to join. Individuals interested in joining our vibrant club are welcome to visit at an upcoming meeting.
As a service club, one of the primary purposes is to raise money for local, regional and international organizations. Covid has curtailed many fundraising events, but even so, we held a successful golf outing and poinsettia sale and met and exceeded fundraising goals in the last half of 2021. We gave $11,215 to Rotary Foundation. Our Charities gave $15,000 to install solar power in a small village in Africa, which has proved to be a blessing to them. Our Shred Polio event raised $10,573 to help eradicate polio globally, exceeding our goal of $2,000. Several thousand dollars were sent to support Casa Colibri, a medical clinic in Guatemala.
Rochester Rotary Charities helped local organizations such as Neighborhood House, supporting their back-to-school initiative and Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets. We gave OPC $2,500 to support their senior home repair program. Charities also made the second $10,000 payment for the Rotary pavilion at Innovation Hills.
The Club’s efforts to support the youth in the community are exemplary and are the most aggressive in Rotary District 6380. All three Rochester Community Schools high schools have active Interact clubs. We made $250 grants to each Interact Club to boost their charitable efforts. We provide over $12,000 a year in scholarships to local students through the Rochester Community Foundation. One local student from our service area will be studying abroad next year due to Rotary support.
While working on our successful charitable endeavors, we also focused on housekeeping tasks. We approved new club bylaws under the able direction of Ray Doerr. With the closing of the Rivercrest Banquet, we successfully relocated our meetings to the Rochester Community House. We updated our website, social media presence, promotional materials, and strategic plan.
Even with the ongoing pandemic, we managed to host two social events when we held a gazebo dedication in Rotary Gateway Park and a festive Christmas dinner at the Royal Park.
So even with all the havoc the pandemic has brought, our Rotary Club continues to thrive and support those in need. The Club continues to live up to its motto of Service Above Self. The Rochester Rotary Club consists of about 100 individuals living or working in Rochester, Rochester Hills, or Oakland Township. The Club meets at noon for lunch every Tuesday at the Rochester Community House.