September 2020 Newsletter
In this month's video message, DG Elizabeth puts an emphasis on the Rotary 4-Way test, highlights Rotary and District accomplishments, and discusses challenges facing all of us as we go forward.  You may view Elizabeth's video message:
You may view all of DG Elizabeth's videos HERE.
End Polio Now Champions Award Presentation

Thursday, August 13, 2020 Immediate Past District Governor David Simmer performed his final official act from his year of service. He arrived at the home of Mesa West Rotary Club’s 2019-20 President Jim Schmidt just as the club’s Zoom meeting was starting. After taking a large trophy from the trunk of his Rotary emblazoned vehicle, he and several other Rotarians who were in on the surprise were at the front door when Jim opened it. Jim didn’t let anyone enter until he donned the Rotary mask he was given.

PDG David recognized Mesa West Rotary Club for their incredible support of The Rotary Foundation:

  • More Paul Harris Society members than any other club in the district – members who give $1,000 a year or more to The Rotary Foundation.
  • Winner of a $2,000 grant in recognition of their strong support of TRF through Rotary Direct – where members set up automated repetitive donations through their “My Rotary” accounts.
  • The trifecta – Mesa West Rotary is the first recipient of the travelling trophy as the EndPolio Now Champions for 2019-20.

PDG David recognized District Governor Elizabeth, a great supporter of The Rotary Foundation; PDG Jim Erickson – the architect of the End Polio Now Champions award and passionate advocate for ending polio. He also acknowledged the Mesa Rotary Club for having donated the incredible trophy to the District. The trophy is Rotary founder Paul Harris holding a small boy with the boy’s polio braces on the ground at their feet. Praising Jim Schmidt for his leadership, PDG David turned the trophy over to him.

In accepting the award, PP Jim Schmidt acknowledged his Foundation Chair Chuck Flint, Assistant Governor Lee Holmes for always was there to support, and reminded everyone that Mesa West Rotary will defend the travelling trophy because they are, and will remain, the Ace of Clubs. It should be noted that the Mesa West club contributed more than 25% of the total funds the District gave to the EndPolio Now campaign.  Their per capita giving to EndPolio Now was well over $400 per member!

This is such exciting news! 
Congratulations to Jennifer E. Jones of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, a dear friend of our District.  She has been nominated to become Rotary International’s president for 2022-23, a selection that will make her the first woman to hold that office in the organization’s 115-year history.
Jennifer is an amazing leader, and I know Rotary is in wonderful hands as we move into the future! 

A Water Emergency

Imagine learning that a water emergency has been declared in your community.  In a matter of hours the community’s water supply is going to be shut down for fourteen days for critical system repairs.

You rush to assemble every possible container for water.  Local stores report that every viable receptacle has been sold.  You will have to work with what you have.  You fill every pot, pan and bucket you can find before the water goes off.  If a container is sketchy, you clean it as best you can.  You fill the bathtub with water.  It makes you queasy to think that could be drinking water, but you resolve to address that later. 

You need to set priorities.  Clearly you will need to rethink your #1 use of water….bathing.  No running water — no showers.  Sponge baths will have to do.  The water can be warmed on the stove.

With any luck drinking water can be purchased.  But the reality is that with the sudden city-wide emergency bottled water will be scarce, rationed and expensive. 

Your heart sinks when you realize the dishwasher is a useless hunk of metal and plastic until the water returns.  Dishes will need to be hand-washed.  You identify a small tub for washing dishes and another for rinsing.  The rinse water will become wash-water for the next round of dish-washing. 


