Dear Rotarians, Friends, and Rotarians-to-Be,
I know it may sound a bit cliché, but what an honor to serve as the Club President for the 2012-2013 year! I can honestly say that when I joined in 2009, I did not see myself in the place I am now with our Club, or with Rotary. I thought it was an honor when I was elected to the Club’s Board; how fun it will be to serve as your President!
I will have to be honest and say that I felt a bit unsure coming in to this year. Past President Don said just before I was inducted, “I’ve never seen you so nervous!” I think I was more nervous about my Induction than I am of the upcoming year. I know we have great members with such great knowledge, but it is still a bit scary to put my 2 ½ years of Rotary experience up against a club that is 58 years old! I know this isn’t a job that the President does alone, and I will count on the members to help make this a GREAT year!!! I have to live up to your expectations of the year.
So about this year…
As in past years, when the new Rotary International President is elected, they choose a theme. Well, this year’s RI President, Sakuji Tanaka, chose the theme of “Peace Through Service”. In the words of President Tanaka:
“On its simplest level, peace can be defined by what it is not. It is a state of no war, no violence, and no fear. It means that you are not in danger of hunger or persecution or the suffering of poverty.
But we can also define peace by what it is, and by what it can be. Peace can mean freedom of thought and of speech, freedom of opinion and of choice, and the ability for self-determination. It can mean security, confidence in the future: a life and home in a stable society.
On a more abstract level, peace can mean a sense of happiness, of inner serenity, of calm.
The truth is that peace means different things to different people. No definition is right, and no definition is wrong. However we use the word, this is what peace means for us.
And however we use the word, however we understand peace, Rotary can help us to achieve it.
Rotary helps us to meet the basic needs of others: to provide health care, sanitation, food, and education when and where it is most needed.
It helps to meet the inner needs as well, for friendship, connection, and caring.
Through our service, we learn that the problems that may seem large to us are really very small. We learn empathy for others. We come closer to people who seem very different from us. And we begin to understand how alike we really are.
Through our Rotary service, we learn that cooperation is more productive than conflict. We learn to value each other, as human beings with human strengths and weaknesses. We learn that every one of us has something to give, and everyone has something to teach.
Putting Service Above Self allows us to focus our energies on what is truly important. We put the common good above our own. We prioritize others’ needs over our own desires. We think less about ourselves and more about what is best for everyone. And in this way, we help to build the foundation for a more peaceful world.” - RI President, Sakuji Tanaka
We face some new challenges as a Club this year. One of those challenges is a result of the economy. We have lost many great members because they have been forced to expand their business into other parts of the state, or relocate all together. We need to do a good job this year of letting other local Business Professionals and Community Leaders know what Rotary is and what the Rotary Club of Brooksville has to offer. We need to do a better job at attracting new members. Together, we can do more.
It’s going to be yet another ambitious year for our club. We have even more aggressive fundraising goals, and it will be hard to achieve coming off of our most successful year for both our Golf Tournament and our Annual Radio Auction if we don’t work together. Fortunately, we are a not afraid to try new things, and even though both of those fundraisers have been around for 35 years, we are still willing to trying new things, and it benefitted us last year.
Our third greatest challenge is “Future Visions”. Well, the future is almost the now. There will be a lot to learn about “Future Visions”, and changes in the way District and Foundation works. We are fortunate to have Past District Governor Carl Treeleven as our District Future Visions coordinator.
To our family, our friends, our members, our auction donors; forgive us for asking more and more of you each year. As Rotarians, our goal is to have a greater effect on the communities we live and work in. That just means we need more help from those that are in a position to help out this community we serve. I will thank you now for that little bit extra we ask of you this year.
For those of you that are not yet members of a Rotary Club, I invite you to have a look around our website. It is a great way to learn a little about The Rotary of Brooksville, and the projects and events we participate in. If you like helping children or assisting the elderly; helping those that are well, or those that are ill; if you have a passion, Rotary is there with you. There is something that all Rotary club members have in common: We take action. As community volunteers, we reach out to neighbors in need. We build, support, and organize. We save lives. We work locally and globally.
We would like to invite you to one of our meetings so you can begin to experience Rotary for yourself. It would be an honor to have you.
Yours in Rotary,
Robert J Rogoski
President 2012 - 2013
Rotary Club of Brooksville