DG Rod Funderburk August 2015 Message

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Aug 012015

Dear Rotarians of District 7770,

In Rotary, we designate August as Membership and Extension Month. Membership is important to everyone in Rotary. Cliff Docherman, former Rotary International President, once compared membership in Rotary to a flower garden. If you want beautiful flowers, you must plant the seeds, water them, give them plenty of sunlight, and give them the attention they need to help them grow. Growing your club membership also involves a process and requires attention. Simply saying that you need more members will not yield club growth. You need a specific plan and multiple people to carry out the plan.


We generally relate the theme for 2015-16, be a gift to the world, to giving gifts through our acts of service and our projects. What about the gift of membership in Rotary? When you look around your community, who in that community would benefit from being a part of your Rotary club? Who in your community performs acts of service but are not involved in Rotary? Have you asked those people to come and participate in one of your projects?


Each of us has our own reason for joining Rotary, but most of us became part of Rotary to make a difference. We all want to be doing something meaningful, and that is absolutely essential when we talk about membership. Who will you give the gift of Rotary membership to this year? We are not asking just anyone to join Rotary. We’re looking to attract busy, successful, motivated people who care about service. Ask those people to take their valuable time and give it to Rotary because we are the premier service organization in the world. When they come and join our club, we need to show them that their time in Rotary is well spent. We have to make sure that every Rotarian, in every club, has a meaningful job, one that makes a real difference to the club and the community.


When the history of Rotary is recorded for this district, will it include that we maintained the status quo or that we strived to give gifts that were meaningful and sustainable during the 2015-2016 Rotary year? Rotary has always been an organization leading the way to help others. Will you give the gift of membership and help others become a part of this organization so they can also be gifts to the world?

DG Rod Funderburk July 2015 Message

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Jul 012015

Dear Rotarians of District 7770,

I was recently asked to describe Rotary.  In my opinion, Rotary International is a humanitarian organization comprised of people of like minds focused on service.  Each of us has recognized that we can accomplish more united than we can individually.  I saw a tee-shirt recently that said “Individually we are Special. Together we are Spectacular.”  It was not a Rotary tee-shirt, but it appropriately describes our organization.  We work together to make the world a better place than we found it.


Rotary is an organization made up of caring, compassionate and loving people who band together to feed the hungry, help the lame to walk, help the blind to see, teach children and adults to read, provide water and sanitation to improve health, immunize children against dreaded diseases, and along the way work to improve world understanding and peace.  We help villages with economic development, install water and sanitation systems to help reduce disease, and replace despair with hope.  We are also leading the fight to eradicate polio from the face of the earth.


We do things not for profit, not for glory, but because they need to be done,


As you know, we get a new theme each year created by the incoming Rotary International President to help us focus on something that is of particular importance to him. The theme for 2015-2016 is “Be a Gift to the World.”  When you think about gifts, what comes to mind?  From the moment we are born, we receive gifts.  The first gift is life itself.  And then we receive gifts of love, of caring, and the nurture of our families; of education; of health; of every talent and ability that we learn and acquire. As we move through our lives, our parents, our families, our spouses and our children, our livelihoods, our material wealth, our hopes, our dreams, our health – all are gifts to us.  Sometimes, a gift is so tremendous that we are overwhelmed with gratitude.


Every time we do something to help others, we are providing a gift to the world.  You can define your world as your neighborhood or the globe.  The question of the hour is what kind of gift will you choose to be this year?  Every time you and I do something good in the name of Rotary, we are a gift to the world.  Every time our clubs complete a project, that project is a gift to the world.  When we come to the end of our lives, will we look back and realize that we have wasted our gifts, achieving nothing that will outlive us?  Or will we look back and feel proud of what has been accomplished?


I look forward to working with each of you this year to make our clubs the very best that they can be.

Rod Funderburk

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