To say that this year in Rotary has been unique would be an understatement, and I cannot believe we are in the last month of the Rotary year. As we wind down the year, Donna and I sincerely want you to know how profoundly grateful we are for the opportunity to serve as your District Governor and First Lady.
When we started the year last July, who would have expected that the Rotary theme for the year, Rotary Connects the World, would mean be connecting the world and our District through Zoom meetings from mid-March through mid-June. It’s certainly been a challenging time recently. We have lost some good people and watched and prayed for other struggling with COVID-19, and many of us have faced new financial challenges or the difficulties of confinement. But not even the pandemic has dampened our determination to make this world and our communities a better place.
I am glad that Donna and I were able to spend time with all of you in our club visits during the first part of the year – to see firsthand your enthusiasm and commitment to your communities. Thanks to all of you for the work you do – from reading to students in Marietta, Vinings and Cuthbert ... to cooking for MUST Ministries in Cobb County … to hosting a human trafficking awareness event in Dunwoody and providing supplies for an emergency children’s shelter in Lake Spivey/Clayton County’s backyard … to refurbishing a school in Moultrie, providing back packs in Douglas County, buying computers for the Boys and Girls Club in Americus, supporting scouting in Bainbridge or teaching financial literacy courses in Atlanta West End. A shout out to all of you who sponsor Interact and Rotaract Clubs! And a big thanks for so many more club projects and indivdiual efforts that I can’t begin to cover here.
As a District, we all came together under Roswell’s leadership to send supplies to victims of Hurricane Dorian, to continue the fight to eradicate polio, and to further peace in the world through programs like Rotary Youth Exchange, our own Georgia Rotary Student Program and out sponsorship of Global Grant Scholar and Army Captain Sean Minton in his Master's program and King's College in London (our second scholar, Kaitlin, hopes to start her students in New Zealand soon). We learned from each other – through the Rotary Leadership Institute, our business networking groups and the Annual Health Symposium sponsored by Emory-Clifton.
And your spirit of Service Above Self still comes through loud and clear in this season of “shelter at home.” You are watching out for each other, making sure that children are fed, that our first responders are properly equipped and feeling appreciated, and that we’re continuing our work to end human trafficking – all the while supporting our local businesses and schools and recognizing our high school seniors.
I’m proud of the service projects we’ve done around the world through our Global Grants – tapping into the power of The Rotary Foundation – and equally proud that The Rotary Foundation (thanks to your strong support over the years) is as I write, helping us feed the people of Southwest Georgia and distribute hand sanitizer and other healthcare supplies in those communities that have been hard hit by COVID 19. Thanks to DGN Mary Ligon, PDG Steve Stanfield and our District Rotary Foundation team led by PDG Cheryl Greenway, for helping make all this happen.
The honor of being District Governor is all tied into connecting with the People of Action that make up District 6900. Thank you for sharing your energy and your commitment for making a difference with Donna and me. We hope that we will be able to thank many of you in person at the District Celebration on June 20 in at the Bibb Mill Center in Columbus,
May our simple District theme this year of Connect with Rotary continue to resonate into the future.