January 2020 Newsletter
In this month's video message District Governor David shares his thoughts and inspiration on serving our clubs and our communities in the new year.
You may view DG David’s latest video HERE.
You may view all of David’s videos HERE.
Caborca Polio Plus Trip
February 14-16, 2020
Now Open for Registration
Registration Deadline Dec. 23, 2019
For additional information and/or to register:
Contact Noel DeSousa (noel.j.desousa@gmail.com)
Join us on our yearly bus trip pilgrimage to Caborca, Senora, Mexico as we visit the “ejidos” outside Caborca (villages) to administer the “two drops of life”. If you have talked with anyone who has participated in this event in the past, you'll know that it is a great opportunity to take part in one of the primer projects that Rotary International has undertaken, as well as a chance to get to know Rotarians from other states and districts on both sides of the border, and have LOTS OF FUN!  
Basic Guidelines
  1. All attendees must be a current Rotary, Interact or Roteract member.
  2. Limited seating requires that a lottery system be used to select participants
  3. All attendees must ride the coach bus provided for the trip.
  4. All individuals attending must have a current valid passport.
  5. The trip cost will be approximately $175 per person.
For lots of additional details please contact Noel DeSousa >noel.j.desousa@gmail.com<
This month’s news on the polio eradication effort continues to be somewhat on the discouraging side.  The last report from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) indicated that thus far in 2019 there have been reported 125 cases of polio in the two remaining endemic countries – 24 in Afghanistan and 101 in Pakistan.  This compares with 33 in all of 2018.  We are essentially looking at an almost fourfold increase in the number of cases worldwide.  There will not be another report from GPEI until January 9, 2020.  It is quite possible that the cases for 2019 will increase at that time.
As you may have seen in the news, there has been a case of polio reported in Malaysia, a country declared polio free many years ago. That case was related genetically to the case reported earlier in the year in the Philippines.  Malaysia is considering requiring all who enter the country to show proof of polio vaccination.
Additionally there have been 241 cases of vaccine derived polio virus. (cVDPV).  This compares with 104 cases of cVDPV in both 2018 and 2017.  A vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus.  The majority if the cVDPV experienced this year are of the Type 2 polio virus, which was declared eradicated in 2015.
Read More For Additional Information on cVDPV2 or visit the Global Polio Eradication Website  http://polioeradication.org/

I have worked hard to reduce the number of communications that District Rotarians receive from various District Committees during this year....so I hate to be sending this plea out to you again.....but the need is urgent for two wonderful Rotary programs to help others in our communities and the cost to you will likely be $0 -- only a little time to redirect AZ tax dollars to Rotary programs.

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 to achieve their dreams or a nutritious meal for those who are food insecure.


