July 2021 Newsletter
Rotary International’s newly adopted theme for 2021-22 is “Serve to Change Lives,” and I cannot think of a more appropriate focus as we emerge from this worldwide pandemic and begin to rebuild our clubs, our communities, and our world.
Our world -- and certainly our Rotary world -- is much different today than it was 12 months ago. We faced a global health crisis, natural disasters, and economic turmoil all at the same time and the whole world was affected.
Through it all, Rotary has stood tall. We have heard stories of amazing acts of generosity and personal acts of service by clubs, Rotarians, and Rotaractors. Rotarians are, if nothing else, resilient, and our ability to adapt to a changing world put us in a position not only to survive the pandemic – but able to help others in the process.
Despite myriad hardships created by the pandemic, the humanitarian work of Rotarians never ceased.
Internationally, The Rotary Foundation was quick to respond to this generation’s worst humanitarian crisis. Since March 2020, The Rotary Foundation has awarded $32 million in global and disaster-response grants for projects related to COVID-19. All over the world, Foundation grants are supporting projects that demonstrate Rotary’s impact and reach. 
Closer to home, District 5495 Rotarians rolled up their sleeves and worked throughout the year serving those most impacted by the pandemic. Despite personal obstacles faced by many of our own members – our clubs never stopped serving their communities.
We may have been forced to meet virtually and stay in our homes for the better part of a year, but there was plenty we could – and did -- do: Collect food for local food banks. Plant trees. Donate computers to our schools. Purchase supplies for first responders. The list goes on and on.
“There are many issues that girls face in different parts of the world, and you as leaders will ensure that we try and mitigate the disadvantages [that girls] may have." — Shekhar Mehta, 2021-22 Rotary International President
This coming Rotary year, 2021-2022, Rotary President Shekhar Mehta is encouraging members to focus their efforts on empowering girls and ensuring their access to education, resources, services, and opportunities so that future generations of women leaders will have the tools they need to succeed.
Both Zone 26/27 and District 5495 have already stepped up and appointed Rotarians to lead brand new Empowering Young Girls committees.
At the Zone level, Immediate Past District Governor Elizabeth Mahoney has been tapped to lead the Zone 26 Empowering Girls initiative. Elizabeth will work with district governors and clubs throughout the zone to support projects locally and internationally that aim to educate young girls.
In District 5495, Kaley Gilmore has been asked to lead our district’s first-ever Empowering Girls Committee. Kaley has long been an advocate of projects that promote education and empowerment for young women. She is the current president of the Sun City Satellite Club.
For additional information, contact Elizabeth at elizabeth.mahoney@ymail.com, or Kaley at kaley.gilmore10@gmail.com.
District Governor Bret has indicated his desire to continue The PolioPlus Society Initiative.  For a pledge to donate $100 per year to End Polio Now, you too can become a member of the PolioPlus Society.  Sadly, since announced in last month's newsletter, the response has been somewhat tepid.  If interested, 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! Unfortunately, during the Rotary year just ended, the participation in the PolioPlus Society was not what was hoped for.

Pakistan is one of two countries where wild poliovirus remains endemic making it essential that the entire country supports the successful implementation of every polio campaign. Women play a critical role, often working at polio’s frontline.

Zubaida Bibi leads a team in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the country’s north. © WHO/EMRO

Health interventions and immunization activities are most effective when delivered by women.  During each nationwide polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan, women make up around 62 percent of the 280, 000+ frontline workforce vaccinating millions of children across the country.

With each campaign depending on the dedication of staff to reach all children, given their trusted roles and responsibilities in communities, female polio frontline workers are playing a key role in eradicating polio.

Breaking barriers to immunization

After three years as a monitor of campaign activities, Zubaida Bibi has progressed from being a polio team member to a team leader in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the country’s north, one of the most affected areas in Pakistan.

Breaking the gender-related barriers to immunization, Zubaida travels extensively including hard-to-reach areas. Not even the winter season, when the roads and tracks are covered with snow, deters Zubaida.

