By Brett Morey, Founder & Chair of Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship (SURF)
What a wild few weeks it has been. In times like these, what connects us all is hope. Hope creates joy and that truly binds us as the family of Rotary. We are also very much aware that in these uncertain times, as Rotary members, each of us are often viewed as the community leaders, leaders within our families and our companies.
COVID-19 has impacted members of our fellowship and taken the lives of some great friends, family members and colleagues. It has also created economic havoc with many folks losing their jobs. As we strive to focus on the positives, we have also seen hundreds of thousands more survive the virus and that is encouraging. We have a number of Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship members who tested positive and are recovering. While many look forward with hope that a vaccine will be developed preventing the virus or other strains in the future, we also are seeing positive results as the scientiﬁc and biotech communities work together for the greater good of humanity.
Last week, we kicked oﬀ our ﬁrst Surfers Unite video conference through Zoom and it was great having a group of members from California, Florida, Arizona, Hawaii, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and even the Philippines on the call. We are looking forward to our next Zoom event on the 5 May or as we refer to it in California as Cinco de Mayo.
Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship members are taking action during this time and are making a positive diﬀerence in the midst of this global crisis. Members like Pauline Lim from the Rotary Club of San Diego Downtown Breakfast in California are working with a group of women to sew a variety of masks. They have already delivered several hundred masks and are taking orders for more including washable masks that have inserts for HEPA ﬁlters. If you would like to learn more about Pauline’s initiative, reach out to her directly using our online directory or visit her website.
Dan Schneiderman, a lawyer, fellow surfer and Rotarian from the Rotary Club of San Diego (Club 33) in California quickly recognized the needs of the medical community and sprang into action. Dan’s father Gary is a retired Orthopedic Surgeon, Big Kahuna Lifetime member of the Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship and member of the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle, in California and his mother Dr. Kathy Schneiderman is a Pediatrician. Frankly they are two of the ﬁnest folks we have ever known. Dan’s team raised more than $6,0000 USD and began making face shields using 3-D printers to deliver to 225 units in three Southern California hospitals and medical centers. Visit their fundraising page and contact Dan for more information.
Lastly, we want to acknowledge Sean Slentz, a Nurse Practitioner at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. Sean is a member of the Rotary Club of Downtown Honolulu, a Board Member for Surfers Unite and an Assistant Governor for District 5000. We just want to thank Sean for all he is doing for Rotary and in the medical community to save lives each day.
We will all get through these difficult times together. Furthermore, we have friends around the world doing what they can to support one another. Having been on a number of Zoom video calls recently, I have seen how Rotarians and Rotaractors are working in their regions to meet the needs of others, picking up groceries and dropping off supplies for elder members of their clubs and folks in the community.