The District Dispatch

The Monthly Newsletter of Rotary District 6250

February 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

Upcoming Events

Registration is now open for President Elect Training!

Event Dates: March 9-11, 2012

Location: Westin Chicago Northwest

www.uppermidwestpets.com

Dear Rotarians,

The first Rotary meeting was on February 23, 1905.  It is no accident that Rotary International designated February as World Understanding Month and February 23rd as World Understanding and Peace Day.  Without question Rotarians, through community service, are having a major impact on improving the lives of people locally.  However, from the beginning, what really made Rotary unique was its global outlook.  Rotary has always recognized the need to understand and value the different peoples and cultures of the world if we were going to establish peace on earth.

The Rotary Club of Madison Breakfast recently celebrated the shipment of the one millionth pound of books in the Books for the World program.  What a great example of a small club having a big impact in the lives of students in South Africa.  Under Madison Breakfast’s leadership, Rotarians from multiple clubs and other community volunteers worked together to make this possible.  Congratulations to everyone involved!
District Governor Chuck Hanson Congratulates Dave Muehl of Madison Breakfast on the one millionth pound of books sent to Books for the World.

I encourage all Rotary Clubs in our District during the month of February to have programs that explore world understanding and peace.  Program ideas could include speakers from a local college, someone involved in international business, youth exchange students, or foreign students in your community.  You might consider inviting former group study exchange team members, an ambassadorial scholar, or a peace scholar to your meeting.  This would be a good month to have a program on Rotary Friendship Exchange or the amazing world of Rotary International Fellowships.  Without question, a program on what your club has done and is doing with regard to international projects, as well as the huge outreach internationally of The Rotary Foundation would be timely.

World Understanding Month is a chance for every club to pause, plan, and promote the Fourth Avenue of Service, International Service.  To “Reach Within to Embrace Humanity” is to continue Rotary’s quest for good will, peace, and understanding among the people of the world.  As we continue our District 6250 Iditarod of Service in February, we have a lot to be grateful for and much we can give through international projects.  Thank you for doing your part to make the world a better place. 
 
Click here to read more about the Books for the World program later in this newsletter and how your club can be involved. 
 
All the best, 

Chuck Hanson
District Governor 2011-2012
Rotary District 6250    

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District News, Events and Announcements

Changemaker Award and Presidential Citation Deadlines

RI President Kalyan Banerjee has challenged all clubs to qualify for two special award programs during 2011-12: the Changemaker Award and the Presidential Citation. Please review the following information and ensure that your clubs are on track to meet this challenge.

Changemaker Award
Deadline: 15 March 2012

To qualify for the Changemaker Award, clubs must complete a minimum number of activities in each of the five avenues of service. Rotaract and Interact clubs may also qualify for this award, and I hope you will encourage your partners in service to participate.

Information on the Changemaker Award can be found at www.rotary.org/awards.  For your convenience, here are direct links to the brochures and certification forms for Rotary clubs, Rotaract clubs, and Interact clubs. Please note that these are writeable PDF forms that can be saved and emailed as an attachment.

• Rotary clubs: http://www.rotary.org/RIdocuments/en_pdf/900b_en11.pdf 
• Rotaract clubs: http://www.rotary.org/RIdocuments/en_pdf/changemaker_rotaract_en.pdf
• Interact clubs: http://www.rotary.org/RIdocuments/en_pdf/changemaker_interact_en.pdf

Club presidents should submit completed forms for their clubs, as well as any Rotaract and Interact clubs, to my attention no later than 15 March 2012. Please make special note of this early deadline, as late submissions will not be accepted. Also, please be sure to send your forms directly to me, as forms submitted to Rotary International will not be processed.

For questions about the Changemaker Award, please refer to the following resources:

• Read frequently asked questions and answers: http://www.rotary.org/RIdocuments/en_pdf/changemaker_award_faq_en.pdf
• Contact RI staff at riawards@rotary.org

Presidential Citation
Deadline: 6 April 2012

To qualify for the Presidential Citation clubs must achieve goals in both Foundation giving and membership development.  Only Rotary clubs will be eligible for this award.

Information about the Presidential Citation can be found at http://www.rotary.org/RIdocuments/en_pdf/900a_en11.pdf.

The Citation guidelines are currently posted to this page.  The club and district certification forms will be posted to this page on or before 15 March.  Club presidents should submit certification forms to my attention by 6 April.  Do not send these forms directly to Rotary International, they will not be processed.

 

2012 Rotary International Convention
Bangkok, Thailand

Watch the 2012 Convention video above! For more information visit the Rotary Convention Website.

Questions about the Presidential Citation can be sent to membershipawards@rotary.org.

Thank you for your hard work this year.  These two award programs are a great way to guide and evaluate our efforts and I look forward to sharing our district’s accomplishments with President Banerjee in March and April.

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District Ads Give Rotary a Competitive Edge

By Bob Boelter, District PR Committee

We are fortunate that Rotary International has created a PR/advertising matching grant program for districts. It allows Rotary to develop awareness that other service clubs have not yet been able to match.

The district received its fifth consecutive RI PR grant for the 2011-2012 Rotary year and again we received our requested amount. The grant is $12,000 and the district is required to provide a match of at least $4,000. With a district contribution of $4,000-plus, and ad space contributions by the publishers equal to the amount being spent, the campaign value is over $30,000.

Like past years, the grant is being used to support a print advertising effort. Regional business publications are being used because they deliver a focused business/community leader audience with circulation that covers much of the district with a suitable degree of repetition. Because of the selectivity of the audience, and geographic reach, the selected publications are affordable compared to alternative media channels.

The primary purpose of the RI-produced “Faces” Humanity in Motion advertisements is to enhance Rotary’s brand by building awareness and familiarity of the organization and present a “young face” to the targeted audience. The secondary purpose is to encourage membership. Interested readers are directed to the district website and/or Facebook page to find a club convenient to them.

The 12 full-color ads in these four publications: Chippewa Valley Business Report, River Valley Business Report, Business News (North Central Wisconsin) and In Business (Madison) will reach 269,000 households and businesses in the district. The promotional period will be from February through May.

Rotary International is interested in metrics to determine how well the ads are producing. Normally we monitor membership and website traffic during the promotional period and provide that data to RI with our grant report. In addition this year we’ll be monitoring the district’s Facebook activity. It would be helpful if you could provide residual or anecdotal activity from your club’s website and/or Facebook page.

Be sure to alert your members to look for the ads and if possible get extra copies to put in the hands of prospective members. If your club chooses to do local advertising or other promotion it would be wise to utilize Rotary International’s “Faces” Humanity in Motion campaign materials to extend the visibility of the combined effort.

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Club Visioning - Wisconsin Dells

 

I have been a member of the Wisconsin Dells Rotary Club for over 11 years, and I am so proud of our club.  I enjoy the comraderie, the friendship, and the service that our group takes part in. 

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a Vision Meeting for our local Rotary Chapter.  I attended this meeting with nearly 15 other members of our local group.  This meeting was planned very well; it was creative, yet constructive.  I was very impressed with the ideas that came from the group.  My fellow Rotarians were diligent and hard working.  I am always impressed when adults gather for the betterment of a group.  It was refreshing and positive!  We listened to others' ideas, listed all of them, and then voted as a whole on those we felt were best for our group and for Rotary International. 

The format of the session was very progressive, positioning ourselves 5 years ahead, winning an award as a Rotary Chapter, looking back and listing key attributes to our success.  It forced us to see ourselves as successful, which is key to being successful. We were then given ample time to answer well thought out questions. The facilitators were energetic, funny, and extremely observant and conscientious. They listened to our ideas and were sure to represent them as accurately as possible when documenting them for the voting. I was also impressed with the process of deciding the ideas that best represented the group. As the top vote-getters were announced to the group there were nods around the room and a general consensus. It was very effective in convincing a group to agree on a small number of ideas that were or were not their own. I felt strongly that the ideas that emerged were very representative of our Rotary Club and its future. 

