It's almost time for the year in review; here are just a few reasons we can be proud of what we've done this year.
***there are still open spots for RYLA*** application links are below under "Youth Update"***
Here we are in full swing, recovering from our vaccinations, meeting up with friends and people outside our limited circles, and seeing what has really changed over the past year.  As Rotarians, we have perhaps had an easier time this year than others: we are guided by our shared core values as we approach every task and encounter obstacles: Service, Leadership, Diversity, Integrity, and Fellowship.
 
As individuals and as entire clubs we have saved over 1200 lives this year through our blood drives.
 
As individuals and clubs we have provided shelter for families displaced by civil unrest and natural disasters through our inTENTS Events with ShelterBox.
 
As a district, we have helped our neighbors after hurricanes and flooding with nearly $20,000 in direct assistance.  Many clubs contributed even further with work days on site and food, cleaning supplies, and clothing fund drives and deliveries.
 
Ten clubs came together at the urging of the Rotary Club of Pass Christian to provide 6 truckloads of much needed bottled water and hand sanitizer to the people of Jackson, MS after the hard freeze burst pipes and interrupted clean water access.
 
Eight clubs along the Mississippi Gulf Coast worked together with local hospitals and health systems to hold vaccination days and help to get shots in arms so that communities are healthy and return strong from these long months of COVD.
 
Thirty-two club presidents have already earned the Presidential Citation from Rotary International President Holger Knaack for their service projects, completion of goals, and important work within their communities and among their members.
 
In May alone four clubs are hosting golf tournaments and many more are holding annual events to raise money for scholarships that provide important opportunities for young people.
 
On May 21st I will have the opportunity to recognize clubs, club presidents, and individuals whose focus and dedication resulted in significant changes and innovations within their clubs that Expand our Reach, Increase our Impact, Enhance Participant Engagement, and demonstrate the ability to Adapt.  All of those being recognized are People of Action, People of Service, and People of Peace.
 
On May 22nd, we will host on facebook live on the district page a memorial service for those Rotarians who are no longer with us.  The service will be held at sunrise (6am) at the Oak Grove of The Centennial in Gulfport with Gulfport RC President Will Shurley presiding.
 
That same afternoon we are holding another inTENTS Event!  These have been a great substitute for district conference and have demonstrated the personalities of the many clubs in District 6840.  There is great Rotary branding on display but the great fun and fellowship among the people and between the clubs is what makes these events truly special.  The Rotary Clubs of the River Parishes still hold the fastest complete build time of just under 25 minutes – without breaking any poles!
 
Raffle tickets for the 50-50 are available via VENMO for the drawing on June 5, our final inTENTS Event.  @Elizabeth-VanSant-6 PLEASE put 50-50 raffle in the description.  Tickets are 1 for $5, 5 for $10, or 20 for $20  The pot is right under $1000 as of this writing – we will draw 5 winners to split the pot; need not be present but make sure you have your tickets!  (If you buy via VENMO we’ll send you a reply with your ticket #s)
 
As Rotary leaders, we have just one month left to OPEN OPPORTUNITIES for fun, fellowship, and service in the current Rotary Year.  Let’s go out with a BANG!  The membership drive has already begun and we will be looking at growth between May and September to determine the winners of the membership challenge.  Keep up the amazing work…Rotary has an incredible reach and can have a long lasting impact.  It just requires us all to find ways to come together and to work together and to enjoy all that Rotary can be – together.,