Last updated 12 Jun 2020
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
Every day the world surprises us! There is so much change around us globally, in our nation, in Ann Arbor and in our homes. And the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor is no exception to the rule: change is the only constant.
Our Club experienced several major changes even before the coronavirus pandemic turned our world upside down:
- We returned to our historical home at the Michigan Union on February 5, 2020 after 21 months of luncheon meetings at Weber’s Restaurant and Hotel
- We migrated digitally to the use of Clubrunner, to an enhanced online Harpoon and other social media
- We experienced a reduction in membership numbers and revenue
- And then there was the coronavirus pandemic! COVID 19 changed us and the way we serve the community forever.
- Our last weekly face to face luncheon meeting was March 11, 2020 and we rapidly converted to online virtual Zoom meetings.
- Our Committees worked at a distance and reconfigured to respond to the unfolding physical and economic disaster in our community.
Rotarians are resilient and anchored in their values. They respond to the call for Service Above Self despite the unsettling change all around us. They help kids succeed, help veterans, help with global projects and help our community become a better place through volunteer hands on projects and significant financial contributions to community activities. Although social distancing and the need to stay home interfered with the easy fellowship that the group enjoys, the Club and its members are still a strong, vibrant caring force.
And that is why, I can say unequivocally: It has been a good year to be a Rotarian! It has been an honor to serve as your President.
Yes, change is constant – and Rotary’s resilience is boundless!
Yours in service,
Below is the initial message from President Rosemarie Rowney that was sent to our members in March, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold.
Wednesday Luncheon Meetings Cancelled: The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor has suspended face to face meetings for Wednesday lunch at the Michigan Union until April 21 at which time we will re-evaluate the decision taking our cues from the University of Michigan. The decision was made for us and communicated to us by the University of Michigan when they asked groups not to meet in their facilities.
The Board and I want to remain connected to Rotary members and to maintain our cohesion as a Club. We decided that it was time to be creative and try virtual meetings and other ways to keep our membership tied together. More to follow on how we will stay connected on Wednesday at noon.
Committee Work Continues: The Chairs of Committees will determine when and how the Committees will continue. They may want to meet face to face, email or teleconference. Ask your Committee Chair.
Ann Arbor Public Schools Close: The Ann Arbor Schools will cancel classes following a half day of school on Friday, March 13 with plans to return on April 6, after the end of the scheduled Spring break. Rotary will suspend our work with Rotary Readers and Tutors, STRIVE and Interact as a result.
Glacier Hills: Rotarians at Glacier Hills informed us that the facility is on lock down. Rotary meetings at Glacier Hills are suspended until we get the all clear.
The coronavirus pandemic looms as an enormous challenge, but please remember, our 104 year old Club went through the 1918 influenza pandemic, two World Wars and enormous social and economic upheaval in the past. We are still doing Service Above Self.
Yours in Rotary,