ROPAC2020 – An Intercontinental Broadcast Success
On Saturday September 26, 2020 the ROPAC conference took place and about 100 Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors as well as friends and family, from 32 countries from around the World participated actively and it was broadcast in English and Spanish simultaneously.
ROPAC had four speakers: PRIP Barry Rassin, VP Johrita Solari, Zone 25A Director Suzi Howe and President of Mar de Penasco Rotary Club Enrique Rodriguez, as well as an Interactor, Rotaractors and Rotarians as panelists throughout the conference presented in two workshop panels with very interactive setups and themes: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as “The new Rotary formula”: Integrating Rotaract in the future of Rotary.
The conference brought together many different perspectives and points of experiences, although it was clear that the main focus was to bring together everyone to understand the challenges of continuing to elevate Rotaract and bringing together the generations of Rotarians assimilating every stage of the ages of Rotary.
VP Johrita Solary focused on our abilities and willingness to change and adapt through the times of challenge and to embrace our resilience by working together and putting action to plans. She highlighted that we are now together with bigger reach as we may connect with any Rotaractor or Rotarian in any part of the world with the touch of a button. She reminded us of how our service through Rotary makes us better people. She encouraged all to tap into your passion and find your WHY.
Director Suzy Howe, shared how she attended the Council on Legislation in Chicago. She expressed that she wants to have Rotaract represented on every RI Board and committee and at the district level as a voting member.
Panel on DEI subject: discussed the opportunities and challenges around the world and how they encouraged everyone to open up and educate others in this subject. Panel on the New Rotary Formula: discussed the challenges for Rotaractors and Rotarians to embrace each other in the transition of getting closer to becoming one and empowering one another as we find the right formula to reunite and continue growing Rotary.
President Rassin was monumental in the focus and importance of Rotaract for the future of Rotary, he reminded everyone that in 2022 all Rotaractors will be contributing to the Rotary Foundation and spoke about the importance of contributing to EREY.
Enrique Rodriguez, President of the Mar del Sol Rotary Club, made a presentation on the goal of the ROPAC being held in Puerto Penasco Mexico, in the future and becoming a reality where we can meet and complete all of the objectives of the conference without COVID-19 as a factor.
Every speaker set objectives to the attendees to continue working and implementing goals in their clubs and their communities encouraging everyone to connect, partner in projects and activities and continue the legacy of Rotary for generations to come.
A feedback questionnaire will be sent to every participant. The comments in Facebook and Instagram have been non-stop throughout the day praising the interaction at all levels and the information with purpose provided in the event.
Worth mentioning is that attendees from different MDIO’s and Zones are praising the conference and asking about the future of ROPAC. ROPAC2020, is a conference sponsored by Districts 5420 Utah and 4100 Northern Mexico since 2018.
More Great Work from Utah Rotarians
Dixie Sunrise Rotary Club of St. George
The day after Christmas while lots of families are either basking in the glow of holiday contentment or hitting the after Christmas sales for some discount shopping, there are other less fortunate families who are wondering where they will get their next meal. This is why it is so important that Washington County Food Bank sets up a location in Washington City to distribute food in the parking lot of the old Nissan’s Grocery Store at the corner of Telegraph and Main Street in Washington City.
Tables are lined with foods to create an entire holiday meal. Volunteers assemble food kits and place the kits into the families’ vehicles, carts or arms. The volunteers come from all walks of life, but each has a desire to help another family stay fed. What a better gift than to give of ones self which is what the slogan ‘Service Above Self’ means to the participants of the Dixie Sunrise Rotary Club of St. George.
Soup-A-Thon Fundraiser by the Hispano Latino Rotary of South Salt Lake
During 3 years Rotarians of the Rotary club of Hispano Latino of Salt Lake South has prepared delicious Hispanic-Latino soups from different counties such us Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico and Spain. Each guest has had the ability to test all of the soups, eat bread and drink passion fruit juice. The event included a DJ who played videos projected onto a screen of the different service projects that were done throughout the year.
