Welcome to District 5495 News

District Grant Update
At least two members of each club must attend a (free) Grants Management Training  in order to qualify to apply for a District Grant.  Three sessions remain:

Wednesday March 15 - Zoom 
          Online live (evening) session. Registration is required for credit.
Saturday March 25 - Live session at CLA (Phoenix)
          This is a live session at the Club Leadership Academy (CLA).  Register for CLA separately to attend this session.
Saturday April 1 - Live Session in Phoenix
           Live Session in Phoenix.  More information is coming soon.
Many thanks to grantees who have already gotten their reports in for this (2022-23) Rotary year's grants.  The deadline for all reports is April 30 and on-time reporting is a requirement for qualification for next year's application. 
The report form is here:  
The signed MOU (Memorandum of understanding), a requirement for 2023-24 grants, should be sent to Caleb Lowe, executiveservices@rotary5495.org.  The form may be downloaded here:
Questions?  Please read the District 5495 District Grants Guidelines:
The committee is looking forward to seeing your applications.
As always, please address questions to me, Rebecca Wilks rebecca@skylineimages.net.

To all District 5495 Rotarians:

Here is a quick 2:45 minute VIDEO. Some great news today!

Major development today regarding the AZ Rotary License Plate Project. If you haven't connected with the Facebook page you're going to want to get the latest update there. 

We have a very conservative goal of raising $10,000 for PolioPlus -- BEFORE the match -- with Iron Lung Lager. Imagine if your club's contribution could have a 15x impact of legacy in this world!!! 

Thank you so much for being part of this impactful and powerful accomplishment within our organization. Thank you for helping to change the world. 

Larry Horton 602-363-9440 RotaryLarry5495@icloud.com

Arizona Diamondbacks organist Bobby Freeman was honored by the Peoria North Rotary Club and presented with a Paul Harris Fellow during an event held Feb. 11 in Peoria.
The award, one of Rotary's highest honors, was presented to Bobby by District Governor Larry Horton during the Peoria North Rotary Club's annual wine classic fundraiser held at Rio Vista Community Center in Peoria.
Bobby Freeman has served as the organist for the Diamondbacks since the team was launched in 1998. He serves as a Diamondbacks ambassador and makes countless appearances every year at charitable events throughout the state on behalf of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.
He has donated his time to support a number of charities throughout the Valley, including After the Homestretch Arizona (a rescue organization for thoroughbred horses) and the Major League Baseball Alumni Association. He has performed at nearly all of the Peoria North Rotary Club annual wine classic fundraisers.
In the above photo, from left: Charlene Freeman, Bobby, DG Larry Horton and PNRC President Vernon Bridges.
Submitted by Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Chair
Rotary Club of Sun Lakes Club President, Stephen Phair, recently announced that House Bill 2062 recently passed through the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and will now move to the Arizona House Floor for a vote to approve Rotary license plates.
The State of Arizona allows organizations such as Rotary Clubs of Arizona, the opportunity when registering vehicles to support local charities. To date, Rotarians in Arizona have had to choose other charities to support because there is no license plate for Rotarian's in Arizona to show their pride.
That is all about to change.
As People of Action, Rotarians are working with Arizona state legislators to create a Rotarian license plate. Rotary International District 5495 Governor, Larry Horton and RCSL Sun Lakes President Stephen Phair recently made a trip to the Arizona House of Representatives to meet with Rep Jennifer Pawlik.
RCSL President Phair was able to speak to the T&I Committee on behalf of HB2062 and Rotary; met with House Sergeant At Arms; and toured the Capital with Past District 5495 Governor Chuck Fitzgerald.
Arizona Rotary leaders ask that you contact your representatives and senators to ask them to support HB2062 so Arizona Rotarians can get their own license plate. 
By Vicki Puliz
Zone 26/27 RI Director 2021-23
Recent surveys of our Rotary members reveal a strong conclusion: The Club Experience matters more than anything else. The most important factors for overall Rotary member satisfaction are:
  • Enjoying club meetings
  • Confidence in club leadership
  • Satisfaction with club service
  • Satisfaction in finding friends
  • Club’s positive impact in the community
Disengagement is the biggest threat. Disengaged members have not found either friends or business connections through Rotary. Other reasons members leave?  "The club doesn’t represent my values” and “lack of community impact” are the top stated reasons.
Most new members learn about Rotary from an acquaintance - a friend, business colleague, family member, or a club member who is not a close friend.  Ten times more new members find Rotary through personal contact than events. Only a small percentage are finding Rotary through social media or websites. Why do new members join? It starts with attraction to community service and seeking professional connections, and moves toward the value of friendships as we ask why people stay in Rotary. 
This data is interesting, but it does not have value unless we use it to create meaning and take action. Each of us are part of a Rotary club, even as we also serve at the District, Zone, or Rotary International levels. We are people of purpose, people of influence, and people of action.
How will you use your influence, your purpose, and take action to create a club experience that engages and satisfies our members and participants, and expands our reach to others? 
Thank you for being part of Rotary.  Wishing you a wonderful February!
Four Rotarians from District 5495 completed their third and final Rotary Leadership Institute class and received their graduation certificates at the latest district RLI program held Jan. 21.
The class was held at the ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management in downtown Phoenix.
RLI is a three-part educational class providing Rotary information for those who wish to learn more about Rotary and to take on leadership positions within their club or district.
Graduates on Jan. 21 were:
Victoria Flatley of the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes;
Ryan Hart of the Rotary Club of Paradise Valley;
Earl Moss of the Rotary Club of Prescott-Frontier;
Anne Wenzel of the Rotary Club of Prescott.
Dear Rotarians,
Happy New Year!
On Monday, January 9th, our District celebrated the chartering of our newest Rotary Club: The Verdes. They are located North of Fountain Hills in the Rio Verde area.
Their Club President, John Collucci, leads 22 Rotarians -- many of which are returning to Rotary. The evening was wonderful. Events like that are some of the best parts of this role. In a historic year the evening was full of hope, and new beginnings. I encourage your club to connect with The Verdes to partner and collaborate on future service projects.
Membership for our District has fallen to just short of 2000 Rotarians. As many of you have heard me say in my DG Club Visits, my approach on growing Rotary is a departure from conventional wisdom. The data has revealed we do not have a problem recruiting new members. The data has also revealed that we have a significant problem engaging and retaining Rotarians.
Turns out, most of Rotary has this same problem. The solution is two-fold:
1. Clubs need to focus inward— engage your membership— be the family we Rotarians truly can be.
2. Lead with service to recruit new Rotarians: Do you invite prospective members to a meeting or to a service project?
I have a goal of chartering at least two more clubs before June 30. People want the power, impact, and reach Rotary has to offer. You prove it every day. Our communities need us now more than ever. Once communities find out about what we do, I’ve seen them want a piece of what we have!
Our third annual Rotary Week Of Service will provide your clubs and your communities the chance to connect, and grow, and give back. No more best kept secret. Instead, our best foot forward.
The chance to induct a new team of change leaders will be a dream come true. While that dream is developing into a reality, thank you for doing what you do best: being family to your fellow Rotarians, and being people of action in your communities.
Sincerely yours,
Larry Horton
District Governor 2022-2023