Rotary – Success, Opportunities and Dreams

The New Year is a time to celebrate the successes of the past and plan future opportunities – and to make dreams come true.  During club visits I have been amazed by the good work you do in your communities.  Rotary is helping to change lives and communities.  Thank you to every Rotarian and each club for all you do to make Rotary great by serving humanity.
As we look forward, opportunities for service, fellowship and growth abound.  Dream big, dream often – then make those Rotary dreams a reality.  Allow me to share three of my ongoing dreams for District 5500:
  • My first continuing dream is that each club will gain a net increase of at least one new member and clubs larger than 50 will gain at least two.  More members will help us do even more.
  • Second, I look forward to the ongoing evolution of District 5500 as a resource for empowering, supporting and strengthening our clubs.
  • My third continuing dream involves support for The Rotary Foundation.  Can we for the first time reach Annual Fund donations of $200/member?  Can we achieve 100% EREY status ($100/member/club with a minimum of $25 each)? TRF makes it possible for clubs to fund many of their projects.
Yes, these are dreams – but they are achievable.  Together, we can reach higher and touch a few more stars.  Together, we can make a difference.  Let’s make this the greatest Rotary year ever for all District 5500 Rotary Clubs.

District Governor 2017-2018

New Year Clean-Up for Club Secretary

  • Is your Club's Rotary International (RI) member information correct? Are the membership roles reported correctly on the RI Website? 
  • Are phone numbers, home addresses, email addresses correct in the District Clubrunner database? 
  • Has your club synchronized the member database with RI?
  • If your club has changed the meeting place or time was it reported and updated in the District Directory? 
If you need help with any of this please contact your Assistant Governor.

Club Presidents and Membership Resources

You’re midway through your year as club president. Is your club making a difference? Is it strong, vibrant, and growing? Are your members engaged and satisfied with their club experience? If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, there’s still time to make a positive change in your club’s future. 
Rotary has eight new membership-related courses available in the Learning Center. Each course includes a variety of materials, including self-guided learning modules. The interactive modules present real-life scenarios that let you test different actions to see what happens.  As your membership committee to help prioritize course areas.
The courses are: 
•    Is Your Club Healthy? – recommended to start here
•    Building a Diverse Club
•    Online Membership Leads
•    Practicing Flexibility and Innovation
•    Strategies for Attracting New Members 
•    Kick-start Your New Member Orientation
•    Best Practices for Engaging Members
•    Your Membership Plan (coming soon)

The courses are free and available on demand, so you can take them at your convenience. Members can access the courses in the Learning Center after signing in to their My Rotary account. You’ll find the Learning Center under Learning & Reference in the menu. In the Learning Center, select the Membership category along the left side of the page.
- Brian King, R. I. Membership Development

Registration Open For Rotary Leadership Institute

Registration is now open for the January 20, 2018 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. 
To register go to
-Joseph Guyton
RLI Chairman

The 2017 Rotary District 5500 Ride to End Polio is in the Books

As we close the books on the 2017 Ride we can rejoice in another successful event. About 120 cyclists joined us for the ride in Tucson. They came from 18 states, several Canadian Providences, from Australia, Brazil, Germany and France. In addition we fielded 18 Indoor Ride to End Polio teams—6 district teams and 12 club teams comprising more than 300 participants.
It’s easy as we focus so much on numbers and results to lose focus on why we ride.  At our November 17 Pre-Ride Banquet, 125 Rotarians, friends and family came together for fellowship and to celebrate our success. 
Since this is a fund-raising event for Polio Plus, in the end it does come down to the numbers.  This year including matches from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is about $11.7 million, exceeding the $10 million goal set by DG Joe Hentges, and bringing the total funds raised since inception of the ride to a bit over $47 million.
On behalf of the Ride to End Polio planning committee, a great thank you to our cyclists, your donors, those who served as aides and home hosts, and to our committee members who bring this event together in very special way.
-Gary Hirsch 
Chairman of the RIDE to End Polio

