In December We'll Focus On Fighting Disease

Our health is everything. Yet 400 million people in the world can’t afford or don’t have access to basic health care.

We believe good health care is everyone’s right.

Helpful Links

Rotary Membership
Public Image
The Rotary Foundation
Rotary Foundation Grants
President Elect Information & PETS
Information for Life Leadership Chairs
Rotary Youth Exchange
District 6290 Interact
District 6290 Rotaract

November Greetings from DG Ed

It has been another busy month! Carol and I have now completed almost all our Club visits and are looking forward to the holidays to get together with family. But we’ve got lots more to do! We ended October at the Zone Training and Institute in Chicago with the leadership from our District and 27 surrounding Districts. In addition to Carol and me, Al Bonney, Nancy Thornton, Jeff Coil, Tom Schmidt, Brian Robertson, Dave Thomas, Chris Etienne, Gernot Runschke, Tom Bos, John Gronberg, Jon Catlin, Mark Andresky and Megan Wigmore participated. It was a wonderful opportunity not only for our District team to bond but also to learn from our colleagues around the zones. I received a certificate on your behalf for being the District with the second highest giving in our Zone to The Rotary Foundation last year.

<'Read More' for an information-packed article covering all the topics listed below!>

  • Rotary Foundation Month
  • Rotary Youth Exchange Outbounds
  • District Governor Nominations
  • Public Image Grant
  • PDG Chuck Vonesh
  • District Conference & Rotary Convention

Upcoming Club Anniversaries December 2017

Club Name
# of Yrs
Petoskey Sunrise3 Dec, 199720
Little Traverse Bay Sunset12 Dec, 20125
Allendale18 Dec, 20089
Grand Haven27 Dec, 192988

D6290 awards $63,524 in Rotary Foundation matching grants and educational scholarships. What will this funding enable?

Benzie Sunrise

Food Security

$8,810Supplement the canned food available from 60 area food pantries with purchased and gleaned fresh farm grown food purchased and distributed in the 5-county area



$3,000Build 30 safe, outdoor-vented cook stoves for a mountain community in Guatemala


Community Development

$2,500Contribute to equipment needed for a project to restore the community swimming pool

East Jordan

Community Development

$2,500Add a pickleball court to an existing skateboard park


Community Development

$7,000Purchase and donate a motorized bicycle-powered wheelchair for disabled people to enjoy the trails around the community and beaches


Community Development

$2,500Add a shelter to a community recreation redo project so the kids do not have to stand in the cold, rain and snow when waiting for their parents to pick them up


Community Development

$2,500Replace community soccer field worn out nets and build another soccer field for the community soccer league

Grand Rapids North

Community Development

$652Layout the pathway and provide signage for a community walking trail

Houghton Lake

Food Security

$1,000Contribute to a local program that brings food in backpacks throughout the year to 72 underprivileged students who would otherwise go hungry on the weekends


Community Development

$2,500Contribute to a community project to build a new baseball diamond for the high school



$2,500Provide funds for the high school robotics team to build a special robot to use as a demo to market their robotics competition each year



$3,000Using the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, provide 1 book each month all year to 240 children up to the age of 5.

Sault Ste Marie, MI

Community Development

$2,000Build four handicapped swings for playgrounds in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, including in Rotary Park.

Spring Lake


$7,000Provide a container full of used health equipment for a hospital in Tanzania.

Traverse City


$5,000Design and provide prenatal, birth, postpartum and gynecological care for Haitian women.



$2,500Provide 8 locator bracelets for the Alzheimer's association to keep track of citizens who are at risk of wandering off.



$8,562Fund a global scholarship for Megan Forrest for study at Oxford, England.

Additionally, $850 was applied towards administrative costs for document security and $8,892 is in reserve as a contingency to cover unforeseen urgent or critical services later in the year.

NOTE: Some of the above grants are in partnership with multiple clubs

District Foundation 50/50 Raffle

Our District Foundation Committee has held a 50/50 raffle in each of the past three years. The payouts last year were pretty rich!

In 2018 the program is a straight 50/50 raffle: Tickets are $20 each. 50% goes to the Rotary Foundation. Clubs selling tickets will get per capita credit of $10 for each ticket sold in that club. The other 50% will be split among 6 individual winners at a ticket drawing of all tickets sold, to be held in March at PETS in Kalamazoo.

This raffle gets richer and richer for the winners as the number of tickets sold goes up. The more tickets we sell, the more EVERYONE wins.

