Governor Ellie's Message
Rotary's February theme is Peace and Conflict Resolution and it couldn't come at a better time. As we pro-actively seek to promote peace on a global scale we are often met with people who remain silent on the subject of peace. Others make comments such as:  "Peace is impossible," "Conflict is a way of life," "Peace is just the absence of war," or "People will always be at odds with each other." The good news is that Rotary has always refused to accept conflict as a way of life. Through our service projects, peace fellowships and scholarships, we are taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education and unequal distribution of resources. Most recently, Rotary has established seven Peace Centers around the world, with the most recent one at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The Peace Centers train Rotary Peace Fellows how to work for and become agents of peace. 
Advancing peace in the world is an ambitious goal and we Rotarians are putting it into action. As dedicated ambassadors for peace, Rotarians are improving lives through thousands upon thousands of humanitarian projects - projects that bring water to villages, healthcare programs to villagers, sanitation programs to schools, wheelchairs to polio victims  and programs that advance world understanding, goodwill and peace. Rotary has a rich peace-building history and it’s still our mission today. 
In District 5500, Rotarians are invited to attend our Second Annual Day of Peace on April 4 to hear inspirational speakers and learn new peace-building skills. Clubs are installing Peace Poles throughout their communities where people can gather and engage in positive peace dialogue, instruction and celebration of peace. Many clubs may be interested in becoming Peacebuilder Clubs by simply declaring their commitment to promoting Peace through Rotary and signing an agreement.  Clubs may also engage our youth in peace-focused activities. Our District is also currently recruiting Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to join a Satellite Club.  
Rotary is serious about peace and so are we in District 5500. 
RTEP Final Results
The Ride to End Polio (RTEP) results are in!  We raised $4,930,956 in the Ride To End Polio 2019.  Here’s the breakdown...
$822,805 in cash contributions (, Rotary Ideas, Facebook and checks mailed in)
$410,423.13 in District Designated Funds
$410,423.13 in World Fund Match
Total - $1,643,652.00 (No Gates match)
$4,930,956.00 with the Gates match
That puts our cumulative total at $58,233,506! Truly Amazing!  Great job District 5500 for putting on such an amazing, International event!
We had a total of 120 riders riding on behalf of Rotary in the road ride.  Much thanks goes out to those 120 riders.  And, we cannot forget our wonderful Indoor riders.  The 357 Indoor riders raised $101,142(not including any matches).  Even though El Tour did not host an Indoor ride, Charlotte Harris did.  Thank you Charlotte for orchestrating and organizing such a successful Indoor ride this year!
So, what’s new for 2020? Well, change is in the air.  We have already booked the new Pre-Ride Dinner location in the Atrium at the Viscount Suites on Broadway.  Plus, we will have a block of rooms there for any out-of-towners who want to stay close to the action.  We are working on a new fundraising platform, there will be a new route for the Ride, and many more improvements.  So, stay tuned and keep an eye on the Ride To End Polio webpage for updates.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the RTEP 2019 such an amazing District-wide event and success.
Natasha Wrae
District RTEP Chair
RYLA Was Incredible!
94 Delegates, 12 Jr Counselors, 4 Logistics Team JCs & 12 Adult Advisors experienced RYLA! Delegates identified their personality style (Lion/Otter/Beaver/Golden Retriever) and explored how to use this knowledge to be a more effective leader. They practiced Public Speaking and learned how to use the 4-way test to make Ethical Decisions. They also tested their courage on the outdoor Challenge Course, designed a community service project related to one of Rotary’s Six Areas of Focus, and played kickball or took a walk to a waterfall. Oh, and we had fun - ask them about the Talent Show, Dance, games in the cabins at night, and 6:45 am basketball and volleyball!
Invite your sponsored delegates to come share their charm bracelets, Selfie notebooks and experiences with your Club, and keep them excited about staying involved with Rotary!
And a final thanks to all of you for your continued support and belief in the value of RYLA! I am handing over the leadership of this event to Page Misenhimer and know he will continue to create an amazing experience for our kids next year.
Barbara Harrison
District 5500 RYLA Chair / 520.250.3437
2020 Rotary World Peace Conference
