As we finish up the seventh month of the Rotary year, I can report that the clubs are healthy.  Many clubs are overflowing with their winter guests.  Planning for various club activities whether community service projects or fundraising events is well under way. And the pieces are in place for these successes to continue next year.  DGE David reports excellent registration for the upcoming PETS.
As I consider where we are as a District at this point in the year, I am reminded of the old glass half full – glass half empty.  I tend to be, as many of you know, more of a half empty kind of guy as opposed to a half full kind of guy. Allow me if you will to take a look at a couple of the District metrics.  Where do we stand?
Let’s first examine our Foundation giving for the year.  As I write this in the fourth week in January, we as a District have invested approximately $145,000 in the Annual Fund of the Rotary Foundation.  This compares with slightly more than $350,000 in the 2017-18 Rotary year.  So, is that a half full or a half empty scenario?  It likely could be either.  An optimist would say half full, and with a little better effort for the remaining five months of the year we could achieve last year’s total.  A half empty person would probably say we are not where we need to be, and we need to step it up. On a per capita basis we are this year at $64.53 compared to $150.39 for last year. SO yes, we need to step it up a little.  I’ll let you decide whether you think we are half full or half empty.  What do you think my feeling is?  I know I discussed this topic last month, but it is vitally important that we keep our donations/investments to the annual fund up where they need to be.  If we don’t, we will pay the price down the road.  In regard to the PolioPlus fund, we are at $39,800 as compared to $64,800 for all of last year, about 61% of last year’s total and we are only 58% through the year.  We are doing very well in PolioPlus giving, but I had hoped for a little better. Glass half full or half empty.  Both!
Membership is down nine members for the first six months of the year, based on the member numbers contained in the Rotary International invoices to our clubs. That’s very good.  But allow me to look at the numbers a little deeper.  The Verrado Club of Buckeye gave us a plus 30 as they were not in existence on July 1, 2018.  The Sun Lakes led the way for existing clubs with an addition of 11 members.  Take those two clubs out of the picture and the remainder of the District would be down 50 members.  Of our 70 clubs, 28 grew their membership, 31 saw a decline in their member numbers and 11 stayed the same.  Five clubs had a member gain of more than 5 members.  And 9 clubs had a gain of either 3,4, or 5 members.  The other 14 clubs that grew membership did it by 2 members or less.  I’m going to call this a half full situation.  We were down only 9 members and that’s very good and it should not be hard to show a net gain for the year.  Our membership team is working hard, and you should expect to hear more from them in the coming months.  I know that they are putting together material on retention and the membership team has already identified clubs asking for help in the area of retention.
Marty and Doc have been working hard on the DeLorean.  They were finally able to procure the parts to repair the time travel portion of the car.  But apparently over the last few months, with the car back in the past, the GPS feature on the vehicle has started to malfunction, resulting in the Governor this month being somewhere out of the country.  So where do you think he is?
I continue to have fun with the videos, and as of today (23 Jan 19) have heard no comments about the last one.  Whew, that’s a relief!  Keep up the good work, think about increasing your investments in The Rotary Foundation, and we will visit again next month.