February 2021 Newsletter
Fellow Rotarians:
This Rotary year has been has come with a multitude of challenges, opportunities, and emotions. First, I would like to personally offer my condolences to all of you who have lost a loved one and/or club member to COVID-19 or other causes. I have been notified of many Rotarians we have lost through the pandemic even as recent as this morning. There are no words that I can use to fully express the sorrow and grief that I feel and know you are experiencing. I do look forward to the day when I can give each of you a hug and truly share in what you’ve all been going through, and honor together those we have lost and miss dearly.
We know the pandemic has affected everyone, and in different ways.  Some with job loss, health issues, depression, loneliness, and so much more.  So much has changed in Rotary as well.  We miss our face-to-face contact. Due to the pandemic, most, if not all, of our events have either moved to virtual or been postponed.  A positive in this, is that this has allowed for tremendous cost savings as a district.  This includes both last year and this year’s district conferences being cancelled, the RI Convention in Hawaii moving to a virtual format, Club Leadership Academy as a virtual event and more.  Though, we could hold the extra funds in reserves until the end of the year, we believe that it is best that the funds stay with you, the clubs - our members.
For that reason, the District 5495 Governor Line in partnership with our wonderful finance committee, Finance chair PDG, Terry Cowan and District Treasurer PDG, Jeanie Morgan believe it is in the clubs’ best interest to not assess District 5495 dues for the January 2021 through June 2021 period.  
This “refund” equals $30 per member, which doesn’t sound like a lot.  When you multiply that with the number of Rotarians in our district it is keeping $63,247 at the club level.  In addition, since the pandemic began, two actual refunds of $10 per member took place totaling around: $44,000.  That means since March of 2020, we have been able to keep over $107,000 at the clubs.  We all hope this has helped, and that your clubs are opening opportunities all around!
On Tuesday, March 2 Ian Riseley, Past Rotary International President, will present RI’s new Area of Focus, Protecting the Environment, LIVE via Zoom to Tuesday lunch clubs, Foundation Chairs, Membership Chairs, New Generation Chairs, and anyone (Rotarian or not) interested in Rotary's new cause. A promotional video for this event has been prepared. District 5495 Interact AG Chloe Lyons, who also serves as District 5495 Supporting the Environmental chair is featured with two (2) others in this promotional video.  You may view the video (Ian, Rotary, and the Environment) HERE.  This is just another example how our efforts in Interact Open the Doors to Rotary!
District Grant Update
Rebecca Wilks, District Grants Chair
Well, 5495 Rotarians, we’re moving right along planning the District Grant process for the 2021-22 Rotary year.
The following important documents are now available on rotary5495.org:
·        2021-22 District Grant Guidelines (all the rules and instructions)
·        2021-22 District Grant Application Addendum and report form
·        Memorandum of Understanding (required for club qualification)
·        Club Financial Management Plan Template (you’ll want to customize it for your club, but this document will make it easy)
We’ll be using the website rotarygrants.org for applications this year (more information is available in the Guidelines), and the application deadline is May 31.
Grants Management Training dates are set; March 27, April 7, and April 17.  There will be a fourth training in conjunction with PETS.  Each club is required to send at least two members to a training in order to qualify to apply for grants.  All four of these trainings will be virtual.
Thanks to the clubs which have already sent in final reports on their 2020-21 District Grant Projects.  Yes, the deadline is April 30, but why not get the paperwork done if you’ve completed your project? The report form is in the same document as the application.
Thanks to all our participating clubs for doing such great work in your communities and abroad.
Questions?  Contact Rebecca Wilks, rebecca@skylineimages.net

Routine Immunization

A cornerstone of the polio eradication strategy is the need to ensure high (more than 80%) immunization coverage of children in the first year of life, with at least three doses of oral polio vaccine as part of national routine immunization schedules.

While routine immunization alone cannot eradicate the disease, good routine oral polio vaccine coverage increases population immunity, reduces the incidence of polio and makes eradication feasible.

If uniformly high immunization coverage is not maintained, pockets of non-immunized children build up, favouring continued spread and outbreaks of the poliovirus.

