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:

Throughout the month of May, the Rotary community celebrates the service, leadership development, connections, and FUN of Rotary’s programs for young leaders! Rotary's youth programs have changed lives, and in turn empowered them to change their communities.

Our District has a strong presence of healthy youth programs including our Youth Exchange programs, Interact, RYLA and more.
Here in District 6250 we have 27 active Interact Clubs. These are clubs for middle and high schoolers that can be chartered as school based or community based clubs. Our 27 clubs empower hundreds of young people to change their school and community. And because they’re sponsored and supported by Rotary clubs they are connected to the greater Rotary world, thus, increasing their impact. Our interact clubs have done some amazing things. From the La Crosse area clubs playing a key role in their annual iFeed meal packing program, The Tomah Interact Club writing Valentines Day cards for residents at an Alternative Care Facility, to the Fort Atkinson Interact Club hosting a pancake breakfast to support their local and international projects. There are so many things being done in our communities and around the world by these amazing young people. Interact is a great way to connect your club to a new audience and engage in your community. While we have 27 active clubs, there are another 12 that were started at some point and have since been suspended due to inactivity or lack of a school liaison or advisor. To maintain active status, clubs simply need to provide the name and contact information of that advisor by June 30th. So, whether you're looking to start a new interact club, reactivate one that your club started previously or to get ideas to strengthen your active interact club, connect with our District Interact Chair, Gayle Lunder to get started.
Earlier this month we hosted our first full weekend Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp since 2019. While we did our best with a virtual RYLA in 2021 and a one day event last year, the magic and connection of our full weekend event was so powerful and on full display this year. Over 80 delegates and 20 counselors and Rotarians from all over our District were there to make the magic happen and take part in this life changing experience. Delegates make close new friends, build valuable skills like leadership, teambuilding, peacebuilding and ethics. And of course we have a TON of fun. Next years dates are set, and applications will open again in the winter months. Take the time right now to add this to your clubs budget. It only costs $250 to send a student. You can get more information at Some of the clips you've been seeing are from this years event video, check out the links to see the whole thing. It does a great job of capturing the energy and emotion of the weekend.
Before I wrap up, I have to say how grateful I am to every single person who came to TriCon 2023 in La Crosse. The weekend was so fun and full of Rotary friendship, fellowship and learning. Each speaker absolutely delivered and we've received some great feedback about the content and learning offered. I was so happy that my family was able to be there and that many of you were able to meet them. Thanks to everyone that made them feel so welcome. There are so many great moments at TriCon to celebrate. There was super fun hospitality rooms, meaningful and impactful service through our meal packing project that sent meals to Poland to support Ukrainian refugees, and fun and fellowship during the Pints for Polio fundraiser that capped it all off. Which by the way our polio fundraisers generated over $7,000 for Polio Plus.
One of the best things to see and feel at TriCon was the relationships being built between the 3 districts that participate - just another small example of the connection and network that Rotary makes possible. If you've missed out on TriCon this year, don't worry, TriCon 2024 will be here before we know it and that'll be in Green Bay, April 18th through 20th, 2024. If you've got a fellow club member that was with us in La Crosse, ask them about their experience and join them next year!
Thank you for your time, I hope your spring is off to a great start and look forward to seeing you next month as we transition to the next Rotary year.