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"Without question these are challenging times.  District Governor David shares a message this month about how Rotarians can serve our communities through this crisis and come out stronger than ever."
View David's April Message HERE.
You may view all of David's Video Messages HERE.
Grant Management Seminar (GMS)
GMS is REQUIRED by The Rotary Foundation to qualify for Global Grants and District Grants.
For a club to qualify for grant funds in the Rotary year 2020-21, at least twoclub members must have attended GMS (change from one member last year).  Note: At least one must attend in person at a live training or the live webinar. Others can attend either live training or on-line self-paced training available starting in April.  See allqualification requirements posted on the District website.
Who should attend? It is recommended that the club’s Chair forThe Rotary Foundation and President-Elect attend.  Please note: A Club can send as many participants as desired!
What will be learned: This 2 hour seminar will cover the responsibilities for grant stewardship, the application process, and reporting requirements.  This seminar will help a club start planning early for aDistrictGrant.      A DistrictGrant provides additional funds for a club’s local/community projects in 2020-21.  A club can apply for a 2020-21 District Grant between April 1st and May 31st, 2020.
No cost to attend this seminar!
  • Saturday, April 4, 10am, Live Webinar
Webinar instructions will be emailed prior to the seminar.
For questions, please contact:
Charlie Tegarden, District Rotary Foundation Committee Chair
928-715-1001 /
Dale Gray, Grants Sub-Committee Chair
602-418-5316 /
To offset your Arizona State Income Tax Obligation for the 2019 tax year, tax credit donations need to be made by April 15, 2020.
Because the IRS deadline for filing personal returns for 2019 has been extended to July 15, 2020 and the State of Arizona has followed suit, some donors have asked if the tax credit donation deadline is also being extended.  The board of The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona checked for the most current information on the matter, and received the following response:
"Contributions to certified school tuition organizations, public schools, and qualifying charitable organizations: Under current law, the date that taxpayers may elect to designate the taxable year within which these contributions apply remains April 15, 2020. State law does not authorize the Director or ADOR (Arizona Department of Revenue) to alter the scope of these statutorily‐provided credits."   
Arizona tax credit donations made by April 15 can be used for either the 2019 or 2020 tax year, but not both.  
In the Arizona economy, the need for employees who have vocational certifications is growing.  Help someone lift themselves out of poverty by supporting the vocational education grants provided by TRVFA to individuals who meet specific low-income guidelines.  To donate, go to
“Taking It to the Next Level”
2020 Club Leadership Academy 
Now Moved Online!!!
DGE Elizabeth Mahoney announces that this year’s Club Leadership Academy will focus on how each Rotarian can take their experience to the next level!  Using the Learning Center on - club members will learn how to become more effective in the leadership positions within your club
For more than a century, Rotary has connected the world through fellowship and service. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our daily routines and forced the cancellation of many in-person Rotary and Rotaract club meetings and events. But even when we can’t hold our usual events, members have lots of ways to stay engaged, connect with one another, and serve their communities. 

Clubs can meet online using services such as ZoomSkype or GoToMeeting. All three platforms offer robust support, from their directions for setting up an account to helping with technical issues. Rotary and Rotaract members get a discount on Zoom through Rotary Global Rewards. Members can also connect with each other on social media and with services such as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp groups. 

