February 2018
We have come a long way, but not far enough. March 8th is International Women’s Day, a timely opportunity to reflect on and discuss gender equality. Where does Rotary stand as an organization?  Since 1987 women in Rotary have become a growing voice for leadership. But after three decades, we still have not had a woman appointed to RI President. I would like to see that happen. Change takes courage and I believe we are ready to move forward.
The World Economics Forum has some very sobering statistics. The U.S. ranks 45th in the world for gender equality. Gender inequality is a focus of public attention now more than ever and this sheds light on the importance of bringing more women into leadership roles to help effect gender equality and achieve better balance.
The more women that are employed outside of the home, the greater the impact to global growth. A recent report estimated that if women were to play an “identical role in labor markets to that of men,” the economic impact could result in as much as 26% growth to global GDP. These numbers are profound. Currently, it will take 100 years to close the gender gap. 
Some of the barriers holding women back are universal. In the same report mentioned above, it states that over 90% of countries have one or more gender-based legal restrictions. These include property rights, discrimination, access to finance, as well as societal pressures to name a few. 
That said, we are seeing areas of progress in other countries. It is now illegal in Iceland to pay men more than women. This is a call to action for Rotarians who own businesses or are executives to let us extend our leadership to ensure gender equality. 
Awareness is a key factor. We must take action. Enabling women to find meaningful employment, and fill leadership roles is critical. But, we must also address the framework that allows women to successfully manage work/life balance. These are all big complex issues but ones that need to be addressed.
It takes courage to have men change from our current model and accept equality for all sexes. There is still a glass ceiling for women and other disenfranchised members of our community and I would like to see a concerted effort to help forge a pathway that breaks down many of the barriers to the glass ceiling. Much of today’s conversation encompasses movements including #equalpay and #metoo. Time’s Person of the Year was – The Silence Breakers. These movements opened up space for all of the women who are coming forth now to tell their stories. The tides are changing. It is time for women to finally get their place and share the helm of society.
As a father of 3 daughters, I have observed first-hand that women in our society often get mistreated because of gender perceptions. We need to come together as a community to address this topic and I believe the way to bring gender equality is to open the doors to even more leadership positions to women. 
As Rotarians, we are by definition, leaders. From the beginning, the Rotary Club was focused on promoting high ethical standards. This is evident in the Four-Way-Test.  Of the things we think, say or do:
  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
It must be beneficial to ALL concerned especially when it comes to gender equality. Of the 1.2 million men and women in Rotary working to improve the lives of people in their communities as well as around the world, about 250,000 of them are women. I would like to see that number increase substantially and I know I am not alone. Our leadership is very focused on raising the number of women in leadership roles, but to do so we must see women as the powerful leaders they are. We are an organization that has achieved amazing results and overcome hurdles. We address complex issues. We have the infrastructure and the incredible pool of talent and heart to lead the way to change. I challenge each one of us encourage more women leaders in your own club which are often perceived as the old boys club.  
Women bring a different perspective to fellowship and global understanding.
International Women’s Day has been observed for over 100 years and is now celebrated around the world. The theme this year is #PressforProgress. Let’s celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th by honoring the women in our clubs, at our offices, in our families, and in our neighborhoods. This day celebrates women and their political, social, economic, and cultural achievements. Let’s also remember those women who are mothers.
Our local schools are participating as well. Grant Ranch School, a Denver Public School, will be participating in a contest sponsored by Snapchat and World Forward to celebrate the many achievements of Colorado women. 
As Rotarians, we are great at motivating others and uniting friends. We should also take time to celebrate our wives, daughters, sisters and family members who are mothers. 
Here is a list of some of the amazing leaders in our District who are wonderful Rotarians and I celebrate their presence in our District: Gail L​ehr​man, MJ Ewing, Mary Kay Haz, Peggy Halderman, Sandy Mortenson, Nan Jarvis, Karen Loeb, ​Jan Lovelady, Courtney Cowgill, Christa Reich, Ann Tull, Lou Anne Epperson, Debra Fine, Kim DeCoste, Bev Mendel… and many more. Each of these women has been in a leadership role or has contributed a great deal to Rotary through projects of their choice within the US, abroad, or both.
Let us make a difference. Let us lead the way as Rotarians. Please reach out and tell me how I and the District can help. Change starts here. We need everyone to be involved as we continue to level the playing field and achieve greatness as individuals and as an organization. Rotary is the finest Service Organization in the world; I truly believe that. Let’s prove it!