D5420 Membership Best Practices
Based on twelve and a half (12.5) years of membership data provided by Zone 27 (from July 1, 2007, to January 1, 2020), 10 clubs in the district had a net gain of two or more members each (for a total net gain of 119). During this same period of time, the district experienced a net loss of about 300 members.
The 10 clubs and their net gains are:
Cedar City (+2)
Dixie Sunrise (+7)
Park City (+11)
Park City Sunrise (+52)
Red Rock (+3)
Tooele Valley (+7)
West Jordan (+12)
In order to learn more about why their clubs experienced net growth over the 12+ year period, the clubs were asked to provide the major reasons with a brief explanation for each.
Several common “best practices” can be found in the more detailed club responses below. Briefly summarized, these are:
- Fun and engaging service projects that attract new members and help retain members
- Members personally inviting others (often friends and family) to meetings or service projects
- Fun and interesting meetings, programs, and socials
- Flexibility in trying new ideas for meeting formats/times and alternative dues structures
- Immediate engagement of new members in areas of interest and committee assignments
These best practices are being provided to all clubs in the district so they may learn and apply them as appropriate to aid in membership retention and recruitment efforts.
We inducted 6 new members in 2018 and 10 in 2019. We went through each name to list why they joined Rotary and there were almost 18 different reasons. If there is a common theme it is a member to member word of mouth and members talking to their friends about the great things our club is doing, our Coats for Kids Car show being the big item. This service project is what brought many members to the club and is a great talking point for recruiting.
Another important item is face to face meeting with an interested person. That is the only way you can communicate the caring you have for the people receiving service and how important our Rotary program is to members. Generally, when a person who has an interest in service feels the passion we have as members, they want to be a part of the program.
We have a flexible dues structure that has helped as well. We have an alternative dues structure that separates the meals and allows the person to pay for the meals when they attend a meeting and have a meal.
Our club is focused on growing our membership. From a dedicated membership committee to the collective accountability of our members, we understand the need to recruit new, younger members. Supporting this focus is an infrastructure of strong leadership, a flexible dues structure, new member orientation, members’ willingness to invite prospects to attend meetings, and a welcoming environment.
In Cedar City, we are known as the “service club of choice”. Through our city-wide fundraisers (July Jamboree and golf tournament) and the impact we have made in the community (Rotary Veterans Park and many service projects), prospective members learn about Rotary and want to be a part of a successful organization.
Engaging members with our service projects, with fund-raiser assignments, and on committees has been an effective recruiting and retention tool and builds camaraderie within the club. Pairing the member with his/her passion (service, youth, international projects, membership, public image, etc.) results in an engaged member who actively recruits others.
Our new members were invited by a club member and they liked what they saw. Our membership committee is doing a good job training and supporting them as they make the decision to join or not. Nothing magic, just good old friendships and relationships.
We have an emphasis that every member brings a guest at least once a year. We constantly remind our members of this program. When we do have guests, we give them a Dixie Sunrise brochure to keep that reminds them of our club and how much fun we have at our meetings. Everyone is responsible to greet and welcome our guests. Our club has fun at each meeting.
We call every member that has missed two meetings in a row.
We have a great service committee and that has a lot to do with member retention. They don’t have to make every service project but when they do, they see the comradery our club has.
Every time we induct a new member, we get them involved immediately in a committee. They joined for a reason and we find out what that reason is and try to involve them in the area of interest they have.
We are flexible within the parameters of Rotary. We have adjusted and moved forward with the times to make people more comfortable. Formality is not what we are focused on. We are focused on service and fellowship.
We engage the spouses of our Rotarians and invite them to socials, service projects etc.
We have one member in particular that has been instrumental. He has a way of greeting people, getting to know a little bit about them and engages them in our meetings immediately.
We created a membership type called “senior active” that allows experienced Rotarians (combined age & Rotary membership >=80) to attend meetings when they’re able. This basically offered flexibility on the later end of Rotary membership, a bit different than current Rotary recommendations, but it does allow members to continue their memberships longer than they otherwise might have. These Senior Active members do not have their attendance counted, and only pay for lunch when they attend meetings. (Other members pay for every lunch regardless of attendance.)
