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Tuesday, December 1, 2020
     Living in Tucson now and when we lived in El Paso, December has always been a magical month. The decorations and the luminarias that outline people’s homes, the smell of mesquite wood as well as the lights at Winter Haven in Tucson and Los Paseos neighborhood in El Paso illuminated the sky.
     December in Rotary is the month in which we are all getting ready for festivities. There are many Holidays to celebrate, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and even Festivus (Seinfeld Circa 98)!
     It is important for all of us to remember that, for many, the Holidays may not be happy times because there are no gifts under the tree for the kids and there may not be adequate food on the table for the family. So, I’m asking each of you to consider helping out so that kids can have a Christmas gift and that families can have a decent meal.  Perhaps reach out to the Food Bank in your area with a donation. I know many Rotary Clubs also hold a drive to collect toys and clothing for children. Consider reaching out to these Clubs and collaborate with them. 
      The Handbags for Hope project is going gangbusters! What a wonderful Rotary District we have in Southern AZ! Giving is what our District 5500 Rotary Clubs do! Rotarians have made a special place in their hearts for this project; the project’s success will bring hope and comfort to women facing difficult times.
     I certainly realize these are very challenging times for everyone. But we are Rotarians and we always face our challenges head-on. For many, Zoom is allowing Clubs to meet and socialize with Rotary members. Winter visitors are able to join Club Zoom meetings.  We have opportunities to invite speakers from across the globe and those members who may not be able to attend our regular meetings in person can now join us. Technology is helping us to stay connected. In December, Clubs may be holding a virtual holiday party that will allow us to get together and to spread the holiday spirit. Here’s another thought: reach out to another Club, perhaps a smaller Club, and invite them to your virtual party as a way to spread around the holiday cheer.
     Family members and neighbors may feel isolated. Just pick up the phone and connect with someone you have not heard from in a while or send a greeting card to cheer them up. Order take-out food or a gift card from your favorite restaurant. These small acts of kindness can make all the difference during times like these.
     December is Rotary International Family Month with a focus on disease prevention and treatment. Globally, Rotary is recognized for its signature project, the eradication of polio in the world. Please consider donating directly through Rotary International,  https://my.rotary.org/en/rotary-direct, or the Givsum Campaign,   https://www.givsum.com/charities/district-5500-charitable-fund. Campaign ends Dec. 1st.
     The indoor Ride to End Polio was a wonderful success on Nov. 21-22. More information will follow as results become available.
     Health and happiness from my family to yours!
Diane Ventura Goodyear
District Governor Rotary District 5500
President-Elect Seminar (PETS)              (from DGE Hank Huisking)
Attention all D5500 Presidents-Elect!
     The President-Elect Training Seminar will take place virtually March 5-7, 2021.  To be certified as ready to serve your Rotary Club beginning July 1, 2021, you will need to complete PRE-PETS on-line training and attend Zoom meetings with your DGE Hank Huisking and District Trainer Lisa Price to discuss your coursework.
     Next week, Presidents-Elect will receive the following by email:
      1. Thank You letter and Instructions for setting up an account in My Rotary, if you do not have one.
      2. Rotary Learning Center PRE-PETS topics and syllabus
      3. Zoom dates with PEs, DGE, and District Trainer to monitor progress and provide information specific to D5500, such as the District calendar and District Grant qualification and deadlines.
      4. Information about our virtual PETS and how to incorporate your goals into                        Rotary’s Action Plan.
     When the PRE-PETS coursework, registration, and attendance of the virtual PETS are complete, your District will certify you to lead your Rotary Club. Rotary goes to great lengths to ensure that leaders are prepared for service. And it is an amazing opportunity for personal growth!
     I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to those Rotarians who will begin training next month and encourage those Clubs that do not yet have a President-Elect to identify a member Rotarian as soon as possible by contacting District Administrator Liz Cohn, E-mail: rotaryliz@aol.com.
 DGE Hank Huisking, 2020-2021
The Rotary Club of Old Pueblo                                     (from Patrick Kerr)
    Old Pueblo Rotary Club (Tucson), with support from the United States Army Tucson Recruiting Company, purchased and filled 40 “Handbags of Hope”, then donated the handbags to Primavera and Casa de los Niños to distribute to women escaping domestic violence or leaving other dangerous, unhealthy situations.  Each agency received 20 brand-new totes filled with shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, lotion, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, hand sanitizer, socks, shower shoes, deodorant, and other hygiene items.
