District Friendship Exchange
District 7120 - Rotary Friendship Exchange (RFE)
Chairperson - Carl Grovanz
The Rotary Friendship Exchange promotes international understanding, peace and good will between Rotarians through personal contact across borders and reciprocal visits. It provides participants with the opportunity to experience other cultures by staying in the homes of Rotarians throughout the world.
Additional committee members:
Linda Grovanz John (PDG) and Maureen Hall
Bob (PDG) and Cindy Hunt Mike and Merle Platt
Godfrey (Doc) Malchoff Vivian Ryan
Helen Gormont Jim Hughes
The Rotary Friendship Exchange committee is in the process of planning exchanges with many worldwide Rotary districts in the next several years. Please contact any committee member if you have an interest in participating in an exchange. Our current plans include:
Next planned 2017 exchanges include an exchange to Scotland from May 1 - 14, 2017. visits from Australia D9780 during May 24 to June 7, 2017, visit from Finland D1410 on June 15 -29, 2017 and trips to Finland Districts 1410 and 1420 in August 2017.
Included below is a summary of completed outgoing and incoming Rotary Friendship Exchanges:
D7120 visit to Australia D9780 from October 25 to November 8, 2016.
Visiting Rotarians were Sue and John Babbitt, Dick and Rosalyn DuBois, Mike and Merle Platt (leaders), Gary and Norma Reilly, and Roger and Barbara Ressman. D9780 has a much larger area than our district and the team members were in six hosting areas but still only covered about half of the district. Unique visits included an Egg Museum in Beaufort, the Steam Show, and Wool Museum.
Oregon D5110 trip to Finger lakes D7120 from September 22 - October 5, 2016.
Visiting D5110 team members were: Jim & Camille Ronzio, Don Arkell & Laurie Power, Lew & Alice Mark, Glen & Cathy Martz.
Our hosts were: Bill & Helen Gormont, Scott MacDonell & Vivian Ryan, Lisa & Wade Norwood, Mark & Kass Vande,
Bob & Barb Howard, Bob & Cindy Hunt, Travis & Kathy Piper. Ken & Roberta Buckle, Carl & Linda Grovanz,
John & Maureen Hall, Glenn & Diana Balch, mark & Linda Wyse, Michael & Wendy Havens.
D7120 visit to Oregon, USA D5110 from August 16 - 26, 2016.
The RFE team from D7120 7120 included Greece Rotarians immediate PDG Bill Gormont and wife Helen, Ontario-Walworth Rotarian RFE Chair Carl Grovanz, and his spouse Linda, Fairport Rotarians PDG John Hall and his spouse Maureen, Waterloo Rotarians PDG Ellen Hughes and her spouse Jim, Clifton Springs Rotarians PDG Scott MacDonell and partner Vivian Ryan.
Some of the many area of interest included Crater Lake, Three Sisters snow capped mountain range, Pacific Ocean coast line stays, Rogue River jet boat trip, Wild Safari park, Brandon Golf, Portland tour.
New Zealand D9940 visit to our Finger Lakes D7120 from May 14 - 28, 2016.
D9940 team members were Deb & Neville Gimblett, Charlie & Paul Thomson, Bev & Peter Lillico,
Ann Abbot, Shirley and Kevin Stratton, and Chris Garrett.
Hosts were: John & Mary Shillings, Dave & Anne Bastine, Mark & Sue Keister, Bob Radell,
Brian & Coreen Lowry, Carl & Linda Grovanz, John & Maureen Hall, Paul & Mary Ann Riker,
Gary & Norma Reilly, Axel & Carol Schreiner, John & Margo Brown, Charlie & Bonnie Tyo,
Rob Schwarting & Carol Worth, Bob & JoAnn Cole, Mike & Merle Platt, Les & Sheryl Rosenbloom.
Nova Scotia D7820 visited our Finger Lakes District from October 1 - 14, 2015.
Nova Scotia participants were: Margie Brown, Bob and Diane Power, plus Leslie and Susan Reid.
Our hosts were: Bob and Barb Howard, Travis and Kathy Piper, Mike and Merle Platt, John and Margo Brown,
Charlie and Bonnie Tyo, Roland and Barbara Steorts, Carl and Linda Grovanz, Tim and Kathy King.
District 7120 to Nova Scotia, Canada D7820 from September 9 - 22, 2015.
Team members were: Scottsville Rotarians Diana and Glenn Balch, Ontario-Walworth Rotarian Carl Grovanz, and his spouse Linda, Pittsford Rotarian Ashok Gupta and his spouse Uma, Bloomfield Rotarian Bob Howard and his spouse Barb, Brighton Rotarian Roland Steorts and his wife Barbara, Rochester Rotarian Lisa Norwood and Wayland Rotarian Jean McMillan.
District 7120 to New Zealand District 9940 from February 14 -27, 2015.
Eighteen Rotarians and spouses participated in the exchange in the southern part of the north island including Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Team members were: Our team from throughout our Finger Lakes District 7120 includes Rotarian John and spouse Margo Brown, Dick and spouse Rosalyn DuBois, Carl and spouse Linda Grovanz, Rotarians Jim and Ellen Hughes, Rotarian Mary Northrup, Rotarian Paul and spouse Mary Ann Riker, Rotarian Les and spouse Sheryl Rosenbloom, Rotarians Alex and Carol Schreiner, Rotarian Ken and spouse Eva Steadman, Mark and spouse Kass Vande
D7120 to New South Wales, Australia from May 15 - 29, 2014
The following team from our district participated in three hosting sessions beginning in Wagga Wagga:
Charlie and Jan Clemens, Mark and Kim Clement, Bill and Helen Gormont, Carl and Linda Grovanz, John and Maureen Hall, Jim and Ellen Hughes, Tim and Kathy King, Scott MacDonell and Vivian Ryan, Ken and Eva Steadman, Kurt and Linda Werts.
The second session was divided between Forbes and Parkes with 5 couples in each locations. During the final 5 nights, the team was hosted in Narrandera and Leeton.
New South Wales, Australia D9700 visited our district from September 12 - 26, 2013.
The following team from D9700 participated: Greg and Beth McVicker, Graham and Betty Hornibrook, Val Samuelson, Laurine Linsell, Hendrik Jan van Ieperen, Ray and Dianne Pluis, Robert and Joy Norrie.
Our D7120 hosts were: Ken & Roberta Buckle, Charlie & Jan Clemens, mark & Kim Clement, Dan & Carol Cole, Don & Linda Collins, Carl & Linda Grovanz, George & Fran Gotcsik, John & Maureen Hall, Jim & Ellen Hughes, Bob & Cindy Hunt, Tim & Kathy King, Maureen & John Kunak, Scott MacDonell & Vivian Ryan, Mary Ellen & Dean Morgan, Karen Parkhurst, Preston Pierce, Travis & Kathy Piper, Ken & Eva Steadman, David & Debbie Swenson, Gerald & Alice Thompson, mark & Linda Wyse, Volker Hausin & Joyce McChesney.
Istanbul, Turkey D2420 visited our district from May 10 -19, 2013
The following team from D2420 visited our district from May 10 – 19, 2013:
Suleyman and Aydan Sari, Cetin and Zehranur (Nur), and Belkis Unver.
The group was initially hosted in the southern part of our district by David and Mamie Anderson, John and Margo Brown and Meg and Dean Huff. They toured Corning Glass, wineries, and nature sites such as Watkins Glen. For the second session they were hosted by Dan and Carol Cole, Scott MacDonell and Vivian Ryan, and Curt and Linda Werts. Highlights included the Lilac Festival, a day at Niagara Falls and another day hosted by Newark Rotary plus meetings with other Rotary Clubs.