Yours in Rotary
April 14-15, 2018  |  Manual High School, Denver
with Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias
May 19-20, 2018
Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center
Save the Date for May 19 and 20, 2018 for a celebration of Rotary with keynote speakers like former DU Chancellor Dan Ritchie addressing how Rotary can help reach  consensus in a divided society.  Add to this break out sessions, panel discussions, and club projects that show Rotarians of action creating lasting change in our community and you have an action packed 36 hours of fun and fellowship celebrating Rotary.
Registration will open soon!
The top six reasons a Rotarian should plan to attend their first Rotary International Conference in Toronto June 23-27, 2018:
  1. It couldn’t be any easier to go. There are three-hour non-stop flights for less than $500.
  2. Toronto is an easy city to navigate.  Public transportation works well and there are no language issues.
  3. Toronto is a fun city that is world famous for its food and entertainment.
  4. World-class speakers, entertainment and programs provide opportunities that most people will never experience.
  5. Attending will make you even more proud to be a Rotarian by providing you with an enormous sense of connection and appreciation for the greatness and effectiveness of Rotary around the world.
  6. No matter what your Rotary passions are, the connections you will make and the resources available in the gigantic House of Friendship will make you a better Rotarian and improve your projects’ results.
For more information and to register visit
Ever get directions like this? Turn right where the old grade school used to be, go a little way and you can’t miss it.
How did those directions make you feel? Confident? Eager to get behind the wheel?  Or did you decide to stay home? Well-meaning as they may have been those directions were not at all helpful. They were not meant to confuse. The person giving them knew how to get there. But they didn’t guide you at all. 
What does this have to do with club membership?  Remember SAMG: Specific, Actionable, Measurable, Goals.  Those well-meaning directions were not SAMG, folks.
How is your membership plan looking today?  Does everyone know the club goal?  Is everybody confident in the club’s message? Do you have a guest process, and are you following it? When you induct a new member do you have a ceremony that makes membership special? Does the new member have an orientation and a mentor?
Locally, the Rotary Club of Littleton has fully embraced the planning approach. At each monthly membership committee meeting (yes, there is a 6-8-member group working on maintaining and growing the numbers) spreadsheets of prospects are reviewed. Drip lists are checked.  Contacts are assigned.  And it’s working!  The club has lost a couple of members, as we all do, but to go from a low of 79 on July 1 to 87 by the end of January is a clear demonstration of the power of planning.
If you think you and your club would like some help, Debi and I and the rest of the members of the District Membership Team (DMT) are here to help. You can reach us at: Debi Bush or Lynn Perez-Hewitt
Congrats to our Exemplary Clubs:
  • Clear Creek
  • Denver Stapleton
  • Erie
  • Parker Cherry Creek Valley
  • South Jeffco
Rotaract Auraria Denver is now official thanks to the mentoring and inspiration of Lee Mulberry, District Youth Services Chair. Officers President Hailey Davis, VP Raechel Buehler, Secretary Tori Schramm, and Treasurer Edgar Calderon were sworn in and given their pins. Sponsored by Mountain Foothills Rotary, this will be the fourth Rotaract in the District. President Susanne Robert and others from Mountain Foothills were in attendance for the celebration. Months of preliminary work have gone into building a good foundation for the club. Officers reported on their project plans, fundraising, club culture, marketing, and upcoming events. Their appeal will go out to the entire Auraria Campus - CU Denver, Metro, and CCD - and also younger professionals in the area.
Rotaract brings together people ages 18-30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service. Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to effect change in communities worldwide.
For more information email or President Hailey Davis
Kabul, Afghanistan
Can you remember the first time that you visited a science museum, seeing physics, chemistry and astronomy come alive?  Listening to a heartbeat, seeing a life-size anatomical model of a human…wearing a surgical mask and gown. Learning about the astronauts and the solar system.
Thanks to University Hills Rotary Club, kids in Kabul, Afghanistan have finally been able to see and experience these things.  On August 17, 2017, the very first Children’s Museum for Science & Technology opened in Kabul, funded with a District Grant sponsored by the University Hills Rotary Club. Rameen Javid, a University Hills Rotarian, travelled to Afghanistan to oversee the project and inaugurate the museum in partnership with the Rotary Club of Kabul City.
The students were ecstatic about their tour on the museum’s opening day. Shoaib said “I truly learned a great deal.” The tenth grader from Kardan High School particularly emphasized that “the lessons that my teachers were teaching me in theory, I saw them being done practically today; I really felt satisfied.“ With several reporters chasing the 100 invited students and teachers from 5 different private and public schools, the museum seemed packed.
“In my life, this is the first time I have seen such a learning place,” exclaimed Miss Sahar from Kabul-e Naween High School. The junior year student continued “especially in subjects such as physics, chemistry and biology, which are our main subjects, I learned a great deal.”  The experience was almost unbelievable to Miss Adiba from Shams-e London High School, who admitted that, in her school, ”We do not have a space such as this.” The enthusiastic sophomore said “There is only one room set aside as a science lab in our school, but here, this was so productive. Everything was so great.”