The Rotary Club of Scottsdale welcomed Dennis Haberer, Chairman of the Board of The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona, Inc (TRVFA).  Mr. Haberer updated the Rotarians about TRVFA being a non-profit organization under IRS Code 501(c)(3) whose purpose is to assist those people who qualify under Arizona law to obtain financial assistance to further their vocational studies. 
During Mr. Heberer's talk to the Rotarians, he noted that TRVFA is a partner with Rotary Clubs to provide financial and personal support to qualified candidates in obtaining education, training and skill development so they may, in turn, attain career-oriented employment, financial stability to raise their families and become productive citizens contributing to their communities.  Because of their increased earning potential, they help grow the economy of the state of Arizona.
District 5495 Peace Builder Network
Early 2020 Dates to Remember
As many Arizona Rotarians and clubs become more and more aware of both the importance and amazing rewards of making Peace Building a part of their lives, these dates in the coming year are important to remember.  Looking forward to great…and peaceful…events, activities and our communities in 2020!
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale welcomed Dr. Sanjeev Khagram, Dean of Thunderbird School of Global Management. During his introduction of the program, Rotarian Joe Cusack, shared Dr. Khagram's bio as a world-renowned expert, scholar and practitioner in global leadership, the international political economy, sustainable development and the data revolution. 
Dr. Khagram has worked extensively with global start-ups, corporations, governments, civil society groups, multilateral organizations, cross-sectoral action networks, public-private partnerships, foundations, professional associations and universities.  He has lived and worked for extended periods in Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand, Germanyand United Kingdom.
Dr. Khagram shared with the Rotarians his personal journey as a refugee in 1973 fleeing from Idi Amin's Uganda to refugee camps in Italy to settling in the United States.  Dr. Khagram has held faculty positions at the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government, and the University of Washington where he was the founding director of the Lindenberg Center for International Development.
Recently, District 5495’s Youth Exchange Program had an exciting and educational weekend with a three- day trip across Northern Arizona and touching into Utah. This trip was put together for the purpose of introducing our District’s Inbound Youth Exchange to not only the Northern parts of the State of Arizona, but also to educate the students about the landscapes, attractions, native American culture, and the beauty of our great State. In addition to the adult Rotarian leadership, the group consisted of this year’s Inbound students, next year’s Outbound students (2020-21), Rebound students from last year (2018/19), ROTEX, as well as a couple of Short Term Exchange Students (rebound and outbound). The group consisted of 21 total participants.

