Rotaract is a division of Rotary International, a global service organization with 1.2 million members and thousands of grass roots chapters around the world. Rotaract is distinctive because it seeks to involve young professionals between the ages of 18 and 30. Rotary’s motto is service above self. On the anvil of service, Rotaract forges friendship, fellowship, and leadership development.
I am a member of the Oshkosh Southwest Rotary club. I enjoy working with Rotaracters because I am a teenager at heart – some would say a first grader – and I have always enjoyed the company of people who are a little older than I am. Rotaract Oshkosh is sponsored by the Oshkosh Downtown and Southwest Rotary chapters. Both clubs raise an awesome amount of money for worthy causes. Almost every member, each in their own way, is hands-on involved in the community, acting locally and globally. Oshkosh also has active middle school and high school-based Rotary Interact chapters for 12-18 year olds. Together, we take on service projects to better our community and ourselves.
I come from a family that is passionate about Rotary. Our nine year old daughter Anna already talks about going on exchange with Rotary between high school and college. Her sister Betta is doing just that, in Peru. We plan to host an exchange student from Argentina in a few months. My grandfather was president of the Rotary Club of Madison decades ago. We are a family each of whose members speak two or three languages – we love to travel. We think of every stranger we encounter as a potential friend. Rotary is all about international friendship. It is an excellent fit for me and my family.
It fills me with pride and joy to see Rotaract Oshkosh relaunched with a president and executive hard at work and full of energy. If I get glassy-eyed about it, that’s because first graders do that when they receive a hoped-for gift on Christmas day. Rotaract Oshkosh is such a gift, not just to me, but to all of Oshkosh and beyond.
New Generations co-chair, Oshkosh Southwest Rotary