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Dear Rotarians…..
During my year as District Governor I have referenced in many of my in-person, written and video communications the 24 most important words in Rotary.  For my final monthly video I couldn’t think of anything more important than sending you a message about the words that bind Rotarians around the world together in a common purpose to create opportunity and remove obstacles so that people can reach their full potential.  
Thank you for joining me on this journey and for allowing me to serve and celebrate with you during this Rotary year and in the years to come.
Please watch my June message here: 
With deep respect and appreciation,
DG David
You may view all of David's videos from his Governor year HERE
For Navajo families without water and electricity service, there are only a couple of options for water. Those who can afford to buy bottled water, paying a large amount of their monthly income and driving long distances... up to 50 miles round trip for many. Those who can't afford bottled water travel to fill plastic jugs and containers with water. This may provide a household with one to several gallons of water per day. Many families collect water once a month in 50-gallon barrels, but these often aren't cleaned and can contaminate the water. Some haul water from unsafe sources like livestock windmills that can also be contaminated with arsenic, e-coli or uranium. Large barrels must be left outside and are subject to freezing.
This minimal water supply is used for drinking, cooking and washing hands. Often families use the same gallon of water multiple times (examples: boil pasta, use same water to wash veggies, use same water to wash hair, finally pour spent water in toilet tank). There is not sufficient water for drinking, bathing, cleaning dishes, or other things that a piped water connection makes possible.
The cost of bringing traditional service lines to these Navajo homes scattered in rural areas within the Navajo Nation is prohibitively expensive. Even if there were an effort to build water infrastructure, it would be impractical to maintain (financially and technically) and would be decades away from completion.
It would be great to have your club contribute to project #4.  We are collecting club pledges now, but the project will not be submitted for approval to TRF until October or later.
Well, here we go-strap your seatbelts on for a June Community Service Project.  This suggestion, and it's a great one, came to me from Lori Dekker, a member of my Rotary club, Prescott-Frontier.
Let me start with a "Did You Know?"
  • Did you know that on a per capita basis, there is more reported Covid on the Navajo Nation than in New York City?
  • Did you know that the Nation has the densest outbreak in the country?
  • Did you know 15,000 homes on the Nation are without electricity, accounting for 70% of all the homes in the country?
  • Did you know that 86% of the homes have no natural gas?
  • Did you know that 60% have no landline phone services?
  • Did you know that the Nation lacks a 9-1-1 system?
  • Did you know that over 30% of the residents of the Nation have no running water?
Speaking for myself, I find this almost inconceivable in our country today.  It makes me both sad and angry!

Dear Rotarians,

We hope you had a safe and solemn Memorial Day weekend remembering those who sacrificed to preserve our way of life.  Our thoughts are with them and their loved ones.

As we move past Memorial Day and businesses are beginning to carefully re-open within strict parameters, we wanted to address the issue of when and how Rotary clubs (i.e. terra clubs) should consider re-convening their in-person meetings.

  • Remember that businesses are re-opening because of the financial imperative for business owners and employees to generate an income.  The decision to reconvene as a Rotary club has very different implications.
  • Many are anxious to re-open Rotary….to re-start our wonderful in-person fellowship.
  • Others are legitimately concerned about their own susceptibility to coronavirus or about the risk of inadvertently exposing loved ones or others whose health profile makes them vulnerable.

So when is the right time to re-open your club to in-person meetings?  And how might the club alter operations to respect the concerns of all members while protecting the health and safety of Rotarians and venue staff?  

Recently a Rotary task force from the western 1/3 of the US (including a representative from the District 5495 Governor Line) prepared guidance about re-opening Rotary clubs.  Ultimately each club will make its own decision based on its unique circumstances, but each club should give serious and respectful evaluation to the considerations and process for re-opening as outlined in the attached piece.

Thank you for all you have done to support our communities at this difficult time.

With warm regards,

DG David Simmer

DGE Elizabeth Mahoney

DGN Bret McKeand

DGD Larry Horton


Please read the following article for Zone 26 & 27 guidelines for restarting meetings!

