Mother and daughter share passion for Rotary
Past District Governor Jennifer Jones, right, and her mother, Joyce, during an Arch C. Klumph Society induction ceremony in October. Rotary Images/Monika Lozinska
Sometimes the most obvious choices for potential club members are the people we’re closest to, “yet we look right past them,” says Past District Governor Jennifer Jones, who invited her parents to Rotary activities but hadn’t considered asking them to join.
Fortunately, a fellow club member and friend took the initiative. And four years after joining the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, Jennifer’s mother, Joyce, is serving as its president.
“I’ll never forget my last official task as district governor: inducting my mom into Rotary,” says Jennifer. “She had been living Rotary for many years, attending district conferences, taking part in fundraisers, and traveling as a literacy volunteer to Guatemala. She saw service in action.” Joining the club was the natural next step.
While spouses, children, and siblings all are logical choices for Rotary involvement, our parents often are the ones with extra time -- as well as a lifetime of experiences and skills -- to share with Rotary.
“Through Rotary we’ve shared many special times together, and each of them has been made more memorable because we’ve done them together,” says Jennifer.
Jennifer credits her parents with cultivating a sense of service in her. She organized carnivals in the backyard to raise money to fight muscular dystrophy, opened a lemonade stand, made her own greeting cards to sell door-to-door, and collected pop bottles and coins for UNICEF. Through it all, her parents were “there to celebrate the victories, as well as the lessons that were born out of these experiences,” says Jennifer.
In October, her mother was there again when Jennifer and her husband, Nick Krayacich -- who is president of the Rotary Club of LaSalle-Centennial -- were inducted into the Arch C. Klumph Society. Her father, John, was unable to attend the ceremony, but Joyce represented them both.
“I was so honored to be in front of the audience of dignitaries sharing my daughter’s story,” says Joyce. “It was a special time for the two of us.”
Jennifer, who is president and CEO of a television production company, has served as club president, governor of District 6400 (part of Ontario and part of Michigan, USA), and district public relations chair.
Among their many activities and projects, Jennifer and Nick -- both Rotary Foundation alumni -- have established an annual peace symposium at Duke University to support Rotary Peace Fellows and to publicize the program. They also are creating a pooled endowment that will generate revenue for their district to use for water projects.
From “mom” to “president”
As for Joyce, she became involved in her club’s literacy and international service committees, helped with club fundraisers, and continued to travel to Guatemala to distribute books to Mayan schools. “When I joined Rotary, I jumped in with both feet,” she says.
“If you’re going to be a Rotarian, that’s the way to do it — don’t just take up space on a chair,” she declares.
Yet when she was approached about becoming club president, she thought her fellow club members were joking. But she accepted because she didn’t want to regret not taking on this important role.
“And I love it!” she says. “I find it such a joy serving our club and serving side by side with my daughter.”
Jennifer is also pleased with the arrangement: “All my life she’s been my confidante and sounding board. Now, in her role as president, she looks to me for advice. It’s added another level of depth to our relationship.”