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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

February is Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month
From DG Anita McDonald              (anitamcd@rotaryd5500.org)
     I’d like to thank the Clubs that sponsored delegates and youth counselors to attend RYLA January 13–16, 2023. The students received exceptional learning opportunities and mental and physical challenges as part of their Leadership training.
     Your funds were well invested, and I do hope that Clubs will invite the students to present programs about their experience and, of course, invite their parents.
     I want to congratulate the RYLA Team for planning and executing an excellent experience for students and the adult advisers like myself. I learned new slang words, the type of music students enjoy and some new dance moves which I won’t be demonstrating any time soon.
     Thank you to Jennifer Wantz, RYLA Chair, for her outstanding leadership, and her remarkable team of Marcos Ramirez, Registrar and so much more, Jessica Gatmen, logistics director for all things that moved or had to be moved and Jessica Sprung, who wore many hats including adult advisor and workshop facilitator on the topic of the environment.
     One hundred and five students will never forget you.
New District Administrator Appointed 
     Please Welcome Kasia Yuska.
     Last October, the District Corporate Board approved the hiring of a part-time (average 10 hours/week) District Administrator. Recruitment across the District of Rotarians and non-Rotarians began in December, 2023, resulting in three applicants being interviewed in January 2023 by the District Governor Team.
     I’m happy to report that Kasia Yuska was offered and accepted the position and will begin her training February 1, 2023. Over the next few months, Kasia will work with Virginia Leavitt, our current District Administrator, and Wendy Hobbs, District Registrar and a person well-versed in Rotary processes, and myself as part of her training. She will gradually take on responsibilities until she is on her own by July 1, 2023.
     Kasia comes to us with 14 years of experience as an independent consultant for Arbonne International, 10 years as co-founder of an award-winning TV commercial post-production company and many years of experience in the various roles of marketing, such as copywriting, social media, and communication. I think you will find her to be a problem-solver and very easy and eager to work with you.
     And Kasia is a founding member of the Tucson Verde Rotary Club.
     District 5500 Governor Anita McDonald
     One of the six areas of focus of Rotary we seem to not talk about very much is peacebuilding and conflict prevention (the area of focus is actually named "Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution"), which is the theme for February. It is often, however, the conflicts that occur throughout the world that are the root causes of poverty, despair, economic hardship and poor health. Take for instance the major deterrent to polio eradication: the difficulty in vaccinating children in war-torn countries.
     Rotary International as an organization understands this connection and, therefore, is deeply invested in supporting individuals and programs that will develop leaders who are committed to seeking ways toward peace. The path toward peace begins with understanding and respect for the differences that make us unique.
     These are the same types of values that are studied in the Peace Centers supported by Rotary International in association with several major universities across the globe. The mission of these centers is to “empower, educate, and increase the capacity of peace builders through rigorous academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities.”
     Through this experience, Rotary Peace Fellows develop the skills needed to act as “leaders and catalysts for peace and conflict resolution both in their communities and around the globe.” As Rotarians, we should all be similarly committed to understanding the conflicts that exist in our own society, to speak out when necessary, and to seek solutions that reflect the values of Rotary.
     Through Global Grant activities, Clubs and Districts can participate in strategically focused, high-impact activities that align with Rotary goals that address this area of focus by training leaders, including potential youth leaders to prevent and mediate conflict, to support peacebuilding in communities and regions affected by conflict, and to support studies related to peace and conflict prevention/resolution for career-minded professionals.
Questions, hopes or dreams:  jndaniszewski1@gmail.com


