April 2021 Newsletter
My Rotary family!

April 2021 is upon us.  For me, April means Spring, flowers, gorgeous weather, baseball, my broken March Madness bracket, my birthday month, picnics, outdoor activities – it’s just a really excellent month!  
This year, it comes with a completely deeper sense of gratitude.  A little over one year ago, we found ourselves shut down due to the COVID-19 virus.  Our streets were empty.  No one was on the highway.  Businesses closed.  Many of us thought it would just be for a few weeks, few us of us thought it would last a full year.  Now, the COVID-19 vaccine is making its way around the state.  Social Distancing restrictions are loosening, and a new beginning is here.  We are slowly able to see more people, connect, and “feel” the closeness that we have missed this past year.  I am so grateful.  Each hug and act of personal kindness feels deeper.
Even still, many of our neighbors need us.  So, as you know, instead of a traditional District Conference, we are launching our first ever “Rotary Week of Service!” April 17 – 24.  I was explaining the concept to someone and I said – Rotarians serve ALL year long.  Our fellow Rotarians are amazing humans doing beautiful things.  We are going to bring that energy together into one week, where we all are serving simultaneously.  

Giving is more than an activity. It is a way of life and a beacon in the search for hope in troubled times. There is great turmoil today, but these are not unusual times, not in the span of human history. The wisdom of the ages is especially important to help us set our path and purpose.

Such wisdom comes from the 12th-century philosopher known as Maimonides. Born in Córdoba, Spain, he and his family went into exile in Morocco to escape religious persecution. As a young man, he mastered Aristotle, astronomy, and later medicine. After moving to Cairo, Maimonides became known as the city’s greatest rabbi, producing tomes of commentary on the Torah, and he lived out his final days as a renowned doctor.

But his greatest gift to humanity captured his thoughts about giving itself. His Eight Levels of Charity is a masterpiece that teaches us about what giving means and what motivates us to do it.

The bottom rung of Maimonides’ ladder is giving out of pity or grudgingly. The next step up is giving less than one should, but doing so cheerfully. Climb up to the fifth rung and you are giving before being asked. Further up the ladder is giving in a way that the receiver does not know who the giver is. The eighth and highest level of charity is to anticipate distress and giving to avoid or prevent it.

When we immunise children against polio, we are anticipating potential illness. We do so with other efforts, such as Rotary projects that reduce the incidence of malaria or cervical cancer.


Greetings Polio Warriors:
      The trend continues in the right direction.  No new cases of the wild polio virus this last week.   
      Eighty Seven - That’s the number of days since the last case of the wild polio virus Type 1 occurred in Afghanistan.  
      Sixty -  That’s the number of days since the last case of the wild polio virus Type 1 occurred in Pakistan.
      Four -  That’s the total number of cases of the wild polio virus Type 1 that occurred in the world since New Years Day.
                   One in Afghanistan and three in Pakistan  (Reporting date of 24 March 2021) 
      Thirty Two - Thats the number of cases of the wild polio virus Type 1 that occurred in 2020 on this date. 
      OK, time once again to do the victory dance around your office chair…😊
      Once again however, positive environmental samples were found in Pakistan, but only 3 compared to last week’s 6.  
  • And although we had 6 new cases of the vaccine derived poliovirus reported this week, that’s down more than 50% from last week’s count of 13.  Total cases year to date are now thirty-two, compared to thirty-eight last year at this time.  So we are seeing improvement here as well.  Note that although the report below states 8 new cases reported, only 6 occurred in 2021, the remaining 2 occurred in the 2020 calendar year.  
      It was reported this week that Nigeria has started the roll out of the newest weapon in our quivers, the novel oral vaccine.  Liberia is also ready to start soon, followed by14 or 15 other countries in the queue.  As a reminder, this new vaccine, like the original Sabin vaccine, contains a live attenuated virus, but that attenuated virus is genetically altered to not be able to mutate back to full strength like the Sabin vaccine can do in rare instances, causing paralysis in a child, especially in under immunized communities.  

