Now there are seven….?  Seven of our members signed up for Rotary Direct.  Read on to learn how you can become #8.
I have a question for all Port Townsend Sunrise Rotarians.  Why did you join Rotary?  I will be the first to answer and I require no public responses from anyone else.  Just self-reflect on the question.
I joined my first service club because my boss told me to.  I was a newly appointed Postmaster and as such was expected to be active in my new community.  I was invited to lunch at the Rotary Club in Atascadero, CA and what I witnessed scared me away.  They were a club that served the community by fining their members to the point of pain.  Painful, at least, to a relatively low paid public servant such as a Postmaster.  At the single luncheon meeting I attended, I observed the collection of fines of several hundreds of dollars.  I would later find out that Rotary Club generously donated cash to many good causes around town but you seldom saw their members working on fund raisers in the community.  Instead of becoming a Rotarian then, I joined the Kiwanis and that was a better fit for me.  It was much easier on my wallet and much more demanding of my time and energy.  We put more money into the community than the Rotary club but we did by working fund raisers in the community.  I liked that! 
So after retirement and relocation to Port Townsend I found, despite the lack of direction from a boss, I once again felt a need to join a service club.  My reasons for joining were similar to what influenced my first service club decision.  A club small in size, easy on the wallet but big on community involvement.  I found it in Sunrise Rotary.
My main reason for joining was the opportunity to contribute, in kind, to my community.  Other valid reasons to join, this or any other service/social clubs are:
  • Make new friends.
  • Establish a network of business connections.
  • Participate in the world’s best student exchange program.
  • To join with others to make the world a better place.
  • And many more.
There are no wrong reasons for joining because upon becoming a member, things change.  Sometimes it is, “I joined to give to my community but I stayed because of my new friends and the fun”.  Or sometimes it is the reverse.  “I joined to gain business contacts but I stay because Rotary showed me a way to help the world’s less fortunate”.
All Rotary Clubs do amazing thing by different means.  Some like my friends in Atascadero do it by contributing cash through a fining system.  Others add significant dollar amounts to the annual dues of the club, part of which is donated to the Rotary Foundation. 
Our club does “its good works in the world” by sweat and comradery invested in fundraising activities.  We have accomplished a lot with that.  I could publish here, a long list of those accomplishments, but since all of you have contributed to the fundraisers on that list, there is no need.
Instead, I will ask each of you to take a further step so that the club can expand its giving even further.  Some do so, already or have done so in the past.  Others, especially the newer members, may not fully appreciate what can be done through the Rotary Foundation.
But first…. A word from our sponsor.
Now, I will never advocate the “give until it hurts!” methods of some clubs.  I will only ask to “give until it feels good!”  Remember, the entire, three billion-dollar Rotary Foundation was begun with just twenty-six dollars and fifty cents.  So, let’s start there!  Most of can afford to contribute that amount, be it quarterly, monthly or in some cases, weekly.  Will you match the amount of the Foundations start-up fund?
Here is how you can join Rotary Direct.  Sign Me Up.