Yesterday I spoke at a local rotary and I could have never expected all it would be. As I approached the address given I found myself in the middle of farm land at a BBQ pit. I walked in to be immediately greeted by at least five people who patted me on the back and asked if I was joining the club. While trying to explain that I was the speaker I almost found myself filling out an application without my knowledge. Who wouldn’t want to be part of Sumner rotary?!? While making my way to the head table I was greeted by President Tina. She was the nicest gal and helped me find my seat, and then instructed another to share about the rotary. As I was learning about the rotary I was introduced to the local doctor, mayor, council members, vet, bank manager, farmers, and even the ASB president from the nearby high school. President Tina knew every single person’s name, all seventy! She had fun names for them such as Sassy Sarah or Bubbling Ben. After introductions and lunch there was singing. I had no idea rotarians sing! They opened with ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ and then went on to other toe tapping show stoppers. After that any one could update the others on how business was going and what events were happening in town. After news of the local golf tournament and fruit festivals they moved on to happy and sad bucks. I had never heard the term happy buck or sad buck but was intrigued to find it a great way to pay to talk. If someone in the group had something great to share, like a new washer and dryer, a prom date (the ASB president), or an anniversary they could pay a happy buck to share. The same was true if you had bad news, you could pay to share it. The dollar bills were flowing from all over the room to share the happy and sad news. With laughs and tears rotarians shared their lives.
By the time I got up to speak I had felt like I had known these people all my life! Then as I finished they awarded me a rhubarb pie. As I was driving back to my office I couldn’t believe what a great time I had. The place was dripping with positive leadership, ownership, engagement, and friendships. So encouraging to see a group of people, relating to one another, having a good laugh, for a greater cause.