Continuing to place service above self, several Yadkin Valley residents declared themselves dedicated to inspiring their fellow Rotarians, the community and the world.
Immediate Past District Governor Lloyd Navarro was present recently at the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club meeting to swear in Randy Bledsoe as president. Also sworn in were Adam McComb as president-elect and treasurer, Myra Cook as secretary, Carey Gupton as club executive secretary and Steve Wells as sergeant-at-arms, with continued support from Immediate Past President Kevin Cheek, who lead a successful term.
Under Cheek’s leadership, the Rotary Club of Yadkin Valley was one of only 24 clubs which was able to earn the District Governor’s Gold Club Reward.
“This year it was not easy to earn this,” said Navarro. “From your support to CART [Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust], to our foundation, from your service projects, everything that you did coming together, you did it wonderfully. Something tangible has really come out of that. You all have done a phenomenal job.”
That does not mean that the Rotarians can sit on the Laurels and funds already earned, but are expected to actively inspire continued service and giving.
Noting the $100 million contribution from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made to enhance funds earned by Rotarians, Dr. Steve Erlandson reminded the club how important they are individually to the overall work accomplished through the Rotary Foundation.
“Rotarians raised $50 million last year and the Gates’ doubled that,” said Erlandson, “so remember you’re the inspiration. When you see that Rotary symbol, you are the cog of the wheel. You are the Rotary Foundation, it’s not over there somewhere else.”
Individual responsibility to be an inspiration will be the focus for the next term as Bledsoe encouraged active participation with an eye towards sustaining the service already started with the current club.
“This year each one of us will play a vital role in inspiring each other and inspiring others,” said Bledsoe, thanking James Freeman for being the inspiration to him by sponsoring his membership in Rotary.
Bledsoe revealed some of the ways he expects Rotarians to continue that inspiration, including increasing membership with a focus on those who will be more likely to continue the programs for decades as well as being more visible to the community.
Navarro, impressed by the excitement and direction, read from an email Bledsoe sent. “Together we’re going to lead by inspiration and engage more members in our club events and projects, explore ways to improve our communities and club and projects, and create an atmosphere and culture so that others outside our club will want to join us and show the local club and district how our club is leading the way in service above self and that we’re going to be the inspiration.”
“That’s wonderful,” said Navarro, who also inducted the various committee chairs and vice chairs who will be in charge of assisting Bledsoe in his goals, which also include potentially reorganizing the Service Committee due to the significant number of projects members participate in on local, district, national and international levels.
Heading the Service Committee will be Ron Ashman, who will be serving alongside of Donna Thompson as chair of Administration and Education; Jennifer Lewis, chair of Family of Rotary; Ken Hon, chair of Membership; Holly Lamm, chair of Public Image; Mary Blackburn, chair of Youth Services and Interact; Jed Metts, chair of Club Conference; and Erlandson, who will chair the Foundation Committee.
“We’re trying to make a better community and we can play an important role in that. People tend to believe what they hear and what we want to do is make sure they understand how important Rotary is to us and to this community,” said Bledsoe, “so make sure you share your stories of Rotary throughout the community.
“Be the inspiration. Share your story.”
For more information about the local Rotary club, visit www.facebook.com/Yadkin-Valley-Rotary-Club-232487456764750/ or www.yadkinvalleyrotary.org.
Beanie Taylor can be reached through voice mail at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.