The Rotary Club of Branford, founded in 1928, has been hosting their weekly club meeting over lunch at the for well over 40 years.
The Rotary has a solid history of humanitarian and community service and leadership in Branford spanning across its 60 members. However in recent years they noticed that attendance was lagging and now-President, then Membership Committee Chair, Tony Terry opened a discussion about the rising problem.
“It is difficult to attract new members when some of our regular members are becoming just occasional attendees,” commented Terry on the issues of involvement. “It was time for us to respond to the change in the socioeconomic climate.”
The Committee began opening dialogues with members about potentially moving the meeting times to accommodate more members. “Through our conversations we began to find out that Mondays weren’t working best. Mondays set the tone for the entire workweek. This is when most people need answers.”
The Committee considered changing the meeting to a breakfast at 7:15 a.m. They were cautious of resistance from members who were not interested in the time shift. “We had extensive conversations with people who were unhappy with the change.” Ultimately the members voted with a 10 to 1 ratio in favor of changing the time.
The new Rotary meetings are being held at the Wednesday mornings at 7:15 AM. Despite the change, they have no loss of members but actually had 50 members in attendance at their first meeting - a record for the group.
The $7 breakfast gets members a full and hearty meal as well as the traditional Rotary meeting. “John Sousoulas (of the Parthenon) has bent over backwards to make us feel welcome. The smaller environment at the Parthenon creates a better rapport and interaction between the members.”
As for leaving behind the long utilized Italian American Club, “We intend to maintain a great relationship and continue to use the space for larger events and meetings.”
The Rotary Club of Branford is always welcoming new members. For more information on the Rotary find them online or contact President Tony Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org.