Actions speak louder than words.
Words. Explanations, hopes, excuses, dreams, apologies, promises, plans – life is always easier said than done. Words spark our imagination.
Action. Action is humbling.  Action takes courage.  Action calls out our best and reveals what’s weak or missing in us. Together in service we are inspired by one another in good times. In tough times we learn how to balance honesty with empathy and understanding. 
Action brings lasting change.
Your District is working to strengthen and support you in action.  Here’s how.
International Service Committee. Last year Past District Governor Chuck Hanson, together with a strong team of collegial leaders, formed the International Service Committee (ISC). The ISC is working to inspire and engage you and your club in international service in a way and at a level that makes you proud. PDG Chuck reflects, “There’s nothing like international service to move Rotary from head to heart.”
Lasting change.
Community Service Committee. World peace begins at home. Most Rotarians think community service first. Community service shines Rotary ideals and attracts and engages members.  Your District is growing our ability to inspire and engage you and your club in more, and more effective, community service. Under the leadership of Rotary Club of La Crosse Downtown Past President Andrew Bakkum, we will learn about your successes, share ideas, encourage collaboration, and partner more vitally with the District Foundation team to inspire excellence in grant-writing to help fund projects.
Lasting change.
Rotary Days of Environmental Service.  During the week of October 4 to 10, Rotarians throughout 6250, 6220 (Central and Eastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula), and 6270 (Southeastern Wisconsin) with gather to Serve to Change (everyone’s!) Lives highlighting and celebrating our newest area of focus: Supporting the Environment.
Find the level of action that’s right for you and your club.
  • Learning – Book a speaker
  • Activity – Clean, plant, recycle, or stop (doing something)
  • Solving – Begin a committed program of action, marshal the resources (leadership, partners, funding) required and take your first steps
  • Find support and ideas in our Tri-District Facebook group
Lasting change.
The world, your community, and your fellows “hear you” as you take action. We are grateful.
Yours in Fellowship and Service,
District Governor Karen
6250 District Governor 2021-2022
District 6250 Rotarian Support Shines
Thank you to District 6250 Rotarians for contributing $588,152 to The Rotary Foundation in support for the Annual Fund/SHARE program, Polio Plus, the Endowment Fund, and Global Grant projects.
Highlights of Rotarian giving last Rotary year include:
  • 100% of clubs contributed to the Annual Fund/SHARE program.
  • 35 clubs met the “Every Rotarian Every Year” goal of $100 average giving per member.
  • 84% of District Rotarians supported Polio Plus for a total of $109,732.
  • Exceeded the District 6250 Annual Fund/SHARE goal by 7%.
Even more, your giving has an impact.
  • $72,433 of District Grants supporting projects sponsored by 15 clubs.
  • $177,580 of Global Grant matching funds for 7 projects in District 6250.
  • $177,580 of World Fund matching grants for those same projects.
  • $15,00 to fund a Rotary Peace Fellowship.
All of this happened despite a global pandemic. Your Rotary spirit of Service Above Self shines brightly through these results.
As clubs ramp up their activities for 2021-22 and Rotarians reengage safely in community, we have an opportunity to help people around the world recover from COVID-19 through The Rotary Foundation.
Identify the needs in your community and opportunities for international service that can lead to a District Grant or Global Grant. The aftermath of COVID-19 and worldwide population growth provide numerous opportunities for Rotary service.
When you think about the various human needs your Rotary Club is supporting, search your heart about the ways you can support The Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund/SHARE program and Rotary Areas of Focus allow you to align your giving with your personal values.
In the coming months, we will share stories about Rotary Service enabled by the generosity of District 6250 Rotarians. Thanks again for your support of The Rotary Foundation.
Dwight Heaney
Rotary Club of Fort Atkinson
District 6250 Foundation Committee, Incoming Chair
District 6250 Hybrid Meeting Task Force
Our hybrid meeting task force was formed in January to help support interested District 6250 Clubs in the creation and launch of effective hybrid meetings. To date we have been providing feedback on the equipment needed to host these types of meetings as well as best practices to help make the meetings an engaging experience, particularly for those members who are on the virtual side of the meeting.
As clubs both locally and across the Midwest have started conducting hybrid meetings, we have been exchanging information on hybrid meeting equipment and the aforementioned best practices with Rotary’s Region 36 Hybrid Club Meeting Planning Committee. With technology and best practices evolving at a rapid pace we have been the beneficiaries of learning from a group of twenty-three districts. We encourage you to visit the Region 36 website to view the resources that we have helped to assemble to date. You can directly access this site on the District 6250 Home Page by looking under the District Info heading.
Learning from each other is one of the keys to all of our success. In future months we would like to use this column in the Dispatch to feature clubs from within our district that are having success with their overall hybrid meeting experience. Whether it be equipment selection, member experiences, or tactics you may be using to grow club membership we would like to hear from you. Please reach out to me directly at to share your idea for a story, or ask us a question about anything having to do with hybrid meetings.
We are here to help you navigate this new normal!
Mike Dillis
District 6250 Hybrid Meeting Task Force Chair


August is Membership and New Club Development Month!
Last year at this time Governor Bill shared the ten tips he crafted while serving as District Membership Chair to attract and retain members. These tips proved effective: Our District membership grew.
Do the first one right now – all by yourself.
1. Create a list of all the great things about your club
List your star members, the advantages of your meeting location, how many members you have, the kinds of projects and events you host, and so on.  This list can serve as a template when sending an email or note to a potential member.  Make sure to tailor any correspondence so it addresses the specific interests and wants of any potential member.  For instance, if someone is interested in international work, your email or letter should focus on that.  To help you start this list, answer for yourself (also a great board exercise) this question:  “What is my club known for?  What are we great at?  What is our identity?”
2. Keep a list of potential members
It doesn’t matter if it’s a paper list or if it’s kept on your computer.  Either way, it makes you think about those people who might be a fit for your club.  Discuss the list at board meetings – not just the concept of bringing in new members, but the specific names who’s going to contact them and when.  Don’t overlook some obvious suspects, such as member’s spouses, Youth Exchange host parents, and even former members.
3. Know your club’s strengths
Most things are strengths if your target the right audience.  If you meet in the morning, you’re probably a good fit for someone working 9 to 5.  Meet at noon, and you’re more likely to appeal to retirees and parents of schoolchildren.  If someone doesn’t fit your format, recommend them to another club. 
4. Make membership growth your club’s top priority
Make sure that every member understands that.  The best way to make your year as president easier is to bring in more members.  New members bring new energy – it means more people to serve on committees, work on projects and events, and raise money for the Foundation.
5. Look to younger Rotarians for fresh perspectives
Want to attract younger members?  Look to our After-Hours models.  Younger professionals are drawn to lower dues and costs.  They are often drawn to less frequent meetings.  If you want the game changers and move makers in your community – people who are busy and thriving in their everyday lives, you have to take advantage of the flexibility Rotary now offers clubs as to meeting times, frequency, and style.  If that does not fit your club – then grow a new club alongside of your own that is more attractive as a Satellite or a free-standing club.
6. Appeal to local volunteers
Consider creating events that are equal parts community outreach, game show, and, as one area Rotarian called it – organizational speed dating.  Encourage participants to connect with each other during and after the meeting and find new ways to collaborate and partner based on what they have heard each other say.
7. Talk about Rotary wherever you go
At work, family gatherings, neighborhood get-togethers, parties.  You will be amazed at how easy it is after you practice awhile.  We’ve heard it before – people who are never asked never join.  Most people are not unhappy that you asked – even if they say no.  And remember, it’s never not a good time to invite a potential member to a meeting.  You will be surprised how COVID has stimulated people to want to be a part of their community and to help.  Now is always the best time to ask.
8. Make a list of club members’ responsibilities.
It’s important to engage with potential members beforehand.  They will want to know how they can fit in with your clubs and what opportunities there are for serving.  The list should include information about dues, attendance guidelines, and other club expectations – and it should emphasize the many benefits that come from being a Rotary member.
9. Realize there is no finish line
Even if your club is the optimize size (what exactly would that be?), it’s no reason to stop recruiting.  There are always reasons people leave.  People transfer jobs or have work conflicts; some have family issues.  You are either growing or you’re dying as a club.
10. Emphasize service
For many energized doers, having a meal and “weekly meetings” puts them off from joining.  They wish to serve.  The more your club can connect to the community and to the world by giving back, the more attractive your club will be to others.