This extraordinary conference was help January 17 and 18, 2020 in Ontario, CA.  Five Rotary Districts sponsored the event, which was attended by over 1200 Rotarians and quests.  Outstanding General Session speakers included CEOs of international organizations like Peace Corps, CARE USA, the Carter Center, Women Cross DMZ, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and celebrity spokesmen for RI and UN High Commission on Refugees.
Very inspirational General Session speakers included a holocaust survivor, an LGBTQ rights advocate, entrepreneurs, renowned mediators, academics,  and philanthropists for peace.
Breakout Sessions were divided into 13 subject matter “Tracks,” including Diplomacy/War, Human and Civil Rights, Empowering Women, Global Economic Development, Religion/Spirituality, Personal Peace, and the Media.  Each Track had eight sessions,  each led by an expert in the field.
The House of Friendship was outstanding, with over 60 booths representing peace programs and organizations, many of which involved Rotary.  And as always with such a conference, one of the best features was opportunity to renew old friendships, meet new friends, and make new contacts.  Attending from D5500 were Ray Naylor (Tucson Sunrise), Ross Feezer (Casa Grande Daybreak), and Michael Drake (Tucson Sunset.)
PDG Michael Drake
District 5500 Day of Peace
Join us for our District 5500 Second Annual Day Of Peace.
Rotarians are taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, ethnic tensions and lack of access to education.  We refuse to accept conflict as a way of life. We will find out more about Rotary’s long-time passion for peace at our second annual Day of Peace and why it’s more important than ever to learn and understand the importance of peace. Inspirational speakers and activities will be a part of this day as we Learn, Interact and Share ideas.
“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.” Carlos Santana 
District 5550 Day of Peace
April 4, 2020.
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Truly Nolen Leadership Center,
434 S. Williams Blvd. (in the Williams Center)
Tucson, AZ 85711 
Registration will be on our website soon. Cost is $25.00 which includes continental breakfast and lunch.
Peace Pole Project Update
Here is an update on clubs who are installing Rotary Peace Poles around District 5500:
  • Coolidge Rotary Club - installing Peace Pole on city property, next to a municipal youth center with Peace Pole dedication on April 3rd
  • Casa Grande Daybreak Rotary together with Casa Grande Rotary installing Peace Pole in City Hall area
  • Tucson Sunrise Rotary - installing Peace Pole by River Walk area near Pantano/Speedway
  • Tucson Rotary - installing Peace Pole at Reid Park
  • Sierra Vista  Rotary Clubs multi-club project - Sierra Vista, Sierra Vista West, Sierra Vista South, Sierra
  • Vista Sunrise installing Peace Pole at Veteran's Memorial
We're encouraging all of our Clubs to install a Peace Pole, either individually or as a multi-club project.
Here are 4 steps to take to become a Peace Pole Club.
  1. Your Peace Poles may be purchased or hand-crafted locally, displaying the languages that are meaningful to your Rotary Club.
  2. Each Peace Pole should be dedicated at a ceremony that commemorates a special occasion.
  3. Clubs may brainstorm locations to plant their Peace Pole. Public Parks, Town/City Centers, Synagogues, Churches, Schools and Libraries are some suggestions.
  4. You may purchase your Peace Pole by clicking on  The price starts at $100. District Governor Ellie has committed to help your club purchase a Peace Pole.
Please don't hesitate to contact, Joe Daniszewski, our District Peace Projects Chair, for assistance and to share your Peace Pole news.
Joe Daniszewski
Rotary Leadership Institute Update
On January 25th, Rotarians from 12 District 5500 clubs had the opportunity to develop individual leadership skills and prepare for future roles in their clubs. 
Because Rotary Club leadership changes on a yearly basis there is a constant need for new leaders who are knowledgeable about the world of Rotary International. It is sometimes challenging to learn enough about the world of Rotary at the Club level.  Furthermore, leadership skills in a voluntary organization are quite different from business or military leadership skills.
District 5500 leaders who served as facilitators included: Ellie Patterson (DG), Joe Hentges (PDG), Kirk Reed (PDG), Michael Drake (PDG), Teree Bergman (PDG), Steven Di Muzio, (PDG), Hank Huisking (DGN), Doug Woodard (Casas Adobes), Mary Straus (PAG), Anita Farrow (PP Sierra Vista West), and Joe Guyton (RLI Director). Thank you to this outstanding faculty for sharing their experience in life and in Rotary.
Congratulations to the five Rotarians who made the commitment to Leadership in our district and completed the 3-part program.  
2019-2020 Graduates
L to R: Fred Shirley, Sierra Vista; Barbara Barr, Saddlebrooke; Sheila Chavez, Casa Grande Daybreak; Ellie Patterson, DG; Joe Guyton, RLI; Larry Hampton, Sierra Vista West; and Willis Horak, Casas Adobes

Congrats to three TRVFA Surgical Tech Program Grads!

Mohave Community College was recently proud to announce that for the third year in a row, 100% of the seven graduates from their Surgical Technology program based in Lake Havasu City passed the national board exam on the first attempt.  Three of the seven in that 2019 graduating class were grant recipients from The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA).  Amber and Lindsay were both sponsored by the Kingman Route 66 Rotary Club, and Nativa was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Yuma Sunrise for their TRVFA grants.  The graduates are now beginning their careers at hospitals and surgery centers.

"This is a great accomplishment and we're very proud of the students, our program director and her team," said MCC President Dr. Stacy Klippenstein.  "The national board exams are not easy, so to have every student pass on the first attempt speaks volumes about the quality of education you get at MCC."  

A surgical technologist is a key member of the surgery team and ensures the operating room sterile field is prepared, assists with patient positioning and prepares the operation site. Technologists also assist surgeons with medical equipment during surgery.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, students graduating from the MCC program are entering a career field in which they can earn up to $72,810 annually.  TRVFA is very proud to be a part of helping these young women help themselves.

CLICK HERE to visit the TRVFA website.  TRVFA is a Qualifying Charitable Organization for Arizona Tax Credit.  Donations given on or before April 15, 2020 can be used for the 2019 or 2020 tax year, but not both.  It is very easy to DONATE NOW.

Membership Moment

Bring some fun into building your membership!  If you haven’t seen any of the humorous videos prepared by Zone 26/27 (, you’re missing out on a unique way to engage your members. 

Check out the District website at  Click on “Membership Development” on the left panel under Site Pages.  Under “Links”, you’ll find several short videos including this one titled “Breaking Bad”:

For more information or help with your membership goals, please contact Joyce Finkelstein at

Rotarians at Work Day
April 25, 2020
Rotarians At Work Day happens the last Saturday in April each year.  Started in 2006 as a joint effort between two Rotary Districts in the US and Mexico, Rotarians at Work Day continues to grow. The day is a great way to revitalize your Club, bring in new members and generate publicity for Rotary. On Saturday, April 25, 2020 every Rotarian in District 5500 can showcase the great things that Rotary does through a new or existing service project or collaborating with other clubs.
Now is not too early to decide on your club’s project and how you will publicize it.  Please email your club project point of contact to DGN Henrietta (Hank) Huisking, by February 25th.
February is the month of LOVE
Love Rotary during the month of February.
Here is my challenge to you: wear your Rotary pin of choice everyday during the month of February.
 If you liked the “feeling” let’s try a 60 day challenge. Before you know it, it will become a daily habit.
Let me know about this experience!
Diane Ventura-Goodyear DGE
From the Clubs....
Rotary Club of Tucson; 2019 Tucson Classics Car Show
The 13th Annual Tucson Classics Car show, presented by Rotary Club of Tucson on October 19, 2019 at The Gregory School was a great success and raised $180,678 for local charities, bringing the thirteen-year gifting total to over $1.6 Million for charities in Southern Arizona.
Make Way for Books, the primary beneficiary, was granted $65,271. Make Way for Books mission is to give all children the chance to read and succeed. Make Way for Books empowers parents as their children’s first, most essential teachers and ensures young children have access to the early learning opportunities they deserve. 
Interfaith Community Services received a check for $35,135. ICS will use their funds to support the development of a new eastside Family Self-Sufficiency Center. 
The Reid Park Zoo is using their grant of $35,135 to help develop a new biologically diverse playground for children that visit the zoo. 
The Gregory School Scholarship was established with a gift of $10,000 from this year’s car showRotary
Club of Tucson is grateful to The Gregory School for hosting the car show.
A total of $35,137 will be retained in the Rotary Club of Tucson Foundation’s discretionary fund for smaller
charitable grants to be made throughout the next two years.
The Rotary Club of Tucson is already gearing up for next event with to be held on October 17, 2020.
Car entry and ticket information are available at:
Globe Rotary Club 5th Annual Dominion Royale
Globe Rotary Club is hosting its 5th Annual Dominion Royale event on February 29th beginning at 6pm at the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts.  “Leap down the rabbit hole” with Globe Rotary Club for Leap Year!!
Tickets are just $25 each and can be purchased from any Globe Rotary Club member or reserved for pickup at the event by calling Cami Lucero at 425-4444.
This fundraiser includes an Alice in Wonderland/Mad Hatter costume contest, savory and sweet bites from Vida e Caffe, gaming tables and prizes from many local supporters.
Visit the 5th Annual Dominion Royale event page on Facebook or call Cami Lucero at 425-4444 to learn more.
Mardi Gras Casino Night at the Sonoita Fairgrounds
Feb 22 – 5:00-9:00 
Come join us for a fun filled evening of Blackjack, Roulette, Craps and Texas Holdem Poker!   (No actual gambling, fake money is used.) There will be food, a no-host bar, great silent auction and raffles as well.
The Mountain Empire Rotary Club's fundraiser utilizes the proceeds to provide books for students, college scholarships for graduating seniors, student of the month awards, an annual Career Fair at our local high school and much more to enhance our local communities of Elgin, Patagonia and Sonoita Arizona.   $50/person includes Gambling Skripts, heavy appetizers + one bar coupon.
Make it a weekend in Sonoita and stay at one of our B&Bs, dine in our great restaurants, and spend the day winetasting, shopping, or poking around the area.  
Tickets Now on Sale for 18th Annual "Taste of Tubac"
Sunday, April 5 – 5 to 8 pm at the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa
Celebrating its 18th year, the Taste of Tubac is the Tubac Rotary Club’s signature fund-raiser – and this year promises to be better than ever. 
Enjoy an evening of al fresco dining with “tastes” from dozens of area restaurants and beverage producers. Enjoy great music and dancing, too – with Hardscrabble Road taking the stage for everyone’s entertainment. Proceeds from ticket sales, sponsorships and auction items benefit a wide range of local organizations and programs.
Advance ticket sales only. They’re available beginning Feb. 1 at the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, Green Valley/Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, and the Tubac location businesses Donna’s Salon, Jane’s Attic and Tumacookery.
Price is $60 per person. Reserved tables for groups of 10 are available for an additional $100 per table. Call 520-336-7638 for more information. 

Pass the Pasta, Please! 

Members of the Green Valley Rotary Club, with generous support from Green Valley Recreation and Dominick’s Green Valley Restaurant, will be slinging pasta and stirring bubbling pots of sauce at their annual Spaghetti Spree, 4:30 to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12. This year, the event will be held at the West Social Center, 1111 S. Via Arcoiris in Green Valley.

Cost is $12 which includes all-you-can-eat spaghetti, plus salad, garlic bread, soft drink, water or coffee and a cookie. Both meat and vegetarian marinara sauces will be offered in the "ciao" line. 

Want an adult beverage? Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Also, there will be a 50/50 drawing at 6:30. 

Want to take it home? Carry-out is no problem. All net proceeds will benefit local Rotary projects.

Buy tickets at the door or from any Green Valley Rotarian.


Tucson Kino Golf Tournament                                                               
The Tucson Kino Rotary is proud to announce their 13th Annual Golf Tournament to be held on Saturday, June 13, 2020 at Randolph Golf Course at 600 South Alvernon Way in Tucson.
Proceeds raised from the golf tournament help to provide Sunnyside School District, Tucson Unified School District and Indian Oasis School students with books and school supplies for kindergartners, library books for elementary school libraries, dictionaries for third graders, and Tucson Kino Rotary Character Awards for local high school students.
We invite you to join us for a fun-filled day of golf as a corporate sponsor and/or foursome for golf. The 18-hole four-person scramble tournament with a 7:30 AM shotgun start attracts participants from throughout Southern Arizona. It includes contests, hole activities, a silent auction, benefit drawings, and opportunities to win individual and team prizes.  The tournament will conclude with a buffet lunch and an awards ceremony.
To donate or register for golf visit: golftournament


Night of 1000 Signs

Russell Hampton
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