Remarks by 2021-22 Rotary Club of Eau Claire President
Charlotte K. Gurney
June 24, 2021
(Editor’s Note: After being inducted as our Club President at our Annual Recognition & Installation Celebration, Char Gurney thanked outgoing president Dennis Vanden Bloomen and then looked forward to our 2021-22 Rotary year.)
Thank You Dennis
What a Year! I had the opportunity to attend PETS with Dennis two years ago and got to know him better through our travels, and I know leading our Club through a pandemic was NOT one of his goals for his year as our Club President. But, despite the world slowing down to almost a halt, Rotary, and specifically our Club, kept moving forward under his leadership. He conducted our weekly Club meetings through the beloved Zoom like a champ, once again spearheaded a successful annual fundraising event to continue our Club’s service and donation efforts, and he managed the Rotary Game Tables project that will enhance two Eau Claire parks. But most of all, Dennis continues to be a strong Rotary champion through his many, many years of service and continues his support of the Rotary Foundation and everyone in this Club. Please join me in thanking Dennis for his excellent leadership this past year and for his service to the Rotary Club of Eau Claire.
The Year Ahead
Thank you all for the opportunity to serve as our Club’s President for this upcoming year. The bar has been set high by the many Presidents before me, and it is truly an honor to be stepping into this role.
The Rotary theme for the 2021-22 year is “Serve to Change Lives”. When this was first shared by Rotary International, I thought “that is Perfect”! Eight years ago when I joined the Club at the invitation of Jerry Kuehl, I also started as a team member at Royal Credit Union. An organization that lives and breathes its core purpose, “To Create a Positive Impact in the Lives We Touch”... very similar. That core purpose has changed my life – both professionally and personally. Just as being a Rotarian and member of our Club has changed my life.
“Serve to Change Lives” provides direction as we move on from COVID and continue to serve our community and beyond. I have sensed the energy and desire from many of you to ramp up service efforts again. Examples of what is currently happening in our Club, just to name a few…
- The Fill the Back Packs project that Holly Hart has taken the lead on and will impact the lives of our area students
- Planning for a Youth Exchange Student opportunity for the 2022-23 school year
- Providing a collection of Children’s Audio Books for the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s new expanded building
- The Club’s efforts (lead by Bill Klish, Mary Kante and Holly Hart) to lead an international project that will provide tools and devices to health care providers for cervical cancer prescreening in Ghana, Africa
As Dennis mentioned in the installation of Officers, Rotary accomplishes its work within the now six areas of focus…
- Fighting Disease
- Growing Local Economies
- Promoting Peace
- Providing Clean Water
- Saving Mothers and Children
- Supporting Education
Our Club supports Rotary’s focus through committees and I am extremely grateful for all of the Officers and Committee Chairs that stood just a bit ago. They are energized and ready to continue serving! The 2021-22 year is a time to reflect and one that holds vast potential for us to grow as a Club, and my primary objective for this next year is to boost Club re-engagement by creating big, and some small, opportunities for every one of us to “Serve to Change Lives”. We are people of action and I encourage all of you to identify a focus area that you want to have an impact on by getting involved in one of our nine committees…
- Club & Community Service
- Grant Projects
- Public Image
- Rotary Foundation
- Club Scholarships
- Youth Services
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
I will leave you with that. Thank You again for this opportunity and I look forward to the coming year!