Director's Newsletter April, 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 Anything after the 20th will not be published.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
April Message of the Director
Last month I had the chance to visit UNICEF House in New York. As you likely know, Rotary has a long-standing relationship with UNICEF based on our more than 30-year partnership to eradicate polio.  And, as we honor that long-standing commitment, we also recognize many factors, many diseases, many challenges affect children today - particularly girls. Rotary Day at UNICEF brought together our partnership as well as our synergies in our collective work to empower girls.
Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has made Empowering Girls a critical overarching priority this Rotary year.  He has asked each of us to launch initiatives aimed to lead the charge for gender equality.  Bringing greater access to education, better health care and more employment. Empowerment allows each girl to reach their full potential creating hope and setting the stage for sustainable peace.
The reality today is that while significant progress has been made in the last decade to advance girl’s education, health and status in their community girls and young women are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis, which has exacerbated in-equities and reinforced gender inequalities.
Adolescent girls face higher risks of violence, child marriage, and dropping out of school. Even after schools reopen this will remain true due to underlying discriminatory gender norms.
At UNICEF house we heard incredible stories of champions leading the way to ending child marriage, providing mentorship to girls, breaking barriers for girls on menstrual hygiene management, and the influence of technology on basic education and literacy.
Partnerships are critical to success.  In this case, UNICEF has the technical expertise and Rotary’s strength is our global network of 1.4 million community-based volunteers around the world.  Thank you, President Shekhar, the Empowering Girls Ambassadors, and all the champions around the world. Together we can be the catalysts for creating solutions to empower girls, setting them up for healthy, hopeful, and thriving futures.
Girls pay a much higher price during a crisis. War disproportionally effects women and girls. More than half of Ukraine’s children have crossed borders into Poland and other countries, becoming instant refugees as a result. Their lives completely shattered, separated from their families, friends, schools and everything they know and cherish, along with the uncertainty of what awaits them in the future. In fact, one child becomes a refugee every second of every minute of every hour and day. 
Rotarians can make a difference and I want to thank you for your incredible generosity and kindness. More than $3.7 million dollars and nearly $1.9 million in district designated funds have been donated to the Rotary Foundation Disaster Response Fund and many districts and clubs are offering matching funds to encourage support to Ukraine such Rotary Club of Hamilton in D7090 featured in this newsletter. 
Let’s continue to keep our Ukrainian family in our thoughts and prayers – Be well and Be Safe.
The Kessler Report – April 2022
As I write to you, I have just completed my last in-person PETS for the season.  After 45 days of virtual, hybrid and in-person PETS events I was able to connect with over 2,500 of our Presidents Elect, Assistant Governors and District Leadership. 
Depending on what date PETS was to occur back in 2020 for some this was the first time the event was held in person for 3 years and for the balance it was 2 years.  I cannot even begin to describe how AWESOME it was to be with my fellow Rotarians in person to see old friends and make new ones.  I found each event I attended to be terrific, they all had top notch speakers, and all delivered impressive breakout sessions all in slightly different ways.  The overwhelming takeaway from the attendees was that they feel they received value for the time and resources they provided to attend these events.  Value is what it is all about as we must always strive to provide value to our membership.  From our Club meetings, District events, and PETS we must ensure that we are being most mindful of the resources of our members and not waste neither their time nor their money.
I would like to offer my congratulations to Rotary Coordinators Herb Klotz and Doug Logan as they and their teams successfully distributed personal membership reports to the majority of clubs that attended a PETS this year.  I had the fortune to sit in on Herb’s presentation at Mid NE Pets and found the engagement by the attendees to be extremely high as they found value in the resources being provided.  To be able to use an analytical approach to have our clubs realize where their membership opportunities lie is something that will change the culture of how we focus our attention as we Grow Rotary.  Kudos to both them and their teams for bringing forth this concept, implementing how it can be used and crafting a distribution plan.
Next, I am off to Evanston for the April board meeting followed by the Council on Legislation where I have the opportunity to serve for the second time as a delegate.  There is no Governmental body in the world that I am aware of that is larger than the 537 that make up the delegates for Rotary’s Council.  While it is a massive group and even a larger undertaking to manage that many voices, it is incredible to be part of and witness how policy is put into place for Rotary.  If it is anything like the last COL, I am very much looking forward to hearing the perspectives of my fellow Rotarians from around the world as we deliberate on the enactments being presented.  My hope is the body that makes up this session will have a mind toward progression and want to move our great organization forward.
The feeling I have is one of optimism and excitement for all that is to come in the new Rotary year as we IMAGINE.

