Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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June 25, 2013

A responsible position during a bad year worked out fine

CEDAR CREEK LAKE — A short year ago I became President of the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake. Today, I will be presiding over my last meeting. A new president, Mike Groom, will take the helm on July 1.

When I was asked to take over the duties as President of the Rotary, I had my reservations. I was coming out of a very difficult year. My husband had passed away six months earlier. My son, only 37 years-old was having heart problems. My job duties had also changed. I moved from the Cedar Creek Pilot to the Athens Review. 

I felt I had too much on my plate. I could never do justice to the club as its president.  I never would want to hurt the club. My being president may have not been the best idea.

I joined the Cedar Creek Lake  Rotary Club when I was General Manager of the Cedar Creek Pilot.  I wanted to be a member of one of the civic clubs at the lake. I didn't know too much about any of them. They are very important and provide needed services for kids and residents of Henderson County.

I can't tell you how many people ask  me, “What does the Rotary Club do?”

For those who still  don't know what we do, we are a community civic organization. We give back to our communities, as well as  support international projects. The Rotary International has almost single-handidly stamped out polio.

Polio is not totally eradicated, but it is within our grasp. Rotary International, along with the Bill Gates Foundation had a mission –  to see a global eradication of polio.

The club also supports our local entities. We provide college scholarships, give away books in local school districts, buy clothes for children, support the libraries and give money to the food pantry.  Our club also helps bring exchange students to our area.

Those are just a few of the things the Cedar Creek Lake Rotary Club sponsors or promotes. Each year the Rotary Club gives somewhere around $35,000 back to it's community.

The reason I picked the Rotary over other clubs was because of the day they held their  meetings, which was Friday.  Friday was my easy day at the Pilot. The paper was completed and I had time to leave and not worry about how long I was gone.

It didn't hurt that a member of the Rotary Club, Charles Moore, had been asking me for a while to come to his Rotary meeting.

Again, the timing was not right. When Charles was insisting I come visit, I was in the middle of being treated for breast cancer.  I did finally go to Rotary as Charles' guest. And I was glad I did. As they say, the rest is history.

I have been a member of the club now for about nine years. I have held a number of offices including secretary, bulletin chairperson and publicity chairperson. I always try to volunteer for committees to help with fundraisers. Fundraising is important in an organization like the Rotary.

If you are going to be a member of an organization it's important to be a part of the group.  Not sure where those nine years have gone.

To be a good president of anything, you have to have good people behind you. That's what I had.  I had good members of the Rotary Club.

Most of the members of the Rotary Club knew I was just coming out of a very bad year. They all stepped up to make my job easier.

It's hard to believe it has already been a year since that first dreaded meeting I chaired. The year, like past years, has flown by. I feel proud of what the Rotary Club accomplished during my year as President.

With all this said and done, it has been a great year. I can't say I will miss being president, but it sure wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. The members of the club made my year successful. 

Now just one more thing to do. Mike Groom, I hope you accomplish everything you want during your year as president.

Kathi Nailling is a Staff Writer for the Athens Daily Review.

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