RY 2023-2024                                                                                                 Issue #3
The power of youth is the commonwealth for the entire world. The faces of young people are the faces of our past, our present and our future. No segment in society can match the power, idealism, enthusiasm and courage of our youth.” Kailash Satyarthi
Welcome to September – Basic Education and Literacy Month. In September, we celebrate our youth and the great work we do to support them.  My professional experience has primarily been in education.  I am often asked how we can “raise” generous, kind, gritty young people. I always come back to this phrase – It takes one to raise one.  THANK YOU for all you are doing to lead the way, giving our young people - living, breathing models of service, kindness, and grit.  THANK YOU for supporting and investing in our young people while so many chose to sit sidelines. We have so many great things to share with you this month.
Creating Hope in our World is multi-faceted and in District 6250, we are raising the bar. Below you will find HOPE in the celebration of our district youth – our Interact Clubs, Youth Exchange, RYLA, and so much more.  You will also find HOPE in our efforts to educate our members around one of our RI and District priorities – mental health.  You will find a plethora of offerings to educate, inspire, and create fellowship around this important issue.  And if you are looking for a way to enjoy fellowship while bringing light to mental health – join our District 6250 Hope Squad for the NAMI walk on October 7th. You are not going to want to miss this day of fellowship and fun!
Even though our year is just getting started, we are looking ahead to the 2026-27 Rotary year and choosing our District Governor who will lead us, following District Governor Nominee Mike Kloss.  We'd love your help finding our next Governor. Your club is not required to submit a nomination, but Rotary works hard to grow leaders, and build a solid leadership line. If you know someone who would be a good choice, let us know - by contacting Nominating Committee Chair Karen Hebert @ karenrotarian@gmail.com.
Hope is certainly on the horizon!  Thank you for being the curators of such impactful work.
Michelle McGrath, Ed.D
D6250 Governor
RY 2023-2024

ri President gordon R. Mcinally

President 2023-24


The International Day of Peace is marked every year on 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly declared this day to be devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. To create hope in the world, we must actively strive for peace. Rotary members from Pakistan and India are an example of brave and bold peacebuilding efforts. They met at a shrine in Pakistan to build relationships and signed twin club certificates committing to long-term peace-building efforts. Rotary is making cross-cultural dialogue easier through virtual international exchanges that connect people from different parts of the world to share their traditions and values. These online chats have the potential to inspire new connections and respect between societies, which can then be used to better the lives of people globally.

To read the full message, check this LINK

A Beautiful Story? Time Will Tell.
By: Maria Prityla & Edwin Bos
A talented 15-year-old girl from the Ukraine met a Rotary Friendship Exchange Team from District 6250 in Olsztyn, Poland last September and an idea was born … born while she was singing in a Culinary Training Kitchen developed through a Rotary Global Grant partly funded by the Rotary Clubs of Mayville, Columbus, Beaver Dam and Waupun!
Read more HERE
District 6250 Supports Global Scholars and Peace Fellows
by Loi Smith
Do you know students who have a passion for Rotary’s values and whose dreams are to complete graduate degrees abroad to further those dreams?  If you do, follow Rotarian Dean Dickinson’s lead from the La Crosse After Hours Club and search the District 6250 website under Global Grants to find out more about two programs that might just help students accomplish those dreams.  The programs are: Global Scholars Grants and Peace Fellows.  Dean followed up, and now Tierney Ray Hall visited the After Hours Club whose members are acting as the sponsor (US side) club for her Master’s Degree at the University of Oxford, UK, where she is studying International Relations. Read more HERE
Are you interested in learning more about writing Global and District Grants? Cecelia Walter, our Rotary International Grants Manager, is coming to Madison to provide a Grant-Writing In-Service to Rotarians of D6250! Cecelia is part of the team at RI headquarters in Evanston that reviews grant applications and helps with grant questions. If your club is currently applying for, or contemplating applying for, a Rotary International Grant, then the information that Cecelia is presenting will be invaluable to the process. Read more HERE
A Mental Moment in Time
By Teresa Holmes
Greetings Rotarians!
As we journey together to accomplish RI President Gordon McNally’s goal to Create Hope in the World, District 6250 is off to a great start under DG Michelle McGrath’s leadership of prioritizing mental health awareness.   We are learning more about the topic and our engagement and intentional conversations are likely to help us improve and care for others within our district and communities as we prioritize Service Above Self.   I am especially grateful to serve on our district’s Mental Health Task Force with other Rotary leaders who are supporting and empowering each other while creating a safe space for others to bring their whole, authentic selves to social connections.  When we do that, we provide comfort and care while Creating Hope in the World.
Because there are many misconceptions regarding mental health, people often are not aware that a friend, family member or oneself may be experiencing a condition associated with it.   Many of us actually believe that something really bad has to occur in order to experience mental illness. Read more HERE
As part of our Mental Health Task Force, we are organizing a team to walk in the annual NAMI walk in Dane County on October 7th - the District 6250 Hope Squad.  There is also the same walk (on September 28th) in the Eau Claire area.
We are so excited to launch a variety of programs focusing on Mental Health/Wellness – an RI and district priority. 
Join our District 6250 Hope Squad for the annual NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness) Walk – Saturday, October 7, 2023, Madison WI.  Our goal for the event is $6250 and 100 Rotarians walking in support of Mental Health for ALL.  Click HERE to join our team.  Please also share with your Rotary Club members.  It will be an amazing event filled with fellowship and fun.  
NAMI Chippewa Valley Walk
NAMI Dane County NAMIWalk
  • October 7th, 2023
  • Check in begins at 10:30 with the walk beginning at noon
  • Link to register for the event: NAMIWalks

Share Your Mental Health Journey: Let's Create a Safe and Supportive Culture

Breaking down walls and creating a culture of trust requires openness, vulnerability, and understanding. We believe that sharing personal stories is a critical component in achieving this. Thus, we invite members of District 6250 to submit their mental health journeys and the lessons they have learned. Your story could be about yourself, a family member, a friend, or a colleague. If you feel comfortable, you can identify yourself, but if not, you can submit anonymously. To ensure privacy, please do not identify any other individuals in your story. In the upcoming months, members of the mental health task force will also be sharing their personal stories. We encourage you to take this opportunity to share your experiences and help create a safe and supportive culture. To submit your story, please email DG Michelle McGrath at drmichellemcgrath@gmail.com

Pictures, Privacy, Permission
By: PR Lynn Perez-Hewitt

Post it, share it, send it. We hear those requests/commands every day.  And in most cases any Rotarian will be safe and legal posting, sharing and sending. But, and this is a HUGE but, when it comes to children and teens rigorous caution must be applied.

Children 13 and under are protected by COPPA. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. If photos or videos are being taken at a school or other childcare or education site, you may learn that a release form is on file that was signed when the child was registered. ALWAYS double check. If there is a child or children who must not have images captured, you will be informed. Read more HERE
Rotary International Site Review team coming to Minneapolis 
Exciting News: Minneapolis/St. Paul Could Potentially Host the 2029 Rotary International Convention!
A Rotary International Site Review team is currently visiting Minneapolis/St. Paul for a three-day final evaluation as a possible location for the worldwide 2029 Rotary International Convention.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, we're inviting everyone to a beautiful evening Fellowship Reception at Nicollet Island Pavilion. Not only will this premier historic Mississippi riverfront venue showcase Minnesota's best views of the Minneapolis bridges and skyline, but it will also be an opportunity to demonstrate our Rotary enthusiasm. This is a big moment, and we're thrilled to share it with you!
Rotary Youth Exchange Update
August is one of our favorite months in Youth Exchange land.
First, we send off our Outbound students for a year of excitement in far away lands.  Our class of eight left throughout the month for a year in Sweden, France, Czech Republic, Thailand, Belgium, Argentina, Brazil and Germany.  A special thanks to each of our students Sponsor Clubs – DeForest (x2), La Crosse Valley-View, Prairie du Chien, La Crosse, Black River Falls, Mt. Horeb and Oregon.
How does a drop-in at a fundraiser change a club?
Several years ago, the Madison Breakfast Rotary Club held a fund-raiser to raise money for youth services projects, primarily Rotary Youth Exchange. It was held at a restaurant that also had a bar area and a young engineer happened to stop by after work for a drink. He didn’t intend to go to the fund raiser, but thought it looked like a fun event. Although he didn’t know anyone there, he decided to attend. He had a good time while speaking with several of the club members there which led to them inviting him to attend a club meeting. That night he heard a lot about projects that the club was doing, grant possibilities, and endeavors that Rotary had made possible. He also learned that Rotary existed all over the world. Now the seeds were planted!
After attending a few club meetings, the engineer decided to join the Madison Breakfast Rotary club. They had a strong international service commitment and that meant a lot to this new member. He also volunteered with the University of Wisconsin’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB). The EWB students were working to bring clean water to a village in Guatemala. The residents of the village had been getting water from a not-so-nearby river. Could it be that Rotary might help? The engineer spoke with other Rotarians to see how Rotary could help, especially since clean water is a key initiative of Rotary.
What We’re Reading
What Happened to You? Conversations on trauma, resilience, and healing. By, Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. and Oprah Winfrey
This book explores how trauma impacts the brain and behavior through conversations between Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey. By the end of the first chapter I could identify behaviors I had developed due to trauma that are not useful to me now. Reading it has been a rollercoaster of “Aha” moments, guilt, and grace.
Upcoming Club Events
Group 8
Madison Breakfast Rotary Cornhole Challenge
Sep 30, 2023
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Madison Breakfast
La Crosse East (Noon) - Governor's Visit
Sep 05, 2023
Friendship Exchange to Croatia
Sep 08, 2023 - Sep 18, 2023
Grant-Writing In-Service (In-person)
Pearson Engineering (US Bank Building)
Sep 19, 2023
12:15 PM – 1:45 PM
Grant-Writing In-Service (Zoom)
Sep 19, 2023
12:15 PM – 1:45 PM
Rotary International Site Review
Sep 25, 2023 - Sep 28, 2023
La Crosse-After Hours - Governor's Visit
Sep 26, 2023
La Crosse-Valley View Governor's Visit
Sep 27, 2023
Onalaska Hilltopper's - Governor's Visit
Sep 27, 2023
La Crosse - Governor's Visit
Sep 28, 2023
NAMI Walk - Eau Claire area
Sep 28, 2023
View entire list
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