The Rotary Club of Green Valley

Rillito River Clean-Up
The Rotary Club of Valle Verde
The Hermosillo Joint District Micro-Credit Project
(from Sue Archibald)
     Rotarians from Districts 5500 and 5495 visited the Hermosillo Joint District Micro-Credit Project to better understand the project. The visit began at a meeting with the Hermosillo Pitic Rotary Club. The group then visited many of the project participants in conjunction with Fin-Reg. Fin-Reg is the micro-credit finance partner that manages the program.
     Tosti Snack is one of the small successful businesses that the project has helped.
     The weekend was filled with Rotary Fun, Food and Fellowship!
The Rotary Club of Tucson Verde
Clean-Up Painted Hills Trails Park                       (from Kasia Yuska)
     For its December Club project, The Rotary Club of Tucson Verde partnered with Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation to clean up trash that had built up for decades on the Painted Hills Trails Park property for decades.
     As an environmentally-focused Club, this project aligned with one of its five Areas of Focus, that is, “to show care and respect for our Natural Environment”.
Winter Sock Drive Receives Big Donation     (from PDG Ellie Patterson)
     Ellie Patterson and Linda Fugate brought a large donation from their Tucson Verde Rotary Club to the Ward 3 office this week: 148 pairs of new socks for our Winter Sock Drive!
     Ellie is president of Tucson Verde Club (https://www.rotarytucsonverde.com/).       Linda led the Club’s sock project.
     The Club takes on “projects that will improve the ecological and sustainable environment of our community and planet”.
(From left): Linda Fugate, Council Member, Ward 3, Kevin Dahl ((Full disclosure: "I’m a proud member of the Club.", says Kevin) , and PDG Ellie Patterson
The Rotary Club of Marana
2022 Ride To End Polio (RTEP) Results
(from PDG Kirk Reed)
     The totals for our 2022 Ride to End Polio are in!
     We had 70 Rotarian riders from 14 states in El Tour de Tucson. We also had a huge number of indoor riders from the U.S. and Canada.
    The total amount raised this year to fight against polio was $1,811,000, bringing the grand total for the past 12 years to $61,100,000.
     It’s easy to see once again that Rotarians are amazing!
The Rotary Club of Dove Mountain


A Forum on Human Trafficking

     Join the Rotary Club of Marana and 16 District 5500 Peacebuilder Clubs on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at the Pima Community College West Campus Performing Arts Center, 2202 W Anklam Rd, Tucson, AZ from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm for this highly important forum.
     For more information, please contact Randy Brooks at randy@randy-brooks.com



The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona
(from PDG Diane Ventura-Goodyear)
Four-Way Test Speech Contest
Is your Club planning to participate this year?
Have you contacted the contest coordinator Deb Haddock about your participation?
If you are planning to participate, please contact Deb by no later than Tuesday, February 28, 2023.
Her contact information is:
Phone: 520-471-4145
If we do not have at least two or more Clubs participating, we may have to consider not having the contest this year.
The Rotary Club of Rincon                       (from Mike Esparza)
The Rotary Club of Mountain Empire
(from Sue Archibald)
     Mountain Empire Rotary held a document shredding and electronic/metal recycling event on Saturday, January 7, 2023, at the Santa Cruz County fairgrounds.
     Donations received offset the cost of the event and contributed to projects sponsored by Mountain Empire Rotary, especially for the Patagonia and Elgin School Book programs and the Scholarships and Graduations awards.
     Many thanks to the community for supporting Mountain Empire at this event!
The Rotary Clubs of Mountain Empire and Benson
The Rotary Club of Tucson Sunrise
The Liz Cohn Memorial Fund
  Donations to the Liz Cohn Memorial Fund, temporarily held in the The Tucson Sunrise Rotary Foundation, reached $5810.  The Sunrise Foundation brought the total to $6000 and transferred the Fund to PDG Diane Ventura-Goodyear for The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.  Liz Cohn, a long-time member of Tucson Sunrise and administrator for District 5500, was a strong supporter of education.

The Rotary Club of Tucson Sunset
(from PDG Diane Ventura-Goodyear)
Sunset Rotary Club - Service Project
Serving Lunch at Gospel Rescue Mission
(pictured in no particular order Laura Ziady, Natasha Wrae, Gordon Goodyear, Diane Ventura-Goodyear, and President Ann Huber)
UofA Rotaract
Turquoise Trail Clean-Up Project
     On Saturday, January 21, 2023, members of the UofA Rotaract Club, Sunrisers Jeff Farmer, his son, Jacob, Kelley Campbell, her husband, Bill and Myron Donald, met in front of the El Charro on Court St. for Rotaract's service project of cleaning up part of the Turquoise Trail that runs through historic downtown Tucson.  The group then met again at La Estrella in Mercado San Agustin for pastries, coffee and conversation.
     Rotaract President Julianne Setiadi found this lost soldier and returned him to duty!    

Project Linus
     As part of their February 1, 2023, general meeting, Rotaractors cut and knotted fringes into soft, fuzzy fabrics.  The blankets will be given to children in foster care or undergoing other difficult circumstances.  Project Linus is an on-going project of the UofA Rotaract Club.


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