Rotary District 5370 Update
December 13, 2020

In this issue:

From the Rotary International District 5370 News blog: Celebrating the holidays during a pandemic demonstrates Rotary creativity & adaptability; From E-club member to E-District Governor: Jim Ferguson’s midyear reflections; and ShelterBox and Rotary: A Proven Track Record of Humanitarian Service

Upcoming Rotary International, District and club events and announcements: DG Jim’s video message for January; President-Elect training (January 19); Rotary Youth Advisors needed; January issue of Beyond Borders newsletter; District Office closed; the Future of Rotary (January 6); Starting an ECO club (January 19); and Elevating Rotaract—What Does this Mean (January 14)?

A Foundation Moment: Rotary’s Areas of Focus (Part 2 of 2)

Membership Matters: Be persistent 

Deadline for submissions for the January 10 issue of the District 5370 CONNECTIONS is noon on Friday, January 8. Send your submission to

Recent Posts to:

How do you celebrate the holidays during a pandemic when everyone is advised to social distance?

It’s a question we asked in the CONNECTIONS newsletter during the two weeks leading up to Christmas.

In return, we heard stories of the creativity and adaptability of Rotarians when required to celebrate differently.

In the Yukon, the Rotary Club of Whitehorse moved its celebration outdoors.


“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.”


In November, ShelterBox awarded Rotary International with its first Global Humanitarian Service Award in recognition of Rotary’s outstanding partnership throughout the years.

Founded in 2000 by Rotary members in the United Kingdom, ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and essential supplies to help communities through their toughest times. ShelterBox and Rotary officially became project partners in disaster relief in 2012.

Rotary has been instrumental in ShelterBox’s growth, helping to transform ShelterBox into an internationally recognized disaster relief charity. The mutual benefits are enormous. ShelterBox receives networking, logistical and financial support from Rotary and, equally, acts as a catalyst in encouraging people all over the world to become involved with their local Rotary club.

ShelterBox CEO Sanj Srikanthan presented the award to Rotary International General Secretary and CEO John Hewko.



Be persistent 

At times, it will take more than one or two requests to get someone to attend a meeting. Keep asking. “It took my workout partner two years to convince me to come to a meeting,” says Rotarian Tom Gump.

Adapted from: Step right up: in Rotary’s membership game, everyone’s a winner by Geoffrey Johnson(originally published in The Rotarian, August 2018)






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 Future of Rotary?

Rotary Club of Troy and District 6380 invite you to join Rotary International General Secretary and CEO, John Hewko, in an intimate discussion on the future of Rotary.

Wednesday, January 6

9:30 a.m. MST

Click here to register

John Hewko oversees the operations of both Rotary and the Rotary Foundation and manages a combined operating budget of more than $450 million and assets of more than $1 billion. John also manages Rotary’s relationship with strategic partners and governments and leads a staff of almost 800 at Rotary’s world headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, and in seven offices outside the United States. 


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.


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.


Click here to read the January 2021 issue of the Zones 28 and 32 newsletter Beyond Borders from Rotary International Director Valarie Wafer. This issue includes articles focused on using your vocation to grow Rotary, a Global Grant project to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in Uganda, what clubs are doing to raise funds to eradicate polio, how to involve Rotaractors in Rotary club projects, and more.

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