As we all begin to take a deep breath, we find time to soak in the final statistics of an amazing April of Rotary in Arizona.
Rotarians held over 60 projects all over Arizona. Nearly 1,000 lbs. of trash were picked up in the Verde Valley, so much food was raised in Goodyear that American Furniture Warehouse is temporarily storing the excess, and (my personal favorite) food banks and schools were renovated and cleaned up in Chandler! Over 1,000 backpacks were filled with school supplies for Title 1 schools – pencil pouches, masks, hairbrushes, notebooks, so much more! Gardens and parks were cleaned up all over the state! Trees were planted! Hygiene kits were packed! Peace poles were brought to cities. The entire community in Prescott came together to raise money for local food banks.
Was thinking out of the box always comfortable? Oh hell no. Was it at times exhausting? You betcha. But the tragic ramifications on the impoverished due to the massive shutdowns from Covid screamed for Rotarians to quickly pivot, to step up, to be pressed to the limit. After 18 months of tirelessly serving our communities during the peak of Covid, this fast-tracked behemoth undertaking was the brainchild of our outstanding District 5495 leadership and District Governor Elizabeth Mahoney, and Southeast Valley leadership of ADG Ed Anderson, as they encouraged, pressed, and supported we club presidents and our boards across the state to propel Arizona out of the starting blocks and rapidly emerge from the global pandemic.
In an overwhelmingly short time, Rotarians embraced massive undertakings, engaging all generations. We had young children of Rotarians out at food drives and parks, Jr. High and High school Interact students at projects all over the state, Rotaractors in every city of the state, and positive, upbeat Rotarians even into their 90’s enthusiastically jumping into the challenge.
Throughout history Rotary has stepped in and manned the front lines of every epidemic and catastrophe. Thanks to selfless Rotarians and those who support us this has been a season to remember, a season to be proud of, a season of Service Above Self. This is who we are. This is who we have always been.
Please, come join us. Your life will never be the same.