    Hira’s story epitomizes the heroic contribution of women polio workers in Afghanistan who continue building trust in vaccines among parents and caregivers in the quest to immunize every last child and end polio.

    (Hira visiting parents who are refusing to let their children be vaccinated. © UNICEF Afghanistan/Sayed Maroof Hamdard)

    The yellow taxi drives slowly on an unpaved road in one of Kandahar city’s districts. It has rained heavily turning the detritus on the ground into a muddy quagmire. The car labours in its efforts not to get stuck.

    Stopping near a house, a young woman in a black scarf and traditional dress climbs out of the car. She holds a big registry book containing detailed information on each house in the neighbourhood: which family lives where, how many children they have and, most importantly, if they are refusing to let their children have the polio vaccination. This woman is Hira, 28, a UNICEF consultant for the polio programme. Today she is visiting parents who are refusing to let their children be vaccinated to explain why the two drops of oral polio vaccine (OPV) are critical for their health and wellbeing.

    We enter one of the houses and meet an elderly woman.

    “I am not vaccinating my grandchildren!” The woman sounds resolute, but we stay anyway.

    “Can we talk about something else?” Hira asks calmly.  Shortly thereafter, we’re drinking tea and praising the mild weather. The grandmother tells us her left leg was almost fully paralyzed half a year ago and she can’t walk normally.


    The deadline for 2021-22 District Grant applications is May 31.  You'll find most of your questions are answered in the District Grants Guidelines document found on the 5495 website in the Foundation section.
    At least two members from each club are required to attend a Grants Management Training session in order to apply for grants.  There are two more sessions, April 7  6:00-8:00 PM and April 17 10:00 -noon. Registration is available on the District Grants page of rotary5495.org.
    You'll also want to check your club's giving to the Annual Fund of The Rotary Foundation, since $100 per capita (in this or last Rotary year) is required to qualify for the maximum grant award.
    Final reports for your 2020-21 District Grants are due April 30.  The report form is contained in the same document as the application form. You can find the form on the Legacy Page of the district website. Clubs must be up-to-date on reporting in order to be awarded a new District Grant, so you'll want to be sure your club's is in.
    Please address questions to Rebecca Wilks, rebecca@skylineimages.net
    Competition is underway for the End Polio Now Champions Award. The award, pictured at the left was, as you'll recall, generously donated to the District by the Mesa Rotary Club. Apparently the Mesa Rotary Club desires to have the bronze of Paul Harris back in their possession. As of March 15, 20201, the top eight district clubs in the competition are in order: Mesa, Chandler, Mesa West, Sedona Red Rocks, Paradise Valley, Kingman Route 66, Sedona, and Sun Lakes.
    The competition will run through the end of this Rotary Fiscal Year - June 30, 2021. As an aside, only 36 of our District's clubs and/or their membership have contributed to End Polio Now as of March 15, 2021. This is an improvement of 11 clubs over the previous Polio Champions report.  This number is sure to increase as the year goes on. Let's not wait until the last minute to participate!

    Every day mothers risk their lives giving birth and millions of children die each year from treatable, preventable causes. At least 7 million children under the age of five die each year due to malnutrition, poor health care, and inadequate sanitation. Rotary makes high-quality health care available to vulnerable mothers and children so they can live longer and grow stronger by providing immunizations and antibiotics to babies, improving access to essential medical services, and supporting trained health care providers.

    Rotary provides education, immunizations, birth kits, and mobile health clinics. Women are taught how to prevent mother-to-infant HIV transmission, how to breast-feed, and how to protect themselves and their children from disease. Rotary makes amazing things happen, like:

    Providing Mobile prenatal clinics in Haiti that has the highest maternal and infant mortality rate of any country in the western hemisphere. 


    Rotarians provided a mobile Cancer screening unit and awareness trainings around Chennai, India, where there is a high mortality rate of women with breast and cervical cancer due to late diagnosis.

    And Rotary members launched a $3 million, five-year pilot to save lives of mothers and children during home deliveries in Nigeria.