Party in Toronto June 23-27 
for a Great Rotary Experience

You can register today for the 2018 Rotary International Convention in one of the most exciting cities in North America. You’ll be experiencing the delights of Toronto and connecting with Rotarians from Alaska to Zimbabwe.
Our Rotary district will be enjoying a dinner evening together on Saturday, June 23, at Badali’s Cucina, just a few blocks from the Convention Center. Stay tuned for how to reserve a spot.
The prices in Canada will be reasonable because of the American dollar’s value. Pre- and post-convention tours (Niagara Falls, Wine Country, Shakespeare, and more) will also be available.
Need a hotel? It’s not too late to find a good room at a good price. Call Rotary’s reservation line (847-996-5885) to explore options and nail down your reservation. And most important: register for the convention itself by going to Toronto 2018 will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

O Canada! A Rotary Experience To Remember June 23-27

The Rotary International Convention in Toronto next June will be truly memorable. If you register by December 15, you’ll receive an early bird discount, and you’ll have a number of hotel choices. Go to to find everything you need to reserve your spot.
Questions? Email or call DGE Kirk Reed: or 
(520) 561-0285. O Canada! We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Rotary Rose Parade Float Wins Princess Award 2nd Year

The Rotary Rose Parade PDG Sheryl Christenson with Rotary International Director for Zones 25/26  John MathewsFloat Committee reported that the Rotary Float "Planting the Seeds of Service" won the Princess Award for the most outstanding floral presentation among entries 35 feet and under in length.
Describing the float: the small tree is a sapling from the tree that came from Hiroshima. Six walkers on each side for the Six Areas of Focus. "Peaches" the rabbit is planting the seeds of service. Six peaches on tree. Six tomatoes on tomato plants. Six heads of cabbage etc.  
"It is so exciting to be here." Our District 5500 is  one of the sponsoring districts; we have been given a great opportunity.

-Sheryl Christenson
Past District Governor
PDG Sheryl Christenson pictured with 
RI Director Zones 25/26  John Mathews

Scottish Kinsman & Kinswoman of the Year 

The Chicago Scots annually present the Kinsman and Kinswoman Awards recognizing outstanding dedication and service to their organization. 
Kinsman of the Year for 2016 Andrew Kerr. 
of the Year for 2016 Pamela Kerr.
Andy Kerr is a member of the Rotary Club of Catalina.  Prior to retirement and moving to Tucson, Andy was Chief Administrative Officer of Lake Forest Academy.  He previously served as the Academy’s CFO.   
 Pamela Kerr is a soon-to-be-member of the Catalina Club.  Pamela is PDG from District 6440 – the Home District.  She has an extensive background in fund development for museums, schools and private organizations, and served as Foundation Chair of her Rotary Club. Pam is a major donor to The Rotary Foundation.
Andy and Pam have a long and distinguished history of community leadership and service.  We are pleased that they are now part of the District 5500 family.  Welcome and congratulations, Pam and Andy.

Rotary District 5500 October Conference Evaluations

The evaluations were high and the verbal and written feedback was very complimentary.  The overall conference rating was 4.8 on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being poor and 5 excellent. The major speakers received ratings of 4.5, 4.8, 5.0 and 5.0. The Plenary sessions received a rating of 4.7. Written comments included, “My best experience at a conference”, “Best speakers I have heard at a conference,” “Thank you so much for a great conference.”  
The Breakout sessions received an average rating of 4.8.  Comments included, “Best breakouts in a long time,” and “I liked the diversity of breakout sessions.” Every session earned at least 4.1 and 7 breakout sessions received 5.0 ratings.
The Hospitality Social received a 4.6 rating and comments like “loved the music,” to “too many desserts.”
The quality of conference food and beverage was rated a 3.4 with several comments that Saturday evening food was good to excellent.
Registration glitches occurred and the rating was 3.8. Conference information received a rating of 4.0.  Comments on registration included, “name tags not prepared in advance,” to “chaotic at times.”
The Sunday morning Salute to Veterans was a hit and the overall rating was 5.0. The turn out was one of the largest for a Sunday morning program.
It was a pleasure to work with so many committed and talented Rotarians in planning the conference. I was proud to be part of Change a Life. My hope is that many of you will continue to find ways to support activities in your communities directed at changing the life of a child.
-Doug Woodard,
Conference Chair 2 Fall 2017
RYLA Is Almost Here!
  • Find out if your Delegates need help with supplies or warm clothing to attend RYLA. If so, ask club members if they can loan these items. They will receive a RYLA hoodie, but are encouraged to bring a warm winter jacket to wear while outside.
  • Call me if any of your Delegates are unable to attend so I can invite the next person on the waiting list.
  • Training for JCs and Adult Advisors is Sunday, January 7 from 8:00-3:00 in Tucson. We are home hosting anyone wanting to drive to Tucson Saturday night.
    -Barbara Harrison
    District 5500 RYLA Chair / 520.250.3437

