DISTRICT 5080 CONFERENCE – JUNE 7-10, 2012

Three Rivers Convention Center
Tri-Cities, WA

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This writer was privileged to attend the 2012 District Conference held this year in the Tri-Cities, Washington.  One of the most important events in the Rotary calendar, the Conference gives us a chance to showcase our pride in everything that we do as a club and as individuals in Rotary.

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                     BIKERS AT OPENING CEREMONIES AT 2012 DISTRICT CONFERENCE

The opening ceremony included the roll call of clubs, recognition of the Pedaling for Polio group of cyclists, including the group from Cranbrook, BC that traveled through Bonners Ferry with an overnight stay at the Kootenai River Inn

  
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                      CRANBRROOK BIKER VAN AT KOOTENAI RIVER INN


on their way to the Tri-Cities.   The 15 bikers who traveled 300 miles in 4 days in rain and wind raised $17,500 for PolioPlus.  Flags from over 100 countries where Rotary is involved ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, is also a
tradition of the opening ceremonies.


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FLAG CEREMONIES

The 11 plenary sessions provided an excellent array of speakers and programs.   Notable were presentations by Dr. James Guzek, an Ophthalmologist from the Tri-Cities Sunrise Rotary club who spoke about bringing sight to the blind in Ethiopia and Eric Hunter, a humorist who told us about his excitement when he learned that he was the featured entertainer on his first cruise ship…on Moses Lake. In additioin, the crowd was awed by 4-Star General James Mattis, a native of Richland, WA and Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM)

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GENEERAL JAMES MATTIS


and Howard Berg, the world’s fastest speed reader, holder of this title in the Guiness Book of World Records.  In addition to our District officers, we also were privileged to hear about Rotary, and what it means to all of us in the world, from Kalyan Banerjee, President of Rotary International, and Bill Boyd, Chairman, The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Past
President of RI.

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BILL BOYD
         
           

Five long-term goals, or priorities were addressed:

ü      Polio eradication

ü      2013 launch of Rotary’s Strategic Plan and Future Vision

ü      Track/Quantify everything that Rotary does – Rotary Club Central/Showcase

ü      3-Year Membership promotion appealing to younger members and implementing the “Ignite” program

ü      Bring Rotary into one of the major players in the world through internal and external communication and through branding.


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 CRANBROOK, BC "PRIDE" TABLE


Dwight Montgomery, District PR Chair described the new “Ask Me About Rotary” website:  http://www.askmeaboutrotary.com  This website can be preprogrammed with a message from the president of the local Rotary club,  and it allows you to keep information up to date.  Perhaps we could entice Jo Jo Baker to advertise the site for potential new members.  Please visit this new website and share it with all of your friends and associates and those who may be interested in becoming a member of our club.

 

The crowning achievement of the Conference, in terms of food and entertainment, was the Governor’s Banquet and Ball on Saturday evening with special guest speaker, RI President Kalyan Banerjee. 

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ROTARIAN BILL & WENDY MCCLINTOCK BEING ENTERTAINED



The Conference concluded with the current District Governor, Rampur Viswanath from Richland, WA handing the gavel over to incoming DG, Michelle Lee from Colville, WA.  Bob Carroll is DG-Elect from Deer Park, WA.

 

General Mattis described an epithet from Jackie Robinson, a famous Dodgers baseball player and compared it to that of a Rotarian, “A life is only as good as the impact you have on someone else’s life.”