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     March is bringing us all hope. Many Rotarians in the District 5500 have received their first vaccines, and some have received both! Hurray! The FDA just approved a new vaccine from Johnson and Johnson.  Things are indeed looking up!  Some, like myself, are patiently waiting for an appointment. but the vaccine availability will be increasing in Arizona during March and April. We have all had a very long 12 months of worry and stress, with the virus at our doorstep.
     Remember you always have a friend in Rotary. The Presidents of  District 5500 Clubs are doing a phenomenal job of keeping their Clubs together by holding virtual and hybrid meetings. When we can once again meet in groups, we need to hug and thank them for being true champions for their Rotary Clubs.
    Welcome to March.  March, as you know, introduces the season of Spring.
    Here are some trivial facts about March.
  •  In 1933, the Monopoly Board Game was invented.
  • Alexander Graham Bell patented the Telephone in 1876
  • In 1845 the rubber band was invented.
  • In 1886 Coca Cola was invented.
     Many Rotary clubs are taking advantage of the Valentine’s Day Grant – Don’t miss out. The District has a limited amount of money appropriated for these grants. Be sure to contact Marc Snow, snowarizona@gmail.com , if your Club is considering taking advantage of this one-time opportunity.
     The District has decided to hold the District Conference virtually, but on the same dates, June 4-5, 2021. The decision was very difficult because we know that everyone in the District wants to get together and celebrate, however, it just cannot happen this June. It’s important that everyone in the District is safe and healthy.
      Our District has added another six  champions to assist the District Conference Committee with technical issues and, for that, we are so grateful. We promise you a very fulfilling event.  We are re-working the programs to present them online.  You will be hearing more about this in the next couple of weeks. Our District is resilient; we have always had a can-do attitude; this year will be no different!
     For new members in our District, the District Conference is an event you must attend. For those Rotarians who have never attended, you will have no travel nor overnight accommodation expenses.  Friday night, June 4th, we promise a Happy Hour like no other with Rotarians getting together to socialize in breakout rooms and to share time with friends. Why not invite a friend or colleague to attend the District Conference with you online?
     Did I mention we are seeking musicians to help kick off this District Conference and play for Hospitality (Friday) night? Contact me, if you are interested in sharing your musical ability.
     District 5500’s first online Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) took place in February, 2021. The surveys and Club responses are very uplifting and positive. The online RYLA team worked diligently to give our teens some solid leadership training. Give a shout-out to the online RYLA team and the Clubs that sponsored the students. The Adult Advisors and Jr. Counselors were so instrumental in the success of this program. The facilitators knocked it out of the park.  Just can’t say enough.
     The Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) will be offered again in April and May, 2021. If you missed the January schedule, you can now sign up on our website rotaryd5500.org. Bob Shogren, our new District Chair for RLI, has completely revamped the in-person event into a virtual experience. Please take advantage of this training, no matter how long you have been a Rotarian. Since it is now being offered online, no travel is required! You will be able to attend all three sessions in a six-week time-frame and receive your RLI completion certificate.
     As you probably have heard, El Tour de Tucson has been cancelled for this April…but, hold-on… cyclists now have additional time to get in shape for November 2021. Charlotte Harris is looking to have another indoor ride in April with Districts who decided to ride in Spring. Have fun and raise money for the eradication of polio, which, of course, gets matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
     Upcoming events: The Zone Institute will be held in Tucson this year at Lowes Ventana Resorts in November 2021 and the Mexican/ Arizona Friendship Conference will also be held in Tucson in February 2022.   More information about both events will be coming out in the upcoming months. I strongly encourage every Rotarian to attend.
     Yes, things are indeed looking up for our District! Keep up the great work, and please remember to donate to Polio. So easy just 1 click away. Click here .
     Yours in Rotary
Diane Ventura-Goodyear
District Governor Rotary District 5500 – Southern AZ
LIVE from Australia!                                            (from Laurie Zuckerman)
     On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Ian Riseley, Past RI Pres, will present RI’s new Area of Focus, Protecting the Environment, LIVE to Tuesday lunch clubs, and anyone who would like to join via Zoom.
     The schedule includes 12:15 pm MST Greeting; 12:30 Presentation; and 12:45 Q&A.
     This presentation is perfect for Tuesday lunch meetings, lunch breaks, Interact, and Rotaract. Plus, it has the potential to attract new Rotarians, youth, and to educate current members and Foundation Chairs about RI’s new Area of Focus.
     Laurie.Zuckerman@ESRAG.org Rotary 5400 (Idaho, East Oregon) Earth Stewardship Chair, ESRAG Drawdown Education Co-Chair