Primavera Foundation --Men's Shelter
(From L) Captain Moises Villa (US Army Tucson Recruiting Company), Paul Hawkins (Old Pueblo Rotary), Eric Cross (Primavera), First Sergeant Dana Rothstein (US Army Tucson Recruiting Company)
      Old Pueblo Rotarians raised more than $2,000 to cover the cost of the totes and supplies.   Together with personnel from the local United States Army Recruiting Tucson Company, Rotarians stuffed and delivered the handbags for distribution.
     The “Handbags of Hope,” a Rotary District 5500 service project, scheduled for completion at the September District Conference, was reassigned to individual Rotary Clubs due to COVID-19 pandemic.  Women escaping dangerous or unhealthy situations are often more vulnerable and without resources during the holidays.  The goal of this project was to provide a ray of hope by supplying them with some basic, necessary, hygiene items in an attractive, reusable handbag.
Casa de los Niños
(From L) Patrick Kerr (Old Pueblo Rotary), Mikaela Ross (Casa de los Niños), Captain Moises Villa (US Army Tucson Recruiting Company), Paul Hawkins (Old Pueblo Rotary)
The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke                            (from Barbara Barr)
SaddleBrooke Rotary is Going Hybrid
     Since mid-March, the Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke has met on Zoom and called it “Zoom at Noon”.   Our regular lunch meeting place is still not available, so a few of our members began “thinking out of the box”.  So that some members who choose to can gather and enjoy lunch together, Ed Treick and Julia Young are setting up a hybrid version of our meeting.
     Members who would like to gather will meet for lunch at the Roadrunner Grill at 11:00 am on Thursdays. After lunch, they will adjourn to the backside of the Agave Lounge with their laptops to join in our “Zoom at Noon” meeting with those who are staying at home
     We hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Honduras and Guatemala: Request for Disaster Relief
 (forwarded by Eugene Medina, Pantano Rotary)
November 16, 2020
Dear DG Diane,
     As you may already know, last week Tropical Storm Eta hit the northern part of Honduras and Guatemala, leaving behind grave consequences.  The convergence of its impact, COVID-19, and pre-existing vulnerabilities are worsening food insecurity and increasing the threat of vector-borne diseases.
     Besides these challenges, more than 150,000 hectares of damaged or lost crops will devastate rural livelihoods in Honduras. The incoming Hurricane Iota may bring irreparable damage to staple crops, bringing a rapid deterioration of the food security situation and a spike in malnutrition among vulnerable children in both countries which are part of Rotary District 4250.
     Close to 40,000 Hondurans and 10,000 Guatemalans in shelters are faced with urgent humanitarian needs and growing health risks. Our shelters lack sufficient PPE, as well as water and sanitation services to prevent COVID-19 in the shelters activated across both countries.
     As your fellow Governor of D4250, I want to make a personal request for your support as DG of D5500 for a Disaster Relief donation of $5,000. The funds will be used to provide the health posts and shelters in Alta Verapaz with the following:
  • Sterilizing pots (autoclaves)
  • Sphygmomanometers
  • Stethoscopes
  • Minor surgery equipment
  • PPE
  • Latex gloves
  • Disposable surgical masks
  • Water storage tanks
  • Bilge pumps and hoses
  • Latrines for shelters
  • Metals sheets for repair
  • Power plants
  • Solar panels
  • Mattresses
  • Blankets
  • Water filters
  • Hygiene kits (including diapers and feminine pads)
     Clubs in our Districts are working together.  I sincerely hope that this will help to strengthen the international relationship between our Districts. Rotarians are already making superior efforts to cope with the emergency, but we still need more help from neighboring Rotarians.
     Yours in Rotary,
Orlando Burns
District Governor D4250
Rotary Club of Valle Verde                                            (from Steve Sibulsky)
Valle Verde Rotary kicks off “Jazz in the Desert ReImagined
     The Valle Verde Rotary Club of Green Valley usually presents “Jazz In the Desert” in the early spring to showcase young musicians and to raise funds for school music programs and other Rotary projects.  Over the last 11 years, Valle Verde Rotary has raised more than $125,000 through this “Jazz In The Desert” celebration.  School jazz bands from up and down I-19 come together for a one-day fundraiser, dinner and auction event that benefits the schools’ music programs and the Club’s other activities.
     Due to the ongoing pandemic, to ensure the safety of the student musicians and the usually more than 300 attendees, the Club will not host the “Jazz” event in the spring of 2021.
