The District Dispatch


The Monthly Newsletter of Rotary District 6250

August Edition

Important Note: Deadline for district newsletter submissions is the 25th of each month.
The newsletter will be distributed by the first full week of the month.

District Governor's Message

Dear Rotarians,

August is membership and club extension month.  As I visit the clubs in our district, there is no issue that clubs have in common more often than membership.  All of us realize that our service and fellowship are best when they are shared with others.  Having a stable membership is important, but having a growing membership is one of the signs of a successful, dynamic club. How do we achieve growth of membership? Let's start with an assumption.  I assume that all clubs are organized for the convenience of a majority of their members. However, what is convenient for a majority of our current members may or may not be convenient for those we seek to attract to membership.  If this is true, is there anything we can do as a club to make our club more attractive and convenient for a new younger, more diverse membership without driving away our current members?  I think that the key is flexibility and creativity. Fortunately, Rotary International has made it easier to try new things.  For example, if your club would like to try a "family membership" or a "corporate membership," you may do so. One model that has been suggested for this is to have one person pay full dues, including meals, and the other person or persons sharing the family or corporate membership pay a lower amount of dues that does not include meals.  Then, whenever the additional member or members attend a meeting, he, she or they pay the cost of the meal.  These additional members are "Rotarians" and are entitled to the benefits of membership, with the payment for meals being the only differentiating factor.  If you were going to adopt this model, you might also want to consider whether there would be any limitation on the rights of membership extended.  Could he or she hold office? Can the company or the family change the identity of the "primary" member? Our District Membership committee would be pleased to help you explore these different types of membership. My own view is that the worst that might happen is that you would have more than one of the corporate or family members attending both meetings and club activities regularly- a problem most of us would welcome!

Another change that a number of clubs have either considered or adopted is a change in their monthly meeting structure.  While it is true that Rotary International still requires that clubs meet four times a month (except when a holiday interferes), Rotary International doesn't define what constitutes a meeting.  Some clubs now have three weekly meetings in a month with a program and, in most cases, a meal and have a fourth meeting be a club service activity.  The result is that there is one less meal each month for the members to pay for, which ought to result in both lower dues and more service opportunities. While almost all of the Rotary Clubs in North America have a meal with their meetings, this is far from universally true.  My experience in a number of other countries has been that clubs often meet either before or after work, only long enough to get through their club business and have a fifteen to twenty minute presentation.  The entire meeting often lasts less than an hour and members are free to stay to eat with their fellow club members or head on their way.  I'm not suggesting that this is the model that clubs in our district should adopt because I'm not sure that it would be attractive to our current members. It may, however, be the meeting structure of the future and leads quite naturally, to the topic of club extension.  As you may know, we've experienced the chartering of a number of new clubs in the district recently.  The La Crosse After Hours Club held its charter night over a year ago and the Onalaska Hilltoppers Club even more recently. There are provisional clubs meeting in Madison and Platteville currently, with the Madison After Hours Club planning its chartering event for August 26. We'll send out details to every club in the district. Platteville is not far behind.  This trend is worldwide.  About twelve years ago, there were approximately 1,200,000 Rotarians worldwide in approximately 24,000 clubs; now, there are still around 1,200,000 Rotarians, but they are in more than 34,000 clubs! I think this in large measure goes back to my earlier statement about clubs being organized for the convenience of their members.  If there is a group of service-minded people who are unable to find a club that meets their requirements in meeting time, meeting location, dues, activities, fellowship, networking, and all of the other criteria that make each Rotary Club unique, then perhaps a new club is the best way to get them involved in the wonderful world of Rotary.  For existing clubs, I urge you to embrace these new clubs; share your knowledge and your resources.  Chances are, most of them would not be Rotarians if your club was their only alternative.  Since we're all reaching towards the same vision of a more peaceful world, free of polio, and improvements to our own community, the more we have on board, the greater the probability of success.

Peace Through Service

Rob Stroud
District Governor 2012-2013
Rotary District 6250    

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District News, Events and Announcements

Calling All Rotarians to the January 3-15, 2013 "Friendship Exchange" in Uganda/Kenya

Have you ever wished you had been on a Group Study Exchange (GSE) or even been a Youth Exchange Student to another country?  Well dream no more! Another Rotary International option called Rotary Friendship Exchange (RFE) is designed for Rotarians and Rotary Couples to spend a month overseas and to reciprocate by hosting fellow Rotarians in your community in return for their generosity.

RFE is a D6250 program designed to allow Rotarians and members of their immediate family to travel to a foreign country and be hosted by Rotarians in their homes. Besides being an opportunity to travel abroad, the program advances international understanding and peace through personal contact while developing interclub relationships that leads to fellowship and possibly service projects.

Our district has been involved in many RFEs, most recently to Brazil and India.  Our next is going with District 9200 in Uganda and Kenya and YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN THIS RFE TEAM!

The exchange will depart District 6250 on January 3 and return on January 15, 2013.  Since the RFE relies on Rotarians to provide most housing and meals, the major cost is basically the roundtrip airfare which in this case is estimated to be around $2,000 (or possibly less).

If you’re interested in participating or would simply like more information, please contact our District RFE chairman, PDG Bob Bendiksen at or DGN David Warren at .

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Team Leader Needed - GSE to Sao Paulo, Brazil

Our Group Study Exchange Team will be going to Sao Paulo, Brazil during this Rotary Year.  They will be visiting District 4620.

The GSE Committee is looking for a Rotarian Team Leader who will lead the Team of four non-Rotarians. The GSE Committee will be interviewing potential candidates sometime during late August and early September.
Any Rotarian in District 6250 who is interested in this exciting opportunity, should contact Tom Marshall, Group Study Exchange Chairman
608 665 3084 (H)
715 213 3046 (C)

Future Vision Grant Management Seminars

As the Rotary Foundation moves into its second century of service, the Foundation Trustees have created a new program, Future Vision, that will give the Foundation a more sustainable and visible impact in the world.  The Future Vision plan will begin on July 1, 2013. The plan will make significant changes in how Foundation grants and program will be determined and administered.

Future Vision will simplify Foundation programs and processes; will focus service efforts where they will have the greatest impact in: peace and conflict prevention/ resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development; will offer funding options to help achieve both global and local club goals; to allow our district to have more control over our dollars to do more locally and to allow more access to grants for all clubs; and advance understanding about the work of the Foundation.

Under the new program any club desiring to participate in grant programs, local and international, must send a representative to a District sponsored Grant Management Seminar.  District 6250 will hold three 3.5 hour seminars throughout the District in November:  November 3 in the Eau Claire area; November 10 in Madison area, and November 29 in Tomah. More information will be provided to club presidents and to all members through our District website and in emails that will provide details about the Seminars.  There will be no charge to attend the Seminars.
This is a major change in the grant making process, but the change will improve our work as we continue in the Rotary tradition of service above self.

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Effective Rotary Clubs

How do we objectively consider how our club is doing?  There is a simple test that is provided by Rotary International and which is found within the Manual of Procedure.   Effective Rotary Clubs:

  1. Sustain or increase their membership base        
  2. Implement successful service projects in their community and in communities of the world
  3. Support the Rotary Foundation with contributions and through program participation
  4. Develop leaders capable of serving Rotary beyond the club level

So….how is your club doing?  None of this seems be unreasonable nor is any of it difficult to achieve.  In each case there is a rather simple answer to becoming effective. If every club set out to become effective it would make a tremendous difference, not only in the life of the club, but in the attitude of members toward their club.  Don’t we all want to be a part of something that is successful…something to which we can point with pride and say…this is my club, the Rotary Club of____________________.  Each of us has the responsibility of supporting our club and district leadership in making the effort to become effective.


Peace Through Service 

On July 1st Sakuji Tanaka, from Japan, become the President of Rotary International.  Our theme for this year will be Peace Through Service and what follows are excerpts from his presentation of the theme to the Rotary Governors Elect at the International Assembly in San Diego last January.

“We hear the word peace every day.  We hear it in the news, we use it in conversation and we talk about it a great deal in Rotary.  But most of us spend very little time thinking about what peace is, and what that word means. 

Peace can be defined by what it is not.  It is a state of no war, no violence and no fear.  It means that you are not in danger of hunger or persecution or suffering in poverty.  We can also define peace by what it is.  Peace can mean freedom of thought and of speech, freedom of opinion and of choice, and the ability for self-determination.  It can mean security, confidence in the future; a life and home in a stable society.

No matter how we use or understand the word peace, Rotary can help us to achieve it.  Rotary helps us to meet the basic needs of others:  to provide health care, sanitation, food and education when and where it is most needed.  It helps to meet the inner needs as well, friendship, connection and caring.  Rotary helps us to build peace in its most traditional sense, by reducing the causes of conflict. 

Through our Rotary service we learn to value each other as human beings with human strengths and weaknesses.  To me, Service Above Self is more than a motto, it is a way of life.

This is why, in this Rotary year our theme will be Peace Through Service.  Because however we define peace, whatever peace means to us, we can bring it closer through Rotary service”.


Club News, Events and Announcements

Do you have an upcoming Club Event or accomplishment that you would like to announce? Send your pre-written article to:  Click view a Calendar of Club Events.


Valley View Rotary Club Announces Fly-In Drive-In Waffle Breakfast!

Breakfast in an airplane hangar! All-You-Care-To-Eat Dad’s FAMOUS Belgian Waffles with all the trimmings! (Waffles, syrup, fruit toppings, butter, whipped cream, coffee, orange juice, and milk!)

Mid-morning air show featuring Bill Blank in his Super Decathlon!