Learn how Rotarians and Rotaractors are staying in contact and keeping members engaged during these difficult times:
  • Find ideas and resources for holding virtual meetings, engaging through social media, and serving from afar in District 6690’s guide to Maintaining Member Engagement During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Read how the Zone 34 Rotary coordinators are maintaining membership engagement (hint: ingenuity and adaptability) and download their COVID-19 response guide
  • See how Big West Rotaract, a multidistrict information organization in the western region of North America, is connecting Rotarians and Rotaractors who are experiencing difficulties with others who can help. Look at its Rotary and Rotaract COVID-19 Mutual Aid form
  • Read advice from Charlotte Ahlberg, past chair of the Rotary International E-Club Committee, on taking your club online. 
  • Visit Rotary’s website to get more tips and guidance for holding online club meetings.
How is your club or district keeping your members engaged during the COVID-19 response? Share your ideas and resources or participate in a discussion in the Meeting Online group in Learning Topics. 
There's fear and uncertainty around the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation that is affecting people worldwide. So the question that we all face is: How can we be as calm and happy as we can be, under these circumstances? In addition to crucial health measures such as washing our hands and practicing social distancing, we can take the following 11 steps and in so doing, help ourselves weather the crisis more effectively and also strengthen ourselves to be more helpful to others and to our community.
1. Take care of your body. This is important for health and also for mood. Get enough sleep, wake up at a normal hour, eat healthy food, don’t drink too much, stick to a regular routine of personal hygiene and dress, and in particular…
2. Keep moving. This may be tough if your normal exercise routine is disrupted, but figure out how to keep active. Even in a small space you can do yoga, watch YouTube videos for cardio workouts, use exercise apps, etc. Drag out those dusty hand weights and remember to stand up and walk around frequently. 
3. Beware of information overload. We all want to stay up-to-date with the latest news, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Learn what you need, but don’t get sucked into the three-hour scroll. Schedule time to check current events—perhaps twice a day—so the news doesn’t overtake you. 
The news as of March 25, 2020 from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) continues to be less than rosy. Thus far in 2020 there have been 34 cases of polio caused by the wild poliovirus, 32 in Pakistan and 2 in Afghanistan.  This compares with 14 cases at this time a year ago.  There has also been 48 cases of vaccine derived polio (cVDPV) compared to 12 one year ago.  About half the cases of cVDPV have occurred in Pakistan with the balance in the Philippines (1) and the remainder in Africa. 
With the current world wide pandemic, it is quite possible that we will see a slowing of immunization efforts.  Should that happen, we can expect the numbers of poliovirus case to continue rising versus one year ago.
Please read elsewhere in this newsletter for other articles on polio and the eradication effort.
The chase is on for the End Polio Now Champions Award.  As of May 29th, the top 10 clubs are:  1. Mesa West  2. Sedona Village  3. E-Club of the Southwest  4. Paradise Valley  5. Sedona Red Rocks  6. Kingman Route 66  7. Superstition Mountain, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon  8. Scottsdale North  9. Prescott Frontier  10.  Peoria North.
The final standings will be determined as of the close of the fiscal year, June 30, 2020.  Don't delay.  Get your contributions in now if you club wishes to compete for the award!
As an aside, only 44 clubs have contributed to End Polio Now.  That means 25 clubs have not contributed.  It is also a little bit surprising to see some of the clubs that have not participated or that have only minimal participated.


· As the organization that first envisioned a polio-free world, Rotary has been at the center of the fight to eradicate polio for more than three decades. 

· Rotarians everywhere should be proud of the work we’ve accomplished and Rotary remains fully committed to the pursuit of a polio-free world. 

· Rotarians have contributed more than $2.1 billion dollars and countless volunteer hours to the fight to end polio. Together with our partners we immunize over 400 million children every year. 

· When Rotary formed its PolioPlus program in 1985, a thousand children were being paralyzed by polio every single day in 125 polio-endemic countries. Today, just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

· Because of the efforts of Rotary and our partners, nearly 19 million people who would otherwise have been paralyzed are walking, and more than 1.5 million people are alive who would otherwise have died. 

· We’ve made incredible progress and we’re optimistic that we will succeed in this effort, but eradicating a disease is hard work, and getting to zero cases requires sufficient funding, innovative strategies, perseverance and the commitment of every single Rotary member. 

· We have an opportunity to make history by ending polio, which will be only the second human disease to ever be eradicated. But the window of opportunity to achieve a polio-free world will not remain open forever. The time for urgent action is now. 

· Through the extension of our funding partnership, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match 2-to-1 every dollar that Rotary commits to polio eradication, up to $50 million per year. This will amount to $450 million for polio eradication efforts over a three-year period. 

· It is vital that we continue raising $50 million a year for polio and continue to raise awareness by keeping polio eradication in the spotlight with our clubs, in our communities, and with our government officials. 

· Like any big initiative, we know the final phase of polio eradication will be the most difficult, but we also know that eradication is achievable and we have the collective strength to finish the job. 

· During this challenging final phase of polio eradication, we are calling on our 1.2 million members to redouble their commitment and continue to persevere until the day that we fulfill our promise of a polio-free world. 




· While cases of polio have fallen over 99% worldwide since 1988, the final stretch of the eradication effort is proving more difficult than expected, and the program is currently facing two core challenges: ongoing transmission of wild poliovirus in Pakistan and Afghanistan and increasing type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2) outbreaks across Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.* [SEE ADDENDUM ON VDPVs BELOW]. 

· There have been 175 cases of wild poliovirus reported in 2019. Current case counts for 2020 can be found at 




· In Pakistan, 146 cases of wild poliovirus were reported in 2019, compared to 12 in 2018. In addition, the country reported 22 cVDPV2 cases.* [SEE ADDENDUM ON VDPVs BELOW]. This concerning spike in children paralyzed from the virus can be attributed to several underlying issues for the polio program, including poor campaign quality, insecurity and mobile populations, politicization of the polio program and in some cases, vaccine refusals. 

