Archive for January, 2013

Rotary, A Great Way to Give Back to your Community and nation!

January 28, 2013
Delivering Christmas for Seniors in North Raleigh

Delivering Christmas for Seniors in North Raleigh

In 2007, I began to search for an organization to join where I could give back to my community while networking with local business people. After visiting several civic organizations, I quickly determined that Rotary was the best fit for me. Then I visited a few different clubs before settling on the Rotary Club of North Raleigh. Joining this club in November of 2007, little did I know what I was actually joining. The opportunities to give back are limited only by one’s willingness to serve.

The first time I visited this club, several members welcomed me to the club. One of the members, Past-President Matthew Kane, told me of the many projects the club does to include the Guatemala Literacy Project along with many local projects. I choose Rotary because of the corporate goal of eradicating Polio from the world. As the son of a polio survivor and Post-Polio Syndrome, I quickly decided that this was the organization that I wanted to join and give my efforts. Any organization that has such a high and lofty goal is one that I wanted to be a part of.

Since joining, I have participated in several projects for the club. In 2010, I was asked to join the board of our club as the Director for International Service. As the director for International Service, I travelled that year to Guatemala to experience the literacy project on a personal level. This experience had a dramatic impact on me and the way I live my life. We, as Americans, have always heard about the abject poverty that many third world nations have, but to experience it, first-hand, it eye-opening. The Guatemalans I met were very happy to see us and very appreciative for all of our assistance. I was impressed with the program that is run by Cooperative for Education out of Ohio. The love they have for the people of Guatemala was unparalleled. I have never seen anything like it. I was so impressed and became so enthralled with the people who I went back the next year with another member of my club.

Rotary is about more than international service. On a local basis, our club has recently began to volunteer for Read and Feed as tutors. The first time was a wonderful experience and I will be volunteering again tomorrow. Read and Feed is a local charity that has mobile units that go to the communities where the children are located to feed them dinner, then tutor them for about 40 minutes to help them improve their reading skills. The children are very appreciative and very well-behaved.

Also this week, I will be assisting Hilltop Homes with the assembling of playground equipment which our club helped purchase for this organization. Hilltop Homes is an organization that works with severely disabled children who need round the clock assistance. Many were born with their disabilities while others are victims of shaken baby syndrome. They live at the facility which allows the parents to continue to work and provide for the rest of their family.

Next week, I will be traveling with several members of our district to Union Beach, NJ to work on some of the homes that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. We will leave Monday and sleep in a church, just to help families there. We will be doing carpentry work, which is not my forte’, but we will do what we can. Half of the crew going to NJ are members of the North Raleigh Rotary Club.

I don’t know of any other organization where you can donate your time and efforts in such varying ways. Where ever your talents lie, Rotary can use them to help your community. I am not writing this to brag on myself, but rather to brag on the Rotary Club of North Raleigh and Rotary in general. For example, we have about 16 volunteers for Read and Feed with only 4 needed each week. Whatever the project, we have members who will step up to meet the needs of our community.

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Downtown Links Golf Calendar

January 18, 2013
Lochmere...A Golf Experience!

Lochmere…A Golf Experience!

As a member of the committee for the Downtown Links, I am pleased to announce the calendar that we have do date. The Downtown Links is a group of professional who are also members of the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh, The Downtown Clubs of Raleigh is a combination of the Capital City Club and the Cardinal Club. Each of these clubs are business and social clubs that include many opportunities for networking, each with wonderful dining rooms.

This calendar is for informational purposes and may change at the committee’s direction. If you are not a member of the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh and would like to play one of the beautiful courses we have scheduled, please contact me and you can play as my guest.

March 13th, Devil’s Ridge Country Club in Holly Springs

April, Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. Date and time TBD

May 14th, Raleigh Country Club in Raleigh

June 6th, North Ridge (Lakes Course) Country Club in North Raleigh

July 22, Brier Creek Country Club in North Raleigh

August, Hasentree Country Club in Wake Forest. Date and time TBD

September 23, Treyburn Country Club in Durham

October, The Neuse Country Club in Clayton. Date and time TBD

November 7th, Lochmere Golf Club in Cary

 

Upcoming golf tournament

April 22nd, North Raleigh Rotary Golf Tournament, Wildwood Green Golf Club, 1pm shotgun start

We are excited about this group of courses and it should be another great season. Most of our outings this year are shotgun starts, but not all of the final details have been negotiated. If you are interested in playing any of these courses, please contact me at Steven@BackNineHomes.com to get on the list of players.

To Resolve or Not to Resolve: that is the question

January 2, 2013
Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”
– Oscar Wilde,
Irish Writer & Poet

Each year around this time, people around the world make New Year Resolutions and typically by the second, they have failed to keep these resolutions. Too many look at resolutions as a waste of time as they rarely last a week before they are broken. So, what’s the sense in making them?

Resolutions can serve as your goals for the year. One of the most utilized resolutions is loosing weight or working out more. Therefore, you start the year and after a bad day where you eat a fatty meal or you miss your scheduled workout, you declare the resolution broken and go back to your old habits. There are other ways to look at your resolutions instead of all or nothing. Consider it a tool to begin the process of self-improvement. Life is not all or nothing. We are all fallible and as such, none of us can completely change a negative or bad habit in a split second. It is a process.

Studies have shown that it takes 30 days to change a bad habit. This is true, but you can also change a bad habit by being committed to that act for 30 days. Even if you have a bad day and fail to accomplish your resolution that day, start fresh the next minute, hour, or day. Continuing to work on ourselves is the only thing that truly separates us from other species whose only concern is basic survival needs like food, water and shelter. We, as humans, have a need and desire to be more and to accomplish more than basic needs.

I have personally set several resolutions or goals that I intend to work hard to keep. I will not be completely successful on all of them, but I plan to accomplish the ultimate goal of the resolution…changing my bad habit into a positive one. I will not go into my resolutions as they are personal and private, but one involves a healthier lifestyle in terms of losing weight and exercising more consistently. Will I reach my weight loss goal? We will find out, but I will spend 2013 striving towards that goal. I will not give up after a stressful day where I eat those cheese fries that I love, but are not good for me. It is not about a one-time ban on cheese fries that is meant to last an entire year, but rather, it is about reducing the amount of cheese fries I eat in 2013 and ultimately, improve my waist line and health.

I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.” 
– Anaïs Nin,
French-Cuban Author

Resolutions are about a daily compact with yourself to improve yourself. We all have our own bad habits that we need to change. So, if you have not yet made your New Year’s Resolutions, it is not too late. Start today…start tomorrow…start next week, just start! Call it what you want to call it, but start.

New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” 
– Mark Twain,
American Author & Humorist

I develop my resolutions by categorizing them. I do the same with my goals as life is not about work alone. I typically have professional, personal, spiritual and familial categories. From there, you can analyze each category to determine what you would like to accomplish in each category. There is not a magical number of resolutions you should have and…this is important…you do not have to wait until next year to modify them. As life changes, our goals and plans change. Your resolutions should change or modify as life changes for you. For example, you may resolve to maintain your yard more consistently, then for reasons beyond your control, you have to sell and buy a condo. Obviously, your commitment to the yard will not be applicable. Typically what happens is your focus changes and that results in modifying your resolutions/goals. I could have some home sales goals that would change if I took a sales position for a national builder.

Ultimately, resolutions help us better ourselves…and everyone can be a better person.

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” 
– Benjamin Franklin,
Author, Inventor & Diplomat

Your resolution for 2013 may be to purchase your dream home. If this is the case, contact me to see how we can make that resolution a reality.