The International Rotary Club is a global network of 1.2 million leaders, community members, and friends whose goal is to unite and serve. They operate entirely on the motto of “Service above Self,” and pledge to a four-way test.
This helps them mold the things the think, say, and do throughout their time in rotary and beyond. These rules apply to all members of Rotary, regardless of chapter. The motto, as well as the four-way test are also practiced by members of the Manning chapter.
For the president of a chapter, the list of requirements and responsibilities are greater. On top of the regular requirements, they must:
- Preside over club and board meetings
Last week, 2019/2020 president Julia Nelson, who also serves as the Mayor for Manning, handed over her gavel to William “Scott” C. Wannamaker. This was done at the weekly rotary meeting with the district governor present. Wannamaker will serve as the president for the next year.
His presidency was announced, in a way, a year ago. The rotary club prepares for the next president a year in advance, by making that president-to-be a president-elect.
“They came to me a year ago and asked if I would serve as president-elect,” said Wannamaker.
This new Rotary leader has plans for the next year, most of them falling within the norm for the group. Service projects, socials, and general charity are among them. However, COVID has put a small damper on some of these plans.
“We have annual trash pick-ups, as well as different charitable events for our schools in the area,” said Wannamaker. “However, I am saddened at the fact that rotary has had to suspend our meetings at this time.”
For the safety of their members, many of which are older, Wannamaker and previous president Nelson concluded that, for the time being, weekly meetings should be suspended. This was decided in conjunction with the group, and for the benefit of all involved.
Wannamaker is entering as president at a strange time, however, he is optimistic and ready for the future of Rotary. During last weeks meeting, when the suspension was announced, he had already began discussing the options they had for continuing their weekly check-ins.
“With the recent spike in numbers, we just felt like it was the right thing to do,” said Wannamaker.
As far as the previous president is concerned, Nelson is happy with her time in service.
“Our Manning Rotary has a diverse membership with varying gifts to offer our community,” said Nelson. “It has been rewarding to be chosen by my peers to be president of a group of people who demonstrate by action their commitment and passion to improve the lives of others locally and globally.”
Nelson and Wannamaker were both thankful for the assistance from Amy Land, a fellow Rotarian. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she assisted in keeping Rotary on its feet, as well as keeping her fellow rotarians informed on happenings within the group. Nelson also commented on the services Rotary has been offering during the pandemic, services that Wannamaker intends on continuing.
“Since March with COVID-19 ceasing our capability to meet in-person, we still remain active by supporting varying organizations who are on the frontlines with this virus,” said Nelson. “I would especially like to acknowledge Rotarian Amy Land. She truly went the extra mile in organizing this effort.”
As for the next president, Nelson is happy with the choice of the group, and knows that she is leaving her position in capable hands.
“I have no doubt that Scott Wannamaker will continue to help our club be impactful in the lives of others,” said Nelson. “He’s already started making some of the tough decisions regarding the well-being of our club members due COVID-19.”
While Rotary meetings are suspended for the time being, the group continues to operate and serve the citizens of Manning.