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Saturday, May 1, 2021


     May is here and I always think about the lilacs growing in our garden in Western NY. I would pick a few and put them in a vase for my class. Such a wonderful smell that would pick up our spirits. Tulips were beginning to bud and the weather was warming up enough for us to believe that Summer was around the corner. So many wonderful memories of Spring.


     May in Rotary is Youth Services Month. Did you know that AG Natasha Wrae is heading up a new community Interact Club for Tucson?  Could this be an idea for your community? Rather than concentrate on one particular school, invite youth from different high schools in your immediate area. The youth today really want to be a part of community projects and to make a difference.


     We are hopeful that RYLA will take place in person as usual. The price per student will be increasing so be sure to include that increase in your 21-22 budget. We are also optimistic that international travel will be opening up soon. We must encourage our youth to sign up for Rotary Youth Exchange.


     Classrooms are also rumored to be opening up for students in August if not sooner so Interact Clubs and Rotaract Clubs may potentially meet again in person.  Just like Spring, we have expectations of “normality”.


     Many Clubs are setting up hybrid meetings. Please review the requirements on our website. If the meeting is not configured correctly, it will become frustrating for everyone. Background noise can be extremely bothersome for those online.  Ask members to silence their phones and cut down on the background chatter.
      Be sure you have an excellent microphone and ask members to keep the chatter down during the presentations. If using a wireless microphone, you need to purchase one with a sufficient range for your meeting space. It is mandatory that all people speaking use the microphone, even if they believe they have a loud voice.  Nothing is worse than being in a meeting and not being able to hear.  Remember we are products of the “loud music” generation.  Our hearing may have degraded over the years.  
     Loudspeakers need to be of high quality, especially when members are asking questions either online or in person.  Everyone must be able to hear. Your guest speaker should be facing both audiences. It is essential for Rotary Clubs to test the setup both in-person and online.  TEST, TEST, TEST.
     If the experience is not good for either audience, you will have wasted your time, effort, and money. Additionally, have a tech member or a team of tech members assist with the setup, particularly throughout the meeting. Presidents do not need to add to their responsibilities.
     There will typically be some technical glitches.  However, if your setup is good, the glitches can be minimized. If the Internet at your meeting location is not robust, you should purchase small “hot spots” or use your cell phone (assuming you have good reception) instead. TEST, TEST, TEST.
     I have heard from quite a few Clubs that they will continue with a hybrid setup in the future because they enjoy the variety of possible presenters that they can choose from and the international availability of speakers. Many Clubs have members, especially "snowbirds”, who would to be able to continue to attend Rotary meetings from locations all over the world.
     Just as projectors were a necessity for Rotary Clubs back in the day, much of the equipment you are using now will become requirements for the future. Generally, most modern hotels and meeting places will have this equipment pre-installed, but you must practice.   Set it up and test it before the meeting. TEST, TEST, TEST.


     This year I have seen an increase in the number of  Rotary Clubs working together on fundraisers as well as projects. You have heard the saying; Teamwork makes the Dream work. Since we are all working together for Rotary, why not? Hats off to Mountain Empire RC and Benson RC.  They combined their annual golf tournament resulting in a huge success.

     Online fundraisers went amazingly well for many Clubs. Most mentioned to me that they will continue to add this online component to their usual events. We have all learned this year that Thinking Outside the Box does work!

     Lastly, remember to thank those that jumped in and lent a hand to help your Club be more successful. We are so grateful that we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Please be extra careful until we have all had our COVID vaccinations…here is a virtual hug from me to you.  

     Thank you Club Presidents for all you have accomplished this year, especially keeping your Club members engaged.

     Our hearts and healing thoughts reach out to the Rotary Districts and Rotary Clubs and all citizens of India who are facing a terrible surge of this pandemic; may relief come soon for all that are suffering and may they feel our healing prayers and good wishes.


