Last week I got a phone call out of the blue from someone at the Wallingford Rotary asking me if I would be their speaker for this week’s program. My first thought was “Me? Why do you want me?” I actually think that was the first thing that I said on the phone as well. Turns out, I agreed to speak and then I was determined to find out what I could speak about to this group. Sure, I can talk law, but this is a group of varied professionals and I don’t know that I could have found common ground that was interesting enough. I had the pleasure of interviewing the then-incoming president of the Rotary, Adrian Eisler over the summer for the Rutland County Express and we discussed ways to bring new members and update the Rotary’s image which is one of her goals as president. I thought that brainstorming some new ways to open up to the community and thereby increase their membership might be a fun topic that obviously would be of interest to them. I spent a chunk of time yesterday investigating what other Rotary groups do to bring in new members and see how they could make use of things at their fingertips like their webpage, a Facebook page, Twitter account and a blog. We discussed how to tap into the younger generations, particularly how they could garner the interest of the middle school and high school kids, many sadly who have no idea that they come from a Rotary that is the home of all Rotary since its founder Paul Harris is from good ol’ Wallingford Vermont. We discussed getting the kids involved, getting the community involved and letting Wallingford and the surrounding areas know who the Rotarians were, what they did professionally and where their personal interests lie in the hopes of making connections that could foster future relationships between the organization and future members.
I thought that it was a good discussion and hopefully so did they. It was definitely interesting and fun to do something a little outside of my comfort zone. Since as part of their meeting, they pass the Pig and put in a dollar for a happy thought that they share with the group and many of those thoughts centered around spring, flowers and the vegetables, I chose a pick of apple blossoms to share with this post. Check out the Wallingford Rotary’s web page for more information about the Wallingford Rotary which is open to professionals, business people and community members not only from Wallingford but also the surrounding communities.