A Message From Our President
 

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

 

Not too long ago at President-elect training, I was asked a seemingly simple question: What is your Why?

 

The question hit me like a ton of bricks.  Did my life have purpose?  Passion? Inspiration?  Had I been wandering aimlessly through the wilderness?  I took a deep breath and contemplated how to answer this tricky question as well as allay ensuing doubt.  The exercise was incredibly meaningful.  It forced me to sort through a lot of clutter and noise and speak to my Why – that thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. 

 

Everyone has a Why.  It’s the purpose, cause or belief that inspires us.  Yet, all too often it can get, well, complicated.  

 

Then luckily, Tuesday comes.  For nearly fifteen years, Rotary has provided me with a deep sense of purpose, inspiration and understanding.  It has also quite literally gotten me out of bed in the morning – those 7:30 a.m. meetings will do it every time!   My Rotary experience has brought me closer to people I might never have known and given me the chance to be part of lasting change in our community and abroad.   

 

Preparing to become President of our amazing club has helped me realize all the different ways that Rotary is such an important part of my answer to this question and I hope, part of yours too.  As Rotarians, we are united by a desire to connect and give back.  We enjoy networking, fellowship and engagement.  Through our programs, committees and volunteer opportunities we get to challenge our mind, heart and spirit and hopefully, make our community and world a better place too.

 

Now, as I’m about to stretch my leadership boundaries and strengthen my place in the Rotary family, I want to sincerely thank President Nancy for her leadership, Mary for her vision and each of you for this privilege and opportunity.  I want to challenge our club’s members to answer the question – and more importantly, Find your Why.  My hope is that it will be found every Tuesday at 12:00 pm; that you will search for it as you get more involved in service opportunities, take on responsibilities of committee work and commit to our new 2020 Project, the Lincoln Avenue Stables; and that it will get you out of bed in the morning ready to fulfill the four-way test and live our mantras to be leaders who make a difference, put service above self and connect for common good.   

 

I pledge to never lose sight of my Why and look forward to learning more about yours in the process.   Together, let’s continue to grow our club with more dedicated leaders like you, our minds through thoughtful, diverse programming, and our hearts by helping improve villages in Guatemala, students get to and succeed in college and of course, our mission to eradicate polio. 

 

Let’s be inspired, have some fun and work together to create lasting friendships and impact through our Rotary Club of Milwaukee.

 

JoAnne Anton
2017-18 President