Stories In This Issue

District Conference: "Rooted in Service, Growing in New Ways"

Dear Fellow District 5950 Rotarians,

What a year! It continues to be my honor to serve as your District Governor during this memorable year. I realize I am totally biased, but now more than ever, I am convinced District 5950 is the best district in the world. Rotarians in District 5950 are serving our communities in so many ways by using our Rotary ideals as we lead in our communities and businesses, giving of time and treasures locally and globally, growing Rotary by their examples and invitations, and having fun whether in person or via Zoom.

As more Minnesotans are vaccinated yet practice pandemic safety, we are planning an OUTDOOR, FAMILY-FRIENDLY, SERVICE-ORIENTED District Conference on May 1 in Brooklyn Park. Our theme is Rooted in Service, Growing in New Ways. Register today!

I am excited about this opportunity to see many of you in person and others via Zoom as we celebrate this Rotary year.

District Conference

10:00 a.m.   Registration Opens

10:30 - Annual Meeting  This is when club presidents vote on the annual budget, confirm our District Governor-Nominee, and more. Only club presidents can vote, but we welcome all to the meeting. (Club presidents will be able to vote via proxy, recognizing some may not be comfortable attending in person.)

11:00 - Celebrate our district’s successes. Recognize our newest club, Global Horizons. Honor Rotarians lost this past year. Receive tree planting directions.

12:00 - Food truck lunch

1:00 p.m. - Plant Rotary Peace Forest at Brookdale Park.

2:00 - Wrap up


  • All activities will be outdoors and we will practice appropriate distancing.
  • Masks will be required (and provided as part of your registration packet).
  • An open-air tent and large picnic pavilion will protect attendees, no matter the Minnesota weather!
  • If you are not comfortable attending in person, participate via Zoom for the Annual Meeting and District Conference portions of the event.

Celebrate the Environment

TREE PLANTING service project

Plant a peace forest at Brookdale Park in Brooklyn Park (very near location of District Conference).

Please consider donating a tree to this planting effort. We are partnering with the non-profit Tree Trust; a donation of $450 by a Rotary club or individual Rotarian pays for one 8'-10' tree to be planted and maintained for two years. (See Donate on the registration page.)


Register for the District Conference!  The cost per person is $35 for adults; $15 for youth (18 and younger); $25 to attend via Zoom. Your in-person registration fee includes a Rotary mask and lunch.

RI President is featured local speaker

Clubs #9 (5950-Minneapolis) and #10 (5960-St. Paul) hosted Rotary International President Holger Knaack (lower picture) via Zoom. District Governor Tom Gump welcomed Rotarians in their socially distanced rooms plus over 60 who joined online.

This joint meeting let both clubs highlight ways they have pivoted in 2020. St. Paul has a significant project in the Rondo neighborhood; Minneapolis donates their weekly lunch funds to Every Meal to feed Minnesota's children.

In his remarks, DG Tom summarized how 5950 clubs are serving their communities, working on district and global grants, bringing in new members and having fun—whether online or socially distanced.

He highlighted the district's new clubs: Rotary Club of Network for Empowering Women and the anticipated Rotary Club of Global Horizons, as well as three new Rotaract clubs: International Rotaract eClub for the Environment, the Kaleidoscope Rotaract Club serving young people on the autism spectrum and their families, and the Peace Pipe Rotaract Club

"This year our district focused on addressing the hunger issues caused by the pandemic," said Gump. "Supporting local food banks has been an ongoing focus for many of our clubs, with donations reaching nearly one million dollars in the last decade."  

DG Tom also drew attention to the district's efforts to address racism by partnering with the YMCA Equity and Innovation Center to create a series of nine facilitations. Many clubs started book clubs, formed racial and inclusion committees, and initiated conversations about racial equity.  Nine clubs are partnering with businesses that were burned down during the riots following George Floyd’s death, helping those businesses rebuild.

He closed his remarks saying, "As always, the best part of Rotary is the lifelong friendships that we make."

