November always reminds me of Thanksgiving back in Geneva, NY; turkey, pumpkin pie, and all the fixings including my Mom’s special stuffing. (Never did get that recipe) Then there were the 40+ family members who descended on our house to help us devour all that food! Five courses, maybe six, was very traditional every Thanksgiving. A few games of Mad Libs, laughing so hard you cried, became another tradition after all that gorging.     Make the best of Thanksgiving this year, it may be a little different than before,
but it’s the little things that become memorable. Consider reaching out to those who are alone and celebrate together the best you know-how.  It’s still a wonderful time to spend with those you love if only virtual and to be thankful for all that you and your Rotary Club was able to provide to communities in need both locally and across the world.
     District 5500, I must say has plenty going on during November. Let’s start out with November being Foundation Month. Please remember to give to the Rotary Foundation. Every little bit helps. District 5500’s GivSum polio campaign is live and going strong. Consider donating to https://www.givsum.com/charities/district-5500-charitable-fund.   We must not give up on polio eradication; there are still two countries with polio and the number of cases is going up. Rotary still must vaccinate the children.
     Our district is organizing a Visioning Team.  This is not something new to Rotary however it’s a good time to re-institute the program since our RI president Holger Knaack has requested that Clubs develop a “forward-looking” plan. When was the last time your Club did a visioning “assembly” or a visioning “retreat”? District 5500 has a team that’s putting together a plan to help facilitate visioning for clubs. Please reach out to DGND Mark Snow snowarizona@gmail.com for further information.
     The Youth Team the decision to put together a virtual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) event on January 22 and 23, 2021. More details to follow.  Please reach out to our District Youth Chair Candace Lansbury youthsrvschair@rotaryd5500.org, for more information. The team is developing a program involving both leadership and team building that we anticipate all our youth will want to attend.
     Virtual Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) will be coming your way. We are incorporating best practices from other Rotary Districts, along with our customization, to bring the best leadership training available in a virtual platform. Do you have new members in your club? When was the last time other members of your club participated in RLI? We will be able to accommodate more students this year, so please, Club Presidents, sign up your members!  Contact Ann Huber  afhuber59@gmail.com for more information. Registration will be available on our website soon.
HAND HANDBAGS FOR HOPE is now in full swing  (see article above). Please check our website rotaryD5500.org for further information. For Clubs that are now considering this project, you still have time. Why not work with another organization or another Rotary Club?  Collaboration is a way of displaying your solidarity.  Our communities are in desperate need during this pandemic.  These handbags will be invaluable to the women in these shelters. Contact DGE Hank with questions: talk2hank@cox.net
     Clubs, if you have not chosen a President-Elect, please contact Liz Cohn, rotaryliz@aol.com,  ASAP with your selection by November 1st.  Particularly this year,  it’s extremely important.  The PRE-PETS training will begin on November 1st. If you have not heard, President-Elect Training (PETS) will be held virtually in March 2021.
     Have a wonderful November. November 1st &  2nd, Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead); November 5th Guy Fawkes Day; November 6th National Nacho Day; Veterans Day on Nov. 11th (the Saddlebrooke) RC will have a special memorial celebration on that date); November 13th Caregiver Appreciation Day; November 17th World Peace Day; November 26th Thanksgiving Day in the US.
Happy November!
District Governor Diane