Remarks by 2022-23 Rotary Club of Eau Claire President
Carrie M. Ronnander
June 30, 2022
(Editor’s Note: After being inducted as our Club President at our Annual Recognition &
Installation Celebration, Carrie Ronnander thanked outgoing president Char Gurney and
then looked forward to our 2022-23 Rotary year.)
Thank you Char
At our club holiday social last December, I noticed Char was helping put away the food and was one of the last ones to leave. A bit out of self-interest, I asked if this is what is expected of club presidents. Char laughed and said, something like, a club president does whatever needs to be done.
Char did do whatever needed to be done, often quietly and behind the scenes. She kept the global grant application process going even when it faltered and others walked away. She took the lead on the preschool audio book project with the LE Phillips Memorial Public Library when the grant chair moved away. She included the entire club in the process of looking at other meeting location options and made sure all opinions were heard. She called, listened, and made herself generally available to any club member who wanted or needed to talk.
Thank you, Char. Thank you for leading with grace and good humor, for rallying our club around projects both great and small, and for modeling Rotary’s Four Test in everything you did as President of the Rotary Club of Eau Claire. We needed you this year, and we will need your guidance this coming year as Past President. Please thank Char with a round of applause.
My Fellow Rotarians,
Thank you all for the opportunity to serve you as our Club President. I am honored and humbled by your confidence. To be honest, I have worried that too much confidence has been placed in me. I don’t worry about details. I put things off to the last minute. I’m slow to make decisions and commit to a direction.
But I am open to ideas and eager to learn, and really, this year isn’t about me and what I will do, or will not do, or will do when I get around to it. It’s about us and what we will do.
Rotary International President Jennifer Jones calls all of us to "Imagine Rotary", this year’s theme. In her words,
"You don’t imagine yesterday. You imagine tomorrow. Imagine a world without polio. Imagine a world with clean water for everyone. Imagine a world free of disease, where every child learns to read. Imagine kindness, and hope, and love, and peace."
In my words. Imagine when our Global Grant is approved this year and our partner club in Ghana is able to purchase cervical cancer screening equipment. Imagine the thousands and thousands of women in Ghana who will finally have access to cervical cancer screening and treatment.
Imagine the apprehension and excitement our inbound Rotary Youth Exchange student Len is feeling at this moment. Len is 17, lives in Belgium and will be arriving in Eau Claire on August 22nd. He will be a senior at Memorial High School. Imagine the experiences we can help him have this year and how these experiences will ripple forward in his life and the lives of those he touches. He will learn much this year, and we will learn from him, too
Imagine a vibrant Rotary Club of Eau Claire, one that is so involved in community life that others want to get in on the action and become Rotarians themselves. This year, we will continue to adapt to the needs and desires of current and future club members. There will be quarterly socials, opportunities for community service, and an emphasis on publicly sharing the Rotary message through social media, mass media, and new website. We will work and collaborate with area Rotary Clubs to do more than our club can do alone.
Imagine what we could do this year, and share those ideas and hopes with me. May is the Dare to Dream Together we will do what we imagine, for we are People of Action. We are Problem-Solvers. We are Community-Builders. We are Rotarians.