Stories In This Issue

DG reminisces how youth exchange “Opens Opportunities”

DG reminisces about youth exchange

 “Opening Opportunities”

It's September. For the first time in years our household is missing the fun and excitement of hosting a Rotary Youth Exchange student.
We reminisce about taking our Korean “daughter” to the Minnesota State Fair where she terrified my wife, Catherine, when Jein did the 142-foot bungee jump. Jein loved it!  Our Spanish “son” ate his way through the Fair. We marveled at Paco's Midway game prowess; he came away with stuffed animals for everyone!
Rotary Youth Exchange students who come to Minnesota love our schools' outstanding academic, sports and performing arts programs and opportunities. For some, it is the first time they go to a lake cabin, and for many, it is their first introduction to snow and ice. You Rotarians are amazing hosts for many special occasions and events. ROTARY OPENS OPPORTUNITIES for these amazing young people experiencing the world of Minnesota!
Our District also sends Exchange participants to Brazil, India, Spain, Australia — truly all around the world. They gain a new global perspective on culture, family, and friendship, and describe their experiences as life changing. ROTARY OPENS OPPORTUNITIES for these fabulous young people to experience the world! 
Rotarians who get to know our Youth Exchange students gain new insights by seeing our familiar world through their eyes. We learn about their traditions and cultures. Hosts get to know the student's family and gain bonus sons and daughters. ROTARY OPENS OPPORTUNITIES for us through participation in Rotary Youth Exchange.
COVID restrictions prompted Northstar Rotary Youth Exchange to make the difficult-but-wise decision to not participate in exchanges this academic year. However, we are already hard at work planning for 2021-22. We maintain contacts and stay in touch with students who were accepted for 2020-/21 and can go in 21-22. And, we are taking applications from new students who are interested in the program. Contact Melanie DeLuca, Chair of Northstar Rotary Youth Exchange, if you and/or your club have questions about Rotary Youth Exchange.  
In the meantime, talk to your friends and neighbors. Were they involved in Rotary Youth Exchange as students or host families? They should be Rotarians! Make sure you invite them to a meeting! Rotary will continue to OPEN OPPORTUNITIES for them!
In Rotary service,
DG Tom

Learn and share at One Rotary Summit, 9/19

One Rotary Summit is District 5950's fall training extravaganza on Saturday, September 19. Join fellow Rotarians and Rotaractors for a virtual (Zoom) morning where we'll explore how we are acting on how Rotary Opens Opportunities. From 9:00-11:30 am speakers and breakout sessions will emphasize the relationship between Membership, Public Image, and Humanitarian Service through The Rotary Foundation. Register now and be part of the district-wide effort to find unique and effective ways club members can understand and become truly engaged in the opportunities Rotary offers.
Zoom details will be sent to registered participants a week before the event. This will be a separate email from the registration confirmation.

Reasons to attend One Rotary Summit

In the breakout sessions, attendees can have unlimited opportunities to learn from the best – other Rotarians and Rotaractors.
Sessions on promoting Rotary and local leadership help you develop skills that will help you strengthen the voice of Rotary where you live and work.
This one-of-a-kind session gives you the opportunity to lean in and learn from one another.
Rotary Opens Opportunities offers you tools and training to enrich your own and club members’ Rotary lives.
Rotary Opens Opportunities helps your club honor accomplishments and contributions of all who perform Service above Self

Zone Institute training happening now!

Zone Institute is an amazing Rotary training experience that usually draws just the top leadership in each district. But this year's virtual format makes keynote sessions, breakouts and resources free to D5950 Rotarians. Programming focuses on public image, membership and The Rotary Foundation. District Governor Tom Gump is the Assistant Chair for the Institute.

