The District Dispatch


The Monthly Newsletter of Rotary District 6250

January 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,

The month of January is designated as "Rotary Awareness Month" by Rotary.  I postponed writing this because I thought, with the world forecast to be coming to an end,  I wouldn't need to prepare a January newsletter. Now that the winter solstice has come and gone and the world seems to be continuing, I thought I would write a little about our monthly theme. One hardly knows where to begin!  There are many things going on within the world of Rotary that would seem to help us promote an awareness of Rotary.  I might as well start with a few of the Rotary activities going on right here in District 6250. In January, as I leave for a week of "hyperbaric treatment" (also known as scuba diving) with the International Fellowship of Rotarian Scuba Divers, our district is sending a Rotary Friendship Exchange Team, led by DGN Dave Warren of Janesville, to Uganda and Kenya while Mary Kessens is assembling a Friendship Exchange team to visit Nigeria.

The District Nominating Committee, chaired by one of our hardest working PDG's, Dean Dickinson, will be meeting this month to select a District Governor Nominee, who will be the Rotarian nominated to take the office of District Governor in 2015-16, after Dave Warrren.

Also this month, the Group Study Exchange team that is going to go to Brazil is having an orientation weekend to prepare for its exchange. This is the team's second meeting and is taking place in Menomonee.

Our District Governor-Elect and his training team are preparing for both District Team Training Seminar (to be held in the Wisconsin Dells on February 9, and the Presidents Elect Training Seminar, to be held March 8-11.  But before either of those two events, DGE Dean Ryerson and District Foundation Chair Joe Ruskey are headed to San Diego for the International Assembly.  If anyone should be loaded with Rotary Awareness, it will be these two district leaders, who will be training with their peers for a week near the end of this month.

The Rotary Club of Stoughton is helping to raise awareness by hosting a lunch this month for all of its scholarship recipients for the first time. I'm looking forward to attending.

Our District Foundation (not to be confused with the Rotary Foundation) made its first donation for Super Storm Sandy relief, through one of the Rotary Clubs in New York, thanks to the generosity of clubs and Rotarians in our district. At least one club has now asked about aid to the families of the victims of the massacre in Newton, Connecticut.  The Rotary Club of Newton has a club foundation and a very specific aid plan, which you can read about here:

This tragedy is a great reminder of the importance of our Rotary theme this year – Peace Through Service.  May we all continue to do all within our powers to live our lives by this theme.

I am pleased to report that we have a new district membership committee chairman, William Pritchard, of La Crosse.  Every club that I visited had concerns about the recruiting and retention of members.  Bill is going to help us find constructive ways of addressing the membership issues that we all have. We have spoken about some possible actions that clubs might take.  I shared with Bill the North American Membership Plan developed by Rotary International and now all of you can share it, too.  Our District Administrator, Heather Dyer, has posted the membership plan on the district website.  You will find that there is a tab under the "Our Clubs" heading on the home page, or you can just click here:

This is but one example of the many fine resources available from Rotary International. Dig in!

You're Welcome from Rotary International on Vimeo.

How about you?  What are you going to do this month to help us raise awareness of Rotary?  How about inviting a friend or colleague to one of your Rotary meetings?  You might also raise your own awareness of Rotary by reading The Rotarian magazine and subscribing to any of the large number of electronic communications that Rotary publishes on a regular basis, such as Rotary's Membership Minute

Pakistan Polio Eradication Efforts

On a sadder note, there has also been, unfortunately, some negative awareness brought to Rotary, due to the murder of some Rotary Polio immunization workers in Pakistan.  Robert Scott, who is the Rotary Chairman for our effort to eradicate Polio issued the following statement:

Rotary condemns attacks targeting polio vaccinators in Pakistan. Rotary International joins the Government of Pakistan and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in condemning the recent attacks that have killed and wounded health workers in Pakistan.
The shooting victims are among the thousands of health workers and volunteers – including members of Pakistan’s 151 Rotary clubs – who are committed to saving children by stopping the transmission of polio in Pakistan, one of three countries where the crippling virus remains endemic.
The attacks prompted the Government of Pakistan to temporarily suspend the vaccination campaign due to concerns over the safety of health workers.Rotary is deeply concerned that such attacks deprive at-risk children of basic life-saving health care services, including polio vaccinations. I know that Pakistani Rotarians, supported by Rotary members worldwide, will continue to do their utmost to create a safe environment so that these dedicated health workers can reach the nation’s most vulnerable children with vaccinations and other vital health interventions.
Polio eradication has been Rotary’s highest priority since 1985, and we are on the brink of making history by beating polio once and for all.On behalf of Rotary’s 1.2 million members, representing 34,000 clubs in 200 countries and areas, I extend our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims. Their dedication and sacrifice further inspire us to continue moving forward toward our goal of a polio- free world.


