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Dear District 5890:
It is Mine and Debbie’s honor and privilege to serve as your District Governor and First Lady for 2017-2018. 
During the previous 2+ years leading up to now, I’ve visited many clubs and met many Rotarians.  I’ve witnessed firsthand your passion for Serving Humanity.  I’m in awe of and inspired by all that you do.  I am thankful to be a member of our great Rotary District.  A District referred to during PETS training this past February by Rotary International Vice President Jennifer Jones as a “Kick Ass” District.  Yes, Jennifer, we are.  And we’re proud of it too!
Our 2017-18 Theme is “Rotary Making A Difference.”  We’re going to “Make A Difference” by emphasizing Membership Growth, Engagement and Retention.  We will work especially hard on attracting young and diverse new members without leaving behind new members with a little more “seasoning.”  We will engage our new members and re-engage those veteran members that may feel left by the wayside.  For engagement and participation are the secrets to retention.  And retention is the key to membership growth.  We’re going to “Make A Difference” doubling down on our Foundation Giving by hosting a Million Dollar Dinner held on January 27, 2018 with RI President Ian Riseley as our Keynote Speaker.   And we’re going to bolster our PR/PI Campaign using the new slogan “People of Action” to make sure everyone in our community knows we are Rotarians and that what we do is “Making A Difference” in people’s lives.  
I look forward to working with you in these areas of opportunity for our District and in “Making A Difference” in our communities through Rotary Service.  If my leadership team or I can be of any assistance to you or your club, please do not hesitate to call upon us.  We exist to assist you!              
DG Bill and Debbie
April 26, 2016 - April 29, 2018
Hyatt Regency Riverwalk
123 Losoya St.
San Antonio, Texas 78205
How about a Road Trip to San Antonio?  What will you see in San Antonio?  What would "Paul Harris" say about our conference?
To Register, go to ClubRunner or
To register for a room please go to:

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Continue reading to learn more about the conference, and DG Bill Palko's two Service Projects for Veterans!

Here's a great way to get rid of your "STUFF" AND  help raise funds for one of Rotary's remarkable international projects:  The Children of the Dump.  It's called the District 5890 "Clean Out Your Closets" Service Project and all you need to do is ask your club members, friends and family to pack up items they don't need, pick a collection point, then drop-off the items or we'll pick everything up, and we'll ship everything to to the project.  CLICK HERE to watch a 2-minute video.
District 5890 Rotarians Frank Huezo and Jim Kite are the chairs of the "Clean Out Your Closets" Service Project as well as the "Children of the Dump Project."  Jim can be reached at (979) 251-0840 or
Under the leadership of Rotary District 5890 since 1997, the "Children of the Dump" Project has grown from a school with 90 students near the garbage dump in Chinandega, Nicaragua, to now over 1,600 students.  The students are fed, educated, receive health care and now their future is much brighter.   The majority of these "School of the Dump" students have become the first-generation of their family to attend and graduate high school.  We've had 25-30 graduate from college, and there are currently 25 attending college. 
Thanks to Rotary, the projects in Chinandega include primary schools, a high school, the Betania Trade School, clinics, the San Martin Hospital, Santa Lucia School for the Blind, Refugio Belen Maternity Shelter, plus several villages where families live, plus a Resale Shop.
Houston Rotary District 5890
Million Dollar Dinner
27 January 2018
At Multi-District Training in Austin in 2015, incoming District Foundation Chair Wally Kronzer said to me, “Palko, you need to have a Million Dollar Dinner during your year as Governor.” (or something to that affect). I jumped on it!  And thus, the dream was born and the committee formed.  Chaired by PDG Suzi Howe and Co-chaired by PDG Bob Gebhard we hit the ground running.
Brilliantly we decided to incorporate two Team Captains, then DGE Eric Liu and DGN Bill Palko.  We also decided that our dinner would coincide with RI President Riseley’s visit in January 2018 and that our donor commitment period would run beginning 1 July 2017 (DG Eric’s year) and end 27 January 2018.  Table Captains were selected and soliciting donations began immediately.  We had put together the dream team.  Our table captains were PDG Rhonda Walls Kerby, PDG George and Beverly Yeiter, Michelle Bohreer, PDG D’Lisa Simmons, Roger and Kim Elswick, Terry and Sarka Zieglar, Charlie and Tommie Buscemi, Alan and Stacy Brevard, Scott Rainey and Martha Bowles and Amir and Sabrina Khan.  Captains were charged with filling their tables with Foundation Donors giving at least $10K in new money in cash or a bequest to our Foundation.
Eighteen months of diligence and hard work came to a beautiful summation with our Million Dollar Dinner at the Petroleum Club in Downtown Houston on Saturday, 27 January 2018.  There we celebrated District 5890 Making A Difference through our Foundation.  We honored Dr. Isis Mejias, a past District Global Grant Scholar, with the Rotary Alumni Global Service Award.  We celebrated PDG Suzi Howe being presented the Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award.  We ended the spectacular evening presenting RI President Ian Riseley with our District 5890 Foundation Check in the amount of $3,699,687.00.
The success of our Million Dollar Dinner is owed to our generous donors.  Each of whom gave $10K or more in cash or bequest to our Foundation so that we can continue to Make A Difference in our local communities and around the world.  Thank you, donors, for your benevolence.  Thank you for making our Million Dollar Dinner a smashing success!    

