Our Program on Tuesday, January 2, 2024 was a Club Assembly discussion of the viability and sustainability of the Excelsior Rotary Club in the future.  Nick Ruehl acted as moderator and facilitator of the discussion.  Nick masterfully led the nineteen Excelsior Rotarians (and one by Zoom). Nick had prepared a handout to guide members through the discussion.  He started with the basic premise of what Rotary is according to Rotary International, “Rotary is a global network of 1.4 million neighbors, friends leaders, and problem solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”  
Ruehl then proceeded to list the attributes of successful club.  In comparison our Excelsior Rotary excels as having a welcoming atmosphere; great fellowship; committed service projects including STRIVE, Book Collection for Charities, Resource West’s Warm Winter Wear & Teen Christmas Gifts; Semi-annual Highway 7 cleanup; Many Hands Many Meals food packaging and funding; and Ringing for the Salvation Army.  The club is generous in donations to scholarships for Minnetonka Students, grants for Resource West and other charities, to the Minnetonka Community Education Programs, and volunteering for community events like Tour de Tonka.  The club is in stable financial basis with $100,000 in assets.  The club is left wanting in leadership, membership growth, and fundraising.  This was a very challenging discussion.
The tougher task now was to discuss who we are now!  We currently have 25 members of which 17 are regulars, and our average age is 75.  There is no one willing to step up to be president or president-elect or Communications Director.  We have dropped 5 members in the past year and are now holding meetings in a new location.                                                
Nick carefully laid our possible options for discussion for the future including the criteria, impact and a cautionary note about satellite club requirements.  Even as a satellite club you still need officers, club structure and to pay dues!  What the members value the most in our club is the fellowship and our trademark service projects mentioned above.  As our club has progressed for the past 75 years the values of the members have changed as has the focus of Rotary in general. We are no longer a business centered lunch break club and have evolved into enjoying the fellowship and comradery of friends and doing manageable service projects for an aging club. 
Some options for continuing forward were: 1. Meet weekly and start with three times per month increasing to weekly. 2.  Become a social club of friends with no officers or dues. 3. Join with the morning club with flexible membership and leadership. 4. Disband the club and let members join other Rotary clubs if they desire to continue their membership.            
Discussing if the club could sustain itself in the future and decide our mission became tougher because of lack of members to volunteer for leadership, members not willing to share the workload of club functions with only a few members carrying on the duties of the club, reduction in members, and lack of commitment to do fundraising.  The group discussion and concluded by exploring the impact of the various options.  Members were doubtful that being just a social club would not succeed because of a lack of commitment and service projects. Combining clubs had mixed reviews.  Continue trying was Favored by some while other were doubtful as we have tried that for the last several years. 
In conclusion, Nick will make an executive summary of the discussion and send out to members prior to when we meet again on February 20th to make decisions regarding the viability and sustainability of the club and what option(s) we will pursue. Club and members were encouraged to send addition options and/or thoughts to Nick and Randy. Club members are to be commended for their respect and dignity as fellow members expressed their views and ideas.