While I was enjoying a year-end, and for Rotary a mid-year break, here in Daytona Beach, I was asked if I wanted to send on a New Year’s message through “The Voice”, to outline what we would like to accomplish in the last half of my Rotary Year.  Sure, why not, after all it is raining today following a week of unusually hot and sunny weather.   First, a reflection on the first 6 months of my Rotary Year. We managed to balance the Club budget after it ran a deficit last year. Our numerous committees accomplished many notable activities and accomplishments.  Thank you to all committee chairpersons and their active committee members as well as the Liaison Director Board members for their time and guidance. Some of the highlights included:
 
The great efforts of John Andras and the Aboriginal Service Committee, who conducted a very successful and informative lunch with many indigenous leaders as well as several Government representatives attending. We had the honour of hosting the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell on not one, but two occasions back to back.  Susan Hunter and her “Effective Committees” team held a very informative session on committee leadership and presented a “How-to” manual on conducting successful meetings. This included a “cheat sheet” of Robert’s Rules of Order - invaluable, in the opinion of one who has attended and conducted many a meeting. Pat Neuman led the Club Assembly, which brought forward so many ideas and comments we are still trying to prioritize them. Many thanks to all who led, and all those that enthusiastically participated in these and all are other events in the past 6 months.
 
As for the coming, (and for me), the final 6 months, we hope to complete the work of the Effective Committees Team, which was the third focus of our Strategic Plan and arguably the most difficult part to implement.  All of our efforts are geared toward keeping our Club vibrant and relevant in today’s busy work society.  We will continue to implement new ideas that will allow new members to involve themselves in the various aspects of the Club’s activities.
 
We continue to encourage the Marketing and Communications Committee to involve the Club in the world of social media.  These media will allow us to reach potential members that we would not have access to ordinarily. 
 (Has anybody seen my Twitter Handle?  It’s missing.)
 
I have always considered myself fortunate to have been involved in team sports, and even in my squash career, an individual sport, we were always involved in teams at the club, city, provincial and national level.  From that experience I learned that there are very few things that will ever compare with the joy of accomplishing a goal with your friends and teammates.
 
Rotary once again provides that opportunity to achieve goals in teams and with your friends.  So I encourage you to think about your own friends and acquaintances to whom you could give the gift of this kind of feeling by asking them to join us in The Rotary Club of Toronto.
 
Let’s think about bringing someone to a lunch or one of our cocktail parties, or to join us in a Club activity.  No need to keep it to ourselves; let’s share the wealth of our Rotary experience.
 
 Happy New Year!   And may all of your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.
 
President, David Hetherington 

 
 
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