Departure was set for the morning of Friday, October 25th, with the students from the Valley (Emilee, Remy, Martina, Ben, Adryan, Rebekka, and Maci) meeting at a central location pickup point at 6:30 am. That partial group left Phoenix at 7:00 a.m. The First stop was Anthem, picking up three students - Tianna, Ashtyn, and Lucas, the second stop was Cordus Junction picking up Prescott student Quinn, third stop was
Sedona I-17 turn-off to pick-up Inbound student Louise, and the last pick-up stop in Flagstaff to pick-up Vince, Marcela, Cherish, and Gillian.
Friday’s travel itinerary included a first stop at Walnut Canyon. Unfortunately, we were met with a slight problem “right off the bat”, and we were forced to adjust the day on the fly and scrap Walnut Canyon, due to a large semi-trailer and multi-car incident on the I-40. We detoured and instead started out the trip at Sunset Crater Volcano, where we explored the lava landscape, before having a picnic lunch.
Have Your Club Purchase a Table of 8 and Make It an Outing
Wear Your Best Hawaiian Clothing to Coincide With the International Convention in Honolulu and Our Own District 5495 Hawaiian Themed Conference 
The Rotary Club of Superstition Mountain– Apache Junction and Gold Canyonis proud to announce “PEOPLE of ACTION” a FUNdraising event for the Rotary Foundation. Our objective is to raise  $12,000 for the Foundation.
District 5495 Governor David Simmer and Superstition Mountain Rotary President Bob Benjamin, invite you to join fellow Rotarians on Saturday, March 21, 2020 for an evening of delicious food and LIVE entertainment. The Barleens “Variety Spectacular” show will provide music, comedy, impersonations and a walk down memory lane with lots of laughs and — most important — a FUN evening! Doors will open at 5:15pm.  Dinner served at 6:30pm.
For more information CLICK HERE.
In cooperation with the Barleen Family the Superstition Mountain Club has secured this exclusivedate for a Rotary fundraising event. The Barleens Dinner Show – a 33-year family tradition in the East Valley — is located at 2275 E Old Apache Highway, Apache Junction. Over the years the Barleens have entertained and delighted thousands of families. If you have never seen the show, this is your opportunity.  If you have seen the show in the past, come-on back for a brand new experience!
Our goal is to FILL the Theater with 460 Rotarians, family and friends from across the state of Arizona who want to support the Rotary Foundation.
TICKETS for this fantasitc event are just $62 per person which includes dinner, the Barleen Family variety show and a $25 contribution to one of the world’s most highly regarded charities — the Rotary Foundation.
Tickets are on a first come first serve basis– i.e. once your reservation is made and PAID seats will then be assigned based on e-mail date and time stamp. 
CORPORATE SPONSORS are available to ANY Rotarian or business at $500. Your Contribution includes dinner and show tickets for 8, contribution to The Rotary Foundation, and preferredseating for 8.   Sponsors: please provide a high resolution company logo for advertising at the event. 
STAY-CATION  For those traveling from a distance, accomodations are available at special rates for rooms at the new Marriott Residence Inn.
For more information, contact Harvey Clark at 203-841-7666 or by email at harvey.clarksuperrotary@gmail.com.
 Together we see a world where people unite, and take action to create lasting change — across  the globe,in our communities and in ourselves
MORE RESULTS – 2019 Peace-themed Interact Writing Contest
Two more D5495 clubs – Surprise and Phoenix 100 – announce that students from their supported Interact clubs have also stepped up to participate in this year’s D5495 PeaceBuilder Network’s 1st annual peace-themed essay contest.  The Rotary Club of Surprise sponsors 2 school Interact clubs - Arizona Charter Academy (ACA) Interact and Valley Vista High School Interact, both located in Surprise.  The Phoenix 100 Rotary Club sponsors Central High School Interact in downtown Phoenix.
The students were asked to either write about what peacelooks like on their school campus or what peacemeans to them personally. The results were very positive and highly encouraging insuring the Rotary mission to create peace across the world is in good hands.  The poignant high school submission underscored how our Rotary vocation afforded the student the opportunity to influence the world through individual acts of peace. 
Rotarian Jay Lickus (RC Surprise) and Jeri Robertson (ACA Interact Club Advisor) report 3 students (two 8th graders and one 7th grader) from ACA received monetary awards presented by the club: $100 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd place and $25 for 3rd place.   And the one student from VVHS received a $100 award for her effort.  
Rotarians Tony Cerato and John Gerace of Phoenix Rotary 100, recently presented a Certificate and Cash voucher to Central High School Interactor Rachel Lanier Arozarena in celebration of her Peace Essay.  
The upper attached photo shows John Gerace, Rachel Arozarena and Tony Cerato at Central High School, while the lower shows Rotarians Jay Lickus and Chris Amos congratulating Kyra Horton, Andrew Estrella, Amar Kundan and Arjan Kundan.
A hearty D5495 THANK YOU and WELL DONE to each contest participant! Read the winning essays yourself at:  All 2019 Winning Essays
                  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a great 2019! 2020 is going to be very exciting year for Interact District 5495. RYLA Pinerock will be on MLK weekend and I want to thank everyone who sponsored an Interact student. I was lucky enough to go last year and the experience was amazing. 
                  This will also be the first year for Junior High RYLA. This is an exciting new experience for our young Interactors where they can learn about leadership and the power of the Rotary. As always, these projects need to be funded, so if you or your Rotary club is interested, email me or Art Harrington. This summer, we will be doing our Crutches 4 Africa trip and our NEW Crutches 4 Mexico Trip. Application deadlines closed on December 15th, so now the second step of the selection process begins! 
                  Our goal is to raise 35,000 dollars for these trips to help with the shipping of the containers and other costs. We are also still collecting mobility devices and broken wheelchair parts, if you have any, please drop them off at your local Interact club! If you have a question, feel free to contact me at any time. I hope you have a great New Year!
Say hello to Honolulu, home to the 2020 Rotary International Convention. And the best way to see this island paradise?
Hang with local Rotarians and Rotaractors
Discover Aloha
in Honolulu, Hawaii!
Register for the 2020 convention now and save up to $200. The early registration fee is $450 for Rotarians and $120 for Rotaractors through December 15th. Register at riconvention.org. While there, download the promo kit to encourage your fellow Rotarians to attend Rotary’s biggest event of the year — or watch and share an enticing video that previews the Rotary Convention.
Experience the culture of Hawaii at events planned by the Host Organization Committee in Honolulu; they include a concert at the Waikiki Shell, a sunrise walk for peace, an ancient fishpond project, and a meal with local Rotarians.
Things to know when you arrive that will immediately acclimate you to the Hawaiian way:
Our Club program on Tuesday was a presentation by our Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library committee of Terrie Sanders, Lisa Phillips, Bill Crump, Rowin Floth, Katie Cloudman, Frank Wiley, Peter Meade and Dave Sanders
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book giftingprogram that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income. After launching in 1995 by Dolly,the“Book Lady”, the program grew quickly. First books were only distributed to children living in Sevier County,Tennessee whereDolly grewup. It becamesuch asuccess that in 2000,a nationalreplicationeffort wasunderway. This program soonexpended to allofNorthAmerica and subsequentlyEurope and Australia. Todate, more than 126millionbookshave been given away to ages 0-5. The run rate now is about 1.4 million books per month!

