Final Meeting of the Year
Around this time of year it is normal for people to reflect on the year past and look to the next for opportunities to better one’s self. Rotaract’s final meeting for 2011 on December 15 gave us the opportunity to celebrate our successes this year and look toward the new year.
President Ege Ersoz began the 23rd Rotaract Long Beach meeting by highlighting Rotaract’s 2011 events such as The Great Sand Sculpture Contest as well as the Pepsi Refresh Project with Justin Rudd’s Community Action Team, a day we brought children from under-priviledged areas to Belmont Shore for a fun day at the beach. Katie Gaston, Director of Membership Development, then posed a call to action for our members to put serious consideration and answer the question; “What added value will I bring to help Rotaract grow and become sustainable in 2012?”
Members Juliette Phipps and Steve Buhler spoke passionately on their travels through Rotaract to Egypt and Mexico, respectively. They encouraged all of our members and potential new members to join in on what they said was a truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
This week’s guest speaker, Steve Keesal, spoke about inspiring journey that led him to Rotary Long Beach. His story began as a tale of a high school graduate with a directionless path, an unsuccessful college attempt and an affection for the Long Beach party life. Eventually, Steve joined the Army, toured overseas and returned home a celebrated veteran. With the audience’s attentive ear, Steve began to tell his struggles with an alcohol dependency and returning to the normalcy of a post-war life.
Steve’s story was ultimately one of triumph: he will soon celebrate 8 years of sobriety. Through a good friend and Steve’s unrivaled ability to connect with people, he found himself working as a Financial Advisor for Oppenheimer, Inc. Business interests led Steve to join Rotary, but his commitment to putting others and service before himself solidified his membership throughout the years.
The 23rd meeting may have been the last for a very successful 2011; however a full room of committed members and energetic guests garners the potential for an even better Rotaract Long Beach in 2012.
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