October 2017
Last month I visited the Denver Indian Center, I was impressed and awestruck by what I learned during my visit. I saw a vibrant community that needs the time, attention, and goodwill of Rotary. The number of American Indians in our community in need of the most basic necessities is great. The good news is that there are many Rotarians who are doing all they can to help, however, they cannot address the concerns of this community alone. We need your help to provide this incredible community with on-going solutions to complex problems as well as with basic resources to help families get by. As cold weather and the winter holidays approach, it is incumbent on us, as Rotarians, to do all we can to support this vital part of our community.

Please see the background below; here are concrete ways to support District 5450’s American Indian populations in effective and constructive ways. 
Approximately five years ago, Mike Oldham (Past District Governor) started a District Committee that is focused on supporting the Indian Population in Colorado and in finding ways to grow Rotary’s spirit of “Service Above Self” with the Indian Community.  It has been a daunting task because the need is so great among many parts of the Indian Community but the convergence of the Indian Communities’ needs and Rotary’s area of service focus are very close.
In the last 5 years, the District Committee has focused quite specifically on the Denver Indian Center. The committee has supported the Center by building a playground at the front door, supporting Thanksgiving turkeys both at Thanksgiving and Christmas, providing winter clothing, and providing presents to the children at Christmas. IN all senses a good start  
Today the Denver Indian Center has new leadership and that Leadership is making a profound difference. They have received a significant Federal grant supporting a Fatherhood program teaching the basics of fatherhood to young families. They are on their 3rd cohort, and the program is having a significant impact on entire families within the community. They are also working to improve the building they occupy on Morrison Road so it can be used to support many more community programs.
The need is greater. The Denver Indian Center needs a new roof, new floors and new parking lots—work valued between $350K and $500K. That work is not typically supported by Rotary as it involves Capital expenditures. None-the-less, it is work that must be completed for the Center to continue to serve the Indian Community.
Who Do We Serve
The Indian Community across the US— across North America — is complex.
  • It consists of 5.2 Million individuals, or about 1.7% of the US population.
  • Approximately 40% of American Indians live on the reservation.
  • There are 560 American Indian Tribes and communities recognized by the US Government. Because the Denver Indian Center serves all Indian members we assume they serve all Indian Communities and so should Rotary.
  • American Indian groups reflect great cultural diversity with differences in language, culture and customs.
  • The median age on the reservation is 29, while the US median age is 35.
  • 71% have at least a high school education and 11% have at least a Baccalaureate degree (compared to a US average os 80% and 24% respectively.
  • The overall poverty rate (in 2006) for American Indians was 26% compared to 12% in the US generally.
  • Life expectancy is 6% less than the US general population.
  • Infant mortality is 21% higher.
  • Alcoholism is 7.5 times higher.
  • Diabetes is 4 times higher.
  • And the list continues.  
In Colorado, the American Indian/ Alaska Native population ranges between 50,000 to 100,000 members depending on the survey. In all data we have received, the suicide rate of young people on the regional reservations is growing. The ages range between 12 years old to 19 years old. There is a growing population of Indian Entrepreneurs and they have an exceptional resource in the Indian Chamber of Commerce. The jobs created are not typically a match to those Community Members served by the Denver Indian Center, so that mismatch needs to be addressed — perhaps with the help of the District 5450 Indian Committee.
What are the District 5450 Indian Committees Goals?   
As the District 5450 Indian Committee continues to work with the Denver Indian Center and with other Indian Communities within Colorado, we have three specific, programmatic goals:
  1. To establish a mentorship program supporting young Indian students in the K-12 educational environment similar to the Denver Kid’s program started with Denver Public Schools and Denver Rotary Club 31. In our work with the Denver Indian Center, the need for an active mentorship program was identified as the most critical need for these young people.
  2. To support the Sacred Hoops Basketball program, specifically at the Denver Indian Center. This includes both men’s and women’s teams and National competitions in early spring.
  3. To provide a robust Food Bank at the Denver Indian Center, supported by one District 5450 Club each month. We have the support of 5 District Clubs for the current Rotary year and need 7 more. This is perhaps the most pressing local need. Without food, children don’t learn, adults can’t work and the community suffers. Rotary can have a profound impact in the food program alone.
