The Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone and we will soon be full bore into the December holiday season.  If you had an opportunity to check out the latest Governor video you’ll recall that there was mention of my conversation with Brian Gray, President of the Paradise, California Rotary club. (Much like a street in Show Low by the way, the name of this town, Paradise, is thought to have originate from the term Pair of Dice.)  Every Rotarian in the Paradise Rotary Club, all 67 of them, lost their home in the Camp fire in northern California.  Many lost their truck or car, their business and their job.  A fund for assistance has been set up: Please consider a donation in order to help these fellow Rotarians as well as their friends and neighbors in what will surely be a long recovery effort.
I have finished the majority of club visits, with four more, along with the satellite clubs remaining after the first of the year.  What an eye opening experience getting out and meeting so many Rotarians, becoming familiar with their clubs, and seeing all the wonderful efforts being made both locally and internationally.  It never ceases to amaze me how these relatively small groups of Rotarians can do so much good in the world.
December is Disease Prevention and Treatment month.  Rotary International has been trying to prevent (read eradicate) polio for over 30 years.  As I write this 27 cases of polio have been documented so far this year, 19 in Afghanistan and 8 in Pakistan.  This represents a bit of a set back year over year as only 22 cases were reported in all of 2017.  If you are interested in the latest data on the polio eradication effort, you may visit the website:  While at the recent Zone Institute I attended a session on End Polio Now.  I think we all know that an endemic country must go three (3) years without a case of polio to be declared polio free.  What I did not know however is that the world must go ten (10) years without a case of polio for the disease to be declared eradicated.  We have much work ahead of us and we cannot quit now or 30 years of progress and efforts will go right down the toilet. Thus far this year our District has given $20,624 to the polio eradication effort, about 32% of what we gave in all of the 2017-18 Rotary year.  We have 33 non-contributing clubs. I had hoped to exceed last year’s total but if that is going to happen then we must step it up.  Using a phrase from my DG message, “There is room for improvement.”
December is the month in which many of us make our year end decision about charitable donations.  Our RYLA program, 2019 RYLA event sponsorship, as well as The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona,, both offer Arizona tax credits for donations to their programs.  Please also keep The Rotary Foundation annual fund in mind.  As a District, we are seriously lagging at only 23% of what was donated a year ago, with 23 non-giving clubs! You may think this doesn’t matter but you won’t feel that way in three (3) years when there is little money available for projects, both global and local. And that $2000 DDF – well that number could easily be reduced.
I purposely did not hammer on our District members during my club visits about donations to The Rotary Foundation.  Trust me I know, after over 40 years in Rotary, what a turnoff it is to have the Governor come into your club and tell you what you have to do and what you have to donate. Maybe I should have pushed it a little harder. I’m hoping however, and I’m hoping it is not a false hope, that our members will step up for the remaining seven (7) months of this Rotary year and at least match last year’s giving total.
Here is wishing you a joyous holiday season, with peace, joy and happiness.
Oh yes, the DeLorean.  Marty and Doc are still stuck in the 60’s.  Apparently the part they need to fix the car and get back to the present was not available back then. So another kind a scary photo – at least scary to me!