“I would always tell them that the polio vaccine is totally safe for their children,” says Shumaila Majeed at work in Lahore. © Hassan Raza


The District Grant Committee: DG Bret McKeand, DRFC Charlie Tegarden, DGN Kevin Pitts, and District Grants Chair Rebecca Wilks)
$76,418 has been allocated to 31 projects with budgets totaling $176,868.
Unfortunately, there was not enough money to fully fund all of the projects.  Funding was provided to all of the fully qualified First Priority projects and no second projects were funded. Some clubs will receive reduced awards.  These decisions were based primarily on giving to The Rotary Foundation's Annual Fund during the last two years.
Funds will be transferred as soon as they're available, in approximately two weeks.  
If Rex Townsend, our district treasurer, has not yet contacted you to get your banking information, please reach out to him, rextowns@msn.com
Please also remember that projects must be completed and reports submitted by April 30, 2022.
Keep your eyes open for Grants Management Training in the Spring.
Please address questions to Rebecca Wilks, rebecca@skylineimages.net
Chandler Horizon Rotary $3,000 Donation
Roger Bonngard has a long history with The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.  He was one of the early Directors and continues to serve as an active Advisor.
He is smiling in this photo taken at the Chandler Horizon Rotary Club's May 5 meeting.  Roger was very happy because his own club elected to support the good work of TRVFA with a $3,000 donation from their club's foundation.  TRVFA was one of three organizations receiving checks at that meeting.
Earlier in the meeting, three TRVFA grant recipients who were sponsored by the club shared some brief information about themselves while attending the meeting virtually via Zoom.
  • Tina is in Dental Assisting.  She is a 30-year-old with a family of four.  Her vocational growth will be four-fold.
  • Evelyn is in Phlebotomy.  She is a sixty-four-year-old who needs to work longer and not collect social security for a while.  Her position at her hospital was terminated due to her age and COVID.  Because of her training, she will now have a more secure job with better pay.
  • Madison is in Medical Assisting.  A 21-year-old whose parents recently became US citizens, she currently works as a part-time receptionist while pursuing her studies.  Her training will project her into a bright future.
Congratulations and Thank You to Deb Eldridge!
Hello everyone! My name is Brianna Rodriguez, the Interact District Governor for this upcoming year. I am beyond excited to get the year started and meet our incoming Assistant Governors. After an overview of the application and interview processes, I’m proud to say that this year's batch of AGs is highly skilled and eager to get to work. 
I would like to officially announce that Interact’s theme for this year is “United We Serve”. COVID has taken a toll on us all. Last year, most of our Interact Clubs were unable to participate in service projects. Our council was stripped of the opportunity to meet each other in person with our annual retreat and conferences. However, this didn’t stop us from getting the work done. Our clubs found ways to adapt and persevere through these hardships. This year, I would like to focus on reconnecting our clubs. 
Forming connections with each other is important to successfully work as a team. PDG Ashton Bialek-Kling did an amazing job of helping our clubs adapt to such a huge change. I would like to continue his work and provide our clubs with stronger connections with our Assistant Governors, Rotary Clubs, and surrounding Interact Clubs. When we’re working together and united as one team we can make a greater impact on our community. 
Ponderosa RYLA in Heber, October 8-11, 2021
Pinerock RYLA in Prescott, January 14-17, 2022
Visit www.ryla5495.org for more information.
Arizona Rotary Leadership Academy (RLA): Exciting Leadership Training Opportunity
Do you have valuable skills and talents from which your district and Rotary can benefit? Are you interested in growing as a Rotary leader?  
Have we got an exciting leadership training opportunity for you!!
In 2017-18, Districts 5500 and 5495 formed a partnership to lead and coordinate Rotary Leadership Academy, an innovative online learning approach to Rotary leadership development first created in 2004.  It is the Academy’s mission to train identified and selected Rotarians for future district leadership roles while simultaneously understanding and being sensitive to the demands on Rotarians time and busy schedules.
Annually, Past District Governors, current Governors, current Assistant Governors and RLA graduates nominate candidates for the academy. These nominees, past Rotary club Presidents, Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) graduates and Rotarians interested in leadership roles beyond their clubs are provided training which prepares them for the “next step,” a district leadership role. 
The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes recently announced that Rajani Rastogi, LMSW received the Club’s 2021 Sandy Lundberg Educator of the Year Award.  The Club Award was established in 2017 as a prestigious annual award.  Its purpose is to demonstrate the Club’s continuing commitment to the Chandler Unified School District - its educational objectives and the educators who work so diligently and professionally to achieve those objectives.
In May 2018, the first Award was proudly presented to Sandy Lundberg, the principal of the newly opened Casteel High School.  Sandy was an active member of the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes , in which she provided the same energy to the Club endeavors as she did to her profession. Her passion for children and community shone through whatever she did.  Due to Sandy’s untimely passing, the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes proudly named the award - The Sandy Lundberg Educator of the Year Award. 
One of the components of the Award’s application process is for the educators to provide a presentation to the Rotary Club.  During Rajani’s presentation, she provided an overview of how, as a social worker, she integrates Rotary values when assisting students achieve holistic success in school and beyond academics;  These values are:   
  • Commitment – for Hamilton High School to be committed, be supportive, deliver value and be engaged with each student’s well-being. 
  • Excellence – for Hamilton High School to build trust, provide quality programs and provide sustainable capacity.
  • Integrity – for Hamilton High School to provide student  tracking, transparency and accountability.
  • Collaboration – for Hamilton High School to work jointly with Chandler School District, students, families and community partners. 

