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Ya got yer debt crisis.  Ya got yer deficit crisis.  Ya got yer health/obesity crisis.  Ya got yer apes takin’ over the planet.  What else can go wrong?

OMG!  It’s Rotary!

Well, actually, it’s sort of systemic thing.  Communal and fraternal organizations (not to mention churches) everywhere are facing declining membership and participation.  Where once-upon-a-time every little town had its own Odd Fellows, Masons, Kiwanians, Lions, Rotarians, and so on, meeting in their own halls or church basements or meeting rooms on a regular basis, nowadays groups have gone out of existence or consolidated with others still breathing, numbers are down at scheduled gatherings and cherished projects and activities for the good of the community are in danger of elimination and/or reduction.  Where have all the members gone?

Well, it’s at least partly societal…partly economic, for sure.  There didn’t used to be so many things for kids to be involved in–sports, arts, you know all that–and for their parents to be following (driving to).  There used to be more business owners who lived in town, not answering to a franchise headquarters.  There used to be fewer women working outside the home (They always worked inside the home). There used to be a slower pace about a lot of things.  That was then; this is now.  What to do?

Local Rotarians (Garrettsville-Hiram, Mantua-Shalersville…do you see the consolidation?) would like to seek some community input…maybe some new members with great ideas…in their quest to address this situation.  Each club has a history of contribution and meaningful activity (Think Talent Shows, Family Weeks, Santa Claus deliveries, group excursions, Christmas Walks, exchange students, roadside clean-ups, Power of the Pen, many more) which they are loathe to abandon.  Plans may be undertaken to more co-operative ventures but these are LOCAL groups within an INTERNATIONAL framework (Check out the Rotary International float entry in the Rose Bowl Parade) and they like to focus on the people that they see every day.

So…have you any contribution to make?  Are you an individual who would like to “give back” to the community?  Would you like to know more people in your community, to make a difference?  Would you like to meet with like-minded individuals to try to put some of your hopes and dreams into action/reality?  Got some great ideas? Could you put a group on Facebook or Twitter?  Willing to actually WORK–on your own and with others– to get those ideas on the map?  Have they got a deal for you!!!
Come to a meeting (If that’s a problem, try to get to at least one and explain the difficulty, none of them are written in stone).

Garrettsville-Hiram meets at 5:30 on Wednesdays at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company; Mantua-Shalersville meets at a place and time to be discovered.  They will be happy to see you.  They will listen to suggestions.  They will quite possibly have a program that you’ll really enjoy and learn from.  Could be something that you’ll really groove on.  Give it a shot.  Expand your world…it IS Rotary International, after all.

Speaking of which…M-S Rotary annual picnic at Camp Hi August 17 (They did an excursion to Porthouse Theatre earlier this month)…G-H Rotary president just received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary International Foundation and the club recently entertained two Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars.  This is good stuff.  Think about joining…or rejoining, they’ll be glad to have you.