"From the Heart"

 
This month there is only one subject that I would like to talk about - the upcoming district conference. A great deal of planning and effort has gone into making this an outstanding event and I would like every Rotarian in the district to know as much about it as possible. There are many activities available to all during the off hours around the conference and you will get an idea of what they are by reading on.
 
More importantly, you will hear from some great speakers during the conference. Not only will you hear about the great work going on in our Rotary district, you will learn about amazing things going on throughout the Rotary world. Please register now and come out and join in the fun.
 
Let me tell you about a few of the numerous activities in and around Vernon, New Jersey. For those of you who would like to stay active there will be hiking, mountain biking, and zip lining. If you are interested in the zip line, you must go to Mountain Creek’s website www.mountaincreek.com and sign up in advance.
 
For those of you who would like to play golf, the conference begins with our district golf outing on Thursday, April 21st at Black Bear Country Club. The rest of the weekend there are discounted rates to play all eight courses surrounding Crystal Springs and Mountain Creek.
 
The spa at Minerals Hotel is available for those who wish to be pampered. A nearby winery will be open for visits on Saturday afternoon. The trip to West Point is nearly full, but you may still be able to get a space by contacting Walter Fay at wallyfay55@yahoo.com .
 
Crystal Springs has a free tour of their wine cellar each day at 3 PM which is first come first serve. On Saturday afternoon the district has arranged for a guided hike at High Point State Park. These are just a few of the activities available to those attending the conference, there is also ice-skating, paintball and shopping nearby. No doubt there will be something for everyone’s interest please come out and join us.
 
This year’s conference will feature some outstanding entertainment. On Friday night at the Foundation Dinner after awards have been handed out and all have eaten you will have the opportunity to dance the night away. “Uncle Rocco”, a band that plays 60s, 70s, and 80s rock ‘n roll music will entertain for nearly 3 hours, so bring your dancing shoes. On Saturday night we will have a comedian from New York who performs nationally and is a very funny guy. Be prepared to laugh out loud.
 
After our sessions there will be the obligatory bocce tournament and of course hospitality suites. It appears that this year contrary to recent years, there will be at least four and possibly as many as six clubs hosting hospitality Suites. With this level of entertainment, I personally don’t see how anyone can leave our conference without having fun.
 
On the more serious side you will hear from speakers on current hot topic issues such as active shooters and terrorism. Rotary clubs will present projects that they have initiated to help protect the public in these uncertain times.
 
You will hear the compelling story of a Rotarian who after over 20 years of work in America decided to return to her native Afghanistan and start a school. In spite of overwhelming odds, she began a school for girls starting with just seven and now serving nearly 450. It is amazing what one person with an idea can do to make the world a better place.
 
Another of our speakers will tell us about the rewarding work of helping children with cancer lead a more normal life. The Valerie Fund provides robots that attend classes for these children so that they may interact with others during their treatment.
 
There will be many stories about the great work our little district is doing to make both our communities and the world a better place to live. A presentation will take us through the steps of a global grant that will help thousands live a better life. There will be information and subject matter interesting to all Rotarians.
 
Lastly, I can’t tell you how much I look forward to celebrating the great work of our district and to talk about the level of cooperation between clubs and Rotarians that I have experienced this year. You will find a draft schedule for the speakers here in this month’s Inflight as well as other information pertaining to this annual event in our Rotary year. The conference is in our district this year so that every Rotarian who wishes has the opportunity to come out and learn something new while experiencing the Fellowship of Rotary. If you have not looked at the conference package you can see that there are opportunities to come for just a day or to attend the entire event, please join in!