Diane Ventura-Goodyear
District 5500 Governor 20-21

The Rotary Club of Peacebuilders  (from PDG Ellie Patterson)
     “Our World Needs Peace Literacy to Survive” will be the program at this month’s Peacebuilders Club e-Network meeting, to be held Monday evening, May 17, 2021.  It will feature Jerry Leggett, Rotarian, Singer-Songwriter, and Development Director for the Peace Literacy Institute.                                                                                                                  (https://www.peaceliteracy.org/jerryleggett)
     Jerry Leggett, a member of the Tubac Rotary Club, believes that Rotary is the most powerful global network in the world for creating a more healthy, just, and sustainable world.  For more than forty years, Leggett has been singing, working, and raising funds on behalf of people placed at risk. He will discuss ways Rotarians can offer practical tools for a new generation to use to strengthen communities, reduce polarization and equip the next generation of peacebuilders.
     You can hear Jerry's music, including "Peace Wheels", an uplifting song about The Rotary Four-Way Test at: jerryleggett.com.
     Jerry Leggett tours with the Rotarian Action Group for Peace (RAGFP) and performed beneath the famed Spruce Goose for the launch of the 2017 The Rotary Club is the Hub for Peacebuilding Tour (along the West Coast) and at the 2017 Rotary Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Rotary Clubs of Valle Verde and Tucson Sunset
The University of Arizona Interact Club
  (from Myron Donald)
     Last Wednesday, April 28, 2021, the Interact Club of the University of Arizona held its final meeting of the school year in the Arizona Sands Club above the UofA football stadium.
     The Rotary Clubs of Kino Tucson and Tucson Sunrise shared PHF points to honor graduating senior and outgoing president Andy Ahn Le with a Paul Harris Fellow for his outstanding work in keeping the Interact Club intact and active during the COVID pandemic.
     One of the ongoing projects of the Interact Club has been frequent cleaning of the Turquoise Trail, a guide path to historic sites in downtown Tucson.
     The Interact Club has already established its Board, led by incoming president Julianne Setiadi, for the upcoming school year.

Projects from District 5500’s Valentine Grants
                                                                                                                                                          (from Marc Snow)
February –April 2021
Saddlebrooke                               Cleaning supplies for Impact families
Saddlebrooke Sunrise                 Tri-city food band emergency food needs
Tucson Kino                                 Food Cards for Sunnyside School kids
Marana Dove Mountain             Roadrunner Elementary-tables for food programs
Marana                                        Tangerine Sky Park Peace Project
Coolidge                                       Dance Studio and Adult Center meals
Somerton                                     Continue Dictionaries commitment
Casa Grande                               Women’s Art Center
Sunrise                                         Gym Bags/essentials for youth
Green Valley                                Sahuarita Middle School COVID needs
Globe                                            Poppy Festival Chamber economic development
Sierra Vista                                  Medical Center Park
Valle Verde                                   St. Andrew Children Clinic
Bisbee                                           Bisbee Senior Center improvements
Tucson (Casas Adobes)               Amphi Schools food program
Sierra Vista Sunrise                    Salvation Army Meals Program
Vail                                               Vail Family University
Sierra Vista South                       GNA Mural Contest
Pantano                                        Little Libraries
Rincon                                          Buddy Bench Verde Elementary
Sierra Vista West                         Peace Poles In Forgoch and Carmichael
Oro Valley                                    Eagles Wings Center Steamer, cooking equipment
Rio Rico                                        Community food project/Back 2 School Blitz
Benson                                          Pomerene School Library
Fort Yuma                                    Peace Pole, Community College 
Mountain Empir-Sonoita           Personal ID protection shredding event
The Rotary Club of Tucson               

Tucson Rotary Club’s Clean-Up Project at the Triangle Y Ranch YMCA Camp                                                           (from Dave Gallaher)
     The Rotary Club of Tucson performed its first service project since COVID-10 on Friday, March 27, 2021, at the Triangle Y YMCA Ranch Camp outside of Oracle. Club members spent most of Saturday landscaping the front of the main camp building and refinishing the outside of the kitchen storage area. The Club made a $1000 donation for materials and plans to perform another project for the Ranch in October or November. The Ranch is planning to reopen for summer camp and is busy getting ready for the arrival of campers in late May and early June, 2021.
     The Ranch is a perfect place for a service project for all area Rotary clubs. For more information about planning your Club’s service project at the Ranch, call the maintenance manager, Rick, at 520-591-0811 or the Camp Director, Andy, at 573-854-1161.
Peace Pole at Literacy Connects                              (from Joe Daniszewski)
    The Rotary Club of Tucson dedicated its first Peace Pole on Friday, April 16, 2021, at the office of Literacy Connects, 200 E Yavapai Rd, Tucson, AZ 85705.
     (from left: Roger Harwell, Jennifer Hoffman, Past District Governor Ellie Patterson, Joe Daniszewski, District Governor Diane Ventura-Goodyear, Matthew Tarver-Wahlquist, Betty Stauffer, PE Mark Irvin)

    Masahisa Goi (1916 - 1980) was a Japanese teacher, philosopher, poet, and author who dedicated his life to peace and humanity after witnessing the terrible destruction of the Second World War. He started a world peace movement to spread the universal message and prayer, “May Peace Prevail on Earth”, as a way to unite the hearts of humanity by transcending all boundaries of culture, religion, and politics.
      Masahisa Goi founded the May Peace Prevail on Earth Foundation.  The District 5500 Peace Committee has embraced Peace Poles that are the hallmark of Goi's foundation.
   (Roger Harwell at work.)
The Fellowships of Rotary                     (from Joyce Finkelstein)
     For many Rotarians, the Fellowship that Rotary provides ranks with Service as the reason that they became and remain Rotarians. Are you aware of the Fellowships that are available through Rotary International?
     Rotary Fellowships are international groups that share a passionate interest in recreational activities, sports, hobbies, or professions. These groups help expand skills, foster vocational development and enhance the Rotary experience by exploring interests while developing connections around the world.  Being part of a Fellowship is a fun way to make friends around the world, explore a hobby or profession, and enhance your Rotary experience. Membership in a Fellowship is open to any interested individual. Fellowships function independently of Rotary International by establishing their own rules, dues requirements, and administrative structures. They are open to Rotarians, their family members, as well as participants and alumni of all Rotary and Foundation programs.
     For more information about existing Rotary Fellowships, as well as how to start a new Fellowship, please visit www.rotary.org/fellowships. Contact rotaryfellowships@rotary.org with questions.
Joyce Finkelstein
District 5500 Membership Chair
520-393-0317 (H)
520-429-0257 (C)
The Rotary Club of Tucson Kino                  (from  David Fawcett)
Mulcahy YMCA Peace Poles
     Kino Rotary presented a traveling Peace Pole to the Mulcahy YMCA Early Learning Center in a ceremony on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
     Eight members of the Tucson Kino Rotary Peace Pole Committee, chaired by President-Elect Dennis Bergquist, dedicated countless hours to the preparation and presentation of the Celebration of Peace Ceremony. Other Committee Members are Emma Carrillo, Buck Crouch, Debbie Haddock, Ralph Nickl, John Palacio, Maria Patterson, and Daniel Stringham.
     The stage was set with a long table with a mysterious three-foot-tall item under wraps as the children filed out and a group of Rotarians and members of the Board of the YMCA of Southern Arizona Metro stood by in anticipation.  Dennis began the celebration with an inspirational moment on Peace.
     Debbie Haddock recognized Carolyn Schwartz, the Director of Youth Development for the YMCA of Southern Arizona, with a Paul Harris Fellow (an award given by Rotarians to outstanding community members) for her dedication to youth.
    Emma Carrillo shared the history of the Peace Pole and Maria Patterson read the poem “Recipe for Peace” from the book Peaceful Pieces by Anna Grossnickle Hines.
     The Peace Pole was then revealed to the children and waiting adults. Debbie presented 16 peace-themed books to the YMCA which will enhance their future peace discussions.  Beki Quintero, an author of "In the Peace Garden" and the creator of the Peace Garden in the Manuel Herrera Jr. Park, donated four copies of her book and gave each child a packet of “Peace Seeds” to take home and plant. 
     Two children, Annabell Estrada, and Zayleigh Clark came forward and shared their thoughts on peace. 
     The traveling pole, constructed by John Palacio and Buck Crouch, is made of light plastic on a wooden base.  This Peace Pole will go from room to room, and from YMCA to YMCA, and will be the focal point of the peace lessons and activities developed by Emma Carrillo. Group leaders will use the pole to expand the children’s understanding of peace far into the future.  Debbie, Emma, and Maria hope to work with the YMCA students once COVID restrictions are lifted.  Fifteen proud members of the Tucson Kino Rotary Club were in attendance along with Past District Governor Ellie Patterson, District Peace Pole Chair Joe Daniszewski, and Charles Heberle, member of the District Peace Committee, and Rotarian Kurtis Dawson, CEO of the YMCA of Southern Arizona.  KGUN9 and KVOA4 news channels were there to record the event.  A short news piece with interviews appeared on KVOA4 at 4:25 and 5:25 pm that night.
