Rotary Foundation Month

November is Rotary Foundation Month.  Just a couple things you should know.

The Rotary Foundation has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. the largest independent evaluator of nonprofits. more»

50% of the money you give to the Rotary Foundation comes back to our District in Nebraska and Iowa for projects designated by our local clubs.

Our club’s goal for the Rotary Foundation (on your dues statements as “Every Rotarian Every Year”) is $10,000.  So far, we have received $6,055 from our members.

Donations to The Rotary Foundation do NOT support the Polio eradication effort — more on that next week.

Do you want to make it easier to give to The Rotary Foundation?  Use Rotary Direct!  You can make a recurring gift either monthly, quarterly, or annually.  Click here for the form or call 1-866-976-8279. You can check your giving records at any time for The Rotary Foundation at

Find out more about Rotary’s Donor Advised Fund. This makes philanthropy simple. Open a charitable giving account today with $10,000 or more and recommend grants to your favorite charities at your convenience.  This is not just for giving to The Rotary Foundation, but for all charities.  Rotary just provides professional asset management and takes care of all the administrative details.  more»

MACS update – Keys to Success

As our MACS committee first formulated our concept for Keys To Success, the entire committee was unanimous in thinking Gary Perkins would be a great individual to kick off the series. All of us expected a great experience, but I believe I speak for all when I say we received so much more than we ever could have hoped for.

Mr. Perkins started off his reflection by painting a picture of where his career began. A common misconception may be that this man that has been extremely successful, and the CEO of Children’s for 30 years, has background within the medical field. In truth, Gary began his career as an accountant. However, he quickly took over as the CEO of a smaller organization at the ripe age of 28.

One of the continuous themes that Gary touched on was culture within the workplace. What is culture? Who creates it? How do you breed a positive culture? Listening to Gary speak about how you can integrate different personalities, and different generations, into one fluid movement provided such insight and wisdom. To illustrate his point about how no one person is more important than the other, Gary told us about a time one of his advisors said to him, “Gary, let’s say that you and someone from your environmental maintenance (cleaning) crew were gone for four days. Who do you think would be missed more?”

When creating culture, looking at your mission and vision is also extremely important. Times, trends, and culture change and evolve, which means your vision should evolve as well. But your mission is your foundation, and all vision’s should lead back to it. How do leaders create a new vision? Gary’s expertise helped us to understand that by engaging and selling our vision to our employees, we will more efficiently get everyone on the same road versus practicing command and control.

Having the opportunity to sit down and pick the brain of such a successful individual was truly an amazing opportunity. It was also a great example of the degree to which leaders in Omaha are not only accessible, but are ready and willing to help develop the next generation of talent. From all of us in attendance, thank you Gary for your time, wisdom, and selflessness.

Suzie Heffernan

Next event: Monday, November 10th, noon.  With John Ewing.  Click here to sign up.

Rotary Honor Roll – Fall Visits

Rotary Honor Roll Fall visits start on October 6th and continue through November.  This club project has been in existence since 1927 and is a great way to support the youth in our city.  Each year, we touch the lives of over 8000 eighth graders at over 60 schools.

Not sure what we are asking you to do for the fall visits?  We need Rotarians to sign up to visit some of the 59 schools that are participating in the Rotary Honor Roll program this year.  Not sure what you are supposed to do?  Most of the 20-30 minute visit to a school is showing our video (see below) and then having you talk a bit about your Rotary experience.  If you haven’t done it before, you can sign up to help with someone else before taking on a school by yourself.

Here are the schools that are currently in need of speakers:

District Grant approved

Brad Burklund and the People with Disabilities committee let the club know that the District has approved our multi-club grant.  This grant will assist the OPS’ Transition Program for non-traditional students to make their transition to the adult working community.  This grant (for a total of $2,767) will purchase a variety of educational materials and supplies for the group.  The grant’s lead is the Omaha Northwest Rotary Club (Ken Backman, project chair), and Suburban Rotary is the third participant in the grant.

