Message from Bonnie Rybak
President, Rotary Club of Inverness, 2017 - 2018
Today I stand before you, humbled and thrilled to be in the position of your president. The prospects are endless as far as what we will be able to accomplish this year, but I am not unaware of the shoulders that I stand on, the leaders that served before me, and the dedicated Rotarians who have given up thousands of hours of their own time to make our club better and to make both our community and the global community better places to live.
I wish that I could thank every single one of you who have led me to this place, but time prevents that and I need to be brief. Please know that your confidence in me, your mentorship, and your time answering my many queries is most appreciated.
As we look towards the next Rotary year, I want us to face forward and realize the talents in each of us. I ask that you try something new, take on a new responsibility, and get to know some of your fellow Rotarians just a little bit better.
The BEST resource a club can have is its members and there is no doubt that our club is chock full of very talented people. With that in mind, my theme for this coming year is TOGETHER we rise.
As we know, growth is never by mere chance; it is by forces working together. We rise by lifting others. If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito. (African Proverb)
I ask that you continue to work as a team and connect as a family. In 1956 Rotary International President Gian Paolo Lang asked his fellow Rotarians “…to understand and be understood, to see virtues rather than faults in others, to find what we have in common rather than what divides us.” I too ask that you to do the same, to continue to work as a team and stay connected as a Rotary family. In 1997 Rot. Int. Pres. Clem Renouf stated: “Rotary takes ordinary men and gives them extraordinary opportunities.” We all know this to be true.
As we look ahead to the endless possibilities of our next Rotary year, let us take every opportunity to continue to work together to do good both in our community and around the world.
Let’s show that TOGETHER we rise!
Thank you all again for the opportunity and honor to serve as your 2017-18 president.
Founded in 1971, the Rotary Club of Inverness was the first Rotary Club in Citrus County. We are proud to have sponsored, directly or indirectly, every Rotary Club, and every Rotary-associated club in the county.
We are proud to have contributed to a major landmark in the City of Inverness, the well-known Whispering Pines Park. Many years ago our club was instrumental in securing and assisting in development of the area for park use, and our Rotary wheel is on the pillars we built at the park's entrance. Today the facility is used by residents and visitors from all over the county.
Our current emphasis is youth development. In fulfilling this mission we award scholarship funds to Citrus High School seniors as well as to Withlacoochee Technical College students annually.
We honor two outstanding students from Citrus High School and two from Inverness Middle School each month while school is in session as Rotary Students of the Month. They are recognized during one of our weekly Tuesday meetings at the Inverness Golf and Country Club , with proud parents or guardians also in attendance. Additionally, we sponsor two students to attend the annual Seminar for Tomorrow’s Leaders [S4TL], a week-long program held on the campus of Florida Southern College. We also host and sponsor students for the international Rotary Youth Exchange.
To raise money for these and other activities, we promote major annual fundraising that includes a craft beer festival and other events. Members provide funds through weekly giving of happy/sad dollars and the celebration of anniversaries and birthdays.
Our club is an affiliate and supporter of Rotary International, whose efforts to eradicate polio, with the aid of the World Health Organization and multiple governments, is now coming to closure. Through Rotary International our club participates in projects throughout the world, including water and food resource development and disaster relief.
Membership in Rotary is by invitation. If you are interested in the works we do, seek out a Rotarian and introduce yourself. We welcome those who are interested in living our motto of promoting Service Above Self.