RI District 5500 News: March 2020
Governor's Message: Two Drops of Life

Tears came easily as I was reminded from the members of my Rotary team that I had just saved a life, a life free from the devastating disease, polio. It was my first polio immunization day. It was an experience that would change my life, and the lives of many young children and their families, forever.

Fifty Rotarians from Districts 5495, 5320 and 5500 traveled by bus to Caborca, Mexico. We arrived on Friday and were greeted by several members of the Caborca Rotary Club.  We were served a delicious dinner of fish, chicken, carne asada, tortillas and beans at "Club Rotario de Caborca" clubhouse. Conversations in Spanish and English swirled around the room. It was an energizing day. I slept hard that night.

The next morning, we headed out by bus to one of the clinics for orientation and training. We were each given a white Rotary smock/apron to wear for the day with pockets which we filled with small toys, candy, and books for the children who would be immunized.
While at the clinic we toured a shiny white Rotary medivan which was funded by the three Districts and our own Sierra Vista Rotary. The medivan was divided into a mobile dental office and doctor office. The van services the local ejidos (farm/fishing communities) and makes its rounds on a weekly basis.

We were divided into 13 groups of 4 Rotarians, 1 public health nurse and 1 translator. Each group was assigned an individual community.  It took much walking and knocking on doors to service all the families. We took turns administering the "two drops of life" to children under age five. Nurses do the record keeping for the health ministry and each family also has a record booklet for each child. When my turn first came to administer the drops to a child, I knew this was a truly exceptional Rotary moment.

On Saturday evening we stopped by the hospital on our way to dinner and saw the new neonatal incubator funded by another Tri-District Global Grant which included the Tubac, Oro Valley and Valle Verde Rotary Clubs. The incubator serves 20-25 premature babies each week.
We arrived at the Caborca Rotary Clubhouse shortly after the hospital tour and once again enjoyed a delicious dinner with our new friends.  A highlight of the evening was seeing two young children who have benefitted from past contributions of the 3 Districts to the Caborca Children’s Medical Fund.  Each child, along with their parents, was introduced by Rotarian Dr. Martin Mendes along with an explanation of their medical issue and how the fund has helped.
As the evening activities and fellowship came to a close, I couldn’t help but think what a difference this day made in my life and how all of us Rotarians remain so committed to changing and saving lives. Whether its eradicating polio, keeping  babies alive in the neonatal unit or providing medical and dental treatment to local families in rural settings, we are there to offer friendship, funding and compassion to our neighbors across the border. The bus trip back home the next day came all too quickly.  The impact of two drops of life will stay with me forever.
Coronavirus Update
With an increase in coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreaks on a daily basis, the RI Board of Directors is encouraging more online meetings and online trainings. Rotary is developing resources to support online training and will share those with members as soon as they are available. Our District 5500 utilizes the program Zoom which is an award-winning communications tool that brings video conferencing, online meetings and group messaging into one easy-to-use application. For additional information, please contact our DGE, Diane Ventura-Goodyear,
Rotary District 5500 2nd Annual “Day of Peace”
Saturday, April 4, 2020
9:30am – 3:00pm
$25.00 per person

Truly Nolen Leadership Center
436 S. Williams Blvd. – Tucson
Peace is not absence of conflict, 
it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.
~ Ronald Reagan
How easy is it for you to deflate an escalating argument between two or more people…other than just walking away?  Would you like to learn how to deal with an uncomfortable situation?
Join us to learn how to build a conflict-free community and improve your interpersonal skills.
Speakers:  Rabbi Stephanie Aaron
                  Mayor Regina Romero
                  Mark Flanigan, Peace Fellow
Please register at:
Rotary at Work Day
April’s Rotary at Work Day is now re-imagined as Rotary at Work Month!  All 50 clubs are invited to collaborate with other clubs who already have a service project planned for April, 2020.  Here is contact information for two clubs who would like help:
  • 8th Annual Triangle Y Camp Clean up Day in Oracle. April 25th .Contact Dave Gallaher, RC Tucson,
  • Mary Thompson, 774-249-3200, RC Saddlebrook Sunrise. All ages and levels of experience welcome!
For those clubs who choose to do a service project in the month of April, Tom Nelson has agreed to run your best Rotary-People of Action photo in the District 5500 web site banner. I will email your input to DG Ellie for bragging rights on the banner and in her District At A Glance Notes each week in April.   Just email me, DGN Hank Huisking, talk2hank@cox.netthe following information directly after your event.
  • A short description of your project in 25 words or less
  • A photo of your club in action on the day of service
If you had not planned a project in April, check with your Assistant Governor to see what other clubs in your region are doing and if they need some volunteers.
Four-Way Test Speech Contest
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Christ Church United Methodist Social Hall
655 N. Craycroft Road
Tucson, AZ 85711
How would the Application of the Rotary Ford-Way Test Create Peaceful Connections?
Note: Connections could be individual, local, national or international
Debra Haddock
Four-Way Test Speech Chair
Phone: 520-822-8591 (H), 520-471-4145 (C)
The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona
THE ROTARY VOCATIONAL FUND OF AZ  wants Rotarians to consider using their tax credit to help their own community. Rotary has more applicants than ever before that  need  a chance at  a better lifestyle.
Consider applying your tax credits to TRVFA this tax season QCO Code is 20698.
Membership: Club Models
Do you have a hobby or cause that you are passionate about?  
Are you trying to cut down on carbon emissions?  Do you believe that sharing cultural similarities can prevent conflict?   Are you a member of a book club?   
Then why not turn that passion into an opportunity to make a difference in your community?  Organize a tree-planting party.  Get together with your neighbors for a block party.  Volunteer to read to homebound seniors. 

