Dear Rotarians,
“Service Above Self” is the motto of all Rotarians and I am proud to serve as the new President for the Rotary Club of Galveston Island. It is truly an honor to play a small part in a large organization focused on making a real impact on the world.  More importantly, I am proud to serve as this year’s President for our club who, collectively, strives to make an impact on our local community.
I am amazed at what can be accomplished when members from the private sector work in conjunction with members from the nonprofit sector.  
As an Islander By Choice, I feel it is my duty to do whatever I can to make this island a better place for all who call Galveston Island “home” and be a positive example to the millions who visit our little island each year. Being involved with Rotary is one of the best ways to make this happen.
This year’s Rotary theme is “Serve To Change Lives.” We often think serving is all about helping the less fortunate or those in need.  I believe those who serve are the ones whose lives are changed the most.  Each time we have an opportunity to serve others, we learn more about ourselves and we receive more in return.  Seeing a little girl at Shriner’s hospital with burns covering 90% of her body grin from ear to ear when Big Bird enters her hospital room is a smile you can never forget.  Dropping off a meal to a Meals on Wheels recipient just might be the highlight of their lonely day.  Small acts of kindness given from the heart change lives and give hope in a world filled with hopelessness and negativity.  
As we create a “new normal” after the pandemic and face new struggles with the unexpected variants, let us always appreciate the gift of being able to serve, being able to help others after living through the pandemic with limits and restrictions.  I will always appreciate the creative ways Galveston came together to help those who struggled during the shutdown due to situations beyond their control. I hope we can look back on these times knowing what is really important in life and living the Four Way Test as we look ahead.  Only then will we be able to Serve to Change Lives.  I look forward to serving as Board President and hope we are better prepared to handle the unexpected knowing we came back stronger for navigating through these unparalleled times.  I am also excited to have the Rotary International Convention so close to home next spring.  This will be a year of new beginnings and many unique opportunities to serve.  
Take care,
Sharon O’Connor