Glimpses from District Conference
by Claire Zybert
The room is filled with people whose goal it is to make the world a better place. 
“This was a year of unexpected circumstances,” Adrienne Bankert begins her talk on Saturday morning at the District Conference. As the anchor of Morning in America, she has a front row seat for the continuing victories and struggles of our recovery from a world-wide pandemic.  Just when we think that we can get back to normal, we hear more news that reminds us we are not out of the woods yet.  I think of it as though we are all standing together on a balance board.  Several years back, we had found a sense of evenness, as flawed as it seemed at the time, but then we were collectively impacted and now work toward harmony again in the world, in our nation, here in our community and in our personal lives. 
Can we assume that the new normal we find will be the same as the normal from which we came?  Do we want it to be?  There are things we don’t like about the way things were, but it is easy to idealize that life as we struggle for a renewed balance. 
Adrienne gives a visual example as she pulls up five volunteers from the audience and they link arms.  These are the people that support us.  Adrienne begins to rock back and forth, pulling the two on either side with her.  Her movement becomes stronger, and soon all six of them are haphazardly moving, bumping, and jostling.  As soon as she stops, quickly all becomes quiet again.  Does this visual reflect any situation in your life?
The room is filled with people whose goal it is to make the world a better place.  We honor Club President John Banks of the Rotary Club of Greenville, CA with a standing ovation although it is only a small token in light of the undertaking he has had to rebuild not only his club, but the city in which they reside that was burned to the ground last year.
District Governor Elect, Jeff Gabriel begins his closing comments with a question “Why did you join Rotary?”  I’m sure that John Banks didn’t imagine task he would face. Meeting the needs of a community requires us to think outside the box.  Incoming RI President Jennifer Jones agrees.  Her theme for the coming year is “Imagine Rotary”.  She envisions new and reinvigorated Rotary clubs finding meaningful and creative ways to serve their communities.  She has tasked every district with starting two cause-based clubs.
Eighteen years ago, the charter members lead by Past President and Charter Daddy, Jim Annis, imagined a new club to meet on the south side of Reno in the evening for Rotarians who weren’t able to meet during the day.  Our club remains strong to this day.  Are we ready to help another club get started – reaching out to more people in our ever-growing community?
Please add a comment below and let me know what you think.