The District Dispatch


The Monthly Newsletter of Rotary District 6250

November 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

iFeed 11-5-16
La Crescent playground
Rotary  Moment at Zone Training

Rotary Friends,

Recently we celebrated World Polio Day on October 24th.  Now is a good time for another reminder of all that Rotary has done to fight this horrible disease.  In 1985 there were 350,000 cases of polio per year in our world.  This year to date there have been 30.  So when we say we are “This Close”, we are truly 99.9914% of the way!  Of course the progress is in large part due to the monetary efforts of The Rotary Foundation and its partner the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Also vital to this effort are the thousands of Rotarians who have travelled to endemic countries and administered the vaccine over the last three decades.  We hope that very soon we will be able to declare our world Polio free. 
I’d also like to remind everyone that November is Foundation Month.  The Rotary Foundation is the vehicle that allows our clubs to magnify the impact of our local and international projects through its matching grant programs.  If you haven’t done something in your club this year already, November would be a good month to have a challenge where club recognition points could match member donations.  You could also consider a dedicated fundraiser or special event where your club could commemorate the 100th year of our Foundation. 
I have now visited 40 of our District’s 63 clubs and about 2,000 of our members so far.  I thank you for the stories and Rotary successes you have shared with me.  I take these successes with me as I share ideas at each club board meeting along the way.  Collaboration with Rotarians from other clubs and the sharing of ideas among members of different clubs is how many of the improvements in our clubs come about.  For those who enjoy this type of idea exchange, there is still room at One Rotary Summit on November 12th.  I invite you to check it out and consider joining me and 50-60 fellow Rotarians from all over our District by clicking on this link to learn more or to register Registration closes November 7th.
Several of our District representatives attended Zone Training in Cleveland the beginning of this month with representatives from 28 Rotary Districts.  Rotary International Vice President Jennifer Jones asked me to share a Rotary Moment at one of the General Sessions.  It was the story many of you have already heard about my good friend Scott Ryan and how the skills he brought to Rotary have touched so many lives.  In my club visits this month, I saw many great things being done in our communities by our clubs.  I was especially impressed by the handicap accessible playground by La Crescent Rotary and the signage making sure all who come realize that this great project was done by Rotary.  Also, by the time you read this, I will have joined dozens of La Crosse area Interact students, Rotarians, and community members as they work together to package meals for the hungry in Central America as well as collect food items for their local food pantries.  It has been refreshing for me to see the creative ideas, enthusiasm, energy, and hard work that these young people bring to this incredible effort. 
Thank you to each and every Rotarian for what you do to make your community, your club, and the world better.  May Rotary friends and Rotary ways continue to help you serve.

Dean McHugh
District Governor 2016-2017
Rotary District 6250

District News, Events and Announcements

Rotary Initiative Nearing Its Goal of a Poli-free World

La Crosse Tribune article on World Polio day featuring PDG Dean Dickinson

It was an image Dean Dickinson would never forget: a polio stricken young boy, his knees attached to roller skates, wheeling across the street to beg for money.

That distressing scene was one of many Dickinson encountered on a 2015 vaccination mission to India on behalf of Rotary International. The 43-year member of the Rotary Club of La Crosse tears up when he recalls both the devastation and joy he witnessed when his group drove into a village, armed with bottles of the polio vaccine.

"You could see people everywhere in India -- young men, young women who had fallen through the net. Moms and dads all over the world have the same hopes and dreams: a safe life for their children," Dickinson said. "The people held up signs for us and balloons -- the one hope that these people have is Rotary."

Rotary launched the PolioPlus mission 31 years ago, after approaching the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Unicef. With their help, along with the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the organizations have reduced the number of people affected by 99.9 percent, an accomplishment they will celebrate today, the fourth annual World Polio Day, which includes an international broadcast from the CDC.

Click here to read the full article from the La Crosse Tribune.

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I Could Have Been a Refugee ... Instead I Became a Rotarian 

Originally posted at

Okay so about Rotary. I have always heard of it but never been involved not until I got my Scholarship last year. The scholarship is amazing and carries a huge honour but what really got me to hold this beautiful image of Rotary is mainly people involved.
Three people (Sandy Macht, her husband Josh Macht and Lyn Kenney (my sponsor in the US)) got me in and I will probably never leave. Amazing human beings that are dedicated and committed to doing good in everything they do. 
Here in New Zealand too, I met Claire (beyond amazing) she is so caring and committed helping youth everywhere on campus and through Rotary. 

I could have been an asylum seeker now or a refugee for that matter, and because of people like Lyn, Sandy and Josh and of course everyone here I am now a Rotarian. 

Here is a link for a blog I posted after my first interaction with Rotarians and what I thought about it:

Kind regards, 
Sakhr Munassar


Short Term Youth Exchange Program for Summer 2017

Spread the word to high school students in your community – the new, simplified RI application form is available ( and due no later than Feb 1. Share the 2017 flier with school counselors and teachers.

This is an exchange program where a student from the US is matched with a student abroad and the two students spend a month at each other’s home, for 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.

Encourage applicants to complete their application over Christmas break to allow your club time to complete the interview process and have the application validated by the STEP committee.

Janine O’Rourke & Melissa Frank, STEP Co-Chairs
Fitchburg/Verona Rotary 


Million Dollar Journey Announced

We are currently in the 100th year of our Rotary Foundation.  Founded in 1917 under the direction of Rotary’s sixth President Arch Klumph with $26.50 as an endowment “to do good in the world”, its assets have now grown to over $1 billion.  Rotary International is planning celebrations in Cleveland, where Klumph was a distinguished Rotarian, as well as Atlanta for the International Convention, to celebrate 100 years of The Rotary Foundation. 

To mark this important milestone, our district has set a goal to raise a minimum of $1 million in new major gifts of $10,000 or more for The Rotary Foundation.  Gifts can be spread over 3 year pledges of at least $3,333 per year, or new or increased bequests of $10,000 or more.  According to District Rotary Foundation Committee Chair Dave Warren, “early pledges and gifts have already exceeded a quarter of a million dollars with over 14 months left in a campaign…and it hadn’t even been officially been announced!”

A celebratory dinner has already been scheduled for the evening of Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the beautiful Trappers Turn Golf Club in Wisconsin Dells for all who make major gifts toward this goal.  There will be a special address from a major Rotary International dignitary.   For more information on how you can be a part of this special effort, please contact Dave Warren at

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Rotary Friendship Exchanges - District 6250 and Western India

Group from our area travels to India Jan. 21 – Feb. 5, 2017
Group from India hosted by our district for 10 days in May/June 2017 (dates tbd)

Our Rotary District 6250 Friendship Exchange Committee has just received information from Gujarat, India (western India), where their Rotary District has six couples interested in traveling to our Rotary district for about 10 days in May/June of 2017. 
India would like a group of Rotarians from our district to travel to their district from January 21 - February 5, 2017 (last 3 days would be their district conference). 
Travelers pay their own airfare, first hotel night and perhaps any rental car fees. 
Hosts on each end of the exchange program support the visitors with room, board, entertainment and perhaps transportation while in the country.
Our district is seeking four clubs to host our Rotarian guests in their homes during the ten-day visit in May/June 2017 (dates tbd yet) and have around 12 people from our district to travel to Gujarat, India in January/February 2017.
Contact the David Clemens (Friendship Exchange chairman) at 608-408-8941 or for more details or if you are interested in traveling to India or hosting some of the group members when they visit our district.

One Rotary Summit Registration Closes November 7th!

JOIN other Rotary LEADERS from our District as we EXCHANGE IDEAS and TAKE ACTION on actual proven ideas on how to energize and bolster your club for growth, service and public interaction. 

Why attend?  A much-used description of Rotary these days is “Join Leaders, Exchange Ideas, Take Action”.  Well, this is a chance to help lead your club in some fashion, by joining leaders, hearing ideas from other clubs, and taking them back to your own club.  In the process, you may well help another Rotary club by explaining how yourclub does something that they find interesting.  In short, this is not a chance to sit on your rear and listen to speaker after speaker.  It’s a chance to talk with others in a structured session, and then rotate to two more similar sessions with different people.  At the end of the session, we will have about a half hour to “shop” as you review many ideas from other tables you might not have heard, but you can read them off posters, and if necessary get a quick explanation, and take them back to your club.

Saturday, November 12, 2016
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells


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

Home2 Suites by Hilton
210 Jay Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

King Studio Suite with complimentary breakfast: $149

(608) 881-6666
Reservation Code: Rotary District 6250

Room block deadline: April 21, 2017

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

Standard King or Double Queen Room: $249

(608) 519-8800
Ask for the in-house reservations:  Rotary District 6250 Rate

Room block deadline: March 27, 2017


Club News, Events and Announcements 

Fitchburg/Verona Rotary Annual Wine Tasting Event

Come join the Fitchburg / Verona Rotary Club for our annual Wine Tasting event. Proceeds are used to support local and international programs such as high school scholarships and shipping costs for Books for the World.

Thursday, November 17: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Ten Pin Alley, 6285 Nesbitt Rd, Fitchburg

Tickets available at the door for $25, or $20 in advance at The Wine Cellar or Ten Pin Alley. Appetizers served along with a variety of white and red wines. Fantastic silent action items just in time for the holidays.


Tailgate with Madison South Rotary!


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Shop with Madison Breakfast Rotary!


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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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