The District Dispatch


The Monthly Newsletter of Rotary District 6250

October 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


Welcome to the October District 6250 newsletter.  This newsletter will highlight Rotary's October theme of Vocational Service.  In addition, you will find information on membership and on the 2014 District Conference.  The newsletter also includes information regarding some of the activities from clubs around our District. You are encouraged to share with us photos and items about the work of your club as you serve your communities and the Rotary world!

Thanks for all you do as you Engage Rotary and Change Lives.

Dean Ryerson
District Governor 2013-2014
Rotary District 6250


District Video Message 

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District News, Events and Announcements


District Outbound Exchange Program Goes To a Flat Fee For Students

District 6250 would like to announce a change to the Outbound Youth Exchange Program.  We will be going to a Flat Fee Program.  This means that each student will be paying the same fee regardless of what country they are assigned.  The fee for the 2013-2014 program has been set at $6,300, if paid by credit card or $6,100 is paid by check or money order.

The flat fee covers all of the following:

  • Fees (interviews, district and CSRYE fee)
  • Round-trip airfare (12 month open ticket) – to any country in the world the student may be assigned.  Includes one date change allowed for the return ticket. 
  • Medical insurance coverage (Central States and in Country insurance where required)
  • Visas – where required. 
  • Student registration, meals and accommodations for District Orientation and Mandatory Winter Meeting 
  • Registration, meals for one parent for District Orientation  
  • Student registration, meals and accommodations at mandatory District Conference 
  • Student registration, meals, accommodations for July Grand Rapids Central States Conference (2014 and 2015) 
  • One parent registration, meals, accommodations (dorm) for July Grand Rapids Central States Conference (2014) 
  • Central States name badge and breast patch for blazer  
  • Fall Rebound Weekend (2015)
  • Language Camp (where required)
FLAT FEE does not cover the following:
  •  The cost of obtaining a passport
  • Conference registration and meals for second parent and/or siblings
  • Additional date changes for return airline ticket beyond the one change allowed
  • Medical and dental exams required as part of the application process
  • Travel expenses for visa acquisition
  • Required emergency fund by host country
  • Excursions or host country trips
  • School uniforms (where required)
  • Incidental living expenses (personal host country travel, extra-curricular school activities, entertainment, postage, phone calls, clothing and personal items, etc.)

A Financial Agreement will be signed by the student and parents and goes into more detail.

We also want to point out that more countries are not accepting students over 18 ½ years old.  Also, the age cut off is August 1st instead of August 15th of the year of departure.  If you have a student who will be over 18 ½ before August 1st, they must be approved by Central States, our governing body, before an application will be accepted. There are only a limited number of spots available and are on a first come, first serve basis.

Interviews are scheduled for Sunday, November 3, in Baraboo, Wisconsin.  If you have a student who is interested in the program, please get their contact information to Doug and Sharon Richmond as soon as possible.  We have an application guide that they can use in filling out the application, which will help eliminate the most common errors.  Also, this will put them on the list so we can contact them to schedule an interview time.  You can find the application and country spread sheet at

We are always looking for help with the interviews, so if you have someone from your Club that would like to help interview students and their parents, please let us know.

Please contact Doug Richmond, cell number 608-370-1135 or

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District Welcomes Twenty-one Exchange Students

September 6-8 our district team got to meet and orient twenty-one students from seventeen countries. Thank you to all the clubs that are hosting them. We had a great time at Camp Upham Woods in Wisconsin Dells over a beautiful September weekend. Students are required to go through training on all the rules and paperwork  as well as learning how to cope in a new environment. Most of the time was well-spent bonding and just having fun. 
Governor Dean stayed at the camp and can tell you what a great group of students they are. 
Food was plentiful at camp thanks to many food donations. If you haven’t guessed what is in that trough, they are having “gutter sundaes”.

Even if your club is not hosting a student, please reach out to them. You will both love the exchange. It is so much fun to share the wonderful things about our district. 

If your club is interested in hosting a student, please feel free to contact Judy Levine, your district chair for youth exchange, at 

Upcoming Friendship Exchange with District 9110 - Southwest Nigeria

I am excited to announce a Friendship Exchange with District 9110 which includes Lagos and Ogun States in Southwest Nigeria.  The travel dates are February 13-23, 2014.  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 if they are occurring during that time, 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.  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 if you are interested in this friendship exchange.

Best wishes,

Mary Kessens PDG
Cell:  608-516-1306

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

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Where Will You Be June 1-4, 2014?

Join Rotary members from around the world in Sydney, Australia on June 1 – 4.  The 2014 RI Convention will bring together some of the world’s leading experts on water, polio and social media.  You’ll find new ideas for service and perhaps a new partner for creating change in the House of Friendship.  If you’ve never attended an RI Convention, you simply cannot imagine what you’ve been missing!  Tens of thousands of Rotarians, spouses, partners and families from around the world, all in one place ensure an enjoyable time for all!
Australia is a special place which is on many people’s “bucket list”.  What better time to experience this magical land than in conjunction with a Rotary Convention?  Those who register by December 15 can save $50 off of the regular $360 rate.   For more information on the event, please visit here.


Australian Preconvention Tour

For those of you who would like to attend the RI Convention in Sydney, Australia and also explore more of the Australian continent, a special District 6250 preconvention tour is being offered.  Join DGE David Warren as the group arrives in Cairns, Australia to visit the Great Barrier Reef, Kuranda Rail, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Tjapukai Aboriginal Park.  From there the group will be flying to Uluru, Australia to visit Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) Uluru and the Kata Tjuta National Park.  From there they will fly to Sydney, Australia to take part in the RI Convention and then back to Lost Angeles. 
This 10 night tour includes round trip airfare from Los Angeles, California, all transfers, 4 star hotel accommodations, breakfast daily and other meals as specified, an Australian Visa (required of all American travelers) and all government fees and taxes.  The cost of the entire package is $5,999 per person, based on double occupancy or $7,589 based on single occupancy.  The deposit deadline of  November 1st is quickly approaching, so for additional details please contact Shel Hanson from Travel Leaders in La Crosse, Wisconsin at

Celebrate World Polio Day on October 24

If you are a supporter of Rotary’s effort to eradicate polio – or simply want to learn more about it – you won’t want to miss World Polio Day: Making History, a special Livestream event presented by Rotary and Northwestern University’s Center for Global Health, beginning at 6:30 p.m. EDT on Oct. 24 (World Polio Day).

This 90-minute program before a live audience at Northwestern’s John Hughes Auditorium in downtown Chicago, brings together a panel of experts to discuss the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative -- the ambitious public-private partnership spearheaded by Rotary, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with additional support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – and the many ways that members of the general public can help make history by supporting the final push needed to end polio forever.

Confirmed speakers include Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO assistant director-general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration; Dr. Robert Murphy, director of the Center for Global Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; and polio survivor and world-class Paralympian Dennis Ogbe, an ambassador for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to promote childhood immunizations.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how you can become a part of history by helping Rotary and its partners End Polio Now.

Visit the World Polio Day: Making History Livestream page to add the event to your calendar.
Embed the Livestream video player on your website or Facebook page.
Download a World Polio Day toolkit for sample social media posts and graphics.
Add a World Polio Day: Making History cover photo to your Facebook page.

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Author of "Limping through Life: A Farm Boy's Polio Memoir" to speak at District Conference

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press and Wisconsin Public Television teamed up to offer Rotary Clubs a special program opportunity—a video presentation by polio survivor and celebrated rural historian Jerry Apps of Wisconsin. Apps survived polio when he was 12 years old, and last year wrote “Limping through  Life: A Farm Boy’s Polio Memoir” about his battle to survive and live with the effects—physical and mental, as well as negative and positive—of the disease.

Because of Rotary’s heroic efforts to eradicate polio from the world, Apps has received more speaking requests from Rotary Clubs in the Midwest than he can fulfill. To ensure Apps’s inspiring polio survival story reaches Rotarians working to save others from the ravages of this deadly disease, the Society Press and WPT have created a 20-minute program through WPT’s “University of the Air” show that features Apps telling his story to popular host Norman Gilliland. The program will be available for download free from our district Web site. In addition, the Society Press will send interested Rotary Clubs—including all those who have already requested Jerry Apps as a speaker—a complimentary copy of the DVD to show as a meeting program. Clubs who show the program can also request a complimentary Autographed copy of the book to use as a door prize during the meeting.

In addition, the Society Press has created a special 40% discount on the book for any clubs wishing to order and sell copies as a polio and/or Rotary club fundraiser. If you are interested in showing this program at your club and/or ordering books, please contact Kristin Gilpatrick, Marketing Manager for the Society Press at or at 608-264-6465. You can temporarily download a preliminary version of the show HERE.  And, we will all hear from Jerry Apps at our 2014 District Conference in Wisconisn Dells when he addresses our group as the keynote speaker May 3.

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Ambassadorial Scholar

Over the years, District 6250 has been privileged to host Ambassadorial Scholars from all over the world and this Rotary year we’re lucky to continue that tradition.

Urban Zihlmann is our  Ambassadorial Scholar from Lucerne, Switzerland.

Urban arrived for a year of study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on January 16th and will be here until Christmas.    In Switzerland he majors in English Language and Literature and minors in Psychology.  At the UW his focus is in Linguistics with a goal of ultimately teaching English internationally.  Additionally, his interests span karate, music, writing, photography and magic! 

You are encouraged to help Urban experience Wisconsin from a Rotary perspective so perhaps you could include him in a family event,  a sporting event, or travel around Wisconsin.  And do be sure to schedule a presentation by Urban at your Club to talk about his experiences.  He can be reached at or contact Host Counselor Mary Van Hout @

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Club News, Events and Announcements


Fitchburg/Verona Rotary Club Host's Their Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser - November 21, 2013

Come join the Fitchburg / Verona Rotary Club for our annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser for our Orphan Train orphanage in Peru
Thursday, November 21 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Verona
Each year we raise approximately $2000 to support the Casa Hogar Orphanage. Appetizers are served along with a variety of white and red wines. There will also be a Silent Auction. Tickets are available ahead of the event at the Verona Wine Cellar or at the door for $20. Contact Janine O’Rourke with any questions at 608-577-6395.

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Christmas in Peru - Part II

Holmen Rotary members will travel to Lima, Peru in mid December 2013 to help deliver Christmas presents to children in villages served by Holmen's previous Biosand Water Filter projects.

In 2012, Holmen Area Rotary member Justin Bodin created a unique event at the club's annual service auction.  Justin made 10 special friendship bracelets to be auctioned off to raise money to help the less fortunate.  While Justin has cognitive challenges of his own that he deals with, his dream was to help others less fortunate than him and provide a special Christmas to children in Peru.  Justin raised $1,300 at the May 2012 event and Christmas presents were provided to 170 children the following December by Holmen's sister Rotary club, La Molina Vieja in Lima. 

This year Justin began with a goal of $2,000 and then shattered even his own expectations by raising $3,000 in a single evening through the generosity of fellow Holmen Rotary members and friends of the club at their annual fundraiser.  Holmen Rotary members will travel to Lima, Peru in mid December 2013 to help deliver Christmas presents on Justion's behalf to children in additional villages served by Holmen's previous Biosand Water Filter projects.  They will also take along over one hundred friendship bracelets that Justin has since made for the children.  While in Peru, RC Holmen members will also be finalizing details for another clean water project they hope to begin in early 2014.

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Dane County Clubs Jointly Support International Literacy

Becky Fjelstad and her Stoughton Rotary team present Carol Dombroski with one of the thousands of books her club delivered to Books for the World

Rotary clubs are well known for their ability to make things happen and get things done, but collaboration between clubs on a common project  has not been as prevalent.  However, this may be changing soon for some Dane County Rotary clubs.

Books for the World is an international literacy project which ships used books from the USA to more than 25 developing countries.  It is supervised by Rotarians and has been coordinated in Wisconsin by the Madison Breakfast Rotary since 2007.  The program has expanded significantly every year, exceeding the ability of the club to properly support the growth and raising concerns about long-term sustainability.  Because of this, Madison Breakfast was looking to partner with other Dane County area clubs.  The Stoughton Rotary was the first to answer their call and did so with an effort that could only be called spectacular.

Thor Anderson, Stoughton President, and Carol Dombroski, program coordinator for Wisconsin Books for the World chatted periodically about the prospect of a cooperative project between their clubs which are located just 10 miles apart.  When Thor raised the possibility with his club, the timing was perfect because Becky Fjelstad, a Stoughton Rotarian who is employed by the Stoughton School District, learned that all of the elementary schools in her district were disposing of reading books which were still in very serviceable condition.  The club decided to take on the task, and Becky organized the project into two parts: packing, and then at a later time, transporting the books.  One Saturday in late September, her team of eight Rotarians spent two hours packing all of the books into cardboard boxes.  She said she may have underestimated the size of the project because she now she was facing a room full of boxes, not exactly something you might put in the trunk of your car.  She asked her club for help, and shortly had a furniture truck, a pickup truck, and four vans offered.  After work on October 2nd, she and nine other Rotarians loaded, and then delivered the books to the Books for the World processing center in Middleton.  In about a half-hour, her team unloaded about 275 boxes which were estimated to be approximately seven tons of books.  Carol said, “We were amazed by how quickly this big job got done.  In no time we had 11 pallets of books unloaded because their team was enthusiastic and everyone pitched in.”

This was a great start to what is hoped will be an expanded level of cooperation among Dane County area Rotary Clubs.  District Governor, Dean Ryerson, summed up the project: “Stoughton answered the call of another club that was in need of help.  This is exactly the response that I was hoping to see, and I look forward to more of the same as we promote collaboration between clubs.  Thanks and congratulations to Stoughton for taking the first step.”

Other clubs wishing to learn more about partnering with Books for the World can contact Carol Dombroski at

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Do you have an upcoming Club Event or accomplishment that you would like to announce? Send your pre-written article to:  Click to view  Club Events Calendar

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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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