Director's Newsletter March, 2022 


Zone Leadership Team 21-22 

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June 4-8, 2022
RI Convention, Houston, Texas
June 5, 2022
Rotary Roundup
Houston Beyond Borders event
September 1-6, 2022
Cruise to Bermuda "Life Below Water" Symposium
September 21-24
Learning to Lead
Rotary International Governor Training
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
November 3-5, 2022
"Life On Land" Symposium
Anchorage, Alaska

Rotary International Zones 28 & 32 is a four country, two language, community of Rotarians in Bermuda, Canada, France and the United States spanning eight time zones.
Articles for the newsletter are due by the 20th of every month for the next newsletter. Anything after the 20th will not be published. Early submissions are appreciated.
Please Note
Most stories have an introductory paragraph, and then a "Read More" link to finish off the story.
News from the Zones

March Statement of Our Director

As February comes to a close so does a busy month.  A month that included a hybrid RI Board meeting, a hybrid gala fundraiser for our foundation and concluded with a hybrid multi-district PETS.  I had the opportunity to be in person at each of these events and I cannot tell you how it feels to be with people.  With the proper precautions it is beginning to feel somewhat “normal.”

I want to thank all of you who attended and gave so generously to our Gala for the Rotary Foundation on Rotary's 117th birthday!  More than 650 were in attendance, some virtually and some at house parties where RIDE Drew and RIPE Jennifer dropped in.  At this time, we estimate approximately $250,000 USD was raised!  With the Gates Foundation match for Polio funding that is over $300,000 USD.  As the RI Board meeting was occurring in Evanston, we did our part from RI Headquarters, so it was truly a hybrid event.

Presidents elect training is underway as we approach March and the end of winter. Although Spring is a most welcome relief for those of us in traditional snow belts, we do look forward to the change in seasons this year, but it is with heavy hearts we learn of the beginning of Russia’s attack on the people of Ukraine. 

It is important that we recognize that this fight is not between the everyday people of these two countries, all citizens including the people of Russia must be kept in our thoughts as these horrible situations play out. To see the statement on the situation in Ukraine by Rotary International please click here.

I write this as I visit Mid Atlantic PETS where once again, I am blown away with the enthusiasm, camaraderie, and the innovative resourcefulness of our Presidents Elect. Clearly the selection committees in each club have done a great job of choosing their next club presidents. As well it is wonderful to see a diverse group of new club Presidents, proof that clubs and districts are embracing equity and inclusion strategies. Each year as I visit PETS across our zones, I am more and more impressed with the caliber of the next generation of leadership. 

March also marks the end of the second year of the pandemic. It was March 14th, 2020, when Mark and I had to leave Rochester, New York to ensure we could cross the border back into Canada on time. We have lost many Rotarians during this pandemic and suffered immeasurable losses. This is a time in history we will never forget, yet the future of our clubs, our districts, and the brand we love is stronger as a result of weathering the storm as a family. 

I hope to see each of you soon as we continue to Serve to Change Lives!

Now That Is How You Do It…
On the heels of the 2022 Rotary International Assembly being concluded I take a moment to reflect on the event and have to say, “That is how you do it!”.  Faced with a daunting challenge of moving from an in-person event to a virtual event in the matter of weeks President Elect Jennifer and her team of Rotary Senior Leaders and Rotary International staff hit it out of the park.  What I take away most from the event is the product that was provided to all those who attended and specifically the plenary sessions.  My hope is we all learn from what and how things were presented as we plan for both in person and virtual events going forward.
For me the biggest take away was each plenary session was between 30 and 55 minutes.  Each session had multiple speakers and accomplishing the biggest hurdle of any event, keeping the audience’s attention and engagement.  The key was that there was no long presentation, everything kept moving with most speakers not presenting for more than 10 minutes.  There were different styles of presentations that included interviews and back and forth conversations.  For someone like myself who has a limited attention span (unfortunately) I found I was engaged from start to finish.  Yes, there was top notch talent presenting but I found it was the format that outweighed the content which kept me from moving over to one of my other two monitors.
All who read this are in a position to embrace what was learned from the program at IA.  How many of us have been to Rotary events where the speaker loses the audience’s attention but continues to forge ahead for another 20 min?  I am a firm believer that whatever needs to be said can be said in under 10 minutes.  We can turn to the TED talk concept to have proof that short impactful presentations are the way to go, and our audience will appreciate that we not only provide great content, but we value their top resource and that is time.
I would be remiss if I do not give a shout out to all the Zone 28/32 representation throughout IA starting with our very own President Elect Jennifer whose vision and inspiration guided the event.  Vice President Valarie and her partner Mark gave amazing presentations on DEI.  Past Director and Current Trustee Dean who as always put her heart out there for us all to feel.  On the training side, I received many notes from attendees on how well, Sue Goldsen, Peter Schultz and Louis Turpin, our Zone’s three International Training Leaders, did in their sessions.  These seven individuals exceeded all expectations and knocked it out of the park.  Please join me in congratulating them when your Rotary paths cross.
How amazing are our two Zones?  We are so blessed to have amazing leaders throughout both Zones, and this was clearly evident during IA.  I took much from the sessions and hope you did as well.

March – Providing Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Month

When it comes to our area of focus, Providing Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, I always think of Rotarian Walter Hughes from the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia.  I first heard Hughes speak at the District 7850 Conference in 2005.  Hughes shared his vision of providing clean water to all citizens in Ghana to eradicate Guinea Worm.  Since then, Hughes has led a multinational Rotary partnership that eradicated Guinea worm disease in Ghana, and he is attempting to repeat that in South Sudan. It is estimated that he has led the efforts to provide clean water for over 650,000 citizens in Africa.  Hughes’ vision would not have been achieved without fellow Rotarians who share his passion and have helped make his vision a reality.  Hughes represents the “power of one.” Other Rotarians have been “the boots on the ground,” and our many donors, especially major donors are “the engine” that made and continue to make Hughes’ global grants possible.

Need help with your WASH project—here’s how!!

The Rotary club of LaSalle-Centennial wanted to support the RC of Mzuzu (Malawi) to bring water to a rural community, but the cost was more than the club, and its partners could raise. Enter the Canadian Rotarian Water Foundation (CRWF).

News About September Zone Cruise


Update Interact Convention

As people of action, our team is aware of our responsibility to protect the health and safety of our attendees at the event. Due to the rise of the Omnicron variant, Canadian travel restrictions, and indoor gathering limitations, our team has decided to postpone the Zone 28 & 32 Interact Convention to the new date of October 20th to 23rd, 2022.

Questions and Answers About Rotary Foundation Endowments

What is a Rotary’s Endowment?
Gifts to Rotary's Endowment ensure that future Rotarians will have the resources they need to design and implement sustainable projects year after year. Rotary strives to increase the value of your gift to the Endowment by preserving and investing your initial contribution and spending only a portion of the earnings. The principal of a contribution to the Endowment is never spent, but a portion of the earnings is made available annually for specific program activities.
What is a named Endowment?
Create a legacy in your own name, or to honor a loved one, to see the impact of your gift and watch it grow over time. You can also make a commitment in your estate plans to support the causes you care about most. Each fund is tracked and reported to you and your district, so they are reminded of your generosity for generations to come.

Into the Future With the Empowering Girls Initiative

We are excited to report that Rotary International President-Elect Jennifer E. Jones and Rotary International President-Nominee Gordon R. McInally have both agreed in principle to extend the Empowering Girls Initiative beyond June 30th.   In keeping with next year’s Presidential Theme, we ask you to “Imagine Rotary” doing even more to enable young women to reach their full potential in the coming years.
Here are three suggestions as to how we move forward:

Rotary begins with Diversity of Thought

The road to a healthy membership and the growth of Rotary begins with Diversity of Thought. Through healthy open dialogue with our members and the community we serve, Rotary will develop more engaged Rotarians.
Casey Eaglespeaker, a Blackfoot Elder, spoke quite eloquently about the times we live in, where we need to move our society from “Doing To and Doing For, to Doing With”. While this resonates clearly on relationship with our Indigenous People, it is relevant to how we engage with our local communities and quite frankly with our Membership. Diversity of thought leads clearly to diversity in membership, listening to learn leads to equity and understanding, having people with “lived experience” in the room leads to inclusion.

Global Grants in Uganda

Situated atop a small mountain in the foothills of the Rwenzori mountains in Western Uganda, straddling the equator, lie three villages of 550 households, 850 children, and 2500 total residents. Bujanjara is the largest of the villages located 110 KM south of Fort Portal. There are three schools, two Catholic churches, a mosque and two small trading centers – none have running water or proper toilet facilities.
First Partner’s Meeting in Fort Portal, Uganda August 3, 2019
Fr. Patrick Tukwasibwe priest for 24 churches, Kabarole IPP Edward Balinda, PDG Rick Benson D7980, PE Leslie Wolfe, Westport CT, Kabarole RC President Eddie Basalista
Community Assessment Focus Group with Father Patrick, September 2019
New Water Tank being inspected, January 2022

New Custom License Plate for NYS Rotarians

 A new custom Rotary license plate will soon be available for New York State Rotarians! The new custom plate will feature the Rotary logo and our motto, "Service Above Self."
District 7120 Governor Janet Tenreiro along with District 7040 Area Governor Michael Griffin are taking point on this project, which has the support of all nine district governors in New York State. The new plate will take the place of Rotary's current custom plate in New York, which uses the old logo and has no motto.
In order for New York State to move ahead on printing the new plates, we need to get at least 200 New York State Rotarians to express interest in ordering the new custom license plate. (As on 19 January 2022, we currently need about 35 more sign-ups.)

Rotary Roundup


From the Editor's Desk

The Zone newsletter for June 1, 2022 will be the last one that I will put together. After four years, it is time to move on to something different in Rotary. Incoming Director Drew Kessler has some exciting ideas for future communication in the Zone. If you have any ideas or suggestions, by all means contact him at