Before you know, you could wind up with a new model for a Rotary club that attracts all ages and backgrounds.  
Cause-Based Clubs are just one of several Club Models.  Learn more by visiting our website:  Click on “Membership Development” on the left-hand side under Site Pages.  Or contact District Membership Chair Joyce Finkelstein at
Something Special coming in April
Something VERY special for your officers and leaders will be coming out in April! Right now it's a top secret, but will be revealed on March 30th.  
Please help us create some buzz as we prepare to introduce a new, exciting concept for our district.  We will be sending you some graphics to use in your bulletins, websites, email blasts and social media.  We will send you some new graphics in about a week, and more graphics as we count down to March 30th.  Please share the graphics as is appropriate for your club.  You don't have to say much of anything - just use the graphic.
Thank you for being our partner in fun, merriment, mystery and intrigue! Let's keep Rotary fun and exciting!
From The Clubs
Rincon Rotary: "A Taste of Chocolate"
Old Pueblo Rotary Poker Challenge
Poker is fun, but our event is all about the kids!  Saturday, September 26 2020 is the Old Pueblo Rotary annual Poker Challenge and Fundraiser at Tucson Country Club.  Our event raises money to send deserving kids to Mt Lemmon Sky Camp.  Save the date to play poker, donate a fun prize or sign up to sponsor.  This is hands down (no pun intended) one of the most fun Rotary events all year long.  Contact Beth Dannheim or (520) 975-6230.
Benson Rotary "Swing Into Spring" Golf Tournament
This year's event will be held Saturday, May 9, at the San Pedro Golf Course. For registration and sponsorship information, please contact Cory East at 520-678-7657 or via email:
Nogales Bicycle Classic
From the Yuma Rotary Club
The Yuma Rotary Club’s Foundation Committee set a goal this Rotary year to achieve at least 10 additional Paul Harris Fellow recipients. The Club offered up to $150 in matching funds to individuals who reach their first Paul Harris Fellow milestone. 
As of February, the Club has encouraged thirteen (13) Rotarians to achieve their first or next milestone. We are pleased that so far this year five (5) individuals have reached their first time Paul Harris Fellow recognition, along with one Paul Harris Fellow plus 1 (PHF+1), two PHF+2, two PHF+3, two PHF+4 and one PHF+6. We will continue our efforts through this year and into the next! You would be surprised how easy it is when you show Rotarians where they stand in their progress toward that first $1,000 or a multiple.  
Susan Thorpe, Yuma Rotary Club Foundation Committee
Douglas Rotary Golf Tournament
SaddleBrooke Rotary Fore For Kids
The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke is gearing up for its 22nd annual Fore For Kids Golf Tournament. We hope you will join us on April 13th at the beautiful Oro Valley Country Club!
It will be a fun-filled day of golf while helping to raise money for youth in southern Arizona. We will have prizes for the top teams, hole-in-one’s, and several random draws! A light lunch and an after golf barbecue buffet will be provided. 
The cost is $150 per golfer or $560 per foursome.
Golfers register at:
Questions? Contact Eric Erickson at 520-336-0350 or email
If you or your business would like to become a sponsor or make a donation,contact: Leslie: or Gordon Wainwright: or 520-908-6110.
Mountain Empire Rotary
The Mountain Empire Rotary Club (Elgin, Patagonia, Sonoita) hosted a “rockin “Mardi Gras Casino Night Fundraiser Saturday 2/25th. Although it was a rainy day/evening we had a terrific turn-out; folks are confident that Rotarians know how to throw a great party! Professional dealers and 8 tables of different games (craps, black jack, poker, roulette) provided an authentic experience. The Mardi Gras theme added a colorful and very festive ambience. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, a full bar, tasty sweets, “Rat Pack” music, and outstanding Silent Auction + Raffle items all contributed to a highly successful event. Gamblers played with “Funny Money Skripts” which they cashed in for raffle tickets for the many prizes. The Mountain Empire Rotary Club is proud to have earned the District’s Literacy Award last year and this fundraiser supports all the many literacy projects our club provides for local students. We recognized our generous sponsors on 5 Big Screen TVs throughout the room, along with a slide show of our works.  Thanks to the generosity of those Sponsors we netted nearly $13,000, pretty impressive for a 14 member club, People of Action, Making a Difference! 
Sierra Vista Sunrise: Jennifer House

Members of Sierra Vista Sunrise Rotary Club recently gathered at Wanderlust Kaffee on Saturday to work on projects in support of a shelter for women in transition.

Founded by local businesswoman Danielle Sheppard, the Jennifer House assists women who are struggling to turn their lives around while going through drug recovery or recent release from incarceration.

District Membership Figures
Russell Hampton
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