You know, there is nothing like the joy of helping others. This year marks 100 years of dedication to the ideals of “Service Above Self” for the Rotary Club of Madison, Wisconsin.
Many years ago, during my undergraduate years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, my fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., embarked on a journey to establish a food drive for needy citizens in the Madison area. We stood outside of the Copps and Sentry grocery stores at Hilldale and Park Street and collected canned goods to be donated to local food pantries. During the winter month of November, we stood in the cold, laughed, joked, collected cans, and froze, but it was great fun. I still look back on those days with many fond memories. I remember thinking of how much more effective we could be if we just had a few more members. We could cover more ground in less time. We would have a greater presence at the grocery stores and the exiting shoppers would be more willing to donate more food. More members would increase our overall enjoyment and camaraderie.
I guess, in some ways, I’ve always been searching for an experience like the Rotary Club of Madison. Chartered on June 2, 1913, our Downtown Club is pretty special. Not only are we considered a large Club with a size that measures within the 10th largest Rotary Clubs in the world, but we truly have a lot of helping hands and warm hearts. I had the right idea, during my fraternity’s food drive; it’s great to be part of a group with so many community advocates and business leaders. It has been a busy season, getting ready for a new Rotary year. I’m especially proud of our Club because we really care about this community and making the City of Madison a great place to live. We have over 40 Club committees totally consisting of volunteers. What a group! As President, it will be my pleasure to spend an hour a week with so many of you that truly appreciate the joys of helping others.
Yours In Service,