Celebrating our
        Rotarians at work
             Paul Harris Society Members: 287

Rotary inspires the world

I was in Guatemala over the holidays and had a chance to visit with a number of non-Rotarians who bravely face some of the many difficult problems in their country. Guatemala is a country with a government ruined by corruption, a bankrupt health care system, shockingly low levels of educational achievement and chronic or acute malnutrition that reaches 60% of the children. Still, it is a country of many good people trying desperately to find real solutions.
Rotary always emerged in our discussions. In talking to people seeking to change the political culture, Rotary’s Four-Way Test and commitment to solving problems across political and social divisions was inspirational. One influential group of business leaders is trying to organize a new political approach. They’re considering adopting Rotary principles and guidelines (appropriately modified of course) as their framework. Another non-Rotarian, looking to find a solution to youth crime and joblessness, is looking to partner the principles of Boy Scouts with the leadership of Rotarians to build a corp of youth leadership. Younger Guatemalans in their 20’s and 30’s have never heard of Rotary, yet they find the message of Service Above Self aspirational, not just for themselves but for the future they want to build for their country.
We are blessed to live in this country with the resources it offers. We are doubly blessed as Rotarians to be part of an organization that is an inspiration around the world. Let’s embrace those blessings and dedicate 2018 as a year when we fully live up to our motto of Service Above Self.
--DG Bob

Bring these breakout ideas home from Mid-Term Assembly

There's still time to register for Mid-Term Assembly
t             Saturday, January 27
.starting at 7:30 a.m. a                         .
Register here! Join over 150 Rotarians and guests already anticipating the energy and motivation that is Mid-Term Assembly. registered. DG Bob Halagan will summarize the State of the District and its new initiatives.Video commercials will showcase district  projects and teams, plus you can visit with these project leads at their vendor tables. Keynote speaker Joe Schmit promises a motivating message. And finally, broaden your  Rotary understanding through these breakout sessions: y
       :Breakout Topics and Presenters         

Human Trafficking Initiative's SUMMIT event is February 23

I am excited to bring you an update on the great things that are happening with the Rotary Initiative to End Human Trafficking in Minnesota.Working with representatives from District 5960, many of you have already volunteered to support the activities currently underway.
Accomplishments to date:
  • Several clubs have featured Human Trafficking speakers.
  • The Summit event on February 23 will bring together representatives of more than 150 organizations, all creating a comprehensive, coordinated community plan.
  • Potential major sponsors will hear a newly created message.
  • Numerous clubs are partnering with local organizations and providing financial support.
However, the work has just begun and we are still looking for support in the following areas:
  • Identifying leaders in your community to attend the Summit. We especially seek representatives from:
    • law enforcement
    • education (middle school or high school principals and superintendents, health services)
    • church leaders who can galvanize their congregations to address this issue
  • Becoming your club’s champion for the Human Trafficking Initiative. We are looking for someone from each club who will lead your club in this initiative for the next 3-4 years. You will be invited to the Summit if you are willing to serve in this role.
  • Volunteering at the Summit.
Contact Karen Walkowski for more information about the Summit, becoming your club’s champion, or scheduling a club speaker:

People of Action: Join the campaign!

People of Action is Rotary International’s global public image campaign, introduced last June at the convention in Atlanta.This campaign strengthens our brand and increases the public’s knowledge of Rotary’s impact around the globe – because statistics show that only 60% of the general public are aware of Rotary and most do not know what Rotary does.  
People of Action works with our existing brand position and motivates others to Join Leaders, Exchange Ideas and TAKE ACTION! The campaign’s resources will help clubs bring their stories to life. The campaign inspires, transforms, and connects our communities. It uses local stories to engage current and prospective members, supporters and partners, sharing our story and desire to Make A Difference. People of Action resources can be found on the Brand Center at under ToolKits. Check back often, as new graphics, videos, and templates are frequently added. Also access the People of Action Campaign Guidelines and the improved Messaging Guidelines.  

Moses returns to Minnesota

Seven years ago, the Rotary Club of Edina introduced District 5950 Rotarians to Moses, a five-year-old boy from Kenya needing surgery for severely crossed eyes. We’ve seen progress updates over the years. For his 13th birthday, the Edina club flew Moses back to Minneapolis to celebrate with all his Minnesota friends.
The heartwarming story was covered in a Star Tribune article and on a KARE11 video. Past District Governor Sandy Schley (Edina) called the seven-year experience a “modern-day miracle”. In the photo, Moses warmly greets eye surgeon Dr. Jafar Hasan and his wife, Afira, as well as PDG Tim Murphy (left).

ShelterBox protects 160K people in 2017

2017 was an unprecedented year in disaster response. Massive disasters across the globe caused more people to leave or lose their homes than ever before. Remember Hurricane Harvey in Texas, hurricanes in the Caribbean, and the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh? ShelterBox Response Teams have been on the ground, hand-delivering emergency humanitarian aid to families at record levels.  

In 2017, ShelterBox helped more than 32,000 households (160,000 people) who lost everything through conflict or natural disaster. We responded to world events 24 times and deployed aid in 21 different countries. Rotary was there every step of the way, coordinating aid and facilitating in many ways in nearly every deployment. Click this link for a more detailed look at 2017 deployments

Here in District 5950, our local team presented to more than a dozen Rotary and Rotaract clubs and participated in even more community events, Interact fundraisers and service learning events with students and young professionals. Thank you to all of the clubs, Rotarians and community supporters for your donations. Your generosity ensures that ShelterBox can transform despair into hope through emergency shelter and tools for families robbed of their homes by disaster or conflict.  

Looking for a way for your community to see Rotary as #peopleofaction? Or are you looking for a hands-on learning event at your next meeting? Reach me at 612-801-7821 or Together, let’s set up a tent and start a conversation! 

Save the Date: District Conference is May 21

Mark your calendars!
District Conference
Monday, May 21
at the Guthrie Theater

Award-winning Ethics Workshops move beyond Eagan

Since 1994, Eagan Rotarians have presented ethical decision-making challenges to Eagan High School student leaders during an annual Ethics Workshop. And since 2009, other Rotary clubs have used Eagan’s model to do the same. Over 62 workshops have been presented in more than 20 different high schools, reaching over 4,300 students.This eight-hour leadership experience received a statewide award.
“The Ethics Workshop is my first choice as a Rotarian to give back to the community. The students are amazing,” said Quinn Hutson, co-leader in the Eagan Rotary Ethics Workshop Expansion Committee. “We are very pleased that other Rotary clubs are having our committee present to their local high school students.”
The youth learn valuable business ethics lessons through lectures, small group discussion, inquiry and challenges. A key segment presents a scenario where students become officers of a troubled corporation. They are instructed to develop ethical strategies to make the entity profitable, while wrestling with budget, public image, production, and employee crises.
“Kids go into the workshop feeling one way about the world and they leave the workshop feeling much differently and seeing the bigger picture,” said Eagan High School Assistant Principal Pete Zak. The program has confirmed the power of Rotary’s Four-Way Test for making decisions.

Toronto is calling District 5950

Book your HOTEL room soon at There are approximately 1,300 rooms left in the Rotary block but rooms are going quickly. Other options to check are or a hotel rewards program you belong to.
Recognize fellow D5950 Rotarians with a convention shirt
District 5950 Polo shirts will help Rotarians identify and connect with each other at the Toronto Convention. Both women's and men's versions are available for $45. Order from Rotarian Kyle Sabot by emailing or calling (763) 234-8747. Kyle will ship your orders and bill you.

Upcoming Events
Mid Term Assembly
Crown College
Jan 27, 2018
7:30 AM – 1:00 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