Director's Newsletter August 2021

Zone Leadership Team 20-21 

Calendar of Events -- Terra and Online
DG, DGE & DGN training online.
Registration coming soon.  Click here for dates
September 23, 2021
Virtual Governor-Elect Training Seminar Graduation, 7:00 pm ET
November 2-4, 2021
Virtual Zone Summit
7:00 pm ET each evening

June 4-8, 2022
RI Convention, Houston, Texas

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.
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News from the Zones

It's August

August is membership and new club development month. Rotary’s number one internal priority is to Grow Rotary and increase membership. President Shekhar has asked Rotarians around the world to raise their hand and commit to Each One Bring One and increase our membership to 1.3 million by July 2022.

Rotary adds a richness to our life, a richness that is not measured in dollars, but in the tangible benefit that we deliver to others and the personal job and fulfillment derived from collaborating with good, honest, successful people for the purpose of serving. In the process, we get the additional benefit of fellowship with people who believe in honest, ethical business, fairness, friendship, and mutual respect, why wouldn’t we want to share that? Let’s make the commitment to look into our contact list on our phones, look to our colleagues, our families, our partners, and our neighbours and ASK.

These last couple of weeks have been fantastic, I have had the opportunity to visit a few events in person and volunteer in a drive-thru Ribfest. It feels wonderful to be out! Many of us are anxious to get back to a reasonable sense of normal, going out to restaurants bars, sporting events and conferences. Without question we will, but the big unknown is when? It will be up to all of us to do the right thing. We must encourage those who can, to get vaccinated. In fact, we owe it to those who cannot vaccinate to do so ourselves so that others may also get back to normal life as well. 
Here in Zone 28 and 32 we have done a remarkable job of fighting this pandemic. As Rotarians who have vaccinated tens of millions of children against. We know, perhaps better than anyone, how valuable and how safe vaccines really are. Sadly though, despite the high number of people who have received at least one jab, numbers are slowing down as it becomes apparent that some individuals and families are hesitant to get vaccinated. 
Let’s do everything possible to avoid a fourth wave in North America, a potential pandemic of the unvaccinated. A vaccine is by far the beat way to avoid illness, death or potential life altering conditions. 
Thank you, stay safe enjoy the summer and get your jab today.

The Kessler Report

The Excitement of an “E”
Before I talk about my excitement and my path, I would like to recognize and congratulate our very own Director Valarie Wafer on the accomplishment of becoming Rotary International Vice President for the 2021-22 year. Her work moving our organization forward in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has been nothing short of amazing and I know she will bring the same level of enthusiasm and professionalism to this new role.
By the time this article is published I will be 31 days into my Elect year which is such a cool time along the path to be Director and reminds me when I was entering my Elect year as District Governor. The positions are similar from a preparation and timing standpoint as it is the calm before the proverbial storm (mind you an awesome storm, but a storm none the less). As past RI Director and current RI Communications Chair Jeffry Cadorette states “Rotary is a winter sport” so it is this summer that I get to have a more relaxed schedule then what is to follow in the coming months. I can take a breath and appreciate the opportunity ahead of me.
Over the coming months just as when I was a DGE I will spend time selecting individuals to aide in events, trainings and projects that will be happening in the coming Rotary years along with selecting sites for these events and trainings to take place. Some of this work has already occurred but much of it is still to be done. I will continue to sit in on as many Zone Committee meetings as I can to understand what is being worked on and familiarize myself with the Zone team of which many will remain during my term as Director.
From my perspective the key to this role as it was during my elect year as Governor and my hope is it is for all of the Elects reading this article is to ensure that during the run up to July 1 and the years that follow the focus is on the three “C’s”, Continuity, Collaboration and Consistency. It is my intention to continue to build off what Director Valarie and all Directors that have come before her have built for our Zones, collaborate with her and the existing Zone team and remain consistent in what we are doing as an organization from a resource, communication, and culture perspective.
Having the opportunity to serve as a Governor or a Director gives someone the privilege to sit at the head of the table if you will, but it is a table in which others sit at and provide feedback and direction. It is the team approach that will move our organization forward and ensure its success.
It is exciting to know that in eleven short months I will have the opportunity to be part of the decision making that will lead our organization into the future as a Director for the Rotary International Board. For all of those who are 31 days into their Elect year join me in taking a deep breath and appreciate all that is to come.

