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Rotary Happenings: Working together does make a difference

By Staff | May 7, 2019

Took a few days off recently and unfortunately missed the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club’s meeting on April 26. Returning home, like most of us, I checked my e-mails to see what I had missed during my absence and what was upcoming that I needed to take care of in the next couple of weeks. Two e-mails that came from Rotarians struck me as something I might share with all of you. Both e-mails, although much different in personal musing and message, represent how deeply we feel about how we can use the club’s collective dynamism in approaching small or large tasks that need to be done to make a difference. Working together does make a difference. Rotary International’s motto, “Service Above Self.”

From Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club President John Danner, dated April 23:

“Greetings!?No doubt you were as shocked by the tragic bombings in Sri Lanka as I was. I must admit, I don’t know a lot about this island nation off the coast of India. So, I went online to find out about Rotary in Sri Lanka. It is part of District 3220 (along with the Maldives). There are 61 Rotary Clubs in Sri Lanka, and the oldest is in Colombo, founded in 1929. All told, there are 1,600 Rotarians in Sri Lanka. They raise funds for the Rotary Foundation, they hold an annual Presidents-Elect (PETS). While there are no doubt significant cultural differences, in many ways Rotarians in Sri Lanka are just like you and me. Which is one of the most important aspects of Rotary – at least to my way of thinking. It reminds that people around the world are united by far more than that which divides us. Call me an idealist – but I really believe that to be true. It is part of why I am a Rotarian.”

From Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club Speaker Chair Richard Mattern, dated April 26:

“Some thoughts on Road Kill (Lee County adopt a road clean-up just off Sanibel, before toll booths)

Last Saturday I worked at Road Kill with several other Rotarians. I didn’t find any dead animals or dollar bills or anything of value as I had in the past just lots of plastic bags, bottles, and old cans.

As I was walking and picking up the trash of some of our less than thoughtful citizens, I thought ‘Four years of college, four years of medical school, six years of postgraduate training, nearly 35 years of medical practice, and here I am, picking up garbage on a beautiful Saturday morning.’

Just a few days before, as I was driving on the Route 41 bypass as a shortcut to Alico Road on my way to FGCU for a piano lesson, I saw some guys with bright orange smocks like we Rotarians wear for Road Kill, picking up trash from the side of the road. Great, I thought, Fort Myers Rotarians at work. However, as I got closer, I saw a sign by the side of the road saying: ‘State Prisoners at Work.’ ‘Well, I thought, if we can pick up trash so can state prisoners.’

Last Saturday at Road Kill, I felt a kinship with the state prisoners. Even more so when I realized that I had forgotten my belt and my heavy dungarees kept falling well below my waist so that every minute or so I had to stop and pull them up. ‘Beltless pants, prison pants, just like they go beltless in jail.’

After I had collected a couple of bags of garbage and dropped them off at the Naumann building, driving back to Sanibel and approaching the causeway, I noticed how improved and clean the side of the road looked. I realized that, despite the crazy musings detailed above, it was really worth the effort to work toward beautification (or at least eliminating ugliness) of our roadsides, and that as Rotarians we did good work. And once a passing biker, all bedecked in Spandex, even shouted a loud ‘thanks.’ And, in many ways, Road Kill was actually fun and with no offense to Lee Almas, for me at least, it sure beats parking cars.

So thanks Darrin for organizing Road Kill and shout outs to all the Rotarians who worked.”

Our club Rotarians are spectacular, they truly have the most open-minds and hearts of any organization I have been privileged to be part of Rotarians want to better this world. So if, you are so inclined, come and visit one of our upcoming meetings and find out for yourself.

For information about the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club, visit sanibelrotary.org or www.facebook.com/sancaprotary. The club meets every Friday at 7 a.m. at the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club, at 949 Sand Castle Road, Sanibel; visitors are welcome to attend.