Heart Safe Plymouth CPR trainings resume

Heart Safe Plymouth, a partnership between the Plymouth Public Safety Department and Rotary Club of Plymouth, will resume offering free CPR/AED training to the public under COVID-19 guidelines. Training sessions are held at the Plymouth Public Safety Building, 3400 Plymouth Blvd., adjacent to City Hall.
Upcoming trainings include:
● 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 14
● 9 a.m. Saturday, October 17
● 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 18
● 9 a.m. Saturday, November  21
The one-hour training sessions teach hands-only CPR – chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth breaths – and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The free course has already trained over 6,300 participants. Registration is required. To schedule training for a group or business, call CPR/AED Instructor Norm Okerstrom at 763-238-8443 or email
COVID-19 guidelines limit classes to 12 participants; face coverings are required; social distancing is expected. Hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and soap are available at each training session. In addition, Heart Safe Plymouth asks participants to screen themselves for symptoms. Registrants with a fever, chills or shortness of breath and a new cough, new sore throat, new muscle aches, new headaches, or new loss of smell or taste are asked to cancel their registration and stay home.

African Region declared polio free

The World Health Organization (WHO) African Region has been declared free of wild poliovirus!! Take a moment at your meetings to celebrate this incredible achievement and historic step on the path to global polio eradication and to remember the long journey to this moment.
Rotarians can also take pride in knowing that the work we have done delivering the polio vaccine resulted in health care infrastructures around the world that had not existed before. That infrastructure is now being utilized in the surveillance of many diseases including COVID-19. Surveillance is a key component of the fight. The entire Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which Rotary began, is playing a critical role. You and Rotary are relevant to what’s happening today!
Pakistan has begun polio immunizations again after a pause related to the coronavirus. We only have Pakistan and Afghanistan to go before our long journey to eradicate polio from the world is a reality. But to achieve it, I’ll quote Bruce Lee, “"The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus."  The monetary benchmark is $1,500 from each District 5950 club’s annual fundraising activities.
World Polio Day is October 24. Consider hosting a concert, a walk, or a viewing party for events scheduled that day. See more ideas at
Feel free to call upon District Polio Chair Tim Mulcrone (pictured) for a Polio Program or combined The Rotary Foundation and Polio Program to learn more of our remarkable work, the challenges that lie ahead, and how our polio eradication efforts are relevant in the midst of the COVID pandemic. Contact Tim at 952-239-1594 or

Earn free Zoom Pro for hybrid meetings!

The DG leadership line has exciting news for the District 5950 club leaders. As
part of continuity through the DG leadership line -- The Three Amigos -- District Governor Tom Gump approved a club membership grant for a one-year subscription for a Zoom Pro account for your Rotary Club. 
To apply, your club needs to:
1. The winners of the Zoom Pro account grant will receive an award letter that will consist of reimbursement instruction. 
2. Each winning club will be eligible for an additional zoom grant for the next Rotary year if the club increases membership by a net one to be determined by the end of the Rotary Year's RI membership report.
3. A third-year award of a free Zoom Pro account is possible if, by the end of the second Rotary year there is a further increase in membership by net one.  
4. Each club must qualify and apply for each year's grant. 
5. Clubs not applying by the September 30 deadline will not be eligible for a free Zoom Pro account in this program for the three years.
Newly chartered clubs, including satellite clubs, will get a free one-year Zoom Pro account and an additional two years of free Zoom Pro access if it meets the rules stated in points 1-4.
The district provides the opportunity for three years of free Zoom Pro access to aid clubs in providing a platform for members who cannot attend in-person meetings and increase membership. We are making sure we do not create barriers to membership. If you have any questions, and please email Guy Johnson (Mpls. Uptown) at

