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Message from DG Jason
Greetings Rotarians!
 
No one is unaffected by the pandemic brought upon us by the coronavirus.
 
While the vast majority of us in Kansas remain healthy, we are all affected in some way. Perhaps you or a friend or family member is a heath care worker and are dealing with the issues brought forth in that field. Perhaps your business has been shut down, and you don’t know how long you’ll continue to get a paycheck, or maybe you’ve already been laid off, or know someone close to you who has.
 
Even if you don’t have a direct connection, your social norms have been disrupted with the closing of most public venues. Our lives are all vastly different than they were just a few weeks ago.
 
One way I hope you are able to feel some sense of normalcy is through your Rotary club. While we should continue to maintain physical distance, I think the phrase of “social distancing” is a misnomer – we can continue to socialize without gathering in groups.
 
If you’ve been significantly affected by this outbreak, Rotary may be the last thing on your mind as you try to find a way to address the changes in your life. But don’t forget the giving spirit of your fellow club members. If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. I know there are many Rotarians who are looking for a way to help and provide comfort, and their regular venues for doing so have been stifled.
 
At the district level, we are trying to regroup and determine how we address the President Elect Training Seminar and District Conference cancellations to make sure those losses don’t negatively affect our clubs through the next year.
 
But we’re also looking at ways to help clubs stay engaged. Multiple-club small group virtual meetings, district-wide online meetings and avenues for service are a few of the ways we’re working to bring members together.
 
I know many clubs are already doing some of these things, and we’ll be looking to leverage those of you who’ve been at it already to share or expand your ideas to other clubs.
 
Stay tuned for more information on these opportunities.
 
Wishing you health and happiness,
 
In Rotary service,
Jason Leib
Rotary 5710 District Governor 2019-2020
 

District & Club News & Events

 
GREAT PROGRESS TOWARD THE POLIO PLUS 6X CHALLENGE
 
This month we want to extend a sincere thank you to District 5710’s Members and Clubs that have renewed their commitment to supporting Polio Plus by responding to our End of the Year – 6X Matching Donation Challenge!
 
With over $14,500.00 in NEW donations toward matching the $29,000.00 District Funds, we are half-way there. But with only 3 weeks to go before the June 25th Donation Deadline, now is the time to send in those additional donations to Polio Plus. If your Club has not yet donated to Polio Plus this year, please make it a high priority.  When we meet our 2019-2020 Goal our District will have, with the Gates Foundation match, produced over $400,000 for Rotary’s vital work.  Please share the message of our fight to End Polio in the attached “Countdown to History”, AND how Rotary is supporting the response to the Coronavirus. Encourage new or increased donations to Polio Plus from every club and from each of our individual members before June 25th to meet the 6X CHALLENGE!
 
And Remember: WE ARE “THIS CLOSE”.
Jim Arnett, Polio Plus District Chair - (913) 200-0514 - maajca@gmail.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wild Poliovirus Weekly Update
COUNTDOWN TO HISTORY!
Week Ending 30 May 2020
Total number of wild cases in 2017:  22
Total number of wild cases in 2018:  33
Total number of wild poliovirus cases in 2019:  176
     Total # of wild poliovirus cases this week: 2
     Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2020: 61 (49 in Pakistan)
      (compared with Total of 40 for the same period in 2019)
Total number of Circulating Vaccine Derived cases - 2020: 111
 (compared to total in 2018:104 and in 2019:368)
 
OR CHECKS TO YOUR CLUB’S CHARITABLE ACCOUNT DIRECTED TO “POLIO PLUS”
 
Human Trafficking Conference a Success
March 6, DG Jason Leib welcomed over 100 attendees to the Leawood and Lenexa Rotary Club’s first ever Human Trafficking Awareness and Action conference.
 
Moms, law enforcement officers, government officials, Rotarians and the concerned public came to learn how they can help stop human trafficking. This became a regional conference with people driving in from as far away as western Kansas, Manhattan, Topeka and St. Louis to name a few.
 
Kansas Attorney General, Derek Schmidt, exhibitors and workshop presenters shared their frontline, in-depth knowledge of the problem, the challenges and hope for the future.
 