According to United Nations, 70% of Afghanistan’s 30 million population is under the age of 25. Considering 38 years of constant war and unrest (Soviet-Afghan War: 1979 – 1989, Afghan Communist government: 1989-1992, Civil War 1992-1996, Taliban: 1996-2002, and NATO involvement: 2002 to present), it is no wonder that the outdated education system has put tremendous stress on the government’s resources to meet its educational needs. 
Being partially a product of the Afghan education system, Rotarian Rameen Javid recalls that the schools lacked any educational materials for practical demonstrations. “And this is what we want to change”, he says; “we want the students to experience science with their own hands.”
The Children’s Museum for Science & Technology museum is a 1200 square foot space, housed in the basement of an office building, in the Taimani District of Kabul. It consists of three rooms and three staff members, with six areas of science: physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy and engineering. The Rotary Club of Kabul City monitors its operation.
The museum currently has the capacity to educate 100 students per day. In comparison to the huge demand, this number is a drop in the bucket; nevertheless, this is the first step in the right direction. The museum now focuses on the basics, in terms of systems, equipment, expertise, structure, staffing and space design. There are plans for additional phases, including introducing STEM level equipment, more professional staff and offering programs and science fairs. The ultimate goal is to create a professional regional level museum.
The Rotary Club of University Hills is looking for partners and donors to help fund ongoing operation costs and help fund Phases for this worthwhile project. Please contact Rameen Javid directly at if you would like more information.
First of all, a huge thank you for ALL who helped plan and execute the RI President’s Dinner that was held on January 6th. The balmy January weather helped facilitate the attendance of Rotarians from neighboring Districts 5440 and 5470. These visiting Rotary friends donated $2,770 to the total of $22,618 that was raised during the event. This, of course, will be matched 2:1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Denver Rotary Club made a presentation to Grant and Marlene Wilkins for their work on the Polio Plus project and to the greater Rotary International. A few months ago, Denver Club 31 established a goal of raising $100,000 in Grant’s honor for End Polio Now and by Jan. 6th they had pledges exceeding that. (At the time of writing this $98,977 has been received!)
We all had hoped that the last case of paralytic polio would be recorded in 2017, but alas that is not true. 2017 ended with a total of 22 cases of polio caused by wild poliovirus type 1 (14 in Afghanistan and 8 in Pakistan) compared to 37 cases in 2016. A case of paralytic polio in Afghanistan with onset on January 1, 2018 will count as the first case in 2018. Of concern to many of us is the number of cases of paralytic polio caused by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (78 in Syria and 15 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and the high incidence (10-12%) of the environmental samples testing positive for live poliovirus in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The presence of live polio virus in the sewage or water supply means that any unimmunized person coming in contact with that sewage or water could become infected, so likely there will still be more cases reported in 2018. We clearly need to do better and do more!
As part of my new role as District Polio Chair, I’ve spent several hours reviewing existing print, audio, and video materials about Rotary’s Polio Eradication efforts.  It is amazing how much material is available on the RI home page, accessible by clicking on the picture of Bill Gates & past RI President Germ. The number of our partners in this effort is very impressive! The website lists 28 partners including 6 foundations, 1 anonymous donor who has pledged $15 million dollars, and an inspiring $134.6 million pledge from the developing country of Nigeria! Even though we get tired of slogging ahead with our commitment for a Polio Free World, we are clearly not alone.
Club, District, District Governor and RI Awards are given out in the spring of each year to those clubs and individuals showing great service to others in their communities and throughout the world. Applications must be received by March 1 for most awards.
You can view a PDF overview of all of the awards by clicking here. For information and an application for each award visit the award section of the District site by clicking here. There are two new Mental Health Initiative awards this year - be sure to check them out. Remember, you can not be recognized and win if you do not apply!
Most Rotarians have heard of the “Every Rotarian, Every Year” program which we sometimes shorten to “EREY”. This important program asks all Rotarians to participate in the work of our Rotary International Foundation by contributing to the Annual Fund in each Rotary year. Our contributions to the Foundation fund the grants and programs that Rotary is involved with around the world as well as in our local communities. While other Foundation recognition programs are focused on the level of an individual’s participation, EREY is different. EREY simply asks for each Rotarian to contribute in any amount that they feel comfortable with. Contributions of $5, $10 or $20 demonstrate your support for the work that Rotary does. Contributions from first time donors are particularly encouraged. Many of our newer Rotarians need to see how painless donating can be! Your Club Foundation Chair can help you to get started, or click here for more information.
