The Gift of Rotary
by Megan Law
Rotary Club of Oklahoma City
In the fall of 2007, my then employer, Meg Salyer, brought me the weekly newsletter from The Rotary Club of Oklahoma City with a giant circle around an article, “Group Study Exchange to Poland.”
She jabbed her finger at the article and said, “You need to apply for this.”
It has to be said, not many employers are eager to send an employee on a four-week exchange. It never occurred to Meg what impact it might have on the office. She knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I had to seize.
I went on that exchange and was sponsored by Club 29. For four weeks, I traveled throughout southern Poland. I ate countless pierogis. Vodka tastings were an expected daily event at each Rotary meeting. I shared homes with host families where language was a barrier but somehow, we managed to communicate easily and often with laughs along the way. I toured cultural and historical sites that changed the way I see the world. I visited Rotary projects that were making a lasting impact on their local communities. I saw Rotary from a perspective most Rotarians never get to experience.
The Rotary seed had been planted and was rapidly flourishing.
There’s a phrase often used in the Rotary world to describe the moment you truly became a Rotarian: “My Rotary moment.” The idea is that you may have been in Rotary for 20 years, but you became a Rotarian (often) several years after that. A project you worked on, a youth exchange student you hosted, a grant delivery… something touched you and you realized the power we, as Rotarians, possess to make lasting and meaningful impact.
Well, my Rotary Moment was that exchange. I was a Rotarian long before I was a member of Rotary.
Since being introduced to Rotary those many years ago on my Group Study Exchange, I’ve co-founded a Rotary club that is flourishing and thriving. I’ve served as a Secretary and Past President for OKC Midtown Rotary and as Treasurer for Exchange Rotary Club of OKC. I was privileged to lead the final Group Study Exchange in our District as a Rotarian Team Leader to northern India for four weeks. I chaired the District 5750 Group Study Exchange for three years, served as the District 5750 Trainer for three years, have been the District 5750 Secretary for 8 years, and had the honor of being the District Governor in 2016-17.
Somewhere in the midst of that, I worked full-time, met my husband, started a family, and continued to be active in several other organizations.
Was I busy? Yes.
Was, and is, Rotary worth it? Yes!
Rotary has been woven into my life and provided an outlet for my desire to serve, to connect, and to create change.
So, to Meg Salyer, thank you. Thank you for giving me the gift of Rotary. Thank you for always encouraging me in my Rotary endeavors. Thank you for supporting me when an opportunity that aligned my passion with my career became available.
And to you, Club 29 Rotarians, thank you. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly and graciously. Thank you for your time and energy that keep this club active and engaged. Thank you for putting your trust in me to be the next caretaker of your exceptional club.
Welcome, Megan: I know you will do fine. Your trail in Rotary is inspiring.
I just completed my 55th Rotary year across only three chapters. Rotary is deep in the family and for me has been exclusively a trench residence by choice!