Dr. Robert C. Robbins, U of A President
Speaks at Sunrise SaddleBrooke 

SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary Club is hosting Dr. Robert C. Robbins, President of the University of Arizona, to speak at the SaddleBrooke at HOA 2 Ballroom 8 am to 9 am on March 29th. A buffet will be served. Cost to attend this wonderful event and to hear what is happening at the University will only be $20 per person. If you are interested in attending, contact Dick Kroese at 520-825-2226 or Doug Sweetland at 520-818-6541

DG Joe's 

Eloy-Robson Ranch Rotary Club:  We are most disappointed to tell you that the Eloy-Robson Ranch Club has disbanded.  With 7 members, only 4 of whom were active, the club decided to surrender its charter.   Their final project, completed during the final week, was to purchase new cheerleader uniforms for Eloy High School.  Hopefully, this small group of dedicated Rotarians will join one of the Casa Grande Clubs.
The Ride to End Polio:  WOW!  What a marvelous job by our riders and supporters!
Cash Donations 
DDF from Districts 
RI World Fund Match
$  947,931
Sub Total  
Total w/ Gates Fd. Match 
Those donations and matching funds will provide Polio vaccine for more than 23 million kids.  Job well done.
Rotary License Plates:  We have been asked why D5500 doesn’t join the list of organizations using special Arizona license plates as a fund-raising tool. Great idea – but it is too costly.  The plate fee is $25 of which the organization receives $17 per plate.  There is also a $32,000 ADOT implementation fee.  We would have to sell 1,883 plates before any “profit” accrued to District 5500.  With 1500 members, the odds of making a profit are not good.  Anyone have $32,000 in loose change lying around? (photo: ROTARY EMBLEM AUTO LICENSE PLATE FRAME)
PRESIDENT-ELECT TRAINING SEMINAR:  Only 6 weeks until PETS training for next year’s club presidents.  Registration costs increase by an additional $100 on January 2nd.  If you are a PE, be sure you register this week.  As of December 18, only 25 club PEs (50 %) had registered. 

Fort Yuma Rotary Club builds Preschool Playground at OC Johnson Elementary School

On December 8, 9, and 10, the members of Fort Yuma Rotary along with family members and school staff met to discuss the building of a playground (much like a community barn raising) for the school’s first ever preschool classes. 
The project included building a new playground structure for preschool-aged kids, building and installing a music wall, building a mud kitchen, painting and installing climbing tires, and repainting older equipment. The project’s cost was in excess of $23,000 and was funded in part by a District 5500 District Grant.
A ribbon cutting and “Grand Opening” of the playground is scheduled for January 26th
-Brian Geren  
President/Fort Yuma Rotary

Bookman's Donates Books For Kids in Tucson


Sierra Vista Rotary Club Installs Play-Structure for Women's and Children's Shelter

“Rotarians Making a Difference!” The Forgash House Of Sierra Vista, AZ, is a women’s and children’s shelter.
This Play-structure was installed and finalized November and December of this year. A multi-club project that also added planting a couple trees at the facility. 
We welcomed many new members this year. (pictured lower right) President Nancy Fusco and LaRae Means owner and operator of Allstate Insurance in Sierra Vista. 
-Karina Rice Roberts 
PR Dir. Sierra Vista Rotary