As COVID-19 infections begin to level and government shelter-in-place and similar orders expire, Rotary Districts and Clubs are confronted with the complexities of determining how and when to resume in- person gatherings. 
We must base our decisions on the health and safety of our members, while maintaining compliance with government and health regulations. COVID-19 will be part of our Rotary planning until a proper prevention or vaccine is readily available.
 ChallengesOur Rotary organization is a compilation of autonomous clubs with cultural, social, and community-based values that preclude a “one size fits all” approach for club decisions about resuming in-person meetings. 
This document is developed to help our Rotary clubs and leadership with considerations and resources for the discussions and decisions they undertake at this difficult time. The primary goal of this document is to help Rotarians consider the safety and health of our members.
We know that some of the 2019-20 Rotary Citation goals may be difficult for clubs to achieve during this pandemic, so we’ve revised the requirements. Instead of achieving five of the nine goals in the Unite People and Take Action categories, clubs now need to achieve at least three goals in each of these categories. The Presidential Distinction requirements remain the same, and clubs still need to be in good standing to be eligible. 

We appreciate the work you continue to do during this time and are looking forward to seeing the creative ways in which clubs achieve their goals. Clubs can still report their achievements as described in the Achievement Guide and use the Rotary Citation Recipients report on My Rotary to check their progress. Contact us at if you have any questions. 
Margie Barton unfolded a map of Dilkon in Navajo Nation and pointed to the clusters of households representing 90% of its residents living without running water. Barton is the coordinator of the Dilkon Chapter House, the local administrative and communal center, and is involved in almost all aspects of keeping services up and running for the community- including access to clean water
About 30%of the population in the Navajo Nation does not have running water in their homes during a time when hand washing is critical. It also has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates per capita in the U.S., after New York and New Jersey.
"Once it was brought to our attention just how many people were catching and dying from it - that's when it hit home here in Dilkon. All of a sudden, everybody is scared," said Barton.
In response, the Navajo Nation quickly institutes the country's most extensive lockdown orders, but inadequate infrastructure and lack of access to basic needs is intensifying the crisis. Homes without running water may only have a 50 gallon tank to siphon water out of, requiring carful use at a time when families can't afford to ration water.
Not surprisingly, given the current public health situation worldwide, the number of polio cases caused by the wild poliovirus continues to rise year over year.  Thus far in 2020 we have had 61 cases detected, 49 in Pakistan and 12 in Afghanistan.  These numbers reflect the latest report available, dated 26 May 2020.  This compares to 40 cases a year ago. There have also been 121 cases of cVDPV this year as compared to 36 a year ago. (cVDPV is vaccine derived polio virus). 
Additionally, positive environmental samples of WPV1 (Wild Poliovirus 1) and WPV2 continue to be found in endemic area and areas at risk. For the latest reporting period 4 new positive environmental samples have been found in Pakistan and 8 new environmental samples have been found in Afghanistan.
Vaccine derived cases of poliovirus 2 have been observed the year in Niger, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Togo and Cóte d'Ivoire. This is addition to cVDPV cases in Nigeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and the Philippines.  Note the predominance of Africa continent countries.
As the immunization model Rotary and its partners have in place is converted to battle Covid-19 we can realistically expect to see a large jump in poliovirus cases this year.  While this is sure to be discouraging, Rotary International has vowed to come back even stronger in its battle to eradicate polio once the current crisis is behind us.
Now more than ever it is imperative that we as Rotarians do not give up the ship and that we continue our generous donations to the End Polio Now – Make History today campaign.
Melissa Corkum, Polio Outbreak Response Senior Manager for UNICEF had dedicated a large portion of her professional life to ending Polio.
In 2003, Melissa Corkum received a call that would change her life. The World Health Organization wanted to interview her for a position in their polio eradication team. Like most people who are hearing about polio eradication for the first time, the story compelled her, and she packed her bags to embark on a new adventure. Seventeen years later, she remains a dedicated champion of polio eradication.

A self-proclaimed ‘virus chaser’, Melissa has worked in all three polio endemic countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. She found inspiration in her first field job in Nigeria, where she realized the scale of the polio eradication programme and that she was a part of something tremendous in public health history.

“I was amazed and inspired when I first saw the efforts of the front-line workers delivering vaccines to the doorstep. It may seem simple to deliver a couple drops into a child’s mouth, but when you see it in motion for the first time, it is truly remarkable,” Melissa said.

