By: Scott D Marcin, JD, Rotary International D7090 District Governor 2023-24

      “How are you doing?”, “How are you doing today?”, “Really, how are you doing?”
     And with these simple questions, you may have begun to make a difference in the life of the person you asked of him or her.  You would have taken the time to show care and concern for someone in your life, who may have needed a little bit of attention.  Who may have needed a friend to listen, and be there for them.
      This is the essence of this year’s Rotary Theme of “Create Hope in the World”. 
             It has now been 3 months since I was sworn in as District Governor for RI District 7090, and what a journey it has already been. And I have a couple observations.  I have been invited to preside over or attend several new member inductions, changeover events, anniversary celebrations, and club fund raisers, and the official visits.  And one thing I have found completely unmistakable is the enthusiasm that we share for Rotary, in being a service to those around us, and for trying to make lasting impacts in our communities and around the world.
              In addition, and what may already be readily apparent, this District 7090 is blessed with an amazing number of talented, caring and committed people, who are always ready to step up and help lead this district and help the clubs achieve the successes they seek. As you know, it is impossible to lead a district this size without a great deal of help; and I have been the beneficiary of so much help and advice.  From my District Governor chain to all the committee chairs and members, Rotarians are giving of their valuable time to put the clubs in a position to impact the lives of those around us.           
  As such, I want to say a very big thank you.  I am overwhelmed by all the care and concern so many have shown for me. I am so honored to be able to share the message of this year’s theme to our District Membership, and have been so pleased with the positive response to the focus on the issue of mental health.
              This year’s theme is “Create Hope in World”! What a great theme for what we do as Rotarians.  And one of the asks from RI President Gord McInally is for us to become champions in our efforts to illuminate the issues and needs of mental health in our area. We are to make people feel included, advocate and support mental health services, and create networks of experts in the field of mental health with those who need those services.
              There are so many opportunities for us to address the issues of mental health in our communities, and my ask is that clubs survey their communities to determine their mental health needs, and choose projects that may help transform the lives of those dealing with issues of mental health.  Bring optimism to our communities to those who may be suffering alone.  Create Hope in our Communities and around the world.
              Last year, Past RI President Jennifer Jones asked us to show care and concern for those around us, including members of our own club. I am asking that we now take the next step, beginning with an act of kindness, especially to those suffering from mental health issues.  Those acts of kindness will help us to break the barriers and stigma that people have with mental health issues and lead to the connections that we need to make to bring these issues to light and bring hope to peopIe.
              I have asked PDG Lisa Bishop to be our District Leader on this issue, helping us create a pool of resources that clubs will be able to draw from for speakers, outreach and projects. In this way, we can work together to tackle this difficult issue head on.
              I look forward to this year ahead and meeting many new friends who share our commitment to “Service Above Self”!