D7120 to Finland, District 1400 during August 2012
D7120 participants were Carl and Linda Grovanz from Ontario-Walworth Rotary, John and Maureen Hall plus Bob and Cindy Hunt from the Fairport Rotary Club, Cindy and Chip Hendrickson from Perry Rotary Club, Mike and Merle Platt plus Nora Smith from the Corning Rotary Club.
The trip began with a layover in Iceland for many team members and a pre-RFE stay in Helsinki. The team travelled by train to near Raahe where they were met by their first hosts to begin the RFE. The hosts provided a great show of Finish hospitality including saunas, steel mill tour, and invitation to a wedding.
The next stop was Oulu, the 2nd largest city in Finland. A day at the outdoor museum was a highlight plus the walking tour of the city plus of course the time spent with the hosts. We also toured the state-of-the art university and hospital.
Rovaniemi was our most nothern hosting location near the Arctic Circle.and the tour of the Arctic Museum was great as was as was the trip to Santa's home. At all locations, we saw reindeer along and sometimes on the road. We toured a reindeer hides processing factory.
Our hosts also reserved a two night stay at cottages in the very north of Finland and we spent time at the Levi ski resort along the way. From the cottages, we took a day trip to the Arctic Ocean where a few of the team waded into the cold ocean water.
Everyone feasted on reindeer plus many other items at the many team get togethers coordinated by the hosts at all locations.
District 7120 to Taipei, Taiwan District 3520 from February 15 – 25, 2012.
This hosting was in conjunction with the centennial celebration of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Participating in the exchange were Carl and Linda Grovanz from Ontario-Walworth Rotary, Brad and Sandy Shea from Greece Rotary plus Mark and Kass Vande from the Sodus Rotary Club.
The team arrived in Taipei in the evening of February 14 and stayed at the Grand Hotel before being met by our initial hosts and van on the morning of February 15th. Our intial stop was a kintergarten for orphans and then a visit to the Chiang Kai-Shek official residence. District Governor Tommy hosted a welcome party in the evening.
During following days we toured the National Palace, cherry blossoms were in full view at several gardens and parks, we visited several temples and museums, the National Memorial Hall, Dr Sun Yai-Sen Memorial and several Rotary meetings.
On the weekend we travelled past rice fields and local villages for a stay at the Leo Ocean Resort. We relexed in hot mineral springs and tour local fishing villages plus a gold mine and whiskey distillery.
Our final week included time at the Fishermen's Wharf, Fort San Domingo, an afternoon stay in private rooms in the Sweet Me Hot Spring Resort, rides on the Metro and subways with a tour of the underground city. We spent an evening at one of the famous Taipei Night Markets and the world's fastest elevator on Taipei 101 - the world's 2nd highest building.
A few of the additional tours included a 30 minute gondola ride and lesson preparing tea from leaves plus seeping, pouring and drinking. We released lanterns with our wishes. We also visited some small surrounding villages to better understand how locals live and shop.
Throughout the exchange, we were treated with gracious care, excellent local food and a farewell party, the final evening, attended by almost everyone involved in the exchange.
Our District 7120 completed a Friendship Exchange with Istanbul, Turkey District 2420 from October 8 - 24, 2011.
Historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople, Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and 2nd largest city proper in the world. It is the only metropolis that is situated on two continents.
The following team members participated in the exchange: Dave and Mamie Anderson, Carl and Linda Grovanz, John and Maureen Hall, Meg and Michael Huff, Mike and Merle Platt, and Linda and Kurt Werts. The team was hosted in the Istanbul area by D2420 Rotarians for the first 10 days and enjoyed the Turkish hospitality and culture while being toured around Istanbul. Some of the many stops included: Dolmabahce Palace of the Sultans, a boat tour up the Bosphorus,, the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Museum, the Grand Bazaar and Spice market, Rahmi Koc Museum, the Galata Region and Galata Tower, Kariyr (Chora) Museum, Fethiye Museum, Bulgarian Cast Iron Church and the Underground Tunnel, the Blue Mosque, and the underground in the Basilica Cistern. We also participated in several Istanbul Rotary meetings and were greeted by the Istanbul DG and DGE.