We have a marquee community event that the whole town can participate in that builds Rotary awareness, fellowship, and is a successful fundraiser each year. The day-long event called “Miners’ Day” occurs on Labor Day each year and celebrates Park City’s mining history. This event has created a great shared history among Rotarians and is an event our club members look forward to each year.
We are a fun & irreverent club that makes our members feel like an important part of the Park City community. We pride ourselves on our ability to have fun, tell some inappropriate jokes, and poke fun at ourselves a little, all while making sure we have a significant impact on those in need in our community. This is a formula that is a significant draw for new members in our community.
Park City Sunrise
We have community service projects that make a difference, such as bi-annual Hazardous Waste Days and giving out over 600 presents to needy children in our school system. They are something the entire club gets behind.
The club membership chair’s job has been made easy – just make sure we have membership applications available after the meetings for new comers. What made it so easy was having the right person in two critical jobs, Program Director and Sergeant at Arms. Having an interesting program each week keeps our members coming back.
One of the reasons the Dodgers and the Yankees win so many games each year, is because they have the best ball players money can buy. We have had the best Sergeant at Arms any club could have. His wit and enthusiasm are matchless and entertaining to the point that they help define our club.
We have been so fortunate to have the talent we have in our club. One way of improving your club may be to select or even recruit the talent your club needs to fill these two important positions.
We are a fun, vibrant and active club that people want to be part of. We do a lot together whether it’s club socials or service projects. Our club started volunteering at the local homeless shelter several years ago on the 4th Wednesday of every month in place of a regular meeting. This has provided a meaningful and recurring service project in addition to our one big annual service project/fund raiser collecting parking fees for the country fair.
Our meetings are friendly, fun and inviting. We do “horseplay/happy dollars” where members share positive, personal aspects about their lives. This helps us get to know each other a little more each week. Our meetings feel like a reunion between friends, not a business meeting.
We are flexible, especially in our dues structure. We created and offer several different types of dues and associated costs to fit everyone’s need. This has helped retain and even get back some former members who couldn’t afford the regular dues (our minimum dues are $100 annually, which just about covers the district and RI per capita with meals optional).
We invite friends and family members to join (we have 4 couples who are under the “family membership” plan where one pays regular dues and the other pays the minimum dues). We try to stay in touch with former and potential members as well as those who miss several meetings in a row. Our club has also been the lucky recipient of 4 members through the RI membership lead program.
They are a non-traditional club that meets in the evenings.
Our members recruit and invite people to come to our meetings and invite friends to come to our service projects.
We always take a minute or two to go over our service projects or talk about our service projects before a speaker presents. They are usually impressed with what we are doing. Then we let them know that we are always looking for new members such as them and invite them to join and give them a membership application.
We are having better meetings – quality speakers, busy business meetings and a service project or two every month if it is possible. The service projects allow us to connect socially in a world with a lot of disconnects. We have grown closer as a club this year because of it. Also, our social media guys have knocked it out of the ballpark with a constant presence on Facebook. Plus, we have a stellar writer in our club who has submitted several articles about Rotary and what our club is doing. We are more “out there” than ever before.
Their satellite e-club has added substantially to the club’s membership numbers.
Familiar Rotary acronyms include RI (Rotary International), RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), RLI (Rotary Leadership Institute); GETS (Governor-elect Training Seminar), PETS (Presidents-elect Training Seminar) and many others. Now we’re adding BETS (Boards-elect Training Seminar aka District Assemblies) to our alphabet soup.
Join District leaders and board members from other clubs around the district for (virtual) BETS 2020-21.
(VIRTUAL) BOARDS-ELECT TRAINING SEMINAR
WHAT’S NEW? WHAT’S NECESSARY? WHAT ISN’T NEW … OR NECESSARY?
Saturday, June 27 – 9 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
WHO’S EXPECTED TO ATTEND?
…. As well as any and all club members who wish to attend!
Your pre-BETS homework is as follows:
- Sign up for a myrotary account on rotary.org prior to BETS.
- Review club goals for RY2019-20 and consider what goals you wish to set for RY2020-21.