     Another taller, permanent pole, constructed of metal to increase its durability, will be installed outside the Mulcahy YMCA entrance.  The message on the Peace Poles is in four languages -- English, Spanish, Yaqui, and Tohono O’odham, which represent the languages spoken most often in the Sunnyside School District. 
     As a finale, all present recited the Peace Pledge and signed a Peace Poster.
     The Peace Pledge
  •  I pledge to treat everyone around me with respect, honor, dignity, and with an open mind.
  •  I will refrain from both physical violence and violence of the heart and mind.
  •  I will treat others as I want to be treated, so we all may reach our fullest potential.
For more information, visit kinorotary.org
100-Mile Challenge                                                           (from Ray Naylor)
     Ray Naylor is the project leader for the District 5500 challenge to walk 100 miles in honor of Rotary’s 100 years in Southern Arizona.  The Miami Copper Cities, Tucson, and Nogales Clubs were formed in 1921!  When individuals or teams walk 100 miles during April and May 2021, District 5500 will donate $100 to the PolioPlus campaign of Rotary International.
The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona
     The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona is a non-profit organization under IRS Code 501(c)(3) whose purpose is to assist those people who qualify under Arizona law to obtain financial assistance to further their vocational studies. TRVFA is an organization that meets Arizona’s Credit For Contributions To A Qualifying Charitable Organization requirements.  The QCO Code for TRVFA is 20698.
     Financial aid counselors in vocational education institutions/Rotarians and their Clubs identify and recommend candidates who meet the eligibility requirements.
     Please consider donating your tax credit to The Rotary Vocational Fund of AZ  or consider donating directly.
     Or Mail-In your donation (download attached form) to:  TRVFA,
     P O Box 14412, Scottsdale, AZ 85267
     Below is information about the impact of TRVFA in Arizona and on the goals of TRVFA.
     Thank you for your continued support and generosity!
The Rotary Club of Dove Mountain
                                                 (from Prudy Abeln, Fundraising Chair)
Pay-It-Forward Raffle
     Please support Dove Mountain Rotary by buying a ticket for our Pay-It-Forward Raffle.  As the name suggests, you can purchase a ticket in the name of your favorite non-profit organization or for an individual whom you think needs a little extra help.  Or, this could be a wonderful Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift!  Then watch our six monthly drawings from July through December 2021, which will be held at our meeting on the first Thursday of each month.
      Only 360 tickets!  Every ticket goes into every drawing!  Your ticket will have 18 chances to win!
     The prizes for each month: 1st - $300, 2nd - $200, and 3rd - $100.
     Ticket sales will end June 15, 2021, so act now!  Checks can be made out to “Dove-Mountain Rotary Charitable Fund” and mailed to Teree Bergman, P.O. Box 69085, Oro Valley, AZ  85737.
     Please designate the name of the ticket holder (organization or individual) and the phone number and email address.
     To purchase a ticket, call or email Prudy Abeln at 575-613-3337 or prudy_abeln@hotmail.com
     Thanks for helping us serve others by supporting our projects with your generosity.
The Rotary Club of Rincon                                           (from Tom Eiff)
     On Saturday, April 24, 2021, Anne Gartner, Steve Pedigo and Debbie Graves of Rincon Rotary joined with Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Tucson for a service day in honor of Camp Lawton's 100-Year Anniversary.
     Camp Lawton is the Boy Scout camp on Mt. Lemmon.
     Three men named Steve. The youngest Steve, a highly successful Cub Scout who had just joined the Boys Scouts, held an Eagle Scout medal that was pinned on Steve Pedigo 52 years ago.  Rotarian Steve also shared the story of Rincon Rotary with Scout Steve and the Scout’s father, also Steve.
The Rotary Club of Tucson Sunrise
Ginger Garcia, Our Newest Member
     Ginger Garcia was born and raised in Southern California, but has lived in Tucson for 23 years and feels like a native.  She has been married to her wonderful husband, Orlando, for thirty-three years, has three great children and three awesome grandchildren. 
     The family enjoys get-togethers, barbequing, playing cards (Euchre), family games, and traveling.
