Page Stories
In his May message to the District, DG David discusses the tragic situation on the Navajo Nation during the coronavirus outbreak.
You may view DG David's latest video HERE.
You may view ALL of David's videos HERE.
“Taking It to the Next Level”
2020 Club Leadership Academy 
Now Moved Online!!!
DGE Elizabeth Mahoney announces that this year’s Club Leadership Academy will focus on how each Rotarian can take their experience to the next level!  Using the Learning Center on - club members will learn how to become more effective in the leadership positions within your club
Pandemic Bingeing?… Surely there is something better
If you’ve been spending time binge watching - Tigger Prince…Breaking OK…Star Truck…As the Stomach Turns…whatever - by now you’ve probably had your fill of escapism and are beginning to yearn for substance. You know that you want to stay Rotarian-engaged but are needing some encouragement.
Well… Your D5495 Peace Builder Network is putting together a new Peace Resources site populated with videos of substance. Videos designed both to inform and inspire you in this time when you may be struggling to stay engaged. Some will be short, some much longer. All will be related to at least one RI Area of Focus.
Here are 3 links to get you started…and encouraged!

We are constantly amazed and inspired by the resourcefulness, generosity and determination of Rotarians to help others.  In light of our current coronavirus challenges the Governor Line thought that we would share a few of the wonderful service ideas from District Rotarians that are high priority given the current pandemic and pending deadlines:

Clean Water Emergency in the Navajo Nation:  You may have learned that there is a terrible outbreak of COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation, including right here in northeast Arizona.  (HuffPost ArticleAlbuquerque Journal Article)  Bottom line: lack of clean water has severely impacted the ability of the Navajo to adhere to hygiene protocol and has led to one of the worst concentrations of COVID-19 in our region, which has certainly been exacerbated by inadequate healthcare facilities.  Our Navajo Water Project Global Grants are focused on the long-term solution of home-by-home water-system installations, but there is an urgent need for general sources of clean water across the Navajo Nation.  Our partner in the Water Project, DigDeep, is racing to make clean water available to the Navajo to give them a chance to stop the spread of the virus.  For more information, contact DG David at   To support this critical Rotarian-led initiative for clean water visit


The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona wants to share a story shared by Board Member Jeanie Morgan:  Mesa West Rotary includes recipients of TRVFA grants in the subscribers to their weekly electronic Messenger.  During the weeks the club was not meeting face-to-face, they asked members and subscribers to submit happy thoughts or concerns for publication.  Jennifer who they sponsored to receive a grant to attend the LPN Program at East Valley Institute of Technology beginning in May, 2019 responded with the following:  
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.
There have been a number of inquiries regarding the impact of Covid-19 on polio eradication. I am able to share the current status as of April 8,2020, as presented by Mike McGovern, Chair of the Rotary International PolioPlus Committee and John Germ, Past Rotary International President and Chair of the Polio Countdown to History Committee.
A program begun by Rotary is employing thousands of health workers to address the Covid-19 pandemic.  The program is the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) which includes Rotary’s PolioPlus program.   From the earliest days of polio eradication in the Philippines, the generosity and advocacy of Rotarians and our partners has nearly stopped polio, stopped Ebola from becoming an epidemic in Nigeria and now responds to Covid-19.  
Over the next four to six months the polio program is offering its tools, workforce and extensive surveillance network to support countries as they respond.  Globally, the polio surveillance network is being trained on Covid case detection, contact tracing, laboratory testing and data management.  GPEI is deploying its coordination mechanisms such as emergency operations centers and sharing physical assets like vehicles, computers and mobile phones to combat the pandemic.  In Nigeria, an extensive network of polio communication assets including 20,000 volunteer community mobilizers are working across the country to promote handwashing to reduce transmission. In Pakistan, polio staff have sensitized more than 6,000 health workers on Covid-19 and repurposed a helpline originally used for polio related calls to also address Covid questions.   The polio surveillance team in Angola is training health care staff on case management of Covid-19. Polio staff in Benin are developing a pandemic preparedness plan for that country.  Each day we hear of more deployments of polio staff to address Covid issues in additional countries.

Polio Oversight Board Statement 

The COVID-19 pandemic response requires worldwide solidarity and an urgent global effort.  The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) stands ready to respond.

