October 2018 News
Greetings District 5495 Rotarians. The time is flying by and we are now in October, one quarter of the way through the Rotary year. October is Economic and Community Development month. In District 5495 October is also Polio Month, with October 24th being designated World Polio Day.
As October begins, I have completed 35 club visits. I continue to be amazed at what I am seeing on these club visits. Most inspiring is the improvement that I have noticed in some clubs since my last visit to these clubs a couple of years ago! That is not to discount, however, all the amazing efforts each of our clubs is making in their local communities. I shudder to think where some of these communities would be without their local Rotary club.
On Friday, September 21, the Peoria Rotary Club called the community together at Centennial High School to celebrate the International Day of Peace. This was the club's third-annual event and it included remarks about Peace from Rotarian Chuck Fitzgerald, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, Peoria Unified School District Governing Board members Kathy Knecht and Monica Ceja-Martinez and Peoria Unified School District Superintendent Linda Palles-Thompson and Communications Officer Danielle Airey. In addition, the Centennial High School Bel Canto Choir performed and a Centennial Interact Club member spoke about his club's "every act of service is an act of peace" model of serving. 
Each year the Interact District Council sponsors and leads two conferences designed to motivate and strengthen the more than 90 Interact clubs in District 5495. This year, the 27-member IDC has completely restructured their Fall Leadership Conference, which is being hosted by the Herberger Young Scholars Academy on the ASU West Campus in Glendale on Saturday, October 27.
Let’s Celebrate YOU!!
Happy fall! I am so excited to recognize and celebrate the clubs that have had an increase in their membership! No one knows better than you, the time and effort that it takes to see such a great impact.
Congratulations to the Sun Lakes Rotary Club who had a total increase of 9 NEW MEMBERS!
Jon Lyons, Membership Chair for the Sun Lakes Rotary Club, shares what their club is doing:
The Sun Lakes Rotary Club is very aware of the need to increase membership, and like all clubs we face a challenge every year with attrition. Some of the key strategies and practices in our club include:
On Saturday November 10th the District will be holding its Foundation event.  This event will be a little different than what you have experienced in the past.  We will be starting out with a cocktail hour and then have dinner and a show.  A show featuring Rotarian thespians.  This is not an event that you want to miss!  There is limited seating so you want to get registered as soon as possible.  Registration is open on the District website and $55 per person it is a bargain not to be missed. You do not want to be the person who missed the event and then hear later that you should have been there.  Register now before the event fills up.     
Friday night football for high schools is always exciting, but when rivals Bullhead City’s Mohave High and Lake Havasu High clash for their annual Golden Shovel Game, truly amazing things happen, as thousands of dollars are raised for Rotary’s Polio Eradication efforts.  
For the past two years the Interact Clubs of these two high schools, who have both sponsored Purple Pinkie Days to raise funds for PolioPlus, have challenged each other to a “Battle of the Pinkies,” to see which club can raise the most money for Polio Eradication during the one week prior to their Golden Shovel Game — up until half-time of that annual football rivalry. This year a large trophy was created, to be awarded to the winning Interact club, to keep and display at their school until the next year’s game.
Peacebuilding is one of Rotary's six Areas of Focus, and almost all of the projects our clubs undertake worldwide contribute to that goal.
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution in 1981 that established an “International Day of Peace” that is observed around the world each year on September 21. It is a day devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace, and activities that promote peaceful relations and reduce conflict are held by Rotary clubs around the globe in connection with this observance.
Members of Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary began delivering 504 dictionaries to third grade students at six Scottsdale Elementary Schools in September. Each dictionary was affixed with the Rotary emblem and the Four Way Test. Members walked the children through the various uses of the dictionary in spelling and definition; plus numerous fact sections such as states, presidents, planets, etc. It was such a great experience to see the smiles and enthusiasm when the children wrote their names in the book indicating it was their dictionary. Teachers notified us that thank-you letters are on their way to Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary.
In August, the Laughlin Rotary Club presented a $1,000 check for The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA) to PDG Danny Messersmith, TRVFA board president.
These funds, along with other donations from Rotarians and Rotary Clubs across Arizona, will help provide “A Hand Up/Not A Hand Out” for eligible students in need of a vocational education. 
On September 8, the District Nominating Committee selected Bret McKeand to serve as District 5495 Governor in 2021-2022.
Bret has been a Rotarian since 2007, first as a member of the Sun City West club and currently as a member of the Peoria North Rotary Club. Bret is a past president of the Peoria North club and currently serves as Assistant District Governor for area 6. He has also served as president of the Peoria North Rotary Club Foundation. Bret is actively involved in club and District activities and he has attended multiple District Conferences and International Conventions.
The newly appointed District 5495 Strategic Planning Committee has begun its plan development efforts. The process is in its early stages; the committee has begun conversations with District 5495 committee leaders and the District's Governor line to identify what a successful District 5495 looks like in future years. Today, this plan is in its infancy and it has five major headings, or strategies: Leadership Development, Membership, Service, Youth Services and Public Image. The committee plans to present an initial draft of the District Strategic Plan to all of our clubs by the end of December, at which time, the clubs will be asked to comment on the committee's progress and offer suggestions for changes and improvements to the draft plan (see cartoon). The committee's goal is to have the first iteration of a Strategic Plan launched in time for our District Conference in May 2019. Look for our next update in mid-November.
Two of District 5495’s newest Rotary clubs will be holding their charter celebrations in October.  Rotarians from all around the District are invited to join in the festivities.
The Rotary Club of Fort Mohave Sunrise will be holding a luau on October 20 at 2 p.m. in the Mohave Valley Community Park. If you would like to attend, and you are strongly encouraged to do so, please RSVP to javalinascoffee@gmail.com. The RSVP is necessary in order to ensure that the club has enough food on hand to feed all the attendees.
What is Rotary?  This seemingly easy question has many different answers.  The new Rotary public image campaign aims to provide a simple, consistent answer and rally Rotarians around a single idea: telling — and showing — the world that we take action to make lasting change.  Rotary clubs around the world have been slowly adopting the new Rotary Public Image since it was unveiled several years ago.