Rotary District 6600 Governor Keith Hodkinson visited the Archbold Rotary Club Aug. 26 as part of his schedule to visit all 63 Rotary clubs in the district.
A 37-year member of the Tiffin Rotary Club, Hodkinson explained that his year as governor has been unlike any other because of the pandemic. All of the events that were scheduled in the spring and summer leading to the start of his term on July 1 were either cancelled or done virtually with no face to face interactions.
Even many of his official club visits have been different. Most of the early ones were done over Zoom, and attendance for those that have been done in person has been unusually light.
However, even during the pandemic, he emphasized the importance of continuing Rotary’s emphasis on service to the club’s local community as well as the world. He explained that the district foundation has set aside $63,000 to help each Rotary club in District 6600 plan a local project — ideally with other community groups. For every $2 that is raised locally, the district will provide a $1 match up to $1,000.
Hodkinson, who has served twice as president of the Tiffin Rotary Club, noted that while he has been a Rotarian for nearly 40 years, he never really appreciated the global impact of Rotary and what it means to be a Rotarian until he organized an international project to aid a girls’ shelter in San Pedro Sula, Honduras for the Tiffin club eight years ago.
Once the project was finally ready to be completed, he along with seven other Rotarians traveled to San Pedro Sula for a week to do the actual work.
“Seeing what those girls had, what we were able to do and then seeing how much the girls appreciated what we did for them, that’s when I realized how important Rotary’s work really is and the impact that Rotarians can have on people who have so little,” he said.
“That’s when I finally appreciated what it means to be a Rotarian.”