Click or tap play on the video above, or click 'read more' if you'd like to see the full transcript and get links to all of the goodies Ben shared in his message.


Video Transcript:

Hello my Rotarian Friends! District Governor, Ben Bauer here! It's an exciting time to be a Rotarian. Our clubs are doing amazing work and providing real opportunities to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves. If you didn't get to this video by receiving our District Newsletter, check that out! If you're a 6250 Rotarian, you get it each month via email, or you can see the current edition and several past versions at We call it the District Dispatch and it includes some great stories, helpful updates and inspiration for you and your club.

August is Membership and New Club Development Month, a time for Rotary leaders to focus on one of the most important part of our organization, our members. This year, Jennifer Jones is emphasizing comfort and care for our membership as one of her four presidential initiatives. Throughout the month of August, read inspiring stories of how districts and clubs are creating a nurturing environment and a welcoming culture that tells everyone that they belong. And find a variety of resources that will help you build and strengthen your membership. Check out the links for these amazing stories and resources. My big hairy audacious goal for our organization is that everyone in our communities knows that they belong and CAN be a part of Rotary. That may happen by joining one of our clubs, or, it could come at a different stage of the Rotary Journey…maybe by being a part of a service project as a non-member! Let's connect people to Rotary, show them and invite them to be a part of what we're made of and the membership will come naturally!

Our District has a membership goal of getting to 2,560 members. We're 152 members away from this goal as of the beginning of the month. This is a cumulative goal set by clubs who entered goals in the Goal Center at and an assumption of a net gain of 1 member for clubs who didn't enter their goals by July 1. While this is a District goal, it's all of ours to measure, learn from and hopefully achieve. Of course we'd love to hit that goal, and a successful year won't be measured exclusively by it. We'll keep our focus on the comfort and care of our members and do our best to empower, strengthen and support our clubs to do what's best for your club. Maybe you have no problem inviting new members, but you know you have a problem keeping those members around. Do your best to care for the members you do have and connect them to a meaningful Rotary experience. Don't know what they want or need? Don’t hesitate to ask. If you're doing a great job of keeping members, then attracting new members is where it's at. It starts with an invitation.

Let's not forget that one great way to bring new members in is by creating new clubs. There are people in our communities, connected by a common bond, that just need someone or some group to help them get connected. Are you that person? That person who can connect that group of people to Rotary? Or are you that person who's part of another circle of like minded people that could amplify your impact through Rotary? A new cause based club, or satellite club sponsored by your current club may just be the way to do it! While August is Membership and New Club Development Month, and naturally our focus goes to growing in numbers, let's do it by providing value, comfort and care to all.

As we move through the first quarter of the Rotary year, let's pause to celebrate some success from our Rotary Foundation giving in 2021-2022. We achieved both of our major goals last year as District 6250 gave $410,706 to the Annual Fund, that's 30% over goal and a per capita of $165.27 per member! We also achieved our Polio Plus goal as we gave $99,230 to help eradicate this disease that continues to show that it will pop up until we finally stop it. Our goals for this Rotary year will push us but I know we can do it. We'll shoot for $322,450 to the Annual Fund an d $111,390 Polio Plus. Stay tuned for a great new way to encourage giving to Polio Plus through a new recognition program called the Polio Plus Society. More to come later this year.

The dollars are powerful and the real impact of these dollars is the impact they make on our world through District and Global Grants. And when we come together and club clubs collaborate even more amazing is possible. One great example is the Rotary Free Mobile Clinic which brought together 14 clubs and several other partners, along with a global grant to provide healthcare on wheels to people who need it most in the greater La Crosse area.

Before I go, thank you to all of you who have already responded to our Member Survey.  If you haven't taken the survey yet, check your email or go to and click the link on our homepage. Your feedback is so valuable and I'm certain that the 5 minutes you spend will come back in meaningful change and support for you and your club. Click here to take the survey! 

I can't wait to see many of you at a club meeting or event over the next few months to meet new friends, see old ones and to continue to learn and share stories of how we are Imagining Rotary and creating life changing action all over the world and right here at home.

See you soon!