Posted by Elliott Rittenberg on Jun 22, 2019
When I first joined Rotary ten years ago, I had no idea what Rotary was all about.  I didn’t know if Rotarians wore funny hats, practiced mysterious rituals or had secret handshakes.  I didn’t understand the mission of Rotary, its basic principles or the breadth and scope of the organization.  But what I discovered when I went to that first meeting was a group of men and women who genuinely wanted to do good in this world, and somehow, make a difference.
Rotarians are servant-leaders. There are many reasons why someone first joins a Rotary Club, but invariably, those members who stay, who make Rotary part of their life fabric, are here to serve. And we do so by empowering others – our members, our partners, and those whom we help. 
I am extremely honored for the opportunity to serve as president of the Rotary Club of Westborough for the coming year. As we look back on the past 50 years, we should be very proud of all our Club, and all Rotary has accomplished. As we look forward to the year ahead and beyond, I see a Club stepping up to tackle some of today’s most important issues and find that tremendously exciting. I also see a Club not an island to itself, but one extending its reach and impact through cooperation and partnerships with other organizations.
Through our partnership with Westborough Connects, Youth & Family Services, and Westborough Public schools, we sponsored two substance use education events this year reaching more than 250 residents of all ages. Consistent with Rotary’s focus on disease prevention, we are already planning additional programs with these partners for the coming year. Based on community feedback, we plan to address the rapidly escalating use of vaping among our youth, facilitate conversations between parents and children about substance use and other difficult topics, and provide education about stress mitigation for youth and families.
The stewardship of our planet is perhaps the most challenging issue of our time. I am thrilled to see the formation of our Committee on the Environment and the passion of its members. Here again, this group is cooperating with other community organizations to find common ground for action, and Rotary will help to both lead and empower our members and others in this effort.
It is my hope and vision our Club will continue to play a significant role in these areas of health education and environmental responsibility for the foreseeable future, and we become recognized for our efforts in these areas. This will allow us to further broaden our base of support as we continue to expand our impact.
So why am I so concerned with our impact? Service, regardless of its form, requires time, and time, your time is the most precious currency we have. If we, as a Club, are going to ask for your involvement, for your time, then we must strive to ensure our actions are meaningful and impactful. I truly believe that’s the key to developing Club members who are both motivated and engaged.
Thank you again for the honor to serve. I look forward to the year ahead and beyond with you as we continue our journey toward the next fifty years.
Yours in Rotary,
Elliott Rittenberg
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