Sisters was well represented at the Rotary District 5110 Conference, held last weekend at the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend. This Rotary district covers central, southern and coastal Oregon and northern California, making Bend a sunny, central location to hold it.
Sisters' own Anvil Blasters entertained the crowd at Friday night's Western Roundup dinner. This was not a sterotypical group of stodgy service-club members. Rotarians are committed to fostering youth development through international high school student exchanges and sponsoring high school clubs called Interact. There was a crowd of lively Rotary youth at the conference, and when the Anvil Blasters started up the dance tunes, they got a line dance going that showed more enthusiasm than skill, but certainly enhanced some cultural and generational understanding.
Things calmed down by Saturday morning, and the day was full of inspiring speakers addressing topics of health, conflict resolution and insight into what Rotary is doing in communities across the globe.
Rotarians worldwide adhere to a code of ethics called "The Four-Way Test," coined in the 1930s by a Chicago businessman and later adopted by Rotary International. It reads: "Of the things we think, say or do ... 1. Is it the Truth? 2. Is it Fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships? 4. Is it Beneficial to all concerned?"
A feature of Rotary district conferences is a speech contest open to high school students in which they must construct a speech that addresses the elements of the Four-Way Test.
Sisters High School senior Sonja Lund took up the challenge this year when Rotarian Rick Judy appealed to Samra Spear's AP English class. She penned a speech that suggested real-life ways to use the Four-Way Test as a filter through which to view life's decisions.
Lund was one of three semi-finalists chosen in a morning round to present her speech to several hundred Rotarians during Saturday's lunch session. She emerged as runner-up, making a poised yet animated delivery that also earned her a $500 check.
Combining the exuberance of youth and attention to the seriousness of world situations, Rotarians continue to display the motto of Rotary International, "Service Above Self."
Rotary Club of Sisters meets Tuesdays at noon for lunch, upstairs at Brand 33 at Aspen Lakes. Visitors are always welcome. For more information, call 541-549-2202.