Sixteen years ago I joined the Rotary Club of Abbotsford. I was introduced to Rotary by some incredible people and wonderful experiences.  Even when I was a little kid, I knew I wanted to help people and make a difference. My parents encouraged volunteerism, kindness, and the ability to give what you can when you can to others who need a little help along the way. As I got older, Rotary was truly that calling knowing that a group of people could come together to make an even greater difference than I could alone (although an individual contribution should never be diminished). All those Rotarians working toward a common goal giving of their time, talent and treasure to make things happen to improve the lives of others.  This club has a 67 year history of doing just that with outstanding contributions to our local community and internationally. This club has helped many, many people. Be proud that you are part of something truly amazing!

Having recently attended the RI Convention in Atlanta, I fell in love with Rotary all over again. To see Rotary at that scale is astounding and far reaching. We are part of something even bigger, something more powerful and impactful when it comes to fellowship, peace, understanding, and service all with the intent to better the world we all live in – no strings attached.

With excitement and passion I’m happy to share with you the 2017-2018 Rotary Theme on behalf of Rotary International (RI) President Ian Riseley – Rotary: Making a Difference.  RI President Riseley has put forward areas of focus for Rotary that include membership growth and diversity, public image, the environment and End Polio Now. All of these are part of what we do already and hope to take to the next level as a Rotary Club. We will also have fun this year, introduce more social and networking opportunities for club members, raise money for worthy service projects, but more importantly to engage and help each other with ongoing input and support as we move forward to keep this club alive and well.

I love the quote by Mary Kay Ash:

There are three kinds of people in this world
  • Those who make things happen
  • Those who watch things happen
  • And those who wonder what happened

Our Rotary club falls into the “those who make things happen” category without a doubt in my mind.

It’s my pleasure to be your President and I look forward to working with an amazing diverse group of dedicated Rotarians who work hard together for the betterment of Rotary.

I challenge each Rotarian (and soon to be Rotarians) this year to help make things happen. Let’s go and make a difference in the lives of others and our communities.

Stacey Irwin