President’s Message

Our 2021-22 Rotary International theme is “Service to Change Lives”.  Now that COVID19 has greatly diminished we have an opportunity to return to our “normal” Rotary practice of service above self.  We are able to meet in person and have put Zoom/Hybrid meetings in our rear view mirror.  It has been great to see our club having lunch together on Friday afternoons.  Now that we can do more to serve our community it is a time for action.  Our plan is to take on an increased number of “micro” projects to provide an immediate impact in Winston-Salem.  Our membership is being encouraged to look for issues and circumstances that could benefit from our attention.

As we initiate micro projects it is my belief that they can become an example for prospective members to see giving them a clear understanding of what it is to be a Rotarian. There is a great satisfaction in meeting a stranger and having a positive impact on their life.  Another easy way to increase our membership is to invite friends or business acquaintances to our regular meetings. There they can see the energy and warmth being shared.  For 28 years I have looked forward to our meetings.  What a blessing it has been!  COVID19 has also shown us that we need to support each other in a more intentional manner.  Crisis pops up in everyone’s life.  Having a friend or group of friends that care to call on can make these events far less extreme.  We also enjoy sharing the achievements and big life events of our members.  Hearing positive things on a regular basis could even improve our outlook on life.

Reynolda Rotary is looking out for the future of Rotary.  Under Marilyn Parker’s leadership we kept a solid connection to the Wake Forest University Rotaract Club. These young Rotarians are the future.  They have already installed officers for the upcoming year.  Our pledge to them is to ramp up our connection by doing joint service projects and fellowship events.  We may even attempt to do a joint fundraiser.  Our hope is that as they enter the business world Rotary will be a part of their life.

Our large community project will be to continue our relationship with Cook Elementary School. Our most pressing need is to get our members back in the school to work directly with the kids and their teachers.  Our lunch buddy and tutoring programs form a connection on a weekly basis.  Tutoring is especially important allowing smaller groups within the classroom to be formed.  There is nothing better than seeing a child have success learning and with a confident smile proclaim- “I’ve got this”.  Along with our involvement with Cook Elementary comes the Bighouse Gaines Scholarship.  This program sends a Cook Elementary child to Winston-Salem State University or Forsyth Technical Community College to earn a degree in higher education.  Our annual golf outing funds this initiative.  To date three students have graduated on-time from WSSU and will have done so without any student loan debt.  They accomplished this!  We are also very fortunate to have Sandra Quinsaat, our first graduate, join our club and continue her relationship with Rotary.

It’s my hope that all the words above communicate how vibrant and active Reynolda Rotary is. There is always room for another member to add to the experience.  For now, it is time to get after it for our community.   Let’s see where this goes…

Perry Peterson, President 2021-22