Bringing the “Fourth Object of Rotary” to Life

Every year, our Zones honor Rotarians, Rotary alumni or Rotary-based organizations whose lives and work exemplify Rotary’s passion to strive toward international service and peace with the Donald MacRae Peace Award.
This tradition started in then-Zone 22 in 2004 to honor Donald MacRae, a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Back in 1921, MacRae pushed for Rotary to expand its community base and think in terms of global service. As a result, at the International Convention held that year in Edinburgh, Rotarians unanimously agreed to incorporate international peacemaking into Rotary’s incorporating documents with these words, “The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world of fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.”  Today, we know those words as the Fourth Object of Rotary, and they are the basis for all the international work – from club service trips to Polio Plus – we do today.

Donald MacRae Peace Award Recipient Jude Alrahman Alawa

Jude Alawa, from Miami, Florida, is pursuing an MD at the Stanford University School of Medicine as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. He earned bachelor’s degrees in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and global affairs from Yale University, and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Cambridge. Jude aspires to use his experience treating patients to inform community-based interventions and policy reform that can improve access to quality health services for marginalized communities.

The Empowering Girls Initiative – Next Steps

We are thrilled by the initial response from our Zones regarding one of President Shekhar's key initiatives - Empowering Girls.   Vice President Valarie has asked our team to inspire your projects, connect you with partners/resources, and keep you informed regarding our collective progress.  Many have asked us what this initiative is all about and how they can help.  Since this is a new initiative with a broad mandate, we have the creative space to shape projects that will INCREASE OUR IMPACT.  The sky is truly the limit.  Intrigued?  Please read on to learn more about the initiative and find some suggestions to spark your imagination.

Innovation and Diversity to Rotary’s future

Thank you, Rotary, for caring!
In June, District 7910 and District 7980 in Massachusetts chartered cause-based Rotary clubs created with innovation and diversity at their core. Read about them here:

Satellite Clubs

Satellite Clubs are an opportunity to retain current members as well as developing alternatives in a community to grow Rotary.  There is no one set model for satellite clubs and each host club needs to develop a program that works for their community.  This is an example of a club that has retained members and is growing Rotary.  

The Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) is one of 52 clubs in District 6400 located in Southwest Ontario and Southeast Michigan.  D6400 is the home District of RIPE Jennifer Jones.  The Club’s approx. 120 members celebrated their centennial is 2018.  On May 27, 2019, eight members, including 6 past-presidents, one of them a PDG, got together and agreed to work with the club to establish a Satellite with the purpose of providing an alternate meeting time and place for existing club members and to stimulate club growth.  The satellite was approved by Rotary International on October 1, 2019.  Today, not quite two years later, the Satellite has 31 members with 2 potential members in the pipeline.  Of the 31 members, 11 are new to Rotary, 1 is a transfer from another club, and 19 were existing members of the host club.


Creating Safe Space for DEI Conversations

Creating a safe space to have a meaningful conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion can be challenging and requires some strategic design in setting up the conversation but also a tactical logistics plan to support the conversation while it’s occurring to ensure you are able to maintain that safe space, creating room for all voices to be heard.
Never was this more evident than in the expert speakers’ series that was part of the work of the District 7820 Systemic Racism Task Force. Part of the work of this group included both the tool kit, launched in January of 2021, and the expert speaker series that happened over the course of five months. There were three virtual sessions, all well attended with 30-40 participants including Rotarians and community members coming together to discuss issues related to systemic racism. Together, we made a social contract to move the needle on this issue.

Sharing Stories…Finding Your Rotary Foundation Passion

What does this red rooster have to do with the Rotary Foundation? 
As I think back to when PDG Ron Bedell and I started making consistent donations to the Rotary Foundation, this rooster played a role.  For 23 years, Tom Plumb, a former member of the Rotary Club of Middlebury Vermont has dedicated most of his Rotary and life’s passions to doing sustainable projects in Honduras. 
Tom was a part of a team of Rotary District 7850 Rotarians who went to Honduras to see how they could help after Hurricane Mitch in 1998. At the District Conference in 2001, Tom came to report on the projects he had completed and hoped to complete. 

What does The Rotary Foundation Canada do?

