Creating scholarships and broadening the community development program have become a collective focus for Rotary Club of Sunset and is accordingly prioritized for the 2019-2020 agenda, said President Donald Ward on Thursday evening..
The club held its second meeting for the year at the Castaways Flamingo Restaurant and Ward outlined their futuristic goals, youth programs and club service projects.
A multiple past president, Ward is in the chair once more and disclosed that the club’s agenda would begin with student seminars, offering direction and guidance-counseling, beginning the last week in July through June of next year.
“Our goals would include Practical Rotary Education in-house on how to run a club or committee.
“We want to inspire others, even if they don’t join us, because of finances. We want to build relationships with corporate partners for the purpose of obtaining seed money for local projects and assistance. Our concentration will be on the youth.
“Risk Management involves understanding possible risks involved with the youth, such as injury, illness, and abuse. Risk Management will not eliminate all negative occurrences, but it can reduce their number and effects.
“Our youth is our future of Rotary and we have five programs: Interact, Rotaract, RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) and Youth Exchange to connect inspire, nurture and help develop them as future Rotarians, (the ultimate).
“If we don’t develop the next generation, Rotary will end with ours,” he emphasized, noting also that there is a serious lack of inspiration that’s beneficial to the youth of today.
“We hear almost every day that the youth do not have anybody to mentor them. Well we have a lot of mentors in The Bahamas and in Grand Bahama generally, but we want to take a different approach.
“We want to put our money where our mentoring is,” said Ward
The concept he speaks of, includes recognizing the strain of economic challenges, but with the awareness always that it is “the mandated duty of mentors to create more youthful initiatives for millennials, known as Generation Y, to become more involved in the club.
“A lot of times, people need guidance and sometimes money is needed to commence what they want to do, especially graduates. Not everyone wants to go in an environment where they have to clock in from 9 to 5. Some people want to really start their own businesses. To increase our efforts, we have to add to our membership. The club’s goal is to increase membership at 10 percent.
“It’s achievable. We have district 6990 performing at this level as are other districts in our zone,” he said. The Rotary
Sunset President is reaching out also for corporate partners, inviting them to embrace the opportunity to foster youth advancement.
“We believe that as you reach deeper into your Rotary membership experience you will not only connect the world to shoes around you and in your community, but you can also have the best year of your Rotary journey. Corporate concerns can help a lot.
“A large part of why Rotary is so special is that we develop friendships through service. We will offer more opportunities for members to meet new friends, include families and strengthen existing relationships.
“We are going to fully implement this Rotary rule that came out in February this year by the counsel of legislation. We want to make this a family oriented position.
“We have been talking about it for years and Rotary now has made it a part of the guidelines. By family oriented I mean we can have substitutes, whereby if you cannot make it to a meeting, you can send someone without having them pay to come.
“Rotary does amazing things and changes lives by doing well in our communities because of people like you. If you look around, you will see we have so much opportunity to attract other people.
“We have an ambitious agenda,” admitted the president, and we will seek to do as much as we can financially and community-wise for the next 11 months.
“We are going to get into the community as opposed to having the community come to us. We are going to do what we started last year with food drives but not limited to food drives.
“We are going to other things to accommodate people in need and primarily that is the focus when you talk about community service.
“We are still on the agenda for the Rand Memorial Hospital and we have an opportunity to get much needed dollars from the foundation to help us facilitate what they need. They said they need beds, but I suspect that they need more than that,” he said.
He detailed also, the wide body of services before Rotary, inclusive of “international services, new generation services, polio plus, Rotarian action group, Rotary community corps, Rotary fellowship, Rotary friendship exchange, Rotary peace centers, and Rotary youth exchange.”
“We talked about community service and vocational service, forgotten avenues of service.
“When people hear of vocation service, they think about people having jobs, but the main cause of that vocation is to do with teaching people integrity in the workplace.
“When you talk about vocational service in other words, it is the old fueling the young.
“To do all of this, we need a lot of hands on deck.
“However, we are not looking for numbers, we are looking for quality people who’re going to do the work,” he concluded.