A running joke when I was President-Elect was how daunting I would find the job of writing the weekly President’s Message following on the heels of Tony Parziale.  To be clear, Tony had full confidence in me but the rest of you..not so much. 
 
Tony is a devoted student of personal development and tended to write uplifting and meaningful messages.  Me? I tend to be cynical and sarcastic.  The joke was that my columns would be titled along the lines of “Is That The Best You Can Do?”, “Seriously, Do I Have To Do Everything”, “The Bacon At The Last Meeting Was A Bit Too Crisp” and, of course, “You Call Yourselves Rotarians?”.  Well, exactly 20.8% into my term (but who’s counting), I’ve hit writer’s block.  As such, I’m going to go with the latter.
 
Although I’ve been a relatively recent member of the mighty Rotary Club of Montgomery/Rocky Hill, I’ve been a Rotarian since 2005.  And I still stumble when someone asks “So, what exactly does Rotary do?”  The short answer is “We’re a service organization!”.  The long answer is … fairly long.  So I try to assess the motives for the person asking the question.  Is it general curiosity?  Is it someone who’s heard about Rotary and may be interested in joining?  Is it someone cynically asking because it’s something that one does to beef up their resume?  Not too long ago, I was even asked by a good friend “So why do you waste all that time on Rotary stuff – what do you get out of it?”  
 
People have different reasons for joining and maintaining their Rotary membership.  My reasons were to get more involved in the community, make connections, and try to do some good.  One aspect I find to be a positive is that Rotary clubs tend to work on a variety of different projects and hear from a variety of different speakers during the course of the year.   So we’re not always focusing on one thing.  We’re working on projects and helping organizations not only local but regional and international.
 
But joining is one thing and commitment is another.  As Martina Navratilova once said “The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed."   I realize that most of us have a myriad of other things to do and a limited amount of free time.  But, as a club, we do need more commitment (maybe not quite at the level of the pig in the quote above) but enough to get our club over this pandemic hurdle and back on track.
 
Please make an effort to attend meetings.  If you feel uneasy about in-person meetings, we have added a Zoom option that works well.  And it appears that we will be back at Cherry Valley in October outside on the covered patio with heat lamps.  The weekly fellowship is what provides the fuel for our accomplishments.  It’s also hard to get top notch speakers if we have a sparse crowd.
 
Participate in projects.  Suggest projects.  Run projects.  Although I was ecstatic over the success of our recent Flags For Heroes project, I must admit that I am disappointed that it appeared a significant amount of our club membership did not participate.  We are not a large Rotary club and don’t have a lot of bureaucratic hurdles to overcome.  As a new member, I suggested doing the Bikes For the World project and received instant support from the board and club members.   Any member can have significant influence on our future.  
 
Please don’t sit on the sidelines – we need you in the game.  Fully embrace being a member of our “roving band of do-gooders” and call yourselves Rotarians.
 
Rotarically Yours,
Zoltan Nagy
President
Rotary Club of Montgomery/Rocky Hill (NJ)
Sponsors