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Be the Inspiration - Redding

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Some of you may have seen either on the D-5160 Facebook page or the lower left corner of the Main District 5160 Website front page a photo of a garden with the caption “A Rotary Club is like a garden, to learn more look for next month’s newsletter”. This was posted 2 or 3 weeks ago and our (Bonnie’s and my) intent was to start a string of notes every couple of months or so highlighting how the basics that lead to a garden thriving and being productive are not unlike the basics of a thriving Rotary Club.

The events of the past ten days or so in Redding have caused me to put other discussions on the shelf for a bit.
Instead I’d like to offer some thoughts.

I have never in my life been more proud of a group of people than those I have witnessed working over the last week or so. I especially want to recognize three Redding Club Presidents for their tireless efforts:
Maureen Gaynor (Redding West), Greg Dunbar (Redding), Joe Chimenti (Redding East).
At the most they had presided over perhaps 2 or 3 Club meetings in the new Rotary year before having their well thought out plans for the year completely upended. Now they were being asked to help organize ways for Rotarians to provide support to those who were displaced or experienced significant losses. It seemed that I received the note with the fund links only minutes after the note confirming the meeting time. I have no doubt that there are dozens of others involved in the process as well because that is what Rotarians do.

I also want to give a shout out to my DG classmate Barb Spangler from the District of Sonoma County to the Oregon border. She was one of the first to call asking “what can we do to help?”. She pointed us to other folks in her District who went thru the Santa Rosa and other fires. They have been very helpful as much with “what did not work” as “here’s what did”. Knowing what their folks went thru, she calls every few days to ‘check in’. The rest of my DG classmates have also reached out in addition to our Director John Matthews. Links to the places to donate can be found in this website and have been communicated to all the Districts in our Zones, 22 in all.

Pam & Brian Gray - Pam was DG at the time of the Boles fire in Weed, CA. Probably the most helpful comment: “In a few months when all the urgency of the immediate responses and focus goes away or moves on to the next thing, help and support can be even more critical.”

I’m pretty sure that I have overlooked folks that I’ve communicated with; I also know that there are many more involved that I’ll ever cross paths with. Apologies to those I have missed and sincere, sincere thanks to all who have rolled up their sleeves to pitch in. The healing and recovery process is going to take a long time, and I am absolutely confident that Rotarians will be there for as long as it takes.

Rotary President Barry’s theme for this year is “Be the Inspiration”.
I cannot adequately express how the Rotarians in Redding and in the rest of District 5160 and surrounding Districts are being an inspiration for me and everyone else they contact 

Take care and be safe.



Jon Dwyer
District Governor 2018 – 19

Be the inspiration. Change Lives. Make a difference.

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