Welcome to year 114!
Your 2022-2023 leadership has a year jam-packed with impact planned. I hope you're excited: we are truly paving our way back to our club's value purpose.
You - our members - repeatedly articulate that the value this club brings for us all is right at the intersection of business networking, service opportunities, and building friendships. Last year, Past President Paul Ekstrand reminded us how much we value the friendships we make in this club. This year, we are going to put a heavy emphasis on the impact our club - our members - can create through service and grants. We'll have some fun showcasing your businesses, too.
We have lots of service projects planned. Some might say too many. I say let's aim high!
We have an aggressive goal to raise $200,000 for our LA5 Foundation so that we can continue to proactive grow the impact of our club. Some might say that's too aggressive. Given all of the needs we see surrounding us today, I ask: how can we afford to aim lower?
I hope you'll join me in embracing an ambitious spirit for the year. We'll also explore the purposeful meaning of the smiley poop emoji (more to come on that later).
This year's Rotary International theme is "Imagine Rotary." I find that to be so appropriate. Just imagine how much we can accomplish - imagine the impact we can make on Los Angeles and the world - if each of us contributes in some way. Whether your contribution looks like rolling up your sleeves and getting your "hands in the dirt" (as PP Rick Gibson would say), or whether it looks like becoming a Foundation Fellow, or both - your contribution matters.
If you aren't convinced yet by just my charming side-glance and smile headshot, or my passive ask above, or the idea of how self-fulfilled you will feel after we've made a significant difference in the communities we serve - well ... let me lay some extra toppings on this sundae ...
We've got some incentives and fun programs that I hope will further entice you to really dive in this year:
- Community Grants - this year, we're taking a slightly out-of-the-box approach to our Community Grants fund. Each year, we ask our members to contribute a dollar a day - or $365 - to our community grants fund. These funds are put to work immediately and locally: supporting several Los Angeles-based charities that focus on an area of need as selected by the Club President. This year, you get to choose. If you contribute your $365 to the Community Grants fund, your name will be entered into a raffle. Each week, we will draw the name of one member donor. If your name is chosen, the LA5 Foundation will triple your donation and make a $1,000 gift to a local charity or project of your choosing!
- Foundation Fellows - are members who commit to giving $5,000 to our LA5 Foundation's main endowment. The first ten members who make the commitment to become a Foundation Fellow this year will receive a gift from Tiffany & Co from me! Already a Foundation Fellow? Become a Foundation Fellow x2!
We will be asking for contributions to the Foundation often: but we will be recognizing our generous members equally as often!
I hope that when we look back on this year next June, we are swelling with pride over just how much impact we've had, and how much we've set ourselves up for growing impact into the future.
Thanks for letting me take this ride with you. Let's make year 114 lit! ;)