The ladybug, Vocational Service, and our Rotary theme, Be the Inspiration
Never have I ever encountered a ladybug indoors at a special Rotary scholarship event that so ironically accented a perfect demonstration of our Rotary theme (Be the Inspiration) and January’s monthly theme of Vocational Service.  It was January 2, 2019 at the West Oklahoma City Rotary’s Hal Almen Scholarship luncheon during which nearly 25 college freshman recipients were awarded a $4,000 scholarship in the beaming support of their families and ever-encouraging West Oklahoma City Rotarians.
Soon after the Rotary bell was rung, I noticed the tiny ladybug, a sign of good fortune and prosperity, meander in front of me at the head table.  Soon, I was shaking hands and posing for pictures with each recipient following their recitation of university, major, and family in attendance.  We were all there because of an endowment created by late Rotarian Hal Almen, West OKC Rotary Charter President.  His granddaughter and proud third-generation Rotarian Natalie Bonney of Edmond Rotary shared a sentimental message:
He didn’t spend a penny on himself and was rather stingy with his money.  Instead, my grandfather, the late Hal Almen of West Oklahoma City Rotary, created a legacy by investing in you and your future so that you may succeed in your profession of choice.
Imagine the incredible foresight and extreme dedication of one local Rotarian who believed so much in Rotary and vocational service that he bequeathed most of his life’s earnings to enrich the future success of students he will never meet who are now embarking on the adventure of higher education. Annually, his endowment through the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and his Rotary club honor nearly $100,000 in scholarships in his name.  To date, an estimated 300+ Hal Almen scholarship recipients have benefited from the good fortune and prosperity of a Rotarian who even still continues to inspire through vocational service. 
Here are a few ways you can inspire through Rotary and vocational service this month:
· Talk about your profession in your club and take time to learn about fellow Rotary members’ occupations.
· Use your skills and expertise to serve a community.
· Practice your profession with integrity and inspire others to behave ethically through your words and actions.
· Help young people achieve their career goals.
· Guide and encourage others in their professional development.