Rotarians – Welcome to November!

In the United States of America, our Thanksgiving holiday allows us to take special pause and find gratitude in everything around us.  I love this time of year.  Though I try to be grateful every day, there is something special about coming together and making a declaration of gratitude.

We are especially grateful this year for our essential workers.  We would love to invite you to celebrate our gratitude the week of November 16 – 22.  Whether individually, or with your club, let’s find a way to celebrate those who have helped all of us throughout this COVID-19 pandemic.  Many of these workers have put themselves at risk to make sure we have the health, safety, and goods we need.  You may consider taking a meal to the late-night nurses’ station or surprise your favorite grocery store staff.  Maybe you could drop off a surprise to your local fire and police station.  Some Rotary clubs are making and sending cards. 

I would also like to thank all of you for your work to End Polio. We had an amazing October, and clubs all over our state held wonderful Polio Plus events.  I know one of our clubs, Rotary Club of Mesa, raised over $8,000 for End Polio Now. Thank you!  Many have decided to join our brand-new Polio Plus Society!  If you decide to give $100 per year, you can be an inaugural member!  When Polio is eradicated, how wonderful to know you played a special role in the fight.

I am grateful our outbound Youth Exchange team held their interviews for next year.  Though we are unsure of the details surrounding COVID, we are moving forward in the hope that this wonderful program will resume next year. 

I would like to give special thanks to Interact PDG, Colton Cagle (now Rotaract) for chairing our first ever Virtual RYLA. Over 65 delegates participated in the 2-day conference to learn about leadership, communication, and so much more.  Our District is consistently proving that we can adapt to our new conditions, and still be a wonderful source of good in our communities and future!

I am also grateful for our youth services team, who had to make important decisions about RYLA, and also those who participated in the first ever Virtual Youth Services Zone event.  It was a powerful event with leaders from all over the world, led and co-chaired by leaders within D5495.  

I am grateful for all of you who are interested in applying for the 2023-2024 District Governor position.  Let’s continue the legacy of strong leadership in our District!

Lastly, I am so grateful for all of you Rotarians.  As I get to visit your clubs, and meet ALL of you, I am brought to tears every time. I am so overjoyed with the projects all of you are working on.  I said to Kevin this month, “Though COVID-19 has stripped away everything we consider normal in Rotary, I am reminded daily about the true essence and core values of Rotarians.  We are People of Action, and we do believe in Service Above Self.”

I wish all of you a peaceful and grateful November.