The first thing to understand is what The Rotary Foundation Canada (TRFC) is not. Donations sent to TRFC are not simply cashed and the money sent to The Rotary Foundation in Evanston. It is important to recognize the significant financial responsibilities TRFC has. Canadian law does not allow a Canadian charity to simply pass money to another charity in a different country. The funds must be managed in Canada.

Funding for your Canadian Rotary projects

As you know, it's getting tougher to secure funding from The Rotary Foundation for your projects. The requirements are increasingly demanding, and the amounts available for grants are being squeezed. Fortunately, the Canadian Rotarian Water Foundation is here to help!
We are offering up to $10,000 (CAD) or 10% of the value (whichever is less) of any WASH project focusing on a hospital, clinic, or other health care facility, in which a Canadian Rotary club plays a leading role.

Planning for Public Image Success

As we approach the Fall season, club community service projects, public events, fundraisers and membership enrollment initiatives will soon shift into high gear. Will you be ready? Will you be leveraging programs to maximize community public image? Perhaps this is an excellent time to drive “Public Image Impact” into club action plans.
The following 7-step guide of best practices is being offered to successfully setup and drive Public Image to elevate a club’s Rotary story and community brand presence:

Education - Our Most Powerful Tool to Create Positive Peace


In an effort to create a more peaceful and just world, peace literacy equips us with the tools to build strong communities, peacefully confront root causes of problems, navigate change and uncertainty, teach responsible digital citizenship with the end goal of creating peace that is resilient and sustainable allowing us to thrive as human beings.
Building on West Point's world class leadership training and disciplined version of civil right's leaders, peace literacy educates people to be as well trained in waging peace as soldiers are in waging war. 

Celebrating Rotaractors: The Leaders of Today

This past year has brought obstacles and challenges to each of us in the Rotary family. Rotaractors in District 5370 have not let these challenges stop them; Rotaractors have shown courage in the face of adversity and are known to never back down from a challenge. 
Rotary District 5370 consists of nine active Rotaract clubs, and two clubs in the process of chartering. These Rotaract clubs continue to actively do meaningful and impactful work despite the obstacles that have come their way during the pandemic. Clubs like the Rotaract Club of Grande Prairie who raised over $12,000 in the last three years to the Woods Animal Rescue and Bandaged Paws, or the Rotaract Club of MacEwan University who partnered with their sponsoring Rotary club to create the first MacEwan Rotaract Financial Relief Bursary to aid in supporting their university based members during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Peace River Rotaract Club who raised over $16,000 for their local food bank within their first six months of chartering! This is just a small glimpse into the impactful work that Rotaractors have continued to do. 
During the 2020-21 Rotary year, the District 5370 Rotaract committee hosted the district’s first-ever World Rotaract Week celebrations. During our celebrations, the Rotaract committee was given a gracious opportunity by Rotary Foundation Trustee, Brenda Cressey, to award ten deserving Rotaractors with a Paul Harris Fellow for their passion and commitment to continuing the good work of Rotary. 

District 5370 Partners with the Running Room for Polio

District 5370 is holding a “Virtual Run for Polio” fundraising event in early September in partnership with the Running Room. The Running Room has retail outlets in all Canadian provinces as well as Hawaii and Minnesota. Hopefully, this partnership will grow into a significant fundraising opportunity for Rotary.
The relationship began when Rotary member Raemonde Bezaner, who plans charity runs with The Running Room suggested a Virtual Fundraising Run to her Rotary Club of Edmonton Riverview. When the club shared their plans with 2020-21 District Governor Elect, Donna Barrett jumped on the idea of making it a district wide event.

DG Donna said, “I was looking for an inexpensive activity early in the Rotary year that all clubs could participate in, an event with no barriers, which would still be Covid-19 friendly and that would also qualify for Rotary Days of Service. There is no better service in Rotary that raising awareness and funds for our number #1 humanitarian effort.


Be Careful What You Wish For

Last month I decided that instead of writing to individuals to ask for their articles, I would simply put an announcement in the Zone 28&32 Facebook page. I was overwhelmed! Thank you all!
We have a great variety of articles in this newsletter. There's also been a change in the Membership articles. The two categories of Membership and Innovative Clubs have merged and they are now broken up by Zone.  Rather than two separate articles from the two groups you will see an article from Zone 28 and one from Zone 32, starting with this issue.