President Steven Nelson presenting the club with a banner from the Xela Rotary Club in Guatemala.

President Steven Nelson presenting the club with a banner from the Xela Rotary Club in Guatemala.

It is hard to believe the Rotary year is almost over with less than four months remaining as president of this amazing club. I have enjoyed every minute, though it has been a challenge at times and very time-consuming. I know the club will be in good hands over the next few years as President-Elect Jay Williams and President-Nominee Chris Morden start preparing to fill these shoes. Speaking of which, the duo will be heading to Greensboro this weekend for President-Elect Training Seminar (PETS) and I am sure they will return with much passion for Rotary and this club’s future…and it is a bright future.

Jay Williams is in the process of putting his board together for next year so if he approaches you to serve, please strongly consider it. If you have an interest in serving on the board and have not been approached by him, feel free to contact him directly and offer your assistance. The greatest challenge of any incoming president is making sure all of the required positions are filled. He will need your help.

March is an exciting month for the club and it will only get more exciting as we move into April and May. We begin with the famous Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner which will be this Saturday. If you have signed up to participate, you should have been given your instructions by Linda Brooks on Wednesday afternoon. I would encourage you not to look up the host in advance since this is not in the spirit of this evening. Be prepared to have a wonderful evening with some great Rotarians. I have my assignment and am looking forward to it.

Last week of February, we had a very busy meeting with the Rotary Against Drugs competition and Tim Minton from Operation Coming Home. If you were there, we awarded Tim with a Paul Harris Fellowship for his Community Service that benefits the young wounded veterans returning to the Triangle. He sent us a very nice “Thank you” note and I am sure he will cherish this honor. He mentioned he would be placing it on the wall in his office.

The Rotary Against Drugs contest was held at the district level this past Sunday and our student placed 2nd in the district. Though he did not win, we are proud of Ethan Schreiber who represented our club well at the district level.

If you have not seen, we delivered the food and check to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC that same Wednesday and the results were again amazing. We delivered nearly 200 pounds of food and a check for $665. This is amazing and shows the generosity of this club. Thanks to your efforts many will have a hot meal throughout our community.

Additional items happening in March include the Cedar Hills Rotary Park Beautification project which will be done on March 22 from 9 am to noon. Please plan on participating in this effort as we will perform a workday at the park in conjunction with the new pathway. The morning will include planting flowers and shrubs while others will be picking up thrash throughout the park. It is exciting to know that at our Spring picnic, the new pathway will be complete. We will be planning a brief ceremony for the plaque that will be installed to promote our efforts with this park over the years. The sign-up sheet will be passed again at next week’s meeting or you can email me to get on the list.

On March 19th, we will have the club assembly for the quarter. I would encourage you to attend to keep informed with the efforts of your board and other officers who have served this year. We will hear from others besides just me, and I know you are happy about that. Also, I would encourage you to attend on the 26th as we will welcome our Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) students as they prepare to head off to the camp. As one who sat in on some of the interviews, I can attest that these are students of high moral ethics with strong leadership skills that will only be enhanced at the camp.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to attend next weeks meeting to hear from the Guatemala Student Support Group. This club has been supporting their efforts for many years and I think this is the first time we have had them come since I joined the club in 2007. It will be good to hear about their efforts, which was born out of the Guatemala Literacy Project.

If you have not registered to attend the District Conference in Asheville, I would encourage you to do so today. It should be another wonderful weekend and I am looking forward to getting re-acquainted with Rotarians I met from past District Conferences. It is the first weekend in April, so go to the District website to register. Dee Dee is planning a club meal at a local restaurant on the Friday night and a few of us will be heading to the golf course on Saturday afternoon. If you are going and would like to join us, please let Boyd Bennett know. Of course, there are plenty of opportunities to shop until you drop during the free time on Saturday afternoon with the always prestigious Governor’s Reception and Banquet that evening. The keynote speaker will be Miss NC 2012.

I would like to end this message by sharing some of the coming events for the club. In May, we have several opportunities to serve and I strongly encourage you to get involved. The 5th Annual Jack Andrews Memorial Golf Tournament will be May 6th. I would like to see every member participate in one way or another to benefit this fundraiser. It is our vision that this tournament will become our major fundraiser and we are hoping to have 75 golfers. Last year, we had 53 so we have some work ahead of us. You can volunteer, play, or sponsor a hole or the drinks. Additionally, we need donated prizes for the many on course games. Anything can be used, so get out your databases and see who may be interested. The brochure is online and easy to find or you can get one from Linda Brooks.

Also in May, we will be volunteering for the Miracle League of the Triangle at their new North Raleigh location. It will be May 10th from 12:15-3 pm. Steven Dieckhaus will be organizing this and he is looking for volunteers to both help organize and volunteers for the day of the event. We are hoping to have more than 20 volunteers. It will be a life altering experience as we assist disabled children play baseball. Baseball has been considered America’s Pastime, but many of these children were never able to participate in this pastime…until now! Be a buddy…volunteer!

Again, I am preaching membership. Our latest Membership Blitz is ongoing and you are encouraged to give out your 3 brochures to potential members by the end of the 8-week period for a chance at the drawing, which will be held at the club. I have already purchased a $50 gift card for Vinos Finos in North Raleigh and will also be adding to the prize. It is a simple act to give out a brochure and the potential upside is immeasurable. It can start a dialog about Rotary and our club.

As we enter the home stretch for the 2013-14 Rotary year, remember our membership goal is to add another 6 new members. We were successful in the first six months and it is time to add more members.

In closing, I would again like to thank you for allowing me to serve as President for this club. It has been a wonderful experience and it will be hard to turn over the gavel at the June installation dinner. I hope I have done you proud, but the job is not over by a long shot. Let’s finish this year with a bang and get recognized at the district level for the great club we are.


Yours in Rotary Service,

Steven W. Nelson, President 2013-14

Rotary Club of North Raleigh

Engage Rotary, Change Lives!!!