The need is very urgent - please support the people of Ukraine

A Ukraine colleague who recently fled her native country said:" Believe me, it is very difficult to find yourself in a situation where you are forced to leave your native country with two suitcases and a child, no understanding when we will be able to come back. Morally and emotionally, it is terrible, the concept of ‘tomorrow’ is completely absent."

ShelterBox Launches Response To Crisis In Ukraine

ShelterBox, the disaster project partner of Rotary International, has launched a major response to the crisis in Ukraine, working to establish three programs inside and outside the country.
Since its founding by a Rotary Club in the U.K. more than 20 years ago, ShelterBox has provided shelter and other essential items to the most vulnerable forced from their homes by disaster and conflict. One of the world’s leading humanitarian relief organizations, ShelterBox has provided emergency shelter and living essentials to more than 2 million people, responding to more than 300 disasters in 100 counties.
Przemysl station, eight miles from the Polish border with Ukraine. 20,000 refugees are arriving here daily.
April – Maternal & Child Health Month
This Rotary year’s theme is “Serve to Change Lives”. Think of the impact we can have through your generosity in establishing an Endowment Fund.  It will enable us to be bigger and bolder in our service projects locally and internationally.  In 2021, our Club initiated a special Endowment for Maternal & Child Health.  This fund will help establish and strengthen not only the “empowering of girls” but children as well. As you know, even today, girls and young women face disproportionate challenges all over the world, like gender equality in the workplace, inaccessibility to education, better healthcare, and employment. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Everybody’s Responsibility

In June 2021, Rotary’s Board of Directors strengthened its commitment to making diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) part of the fabric of Rotary. In his February communication to current and incoming club leaders President Shekhar called us to action. 
“As Rotary leaders, we are instrumental in helping our districts and our clubs become more inclusive. We have the opportunity to help our members develop the skills they need to embrace all facets of diversity. We must work toward equity so every person who engages with Rotary has access to the resources, opportunities, networks, and support they need to be valued, contributing members,” said President Shekar.

Tekera Resource Center in Uganda

One of the prime objectives of our Rotary Foundation is to fund sustainable projects. A sustainable project is one that does not need perpetual funding from our Foundation and has local buy-in to maintain the project going forward.
The Rotary Club of Tsawwassen in District 5040 has funded the Tekera Resource Center in Uganda with matching District Grants over a 10-year period starting in 2010. The resource center was designed from its start to be self-sustaining in 10 years. The Tekera Foundation was founded by Tsawwassen locals Sonya and Bridget Sangster (Congo) and Scott Andrews – amongst others. The initial goal of working with Tekera was to provide public services to a community when the government wasn’t able to. These services include a full elementary school (300+ students), a vocational trades school, a farmers’ co-operative with over 42 farms, economic and business development, sanitation and water, and a level 2 healthcare clinic. These services support a community of over 15,000.

There Are Still Opportunities for #EmpoweringGirls2021

Change Makers -- as we enter the final quarter of the Rotary year, your Empowering Girls Initiative team hopes that you are having a productive season of spring district conferences, Rotary Days of Service, PETS programming, and district training assemblies.  Please stay safe as we cautiously start meeting again in person.  We encourage you to share your Empowering Girls success stories and proactively network with other Rotary members in the breakout sessions and social gatherings. 
Here are a few other ways you can move the Empowering Girls Initiative forward:

