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:

Perfect Attendance! (2013-2014)

Congratulations to the following people who earned perfect attendance for 2013-2014!

1 year Donna Garst
1 year Jack Martis
2 years Susan Koesters
2 years Deb Skinner
2 years Emily Tonniges
4 years John Marburger
4 years Sean Olson
4 years John Sullivan
7 years Gretchen Bren
7 years Okley Gibbs
8 years Ray Grove
8 years Leslie Volk
9 years Steve Gerdes
10 years Tim Cavanaugh
10 years Francis Lajba
11 years Linda Beaver
12 years Rosemary Opbroek
12 years Don L. Swanson
14 years Gary Bren
16 years John Mock
16 years Scott Swanson
18 years Matt Harvey
23 years Jim Scott-Miller
24 years Mick Connolly
26 years Paul Cohen
31 years Don McGonigal
33 years Jim Murphy
35 years Larry Johansen

Remember – you don’t have to attend each and every week to get perfect attendance.  Participating in committee work, service projects, district events, and even social events can earn attendance credits.  And if you can’t make any of those, there are always e-meetings online!  Why not consider setting a goal for yourself to get perfect attendance this year?

Email of the week


Based on Steve (McCollister)’s advise I’m sending you a copy of an image I came up with for John Ewing.  It came about after I sat at a table with John, Dave (Bouda) and Big Al (David Goldstein).  Watching Dave and Big Al harass John was like watching the two old hecklers on the Muppets.  As Steve says – have fun with it.

John Smith

Bill Ramsey receives Service Above Self award

Bill Ramsey receives the Service Above Self award from the Rotary Club of Omaha

Bill Ramsey receives the Service Above Self award from the Rotary Club of Omaha

A member of our Rotary Club since 1972, Bill Ramsey served many years on the originally named “Let George Do It” committee. This committee within our club historically has recognized community members that made outstanding contributions to improve the city of Omaha.

Later renamed the Service Above Self Award, this committee consists of David Goldstein, Jim Murphy, and Bill Ramsey. All long-time members of our club, this year David and Jim felt it was time to recognize one of their own who had contributed so much to our club and city.
Recognizing that Bill truly provides service above self, and would undoubtedly and humbly refuse to go along with the honor, Bill was left out of the true deliberations for the 2014 award. This pastWednesday, Bill was honored in a surprise ceremony that recognized his long history of giving back. As many noticed during Bill’s acceptance remarks, it was the first time anyone call recall being truly speechless.
-Jim Murphy

We Are Rotary

August is Membership Month

Join our global celebration of membership during the month of August. If you are a member of Rotary, Interact, Rotaract, or a RYLA participant, share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and Instagram using the hashtag #WeAreRotary to be included in our gallery and help us show how Rotary is making a difference.

Fresno State vs Nebraska & Rotary?

If anyone is attending (or wants to attend) the Fresno State vs Nebraska game on September 13th, the Fresno Rotary Club invites you to a Tailgate Party.  If you order before Augsut 25th – they may also be able to help get tickets for you.  This is being organized by their COGS group.  More information and tickets on sale at (or click here)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.