Club Presidents should be receiving tickets and information the week between Christmas and New Years. Please contact them and/or Foundation Chair for details. 

Good luck and thanks for your support of this important project: good for the Foundation and good for the winners!


Youth Programs in Action November 2017

The Elk Rapids Rotary #InteractClub took action to make a difference in the local community a few weeks ago by raking leaves in the yards of select residents. 
Ludington Rotary S.T.R.I.V.E. students were introduced to the club. Each of these young men has a rotary mentor assisting them to ensure a successful school year. 
Montague-Whitehall Rotary Inbound and 2018/2019 Outbound Exchange Students joined members at their weekly program.
Greenville Interact Club members have been busy doing their "Rake and Run" community service project - raking 8 yards for those that struggle to do so themselves.
9&10 News was on site at Kettunen Center for the D6290 Youth Exchange Fall Conference. Click on the image to view the report.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a Youth Exchange student - you need to check out this video from Benn Fisher - SSM ON outbound on his South African Cape Tour!
Sault Ste. Marie ON Rotary Youth Exchange students have jumped right into celebrating the holiday season! Bruna from Brazil and Moe from Japan helped to decorate a tree for the Sault Ste. Marie Festival of Trees and walked in the Rotary Santa Claus Parade.

Rockford Interact Students Raising Funds in Memory of Former Member

<Reprinted from Wood TV>

Rockford community members are coming together to deal with loss, and are paying tribute to a woman who passed away in the process.

A group at Rockford High School is working to raise money to honor Tessa Powers, a Rockford High School graduate, in a unique way. Powers died at the age of 20 in September after a brief illness.

Powers was a member of afterschool group Interact as a Rockford student, which encourages philanthropy and leadership development. As a member, she helped raise funds to provide clean water for those living in poverty in the Dominican Republic.

The group is hoping to honor her life by raising $5,500 to drill a water well in Nigeria.

“One of the things we always say is water is life,” Rockford High School teacher Kelly Gardner said. “You can’t have life without water. So, when we think about Tessa and a way to remember her, giving someone the gift of water — it’s just perfect.”

There is a website where donations are being collected, with $1,100 raised as of Nov. 29.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 16, a fundraiser will be held at the cafeteria in Rockford High School where donations can be made. There will be activities and crafts for children, as well as food at the event.

What does our Rotaract future hold?

Rotaract turns 50 years this year! But how did we get here? Since the first Rotaract club was formed in 1968 Rotaract has grown to over 10,000 clubs worldwide. What have we accomplished along the way? And more importantly, how do we ensure 50 more years of service, leadership, and global impact?
Tune in live to explore these topics and more with our expert panel in honor of Rotaract’s 50th anniversary.

Join The Discussion

Know A Great Speaker?

Have you seen that we've launched an online speaker's bureau at the District Website?! You can access it directly from the home page - look for this graphic at left side of page.
We know there's nothing better than having a fabulous speaker at a club event, especially when you've got special guests visiting for the first time.
We're accepting submissions online either directly from the proposed speaker, or as a recommendation from someone else. If you're looking for a speaker, the 'database' is online and can be filtered by a range of criteria.
Please help us spread the word.

Help Your Club Earn The Presidential and DG Citation Award


Goal: Set at least 10 goals in Rotary Club Central.
Why Does This Matter?: Would you run a business without establishing goals and tracking performance? We should apply the same practices to our clubs. Clearly defined goals help make sure everyone is on the same page. Reporting progress gives you the ability to plan based on facts. Rotary's Club Central, recently re-launched, is an outstanding resource. Online, responsive, a centralized repository of your club's key metrics.

PUBLIC IMAGE - District Governor Citation

Goal: Share your club achievements utilizing local media.
Why Does This Matter?: People like to be part of successful ventures. Our clubs and members do extraordinary things which are compelling and engaging, provided the public is aware. Reach outside of the club to share your news. Post events at online Community Calendars, have your club's Facebook administrator post directly to the pages of local media, the schools, the chamber and engage well known community spokespersons.

Reminder: District Governor Citation submission deadline is April 1st.

Don't forget that all activities related to the Presidential Citation Award must be submitted via Rotary Club Central by June 30th.

Is Your Club On The Map?

Does your club have a locator pin on our District map? Zoom in and you'll be surprised.
Not meaning to call anyone out - but here's an example where the largest club in our District is MIA. If your club is missing in action, go to Google Maps and enter your club meeting location. It will automatically display latitude/longitude in the URL, take those coordinates and move them into the "Club Info" section of your club's profile in ClubRunner.

Travel and shop for the holidays with Rotary Global Rewards

Did you know that many offers on Rotary Global Rewards give a portion of your purchases to Rotary? When you book holiday travel or shop online with Rotary Global Rewards, you will find offers from more than 1,000 companies that provide an opportunity to give to Rotary. To access Rotary Global Rewards on your computer, visit
To access Rotary Global Rewards on your mobile device, download the Rotary Club Locator app from the App Store for iPhones and iPads or from Google Play for Android devices. Email Megan Timmons at with questions.

We Saw You On Facebook November 2017

Big Rapids Rotarians gathered, sorted and distributed complete Thanksgiving meals to 126 families in need in Mecosta County - totaling over 6,000 pounds of Thanksgiving favorites given out to those who need them most.
This was the 10th anniversary of this signature project that, since launched, has impacted over 1,500 individuals in Mecosta County.
Cheboygan Rotarians sold 152 dozen roses in advance of firearms opening day. Their theme was “Remember your dear before you leave to get your deer”. Money raised will promote Polio Plus with Rotary International, local scholarships and other local projects.  
Cedar Springs Rotarians had a very successful day collecting items for the Cedar Springs Food Pantry. Hoping all will have a Happy Thanksgiving!
The Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Centennial service project is completed with the installation of the granite monument at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum campus.
Fremont Rotarians volunteered at 'Coats For Kids' - a project sponsored by TruNorth Community Services in Fremont. Coats are given to all from children to adults.
Grand Haven Rotarians were called into action once again, placing flags around the community for Veteran's Day. This is one seriously experienced flag crew!
The Village Market Giving Tree provides a way for community members and organizations to buy specified gifts for local children. Rotary Club of Elk Rapids recently picked up 26 name tabs for club members in addition to a monetary donation to the program under the direction of Village Market employees Vickie McMaster and Jen Sobbry.
 Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Denise Stefanko presented Ed Piglowski with a $1,000 donation in support of the Christmas for Kids program, a 28-year program that provides winter clothing for about 400 children.
 Kalkaska Baseball Field Project was the recipient of a grant of $3,000 from Rotary Charities of Traverse City as the result of a matching grant from a $5,700 fundraising gift from the Kalkaska Rotary Club
Hart Rotary Club distributed 10,000 lbs of food to those in need in partnership with Feeding America.
Little Traverse Bay Sunset Rotarians held their monthly Manna Project service meeting.
Petoskey Sunrise Rotarian Doug Brown picked up a Venison donation for Manna from Joe Diesler at the Carp Lake Store.  Over 1,000 lbs donated to date!
Ludington Rotary distributed dictionaries to every 3rd grader in Mason County!
Muskegon Rotarians were spotted having a great time at their 'After Hours' gathering.
Shelly Williams, Montague-Whitehall Rotary Club Community Chair (pictured 4th from the left) and President Peggy Anderson presented a check to the White Lake Giving Tree’s director Sue Conroy and her Committee Members at the St James Catholic Church distribution site. Boxes are lined up and ready for filling in anticipation of a 12/2 delivery to over 300 families. 
Rockford Rotarians gathered at Rockford Lanes & Gutter's Sports Lounge for a fun social.
Sault Ste. Marie, ON Rotary hosted their annual "Rotary Santa Parade" - an event that engages the entire community featuring a record-setting 64 floats!
Check out the photo album.
Sault Ste. Marie, ON Rotary hosted their annual Bell Celebrity Skate and Swim. The event raised over $40,000 passing the $1M mark. Funds benefit Rotary Youth Projects.
Ada-Cascade Rotarian LouAnn and Jim Shawver enjoyed bell ringing for the Salvation Army. They were donned in their Rotary Club of Ada-Cascade Santa hats courtesy of RCAC member Amy Nelson.
Traverse Bay Twilight Rotarians featured their signature 'Born to Read' literacy project at the Traverse City Children's Book Festival.
Traverse City Noon Rotarian Pat Parker was presented with the Cliff Dochterman Award, a Boy Scout's award for active Rotarians who provide exemplary service to scouting.

New global grant requirement: community assessments

Starting July 1, 2018, any club or district that applies for a global grant to support a humanitarian project or a vocational training team will need to conduct a community assessment first and include the results in the grant application.
Assessing the strengths, weaknesses, needs, and assets of the community you’re helping is an essential first step in planning an effective project. Not only do assessments lead to projects that have the most meaningful impact, but the process itself also builds valuable relationships, involves residents in decisions that will shape their communities, and encourages them to participate in making lasting improvements. Most important, projects that are informed by community assessments are more sustainable.
You can use district grant funds to conduct the assessment. Rotary’s Community Assessment Tools has ideas and proven methods for assessing a community’s assets and needs, including meetings, surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

What's Happening Around The District?