According to WHO/UNICEF immunization coverage estimates, 86% of infants received three doses of oral polio vaccine in 2010, compared with 75% in 1990.

Polio-free countries must continue to ensure high levels of immunization coverage to prevent the re-establishment of poliovirus through importations from other countries. This can happen through international travellers, migrant populations or population sub-groups who refuse immunization.

An increasing number of industrialized, polio-free countries are using inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in routine immunization schedules. IPV is not recommended for routine use in polio-endemic countries or in developing countries at risk of poliovirus importations as it does not stop transmission of the virus, and is more complex to administer and costly than oral polio vaccine.

Watch the Video "Every Last Child"  Click HERE


What it takes to vaccinate 39 million children in Pakistan

Health workers take COVID-19 precautions to deliver polio drops

Health worker Saira Faisal vaccinates a child against polio in Saddar town, Karachi, in August 2020. ©UNICEF/Pakistan

With masks on their faces and sanitizers in their pockets, an immunization team makes their way through the narrow lanes of Lahore’s historic old city.

“Our children are like flowers and these anti-polio drives help them grow up healthy and strong,” says Zubair, who along with his colleague Afzal is part of Pakistan’s 260,000-strong frontline vaccinator workforce.

It is the second day of the National Immunization Days (NID) campaign, which launched on 21 September, and the third immunization drive after a four-month suspension of door-to door campaigns due to the risks associated with COVID-19.

After polio campaigns were stopped in March 2020, the number of polio cases in Pakistan continued to increase. An initial small-scale round of vaccinations resumed in July, when over 700,000 children were reached. A second round went ahead in August, where 32 million children were vaccinated across the country. In both campaigns, vaccinators took precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks and regularly washing hands.


Is your club looking for a Service Project to consider?
The Rotary Week of Service is April 17-24, 2021

Rotary Grows Peace

This doable, meaningful service project addresses two of Rotary's 7 Areas of Focus: "Peace" and "Supporting our Environment." Promoting peace has long been a Rotary priority and supporting the environment was recently added recently to our Rotary efforts. Changes in climate have deeply affected
world peace. The loss of farmland, persistent drought and violent storms have disrupted people living on the margins all over the world. The upheaval and massive migrations of starving, frightened people resonate with all of us.


Building even one garden or planting one tree can provide benefits to a community. Imagine if Rotarians all over the state contributed their efforts to "green and growing" projects!  Working with local partners we can contribute toward improved air quality while help ing to stabilize lives all over the world.

Interested? Start by identifying potential agencies and/or partners to approach. Your club might engage schools and colleges, County Master Gardeners, governments, private garden s and landscape centers Partnering with other Rotary Clubs will expand club resources Project ideas are provided below.


Making a Difference
Making a Difference
Greg E. Podd, Chairman
First of a Very Happy New Year!  If you are like me, I begin each year with goals that I would like to accomplish for the New Year.  For 2021, like previous years, one of my goals is to “make a difference” in the lives of individuals who may not be as fortunate as me.
The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona is a great organization in “Making a Difference” by knowing that your contribution truly allowed individuals to lift themselves out of poverty. 
You are not only “Making a Difference” in the lives of others, but your contribution will qualify for an Arizona Tax Credit up to $800 for couples and $400 for a single filer. The amount donated may also be deductible as a charitable contribution for federal income taxpurposes to the extent allowed by law. Please consult your tax advisor to determine the tax benefits of your donation.
Thank you for “Making a Difference” through The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona!
Shown with her family is a 2020 TRVFA Grant Recipient, Weslyn.




Each year, Rotary awards up to 130 fully funded fellowships for dedicated leaders from around the world to study at one of our peace centers.  The application process is February 1 – May 31.  There is no cost to the applicant, nor the Rotary club or District.  

Since the program began in 2002, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 1,400 fellows who now work in more than 115 countries. Many serve as leaders in education, business, trade, research, law, journalism, governments, NGOs, the military, education, police and law enforcement, and international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank.

