District 5500 Newsletter: January 2020
Governor Ellie's Message
As I look back over the past 6 months, I’m deeply grateful to be a part of District 5500 and on the wonderful team of 50 dedicated and hard-working clubs. Each vibrant club reflects humanity in motion and members commit many hours to making their communities stronger, healthier and more compassionate. When I hear the phrase, “America’s Got Talent,” I immediately think: "Rotary’s Got Talent and it’s right here in District 5500." We have the skills, energetic volunteers, financial partners and service projects that make the difference for a bright future of hope and inspiration. So let's keep the momentum going!
I suggest focusing on the 3 critical elements: Membership, Brand and Foundation
  • Membership: We achieve more when we grow more.  Let’s grow to 1500 members this year with each club gaining a net increase of at least one member and clubs over 40 members increase by two members. Now almost reaching the end of my enjoyable and heartening club visits, I’ve seen many reasons for people to join Rotary, especially when we demonstrate, fun, fellowship and service. The time to join Rotary is now.
  • Brand: We make our mark in our communities by boosting our presence on the internet, in print, by word of mouth, networking, proudly wearing our Rotary shirts and pins and by engaging in service while asking others to join us.
  • Foundation: We make dreams come true through the Annual Fund of The Rotary Foundation. We fight disease, improve literacy, provide clean water, break the cycle of poverty, promote peace, offer health screenings and so much more. $175/member will make dreams come true. Let’s also work hard so that every club qualifies for EREY recognition in the District. This will happen when clubs achieve a minimum Annual Fund contribution of $100/member with each member contributing at least $25 to the Annual Fund. The Rotary Foundation is a great partner in funding clubs’ projects and these partnerships are crucial.  
Yes, I see a very bright future ahead of us as we enter a new year and a new decade. I wish each of you a Happy New Year and remember, I’m on your team as we look forward to future opportunities and successes in our District. We are 1-50-1!
1 District - 50 Clubs - 1 Team!
Remembering Andi Grantham
Andi Grantham, Club President of Valle Verde Rotary club in Green Valley, lost her battle with cancer on the morning of January 4. Andi was with her husband Bill and their children when she passed peacefully at Banner Hospital in Tucson. Board member of Valle Verde Rotary, Ron Darrah, said this about Andi:
"Andi will be greatly missed by more people than we could ever imagine. She gave so much of her time to so many organizations, causes and individuals all in the name of "Service Above Self." She gave of herself to our Rotary Club as our standing President and championing many projects. As we all know, she loved projects that help kids in so many ways. She and Bill stepped up when our club decided to sponsor exchange students, her work with the Interact program helped get the club back to working with high schoolers, both home-schooled and from the local high schools. She was the push we needed to start working with the Aravaca Learning Center and she and Bill have been instrumental in keeping us involved with that worthy group. There are too many examples to mention in this email. I have never known anyone more dedicated to helping others than Andi and Bill. Please continue to send positive thoughts and prayers for Bill and his family."
Andi was an excellent Club President, a model Rotarian and has left a legacy of kindness, courage, inspiration, and generosity. She was a friend to all.
Rotary Leadership Institute - January 25

Registration is now open for the January 25, 2020 classes.  Once again District 5500 has assembled an outstanding faculty from our District Leadership.

The Rotary Leadership  Institute (RLI) is a multi-district, grassroots leadership development program of member  districts organized into regional divisions throughout the world.

It was recommended by the R.I. Board of Directors  and strongly endorsed by the Council on Legislation  at three of their triennial meetings. RLI  conducts a series of quality leadership development courses  for potential club officers and all other club members,  including those who have recently joined a Rotary Club. The courses emphasize both leadership skills and knowledge of Rotary  around the world. All course sessions are completely interactive. RLI believes that leadership  education has a positive impact on membership retention by creating enthusiasm and furthering engagement  for Rotary. 

Levels 1, 2 and 3 will be offered. 

For event information and to register go to

Joe Guyton

Director, Rotary Leadership Institute

RYLA IS ALMOST HERE! January 17-20 at Chapel Rock
  • Call your Delegates and JCs! Find out if they need help with sleeping bags or warm clothing to attend RYLA, know when and where to meet the bus, and have a ride to get there. If they need clothing or supplies, ask club members if they can loan these items. They will receive a RYLA hoodie, but are encouraged to bring a warm winter jacket, hat and gloves to wear while outside. We have outdoor activities scheduled for each day.
  • Check in with the parents of your delegates. They received an email in December with information on RYLA but be sure they understand the opportunity their kids are being given and will support their going!
  • Call me IMMEDIATELY if any of your Delegates or JCs are unable to attend so I can invite the next person on the waiting list. We have several kids on the list hoping they’ll get to go.
  • Mandatory training for JCs and Adult Advisors is Sunday, January 12 from 8:00-3:00 in TucsonIf they miss this training, they will not be prepared for their role, so will be unable to attend RYLA. We are home hosting anyone wanting to drive to Tucson Saturday night.
  • Refunds for JCs not selected or delegate spaces released by December 10 will be processed after RYLA.
Barbara Harrison
District 5500 RYLA Chair / 520.250.3437
Congratulations to D5500 2018-2019 “Humanity in Motion” Award winners. 
Nine clubs - Casas Adobes, Catalina, Pantano, Mt. Empire, Sierra Vista, Sierra Vista South, Sierra Vista Sunrise, Tucson, and Valle Verde – took this opportunity to showcase their service to our local and international community.
These stories, in words and pictures, are a great way to share the promise of Rotary. PDG Kirk Reed is presenting the awards personally to each of these clubs – recognizing all their labors throughout his year as District Governor. One especially celebratory note: more than 75% of club members were involved in achieving their goals! Hats off to everyone in these “Award-Winning” clubs. Your inspiring contributions are a testament to all that Rotarians are doing each and every day to make a positive difference in the world around us. Rotarians in Motion, for sure! 

Peace Pole Project - May Peace Prevail on Earth
Rotary Clubs all over District 5500 are making plans to plant their Peace Poles in this Rotary year. From Casa Grande to Sierra Vista and in and around the City of Tucson you will see the beautiful Peace Poles placed in carefully selected and meaningful locations. These Peace Poles raise community awareness of Rotary’s long, unwavering commitment to peace, seen in projects such as our Peace Pole Project. In District 5500 we are taking action. We are promoting peace.
Please note the following:
1. Your Peace Poles may be purchased or hand-crafted locally, displaying the languages that are meaningful to your Rotary Club. There are over 1000 languages from which to choose.
2. Each Peace Pole, ideally, can be dedicated in a ceremony that can commemorate a special occasion.
3. Clubs may brainstorm locations to plant their Peace Poles. Some suggestions are: Public Parks, Town/City Centers, Synagogues, Churches, Cemeteries, Schools and Libraries. 
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 our District Peace Project Chair for assistance and to share your Peace Pole news.

Joe Daniszewski
Rotary Club of Tucson
Membership Update
On December 12, a webinar was held to look at Membership Growth and Improved Retention.
Since July 1, when our District Membership was 1422, we have inducted 45 new members.  Our
total Membership on December 18, was 1435.  We have not retained 32 Members!  
We do a great job of inducting New Members, however, we are not doing a great job of retaining them!
Retention of our Members has got to be a Number One Priority for our Clubs. But how do we do that?
The consensus of those on the Webinar was to involve members, both new and veteran members, in service projects and in fun opportunities that would allow members to get to know each other better.  All members are attracted to strong Clubs that focus on fellowship and the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for Service. 
For a list of Retention Strategies, email Joyce Finkelstein at
Let’s Grow Rotary Together!
Use Social Media to promote your club to potential members!
One of the easiest ways to attract members to your club is to have an updated website.  If you don’t have a website or a Clubrunner account, you can still have a website simply by tagging along with the District’s Clubrunner website. It’s simple and pretty inexpensive:
  1. Go to or another domain sale site and choose a domain name.  For example,;
  2. Shop for alternate domain endings.  For example, .org is usually cheaper than .com;
  3. Submit payment to GoDaddy or whoever you are using.
  4. Forward your domain to our District website:
If you need help with this last step, call Clubrunner at 877-469-2582, option 2.
District 5500 Rotarians at Work Day
YMCA Triangle Y Ranch, Oracle AZ April 25, 2019 8:30-4:00
Every year, Rotarians at Work Day continues to grow around the world.  
This year, Rotarians of southern Arizona and their friends and families are invited by The Rotary Club of Tucson to attend the 8th annual “Work at the Ranch” service project at the Triangle Y YMCA Ranch located 8 miles from Oracle off the back of Mt Lemmon road.   All are invited to participate in a most momentous event that has jobs for all skill levels and ages (children welcome).
This work project is the largest service club effort annually for the Ranch.  We will continue to have lots of pruning and painting and carpentry and cleaning as we spruce up the Ranch for the upcoming summer camp schedule.  The Ranch has a history since 1948 of providing a week of summer camp for southern AZ disadvantaged children.  
Over 70% of all camp attendees are provided a scholarship because of economic status.  This opportunity has changed many lives of southern Arizona youth and continues to provide lasting memories for camp kids.  
A registration website will be coming soon. Come and celebrate the power of Rotarians coming together for a service project.   We are looking for 100 volunteers!  This is a great opportunity to introduce your friends to Rotary!  
If you have any questions please call Dave Gallaher 520-907-4983 or email at
RI Convention 2020: Aloha, Rotary!
Discover the true spirit of aloha and Rotary with your family, friends, and fellow Rotarians in Honolulu. It’s the perfect setting for the entire family of Rotary to celebrate, collaborate, and connect while experiencing the warmth and welcome of Honolulu.
The convention is one of the only times when people of action from around the world gather in one place to celebrate Rotary. Our engaging speakers will boost your passion for service and provide new perspectives on our work in the world. Make new friends and connect with old ones while you explore all that Honolulu and the convention have to offer. You’ll return from our convention refreshed and inspired to continue your service and community leadership. 
Don’t miss your chance to find and share aloha at the 2020 Rotary Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 6-10 June.
From the Desk of RI President, Mark Maloney:

I am excited to share some good news: Rotary International and Toastmasters International are working together to provide our members with even more opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Toastmasters International is a global nonprofit organization with more than 16,800 clubs in 143 countries. Its members attend club meetings where they give speeches, evaluate the speeches of others, and perform other club duties, with the goal of ultimately becoming more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders. Our organizations are complementary in many ways, but we are each unique in what we offer our members.

I hope you will join us in supporting this alliance in your community. You can start by learning more about Toastmasters, exploring its resources and public speaking tips, or visiting a local Toastmasters club. Although the structure of club meetings is consistent, Toastmaster clubs are similar to Rotary clubs in that they each have their own personality. If you do not have a club in your area, you can watch a video to learn what happens at a Toastmasters meeting.

You can also invite members of Toastmasters to visit your club and learn more about Rotary. If you have a Toastmasters club in your area, consider meeting with its members to explore opportunities to collaborate or inviting a member of Toastmasters to participate in a service activity or speak at your club.

Toastmasters will create a leadership development program for Rotarians and Rotaractors. A structured, robust leadership and communication curriculum can help members develop practical skills that will serve them not only in Rotary leadership roles, but in their professional and personal lives as well. Effective leadership skills can strengthen our clubs and increase our impact. We will provide updates about this program when we have more details.

Many of us joined Rotary to make a difference and connect with others in our communities. By working with Toastmasters, our members can discover new ways to network and learn from others, while finding even more value in their Rotary membership experience.

Learn more by reviewing these frequently asked questions. You can also send your questions and your stories about local collaboration efforts to

Mark Daniel Maloney
President, Rotary International 2019-20
News from The Clubs
Old Pueblo Rotary provides "Third Space" for Flowing Wells HS Students
Valle Verde Rotary: Jazz in the Desert XI
Jazz in the Desert XI “Leap Into Jazz” is set for Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the Quail Creek Country Club. This unique fundraising event is presented by the Valle Verde Rotary Club of Green Valley and the Green Valley Pecan Company.
Middle and High School jazz bands from up and down the I-19 corridor will take the stage at the Quail Creek Country Club Madera Clubhouse stage for a matinee at 1 PM and dinner show at 5 PM. 
Event sponsorships are available now, and varying sponsorship levels receive varying benefits. To become a Jazz In the Desert sponsor, please contact Jim Rusk,
Matinee tickets are $10, available in advance and at the door and include snacks and soft drinks.  Dinner show tickets are $45 and require advance purchase. Tickets will be available starting in early January from the Sahuarita/Green Valley Chamber of Commerce office, or from any Valle Verde Rotarian.
For program information, contact Steve Sibulsky,
Russell Hampton
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