Posted on Aug 09, 2017
DG Eric Denu tries to sweeten up our club president, Caroline Earle with her favorite candy bar.
Rotary District 7850 Governor visited the Barre Club on August 9 and delivered a wonderful presentation. His remarks are below:
I am honored to be with you today. I am proud to be
Speaking to my fellow Teammates in Rotary.  You all
should be proud of the work you are doing in
I would like to start with a quote from Helen Keller.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”
In my talk today I want to tell you a little bit about me,
and how I came to be passionate about “service of above
self” through Rotary. I want to also share RI President Ian
Risely’s message and theme for this Rotary year. I will
also share our Districts theme and hopefully you will see
how it all ties together.
I will conclude with some important dates, for events
that I would like you all to consider participating in.
Now let’s get started.
I grew up in Ridgewood, NJ a very typical suburban neighborhood. I am one five children, with two older brothers and two younger sisters. Yes, the middle child, I know that explains a lot.
My first experience in service came through scouting. I joined scouting as a Cub Scout, and at an early age worked on small service projects in the community such as picking up trash around our local parks. We also, had fund raising projects, selling everything from “Date Nut” bread around the holidays, to selling magazines. I stayed with scouting all through my youth, and eventually earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Through scouting I learned about community locally, nationally, and globally. I enjoyed fellowship with my scouting buddies. I learned about leadership as I grew with the program. I also learned about “Teamwork”, how a group of scouts could do so much more together than alone.
Scouting and Rotary have a lot of similarities both organizations base their works on strong ethics, and both look to strengthen their communities with service and have a common goal of making the world a better place, by serving humanity.
My first experience with Rotary started when I was quite young. My dad is a Rotarian and has been for the last 60 years! (with perfect attendance) Dad use to take us with him to his clubs service projects, I don’t even think we knew it at the time. But my brothers and I would tag along, and help. (sort of) with dad’s Rotary service.
My first Rotary meeting that I attended was when I was about 12 years old. You see dad always went to Rotary, even when the family was on vacation. He enjoyed visiting other clubs and wanted to keep his commitment of 100% attendance. So, on one vacation to Vermont I got to go with dad to a Rotary meeting. It wasn’t that I was eager to go, the real reason was that I was bit of family “trouble maker”. (picking on my younger sisters)
So, I think my mom directed my dad to take me with him.
Little did she know then that I would become a Rotarian.
The real irony, is I landed up joining the Middlebury Rotary Club, the same club I visited with dad when I was 12. So, technically I have been a Rotarian since 1989 (28 years) .
But I have experienced Rotary most of my life. Dad did set a great example. ( I also perfect attendance 28 years and counting).
Our district them this year is “Teamwork” I came up with this theme which I alluded to earlier with my scouting background. But, in more recent years I have volunteered with the local high school football team. I have volunteered for the last 15 plus years as a supporter and a sideline coach. That experience of being on the sidelines year after year, watching, observing, coaching these young athletes. Has showed me how they come together each season as a TEAM. And how it takes Teamwork, to be successful in achieving that common goal. Seeing how each member plays a role on the team, and how they feed off of each other. How they support one another through the good and the bad.
I see this in Rotary as well and how Teamwork is how we get things done.
I would like to share another quote with you.
“The strength of the team is each individual member.
The strength of each member is the team”
Phil Jackson.
RI President Ian Risely  has a theme for Rotary this year.
Rotary: Making a Difference.
Ian states “What is Rotary?”
We have all been asked that question as we go about our daily routines.
We answer that question, What is Rotary?
With our actions, by making a difference through our service!
Ian has asked us to follow his initiatives in this coming year.
One of his initiatives is Environmental Sustainability. So, he has tasked us with his tree planting initiative, he would like a tree to be planted for each Rotarian around the world by Earth Day April 22nd 2018!
That would be 1.2 million trees! At least!
Another message from Ian that I share with you is his vision on Peace, he believes that through our work in Humanitarian service which include the six areas of focus this will drive us to the top of the pyramid which is Peace!
He would also like us to reach out and strengthen our membership, and broaden our membership with diversity, which includes individuals with unique skills and interests.
And lastly but perhaps more importantly enhance rotary’s Public Image and Awareness. We need to tell our story. How Rotary is making a Difference.
It’s important that the world understands what we Rotary is, and what we do.
I have heard this from clubs and members, and perhaps you have heard it as well.
Rotary needs to change! Needs to adjust!
Answer: Rotary has changed, it has become more flexible!
Our club needs to change! Needs to adjust!
Answer: It can change. And Adjust.
We all as Rotarians need to change and adjust.
You all might have heard of this line, at a meeting, at work and not necessarily Rotary.
“We have always done it this way!”
If you are part of a Team and your Team isn’t succeeding then there needs to be change!
True! We don’t always know what the right change or adjustment will be, but we do know we need to change.
Examples:  How and when we meet as a club?
                    How we do our service projects, is this the right service project for us and the community?
How and why we do fundraisers?   Is it time for change.
Of course the “Biggest” reason or excuse why we don’t change is Fear!
Fear that the change we make will be wrong, it won’t work, that we will fail!
My fear is if we don’t change or adjust we will disappear!
It comes down to risk vs. reward.
We might need to take some risks, to make some changes. Just like on the football field sometimes you need to change the play call, as that “old” play doesn’t work anymore.
Rotary International has recognized that our organization needs to change with society. They are adjusting, make adjustments. The rewards will be well worth it.
Rotary has come a long way in it’s 112 years!
I think this Henry Ford quote is fitting.
“Coming together is a beginning,
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success”
Rotary is “TEAMWORK” we work together we collaborate, we have a common goal.
We can do better as team, look around this room these are your teammates, work with them, support them, and succeed with them!
So, here’s to your team, your Rotary club! Your Success!
I want to thank each and every one of you!
Rotary: Making a Difference.
From the left, DG Eric Denu, Club President, Caroline Earle and Assistant District Governor, Michael Swaidner with their new Blue Rotary Team hats.