Two years ago we sat at a Rotary Institute meeting of 600+ people and listened intently to past Rotary International President (RIP) Cliff Dockerman. When he was finished he asked for questions and I impetuously darted out of my chair and asked, “why are young people not allowed to become Rotarians?” Tongue in cheek, his reply, “because we’ve always done it that way”. Cliff went on to say, “there is no reason that a 20 or 25 year old can not be a Rotarian today. We should not wait until they’re 40 to join Rotary.
Now is the time for us to make a stronger commitment to the future of Rotary. As a district of clubs we are making great progress toward an exciting future. We are beginning to see the results of our seeds. Like watching a forest grow in time lapse photography. We need Rotarians to help find young leaders with potential from the ages of 21 to 35 now.
Rotary District 5510 is made up of 44 clubs around the eastern part of Arizona. It is a feather in our cap that Paradise Valley Rotarian Alan Havir is the 2011-2012 District Governor.
When we, as the quarterback, come up to the field of play we see the opponent has changed their formation. We must adapt to win. In Rotary our game has changed. And we are in the midst of a social economic shift that is driven by demographics. We have 52 million baby boomers, 26 million X Gens and 42 million Y Gens. Almost 70% of Rotary is made up of boomers.
As you can imagine the 26 million Xers are not going to fill the ranks of the 52 million boomers. So, we must reach across the gap to embrace the 42 million Y Gens. They are in High School, College and are young working professionals. The opportunity is to work with the Y’s now to keep Rotary relevant and vital into the future.