A New Resolve
Imagine this: it’s 12:00pm on Tuesday and people are struggling to find a seat at the Brookings Rotary Club meeting in the Activity Center. The room is packed and lively with fellowship. It’s noisy with members sharing stories, introducing guests, making a plate for lunch, networking… being Rotarians. In addition to the packed room there are 15 people Zooming in online. The speaker is prepared and impressed with the turnout – the bell rings and we rise to the occasion.
That is my vision for our club in 2022. It’s not a New Year’s Resolution, but a Resolve to enliven our club. And I need your help.
When I first walked into a Brookings Rotary meeting in August of 2017, that’s the way it seemed to me – bustling, active, energized. The Rotary Club of Brookings cares deeply about our community, but, frankly, in this new year we need a little “self help.” We need to care about our club and make that a priority in 2022.
Our club is not alone in the “where is everybody” syndrome. Since we’re still in the pandemic the situation is fluid, but Pew Research indicates that COVID negatively impacted personal relationships and how people spend their free time. My own perception is that people are slower to rejoin activities, later to sign up for involvement, and in some cases, have refocused their priorities. As members of the Brookings Rotary Club, we need to make Rotary a priority in the new year.
So how are we going to do that? The Board of Directors has some ideas and a plan, but we need your participation:
  • Call someone you know in Rotary who hasn’t attended in a while and invite them to return back to meetings in person;
  • Food is being served at the meetings starting in January – invite a guest and share lunch (you will both get lunch FREE that day);
  • Make your own attendance a priority!;
  • The first Thursday of each month, starting February 3rd, will be “Thirsty Thursday” with the February gathering at the new Mosaic wine bar at 5pm. As good Rotarians we may “rotate” from place to place so stay tuned.  Rotarians and friends can gather for fun and fellowship regardless of whether or not you attend on Tuesdays; and
  • We have a new membership form that talks about Rotary’s impact in our community and the world, and encourages people to make friends with community leaders, exchange ideas and make contacts, and to take action and make a difference in the community.
We need to have that difficult conversation about getting new members into our club. Some members have left the community to take jobs elsewhere, and frankly, we haven’t recruited people to take their places. We have fewer members today than one year ago, and two years ago, and three years ago. There is only one way to turn this trend around – YOU need to invite someone to join.
I’m resolved to enliven our club in the new year. I hope you will share my vision!  
President Don