The District Dispatch

The Monthly Newsletter of Rotary District 6250

January 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

Dear Rotarians,

Upcoming Events

Registration is now open for President Elect Training!

Event Dates: March 9-11, 2012

Location: Westin Chicago Northwest

The first of January was set as New Year’s Day for the first time in 46 B.C.E. by the Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar.  The month of January derives its name from the Roman god, Janus, the god of doors and gates.  This Roman god was depicted with two faces, one looking forward and the other looking back.  Caesar felt that the month named after this god would be the appropriate “door” to the new year.  Of course, the notion of recognizing a time in every year as a period of reflection and renewal is found in cultures throughout the world.

Along with Rotarians everywhere, I have renewed my resolve to make the life of another human being better in the coming year.  Rotary will help make this possible through the active involvement of our clubs in improving our communities and the wonderful world-wide work of The Rotary Foundation, making possible clean water, sanitation, literacy, maternal health, and the eradication of polio.

January 1st marks the half-way point in our Rotary year.  It is a time to reflect and appreciate on the good work that has been accomplished and a time to resolve to meet the important goals that we have set together for our District.  I am very encouraged by what I have seen in our District this year.  Our Ethics Initiative is well under way, most clubs are now on Facebook, membership is increasing, and Rotarians are responding to the call that every Rotarian should give at least something to the Annual Programs Fund of The Rotary Foundation.  I urge every club board to review the requirements of the Presidential Citation and Changemaker Award to see what has been accomplished and what yet needs to be done to qualify your club.  I would like every club in this District to be recognized for the good work that it is doing to make the world a better place. 

On June 8-9, 2012, we will celebrate what’s right with the world at our District Conference which will be held in La Crosse.  I am asking you to include in your list of resolutions for 2012 your attendance at our District Conference, especially if you’ve never attended a District Conference.  I know there will be excellent speakers who will inspire you, great information about programs and activities around our District that you can use in your own club, and an opportunity to make new friends from around our District.  We are going to have a lot of fun and I hope that you will be here.

As we begin the new year, think of the symbol of this Roman god, Janus, with his two faces.  Look back with gratitude for the love of family and friends and the good work you accomplished.  Look forward to this second half of your Rotary year with worthy goals to accomplish and the opportunity to make the world a better place.  Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays, 

Chuck Hanson
District Governor 2011-2012
Rotary District 6250    

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District News, Events and Announcements

District Governor Nominee Announced by Nominating Committee

The District 6250 Nominating Committee met on Saturday, December 10th, 2011 and is pleased to announce they have selected David J. Warren, member and past president of the Rotary Club of Janesville, to serve as District Governor Nominee, whose term as District Governor Nominee shall begin on 1 July 2012.

Congratulations to Dave Warren and to the Rotary Club of Janesville. Good luck to Dave as he begins preparations to serve as District Governor in the Rotary year 2014-2015. Dave will now join our District Leadership Team as District Governor Nominee- Nominee, serving with DGE Rob Stroud, DGN Dean Ryerson and DG Chuck Hanson.

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Rotarians at Work

Two years ago we initiated Rotarians at Work into our district as we joined with over forty other districts in one united day of community service.  In those two years over 1600 Rotarians have participated and each year thirty or more clubs have been involved.  Has your club identified a community service project that you can work on as a part of Rotarians at Work Day on Saturday, April 28th, 2012?  If you read the articles provide by the President of Rotary International, Kalyan Banergee, in both the October and the December issues of The Rotarian you will recall that he pointed out how important it is to Rotary that we include our families in the Rotary experience.  With that in mind let’s ask our non-Rotarian spouses and children to join with us as we provide community service and promote the presence of Rotary in our respective communities.  This is the second call for involvement.  It won’t be the last.  Please, once your club has committed to participate, has identified a project and determined the number who will be participating, send that information along to the District Chair for Rotarians at Work.

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Rotary Club Facebook Pages - 6 Wall Posting Tips

Submitted by Rotarian Justin Garvey

The task of setting up a Rotary Club Facebook page can be daunting.  Consistently worrying about what to type on the page wall can make the project even more overwhelming. Having a plan will help – Start by following a few basic tips for running a low maintenance, effective Rotary club Facebook page.

#1 – Post regular club meeting updates
Constantly thinking of new topics to post about on a Facebook page can be difficult. Posting regular updates in the same format and style every week will make the job easier. Designate a club member as a page administrator responsible for posting weekly meeting information at the same time every week. Start with a description of the club program topic, speaker and any special time or location information. Members will begin to depend on the page as a consistent source of information and return with regularity.

#2 – Post event and meeting pictures and tag members
Take pictures with a digital camera and post them on your club page. Facebook allows users to tag other users in pictures that will then be displayed on the Facebook pages of the individuals tagged. This feature creates tremendous exposure and increases awareness for your Rotary club. Pictures will also encourage new membership and increased involvement in club events.

#3 – Don’t depend on members as the only source of wall posts
Some people only use Facebook as a source of information and not as a means of communication or social interaction. Even if members don’t regularly post on the page, it doesn’t mean they aren’t using the page. Don’t panic if interaction on the page is scarce. Keep posting and assume people are counting on your page as a primary source of information.

#4 – Keep posting consistently – Don’t become discouraged!
Don’t become discouraged if your club’s page only has a small number of “likes”. Many Facebook users will only “like” a page if it shows a history of regular updates. It is critical that you maintain regularity in your posting even if you are not receiving visible feedback. Valuable networks and participation will build over time.

#5 – Emphasize the importance of Facebook responsibilities
Ensure that any club member who is assigned a Facebook administrator responsibility understands the importance of the task. The responsibility should be taken as seriously as any other task assigned by a Rotary Club. A Facebook page might get off to a slow start, but that is not a good reason for the page to be neglected. Keep posting updates with diligence and your persistence will be rewarded.
#6 Report on progress monthly to the club
Just like any other committee report, let the club know how the page is progressing. Use these updates as an opportunity to consistently remind club members about the page and its importance. Consider reporting any information that was shared at a local, district or international level. 

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Make it Required!  First Year Rotarians Attend District Conference

Submitted By Assistant Governor Del Chmielewski CPA

In 2001-2002 I was elected President of the Jefferson Wisconsin Rotary Club. Our International president Rick King, decided (amongst a unending list of other requirements) that to acheive the Presidential citation, one would need to get all his officers to District Conference. He also wanted one new member a month net increase.
Our club decided that as part of our new member indoctrination,  we would tell  new members  they needed to attend District Conference.
Here’s what happened:

  • 14 members attended District Conference from our Club.
  • One new member has held at least three positions at the district level in the past 9 years as well as Club President.
  • One new member became club president and went on to become an Asst. Governor.
  • One new member has done 6 missions to India to conduct Blind camps where hundreds of blind people were given sight thru cataract surgery.
  • One new member travelled to India to give Polio Plus vaccines.
You might have noticed a pattern here. The new members have no preconceived limitations on their involvement. Even though it almost became a full time job for me (being Rotary President) I also got caught up in the excitement and was one of the three Presidents in District 6250 receiving the Presidential Citation that year.

Moral of the Story: Beware, Rotary can be contagious!!!

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India National Immunization Dates Announced - Trip Being Planned

The Indian Government announced the dates of the February Polio National Immunization Days (NID); they will be conducted Sunday, 19 February through Tuesday, 21 February.  You are receiving this note because you have either participated in a NID before, or you have requested to be notified about the next possible NID. 

Over the next week, we will be working with the Indian Rotary leadership to finalize the details of our trip (e.g., hotel reservations, Rotary events, meals to be included, etc.) for our trip.  We know that we will leave North America on Tuesday, 14 February, and return on Wednesday, 22 February.  We hope and expect to finalize our program, the exact cost and all of the details within the next week to 10 days.    You can look at last year’s program to get a sense of the trip we will be planning for 2012.

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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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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

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New Interact Initiative

We could sure use more Rotarians in the world.  The question is where do we find these people?  We really need to gather our youngest and brightest civic-minded individuals full of ideals and vigor.  I am here to tell you that they are right here amongst us.  Where? How could this be?  Look to Interact.  Interact is a Rotary based club designed for youth ages 12-18 who learn the importance of …

  • Developing leadership skills and personal integrity
  • Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others
  • Understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work
  • Advancing international understanding and goodwill

District Governor, Chuck Hanson has asked me to organize an initiative to support Interact clubs in our district.  To start with, we are gathering information on all Interact Clubs in district 6250.  This information will empower us to communicate, organize, share ideas and support each club.  Hopefully, more clubs will be organized.  If you are active in a club, are interested in staring a new Interact club or just know of an existing club, we need to hear about them from you!  Maybe you would like to be on a committee or just an email list so you can better informed about Interact.  We want you on our contact list!  Once we gather contact information we will meet to share thoughts, ideas, support each other and promote Interact.  Together we can find and mentor young people to change the world and make them future Rotarians!  Contact me today at:

“Be the change you want to see in the world”- Mohandas Gandhi

Scott Ryan
District 6250 Interact Chair

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:


Rotary Club of Madison Breakfast: Books for the World Wants to Thank its Helpers

Since 2007 the Madison Breakfast Rotary club has sponsored the Wisconsin operation of Books for the World, a national Rotarian literacy program which provides quality educational materials to teachers and students in third-world countries.  The club’s program has expanded from one with a Dane County focus to one that now encompasses donor schools and libraries from across Wisconsin. 

To thank the many friends and sponsors who have supported this program by donating needed resources, the club is celebrating the program’s success as they load their one-millionth pound of books (500 tons) onto a semi-truck bound for a national staging center near Houston, Texas.  This will occur on Monday, January 30th at the book processing center in the Middleton Business Park.  The Madison Breakfast Rotary will host an informal reception and open house followed by a brief program.  For more information, contact Carol Dombroski at

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Sauk Prairie Rotary Club Helps in Joplin

On Sept. 29 – Oct. 2nd, the Sauk Prairie Rotary Club set out on a 1,300 mile round-trip journey to help with tornado relief efforts in Joplin, MO.  Five months after the tornado touched down in the center of town it was still heart wrenching to see the 1 mile wide by 13 mile long path of destruction.   Bare concrete slabs, windowless shells of buildings, and temporary sites for things such as schools were commonplace.  The one thing that was not lost was the appreciation for the help received.

AmeriCorps is not the most well-known agency for help at a time of a disaster, yet as the Rotary club learned, they are the first to come and the last to leave a site.  The Rotary club utilized this well-run emergency response resource as they offered their time and talents.  When the members walked into the AmeriCorps Relief Center, showcased were groups of white boards.  One set consisted of requests for help, another set had volunteer talents.  They were cross referenced; thereby, creating a suitable match.   Because Sauk Prairie Rotary was registered in advance they were selected for warehouse distribution, electrical wire pulling and building construction.

The process in which material donations get to the recipients is complex.  There needs to be a place to house, sort, organize, distribute and maintain donations.  A fresh set of Sauk Prairie eyes and ideas helped at the Catholic Charities distribution center where the female members were sent to straighten up and reorganize.   

The male members helped on an electrical project by “pulling wires” for a home reconstruction.  One particular home they worked on was for an uninsured elderly couple who received $30,000 in FEMA reimbursement.   Without the help of volunteers, it would be nearly impossible to rebuild and refurnish another home.  To put their devastation into perspective, they were neighbors to the featured family in the Time Magazine – May issue that showed a lady who survived by going into her closet.  Ironically the closet was the only thing that was left to her home.  The tornado took the rest.

On the final day, all Rotary of Sauk Prairie members helped frame and set trusses.  The foreman of the project showed each person what to do.  Amazingly, even without prior experience, each person’s small contribution resulted in a building that was ready to be roofed and sided.

Click here to read the full article.

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Rotary Clubs Win Top Prize in Holiday Parades 

Members of both the Marshfield Noon Rotary and Sunrise Rotary of Marshfield won top prize at two local Holiday Parades.  The Rotary Winter Wonderland team that is responsible for decorating the Marshfield Wildwood Zoo with over 1,000,000 lights for their annual holiday event decided to ramp up their float for the local parades. 

A group of volunteers spent many hours building a float that captures the spirit of Rotary Winter Wonderland.  The float includes an animated smaller version of the Mega Tree that greets visitors to the park, as well as flashing lights and giant present boxes, great for holding kids during the parade.

Not only does the group wow the crowd with a great lighted float and holiday music, they also hand out Winter Wonderland booklets that describe the event in Marshfield.  They also handed out Winter Wonderland tattoos and Silly Bands.

They marched in Marshfield on November 17th and Wausau on December 2nd, in front of thousands of spectators.  The group also plans to march in the upcoming Rudolph Holiday parade on December 10th.

Ben Lee, Rotary Winter Wonderland Chairman

Reedsburg Western Sauk County Christmas Collections

The Reedsburg Western Sauk County Rotary for the month of Nov. and Dec. is donating food to our Local Food  Pantry in Reedsburg.

Pictured from left is Marion Zimmerman , Chris Anderson and Ann Seamonson.

Also they are collecting toys at their Christmas Party for the children .  


Rotary Scouts Set Example

In 1992 the Rotary Club of Wisconsin Rapids sponsored the formation of Rotary Special Needs Boy Scout Troop 105. The goal was to offer a complete scouting experience to men , with special needs, fifteen years of age and older. At a joint meeting, this past November, Troop 105 and Rotary celebrated their nineteenth successful year together.

As part of Rotary's continuing support, members of the Rotary Boy Scout Committee, Interact Students and individual Rotarians join Troop 105 for a special event such as the annual Christmas Gift Shopping for Needy Children. Both Wal-Mart and Hotel Mead generously support that evening.

At 5:30 p.m. on November 30th the troop and guests met at Wal-Mart. All of the scouts and leaders, wearing their dress uniform shirts, quickly formed shopping teams, selected carts, discussed their gift and spending goals and headed out for the toy department. Guests tagged along to share the action. It was clear that our scouts had done this before. They were involved happy shoppers who went right to work filling their carts. When finished, the teams gathered through check-out and loaded the gifts for delivery to Wood County Social Services where they will be selected for delivery to the children.

The troop next moved to Hotel Mead for a delicious Pizza Buffet. When everyone had gathered, before the meal, all rose to join in The Pledge of Allegiance, The Scout Oath and a prayer given by one of the scouts. After the tables were cleared, the troop held a Court of Honor to award the host of merit badges earned during the summer. As each scout was recognized and given his badges all could see his joy of achievement and note that it was shared by a caring group of adult leaders, many of them parents.

The meeting concluded with an entertaining slide presentation that recalled all aspects of a wonderful week of Boy Scout Camping, in early June, at Camp Tesomas near Rhinelander. We learned that the Boy Scout Camp Staff works closely with our troop to ensure that our scouts can enjoy everything that Tesomas offers. The reaction and comments, by our scouts, confirmed that the week at camp is the high point of the year.

The evening with Troop 105 clearly showed why it is a significant positive factor in the lives of our scouts and in the lives of those who care for them. It was also clear why our troop enjoys continued growth, enthusiastic high attendance and broad community involvement and support. Rotary Special Needs Boy Scout Troop 105 is an excellent example of the Rotary Ideal of Community Service.



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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