After the exchange, the team took flights to eastern Turkey for a six day tour with the first two night stay in Cappadocia. The Cappadocia stay included lodging in a cave hotel, a visit to an underground city; many cave dwellings, a carpet and a pottery business, and a hot air balloon ride.
The next flight was to Izmir for three nights. The guide provided a full day of Ephesus where we saw the ruins that have recently been excavated. and home of the Temple of Artemis, on of the & wonders of the world. We visit the final home of Virgin Many and Basilica and tomb of St. John the Apostle. A second full day excursion was to Pergamon dating to the 4th century BC. Here we witnessed the Acropolis, Alter of Zeus, ancient library and medical center, and steepest theater in the world. During the third day we visited the port, a local hillside village and winery and enjoyed time in Izmir.
Sweden District 2360 team was hosted by our district from September 24th until October 4th, 2011.
District 2360 is from the western coast of Sweden near the Goteborg area. The costal landscape between Goteborg and the Norwegian border offers a unique archipelago with a striking rocky landscape and captivating coastline. Five couples from D2360 began their RFE on September 24. They were hosted by five Rotarian families in the northern part of our district for the first four nights. The Rotarians in the southern part of our district hosted on September 28, 29 and 30th. Our central part of the district Rotarians hosted October 1, 2 and 3, returning the team to the airport on October 4th.
D7120 Rotary Friendship Exchange to Central Queensland, Australia in completed in March 2010
Participating in the Rotary Friendship Exchange was: John and Margo Brown, Carl and Linda Grovanz, John and Maureen Hall, Mike and Merle Platt, and Nora Smith.
The team departed from Rochester on March 8 and arrived in Brisbane, with a connection to Mackay, Queensland on March 10 to begin the two week exchange.
District 9570 is bisected by the Tropic of Capricorn and was approaching their fall season with an average temperature of about 80F during the visit. The Great Barrier Reef borders the coast and natural features include tropical rainforests, eucalyptus woodlands and dry grass lands.
Team travels throughout the district passed 100's of miles of sugar cane and a tour at the Sarina sugar refinery with the opportunity to sample several products. The team also visited a macadamia nut orchard to watch the harvesting and processing plus, of course, some sampling of nuts.
One of the many highlights was a two day trip to Hamilton Island, one of the most popular vacation spots in Australia. While in Mackay during the 1st hosting, the team saw the platypus in the wild during a rainforest walk. Kangaroos were seen crossing the road, in fields, forests, and in captivity. The team members had many opportunities to watch and feed the kangaroos.
The second hosting was in Rockhampton, the beef capital of Queensland. Over 70,000 Americans were stationed in the area during WW2 and the team visited some memorials. Tours included a history of horse carriages, the museum of the greatest Australian race car driver and the house of Melba, most popular opera singer.
Demonstrations were provided of crocodile feeding and snake handling. Team members had the opportunity to hold crocodiles, koalas, lizards and snakes.
While in Bundaberg for the final hosting, the team toured the Bundaberg rum distillery and had the pleasure of tasting some of the famous products. At the Bundaberg Ginger Beer plant there were over a dozen drinks to taste after the tour. The was also a tour of the museum honoring the greatest aviator.
The team was treated like royalty throughout the district. Over 100 attended the last combined Rotary Club meeting in Bundaberg. The final exchange visit ended like the 1st with a celebration party.
Although the tours and sights were great, the most enjoyable part of the exchange was the time spent staying with the Australian Rotarians and better understanding another culture.
After the exchange, the team members explored different parts of Australia including Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Cairns, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Sydney, and Tasmania.
District 7120 RFE to England District 1070 in 2009
In June 2009, the following Rotary District 7120 team visited District 1070 in England: Jack and Jean Dobson, Carl and Linda Grovanz, John and Maureen Hall, Tim and Kathy King, Jeff and Diane Krans, Mark and Linda Wyse. The trip was a follow up to England D1070's visit to our Finger Lakes District in May / June 2008.
The trip began with a limousine ride to the Toronto airport and a layover day and night in Iceland. The two week Friendship Exchange started on June 6th, the 65th anniversary of D-Day.
Each couple was assigned to four hosts in different areas of the district. The enjoyable exchange renewed friendships from the previous exchange to our district and provided our team with a better understanding of England and our own history.
A few of the many areas visited include the American Cemetery near Cambridge, a tour of Oundle, the American Aviation Museum, the carpetbagger Museum, "Kids Out" day at a local amusement center, meetings with mayors at Rushden Hall and North Hampton, Foxton Locks canal, Sulgrave Manor (home of 1st President George Washington ancestor), Rushton Manor, tour of Leister and Water Works Museum.
After the RFE, the team participated in the 100th Rotary International Convention held in Birmingham, England.
England District 1070 RFE to USA in 2008
The Friendship Exchange visit from District 1070 located north of London and east of Birmingham in England has been completed.
District 1070 sent us five couples and two singles for a period of 14 nights. The team included Brian and Shelagh Dawson (Team Leader), John and Barbara Malpass, Peter and Christine Bambra, Brian Norrey, David and Lesley Whalley, Brian and Marguerite Armstrong, and John Segley.
They arrived on May 22, 2008 and departed on June 5th. During their stay, we had three hosting sessions: May 22 - 26, May 27 - 30, and May 31 - June 5.
Three different hosts have been assigned to each England District 1070 team member. The first hosting session was in the northern portion of our district, the second in the southern and the final hosting in the central area of our district.
Sweden in 2006
The Rotary Friendship Exchange to Sweden was from June 1 to 10 in 2006, prior to the International Convention 11-14 June 2006 in Copenhagen, Denmark & Malmo, Sweden.
The district we visited is on the Swedish west coast. It is from Varberg in the south to the Norwegian border and goes from 100 to 200 kilometers east.
They have 4000 Rotarians in the district and 67 clubs.
Gotenburg is the center and second largest city in Sweden.
Here you will find Volvo, IKEA & many large companies.
In the rest of the district there are smaller towns from 15,000 inhabitants to 100,000. The temperature is about the same as Rochester but expect many more hours of daylight in June.
The following Six Rotarian couples participated in the 2006 Rotary Friendship Exchange: Carl and Linda Grovanz, DG Elect John and Maureen Hall, Roy and Kay Herrmann, DG Jim and Jane Holden, Assistant DG Ken and Eva Steadman, Don and Bev Wooster.
In addition to the Friendship Exchange and International Conference, the team also toured Stockholm in Sweden, Olso in Norway and Reykjavik in Iceland.
New Zealand in 2004
Rotary District 7120 participated in a Friendship Exchange to the South Island of New Zealand in 2004. The team did a pre-exchange stop for several days in the Queenstown area and several nights in the North Island after the exchange.
Team members were: John and Margo Brown, Carl and Linda Grovanz, Jean Hogg, Barbara Herrman, Roy and Kay Herrmann.
Australia in 2003
A Friendship Exchange team visited Brisbane, Australia before and during the Rotary International Convention in 2003. DG Don Alhart attended the RI Convention and hosted our D7120 Rotarians for a dinner after completing a pre-convention trip to Perth to do a TV series on our new Fast Ferry. The exchange continued on the Sunshine Coast after the conference. The team also made pre-exchange visits to Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef area. D7120 Rotarians participating in the exchange were: Glen and Diana Balch, Bill (RIP) and Chris Butler, Jim and Jane Holden, Don and Lyn Colvin, Carl and Linda Grovanz, Suresh and Terri Gulati, Roy and Kay Herrmann, David and Nancy Stewart, Don (RIP) and Bev Wooster.
The Australian exchange team visited our district in 2005.
last update: February 2017 by Carl Grovanz