When I was growing up in South Jersey (Exit 5 for other escapees from the land of Camden, Trenton, and Newark) when I referred to the The Big 5 it was a reference to Philadelphia city basketball. Famously, the Big 5 included Penn, Temple, Villanova, St. Josephs, and La Salle, and I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a better venue for basketball than the Palestra, often called the “cathedral of college basketball,” situated at U. Penn.
In our District 7620, I refer to the Big 5 in a totally different context. The Big 5 are our five largest Rotary clubs by membership. The Big 5 includes the Washington DC, Annapolis, Carroll Creek, Frederick, and Lexington Park clubs, all with more than 100 members. If you are in a small Rotary club, do yourself a favor and visit one of these large clubs to see how they do things. You will be surprised how some of them still manage to have fun during their meetings and how, despite their size, most of the members all seem to know each other.
I visited the Lexington Park club yesterday to discuss their Foundation Giving. Like many of my visits, talking to this club was like “preaching to the choir” as Lexington Park boasts three Major Donors, 60 Paul Harris Fellows, and three Paul Harris Society Members. Nevertheless, they have the same challenges as other clubs including structuring their Foundation giving so that it is sustainable, not cannibalizing their Polio Plus giving to meet their APF giving goals, and getting the membership to understand the SHARE program.
To find the “Do Gooders” in the Lexington Park Club, get on Route 5 and drive South until you just about run out of Maryland real estate. They meet in California, Md. Who knew?
If your ever in the mood for a road trip, visiting this fine club is worth the ride.