Rotary clubs in northern Arizona have embraced a unique approach to fundraising at a time when social distancing has blocked many club fundraising efforts.  The Rotary Clubs of Sedona, Flagstaff, Sedona Village, and Verde Valley are collaborating in a fundraiser designed to support businesses, help expand the Navajo Water Project, and build the Rotary brand for area Rotary clubs during these difficult times.
Members of the four clubs are purchasing gift certificates from local businesses.  The gift certificates will then be auctioned online (using with the proceeds going toward the Navajo Water Project.
The clubs view this as a win-win-win-win:
Local businesses win from funds received in the original purchase of the gift certificates.
The businesses win again when the gift-card-purchaser frequents the business becoming a new customer and spending dollars beyond the value of the gift certificate.
The Rotary clubs win as they have a chance to show their appreciation to local businesses from ongoing support of Rotary projects and the clubs expand their brand by showcasing the difference Rotarians make.
The Navajo Water Project wins through the heightened awareness the fundraiser brings and from the auction proceeds that will help with water installations in homes in the Navajo Nation.
The auction will be held on Saturday, September 12 between 10:00AM and 3:00PM.
First, read the following diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) statement passed by the RI Board:
     As a global network that’s strives to build a world where people unite and take acton to create lasting change, Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.
 Rotary will cultivate a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture in which people rom underrepresented groups have greater opportunities to participate as members and leaders.“
What can your club do to grow and diversify your membership to make it better reflect your community? 
Here’s a few ideas:
1) Talk about diversity with your club members; create and action plan using the “Diversifying Your Club Assessment“ found on the RI website or the August District Newsletter DEI article.
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. Throughout 2020-2021, Rotary will host a webinar series to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion, with topics that range from understanding our own implicit biases to learning how to hold each other accountable. Read more about the sessions that will be offered.  
Register now for the first webinar, Design an Inclusive Plan for Your Organization on Thursday, 17 September at 15:00 Chicago time (UTC-5), and submit your questions to our experts. A recording of the session will be available to everyone who registers. In the meantime, you can explore the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion learning topic (My Rotary login required) to find resources to use in your clubs and to share best practices with other members
In the 2012-13 Rotary year, future District Governor, Tonya Watson, was team Leader for the Group Study Exchange
(GSE) to Bangladesh and a member of that team was Meredith Potts.  Meredith has had a long history of service. Starting at age 7 she was with Meals on Wheels, by her 20’s she was in India with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, a few years later she became involved in fighting Hepatitis in Mongolia.
Her path to Rotary was a simple one; she was immediately drawn to the diverse, welcoming, efficient and global community of Rotary. She became a member of the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar and then in 2015 she joined the Flagstaff Rotary club. 
Meredith’s passion falls squarely in the area of focus of Disease Control and Prevention, and with that I am going to have her tell the story about what she does and why.
                                                     Hepatitis Free Mongolia
Mongolia has the highest rate of liver cancer in the world, 6 times the international average, and among the highest rates of hepatitis B and C in the world. Globally, hepatitis results in more deaths every year than HIV, TB and Malaria, combined.
In 2015, after several years of working together on liver health programs in Mongolia and also being Rotarians, Dr. Munkhjargal Ayurzana and myself were inspired by Rotary’s exemplary work with Polio to develop a grant expanding the liver screening model we had created.
In this time of the challenges presented by COVID19, the Rotary Club of Scottsdale and area Rotary Clubs continue to serve those in need.   Beds, equipment and supplies valued at over one hundred thousand dollars were recently delivered on July 28th, via a 52 foot long commercial truck, to Alamos, Sonora, Mexico hospital and other area hospitals.  The receipt of these provisions upgraded the area’s medical services and enhanced the hospitals’ ability to meet the ongoing COVID19 crisis.
The hospital beds, examination beds, walkers, crutches, and bandages were deemed to be essential by a joint medical and volunteer team.  The team, supported by the Sonoran Ministry of Health, visited the hospitals prior to preparing the shipment. In addition to Alamos Hospital receiving needed medical supplies, other Sonoran hospitals received items from the same shipment, including San Luis del Colorado, Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Cd. Obregon and Navajoa.  Rotary Clubs in these Mexican cities provided the local contacts.
Alamos, Sonora, Mexico is the sister city of Scottsdale, AZ.  Sonora is the Mexican state adjacent to Arizona’s southern border.  Alamos is a beautiful town and popular tourist spot for Mexicans, especially from Mexico City; as well as, home for a small number of US citizens.   The Alamos hospital is essential to insuring the health of the 15,000 Alamos Mexican residents, tourists and USA visitors.   
September 21 is the International Day of Peace.The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. Today this day inspires events all over the world. During the coming days Rotarians and clubs in our District will be acknowledging or celebrating Peace, and Rotary’s important role as leaders in Peacebuilding.  
Some of our Rotary work provides INTER-personal peace, as in conflict prevention/resolution.  However, much of our Rotary work provides INTRA-personal peace, bringing peace of mind to the recipients of our efforts.  Keeping in that in mind, here are just two examples that might inspire you with ideas for your club:
On Friday, September 18, the Rotary Club of Peoria will host the 3rdannual Pursuing Peace Conference, led by Club President Chuck Fitzgerald. 
On Sunday, September 20, the Rotary Club of Prescott-Frontier, led by Club member Robert Wertz, will help create a Peace-inspired labyrinth in a community park for the public to experience and enjoy. (Please see attached flyer - Click READ MORE
How does your club plan to focus on Peace this month?  Share your stories and photos!
Prostitution - Slavery - Forced Labor - Sex Trafficking - Child Slavery - Labor Slavery - Human Trafficking - Modern Slavery. Serious words. Terms that don’t feel they could possibly apply to modern Arizona. Sadly, they do. Every…single…day.  The great thing is Arizona Rotarians are not simply recognizing that these insidious activities occur in Arizona but are stepping out to do something and lead their communities in raising awareness and reducing the threat of harm to their children.
1. Our fellow Rotarians at the Rotary Club Verrado over in Buckeye are a great example. David Faragher, 2020-21 club president and club Anti-HT Committee chair, Todd Halberg, have worked with District Global Grants coordinator, Dale Gray, to create the first steps in a community campaign, “An Educational Child Prevention Trafficking Program for West Valley of Maricopa County”.
RC Verrado is working with the Southwest Family Advocacy Center, Global Connection International, the law enforcement agencies of Buckeye, Goodyear, Avondale and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department. The campaign will include child slavery prevention education and awareness events for parents, community leaders, educators, youth and other community members.
Dear Rotarians,

It our pleasure to announce to you that the African region has just been certified wild poliovirus-free.

Rotary members have played an invaluable role in the effort to rid the African region of wild polio. We should be proud of all the hard work that we’ve done to eliminate the wild poliovirus throughout Africa and in nearly every country in the world. 

This progress is the result of a decades-long effort across the 47 countries of the African region. It has involved millions of health workers traveling by foot, boat, bike and bus, innovative strategies to vaccinate children amid conflict and insecurity, and a huge disease surveillance network to test cases of paralysis and check sewage for the virus. 

Over the last two decades, countless Rotary members in countries across the African region and around the world have worked together to raise funds, immunize children, advocate with local and national leaders, and raise awareness about the importance of vaccination, enabling the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to effectively respond to and stop polio outbreaks. 

(Editor's Note:  If you read the following article, and yes it is on the long side, you will have a much better understanding of vaccine derived cases of polio and how they compare to wild virus cases of polio.)
The WHO African Region is expected to be certified free of wild poliovirus on 25 August 2020. Chair of the WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee and of the AFRO Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group Helen Rees explains the current cVDPV situation in Africa and its implications ahead of regional wild polio-free certification.
Q. Fifteen countries (as of 14 August 2020) in the World Health Organization’s African region have reported cases of circulating vaccine-derived polio type 2 (cVDPV2) in 2020. The total number of outbreak countries is 16. How does that impact the region’s upcoming wild polio-free certification? 
First, it’s important to clarify that cVDPV is a different virus from the wild poliovirus, and will undergo a separate process to validate its absence once wild polio has been eradicated globally.
Second, I want to underscore that the ongoing cVDPV2 outbreaks in Africa do not affect the programme’s confidence that wild polio is gone from the region. Certification is backed by extensive data and a thorough evaluation process that demonstrates wild polio transmission has been interrupted on the continent.
In Africa, an independent body of experts called the African Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication (ARCC) oversees this process by carefully reviewing country documentation and analyzing the quality of surveillance systems and immunization coverage. With this intensive monitoring of polio programmes across the continent, the ARCC is able to confirm with 100% certainty that wild polio is gone from the region.
But for the ARCC, national polio programmes and GPEI partners, the work does not end here. Stopping cVDPVs remains an urgent priority. African countries will need to strengthen their efforts to reach all children with polio vaccines to protect them from cVDPVs and any importation of wild polio from the remaining endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
                   Human Library™ Helps Break Stereotypes
The Sedona Rotary Club will once again celebrate the International Day of Peace weekend by joining in a collaborative peace-building effort known as the Human Library™. For each of the last four years the Rotary Club of Sedona has joined forces with the Sedona International City of Peace and the Sedona Public Library in a Human Library™ event to give victims of stereotyping an opportunity to tell their story….and for members of the community to test and release some of their preconceived notions about others.  
Because of the limits posed by the coronavirus the 2020 event will be held on Zoom on Sunday, September 20 between 10:00AM and 1:00PM
The sponsoring organization recruits people with interesting, but often misunderstood backgrounds to participate as Human Books.  In a typical Human Book session a group of 10-15 “readers” join in a 40 minute session to learn about the Human Book’s life.  The first 20 minutes are devoted to hearing the story of the Human Book from their very personal perspective.  Readers then have an opportunity, in a safe and open environment, to learn more about what is like to live life being stereotyped and judged during a 20 minute Q&A session.
The CDC recommends that wearing masks is one of the most powerful weapons to help slow and stop the spread of Covid-19; however, for many families and individuals, food and shelter is their overwhelming first-priority. Sunup Rotary of Prescott has begun providing those in our community who are facing acute challenges with top-quality, 3-ply medical grade masks which were purchased and  then donated by friends in Taiwan. This week the Sunup Rotary Club of Prescott delivered 1000 of these masks to the following three local shelters and food banks:
The Stepping Stones Agencies, which provides advocacy services 24/7, including safe emergency shelter to adults and children affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of victimization.
Prescott Area Shelter and Services (PASS), which provides temporary housing, resources, individualized case management, and a pathway to permanent housing for women, children, and veterans.
Prescott Community Cupboard Food Bank provides desperately needed support to people who are experiencing food insecurity. The food bank provides emergency food supplies to all in need, between 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday.
The Sunup Rotary Club is committed, as are all Rotary clubs, to working to meet local community needs. The club meets on Wednesday mornings at 7:00 AM via Zoom. Visit us at our website at www.prescottsunuprotary.orgfor more information on the club. You are most welcome to join us at our meetings!
Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well.
The council has now jumped right into the swing of things and our Assistant Governors are contacting Rotary and Interact clubs around the district. We have about 80 Interact clubs around the district so our district council is sure to stay busy. On top of the day to day responsibilities of the District council, we are planning our first district conference. The Fall Leadership Committee is planning a virtual Fall Leadership Conference which we hope will be more accessible and will provide much needed information to our Interact clubs on how to function during the current situation. The Fall Leadership conference will be Saturday, October 24th, and is a great experience for both club officers and club advisors.
Interact AG Creates Volunteers Website
Being part of the Interact District Council means you are a leader who goes above and beyond with Interact and your passion for serving. A prime example of this is Francisco Bekele, a new addition to the Council. He has created a new website called Volunteer-Hero, which can help students track service hours and see options to gain more. I was able to ask him a few questions about himself, his experience in Rotary, and of course, his website! 
Please tell me about yourself and experience in the Rotary Family.
A: I am a high school senior at Sedona Red Rock High school and lived in the Verde Valley off and on for all of my life. I got involved with Interact my freshman year under the assurance that it would "look good for college." Looking back, I have come to realize that Interact means so much more than that. It taught me leadership skills, how important community service really is, and finally even helped me pay for some college (while still in HS) when no one else would. My junior year is when I became my club's treasurer, and also when I would heavily increase my involvement within Interact. After reaping the prior mentioned benefits, I wanted to repay Interact for all that it has done for me; so I applied to become a member of the Interact District Council.
Tell me a little about your website.
A: Volunteer Hero is a website designed to be utilized by schools and their affiliated clubs to effectively and securely log their students’ volunteer hours. Students can also use this website to download or print an official service transcript that can be customized by school admin (i.e. design/letterhead). This will give them a huge edge when applying for college/scholarships compared to their counterparts, who may just self-report their volunteer hours, or use old paper logs that can be easily damaged, lost, or manipulated. Another byproduct of the website would be an increase in competition between students, different service clubs, schools, and more, which would all result in our communities benefiting from this new surge of eager volunteers. While yes, we should all be motivated to volunteer out of the kindness of our hearts, and not for rewards, a little friendly competition never hurts.
August is Membership and New Club Development Month, a time to recognize our members and the amazing work they do in their communities. In 2020, Rotarians around the world are finding ways to open opportunities, showing their incredible dedication and commitment to making the world a safer and better place.
Membership Month is also a great time to consider how people can engage with Rotary.
Here are just a few ideas on how to keep your members involved: (Editor Note: These links should take you to the proper page. But being the RI website, you may have to look around once you get there!)
“Travel”around the world with Rotary.  Many Rotary and Rotaract clubs are holding virtual events and meetings instead of gathering in person. Now is the perfect time to visit.  Find a Club, see if the meeting is online, and request an online meeting invitation link. Whether  you are visiting a different club in your hometown or a club halfway across the world, you will meetnew people and enjoy a new Rotary experience.
In our area, the global pandemic arrived like an unwelcome dinner guest. Within a matter of days after the first local case of COVID-19, my Rotary club’s meeting location closed, and gatherings of 50 or more people were prohibited (my club has over 100 members). Face-to-face Rotary meetings came to an almost immediate halt.
David Stovall and Stephanie Urchick, Rotary International Directors, and Director-elect Peter Kyle immediately set up online meetings for all Rotary members in Zones 33 and 34 to attend. They held these meetings twice each week and posted recordings on social media, setting an explicit example for district and club leaders of how they could maintain and strengthen the engagement of Rotary members even during a pandemic. 
David, Stephanie, and Peter also demonstrated that a challenge can be an opportunity, as clubs could now book dynamic speakers from well outside their club’s geographical area.
Gus Farwell former ASU football player (Quarterback) on the fantastic 1996 team that appeared in the 1997 Rose Bowl will be the featured speaker at the regular meeting of Phoenix 100 on Friday September 4th starting at noon. You may not recall Gus's football prowess but you probably saw his performance from his balcony in Barcelona in April as he serenaded his neighbors during then height of the Pandemic. Gus is an opera star in Spain and he will share his story with us as he did on CNN, ESPN and other major outlets. Please email <> to get a link to the ZOOM meeting. 
Here’s a YouTube link to see Gus perform:
Here is another link to read about Gus's life after football.
The Tempe Downtown Rotary Club has had a great start for this Rotary year with 7 new members joining the club!  Pictured here from left to right are PDG Barb Feder who inducted Scott Smith who has transferred from Kyrene Rotary, Emika Howard and Marshall Cendejas.  Not pictured are Daniel Walker, Jay Snyder, Polly Schumacher and Lynette Shaw-Smith.
It should be noted that Emika & Marshall successfully completed vocational education programs with the help of grants from the Vocational Fund of Arizona and have become Rotarians in appreciation and to pay it forward.
This has been a special month with the club welcoming new and transferring Rotarians and celebrating Vern Eddlemon’s 50th year in Rotary!   Just goes to show that Rotary spans a lifetime!
The Mexico USA Friendship Conference and Global Grants Exchange for this Rotary year has been rescheduled for February 12-15, 2021. Save the dates!
Given the fact that we are unable to book flights at this time and with so many current unknowns about the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic, the DGs of 5495 and 4185, Elizabeth and Sergio, held a brief call over the weekend and made the decision to reschedule the conference for February. We will miss the Dias de los Muertos celebrations, but we still plan to go to Tlaxcala.
The good news is you now have more time to put a global grant project together to present at the conference. Rotary clubs from districts here and in Mexico, and perhaps other countries will gather to present Rotary Foundation global grant projects and find international partners. Why not your club? 
I wanted to share with you something about my journey as a Rotarian and as a person. Like many people, I grew up humble, which is a polite way of saying poor. Before the age of fourteen, my family had experienced housing insecurity on an ongoing basis for years at a time. That's a polite way of saying that we were homeless a lot before I was fourteen. I had also experienced food insecurity too. Again, that's a polite way of saying that I went to bed hungry a lot. There were a lot of complicated reasons for these experiences and I know that my story is similar to many others. The point in sharing these personal details with you is to let you know that I had a hard starting point as a young adult.
If I told that fourteen-year-old boy that he would one day be running a successful investment firm, have a beautiful family, and a beautiful home. He would ask one question: how?
A first in Arizona rotary history!!:  A VIRTUAL RYLA program will be presented over Columbus Day weekend, October 10 and 11, 2020.  Participate from the comfort of your home or wherever you may be.  Do not miss out on this exciting and innovative program!   Mark down these dates now.  Details will be provided soon!
Sherry Mischel
Director, RYLA Ponderosa
Our guest last Thursday was Koren Lane, Head of School for Candeo North Scottsdale. Koren hold a Masters Degree in Education. After moving to Arizona from Chicago she was hired by BASIS schools as the Lower School Director. She wrote the curriculum for the current BASIS K-5 program. She left Arizona for a corporate trainer position in Las Vegas but teaching adults was not the same and when an opportunity arose to work with Candeo she moved back to Arizona. 
Opening a new school in a pandemic presented all new challenges. Candeo was marketing the school by renting rooms and holding information nights but the Stay At Home Order made that format impossible to continue. With everyone staying at home the school hired a PR and Market-ing firm and took to social media targeting mom groups and pre-school families. The pivot was a success and Can-deo North Scottsdale filled up to capacity and is currently on a wait list for enrollment. 
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale recently welcomed Scottsdale Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel as its weekly keynote speaker.  The SUSD Governing Board named Dr. Menzel to his position in February 2020.
When introducing Dr. Menzel, Rotarian John Campbell noted that Dr. Menzel, a fellow Rotarian, had been serving as a superintendent of schools in Michigan for the past 18 years.   Dr. Menzel’s doctoral degree in Educational Leadership comes from Eastern Michigan University; his master’s degree in Philosophy and Social Policy is from The American University.
After sharing his personal and family’s interest in relocating to Arizona, Dr. Menzel told the Rotarians that he went into action immediately, by engaging remotely with SUSD and its Governing Board. Dr. Menzel has completed a wide variety of virtual introductions with 
SUSD leadership team, the Student Advisory Council and has met collaboratively with representatives of key Scottsdale educational, administration, teachers union,community  and parent organizations. Menzel stated that these engaging conversations and virtual work sessions have helped him and the SUSD leadership team formulate decisions needed regarding the 2020-21 school year. He acknowledged the ongoing concerns of the Coronavirus pandemic and the need to ensure health, safety and well-being of students and staff.   
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.