GPEI’s response to COVID-19 is driven by two principles.  The first is our public health imperative to ensure that the polio programme fully plays its part in the COVID-19 response, supported by our second, underlying principle that when the emergency ends we will be ready to end polio with urgency and determination.

GPEI assets at service of COVID-19 response

The Polio Oversight Board (POB) has agreed that for the next four to six months, GPEI programmatic and operational assets and human resources, from global to country level, will be made available to enable a strong response to COVID-19, while maintaining critical polio functions, such as surveillance and global vaccine supply management.

GPEI will continue to deploy polio-funded personnel to the COVID-19 response and make available coordination mechanisms, such as emergency operations centers, and physical assets such as transportation or IT hardware.  Through our extensive front-line worker networks in many countries, we will ensure the collection of information to provide evidence-informed guidance in line with WHO recommendations. At country level, the polio surveillance network is being trained on COVID-19 case detection, case and contact tracing, laboratory testing and data management.   Our data management systems and front-line staff are already ramping up action in many countries, and wherever the polio programme has a presence we will continue to serve the response.

GPEI will also seek assurances that when GPEI staff is supporting COVID-19 front line activities, they will be provided with the necessary training, materials, equipment and logistics support to do so safely, in line with infection prevention and control measures. The GPEI is conscious that women, who make up most caregivers and health workers, are likely to bear a heavier burden as the pandemic plays out in polio-affected countries. Their health and safety are a priority and we are working on ways to mitigate impact including making sure that their voices are heard in management and leadership positions.


Dear Rotarians,

Please let me begin by thanking each of you for your important contributions to the COVID-19 #RotaryResponds Livestream Telethon on Saturday, May 2nd, 10 A.M. CST. 

You will note that the date has been changed to Saturday, May 2nd, 10 A.M. CST. This change will provide us with the ability to broadcast live in all of Rotary’s official languages which, as you can imagine, is of the utmost importance to create a respectful and inclusive event. Given the amount of people we are expecting to participate, we want to do it right and make sure we have a best practice user experience. Today, I want to provide you with key messages and graphics that you can use to share with your teams.

We are pleased to invite you to participate in a COVID-19 #RotaryResponds one-hour Telethon to raise critical funds for disaster response. This Facebook Live event will be simulcast on the Rotary International Facebook page. The goal is to raise more than $1 million dollars. (the link is now live)

4 Ways to Engage Members Online
Are you looking for ideas to engage members while we’re physically distancing ourselves from each other? Has your club started meeting online? Here are some of our favorite resources to help:

Watch membership webinars and speeches from recent conventions and the International Assembly in the new Club Programming Collectionon Vimeo.

Share the updated State of Membership presentation at your next meeting.

Discover the professional and personal development opportunities in the Learning Center.  From Leading Changeto Building Rotary’s Public Image, these online courses allow you to learn new skills from your home.

Encourage you members to exchange ideas in the Meeting Online learning topic in the learning center.

Find more resources at
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. 
Paul Harris, Rotary’s founder, was born on April 19, 1868 in Racine, Wisconsin. At age three, he moved to Wallingford, Vermont, where he grew up in the care of his paternal grandparents. He attended the University of Vermont and Princeton University and received his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1891. 
In 1896, Harris settled in Chicago and opened a law practice. Four years later, he met fellow attorney Bob Frank for dinner on Chicago’s North Side. They walked around the area, stopping at shops along the way. Harris was impressed that Frank was friendly with many of the shopkeepers. He had not seen this kind of camaraderie among businessmen since moving to Chicago and wondered if there was a way to channel it, because it reminded him of growing up in Wallingford. 
"The thought persisted that I was experiencing only what had happened to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of others in the great city. I was sure that there must be many other young men who had come from farms and small villages to establish themselves in Chicago.  Why not bring them together?  If other were longing for fellowship as I was, something would come of it." Harris eventually persuaded several business associates to discuss the idea of forming an organization for local professionals.On February 23, 1905 Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey gathered at Loehr’s office in downtown Chicago for what would become known as the first Rotary club meeting.

The Grant Committee of Rim Country Rotary of Payson was prepared to award the District Grant to the Agriculture and the Culinary Arts Programs of Payson High School, for a joint project. 

