District Gov. Richard Flanders focused on membership, fundraising, and international projects in an address to his home club of Pleasanton North Rotary Feb. 11.
Flanders first seven months as governor has been a divisive period for District 5170, with chapters taking various positions on the appropriate way to run their meetings and events to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. A reliance on Zoom and virtual meetings caused the loss of engagement between some clubs and members and led to an overall loss of 100 members for the district in 2021.
Yet, clubs, like PNR, that combined tight social connections among its members as well as a traditional Rotary connect to community service, had done relatively well, he noted. Its membership was steady in 2021, and it has added four new members so far in 2022.
PNR has shown exceptionally strong support for the Rotary Foundation, Flanders said. It has already reached and exceeded its $20,000 goal for fiscal 2021-2022 after contributing $18,790 last year. Four PNR became major donors to the Foundations by donating at least $10,000 during their years as Rotarians. More than half of the club donated to the fund.
In terms of financial giving, this has been a great year for District 5170. As of Feb. 1, District members have contributed $2,217,000 to the Rotary Foundation (These are funds that will be returned to individual clubs in three years for local and with matching funds for international projects). The districts boosts a record 52 new major donors. Sixty of 62 chapters have contributed to the foundation.
Richard has enjoyed incredible success raising funds for charity wheelchair distributions, his designated governor’s project. He noted that he had a great start in an early meeting with Wheelchair Foundation President David Behring and long-time wheelchair supporter (and former PNR member) Don Routh. In a afternoon, they pledged $63,000 to launch the campaign.
As of Feb. 15, Flanders has raised $160,000, enough for five containers, each holding more than 250 wheelchairs. PNR members will have three opportunities to see them distributed, first in Mexico in mid-July, in Serbia at the new Rotary Peace Center with former NBA all-star Vlade Divac, and in Monterrey, Mexico. (All photos by Jim Brice)
District 5170 Gov. Richard Flanders expresses satisfaction with Pleasanton North Rotary in an address before this home club Feb. 11th.