What can you do as a District 5450 Rotarian? 
  • Join the District Committee and help us with these program goals!
  • Ask your Rotary Club to step in and support the Food program!
  • Consider helping us build this Mentorship program!
  • Help us collect winter clothing that will make a difference for the families we serve.
Thanks for your help— it will make a difference, immediately. Please contact Jim McGibney if you would like to help the committee: or 303-888-3689. Our next meeting is October 9, 4:30, at the Denver Indian Center.
DG Abbas Rajabi, PDG Mike Oldham & Jim McGibney Chair the American Indian Committee
The Polio Plus Committee invites you and your club members and their guests to join in the festivity of the R.I President's Dinner on January 6. Meet our RI President, Ian Riseley; hear the latest news on Polio Plus campaign from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation representative Rachel Lonsdale, celebrate our district's generosity at the half year point; and ... enjoy drinks, dinner and conversation with fellow Rotarians. Who could ask for anything more?!
Please remember there are several challenges in our fundraising for Polio Plus. First, as announced at the 2017 Rotary International Convention, is that we have accepted the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation challenge to raise our matched contributions from $35 million to $50 million. To that end, our 5450 Polio Plus Committee continues to honor those clubs that meet our aspirational goal of at least $50 per member to this campaign. As of November 24, there are six clubs that have met the challenge. Several others are close. Announcements at the President's Dinner will be based on the posted figures available as of January 2, 2018.
Our thoughts are with all District 5450 Rotarians during the next month of joy-filled celebrations. We hope to see you on January 6!
Mary Jean Ewing, Chair
District 5450 PolioPlus Subcommittee
Home: 303-449-4795
Rotary Leadership Institute
October 21 - 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Red Rocks Community College
Perfect for any Rotarian who wants to learn more about the larger world of Rotary and build the leadership skills. REGISTER NOW 
October 3, 2017
Rotary Alumni Reconnect
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Finn's Manor, 2927 Larimer St., Denver
Reconnect Week is a way for former Rotary program participants and scholars like Peace Fellows, Youth Exchange Students, Rotary Scholars, ex-Rotaractors, and Interactors to reunite with the Rotary community. This is a week to see how Rotary shapes lives in the community and around the world. Together, members and alumni can find new ways to promote Rotary’s ideal of service!
5th Annual District Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Symposium
October 7, 2017 - 8:00 am to 3:30 pm  |  Denver Wastewater Management
For Rotarians in District 5450, prospective members, WASH advocates, university students and guests
October 11 - 6:00 to 8:00 pm
For more details & to purchase tickets:
The Rotary Club of Five Points will host a screening of the film The Last Bill, a Senator's Story. A behind-the-scenes documentary of State Senator and Rotarian Linda Newell's real life story of carrying bills through the legislature. The film will be followed by an open dialogue around the issues of peaceful problem solving and healthy communication in government.
World Polio Day is a great opportunity to remind club members that the fight isn’t over.  But how????  Just in time your club will be receiving a supply of End Polio Now logo tattoos, temporary tattoos that is. 
Need ideas?  Wear one and take a selfie to post on your club’s FaceBook page and share with the District and the District End Polio effort.  Get a group together wearing the tattoos on your fists, on your faces and use your cell phone to snap a quick shot and share, share, share. Share your ideas on FaceBook too. we can finish this fight!
November 4, 2017
Adams City High School
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
The annual District Interact Conference is open to all Interact Club members, as well as potential club members, school and Rotary advisors
and anyone interested in “Service above Self.” Click here for the flyer.
Looking for a fun opportunity to raise your Club’s awareness and participation in the End Polio Now Campaign?   The Arizona Tucson Chapter of Rotary International has a Ride for Polio Event in conjunction with El Tour de Tucson November 11th.  Any Club with an interest in 1. Raising Funds for Polio and 2. Having a fun cycling event during the week of November 11-16 can join in.
HOW?  There are two ways to approach this---have an indoor cycling event with Club members at a local athletic club or gym or have an outdoor event with club members agreeing on a route and length that fits their cyclists.  It is also a great way to involve friends and supporters from outside of the Club.  More information on how to sign up and gather pledges and record the results may be found at the following web address:  Call Pam at 520-907-5671 or Lynn at 520-400-4966 if you need help or more information.
The Parker Club, President Ken Claiborne, is organizing an event.  So if you are a cyclist looking for a Club to join with in your endeavors, give Ken a shout at
The 11th annual State of the State Luncheon co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Southeast Denver and District 5450 will be held December 7th at the Denver Marriott Tech Center (noon to 1:30 pm).  In addition to keynote speaker Susan Klebold, Governor John Hickenlooper will address the State’s efforts in the areas of mental health and wellness.  CLICK HERE for the EVENT FLYER. The luncheon will be preceded by a Mental Health Symposium presented by the Rotary Mental Health Initiative (9 am-11:20 am; Free/Registration Required) and a Mental Health & Wellness Expo (11:00-11:55 am; no charge to attend). FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO REGISTER CLICK HERE.
Registration is now open for the RI President's Dinner & Polio Fundraiser!
January 6, 2018 - Denver Marriott South, Lone Tree
Hear from RI President Ian Riseley & a polio update from Rachel Lonsdale of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The event has sold out the past two years so register early! Click Here for More Information
2018 Annual Ski Week - Snowmass/Aspen
January 27 - February 3, 2018
 ♦ Join fellow Rotarians throughout the world!
 ♦ Visit for more information
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
Each Club’s Membership Chair knows the heartbeat of their club.  If the heartbeat is irregular the club cannot thrive.  If the heartbeat is rapid and thready then new members may be coming in and leaving too soon to make lasting connections.  If the heartbeat is steady and strong the club thrives with a steady flow of new members. New folks are engaged and long-time members help bring the new ones on board. The club’s reputation is positive in the community with good word-of-mouth.
Do you sense a new voice?  It’s coming from Lynn Perez-Hewitt. I’ll be stepping into the role of District Membership Chair July 1, 2018.  And as you might guess from my use of a medical metaphor in the intro, I was raised around healthcare. However, I now work in Public Relations and fundraising as a consultant to nonprofit organizations.
Debi Bush and I are planning a year-long transition.  We hope it will be seamless.  We also hope the training offered on September 23rd gave you fresh ideas, renewed your energy, and that your connection to kindred spirits in club membership will be peers with whom you can and will share successes and experiments. Sometimes at trainings it feels like a Rotary fire hose is pointed your way with all the new ideas and changes.  So, let’s all help each other find what fits and what works.
If you need help with your Specific, Attainable, and Measurable Goals (S.A.M.G.s) please ask for help sooner rather than later. The weeks seem to get away from us as the year is marches on.
And just as exercise and eating better increase the odds of a longer and happier life, achieving your club membership goals will keep the heart and lungs of your club beating.  You can have a healthy and vibrant club where attitude and action yield great results to carry your club forward.
Exemplary Membership Growth (in alphabetical order)
Clear Creek County 2000
Denver LoDo
Denver Stapleton
South Jeffco
As we are all aware, the Annual Fund of The Rotary Foundation (TRF) is the primary source of funding for TRF activities. This includes the District Designated Funds (DDF) that are returned to our District to support the many service projects of our Clubs. Many clubs utilize DDF matching funds sourced from TRF to maximize the impact of the work they do. Additional funding in support of our Global Grants is obtained from the TRF World Fund. These service projects engage our members, energize our clubs and enable our local Rotarians to “do good in the World.”     
We now have in hand the final numbers for our District wide 2016-17 fund raising. Let’s all take a minute to celebrate the over $516,000 that we contributed to the Annual Fund. More importantly, let’s recognize that we increased our contributions by almost 15% over the prior year and reversed several years of declining contributions! This investment in the future of Rotary in Colorado will come back to us as increased funding for our clubs and our projects in future years.
As we enter the fall months let’s set our sights on another strong year in 2017-18 for the Annual Fund and for District 5450 Rotary in general!
As you may know, the Peaceful Schools Program has become a District project. The program is now in more than 20 schools throughout the District, promoting character development in nearly 2,000 school age youth, enhancing their prospects for success both in school and in life. While this program continues to grow, we are developing a concept to expand the reach of the program into more schools and communities. Look for an email from your Rotary Club President or Assistant District Governor explaining this concept. In the meantime, if you want more information about the Peaceful Schools Program, please go to or call Carole Baumbusch at 303-868-6244.
It’s the middle of the rainy season in Guadalajara. I am reminded every morning as I walk to school in my white uniform, desperately trying not to get splashed by passing cars. Almost every day, a grey cloudbank rolls in and there is brief, but intense, downpour, frequently accompanied by explosive thunder. Consequently, the city and surrounding countryside is lush and green.
In early August, Herandenny, my roommate, and I returned to Atequiza as part of the volunteer organization Guimedic. On this expedition, our main goal was to provide anti-parasitic medication to the school-aged children while still providing primary care to the locals. I was particularly proud of myself on this occasion, as I successfully diagnosed a lady with gallstones. At the end of a rewarding day Herandenny and I were met with a lovely surprise: a picture taken during our last expedition to Atequiza had made it into the local newspaper. Delighted, we were each given copies of the newspaper to take home.
From August 17 – 19 I attended the First International Symposium concerning emerging Arboviruses, hosted by the Universidad Autόnoma de Guadalajara. The speakers were from all over the Western Hemisphere and about the half the presentations were given in English while the other half were given in Spanish. What impressed me the most were the new developments in diagnostics. One lab connected with MIT were using nanoparticle technology to develop rapid diagnostic tests for both Zika and Dengue. When the human immune system is exposed to a pathogen, one response is the production of antibodies, proteins that bind to pathogenic particles (antigens) and facilitate their destruction and disposal. Researchers isolated Zika- and Dengue-specific antibodies and combined them with nanoparticles so that when the antibody binds antigen the nanoparticle would emit light of a specific wavelength. The lab is currently refining the technology so they can mass produce a rapid diagnostic test.
At the Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas, we continue to move through the curriculum: we began with gastrointestinal pathology, microbiology and pharmacology, moved on to the endocrine system and ended our first ‘block’ with genitourinary diseases and treatment. Concurrently, we learned how to give intramuscular injections, how to start an intravenous line how to give physical examinations and, in a particularly fun class, how to bandage and cast. I am looking forward to starting our next block: dermatology, hematology and oncology.
On September 17, forty-six Rotarians from two Boulder clubs volunteered more than 150 hours of service with six local non-profit agencies, as part of Foothills United Way’s Day of Caring. The largest event of its kind in Boulder and Broomfield counties, the Day of Caring is held annually on the second Friday of September in honor of the National 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance.
Six members of the Boulder Flatirons Rotary Club helped out at the Center for People With Disabilities, along with two other volunteer teams from local businesses. Starting at 8:00 AM and finishing at noon, the teams washed windows and worked to spruce up and clean out a large garden area at the center.
The Boulder Rotary Club fielded five teams of volunteers, staffing projects at an art supply recycling center, two agencies serving homeless adults and youth, a local hospice, and the YMCA. 
At the Art Parts Creative Reuse Center, Boulder Rotarians sorted, counted, packaged and priced buttons, beads, and bangles; washed windows; sorted, measured, and packaged fabric remnants and paper products. The agency’s Executive Director stated that “everyone was so enthusiastic and eager to help. It was a great pleasure having their assistance and sunny, helpful dispositions in the shop.”
Our District is looking for volunteers to help clubs grow!
If you have facilitation skills and want to volunteer to help our District clubs with our visioning process, please volunteer by e-mailing our visioning chair Jim Rohrer  Please give Jim your phone number and he will call you. Training will be provided.
Why Visioning?
Experts on organizational effectiveness will tell you that a positive vision is the most powerful success factor. If an organization doesn’t have a clear vision, even a great strategy will not save them; but a clear vision will attract an effective strategy.
Vision serves as a compass and provides a template for important decisions. The consensus of a clear vision brings power and success to any organization. The visioning team of District 5450 will contribute to greater success of our clubs.   
What is the club visioning process?
Club visioning is a three to four hour session held on an evening or Saturday morning to help a club set goals that will define who they will be in three years. All members in attendance are provided an opportunity to share their ideas. The result of Visioning is a consensus of the top 3 year goals in the areas Rotary Clubs function. Clubs will also develop action plans to move towards the goals and vision.
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 (arranged by Area.)  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
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