District 5500 News: April 2020
Governor Ellie's Message
In a recent video on the pandemic crisis, RI President Mark Maloney stated: "The COVID-19 global pandemic is threatening our health, our safety and our way of life; but while this crisis is serious, we know that this challenge is a temporary state. We will get through this by working together and taking care of each other, just what Rotary members do."
I couldn't agree more and I have never been more proud to be a Rotarian than right now.
Rotarians are at their best in challenging times.  That has been proven over and over. Look at our fight to rid the world of Polio. Look how we alleviate poverty and hunger, increase educational opportunities, and save lives with medical care, treatment and supplies. In today's world that looks very different to us now, we are currently challenged to find new ways of staying connected and we are meeting that challenge. We can still come together via Zoom and other online meeting options: emails, phone calls, text messages, Facebook and other platforms. We come together because we care about each other. We realize the importance of staying connected, staying strong, staying healthy and staying optimistic even in these times of self-isolation. (Please see Arizona's Emergency Restriction Orders below). Yes, we District 5500 Rotarians are safely stepping up to demonstrate Service Above Self. Much needed food is being delivered, medical supplies are sourced and transported where needed, blood is being donated, children are being cared for and seniors, now unable to receive visitors, are surprised when flowers, candy and handwritten notes are left at the lobby entrance for them.
Please refer to the articles below for information on getting D5500 relief funds to your communities and as well as some tips and support for keeping your club members connected during the pandemic restrictions.
Thank you fellow Rotarians for being your best, giving your best and for staying connected. There really is no challenge too great for Rotarians. That's who we are.
Arizona Fighting the Battle of COVID-19
Updated Recommendations - 3/30/2020
  • Effective close of business Tuesday, March 31, Arizonans shall limit their time away from their place of residence or property, except:
    • To conduct or participate in essential activities, and/or;
    • For employment, to volunteer or participate in essential functions; or
    • To utilize any services or products provided by essential business services;
    • And for employment if as a sole proprietor or family owned business, work is conducted in a separate office space from your home and the business is not open to serve the public.
  • Essential businesses that remain open shall implement rules and procedures that facilitate physical distancing and spacing of individuals of at least 6 feet. (Businesses, operations, and activities deemed essential by the state were clarified here.)
  • Arizonans are encouraged to improve social connectedness, resiliency, and help-seeking behavior.
  • Arizona schools state-wide are closed through the end of the school year.
  • All restaurants are required to provide dine-out options only.
  • All bars, movie theaters, and gyms are required to close.
  • All elective surgeries are halted in the state of Arizona.
  • If someone in your family has tested positive for COVID-19, keep the entire household at home and contact your medical provider.
  • All mass gatherings of 10 or more people must be canceled or postponed.
*For up-to-date information visit the Centers for Disease Control: or Arizona Department of Health Services:
District 5500 Funds Now Available to your Clubs for COVID-19 Relief
If you want to help neighbors who are struggling because of the COVID-19 crisis, your club can receive up to $500 from the district – immediately! We have money available that was originally budgeted for the Honolulu convention, now canceled. Let’s put that money to work in our local communities.
Here are the simple steps to follow to qualify for funding (first come, first served):
1.     Decide on who needs emergency help in your community. It can be a food bank, a clinic, a child care or youth center, or any organization providing vital service in this time of crisis.
2.     Send a brief, one-paragraph description of your plan to PDG Kirk Reed, How will you use up to $500 from the district to help meet an immediate need in your community?
3.     Include a name and a mailing address along with the amount of money requested. A check will be mailed to your club without delay.
Requests must be received by April 30 and will be approved until funds are exhausted.
We are People of Action. We can do it together – now!
Cancellation Notices due to COVID-19 emergency order restrictions:
  • Rotarians At Work multiple-club project at the Triangle Y Ranch in Oracle planned for April 25 has been cancelled.
  • The District Four Way Test Speech Contest scheduled for April 18 has been cancelled.
  • The District Day of Peace Event has been cancelled for April 4. It will be rescheduled for November 7, 2020.
  • Rincon Rotary Club's A Taste of Chocolate has been rescheduled from April 19 to October 4.
  • The RI Convention in Hawaii has been cancelled. This is the first time in Rotary’s history to have an International Convention cancelled.
From RI: Connecting during the COVID-19 response
For more than a century, Rotary has connected the world through fellowship and service. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our daily routines and forced the cancellation of many in-person Rotary and Rotaract club meetings and events. But even when we can’t hold our usual events, members have lots of ways to stay engaged, connect with one another, and serve their communities. 

Clubs can meet online using services such as ZoomSkype or GoToMeeting. All three platforms offer robust support, from their directions for setting up an account to helping with technical issues. Rotary and Rotaract members get a discount on Zoom through Rotary Global Rewards. Members can also connect with each other on social media and with services such as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp groups. 

Learn how Rotarians and Rotaractors are staying in contact and keeping members engaged during these difficult times:
  • Find ideas and resources for holding virtual meetings, engaging through social media, and serving from afar in District 6690’s guide to Maintaining Member Engagement During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Read how the Zone 34 Rotary coordinators are maintaining membership engagement (hint: ingenuity and adaptability) and download their COVID-19 response guide
  • See how Big West Rotaract, a multidistrict information organization in the western region of North America, is connecting Rotarians and Rotaractors who are experiencing difficulties with others who can help. Look at its Rotary and Rotaract COVID-19 Mutual Aid form
  • Read advice from Charlotte Ahlberg, past chair of the Rotary International E-Club Committee, on taking your club online. 
  • Visit Rotary’s website to get more tips and guidance for holding online club meetings.
How is your club or district keeping your members engaged during the COVID-19 response? Share your ideas and resources or participate in a discussion in the Meeting Online group in Learning Topics. 
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Zoom Assistance Available from D5500
We are furiously moving ahead to meet the demand from the clubs and committees. The District has designated a number of Rotarian members that will help set up your Zoom meetings. As we mentioned previously, the District purchased a Business License for Zoom. We want every club meeting, committee and board meeting to be able to use Zoom for communication. It's important that everyone stays connected and keeps our Rotary Fellowship alive.
Email me and I will forward a list of Rotarians that can set up a meeting for you. There is absolutely no charge to your club, the District has absorbed all costs.
If your club has anxiety about connecting up using the Zoom meeting platform, please contact me and I will put their mind at ease. This technology has been around for many, many years; you can use your computer, your Ipad, even your smartphone. Don't miss the chance of connecting with your Rotary friends. 
Additionally, there is a video I created to help you with Zoom. Check it out on our District website: The District is here to help.
Rotarians are resilient and soon we will be able to get back to our normal routines; but now it is critical that we stay connected. 
Please stay safe and healthy,
Yours in Rotary,
Image result for diane signature
Diane Ventura-Goodyear
Rotary District 5500
District Governor 20-21
Celebration of Life       
The Rotary Club of Globe lost a longtime member with the passing of Peter DeNinno on March 17.  Peter was a local attorney and retired Superior Court Judge and a very respected member of the Club and the local community.  Peter was a Rotarian for over 40 years. He and his wife really enjoyed travel.  They belonged to the Rotary RV Fellowship group for the past few years and enjoyed rallying with them around the country.  Peter was also an avid golfer.
The Tucson Rotary Club lost two longtime members with the passing of Dick Sanderson and the passing of Hal Adamson.
Dick (aka Sandy) was a Rotarian for 22 years and loved The Tucson Classics Car Show. Sandy would cause his patients to chuckle when he wore lively colored jackets to the hospitals where he performed cardiothoracic surgery and was one of the first formally trained cardiothoracic surgeons to establish a practice here in Tucson. Sandy enjoyed playing all kinds of sports, loved the arts, and was involved at the board and committee level with many nonprofits. Together with his wife, he traveled to various parts of the country and the world, including all 7 continents. They also had a home in Pinetop and were members of the White Mountain Country Club.
Hal Adamson was in Tucson Rotary for over 65 years and was a past president. He was a successful business owner in the tire and rubber industry and also very active in the Tucson community. Hal helped the successful growth of many local non-profit organizations. He was also a proud UA Wildcat. Upon retiring, Hal and his wife enjoyed travel, flying in his airplane around the west, spending summers in Pinetop with their pals, and playing golf at the TCC and WMCC.
“Spring into Rotary”
The District 5500 website  has NEW on-line training videos specifically for our Rotary District 5500 Secretary, Treasurer, Public Image, Foundation, Membership, and the previously recorded webinar from Rotary Youth Exchange.  Additionally, since so many clubs are utilizing Zoom, you will find a link to Zoom 411.  Your District 5500 Training Team has developed these tools so you can take advantage of training in the comfort of your home.
As you finish the appropriate training, on or before June 15, submit your name to the District Training Chair, Ann Huber ( so you can be entered into a drawing.
Here is the link.  Also in addition, on the top of the District 5500 website, there is now a Training Center menu item for quicker access.
Our District 5500 is listening to Rotary club members. We want to make the required training available at all times and have as many club officers and members to have convenient access. If you have not been to a Rotary training session, these videos are worth your time, even if you have had the same position in the club for a few years.
Rotary is changing with the times and we want you to be aware of all these changes.
The RI Learning Center has hundreds of online classes available – take any course if it piques your interest. Maybe you are thinking that this is the time to consider a new leadership role in your Club or in the District.  These online training videos would be very valuable in helping you learn more about different positions in your club or our district. These courses are all free to Rotarians and provided to you by Rotary International.
Sign in to with your user id and password. (If you don't currently have a login, you can create one in a matter of minutes.) Access the Learning Center. The first step is to take the Getting Started with Learning Topics and Getting Started With The Learning Center if you have never done so before.
