May 2021 Newsletter
April Service Brings May Purpose
Where do I begin?  The month of April was simply amazing in Rotary! 
YOU held over 60 projects all over Arizona!  Nearly 1,000 lbs. of trash were picked up in the Verde Valley, so much food was raised in Goodyear that American Furniture Warehouse is temporarily storing the excess, and schools were repaired and cleaned up in the East Valley!  Over 1,000 backpacks were filled with school supplies for Title 1 schools – pencil pouches, masks, hairbrushes, notebooks, so much more! Gardens and parks were cleaned up all over the state!  Trees were planted!  Hygiene kits were packed! Peace poles were brought to cities. The entire community in Prescott came together to raise money for local food banks! Do you know what I love?  Each one of you, each club, chose what you felt best for your local community – you found the need in this moment, and went into action!  Thank you!  Photos are on the very top of our District website.  Take a look:
My favorite voicemail this month was from Assistant Governor, Lee Holmes – Mesa.  “Elizabeth, we have a situation – the entire high school football team showed up to our project, and I need shirts!”.  How amazing is that!!!  We invited our neighbors, and we made new friends in the process.
You engaged ALL generations.  We had young children of Rotarians out at food drives and parks, Jr. High and High school Interact students at projects all over the state, Rotaractors in Prescott, and Rotarians through the age of….well into their 90’s.  Rotary uses the talents of all individuals.
Rotary Week Of Service was People of Action.  
Rotary Week of Service was Service Above Self.  
This is Rotary.
Sidenote: We had statewide coverage on ABC 15, Channel 3 and 5, and Telemundo.  I hope you had so much pride and happiness when you saw Rotary mentioned in your local community paper or on the news.  
The District Grant process is moving right along.
All four of the Grants Management Trainings are complete.  Thanks for the great turn-out!
April 30 was the deadline for submission of reports on 2020-21 District Grants, a requirement for successful application for the new year.
The deadline for 2021-22 District Grant applications is May 31.  You'll find most of your questions are answered in the District Grants Guidelines document found on the 5495 website in the Foundation section.
Thank you to those early bird clubs which already have applications in.  Please remember to include your club president for 2021-22 (current president-elect) on the signature list as you enter your application on the website and to be sure your signed MOU is either posted in the documents section of the grants website, or emailed to Tom McClarty,  It's also important to read those emails from the grants website, which will tell you what's required to complete your grant application.
You'll also want to check your club's giving to the Annual Fund of The Rotary Foundation, since $100 per capita (in this or last Rotary year) is required to qualify for the maximum grant award.
Please address questions to Rebecca Wilks,
Editor's Note: Last month there was incorrect information in the newsletter, indicating only four (4) case of wild polio virus this far in 2021.  In actuality, there have been only two (2) case thus far in 2021, as of the 21 April 21 report. Read on for further information! Please note Get a Shot Give a Shot in the article!
Rotary Zones 26 & 27
PolioPlus Weekly Update 21 April, 2021


                               Greetings Polio Warriors:
Wild Polio Virus - OK…EXHALE
. If you’ve been like me, you’ve
been holding your breath once again to see if any new cases of wild polio were going to rear its ugly head, and now YOU CAN BREATHE. No new cases this last week.
ONE HUNDRED AND TEN The number of days since the last case of the wild poliovirusType 1 occurred in Afghanistan.
EIGHTY-FOUR - The number of days since the last case of the wild poliovirusType 1 occurred in Pakistan.
TWO - The total number of cases of the wild poliovirus Type 1 that occurred in the world sinceNew Years Day.
FORTY-TWO - The number of cases of the wild poliovirus Type 1 that occurred in 2020 on this date.
Last week marks the TWELFTH WEEK IN A ROW that there have been no reported new cases of the wild polio virus in either Pakistan or Afghanistan. We did have three environmental samples show up in Pakistan this week compared to one the week before. This shows that the virus is stillcirculating in the environment, letting us know not to let our guard down. But.. we’ve definitelyearned another happy dance around our office chairs…GO FOR
IT!!!😊 .

In his English writing class, Mujahid Miran was asked to write an essay titled the “Aim of life”. This was a space for the students to imagine who they could be and what they saw themselves as when they grew up.

Miran wanted to be a captain in the army and he eagerly shared this ‘aim of life’ in his essay. After his hopes made it to the page, his teacher immediately shot it down: There was no way he would make it, she told him, because he had polio.

Born in 1985, Miran grew up in Kohat and contracted polio when he was two. This was a year before the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was founded in 1988, leading to a worldwide vaccination campaign to fight the spread of the disease. In the decade of the ’80s, the estimated number of cases was over 350 000 per year, while the disease was still prevalent in 125 countries. With focused efforts around the world to eradicate the poliovirus, the number of paralytic cases was reduced by 99.99% with 42 cases in 2016.

For Miran, school was among the most challenging periods of his life. “School life was generally very hard. It must be easier for polio survivors to study in special schools, but in a usual school, I was always referred to as langra, mazoor (derogatory words in Urdu for people with disabilities). I was always made to feel different.”

The challenges were frequent, never letting him forget that he couldn’t walk from one leg. “Among the things that would hurt a lot was sports class or recess. “Every time kids would be chosen for a sports activity, I was completely sidelined – as if I wasn’t even there.” he says.

Academically, Miran always performed well in class and would usually be among the top three students. I always had among the best grades, but I would never be nominated to be the class monitor or get a position as part of the student council, he says. “Every week I’d go to my teacher and ask her why I was never nominated because other students who would be poorer than me academically would be chosen instead. A part of me knew even back then that it was my disability, but now looking back, I know it was exactly that.”

After having lived with polio for 33 years now,  Miran is now based in Karachi and is part of a small seafood export business. He buys seafood from factories in Pakistan to sell in southeast Asia and makes an income for the commission he makes per sale.


To rapidly and sustainably stop outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), a modified vaccine, known as novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) is now being rolled out.

Little girl receiving polio drops © WHO/AFRO

13 March 2021, Brazzaville – To rapidly and sustainably stop outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) in African countries, a modified vaccine, known as novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) is now being rolled out.

Last year, on 25 August 2020, Africa made history with the African Region Certification Commission for Polio Eradication independently certifying that the Region was free of wild poliovirus. This is the second disease to be kicked out of Africa after smallpox more than 40 years ago.

This achievement is remarkable, considering that in the 1990s wild poliovirus paralysed more than 75,000 African children every single year – a situation that prompted Nelson Mandela in 1996, joined by Rotary International and other partners, to issue a stark call to action: Kick Polio Out of Africa!

All strains of wild poliovirus have now been interrupted in the continent. The last case of wild poliovirus was in August 2016.

However, this tremendous progress remains an unfinished success story. Although Africa is free of wild poliovirus, countries continue to be affected by another form of the virus, known as circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2). Such strains are rare, but can occur in under-immunized communities with limited access to safe water and sanitation.

Populations that are adequately immunized are protected from both wild and vaccine-derived strains of poliovirus. However, because of gaps in immunization coverage across Africa, 20 countries have been affected by cVDPV2 outbreaks since 2018.


If you are reading this article than you or your club are interested in international service. You know about Global Grants and are probably aware of what is taking place from Rotary International that will impact our ability to fund them. To recap, affective July 1 R.I. will no longer match cash funds and the match for DDF drops from 100% to 80%.
Dale Gray, our Global Grants chair, tracks all of our District Global Grants and works very hard to help clubs to obtain funds to complete these projects. Through him and efforts by our D.G. Elizabeth Mahoney working with our clubs many of these grants get funded. But in talking with a number of our clubs I am finding that there are a lot of small dollar international projects taking place, and the only time anyone learns about them is if they are written up and posted to our newsletter.
What I am proposing is that clubs contact me with a brief outline of their project, its cost and its impact and pictures if you have them. If funding is needed than perhaps we can connect a club or two in the process-but let’s limit these grants to an amount of $4500 or less-remember it’s supposed to be on the CHEAP!  
To kick start this process let’s take a look at a few at a few of these international projects, and their impact.
The three Prescott area Rotary clubs (Sunup, Frontier and Prescott clubs), in partnership with the Prescott HS and Bradshaw Mountain HS Interact Clubs, along with the Silver Wings Rotaract Club at ERAU, organized a massive three-day food drive for the Prescott/Prescott Valley area over the weekend. There were a total of eight donation drop-off locations that collected donations for the Yavapai County Food Bank and the Prescott Community Cupboard Food Bank. The Prescott area community responded with a generous outpouring of food contributions, as well as $2,000 in cash donations. The food drive was part of the Arizona-wide Rotary Week of Service and we look forward to once again servicing those families experiencing food insecurity with next year’s food drive. (Left to Right: Todd Clancy, Alyssa Moise, Kayla Courtright, Michelle Parent ,Wendi Lancy and Mike Payson.)
“The truth is he rode no white charger. He carried no flaming sword. He was rather a very average young man much too busy to take on outside obligations, much too harassed by the demands of earning a living. They say he was good-hearted but prone to procrastination. However, he had one saving grace - he recognized his shortcomings.” Oren Arnold - The Golden StrandAn Informal History of the Rotary Club of Chicago, speaking of Paul Harris.
During April, the Rotary world honors Paul Harris’s birthday. Although Paul never had an official birth certificate authenticating his arrival on April 19th, 1868 to a struggling family in the small town of Racine Wisconsin, the above description reflect the character of the man he grew to be.
As Paul Harris grew up in the post-Civil War period, few people gave him much of a chance that he would amount to much. He was, after all, the product of dysfunctional family who had committed the unforgivable sin of filing for bankruptcy and living off the generous charity of his grandparents.
As a teenager, he spent much of his time roaming the streets of Wallingford, Vermont getting into trouble and keeping the quiet town in a constant state of disarray. He was expelled from three different schools and because of his reputation, was often prejudged as not being suitable when applying for a job.
When he finally graduated from a then obscure college in Iowa, he wandered the world by himself for almost five years before settling in Chicago, perhaps one of the roughest and toughest cities in the country.
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Membership Minute
April 2021Ideas for strengthening membership
Understanding Rotary members’ needs — the key to engaged members 
What do members want from their Rotary experience? And why do some members leave? Our research shows that members value local community service, friendship, and fellowship most. They cite time and cost, the club environment, and unmet expectations as reasons for leaving. 

The key to engaging members is providing an experience that meets their needs and expectations. Learn more in the newly revised presentation The State of Rotary Membership, which contains membership data and trends for the first half of the 2020-21 Rotary year. In it, you’ll also find ways to address membership challenges so you can finish the year strong. The 12-slide PowerPoint presentation can easily be customized to meet your region’s needs. Consider showing it at your next meeting or event.
Tina sent The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona and her sponsoring club, Chandler-Horizon, a "first day of school" photo.  The photo was taken of her wearing her new scrubs on April 20 - the day she began her dental assisting studies funded by a grant from TRVFA.  Along with the photo was a note saying,  "Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity for a new life for me and my family."
So far in the 2020-21 fiscal year, TRVFA has funded 114 grants totalling $201,841.50.  Each recipient has their own unique story of how the grant will help them move into a much brighter future.   
The deadline for making tax-credit donations to offset State of Arizona income tax obligations for the 2020 tax year has been extended to May 17, 2021.  We are fortunate to live in a state that allows us to choose how some of our income tax liability is spent.  CLICK HERE to donate online.   You can also download a mail-in donation form.
TRVFA can only continue to grow in number of students served, maximum grant amount available, and vocational programs funded with increased donations.  Their program was started by Rotarians over 30 years ago, and still managed by Rotary volunteers. Giving is not limited to Rotarians.  Please share this opportunity with your neighbors, family, friends, and business associates.
If you have already filed your 2020 taxes, it is never too late to start  accumulating your tax credit donation for the current tax year with minimal effort.  Near the bottom of the on-line donation form is an opportunity to choose to make recurring donations to TRVFA.  


Throughout 2020-2021, Rotary will host a webinar series to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion. Registration will be announced four to eight weeks prior to each webinar, and recordings will be posted here. Topics are subject to change.


Design an Inclusive Plan for Your Organization

Watch Recording

Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds, and we’re committed to reflecting the communities we serve by being inclusive of all cultures, experiences, and identities. So, we need to take action. Before we can effect real change, we need to create a plan that welcomes all people, extends to all activities, and has measurable results.


The Annual Champion for Peace Award is given to a fellow D5495 Rotarian who has demonstrated an “an enduring commitment to PEACE.”  The Champion for Peace Award recipients are selected by a committee of Peacebuilders Network volunteers.
All members are encouraged to consider whether to nominate a candidate for the award.  Peace is the 1st of Rotary’s 7 Areas of Focus.  Keep in mind that the other 6 Areas support the conditions that make Peace possible.  Therefore, the nominee’s work may promote Peace by building a foundation rather than directly being named as a “Peace’ project. 
The nomination period runs from May 1-May 22, 2021.  All complete nominations will be considered.  The 2021 recipient will be announced at the D5495’s 2020-21 Year End Celebration and installation of the 2021-22 Governor on July 10 at the Wigwam Resort.
To send your nomination to Peacebuilding Resources Chair, please submit at:
For any questions, please email:
Past Recipients include:  Chuck Fitzgerald (2018), Kevin Pitts (2019) and Nancy Van Pelt (2020).
Rotary Opens Opportunities

Registration is open! Don’t miss your chance to connect with Rotary members at the 2021 Virtual Convention: Rotary Opens Opportunities which will take place from 12 through 16 June 2021.

