Happy March!
It was just about one year ago that this virus from China was making its way to South Dakota. I remember thinking: “Maybe it will miss us and just stay on the West Coast.” “I’m sure it will be over by June.” “Do we really need to scrub down our shopping bags?” On March 6, I left my office at SDSU and started working from home.
Then-President Jennifer Soma didn’t miss a beat. The Brookings Rotary Club started meeting via Zoom, and more than 60 of us have tuned in from time to time. We still gather together for fellowship at 11:45am every Tuesday. The Zoom meetings are not the same as in-person gatherings … we all know that… but in spite of it all, we have continued the tradition of Service Above Self during these past 12 months with outstanding community service projects and a tradition of fellowship that is now 101 years strong.
Here’s some GOOD news – we see the light at the end of the tunnel (and it is not an oncoming train!). We’ve formed a “Re-Start Committee,” headed up by Club Administration Chair Gregg Jongeling. We’re planning how and when to start meeting in person again. We want to do it right, and we want to do it safely.
We’re looking at many potential meeting locations, meal options, and technology. I am confident that our club will have an “online” option each week for those who are not yet ready to meet in person when we start to get together, and for members who are out of town. District 5610 is providing a grant to help clubs continue to engage with members and grow membership, including purchasing technology that will allow for clubs to continue to provide meetings via Zoom.
With a growing number of members getting vaccinated, we’re almost there! Stay strong, and keep tuning in. Great news is on the horizon!