Membership Contest

Membership Chair Bruce Frasier announced our new membership contest.  Our club has been divided into ten teams, each with a team captain.  The goal of each team is add three to four new members to our club.  Each month (starting in October), there will be drawings for prizes for people who have brought guests to our meetings, and a separate drawing for those that have successfully sponsored new members in our club.  The team that has sponsored the most new members will be feted at a cocktail party at Bruce’s house, which will include the winning team, spouses and their new members and their spouses.

The Team Captains will be contacting their members soon, if they haven’t reached out to you yet.  Be expecting a call or email from one of the following people:  (click on their name for their roster link)

Bruce Frasier Jack Martis
Bob Bolden Todd Murphy
Dustin Distefano Cella Quinn
Jim Hanson Brad von Gillern
Ann Kelleher Emily Zach

Know how to bring a guest to Rotary.  Check for information on how to pre-register your guests and for information about our club and the membership process.  [Look for a new hint each week]

MACS – Get More out of Rotary

Suzie “The Big Mac” Heffernan

from Suzie “The Big Mac” Heffernan

Within my first year of Rotary, I have learned so much. I have met a man writing about Death and Dying, met children from Belize that courageously come to Omaha to have procedures on their heart, and learned invaluable lessons just through lunch conversation. But possibly the greatest thing I gained from the first year was while I was at Nebraska Furniture Mart, bell ringing. It was there that I met Leslie Volk, our previous President, and finally got to talk with her in a much more relaxed setting.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone in Rotary is extremely nice, but when you are new, and especially when you are young and don’t know anyone, talking to people, especially people at the reserved table, is incredibly intimidating. But as we start talking, I quickly come to realize that Leslie is extremely down to earth. She asks me how I’m enjoying Rotary, and lets me know that she would love for form a committee that helps engage new Rotarians more. As a young and new Rotarian, I was very excited, and enthusiastically volunteered to help her accomplish her goal.

Through many conversations, we finally came up with the idea for MACS. Now the word “mac” has many different meanings. When I told my young roommate I was going to be giving a presentation on MACS, he responded with, “You’re going to give a presentation on how a guy can spit game at a girl?” I can assure you that is not what this committee is about.

MACS stands for Mentoring, Accountability, Community Service, and Socials. It is an extended version of what we learn in Yearling Training. When we speak about mentoring, we are talking about the opportunity to link new rotarians to other individuals within Rotary that they could largely benefit from getting to know. One of the things that I have learned from my mentors is that their road map to life is filled with a lot more wisdom, and a lot less hills, then a road map that I would create for myself.

Many of us come into Rotary with a mentor, but that doesn’t mean that mentor remembers what exactly we need to do to get that Red Badge off of our chest. However, if you ask someone that has recently gotten it off their chest, they can tell you exactly what you need to do. This is how we will not only hold one another accountable, but also how we will help one another succeed. This committee will create an annual calendar of Community Service Project and Socials. One of the things that bonds all of us together is giving back to the community, and it would be great to have different service projects throughout the year. Volunteering is what bonds us together, and it’s also what allows us to have those more meaningful conversations. And lastly, who doesn’t love a good social? But as most of us know, the Wine Nights sell out within minutes. Having more planned socials throughout the year allows us to deepen our friendships and our connections.

As the honorary Big Mac, I invite all of my Baby MACS to attend our first Community Service Project for our 9/11 tribute, where we will be tagging flags together. It’s a great way to kick off this new committee! Thank you everyone for your support, and please let us know of other community service projects that you are interested in.

Tribute of Flags update

9-11TributeofFlagsThanks to a speaker from Woodmen of the World last fall, Woodmen is donating new flags for the Tribute of Flags project at Memorial Park to commemorate the September 11th tragedies.  Our club has been a partner in this project for the last six years, and once again, we will take the the field on Friday, September 5th to plant the flags.  This is a great family project – not only to do something together, but each flag is tagged with information of someone who lost their life that day and it’s a good way to share the history.  Signup today by clicking here.

Previous articles with more history:


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