To this day, Melissa remains in awe of the work required to make ‘reaching every child’ possible. From mobilizing financial resources, to getting vaccines where they need to be while keeping them cool. From the microplanning to ensure all children and their houses are on a map, to the mobilization of champions in support of polio and immunization. Along the way, the stewards of these processes play an essential role to deliver the polio vaccine.


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.
                  Hello again! I do have some sad news; this is my last article as District Governor for the monthly Rotary Newsletter! But of course, with sad news, there is always a positive aspect of it! Ashton Bialek-Kling is taking over, as he is the new Interact District Governor for 2020-2021! I am very thankful for having the opportunity to be included in the Newsletter, as I hoped that in my year as DG, I could help build a better connection between Rotary and Interact! I would like to give a special shout-out to David Simmer, for being an amazing Rotary District Governor, PDG Jim Erickson, for letting me be included in the newsletter; and I am especially grateful for you, the readers, for being such a great audience to write to.
                  Though I am sad that this is my last couple weeks of being District Governor, I know Ashton and his Executive Team will make this next year of Interact great! They are all full of passion and interest for Interact and Rotary. 

The Scottsdale Sunrise  Rotary Club worked hard to make sure that no child goes hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During April, Rotarians packaged and distributed $20,000 worth of food to Valley elementary school children and families who do not have enough to eat.

Prior to COVID-19, many students and their families qualified for free or reduced breakfasts and lunches. With school closures, however, meals were reduced to three days per week, leaving families scrambling and fending for themselves on the other days.

Rotarians have helped fill in the gap.

Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary first learned of the need through Brian Hay, principal at Mesa’s Keller Elementary School. Keller is in a low-income community where over 75% of students qualify for the free or reduced breakfast and lunch program, according to a press release.

Mr. Hay became concerned after hearing from several of his teachers that some of their students were struggling. Altogether, the teachers identified 17 families with a total of 71 children who were food-deprived and in dire need.

Seeking assistance, Mr. Hay reached out to his father-in-law Terry Kutzbach, a Rotarian with the Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club. When club members heard about the situation, they quickly raised $2,000.


Today’s program chair, Susan Nicholson, in-troduced our speaker, Gina Butchin, author of The Mirror Lies—a personal story of growing up with a cleft palate. Gina, a communications professional/speaker on growing up with a facial difference, was born into the same world as one out of every six babies, starting life with a complete bilateral cleft lip and palate. She struggled with feeding, using a drinking fountain or straw and being ridiculed for how she looked and sounded. She spent her childhood painfully aware of her facial difference and insecure about the sound of her voice, insecurities that were reinforced by her schoolmates. She got by with the help and support of her mother, 
The information below about the current crisis was shared by PDG Craig Wilson, Rotary 100. He states, “I didn’t write this, but it is what I think.” The editor thinks it's good food for thought so thought it is worth sharing with all of you. What do you think?
I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it's not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa. For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of reconnection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis. For some that live alone they're facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons & daughters. With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales. Some families of 4 just received $3400 from the stimulus while other families of 4 saw $0. Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend. Some want to go back to work because they don't qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine. Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday. Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don't believe this is a big deal. Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come. So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing. We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey. Realize that and be kind.” 

~ Unknown author
The mascot of the Phoenix West Rotary Club was recently observed "taking it easy" by the pool.  One former District Governor has been heard to wonder if Dawson has ever been used in the HOV lane!
At least Dawson has not missed any recent meetings!
Teri Alexon is the Investor Education Coordinator for the AZ Corporation Commission’s Securities Division. A graduate of ASU she holds a Bachelor’s in Business Adm. & Communication. Since joining the Commission in August of 2002, she has been actively making statewide presentations on the risks and rewards of investing. In her presentation, she will not be able to tell you WHERE to put your money, only how to avoid the worst risk of all—investment fraud. Thus, her topic for her first time Zoom presentation was “How to Avoid Investment Fraud.” She is also part of a global organization, NASANorth American Securities Association which includes Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and DC. 
Teri indicated that there is lots of fraud in AZ due to our high percentage of retirees who are viewed has having money; however, anyone is a target - it is not a matter of “if” you will be targeted, it’s “when.” She talked about fraud in the real estate market.
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.