Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm Taking a Moment to Brag.

One of the activities that takes up much of my time outside of work, triathlon and Girls on the Run is my involvement in the Overland Park Rotary Club.

For those who don't know Rotary, it's a service organization, known around the world for its good works. There are more than 1.2 million Rotarians and 33,000 clubs around the world. My club, in Overland Park, is the 2nd biggest club in the KC Metro area and know. There are about 150 of OP's most influential business people that I meet with every Monday over lunch.

Rotary volunteers work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self. From global networking groups to international friendship exchanges, Rotarians have a wide reach. With a matching grant from Bill and Melinda Gates, the Rotary Polio Plus program is "thisclose" to ridding our world of such a debilitating disease.

Locally, my club organizes a week-long leadership program (Youth Leadership Institute, of which I'm the incoming chair) and hosts one of the biggest 4th of July fireworks shows at Corporate Woods (home of my new office!) to raise money for community grants, scholarships and programming. There are too many programs to mention them all, but suffice it to say I'm very proud to be a Rotarian.

Besides our inspirational work, I get to hob-nob with some amazing and influetials Kansas Citians, including, just to name a few: the former attorney general of Kansas, city councilmen, county commissioners, judges, senators, big-time bankers, attorney, doctors, financial planners, pastors, and CEO's. It's diverse group in terms of age (me thru the 88 year old former law professor), religion (everything under the sun), passion, background, and more.

On Friday night, the club held the annual Officer Installation and Awards Banquet at the Ritz Charles. BDR and I enjoyed delicious tenderloin medallions, good wine and great conversation. As the program continued, I was shocked and honored to be named one of the club's newest Paul Harris Fellows. This is done by the club contributing a gift to the Rotary Foundation in my name to recognize me for the work I've done for my club and for Rotary. When you look at the list of influential club members to receive this honor in the past, you realize that wow, this is a pretty big deal.

And on top of that, I'm the youngest Paul Harris Fellow my club has ever had!

I was honored with a fancy certificate, pin and medal that I must find a place to proudly display!

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