The District Dispatch


The Monthly Newsletter of Rotary District 6250

June 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

It is June!  We are almost there!  We have made it through another Rotary year.  I hope that this year has been as special to you as it has been to me and you were able to truly Make a Difference.  As you have heard from my monthly newsletters, Facebook posts, and in person meetings, District 6250 is definitely changing lives and Making a Difference not only in our own back yard, but also across the world.  It has been an honor to represent this district and brag about all that we do.  We continue to inspire other clubs and districts when I share the stories of D6250.  Thank you for allowing me this privilege. 

I realize that we have many clubs finishing up projects, working on grants, and preparing their next group of leadership.  I encourage you to finish strong.  Get that paperwork done, get those donations sent into the foundation so you qualify for grants, plant those trees, and continue to do all that you do!  Let’s show the world that we are Rotary and we are here to change lives.  Also, please remember if we tell our story, there are so many that want to become a part of us.  We just have to give them the opportunity. 

A lot has happened during the month of May.  We started the month with Tricon.  We had almost 600 attendees training, celebrating, and listening to speakers that amazed and inspired.  We learned from our speakers –
  1. We truly make a difference
  2. We need to make sure we are doing sustainable projects
  3. We have to be flexible if we want to be relevant
  4. We are important to the world
  5. We have to follow our destiny
  6. We have a job to finish – To Eradicate only the second disease in human history. 
It was an amazing conference and I thank all of those who were able to attend.  For those that couldn’t make it, put it on your calendar for DG Hoel’s conference in La Crosse, WI June 7-8, 2019!

The month continued with clubs planting trees, training, filling out grant applications, attending RYLA, and so much more.  We were all so busy!
June is Rotary Fellowship Month.  Rotary Fellowships consist of members who share a common interest in recreational activities, sports, hobbies, or professions. These groups help expand skills, foster vocational development, and enhance the Rotary experience by exploring interests while developing connections around the world.  If you want to know more, check out

As mentioned last month, our district has seen an increase in membership.  Great Job!  Don’t stop telling your story and getting those members and giving them the gift of Rotary.  If there is anything that we can do to help, please let me know.  I know that the membership committee will even come to your club and do a presentation!  Invite them and they are excited to come.  Also, take advantage of the membership grants that we have available through the district.  DG Hoel has extended them another year.  This is great news!  We need to not only get the numbers up but get all our Rotarian’s engaged. 

In closing, I want to say that Tina and I have truly enjoyed serving with you, visiting your clubs, and learning all about you, your families, and your projects.  This has been such a special year that we will never forget.  Thank you for your hospitality, kindness, food, and spirits (Lots of spirits)!  This year’s theme is Making a Difference.  I believe we have accomplished this in D6250.  I know that each one of you have made a difference in our lives by allowing me to serve as your District Governor.  It has been an honor and a privilege.  It is something I will never forget.  I have learned that one person can truly make a difference when they have 3000 friends in their district and 1.2 million friends around the world backing them. 

Thank you all for your dedication and service! Thank you for helping District 6250 be the best it can be!  We still have 1 month left.  If there is anything I can help with, please just ask me!  I am here to serve you and your club.  Now, let’s go Make a Difference, Inspire others,  and continue to have a great Rotary year. 

Above - TriCon District Governors - Jeff, Tina & Joe at TRICON 2018!

Below - Dean Ryerson receives Rotary International's highest honor for indivdual Rotarians. 
Chippewa Falls Planting Trees!

Joe Ruskey
District Governor 2017-2018
Rotary District 6250

District News, Events and Announcements


Your Support Brings Peace to Our World

The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.  During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.

With your help, we can make lives better in your community and around the world.  That’s why we remind District 6250 Rotarians about the importance of supporting our Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund/SHARE program.

Your donation makes a difference to those who need our help most. More than 90 percent of donations go directly to supporting our service projects around the world.

35,000 Rotary clubs carry out sustainable service projects that support our six causes. With donations like yours, we’ve wiped out 99.9 percent of all polio cases. Your donation also trains future peacemakers, supports clean water, and strengthens local economies.

Even more, your support for Annual Fund/SHARE makes it possible for our district to grant matching funds for your local club’s projects.  If you haven’t given this Rotary year, we would love to have you join all of the Rotarians who give to make sustainable lasting change for a more a peaceful world through Rotary.   

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RYLA at Upham Woods, Wisconsin Dells, WI  

Established as a Rotary Structured Program in 1971, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is Rotary's leadership training program for young people.

The Rotary District 6250 RYLA program is a camp designed to build future leaders and Rotarians who exemplify the four way test.

  • Is it the Truth?
  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build good will and better friendships?
  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
This year's youth met in May at beautiful Upham Woods in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Check out this video with some of their activities!


Columbus/Fall River Project WASH

During the 2017-18 school year, Project WASH (Water, Air, Sanitation, & Hygiene), completed work in sustainability education in Columbus Discovery Charter School, Columbus High School, and Fall River High School, in partnership with an international sustainability education group, the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF), Wisconsin Water Action Volunteers (WAV), and Water Education for Teachers (WET).

Interact Clubs raised funds to donate water-purification systems to schools in need, through CELF’s partnerships. Three schools obtained curriculum materials from CELF and integrated them into curricula for grades k-12. Outside classes, students engaged in community projects such as field trips to facilities for water, recycling, and sanitation, along with projects to test water in their communities, as well as projects to recycle plastics. 


Columbus High School Interact officers Lauren Penner (l.) and Emma Henning (r.) brought a bag of #1 plastic bottles to Greg Kaminski, (c.) Director of the  Columbia County Solid Waste Material Recovery Facility

Columbus High School Interact members (l. to r.) Emma St. Maurice, Abby Stadler, and Emma Henning tested water in Rotary Park. The were wearing new waders purchased with help from a D6250 grant to Project WASH. Waders and test equipment will be used in future field trips to learn about water resources in Columbus and Fall River.
Fall River High School Interact officers (l. to r.) Maggie Osterhaus, Maddy Sauer, Kylie Colotti, & Morgan Tramburg received notice that they had donated a water-purification system to a school in western Kenya through Rotary grants and fundraising for Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation
Columbus Interact members and third-grade students in Columbus Discovery Charter School toured the Columbus Water utility led my the teacher Suzy Zietlow (r.) and Technician Joe Hammer (c,)

Fitchburg-Verona Rotary Plants Trees at Sunnyside Dog Park

Janine O’Rourke and Scott Seid shovel fill for a newly planted Dogwood Pagooda as Tom & Joey Marshall and a representative from FACTv oversee.

Members of the Fitchburg-Verona Rotary joined members of the Fitchburg Dog Park Advocates for a park beautification project on Saturday, April 28th. Volunteers cleared brush and dead branches from a grove of Curly Willow trees, spread mulch around existing landscaping and planted 4 Dogwood Pagoda trees. An additional 27 trees purchased through a generous donation of $4,000.00 from the Fitchburg-Verona Rotary, which included $2,000.00 in matching funds from the District, will be planted at this location as weather permits. The project received attention from local media including both the Fitchburg Star and Fitchburg Access Community Television (FACTv).

 Originally scheduled for April 21st to meet the goal set by Rotary International President Ian Riseley to plant one tree for each Rotary member, this event was delayed one week due to ground conditions following an unseasonably heavy snowstorm in the Madison area. While they didn’t meet the Earth Day deadline, the Fitchburg-Verona Rotary will plant one tree for each member plus an additional 11 trees. Jake Johnson, founder of the Fitchburg Dog Park Advocates, donated four Dogwood Pagoda trees to increase the diversity of species planted at the park.
Sunnyside Dog Park, which is scheduled to open later this year, is the only dog park in Fitchburg and is centrally located between existing dog parks in Dane County. An estimated 10,000 dog owners live in Fitchburg and accounted for 10% of all Dane County dog park permits sold in 2015, making this park a welcome and much needed addition to the city of Fitchburg.


Our Rotary Foundation Annual Fund

 Care and education for poor children in Guatemala.  Little free libraries.  Assisting hard-working low-income people to purchase their own home.  Enhancements to local parks.  Support for military personnel when they travel.  These are a few examples of your support for our Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund/SHARE program at work through District 6250 Matching Grants. 
Twenty-one projects received a District 6250 match this Rotary year.  If your club has ever received one of our matching grants, you have seen the impact of Annual Fund/SHARE contributions first hand.  If your club hasn’t received a District Matching Grant, you still know the impact of Rotarians at work through your own club’s service projects.
Thanks to every Rotarian who is contributing, our District is poised to meet our Annual Fund goal of $325,000 in donations during the month of June – just in time!
It’s never too late to make your gift.  Send a check, give online by credit card, start your Rotary Direct contribution, or make a distribution from your donor advised fund.  No matter how you give, your donation means that Rotary’s ability to make lasting change for a more peaceful world is alive and well.
If you have questions about making your donation, contact our Rotary Foundation through My Rotary, call the Foundation toll-free at 866-976-8279, or contact me at  


RI Convention - Toronto - June 23-27, 2018

Registration is now open for Toronto -2018!    



Your Rotary International Membership Dues in Action

Please read letter below from Ian Riseley, Rotary International President, 2017 - 2018
Dear Rotary Leaders,

At our last Council on Legislation, your Council members approved an increase in Rotary International dues of US $4 per year in the 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 Rotary years. As a result of that decision, the yearly per capita dues that clubs pay to RI for each member is now US $60, increasing to $64 next year and $68 the year after that.

Historically, Rotary International has been very reluctant to institute increases to RI dues, and the dues increases have been extremely small. Rotary’s first dues were set in 1910 at the rate of $1 per member per year — the equivalent of about $26.90 today. Even at that time, then-Secretary Ches Perry protested that the amount was insufficient to cover expenses of office rent, stenography, telephone, postage, and the occasional purchase of a necessary item such as a typewriter.

Today, of course, our far larger organization, engaged in much more complex activities in a far more complex world, requires a vastly larger budget to run. Our global staff supports 1.2 million members around the world. It is largely thanks to the good work of that staff that we are able to carry on with the service that we do, on the level that we do it — fully supplied with the materials, club services, training events, international meetings, language services, IT, Foundation support, leadership support, and everything else we have come to expect as Rotary members.

In recent years, it became clear that the services RI was able to provide to Rotarians with the available budget were no longer in line with what Rotarians needed and expected. Nine out of 10 Rotarians wanted Rotary to provide more services, but given Rotary’s current and projected income, the rate of global inflation, and the ongoing volatility of world financial markets, we had only two fiscally prudent options: either cut back RI services, or increase dues. Essentially, we had to decide whether or not we wanted Rotary to continue to grow and thrive.

As an accountant, I take fiscal responsibility and long-term financial planning extremely seriously. It was and remains abundantly clear that a modest increase in dues was our only viable path forward. Our five-year forecast at the time of the Council on Legislation projected that a dues increase of just $1 would have resulted in only a 1.8 percent increase in revenues—far below the 2.5 percent impact of global inflation. A $2 increase would have resulted in reserve levels falling below the Board target by 2019, and a $3 increase would have resulted in reserve levels only marginally above the target by 2018. None of those options would have allowed us to do what our members wanted: increase and improve our services, to allow Rotary to increase and improve its service.

I am pleased to report that, as a result of the still modest dues increases that were approved in 2016, Rotary is now not only on a firm financial footing, but able to invest in our future. I would like to let you know how RI is spending your dues this year, and what we have planned for the years ahead.

Your membership dues are our organization’s largest single source of revenue, accounting for about $74 million out of a $103 million budget in 2017-18. Of the $60 you currently pay in dues, $32.58 goes directly to member support, in the form of RI events, online training, and digital tools such as the recently improved website and updated Rotary Club Central, along with Rotary Ideas, Rotary Showcase, and RI’s social media feeds.
Rotary’s operations extend to 220 countries and territories worldwide, using 29 different currencies. This year, RI is applying $14.43 of your $60 toward administration and compliance. That money pays for staff and services at the Secretariat and regional offices, who provide translations, support Rotarians on a regional level, and ensure that we are keeping pace with global security and privacy regulations.
We all know that enhancing Rotary’s image in the world is vital to our future success. RI is earmarking $12.99 of your RI dues this year for resources to help promote Rotary in your community, and beyond. This includes not only the postcards, brochures, and other materials available on your Brand Center, but also our People of Action campaign, external relations, and our ongoing outreach and public relations work around the end of polio.
Within the next year, look for news about an improved technology infrastructure for your data, streamlined online giving, more timely online club reporting resources, and a more user-friendly My Rotary — all funded by the dues each of us pays. For more information on RI’s budget and the value of your RI membership, I invite you to watch 
this presentation on Your Dues at Work.
For all of us, Rotary is an investment — not only of money, but of time, energy, and effort. As with any good investment, the more we put in, the greater our returns. None of it would be possible without the international association that unites us, and which we all support. I thank you all for that support, and for the good work each of you do, as you make a difference in our world.

Yours in Rotary,

Ian Riseley
Rotary International President, 2017-18

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Club News, Events and Announcements

Rotary Club of Madison at the Mallards Game on August 11th!

Mark your calendar for August 11th for the Rotary Club of Madison at the Madison Mallards game. We have ordered 50 tickets at the $10 level to save people the fee of $2 per ticket if they were to order online. Please encourage your members to  commit to going to the game and supporting Rotary. We will be able to have a 30 second video about Rotary, 2 announcements on the radio and a 50/50 raffle that will go to Polio Plus. If you would like to help with this event, please let me know. This should be a fun event and help promote Rotary. If any of your members want tickets at the $10 level, please let me know and I will reserve them.
Thanks for all you do for Rotary.
Judy Levine
Cell: 608 220-2949

Click image above to view full flier.



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Rotary Club of Madison New Member Grant Helps Fund Tree Planing Projects

In responding to Rotary International President Ian Riesley’s call that 2017-18 should be the Year of the Tree, the Rotary Club of Madison has planted trees at two local schools. This was a joint project with Urban Tree Alliance, and the $1,000 grant from Rotary District 6250 helped us encourage new members to become involved in the project.
On April 21, 15 Rotarians, including 4 new members, planted trees at Memorial High School in Madison and were assisted by arborist Jeremy Kane of the Urban Tree Alliance.
On Saturday, May 5th (rescheduled due to a snowy Saturday in April), trees were planted at Lindbergh School in Madison. It was a beautiful way to celebrate spring's arrival, and 11 members from our club, including 4 new members, participated in the project.
Our club has a goal of holding additional tree plantings during the upcoming Rotary year, and we will continue to especially encourage new members to help with these service projects. It is a great way to engage new members, helping them meet other Rotary members while providing a service to our community.
We sincerely appreciate the grant that was provided to our Rotary Club to involve new members in a service project. Thank you.


Rotary Club of La Crosse East's 2nd Annual Lobsterfest

Join us in La Crosse for the 2nd Annual Lobsterfest on Friday, June 15th!
When: June 15, 2018 4-10PM
Where: Colgan Air Services Hangar #4, 2709 Fanta Reed Rd, La Crosse, WI 54603
Cost:    $50 for Lobster Dinner by advance purchase only (as we will be flying in fresh lobsters for the event). A Lobster Dinner is includes a 1.25lb lobster, corn on the cob, baked potato, one beverage of your choice (beer, wine or water) and, of course, butter.
There will be alternate food options from Sweet Lou Barbeque and beverage options from Pearl Street Brewery and Wine Guyz available the day of the event.
All are welcome to enjoy lobster and free entertainment at the Rotary Club of La Crosse East's second annual Lobsterfest. 
***Attendees are not required to purchase a Lobster Dinner ticket
***Lobster dinners will be served from 4pm-8pm
Proceeds from the event will continue supporting the development of Adaptive Pathways at Chad Erickson Memorial Park in La Crosse.
Buy your Lobster Dinner ticket here or from a friendly Rotary East member. 



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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Friendship Exchange News

Note from the Friendship Exchange Committee
The Friendship Exchange Committee is looking for clubs to host nine Rotarians and friends from Latvia.  They will be in our district from May 12-24.  There are three couples and three individuals.  The club should agree to host them for a minimum of two days, providing transportation, food, home, and entertainment.  If interested, please contact Dave Clemens at

Rotary Friendship Exchange for 2018 – Latvia/Sweden
With Our District 6250 and District 2410 Located in Latvia and Southeast Sweden
Group from District 2410 Latvia/Sweden will be hosted by our District 6250 for 14 days--May 10-24, 2018. Group from our Rotary District 6250 travels to Latvia/Southeast Sweden for 14 days—Aug. 10-24, 2018.

Our Rotary District 6250 Friendship Exchange Committee has arranged an exchange with Riga, Latvia, and Kalmar, Sweden areas. We will host a group of 8-10 persons from May 10-24, 2018 and then travel to their District 2410 from August 10-24, 2018.  We expect to travel with no more than 10 persons. 
Anticipated expenses per person for participants:

  • Round trip airfare to/from Riga, Latvia
  • Meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Ferry travel across the Baltic Sea
  • Personal costs, such as gifts 

Hosts on each end of the exchange program support the visitors with room, board and some entertainment and perhaps transportation while in the country.
Preliminary Itinerary:
Day 1-7 in Riga, Latvia
Day 8 Ferry travel to Sweden
Day 9-14 in Kalmar region of Sweden
Contact the one of our chairpersons, either Dave Clemens at, or Mark Moody at, if you are interested in hosting or traveling.

Rotary Friendship Exchange for 2018 – Argentina
With Our District 6250 and District 4920 Located Argentina
Group from District 4920 in Argentina will be hosted by our District 6250 for 14 days—June 6-22, 2018.
Group from our Rotary District 6250 travels to District 4920 in Argentina for 14 days—October 6-18, 2018.

Our district has arranged a second Rotary Friendship Exchange for 2018 with District 4920 in Argentina. This is the area just below Buenos Aires, including Mar De Plata, and above Bahia Blanca. We expect to host a group from June 6-22, so they can attend the International Convention in Toronto directly after visiting us. We will travel to Argentina from October 6-18. This exchange will be no larger than 8 persons per group.
Anticipated Expenses for travelers:

  • Round trip airfare to/from Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Costs associated with side visit to Iguazu Falls
  • Personal expenses such as gifts
  • Travel insurance
  • Some meals or room costs at the beginning and end 

Hosts on each end of the exchange program support the visitors with room, board and some entertainment and perhaps transportation while in the country.
Preliminary Itinerary:
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires and enjoy the city
Day 2 Travel to our first hosts
Day 3-12 Visit clubs within the district
Day 13 Visit Iguazu Falls on Brazil border
Day 14 Fly home
Contact the one of our chairpersons, either Dave Clemens at, or Mark Moody at, if you are interested in hosting or traveling.

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Zone News



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 is now in Club Runner.  All Secretaries automatically are designated to update the data in club runner.  If you are having trouble accessing the Club Runner screens or just don't know where to go, please contact the Rotary District 6250 Office at 608.204.9835 or  


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