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Rotary official speaks about mental health crisis, creating hope

Rotary District 5870 Governor Bob Crouch

Rotary District 5870 Governor Bob Crouch wore a kilt when he spoke to the Rotary Club of Marble Falls on Aug. 31. He said he'll be wearing a kilt to all Rotary events during his year of service in honor of the new Rotary International president, who is from Scotland. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

Rotary District 5870 Governor Dr. Bob Crouch talked about the importance of breaking the stigma of mental healthcare when he visited Marble Falls on Aug. 31. Crouch outlined new Rotary International President Gordon R. McInally’s initiative during a Rotary Club of Marble Falls meeting at River City Grille on Thursday.

“This is pretty powerful,” Crouch said. “We all just came out of a pandemic that lasted two years, and made a lot of changes in our lives. We’re in another pandemic right now. We’re in a crisis, a health crisis. It’s a mental health crisis.”

Crouch also highlighted the 2023-24 Rotary theme: Create Hope in the World.

“To me, I think our world needs a lot of hope right now,” he said. “If you look at what’s going on in Ukraine, if you look at what’s going on in some places in Africa, if you look at what happened just the past couple of days in Florida with the storm, (the) Maui (wildfire), and in our own communities, we have a tall order to create hope in the world. Nobody is better suited to do so than Rotary.”

Rotary International is a global network of over 46,000 clubs with a mission to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education, protect the environment, and grow local economies through humanitarian service.

Crouch donned a kilt for his speech in honor of Rotary International President McInally, who is from Scotland. 

“About a year ago in July, when I found out we’d be serving together, I reached out to him on Facebook and asked if he’d be OK if I wore a kilt in his honor and in honor of our service together and in honor of my heritage, because I have a little bit of Scottish heritage,” he said. “He responded and said that not only was he OK with it, but he’d be honored with it. So, for all my official functions this year, I’m wearing a kilt.”

Crouch was impressed by the Marble Falls club’s vitality.

“This is such an energetic club,” he said. “You go to some Rotary club meetings and half the crowd is just kind of there. Y’all are engaged. You’re smiling. You’re happy.”

He also commended the group for its growth.

“This club is very good at bringing in new members every year,” Crouch said.

He challenged longtime members to keep up the momentum.

“Continue to do what your club does very well,” Crouch said. “That is getting people involved as soon as they join so that shininess about Rotary doesn’t fade. Just keep retaining quality Rotarians so we can do the good things in the world that we do.”

After Crouch’s presentation, the club filled bags with basic hygiene items for distribution to people experiencing homelessness.

“It makes an impact on their lives,” Crouch said. “It may not change their whole life, but it will make their day a little bit brighter.”

Learn about the Rotary Club of Marble Falls on its website.