GMS training guarantees grant options

Attending a Grant Management Seminar (GMS) is the first step in having your club certified to receive matching Rotary Foundation funds for local and international projects. Each club must have at least one member trained at a GMS; multiple members can be trained. The fee for the GMS sessions is included in the club training fee. The goal is to have all D5950 clubs certified for the upcoming Rotary year.
Four-hour Complete sessions are for first-time attendees. Refresher sessions are for members who trained for the 2018-19 year; they last two hours. All 2021 sessions are via Zoom.
Register online, following the path: ►District Calendar tab ►Choose GMS date ►Complete info ►Submit. Each session is limited to twenty participants. Register early to secure your date! (Note: Registration is the first 30 minutes of the time listed.) Questions? Contact Richard Crabb at

Rotaract opens to autistic and their families

It's another first! District 5950 is starting a new Rotaract club designed for individuals with autism. This new club's mission is to provide a platform for individuals with autism and their families to connect, lead, and serve.
1.  Initially, the club meets at 11 a.m. on the first and third Friday of every month. 
2.  Rotaract is a club designed for emerging leaders, ages 18 and older. We also welcome family members of those with autism!
3.  The club focused on service, awareness, and connection. We aim to help those with autism and their families with resources and fellowship. 
4.  We are looking for engaging young leaders on the spectrum to take on leadership roles within the club.  
The kickoff meeting was on March 5. We invite you and anyone who might be interested in joining to request a Zoom link for the next meeting from District Governor-Nominee Lloyd Campbell (

Be inspired to protect the environment

Identify opportunities and information your club needs to plan successful environmental projects! Join us at this webinar.

Wednesday April 28, 2021

7:00-8:00 p.m. CDT
Register today at
Ian Riseley, Past Rotary International President in 2017-18 (top photo), and chair of The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Environmental Issues Task Force is the webinar's featured speaker. He will describe how critical issues raised the Environment to become Rotary’s new Area of Focus. His ideas for impactful and sustainable projects protecting the Environment will inspire you!
Karen Kendrick-Hands, co-founder, past-chair, and projects director for the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG), will discuss how this new Area of Focus creates opportunities for Rotary and the planet. She will review the eight action themes of Rotary’s TRF Policy Statement for Protecting the Environment, including which activities are (and are not) fundable with Global Grants.
The virtual webinar is hosted by Rotary Zones 25B & 29 Regional Rotary Foundation Team, and co-sponsored by District 5950 and ERSAG.

Clubs create opportunities despite COVID

All District 5950 Rotarians -- from leaders to the newest members -- salute our clubs for finding ways to serve despite COVID limitations. This month we highlight the Rotary Clubs of Maple Grove and Shakopee.
MAPLE GROVE Rotary was featured on Fox 9 News for the positive outcome of a district grant that provided children's books distributed through M Health Fairview Clinics. These bi-lingual books support the "Reach Out and Read" program and put books into the hands of children at an early age.
SHAKOPEE Rotary's Bridging Project will be held on Saturday, April 24. Donations will be accepted at the City of Shakopee Public Works Building which will be open from 7:30-11:30 a.m. Please note that only gently used or new mattresses and box springs will be accepted. Mattresses must be free of rips, stains and odors. Due to current oversupply, no other furnishings or housewares will be accepted.

March is RI's Water and Sanitation Month

March is the month when RI focuses on water and sanitation projects worldwide. The Rotary Foundation (TRF) is changing the world by providing grants for projects aimed at improving water, sanitation and hygiene. Since 2013, TRF has invested in more than 1,000 WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) projects in more than 100 countries. 

A Rotary Foundation Global Grant recently made it possible for $85,000 worth of PPE (personal protective equipment) to be donated to 415 facilities across Minnesota. The initial grant for the project came from The Rotary Club of Maple Grove along with the India Association of Minnesota and several clubs from Thane, India. TRF provided the Global Grant of $60,000 to supplement the financial contributions of Rotary Clubs of City of Lakes, Uptown, Golden Valley, Edina, St. Louis Park, Plymouth and Minneapolis. The 415 facilities beneficiaries of this grant received 400 gallons of hand sanitizer, 150,000 disposable wipes, 625 goggles, 70,000 gloves, 56,000 disposable masks, 9,000 KN95 masks, 1,575 face shields, 400 thermometers, 500 oximeters, 1,000 fabric gowns and 8,000 fabric masks.

  • $24 is all it takes to provide one person with safe water.
  • 110 Schools in Ghana have better sanitation and hygiene due to Rotary intervention
  • 2030 is the year RI hopes to finish providing everyone with safe water.