Most of us in the amazingly fast-paced world barely have the time to spend with our own families and take care of our own personal needs and wants. I was happily surprised at the sacrifices made by the group to better our Rotary Club. It was a few hours one evening, but it was well worth the time it took to come up with a plan for our club for years to come. I know that our club gained a perspective that will be crucial to its future successes! If your club hasn't scheduled its Vision Meeting, please do so, it is well worth your time.


Holly Waterman
Wisconsin Dells Rotary Club

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Ethics Initiative Picking up Steam

District 6250 clubs are beginning to ramp up work on the Ethics Initiative.  Here are a couple of success stories:

The La Crosse Wisconsin Area Rotary Clubs (Downtown, Rotary East, Holmen, Valley-View, La Crescent, Caledonia and After-Hours) have worked together to create a Responsibility Retreat with the help of Youth Frontiers.  On February 16th, Ten public and private high-schools will send 20 of their 11th grade students to the Lunda Center at Western Technical College for a morning of discussion and fun resulting in a commitment to “Be the Change!”.  The Retreat is designed to set the tone for what is expected of leaders in a school, to give 11th graders some much-deserved time to prepare for the challenges ahead, and to challenge these students to pledge how they will stand up as leaders of positive change!  “One of the greatest benefits of working on this project has been to witness the close collaboration of the area clubs” says Jodi Widuch, who along with Judy Erickson has co-chaired the La Crosse Area Rotary Ethics Committee.  “All the efforts have been shared equally”.  I am sure these 200 students are in for an outstanding retreat!
 
The Sun Prairie Rotary has also partnered with Youth Frontiers to put on 7 day-long retreats at all the local area elementary schools.  Aimed at 4th and 5th graders, these “Kindness Retreats” focus on helping build a more caring school community by engaging students in activities that demonstrate the powerful value of kindness and the painful effects of bullying.  Thus far, 3 of the 7 retreats have been completed.  The feedback has been tremendous and overwhelming!  Media coverage has included the Sun Prairie Area School District newsletter, NBC 15 News and Chanel 3 news.  Sue Halambeck, chair of the Ethics Initiative in Sun Prairie, shared a comment from Steve Rubin, a counselor at Eastside Elementary School.  “Our 4th graders at ES (Eastside) absolutely LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it!! Discussions about it continued afterwards on the playground, as well as in the hallways after dismissal…. In fact, students are planning to wear their “Kindness” T-Shirts to school on Tuesday… to spread the message(s) of what they learned & internalized today at school.”  Approximately 875 fourth and fifth graders will benefit from this fantastic retreat, made possible in large part to the Sun Prairie Rotary Club.  Here is a link to the Sun Prairie Elementary Schools Newsletter – http://www.sunprairie.k12.wi.us/kindness_retreats.cfm

The ball is really starting to roll! Or maybe I should say “sled” ƒº  Please reach out with your success stories of how your club is introducing the idea of Ethics into your local area schools and/or clubs.  Who better to introduce or reinforce the idea of Ethics than a Rotarian?  Send your success stories, or any questions you might have on this initiative, to Bill Pritchard – Chair – Ethics Intitiative at William.A.Pritchard@stifel.com.  MUSH!!

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Ambassadorial Scholars Looking for Assistance from Clubs in District 6250

District 6250 is hosting two Ambassadorial Scholars from Japan.  Shige Itagaki and Maiko Yoshizawa are in graduate programs at the University of Wisconsin Madison and have spent the first semester studying hard and adapting to language and cultural differences.  As a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, part of their role is to serve as ambassadors of goodwill.  They are required to complete numerous presentations to Rotary and non-Rotary audiences in the District.   Both of them are eager to speak at your Club meeting and acquaint you with their home country and sponsoring Rotary Club and to learn more about life in our state.   It is their hope to see more of Wisconsin’s communities during this new semester so please contact them to arrange a time to meet.  Contact information is:  itgksghr@hotmaill.co.jp for Shige, maikoy77@hotmail.com for Maiko or mary@vanhoutadvisory.com for Mary Van Hout, Host Counselor.  You’ll enjoy meeting these two wonderful people and showing them Rotary hospitality!

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Supporting the Short Term Youth Exchange Program - Requires No Financial Committment from Your Club 

Our district goal for 2012 is to build our Short Term Youth Exchange Program (STEP) to 25 participants. To do this, we need your help in promoting the program. Do you or someone in your cllub have a connection at your local High School? Do you know any 15-19 year old students who may be interested in spending one month abroad this coming summer? Help us get the word out about this great opportunity.  I challenge each club to have one student apply!

For the STEP program, high school students, age 15-19 are paired with a student abroad where they will spend one month together here in their home and one month together in their host sister/brother's home. The program costs are all borne by the student: a $250 application fee, plus flight and spending money. I do however encourage clubs to consider offsetting part or all of the application fee to deserving applicants if the program aligns with your club goals in supporting youth exchange. There is a requirement from the sponsoring Rotary Club is to screen the candidate and family, and endorse their application form. That is the extent of your obligation.

Visit the Study/Youth Program section of the website to download a flier and pass out at your next club meeting.  The application deadline is February 28th.

Janine O'Rourke
Rotary District 6250 Short-Term Youth Exchange Coordinator

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STEP -  Short Term Exchange Program Summer 2012

Time to start thinking "Short Term Exchange" for Summer 2012

District 6250 relaunched the STEP (Short Term Exchange Program) for youth in 2011, with three high school students in the district participating this past summer. Please help us growth this program by encouraging strong candidates to apply. High school students, age 15-19 are paired with a student abroad where they will spend one month together here in their home and one month together in their host sister/brother's home.

The program is quite affordable to the student: a $250 application fee plus flight and spending money. The only obligation from the Rotary Club is to screen the candidate and family, and then endorse their application form. Visit the Study/Youth Program section of the website to download a flier and pass out at your next club meeting.

Applications are due February 28th, 2012.

Janine O'Rourke
Rotary District 6250 Short-Term Youth Exchange Coordinator

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Valuable Information from the Zone 28 Foundation Newsletter

Click here to view the latest information from the Zone 28 Foundation Newsletter.

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Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Program Dates Announced

The 2012 RYLA Camp for high school students is set for May 11 - 13 at Upham Woods Environmental Learning Center in Wisconsin Dells. Visit http://www.rotary6250.org/ryla  for registration forms and information.

RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth, and aims to
• Demonstrate Rotary's respect and concern for youth
• Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders
• Encourage leadership of youth by youth
• Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities
"RYLA gave me the opportunity to participate in a character building program which focused on leadership, effective communication, trust and cooperation. Utilizing adventure, personal commitments and shared insights, I gained an increased sense of confidence in myself and learned how to work as a team. It Was A Life-Changing Event!" .... 2011 Student Participant.

Take this opportunity to change a young student's life in your area today!
Call or e-mail Jeff Odom. RYLA Chair.  608-792-7084 or odomj@preit.com

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Rotarians Help with Badger Honor Flight

The inaugural Honor Flight took place in May of 2005. Six small planes flew out of Springfield, Ohio taking twelve World War II veterans on a visit to the memorial in Washington, DC.

The Honor Flight Network program was conceived by Earl Morse, a physician assistant and Retired Air Force Captain hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs to work in a small clinic in Springfield, Ohio. Earl wanted to honor the veterans he had taken care of for the past 27 years.  Earl repeatedly asked these veterans if they would ever travel out to visit THEIR memorial. Most felt that eventually, somehow, they would make it to D.C., perhaps with a family member or friend, but as time went on, it was clear to most that it simply wasn't financially or physically possible for them to make the journey. Most of these senior heroes were in their 80s and lacked the physical and mental wherewithal to complete a trip on their own. Families and friends also lacked the resources and time to complete the three to four day trip to the nation’s capital.

In addition to being a physician assistant, Earl was also a private pilot and a member of one of our nation’s largest and best aero clubs located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. That’s when things started coming together.

In December of 2004, Earl asked one of his World War II veteran patients if it would be all right if Earl personally flew him out to D.C., free of charge. The veteran broke down and cried. He told Earl that at his age he would probably never get to see his memorial otherwise and graciously accepted the offer.

Earl posed the same question to a second World War II veteran a week later. He too cried and enthusiastically accepted the trip. It didn’t take him long to realize that there were many veterans who would have the same reaction. He then started asking for help from other pilots. In January of 2005, Earl addressed about 150 members of the aero club during a safety meeting, outlining a volunteer program to fly veterans to their memorial. There were two major stipulations to his request. The first was that the veterans pay nothing. The entire aircraft rental ($600 to $1200 for the day) would have to be paid solely by the pilots. The second was that the pilots personally escort the veterans around D.C. for the entire day. After Earl spoke, eleven pilots, who had never met his patients, volunteered.   Honor Flight was born.

There are five Honor Flights that originate in Wisconsin, each with its own name.  Horicon Rotarian Jim Bublitz is a volunteer for Badger Honor Flight.  Jim is very active not only as a worker, but also in helping those who help with the flights. For the November 12, 2011 flight, Jim got a call from a woman at Badger telling him he was going to be on the Honor Flight.  “I told her, no, I’m in charge of the 75 wheelchairs at the airport.”  She said, “Not this time; this time you’re going on the flight.”  Jim said, “I felt like a kid. “Following are some of Jim’s thoughts and feelings about the day. 

“The trip from Madison to the nation’s capital costs more than $100.000. Everything is provided for the veteran, even a disposable camera.  The veterans are only responsible for money for souvenirs and also for bringing their own medications.  Physical therapists help the veterans board and de-board the plane, which is carrying 12 bottles of oxygen.  Those who are in wheelchairs are always the first in line for both the planes and the buses.

Once you get the okay to take off, you’re gold. That means your plane has priority in the air.  There are no holding patterns and every other plane has to wait for yours.  The airline treats the veterans like kings and queens.  The trip to Washington usually takes about two hours, but the Badger Honor Flight made it there in under 90 minutes! When arriving in D.C. you have a police escort all day, meaning that the buses you’re on never stop for stop signs.  All active military people salute the buses as you go past.

There are between 300 and 400 people at the airport welcoming each Honor Flight to the nation’s capital, no matter where it is coming from.  People are assigned to both the top and bottom of the bus steps to assist the veterans on and off the buses.  Others make sure all attendees have food and drink and assist in anyway necessary.

A commander from the Navy was there to volunteer the day we were there and Bob Dole met us at the World War II Memorial.  Everywhere we went, there were people waiting to help…wanting to help.

Some of the places we visited were the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, the changing of the guard, laying of the wreath, the Korean Memorial and the Air Force Memorial.  Although the veterans were tired, they were having a great time.  Kids were talking to them about the war, people were stopping to shake their hands and thank them for their service. Some of these people were generals and colonels.  It was incredible.

During the flight back the veterans received mail call.  It was very emotional.   The man I was sitting with had tears running down his face the entire time.”

When we arrived back in Madison at 9:15 that evening, there were around 5,000 people waiting to welcome home the veterans.  They were cheering, holding signs, and families were hugging their veterans.  It was an awesome sight!” 

Volunteers can assist with fundraisers, help with the administrative paperwork or volunteer at the airport for sendoff/welcome home duties.  If you would like to be a volunteer or see how your club could help visit the Honor Flight website.

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Winter is for fun Winter Events for Youth Exchange but Also for Planning

Winter is finally upon us and the district’s youth exchange inbound and 2012 outbound students will have a weekend together doing winter things. Thanks to the Wisconsin Rapids club for hosting our student’s winter weekend. The students will have a ski day at Granite Peak in Wausau and then have a lock in at the YMCA where they will have a potluck dinner with the Wis. Rapids clubs and a meeting later with the district youth exchange committee.

Outbound students have just received their country assignments for next year. It is an exciting time for them. The winter weekend will be a time when our new outbound students get a chance to talk with inbound students who are from the countries where they will be living next year.

February is also budget planning time for our district. That includes the youth exchange committee. As many clubs know, it is expensive to have a youth exchange program. The more clubs that are involved with sponsoring and hosting students, the lower the cost per club for events like the winter weekend. Some costs for running a program are set costs no matter how many students are in the program. The more clubs who participate and the more outbound students we have, the lower the cost for each club  and outbound student. Please consider hosting an inbound student for the 2013-2014 year. Also, consider sponsoring a student. The goal for the youth exchange program is to educate students about other cultures. We believe that by doing this, we will help build understanding and peace. Our students are learning about Rotary Service with the service projects that they do with their clubs, on their own and with the district youth exchange program. As some of you know, the 2012-2013 Rotary theme is Peace Through Service. What a great example we will provide to our exchange students.

Times are tight for out outbound students. Please consider donating to the Tom Marshall Scholarship fund for our outbound students. It can make the difference between going and not going on exchange. Unfortunately, we have had students drop out of going on exchange because the families cannot afford it. Think of what a difference you could make to a student’s life. Please consider donating to this worthwhile project. Checks can be made out to Rotary 6250 Youth Exchange and earmarked for the Tom Marshall Youth Exchange Scholarship or directly to the Tom Marshall Fund. You may send checks to Rotary 6250 Headquarters at 2830 Agriculture Dr., Madison, WI 53718. Thank you so much in advance.

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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: rotarydistrict6250@morgandata.com.

 

Jefferson Rotary Valentines Day Paradise Raffle

The Jefferson Rotary Club’s second annual “Valentine’s Day in Paradise” raffle and gala will be held at the Jefferson Area Business Center on Sunday, February 12, from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m. 

The grand prize for this year’s raffle is a seven-night Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines valued at $3,000.  The prize includes round-trip airfare from Milwaukee to Orlando as well as ground transfers to Port Canaveral. Winners will have flexibility to choose Freedom of the Seas or Adventure of the Seas cruise ships, as well as eastern or western Caribbean ports of call. The cruise is being arranged by Jefferson Travel.

Other raffle prizes include a week at Fox Hills Resort, Mishicot; a week at a private condominium on Lake Wisconsin; a couple’s massage donated by The B.E. Hive Salon, and romantic dinners for two couples at area restaurants.

Funds raised for this year’s event will go toward building the pavilion at Rotary Waterfront Park.

Tickets are available for $45 each and include a raffle ticket and an individual admission to a three-hour festive gala featuring Caribbean music, island-style hors d’oeuvres, exotic beers and a wine sampling. The winning raffle tickets will be drawn at the February 12 gala. Ticket holders need not be present to win.

Tickets are available from any Jefferson Rotary Club member, or by calling Rotary President Pat Vandenberg at 674-7020.

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Madison South Rotary and the Rose Bowl Raise $1710 for Polio

Rob Gooze, a long-time member of Madison South, is a 1975 University of Oregon graduate where he also served as a basketball manager. To say he bleeds green and yellow (Duck colors) is an understatement. So he challenged his club’s members to back the Badgers to win the Rose Bowl. Whatever the total pledged by the Rotarians (and some of his other Badger supporters) Rob would “bet” on the Ducks. But instead of the winner collecting any money, the loser(s) would make a donation to The Rotary Foundation-Polio Plus fund. By January 1st $1,710 was pledged by the Club’s members and others.

So if the Ducks had lost, Rob would have made a $1,710 contribution to The Rotary Foundation. Thus, his wife, Mary, became a much more interested fan in the game. But as his mighty Ducks won, Rob has collected $1,710 from all the others and has sent it in to The Rotary Foundation for Polio.

So there were no losers in this game as Polio won!

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Beaver Dam Rotary and Wayland Academy Students Collaborate 

Click here to read "Wayland Students Interact" as appeared in the Wayland Today newsletter.