We've added a new feature to the District home page and also to our monthly bulletin. When you click on this calendar you'll be taken to a consolidated view of all District and Club events.
How do you add your club's event to this calendar? If you are a ClubRunner user, it's as simple as checking the box when you create the event for your own club's site.
If you are not a ClubRunner user, please forward the information directly to the District office. Remember when you create an Event, be sure to fill in all the details! Day & time, contact person with contact info, where is the event taking place, is there a cost, provide a description of the event that includes impact / beneficiary where appropriate. If you have an event flyer upload it as well, and if there are relevant websites include the links. Remember, an event listing should be written for the non-Rotarian who isn't getting the details pushed to them by way of a flyer at your meeting or a club newsletter.

New in the Learning Center @

Protecting Youth Program Participants: This interactive course reviews Rotary’s policies and guidelines for working with young volunteers. Find best practices and apply your knowledge to challenging scenarios.
Kick-start Your New Member Orientation: Are new members leaving Rotary within a year or two? Learn how to better connect with them and help them get involved from the start.
Practicing Flexibility and Innovation: A rigid club is no fun. If you find that your club’s rules prevent members from getting the experience they want from Rotary, try changing those rules.

Cycling for a Cause

Saturday, June 16, 2018, five Top of Michigan Rotary Clubs will participate in a 70 mile bicycle ride, while raising money to go towards Polio eradication.

The Rotary Clubs involved in this adventure are Petoskey, Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Petoskey Sunrise, Little Traverse Bay Sunset.

Save the date and make a plan to join them!

Pedaling for Polio Facebook page

Polio survivor tells his story

If you thought no one could possibly still be dependant on an iron lung as a polio survivor, think again. Click on above image to view a heart-wrenching video with a first-hand account.

How Rotary is assisting recovery in Puerto Rico

Rotary International has established a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) of the Rotary Foundation (number 614), to support projects for the recovery of Puerto Rico. Given the great work that remains ahead, contributions from Rotarians to this fund will be essential to help Puerto Rico get back on their feet.

Honoring Rotary Foundation Supporters November 2017

John Milan of Big Rapids Rotary was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow +1
Long-time Rotarian George Trowbridge surprised Grand Rapids' friendly Lion, Shelley Irwin, with a Paul Harris Fellow Award in recognition of her work in our community and for having a life of #serviceaboveself.
Linda Jane O'Brian recognized Ludington Rotarian Roger Wills as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Montague-Whitehall Rotary Club President Peggy Anderson recognized Fred Bertsch as a Paul Harris Fellow
Toronto Convention November Update
Check out the fun hospitality events taking place at the Toronto convention!
Hotel demand and prices are rising due to a separate event Toronto is hosting. We encourage you to book your hotel room as soon as possible. Many D6290 attendees have pursued accommodations using AirBnB for a cost-effective and convenient alternative to the conference hotels.
Register by 15 December to take advantage of the early-registration discount. ($335 vs. $410)

Global Polio Eradication At-A-Glance November 2017

Wild poliovirus type 1 and Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus cases
CountriesYear-to-date 2017YTD 2016Total in 2016Onset of paralysis of  
most  recent case


Polio this week as of November 29, 2017

  • New on How communication is reducing outbreak risk in vulnerable countries.
  • Summary of newly-reported viruses this week: Afghanistan – one new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case, from Nangarhar province.
  • Both the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Polio Eradication in Afghanistan, and in Pakistan, have met this week. The TAGs are reviewing the latest epidemiology, and performing a thorough program review. The outcomes will help advise each country program on improving the planning and implementation of their National Emergency Action Plans.
  • See country-specific sections for further details.

NA: onset of paralysis in most recent case is prior to 2016. Figures exclude non-AFP sources. Lao PDR cVDPV1, all others cVDPV2. cVDPV definition: see document “Reporting and classification of vaccine-derived polioviruses” at [pdf]


Keep Reading for an Endemic Country Summary
(as of November 29, 2017 )


November 2017 Membership & Foundation Giving

* All numbers reported through November 30, 2017
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District Office
Kathy Hegedus Administrative Assistant
PO Box 381
Grand Haven, MI. 49417
616-638-8769 (cell)