More than a dozen Rotarians from District 5110 attended the Zone Institute in Salt Lake City last week, along with 600 other Rotarians. The focus was Trails to Peace, but the institute covered so much more.
On Thursday, an overwhelming selection of Peer-to-Peer sessions spanning topics such as peace, environment, membership, foundation, leadership, passion, family, and more were offered. Everyone was sharing their insights, challenges, and solutions. I had trouble deciding where to go next!
Friday, we had four keynote speakers, focusing on Expanding our Reach, Increasing Impact, Increasing Engagement, and Increasing our Ability to Adapt. I was particularly moved by Desmond Tutu’s daughter, Thandaka, who shared her failures and how they shaped where she is now. Our lunch presentation was a personal experience one Rotarian woman had in Ukraine. She witnessed the front line up close. She brought with her a burned-out bomb and a Ukrainian friend, Ruslan Alikperov, who heads Direct Help, a charitable foundation.
Saturday morning featured a World Cafe. We were divided into tables of 4 to answer questions about peace – what would it look like, how would it feel, what skills would we need, etc. We each “harvested” our own take-away message. It was powerful and exciting. I’m optimistic that Rotary can make a difference.
Our Gala dinner event featured RI President-Elect Gordon McInally. His passion is addressing mental health, and I’m excited about what he’ll bring to Rotary next year. Finally, we witnessed a parade of club District Governors-Elect from all 30 Districts in Zones 26 and 27. We’re in good hands!