Mar 292016

Rotarians of District 7770,

For those of you who attended the recent district conference, thank you for helping us to celebrate the accomplishments of Rotarians and Rotary clubs who have demonstrated Gifts to the World.  We had more people attend than in recent years, but 16 of our 80 clubs did not have a representative in attendance.  That is compared to 14 clubs not in attendance last year.  We had the Youth Exchange join us for dinner Saturday night so that our Rotarians could interact with the students and recognize the depth and worth of the program.  More than one Youth Exchange student expressed delight that those at their tables Saturday night listened to them and made them feel important.

We invited every Rotaract club to join us for Friday lunch and the Friday afternoon session so that our Rotarians could interact with them and help them to visualize the possibility of transitioning from Rotaract to a Rotary club.  A Rotaract member from one of the prisons told me that he especially appreciated being allowed to attend the Friday session because “the people made me feel welcome and treated me like a real person.”  Another Rotaract member commented that the conference helped her see Rotary as bigger than she imagined.  A relatively new Rotarian told me that she was made to feel welcome by those from clubs in other parts of the district.  Did you use the conference to make new friends and get ideas that can help your club in the future?

The conference speakers were great, the Rotary Jeopardy game was fun and awards were given to well-deserving people.  I felt that the House of Friendship was the best it has been in years, because it truly depicted the impact that clubs are having on their communities.  The entire conference was devoted to this year’s theme Be a Gift to the World.  Any accolades associated with this year’s District conference go to the conference team who did a terrific job of organizing and carrying out the task of making the event memorable and fun.  A Rotary District conference is an opportunity for Rotarians to get a different perspective of Rotary than can be obtained at a local club meeting.  Make plans right now to attend next year’s event in Hilton Head, March 24-26, 2017.

Rod Funderburk



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