Good Day, Rotarians!
Today is our daughter’s birthday which grounds me in the fact that it’s early May. Other grounding realities are the pride evoked in memories from TriCon2022, the awareness that fewer than two months remain in this Rotary year, and that Rotary Youth Exchange is back. May is Youth Services month.
District Governors are officers of Rotary International. One of RI’s charges to the governors is to hold a district conference. Over the years and across districts, conferences take many shapes and forms. A few years ago, District 6250 voted to participate in TriCons every year. Next year the three Wisconsin (plus our slice of Minnesota, plus 6220’s Michigan’s UP) Districts will gather in La Crosse in late April for Governor Ben’s conference. Save the date.
We three District Governors were enormously proud and humbly grateful for the hours and hours of generous, big-hearted service that produced TriCon2022. Rotarians enjoyed intelligent and engaging keynotes (including the brilliant Rick Kyte – Rotary Club of La Crosse and Karen Kenrick-Hands – Rotary Club of Madison), wide-ranging and smart breakout sessions, and enthusiastic fellowship. It was good to be together live at The Osthoff.
On the Thursday evening preceding TriCon’s Friday kick-off, we celebrated 6250’s newest Arch Klumph Society members, Karen Kendrick-Hands and Larry Hands. Larry reflected on the compelling nature of Rotary giving and investment. While Rotary has an endowed fund, Karen and Larry opted to put their generous gift to work immediately, knowing projects done to Sustain the Environment will themselves be an endowment - to life itself.
During our District Annual Meeting, I thanked the following Rotarians for their District service. Please accept my thanks to all of you reading – district leaders rise out of club leadership and cannot serve well without your fellowship support and your service sacrifices.
In alphabetical order: Bob Allen – Assistant Governor, Edwin Bos – PDG and Vice Governor, Mike Dillis – Hybrid Meeting Task Force Chair, Sherry Hillesheim – Assistant Governor, John Locke – District Membership Chair, Marth Klatt – District Trainer, Mike Kloss – Assistant Governor (Mike will be serving an extra year), Dick Spencer – District Treasurer, Marie Whisenant – At Large Director.
The Rotary Year
Is there something left undone, unexpressed, unplanned? Give yourself a big lift, right-size a plan for action, and act. Don’t waste another minute inside wishful thinking or discouragement. Act and be energized. Let’s finish happy and strong.
Our Future International Leaders
During the Fall, 2019 Rotary Summits held around the district, participants were encouraged to tell stories of meaningful Rotary service. Over and over the stories revolved around Rotary Youth Exchange. Hundreds of service fires were stoked remembering moments of international understanding, goodwill, and peace (mostly peace!) grown in youth exchange. It was a pleasure seeing a few gaggles of outbound students in their navy blazers at TriCon2022. There is so much hope in youth and youth exchange!
And there is hope in youth leadership too. Later this month at the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA), students sponsored by our clubs will gather to learn about leadership embraced and stimulated by Rotary culture. May our RYLA leaders and participants be encouraged, wise, and have a ton of fun. We are building our future.
Long Live Rotary and Rotary ideals.
 District Governor Karen
Global Grants – Solar Power for Dependable Water
Congratulations to the Lake Mills Club for approval of a $96,650 Global Grant to provide solar power equipment to provide energy for a dependable water source in the village of Goregaon, India. A $20,000 donation from the Lake Mills Club was matched by a District Grant funded by Rotarian contributions to the Annual Fund. We look forward to sharing the results of this project with you upon completion.
District Grant Applications Due May 25
Over $90,000 is available to match club funds through our District Grant program in 2022-2023. District Grant applications are due on May 25. Local and international projects are welcome. Matching funds can be requested up to $5,000 for a one-club project, $10,000 for a two-club project, and $14,500 for a three-club project. The application form and supporting materials are available on the District 6250 website under the Foundation/Grants menu or use this link:
Polio Plus – Children are Counting on Rotarians to Finish the Job
During the past month, we have learned about two new cases of wild polio in Pakistan. Both cases come from the same area of the country. The good news is that we know about it, treatment can be provided, and the urgency for vaccinations is reinforced with local and national leaders. We also continue to encounter vaccine derived polio in Africa.
While this news is disappointing, it also reminds Rotarians that we cannot let our guard down. If  Rotary were to stop vaccinations today, it is estimated that at least 200,000 children across the globe would be paralyzed by polio within 10 years. That would mean that polio could make its way back to our own communities.
Children are counting Rotarians to see this through.  If you haven’t given to Polio Plus this year, now would be a good time to do so. To learn more and/or donate, visit And don’t forget, every dollar you give is matched 2:1 by the Gates Foundation. That’s high impact giving!
Dwight Heaney
Rotary Club of Fort Atkinson
District 6250 Foundation Committee Chair



Youth Message

Over the last couple of months, I've spent some time away from work due to the birth of my first child, Sawyer. It has been an amazing experience to become a mother and with April being Maternal and Child Health month for Rotary it seems fitting to reflect on how important that focus really is. Due to complications during delivery, Sawyer spent the first two and a half weeks of his life in the NICU, some of that time in La Crosse and some in Rochester. While I feel incredibly blessed to have some of the best healthcare options available to me, it really made me think about how that's not always an option for new mothers around the world. I think of the work that Rotary has done for millions of mothers and children and it just puts a smile on my face to be just a small part in that larger effort across the globe. 
In District 6250 Youth news, we are starting to return to normal! If you haven't started recruiting students for RYLA, now's a great time. We're returning with an in person event on Saturday, May 21st at Upham Woods. I know that the RYLA team is so excited to be in person and are planning a fantastic event for these students. 
Our Exchange Programs are firing back up again and some clubs have already started to receive their Inbound assignments for the long term exchange program. The leadership team is working hard to revamp some training and ensure that we haven't lost our touch over the last couple of years off. In addition, Bill Pritchard has volunteered to be Jan Bonsett-Veal's co-chair. Jan will become the first ever woman to lead the Central States Rotary Youth Exchange program soon, which is a huge accomplishment! We are so proud to have such awesome representation from 6250 at the Central States level! 
I sometimes feel like as the Youth Services chair, that I might not be doing enough, but then I realize that the team is just that good. The leaders who run District 6250's Youth Programs are experienced and dedicated to success, which makes them run so smoothly. It's comforting to know that all of the behind the scenes work that goes into it is being done by Rotarians that have a passion for youth, and the future of Rotary. 
Laura Lee

International Service Committee

This month here are some examples of how the District International Service Committee is assisting clubs like yours.  For some interesting international Shark Tank projects read on!  Also, details on how, on your behalf, we approach overseas Rotary Clubs to identify solid Global Grant projects that have strong host support.  Contact any of us if we can be of Service to your club!  International Service Committee EM Addresses
District 6250 Foundation Inc. - Ukrainian Relief - $60,000 raised to date.
Assisting in leveraging existing relationships with specific Rotary Clubs in the Ukraine, Poland (pictured below) and the Netherlands who are heavily involved the Ukraine refugee situation.  Funds have been sent and detailed Project Report information can be found here:  District 6250 Ukrainian Relief Reports
Sun Prairie Rotary Club – PE John Holevoet.
Introduction to a Global Grant involving the Rotary Club of Poznan, Poland and the Zlotowianka Foundation.  Subject to Sun Prairie Board Approval.
La Crescent Rotary Club – PE John Farnen MD
Laying contacts with Rotary in Nepal with a view toward the possibility of a Global Grant (if not with La Crescent then another 6250 club). Also, possible interest in specific Ukrainian relief efforts.  Subject to La Crescent Board Approval. 
La Crosse After Hours Club – Rotarian Sierra Lyon
Assistance in researching and establishing connections for a possible Global Grant in either Suriname or Columbia.  The two countries were identified by the club as of highest interest together with specific focus areas.  Subject to LCAH Board Approval.
All District 6250 Clubs - Opportunities in the Mediterranean. 
Via Zoom, five small projects (under $8,000 each) presented at the Mediterranean Rotaract “Shark Tank” finale.  These are possible District Grant projects open to all District 6250 clubs.  Three projects are in Lebanon, one in Tunisia, one in Morocco.  Link to the video recording of “Shark Tank” can be found here (warning, includes heavy District 6250 “shark” involvement :)  Recording
Team One – “Ally for Change” presented Aqua Agri Act (Lebanon).  Involves water filtration, a park, and irrigation.
Team Two – Dreamers presented Foodies (Tunisia and Egypt).  Pilot program to divert restaurant preparation food waste from landfill to feeding hungry.
Team Three- BeyCycle (Lebanon).  Three phase approach (plan, design, implement) to improving bicycle safety and encourage more bicycle usage.
Team Four – Cleaning Valley of Wad Martil (Morocco).  A one-time event to clean up a garbage strewn area.
Team Five – Les Rebelles (Lebanon).  Pilot program to divert waste from rug making to make purses.
Finally, this correspondence was recently sent to an overseas Rotarian already known to our District.  It illustrates how the ISC attempts to help District 6250 clubs identify solid projects and partners by leveraging existing Rotary relationships.
Thanks very much for your response.  We’re very much looking for Global Grant projects that lead to long-term relationships between Rotarians in District 6250 and Rotarians in your country, district, and clubs. 
Of course, the larger the project the more challenging it is to realize.  Therefore, we prefer smaller Global Grants as our clubs can more easily assist with these. 
Here are some guidelines that we use to determine whether to support a Global Grant.  We often find that following these guidelines leads to stronger Global Grant applications.
  • We look for Global Grants that have Host partner support at both the Club and District level.
  • We look for projects where the International Global Grant club partner still needs to be identified and where one of our clubs could become that partner.
  • We look for strong Host Club financial contributions and grant writing abilities.
  • We look for projects which will receive strong support from your District in terms of a DDF (District Designated Funds) contribution.
  • We look to establish relationships that extend beyond the Global Grant … maybe Friendship Exchange, Youth Exchange, future projects etc..
In return we have clubs who are interested in participating as the International Partner on a Global Grant.  They could offer:
  • International Partner Club financial contributions.
  • 1:1 District 6250 DDF match of the Club’s contribution.
  • Support in writing the grant (as possible) and in servcing as a liaison with the Rotary Foundation / Rotary Foundation Staff (if needed).
Please let us know if what we’ve outlined above is of any interest. 

May Membership Update

Hello Rotarians,
Please step forward if you are interested in being apart of the Membership team. There are many different roles available and being involved at the district level on a dynamic team helping support the membership of our clubs is a great way to “Do Rotary”! The relationships and impact you will make may enhance your life and could even be life changing! Please email if you would like to learn more, or if you would like to nominate another Rotarian.
The deadline for the New Member Project grant is May 30th. We have only had 2 clubs apply so far for the five $1000 grants we are issuing for adding 4 new club members this year. Please complete the application here:
We still have FREE “Give Polio the Finger” sweatshirts and shirts to give away to clubs wanting to raise money for Polio Plus. The Janesville Noon Rotary club was able to use these shirts to raise $400! Please email to get some free shirts to use for your fundraiser!
Have a great May!
John Locke
D6250 Membership Chair

Choosing New Rotarians

There are many processes followed by Rotary Clubs that are so engrained that one thinks that they are not optional and do not vary among clubs. One of these processes is how community members move from potential, to prospective, to new Rotarians. Two of our District 6250 clubs have recently taken a fresh and critical look at their clubs’ paths to membership and arrived at different designs while maintaining the same attitudes of respect, care, and clarity.
In one case, a prospective Rotarian is presented by a Rotarian to the club’s board. If the board decides to extend an invitation to membership, the decision is announced to the club. Any club member can oppose the membership without stating the reason. This club trusts the members to use good judgment and apply strong ethics.
In the other case, a prospective Rotarian is presented by a Rotarian to the club’s membership committee. If the membership committee decides that the membership should be extended to the prospect, the committee recommends that action to the board. The board’s decision is final. There is no opportunity for the rest of the club to comment or stop the invitation to membership.
During a recent club board meeting visit I asked a third club about their process. This club has a new member application that is completed by the prospect (not a Rotarian) and the board votes on the new member. The prospect must join attend the club for a couple of club meetings, socials, or service projects before submitting their application.
If you have questions about your process, ask yourselves if it is working well for all. If it is not, think about what might be changed to improve the process. At that point, do not hesitate to engage other clubs’ leaders and our District Membership Chair, John Locke for ideas.
District Governor Karen

District 6250 Hybrid Meeting Task Force

You may recall from past articles that our task force identified three goals it wanted to accomplish. We have previously reported on the first two goals. Our final goal is  “Facilitate the creation of virtual tactics for use in growing club memberships.”
As a condition of receiving funding from the District, each club was required to submit a final report. One of the questions they were asked to address was if the hybrid meeting format had contributed to membership growth. Several clubs reported adding to their membership count since early 2021 due to the use of hybrid meetings.
If your club has experienced a positive membership growth and is planning to continue providing hybrid meetings we strongly encourage you to “tell your story.. If you need help developing that story we encourage you to reach out to the District 6250 Public Image Committee. One of their focus areas is to support clubs’ individual public image efforts, through education and resource-sharing. They can be found at
Should you have questions about any aspect of hybrid meeting technology or best practices, drop me a note at  
Mike Dillis
District 6250 Hybrid Meeting Task Force Chair

If you’re still on the fence about going to the Rotary International Convention, maybe learning about some of the specific content you can take in is what will nudge you into joining me in Houston!?!
You can learn from experts outside Rotary, as well as from members who are leading high-impact projects, by attending breakout sessions at the Rotary International Convention in Houston, Texas - June 4th-8th. A few sessions to consider include:
  • Designing Results-Oriented Service Projects
  • Scaling Impact: Lessons from Programs of Scale
  • Measuring for Success
  • Tap into the Network to Increase Project Impact
  • Enhance Your Club’s Impact and Reach Through Rotary Community Corps
With more than 70 breakout sessions this year, you are sure to find inspiration!
Ben Bauer
District Governor Elect (2022-2023)
RYLA 2022
Upham Woods
May 21, 2022
Rotary Convention 2022
Houston, Texas
Jun 04, 2022 – Jun 08, 2022
View entire list
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