2011 Installation Address - Tom Quinn
Installation Address, President Tom Quinn
Northlake-Mandeville Rotary Club
Tchefuncta Country Club
June 30, 2011
Thank you, Mike and I want to thank you on behalf of all our members for the great job you did this year in leading our Club to the award of the “Presidential Citation” from Rotary International and the “Club Achievement Award” from District 6840. Thank you also to all our Board Members and Committee Members whose time and talents this year led to these awards.
A special thank you to Vicky Magas, our Assistant District Governor for the Lake District, who truly exemplifies the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self” and was honored by District 6840 as “Rotarian of the Year”. I don’t know of anyone who works harder for Rotary than Vicky!
I also want to thank my darling wife, Dianne, for her support for my expanded role in Rotary.
I welcome as our guest tonight, Bill Newton, the new president of the Rotary Club of Slidell . Bill and I have agreed, along with Elizabeth Van Sant from Covington and Larry Laughlin from the Slidell Northshore Club that we will collaborate where possible to help each other with service projects and club administration and to grow the footprint of Rotary in the Lake District.
I am honored to serve as your president this year. I’m proud to be a member of the Northlake-Mandeville Rotary Club because I’ve seen the good things that our Club does in this community. Rotary gives ordinary people like us the opportunity to do extraordinary things. If we didn’t grasp that prior to the International Convention in New Orleans last month, we surely realize now that we are a part of the world’s greatest humanitarian organization. Our mission is to do good things in the world…..to make it a better place. Of course, that begins in our own Northlake-Mandeville community but it extends around the world, from the Shelter Boxes our Club sponsored for the Haiti earthquake and the tsunami in Japan to the JIM school we have supported in Uganda.
I’d like to talk for a few minutes about the “power of one”. I’ve lived in Mandeville for over 30 years and until about 4 years ago no one had ever invited me to a Rotary meeting. If not for a lunch invitation from Evans Spiceland I probably wouldn’t be a Rotarian today. Who was the one person who thought enough of you to become your sponsor in Rotary?
Membership is the lifeblood of our Club and one of my key goals for this year is to continue to grow our membership…I’d like to add another 10 members….so I urge each of you to be that “one” who invites a friend or business associate to become a Rotarian.
Paul Harris was one of the founders of Rotary. When he and 3 friends started the first Rotary Club in Chicago in 1905, I’m sure they had no idea that Rotary would grow to over 34,000 Clubs around the world with 1.2 million members. Paul Harris was just one guy who took action and look what he started. Rotary International established the Paul Harris Fellowship to honor his accomplishments. It is awarded to those who have contributed a total of $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation. If you look at the back of your program you’ll see that our Club has 22 Paul Harris Fellows, 11 of whom are here tonight and I’d like to ask them to stand and be recognized.
Many Rotary Clubs have 100% of their members as Paul Harris Fellows. I think that’s a worthy goal for our Club and I encourage each of you to think about becoming a Paul Harris Fellow. You can do it painlessly a little at a time and before you know it you will be awarded a Paul Harris. With the help of these funds and with major grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in its “End Polio Now” campaign Rotary has been able to almost totally eradicate polio from the earth!
As Bill Gates told us at the convention, we are this close to eliminating polio.
This year our Club needs to build upon its successes…and we have had many. Our Scholarship program has been very successful…each year we give 2 students $8,000 scholarships. With the rising cost of education we should probably increase that to $10,000 this year.
Our Chili Cook-Off is another major project. Last year we raised about $15,000 for several worthy causes in the community. I think we can grow this event and make it even more successful but it will take the collective efforts of all our members.
We have many opportunities for Club members to get involved. Whether its Bingo at Heritage Manor on Tuesday night, mentoring at a local school or our several literacy projects with Chahta Ima Elementary in Lacombe.
When you joined Rotary you did so with the idea that by putting “Service Above Self” you would make a difference in our community. Rotary International president, Kalyan Banerjee of India has set our theme for this year as “Reach Within to Embrace Humanity”.
This year I encourage each of you to re-commit yourself to some Club project or committee, to “reach within…deep within… to embrace our Club’s many service projects and you will surely be embracing humanity in our community and around the world!
It’s a great day to be a Rotarian!