This Rotary year is coming to a close very quickly, and it is time to look back over the club’s accomplishments. During my presidential address there were six specific goals we wanted to accomplish this year.
The first one was to focus on this year’s theme, “Light Up Rotary.” This was achieved through the new Community Service Committee. This committee was under Director Mick Finnegan and Chairman Lori Schoene. They focused on various service projects in Cheyenne that help increase the awareness of Rotary in our community. These committee members and volunteers cleaned up trash along the Greenways, painted Greenway tunnels and spread wood chips on a playground. Plus, they organized volunteers in filling lunches at Friday Food Bag for area schools.
The Community Service Committee helped us achieve our second goal which was to find opportunities to partner with the Sunrise and After Hours Rotary Club, plus the Community Rotaract Club. These clubs not only helped us with the community service projects, they assisted us in putting up a new sign that is located on west Lincolnway coming into Cheyenne. In addition, we found several opportunities to work with the East and Central High School Interact Clubs. These clubs were involved in our fundraising projects, the Cranium Cup and the new and successful Ice Melt Competition that was headed up by Don Day and Kim Withers.
Membership is always a concern for Rotary Clubs, our club and District 5440 is no exception. Our goal was to have a net increase of members over this past year.  Unfortunately, we had a decrease of members; our active membership dropped from 203 to 190. Several of these members relocated to different states as a result of their job, or they transferred their membership to a different Rotary club. We had a few members that had to be removed from active membership after numerous requests that they become current on their dues. There were members who resigned because their work schedule didn’t allow them to come to the meetings or felt that Rotary wasn’t the right fit for them. However, on a very positive note, we had 18 new members join Rotary this year. The credit belongs to you, the members, for reaching out and inviting your friends to Rotary. Thank you for your trust in our club!
The next two goals had to do with the Rotary International Foundation. Our members contributed over $20,000 to the Foundation. This number will exceed $100 per member, a level that exceeds the District requirements. This couldn’t have been accomplished without the help of our two Co-Chairmen, Billie Addleman and Roger Schreiner. Plus, we achieved 100% participation rate by every member making a contribution to the Foundation. This was made possible by anonymous Rotarians donating to member’s accounts on their birthdays and asking that Rotarian to make a donation of their own. I want to thank the generous Rotarians that made this possible.
The last goal was for our members to have a great Rotary year by reaching outside their comfort zone and getting involved in a new committee or service project; to make an effort to meet some new friends and enjoy each other’s fellowship. Some of the most memorable meetings were the fellowship we had over Frontier Days and holidays.
The officers and directors were very careful to use sound financial judgement in the management of your Rotary dues, money making projects and expenses.  This year was especially challenging since we had more membership turnover than usual. With that being said, the total income was approximately $163,000 with estimated expenses of $162,000 for a net income of $1,000. This leaves us with approximately $25,000 in reserve.
The end of the year was highlighted by the District Conference in Ft. Collins this last weekend. The programs and speakers were excellent. Our club members who attended were motived by presentations given by young students and adults about how RYLA changed their lives. R.I. President Representative John Lawrence’s messages reminded us how Rotary can make a difference in our communities, and we must continue to build membership. The annual awards were presented to deserving clubs. The Rotary Club of Cheyenne was honored by receiving the award for Light Up Rotary – Community Projects and the Largest Contribution to Polio Plus. We were also excited and proud to hear that the Community Rotaract Club won the Light Up Rotary - Community Projects award and the Cheyenne Central High Interact Club was the winner of the District Interact Award for the several service projects they are involved in.
In closing, I’m very humbled and honored to serve as your 67th President of the Rotary Club of Cheyenne. So many great memories of the meetings, Rotary events and service projects, but most of all the outstanding officers, directors and chairmen of committees I served with. I want to say thank you for your dedication, support and generosity. As we change leadership of this great club, please join me in supporting Chad, Lori and their team as they implement their ideas to make the Rotary Club of Cheyenne even better.