SOUDERTON — As with many other things under the coronavirus restrictions, this year's Souderton-Telford Rotary Club Changeover Night was a virtual presentation, not in-person.
“2020 has certainly been a challenging year, but with challenge comes opportunity for growth,” said Ed Brubaker, whose year-long term as president was completed at the end of June.
A video introduced by Brubaker showed several of the club's activities in the past year.
“We did increase our service and our focus on service, creating a local service committee and an international service committee,” Brubaker said. “We had a number of local service opportunities this year and hope to do more in the future.”
The club also laid the groundwork for new international exchange students, he said. Although those exchanges haven't happened yet because of the pandemic, exchanges are now planned when it again becomes possible, he said.
Brubaker also thanked by name several of the members of the club for the Rotary projects they help lead.
“The theme for Ed's year as president was Rotary connects the world and Ed certainly did help us connect the world,” said Dan Yocum, whose one-year-term as president began the beginning of July.
“We supported global efforts of natural disaster relief, helped fund a hospital in Africa, continued Rotary's global efforts in polio eradication and ShelterBox and, perhaps most exciting, Ed helped to reinvigorate the student exchange program,” Yocum said. “And in addition to his global efforts, Ed managed to continue our good work here at home. Under his leadership, Souderton-Telford Rotary Club gave our time and resources to support local food programs, youth services, Care & Share [Thrift Shoppes], Generations of Indian Valley, and countless others.”
Gifts presented to Brubaker by Yocum included a hat and shirt with the designation “pandemic president.”
Yocum said he had planned out every moment of his upcoming year as Rotary president, but those plans had to be changed.
“The theme for this Rotary year is Rotary opens opportunities. I embrace that theme. Not only has Rotary opened opportunities for me, but I would like to drive this club to open opportunities for others locally. While still building on Ed's global efforts, I plan to use my local connections and involvement to grow our club in both local service and in numbers,” Yocum said.
“I also have a goal to increase the diversity of this club by age, race, gender and creed. After all a diverse club is a strong club,” he said. “I appreciate your confidence in my ability to lead the Souderton-Telford Rotary Club. It won't be the year that we expected, but it doesn't mean it cannot be great.”
Janet Kolepp, whose one-year-term as District Governor started the beginning of July, said one of Rotary's greatest challenges is that the leadership changes each year, but that also gives opportunities to find new ways to be of service to those in need.
“As we move through the next year, our communities are going to need us now more than ever. There will be many new challenges that come because of COVID-19, but organizations such as Rotary were built for this,” Kolepp said.
“We are people of action. We are connected to our communities. We know how to make things happen,” she said. “I challenge you to be ready for what may be presented to you.”
Jason Donmoyer is Souderton-Telford Rotary Club's vice president for the upcoming year.
President Elect Karla Myers will become president in July of 2021.