As we move into September, I reminisce how nice it has been to enjoy lazy days where we could spend quality time with our kids, enjoying summer BBQ’s, outdoor concerts, and enjoying the long hot days of summer. Fall bring with it the joys of returning to school and seeing old friends as well as making new, shorter days and daylight savings time, cooler days and celebrations of Halloween and Thanksgiving where we can relish in the family we are so blessed to have. I am proud to share how blessed we are to live in a community where The San Marino Unified Schools were ranked 1st in the State among 400 school districts.

The Rotary International theme of September is Literacy – so befitting of September and Going Back to School. If you are not familiar with Rotary Readers, this program was started in 2000 by Will Bortz who last week shared his Rotary Moment – the joy of giving a book to a child who does not have access to books as most of us do. In its 16 years, we have distributed 36000 books to 41 schools in the West San Gabriel Valley. Jean Brodhead is now spearheading the Rotary Readers program, whereby she solicits members to find out if there is a school district in need of books and we determine a budget to get the books and deliver them to the school. We try to donate to 3-4 schools per year. Learn more about this program by contacting Jean Brodhead

First week of September, Alex Cherniss, our Superintendent has invited Coach Hobbie, Football Coach from San Marino High School, who has been celebrated for his leadership in helping the team win CIF last year and compete at State Championships. Be sure to invite your fellow school mates and parents of kids at SMHS so they can hear this great speaker and coach. Take it upon yourself to invite neighbors, friends, colleagues to consider joining Rotary club. Whether someone joins our club or another due to their distance from work, we are grateful they can join a club that accomplishes so much locally and internationally.

The week of September 8 we’ve invited Jack Orswell who is running for Congress. You might recall we had invited Judy Chu and Kathryn Barger last year. The Rotary club does not take a position for or against any political figure, rather we provide a platform where they can share their ideas so members and community members can be well informed. Again, this is a great opportunity to invite a non-Rotarian friend so they can learn with us and consider membership.

You might recall last Spring I announced that it was time for our 5 year vision planning. The last one was done in Bob Nafie’s year when he was President, over 5 years ago. It is time that we take a look at what we’re doing right, what we can improve and how best to do it. Every 5 years every organization should look inwards and find out what its members are satisfied or dissatisfied with. On September 15, our program speaker is Mary Ann Lutz. Mary Ann has been a member of the Monrovia Rotary club since 1995, having served as President in 2001-2002, she has served as Assistant District Governor and District Vision Planning Chair, she is the former mayor of Monrovia in 2009 and is currently a Government Liaison and Policy Advisor to Congresswoman Grace Napolitano.

The 5 Year Vision Planning Committee is comprised of Gilda Moshir, Isaac Hung, Bob Nafie, Molly Woodford, JP Mainguy, Denise Wadsworth, Dennis Kneier and Rob Feidler. Rob Feidler will also be our Vision Keeper. He will be asking you if you have completed the survey and follow up with you to make sure you do and will be the long term person who ensures the vision plan is carried out.

The process of the 5 year plan is a 3 step process –

Step 1 is to engage the entire membership to hear what the vision planning process is and to determine the SHARED VISION. This will take place on September 15 at our regularly scheduled lunch meeting.

Step 2 will be the follow up to club meeting and SURVEY – every member will be emailed a link to a club survey – the results will be compiled into the vision sheets for step 3. At least 50% of the club members must complete the survey for the process to move forward to step 3. We will have laptops on September 15 to do as many surveys as we can while at the meeting.

Step 3 is the VISION PLANNING WORKSHOP held in the evening on October 13 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm – where the results from the previous steps are brought together and shared to determine goals and a minimum of 2 projects that will be entered into Project Design Worksheets. We will Identify 2-3 areas for Project Design and learn how to take the projects from design to action. The training team will discuss the next steps and the role of the Board of Directors, Vision Keeper, Assistant Governor and the Training Team. Please note on this day there is NO LUNCH, we will see you in the EVENING for a dinner workshop – mark your calendars accordingly.

September 22nd, is an opportunity for us to network with the San Marino Chamber of Commerce on their signature event and recognize our local firefighters and policemen and women. This local tradition is now in its 8th year, we meet at the Women’s Center for lunch, organized by the Chamber. In the past, our Rotarians sat at 3-4 tables together, I’ve requested that we get scattered around the room so that we can shake more hands, tell others who we are and invite more friends to our Rotary club. Take it upon yourself to meet 1-2 new people and invite them to join us for a COMPLIMENTARY lunch.

Our last program for the month on September 29 is our CRAFT TALKS, speakers to be determined.

If you have noticed there has been a running theme in this message about the value of membership and how each of us can play a role – TO ASK, ASK AND ASK AGAIN, as John Germ, RI President asked us to do in his message about the importance of Membership for the viability of our clubs.

Yours in Rotary,
Gilda Moshir