The positive feedback from attendees and presenters leads the organizers to believe another conference might be in the future.
Topeka Rotary Clubs Receive Crime Victims Service Award!
Congratulations to the Topeka Rotary Clubs and members who have given generously to our fight to end human trafficking! I received the attached notification of our recognition by the Office of the Attorney General of Kansas for the work done on our Global Grant Day Center and related anti-human trafficking projects! Please share this with your clubs. Unfortunately, the Conference where this recognition would have been given was cancelled due to Conoravirus concerns.
 
This is the email I also received from the Kansas AG office:
Good afternoon Patti!  And congratulations to you and the Rotary Clubs achievements in the anti-trafficking movement.  Attached you will find a copy of the letter being mailed to you from Attorney General Derek Schmidt, formally recognizing the work of the Topeka Rotary clubs along with the Topeka and Shawnee County Anti-trafficking Coalition, as this year’s Outstanding Victim Service Response.  I am sorry that we were unable to present in person this year at the Crime Victim’s Rights Conference, but we celebrate the work of this group none the less!  A press release will be going out to your local media soon.  Thanks again for your work on behalf of crime victims.  Take care!  Michelle
 
Michelle McCormick, LMSW
Director of the Victim Services Division
Office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt
 
Thank you all for your contributions and support!
Women in Rotary Monthly Events
What a fun and exciting time to share a non-COVID19 state line crossing.  Kansas District 5710 and Missouri District 6040 came together to share lively discussion about Global Grants, Human Trafficking, Foster Care, Satellite Clubs, On Line Auctions/Galas, pizza and a host of club projects.  We were a group of 2 Districts, 10 Clubs and 13 Women.  Lenet Compton - Lenexa RC, Kathy Ruoff - Gladstone RC, Charlotte Ruoff - Smithville RC, Deb Rodenbaugh-Schaub - Manhattan Konza RC, Evie Craig - Downtown 13 Satellite RC, Kara Bennett, Jessica Block and Christy Chester - Downtown 13 RC, Josephine Njoroge - Waldo/Brookside RC, Emily Baker - Olathe Noon RC, Kate Campbell - Lawrence Central RC, Kelly Vaille and Caroline Becher - Western Johnson County RC.
 
Some notable items to share, Deb let us know about clothing donations to hospitals for folks that come in with Coronavirus and cannot go home with the clothes they came in wearing. Evie mentioned the Satellite Club has made such a positive difference in keeping their younger members and providing a lower cost option. Christy shared Downtown Club 13's youth camp had to be cancelled this year due to COVID-19 but they made donations to the groups that support the camp.
 
Our next Zoom gathering is June 18 at 5:30
 
Topic: Women in Rotary Connect Zoom Meeting
Time: Jun 18, 2020 05:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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Downtown Topeka Rotary
Over 120 Rotarians tuned in for a district-wide Rotary meeting on May 7th between the Downtown Topeka Rotary and the Rotary Club of Harlem! It was amazing to hear what the Rotary Club of Harlem has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and the service work they are doing in NYC. What a great group of individuals focused on service above self!
 
An evening social, between the two clubs, is scheduled via Zoom on May 28th with breakout sessions on a number of topics of interest to broaden our knowledge and enhance our Rotary experience.
 

Leavenworth Rotary
Leavenworth Rotary Celebrates Education
 
Recently, our club awarded our annual scholarships and Educator of the Year awards.
 
The following student scholars and Educators were recognized:
Katherine Bircher, Lansing High School
Haley Forge, Pleasant Ridge High School
Logan Hope, Lansing High School
Sophie Sallot, Leavenworth High School
Kelsey Stimatze (Earl Lawson Elementary), Primary Educator of the Year
Mary Schwartz (Leavenworth High School), Secondary Educator of the Year

Each student scholar will receive a $2000 Academic Scholarship (sent directly to their school); Educators of the Year received a local Rotary Service Above Self Award and a $250 gift card. Stimatze and Schwartz will compete at the state level this fall. Congratulations to all!
 
Social Distancing was observed at this ceremony - pictured left to right are Katherine Bircher, Haley Forge, Tamara Sevcik, Scholarship/Educator of the Year Committee Chair, Club President, Maria Minchew, Sophie Sallot, Logan Hope and Patrick Proctor, Scholarship Committee Member.
 