Please Support the new Provisional Rotary Club of Tucson Verde                                                               (from PDG Michael Drake)

     A new Rotary Club is being formed in D5500. The meeting programs and projects of the new Club will focus on environmental issues. Promoting the environmental health of the world has become an existential issue. The Board of RI and the Trustees of the Rotary Foundation recently added a Seventh Area of Focus for our projects -- Supporting the Environment. This shows Rotary is in the vanguard to help protect our environment.
     If you have friends, associates, or neighbors who share this concern or are passionate about the environment, please refer them to Michael Drake at Michael@DrakeLawAz.com; Ellie Patterson at ellie.patterson1@outlook.com; or Kirk Reed at Wkirkreed@gmail.com.
     We will invite your friends to our next outing for prospective Charter Members. It will be Friday, March 19, 2021, at 3:00 pm MST at the UofA Environment and Natural Resources 2 Building (ENR2) on the University of Arizona campus. We will have a guided tour of the facilities for exciting cutting-edge research. Then our group will get together for a Q and A to discuss the new Club.

The Rotary Club of Saddlebrooke                 (by Barbara Barr)

Programming during the Pandemic                     

     As the new Program Chair for the Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke, Bob Christadore sent an email to each member. He asked about favorite speakers and whom did we know who would make a great program, but what he really did was open the door for excellent programs with help from Club members. The benefits have been tremendous for all!
     First, a retired doctor, Dr. Jim Fry, who snowbirds in Arizona and is an Amigo member of the Saddlebrooke Club, was back in Seattle for the summer.  At his home Club meeting, the program was Dr. Prakash Gatta, a general surgeon with MultiCare in Tacoma, WA, who was on the front lines when COVID-19 first began in the USA. The program was about what the medical community faced and learned. It also included the Doctor’s personal battle with COVID-19. As soon as the meeting ended, Dr. Fry booked Dr. Gatta to speak on Zoom to SaddleBrooke Rotary.  
     This was just the first of similarly interesting programs that Club members have arranged.  Since then members have set up programs by a retired spy living on a houseboat in San Francisco Bay, the founder of a major Ronald McDonald House in the Los Angeles area, a relative of Gene Kelly doing a program on Tinseltown, and a joint meeting with a Rotary Club in Scotland.
     The opportunities for great programs are endless and easier when you have a great team. 
     And it all started with a simple email from our new Program Chairman!
Peacebuilder News                                                 (from PDG Ellie Patterson)
Peacebuilders e-Network Meeting
       Our next Peacebuilders e-Network meeting will be on Monday, March 15, 2021, at 5:30 pm MST and will feature Professor Kate Kenski, Professor of Communication and Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. She teaches political communication, public opinion, and research methods. Her current research focuses on social media and incivility, gender and politics, and on online platform development that aids users’ quality of reasoning.
Program by Rotary Peace Fellow Josué Tambara
     Rotary Peace Fellow Josué Tambara will be speaking via Zoom to the Rincon Rotary Club on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at 12:30 pm.  Josué is one of our two Peace Fellows whom The Rotary Foundation chose this past year.  He will be attending the Peace Center at Makerere University in Uganda starting in the fall of 2021.
     (Contact wbtus@aol.com for info.)
Peacebuilder Clubs Joint Conference

     A joint conference with Peacebuilder Clubs in D5495 and D5500 will take place Saturday to Saturday, April 17-24, 2021, with the theme “Rotary Grows Peace”.  This state-wide conference will highlight the importance of combining two of Rotary’s Areas of Focus, supporting peace and protecting the environment, into a project.  
     A Peacebuilder Club in District 5500 could partner with a Club in D5495 in planning projects that would address the same need. For example, a Club in each District might want to plant a garden at an assisted living facility within its own District.  The Clubs could exchange ideas about on how they would carry out the projects. They can discuss the challenges, possible permits needed, etc.
     Or Peacebuilder Clubs might join fellow Peacebuilder Clubs in the same District in a multi-Club project.
     Or a Club might launch its own project that combines peace and the environment. Tree planting in a park, planting a peace pole or establishing a garden at a shelter for at-risk families are examples of possible projects.
    Clubs will not have to choose a completion date by the end of the week, but, hopefully, Clubs will have completed their plans by then.
District 5500’s newest Peacebuilder Club
     A warm welcome to Sierra Vista South Rotary Club as District 5500’s newest Peacebuilder Club.  Congratulations on joining our e-Network. The Club Peace Committee Co-Chairs are Joanna Pohley and Ernie Calhoun. The Sierra Vista South Rotary has two wonderful peace projects that will be implemented this year.  A Peace Pole will be emplaced in Tompkins Park. The second peace project will be the restoration of a garden at Lori’s Place, a family advocacy center that treats and supports victims and their families who have suffered trauma. Victims and families will use the garden as a safe and nurturing place for encouraging peace and calmness.
The Benson Rotary Club Celebration
     The Benson Rotary Club celebrated the installation, in a very creative manner, of their second Peace Pole on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.  The Peace Pole hangs from the ceiling at the Benson Visitors center and is beautifully displayed for all visitors and locals to enjoy.
     The Benson Rotary Club is also an active Peacebuilder Club with plans for installing three more Peace Poles. Thank you, Benson Rotary, for your commitment to peacebuilding and to promoting peace in our District!
Big West Zones 26-27 Virtual Interact Conference
  (forwarded by Ann Huber)
Hello, Rotary Youth Leaders:
     Our Big West Zones 26-27 Rotary Youth Services Taskforce is announcing our fourth virtual conference, to be held Saturday morning, March 20, 2021, as a way of continuing to connect youth leaders across the 30 Districts comprising our paired Rotary Zones.
     The focus of this conference will be “INTERACT”.
     You will see, from the attached flyer and schedule, that we have an exciting program planned, including an interview with Jessie Dunbar-Bickmore, who is the Manager of Young Leaders and Alumni Programs for Rotary International in Evanston.  She is also the chief youth protection officer for Rotary.
     In addition, we will be featuring five-minute snapshots of three of our Interact District Programs, along with two innovative programs developed by Interactors.  We will be offering, and repeating, eight elective discussions on key Interact topics, giving attendees the opportunity to select and participate in two of the eight electives.
     This virtual conference will again be FREE  and open to anyone who wants to learn more about what is happening with Interact in our Zones.  It will be a great place to pick up workable ideas to carry back and try in your Districts.
     The registration deadline is Thursday, March 18, 2021.  
     Link to use to register for this FREE Virtual Interact Conference:
     The Zoom link to join the conference will be sent by email to registrants on Friday, March 19, 2021.
      We are less than a month away from this event.  Please help us spread the word about this Virtual Interact Conference and especially encourage the Interact leaders in your District to register for this unique networking opportunity.
     Thank you for all you continue to do for the youth in our Rotary Youth Services programs.
     Let me know if you have any questions about this conference. 
Arthur R. Harrington, E.A., Ph.D.
President, Harrington Financial Services PC
802 Oak Terrace Drive, Prescott, AZ 86301
Interact Chair, Rotary District 5495
Office: (928) 277-4988 • Mobile: (928) 245-0411 • Fax: (928) 756-2447
Virtual Interact Conference
March 20, 2021
(Note:  All times are PST.  One hour later in MST.)
9:00 – 9:05      Welcome
9:05 – 9:10      Polls – enabling immediate engagement & participation
9:10 – 9:25      Guest Interview with Jessie Dunbar-Bickmore, Manager of Programs for Young Leaders at Rotary International’s headquarters in Evanston
9:25 – 9:55      Five-minute snapshots of 5 programs
                        •  District 5170’s Interact Program
                        •  District 5150’s Interact Program
                        •  District 5495’s Interact Program
                        •  Oregon Interactor Walker’s Virtual Tutoring Program
                        •  Arizona Interactor Francisco’s Volunteer Hero Program
9:55 – 10:00    Transition to First Electives
10:00 – 10:50  First Round of 8 Electives
10:50 – 10:55  Transition to Second Electives
10:55 – 11:45  Second Round of 8 Electives
11:45 – 12:00  Closing Session
Elective Topics for Conference Breakouts
  1. Rotary Youth Protection – as it applies to Interact Clubs and Districts and to sponsoring Rotary Clubs
  2. District Councils – recruitment, training, functions supporting the Clubs, pros & cons
  3. Club Officers – selection, training, retreats, officers’ meetings, planning & goals
  4. Membership Recruitment – maintaining new blood and preventing leadership depletion
  5. Creating new Interact Clubs – where, when and how
  6. Successful local service projects and fundraisers
  7. International service projects and travel
  8. Encouraging student initiatives and leadership
Link to use to register for this FREE Virtual Interact Conference:
The Zoom link to join the conference will be sent by email to registrants on Friday, March 19, 2021.

2021 Rotary Convention will be virtual!
The Rotary Club of Rincon                           (from Steve Pedigo)
     The generosity of members of Rincon Rotary Club continues with giving great support to the community.  On behalf of its members, President Steve Pedigo (left) and Mike Esparza (right) delivered 168 No-Slip Socks for Veterans who are patients at the Tucson VA Medical Center.  Kathy Stark (center), a Veteran, sponsored and supported Rincon Rotary’s visit on Friday, February 5, 2021. Sandy Pedigo, also a Veteran, made the sign.
District 5500 2021 Conference will be virtual
The Rotary Club of Tucson Sunset               (from Kirsten Stephens)
     Members and guests of the Tucson Sunset Rotary Club conducted their quarterly trash pickup along the Rillito River Park on Saturday, February 27, 2021.
     Jerry Jordan, Denny Scanlan, Kirsten Stephens, Katherine Eiff, Harold Loewenheim, Bob Stephens, Laura Ziady and Mike Kloehn.
Photo by Tom Eiff, Rincon Rotary
     Samantha Craddock, Laura Ziady, Kirsten Stephens, Mike Kloehn, Sarah Craddock, Jerry Jordan, Harold Loewenheim, Anne Huber and Denny Scanlan.
Photo by Bob Stephens, Sunset Rotary.
Rotary Leadership Institute Online - A New Beginning!  (from Bob Shogren)
     For the first time, D5500 offered the Rotary Leadership Institute via Zoom on three consecutive Saturdays.  A total of 47 District 5500 Rotarians participated in the Leadership Institute on January 23, 30 and February 6.  Of those 47 Rotarians, 20 participated in two of the three Courses and nine participated in all three courses.
     The District is exploring scheduling a second RLI Online for this spring! 
Course 1: My Rotary Journey – A sample of participant comments:
  • “Good course. A must for any Rotarian.”
  • “Well done, and well worth the time!”
  • “I learned a lot about Rotary, even after 15 years.”
  • “This course is great. I learned so much and I came out of it enthusiastic to serve.”
Course 2: The Club – A sample of participant comments:
  • “It builds a good foundation to understand the structure, vision and mission of Rotary.”
  • “RLI 2 was very instructive in the areas of communications, team building and effectively organizing clubs. Course 2 was a wonderful guide to how to use the available resources of the District, and they are many.”
  • “There is so much more to learn about Rotary and these courses deliver!” 
  • “The RLI is a treasure for showing the resources available to Rotarians through the District and RI.”
Course 3: My Rotary Journey Continues – A sample of participant comments:
  • “RLI has value to all Rotarians no matter their length of membership.  For new members, the knowledge of how Rotary International is structured will be invaluable.  For long-time members, RLI will provide reminders of things forgotten and update them on the many changes adopted by RI to keep it a vibrant and relevant resource to the world.”
  • “I think the RLI series is beneficial to both new and more senior Rotarians.  For new folks, it helps identify the parts of Rotary and how they fit together in a comprehensive way.  For more senior Rotarians, it helps them remember things they might have forgotten about Rotary and gives them ideas of how they can make a bigger impact in their communities and the world.”
  • “This is an excellent way to re-engage with Rotary as an organization. It's a great reminder that Rotary is larger than just your Club. Members who may be feeling a little burned out will feel energized afterward, no doubt!”
  • “RLI is a must for every Rotarian! Whether you are a new member or someone who has been a member for years, there is something to learn and people to meet!”
El Tour de Tucson Postponed.  Indoor ride in April Possible.
The Rotary Club of Tucson Sunrise                 (from Anne Harman)
The Bagel Project
      Most days of the week, members of Tucson Sunrise continue to pick up unsold bagels from three Bruegger’s Bagels locations and take them to the Tucson Food Share at 101 E. Ventura St., Tucson, for distribution to those in need.
      Anne Harman said, "Dena  and Krista are fabulous!  We still need more volunteers to pick up and deliver bagels. It takes no more than an hour for the whole process, from leaving my home to returning.”
     Sunriser Anne Harman (right), Bruegger’s manager Dena, in the pink mask, and assistant manager Krista (left), at the at the Broadway and Alvernon location.


     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!
Southwest Rotary PETS via Zoom
Mar 05, 2021 – Mar 06, 2021
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