This morning, I just finished one of our weekly radio spots with Bob at KBRK 1430 AM. Although we don’t say it enough, it’s a blessing that Bob lets us talk about our Rotary Club on the radio. Few Rotary Clubs are this lucky!
 
(Editor’s Note: The local radio station has ceased all local programming, and we no longer have this opportunity.)
 
At the end of our conversation Bob asked me to reflect on the accomplishments we’ve had this year. We have much to be proud of. First, membership has continued to be steady and strong. Yes, membership may not be as high as before the Covid-19 pandemic but the members who do show up are active Rotarians. It’s better to have a smaller club with active members than a larger club with inactive membership.
 
Second, service to the community remains a strength of our club. Since July 2023, we have volunteered for the Brookings Marathon, rang the bells for the Salvation Army, packed food items for the Brookings Backpack Project, and re-painted sidewalks for the Born Learning Trail at McClemans Park. We were awarded a $250 “Food For The Holidays” grant from District 5610, which our club leveraged to raise more than $1,500 for Feeding Brookings, culminating in Rotarians helping pack food boxes for people in need during the holidays.
 
Third, we continue to support the local Brookings community through donations to non-profit organizations. Our monthly “Thirsty Thursday” is a success story, helping raise money for organizations like the Harvest Table, United Way, and the Boys & Girls Club.
 
Finally, we continue to be a strong supporter of District 5610 by being a host for President Elect Leadership Seminar training in April and through our support of the Rotary Foundation. The support for the Rotary Foundation should not be overlooked: recent Raffle ticket sales raised well over $3,000!
 
Bob asked me what I was most proud of accomplishing while President of the Brookings Rotary Club. In truth, I didn’t accomplish anything. We accomplished all of this together! I am proud to be a member of what I think is the best Rotary club in District 5610! The Rotarians who are members of the Brookings Rotary Club are some of the most giving, kind, and generous people I have met. It was an honor to serve you as Club President. Jen Olson will take over in July and I ask that all of you give her the terrific support
you have given me this past year. Jen has some great ideas for the club. She will be a great President. I’m looking forward as Past President to supporting Jen, and also returning to my previous role as Chair of the Service Committee as Steve Sewell moves into the President-Elect role.
 
Thank you, Rotarians, for a great year!
 
All the best, (Soon To Be Past) President Michael Gonda