Super Hero leaders Save Rotary!!!
inTENTS Event series gets underway
Public Image Campaign sweeps District 6840
Jackson, MS Water Project update
 Spring has sprung and we are stretching our under-utilized social muscles and beginning to come together once again.  I am traveling the district at long last to meet Rotarians face to face, shake hands, share a picnic, and publicly recognize our club presidents and assistant governors, every one of whom is a true Rotary Super Hero!  A year ago we had to re-examine our plans for the upcoming year: not our goals, but our plans and the pathways to achieve them.
  The Rotary Club of Northlake Mandeville sponsored the first new Rotaract Club in D6840 in some time.  We had the opportunity to meet the charter president, Kayla Cooper, of the new Northshore Technical Community College Rotaract Club at out inTENTS Event in March.  The Chancellor of NTCC, Dr. William Wainwright came to meet Rotarians and see how Rotary will help develop leadership and service among the students at NTCC.
 One of the many exciting innovations we're undertaking is the new yard sign PR initiative.  Every Rotary Club in the District has received a set of Rotary action yard signs featuring Rotary's areas of focus and an invitation to JOIN US!  The signs and our clubs' public service have already yielded a number of inquiries about membership -- Club Presidents and Membership Chairs should be watching your e-mails to follow up on the leads sent to you by our Membership Chair Jamie Haeuser.  The Sleeves Up! signs were designed by Moss Point Rotary Club President Steve Renfroe and can be seen throughout Jackson County.  As more clubs join in the vaccination campaigns these signs are a simple way to advertise Rotary and make a clear connection that we are important partners in strengthening communities.  Stay tuned for a major Rotary-Mississippi vaccination initiative on April 24...we hope to hold a state-level panel discussion on Thursday, April 8 with further information.
 Are you still wondering what our inTENTS Events are?  Join the District fb page and check out the photos and the link to donate to Shelter Box USA.  So far we have raised over $2500 that will help provided shelter and dignity to families who have been displaced by political crisis or natural disaster.  We'd like to raise enough as a district to shelter 100 families.  Some of you may remember that Shelter Box mobilized to D6840 during Hurricane Katrina.  I encourage you to use the links on the District home page and earlier e-mails to learn more about Rotary International's Disaster Response Partner.  Beyond that, though, our inTENTS Events are a great opportunity to get together as a club and also to meet Rotarians from the club next door.  If you've got annual projects or something coming up, your natural partners and collaborators are the people within the Rotary network.  And the Rotary network only works when you participate, shake hands, get to know one another, and make the invitation.
  President Ollie Bailey of the Rotary Club of Pass Christian and I would also like to thank everyone who assisted with the improptu Jackson, MS Water Mitigation Project.  Through an attitude of service and memories of having no water after Katrina, Ollie made some phone calls that activated the Rotary Network to bring clean water to the people of Jackson.  Through no fault of their own, these community members are still without city water they can trust since the hard freeze of mid February.  So many club presidents immediately said "yes" to our requests for assistance that Ollie and I were able to direct 5 truckloads of bottled water to be dispensed on the ground by Rotarians from several clubs in Jackson and their community partners.  Presidents Mark Killingworth of Hattiesburg RC and President/PDG Barbara Mauldin of the Petal RC combined efforts to provide a delivery of much-needed hand sanitizer, too.  Our District Foundation and the Foundations of D6820 (Central MS) and 6690 (Southeast Ohio) also provided important funding. 
This nationwide collaboration, the forming of the Rotaract Club, our PR campaign and vaccination partnerships and the  tremendous efforts of our club presidents and district leadership team are all fantastic examples of the core values of Rotarians wherever we are in the world: Integrity, Service, Fellowship, Diversity, and Leadership.  I am looking forward to celebrating our year together and at tallying up the economic and social impact we have had in our communities.  Well done, one and all!