After drying my tears, catching my breath, and finding my abandoned eye glasses, the enormity really hit me of having been awarded The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service by Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko in front of 300 or so of my closest friends. As I left the dais many Rotarians, more deserving of the recogniton than I, hugged and congratulated me. In acceptance of this award I am at once humbled and empowered … humbled because there are so many hardworking, generous Rotarians who support their clubs and humanity every day and who are worthy of recognition and gratitude for their efforts to support the mission of The Rotary Foundation … empowered because I know that Rotarians, and particularly District 7600 Rotarians, are a supportive community who will not quit until we eradicate Polio and who will never cease ‘doing good in the world.’
So thank you all for being part of my posse. Thank you to District Governor Gary Chenault who formally nominated me. Thanks to the 64 Club Foundation Chairs and to the 17 Foundation Advocates who have boots or high heels on the ground making The Rotary Foundation a living, breathing part of every Rotarian’s life. Thanks to my District Rotary Foundation Committee colleagues who inform and bolster me, and especially to our Chair, Jim Probsdorfer, who somehow manages to keep all of the moving parts from colliding and moving us towards accomplishing our District goals. Thank you to the District leadership, past and present, who provide the inspiration, structure, and support which allows the District Foundation Committee to reach into and support the clubs. Thanks most of all to the 3000 District Rotarians who personally raise and donate funds, sell peanuts and other sundries, distribute dictionaries, paint purple pinkies, build bridges, refurbish charitable facilities, and just keep the day-in and day-out commitment to The Rotary Foundation.
Finally and most importantly, thank you to the spouses and families who share your loved ones with the cause and who often roll your own sleeves up and join in the effort. Your support and encouragement makes it all possible.
Now, let’s all meet at The Rotary Foundation Banquet on November 12, in Williamsburg and celebrate together!