I wanted to give you a little update on my life in Cape Town. As of now, I am working my way towards the finish line of my Ph.D. (the average time it takes to finish is 4.2 years, I am hoping to finish it in less than 3). It so happens to be that this is the uphill part of the path. However, it is also the part where two years of work are starting to pay off, and my dissertation is beginning to resemble something coherent and possibly meaningful. The end of the forest is near; I just need to focus on the trees in front of me. One at a time. 
After returning from the US in August, I finished my data collection on voting behavior and conflict in Mozambique. Colleagues assisted me at the University of Eduardo Mondlane in the capital city of Maputo, and colleagues at the University of Cape Town. I am now working on scrubbing the data and creating unique datasets that will be useful to others ever wishing to study Mozambique more thoroughly. As far as I know, I will be building the first comprehensive dataset on voting behavior, poverty, socio-economics, ethnicity, language, and conflict in Mozambique. It will hopefully paint a very colorful picture of this incredibly diverse and vibrant country and provide information on Mozambique’s democratization process. 
“Doing Good in the World” is the motto of The Rotary Foundation, which was conceived by Rotarian Arch Klumph. The Bequest Society was established to recognize our support for the Permanent Fund of The Rotary Foundation through bequests – gifts at death. The Bequest Society’s growing membership includes Rotarians, family members, and friends who have each committed to give $10,000 or more in their estate plans to The Permanent Fund of The Rotary Foundation. Learn more here.
A Rotary Foundation Benefactor is a person who has notified The Rotary Foundation that he/she has made provisions in his/her final estate plans, or who has made an outright gift of $1,000 or more to The Rotary Foundation’s Permanent Fund. Learn more here.
Your gift to The Rotary Foundation creates a legacy of helping people live better lives around the world. Won’t you join our 523 Rotarians in Rotary District 5450 today who have already committed to support The Rotary Foundation through a legacy gift?
Clean water and hygiene have been a central focus of Rotarians since 1907, when the first Rotary club initiated its first public service project: the construction of public toilets in Chicago. Since then, Rotary service projects have been addressing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) needs for more than a quarter of a century.
Concern for clean water and sanitation has now risen to be one of Rotary’s six “Areas of Focus”. Since the launch of Global Grants, Rotary has invested in nearly 500 water and sanitation projects, making this area of focus the second largest in terms of global grant activity and dollars spent from 2013 to 2015.
Perhaps the most active WASH interest in Zone 27 is located in Colorado’s District 5450. Under the leadership of DG Abbas Rajabi and workshop co-chairs Bruce Halloran and Steve Werner, a WASH Symposium was held in Denver on October 15, 2017. Under the title “Building WASH: building capacity and sustainability in water, sanitation and hygiene”, two key objectives were addressed: 1) strengthening WASH education, WASH in schools and capacities for sustainability, and 2) building successful business models that bring functional and sustainable WASH solutions to areas in need.
Rotaraction ( is an online Rotary club for 18 to 30-year-old people, and is accepting new members.  The structure of Rotaraction differs significantly from Rotaract. First, it is entirely online, second the primary communication tool is a smart phone app.  Third, all Rotaraction members will be full Rotarians.  
Rotaract Clubs will not be impacted as their value proposition is quite different and still valid. Rotaract is geographically bound just as Rotary Clubs are, Rotaraction, by being online, will not have geographic boundaries nor regular meeting times.
Rotaraction was formed to fill a need - a way to get/keep young people involved in Rotary, especially since Rotary currently has a limited value proposition for this demographic. The online meetings will consist of “Blog” posts and discussions, each member will have responsibility for writing blogs and responding. In addition, each member will be required to do a minimum number of hours of community service during the quarter.  We will encourage them to create a relationship with a local Rotary Club.
Our research has shown that this demographic has very little desire to spend time in meetings, they want to communicate quickly, easily and at their own convenience. They much prefer to engage in service projects. Many are in college and even if there is a Rotaract club, attending meetings can be too time consuming. 
In addition to the time issue, belonging to most traditional Rotary Clubs is cost prohibitive. Our college members face many costs and often have little opportunity to earn money. Our working young adults also tend to have limited disposable income. Therefore, the club dues are just enough to cover District and RI dues.
Officers:  President: Mary Sand
               Vice President: Mckenzie Purdue
               Secretary: Katie Kelley
The attached report shows Annual Fund and Polio Plus goals entered by each club into Rotary Club Central, and the numbers and per capita achieved by each club. The District 5450 goal is to have an increase in Membership, and for Every Rotarian to give something Every Year (EREY).

Have something to add to the lists?  Email

Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.

Rotary District 5450 - Colorado, USA
Submit Articles by the 25th of the Month to: