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


Fellow Rotarians-

Dean with Peruvian exchange student Nicole in Medford
Freedom fest with La Crosse After Hours members Maria, Ryan & Laura
Dean with Fitchburg-Verona President Sue
Madison Breakfast visit with AG John and PE Heather
Madison After Hours with Mac and Mark
Lodi Installation of Carol and Toni

We are already one month into our year of representing individually and in our clubs, Rotary Serving Humanity. In 12 club visits and a few social functions during July, I have already learned and witnessed so many great things being done in the name of Rotary.  All 12 of these clubs are making an impact on their local communities. Most are also involved in International and Youth projects as well.

A particular highlight for me this month was being present as the small club in Lodi inducted two new members the night of my club visit. Brand new member Carol proceeded to give an impromptu speech to her new club on how Rotary will help her serve others in a way she could never do by herself. Please remember as you consider coworkers, friends, and neighbors to invite to Rotary, that we do not just bring local business leaders to our ranks. Many other serving minded individuals in our community also make great members. As RI President John Germ reminds us in The Rotarian Magazine this month, all a person needs to be a valuable Rotarian is willing hands and a caring heart. If we each bring such a person as a guest to our club at least once during this current Rotary year, we will surely increase our membership.

La Crosse area Interact Clubs will look to build on the success of last year's food drive and meal packing event this November. They are hoping to have other Interact Clubs from around the District participate on that date in their own way in their own communities. We are excited that these high school students are finding their way to serve humanity. Watch for further details over the next couple of months.

We also want you to mark your calendars early for District Conference May 12-14, 2017 in La Crosse. Speaker topics will include clean water, youth programs, service, and polio. Impactful club projects from around our district will be shared as well. You won't want to miss the opportunity to network with other Rotarians from around the District to exchange ideas that you can take back to your club. Put it on your calendar now and you'll be ready once registration becomes available early next year.

Also mark you calendars for Rotary International Conference June 10-14, 2017 in Atlanta. If you've wanted the experience of an International Convention without an expensive and long plane ride, need of a passport, or being in a land where there is a language barrier, this is the opportunity for you. Please join DGE Joe Ruskey and me, as well as many other Rotarians from our District, in Atlanta.

I look forward to more club visits and events in the coming months.  I encourage each of you to find your Rotary passion and translate it, through the power of Rotary, to making real change in the lives of others.

Dean McHugh
District Governor 2016-2017
Rotary District 6250

District News, Events and Announcements

iFEED 11.5.16

What do you get when you mix energetic high school students with passionate Rotarians? You get new Interact clubs that burst on the scene of multiple high schools while helping to breathe new life into service for dozens of Rotarians. And that’s a powerful thing.

In the Spring of 2015, with the guidance of the Holmen Rotary and Interact Clubs, four La Crosse Area high schools (Central, Logan, Aquinas and West Salem) chartered their own Interact clubs. Soon after, the idea to collaborate on a community service project was formed. The initial idea was to create a day to help feed the hungry children in Nicaragua. This idea grew and morphed into an event that used teamwork and collaboration to unite a community into Service Above Self. The event was called iFeed and in six short months it became a movement to alleviate hunger both locally and globally.

That day, the objective was to pack 50,000 dried meals that would be sent via a Rotarian connection to hungry children in Nicaragua. This would be accomplished through 24 teams of 12 volunteers packing for 3 to 4 hours. But then ideas started to flow and the project grew. What if everyone who came to pack also brought non-perishable food items that would then be donated to our local food pantries? But why stop there…What if each of the schools that had participating Interact Clubs held food drives? And then the news got out…And other clubs, schools, groups and organizations asked to some how be involved. That is where the project exploded! 

The results were nothing short of amazing. More than 275 volunteers packed over 54,000 meals. For six hours, additional volunteers worked a drive up/drop off site in the front of Logan High School. This resulted in over 13 tons of food being collected, sorted and donated to the Hunger Task Force, the La Crosse area food pantry clearing house. Every gaylord container that the Hunger Task Force owns for food collection was filled. The giant food donation helped to feed local families in need during the needy holiday months.

After iFeed wrapped up, the Interact Clubs and their advisors worked with Elevate, a local video production company, to create a 3-minute video honoring the day. The video was entered into the International Interact Video Competition. In mid-January, Interact was notified that from 87 submissions from 25 different countries, the iFeed video had taken First Place.  

Winning the video award created a platform for Interact students to present at many venues to share iFeed’s results. These venues included presentations at Rotary International headquarters and at 6250 District Conference and more.

Most importantly, the hands-on service opportunity and the ownership that all the Interact students took during the planning and execution of iFeed has had a lasting impact on how these students view their role as servant leaders in their community. Many will most certainly continue on from Interact into Rotaract Clubs and then become our next generation of Rotarians. 

Now, the same five Interact clubs, joined by two newly chartered clubs (in Caledonia and Onalaska) are gearing up to do it all over again, and we are looking for your club to be involved as well. We want to make iFeed a day to help alleviate hunger throughout District 6250 and beyond. Being involved can be easy and it’s a great way to get Rotarians working with students who will be our Rotarians of tomorrow. 
If your Rotary Club’s community doesn’t have an Interact Club in your high school, this is a great way to get one started. The fight against hunger is something that students can relate to and sponsoring a food drive is a fun and easy event that can be customized to your own community. 

The guidelines are simple: 1. Plan a food drive that will have all collections gathered by Friday, November 4 so you can report your collection numbers to iFeed by Saturday, November 5. We ask that you register with us so we know we will be including your club(s) and community in our count. Be creative and have some fun with it! 2. Involve others in your drive—schools, places of worship, other service groups, sports teams—the possibilities are endless. 3. Use iFeed in your marketing efforts in someway and when ever possible use the iFeed logo. Marketing materials will be available for download upon registration. 4. Report your collection numbers to us. If you want, make a short 30 sec. video to share, take a photo of your collection and your team(s) or just report your numbers. 5. Contribute your collection to a food pantry of your choice in your own community. 

If you haven’t seen the award-winning Interact video yet, it easy to do so. Simply Click Here   Show the video at your Rotary Club meeting or when you visit schools, etc. 

For more information, more ideas and to register, please email Stephanie Fraase at or call Stephanie at 608-780-7220 (please leave a voicemail if you don’t get an answer). 

Let’s all help make November 5, 2016 a day to fight hunger in District 6250. Thank you!


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Congratulations to District 6250!  

The end of year numbers are in and the Rotarians of District 6250 have lots to be proud of!  

The eradication of polio is even more certain as our contributions to stop this terrible disease exceeded our goal!  $133,000 will be matched $2 for every $1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to change kids lives around the world.

The total Rotary International Foundation Annual Fund giving for 2015-16 totaled $324,136.92!  Due to your commitment and dedication, we surpassed the goal of $300,000 handsomely.  And equally fabulous news – all 63 Clubs in the District participated.  Each of our Club’s contributed to make this happen.  

When we work together, we make magical things happen.


District Conference 2017 Returns to La Crosse!  

May 12-14, 2017

This  is a going to be a busy busy weekend in La Crosse with several other events in town taking up hotel rooms.  We strongly urge you to book early to be sure that you'll have a room for the 2017 Rotary District Conference!

Room Block Information:

Radisson Hotel - Conference Venue
200 Harborview Plaza
La Crosse, WI 54601

Standard King Room: $149
Standard 2 Queen room: $159

(608) 784-6680 or (800) 333-3333
Ask for the Rotary District 6250  Conference Rate   Enter promo code:  RD6250
Room block deadline: April 14, 2017

The Charmant Hotel - upscale boutique hotel
101 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

Standard King or Double Queen Room: $249

(608) 697-7300
Ask for the in-house reservations:  Rotary District 6250 Rate

Room block deadline: March 27, 2017




Club News, Events and Announcements 

“Uncorked” Comes to Downtown Platteville

The Rotary Club of SW Wisconsin hosted the first annual “Uncorked” on Friday, June 10th in Downtown Platteville.  Uncorked is a wine tasting event that gave participants the opportunity to sample over 30 wines from all over the Midwest and nation. The event is meant to create a fun atmosphere where those attending can sample wines and food, shop and socialize at local stores and offices.  From 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., over 80 people visited 10 businesses downtown including:
- The Mint
- Barbershop Rock
- Memo Design Office
- Driftless Market
- SW Wisconsin Rotary
- Julie’s Da Vine Wine & Stein
- Kopp McKichan
- Shannon Marie Photography
- United Country Real Estate
- The Local
Sponsors included Benvenuto’s, Claire Bank, Wisconsin Bank & Trust, Livingston State Bank, Applied Micro and The Ticket. Next year’s event is already planned for Friday, June 9th, 2017 and will include a new twist – beer tasting!  More information can be found at 


