Inaugural Speech

Posted by President Tracy Bray on Jul 10, 2017
Past President and good friend, Sam Brady was very pleased to be able to introduce our newest President, Tracy Bray.  They go back, way back, interconnected on so many levels.  Sam has known Tracy longer than anyone else in the room, longer than his wife.  They grew up together in the same neighbourhood.  The kids were either at the Bray's house or the Brady's house.  No knocking, just walking in and cutting across each other's backyards.  He remembers the Bray family as involved in many events, as organizers who knew the importance of learning as well as having a life/work balance.  Camping at Sandbanks.  Skiing at Batawa.  Playing Math Bingo.  Tracy has now become them, the ultimate organizer and a busy mom, business owner, coach, mentor of many.  Tracy attended Queen's University and then attended Chicago Chiropractor College and graduated in 1989.  After Anissa was born in 2002, Tracy moved back to the Quinte area for more support in raising a young child.  Sam praised Tracy as a single parent and now the family organizer.  He knows Tracy will keep the Rotary Club of Belleville in motion.
Tracy said it was a honour and privilege to stand today as the new President, the 4th woman President in 98 years.  Rotary has been a fulfilling experience for Tracy, an opportunity to get involved on so many levels and to be able to give back to the community she loves so much.  This year's Rotary International theme is "Making a Difference", now a personal goal for Tracy in the 2017-2018 Rotary year.  She wants to make a difference to the members of this Club, the people and programs in our community and support the international efforts of Rotary.  We are members of an organization that has made such a difference all around the world.  For example, polio.  In 1987 there were 350,000 cases of polio per year spread over many countries.  Today there are less than 40 cases and only 3 countries are not polio free, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.  We are so close to ending polio, it could happen this year.  And every Rotarian can play a part in this.  Individually our volunteering efforts could never achieve such a massive elimination of a disease, but together what seemed impossible is soon to be a reality.
Tracy reminded the members that we have the great honour of being part of the host district for this year's International Convention being held in Toronto June 23 - 27, 2018.  There are already 14,000 guests registered.  We will be asked to provide volunteers to be welcomers, to host dinners and to attend all the incredible events planned.  This is an amazing opportunity to see our organization in action, people just like us, altogether from all over the world with one common goal -- to make our world a better place. 
Tracy's vision this year is to reconnect our fundraising to our community and international projects.  Tracy is confident we can grow our membership and increase our attendance.  A visioning exercise will be scheduled for some time in the Fall.  Tracy's wants to re-ignite everyone's passion towards our fundraising efforts and encouraged everyone to get involved and support Rotary Loves Kids Golf Tournament and Party in the Square.  Our goal this year is to the top the $100,000 mark!  Maximum participation is needed.  Tracy introduced the 2017-2018 Rotary Board of Directors and also advised that Connie Reid is the new Program Chair and Jeanette Minaker is the new Fellowship Chair.  Please contact any of the Board Members if you have suggestions or concerns.  Tracy also reminded the Club that this year the Rotary Music Festival is celebrating 50 years and still going strong! 
And lastly Tracy thanked her parents, Sue and Doug Bray (pictured here with Tracy and her daughter Anissa) for their fine example and many years of support to Tracy and her daughter Anissa.  And with a few tears in her eyes, Tracy thanked the most important person in her life, her daughter Anissa, her prime reason for wanting to make the world a better place.  A strong, confident young person, helping Tracy often at Rotary events such as the Special Needs Christmas party, the Aids Walk (photo of Anissa, Tracy and dog Max), Santa Claus Parade and Camp Merrywood.  And finally, Tracy proposed a toast to the Club, the year ahead and the beautiful volunteer spirit of all the members.