The District Dispatch

The Monthly Newsletter of Rotary District 6250

December Edition

Rotary Lights - La Crosse, WI

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,

We are so lucky to live in Wisconsin.  One of the many things that I have enjoyed as your Governor has been to travel around the State of Wisconsin visiting clubs in our District.  As I write to you, I have now completed 59 of my 60 planned club visits.  I have traveled to some places that I have not visited for a long time and in some cases, my very first visit.  All this “car time” has given me the opportunity to appreciate the wonderful lifestyle we enjoy and the gift of Rotary.

We live in a state with great natural beauty, rich agricultural land, clean water and clean air.  When you take a drink of water, you don’t worry about whether or not it is going to make you sick.  We all enjoy nutritious food.  Our children go to good schools and we have in this state some of the finest institutions of higher education anywhere in the world.  If any one of us gets sick, we have access to world class healthcare.  Nobody has to worry about going through check points or hitting a road-side bomb on your way to work, or to our next Rotary meeting.  We enjoy the blessings of family, friends, and meaningful work.  We enjoy a level of freedom and stability that simply is just not found in most of the world.  We also need to remember that we enjoy all of this bounty and opportunity by virtue of our birth. 

All of you reading this letter enjoy some discretionary income and some discretionary time.  There are people in your community, this state, and this country who, like you, enjoy the same blessings.  However, unlike you, many choose to use their extra time and disposable income for themselves.  You chose to be a Rotarian.  In doing so, you committed to give some of your time and some of your income for the benefit of someone else.  This makes you very special as far as I am concerned.  On behalf of District 6250 and Rotary International, I want to thank you and Rotarians like you around the world who care enough about someone else to help make the world a better place. 

We have entered the holiday season with its focus on gratitude, good will, and peace.  It is a time of family, friends, and festing.  It is also a time when we can reflect on the gift of Rotary.

I recently received a letter from a club member in our District who said that his main reason for joining Rotary over 30 years ago was the fellowship of Rotary and the pleasure of conversation with friends.  Without question, fellowship is a core value of Rotary, but only one of several core values.  Another core value is service.  What Paul Harris and his initial small group of friends discovered was that their fellowship alone was for them not enough.  What made the experience fulfilling was service to others.  It is the concept of “Service Above Self” that we know so well.

As an active member of Rotary, one receives the gift of fellowship and fun, but also the satisfaction of giving of our time, talent, and treasure to make the life of others better in our local communities and around the world.  The gift of Rotary keeps on giving, both in our own lives and in the lives of those we serve.  We make a difference locally when we support Youth Exchange, RYLA, Interact, provide scholarships, improve public parks, and fill food pantries.  We help to bring peace on earth and good will to all through our gifts to The Rotary Foundation for clean water, sanitation, literacy, maternal health, and the eradication of polio.  Thank you for the gift of you!  You are Rotary.

May we all experience peace, happiness and love this holiday season and throughout the  new year as we “Reach Within to Embrace Humanity” and give the gift of Rotary.

Happy Holidays, 

Chuck Hanson
District Governor 2011-2012
Rotary District 6250    

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District News, Events and Announcements

Paul Harris Fellow - Foundation Points Match

Most everyone knows it takes a gift of $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation to be named or to be named a Paul Harris Fellow but through the month of December a gift of $500 will also achieve that honor!  Thanks to a very generous District Rotarian, your $500 gift to the Annual Programs Fund will be matched with 500 recognition points which results in a total “recognition amount” of $1,000.

In order to qualify, a Global Contribution Form must be completed and sent only to Annual Programs Chair, David Warren, 430 S. John Paul Rd, Milton, WI, 53563.    If you have any questions, please direct them to David Warren at

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Recgonition Points - What are They and What Can You Do With Them?

Many of our clubs and many of our members have untapped resources credited to our respective accounts at the Rotary Foundation…I am referring to RECOGNITION POINTS.  Recognition points historically accrued after we had received our first Paul Harris Award and then provided additional support for the Rotary Foundation….a point for each dollar contributed.  When we had contributed a second $1000 we became a Paul Harris +1 and had banked 1000 recognition points.  As of October 1st anyone who contributes earns recognition points with the first dollar contributed…no more waiting until the first Paul Harris Award is achieved.

What can we do with “recognition points?”   The intention of the Rotary Foundation is that they be used as a marketing tool to promote the foundation.

  • A club, or an individual, can “gift” points that will accelerate a Paul Harris Award to a worthy member of the club or to a community activist who, while not a member of the club, has provided a service that merits recognition. 
  • Some clubs have “marketed” recognition points to increase giving to the foundation by offering a “match”  of recognition points to a contribution.  For example: A club wants to increase their support for the Polio Plus campaign.  A member contributes a minimum of $100 dollars and the club matches that with 100 recognition points…contribute $500 and receive 500 recognition points and a Paul Harris Award.
Information on recognition points balances is available at the Club Report Summary which can be retrieved by your club president or secretary through member access at Rotary .org.  Need more information or assistance?  Ask your Area Foundation Coordinator or any member of the District Foundation Committee.  Let’s put this resource to work for the benefit of our Rotary Foundation and for the good work that our foundation supports.

Dean Dickinson
Area Foundation Coordinator                
Groups 3 and 10

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District Simplified Grant Supports Clean Water and Scholarships

Two of our district's clubs used funds from our District 6250 Rotary Foundation District Simplified Grant to sustain clean water efforts and provide needy students with high school scholarships. 

In October 2010 Rotarian Dave Hataj of the Edgerton Rotary Club had an idea to develop a relationship between the Danli Honduras Rotary Club and World Resources Group (WRG), an NGO that operates a community center in the impoverished village of Linaca not far from Danli Honduras. 

The Danli Rotary Club had installed nearly 7,000 CAWST Version 9 Bio-Sand Water Filters in and around the Danli area over the last several years prior to 2011 however did not have the resources to follow up regularly with the owners of the filters to see if they were being properly used and maintained and did not know if the filters were in proper working order. 

World Resources Group had been scholarshiping students to high school and as a requirement for that privilege each scholarship student is required to provide 10 hours per week community service. 
In 2011 WRG had 60 students in the scholarship program equating to 600 hours per week of community service and limited outlets to apply this large amount of community service hours. 

So began the relationship between WRG and the Danli Rotary Club, facilitated by Dave Hataj of the he Edgerton Rotary Club.  WRG's student scholars began taking a census of the Linaca community and performing assessments of the installed filters.  The program has been a success and mutually beneficial to the Danli Rotary Club, WRGs scholarship students, and the community of Linaca Honduras.  
Click here to read the full article with pictures.

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Why Did You Join Rotary?

Did you join Rotary because someone asked you to join?  Did you join because you visited a club, found the opportunities for both fellowship and increased business contacts to justify the expense of membership?  Nothing wrong with either of those reasons for joining…in fact Rotary was founded on those very ideas.  Maybe you joined because you were aware of the good things your club did by way of community service and wanted to be a part of an organization that made a difference.

Carolyn Jones, the first woman to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Rotary International Foundation has pointed out that, “no one joins Rotary thinking that they want to do a water project”.  But consider that the Rotary Club of Holmen, chartered a little over four years ago has engaged in a series of water projects in the barrios of Lima, Peru and will conclude that effort with their fifth project early next year.  The bio-sand filters they provided have provided clean water to hundreds of families and the children do not get sick from “bad water” any longer.  The Rotary Club of Chippewa Falls provided Buena Vista, Boliva with a clean water supply when they were made aware that thirty percent of the children died before they reached the age of ten…because of “bad water”.  Most recently, Cheryl Mader and Joe Ruskey, of the Rotary Club of Prairie du Chien, raised over $36,000 from thirty one clubs in our district, which was matched by the District Foundation Committee, matched again by the Rotary International Foundation and then matched again by USAID…all on behalf of a collaborative water/sanitation project in Ghana that will provide water and facilities to over 87,000 people in Ghana.  No one joins Rotary to do a water project but yet….that is exactly what Rotarians do.
It is likely that no one has joined Rotary over the past 25 years because they wanted to be involved in our effort to eradicate polio.  In 1987 there were 125 countries endemic with polio, today there are four.  In 1987 there were 350,000 cases of polio reported, this year there have been just 502.  Rotary has been involved in vaccinating two billion children against polio.  Eight million children have been spared the disease, 800,000 lives have been saved.  No…no one joins Rotary because they want to eradicate polio but yet…that is exactly what Rotarians do.
The common thread in all of this is you and me and the contributions we make to our Rotary Foundation.  Thank you to all who support the mission of the Rotary Foundation which is “to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, support of education and alleviation of poverty….The things that Rotarians do…no matter why they joined.
Submitted by Dean Dickinson
Past District Governor              

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Rotary International Convention, Bangkok

From May 6 through May 9, 2012, members of Rotary International will be attending the 103rd Rotary International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand. 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. 


Rotary Welcomes You to Bangkok 2012 from Rotary International on Vimeo.

I hope you will consider joining me and a number of other Rotarians from our district. From now until December 1, the registration fee is $160, which is as lower than it has been in years. You can register on line (visit for information and discount codes) and you can take advantage of a special airfare promotion on Cathay Pacific from Chicago to Hong Kong to Bangkok, leaving May 1 and returning to Chicago on May 11, following an overnight stay in Hong Kong. Our zone has also arranged for a half-day city tour, boat ride and dinner during the convention. Past District Governor Dean Dickinson is the contact person for this event.

If you have never attended an RI Convention, talk to someone who has.  I'm confident that he or she will tell you how inspiring and exciting it was, no matter which RI convention he or she attended.  I encourage you to experience an RI convention for yourself and this one promises to be one of the best.

If you have never visited Asia, this is a wonderful opportunity to experience a fascinating culture with friendly people, wonderful cuisine and exotic scenery. Thailand happens to be the only country in the world ruled by a king born in the United States. It is a country that caters to tourists and a city that is as cosmopolitan as any in Asia. Combine the speakers, fellowship, workshops inherent in a  Rotary convention with an exotic destination and you have a compelling opportunity coming up next May.  Sign up soon and make your plans to join me and thousands of Rotarians from around the world in Bangkok.

Rob Stroud, DGE

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Bangkok Convention Airfare and Dinner Cruise Packages

Savat-di-khap!  Welcome to Bangkok!

The 2012 Rotary International Convention will be held May 6-9, 2012 in Bankgkok, Thailand.  In addition to a very low registration fee of $160, there are special airfare packages to get you there and Zone events once you are there!

Click here for special airfare information (pdf).

Click here for information on the Bangkok City Tour and Dinner Cruise on the "River of Kings" hosted by Zones 28 & 29 (pdf).

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Great Information from the Zone 28 Foundation Newsletter

The Zone 28 Rotary Foundation Newsletter can be downloaded here!


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Busy Time for Rotary Youth Exchange  


It has been a busy time in the world of Rotary Youth Exchange. It’s hard to believe it is time to plan for next August’s outbound students. Early in November we interviewed exchange students for next year. Yes, a lot of planning goes into readying our students to go out next August. Now that we have chosen them, the students have the tough time of waiting until January when they find out what country they have been assigned. Sharon and Doug Richmond do an excellent job in managing the whole outbound program.


Our current outbound students have shared what it is like to be away from home for Thanksgiving. Some in the southern hemisphere are on their summer break and traveling… a nice way to take your mind off being away during a family oriented holiday. Some have reported that they were surprised by their host families who prepared a Thanksgiving meal. One mentioned she could not find canned pumpkin so had to get a whole pumpkin and make a pumpkin pie from scratch. Not many of us do that anymore. Our inbound students have enjoyed the feast day but I think some enjoyed “Black Friday” more!

Several inbound and rebound students spent a Saturday morning helping having fun with the Madison Breakfast Rotary Club assembling Christmas trees for the University Hospital in Madison. Check out the photos. They had a great time and realized the fun in doing service projects. Please include our inbounds, rebounds and future outbounds in your club’s service projects.


As we approach the holiday season, please include our students. They love getting to know our customs. Also remember that many of them have special holidays and customs or their own. I know they would love to share them and it might help them avoid some degree of homesickness. Don’t forget our outbound students. Communicate with them if your club is sponsoring an outbound student. This is a tough time for them.


Judy Levine
District Youth Exchange Chair


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Supporting the Short Term Youth Exchange Program - Requires No Financial Committment from Your Club 

Our district goal for 2012 is to build our Short Term Youth Exchange Program (STEP) to 25 participants. To do this, we need your help in promoting the program. Do you or someone in your cllub have a connection at your local High School? Do you know any 15-19 year old students who may be interested in spending one month abroad this coming summer? Help us get the word out about this great opportunity.  I challenge each club to have one student apply!

For the STEP program, high school students, age 15-19 are paired with a student abroad where they will spend one month together here in their home and one month together in their host sister/brother's home. The program costs are all borne by the student: a $250 application fee, plus flight and spending money. I do however encourage clubs to consider offsetting part or all of the application fee to deserving applicants if the program aligns with your club goals in supporting youth exchange. There is a requirement from the sponsoring Rotary Club is to screen the candidate and family, and endorse their application form. That is the extent of your obligation.

Visit the Study/Youth Program section of the website to download a flier and pass out at your next club meeting.  The application deadline is February 28th.

Janine O'Rourke
Rotary District 6250 Short-Term Youth Exchange Coordinator

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STEP -  Short Term Exchange Program Summer 2012

Time to start thinking "Short Term Exchange" for Summer 2012

District 6250 relaunched the STEP (Short Term Exchange Program) for youth in 2011, with three high school students in the district participating this past summer. Please help us growth this program by encouraging strong candidates to apply. High school students, age 15-19 are paired with a student abroad where they will spend one month together here in their home and one month together in their host sister/brother's home.

The program is quite affordable to the student: a $250 application fee plus flight and spending money. The only obligation from the Rotary Club is to screen the candidate and family, and then endorse their application form. Visit the Study/Youth Program section of the website to download a flier and pass out at your next club meeting.

Applications are due February 28th, 2012.

Janine O'Rourke
Rotary District 6250 Short-Term Youth Exchange Coordinator




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:


Strike up the Band! Jefferson Rotary Commits to Raising $80,000 for Park Pavilion

The Jefferson Rotary Club has committed to raise another $80,000 to build the long-planned “band shell” at Jefferson’s Rotary Waterfront Park.
The original concept of a band shell has been expanded in size and scope and will now be known as the Rotary Waterfront Park Pavilion. In addition, the project includes construction of a separate nearby building to house restrooms and a concession stand.

Click here to read the full press release on this great project!

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Janesville Rotary Hosts Light Show Party for Rotarians

Attention All Wisconsin Rotarians,

Please join us on December 17th from 8-10 pm at the Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville for our Holiday Light Show After Hours Party- (Adults Only)
The admission is just $5 and includes a dazzling light show, music and cash bar.  Come early and do a little holiday shopping. We hope to see you all there.

From the Janesville Noon Rotary Club and Rotary Botanical Gardens

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Beloit, Edgerton, Stoughton and Janesville Morning and Noon Clubs Host “Packer Party for Polio”

Monday night, November 14 was not just an evening to celebrate another Green Bay Packer win, but also an opportunity for a large group of Rotarians and friends to do their part to help eradicate polio.  Members from the Beloit, Edgerton, Stoughton and Janesville Morning and Noon clubs hosted a “Packer Party for Polio” at the Janesville Armory’s Drill Hall Theatre.
The event included standard tailgate party fare, appetizers and desserts as well as a complete cash bar.   A giant TV screen was provided to watch the game action.   Various pools and games of chance were run by each club with the proceeds going to Polio Plus.  Several items of sporting memorabilia and game tickets were also raffled off.  The evening was kicked off with an address from Randy Sproule, the district’s Rotary Foundation Polio Chairman and eight year old Skylar Steker who sang the National Anthem.  In total, over $4,500 was raised to be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The event also served as a welcome party for Jan Nichols, a polio survivor, author and speaker at this year’s District Conference.   The five clubs flew her from New York to make presentations at the club meetings and various student organizations and health care groups.  She was also a guest on a local radio talk show.

As of November 11, over $195 million towards the $200 million Gates challenge has been raised.  For more information on contributing to the Rotary Foundation please contact David Warren, Annual Programs Chair at

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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