Hopefully, you know someone personally, or through your network you know others who may know others interested in applying for the Rotary Peace Fellowship. Applicants can be working here in Arizona, or anywhere else in the USA, or the world.

Visit D5495 Website and click on “Resources” tab. Then click on the “Peacebuilding Resources” tab and you will see 6 helpful links under “Peace Fellowships/Peace Centers.”

A Power Point Presentation is available to all D5495 Rotary Clubs and is less than 10 minutes duration.  Three members of the D5495 Peace Fellowships committee will be glad to make these presentations to your club via Zoom, and answer any questions: 


Tony Cerato                                   Mary Zongolowicz                          Zarrin Caldwell

D5495 Peace Fellowship Chair     Rotary Club of Sun City                  Rotary Peace Fellow 2011

tcerato@aol.com                           mary.zongolowicz@gmail.com       zarrin15@yahool.com

Your Rotary Club is a fantastic and magnificent Rotary Club!  However, it is only one Club out of 35,000 + Rotary Clubs worldwide.  Keeping Rotary Clubs vital, interesting and active requires a key ingredient:  Leadership Beyond the Club.  One of the best ways to develop leaders for Clubs is to enroll members into the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI).  
RLI is a grassroots coalition of Rotary districts implementing a leadership development program for “potential” leaders of RotaryCLUBS.
RLI has become a worldwide organization with divisions in every Continent of the world.
RLI is not an official program of Rotary International and is not under its control but has substantial support of RI Presidents and current, past and incoming RI Directors.  Its curriculum is upgraded every 4 years.
RLI believes that excellent CLUB leadership (all types of club leaders) is essential to the future of Rotary in our complex and fast-changing world.  Most Rotarians have not been exposed to the great scope of Rotary around the world and have not considered what leadership skills are necessary to move Rotary forward.
All Rotarians are invited to the 2020-2021 Mexico USA Friendship Conference and Global Grants Exchange on Zoom.
Your club can participate in a Rotary global grant project with a pledge toward any of the projects that will be presented on February 12, 13 and 14. There is no cost to register and participate.
See attachment and please register below:
Kevin Pitts
Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well and are having a great start to the new year!
Our Interact District Conference is coming up, and we are very excited about it. It has taken a lot of work to plan the conference and fit everything into a three-hour time frame, and we can't wait to share what we have planned. We will feature Ben Lutz and DG Elizabeth Mahoney as our speakers, who will share their Interact and Rotary stories. We are also featuring three Interact clubs who have gone above and beyond this past year. The BASIS Scottsdale Interact Club, the Canyon View High School Interact Club, and the Bradshaw Mountain High School Interact Club will present the projects they have been doing and how they are running their clubs.

Our speaker for the day was Barb Feder, the District 5495 Diversity, Equity and InclusionTask Force Chair. Barb, who has been a Rotarian since 1992, president of the Tempe club in 1997-98 and president of Tempe Downtown in 2016-17 also served as District Governor for D5510 in 2001-2. Her honors include Paul Harris, Major Donor and the Rotary Service Above Self award. Her husband Abe is also a PDG.

Per Barb, RI has a central focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. While we are diversified internationally, not all groups are represented. An international task force is up and running, and even though Rotary has a history of diverse backgrounds, RI has affirmed its commitment by issuing a more explicit DEI inclusion statement in 2019.


The District PolioPlus Society Initiative is underway.  For a pledge to donate $100
per year to End Polio Now, you too can become a member of the PolioPlus Society.  Through January 27th, 20 commitment forms have been received.  I suspect that there are more participants who have not bothered to send the commitment form.  Keep in mind that you will only receive the swag if you send in the commitment form.
PolioPlus Society Pins, Wrist Bands, Certificates were mailed about two weeks ago. The person doing the mailing, that would be the newsletter editor, misspelled the District Foundation Chair's name on the certificate. Those receiving a certificate will be receiving a corrected one.
If interested in becoming a PolioPlus Society member please visit the Foundation portion of the District website (CLICK HERE) and maneuver to the PolioPlus Society section of the page. Use the pop-out button in order to print the various pages. District Foundation Chair Charlie Teagarden would like to see a couple hundred District 5495 members sign up for the PolioPlus Society!
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale welcomed Rotarian Rachel Sacco, President & CEO of Experience Scottsdale as its keynote speaker at the Club’s recent hybrid meeting held via Zoom Meeting and on-site luncheon meeting held at The McCormick Scottsdale.  Ms. Sacco joined the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce in 1986 to lead its tourism division, which became the convention and visitors bureau in 1987.  In 2001, Experience Scottsdale was formed to become a stand-alone, non-profit organization with Ms. Sacco as its first president and CEO.
Ms. Sacco has been inducted into Scottsdale History Hall of Fame, the ASU College of Public Programs’ Alumni Chapter Hall of Fame, the Arizona Governor’s Tourism Hall of Fame and the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame.  She has been named one of the “50 Most Influential Women” by Arizona Business Magazine and Corporate & Incentive Travel Magazine has recognized her as one of the most successful women leading destination offices in the U.S..
Ms. Sacco has been recognized for her community service and leadership in the city, being awarded the Rotary Club of Scottsdale’s Corporate Club Member Service Above Self Award and Scottsdale Leadership’s Drinkwater Leadership Award.  Ms. Sacco is a national board member for the U. S, Travel Association and sits on the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Associations executive committee.  

ROTARY CLUB OF GOODYEAR PEBBLECREEK, Goodyear, Ariz.- The Rotary Club of Goodyear PebbleCreek (GYPC) values strong schools and strong communities. This thriving service club prioritizes partnerships with Avondale, Litchfield, and Agua Fria School Districts, with emphasis on Title I schools where children from low-income families compose at least forty percent of enrollment. 

Most recently, GYPC Rotary donated 27 ChromeBooks to students at Corte Sierra Elementary School in the Litchfield Elementary School District. This generous gift was made possible by grant support from the United Parcel Service (UPS). 

Principal Tanya Rotteger says, “In light of this global pandemic, our Falcons are relying on technology to protect their mental health and to achieve academic goals. Especially in light of the pandemic, many families simply cannot afford adequate devices for all of their children.”

In addition to critical technology for students, the GYPC Rotary Club has also raised money this year for emergency supplies for Title I school nurses, white boards for student use, STEM education funding, teacher appreciation gifts, student uniforms, and holiday boxes with food and books for families in need. 


We know from living through 2020 that life is not always funny.  Resolve to Laugh more in 2021. Heck, some of us should probably be laughing when we look in the mirror in the morning!
Laughter Makes Us Healthier: Laughing lowers blood pressure and reduces stress hormones. It increases the circulation of antibodies in the bloodstream and makes us more resistant to infection.
Laughter Touches Our Soul: Laughter brings us closer to each other and provides a moment of grace. It occurs spontaneously and unexpectedly and catches us by surprise.
Presidential conferences showcase Rotaract
RI President Holger Knaack will hold three virtual presidential conferences that will showcase the leadership of Rotaract members and collaboration between Rotaract and Rotary around the world. Knaack said he chose to focus on Rotaract leaders because young people have the potential to reshape our organization: “The COVID-19 epidemic has made clear that we are living in a different world, a world dominated by young people with the foresight and drive to take advantage of rapid change.” The three events will be hosted from Brazil, 15-16 January; Nigeria, 22-24 January; and the United States, 14-16 May.
Protecting the environment
Through Rotary’s new area of focus, protecting the environment, members will work to comprehensively solve specific problems that harm the environment. This will give us bigger opportunities to build on the service we’re already doing to improve the environment in our communities. Members can apply for global grants in this area beginning next 1 July. Learn more about how Rotary helps protect the environment.
It might seem like a small thing, but a logo that isn’t used properly can create confusion and mistrust. We always want to use Rotary’s logos consistently and properly to maintain a global Rotary brand that members, donors, and the public can trust. Over the next year, we plan to talk much more about branding. In the first of a series of Rotary Voices blog posts on this topic, Rotary’s brand specialist, Liz Thiam, explains why clubs should use the Rotary logo correctly in their communities and how they can do that.