Extraordinary new Rotary Club charters in the county

Northern California Gateway Rotary Club meets online instead of at weekly sit-down meetings

Rotary International District 5160 Governor Jon Dwyer visited Northern California Gateway Rotary’s Charter reception at the Elks Lodge in Pittsburg, Wednesday March 6, to personally welcome the 25 diverse members of the area’s newest and most novel Rotary Club.

The club’s composition is extraordinary, 12 women and 13 men, with an average age of 42 years, one a former President of a Rotary youth group. The objective of the club is to connect committed, community minded volunteers in the pursuit of service through friendship without the traditional meeting constraints of the past, thus the name Northern California Gateway.

Victor Georgiou, of the Danville Rotary Club, was the Governor’s Representative tasked with guiding new members through the Charter process, over recent years. Joyce Chiu, a former Danville Rotarian, was also active from the beginning. While there are 71 other clubs in the district with over 3,500 members, population growth has outpaced Rotary’s growth, in part because of the culture shift away from the weekly sit-down-meal meeting.

The new club concept embraces engagement over meeting attendance, retaining the network of community-minded friends’ approach that is the core of Rotary. Participation in projects is a large part of attendance. Members may also attend meetings online.

But don’t get the new members wrong: As flexible as the club may be in terms of presence, the focus on joint implementation of social projects is paramount.

Like all new ideas, there was some early resistance to change. That has largely gone away as other clubs are coming to view the new club as an asset to their efforts Northern California Gateway Rotary received its official charter in December 2018. District Governor Jon Dwyer, and his wife Bonnie, congratulated each member of the new club. DG Dwyer also emphasized the club’s status as a role model:

“Rotary club of Northern California Gateway stands for a new generation of Rotary clubs – the kind of clubs I consider necessary so that Rotary can continue to grow,” he said.

In his thanks to Gateway Rotary, new club president Daniel Lopez clarified the future path of the club.

“Together we will interpret the Rotary idea in new ways, design and start new projects and make new friends,” he said. “In this process, we will be guided by our Rotary values and the idea that is expressed in our club name.”

“We all had a great entertaining and humorous evening with good conversations among friends and families,” Lopez continued. “After all the words of praise, it is time now to grow together as a club, to get the first projects off the ground, to get active in the region, and to contribute to the development of the Rotary family – both internally and externally. All in the spirit of the club name: Rotary Club of Northern California Gateway.”

To learn more visit http://gatewayrotary5160.org.

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