Rotary and Hollywood

I’ve been asked to be a speaker at the District 7630 District Conference and in the interest of having some fun, my theme will be Rotary and Hollywood.  At the risk of giving away my talk, I just can’t resist sharing some of these clips…mostly because I’m entertaining myself tremendously.  My first clip is from the movie Catch Me If You Can, the story of one of the world’s most successful con artists, Frank Abignale, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.  This scene is one of those rare moments where Rotary is actually portrayed on the big screen.

Do you remember this?  Christopher Walken, playing DiCaprio’s father, is being honored at a big Rotary event.  This really IS your father’s Rotary.  Notice that the room is full of white guys.  No women.  No people of color.  And notice the look of totally admiration on the face of DiCaprio as he worships his father in this big moment.  The Rotary wheel is on the podium and hangs proudly over the auditorium.

As I watch this clip I can’t help but focus on some other aspects of Rotary in the 1950’s.  This is OBVIOUSLY a room full of powerful people in town.  This is where the LEADERS are.  Back in the day it was unthinkable that a successful businessman wouldn’t belong to a fraternal organization like Rotary.  I know.  I know.  If you are looking for diversity you won’t find it in this accurate portrayal of Rotary in the old days.  But can’t we agree that we should  aspire to be this kind of force for good in our communities?  To the extent that Rotary is our chance to make SIGNIFICANT positive change locally and around the world, then why not give some thought to asking more people in the business community to join our clubs?

Why would they join?  How about these oldies but goodies in terms of an elevator speech for Rotary membership:  1) Your customers will appreciate that you and your business serve the community, 2) Your employees will appreciate that your business adheres to the value of community service, 3) You will meet other “movers and shakers” who you might want to do business with of all ages, 4) You will never feel better then when you give something back to the community, and 5) Rotary just happens to be a lot of fun.

More clips to come.  I hope you enjoy them.  Oh, and thanks to Dan Houghtaling, DG of District 7630, for inviting me to speak.  What fun!

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