“Wow.” “Just…Wow.” “Again.” Quote from DG Peter Kyle after the Four-Way Speech Contest, Anti-Bullying presentation by Beaufort High School students, Jack Andraka, high school student genius who developed a test for pancreatic cancer, and Teresa Scanlan, former Miss America, on Saturday morning at the District Conference.
If you missed the Conference this year, believe me, you were missed. You are going to be hearing about how great it was from just about everyone who was there. While all of the above were impressive, I’m embarrassed to say that for me, one of the best Conference highlights was the view from the Hospitality Suites down into Camden Yards during two Orioles wins. Oh…I won a door prize! Woooohooooo!!
On a more serious note, I was given the privilege of giving the Invocation before the Saturday night banquet this year. We were treated to a wonderful talk by our RI Rep for the Conference, Past RI President, Bill Boyd, who spoke about humility in Rotary. The evening ended with District Governor, Peter Kyle, giving out numerous District awards. I hope my words to begin our dinner help give some sense of what the District Conference is really all about.
Sometimes being a Rotarian is hard work. We tackle the biggest possible job….Peace on Earth….and we do it with a tireless determination to do the best we can do within our limited time, money, and energy. The “service above self” motto can be a tough one to live up to, and carrying the Rotary brand on our shoulders can be very heavy.
But to be honest, sometimes being in Rotary is just too much fun. And this District Conference is one of those times. We thank you for reminding us that for most of us, Rotary is also about good friends, good times, great bands, hospitality suites, inspirational speakers, and a reminder that it is great fun to do good in the world with those people who we count as our good friends.
If you want to know the truth about someone’s character, then see who shows up when it’s time to help someone else. For us, that’s what our friendships in Rotary are all about.
So Lord, we give our thanks for the opportunity to share this joyous time with Rotarians we like, we trust, and for whom we have such great respect. It is our privilege to be in Rotary and it’s a privilege to break bread with such an outstanding group of people.