Leadership holger knaack 2019

New RI President urges us to embrace change, add members who are 'right fit'

Welcome to our new Rotary year.  Our Zones, Districts, Clubs and members still monitoring and responding well to the COVID-19 reality that compels us to continually exercise courage and commitment to keep Rotary relevant.

RI President Holger Knaack implores Rotarians to seize the many opportunities that our organization offers to enrich lives and communities, not in spite of, but because of, the pandemic. Rotary isn't just a club for people to join, but an invitation to endless
opportunities,  he said in sharing his 2020-21 presidential theme, Rotary Opens Opportunities.

A Rotarian since 1992 and member of the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Molln, Germany, Knaack has served as treasurer, director, moderator, member and chair of several committees, Council on Legislation representative, Zone Coordinator, Training Leader and District Governor.

"We believe that our acts of service, big and small, create opportunities for people who need our help," he said.  "Everything we do opens another opportunity for someone, somewhere."

Our President urges us to embrace change so Rotary can expand and thrive. Rather than setting a specific target for increasing the number of members, he asks clubs and districts to think about how to grow in sustainable and organic ways, keeping current members engaged and adding new ones who are right fits for our clubs.


This article is from Rotary District 6080's July newsletter. 


RI President Holger Knaack speech

To read more about the Rotary president's thoughts on our organization, click here.

Download "ia20_speech_knaack_en.pdf"

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Canceled Rotary Basketball Tournament still helped Special Olympics

Despite the cancellation of the annual Rotary basketball tournament, sponsors' donations still allowed us to give $13,886 to help Special Olympics athletes in the Ozarks.   The three-night tournament at Drury University's O'Reilly Event Center was canceled in March because of restrictions on large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robin Anderson, development director for Special Olympics Missouri's southwest region, accepted the check from Rotary Club representatives on June 17.

The tournament is more than 30 years old.    All the clubs in Springfield, including the Springfield Rotaract Club, plus the Ozark Rotary Club, spend hours and create buckets of sweat getting their teams ready for the tournament.  Southeast Rotary Club usually has about 20 players and sometimes fields two teams.   In the early years of the tournament, clubs in Branson, Lebanon, Bolivar and other cities participated, and some games were held in other cities.

Most of the revenue for the tournament  is from sponsors and club donations.   We're grateful to all the sponsors for their support even though we were not able to play.

Marc Mayer (second from left) chairs the Springfield Southeast Rotary Club Basketball Committee.
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District Governor-designee

The Rotary District 6080 Nominating Committee picked Springfield Southeast Past President John Horton as its designee for district governor in 2022 - 2023.  John was club president in 2010 - '11 and has been a club member since Jan. 24, 2002.

John founded the Don't Meth with Us program in Springfield after learning about a similar program of another club while he was at a Rotary International convention.   He is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow as well as a Rotary Benefactor.  He has also served as an assistant district governor.

John has played on our Rotary Club basketball teams for many years, is an avid golfer, and a passionate Kansas City Chiefs fan.  He founded and grew a successful information technology company, Layer 3 Technology.

Five other past presidents of Springfield Southeast Rotary Club have been district governors: Don Handley (governor in 1978 - '79); Mac McCartney ('84 - '85), Jerry Stiefvater ('90 - '91), Jim McLeod ('97 - '98), and Steve Montgomery ('09 - '10).

Congratulations, John, and best wishes as you spend the next two years preparing for your term as district governor!
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Welcome new member Nick Altrup

Michael Wehrenberg sponsored Nick and his co-sponsor is Luke Westerman.  He joined the club in April during our Corona virus break from meetings.

Nick is the president of 417 Marketing, a digital marketing agency in Springfield that he founded in 2010.   He earned a BA at University of Missouri in 2003 and an MBA at Drury University in 2010.

Nick has been married to his wife, Jamie, since 2004 and is the father of two daughters, ages 8 and 6.

His volunteer service includes Jobs for Life, a program dedicated to helping recently released prisoners rejoin the workforce.

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Gifts Go Further With Rotary

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from Rotary.org

Given his background as a retired financial adviser, it’s not surprising that Bill Gray approaches a gift to Rotary as he would any other business transaction: as a smart investment.

The Rotary Foundation belongs to all of its contributors,” he says, noting Rotary’s reputation for transparency and thoughtful stewardship. “My Rotary membership is incredibly valuable to me. And as an investor, I have a sense of ownership, of contribution, of effectively saying, ‘Count me in!’”

Over the years, Gray (shown with his wife, Nancy) has traveled to Barbados, Kenya, Korea, and Uganda to work on service projects. The Ugandan project brought together Rotary members from different countries and provided mosquito nets to protect 56,000 children from malaria.

Rotary’s ability to promote international understanding through collaboration inspired the Grays to establish an endowed fund to support the Rotary Peace Centers.

“The Rotary Foundation is the glue that keeps Rotary together and enables meaningful endeavor across borders with confidence,” he says. “By pooling our resources with Rotarians everywhere, we can accomplish much more than we could otherwise dream of doing.”

Rotarians' Gifts Help Young People Lead Healthy Lives

Ignacio holtz w recipient family
from Rotary.org

Nearly 20 years ago, Ignacio Holtz (right, in photo) was suffering from chronic kidney disease and in need of a transplant. His wife, Beatriz, made the lifesaving donation of a healthy kidney. When he joined a Rotary club a few years later, he talked with fellow members about how to help less fortunate patients in the same situation. 

Working with the Heart 2 Heart program, a decadelong collaboration among clubs in Mexico and the United States, Holtz led efforts to provide 10 disadvantaged young people with kidney transplants. The program has since saved more than 500 lives, with help from six global grants from The Rotary Foundation and matching funds from Sólo por Ayudar, a local nonprofit.
Holtz and members of his club work with local hospitals to screen potential donors and recipients, negotiate rates, and offer logistical support to participating families.

The inspiring stories of recovered patients motivate Holtz to keep giving. Holtz is still in touch with the first patient they helped, then a 15-year-old girl whose uncle donated a kidney to keep her alive. The project covered the fees for the operations, and today she is the healthy mother of a young daughter.

“It took me some time to discover the miracles that Rotary can achieve. By multiplying what we give, The Rotary Foundation gives us the opportunity to make a better world,” says Holtz.

What "Rotary" Really Means

Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast 2017-'18 President Lori Barnes and 2018-'19 President Bill Squires discuss what people should know about Rotary and why it matters.