Tap new speaker’s bureau of environmental topics

Protecting the Environment is one of Rotary’s seven Areas of Focus. District 5950 is excited to offer clubs a new resource -- a speaker’s bureau of 17 environmental topic presentations. Presenters are both Rotarians and non-Rotarians. These individuals have agreed to be listed in the speaker’s bureau and are interested in presenting to Rotary clubs, online now and in-person post-pandemic.

Download the Environmental Speaker’s Bureau list. Feel free to email me at with questions or for more information.

District Governors encourage vaccine acceptance

The District Governors from Districts 5580, 5950 and 5960
sent the following press release to regional media.

Rotarians across the Upper Midwest are delighted with the increased COVID vaccination availability. However, we are concerned vaccination reluctance and a premature easing of masks and social distancing could impair our communities’ ability to push past the pandemic.

Our confidence to stay the course stems from a legacy of awareness and fund raising for the eradication of polio through vaccination. Rotary has helped to reduce polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, our members support the distribution of polio vaccines and highlight their power and efficacy, a critical reason why polio is on the brink of eradication worldwide. Disease prevention and treatment is one of Rotary International’s seven global areas of focus.

Healthcare and community leaders throughout the region are working with Rotarians to provide education about Covid vaccine myths and facts. It is estimated it will be necessary to vaccinate 70 – 80% of the population to achieve herd immunity. During the coming months of rollout, vigilance against variants with their increased transmission rates means continuing to mask, social distance, follow healthcare directives for group gatherings, and practice hand washing.

We are all eager to return to more normalcy in our lives, and we are seeing clear signs of hope with the expanding Covid vaccination campaign. We encourage everyone to stay the course and be vaccinated when it is your turn. Please encourage family, friends, and neighbors to do the same. We like to say, “This shot’s for all of us!”

To learn more about Rotary and our commitment to polio eradication through vaccination, or to contact us about speaking to community groups or media, please visit us on

In Rotary Service,
Bob McClean, Tom Gump, and Ed Marek
Rotary International Tri-District Governors

Theme challenge: Serve to Change Lives

“Caring for and serving others is the best way to live
because it changes not only other people’s lives,
but also our own.”
~Incoming Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta

Rotary International President-Elect Shekhar Mehta is a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India. He revealed the 2021-22 presidential theme, Serve to Change Lives, to incoming district during the Rotary International Assembly. 

Mehta spoke about how participating in service projects through Rotary changed him as a person, making him more empathetic about others’ needs. He encouraged district governors-elect to lead by example and inspire Rotary and Rotaract members to participate in projects that have measurable and sustainable impacts. 

Promote your club with an Institute sponsorship

Blast Off and Launch Rotary is an opportunity for individual clubs or collective Areas to sponsor this year’s Rotary Zones 25B & 29 Institute.
Past, present, and incoming district and senior Rotary leaders attend Zone Institutes to learn, share information, build connections, and exchange ideas about Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation, ensuring that districts and clubs continue to have energized and motivated leaders to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
District 5950 is part of Zones 25B & 29 – nearly 52,000 Rotarians in 1,245 clubs – stretching from Texas to Canada. 
To sponsor the Zone Institute, go to and complete the sponsorship commitment form. Club presidents received an electronic of the Sponsorship Opportunity flyer with details about sponsorship benefits. Thank you to the clubs that have already committed $1,500, $1,00 and $500 sponsorships! Mail your sponsorship payment payable to “Rotary Zones 25 and 29 Foundation”, PO Box 13, Boerne, TX 78006. The Zone Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization (EIN 47-4676954).  Sponsorships are deductible to the full extent of current applicable tax law.
Thank you for your support of the 2021 Rotary Zones 25B & 29 Institute, and thanks for all you continue to do for Rotary!
Tom Gump
District Governor

Upcoming Events
NCPETS (President Elect Training Seminar)
Mar 12, 2021 – Mar 20, 2021
Grant Management Seminar - Refresher - Online
Zoom Meeting
Apr 06, 2021 5:00 PM
District Assembly
Apr 10, 2021
Grant Management Seminar- Full Length Class-Online
Zoom Meeting
Apr 17, 2021 9:00 AM
Grant Management Seminar - Full Length Class- Online
Zoom Meeting
Apr 24, 2021 9:00 AM
2021 - District Conference
May 01, 2021
10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Grant Management Seminar - Full Length Class- Online
Zoom Meeting
May 06, 2021 5:00 PM
Grant Management Seminar - Full Length Class-Online
Zoom Meeting
May 08, 2021 9:00 AM
View entire list
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile