President's Message Jitka Borowick
 

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A message from the Rotary Club of Hyannis President from her installation remarks, June 2018:

 

Each one of us in this room is faced with decisions and challenges every single day. Some are small – Is it Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks or my choice – Nirvana Coffee Company.
 
Some are less concrete and more significant and require testing ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually, or socially.
 
Last August, I found myself in New Hampshire faced with the biggest physical challenge of my life. I had just begun a 7.6-mile bike ride up Mt. Washington.
 
I had courageously – my mom prefers to say foolishly – decided to take part in the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hill Climb. It’s considered one of the most difficult hill climbs in the entire world thanks in large part to its steep grades which average 12 degrees and go as high as 22 degrees at the finish.
 
Prior to entering the race, I was hoping to finish in the top 10. Not long after I started, I wondered if I would even finish.
 
There were several times I wanted to quit. But I didn’t. Instead, I focused on small goals. I set my sights on one hill. Then the next. And then the next.
I drew inspiration as several cyclists – some much older than I – passed me on the course. I thought to myself: if they can do this, so can I.  Often times in life, I’ve found that others can push you to great heights.
That’s exactly what happened to me on Mt. Washington. Towards the end of the climb, a funny thing happened – I started pedaling faster. And I gained more energy as the cheering of the crowds grew louder.
When I crossed the finish line, I felt invigorated. I felt like I could accomplish anything.
As I stand here today, a similar feeling comes over me. It’s because I know we all share a passion for the ideals of Rotary – service above self.
 
That is what drew me to the rotary in 2012 – the opportunity to make an impact in our community. For those who know me, you know that giving back is as important to me as professional success.
 
I love Cape Cod. By giving of our time and talents, we are all making it a better place, we are living Rotary’s values.
 
As we remain committed to those values, we must remember to continue moving forward, pedaling up that figurative mountain. We have more hills to climb. We have yet to reach the mountain top.
 
A few years after I arrived here on Cape Cod from the Czech Republic, I became friends with a woman named Pam. She was a successful businessperson, owning a PR company with a number of high profile clients. As I helped Pam with her work, she did something I’ll never forget – she took me under her wing, becoming my mentor as I worked towards my associate’s degree at Cape Cod Community College.
 
John Quincy Adams once said: If your actions inspire others motivation to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.
 
Pam made me dream more, learn more, do more, and become more. She was a leader.
 
When I reached a modicum of success in my own career here on Cape Cod, I was introduced to WE CAN, a nonprofit organization that empowers women by giving them access to opportunity and self-sufficiency. I was at a point where I felt I could give back. So I became a mentor to women who were once in my shoes – they needed guidance, support, care, and a nurturing hand.
 
As a woman, small business owner from a foreign country, I’m somewhat of an anomaly on Cape Cod. As such, I can offer other women here something of value – hope. My message to other women in this room and across Cape Cod is clear – if I can achieve success following my dreams, so can you.
 
It’s not hard, but it does require the support of others. That’s why I ask each one of you in this room to consider ways you can have a similar impact on others in our club. We’re all here because we want to be leaders.
 
Where do we start? With friendship – what Paul Harris said is the bedrock of the Rotary. If we approach others as friends, together we can achieve more.
 
We must use that approach beyond the walls of the rotary. Over the next year, it’s my goal that our rotary will serve as an inspiration, not only in our immediate community, but to the larger world.
 
Where do we start? By setting our sights on the next hill. We must keep pedaling, moving forward, and trying to reach the mountaintop. We must remain committed to one another and to our goals. 
Collectively, we can help the rotary reach great heights. I look forward to working with you all over the next year as we inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.