By Chuck Barnett, governor of District 6760 (Tennessee, USA)
When I started my journey to be district governor in January of 2014, I knew that during my year I wanted to start several new clubs. Being a younger Rotarian, I am fully aware of the time commitments that careers and family put on each of us. If I was not self-employed, I probably could have never been governor.
Realizing this, when I would ask people to come to Rotary I would get the general answer of “I don’t have time for that.” But how could we change this?
People early in their careers or those who have a young family do not find breakfast or lunch meetings are an option for them. Getting children up and ready for school takes a lot of time. Younger Rotarians are finding that it’s very hard to take an hour-and-a-half to two hours off for a lunch meeting.
I knew that evening meetings could be the answer to this. So on 17 April, we chartered three new evening clubs in our district.
Two of these clubs are in bedroom communities of Nashville. The people there really love their communities, but they did not have an option to attend a Rotary club after work. One of these new clubs chartered with 61 members, 59 of whom were new to Rotary.
RI President John Germ, Director Karen Wentz, and Director Elect Greg Yank all attended the three club charter night ceremony.
Director Wentz has this to say about the event: “The induction of more than 100 Rotarians in three new clubs in the Nashville area is a great achievement. These new clubs and their Rotary members mean expanded opportunities for community service both at home and in other countries.”
Director Elect Yank added “It is very rare to hold such an event bringing in about 120 new Rotarians! Having Rotary in our lives is a special gift.”
I firmly believe it’s through new clubs with flexible attendance and meeting schedules that we will be able to attract new members to Rotary.
Learn more about the new club flexibility