Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Rotary Website

To get into the member services section on our website use your email address and the password R0tar1an. The 0 is a zero and the i is the number one.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Membership MUST be important!

Because 14 people showed up for our Membership Meeting! Thanks to all of you who participated. For those of you who are reading the blog I am posting our minutes here and for those in our club who haven't made it here I'll give a synopsis on Wednesday at our meeting.
The problem: Decreasing membership (80+ members in the mid 90’s to 60 members in 2007) and trouble retaining members.

Carlene: Explained the problem as above and reviewed the changes to RI rules regarding membership (i.e. attendance requirements and classification).

Janet: Identified several problems that may be prohibiting us from recruiting new members:
- Meetings are too long
- Speakers every week take too much time. What is the advantage of having speakers? Do they join? What do they bring us? Are they just on an advertising campaign?
- We don’t just get down to business

Richard: Identified some retention problems
- Members tend to sit at the same tables every week “very clique”
- Old Members don’t mentor new members any more

- Not everyone agrees that we should just “get down to business” as the camaraderie is important to our club. It’s part of our history.
- There was an overall agreement about the “clickiness” (how do you spell this word?) of this club. We agreed that retention is a huge issue but decided that we would talk about it at a later meeting for efficiency sake.
- A lot of agreement that our speakers used to be people who we enjoyed/looked forward to hearing and now we get a lot of “begging for money,” “advertising for their business,” and other things that are not appropriate for our meetings.
- People agree that Rotary is not primarily for networking and once you’re in the club you get a better idea of how much we do and want to participate BUT people are essentially looking for networking opportunities in this day and age of too little time and too many obligations. We need to make it clear that although Rotary is NOT primarily a networking organization it IS an organization where relationships are made and those relationships do result in new business.
- We don’t toot our own horn enough. We are horrible at advertising our accomplishments.
- We need to dispel the myth that Rotary is a secret society.

- Meeting
o Change length of meeting. Start at 12:10 and end at 1:15
o Offer food service immediately upon entering the meeting.
o Conduct club business (fines/happy bucks) during lunch.
o Start speaker at 12:50 and limit time to 20 minutes plus 5 minutes
for questions.
o Classification Announcements – We will seek one volunteer to make
announcements each week.
- Be My Guest Cards
o Each member will receive 5 cards with the information about our
meeting on the front along with “Be my guest at the Wallingford
Rotary Meeting” The back of the card will have the members name,
number and email address on it.
o If a guest attends and the current member is NOT there then the
guest will be seated with someone for that meeting and the member
will be notified. The member who invited the guest will be charged
for that guest’s lunch.
o If a guest becomes a member the current member will be credited
three lunches.
- Advertising
o Front Porch – We need to have an article in the paper EVERY week.
And every article will have an open invitation for people to join us
at lunch. We will seek ONE volunteer to write press
releases/articles for the paper.
o Cablevision – We will put an ad on cablevision and we will schedule
time on the cable talk show to talk about Rotary. We will ask
recipients of Rotary grants to join us.
- Community
o We will have a Rotary Member badge made for the Chamber events.
When a Rotarian attends a Chamber event they can wear the Rotary
Badge and advertise Rotary as any other business. Robin will remind
us if there’s a Chamber event coming up and we will look for someone
in the club to represent us at each of the events.
o We will make signs showing off our accomplishments. These signs can
be put in local businesses (The Y offered), possibly including
Brother’s Restaurant and they will be displayed at all our events.
Carlene will look into this. (Done - the cost is $6/sq. foot for
pictures and text printed on semi-flexible sign material)
o We will look for 50% of attendees to wine/auction event at Gouveia
Vineyards to bring a guest.
- Targeted groups
o Board of Ed/Asst. Superintendant
o Terminated members – find out why they left and if they are
interested in returning.
o YOUNG members – encourage family events.
- Large Scale Water/Membership Project
o Ask all the restaurants in Wallingford to participate in a weekend-
long water project.
o Each restaurant will be provided with information (table tent) cards
about the water situation in the world and Rotary’s work to remedy
it. The opposite side of these cards will talk about Wallingford
Rotary and who we are and what we do.
o Each patron will be asked to donate $1 for the cost of their water
that evening and the restaurant will donate it to the club (tax
o There will be a Rotarian available in each restaurant to answer
questions about Water Projects and Wallingford Rotary if anyone has
o Three clubs in our district joined together to do this (in three
small towns) and raised $11,000 and recruited several new members to
their clubs.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'm in love!

with a yankee fan with a sense of humor! Ok so I'm kidding about the "in love" part but I have to admit that Joe D'Ambrosio "The Voice of the UConn Huskies," was very entertaining today! Although mentioning Bucky Dent was hitting below the belt! Joe followed our "new" District Governor Ernie Luise. Through rhyme, Ernie shared with us her hopes and goals for this year. The theme this year is "Rotary Shares," so share Rotary with a prospective member. Membership is becoming more and more important so be on the lookout for the membership committee that is forming. You will all get an email regarding an upcoming membership meeting and I hope you'll join me!

Friday, September 7, 2007

The DR Water Project

Tom Collette and John Powers gave a wonderful presentation on Wednesday about the DR Water Project that was awe-inspiring! Can you imagine having ANYTHING that costs $25 and lasts 25 years??? It is amazing what Rotarians can do in the world with a little ingenuity and very little money. If we can help them get a small factory started then not only would we be providing clean water but also making a dent in the economy. The way the factory works in India is that each family that wants a water filter has to contribute a small portion of the know how that works...if there is "buy in" from those in need then the success & continuity of the project is guaranteed!

Can you see us getting these to people all over the DR? Who ever would have thought that Wallingford Rotary could have an impact on a country? It's possible and that's why we NEED to support the RI Foundation. We could apply for a matching grant to start a small factory by contacting a club in the DR and getting them to donate a small amount of money, and then we could donate, then we ask the District to give us a grant and then we go to RI with all this money and ask them to give us a grant...and before you know we've touched an ENTIRE country. Rotary is AMAZING!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The BBQ lives on...maybe?

There was great back and forth at the meeting today about what we could do to make the BBQ better. Many people thought it had gotten stale and almost run it's course (in it's present state) but everyone seemed willing share their opinions and pitch in to plan for '08! I don't think I've seen so many people sign up for a committee in a long time! This is great news...we've been doing this for so long that it would be a shame to see it go away so let's band together to make it new and shiny! If you're interested in helping on this committee please email Dave Juliano - and yes I know he won't necessarily read these emails until we prompt him to do so - someone remind me next week!! This blog is public so until I get his permission to put his email address up here you'll have to look it up on the membership list. also, you can email me at if you want me to send it to you.

Yours in Rotary,

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Welcome to the Wallingford Rotary Blog!

Hi everyone! I'd like to use this space to share our ideas and photos and comments throughout the year. As we add new stuff the old stuff will move to the bottom. You can add comments, participate in polls or just check in to see what's new!

The Wallingford Rotary Barbecue

As president-elect Matt Bailey was our leader this year and he did a great job! First thing this morning he showed up with coffee and donuts!! That makes the day a winner in our books! The BBQ is held the first Wednesday of August every year and we've been doing it for almost 80 years! It was hot today (8/1) but not as humid as last year. We (Anthony, Carlene and Steve R) started the day at 7 a.m. and as people arrived Anthony passed out our new "Pit Crew" t-shirts which have gotten nicer each year! We are probably the best-dressed sweaty group of men and womAn (only one) ever to cook a chicken!