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President's Message ... 2017-2018

Dear Rotarians,

Back in 2013 when I was asked if I’d join the line to become president this day seemed like a lifetime away.  At the time I thought of dozens of reasons why I wasn’t able to do this but I found myself saying “yes” before I could vocalize any of those excuses.

Over the years I’ve learned there’s always some reason to say “no” when there’s a need for service.  But eventually, somebody has to say “yes”.  And that’s what I’ve learned Rotary is. We’re not afraid of a challenge. And we have a way of inspiring others around us to join our cause.

Causes like:

  • providing 10,000 meals for those in need in Haiti;

  • helping to fund cancer research;

  • sponsoring a text-a-tip line that is saving lives within our schools;

  • helping to battle our community’s opioid epidemic;

  • raising billions to eradicate polio so that children of the Earth won’t have to experience that horrible disease;

  • caring for our planet;

  • supporting our youth through sponsorships, scholarships, low interest loans and leadership training

You see, something in life whether it’s time, money or other resources will always be a barrier to doing what’s right.  But I’m a Rotarian because we don’t let those barriers get in our way. We do the good deeds that need done. We say “yes” and help when others say “no” or look away.

I truly believe that Rotary is the strongest force of good on the planet. All other barriers that divide people simply do not apply here.  We are all Rotarians regardless of our race, color, religion, nationality, ancestry, gender, income level, sexual orientation or age.

And we’re not defined by our vocation or our education level.  We’re all different and it’s those differences that make us one.  We’re all here to do one thing and that’s good in our community and the world.  And that’s why I love Rotary.

I couldn’t be prouder of the work our Club has done in its 92 year history.  We’ve done such great things in our community, our region and abroad.

But our work isn’t done yet. Quite frankly, we’re just getting started. As long as there is war & conflict; rampant diseases; lack of water or sanitation; mothers and children who need help; undereducated and illiterate individuals; and chronically poor communities - there’s work to be done.

Now each year, a new theme is set by the Rotary International. This year’s theme is:  Rotary: Making a Difference.

Rotary asks incoming presidents to establish a set of goals for their clubs.  Below are our Club’s goals for the 2017-2018 Rotary year so that we can all continue to make a difference:

  • Apply for a District Club Foundation Grant for Poplar Street Playground upgrade

  • Begin a Rotarian of the Year recognition program

  • Net 10 new members, 2 being female

  • Sponsor an Interact Club in partnership with EASD and MCCS

  • Sponsor a Rotaract Club in partnership with Elizabethtown College

  • Send 6 students to RYLA

  • Create a new, mobile-friendly Club website

  • Create and maintain a Club Facebook page

  • Review our Club’s Strategic Plan

  • Plant 1 tree for each of our members between July 1 and April 22nd (Earth Day) to meet a challenge established by RI president Ian Riseley

  • Establish a Rotary Club of Elizabethtown Foundation

  • Participate in an Earth Day activity within our community.

Some of these are lofty goals.  And they all things I cannot do alone.  But these aren’t just my goals.  They are our goals.  I know that with the momentum our Club has along with the drive and determination of our members, we can achieve and even exceed these goals.  So I ask that each of you be ready to say “Yes” as I approach you to help us achieve these goals.

Thank you for all you do.  I look forward to another year serving along side each of you.

Yours in service,

Tim Haak

President, 2017-2018