Clubs looking for Partners for their Projects

To help clubs find partners for their Service Projects or Global Grants, we have established a web page on the District 5500 web site called “Projects Looking for Partners”. We will upload information to this page for clubs to view the available projects along with a point of contact.    (bottom of page)

Send your club's information to: (.pdf format only and under 10 MB)
We are in the process of populating it with club information.  For it to be effective, the District is hoping that clubs will utilize this tool.
-Ray Naylor
District Service Project Chair

Polio Eradication Update

The Gates Foundation is matching all Rotarian Raised Polio Donations $2 for each $1 Contributed (Up to $50 Mil/Yr.)
Our Rotary-wide 2017-18 Rotary Year Polio Fundraising Goal is
 $50 Million + the $2 for $1 Gates Foundation Match
Our Goal is Global Polio Eradication!
PolioPlus:  Zero Is The Magic Number!
Advocate, Donate & Educate to END POLIO NOW & FOREVER!
16,000,000 Children Saved from the Paralysis of Polio Since 1988
 For The Week Ending 12/16/17
Total paralysis cases
Last Year to Date 2016
Total 2016
Total 2015
Total 2014
- in endemic countries:
- in post-endemic countries:
Wild Polio cases reported this week:
Pakistan 1, Afghanistan 0, Nigeria 0   
2017 Polio Case Breakdown by Country
Endemic Countries –6 Pakistan (2016-20), 11 Afghanistan (2016-13),0 Nigeria (2016-4)
-Terry Ziegler,
District 5890 Polio Eradication Chair & Zone 21/B/27 PHS Coordinator

3 Reasons Why PETS in Los Angeles 
Will be a Great Learning Experience

Why will we be at to the LAX Marriott for our President Elect Training (PETS) Seminar February 9-11?
•An unsurpassed Rotary learning experience. We’ll be with six other Rotary districts, learning from some of the finest speakers and leaders anywhere.
• Reasonable cost. Our district will be increasing reimbursement to clubs from $300 to $500 to cover transportation costs, if needed. Easy flights from Tucson are available.
• Fellowship. When we attended PETS at the Hilton in Mesa, most President Elects from north of us went home each evening. At Southwest Rotary PETS in Los Angeles, all Rotarians will be together at the LAX Marriott. We’ll enjoy two fellowship evenings, an extraordinary House of Friendship, and a plenary event honoring our district.
Please remind your President Elect to register soon at The price increases by $100 at the end of December. Questions? Don’t hesitate to call or email DGE Kirk Reed,

Engage the Public

More Info

Save the Date: February 2018
Peace Building Conference

“In February 2018, the eyes of the Rotary World will be on Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Zones 24 and 25 will host the Presidential Conference on Environmental Sustainability and Peace — one of six international peace building conferences planned for the 2017-2018 Rotary year. President Ian Riseley has made environmental sustainability a major focus for his year and we are honored that he has chosen Vancouver to hold the first Presidential Conference on this key area.”
John Matthews, International Director, asks that you “save the dates” of February 9-11, 2018, and share this information with all Rotarians in your Clubs. For more information click here.

Newsletter Submission Guidelines

All clubs are encouraged to submit news of previous and upcoming activities for newsletter inclusion. Please keep summaries to about 100 - 150 words, add a headline and attach or include a photo if appropriate. Then add a “for more information link” to websites and forms.
Just model your submissions after those in this newsletter and you'll be set.
Additionally, put the name of your club and the month the article will run in the subject line of your email to Submit the article ONLY as an email,doc or docx. No pdfs or flyers, please. Typically the deadline is the 21st of each month for publication around the 7th of the following month or the next business day.
For the month of February the deadline will be January 21st, publication February 7th.
Show off your club activities to others in District 5500! How can District 5500 keep you better informed? What more would you like to see in your District 5500 Newsletter? This is your District's main communication tool to keep the clubs informed. Please send your comments to AG Diane:
Upcoming Events
2019 Foundation Day
Nov 09, 2019
10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
View entire list

Visit your Rotary District 5500 website

Peruse the District 5500 website for the
and so much more!
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile