ROXBURY, NJ – About 30 young people involved in school organizations affiliated with the Roxbury Rotary Club were urged Wednesday to ask themselves a big question: When help is needed, who should do it if not themselves?
The prod for self-reflection was made by Roxbury Rotarian Steve Alford at the beginning of the second annual “All Things Rotary Caring, Kindness and Giving Summit.“ The event took place in the Roxbury Senior Center.
Guided by Alford, the youngsters thought about, and talked about, generosity and community involvement. Represented at the session were kids from all four Roxbury Early Act Clubs as well as members of the Eisenhower Middle School Builders Club and the Roxbury High School Interact Club.
Also at the event was veteran Roxbury Rotarian Don Schuld. In presenting him, Alford mentioned listening, long-ago, to a speech by Schuld that ended with the question “If not us, then who?” Alford said the question changed his life.
“It took me two years of thinking about these five words, trying to figure out what they meant, and once I figured out what they meant it gave my life purpose,” Alford said. “I will tell you guys; just take these five words and spend the next two or three years figuring out what it means. And if you figure out what it means, you’ll be a better person for it.”
Attending the gathering was Rotary District Governor Peggy Mader, a member of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Rotary Club.
“This is wonderful,” Mader told the youths. “This is a wonderful event that Steve does for you. We know, and you all know, that you guys are not only the future of Rotary but also the future of the world. And if you keep up on this path, I think we’ll all be in very good hands.”
During the 2-hour-long “Summit,” the youngsters engaged in group activities that helped them focus on the tenets of Rotary, including generosity and community service.
“What a great township we have, full of volunteers,” Roxbury Mayor Mark Crowley, who paid a visit to the event, told the audience. “There are so many volunteers in town that make this a great place to live.”
Crowley said he was inspired by the roomful of young people involved in organizations designed to foster generosity. “I’m looking at the next generation of volunteers,” said the mayor.