Introducing the brand new 6250 Changemakers Rotary Club!

We would like your help in recruiting the friends and family who haven’t been able to join your own Rotary Club and would be a great fit for the Changemakers Rotary Club! Right now is the best time to be a Rotarian!

Summary:  The 6250 Changemakers Rotary Club started as a way to attract new members and former Rotarians to Rotary International’s mission to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. While the 6250 Changemakers Rotary Club is a product of Rotary District 6250, membership and service projects are not limited to the D6250 geographic area.

Status: The 6250 Changemakers Rotary Club is in the process of recruitment of members as well as establishing its own mission, vision and strategic plan for membership and projects. Once the club reaches 20 members, they will officially charter as a club.
Service: The focus of the 6250 Changemakers Rotary Club is to create an arena for members to further their own service initiatives as well as drive manpower to the projects and missions of other Rotary clubs, both locally and abroad. We envision the creation of a project database for District 6250 that an individual member of the 6250 Changemakers Rotary Club will manage. This database will be updated on a regular basis to reflect the projects going on in the district. Individual members of the 6250 Changemakers Rotary Club will have an opportunity to pick and choose which projects they want to be involved with.
Dues: $200 per year.  
Meetings: Meetings will be optional as we will not keep track of attendance. We will have two meetings per month to act as a platform for inspiring members and talking about our service and how to get involved. The first Friday of the month will be focused on service projects, fellowship, and speakers. The meeting on the third Friday of the month will be set aside for more club business and will include a chance for club officers to provide updates. Both meetings are scheduled at 8 am CST and will last less than one hour. In order to keep the meeting to less than an hour, some of the Rotary traditions such as singing, chants, happy/sad dollars, etc. that other clubs use and love will not be undertaken.
Leadership: The club will have a traditional Rotary Officer structure of President, Treasurer and Secretary, as well as committee chairs. Committing to be a leader of our organization is a great opportunity for professional development and resume building to help further your career.
Fellowship: There is power when like-minded service people come together and fellowship is an important part of being in a Rotary Club. We will make time for online fellowship at every meeting. We will plan various get togethers throughout the year. We will also have opportunities to connect in small groups when we volunteer for service projects. The companions made in the 6250 Changemakers Rotary Club will become lifetime friends. 
Diversity: We will seek members that reflect the diversity of our state, country and world. This means we will seek out female members and people of color as members. We will also seek diversity in age. We believe that in order for Rotary to be relevant it must reflect the diversity, beauty and reality of the world it serves.
Integrity: The 6250 Changemakers Rotary Club operates on a trust-based accountability philosophy. While we will take notes at meetings about who attended and what was discussed, we will not take attendance, and members do not need to worry about “make-up” meetings, etc. One of the reasons for this club is to meet busy people earlier in their careers and family lives, where they are at. That said, we also realize that in order for members to have a meaningful experience, they need to be involved in service and in connection with each other. There is an expectation that members be involved in either their own personal service projects and the projects of other Rotary Clubs on a monthly basis and that members attend most meetings or watch the recordings after the fact. We will encourage participation in service projects with a positive and helpful attitude. We will keep track of total service hours as a club, establishing a club goal every year.
Club Projects: At this point we are not discussing having our own club projects, as we’d like the initial focus to be bolstering other clubs’ projects. We also do not want to solicit much money from our own club members as the expense of traditional Rotary clubs can be a barrier for some people. Instead, we hope members feel inspired to contribute financially to other Rotary initiatives and projects at their own will.
Please email me if you have any questions about this new club or have a friend or family member who would be a great fit! Also, feel free to reach out if you would like an invite to this club as a guest Rotarian. Visiting other Rotary Clubs is a great way to get the most out of Rotary!
John Locke
D6250 Membership Chair


Are you seeing your club through Rotary-colored glasses?
The way we see our clubs is key to our Public Image. And public image is all about public perception and opinion.
Definition: the ideas and opinions that the public has about a person or an organization
that may not be what they are really like.
If you are reading this then you are a member of a Rotary Club, an insider. As insiders we all wear both rose-colored glasses, and more importantly, Rotary-colored glasses when we form our opinions and perceptions about our clubs. 
Those wearing rose-colored glasses see our clubs and members in a context the includes everything that has come before this moment.  The exchange student from ten years ago, the club President who could tell the best stories, the highway clean-up the day it snowed.
Those wearing Rotary-colored glasses see our clubs through our coded language and rituals.  When we announce a new Paul Harris, that it’s time for RYLA applications, that the club has points to award.
The public image of our clubs is very much influenced by us. It can and will be what we shape.  If we want to know how the public sees us, then it’s time to try on the clear lenses.  If the public sees older white men as representing your club, change it by making sure your Interactors and women members are included when it’s picture taking time. When the club hosts family events make sure the crowd photos reflect the range of people attending, of course only if you have photo releases especially for the kids.
Rotary is an amazing organization and Rotarians, each of us, are great people!  Now we need to share ourselves, though clear lenses, so that our communities truly benefit from the impact of People of Action.

Youth Service

Doesn't it feel great to start a new Rotary year? It's like we get a fresh start on all of the things that we wanted to do last year but never found the time to do. Or, were prohibited from doing due to the pandemic! The youth team has been hard at work preparing for the upcoming exchange and working together to collaborate on many new ideas and initiatives.
Soon, you'll see the Crisis Management Plan that was drafted per Rotary International's guidelines. This document will be posted on the District Website and should be referenced by any club that works with Youth in our District. It will help you to notify the right group of Rotarians as well as Medical Professionals and Police if ever needed. 
Our Youth Exchange Program is going to come back next summer, and we already have 12 Clubs that are ready to welcome back an Exchange Student. Information sessions, flyers, interviews and host family searches are underway across the district and the buzz of young energy from these students will be felt soon!
I've received quite a few requests to speak at club meetings to talk about Youth Programs and the benefits that it can bring to your club. I'm happy to bring in new information if your club is interested in exploring a part of Rotary that you haven't been involved in before. Please reach out with any questions. These programs expose students and their parents to Rotary and have always been good ways to share the mission of Rotary across a larger audience. 
I'm looking forward to a great year and can't wait to get back to the "norm" of our Youth Programs!

Laura Lee

International Service Committee

In addition to caring about our local communities, Rotarians understand that our neighbors are global.  Using the financial power of The Rotary Foundation, your club working alone or with other clubs in our District can have a significant impact on many people through Global and District Grants. 
The District 6250 International Service Committee (ISC) has been created to make it easier for your club to get involved and serve to change lives around the world.  The ISC is a consulting group of Rotarians who have experience with Global and District Grants and we want to help.  For example, this past year we helped facilitate a Global Grant in Chile involving the collaboration of several of our District Clubs and international partners.  We shared an interesting project from a new club in Kiev, Ukraine with the Madison After Hours Club and work is proceeding on that Global Grant.  The Rotary Clubs in the La Crosse area collaborated on a grant to fund a mobile medical unit in Western Wisconsin and the ISC was able to find a key international partner so that this Global Grant could be approved.
Whether you are currently engaged in an international project or just thinking about it, your District International Service Committee is eager to help.  All you need to do is ask.  You can find more information under the AServe@ tab on our District Website.
Yours in Rotary Service,
Chuck Hanson, ISC District Chair

Vibrant Club Workshop

Mark your calendars for our upcoming Vibrant Club Workshop - September 22nd from 6:30-8:30 PM. We are excited to launch a new hybrid model for this engaging, must see program. VCW gives your club an opportunity to learn, connect, and most of all, get inspired. The event will be hosted LIVE in Madison at a venue yet to be determined. It will be streamed throughout the district to various watch parties or view it from the comfort of your own home.
VCW will be kicked off by a high energy, inspiring speaker- Tei Street.  

The “Amazing” Tei Street has more than 25 years of experience in higher education, curriculum development; training in sexual assault prevention, violence prevention; diversity & inclusion, as well as advocacy, education and youth leadership development.

The “Amazing” Tei Street is a national motivational speaker, trainer, and education consultant. Her love and passion for positively affecting the lives of all young people and the adults who influence their lives, comes through each time she steps on a stage…or gymnasium floor. Tei’s masterful us of humor, coupled with her gift for storytelling makes her a crowd favorite. Tei challenges her audiences to take the knowledge they gain to move from motion to action; walking in what make them “amazing!”    To read more, please go to:

We will also be joined by various District 6250 Rotarians that will share their Insight on service, foundation, membership, and public image. If you are looking for ways to create vibrancy both at your club and in your personal life, you won’t want to miss this! Registration and more details coming soon!--

Michelle McGrath, Ed. D
District Governor Nominee

Governor's Celebration

by Lynn Perez-Hewitt

One of only 529 celebrated in District 6250
Karen Hebert, the newest District Governor for District 6250 is one of only 529 such leaders in the world.
Let that sink in.
There are 529 Rotary Districts: supporting and leading more than 35,000 Rotary Clubs and 1.3 million individual Rotarians. District Governor is a major role in our Rotary World.
Quietly and timely PDG Bill Pritchard passed on the official DG pin to our newest DG, and she set about making the first of what will total 59 club visits.  However, the Rotary Club of Chippewa Falls After Hours decided that quiet, and low-key was not enough.  DG Karen’s home club, the club she helped to found in 2015, decided that she deserved a party to celebrate being one of only 529 in the World.
Saturday afternoon at Erickson Park Pavillions in Chippewa Falls it looked like a tailgate, which was exactly right for this young club and this down-to-earth, passionate leader.  First came the coolers and the beverages (soda, water, and beer, of course), then the ice. The shaded tables held BBQ ribs, pulled pork, beans, potatoes, and cornbread. Friends chatted, stories were shared, and more than a few photos snapped. Eight Past District Governors and our DGE arrived to join the party and share the opportunity to honor a woman clearly up to the challenges ahead.
At 3:02 Master of the Microphone Past President Andy Neborak rang a bell and attention turned to the reason for the party. He shared what DG Karen means to the club. Chartered solely with individuals new to Rotary she modeled the passion and values that assure success for a new club. Which was the perfect lead-in to the induction of their newest member, Heidi Mercer, a longtime friend of, who else, DG Karen.
PDG Dave Warren, tapped to formally install our new DG, was next to speak to the group of nearly 40 friends and colleagues. He began in his own words acknowledging that these are imperfect times and that a whole room of imperfect people who want to serve can and will make a huge difference in the world.
Then he lifted a folded piece of paper and told the group that Karen had sent him a script for the next segment. The crowd laughed in recognition of a leader who is not only fun and generous but on top of details.
Dave went on to make the point that DG Karen is the perfect DG for this year’s Rotary Theme, Serve to Change Lives. Once Karen took her oath it was time for DGE Ben Bauer to step up. Now it was DG Karen who led him in the oath.
Our new DG wrapped up the afternoon by sharing what she had learned when she interviewed Past District Governors before taking on the role of DGN: Demonstrate servant leadership and more.  She closed by saying to all of us, “I am humbled by your fellowship.”
Applause dwindled and Club President Nichole Volbrecht thanked everyone for coming, asked us to keep eating and to stick around for cake!
Congratulations to our 2021-2022 District Governor Karen Hebert.
Karen Hebert & Ben Bauer
The DG Line together again!
Ben Bauer, Karen Hebert, Edwin Bos, Bill Hoel, Joe Ruskey,
Mary Van Hout, Dave Warren, Dean Ryerson, Chuck Hanson
Rotary 6250 | Board Meeting | August
Aug 11, 2021
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Governor's Council I
Aug 25, 2021 12:00 PM
Presidents Leadership Series | September
Sep 01, 2021
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Zone Institute 2021
Houston, Texas
Sep 07, 2021 – Sep 12, 2021
Vibrant Club Workshop
Sep 22, 2021
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
View entire list
Russell Hampton
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