 
 

Wisconsin Rapids Social Media Meeting

Submitted by Rita Clavadatscher

Rotary Club Presidents Linda Buchs Hammonds (Noon Club) and Tim Krueger (Morning Club) worked jointly on a program to present and share social media uses, opportunities, and information.  Both clubs have developed club Facebook pages and they share a very nice, up to date, and well maintained website.  The presenters were Morning Club President Tim Krueger (Facebook),  Mitch Biba, who is the webmaster  for the Rapids website as well being a club member and a website designer by profession  (Rapids Website  &  a presentation on  Internet Security), and myself  (District 6250 Website).

Unfortunately the audience was fairly limited (probably because the session was held in between two significant snow storms), with only about a dozen persons in attendance.  The side benefit of the smaller than expected attendance, might have been that there was a good deal of time available for questions and for individual attention.   I was impressed with the quality of the meeting agenda and by the presentations by both Mr. Krueger and Mr. Biba.  I personally learned a lot about, or at least refreshed my memory on, important Internet security issues and security tips.  I was very happy with the great reception I received and was very pleased with the time and opportunity to  “show off” the information made available on the District Website, and to share my thoughts on the value that both local club officers and the individual club Rotarians  could gain by using the site regularly.  There clearly appeared to be items and information on the site that even the club leaders seemed to be unaware existed or that could easily be obtained.  I was also VERY IMPRESSED with some of the tools Mr. Biba had built into the Rapids Website- particularly on the way members are able to update and keep current their own membership information.    That setup would clearly be a great asset for the Waunakee Website I maintain, and might also have applications that would be useful for the district site.   [Each member has an individual password they can use for the information update software and also for gaining access to the member secured portion of their website].  As scheduled, the meeting concluded at 8:30 pm after two well spent hours.

Bob Pulvermacher
Waunakee Rotary Club
Rotary District 6250 Website Committee
vienna3@centurytel.net

 
 

Madison Breakfast Rotary Club's Books for the World Program Celebrates
It's Millionth Pound Milestone

Bob & Carol Dombroski, coordinators of the Wisconsin Books for the World Program.
Barb & Charlie Clemmons (PDG of District 5890 - Greater Houston Area), founders of Rotary Books for the World

Many children in southern Africa have never held a book, while many schools and libraries in Wisconsin discard used books every year.  Since 2007,  the Madison Breakfast Rotary Club has sponsored the Wisconsin operation of Books for the World, a national Rotary literacy program that keeps these discarded books out of landfills, and instead puts them into the hands of teachers and children in countries in southern Africa that lack educational resources. 

 

The overall goal of the Rotary Books for the World program is to enhance literacy while promoting Rotary’s ideal of international understanding.

 

On January 30, 2012, Madison Breakfast Rotary (MBR) shipped its one millionth pound of books.  To celebrate that major milestone, MBR hosted a reception and open house to thank the many volunteers, supporters and corporate sponsors of the book project.  In attendance were Barb and Charlie Clemmons from the Rotary Club of Seabrook, Texas who created the Books for the World program about 12 years ago in Houston with the cooperation of Rotarians in South Africa; District Governor Chuck Hanson, and several other visiting Rotarians;  owners or representatives of businesses that have provided valuable services to the projects (such as warehouse space, trucking services, pallets, boxes and packing materials);  individuals, corporations and foundations that provided financial support; representatives from schools and libraries that donated books; and the many volunteers who helped sort and pack books.

The Wisconsin Books for the World Program had its humble beginning in early 2005 in the basement of the home of Carol Dombroski, a retired McFarland school teacher.  Based on the success of that effort, the project was adopted by the Madison Breakfast Rotary Club in 2007.  The program has expanded exponentially over the years, and now occupies 4,500 square feet of donated warehouse space.  On January 30, 2012, it shipped its one millionth pound of books.