The initial plan was for a cooking competition in which the two programs would work together. The District Grant would fund the materials for the competition: the meat, beans and other items, as well as pay for 2 barbecue grilles, along with various accessories, including grilling tools and covers for the grilles; one for each program. 

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus hit our world, and everything changed. Schools were closed and were not expected to reopen prior to the end of the academic year. Social distancing was mandated and the competition was cancelled. Rim Country Rotary of Payson needed to find an alternate option for the allocation of the District Grant funds. While working with the Culinary Arts Program Director, it was learned that the Culinary Arts Program’s kitchen and work area were in the process of being remodeled, renovated and updated. However, there were items on their wish list, which were not in their budget.


Wow! Our lives have changed so much since the last time this newsletter went out! Schools are now officially closed the rest of the school year, which means unfortunately Interact clubs are unable to meet. We were lucky enough to have done our Interact District Conference before all this craziness ensued! Though Interact clubs are unable to meet, we still have our Interact District Council Application that is open till April 15. This is a great opportunity for young leaders to take the next step in Interact leadership. Please encourage the leaders in Interact that you know to apply! They can find the application on the website I highly recommend that anyone with a passion for Interact to apply. If you have any question on how to apply or who should apply, feel free to contact me!
Sadly, with all of these circumstances, our Kenya Ambassador Team has had their trip postponed indefinitely. The team and the advisors decided that this was the best option to make sure the trip is both safe and successful.  Our shipment of mobility devices had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, and the team is unable to be sure to have all the devices they need during the summer. There is also the problem that COVID-19 is just hitting the African countries, which means it will probably be still going strong during the summer months. The Kenya team decided that the best option is to postpone the trip to either a school break later in the year or during next summer. All their positions are secured.
The Mexico Ambassador Team trip is still currently on. The shipment to Mexico is likely to be able to be sent in time for the team to be able to distribute it. We are very lucky that we have great friends in Mexico that help us make this trip possible. We are still raising money, and we would love if any of our Ambassadors would be able to join you on an online Rotary meeting. Please contact me or Art Harrington for their contact information. We are greatly disappointed that we will not have the team in Kenya this summer, but we know that this is the best option to keep everyone safe. Hope everyone is staying healthy!!   
Hello, Interact District Council and District 5495 Rotarians:
I am pleased to announce that Ashton Bialek-Kling, from the Interact Club of Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood, has been selected to serve as our next Interact District Governor for 2020-21.
Ashton has just informed us that he has selected Gillian Martin, from the Interact Club of Mohave High School in Bullhead City, to serve as his Executive Assistant Governor.  He has also selected Jackson Hamblin, from the Interact Club of Canyon View View High School in Waddell, to serve as the District Secretary.  Both have accepted his invitation to serve in these key positions.  In addition, since next year we will have a Past District Governor still in high school and on the Council, PDG Madelynn MacDonald will round out he Executive Quartet.  Coached by the Rotarian Executive Team of Art Harrington, Ken Kelley and John Wintersteen, they will comprise the 2020-21 Executive Team of Interact District 5495 for 2020-21.
CONGRATULATIONS to Ashton, Gillian and Jackson!
Program Chair, John Angelo (aka Superman) introduced our speaker for the day—Mary Poole,
whom we have tried to schedule twice before. She was supposed to be in Kenya but due to COVID-19 issues with international travel, she was available for a ZOOM meeting. Lucky us! 
Dr. Mary Poole, a professor at Prescott College in History, is co-Director of the Institute for Maasai Education, Research and Conservation (MERC) for the past dozen years, and working with Meitamei Olol Dapash for the past couple decades for the cultural survival of the Maasai community of East Africa. She has collaborated on four large Rotary water projects in Maasailand over the past ten years, the most recent one in Talek completed in August 2019. 
Her talk focused on AZ Rotary water projects over the past seven years to help the Maasai people in Kenya. She indicated that they are a very resourceful people that live in villages and herd cattle, goats and sheep. Their culture is actually built around cattle. They try to live in peaceful coexistence with wildlife in the area including elephants, giraffe, cheetahs and leopards. Conservationists at heart, the villagers identify various animals by name and they are dedicated to the survival of wildlife in the area. Their houses are made of cow dung. 
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.