· While the overwhelming majority of parents in Pakistan still want their children vaccinated, the number of refusals surged last year in part due to the spread of misinformation and misconceptions about the polio vaccine. 

· Another major factor behind vaccine refusals is frustration with repeated polio campaigns, particularly when communities face high rates of malnutrition and limited access to other basic services like safe drinking water, sanitation and routine immunization. 



· The government has responded to the serious challenges facing the polio program and has reassessed its strategies to stop polio. Pakistan implemented an emergency plan and is deploying new tactics to strengthen essential immunization, better target high-risk areas, and integrate basic health services to complement polio immunization activities. 




The polio case numbers used by Rotary, refer exclusively to cases of polio caused by wild poliovirus in Pakistan and Afghanistan, unless otherwise specified. For example, when we say that there were 174 cases of polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2019, this means “174 cases of polio caused by the wild poliovirus.”


How do VDPVs circulate? 

· Circulating VDPVs occur when polio immunization activities are poorly conducted, or children are inaccessible and not enough children are reached with vaccine to ensure full immunity. As a result, a population is left under-immunized. 

· cVDPVs can occur if the weakened strain of the virus originally contained in OPV is allowed to circulate among an under-immunized population for a long time, allowing the virus to regain strength and genetically revert into a form that can cause paralysis. 

· If a population is fully immunized, they will be protected against both vaccine-derived and wild polioviruses. 



