Posted by Craig Young on Jul 03, 2017
Well, Rotary year 2016-2017 is drawing to a close. It has been quite a year for the Rotary Club of Canton, and I want to give a short recap of the year before I get into thank you's and maybe get a bit teary!
I had a set of goals for this Rotary year, some we achieved, some we made progress on. I had a goal of increasing membership by 10 Rotarians, and we actually ended the year down one member at 155. We added 18 new Rotarians this year, bust lost 19 through attrition and death. We lost many good Rotarians this year, and I ask you to please take a moment to remember these folks:  PP Rick Sherer, Raymond V. Pelanda, PP Ken Weber, PP E. Jason McCoy, Ward Scott, PP Don Coen and, just recently, Pat Gannon.  It is sad losing so many good Rotarians, but it is encouraging that we have 18 new Rotarians this year. I ask that we all share a Friday lunch with a new Rotarian and make sure they feel welcome and appreciated. They are the core that will keep our club strong.
It is also exciting to welcome two new babies of Canton Rotarians this year: Roman Candea, son of Justin and Hannah Candea; and Lilianna Pierce, daughter of Tony and Amanda Pierce; and at least one more new baby next year thanks to Raquel Raderchak. Interestingly, both Roman and Lilianna were born in the same room at Akron City Hospital!
I encourage all of you to share Rotary with someone. Invite them to a meeting and mentor them in what Rotary is. I challenged each member when I became President to introduce one new member every 3 years to Rotary. Canton Rotary can be a very powerful and influential force in our community, but only if we share Rotary with others and keep our Club growing and vibrant. This responsibility falls to each and every one of us.
We enjoyed many great speakers over the course of the year. We have had both Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who have now both announced as candidates for Governor, along with Senator Scott Oelslager and Mayor Tom Bernabei. We have had business leaders like Bob Gessner of Massillon Cable, and Bill Bryan of Timken Steel. We have had great non-profit and community speakers from Habitat ECO, Youth Correctional Services, Malone University, College of Wooster, McKinley High, and Mental Health and Addiction speakers. It is a daunting task to come up with over 40 quality and pertinent speakers each year, and I am very pleased with the level of speakers we have presented to the Club this year.
As my last act, before being kicked to the curb, I wish to thank from my heart all those who have made this a great year for me.
Thank you to Greg Triner and Mr. Mike's Catering and staff for the wonderful facility, food, and service. We will miss being here.
Thank you to Tom Schervish for the support in our last office which we outgrew.
Thank you to my support at work, Rita Burchess, Bruce Hale and Justin Candea. 
Thank you to all the Committee Chairs who help keep our Club operating - from big things like Oktoberfest to more mundane things like greeters and invocators.
Thank you to the Board of Directors who have helped guide us through many difficult decisions over the past year and who provided thoughtful input and ideas.
Thank you to PDG/PP Bob Pattison for establishing and running the Presidential Advisory Committee, to PP Dan Matthews on his innovative approach on membership and support of our Club.
Thank you to my Executive Committee team - Amanda Tietze, Michelle Mullaly, Tom Clevenger, Suzette Matthews. The Executive Committee has had a lot to accomplish this year, with moving offices, moving venues, and updating Bylaws, plus all the other tasks that are part of leading a Club of this size. 
Thank you to Lauri Coy and Barb Schrade - without Lauri and Barb this journey as President would have been 100 times more difficult - actually it would have been impossible! I cannot thank them enough for all the support and guidance!
Thank you to my daughter, Hannah, and her husband, Justin, and especially my wife, Kim, - your support and understanding over the past year has enabled me to give this job my best.
I truly thank the Rotary Club oof Canton for allowing me the honor to serve as President of the "Finest Rotary Club in the World". I appreciate your faith and trust in me. I will always cherish this past year, and I look forward to the next several years under the leadership of Amanda, then Michelle, then Mark. We have a great team to continue this journey, and I pledge my support to them.
Thank you all very much!