Robert S. Scott,
Chair International PolioPlus Committee
The Rotary Foundation
Rotary International

Club Visits and the District Bell
My official visits were completed in October, so visits now are only in response to specific invitations. As for the District Bell, on December 20, while many of us were digging out from under the snow, the traveling bell was taken from La Crescent  to Caledonia.  If you haven't heard about the District Bell, click on the bell icon at the top of this page and read up.

I can hardly believe that the Rotary year is already half way over.  I hope this means that you have accomplished at least half of your Rotary goals for the year. I hope you had a great holiday season and that your new year is starting off well.


Peace Through Service

Rob Stroud
District Governor 2012-2013
Rotary District 6250    

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District News, Events and Announcements

Registration Open for Midwest President Elect Training (P.E.T.S.)

MIDWEST  P.E.T.S. - President Elect Training
March 8-10, 2013
Westin Chicago Northwest
400 Park Blvd.
Itasca, IL 60143

What is Midwest PETS?
Midwest PETS is the combined efforts of seven  Wisconsin and Illinois Rotary Districts for training of incoming Club Presidents.The purpose of the presidents-elect training seminar (PETS) is to develop and assist club presidents who have the necessary skills, knowledge, and motivation to lead an effective club.

Who should attend Midwest PETS?
All Rotarians who have been selected by their club to serve as Club President next year. Also included are district trainers, district leaders, assistant governors and facilitators.  There are fees to attend PETS so all District leaders should contact their District leadership to determine qualification for reimbursement at the district level.
This is a very special and meaningful time for presidents-elect and the training is designed specifically for PE's for their year as Club President. PETS training is a required meeting for all PE's. Attendance Fees of the Club President are paid by the Club in their dues to the District.  If a president-elect is unable to attend, they must contact their governor-elect for direction.
Who should register for PETS?
All attendees must register for PETS. Don't forget to also register for hotel accommodations if required.  You will be directed towards loding registration at the end of your PETS registration.

Visit the Midwest PETS website for more information on:

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Future Vision Grant Management Seminars

Seminar Dates & Locations

Saturday, February 2, 2013
Tomah, WI

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Wisconsin Dells

Friday, May 31, 2013
Madison, WI

Under the provisions of the Rotary Foundation’s Future Vision program, club’s desiring to participate in the grant program must be certified.  Part of that certification process is attendance at a Rotary Future Vision Grant Management Seminar (GMS).

District 6250 will offer three Grant Management Seminars and the three sessions will be identical in terms of the content that will be delivered.  Clubs need only have representation at one of the three sessions.  It is recommended that the club president-elect and foundation chair attend the GMS meeting.

At the GMS you will learn:

  • How to successfully manage a Rotary Foundation grant.
  • Foundation stewardship expectations
  • How to prepare clubs to implement the memorandum of understanding
  • How to qualify your club to receive Rotary Foundation grant funds.

Click here to learn more about dates and registration.

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Rotary Gets Ready to Explore Lisbon

Rotarians from around the world gather each year to exchange great ideas, connect with old and new friends, have fun, and advance the work of Rotary.

The 2013 RI Convention will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, 23-26 June.

From the bustling House of Friendship to breakout sessions to preconvention meetings, the RI Convention is your way to connect with the family of Rotary. 

Those of us who attend will have the chance to see the broader family of Rotary.  Nothing brings home the internationality of Rotary quite like the Rotary Convention. 

The RI Convention offers unparalleled opportunities for networking in person with Rotarians who share a commitment to Service Above Self. 

Visit the International Convention Website and register today to secure your spot.

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Friendship Exchange with Southwest Nigeria

I am excited to announce a Friendship Exchange with District 9110 which includes Lagos and Ogun States in Southwest Nigeria.  The outbound dates are:  March 12-22, 2013 and the inbound team will visit June 11-21, 2013.  We anticipate 8 to 10 travelers on the trip.  My friends in District 9110 will attempt to involve the team in local polio immunization efforts as well as visits to projects sites that have been supported by our two districts.  This would include The Wheel Schools (Rotary-supported schools for the children of beggars’) and other projects like microlending or water projects.

