Celebrating our
        Rotarians at work
             Paul Harris Society Members: 301 !!!

PHS tops 300 -- the result of inspirational and aspirational leadership

Sandy Schley (Edina) is known to many Rotarians as a great Past District 5950 Governor (2009-10). However, most people don’t know the level to which she has changed our district by both her inspirational leadership to people like me who she has guided to new levels of service for Rotary, and her aspirational leadership for the district to become a greater force for good in our communities and around the world. This week we reached a goal that has been years in the making -- and Sandy deserves the credit for inspiring us to reach higher than any other Rotary District has ever reached.

Sandy is the person responsible for reorganizing our District Rotary Foundation Committee into a fundraising and grant-writing dynamo. It was during her tenure five years ago as the District Rotary Foundation Chair that we first set the goal of reaching 300 Paul Harris Society(PHS) members in District 5950. At the time we had about 115 PHS and the goal of 300 was hard to imagine. This week we crossed that goal line and reached 300 PHS, more than any other Rotary District in the world. The next time you see Sandy, give her a hug and a thank you for her leadership that has helped make District 5950 the very best in the world.

--DG Bob

EcoClub breaks ground

I am excited about plans to form a new Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub. It’s a great opportunity for service focused on protecting the environment.The EcoClub has a particular outreach to young adults, but is open to young thinkers of all ages. 
This will be a non-traditional, theme-based Rotary club, with lower costs and fewer meetings. Come enjoy fellowship, give service, and improve environmental sustainability. Regular meeting location will likely be in the Minneapolis/Golden Valley/St. Louis Park area. 
Please share the informational meeting invitation with your club members, asking them to forward it to others they know who may be interested. If you have questions, please email me at Thank you.

Q&A with Women in Rotary 

Was there a project or event when you "became a Rotarian"?
Alexa: My dad and I joined a group of Rotarians on a service trip to Guatemala. We helped build additional classrooms onto a school Rotary had already built. I spent hours braiding girls hair, playing soccer, bending rebar, hand-mixing cement, and making lifelong friends. Here was the first time I heard "Service above Self" and it stuck with me; about a year later I joined Rotary.
Diann K.:  Squeezing two drops of polio vaccine into the mouths of babes in rural India initiated me in Rotary's signature project.
Diane C.: Yes – the day I was invited to be a charter member of the Rotary Club of Maple Grove! And also by an experience while I was district secretary for D5950. A Rotarian was frustrated by not having received a check for his club’s World Community Service project and told me, “While that requisition is sitting on your desk, children are dying!” He later apologized, stating that he hadn’t understood the approval process. But that remark reminded me that no matter how minor the task appears to be, everything we Rotarians do toward accomplishing a goal will indefinitely impact the quality of life for people we may never meet.
Why should women be in Rotary?
Diann K.:  Why not?  Rotary is an incredible opportunity for women -- and men -- to network with and serve alongside extraordinary people locally and internationally.
Sandy:  In 1945, Paul Harris said, “Rotary is an integrating force in a world where forces of disintegration are all too prevalent.” In those days, RI's founder referenced drawing no lines of politics or religion. Today, we expand this to welcome and affirm our Rotary Family’s diversity of sexual orientation, gender identify, race, ethnicity, age, faith history, socioeconomic status, physical, and mental ability. 
What keeps Rotary fresh for you?
Ashley: Rotary always has something new to offer whether it’s networking opportunities, travel, social events, or volunteer events. Every time I attend a district event or volunteer with my club and/or other clubs in Minnesota it is a new and positive experience. 
Diane C.: Associating with other Rotarians at club and district meetings is a transfusion of energy and enthusiasm! Rotarians are today’s real-life super heroes who identify a need and work together to devise and execute a solution, seeing it through to a successful conclusion.
Diann K.:  Meeting and serving with Rotarians of all types is what keeps Rotary exciting for me.
Alexa: Fellowship.Through fellowship I continue to make new friends and be exposed to new opportunities. Fellowship also helps me feel like I belong and reinforces that (in Rotary) we are part of something much bigger, changing the world for the better.
What is an effective way to mentor female Rotarians?
Diann K.:  The key to mentoring female Rotarians is being there for them, sharing club values and expectations, acquainting them with other members, and getting them involved early on. It's really no different than mentoring our male counterparts.
Diane C.: Mentorship is the same for both genders:
  • Be an attentive listener.
  • Respond with respect.
  • Invite the new member to serve on a committee and/or project
  • Acknowledge and appreciate the new members’ contributions.
  • Get to know your new club members and personally invite them (with their guest) to club and district events.
How will Rotary be even better when membership is 50:50?
Sandy:  When my sons were ages 3 & 6, the younger claimed there were no differences between boys and girls; the older insisted there were many differences. Eventually the three-year-old admitted, “Well, sometimes there’s a difference; sometimes girls wear dresses!” As Rotarians, our goal is to not focus on differences but on the similarities that impact our world in a positive way. This is how new Rotarians should be mentored and engaged -- in activities that respect differences, not creating programs that differentiate based on sex or any societal category that creates differences.
Diann K:  More women mean more Rotarians working side by side to achieve extraordinary things. Women are here -- and we're here to stay!