District 5360 / 5370: Rotary Day of Service: The Secret 3K

On March 2nd District 5360 and District 5370 held their “Rotary Day of Service”. The theme was “Empowering Women and Girls” and 240 Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors and EarlyActors participated in the Secret 3K Run / Walk. This event was inspired by a trip to Afghanistan where I ran a marathon with Women and Girls who run for Freedom and Equality.
Gain and Maintain
As we all work to identify ways to meet Rotary’s number 1 priority – GROW ROTARY – it’s always helpful to look for ideas from districts across our zones and consider “copying” and “adapting” great ideas that have been tried and work! There are no plagiarism police in Rotary and in fact, Rotary offers a safe zone for “borrowing” and “adapting” to meet a specific club or district’s need. We’re all members of the global “membership committee” and growing rotary is a team sport.
Today’s example of a membership campaign that has been tried and shown to succeed is from D 7930 (Northeaster MA and Salem, NH) and it’s got a catchy title known as Gain and Maintain! The author of Gain and Maintain is DMC Peter Majane – feel free to reach out to Peter for follow up discussion and additional materials. Peter and the D7930 membership team rolled out this program to their 45 clubs in 2021 and are still going strong with it today, tweaking as needed along the way.

What could you do with $25,000?

Since its founding in 2007, the WASH Rotary Action Group has been dedicated to its Mission:
“To support and ensure sustainable long-lasting safe water, sanitation and hygiene programs to communities in need.”  
To further this cause, WASH-RAG’s Board of Directors is delighted to announce a one-time, special grant of $25,000 to encourage Rotary Districts and clubs to become active participants in a WASH project. Better still – that $25,000 will be eligible for a dollar-to-dollar match from DDF and/or cash contributions to the Global Grant.
All Rotary Districts and Clubs qualified to participate in The Rotary Foundation’s Global Grants Program can apply for the grant. Clubs who have participated previously in a small WASH project, funded by a District Grant are encouraged to apply.

Polio Happenings

Rotary Club Celebrates 100th Anniversary with a $100,000.00 gift to Polio
The Rotary Club of Wayne in Wayne Michigan is celebrating its 100th Anniversary by donating $33,000.00 to PolioPlus. With the 2:1 match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation their gift will become $100,000.00. The Wayne Rotary Club was chartered on January 1, 2022. EPNC Neil McBeth, was talking with PDGs David Carpenter and Rick Canon from District 6400 when they shared this wonderful news about the Rotary Club of Wayne.
The entire community is celebrating the 100th Anniversary. Congratulations are displayed in lights by local businesses including the local police.
A gift to PolioPlus is such an appropriate way to acknowledge a Rotary Anniversary. The eradication of Polio will be Rotary’s legacy and the legacy of every Rotarian that has contributed financially to help fulfill the promise of a Polio Free World.
Team Marco Raise $3,270.00 for PolioPlus
Rotarian Glenn Hagen and his 16-year-old dog Marco walked 124 km over several days in February to raise awareness for polio in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Anyone that has been in Saskatchewan in the winter will know that some of those days would have been very challenging!
Glenn’s Rotary Club of Moose Jaw Wakamow received donations of $1,090. Those donations when matched 2:1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates will contribute $3,270.00 for polio eradication.
Marco did so much to raise awareness in the city of 34,000 that he was made an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club.
Rotary Glenn was interviewed by local media and shared the story of Rotary’s promise to eradicate polio and the good news that only 5 cases of the wild polio virus were recorded in 2021.  He also emphasized that we are at a critical point in reaching our goal.
PDG Pat Chernesky and District 5550 PolioPlus Chair said, “Glenn is a former Mayor of Moose Jaw and a former MLA and Speaker in the Saskatchewan Legislator. He’s and just an excellent ambassador for Polio.” 
Rotary International has an expectation that every club will donate a minimum of $1500.00 each year to PolioPlus.  Thanks to the Marco Team, the Rotary Club of Moose Jaw Wakamow will definitely reach their minimum goal.

Boost Membership With an E-Newsletter

We live in a world where email can quickly get out of control. Yet, for all its faults, email is one of the best online methods of reaching your audience and getting them to take action. When a person signs up for your newsletter, odds are they are interested in your organization and what it has to offer. 
There are many newsletter providers; look for one that gives you metrics. Open rate tells you what percentage of people opened your email.  Click through rate shows you how many people clicked on a link in your email. These numbers are important and help you understand what type of content is working.

Rotary Roundup


News About September Zone Cruise


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