Our district’s relationship with Nigeria goes back to 2002 when we exchanged Group Study Exchange teams.  Since then clubs in our district have partnered with District 9110 in 7 matching grant projects including the donation of a reverse matching grant from District 9110 to the Rotary Club of Madison West Towne Middleton to support a homeless family project at the YWCA.

Our friends in Lagos are excited to host our Rotarians.  Travel costs for this trip are estimated at $2000-$3000, and would include airfare ($1300-$1600), visas costs, and other incidental travel expenses.  You will generally be hosted by Rotarians who will show you the same warmth, family spirit and love that my husband and I have experienced on our visits there.  Remember that this is an exchange.  You will need to be available to host inbound team members in your home or area during their visit.  After your return, it is my personal wish that you engage your club and community in support of a project in Nigeria, like the Wheel Schools.

Please let me know ASAP if you are interested in this friendship exchange. My email address is:  Phone is 608-516-1306. Planning will begin ASAP in order to allow time for visa applications.

Best wishes,
Mary Kessens

PS  Please feel free to share this information with your Rotary Club and Rotary friends.

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Short Term Rotary Youth Exchange for Summer 2013

Did you know that Rotary has an alternative to the long-term exchange program for high school age students? STEP (Short Term Exchange Program) is a 1 month exchange program where a student from the US is matched with a student abroad. Each of the two students spends a month abroad at each other’s home, enabling the two students to spend a total of two months together. It is a great alternative for students who are unable to participate in the long term program. There is no cost to the club, and minimal costs to the student – a $250 application fee plus the flight and spending money.

A few key points of the program:

• A participants’ family needs to be able to host a student in their home during the same summer that their son/daughter goes abroad.
• Countries which participate in STEP are more limited than the long term program, but still many options in Europe and South America are available. 

Help spread the word to recruit strong candidates age 15-19. If you know any of the foreign language or social/world studies teachers at your local high school, please forward them the attached informational flier and encourage them to contact me for more information. More information including applications are available on the Short Term Youth Exchange webpage.    Applications (downloadable from the district website) are due February 28th for next summer.

Janine O’Rourke, STEP Chair
Fitchburg/Verona Rotary


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Zone 28 News for Districts and Clubs

Click here for the latest edition of the Zone 28 Coordinator Newsletter!

OK, who would agree with me that 2012 is ending almost about the time we are getting used to writing "2012"?  Now, I have to get used to writing a "3".  Happy New Year to you and your families.  I hope 2013 is another special year for you.  

With January, we begin the 2013-2014 "training cycle".  DG, please continue to encourage your DGE as they finalize their plans to attend the International Assembly as well as the training for District Leadership Teams and PETS and Assembly.  Please share any of your "if I had it to do over" thoughts with your DGE.  You are a resource to those who follow and we are all counting on you to help the rest of us to be the best that we can be.  

Although we are getting ready for the next Rotary year, we cannot forget that we are only one-half way through our current year.  Peace Through Service has a long way to go.  DG, now is a great time to revisit all your Club Presidents to be sure they are on track to achieve their goals set at PETS 2012, including but not limited to membership, TRF giving, member engagement, project and program development, member surveys, Public Image, etc.  As a District, are you working to develop new Rotary Clubs?  I believe we have opportunities in all of the communities we serve to charter a "Next Generations" Rotary Club.  Be pro-active in identifying leaders who can make this happen.

We have good "customers" in our membership and we have a great product.  Now, more than ever, is the time to be active, relevant and vibrant.  We need to share, share and share some more.

Happy New Year and thank you for your past and future service.

Best Regards,

Best Regards,
Mary Beth Growney Selene
Zone 28 Rotary Coordinator, 2010-2013
Rotary International Director, 2013-2015


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.

Holmen Rotary Interact Club Makes Newtown Donation

Holmen Rotary Club member Scott Ryan got a huge surprise at the Rotary Lights display in La Crosse on Dec. 22. That Saturday evening, Holmen freshman Alyssa McCathie walked up and handed Ryan an envelope containing well over $300 in cash.

“I probably freaked her out,” Ryan said. “My eyes got as big as silver dollars, and I was just speechless. I think my heart grew three sizes — it was such a wonderful gift.”

Click here for the full article from the LaCrosse Tribune/Onalaska Holem Courier-Life. 

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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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