Many displays and exhibitors, including:
MedLink Helicopter, Bearcat Assault Vehicle, Army Equipment, Homebuilt aircraft, EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) booth, La Crosse Area Flyers booth, 1966 Mustang Pony raffle and more!

Date: Sunday, August 12, 2012

Time: 7:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.
Place: Colgan Air Hangar #4
Address:  2713 Fanta Reed Road in La Crosse, WI 54603
Breakfast price: $6.00 in advance, $7.00 at the door. PIC (Pilot in Command) $4.00

Tickets available from any Valley View Rotary member or at Colgan Air Services, or by contacting us at the email address below.

For more information, contact: Becky at
Sponsored by the La Crosse Valley View Rotary Club and La Crosse Area Flyers.

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Madison South Hosts Youth State Track Meet

For the past seven years the Rotary Club of Madison South has hosted a state-wide youth track and field meet for boys and girls 7-18 years old.  This summer 139 athletes from 22 different communities competed at LaFollette High School on July 21.

Previously the youth track program was sponsored by the Jaycees held at Monona Grove High School.  In 1985 the meet became “rotary” and the last seven years under the direction of Madison South.

This year youngsters competed from such communities as:  Beloit, Brown Deer, Cottage Grove, Fitchburg, Fond du Lac, Glendale, Janesville, LaCrosse, Madison, Marshall, McFarland, Menomononee Falls, Mequon, New Berlin, Milwaukee, North Freedom, Orfordville, Palmyra, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Verona and Waukesha.

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Jefferson Rotary “Brat & Burger” set for August 13; tickets now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Jefferson Rotary Brat & Burger Dinner Raffle to be held at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Activity Center on Monday, August 13.

The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the raffle drawing starts at about 7:15 p.m. The meal of brats and hamburgers is free to raffle ticket holders.
The Jefferson Rotary sells only 250 raffle tickets at $100 each. Every tenth ticket drawn wins a prize worth at least $100, so each ticket has a one-in-ten chance of winning a valuable prize. There is a one-in-250 chance of winning $10,000 in cash.  The service club also conducts a silent auction and a 50-50 raffle at the popular annual event.

Proceeds from the Brat & Burger Raffle are used to fund more than $10,000 in college scholarships for worthy area high school students each year.
Unlike most raffles, the Jefferson Rotary typically attracts a huge crowd for the actual drawing. While many attend the event, ticket holders do not have to be present to win.

Tickets are available from any Jefferson Rotary member, or by contacting club President Steve Lewis at 674-9000, President-Elect Joann Miller at 674-6006, Past President Pat Vandenberg at 674-7020, or event co-chair Janet Werner at 674-4511.

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RI News

The Rotarian Magazine

The Rotarian Magazine is our link to the greater Rotary world. The pictures and stories tell us of the wonderful work that is being done, in and through Rotary, to make the world a better, safer and a more peaceful place…all because we are advancing the key elements of social justice, health projects, and educational opportunity and alleviating the dire effects of poverty.

A person is not free if they are hungry. A man is not free when he has to watch his children die because of the lack of clean water or adequate food. A mother will not be free if her sick child cannot receive medical care and when people are not free they will seek social justice even if it means going to war to achieve it.

Our magazine, paid for in our RI dues, is not junk mail. It makes you and me “literate” in the great story of Rotary. Read it. Share it with others. Drop it off in a public area where literature is offered, a dentist's reception area, the waiting room at your local hospital or when you go to your accountant's office to pick up your tax filings. Plant the seeds of Rotary by sharing our great story.

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Update on Annual Giving

New RI Foundation Donation Forms

Club executive members can now download a Multiple Donor Form that is pre-populated (filled out) with details of club members including their ID number. This form is on at member access. Club presidents and club secretaries have access to this form. Also club treasurers and club Rotary Foundation chairs can get this form if they have been registered on member access by the president or secretary. Select the club members who have donated and add the amount of each donation. The new form makes it easy to forward donations from a group of club members who contribute weekly, quarterly, etc. More Info.


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Foundation Reports

Each club in District 6250 has established a foundation goal and the question is how are the clubs going about the achieving those goals? Have each of the clubs done an every member enrollment? Successful clubs take the time to ask each member to make a pledge commitment to the Rotary Foundation. Fulfilling that pledge might involve a quarterly billing by the club secretary/treasurer or participating in the direct deposit transfer from the Rotarians checking account to the RI Foundation account or it might mean a monthly charge to a credit card. Successful clubs establish a process that allows their members to both make and fulfill the commitment.

Click here to view the updated Club Goals Report!

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Attendance Report

Reporting Tool for District Attendance

Check out the reporting tool for District Attendance!

Clubs can view each month’s attendance in a visual graph. Also Club Secretary’s can request access to update their information directly online!

Click here to submit your club's attendance report

Click here to see the full Attendance Report.


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