    Why DEI?
    Rotarians have never shrunk away from hard issues.  As a matter of fact, they usually rush in when help is needed.  I know how controversial Diversity, Equity & Inclusion can be, but our world is on fire with social injustice and misunderstanding......and yet Rotary International’s DEI statement, without all the fireworks, is simply a commitment to create an organization that is more open and inclusive, is fair to all, builds goodwill and benefits communities.  Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like our Four Way Test doesn’t it?
    Armed with our Four Way Test & Core Values, we can help put out those fires and create lasting change!  We can build membership and service in communities we haven’t been able to reach before.
    More DEI materials and training is on the way to the RI Learning Center.
    Please be sure to contact me if you’d like your DEI Task Force Coordinator to speak to your club!  Be sure to read “The Company We Keep” in the April issue of the “Rotary” magazine.
    District Corner
    World Water Day Focuses On Water's Importance
    The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clearer than ever that hand washing — which requires a safe water source — is essential to our health. Yet more than 2 billion people worldwide don’t have access to clean water. Since 2014, The Rotary Foundation has invested more than $51 million in global grants to enable clubs to carry out projects that help people around the world with clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. For World Water Day on 22 March, learn how you can get involved in a water project and give to support our work in this area through our Donate page. Go to the Areas of Focus tab and choose Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
    Rotary and COVID-19 Vaccinations
    Six district governors in Zones 33 and 34 worked with the Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina, USA, to assist with COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The governors created a list of contacts from each Rotary club in their districts to provide to the state’s health department, which it in turn shared it with local health departments. The state also offered Rotary members across the state training about vaccinations, to empower them to raise awareness in their communities. Members volunteered at local vaccination sites to help health officials with logistics including data entry, crowd control, and patient registration. Learn more about this story on Rotary Voices, and share what your clubs are doing to assist with vaccination efforts on Rotary Showcase.
    I'm over the moon at Malaria Partners International (formerly Rotarian Malaria Partners) win of the first RI "Programs of Scale" award.  The Kyrene and Tempe Downtown Rotary Clubs were Arizona pioneers in providing financial support to Rotarian Malaria Partners to continue our very successful malaria elimination work in Uganda and begin our malaria elimination program in Zambia.  Ninety percent of the 400,000 to 500,000 annual worldwide malaria deaths are in Subsaharan Africa, and the vast majority of those deaths are children under 5 and mothers.  We are Rotary!  We "fight disease" and "save mothers and children" two of Rotary's 8 Areas of Focus! 
                                                        Peace Lending Library in the Works
    Books impact our lives and expand our minds.  Most of us, in fact, can think of books that had a profound effect on us--even changed our lives!  We hang onto some books simply because they are interesting or offer advice or perspectives we may want to revisit.  We share books with our friends.
    The Peacebuilders Network has begun assessing our own bookshelves to identify Peace-related books that we are willing to ‘lend’ to fellow Rotarians.  We’ve started to develop a resource list and our process for lending them.  We’ll publish the list in the May 1 newsletter!
    For more information about the Peacebuilders Network or the Lending Library, contact us!
    Books impact our lives and expand our minds.  Most of us, in fact, can think of books that had a profound effect on us--even changed our lives!  We hang onto some books simply because they are interesting or offer advice or perspectives we may want to revisit.  We share books with our friends.
    The Peacebuilders Network has begun assessing our own bookshelves to identify Peace-related books that we are willing to ‘lend’ to fellow Rotarians.  We’ve started to develop a resource list and our process for lending them.  We’ll publish the list in the May 1 newsletter!
    For more information about the Peacebuilders Network or the Lending Library, contact us!
    Rotary Rotary Opens Opportunities

    Please join us for 2021 Virtual Convention: Rotary Opens Opportunities, 12-16 June. Registration opens in mid-April.

    This year’s event will connect you, virtually, with members around the world. It will open new opportunities to learn and to engage with the family of Rotary, near and far. Together, we’ll inspire action, strengthen our commitments, work on our challenges, and celebrate our successes.

    Visit the convention event page on Facebook to connect with other participants and share what you’re looking forward to experiencing with #Rotary21. The Virtual Convention is open to all Rotary members and participants, so invite a friend to join you or share the event with your community.