And... President Maria Minchew and Leavenworth Foundation President, Tamara Sevcik, were honored to present donations to the Catholic Charities and Salvation Army Food Pantries last week; thanks to member donations by way of our local Rotary Foundation, we were able to donate $562.50 to each organization!  Many thanks to all for supporting our local food pantries!
 
Lenexa Rotary
We began Zoom meetings March 20. This included weekly club meetings, socials, committee and board meetings. The format has worked well.  Meeting online helps some members that otherwise couldn't attend regularly due to our meeting location proximity to their job. It also helped us achieve 100% participation in the EREY Annual SHARE giving as money not spent on meals was donated to the fund.  
 
We conducted a 6-day pledge drive for Nourish KC community kitchen raising $3,020.
 
Before stay-at-home orders were established, we were scheduled to conduct a diaper wrapping event with Happy Bottoms during a club meeting. Once it was apparent we could not proceed, we went ahead and released the $1095 donation.
Events -  Impromtu art contest. Members are taking photos of art they see along walking trails, etc. The idea was hatched when the City of Lenexa announced The Lenexa Art Fair was cancelled due to the coronavirus. The contest is a silly way for our members to share some fun and still enjoy local art. 
 
Our spring stream cleaning event became an individual effort.
Overbrook Rotary
The Overbrook Rotary Club Members made there yearly delivery of dictionary's to the Santa Fe Trail Attend Center on  February 28, 2020.
 
 
Overland Park Rotary
Andy Heath, one of our members in Overland Park Rotary, has served as a Cruise Director aboard the Regent Seven Seas Mariner (small and exclusive oceangoing cruise line) with his wife Tammy running the onboard entertainment, for several years now.  Sailing in the Pacific when the coronavirus struck, they had difficulty with ports closing and airline schedules terminating the way home for their international passengers and employees. It’s taken a month of coordinating to offload passengers, then nonessential personnel, before Andy and Tammy could engineer a way back to the US and then to Kansas.  
 
Thankfully, a Rotary connection led the way home!  
 
A saga worth reading, sent from Andy Heath, Cruise Director aboard the Mariner.  In the midst of the pandemic, having been able to disembark passengers and most of crew in Australia to return to their homes, they then steamed through the south Pacific trying to get to a port in the U.S. This is harder than it sounds...!
 
In previous episodes:
With Andy & Tammy literally waiting at the tender platform to disembark and drive to KC, the CDC & Coast Guard informed our ship that further crew disembarkations would not be permitted.
 
That is when I was reminded that I have a long-time friend through Rotary, Chad Tenpenny, who is legal counsel and State Director for Kansas Senator Pat Roberts. Chad quickly took ownership and got me connected with the right people in his office to work on our behalf to acquire an exception to be permitted to enter our own country.
 
Then, we received word that since ships can no longer disembark or transfer crew members among the ship, the Mariner would sail for Ensenada, Mexico and we (and all other non-essential crew) would be transferred to the Norwegian Joy along with a couple of other ships from our company doing the same. This will allow those ships to operate with a minimal crew and depart for their ultimate destination awaiting full operations in the future. But, we can't get out of Mexico! No flights, no cars, no way home.
 
Coming Attraction:
When the window of opportunity finally closed yesterday and the ship sailed for Ensenada, our friend Chad and his team elevated our situation to the Office of the Vice President - yes, THE Vice President Pence. Wow.
 
I received emails last night from my Senator's Chief of Staff and the Deputy Assistant to the President, Office of Legislative Affairs - White House (there's some emails to keep!) assuring me they are working on our behalf and have been in communication with the Coast Guard, CDC and the Port of Los Angeles. They will do their best to get us in the country.
 
The Mariner arrived in Ensenada this morning at 9am and we are fully packed and prepared to transfer to the Norwegian Joy. Instead, I receive information from our corporate office that we are not to transfer to the Joy, but will remain on the Mariner to await CDC approval and repatriation to the USA! Once we transfer our non-essential crew to the Joy, the Mariner will return to L.A. the morning of the 26th.
 
I am just awaiting word from the VP Office that our clearance has been approved. If that comes through, Tammy and I will get to the rental car office and see if we can hire a jalopy to drive like the Beverly Hillbillies in reverse all the way to KC.
 
UPDATE RECEIVED SUNDAY, APRIL 26
 
Barring any last-minute theatrics, I believe Tammy and I will be back on land in the United States early tomorrow morning.
 
