Rotary International President Holger Knaack chose “Rotary Opens Opportunities” to be this year's theme. 

How timely! Instead of focusing on what we can’t do, imagine our opportunities and what we CAN do! 

There are big shoes to fill following the strong leadership of our past presidents. While I am nervous about the responsibilities ahead of me, I am excited to share some of the opportunities that lie in front of us and to continue our club’s legacy of doing great things!

I love being a part of Rotary After Hours, composed of 58 incredible individuals who are committed to Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.” We have a strong board in place and several highly dedicated members chairing our committees. Together, we will increase our IMPACT and REACH within our community and the greater world. We will increase the ENGAGEMENT of our members and will continue to ADAPT to our changing environment.

We’ve been challenged by the Coronavirus the past three months and have had to ADAPT to new ways of doing things. We’ve missed the opportunities to ENGAGE with one another in person, but new doors have opened for us and thanks to the leadership of Brandon Harris, we accomplished quite a lot in quarantine! We’ve moved our meetings virtually, not skipping a beat. We supported Razia’s bus, donated $1700 worth of diapers to The Parenting Place, supported many local restaurants forced to shut down and began the process to buy a van for The Good Fight… just to name a few. We continue to make an IMPACT on our community and the world. Be proud RAHtarians. I’m proud to be a part of this group and proud of all the great things our club does. 

But... it's important that we don't get complacent or satisfied with everything we have done. We are going “digital” much faster than we may have anticipated. We will continue to offer a virtual option once we slowly and carefully return to meeting in person, as a way to ENGAGE our members with another way to stay connected and involved. This will help us become stronger, more adaptable and even more aligned with Rotary’s core values.

Rotary's founder, Paul Harris said, "We have to be revolutionary from time to time." Now is OUR time RAH! We will try new ways of doing things and rethink what it means to be in Rotary. After Hours members are the future of Rotary. We enjoy service and want to be active. We are bright, energetic and are known as the club who gets things done! We are faster, more effective and impatient. Our impatience is a virtue that leads to our overall IMPACT.

Rotary provides opportunities for service projects that can be performed and completed by us. These projects are meaningful and sustainable. We don’t just donate the money, we also role up our sleeves and do work, and see the lasting IMPACT of that service firsthand. 

RI President Holger Knaack encourages us to choose new members carefully and to ensure that they are the right fit for our club. On the other hand, we need to make sure that we meet their expectations. We will be intentional and take our time. Every one of you is invaluable and we want every new Rotarian to be a lifelong Rotarian — a lifelong friend in Rotary. I will do everything I can to make sure you enjoy your membership and you find coming to After Hours functions fun and meaningful. If you aren’t already there, I hope each of you will come to enjoy each other’s company as much as I do. For those of you who I don’t know as well, my goal is to consider you a great friend before next July rolls around. 

Rotary offers endless opportunities. It gives us opportunities to make new friends, travel the world, and gives us opportunities for leadership.

“We are here because we believe in Rotary opportunities, in opportunities for others and for ourselves. We believe that our acts of service, big and small, create opportunities for people who need our help. We also know that every act of service will inspire and change us. “ - Holger Knaack

It opens opportunities for you to live a richer, more meaningful life. Everything we do opens another opportunity for someone, somewhere. With any opportunity, one must decide to step through the door to pursue it. I hope each of you will choose to join me in taking advantage of the incredible opportunities that Rotary has to offer. 

I look forward to seeing you all at our first socially distanced, in-person club meeting on July 14th at Upper Hixon (weather permitting). Come hear more about the opportunities in store for the 2020-21 Rotary year and celebrate our accomplishments as we wrap up our 3-year Hixon Forest project. 

I am honored and proud to be your club president for the 2020-21 Rotary year and look forward to accomplishing great things together. It's going to be a great year!

Marissa Dickinson