DG-E Irene inspires her 2018-19 team

Be The Inspiration. District Governor-Elect Irene Kelly (Eden Prairie AM) provided inspiration for her 2018-19 team when they met for leadership training at Crown College. She also challenged her committee and program leads to inspire every Rotarian they encounter in order to build on and expand current District 5950 goals. 

Hear why our our Rotarians are attending this year’s RI Convention

The 2018 Convention in Toronto will be Cindy’s 8th convention and my 10th. Why do we register a year in advance and never hesitate to attend?
  • Toronto is the last convention in North America until Houston in 2022. So it will be the least expensive and easiest convention to attend for the next few years.
  • There is no other possible venue to experience the “internationality” of our global organization. Fellow Rotarians from over 150 nations of the world come together to celebrate all Rotary does.
  • Imagine a "House of Friendship" with 750-1,000 vendors and Rotary projects that exemplify all the great work we do around the world.
  • Dozens of languages are represented, yet we all communicate!
  • Experience some of the world’s most inspiring and legendary speakers and entertainment at the multiple plenary sessions included in the registration fee.
  • Join the anticipated 100+ Rotarians from District 5950 at our own “Meet & Greet at Mill Street” gathering June 24 in the Distillery District.
    See you in Toronto,
    PDG Tim and Cindy Murphy

Forum: Finding common ground within divisive politics

Political and social divisiveness permeates national and local news every day. While the issues are complex, finding shared values is possible. Please join our sister district, D5960, in an annual community forum discussing Beyond Political Polarization:
 Finding Common Ground for the Common Good on April 12. It will be held at the St. Paul Town and Country Club, presented by St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club in cooperation with the Rotary Clubs of Minneapolis City of Lakes and Woodbury. 
The breakfast forum is from 7:15-9:15 a.m. It will explore how growing partisan divide over political values is paralyzing families and communities. Find new understandings and strategies for initiating conversations that focus upon learning how to respect the integrity and worth of every individual’s views.
Admission is $25. Registration and payment is required by April 5 at

Human Trafficking Summit draws wide-ranging audience

Despite a snowstorm the night before, over 200 people attended the inaugural Summit for the Rotary Initiative to End Human Trafficking on February 23. Participants represented education, law enforcement, direct service providers and faith communities.They began the discussion of what we can do together to end human trafficking in Minnesota. Many Rotarians who stepped up to serve as Club Champions participated in a breakout session in the afternoon.
The summit generated great ideas and connections for new partnerships; however, the most important outcome was the commitment to work together to end this horrible travesty. It is just the beginning of an important journey in our path to Make A Difference in our state. To get involved in this initiative, please contact Karen Walkowski at

"Act" now! Get tickets for the District Conference at the Guthrie

   Quick links:

Don’t lose out on Toronto’s early bird rate!

The early bird registration rate for this year's RI Convention in Toronto expires on April 1. The cost increases to $495.00. Register now and get the preferred $410 rate. This 2018 International Convention in Toronto is the last North American location until Huston in 2022. That makes it the least expensive and easiest convention to attend for the next few years. Please join your fellow District 5950 Rotarians in Toronto!

Upcoming Events
Grant Management Seminar - 4 hr Class - Edina
St. Peter's Lutheran Church
Mar 24, 2018
8:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Grant Mgmt Seminar - 2hr Refresher Class - Edina
St. Peter's Lutheran Church
Apr 07, 2018
8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Grant Management Seminar - 4hr Class - Edina
St. Peter's Lutheran Church
Apr 12, 2018
4:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub - Informational Meeting
The Nature Conservancy
Apr 12, 2018
6:00 PM – 7:15 PM
District Assembly
Burnsville Community Center
Apr 21, 2018
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Grant Management Seminar - 2hr Refresher Class
Burnsville Community Center
Apr 21, 2018
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Grant Mgmt Seminar - 2hr Refresher Class - Edina
St. Peter's Lutheran Church
Apr 26, 2018
4:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Grant Mgmt Seminar - 4hr Class - St. Cloud
Courtyard By Marriot,St. Cloud, MN
May 03, 2018
4:30 PM – 9:00 PM
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