Rotary District 5370 Update
January 10, 2021

In this issue:

From the Rotary International District 5370 News blog: From E-club member to E-District Governor: Jim Ferguson’s midyear reflections

Upcoming Rotary International, District and club events and announcements: DG Jim’s video message for January; President-Elect training (January 19); Rotarian Youth Advisors needed;  District Office closed; Starting an ECO club (January 19); Elevating Rotaract—What Does this Mean? (January 14); Stop Recruiting & Start Attracting webinar (January 13); Rotary Club of Edmonton's 2nd annual Robert Burns luncheon (January 25) and raffle; and District 5370 Fall Learning Series recordings

A Foundation Moment: What is The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisors

Membership Matters: Design an Inclusive Plan for Your Organization webinar 

Deadline for submissions for the January 17 issue of the District 5370 CONNECTIONS is noon on Friday, January 15. Send your submission to

Recent Posts to:

“This is totally different than what I expected,” says Jim Ferguson, reflecting on the first half of his year as District governor. 

“This is the most different year that I’m sure for all of the DGs,” he says “The standard joke amongst our class is that we’re PDGs at the very beginning of July—pandemic district governors.”

In a typical year, Jim wouldn’t have adopted the title PDG—Past District Governor—until June 30, when he will pass the reins to PDE Donna Barrett (RC of Edmonton Sunrise).

“Traditionally, District governors put the theme on their vehicle and they drive 40,000 kilometres, driving to the different towns and cities, visiting all the clubs in our District, which is the third-largest,” Jim says. “We might even be the second-largest because we had the addition of the Yukon territory.”

Of course, traditional in-person club visits didn’t happen due to COVID-19. All of Jim’s club visits, which began in early July and didn’t end until early December, were done virtually.

Having been a member of the Rotary E-Club of Canada One may have meant that Jim was better suited than others to be an “E-DG.”



Design an Inclusive Plan for Your Organization webinar

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 help members understand and implement diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles. But then what? To produce real change, we need to create a plan that welcomes all people, extends to all activities and has measurable results. By designing an inclusive plan for your organization, you can ensure that current policies, programs or structures provide equal access and opportunity to those who may be unintentionally excluded or marginalized.

Watch Design an Inclusive Plan for Your Organization


Sessions from the District 5370 Fall Learning Series and other Learning and Development programs were recorded and are available for viewing in the Virtual Learning Library on the District website.


Tuesday, Jan 19 5:00-5:30 p.m. MST

Click here to register.


Rotarian youth advisors needed for RYLE (Rotary Youth Leadership Experience) and RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment)and RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards).  

Are you interested in mentoring Rotaractors, who will create leadership and growth opportunities for high school students? We are seeking Rotarians to empower and support the RYLE, RYPEN and RYLA teams. Rotarian Youth Advisors will join the committees of these programs and assist the planning of the programs by guiding and sharing their experiences. 

The reward? Watching these dynamic young Rotarians succeed and promote future Rotaractors, Interactors and Rotarians. A Vulnerable Persons Records Check is required.  

Please send an email to to express interest or to pose any questions.


Elevating Rotaract—What Does this Mean?

Past RI President Barry Rassin will be Director Valarie Wafer’s guest for the next Director Dialogue set for Thursday evening, January 14 at 5:00 p.m. MST. It was Barry who pushed—and occasionally nagged—to make Rotaract more integral to Rotary. That officially happened at the 2016 Council on Legislation. Since then, it’s been up to all of us to fully take advantage of the enthusiasm, qualities and passion of our young Rotarians.

Join Barry and Valarie as they discuss what has been accomplished in this critical area—and what still needs to happen. Barry will be joined for a panel discussion by two Rotaractors who are making the connectivity between Rotaract and Rotary come alive.

Click here to register for this free webinar.


District Office closed

Due to new pandemic-related restrictions introduced by the Alberta governments, including a work-from-home mandate, the Rotary District 5370 is closed, but is still operational and available by phone (780-482-5370) and email (


The first of five sessions to prepare presidents-elect to lead their clubs during 2021-2022 is scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. MST. Topics to be covered during this session, which will be led by DGE Donna Barrett and PDG Ingrid Neitsch, are planning your year, leading Rotarians, leadership styles and Rotary Learning Centre. 

Click here to register for this session.

Future PE training sessions are planned for February 9, March 9, April 13 and May 11.


The Rotary Club of Edmonton is hosting its 2nd annual Robert Burns luncheon via Zoom at noon on Monday, January 25, the 262nd anniversary of the famous Scottish poet’s birth. During his short, 37-year life, Burns wrote hundreds of poems and more than 300 songs, including the ubiquitous New Year’s Eve favourite, “Auld Lang Syne.”  Today, annual Burns dinner celebrations in his memory are held all over the world.

The meeting will feature bagpipes, Burns poems and music, and Scottish door prizes from the Robert Burns World Federation gift shop. The keynote presentation will be given by Alex Thomson, the current “bard” of the Edmonton Burns Club and a native of Ayrshire, Scotland, the home of Robert Burns.

In connection with this meeting, the club is selling raffle tickets for three baskets of Scotch whisky and wine, with proceeds going to the Edmonton Food Bank.

1st Prize: Scotch and Wine Basket valued at $600 

2nd Prize: Scotch and Wine Basket valued at $400 

3rd Prize: Scotch and Wine Basket valued at $200

Ticket sales end January 28.


Regarding Raffles Sponsored by Alberta-Based Rotary Clubs

Due to provincial regulations, only Alberta residents, aged 18+ may purchase raffle tickets.


Stop Recruiting & Start Attracting 

Wednesday, January 13

5 pm MST

Rotarian Bill Wittich will share insights from his book titled, "Stop Recruiting & Start Attracting." As an author and non-profit management advisor, Bill brings experience and ideas that provide a good tutorial for Rotary clubs to grow membership.

In his video, he suggests the concept of Attracting vs Recruiting member prospects. To make this happen, it is important to share Rotary brand awareness and the benefits of our club "value proposition" up front with the 30-to-40-year-olds we desire to attract. Many are keen to know us and help us make a difference.

Click here to join this event via Zoom. Meeting ID: 998 8166 3998 Password: Rotary

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