Following the amazing coordination from my friend (and legal counsel for KS Sen. Pat Roberts) Chad Tenpenny, the staff of Senator Roberts and the Office of the Vice President, the CDC gave conditional approval for Tammy and I (and our 3 remaining American production cast members) to enter the United States and begin our journey home. I say "conditional" because the CDC has a list of very specific mandates to strictly follow. We are good with that. One of the rules is that we must drive directly to our home using no hotels or public areas. Regent Seven Seas is providing private ground transportation for us. We are in good hands.
 
A water taxi comes to collect us at our ship in the L.A. harbor at 6am. Hopefully, we will get ashore, clear the protocols, and be on the road by 8am. Why 8am? Because we like structure, that's why!
 
I don't plan to send out updates while we are traveling, which will likely be a relief for many of you and your email IN box. But, we'll be sure to let you know within a day or two after we get home.
 
Thank you for all the thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes you've sent our way. I am feeling confident we are on the final stretch.
 
Much love and much hand washing from
Andy & Tammy
 
The moral of the story:  Don't leave home without Clubrunner!  You never know how your Rotary friends can support you!
Shawnee Mission Rotary
The Shawnee Mission Rotary club’s May guest speakers via Zoom included KC Film Commissioner Stephane Scupham and NEJC Chamber of Commerce President Deb Settle. 
 
Stephane shared details about several recent and upcoming film projects in Kansas City. The KC Film Office at Visit KC strives to attract projects to the Kansas City region.  Stephane has actively advocated for a tax credit to attract even more film production projects to Missouri.   
 
Deb has been President and CEO of the NEJC Chamber for 11 years and she is a well-respected leader in the region. Check out chamber YouTube channel to see the breadth of topics NEJC has offered to the community!
 
Our club focused on projects to assist Growing Futures Early Childhood Education Center in Overland Park as they prepared for their June 1st reopening.  A financial contribution was made to assist with the purchase of cleaning products, classroom items, and childcare supplies.  On Saturday, May 23rd, club members and family spent part of the beautiful day cleaning out and brightening up the parking lot planters with new flowers.  We’d like to give a special thanks to our neighbor Westlake Ace Hardware (9301 W 87th Street, Overland Park) who graciously split the cost of the beautiful flowers with the club.  We are excited to help warmly welcome the students, families, and staff back to school!
        
Finally, SM Rotarian Sandi put “FRANKE”, the expresso machine she graciously donated to SM North High School for their Student Commons area, to sleep for the summer. 
Shawnee Rotary
The last month certainly hasn’t looked like what any of us thought it would – and that includes our Rotary fellowship and service!  While we haven’t been able to meet as a club, we’re continuing our “Year of Giving Dangerously” campaign, encouraging members to support our local restaurants (and breweries!)...to kick things off, the club donated all of the member dues that would typically cover our meeting costs during this time to the local restaurants who had already signed on to participate in our annual Taste of Shawnee fundraiser (which unfortunately has also been postponed until the fall).  In total, $3,000 was donated across the city. 
 
We’re thankful to these small businesses for all they do for our community, and grateful to the Shawnee Mission Post and KMBZ Radio for covering the story. Click here to see the story.
 
 
Western Johnson County

Rotary Club of Western Johnson County board members just approved a donation to support the Shawnee Community Services Food Pantry. We are happy and feel blessed to be able to support food pantry organizations in our communities. Earlier this spring the club also donated over 200 pounds of canned goods to local food pantries. The need and demand on food pantries is heavy right now. If you'd like to help, please visit https://www.scsks.org/  or your local food pantry.

Club members got a preview peek at the plaque which will hang in the Lenexa City Hall proclaiming Lenexa a Purple Heart City (see photo). The Rotary Club of Western Johnson County worked with the Lenexa Rotary Club and the Quivira Crossings Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) club to sponsor this designation for Lenexa. Along with the plaque, there will also be a road sign declaring Lenexa as a Purple Heart City. Official proclamation with the city is planned for late July.

It's not too early to think Christmas! Members have begun making donations, collected by our sergeant-at-arms Jody Adams, for Johnson County Christmas Bureau. We are focused on toys for kids from toddlers through teens, and expect the need for donations this coming Christmas season will be high. If you or your organization would like to help, please visit their website to learn more at: https://www.jccb.org/

 
Russell Hampton
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