Holmen Area Rotary Celebrates 10th Anniversary Year

While many folks are starting the second half of their calendar year on July 1, the Holmen Area Rotary Club is beginning their fiscal year.  Not only is July 1 the first day of Rotary’s fiscal year, this date marks the beginning of this relatively young club’s 10th Anniversary Year.

The Holmen Area Rotary club consists of approximately 35 members, including business owners, community leaders, retirees and spouses, school administration, insurance, financial advisors, real estate brokers and many more unique classifications.

Rotary represents greater than 1.2mm individuals around the world, making them the largest single service organization in the world.  Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self” but can readily be described in six words:  Join Leaders, Share Ideas and Take Action.  Speaking of Taking Action, “Our club is very active both locally and internationally”, exclaimed Adam Fleis, the club’s president during the 10th Anniversary year.  

Community projects completed/ongoing include Holmen’s Hope Community Dinner, Spring Community clean up, Highway 35 road-side clean-up, a 4-sided clock located in Halfway Creek Park, purchase of a Holmen Police K-9 Dog, Camp Decorah Boy Scout Camp restoration, Summer lunches in the Park, Respect Retreat and STRIVE Program (Holmen High School mentorship programs), as well as Holmen High School Scholarships, just to mention a few of the local community projects this club has accomplished in its nine years.  And community projects are not all this club does annually.  “We host over a half dozen ‘social events’ throughout the year at various venues to promote comradery and to have good fellowship”, remarked Bryan Helgeson, club appointed social director.  “One project we are currently working on and are excited to say are very close to finalizing the fundraising portion of the project is our Deerwood Park shelter”, Helgeson went on to say.  This will be a $40,000 shelter project and will be donated to the Village of Holmen. 

Internationally, this club has supported several clean water projects in multiple villages in Peru as well as a central water system and private family restrooms in another community.  These projects are accomplished through collaboration with Water Missions International in one instance and directly through a local Rotary Club in Lima Peru by providing education and funding for the construction of Bio Sand Filters.  “Clean water is something we all take for granted”, indicated Dean McHugh, Rotary District 6250 District Governor and club member, “and now, villages in Peru have experienced what it is to be able to drink a glass of water without concern for contamination”.   Outside of clean water in Peru, our club has assisted in providing financing to purchase a cow for a community school facility in Kenya.  And another international project is our ongoing support for both incoming and outgoing foreign exchange students at the high school level.

“So the projects just described do not just happen,” Fleis said, “the club accomplishes these projects primarily through three annual fundraising events – a Club Member Service Auction in the Spring, Rock ‘n Ribs Competition in the Summer and a Green Bay Packer Raffle in the Fall.”

Rotary has a Foundation that all clubs and individual members support financially.  The funds received by the Rotary Foundation are used for many goodwill projects around the world, the eradication of Polio being the primary project.  However, a portion of those funds are redirected back to area clubs in the form of Grants to support various club projects.  As a result of this club’s fundraising, collaboration with other clubs financial supporting our international projects in collaboration, coupled with grant funds received from the Rotary Foundation, the Holmen Area Rotary Club has raised and supported nearly $250,000 worth of projects in our community and internationally.

If you have a desire to “Join Leaders, Share Ideas and Take Action”, please join other like-minded individuals for a hot breakfast every Wednesday morning at 7:00 a.m. at the Holmen Village Community Room or visit our website at

We look forward to seeing and/or hearing from you.
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Rotarians from La Crosse Rotary East, Valley View, La Crosse Downtown and Onalaska and family and friends, paddled their way to a Silver Medal at the 4th Annual Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival in La Crosse.  The Rotary Works Foundation team was one of 48 teams that competed in the race on July 16th.  
The team, consisting of 20 paddlers and a drummer, raced in heats on a course 300 meters long on the Black River.
Sponsored by Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare, the event raises funds to support breast cancer research and support breast cancer survivors.

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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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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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