The District Dispatch

 

The Monthly Newsletter of Rotary District 6250

May 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

As anyone who’s been a District Governor will readily agree, this has been one of the most rewarding years of my entire life.  With less than two months remaining, I really thought the best times were already in my rearview mirror; and then came RYLA!

RYLA is Rotary’s Youth Leadership Awards.  Held annually by our district at Camp Upham Woods in Wisconsin Dells, this 3 day, 2 night program brings secondary students (usually high school sophomores) together to learn about leadership skills, problem solving and ethics in both their personal lives and business while inspiring them to connect, exchange ideas and take action in their schools and communities.  It’s also a whole lot of fun!

This past weekend I was privileged to join 114 delegates and over 30 volunteers for this experience.  All I can say is WOW!  These young people are really impressive and have given me much confidence that our country will be in good hands in the future.

Clubs in our district sponsored these young people while volunteers from throughout our district and led by Co-Chairs Michelle McGrath and Ben Bauer provided and implemented the curriculum.  Tuition is only $200 per student.   Several clubs have decided money spent on RYLA produces results far more impactful than those from the small scholarships they previously offered.  Not only that but the students who attend RYLA are happy to come back to their clubs and present an interesting program.

Major portions of this month’s video were filmed at this year’s RYLA.  I hope you’ll take a few moments to view some of the things that made the weekend so incredibly successful and memorable for all.

 

Dave Warren
District Governor 2014-2015
Rotary District 6250
 

District Video Message 

 

 

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District News, Events and Announcements

 

Nepal Earthquake Relief

Since a couple weeks ago when the people of Nepal were hit with their first devastating earthquake and more recently when they  received the second, many of you have inquired as to how you and/or your Rotary clubs could help.
 
We're pleased to announce our District 6250 Charitable Trust has established a special fund entitled
Nepal Earthquake Relief.  Clubs and individuals may make tax deductable contributions payable to the District 6250 Charitable Trust which will be forwarded directly to our Rotary counterparts in the affected areas. 
Your contributions may be sent to the fund’s treasurer:
Bob Trussoni
907 Martin Drive
Marshfield, WI  54449
Or donate via credit card through the paypal button below:
 
Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Do you want to help promote this campaign through your club or social media?  Feel free to download this flyer to post or distribute and/or this picture that would be perfect as a social media profile picture.

                                                   

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The Ethical Life - Happiness

We have all recited the Four Way Test many times, but how often have we paused to consider what the implications really are for the things we think , say , and do in our everyday lives? The District Ethics Committee will be offering brief articles on a wide range of situations for you to think about and you can respond with comments , questions, or interesting postings of your own on our District 6250 FaceBook page.
    
Chuck Hanson, District Ethics Chair
 
Ethics and Happiness . . . There’s a Solid Connection
Richard Kyte
La Crosse Tribune
January 31, 2010

What does happiness have to do with ethics?

Many people assume ethics is about what you have to do, not about what you want to do: it is a matter of “following the rules.” 

The typical family has over two hundred rules applying to daily behavior inside the house—rules like, “Don’t slam the door,” “Turn off the light when you leave the bathroom,” “Put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket.”  There are hundreds more rules for behavior outside the house—in the yard, in the car, at the grocery store, in a restaurant—and for special occasions, such as visiting relatives, going on a vacation, or to a movie theater.  Schools, of course, are notorious for the number of rules that they impose, and most workplaces are equally demanding, with some large corporations having layers upon layers of rules issuing from various departments, agencies, and governing bodies. 

In the last thirty years or so, we have come increasingly to use the term “ethics” in the context of rules oversight and enforcement.  Thus we have “ethics compliance officers” in many corporations, “ethics commissions” in federal, state, and local governments, health care “ethics committees” in hospitals, and “professional ethics committees” of the state bars associations.  The list goes on and on.  What they all have in common is the task of creating, implementing, and in some cases enforcing, rules and policies that have the effect of restricting people’s freedom. 

In a country whose founding documents claim that “life” and “liberty” are essential to the “pursuit of happiness,” it is no wonder that so many people believe that happiness is irrelevant to—or even incompatible with—ethics.
       
This is why it is important to have a historical view of things.  For at least two thousand years, up until quite recently in our history, happiness was widely viewed as central to any robust understanding of the ethical life.  This view goes back to Aristotle, who claimed that happiness was the “highest good,” that is, the thing that everyone seeks, and the ultimate reason we do everything that we do.  Of course, by “happiness,” he didn’t mean a temporary state of amusement or pleasure (such as you might get from watching a funny TV show or getting a new car); he meant a lasting and deep-seated condition, something we might refer to as “satisfaction” or “fulfillment.” 

Somewhere along the way, we started using the term “ethics” in place of what used to be called, more simply and directly, “rules,” “regulations,” “laws,” “policies,” “etiquette,” or “civility.”

There are a couple of dangers that come along with this change in language. 

The first danger is a tendency to think that the only way to create a more ethical society (or organization, or family) is to put more rules in place.  But in fact the opposite is true.  An over-emphasis on rules corresponds to an under-emphasis on character.  And it is character, not rules, that is at the heart of ethics.  After all, as Plato observed, good people don’t need rules to make them do what is right, and bad people will find ways around the rules.  Of those who try to stop people from acting irresponsibly through legislation, he says, “they always think they'll find a way to put a stop to cheating on contracts and [so on], not realizing that they're really just cutting off a Hydra's head.” 

The second danger is that we will lose sight of the point of ethics and begin thinking that the various rules, regulations, and policies that authorities put in place are in themselves the determinants of right and wrong.  But if we don’t have a conception of ethics that goes beyond the “rules,” how do we know when the rules themselves are unethical?  How do find the words to express our sense that something we are required to do is not “right?”

As any child can attest, parents can have rules that are nonsensical, contradictory, or flat-out unfair.  Bosses can implement rules that are counter-productive, self-serving, or even demeaning.  And heaven knows, bureaucracies seem to specialize in the production of rules that at times appear designed to set-up obstacles in the way of citizens just trying to go about their business in their communities.  
  
The reason that happiness is central to an understanding of ethics is that we need standard against which to evaluate whether our various activities—and the rules we put in place to govern our various activities—are genuinely “good” or merely arbitrary. 

It may not be a standard we all agree upon—but that’s a subject for another column.  



Dr. Rick Kyte is the Director of the D. B Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership, Viterbo University, La Crosse, Wisconsin and co-chair of the District Ethics Committee.  This article originally appeared in the La Crosse Tribune

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Leadership Academy - June 6, 2015 in Wisconsin Dells, WI

Better meetings

Better decision making.

Better results

Better boards of directors.

More confidence.
A few of the 15 topics you will address:
  • PURPOSES OF A MEETING
  • AGENDAS: Who sets, how, significance, uses
  • MINUTES: Preparation, content, uses
  • MOTIONS
  • WORKING WITH VOLUNTEERS:  Organizing for success, selecting, motivating
  • CULTIVATING BETTER DIRECTORS
  • MEETING FORMAT AND FREQUENCY
  • DYNAMIC DECISION MAKING
 

2015 Rotary International Convention Update

Rotary International Convention in Sao Paulo is a perfect way to experience Rotary’s internationality, exchange ideas with fellow members and discover new avenues – and potential partners – for service! 
 
If you want to be connected with your fellow Rotarians from District 6250 while there, please email me at maryevanhout@gmail.com and ask to be included in the group email address that will help you communicate with your fellow travelers.  Dinner together on Sunday, June 7th is being planned at a great restaurant and we want you to be there so please get your email address to me so I can keep you up to date on locations and times.  The email address is riconvention@yahoogroups.com but your email address needs to be included as a participant for you to be included!! 
 
I’m looking forward to a really great time and can’t wait to see you there!

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Club News, Events and Announcements 

Gary Berger, Horicon School District Administrator, addresses the audience at the Strive recognition banquet, held in the high school cafeteria.
 
A 2015 STRIVE student accepts a $2500 scholarship from President Kim DeZeeuw.
 

Local Students “STRIVE” to Succeed with the Help of the Rotary Club of Horicon

The Rotary Club of Horicon sponsors a scholarship program known as STRIVE.  STRIVE identifies juniors who rank in the lower third of their high school class based on GPA and pairs them with adult mentors.  Students and mentors have a goal of meeting twice each month until the student graduates.  Mentors support and encourage the students in their education and pursuit of their goals.  The students who show the most growth in their GPAs are rewarded with scholarships in the spring of their senior year.
 
The STRIVE program was started in 1994 by then District Governor Don Mayo who patterned it after a similar program operated by the Rotary Club in White Bear Lake, MN.  It began with two scholarships, totaling $2600.  This year, eight scholarships were awarded, totaling $9750.  Since the beginning, over 85 community members have volunteered as mentors and over 100 scholarship recipients have been named.  Scholarship funds are donated by individuals and businesses and have exceeded $100,000 since the program began.
 
In April, the club held its annual recognition banquet to announce the scholarship recipients for 2015.  According to one student, "I love the program.  It is fun and was worth every second.  I learned so much and it helped me with my grades immensely".





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Eau Claire Trap Shoot to Benefit Meals on Wheels of Eau Claire County

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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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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