Dedication of Peace Pole in Rocky Point
The visible result of Rotarians’ commitment to work together for Peace on Earth
A group of D5495 Rotarians headed south to Rocky Point for a long weekend of service and international friendship on the second weekend in March, 2018.  During that weekend District Governor Nancy Van Pelt and Club Rotario Mar de Peñasco President Loly Martinez became enthusiastic about erecting a Peace Pole in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point).  
The collaborative process began.  After languages were selected and the Peace Pole was acquired, it was transported to Rocky Point.  There, local Rotarians worked with the City find a location and began designing and constructing a lovely planter/monument to showcase the pole.  
Nearly 2 years later the construction was completed, and a dedication ceremony was scheduled to coincide with the visit of  the visit of District4100 Governor Fernando Otañez on March 13.  Club Rotario Mar de Peñasco, A.C. President Oscar Palacio, Immediate Past President, Shandra Keesecker, and numerous members of the Club were on hand for the dedication.  City dignitaries were in attendance as well, including Municipal Treasurer Maritza Montijo from the Office of Municipal President Kino Munro.   D5495 Assistant Governor Amanda Sanchez and D5495 Peacebuilders Network member Jay Lickus represented District 5495 at the dedication.  Both are members of the Rotary Club of Surprise, which became a Sister Club to the Rocky Point club during the original Service Project weekend.
When you visit Puerto Peñasco, be sure to visit the Peace Pole located in the very corner of Shrimp Park, where Benito Juarez and Fremont Streets intersect.  What an outstanding location to display this beautiful monument!  Everyone who strolls in the park can visit the Peace Poleupclose.  Everyone who drives by or stops at the busy intersection sees the huge Rotary logo on the wall/planter.  Both are visible signs of our deep commitment to work together for Peace on Earth. 
In this time of difficulty, are you still a Peace Builder Rotarian?
Are you being careful to not spread the “germs”?
Are you looking in on the more vulnerable?
Do you - daily - ask the questions of family, friends and neighbors -
“How are you?” and “How can I serve you?”
Thank You! You are definitely a Peace Builder Rotarian!
We all know that we’re living in a time of uncertainty but also know “this, too, shall pass”. Just the same as your D5495 leadership is responding to the present while planning for the future, i.e., our district conference toward the end of June, so is your Peace Builder Network continuing to work toward your 1-day Peace Builder pre-conference event. Keep June 25thmarked on your calendar and stay tuned in the coming weeks for details and registration opportunities
Wow! Our lives have changed so much since the last time this newsletter went out! Schools are now officially closed the rest of the school year, which means unfortunately Interact clubs are unable to meet. We were lucky enough to have done our Interact District Conference before all this craziness ensued! Though Interact clubs are unable to meet, we still have our Interact District Council Application that is open till April 15. This is a great opportunity for young leaders to take the next step in Interact leadership. Please encourage the leaders in Interact that you know to apply! They can find the application on the website I highly recommend that anyone with a passion for Interact to apply. If you have any question on how to apply or who should apply, feel free to contact me!
Sadly, with all of these circumstances, our Kenya Ambassador Team has had their trip postponed indefinitely. The team and the advisors decided that this was the best option to make sure the trip is both safe and successful.  Our shipment of mobility devices had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, and the team is unable to be sure to have all the devices they need during the summer. There is also the problem that COVID-19 is just hitting the African countries, which means it will probably be still going strong during the summer months. The Kenya team decided that the best option is to postpone the trip to either a school break later in the year or during next summer. All their positions are secured.
The Mexico Ambassador Team trip is still currently on. The shipment to Mexico is likely to be able to be sent in time for the team to be able to distribute it. We are very lucky that we have great friends in Mexico that help us make this trip possible. We are still raising money, and we would love if any of our Ambassadors would be able to join you on an online Rotary meeting. Please contact me or Art Harrington for their contact information. We are greatly disappointed that we will not have the team in Kenya this summer, but we know that this is the best option to keep everyone safe. Hope everyone is staying healthy!!   
Aloha!  District Conference brings the Islands to Arizona!
Let’s get this out of the way right up front!  This is not your grandfather’s District Conference!
Join us for the luau!…. team-building activities….the hospitality night….inspiration to strengthen Rotary in your community……Island games…..the polynesian dancers…..the Human Library….all while joining Rotarians across our District to make a significant difference in the lives of others.
And make it a real get-away!  This year’s Conference will be held at the beautiful Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak in Phoenix.
  • $99 suites — extend your stay as much as three days before or after the conference for the same low price!
  • Resort Fee is waived
  • Water Park with a lazy river
  • Free internet
  • Spa services available
  • Coyote Camp for children available
Break out your Hawaiian shirts, shorts, sandals and enjoy the most gratifying, energizing, fun, friendship-making, and heart-tugging District Conference EVER!
Conference Registration: (Note: If the link is not yet working, check back soon.)
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Registration:
Registration is now open!
3rdAnnual D5495 Pre-district conference Peace Event
“Stepping Up for Peace”
  June 25, 2020   10am – 4pm
  Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
Your D5495 Peacebuilders Network has organized a one-day peace conference at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak.  Held the day prior to the District Conference each year, this year’s event is a mix of “TED Talk” and World Café formats.  The purpose is to provide inspiring and practical ideas that Rotarians can take back to their clubs.  This years’ theme, “Stepping Up for Peace,” focuses on the winning combination of dialogue and action.  Dynamic speakers are followed by breakouts with opportunities to delve more deeply into topics.   
The event topics were inspired by the recent Rotary International World Peace Conference in Ontario, CA. The day is designed to give attendees a flavor of some current and effective peace-related Rotary initiatives and projects elsewhere in America and to encourage each of us to further peace in our communities as the People of Action that we are!
NEW THIS YEAR! High school age registrants are encouraged to attend—especially Interactors!  If your Rotary Club sponsors one or more Interact Clubs, please do consider providing your Youth with ‘scholarships’ for the day. Our Rotary Youth have demonstrated their high energy, leadership abilities, maturity, and passion for Peace.  Let’s invest in a peaceful future!
Registration is available through the District Conference website.  Cost is $55 to cover lunch and costs of hosting.  Be sure your club is well represented this year!
On January 30, 2020, in a collaboration among the Prescott Rotary Clubs (SunUp, The Prescott and Frontier Clubs) and the ERAU Rotaract club, we hosted, the Kaluga Russian Dance Troupe under the auspices of the Golden Gates - Cultural Youth Exchange Program. This was a fundraising project for the Rotary Children’s Fund.  They do this to raise funds for orphans worldwide, promote cultural awareness, and build bridges of understanding between US and the world. Their program offers audiences an entertaining and authentic glimpse into Old Russia through music, song, and dance. Centered on masterpieces of Russian folklore representing their cultural diversity. The program includes audience participation though clapping and learning Russian songs and words. Lilting balalaikas, dynamic bayan accordion, unique Treshotki and Loshky, humorous dances, and superb vocals combine for an exhilarating and educational experience. The thirteen members of the troupe were home hosted for two nights in Prescott and the hosts and the troupe members reported a great time helped immensely by the use of translation apps made communication easier. They all asked to sign up again for next year!  Many thanks to Marjorie Bernardi and Steve Finucane, Kevin Pitts, Bud and Linda Ackerman, Art and Sharon Harrington, Jerry and Janet Fohrman, Dennis Light, Chuck Abbott. A.J. and Vickie Sheridan, and Kathryn Tuberty for being home hosts. And to Todd Clancy, Richard Hernandez and Jim Clemens for logistic support. Thanks also to the Camp Pinerock management team Trish and Rich for the use of the Tabernacle. And special thanks to Olga Waesche for inviting the troupe to meet with her Russian Language class and arranging a Planetarium tour at ERAU and for flowers at the performance.
Prescott Sunup Rotarians Participate in Polio Vaccination Program for the Children of Caborca, Mexico.

Over the second weekend in February, Prescott Sunup Club members Jerry Hulm and Dennis Light were among twenty five Rotarians in Rotary district 5495, along with Rotarians from other areas, who participated in the Caborca, Mexico “ Polio Plus “ Polio vaccination program for children one to five years old.

In Caborca, the Rotarians assembled at a small medical clinic to be briefed on logistics and administration of the vaccine. Rotarians in groups of three or four and accompanied by local nurses and Caborca interpreters, canvased the villages where records indicated the targeted age group lived.  Each child received two drops of the Polio vaccine, with the date recorded in the child’s medical record. One hundred and forty children received the vaccine. In addition to assisting in the vaccination program, fourteen thousand, five hundred U.S. dollars was donated to the Caborca Rotary Children’s Medical Fund by the participating Rotary clubs.

Forty-two volunteers representing the Rotary Club of Scottsdale Arizona and members of Scottsdale Preparatory High School's Rotary Interact Club joined forces to complete a community service project with Arizona Helping Hands.  The mission of Arizona Helping Hands is to provide essential needs for children in foster care (over 14,000 kids in Arizona) through programs promoting safety, permanency and health.   


The Rotary Club of Scottsdale's Foundation provided $3,000 in support of this project and the volunteers provided much needed smiles for kids by making Birthday Bags for 40 children in foster care.  Each volunteer was given a foster child's wish list.   Arizona Helping Hands' warehouse in Northeast Phoenix has beds, cribs, clothing, backpacks and school supplies, toiletries, and toys from ongoing toy drives.  



John Angelo introduced speaker of the day, Quinn Goldsberry, in charge of Business Development for MEDMEN in Arizona and Nevada. He has owned and operated over 15 different restaurants in Arizona from 2007-2016 including The Lodge, Over Easy, Goodwood, Sol Y Sombra and 18 Degrees. His passion for the Cannabis industry began at an early age with his mother being diagnosed with MS in 1987 and passing in 2011. Cannabis was not an option during her fight. He entered the cannabis industry in 2015 helping with Prop 205, Arizona’s Adult Use initiative. From there he began working with one of the largest licensed growers in the US—Sunday Goods (The Pharm), a 300,000 sq. ft. facility in Willcox, successfully bringing the brand to market. He plays a key role in developing wholesale sales through his current work with MEDMEN in both Arizona and Nevada.
Although medical use of marijuana was legalized in Arizona by way of Proposition 203 in 2010, our state has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. Cannabis remains illegal for recreational use— a 2016 initiative to legalize recreational use failed with 48.7% of the vote; however, Arizona is now one of the states that could legalize adult-use (21 and older) cannabis through a 2020 ballot measure. 
The District Evening of Entertainment originally scheduled for March 21, 2020 has been rescheduled for Saturday November 7, 2020.  If you had seats for the March 21st date, you will have the same seats for the November 7th date.  If you did not purchase seats for March 21st, now would be a good time to get this on your calendar and join with many of your fellow District Rotarians for an evening of food, fun and entertainment.
If necessary due to public health requirements, Barleens is prepared to perform two (2) shows for us.  With this in mind, now is the time to purchase tickets to this event if you have not yet done so. To purchase tickets for the event, contact Harvey Clark.


T’is the season to support Rotary’s great work AT NO COST TO YOU!  

I am asking a huge favor in the spirit of Rotary.  I am asking that EVERY ROTARIAN in District 5495 take advantage of the Arizona Credit for Contributions to Qualified Organizations by donating to charities that will benefit Rotary programs.  If you support one or both of the programs outlined below you will get dollar-for-dollar offset of your Arizona Tax.  It is not necessary to itemize deductions to receive this tax benefit.  (See the contribution caps outlined below.)  

If you are an Arizona taxpayer you have the incredible privilege of directing tax dollars to causes that benefit those who need a helping hand or a nutritious meal.

Here are the two AZ tax credit programs that benefit Rotary programs.

  • The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA) provides vocational scholarships to those who just need a bit of help to get an education that can transform their lives.  (More information on donating below.)
  • Manzanita Outreach provides everything necessary for our RYLA campers to have fun while helping others — packing nutritious meals for those who are food insecure.  (More information on donating below.)