If you had told me that the year I was District Governor was going to end like a Science Fiction movie -  I would never have believed you.  I thought I would be kicking off May talking about the excitement of youth.

Instead we are focused on COVID-19.  But here we are.  Together.  Doing whatever we can to continue to be people of action who make a difference in our communities, both locally and around the world.

The last time there was a pandemic of this proportion was over a hundred years ago in 1918.  What I find enlightening was what happened to Rotary membership that year.  It doubled. Membership in Rotary doubled at a time the rest of the world was in fear.  I would like to see a similar legacy for District 5020.  If there is the potential for a new Rotary Club in your area this is the time to help them become established.  Let’s welcome more people into Rotary.

You have heard me say, “if ever your community needed Rotary, it is now”.  I think the same cry went out back in 1918.

Rotary attracts people who believe that service above self, enriches their lives.  Getting to know the Rotarians in this district and seeing what they accomplish has certainly enriched mine.

Currently I am visiting more clubs than I ever could have if I had to drive a vehicle to get there. This is a bonus.  We can now have guests and speakers from around the world attend our meetings.  

In May I thought I would be in the throes of planning a conference.  That’s not in the cards but our Magazine editor Caleb is developing a UD5020 Magazine Conference It will be one of those incredible keepsakes from a difficult Rotary year.   A beacon of what we did to connect in a new way.  Caleb and Corey are working hand in hand to help make this an edition you will not be able to stop reading.

Conference Chair Joan put in countless hours to create an event we would all remember.  Some of the highest registration numbers rolled in during the first few weeks that we opened registration.  We were offering new options with graduated fees.  Joan even planned to have a speaker open to the public.  We attracted corporate sponsors.  I believe that it would have been an absolutely sensational celebration in our district.  Thank you, Joan and your entire committee.  You all have my eternal gratitude.  

I am pleased to see DGE Greg take the bull by the horns and together with District Trainer Marnee they will host a virtual training seminar that may well lay the groundwork for future training in our district.  I encourage all clubs to have their members sign up to attend.  The price is definitely right.  What a 2020 legacy if every Rotarian attended one class.  

We have two and half months left in this Rotary year to continue to focus on how we can help make our communities stronger.  This is a challenge I believe we are up for.  We’ve got this.  Together we will be the binding force that makes a difference.  Rotarians are coming back to your clubs.  They are attending meetings electronically.  Some of us have not had this level of attendance in years. We have 17 ZOOM licenses and the ability to setup meetings for your club and your club committees and anyone one else in your community you know needs this service.  Leaders in our communities are seeing Rotarians out helping in the community.  They are inspired by our spirit.  We can keep a positive message in the world that Rotary is here to help. 

Let’s go back to Youth.  We have Rotary Exchange students caught in COVID-19.  What a wonderful opportunity for clubs to invite those students to come to your clubs to tell you what this world looks like through their eyes.  Please ask them to speak at your club.

Thank you for all you do.



Proud Governor of the Best District in the World