    It has come to the Newsletter Editor's attention that Rotary Satellite club members may not be receiving the newsletter. (Actually it came to my attention some time ago.) After 20 months as editor I may have finally determined how to resolve this issue. If you are a satellite club member or if you know of a satellite club member who is not getting the newsletter and who would like to get the newsletter, please send your name (and/or the name) and club to the editor. 
    Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well.

    While it is unfortunate that in person events were canceled this year, we are very excited for the Rotary Week of Service. While online meetings have given an easy way for Interactors to communicate with their Rotary clubs, we have not had the opportunity to help at as many service events. We are encouraging our Interact clubs to get in touch with their Rotary clubs and see if they can work on a joint event that is COVID safe. For example, my club is going to host a canned food drive for our local food bank and make a free library with the help of our Rotary club. We really hope that the Rotary Week of Service can get us back into the spirit of serving together. 

    We are coming to the end of the year for the District Council and we are now working on next year’s council and executive board. Anyone in Interact can apply to be on the District Council; because we focus on building leadership and teamwork it is a great opportunity to get more involved and make new connections within the organization. An assistant governor is given the responsibility of connecting with their assigned Interact clubs and supporting them throughout the year. The District Council also plans and hosts both the Fall Leadership and Interact District Conferences. We love to receive applications from underclassmen because if they choose, they can have multiple years on the council. It is beneficial to have veteran members on the council who can mentor the new members to the council. Existing assistant governors can also apply to be the next year’s district governor. Instead of working with Interact clubs for a year, the district governor manages the entire council. The district governor interviews the applicants, forms each committee on the council, and leads monthly meetings. If you know someone who you think would be a good fit for the District Council, encourage them to apply! Applications are open until April 15th. 

    If you would like to connect with your Interact clubs, we can connect you with the club and the Assistant Governor assigned to the club. You can always contact me at ashtonkling34@gmail.com or Art Harrington at arthts@msn.com. You can also see some of the amazing things that our Interact clubs are doing by going to our official Instagram page, interactaz5495. Don’t forget that Interact is the start of the chain that leads all the way to Rotary.
              Thank you, and stay safe!
    Members of Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks and their family members joined together on Sunday, February 28 for the club’s first community service project of 2021.

    The project, located at the Friends of the Sedona Library’s used book store at 3270 White Bear Road in Sedona included cleaning up the property’s landscape, laying weed block material, spreading recycled rubber mulch, planting low maintenance evergreen bushes and installing a drip watering system.

    Red Rocks Rotary partnered with Friends of the Sedona Library and a private donor to cover the cost of materials. The crew of ten Rotarians and three family members along with Sedona Public Library executive director Judy Poe provided the labor.
    The goal of the project was not only to improve the appearance of the property but to target weed and dust abatement while incorporating low water usage.

    Area youth recently joined Rotary Club Scottsdale members at Scottdale’s Rotary Park to clean and polish brass plaques that are displayed in the Park’s Unity Circle/Plaza.  The plaques are a tribute to past and present individuals who have given back, paid it forward and/or exemplified service above self within our community and the world.  
    The majority of the students were from Brophy College Preparatory, with help from students from Chaparral High School and Our Lady of Perpetual Catholic School.  The young students were searching for ways to partner with Rotary Club of Scottsdale and provide community service by giving of their time and energy.  After this difficult past year of Covid-19 lockdowns, it was endearing to see students and Rotarians working side by side on a clear sunny day in City of Scottsdale.  
    The Rotary Club of Scottsdale provided the cleaning supplies. The students along with volunteer Rotarians spent nearly four hours cleaning the plaques on the Park’s benches, posts, equipment, as well as, the plaques surrounding the Unity Circle/Plaza.  
    The teens tedious efforts were greatly appreciated by the seasoned Rotarians.  Ken Brown, Rotarian "Grill Master" was on hand to grill hot dogs and provide refreshments for all who participated in the park community service project.

