District Governor's Newsletter
 June 30, 2017

2016-2017: A Rotary Year in Review

Like Blue Eyes sang, “It was a very good year.”
The Rotary theme this past year was Rotary Serving Humanity – and District 5950 indeed Served Humanity
Take the simple human cycle of life. A young girl goes through puberty. In so many under-developed countries of the world, she is not able to run to Walgreens and pick up a box of Kotex. She is considered unclean and misses four or five days of school each month. I’ve talked about Maple Grove Rotarian Judy Johnson whose grassroots leadership helped last year’s District Conference attendees produce 567
feminine hygiene kits, distributing most in Africa. Since then they have added 1,000 more!
Sew-a-thons across District 5950 create a product that can break the cycle of poverty for
these young girls. Rotary is Serving Humanity.
Rotary also serves humanity through peace and conflict resolution. Ellen Kennedy (Minneapolis University) leads this program for Peace Scholars pursuing Masters-level education abroad. We asked Peace Scholar applicant Sarah Erickson what she thought of the Rotary motto, Service Above Self. “Service above Self is service beyond the individual and even beyond the country; it’s service that is driven by a vision of a greater good.” Our interview committee was taken aback by this beautiful articulation of what we all believe. Sarah’s goal is to facilitate and advocate for peace, and to mitigate or prevent conflict in the Middle East. Through these students, Rotary is Serving Humanity.
In my opening remarks to 100 high school faces at Camp Enterprise last November I remember saying “…get to eat on the weekends.” You could see in their eyes that they had never really been challenged to consider missing meals, being without a roof over their heads or missing the love
and support from family. One camper’s essay described the inspiration she felt from Camp Enterprise speakers, especially one who anticipated that one of these students could be the person who figures out how to desalinate ocean water on a massive and efficient scale. This student was awestruck by the idea that she could be the one to make such a difference! A Camp Enterprise youth just may be the one who changes the world and Serves Humanity.
In three decades we have gone from 350,000 cases of wild polio to just 22 this year. Wow! And we must continue until
it is gone because if Rotary stops here, by 2024 we will be back to 350,000 cases a year. We have to drop it to ZERO! Do that and this disease will be no more. Think about how the $100,000 our clubs raised this year contributed to this effort! Because of Rotary’s polio vaccination efforts, more than 16 million lives have been saved from a crippling life. District 5950 is indeed Serving Humanity
My personal theme this year was “Great, on Purpose!”
It is about being intentional. It is about doing what you do to serve humanity. It’s about generating a buzz, because when you create motion and you create emotion. Emotion and enthusiasm create a vibration that is attractive and causes Rotary to grow. Rotary has grown because clubs are being intentional. For example, Minneapolis City of Lakes established a committee to seek out and bring into their club more diversity. Diversity is vibrant because it celebrates the differences in people and what they each have to offer the world. By being intentional, they set up a paradigm, a lens that their club now looks through, to add diverse members.
Another example is Edina Morningside where President Tom Gump’s intentional goal was to bring in a high quantity of high-quality new members. The vibrancy he created was so strong that the club grew from 68 members to 93 in one year, and increased club giving from $20,000 to $45,000! Tom’s shared vision was that these new members lead and give of themselves immediately. He invited them to join the Paul Harris Society right out of the gate.
I see vibrancy throughout the district because clubs chose to become Great, on Purpose!
Thank you for your generosity! District 5950 topped $748,000 in giving and is just $14,000 away from the goal that was set a year ago. That’s 98% of the way! Wow! Thank you!
I have enjoyed being your District Governor. My goal was to lead in a way that people felt a little different, looked at what we do and how we do it just a little different – by creating a sense of vibrancy, and infectious energy – so that people wanted to do Rotary, to be great at it, and to do it with intention and purpose! Yes, I think we have become more vibrant, more successful, and we have indeed been Great, on Purpose!
Thank you for allowing me to serve you this year, and to Serve Humanity!
--DG Mark

Leadership change includes 5950 board

Your District 5950 Board of Directors said farewell and thank you to Diann Kirby
and Wooj Byun (far right on front and second rows) as they complete board terms. 
Members expressed their thanks to both for their dedication to Rotary and District 5950.
District Governor-Nominee Russ Michaletz and legal counsel Mike Kallas join the
board as of July 1, 2017. Who are all the district leaders? Scroll through the

online org chart on

District-produced opioid addiction video reaches district and U.S. audiences

In 2014, numerous District 5950 clubs financed a district-produced video that heightened awareness of the dilemma of chronic pain, addiction, and prescription drug overdose deaths. This video has been shown throughout the United States, used in medical training programs, and served as a public image asset to facilitate major legislation to fight addiction to drugs. (Click on the logo to view versions of the video.)
Recently, The Public Television Network (TPT) invited the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation (SRHF) and the Rotary Clubs of District 5950 to update the video. It will be shown throughout the United States and at Rotary Clubs. Our District Governor Leadership Team (Mark Hegstrom, Bob Halagan and Irene Kelly) support making this a multi-year project, allowing District 5950 to produce educational materials, a facilitator’s guide, and leadership training to expand our reach to Interact and Rotaract clubs, Camp Enterprise,  ethics workshops, the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy, schools, churches, and other community organizations.
The new video will update facts and statistics that are even more distressing than these from the 2014 video:
  • Prescription painkiller overdoses quadrupled in the past 20 years, killing 16,651 people in 2010 alone.
  • The quantity of prescription painkillers sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices was four times larger in 2010 than in 1999.
  • Americans consume 80% of the global opioid supply, and 99% of the global hydrocodone supply.
  • In 2010, 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons.
  • Incidents involving prescription painkillers resulted in 475,000+ ER visits in 2009.
  • The number of people seeking treatment for prescription opioid addiction rose 71% from 2003 to 2007.
The District 5950 Clubs that helped surpass the $4,925 goal include: Bloomington Daymakers, Bloomington Noon, Buffalo, Eden Prairie AM, Eden Prairie Noon, Edina,
Edina Morningside, Minneapolis University, and Plymouth.
Here are some ideas for ways clubs can use the video in their communities. (Also consider applying for a District Grant to support your plan.)
  • Premier Showing – Arrange a theater where the film can be shown. After the showing offer restaurant options in the area with a percentage of proceeds going to the SRHF.
  • Club Speakers – Sean O’Donnell can arrange a speaker.
  • Programs for Treating Youth Athletes
  • Programs for Persons with Pain Issues
  • Programs for Persons with Mental Health Issues
  • Parent Education

Gavel passes with tradition and humor

It was the annual leadership transition from outgoing to incoming district governor -- a blend of appreciation, introduction, roast and photo op. Rotarians gathered at Rush Creek Golf Course for the June 21 event that installed Bob Halagan (Buffalo) as our District 5950 Governor for 2017-18.
Photos capture PDGs Jim “Teddy Bear” Nelson and Tim “Murph” Murphy adding humor to the event hosted by the Rotary Club of Buffalo, DG Mark Hegstrom pinning Bob Halagan
as District Governor, and Bob's acceptance remarks.
As Mark summarized the district’s accomplishments in 2016-17 and Bob previewed his 2017-18 priorities, both men spoke with passion about Rotary’s worldwide impact.
(See more event photos on Facebook.)

Where in the District is DG Mark?
Where in the District is Mark?
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
Rotary International District 5950
PO Box 2158  
Minneapolis, MN 55337-2158
For further information, please email
Carol MacDonald, Executive Director 
Cheri Ashfeld, Newsletter Editor