We had a fantastic crowd to hear District Governor Chuck Pretto speak on September 8, 2022.  During his term, Chuck is focusing on two main, youth-oriented projects: i) expanding mental health resources for young people in San Diego; and ii) installing peace poles on the campuses of local schools.
Rotary’s youth activities have long been of special importance to Chuck. At a time he was thinking of leaving Rotary, a fellow Rotarian in Club 33 asked Chuck if he might consider hosting a Youth Exchange student. Chuck thought:  Great. I’ll ask my wife, Kim, if we can do this, she’ll say no (particularly since his three children weren’t yet teenagers), and he can leave Rotary.  But Kim surprised him by saying “yes”. Eventually, he and Kim went on to host seven exchange students. The final student arrived when their children were out of the house. Kim allowed the hosting provided that Chuck was responsible for getting her to and from school, and any activities. Chuck said that because of this condition, he was perhaps closer to this student than he was to the others.
Chuck also talked about the importance of wearing a Rotary pin, and how the master brand is more easily seen than the classic small wheel.  He talked of one instance in the grocery store. The young man bagging groceries saw Chuck’s pin and said:  “Rotary changed my sister’s life.” A Rotary club had made it possible for this young woman to have orthodontic work that increased her confidence and enhanced her life outlook.  Wearing a pin fosters these conversations, or provides a starting point to say what Rotary is and why you’re a member of Rotary.  Chuck brought a magnetic master brand pin for every member in attendance.  Please wear your new pin- especially at the Sunset Soirée, since the program encourages guests to talk with club members about membership.