It’s a Wednesday night at Dopo Teatro Trattoria, as theater goers around Times Square dine at the restaurant before taking in a show. Amid the bustle of activity, a group of young professionals arrive for a totally different reason, to attend a meeting of the Rotary Club of Metro New York City.
On any given night, a special guest is giving a presentation about their organization’s efforts to help those in need, from children in South Africa to victims of sexual exploitation.
The club is part of the Meeting Frequency pilot that allows clubs to meet twice a month instead of weekly. Members are mainly young professionals in their 30s and 40s, many former Rotaractors. They work at pharmaceutical companies, in finance, at the UN, and in academia.
Their main service activities include a coat drive, an annual toy collection and Christmas party for children at St. Francis Xavier church, and monthly participation in the church’s soup kitchen. In addition, the club participates in fall and spring activities to clean up city parks and schools, and raises funds for a variety of local and international service projects. The club has raised $3,000 for art and computer supplies for a local high school.
For several years in a row, the club has received recognition for every member donating at least US$100 toward The Rotary Foundation. It is the recipient of several other awards for polio eradication fundraising and membership growth.
A tradition we call Fellowship at the Bar invites members to retire after the regular meeting to the bar area to visit with members, guests, and prospective members. We also visit as many other Rotary clubs as possible to learn and share. You should see our collection of club banners!
It is inspiring to observe a club grow from less than ten members to almost 30 members in ten years, with an even longer list of achievements and activities. Oh, and the full course Italian dinner is not bad.
Less meeting and more doing should be the club’s motto.