Embrace Rotary’s new Area of Focus: Supporting the Environment

At the 2020 Rotary International Convention, Past RI President Mark Maloney announced Rotary’s new area of focus: Supporting the Environment. “This new area of focus will give Rotarians and Rotaractors even more ways to bring about positive change in the world and increase our impact.” 
This will enhance existing projects in the other six areas of focus, engage existing members in meaningful projects, and attract new and younger members to clubs.
Has your club formed a committee for Supporting the Environment? The Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group ( has resources for districts and clubs, including guidelines for forming a Rotary club committee for Supporting the Environment. If your club has a committee or forms one, please email the committee name and chair’s name to me at You can also contact me if you would like to discuss the formation of your committee. If you are looking for speakers or presentations on environmental topics, I can make recommendations and referrals.
Our District 5950 Environmental Sustainability (ES) Action Team has 17 members from 10 Rotary clubs. The objectives of the district committee are:
  • Champion Supporting the Environment and environmental sustainability (ES) to Rotarians in D5950.
  • Advise clubs on adopting the new TRF area of focus.
  • Help train, advise, network, and measure ES projects and the environmental aspects of other District projects.
  • Engage, motivate, and empower Rotarians to incorporate ES into their daily lives and in their club and District activities, events, and projects.
  • Develop training, presentations, and example projects that can be shared between clubs and Districts.
  • Provide advice and information on ES to the District Governor, clubs, and members.
  • Recognize club and district ES accomplishments at the end of the Rotary year.
 “Protecting the environment and curbing climate change are essential
to Rotary’s goal of sustainable service.  The time is long past when environmental sustainability can be dismissed as not Rotary’s concern.
It is, and must be, everyone’s concern.”
--Past RI President Ian Riseley

Reach out to Cedar Rapids Rotarians, residents

Destructive, straight-line winds blew across central Iowa in mid-August. The 110-140 mph winds destroyed or damaged outbuildings, barns, grain bins, homes, mobile homes, apartment buildings, trees and power poles in several counties. The Cedar Rapids area was particularly hard hit.
As #PeopleOfAction, we would like to do what we can to help our neighbors to the south.
The Rotary Club of Linn County's financial donation site will help Cedar Rapids area disaster relief efforts. Individuals or clubs should look for the 2020 Derecho Relief section. The smae club is also collecting the items listed below that are needed in the community. For a delivery address, please contact Michelle Bell, at (319) 431-2755. 
o Drinking water
o Chain saw oil
o Two-cycle oil
o Chainsaw chains
o Diapers
o Baby wipes
o Formula
o Peanut butter
o Shelf stable food
o Tarps
o Coolers
o Flashlights
o Extension cords
o Toiletries
o Large trash bags
o Paper towels
o Batteries 
o Feminine products
There is a specific need for both volunteer and paid roofers and tree removal experts who are willing to travel to the area. Currently, tree removal companies are quoting 90-120 days for removals. If you have connections to any roofing or tree removal companies, your help would be greatly appreciated!

YOU could be DG in 2023-24

Being a Governor of Rotary District 5950 is an immensely rewarding, once-in-a-lifetime, experience. Our district is highly respected for its generous donors, extensive grant sponsorship, and vibrant clubs.You could be District Governor in the 2023-2024 Rotary year!

If you are a past club president, I hope you will consider applying for district governor and joining our current succession of  DG Tom Gump (Edina/Morningside), DG-Elect Marianna Khauv (Monticello), and DG-Nominee Lloyd Campbell (Glenwood) in leading the district into the future.

Your application packet includes a questionnaire and other required club documentation. All is posted on the District website. If you have questions about the requirements or duties of the district governor position, please contact Past District Governor Russ Michaletz (City of Lakes) at The application deadline October 18, 2020; interviews will take place the last week in October.

"Going Hybrid" helps clubs flex formats

Learn what a hybrid meeting is and the technical requirements to host your club's meetings! The August 13 Zoom session includes a panel of Club Presidents who have adopted hybrid meetings.
Click on the graphic or go to the District YouTube Channel to see the one-hour session that drew participants from Districts 5950, 5960 and worldwide! 

Upcoming Events
Racial Equality - Part 2 - Implicit Bias (2)
Sep 26, 2020
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Racial Equality - Part 2 - Implicit Bias (3)
Oct 05, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Racial Equality - Part 3 - What Now? (1)
Nov 05, 2020
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Racial Equality - Part 3 - What Now? (2)
Nov 14, 2020
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
View entire list
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile