Posted on Oct 04, 2021
September is Basic Education and Literacy Month in Rotary.  As I traveled throughout the District visiting Rotary Clubs, I have learned that our clubs are supporting activities and training to improve education and literacy for children and senior adults.  Many Rotarians work with schools local and abroad to provide sustainable access to basic education and literacy and to provide school supplies and equipment to improve the quality of education in the community and globally.  They are also helping their community to support education for adults in the local senior centers and to fight hunger during the pandemic.
We are now twenty-five percent into our Rotary Year.  We ended the first quarter of the year with our Annual Avenues of Service Event having virtual breakout sessions for the Club Presidents, Club Presidents-Elect, each of the Five Avenues Service Chair, and combined Membership, Rotary Foundation, and Public Image session on September 30, 2021.  We followed the virtual breakout sessions with the hybrid Avenues of Service program on Saturday, October 2, 2021, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California.  There were 240 Rotarians and guests registered and attending the in-person event on Saturday with many attending it virtually.  They enjoyed a lot of fun and fellowship at the Fairgrounds and visited the booths and tables at the Project Fairs as Rotary Clubs and other organizations proudly displayed their local and international service projects.  The Avenues of Service ended with the Rotarians and guests being inspired by our keynote speaker in Past District Governor Linda Coble from Hawaii as she gave her Rotary stories as the first woman President of the Rotary Club of Honolulu, Hawaii, the first woman District 5000 Governor in Hawaii, and her career as a journalist and television news anchor.  We are all indebted to the leadership of our Avenues of Service Chair Herb Ritter, Past President of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton North, and his committee members in making the District event a success in this difficult time of the pandemic.
Through the three months of our Rotary year, our District has done well with membership as we have a net of 40 new members so far.  The Rotarians in our District have donated more than $1.18 million to the Rotary Foundation.  We have 19 Major Donors and 3 Bequest Society Members so far this year and at the Avenues of Service on October 2, 2021, we recognized 16 of them.  As we are still in the Pandemic, our clubs are tasked with a greater challenge to become and stay relevant and vibrant to our community.  Some clubs have become adaptive, innovative, and flexible with their structures and operations to not only attract younger people to Join Rotary but to retain the members to not leave our great organization.  As a side note, Rotarians brought about 12 guests to the Avenues of Service, and we should reach out and invite them to attend our club’s meetings and socials.  It is now more important than ever that we engage our members with our clubs, our community, and the world and stay connected with them, and do everything we can to provide value that has led them to join our clubs initially.  By working hard to stay relevant and vibrant, we can increase our Impact and expand our Reach