Enjoy a special rate of $49 through 7 May 2021. After that, the registration fee is $65.

You can also join us early at a preconvention, 10-11 June, for Intercountry Committees, Rotaract, and Rotary Youth Exchange officers. Each preconvention will cost an additional $20.

The 2021 Virtual Rotary Convention and preconventions are open to all Rotary members and participants and include access to the virtual House of Friendship.

Don’t forget to visit the convention event page on Facebook to connect with others and stay up-to-date on event news and program highlights!

Register today and save!
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© Rotary International
One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL 60201-3698, USA

The next session of the Rotary Leadership Institute has been rescheduled from May 15, 2021 to June 26, 2021. It will be a Zoom session form 8:00 am until 12:30 pm.  The event will be free!
For more information on RLI click HERE     Or contact Poly Cady at
Recently Phoenix West Rotary Co-President Gary Drummond reflected on the past year in Rotary. “It has become clear to me that I miss sharing lunch with my fellow Rotarians. Talking and laughing together can’t be replicated at a Zoom meeting.”
“One of my fondest memories as a young Rotarian (when I was a member of the Phoenix Thunderbird Rotary Club) was eating lunch with Magnus “Mac" von Braun. Mac was a member of the Phoenix Thunderbird Rotary Club and was likely in his late seventies at the time. Fortunately for Mac, the Internet was relatively new and Wikipedia had not yet launched. Otherwise, Mac would have been peppered with questions from a young half-German Rotarian on a weekly basis.
Mac was a rocket specialist who worked under his brother, Wernher von Braun (generally regarded as the architect of the V-2 rocket), for Nazi Germany during World War II. I recall Mac recounting that upon learning of the death of Adolph Hitler and that Soviet troops were quickly approaching, Mac was “elected” by the V-2 team to surrender to the American troops. Mac was elected because he spoke English and at 26 was one of the youngest (and presumably most expendable) rocket scientists. On a bicycle, Mac rode down a hill to find the American troops and arrange for the surrender. I have attached a picture of the German rocket scientists surrendering in 1945.”
(Mac is second from the right. Wernher is the one in the cast having broken his arm in a car accident two months earlier.)
Wernher was subsequently secretly moved to the United States where he developed rockets for the United States, including rockets for the first space satellite and the Saturn V project.
As for Mac, he moved to the United States where he worked for Chrysler in their missile and automotive divisions.
And later in his life he relocated to Phoenix and shared lunch with Rotarians like me.
Those experiences are what I miss.
Magnus "Mac" von Braun
Presentation title:  Becoming Jihad: An Muslim Kid’s Spiritual Journey from the Streets of Phoenix
                                to Teaching Inter-Religious Harmony
Topics to cover:
  • How his personal background (particularly his youth in Phoenix) led to his work fostering interfaith relations
  • Islamic youth in the US and his vision for reducing inter-religious bias
Here is the registration link for May 7:
Please note that once you register, a confirmation email will be sent, and at the bottom will be the Zoom info.  Phoenix Rotary 100 begins at 12:00, and Mr. Turk is expected to be on from 12:30 - 1:00, but we know this sometimes changes by a few minutes with Zoom meetings.  Those joining can come on at any time between 12:00-12:30.
Thanks for sharing this with as many people you feel may be interested to attend.  Questions:  contact Tony Cerato with PhoenixRotary100 at, or phone: 719-351-6616.
May 17 is now Deadline for 2020 Tax Credit Donations
We learned this morning that the deadline for making 2020 tax credit donations to Qualifying Charitable Organizations has been extended to May 17, 2020.  
We have verified that The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona is a Qualifying Charitable Organization on both the 2020 and 2021 lists of QCO's with the Arizona Department of Revenue.  Our QCO number is 20698.
CLICK HERE to download an announcement about this change and information about how to file to receive tax credit for your donation.
While it is on your mind, CLICK HERE to make your donation.  If you've already filed your 2020 tax return, it is not too early to start making painless monthly recurring donations toward your tax credit claim on your 2021 tax return.  That option is available near the bottom of the online donation form.
Greetings Fellow Rotarians and Friends,
Get Your Golf on!  The Rotary Club of Flagstaff -- in celebration of its Centennial Year -- invites all golfers to take some heat out of your summer and play a round at the renowned Flagstaff Ranch Golf Club.
Monday, August 2, 2021.  Registration and warm-up begins at 7:00 AM.  Shotgun start of the scramble at 8:00 AM. 
Only $150 per golfer; $575 per foursome.  Includes breakfast and lunch!
Contact Rotarian Lee Raddatz at (602) 550-8461 or for more info or to register.  A registration sheet is attached here. 
PLEASE forward this message to others who may be interested.
Don't miss this chance to support Flagstaff Rotary Club's 100th Birthday and Northland Hospice and Palliative Care WHILE having fun in the cool mountain air!
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale recently welcomed City of Scottsdale’s Honorable Mayor David Ortega as its keynote speaker at a hybrid (Zoom and onsite) meeting held at The McCormick Scottsdale. Rotarian Joe Cusack introduced the Mayor as the Club’s newest honorary member.  Mayor Ortega is a registered Arizona architect and designed many landmark buildings in Old Town. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona and was an apprentice architect to Bennie Gonzales FAIA, the award-winning designer of Scottsdale City Hall, Civic Center Library and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. 
The Rotarians and guests learned that Mayor Ortega, while being excited to serve as Mayor, he is focused on:
  • Safeguarding public health and safety; 
  • Maintaining Scottsdale’s family-friendly neighborhoods; 
  • Protecting the McDowell Sonoran Preserve; 
  • Strengthening Scottsdale’s world-renowned reputation; 
  • And, committed to equal rights for all, responsive city government and adoption of citizen-driven General Plan 2035 to support economic vitality.
During Mayor Ortega’s talk, he provided highlights of what it is like to be Scottsdale’s Mayor – topics he discussed were:
  • The Pandemic – its scars, healing, and heartbreaking impacts on the City; such as, losses to small businesses, increase in available commercial spaces, increased commercial subletting, and resort, restaurant and store slowdowns.
  • City’s highly rated and exceptional hospitals and City’s supporting healthcare services.
  • City’s great schools and teachers.
  • City’s caring community that nurtures the present and future.
  • City’s major events are re-emerging, such as, car shows, golf tournaments, horse shows and spring training baseball games. 
  • City’s services are being effectively being completed by its 1,600 employees.
  • City’s staff pension budget impacts.
  • City’s infrastructure needs – noting as an architect, Mayor Ortega has realized that things wear out and creative solutions are needed for Old Town/Downtown buildings (i.e.. Galleria) and Civic Plaza.  
  • City’s worldwide international connections in business, Rotary, Scottsdale Sister Cities and more. 
  • Ever increasing migration to Scottsdale from West Coast businesses, employees, professionals, homeowners and retirees. 
The Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce recently award the Four Peaks Fountain Hills Rotary Club with the Non-Profit of the Year award. Congratulations to all the hard working Four Peaks Rotarians and others who may have been involved. 
Happy Birthday to the Sun Lakes Rotary Club
The Sun Lakes Rotary Club will celebrate 35 years on April 22, 2021 as it was officially chartered on April 22, 1986. The club was conceived in 1985 when Chandler Rotarian, Andre Felix put an advertisement on the Sun Lakes Club House Bulletin Board to see if anyone was interested in attending Rotary at the Palo Verde Club House.  Rotarian, Wayne Johnson had just moved to Sun Lakes from Moline, Illinois to enjoy retirement, noted the advertisement and responded.  The next week, Wayne and seven Sun Lakes retires met around a lunch table with Andre and decided there was a need for a Rotary club in this fast-growing Sun Lakes Active Adult Community. 
After working with the Arizona Rotary District 5510 and Rotary International, final approval was granted and the Sun Lakes Rotary Club was charted as a Tuesday morning club with 15 members and Allan Gustafson was elected the Charter Club President.  Over the years the club has become known as the “Education Club” because of all the youth projects, programs and scholarships provided for K-12 education, vocational education, and higher education. Additionally, the club has participated in several Rotary International projects through the Rotary Foundation and many Sun Lakes community projects.