Save the Date – Rotary International Virtual Conference
June 26-27, 2020
Although the in-person Convention scheduled for early June 2020 has been canceled, Rotary will still be holding a VIRTUAL convention 20-26 June 2020. The purpose of this correspondence is to reactivate you, as a member of the 2020 Rotary Convention Promotion team.
We need your help, and your immediate action, to alert the Rotary world that we are still holding a convention. Over the next 50 days, we need you to share news and information in your part of the world so that our Rotarians can experience this “unconventional Convention.”
Starting today, we will be sending you periodic updates and information regarding the convention. As you can imagine, it is taking a tremendous amount of effort and creativity to change from an “in-person convention” to a “virtual convention.” The 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention is not just a “repackaging” of an in-person convention. We are creating a brand new experience that will connect Rotarians from around the world, and offer the ability to share our convention experience with Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike. As a result, the virtual convention experience is continuing to evolve, even as we ask you to start publicizing the event. Therefore, we ask for your patience and understanding as we make information and details available to you.
Your primary role right now is to raise awareness and excitement that we are holding the 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention.
On late April 30/early May 1, Rotary will be sending out a message to the Rotary World announcing the 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention via e-mail. We need you to support this effort. Therefore, we are providing you a few graphics (attached) and sample messages (below) you can use:
2020 Virtual Convention Lock Up: This is the official logo for the convention. Please do not modify this logo.
Join the family of Rotary at our first ever Virtual Convention – Now More Than Ever, Rotary Connects the World: The 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention, taking place between June 20-26.
This year’s virtual convention is a great opportunity to connect with Rotary participants from around the world to experience the spirit of Rotary, find inspiration through innovation, celebrate our resilience and ability to adapt, exchange ideas, explore how clubs are addressing COVID-19 around the world, and much more.
The virtual convention is a great opportunity to expand our reach – share the virtual convention with your community, club, family, and friends and invite them to experience the best of Rotary.
Starting in May, check the convention website (riconvention.org) for program updates and information.
Please get the word out ASAP to follow up on the general message that has already gone out from RI and let me know if you have questions or need additional information.
A Utah Interact Club Has 237 Members – How Do They Do It?
The Hillcrest High School Interact Club in Midvale has 237 members. This number is surprising for Rotarians who are used to seeing Interact Clubs of only a dozen. How do they do it?
Hillcrest Interact Society members are enrolled in both the Interact Club and the National Honor Society (NHS). Since NHS is built on four pillars — Scholarship (Academics), Character, Leadership, and Service — dual membership is a natural fit.
Both clubs are run by Millcreek Rotarian Su Veenstra, who is also one of the directors of the Hillcrest High School International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Within the IB program, she is in charge of the Creativity, Activity, and Service component (CAS) of the Diploma program. All diploma candidates are required to complete the CAS 18-month requirement by the end of their senior year. As a result, all of the 130 IB students are enrolled in NHS and Interact Club.
The Interact Club is run by 14 officers–four seniors, six juniors, and two sophomores. The student leadership is responsible for club promotion, service activities, recruitment, leadership lessons, accountability, fundraising, and communication using different tools, i.e. Remind and running group meetings. Due to Covid-19, group meetings are held via Zoom with each officer responsible for smaller groups.
In years past, community service projects have included face-to-face interaction at the Boys and Girls Club and the Canyon Creek Senior Living Center, recycling at Hillcrest High, and tutoring younger students. But this year the student leadership had to brainstorm how to do meaningful service projects at home. The Interact projects include:
– making face masks
– one-on-one online tutoring
– reading with puppets
– pop-up quartet concerts in the middle of parks
– writing letters to residents of the Senior Living Center
– making care packages with brain games for Seniors,
– coordinating November food drive with the Millcreek Rotary
Interact Week, during which Hillcrest’s Interact Club collected over 1,000 lbs. of food for the Utah Food Bank. Interact Week was a huge success for everyone.
“Overall, with the right guidance, Interact Society students make a huge impact,” said Su Veenstra. “They make a difference in our community right in front of us. During these times, we just need to Interact with them and listen to what they have to say because they have some great ideas.”