Let’s Begin 2021!

Rotary is a little more laid back these days. That’s not so bad is it?

While 2020 was a year that we all want to get away from as quickly as possible, let’s take a quick look back at the good things that Rotary brought to our lives in 2020.

Our program content has been exceptional. Because of our quick pivot to virtual meetings, we were able to host a TONY Award winning costume designer from NY (Clint Ramos), a MacArthur Fellow (Aaron Dworkin), the head of Player Relations for the US Tennis Assoc. (Eric Burotac), Texas A&M Associate Athletic Director for Football (Mark Robinson), and our own Daniel Crupi, now Executive Director of the Santa Fe Symphony.

The virtual environment also made it more convenient for regional and state leaders to participate with us including a NC Supreme Court Justice (Mark Davis), the CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of NC (Chris Chung), Economist and Director of The North Carolina Economic Outlook (Michael Walden), the NC State Athletic Director while traveling for business (Boo Corrigan), and the entire senior leadership team from Kontoor Brands.

Wrapping up the year of weekly meetings, we ended with a holiday celebration and a live virtual performance from London by Dmitry Sitkovetsky and his opera singing daughter Julia, along with the carolers from Greensboro Opera. Bravo!

The value of our service work through Project ReBuild, A Simple Gesture, and the Salvation Army among others has been a salve for our community friends and neighbors.

The donation of our unused lunch money, almost $30,000 in calendar year 2020, is a point of pride that has spread joy to more than two dozen local organizations.

Through our Foundation, we impacted another seven community organizations with $20,000 in grants. An additional round of grant funding is planned for the spring.

Since January of 2020, we’ve added ten new members: Charles Gray, Matt Hedgren, Alice Herman, Matt McNees, Barbara Richter, Kathelene Smith, Kelli Stennent, Marcus Thomas, and Myron White. We also welcomed former club member Keith Holliday back to the fold.

And, 2020, will always be remembered for the year the Rotary Club of Greensboro Carousel started spinning. A celebration of our club’s 100th anniversary (1917-2017), the $3 million, 12+ years project came to fruition. As the Rotary Carousel rotates around every day carrying children and adults of all ages and abilities, it is a inspiring testament to fact that commitment, persistence, and hard work can bring great joy and laughter to us and our community for another 100 years.

The year for sure contained a large measure of loss as we mourned fellow Rotarians — Tom Cochran, Warren Corgan, David Grimes, Sherrill Hall, Marion Hubbard, George Johnson, John H. Snider, Buddy Weill, and Eddie Yost. Collectively, they had a total of 356 years of Rotary service. As we pause to reflect, we are deeply appreciative for the greatness and the blessings these individuals brought to our lives, our community, and our world.

The leadership of immediate past president Sam Funchess and current president Ford Bowers has been inspiring and bold. They have been what we needed when we needed it. And, that will continue in 2021 with Ford and President Elect Kim Record. Countless Rotarians heeded the call to serve the club and brought their best forward in every way. Thank you, to each of you.

As we “Begin 2021” think about where you get value from Rotary and how you bring value to Rotary. Take positive action on both of those and let’s make this a year better than ever!

And when it is safe to gather together again back at the Terrace at the Greensboro Coliseum, who votes for keeping it laid back?  Lounge pants anyone?  A no ties rule?

Until then, stay safe and well, and let’s keep zooming ahead!