What a special Rotary Club of Tucson meeting!
PRESIDENT MARK IRVIN kicked off the meeting by welcoming District Governor HANK HUISKING to the microphone to lead us in the Pledge.  MITCH PISIK followed the DG for the Inspiration and noted that his Father and Father-in-Law died just days apart and the outpouring of love and condolences from his fellow Rotarians meant the world to him.  He was inspired to talk about time and how we must not take it for granted and not waste it.  DG HANK led us in “My Country Tis of Thee” and we were seated for our lunch.  The pressing question on everyone’s mind was “Is it fish or is it thin chicken?” Rotarians learned quickly that it was fish and delicious.
PAST PRESIDENT BOB LOGAN broke out of his shell and introduced the keynote speaker, DISTRICT GOVERNOR OF DISTRICT 5500, HANK, only after pushing car show cards with his name on them and asking the District Governor to solicit her friends to buy raffle tickets for him.
DG HANK reminded her fellow Rotarians that there are now 51 Clubs in her District, which she is proud of. She praised the Rotary Club of Tucson’s Board for all the wonderful things they are doing to recruit and retain new members.  She reminded the attendees that her action plan is to increase impact, increase our ability to adapt and increase participant engagement.
She noted that the new PRESIDENT OF ROTARY INTERNATIONAL, SHEKHAR (pronounced Shaker) MEHTA, from Calcutta, India also encourages all members to “Connect, Partner & Serve.” She remembered him saying, “Service is the rent I pay for the space I take on this Earth and I want to be a good tenant.”  PRESIDENT SHEKHAR’S challenge to all Rotarians is for each member to bring a member and along those same lines for each member to keep a member.  He also wants Rotarians to focus on empowering girls and giving them the resources for success. Finally, he’d like to accentuate the importance of Rotary Days of Service, which DG HANK hopes that we can institute regularly on a quarterly basis.
Lastly, DG Hank recognized the situation in Afghanistan and noted that it, along with Pakistan, are the last two areas that continue to need Polio vaccinations.  She announced that the Rotary has set a year in which Polio will be eradicated from the world in 2026. Though it is an ambitious goal, it is achievable.
Don’t forget to sign up for the District 5500 Fall Conference which will be held at Casino Del Sol on 10/29 -10/30.  The Conference will feature Paul Cicala, Allan Mallory who climbed Mt. Everest and who will be leading leadership seminars and a masquerade ball.  Sign up for your tickets and you’ll be entered to win a shiny new car window shade with “Rotary International” emblazoned on it.
DG HANK’S presentation was followed by necessary updates about the Centennial Gala, Car Show and Auction. There are currently 120 people registered for the Centennial Gala and if registrations don’t hit at least 200, they may need to cancel it, so now is the time to get online and RSVP.  We also need your help selling Car Show raffle tickets to your friends and family.  We have sold 41% of our goal and need to work hard to sell the remaining 59%.