September 7, 2006 Dear Fellow Rotarian: This serves to follow up on our Club Assembly in July and to provide you with an update on the exciting things that your fellow Rotarians are seeking to accomplish this 2006-07 Rotary year. The Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Chicago is making a very serious commitment to make the club more interesting and relevant to its members. As the world’s first Rotary Club, we are working to take Rotary International President Bill Boyd’s theme of “Lead the Way” to heart and to implement innovative programs that will attract new members and fulfill our obligations as Rotarians. Rotary in an Hour Rotarians are busy people. In an effort to streamline meetings to accommodate your schedules and to make the club more attractive to prospective members, our goal is to host the business portion of the meeting in one hour without losing the fellowship that our members have come to enjoy. As noted in numerous Gyrator issues, our website, and from the podium, we are now meeting for the fellowship cocktail and check in for lunch from 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon. The meeting will begin promptly at 12:00 noon with the goal of adjourning the meeting at 1:00 p.m. Business Networking, Public Awareness & Fun Three new committees have been formed this year to give you the opportunity to learn more about your fellow Rotarians in a fun environment so as to encourage increased fellowship and more networking amongst our members. If a member’s business benefits from membership in Rotary, then that member is more inclined to stay active with our club. Angelo Loumbas is the Director of Business Networking and is working hard with his committee to provide ways that we can effectively network with fellow members. In a club numbering over 200 members, it is sometimes difficult for folks, especially new members, to get to know their fellow Rotarians. Ed Graziano is the Director of Public Awareness and is successfully promoting our members’ successes internally to our club via the Rotary Trivia Challenge and Loose Lips articles in the Gyrator and externally to Chicago. Please let Ed know what is going on in your life. Everyone wants to have fun! Lisa Russ is the Director of Fun and has already had two successful events — the Sailors Reception in July and the viewing of the Air and Water Show in August. Be sure to look for more fun events like a potluck dinner and an after work reception at Rotary Centennial Park. Membership Initiatives Membership is the lifeblood of our club, and we need your help in bringing in new members and helping retain our current membership. Under the leadership of David Durham, the Membership committee is working on the following projects: 1. A membership directory with pictures. If you have not yet provided updated contact information to the staff and had your picture taken, please do so. 2. Revitalized classifications. In order to effectively draw from the wealth of talent in the Chicago community and to better provide networking opportunities for our members, it is important to bring in members from all types of professions. Be sure to check out an upcoming list of types of members that our club needs.
3. A membership brochure. David and the staff are working to create a first-class brochure to take to business leaders in Chicago in order to demonstrate our long commitment to helping the local and international communities and our dynamic membership. Dues Increase Many of our members have responded positively to the above initiatives, but these projects need money to work. The Board has been wrestling with ways to fund them in a way that is fair to all concerned. At our August Board meeting, it was decided that a pre-paid luncheon program is not the best way to do this, because it would penalize members for not attending. Instead, the club is raising its quarterly dues by $25.00, effective immediately. This is a small increase with great rewards. Lunch Costs & RSVP policy Since moving to the Union League Club in July 2005, we have enjoyed the fine service and food provided to Rotary by this outstanding club at very reasonable prices. From March 2006 through August 2006, our club was charged $20/meal and as such we were able to charge our members at cost. Starting August 1, our club is being charged $23/meal, and on January 1, 2007, we will be charged $25/meal by the Union League Club for the 2007 calendar year. Please note that effective immediately, club members and visitors will be charged $25/meal and that a quarterly meal ticket will no longer be available for purchase. Any members who purchased a quarterly meal ticket will still be able to continue paying $20/meal through October 1. Guests and visitors to the club will also be charged $25/meal. You will still be able to pay via credit card, cash or have the lunch billed to your quarterly statement. You will also still be able to pay for a full quarter of lunches up front at the beginning of the quarter. The Union League Club wishes to continue its excellent service and has requested that the same RSVP policy be put into effect for our club that it uses for its events. This request is based on a 57% increase over the RSVP numbers at a lunch in July. As such, we ask that you RSVP via e-mail at email@example.com or via phone at (312) 372-3900 or toll free at (866) 908-2588 before 3:00 p.m. on the Monday preceding the Tuesday lunch. Service Above Self Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self” and we pride ourselves on being the world’s first service club. The mission of the Rotary International Foundation is to support the efforts of Rotary International and the achievement of world understanding and peace through local, national, and international humanitarian, educational, and cultural programs. Based on the idea that greater good can be done collectively than individually, the Foundation pools together the resources and contributions of all 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide in over 32,000 clubs. Some notable programs include: • The eradication of polio. Since the PolioPlus program’s inception in 1985, more than two billion children have received the polio vaccine. To date, 210 countries, territories and areas around the world are polio-free thanks to Rotary. Health, Hunger and Humanity Grants fund large scale, two- to four-year projects that enhance health, help alleviate hunger, and improve human development. Since 1978, 276 projects in 74 countries have been funded at a cost of $71 million. Ambassadorial Scholarships. The Foundation sponsors one of the largest international scholarship programs in the world. Since 1947, more than 37,000 scholars from 110 countries have received scholarships.
These are but a few of the astonishing projects that are funded by the Rotary International Foundation. To learn more about these and other projects, please visit www.rotary.org. The goal is to have each Rotarian donate a minimum of $100/year. As explained by fellow member Ruth Ann Watkins at our August 15 luncheon, the ROTARY/One Foundation funds the local and international service projects undertaken by our club every year. By contributing to the ROTARY/One Foundation and increasing the corpus, members can help our club to undertake significant service projects in Chicago, such as our JobStart program, and internationally, like the Alliance for Smiles project (operating on 73 children with cleft lips and improving their appearance and outlook in life), Gift of Life (providing life saving heart surgery for children), the Haitian Water Wells (creating 30 wells in Haiti to serve clean water for drinking and cooking for over 30,000 people daily), and LIMBS (providing prosthetic devices to children who have had their limbs blown off by land mines). To learn about all of the incredible service projects our club is undertaking, please visit www.rotaryone.org. As a Rotarian, each one of us has a responsibility to support current as well as future service projects that help people both at a local and international level. The support is done through donations to the Rotary International Foundation and our own ROTARY/One Foundation. In order to facilitate your support, the Board has approved a suggested minimum donation of $25.00 per member to be included in the quarterly statements for each Foundation, which may also be paid by credit card. Thank you very much for being part of Rotary and for your kind attention to these updates and new initiatives for 2006-07. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me or the members of the Board of Directors. In Rotary Service, (insert Don’s signature) Don Garner President, 2006-07