Frank introduced Ari Wilder, Executive Director  of Friends of Camp Colton.  The non-profit was established in 2001 to support the educational mission and sustainability of Camp Colton.  Built by Dick and Jean Wilson, Camp Colton was originally operated as a summer camp for Tucson inner city boys, before they donated the property and buildings to the Flagstaff Unified School District in 1976.  They will be celebrating 50 years in 2020! 
The Camp currently operates between May and June, and August through October, and serves approximately 750 6th graders each year.  Spending 4 days and 3 nights at the Camp, students learn about the natural environment, as well as enjoy outdoor experiences.  Since they now serve so many more than originally built for, their goal is to expand the number of cabins and bathrooms, build a new lodge, and have dedicated, permanent astronomy space.  Their annual fundraiser, Kahtoola Uphill Race, is scheduled for February 8.  Plenty of opportunity for volunteers, and still time to get your team of racers together.
Sun Lakes Rotary Club presents Healing Vets Project May 7, 2020
This is the 2ndyear the Sun Lakes Rotary Club has presented this fundraising project for disabled military veterans in need of a helping hand through the effort of Healing Waters. www.projecthealingwaters.org   This annual project is now in its 5th year and will again be held at Desert Wind Harley Davidson located in Mesa, Arizona on Saturday,March 7, 2020.  
Please check out how you and your Rotary club can support and become involved regardless of your personal attendance or participating in the motorcycle ride.  Please visit website www.healingvets.org and look at the Hot Air Balloon Flight raffle.  If you are a motorcycle rider, why not come and join in on the ride and fun. 
There are also opportunities to be a sponsor through the Healing Vets website by downloading the Sponsor Package or by contacting Sun Lakes Rotarian, Stan Kaufman at 480-339-0247 or emailstan@healingvets.org  
It’s not too early to post on your calendarand to encourage your club and members to become involved and provide support.
PDG Gary Whiting, Sun Lakes Rotary and Club Committee Member

Eleven volunteers representing the Rotary Club of Scottsdale Arizona partnered with City of Scottsdale's Operation Fix It (neighbors helping neighbors) to complete a yard landscape installation of drought-tolerant plants and 15 tons of gravel for a Scottsdale homeowner in need.  This is the second Operation Fix It project for the Club.  The first was a house painting project in February 2019. Operation Fix It provides assistance to Scottsdale home owners with exterior improvements to their properties when they are unable to address due to financial/physical constraints. 


Per the Club's Community Service Project Director, Laura Biever, the home owner were thrilled and thankful for all the hard work and beautiful landscaping job.   


In addition to landscaping, the Rotary Club of Scottsdale presented to Michelle Holmes, Program Manager of Operation Fix It, a check for $1,000 for use on future home improvement projects within the City of Scottsdale. Operation Fix It program is not funded by the City of Scottsdale Arizona and operates on donations both financial and in kind and the support of our incredible volunteers who contribute their precious time, sweat and dedication to the program's mission which is: To find creative solutions to assist our residents in need with helpful hands and generous hearts.