Online training, in our information age, puts Rotarians in the driver’s seat of their learning and development. It makes sense; therefore, that online learning exists for all Rotarians especially for those in Rotary District 5500.
As Paul Harris so aptly said: “This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.
From the District Membership Team:
Keeping Your Club VITAL During the Pandemic
 1.  Start a website for your club.  If you already have one, keep it updated;
 2.  Start a Facebook page.  If already have one, keep it updated;
 3.  If you're not meeting in person, keep your members engaged electronically:
  • Email weekly Bulletins with information gleaned from your Board, members, and current news. These could include membership milestones, birthdays, achievements as well as the Club’s future plans and goals;
  • Use Zoom for virtual meetings.  Zoom is a free video conference tool. DGE Diane Goodyear-Ventura ( can  help you set up the meeting;
  • Start a Blog or create a text chain to keep members communicating with each other. This is a good time to ask members to share their interests and hobbies;
  • Let your fellow Rotarians know how you are doing.  If you’re concerned about going out because you’re in a high-risk group, ask your fellow members for help with your errands and shopping.  
IN SUMMARY:  Keep connected with your fellow Rotarians! It is a Win-Win for you and your Club!
To share your ideas on staying connected or if you have any questions, contact District Membership Chair Joyce Finkelstein at:
District Grants Management Seminar
The District 5500 Grant Management Seminar (GMS) for 2020-2021 is live and ready to go at as of April 1, 2020.
CLICK HERE for downloadable instructions. Instructions will also be given to all of the Assistant Governors. Two members from a club must take this course in order for the club to be eligible to participate in both District and Global Grants and receive funding from District 5500 during the 2020-2021 Rotary year. 
You can contact Grants Subcommittee Chair, Shannan Marty, or 520-906-0385 for more information.
Rotary Peace Pole Update
Here is an update on 5500 District Rotary Clubs planning to install their Peace Poles all around the District:
  • Saddlebrooke Rotary installing Peace Pole at Oracle State Park.
  • Coolidge Rotary Club installing Peace Pole on city property next to their municipal Youth Center.
  • 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 and a second Peace Pole at Literacy Access.
  • 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.
  • Tucson Catalina Rotary Club is investigation the installation of a Peace Pole at each of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson. We are looking for interested clubs who may wish to partner with us. Please contact President Bob Grady if your club would like more information.
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 special ceremony commemorating the installation of the Peace Pole.
  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 at, our District Peace Projects Chair, for assistance and to share your Peace Pole news.
Joe Daniszewski
Rotary Club of Tucson
TRVFA and the AZ Tax Credit
The deadline for making tax credit donations to TRVFA for the 2019 tax year remains April 15 even though the filing deadlines for both state and federal tax returns has been extended to July 15, 2020.  Donations will be gladly accepted throughout the year, but after April 15, can only be used to offset state income tax obligation for the 2020 tax year.
TRVFA is the only Qualifying Charitable Organization in the long list of QCO’s that was started by Rotarians to fund vocational education for applicants who meet low-income guidelines over 25 years ago.  The organization is still run by an all-Rotarian board with only one part-time employee.  It is unfortunate that fewer than 10% of Arizona Rotarians take advantage of this opportunity to help others through this opportunity to give without having a net cost in the end.
TRVFA vocational-education grants make futures brighter for the scholars, their families and, in many cases, the patients they will serve.  If you are in a position to help, CLICK HERE to donate on line.  If you prefer to mail your donation, CLICK HERE to download a donation form to send with your check.
District Membership Report
From the Clubs....
SaddleBrooke Rotary
The Interact Club of San Manuel has completed two service projects for the Oracle Community Learning Garden.  This garden provides learning experiences for elementary school students and opportunities for food production in the community.  The first project was a morning of “lasagna” soil preparation.  Layers of organic material, cardboard, and wood shavings were spread to improve native ground to rich soil.  As a following project, the Interact club constructed and donated a bench to the garden.  Not only do these projects help the community, but a nice cooperative relationship has been established for future activity as the garden expands.  The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke sponsors this Interact club.
– Doug May
Rincon Rotary
Catalina Rotary starts "Zooming"
Catalina Rotary of Tucson has had some very encouraging initial successes in using Zoom to keep our members connected. We have already:
  • Had a Zoom-based Board of Directors meeting and conducted important business including the approval of two proposed new members. We also set up a phone tree for our board members to check in on the well-being of all our members. (Everyone is ok, by the way).
  • Had a "practice" meeting with our members to "ring out" any technical difficulties any of our members may be having with Zoom at this time.
  • We are having our first regular weekly meeting via Zoom on Friday, April 3. Our agenda will include a program with guest speaker as well as a discussion about club and member action to serve the community during this time of crisis.
So far, our experience has been that Zoom is pretty straightforward to download and get started. We are going through a learning curve of using the chat and "raised hand" functions but anticipate no major hurdles as we move into this new, online opportunity to stay connected as Catalina Rotarians.
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile