It's a time of year for change, in seasons and in Rotary. We've had a more relaxed summer as social distancing limited in-person gatherings, a challenge for a club of more than 50 members who like to also bring spouses, family and friends to our special events. But our energy for service to others has built up and we're unleashing it this October!
In mid-September we launched our annual, autumn membership drive, where members are asked to invite people they know who would make great Rotarians to visit a meeting. No pressure for our guests, just a visit to see what we are all about. Almost all meetings are held virtually, except the occasional happy hour, so it's convenient for guests to drop in to either our Tuesday 7pm or Wednesday noon meetings. If someone asks you to visit a meeting, that means they think you are a person of integrity and kindness. It's quite the compliment to be asked to join Rotary, so at least give us an hour to attend a meeting and check it out!
On Saturday, October 10th the club will finally be able to realize their plans to build 20 beds with Sleep in Heavenly Peace's Syracuse chapter. We sponsored the cost of these beds last spring, but had to reschedule the build due to COVID. At the Sleep in Heavenly Peace workshop, members will sand, cut, drill and assembly twin size beds that can be stacked into bunk beds. They will go to local families whose children don't currently have a place of their own to see. Each bed comes with all the fixings - a mattress, pillow and set of bedding. Follow them on Facebook for photos of their weekly deliveries and read more about them in case you know someone in need or want to help out as well. It's a rewarding, locally-focused project!
Friday, October 16 and Saturday, October 17, members of Rotary Clubs all across Central New York and the Mohawk Valley will be logging on for the first ever virtual District Conference. Held annually, this event is a combination of education and fun, looking ahead to what club's hope to accomplish in the coming year. A series of virtual sessions will be held on Zoom covering topics from membership, to the environment, to fundraising. There will be social times with multiple happy hours, trivia and a musical finale featuring Todd Hobin. It's free to attend and registration will be open through Wednesday, Oct 14th at noon. Sign up today and choose just the sessions you wish to attend!
On Saturday, October 24th our club will honor World Polio Day by creating awareness of the importance of eradicating this disease and raising money for the cause. Polio remains endemic in just two countries - Afghanistan and Pakistan - thanks to 32 years of Rotary's commitment to distribution vaccinations around the world. Our End Polio Now program funds research, vaccine development, disease tracing and monitoring, plus everything that goes into the distribution and administering of vaccines. While reaching communities to combat polio, we support multiple healthcare initiatives to make people healthier where ever Rotary goes, and will be crucial in the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine once made widely available. Support for this program will not only support eradication of a debilitating disease, but the better health of our world!
Watch for Rotarians in their End Polio Now shirts marching through town at noon to create awareness, ending in the Baldwin Canal Square.
Then from noon until 4pm, we will host Pints for Polio, a drive-thru event at WT Brews (18 E Genesee Street, Baldwinsville) where we will be selling 16oz cans of our custom Maple Cinnamon Amber Ale (name coming soon) and fresh sugar waffles being fried on site. Proceeds will go to our End Polio Now program and you will get delicious, fall treats! Join and share our Facebook event to help spread the word!
And finally, our club will turn 48 years old on Saturday, October 31st. The next day, we will have our first virtual Charter Night (that's our fancy, Rotary language for a club's birthday party!). Members who register to attend will receive a special gift and the event will feature some custom videos. Charter members, people who were the first ever members of the club, are being invited to join us and share their memories from when our club was just a baby. Despite not being able to come together in person, we will be doing our best to make a virtual celebration fun, social and unique!