Local Rotary clubs can increase their clout in developing community projects by collaborating more, not just with sister clubs but with other service clubs, nonprofit organizations and businesses, says Clyde Church, the new Rotary district governor for the coming year.
His message as he makes his way around to all the clubs in District 5470, which takes in the southern two-thirds of Colorado, is to “engage leaders, discuss issues and take action.”
“Rotary is many, many times larger than Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio and address literacy and clean water issues,” Church told the Post Independent Thursday while in town to visit with Rotary clubs in the Roaring Fork Valley and Garfield County.
“We want to let all these small, rural clubs know that the work they do in their own communities is significant,” he said. “Things like helping kids learn how to read and helping to provide day care programs so that moms can work is important.”
Church, who is a member of the Durango Rotary Club, is traveling the district this summer with his wife, Paulette. He visited with clubs in Carbondale, Snowmass Village, Aspen and Rifle during the past week and is scheduled to visit the Glenwood Springs Rotary Club at its noon meeting today at Rivers Restaurant.
He will also meet with the Glenwood Springs Sunset Club at 6 p.m. Monday at the Aspen Glen Club, and with Roaring Fork Club Rotario at noon Tuesday at the Glenwood Canyon Brew Pub.
On Thursday evening, the Churches also joined Glenwood Springs Rotarians for a steak barbecue in Veltus Park with the Glenwood Springs Kiwanis Club.
Church said it makes sense for different service clubs to collaborate on certain types of projects within their local communities.
“We are all partners in the community, and we should be working together,” he said.
July marked the turnover for local Rotary Club leadership, as new club presidents were sworn in for the 2014-15 year.
“One of our major goals, as it is for other clubs in the district, is to increase membership,” said Wayne Griffin, the new Glenwood Springs Rotary Club president.
“We are looking at some new projects, and one focus is to do some fundraising to be able to help youth in the community,” Griffin said.
That may include getting involved with the new CO-Studio vocational training program at Glenwood Springs High School, he said.
Another of his goals as president, he said, will be to develop a plan to take care of the club’s debt related to its House that Rotary Built project a number of years ago that didn’t quite work out the way the club had hoped.
“We are working to come up with a structure to handle that, so that we are able to do more in the way of community projects,” Griffin said.