Tag Archives: District 6250

A Bad Gift Reconsidered: Fun at Rotary

–article submitted by Ellie Schatz; photo by Ellsworth Brown

Warren and Group

(Pictured above are Rotary Board Members with District Governor Dave Warren. From left: Robyn Kitson, Dave Warren, Dora Zuniga and Tim Stadelman)

Last week, President Tim promised 10% more fun at Rotary and said we would hear more about this from District Governor Dave Warren.

So what is fun and how does it relate to Rotary? Do you consider Rotary fun?

I looked up “fun” in three dictionaries, starting with a classic Webster’s Unabridged. I didn’t think Webster’s first definition fit either Dave’s message or my experience of Rotary. “Fun: A practical joke: trick, hoax.” Dave had us laughing, and he described Janesville’s annual corn roast and mud volleyball tournament laughingly, but he in no way thinks of Rotary, his governorship, or Janesville’s fundraiser as a hoax. Try again.

“Fun: a source of enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure.” This first definition from American Heritage Dictionary is second in the Webster’s, and fits with Dave’s message. The first two definitions in my Random House dictionary give us these descriptors as well as adding mirth and playfulness. Dave clearly wants all Rotarians in District 6250 to enjoy their meetings, and his playfulness was evident as he quizzed us on Rotary trivia and offered Jolly Rancher candies as prizes for correct answers. We all learned the first president of Rotary was, not Paul Harris, but rather Silvester Schiele. No candy on that one; Rob Stroud knew the answer from hearing Dave’s speech before, so his answer didn’t count!

Fun for District Governor Warren goes much deeper than games and amusement. He takes great pleasure in Service Above Self.  He shared how the project, Kids Against Hunger has encouraged children in Nicaragua to attend school by ensuring that if they come they will be fed a nutritious meal. He reiterated how the Rotary International effort to eradicate polio is close to reaching its goal. Reflecting on success is fun.

Where does his title, the bad gift, fit into Governor Dave’s definition of Rotary fun? He says joining Rotary was a gift that he initially didn’t think he wanted. But he now appreciates it as the gift that keeps on giving. “Rotary is a gift to myself and to my family,” he declared, as he asked us to offer this gift to our spouses, grown children, friends, and neighbors.

Dave joins RI President Gary Huang in asking us to enjoy our Rotary service, share it with others (a good gift even for the busiest of the busy), and Light Up Rotary together.

Our thanks to District Governor Dave Warren for his presentation CLICK to view his first video newsletter.

Rotary District 6250 Annual Conference

Rotary District 6250 Annual Conference, June 8th & 9th in LaCrosse, WI

June 13, 2012 //
Submitted by Jacqui Sakowski
When I accepted President Paul’s invitation to car-pool to LaCrosse the environmentalist in me leapt at the chance.  I learned so much about Paul’s life – his family, his aspirations for the future, his perspective on Rotary as he approaches the passing of the pin. What a bonus!

We arrived for the Business Meeting where we got to vote on the budget and other operational issues, before attending a very fun and inspiring lunch. We were addressed by a remarkable woman – Rotary International’s first female corporate officer and cancer sufferer, who was clearly in poor health, but spoke with confidence, energy and passion about the origins of the Four Way Test.  She was to address us 4 more times before the conference ended. A display of resilience that we were all proud to witness!

Afternoon presentations on The Holocaust, the plight of children around the world and programs that help youth adopt and live by life-enhancing values made for a very informative and fast-paced afternoon. Inbound RYE students shared cultural insights about their country before supper. Our first Oktoberfest in June, was colorful and celebratory, as you can see …

It’s June 8th it must be Oktoberfeste!

Lots of connecting and re-connecting over dinner, made for lively breakfast meetings the next morning. After you dined with a District Governor clad in leiderhosen, it’s hard to stand on ceremony ever again! We celebrated gifts to the RI Foundation, and were in awe of the impact of RI dollars, and the creativity of clubs around the district who had doubled and quadrupled funds by leveraging Rotary and non-Rotary grants to expand their reach.

Mary Kessen shares the RI Foundation update.

Jerry Mcnellis tells us why Polio is one of the gifts of his life.

Rotary Club of Madison’s Honored Hero, Nelson Cummings

At lunch on Saturday we honored Rotarian’s, selected by their own clubs as Heroes. Here Nelson Cummings is greeted by Emily, a very bright RYE student who presented him with a certificate.

The afternoon flew by with programs on wellness, Rotaract, Interact and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards – the future of Rotary and the world seems to be in great hands if the young people who addressed us are the measure.

The faces of Rotary’s future. Pauline, Charlotte and Emy.

At dinner John Hewko and Betsy Demaray spoke about the importance of documenting Rotary’s true impact in the world, before the conference concluded with the (slightly early) installation of Rob Stroud as 2012-2013 District Governor.

Rob took the pin and then the stage, from where he invited Rotarian’s to assemble in Madison on May 31st and June 1st next year to celebrate 100 years of Rotary Service and Fellowship in WI, at Monona Terrace.

Paul and I headed out of LaCrosse at about 9;15 p.m. As we compared experiences on the journey home we realized that we each had new friends, new appreciation for the works and opportunities of Rotary, and an invigorated Rotary spirit to bring to our best efforts in the coming months.  I am already excited for next year!