    The Rotary Club of Phoenix East has been a loyal supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs and the children in the Balsz Community. This past year, those in the greatest need have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and left overwhelmed by  job loss, hunger, and the impact of kids missing months of school. Without the Clubs, a generation of young, hopeful lives could be left behind. During this challenging time, the Rotary Club of Phoenix East gave a gift of $3,750.00 to help many families in the Balsz community who  are still reeling from the crisis, with lost jobs, little money and no school meals.



    There was a lot to celebrate at Kyrene Rotary’s 15th anniversary dinner in December 2019: years of monthly community service; anticipation of our Third Annual Golf Classic fund-raiser; a relatively new 501c3 foundation to safeguard our growing income and charity awards; our two 2019-20 high school youth exchange students; and our always-up-to-date website detailing weekly programs, and monthly plans and community service commitments.
    By the end of 2019 we had completed providing dictionaries and teaching their use to 1,128 third graders in the Phoenix Roosevelt School District and were preparing for our sixth STEM program at Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School that would start in January.  For eight weeks our nine volunteers would be “coaching” 24 students in building and then testing and reporting on the mechanical performance of electric cars.  In January we also helped build a house with Habitat For Humanity; and sorted donated schools supplies with Treasures 4 Teachers.  February was intense with the STEM program, early March included packing food bags for first responders with The United Food Bank of Arizona.  Oh, the good old days!
    Rotarian Joe Cusack introduced Tom Sadvary as keynote speaker at the Rotary Club of Scottsdale hybrid meeting held at the Scottsdale McCormick Hotel and Zoom meeting.  Sadvary began his career in Scottsdale in 1986 as administrator of what is known today as HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center. He served in progressive executive roles prior to being named Scottsdale Healthcare CEO/President in 2005.  Sadvary maintained that role when he led the development of a $2 billion non-for-profit organization with the 2013 merger of Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln Health Network in 2014.  This system serves over one million residents of the north Phoenix and Scottsdale communities, and includes 5 hospitals, a medical group, research institute, and several outpatient centers. Sadvary retired as CEO of HonorHealth in April, 2017. 
    During his talk, Sadvary stated he was proud of the healthcare community’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He was thankful for healthcare staff putting their lives on the line; was sadden by the deaths incurred in the line of duty; and, appreciated all the time healthcare workers spent away from families.  He acknowledged the scientific industry’s quick development of vaccines.  He highly recommended getting the vaccine to stay healthy and minimize covid symptoms.  

    Soon to be Hollywood star, John Angelo, who is shooting a commercial on Saturday, introduced our speaker of the day, Matthew P. Mayo an award-winning author (Two-time winner of the Spur Award and Western Heritage Wrangler Award).

    He writes n o v e l s , n o n - f i c t i o n b o o k s , p o e t r y , and short s t o r i e s . John raved a b o u t some of M a y o ’ s books he has read, i n c l u d i n g C o w b o y s , Mount a i n Men and Grizzly Bears, calling him a fantastic western writer, with great knowledge of the Southwest and Arizona history. Rather than a typical “talk”, this turned into an interesting question and answer session which was a good way to learn more about this unique and talented man, how he got into writing and even the process he uses to write. We learned that he and his wife, photographer Jennifer Smith-Mayo, along with their trusty Golden/Australian Shepherd mix pup, Miss Tess, live in the wilds of Maine. They doubled the size of their home a year-and-a-half ago and now consider 600 square feet palatial on 15 acres he calls a “wonderful place to be.” He indicated he writes books, essays, journalistic pieces and poetry but his bread and butter is novels. Matthew grew up with parents—his father a dairy farmer and his mother a teacher— who loved to read—books and reading was the common denominator. He was raised on TV westerns like Gunsmoke and Bonanza and grew up wanting to write stories like that. He was impressed with the Hollywood versions but “it is much more complicated and far more interesting than that,” he says. Traveling in various vehicles including a 28 foot Airstream and teardrop camper, he has traveled to 46 states. He particularly loves the west because it is so beautiful and also because he needs to do research.



    The deadline for newsletter submissions is the 25th day of the month. Every month three or four articles are submitted late, sometimes as many as three or four days late. Going forward, do not be surprised if your late submission is not included in the newsletter!