    Ginger has a BS is Business Management and has served the Tucson market for more than fifteen years in media marketing where she has enjoyed helping business owners grow their businesses by creating marketing plans that have delivered measurable results.
     She recently became a Farmers Insurance Agent, serving the State of Arizona and specializing in Home, Auto, Commercial, and Life Insurance.  She enjoys helping her clients navigate the process of selecting just the right amount of coverage to protect their assets and being there to serve them with integrity every step of the way.
      “I enjoy serving my community and currently serve on the Marana Health Care Foundation Board.  I am supporting the Erik Hite Foundation by participating in the 5k Walk to Support First Responders, and, most recently, I became a Rotarian with Tucson Sunrise.
     I joined Rotary because my Father was a Rotarian and I know the organization as having real people in the community helping people when in need. I’m so impressed with the Rotarians here in Tucson and am happy to become one of them. I hope to jump in and help make a difference in someone’s life.”
(AG Liz Cohn, Ginger Garcia, Ginger's friend
and Sunrise Rotarian Rebecca Craig
and President Georg Haubner)
Ginger Garcia
Farmers Insurance
4500 E Speedway Blvd Ste 113
Tucson, AZ 85712-5304
520-771-9677 (Office)
520-730-5915 (Mobile)
520-844-6579 (Fax)
New Member Carol Roble
                                      Carol Roble has recently joined Tucson Sunrise Rotary.  Her husband, John, joined with Club Director for membership, Gina Murphy-Darling, Club President Georg Haubner, and Liz Cohn, PP of Tucson Sunrise and District Administrator,  in inducting Carol and presenting her with a plaque of Rotary's Four-Way Test.
Paul Harris Fellows
     Daniel Robinson was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow from his wife and Sunriser Mara Robinson.  Member Rebecca Craig received her fifth Paul Harris Fellow.  Club Director for The Rotary Foundation, Rick Hallick, and Georg Haubner, President of Tucson Sunrise Rotary, presented the PHFs.
     By matching contributions with PHF points, Rick was able to present, via Zoom, Isabel Banerjee with her first Paul Harris Fellow!
The Raffle is Back!
     After more than a year, the Raffle is back!  President Georg found a program that people can use to buy virtual tickets.  The Club Treasurer tracks the raffle ticket buyers and winners and then adjusts the dues statements. Georg enters the names a number of times, depending on how many tickets that person bought.  Then he spins the virtual wheel to determine the winners.  It is a way to continue contributing to PolioPlus and the Club.
Coffee with the Prez
     Saturday, April 17, 2021, at Beyond Bread on Campbell.
The Rotary Clubs of San Luis Frontera, Fort Yuma and Yuma Sunrise
Water Purification Systems for Five Schools in San Luis, Mexico
     Filtration systems in five schools in San Luis, Mexico, will benefit elementary school children and families with clean water.
     Approximately 30 Rotarians from Districts 5500 and 4100 and District Governor Diane Ventura-Goodyear and PDG Sheryl Christenson attended.
     Each purification system costs about $1500.  The Rotary Clubs of San Luis Frontera and Yuma Sunrise, Fort Yuma Rotary, and individual donations funded the systems.
     Water from the systems will be sold to raise money to maintain the equipment.
     Planning is underway for an additional 14 schools to receive similar equipment.
     If your Club wants to help support this ongoing project, contact: Marcos Ramirez at marcosramirez5550@gmail.com or President Louis Galaviz at lgalaviz@cityofsanluis.org


     Please submit your Club’s news by the 20th of each month. The Clubs’ Showcase will be distributed on the first of each month.
     Show off your Club.  Tell us what your Club and your members are doing for our communities and for the world.  Please share your best practices and what you have learned while doing your projects.  Rotary Clubs all learn from each other!
     Our editor, Myron Donald, is eagerly waiting for your articles. Please send articles as attachments in Word or in the body of an e-mail.  Please don't send PDF files and do send any photos as attachments with the highest resolution possible and not embedded in your email.  PDFs and embedded photos are difficult to transfer to ClubRunner.
     Thank you!
Virtual D5500 Conference
via Zoom
Jun 04, 2021 – Jun 06, 2021
D5500 District Conference
Tubac Golf Resort
Jun 04, 2021 9:00 AM -
Jun 05, 2021 8:00 PM
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