Below is my article. I insert some photos that night. All photos from PE Patty Mangondato.
15 by 15, the membership challenge
PP Nonoy Oplas
Last March 2015, the Rotary Club of Taguig Fort Bonifacio turned 15 years old. It was founded in late March 2000 when Fort Bonifacio was newly privatized and development of the area was at an infancy stage. Very few buildings, there were more tall cogons and wild trees than buildings in the area there.
Fast forward to June 2015. The term of our 14th Club President, World Class(?) President Regie Necio is ending soon and President-Elect Patty Mangundatu-Michener will officially head the club in three weeks time.
Our club membership over the past few years has averaged about 15, or average 15 members after 15 years. Hence the title, “15 by 15”.
It is not exactly a big number to be proud of as we have remained a small club with less than 20 members for more than a decade now. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that many active members and Past Presidents are non-residents or non-personnel of Fort Bonifacio Global City (FBGC). Formerly working in FBGC, yes.
More than half of the 14 Club President used to work at the city. They were Charter President Bob Dimayuga (he served twice, first during the last 4 months of RY 1999-2000 and on the first year of the club), Past Presidents Charles Mercado, Jed Inciong, Caloy Morante, Joel Ciron, Romel Villegas, Niel Antonio, Norlan de Leon and Meann de Leon. PP Rose Antonio is the wife of PP Niel Antonio.
Some of these Past Presidents who remain active at the club and used to work at FBGC live far from the city. Like Norlan and Meann who live in Marilao, Bulacan; Niel and Rose who live in Antipolo, Rizal. President Regie lives in Quezon City.
It is good that PE Patty lives in Taguig. Not directly working at FBGC but nonetheless is a resident of Taguig and has some clients in the city. She is also very friendly and a good singer, a character that easily earns her many new friends and acquaintances.
Despite the small membership of the club, it has not discouraged our club Presidents, past and present, from producing some outstanding achievements. President Regie received a number of awards in the recent District Awards night. Immediate Past President Meann de Leon received an excellent performance award, especially with the “Fish for Life” project. A sister club from RC Koln, Germany, gave the club a substantial amount of donation to help the fisherfolks of Taguig in Laguna lake. The pictures, personal testaments of the fishermen-beneficiaries and their spouses, statements by the barangay leaders were proof of how successful that project was.
15 by 15 is a challenge for club membership to grow significantly. We hope it will be 16-20 by 16 (16-20 members by 2016) and further rise in the succeeding years.
RI and the leadership of District 3830 have been very helpful to us, especially our past and current District Governors and Assistant Governors for the cluster. They have not been lacking in helping our club in both community projects and membership development.
The big challenge and accountability for club growth remains with us, active club members. With the friendly and singing charisma of PE Patty, we hope we can surmount past hurdles that keep hounding us until today.