Dear District 5890 Rotarians,
To say that much has happened since this Rotary year began is an understatement.  It seems that every day brings with it another set of disasters/challenges/problems which impact our daily lives. 
During such trying times, it is important to remember that we are a Rotary family, which means none of us are in this alone. We have friends throughout the district that are ready and willing to help, whether that help be mucking out a home or making a grocery store run for a fellow Rotarian that no longer has a car.   Daily we live the Rotary theme for this year, “Rotary, Making a Difference.”

Rotary Youth Exchange builds peace one young person at a time.

Students learn a new language, discover another culture, and truly become global citizens. Exchanges for students 15 to 19 years old are sponsored by Rotary clubs in more than 100 countries.

What are the benefits?

Exchange students unlock their true potential to:

  • Develop lifelong leadership skills
  • Learn a new language and culture
  • Build lasting friendships with young people from around the world
  • Become a global citizen
One of District Governor Bill Palko's goals was to try to have District 5890's District Grant application approved by July 31, 2017. As a reminder, clubs who are part of the District Grant application can only be reimbursed from funds that are spent after the approval date. Consequently, clubs with approved District Grants are now free to spend their funds as outlined in their District Grant Application.
The completed applications for the 2018-2019 Rotary Foundation Global Grant cholarhip should be returned to Bill Barmore by October 20, 2017 at P. O. Box 34824, Houston, Texas 77234, or by e-mail at  Bill may also be contacted at his office at 713-209-2800..  A link to the documents may be found at .
At the 2017 Interact District Conference at Sealy High School, Rotarian Ron Fitzwater was presented with the "Interact District 5890 Service Above Self" Award by District 5890 Interact Committee Co-Chair, Charlie Buscemi. 
Ron has served as the Interact Adviser at the Alvin High School Interact Club for years, plus he has served as the District 5890 Four-Way Test Essay Contest Scholarship Committee Chair, and as an District 5890 Area Membership Chair.  His commitment to serving his community, school, family and Rotary is outstanding.
The award was given to Ron with sincere appreciation and great respect for his years of dedication to strengthening the foundations of goodwill, peace, and fellowship through service with Interactors in his community, and beyond.  For years, he has unselfishly given his time, energy, and talent to further the principles and ideals of Rotary, plus the importance of Rotary's Four-Way Test and Service Above Self, in the hearts and minds of our world's future community leaders.
District 5890 and 5910 Rotarians and families with specific needs arising from the widespread flooding may contact Wayne Beaumier (281-923-4085 / / Rotary Club of Cypress-Fairbanks) for disaster aid assistance. You also may phone 311 to report damage and/or ask for assistance, as well as the Southwest TX Flood Cleanup Hotline (1-800-451-1954) for help cleaning up homes or property only. The Southwest TX Flood Cleanup Hotline will share your information with local agencies, community leaders, and volunteer relief agencies but cannot guarantee assistance or timing.  Medical emergencies should be reported to 911. For any other kind of help, please dial 211 for the menu of statewide services available, including benefits and help evacuating property.
Rotary District 5890 Global Scholar Anja Nikolova completed exams for her first year at Yale University last week and began the second year of her scholarship in September. A condition of her Yale studies is that she must complete an internship between her two years of studies and she returned to the U.S. on June 7 from her family home in Skopje, Macedonia to begin work with the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition(CPLC) in Washington. CPLC is a World Bank and International Finance Corporation led intitiative focusing on climate change. Before returning to the U.S.  she attended the Carbon Expo workshop in Cologne, Germany.

At CPLC Anja worked directly with companies such as BP, Shell, IKEA, Royal DSM and Unilever and the governments of Canada, India, France. The insights she produced helped these companies to design and implement their carbon pricing strategy as a business driver and towards achieving their environmental goals. 

Over the summer, Tandem Language Café, the program Anja co-founded, received investment capital and is expanding - they are currently hiring 4 new staff and partnering with Yale’s numerous departments - it’s very exciting, and has become her entrepreneurial experiment! They also launched their website:


District 5890 shares sponsorship of Anja's second scholarship year with Rotary Districts 5930 (Texas), 5840 (Texas), 5770 (Oklahoma), and 7980 (New Haven). Her first year Rotary Global Scholarship was funded by our District 5890.
The Rotarian Magazine has agreeed to conduct a Q and A with Anja for publication this coming winter.

Congratulations to Galleria Rotarians on their $5000 award for school uniforms to Houston’s Lee High School, which inspired Lee’s journalism students to showcase the Rotary commitment to education and literacy. Budding Lee journalists Juliette Acevedo and Augustin Cantero’s article was published by The River Oaks Examiner Newspaper, as well as in their high school paper, web site, and on Twitter, according to journalism instructor and yearbook advisor David Fanucchi. Noting that the new uniforms will feature Rotary's logo on the sleeve, the youthful literati wrote . . . 

Over the past six or seven years Bill Davis has enjoyed the privilege of working with five extraordinary young women who have been responsible for creating  TWENTY Rotary water, sanitation, education and health projects around the world with a value of $1,009,000.   These projects took place in El Salvador, Bolivia, Uganda, Kenya, Brazil, Afghanistan, Botswana, Peru and Ghana.  In addition six scholarships were funded for studies towards Master’s Degrees in Nepal, Brazil, Chile, Austria, Yale University and Scotland.
May 2018
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