How quickly time goes by. As we enter the half way point of this Rotary Year and the end of  2019 it is a good time to stop and reflect.

At the beginning of the year the city of Ridgecrest was shaken by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake on the 4th of July only to be followed by a 7.1 the very next day.

Then in October several cities in the county of Ventura  experienced wild fires  including my home town of Simi Valley.  And now in November as I am writing this article we are watching the fires in Goleta and Santa Barbara.

It seems as though natural disasters are becoming the  way of life This is certainly not what we wish for but when it happens  Rotarians are among the first to respond. You shift into gear and go beyond yourselves to help others and in so doing you bring people and communities together.

I experienced your kindness, support and care during the Simi Valley fires . Each of you wanting to know how you could help It is a comforting to know that I am surrounded by a net work of caring people .

As is many times the case those who are affected the most, help the most. During the Thomas Fires Executive Assistant Governor  Bruce McGee lost his home and he was one of the first to call me offering a place to stay although he is yet to have his new house completed. 

During the earthquakes in Ridgecrest the Rotarians in  Ridgecrest forsook their immediate needs as they rushed to help others. 

President Brad from Moorpark Rotary club was affected by the fires in Simi Valley and yet when asked how we could help  he said by helping others less fortunate.

Sometimes we think that Service Above is just a lofty unattainable goal  but you live it.

As I travel around the district visiting clubs, I am often thanked for the sacrifice I am making. 

Its time for me to let the secret out. It is not a sacrifice.

It is the privilege of a lifetime although it can be an adventure. Driving on the 178 on my way to Kern River Valley certainly is not for the faint at heart.

I have the unique opportunity to  spend time with you and I am inspired when I learn of the countless hours you spend and many times the income you forego, as you tend to the sick, nurture the young, and help the elderly .

You do this without pressure or expectation because for you  the reward is in the service .

You continue to make the Rotary brand the symbol of kindness compassion and hope.

As we close off 2019 I have so much to be grateful for and on top of the list is the gift of Rotary. Thank you for being my source of inspiration.

I wish you a happy holiday and all the best for 2020.

As someone said may all your troubles last as long as your new year resolutions.

See you in 2020!