Stories In This Issue

District 5950 adds 80 female members

As we continue to diversify Rotary adding more women and minorities to better reflect our communities, it is exciting to see progress — even during a pandemic!
We’ve increased the female percentage of District membership from 30% to 32.25%, adding over 80 additional new women members, primarily from the District's new clubs: 
  • The Twin-City Eco Club is 52% women and added four members during the Pandemic.  
  • The Rotary Club of Network for Empowering Women has a membership comprised of 69% women and has added 12 members since its chartering earlier this year.  
  • The Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking is 61% women and has added 15 female members during the Pandemic.  
What do these clubs have in common? A flexible membership model, a diverse membership population and a female majority of members and leaders. 
Overall, as we look at our membership numbers at the club and district level, we look at retention and attraction. Rotary International's retention statistics show D5950’s four-year retention average dropped just one percent during COVID. New-member retention numbers increased by five percent during this time!
Not surprisingly, as clubs were not able to meet or met virtually for much of the year, our attraction numbers declined. We were not able to invite prospective members to meetings and saw a decline in the number of new members. 
Think about how valuable your Rotary friendships have been to you and all of the great work your Rotary club has done in your area and in the world. As you and your friends and neighbors are vaccinated and clubs come back together, Rotary will be even more important in bringing people together. If you are reading this, YOU care about membership! Please invite your friends and family members who, like you, are People of Action and can join your Rotary Club!

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. 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 - including the presentation of Rotary District 5950 Awards (SEE BELOW). 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 Central 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. Map to Central Park, 8440 Regent Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443


Rotary District 5950

International Rotary Director, Suzi Howe, is joining us from Houston to present the following Rotary District 5950 Awards:

- YMCA Equity and Innovation Center:  Partnership Award for “Creating a Better Story” series 

- Suzanne Kochevar:  Community Equity Advocate Award for Lake Street Partnership development and leadership (Excelsior)

- Rotary Club of Network for Empowering Women:  Membership Growth Award

- Steve Solbrack:  Environmental Champion Award (Twin Cities Eco Club)

- Clare Richards:  Rotaract Accelerator Award (St Cloud Rotaract)

- Raj Khankari & the Maple Grove Club:  Global Grant Guru Award

- Edina & Edina Morningside Clubs:  Youth Programming Innovation and Leadership Award for Edina High School Rotary Global Scholars program

- Irene Kelly:  PETS Excellence in Education Award (Eden Prairie AM)

- Russ Michaletz:  TRF Advocate Award (City of Lakes)

- Lloyd Campbell:  Membership Support Award (Glenwood)

- John Crudele:  Hybrid Meeting Champion (Eden Prairie AM)

- Tim Mulcrone:  Polio Eradication Champion Award (Chanhassen)


Tim Murphy:  Lifetime Achievement Award (Edina)

District has new address...and new Exec. Director

When you contact District 5950, please note that the mailing address is now: PO BOX 591, Wayzata MN 55391. This change took effect in January 2021. Why? Because Alexa Rundquist is now the district's full-time Executive Director! Alexa works directly with the District Governor line, District 5950 Board of Directors and, most importantly, all the clubs and their members. Her work focuses on:
- Day-to-day operations
- Finances
- ClubRunner administration
- Event and registration management
- Serving Rotarians as questions arise. 

Alexa is the proud Mama Bear to four cubs (pictured). Flexible hours in this job helps her enjoy them each day. A North Dakota native, Alexa considers Minnetonka Rotary her Minnesota Family for the past 10 years. Her husband, Nate, is also a Minnetonka member. 
Alexa is a self-motivated driven leader with a history of working in the emergency preparedness and public health field. She knows a lot of wonderfully useless Rotary trivia, endless tricks in ClubRunner, how to navigate Rotary International's website, and can't wait to serve the District. Alexa's favorite part of Rotary is the one-on-one connections and friendships she has made. 

Club leaders! Final call for District Assembly

Are you an upcoming club leader or interested in learning more about club leadership? Then District Assembly on Saturday, April 10 is for YOU!
Incoming District Governor Marianna Khauv (Monticello) initiates training topics and shares her goals for the upcoming Rotary year. This interactive online session will include breakouts for club leaders to learn about their personal roles, best practices and tips for a successful year.
Get registered today!  Zoom link will be sent separately.

Hear Dr. Michael Osterholm on April 15

The Eden Prairie Noon and AM clubs invite other Rotarians to their joint noon meeting on April 15 when Dr. Michael Osterholm (right) is the guest speaker.
A frequent media expert, Dr. Osterholm leads the Institute of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and was a member of President Biden’s COVID-19 Transition Advisory Committee.

This featured Zoom webinar is limited to 500 participants with pre-registration required. Register using this ClubRunner event registration or find the event on the District calendar. Rotarians from clubs other than Eden Prairie AM register as a Guest.

Minnetonka is top donor to Empty Bowls in W. Metro

On 1998, Hopkins Schools initiated an annual community awareness event called Empty Bowls. Minnetonka Rotary jumped on board, and over the years has contributed over $120,000 with profits shared equally between Resource West and ICA Food Shelf. To meet the additional needs during COVID 19, the club's Foundation issued a $6,000 challenge grant that was quickly met and surpassed. Minnetonka’s 50 members raised nearly $20,000 this year.  
The Empty Bowls campaign culminates in a celebration at Hopkins Center of the Arts where people gather to share a simple soup lunch, raise more funds, and enjoy local entertainment. Each person leaves with a hand-crafted bowl made by a Hopkins student. Our club is the joyful clean-up crew at the end of the event. We have perfected competitive vacuuming
We support Empty Bowls because it demonstrates Service Above Self. The community sees Rotary as People of Action!

Need a speaker? Call on ShelterBox

Imagine losing everything – your home, your neighborhood, your livelihood. All gone in an instant.

Every day, somewhere in the world, lives are torn apart by natural disaster and conflict, and families find themselves in truly desperate need of emergency shelter and supplies. Having lost everything, they live out in the open or under inadequate shelter. ShelterBox is responding to the need, working to deliver shelter, warmth and dignity in a big, green box.

ShelterBox, a global organization that began as a Rotary club project, stands at the forefront of international disaster relief, having provided emergency aid to survivors of over 300 disasters in more than 100 countries in its first 20 years. ShelterBox is Rotary International’s global project partner in disaster relief.

Want to learn more? Tim Connelly (Excelsior Morning) is the District 5950 Ambassador for ShelterBox USA. He would love to share heart-warming stories of the work ShelterBox is doing to help people rebuild their disrupted lives. He’s available to talk to your club in person (when practical) or via Zoom. Contact Tim at or call 507-272-3493.

Webinar kickstarts "Protecting the Environment" Area of Focus

Protecting the Environment – Opportunities for Rotary and the Planet
A Webinar Not to Miss!!!
Wednesday, April 28
7-8 p.m.
 Register for the webinar!
Join us for a webinar featuring Ian Riseley, Past Rotary International President in 2017-18, and chair of The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Environmental Issues Task Force.  He will share some of the background behind the decision for the Environment becoming Rotary’s new area of focus. Ian will inspire us with ideas for impactful and sustainable projects to protect the Environment.
Karen Kendrick-Hands, co-founder, past-chair, and projects director for the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG), will discuss how Rotary’s newest cause, the Environment, 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 fundable with Global Grants, and which are NOT.  This is the practical information that YOU will need to plan successful environmental projects!
Virtual webinar hosted by: Rotary Zones 25B & 29 Regional Rotary Foundation Team
Event co-sponsors: District 5950 and ESRAG

Welcoming referrals works!

A very rewarding way to increase membership is connecting future Rotarians with an established club in their new home area. In March,  Rotary International's Leads Program sent the names of five prospective members seeking clubs in District 5950. Four have already found their new Rotary home club and the fifth one will soon.
Each of the member-requested clubs responded to my referral promptly which makes the onboarding go so smoothly. Thank you, club presidents and membership chairs!

D5950's new club success featured in ROTARY magazine

Because our District 5950 is one of approximately 530 Rotary districts in the world, getting featured in the Rotary magazine is a coup. The April 2021 issue has two stories about us!!
"Greener Pastures" (p. 54) highlights the Rotary Club of Twin Cities Eco, Minnesota and interviews Steve Solbrack about how the environmental idea evolved into an active club. Steve, our district's Sustainability Chair, also provides tips for chartering a nontraditional club that allows members to do service and create fellowship based on a shared interest.
Continuing in that vein, "New Beginnings" (p. 58) interviews District Governor Tom Gump about the steps involved in starting a new club and taking it through the charter process to full activity. Rotary magazine, April 2021 issue

McElrath appointed Membership chair for 2021-22

Doug McElrath (Edina/Morningside) has been selected as the District 5950 Membership Chair for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2021. Doug is a former club president and currently serves as the club’s liaison to the Edina/Morningside Rotary Foundation and oversees its Annual Local Grant Program. 
Doug is excited to work with District 5950 leaders to develop and implement strategies to allow our District to meet its membership goals. Emphasis will be placed on retaining members, growing our current clubs, and growing our district by creating new clubs.

Rotary’s Learning Center now available on mobile devices

Rotary members can now take Rotary’s online courses on most mobile devices. See our how-to guide for detailed instructions or follow these steps to get started:
  1. On your mobile device, use a browser to go to and sign in to My Rotary.
  2. Tap the  menu at the top left of your screen.
  3. Tap the plus sign next to Learning & Reference, and then choose Learning Center.
  4. Go to your app store and download Go.Learn. Don’t open it from here.
  5. Return to your browser. From the same Learning Center page in My Rotary, tap the link to the Learning Center.
Go.Learn works with iOS10 and later as well as Android 6 and later. Note that the app has some limitations, including in some of the interactive learning options. You will need to use a computer to download certificates or view additional resources. Links to the Learning Center may not work on mobile devices. Instead, go to the Learning Center through My Rotary, then search for materials or courses.

If you have trouble using the Learning Center in Go.Learn, write to

Be generous and tax wise!


Upcoming Events
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
Grant Management Seminar - Refresher - Online
Zoom Meeting
May 13, 2021 5:00 PM
Grant Management Seminar-Refresher Course-Online
Zoom Meeting
May 15, 2021 9:00 AM
View entire list
Russell Hampton
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