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Karen’s Korner, Vol. 4

From time to time, our President Karen Russell will write an article or missive to keep you up to date on what we are up to… or other random thoughts.

The word gratitude is used a lot this time of year. It is not just a word we dust off and bring out at Thanksgiving; it is a deep appreciation for life and what it has to offer each of us. That looks different depending on who you are talking to, but the essence is the same. I am grateful to be a Rotarian.

Rotarians are naturally giving people who serve others because they can. We serve because it comes from our hearts and is genuine. For us, it is more than “doing good”, it is a passion to make the world a better place and to make others’ lives easier, and I am humbled to be a part of it.

Our fellow Rotarians in Butte County have lost their homes, and some may have lost their lives. One of our club’s former members retired to Paradise just two months ago and has now lost everything. In the coming weeks and months, our club will work to help him in any way we can so that he can have some semblance of normalcy and order back in his life. It is what we do when others are in need.

While we spend time with family and friends this Thanksgiving and reflect on all we have to be grateful for, let’s also hold our fellow Californians in our hearts. They are grateful for small things like a place to sleep, running water, a hot meal and a warm shower… things we perhaps take for granted. They have discovered the true essence of life with nothing and their lives are forever changed. Ours are changed as we watch them survive in spite of overwhelming loss.

Yours in service,
Karen

Karen’s Korner, Vol. 3

From time to time, our President Karen Russell will write an article or missive to keep you up to date on what we are up to… or other random thoughts.

I have had two members come to me in the past few weeks to ask if they should continue as club members because their jobs keep them from coming to weekly club lunches. They said they do not feel like active members if they cannot come to lunch. That got me thinking…

What does it mean to be an “active” member of Campbell Rotary?

First of all, it is not just about coming to lunch. Yes, that is part of it, but not all. Lots of things happen at lunch — club announcements, happy/sad dollars, and the marble draw, as well as a great lineup of speakers.

Not being at lunch really does make a member feel disconnected and out of the loop. So I have been thinking of ways to make lunch come to those who cannot come to it. Here are a few ideas I have and I need help implementing them:

  1. Send all club announcements via ClubRunner so all members have them. These include upcoming events and sign ups as well as service opportunities.
  2. Offer online signups for all club events.
  3. Live stream meetings so remote members can watch during lunch hours.
  4. Post videos of weekly speakers on our website and social media.
  5. Put the Happy/Sad shares in a summary and send that out via ClubRunner so all members know what is happening in people’s lives.

But again, coming to lunch is only part of the Rotary experience. At Campbell Rotary, we ask that members participate in two activities a month — that can include lunch, as well as a club board/committee meeting, social event, or service project.

Rotary is also letting board members know about the things that matter to you. It is caring about your club and participating in the way that best works for you. We have members who cannot come to lunch, and they are significant contributors to the club and the Rotary Community Corps. They support the club “behind the scenes.”

All members matter, and not just because of the “numbers”. Rotarians are generous of spirit, active in their communities, and leaders in their professions and professional organizations. They believe in the good in the world and in making the world better for others. Rotarians act with integrity in their daily lives.

Being a Rotarian is about sharing a spirit of service and of taking action to make our community better. It is about developing relationships and friendships within the club, and living the principles of the Four-Way Test.

When the two members who came to me with their concerns heard this response, I’m happy to report they decided to stay. You see, they discovered they are active members after all.

Yours in service,
Karen

Celebrating Leadership

This week, we had a fun time celebrating leadership as 2015-16 President Mason McKown passed the baton to incoming President Jennifer Carauddo for the new Rotary Year.

President Jen skit

Mason reads from a “short” list of to-do’s for our incoming President, as the new board looks on during our Tuesday lunch meeting. Click here to see more pics on our Facebook page.

To mark her first meeting, Jennifer organized a fun skit for the new board that brought music, dancing, and fun to our weekly lunch. Later in the week, Past President John Shannon helped fete Mason with a “debunking” at Rock Bottom Brewery.

Thanks to Mason for his dedication to our club, and congrats to Jennifer as we embark with her on this new adventure!

A Fond Farewell

Highlights & Updates

The Board of Directors held their last meeting of the 2014-2015 Rotary Year. While most of the meeting was a traditional “thank you” for their service, they did approve the following:

  • Adding Fred Meyer and Bill Ellington to the Board of the Rotary Club of Campbell-San Jose West Foundation.
  • Approved a donation to the Starbird Community Center for use in their summer program benefitting students from the Rosemary School neighborhood.

Best of Valley Flavors

Framed certificates have been delivered to the winners of this year’s Valley Flavors “Best Flavor” contest. Thanks to Yvonne Kendall and Sonya Paz for creating these beautiful mementos.

Dancin’ on the Avenue

On Saturday afternoon, several Rotarians worked a shift at one of the beverage “pods” in Downtown Willow Glen, supporting Willow Glen Business Association’s 20th Annual Dancin’ on the Avenue.

Wishing Them All The Best

Rod Hibner will be joining the Rotary Club of San Jose. Bettina Kohlbrenner is focussing on her own business venture in the San Francisco area. Both will be missed!