Our speaker for the day was Dr. Andrew Atiemo an Interventional Cardiologist from Northern Arizona Healthcare in Flagstaff. He spoke to us via Zoom with technical assistance by Susan on the topic of Cardio-vascular Prevention and the COVID- 19 Pandemic.

Dr. Atiemo earned his medical degree from Harvard. He then trained in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and completed his cardiology train ing at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at University of Maryland, in Baltimore.

His presentation was shock full of information, far too much to include in this newsletter. The editor has attempted to include some key details that may be useful to members in preventing cardiovascular disease. 

According to reports from Johns Hopkins,  as of 5/29/21 there  have been 169,781,239 cases of COVID-19 with 3,529,742 deaths worldwide while the      US reports 33,251,71 cases with 594,304 deaths, giving the US the unenviable position of being #1 in the world. Arizona reports 879,909 with 17,609 cases as of the end of May.

Dr. Artiemo shared a case study that highlighted various cardiovascular complications of COVIDI-19 along with risk factors for severe COVID-19 infections which include advanced age, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, pre-existing cardiovascular disease and race with a devastating impact particularly on African Americans.

We learned that there are both good and bad   consequences associated with quarantine and isolation. While these measures are efficient in reducing the spread of infection, they are also associated with increased anxiety, anger and stress which lead to a more unhealthy life style, having a negative impact on overall health, including cardiovascular health.


When in-person volunteering was eliminated at Auxier, Rotary Club of Sun Lakes member Maureen Alger found a way to quickly adapt the SAE A World In Motion® (AWIM®) Rolling Things STEM challenge to incorporate outside perspectives. Industry volunteers are crucial for young learners participating in AWIM’s PreK-8 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) experiences. They provide mentorship, real-world insights, and expose students to different STEM career paths. During the pandemic, they also provided something else—social interaction with someone other than a teacher.
SAE International, previously known as the Society of Automotive Engineers, is a U.S.-based, globally active professional association and standards developing organization for engineering professionals in various industries. The moment the virtual volunteers, which included Rotary Club of Sun Lakes Rotarian/SAE Member Don Robins and Rotarians Val Crump and Bill Crump, joined a class of first graders at Auxier Elementary School in Queen Creek, AZ, students immediately lit up. After being isolated from other classmates and outside contact because of COVID-19, the students were so happy to have an outside connection that they hung on their every word. It also didn’t hurt that the volunteers previously worked in the automotive industry which made STEM immediately relatable.
Tempe Downtown helps South Mountain Community College Student start a business - SMCC Student One of Six Student-Entrepreneurs Awarded Capital Funds
South Mountain Community College student-entrepreneur Tanya Stark was one of six Maricopa Community College District students who were awarded capital funds from Rotary Club of Tempe Downtown along with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and Everyday Entrepreneurship Venture Fund (EEVF).
Tanya is working on Givers Unite, a thrift store that is both in-person and online, using a cooperative workplace model.
Congratulations Tanya! 
Tempe Downtown was the first donor to a collaboration of Five Maricopa Community Colleges participating with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and Everyday Entrepreneurship Venture Fund (EEVF). The collaboration is part of the NAACE/EEVF Venture Fund phase II program which is raising money to provide capital to Maricopa student-entrepreneurs for start-up and scale up of small businesses. With support of the Maricopa Colleges Foundation, faculty, and development directors from the five participating Maricopa Colleges - Glendale Community College, Phoenix College, Mesa Community College, Rio Salado College, and South Mountain Community College - have raised a venture fund from local donors, along with grant funds from NACCE/EEVF.  Tempe Downtown Rotary Foundation kicked off the fundraising with a $5,000 donation to the Venture Fund in fall 2020. 
2022 Rotary International Convention:
Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 2022 Rotary International Convention in Houston, Texas. Join us next year to explore what’s possible in Rotary, in Houston, and in yourself.  

Whether you’re new to Rotary or a longtime member, it will be an unforgettable experience. Learn more at convention.rotary.org/houston

Register and pay by 16 June to take advantage of the promotional rate of $425. (Editor's Note: Might be a little late for that rate.) Don’t miss your chance to Discover New Horizons at the 2022 Rotary International Convention!