Tiffany Ervin called herself a “Rotary Geek,” but there was nothing about her that was Geekish.

Ervin is a past District Governor in a North Carolina Rotary district, and she shared some experiences and knowledge with the Rotary Club of Madison County at their Friday meeting.

She teaches classes on social media, one of her many interests outside of her real job and her time consuming Rotary work. And she emphasized changes in Rotary over the years that she felt made Rotary stronger. Not so long ago, Rotary was a club for men who could leave the office for a lunch meeting. In the mid 1990s they made the effort to become more diverse and began including women, minorities, a wider range of vocations and finances, along with a much larger vision of service projects.

Ervin shared a quotation by Verna Myers who said, “Diversity is being asked to a party, but inclusion is being asked to dance.”

And that is a major idea in Rotary’s retention of members. The phrase “recruitment and retention” has been important to Rotary’s membership, but Ervin said she would like to see that phrase reworded to say “attraction and engagement” because that’s what helps the club get more members.

The daughter of a preacher, Ervin remembers being at a baseball game when she and her father came in a bit late. He father asked one of the players how they were doing, and the man replied, ‘We’re behind by three.” When her dad expressed his sorrow at that score, the baseball player said, “It’s OK. We haven’t batted yet.” She remembers this and when someone expresses disappointment or dejection, she tells them,”It’s OK. You just haven’t batted yet.”

Ervin’s major interest in Rotary now is the CART project. CART is for “Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust.” At every Rotary club meeting, blue buckets with CART written on them sit on the tables, and Rotarians put their extra coins or dollars in them in support of the research being done. She is a big supporter of this project and other projects in Rotary. Referring to the changes that 2020-2021 have brought the world, she quoted Paul Harris, the originator of the first Rotary Club, when he said, “This is a changing world and we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will be written again and again.”

Those words will be good ones to remember as we work hard to rewrite our stories, personal, political, community and spiritual.

Ellen Cowne provides news from the Rotary Club of Madison County.

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