Rashmi and I just returned from the International Convention, which was held  in New Orleans last week. Over 18,500 Rotarians and guests attended the gathering and fun times were had by all. The HOC did a fabulous job of organizing great speakers and entertainers. Bill Gates was mesmerizing and reassuring in his commitment to Eradicating Polio as his top priority. President Ray personally invited over 200 SCRYE Students and they brought the house down with their flag ceremony and a number of beautiful songs. The harmony and togetherness among the students from all over the world reassured Rotarians that our YE Program is the best in bringing down the boundaries and building Peace and Goodwill among all nations of the world. 
 

President Ray summarized his year’s accomplishments and again reminded us of simple “Cowboy Logic” in our day to day chores. Entertainer Michael Martin Murphy played the song “Cowboy Logic” among many other hits from his famous albums. Incoming President Kalyan emphasized the fact that we need to continue to Build Communities and Bridge Continents as we Look from Within to Reach Humanity. Cowboys and Indians were played out again, but this time it was to built Continuity between two Rotary years, two leaders, two continents, two cultures; with the hope that whole world will follow suite and we will have ONE WORLD with PEACE AND GOODWILL for ALL.

Our District was well represented including, for the first time ever, your G String; from DG, DGE, DGN and DGND were in attendance. The Bus trip was a great success, an excellent value, and a lot of fun; and our Home Hospitality Dinner(sold out) was well attended, carefully organized and was enjoyed by all. The Cowboy Breakfast, which was originally planned for 250 people had to be increased to 350. Over 378 were accounted for by the Hotel staff as we await final tally from our group. The food and service was excellent and all attendees were entertained by a live band, a trio, with local music. Our speakers, RIDE Andy Smallwood, RID and RIVPE Noel Bajat, and PRIP Frank Devlyn kept the crowd entertained and informed. Various seasoned Convention goers commented that this was the best value for the money with a great speakers line up. A friendly contest was held towards the end to reward the Best dressed Cowboy and Cowgirl as well. PDG John Painter, Jack Wallace, Judy Harwell, Rebecca Maddux, Michelle Lomazoff, PDG Ed Charlesworth, COS Jon McKinnie are some of the key players in organizing these events and should be congratulated for a JOB WELL DONE!!! You all made our District PROUD.

At “The Reunion”, an event started and organized by PRIP Frank Devlyn, our PDG Charlie Clemmons and Barbara were honored for their continued dedicated services to Rotary. Frank asked me to receive the award on behalf of Clemmons as they could not be at the convention due to Charlie’s By Pass surgery. I am happy to report that Charlie is doing well and is on his way to a full recovery, thanks to your prayers and well wishes.

Charles Grant of North shore Rotary club successfully organized a Friendship Exchange with Sydney, Australia, District 9690 as we hosted 11 Rotarians and families for a 10 day or so period. Rashmi and I were honored to host DG Marilyn Mercer and husband Dudley in our humble home and truly enjoyed their company. Congratulations to Charles and Gail Grant, Bill and Debbie  Palko, PDG Ed Charlesworth and Robin, Clint and Mary Alice Horne, Bill Bowes, Jim and Maryann Gilbert for hosting Aussies and having an awesome friendship exchange and making D 5890 proud.

Our Rotary year 2010-11 is fast approaching to an end as we are getting ready for our next year 2011-12. Please be sure to register for DGE Rhonda’s installation scheduled for June 5, 2011 and welcome our new leadership team to continue to lead our fine District.