Books are collected from schools, colleges, libraries and individuals, and brought to the warehouse in Middleton where they are sorted, boxed, palletized and shrink-wrapped before being loaded onto a semi-trailer bound for a national shipping center in Houston, Texas, where they are combined with similar shipments from other participating Rotary clubs in the U.S. and loaded into sea containers bound for countries in southern Africa, Central and South America, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.  Sorting and packing of the books at the warehouse in Middleton are done by MBR members, high school and college volunteers, corporate-sponsored volunteers and community volunteers.  In 2011, more than 2,000 hours were contributed by about 525 local volunteers.  Over 500 tons of books have been collected since 2005, with an estimated value of $10 million.  In 2011 alone, over 100,000 books (or about 150 tons) were collected.  

Click here to read the full article and view all the photos.

To learn how your club can be involved and for more information about the book project, contact Carol Dombroski at carol.d@charter.net.

 

 
 
 

An After Christmas Message

Submitted by Rita Clavadetscher

With the holidays coming, it is all too easy to get wrapped up in obligations and schedules. Finding time to fit in all the parties, sending cards, planning meals, cleaning and decorating, hunting the stores, catalogs or internet for the perfect gift for everyone can be exhausting. Do we go to your parents for Thanksgiving or mine? Then what do we do for Christmas so no one is disappointed? We spend so much time trying to fit everything in we never get a chance to enjoy what we’re doing at the moment and everyone ends up stressed.  Rotary International president Kaylan Banerjee set the theme this year for Rotary. “Reach within to embrace humanity.” In his remarks he focused on a few things. One…that any good work one does starts at home. “The family and the home are at the core of all our work – all our service begins here.” Another was change. “We must understand that true change can only begin with each of us, and start within us. We cannot share peace with others if we do not have it to give.”

This got me thinking. How can I foster a sense of peace and well being in my home, so that my family and I can give to others? I realize that I don’t need to overhaul my whole life. I’m no saint, but I can make small changes that can make a big difference.Mostly, it is a change of thought. Will anyone really care that my Thanksgiving offering doesn’t look or taste anything like the cover of a Martha Stewart magazine? No, especially if it is made with love and affection. As much as we love the food on our tables, it is secondary when compared to those who sit around them.

Appreciating the moment I’m in without thinking about what I have to do next. It is all too easy to preoccupy ourselves with all of our obligations at the expense of the moment which we are in.  We should all take the time to enjoy the hilarity and sweetness of a preschool holiday program rather than worrying about what we need from the grocery store afterward.
 
And, if we’re going to change our perspective on the holidays, why not change how we celebrate them. Is changing a holiday tradition easy?  Certainly not, but it is worth it if the change is meaningful. Why not do something different and visit a nursing home and sing carols as a family, or volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen for a day. The meaning of the holidays will be made clearer than they could be by any gift.
And, speaking of presents, many of us don’t need more “stuff.” Much of it gets returned or stuck in a closet, anyway. Instead of struggling to find the perfect gift this year, why not consider donating to a charity that your loved one supports. It really put the season in perspective for me when I received a card stating a school for deaf children in Uganda now has clean water due in part to my  contribution. When buying gifts for children’s friends or family take them along and ask them to pick out a gift for Toys for Tots. Or let them help purchase items for a family from the “Angel Tree” at their school or church. Children love to help.
 
Last year my three-year old son accumulated a mountain of gifts from well-meaning friends and family. There was no way he could keep track of, play with, or appreciate them all. I asked him to choose a few of his favorite gifts to keep, and then we decided it would be a good idea to give the rest to kids who didn’t have any gifts for Christmas or kids who were sick. I took him along as we went to his preschool and to the hospital to donate the gifts. When we were finished he asked if we could get some more to give away. He wanted to make sure everyone had a present. He said: “I have too many.”  It’s remarkable how children have a wonderful sense of fairness and generosity, and I believe we can all learn from them in this regard..
 
Since joining Rotary, I now have a built-in pathway to help my neighbors, my community, my country and beyond. I feel good about the work we do and have found kindred spirits in my fellow Rotarians. Now, the desire I have to serve and contribute in a meaningful way to society is joined by others and honed so that what I do really does make a difference. This holiday season, why not tap your skills and talents to help others.  The gifts you give will be returned to you.

       

     “Reach within to embrace humanity.” I can’t think of a better holiday message.
 

 

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 Rotary.org 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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