     Instead, Valle Verde Rotarians have kicked off “Jazz In The Desert ReImagined.”  It’s a non-event fundraiser (just send money!) that hopes to raise $30,000.
     The Valle Verde Rotary Club, founded in 1987, supports many projects close to home and around the world.  Children are a special focus:
     “Birthday Books” – Each student at the Continental School and the Sopori School in Amado receives a book during his or her birthday month.
     “Arrivaca Early Learning Center” - Valle Verde Rotary and the Arivaca Early Learning Center have been working together to improve the early learning process for newborn to 5-year-olds.
     “Micro-Loans” - The Valle Verde Rotary Club participates in a joint international Rotary-sponsored program to fund small business loans to people in Sonora Mexico, helping them build their businesses and achieve financial independence.
    “Interact” - The Valle Verde Rotary Club proudly sponsors a Rotary Interact Club for high school students in Sahuarita.  Interact Clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self. 
     Valle Verde Rotarians might also be spotted picking up litter along Duval Mine Road or setting out American Flags for major holidays.
     Internationally, Rotary has been a driving force in the fight to eradicate polio in the world…and we’re THIS close!  (Hold two fingers less than an inch apart!)
     Club members have also participated in education and health programs in Uganda, health camps in India to help stamp out a diabetes epidemic, water and sanitation projects in Thailand, and many more!
     Valle Verde Rotary has also sponsored in-bound and out-bound student exchanges…the most recent have involved Germany, Latvia, Brazil and Slovakia. 
     To make a donation to “Jazz In The Desert ReImagined”, visit vvrotaryfoundation.net or mail a check marked “Jazz” to Valle Verde Rotary, PO Box 311, Green Valley AZ  85622.  For further information, call 520-625-0860.
Four-Way Test Speech Contest          (from Deb Haddock, Kino Rotary)
     The purpose of Rotary District 5500's Four-Way Test Speech Contest is to help youth understand and apply Rotary's Four-Way Test in their daily lives and to foster the use of the Four-Way Test in their communities and the world at large.
     The District Contest will be held on April 10,  2021, starting at 10:00 a.m.
2021 TOPIC
     Using the Rotary Four-Way Test along with this year’s Rotary International theme of “Rotary Opens Opportunities” as guidelines:  How could the application of The Rotary Four-Way Test create positive opportunities in our changing world?
     Note: Opportunities could be individual, local, national or international.
     Contest rules and information for student participants and Clubs are in the 2020-2021 Guidebooks which are on the District Website.
     Please contact Deb Haddock at: haddockhacienda@aol.com if you have any questions.
Navajo Water Project    (from David Simmer, District 5495, Sedona Rotary)
      Only a few weeks left to be included.
     If your Club would like to support this project with an Annual Program Fund contribution instead of cash, contact Bob White  bob.whitejr@hotmail.com and he will help you negotiate the paperwork.
      Contact PDG David Simmer dsimmer9@gmail.com  any questions - Project Closing Very Soon
Every Hero Needs A Hero       (from Mike Sagara, Rotary Club of Tucson)
     What are Blood Donor Ambassadors? They are volunteers who greet, register, and assist those who come to a blood donation site.  Ambassadors also provide blood donors with a snack and drink after they have made a lifesaving donation. Blood Donor Ambassadors monitor those who have given blood to ensure a positive and safe experience.  Read or watch the video: Be a Blood Service Volunteer to learn more about the Blood Drive Ambassador's experience.
     Volunteers are the backbone of the American Red Cross.  It welcomes you to consider joining its team. Please click the link below, sign-up to be a Blood Drive volunteer. https://bddy.me/xxxxxx      Select the volunteer opportunity:  BioMed: ENGAGE with Donors at BLOOD DRIVES
     Questions? Contact Stacey Moore at: Stacey.Moore@redcross.org / c:520-576-2874 
     Note: Red Cross blood drives have the highest safety and infection control standards and do not fall in the category of "mass gatherings." Preventative and protective efforts are in place where the Red Cross provides protective equipment to all staff and volunteers, practices safe distancing by spacing beds, regularly cleans areas, and pre-screens all blood donors to ensure that healthy and eligible donors can give blood.  
     *For a full list and more information on safety protocols, please visit our website:  https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/coronavirus--covid-19--and-blood-donation.html
The Rotary Club of Benson                      (from Ann MacIinnis Cook)
      Jason Zibart has been awarded the Arizona Community Star Award. It recognizes contributions to the health and improvement of the lives of those whose homes are in rural communities.  This award is given to only one person in each state.
     Jason is the Community Developer for Benson Hospital.  He also works with Community Partners in Benson and is a member of Benson Rotary. He put together the grant request in support of the Benson Food Pantry. The total of the grant, including the Club's portion, was $8000, which assisted the Pantry's move to a more accessible place.
     Jason heads up the Benson Club’s contribution efforts and is also out there with sleeves rolled up to volunteer for the food distribution.
     Another Rotarian who has also given many hours is Glenn Nichols.
     The two of them have made a real difference in the lives of those in our community.
2021 Rotary Institute                                 (from PDG Ellie Patterson)
     Join us for the 2021 Rotary Institute.  It will be November 11-14, 2021, in Tucson at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. Book your seats and your rooms quickly as this conference -- our first post-pandemic – is sure to sell out.  300 rooms have been reserved already! We have reserved the entire property for just our group so when the rooms are gone, they are gone! And, at just $135 per night, they will go quickly.
     Enjoy Inspirational Speakers, Educational Forums, Awards Ceremony, Networking Receptions (Remember those?), and Entertainment.
     Take a moment now to reserve your spot at the Zone 26/27 Rotary Institute.  Together in Tucson!
     Register with a $150 deposit (fully refundable until August 21, 2021).  Beginning January 1, 2021, the deposit will be $295, so do it now!   Meal packages will be available early next year.
     And of course, remember to make the resort reservation!  You will find the link to the hotel in your registration confirmation, or at:  TogetherInTucson.com
     We are eager to see you there!
Together in Tucson
Rotary 26/27 Institute Committee
Peace Fellows Chosen!                                              (from PDG Ellie Patterson)
     The D-5500 Peace Team received excellent news two weeks ago from Rotary International.  The Trustees of the Rotary Foundation selected our two candidates to receive 2021 Rotary Peace Fellowships for studies as part of the Rotary Peace Centers Program.  Our submission of two Peace Fellow Candidates, Josue Tambara and Torran Anderson, were both notified that they had been awarded the Peace Fellowships for 2021.
     Josue Tambara of Pemba, Mozambique, was recommended by Dennis Bergquist of the Tucson Kino Rotary Club.  Josue will begin the Certificate program at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, in the fall of 2021.
 Torran Anderson of Tucson, AZ was recommended by Bob Ernstein of the Tucson Rotary Club.  Torran will begin the Certificate program at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, in the summer of 2021.
     A big thank you goes out to District Peace Fellows Chair, Anne Fisher, and the interviewing team, Michael Drake of Tucson Sunset Rotary, Phil Silvers of Valle Verde Rotary, Doug Woodard of Casas Adobes Rotary, Ann Marsh of Tucson Rotary, Anne Fisher of Yuma North End Rotary and Ellie Patterson of Tucson Rotary.
     A special thanks to the Rotarians who recommended the candidates, Dennis Bergquist of Kino Rotary and Bob Ernstein of Tucson Rotary.
     Congratulations to Josue and Torran. This is a great accomplishment for both candidates and we Rotarians of D-5500 could not be any happier for them and wish them much success!
Suffering from Presidential Fatigue?
     Presidential fatigue can happen at any time. Why not ask your President-Elect (PE)  or President-Nominee (PN) to take over a meeting or two on your behalf? It accomplishes two things: It gives the PE/PN a chance to run a meeting and sharpen his or her skills, and it also gives a Club President a chance to just attend a meeting and  maybe even give some tips to the PE/PN. 
"Delegating well helps leaders maximize their resources, ensuring that they're focusing on their highest priorities while also developing their teams".
We are the Champions!
(from Joyce Finklestein, Asst. Gov., Green Valley Rotary) 
     Have you ever wanted to start a new Rotary Club? Maybe you have a cause, like Peace or Clean Water, that you would like to form a Club around.  Maybe there is a place you know (You might even live there.) that needs a Rotary Club.  Maybe that place already has a successful Rotary Club, but it doesn’t work for everyone because of the meeting time or place or Club culture. 
     All it takes is a Champion--someone who is willing to take the time and effort to get the word out.  If you are that Champion (or would like to help), please contact your Assistant Governor or District Membership Chair, Joyce Finkelstein at mfinkel2@cox.net.  We are here for you.  Let’s Grow Rotary together.


     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!
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