Heather Kugler is a new member with an old Rotarian soul. Her Rotary Moment on May 23, 2017 was a SHOW STOPPER. Grab a hankie. Here is the complete text:
When Karen approached me about doing this week’s rotary moment, she said it was okay if I didn't have that "one" yet since I was a newer member. She was right, but I obviously agreed to do it anyway since I'm standing up here. I was sitting at my desk after our little text message exchange, wondering why I agreed to do this. (Insert “who could say no to Karen” joke here.)
So-Let's rewind about a year. I had just finished the Soapbox Derby as a spectating parent and I approached Bobby about how I could help. I felt I had a lot of great qualities I could bring to the derby, but I had no idea what Rotary really was, nor what it had in store for me. I was simply seeking an opening to help work on the derby, and never expected what I’d really get.
Bobby brought me as his guest to a few meetings and I often sat silently observing the behaviors and personalities of the members around me and thought many times about where and how exactly I could fit in. I don’t have a fancy job title, or a wall of degrees, or even a smidgeon of the experience collected in this room. I felt out of place among many of you, and was unsure if this would eventually be a bigger commitment that I intended.
A recent career move had changed EVERYTHING in my life drastically and quickly. I went from working in non-profits part-time where I felt like I was making a difference, to tied-down to a corporate desk job 50 hours a week. I love my job, but before long my smiles and bubbly personality morphed into that of an unfamiliar, paper pushing robot. It’s been a wild ride for the better, and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but HONESTLY, I felt I had lost a piece of myself along the way. I had spent the better part of two years lonely and depressed, feeling without TRUE purpose, and TRUE friendship, when Rotary found me. I realized that this was the outlet I was looking for. That the values and foundations that Rotary was built on aligned perfectly with what I had been asking for God to place in my life.
Many, if not all of you, have likely heard the anonymously penned quote “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but the number of moments that take our breath away.” This quote immediately popped into my head when reflecting on the past year that I’ve spent in Rotary.
So let’s fast forward a year...do I have a Rotary "moment"? Well in true millennial fashion, I don't....I have many. 😜
-I've contributed ideas and suggestions for change to a group of veteran Rotarians that have run this well-established club perfectly fine for years and years without me, and I didn't even manage to get kicked out!!
-I took a walk through time right here in my hometown and stood beneath a Gusher-inspired to further research this remarkable piece of history that I had embarrassingly had never seen in person until that day.
-I've learned about Beaumont nature preserves that I never knew existed, met a remarkable sandwich-maker turned prestigious, faith-based businessman, and I now subscribe and listen to Ted talks daily.
-I've had lunch with historical authors, real-life Indians, and was even taught to behave by a Senior Aid to a President of the United States, yall!!
-I’ve contributed financially to a movement that I’m proud to support-A movement to eradicate disease from the world. Wow….Who can say that?
-I’ve sat beside lifetime Rotarians, and listened to stories of the evolution of Rotary, and this club, and watched these fellows beam with passion and pride as they recount their own contributions and experiences.
-And I’ve learned that when I pour my heart and soul into these projects and get out into the community, that it just might be touched by one special little girl that I just can't get off my mind, and one that I'm hoping to become a mentor to real soon.  
-Last but not least, I've learned that while I cannot make gumbo better than a Beaumont fireman, I do have a place and I can fit in. And I proudly stand and serve this community alongside CPA’s, doctors, financial advisors, marketing executives, managers, entrepreneurs, more financial advisors and more CPA’s-ALL OF YOU, and I am welcomed.
But if I had to choose one moment out of them all so far, it was the day I was given the gift of membership, and the entire experience in all of its moments that have taken my breath away, and the life that it has in return breathed back into me. 
Heather Kugler
Proud Rotarian since July 2016