Message from Governor Ellie
September is Basic Education and Literacy Month and I’d like to take this theme in a different direction.  When club president, Melissa Dunn, of Yuma Foothills Rotary was asked what her main focus was this year she said: “What I want to concentrate on is educating the community about Rotary and the things that we do in the name of Rotary. I want to bring more attention to membership and getting more people involved with the projects we do this year.”

How do we educate the community about Rotary? How do we get the community to recognize our logo and even to recognize the name Rotary? Far too many people ask: “What is Rotary?” We must build a strong BRAND, and in Vicki Puliz’s words, brand is the club experience—the Rotary Brand Experience. It’s now easier than ever to strengthen Rotary's image in your community with the user-friendly materials, tools and resources available in the Rotary Brand Center. 
Our Public Image Chair, Gary Hirsch, is available for additional brand help such as brand guidelines, how to post project photos with great impact and how to create the message the club wants to share. He will also offer marketing tips. Yes, let’s educate our communities so one day our logo can be as recognizable as the swoosh in Nike. 
Two of Gary’s goals for the Rotary year are:
  • To help clubs maintain consistency with Rotary International’s Brand Standards. This ensures that wherever we are and whatever we do, we can cement the association with Rotary International, its goals, and its accomplishments.
  • To ensure that the public is far more aware of what Rotary accomplishes—not to boast, but as an aid to secure members.
Please see the rest of this month’s District Newsletter for updates on the District Conference, The Ride to End Polio, RYLA, memorial services for PDG Dick Palmer, some membership best practices and some noteworthy accomplishments from some of our many great clubs throughout District 5500.
Cruise With a Cause II
Long Beach to Ensenada, Mexico
Oct. 25-28, 019
Top 3 Reasons To Go On The Cruise With A Cause II!
1. Cruise Vacations offer a great deal
When you book through Cruise Connections, your food, accommodations, and entertainment is covered; even the gratuities! And since the dresscode is Tommy Bahama casual, you don’t need to buy a new wardrobe.
2. Ships Are Floating Cities
Need wifi? That’s covered.  Forgot to pack something?  Onboard shops, medical centers, and laundry services are available.  Of course, there are fun things like gyms, multiple restaurants, a movie theater, spa, swimming pools, and stage shows
3. Cruising is Social
The Conference Sessions, cocktail parties, Service Project in Ensenada and lunch at a Vineyard all offer wonderful opportunities to make new friends.  Who knows who’ll you’ll be sitting next to and what kind of new friendship will grow from that chance encounter?
Go to the District website to register for the Conference (free), reserve a spot on the Charter Bus ($114), and sign up for the Vineyard Lunch in Ensenada ($25):
Call Mike Sloane at Cruise Connections to reserve your cabin:  336-414-1997.
Cruise With a Cause II Offers Advertising Opportunity
Here is a perfect opportunity to promote your business District-wide. The Cruise With A Cause II  Conference Program will include ads of various sizes starting at just $50. Individuals can advertise their business.  Club’s may also use this opportunity to promote a fundraiser or service project.
Please choose your level and then simply submit your Word document or PDF file to wbtucson@gmail.comalong with your contact number
Admiral’s Level:                                                                         $2500
Cabin with dinner on Queen Mary - Oct. 24
Ocean view cabin on Carnival Inspiration
Full page color Ad in the Cruise Program
Recognition in all media promotions
Special recognition from the Master of Ceremonies
Special recognition on the District website

Captain Level:                                                                                 $275
Full b/w page Ad in the Cruise Program
Recognition in all media promotions

First Mate Level:                                                                              $150
Half b/w page Ad in the Cruise Program

Sailor Level:                                                                                      $100
Quarter-page b/w Ad in the Cruise Program

Cruise Director Level:                                                                          $50
Business card b/w Ad in the Cruise Program
D5500 Is Presenting Sponsor for El Tour
Rotary District 5500 will be, for the first time, a Presenting Sponsor for the 10th annual Ride To End Polio (RTEP). RTEP has raised over $53 Million in the previous 9 years, thanks in part to the matching support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
El Tour 2019 will be dedicated to Bill and Melina Gates Foundation. A representative from the foundation will attend the RTEP and accept the award on behalf of Bill and Melinda Gates.
Please ride, donate and help out at the Rotary stations along the bike route. There is also an indoor ride that may suit your style better. Check out all the details on the Rotary D5500 website.
RYLA Update
Visit information and applications.                                                                                        
  1. Recruit Delegates for spaces you have reserved.  Ask Club Members, Interact Clubs and school counselors for candidates. 
    • Interview candidates to select those who would most benefit from RYLA. 
    • Select an alternate delegate, in case one of yours cancels. Then you won’t lose your money.
    • Review applications to be sure they are complete before forwarding to Marcos Ramirez; incomplete applications will be returned. Send by email or mail: San Luis Rotary, Attn. Marcos Ramirez, PO Box 13926, San Luis, AZ 85349. Applications are due by November 1
  2. JC and Adult Advisor applications due by November 1st. 
    We need Adult volunteers to be Advisors to make RYLA work.Candidates will be interviewed in early November by the admin team. 12 Adult Advisors and 12 Junior Counselors will be selected.
  3.  Schedule a presentation on RYLA for a Club meeting. Contact me if your Club is interested in scheduling a presentation. 
Barbara Harrison
District 5500 RYLA Chair
Membership Tips from Oro Valley Rotary
  • "If you have time to give back to your community, please consider joining the Rotary Club of Oro Valley."  This appears on the club website as well as a banner that we bring to public events. 
  • Approximately 50% of the people who have reached out to the club via email have viewed the website.  It is important that all clubs keep websites up to date with pictures of people volunteering their time to complete community service projects. 
  • The President is the website contact for the Club and can personally respond to anyone interested in joining.
  • When a new member is inducted, the President sends a welcome email  to welcome them and ask:
    • What influenced you to join Rotary?
    • What are your passions inside and outside the club?
  • The new member is invited to get involved right away on a Committee that satisfies their passions.  This is critical and it works.
For more Membership ideas, visit our District website at and click on “Membership Development” or contact District Membership Joyce Finkelstein at
Pantano Club Supports Sunnyside Wellness Fair
Pantano Rotary Club just completed their Sunnyside Wellness Fair where we purchased 750 backpacks and stuffed them with school supplies. Six club members volunteered for this event and had a great time doing it.
 Shelter Box News
Tucson Club Named Shelter Box Hero
Congratulations to The Rotary Club of Tucson, recognized as D5500’s first ShelterBox GOLD HERO club with their donation of $5,000 and three-year pledge. To gain HERO status, gifts must be given at the $1000, $3000 or $5000 level. Each ShelterBox HERO Club receives a HERO certificate, a digital website badge, and a HERO Club banner. 
Shelterbox has once again been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and is currently deployed in 9 regions around the globe. To learn more about what’s new with Shelterbox, contact Don Jorgensen, District 5500 Volunteer Ambassador ( to request a club presentation.
Tucson Sunrise Raises Funds for Cyclone Idai Survivors
In June, the Rotary Club of Tucson Sunrise teamed up with Golden Pin Lanes to raise funds for survivors of Cyclone Idai. They filled 40 lanes with Rotarians, Rotaractors, family, and friends and raised more than $7,300 for ShelterBox. 
 In Memoriam
Dick Palmer, PDG
Memorial Services for Past District Governor and long-time Catalina Rotarian, Dick Palmer, were  held at St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church on September 7 Dick passed away on July 12. Donations of remembrance may be made to The Catalina Rotary Club for the Boys & Girls Club of Tucson, The Desert Museum, or your favorite charity.
 Bill Demeroutis Receives Service Above Self Award
Bill Demeroutis was awarded the Service above Self Pin during the August 22, 2019, The Rotary club of SaddleBrooke meeting. Barbara Barr presented Bill with his award.
Before joining The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke, Bill Demeroutis had over eight years volunteering with Rotary as a member of the Lake Stevens Washington Rotary Club, serving in various leadership roles.
Bill’s drive with The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke is to practice “Service Above Self” which he has demonstrated. 
PRID Phil Silvers Speaks at Sierra Vista Sunrise
PRID Phil Silvers gave a program to the Sierra Vista Sunrise club on August 28 about the “how to’s” of getting involved in international service.

Taking advantage of his visit, District Governor Nominee Henrietta “Hank” Huisking and her husband, Peter (of Sunrise Rotary) invited representatives from local clubs to an International Service Social at their home.  Phil talked to the gathering of Rotarians from Sierra Vista, Bisbee and Sonoita about the grant process with emphasis on international projects and Global Grants.

Participants enjoyed the opportunity to learn in an informal environment.  Sierra Vista South Club President Lisa Price: “Phil provided us great insight into ways and means to consider getting involved in Rotary International projects.  His discussion was a great complement to the webinar on grants.  It was also great to get together with Rotarians from multiple clubs.” 

Phil said that clubs might consider this small type gathering as a model for how areas of the District can come together--to learn, question, and plan their greater involvement in Rotary.
Catalina Rotary Supports Creative Arts Center
Grand Opening and Dedication of the Catalina Rotary Creative Arts Center at the Boys & Girls Club at 3155 E. Grant Road will be held in the Center on Wednesday, September 25th, 4 – 5 PM. Catalina Rotary has pledged $50,000 to the completion of the Creative Arts Center which is the club’s Big Idea for this year.  Boys and Girls Club members will have the opportunity to use the center as a creative space for a wide variety of visual and performing arts.

Please send all your articles to: by the last day of each month! 

RSS Feed

Nigeria reaches crucial polio


Shekhar Mehta of India selected to be 2021-22 Rotary International


A collaboration between Rotary and Heifer continues to produce big results, helping small farms provide healthier, locally-sourced


Rotary and ShelterBox celebrate the power of partnershipEvanston Ill., Rotary International announced on 3 June a three-year partnership renewal with its disaster relief project partner, ShelterBox. For almost 20 years,


Rotary announces US$100 million to eradicate polioEVANSTON, Ill. (June 10, 2019) — Rotary is giving US$100 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed

Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile