In October We'll Focus On Community & Economic Development

Nearly 800 million people live on less than $1.90 a day. Rotary members are passionate about providing sustainable solutions to poverty. Our members and our foundation work to strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.

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

Upcoming Events

One Rotary Summit
Ralph A. MacMullen Conference Center
Oct 14, 2017
7:15 AM – 3:00 PM
Fourth Annual Multi-District Rotaract Conference
Riverwood Golf Course
Oct 21, 2017
Fourth Annual D6290 Interact Conference
North Muskegon High School
Oct 28, 2017
8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
D6290 Youth Exchange - Fall Interview Conference
Kettunen Center
Nov 03, 2017 – Nov 05, 2017

September Updates from DG Ed

A busy District we have!

As Carol and I make our rounds among our Clubs I continue to be impressed with the ways in which every one of you is truly Rotary: Making a Difference!

We are almost two thirds of the way through Club visits.  In another month and a half we’ll be done!  But we are also busy in so many other ways.  Service projects, fundraisers, District events, Zone events, International Convention, etc., etc.  We will try to make as many of these as we can.  We just won’t be able to be in Roscommon, Houghton Lake, and Montague at the same time. 

There seem to be lots of things going on that we want to remind you of – and many opportunities for service. 


Upcoming Club Anniversaries October 2017

Club Name
# of Yrs
GrandvilleOctober 12, 193879
LudingtonOctober 12, 193384

Remembering Violet

On Sunday morning September 30th Violet gave way to her battle against cancer. PDG Al and his wife Joan, DG Ed and wife Carol had recently visited her. What follows is Al's recollection of that precious time which includes important words from Violet to our District Rotarians. Please honor Violet and her years of selfless service by taking a moment to read this in full.

DG Ed and Spouse Carol joined me and Joan at Rotarian Violet Rohrer’s home on Tuesday afternoon, September 19. We had the good fortune to spend an hour and a half with her. She was bright, chipper and in very good spirits throughout our visit.

Violet had called me on Sunday morning to ask if her Multiple Donor, Third Level pin had arrived yet. I said it had not but that I would check on Monday first thing to find it.

The other purpose of her call was to tell me she was under Hospice care now for the cancer that had recently metastasized throughout her body. She was bed ridden and was moved to Trillium Woods, a residential hospice center shortly after our visit. Her husband John has been staying there pretty much full time to be close to her.



Rotary Helps Disaster Victims

Severe storms, an earthquake, and hurricanes are wreaking havoc across the globe from the United States and Mexico to South Asia and Africa. The Rotary Foundation and Rotary clubs in affected areas are helping bring emergency aid to battered communities.

Are you a person of action?

Are you a person with leadership skills?  Do you share your ideas in your Rotary Club?  Are you a person of action?  Then you should come to One Rotary Summit (ORS) on Saturday, October 14th in Roscommon, Michigan. You will learn how membership, public image, humanitarian service, and supporting your Rotary Foundation work together in Making a Difference in your local community.  

You will meet fellow Rotarians who have similar interests in being a "Person of Action" -- which is an exciting phrase to use in sharing about your Rotary efforts.  You will take home ideas that have worked or will be worthy of trying in this and in future years.  Don't miss this event.  Lunch is included. Dinner and lodging packages are available.

Learn more about this event
Download the event flyer

Register online


What are D6290 Clubs doing to support Community & Economic Development?

Allendale & Greenville

Concerts in the Park

These clubs sponsor an annual summer series of free, weekly concerts in the park.

Benzie Sunrise

Healthy Harvest

The primary ringleaders for Healthy Harvest, the club rounds up volunteers to 'glean' surplus produce from generous farmers to stock our regional food pantries.

Big Rapids

Thanksgiving Dinners

Through community partnerships and donations, the club is able to create and deliver over 100 complete Thanksgiving Dinners to community families that might otherwise go without.


Food Pantry

Members hold an annual food drive in support of their community pantry

Chippewa County Sunrise

Soup Kitchen

Members volunteer on a quarterly basis to serve meals at a soup kitchen

Elk Rapids

Winterizing Homes

Members volunteer to help community members winterize homes to minimize heat loss and lower their utility bills.


The Pantry

Members volunteer monthly behind the scenes at The Pantry, the only food pantry in Kentwood, Michigan. The Pantry distributes fresh product, meats, etc every week

Little Traverse Bay Sunset

Manna Food Pantry

Each month the club devotes a meeting to provide service to Manna Food Pantry.


Home & Yard Projects

The club has an annual hands-on service day in collaboration with ministry where they help community members with yard & house projects.

Petoskey Sunrise

Manna Food Pantry

As part of an annual program, members engage with the public to generate donations of venison which are given to Manna food pantry. Additionally members volunteer on a weekly basis to deliver backpacks with weekend provisions to food insecure students in the local schools.

Sault Ste Marie, MI

Senior Care

The club raises funds and volunteers in support of a local assisted living center.

Suttons Bay-Leland

Blessings in a Backpack

The club's primary community service project - members raise funds for Leelanau Christian Neighbors which manages the local 'Blessings in a Backpack' program which provides backpacks with weekend provisions to food insecure students throughout the school year.

Traverse City

Special Needs

Through their Tag Day event, the club contributes approximately $25,000 each year to the Committee for the Handicapped for grant awards to children and adults with special needs.

There are also countless clubs that support the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign which does so much for our local communities! Equally huge number of clubs support the Adopt-A-Highway program with quarterly clean ups for a designated stretch of highway.

Did we miss something your club does?
Have your club Facebook administrator post that to and we will share with everyone following our page!

Love Lives Here

Recent acts of hate and racism at local schools and in the community spurred the Muskegon Rotary Club to bring forth a positive community event for all to come together in the spirit of unity and hope. 
The  Club's Diversity & Inclusion Committee hosted a positive and inspirational rally to bring the community together to share the love of our community, our families and friends. Local officials, members of the local clergy and community organizations led the rally in our community’s common framework of love and understanding.Love Lives Here” was the important message for a community rally which took place Monday, September 11, 2017 @ 5:00 pm at downtown Hackley Park. 
Hundreds of community members came out in a show of unity and support.
"I'm so proud of my community and my Muskegon Rotary Club, I'm not sure what to say!" - Rotarian Bob Scolnik
Keep reading to hear more about this wonderful event through the eyes of a participant.

Grants Committee Encourages Clubs to Submit Grant Applications

As of September 15, 2017, the District 6290 Grants Committee has received four grant applications--two from Petoskey Club and one each from the Wawa and Spring Lake Clubs. Our deadline is October 15, 2017. 
Please send in your applications early, and don’t miss the deadline. We have begun review on one of these early applications, and we can help you reach your goal if you submit your applications before the deadline. Our Committee members are here to help.
Don't forget that you haven't already had participants attend, you need to have also completed the Grant Management Seminar requirement. The online training seminar can be completed up to application submission date.
Not sure if your club is eligible? We maintain a list at on the Foundation Grants page at our website and will be refreshing it weekly until the cycle closes.

Opportunity for hands on service in Honduras

WEHOP (formerly HHOP) is going to Honduras again in 2018. The travel dates will be between February 16, 2018 and February 26, 2018. Details are still being worked out but most of the trip will be spent installing bio-sand water filters and building latrines in the mountains surrounding Comayagua. We will also work with the Merendon Rotary Club in San Pedro Sula.

This trip is open to Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Interact Junior and Senior High school students. Estimated cost will be around $2000 for the week and includes air, lodging, and meals. A $100 deposit will be due by the end of October.

If you are interested in going on this intergenerational, life changing work trip, please contact Gail Ringelberg at or 616-402-4190.

We Saw You On Facebook September 2017

Benzie Sunrise Rotarians and family members (Larry Ross, Taylor Moore, John Ester, Dave Wynne, Lynn Cavell, Jan Wynne and Dave Cavell) spent the afternoon at Ryan Noonan's farm to glean 2,000 lbs of potatoes which, via Food Rescue, will find their way to local food pantries.
D6290-sponsored Rotary Peace Fellow Sarah Sanderson Doyle posted "she and Sean had an amazing dinner with DG Ed and Carol - thanks for the delicious food and great conversation tonight!"
Grayling Club President Randy Thompson welcomed their Elementary School Principal, Gina Brunskill to receive a club donation of 21 backpacks that will be distributed to deserving students.
Representatives from the Rotary Club of Grand Haven presented the city and Save the Catwalk campaign chairwoman Erin Turrell with a $13,500 check for the fundraising drive during last week’s Grand Haven City Council meeting. The money came from the organization’s D’Vine Event, which took place earlier this summer.
Grand Rapids Rotary collaborated with many area businesses, community org.'s and individuals to help sponsor and build a Habitat for Humanity home for veteran Jonathan, Lindsay, and their two kids. Rotarians donated three days of volunteer service towards the build. Over 30 high school students from GR Public Schools' 'Academy for Design and Construction' helped build this home, too! 
The first of two bridges from Veteran's Memorial Park is beautifully restored thanks to a partnership between Muskegon Rotary and local Northside Lion's Club. Transported to a work site owned by Erickson Crane, decking and railings were removed, completely sandblasted, primed and painted with the correct finish and finally re-decked with new oak lumber. Look out bridge #2. Muskegon's Veteran's Memorial Park will once again be Michigan's Most Beautiful Mile!
East Jordan Rotary rounded up volunteers to prepare the hay art exhbit as part of the community's Fall Festival.
Houghton Lake Rotarian Rhonda Lamberg was recently recognized Rotarian of the Year by 2016-2017 Rotary President Jim VanSice. Lamberg is advisor to the Interact Club (a High School based service club) and staff member of the Rotary District 6290 Life Leadership Conference. This past year, Lamberg helped 14 Interact student members coordinate, raise funds, and participate in a service trip to build homes for families in El Salvadore. "She took on a challenge with the Interact club that I am so proud of", noted President Jim. "She put our clubs on the map"!
The Kalkaska Rotary Club is selling tickets for a chance to win 2 tickets, 2 nights lodging, and $200 cash for a trip to Ohio to see the Michigan State Spartans play the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 11, 2017. Tickets are $20 and are available from any Kalkaska Rotarian.
Little Traverse Bay Sunrise Rotarians were at it again - their monthly meeting at MANNA. This time they bagged, tagged, and boxed Special K granola for redistribution. That's a lot of cereal!
Holland Rotary is having a raffle, and this Alpha Romeo is the grand prize! Wow.
$25 per ticket. 1 FREE ticket with every 4 purchased!
Final Prize Drawing June 1, 2018
Proceeds support local & international service.
Grand Valley State University Rotaract Club 2017-2018 exec board! at their Student Life Night — with Jessica Cubitt,Hannah GoveAlex WagnerDanielle Parisien andRiley Youngs in Allendale, Michigan.
Allendale Rotary Club has decided to switch things up a touch - the first week of each month they'll have a breakfast meeting instead of their usual lunch.
<note from District - GREAT JOB mixing things up. Love innovative thinking.>
Frankfort Rotary held their 1st Annual Friends & Family Fall Color Bike Ride. (12 miles around Big Platte Lake, easy pace & picnic after)
Rotaract of Baker College of Muskegon participated in their annual "Baker Bash" kick off event to recruit campus students as member / volunteers.
Lowell Rotary distributed nearly 300 dictionaries to every 3rd grader in three schools throughout their District. The club has a focus on literacy this year. Click on the image to see these excited kits!
Holland AM Rotary supported United Way Day of Caring through a day of service.
The Rotary Club of Houghton recently donated $1,015 to purchase a protective vest for the new K-9 officer "Kato". Sheriff Stern noted that Kato, a 2-year old German Sheppard from Slovakia is the second K-9 for the county (along with Ghost who already has a vest). Pictured is 2016-2017 Rotary President Jim VanSice and Sheriff Ed Stern.
This thank you photo was posted to Ludington Rotary by Mason County Central Middle students and their instructor. Students are holding books donated in honor of weekly speakers at our meeting to all schools throughout Mason county. This amounts to about 50 books each year.
2017 Station Mall Rotary Charity Golf Classic raised $35,000 for THRIVE Child Development Centre, a signature project of Sault Ste. Marie, ON Rotary. Learn More
Shelby Boy Scouts troop#1151 joined Shelby Rotary to help with our section of highway pickup along Oceana drive.

Help Your Club Achieve Presidential & DG Citation Awards


Goal: Host and promote a community event to support World Polio Day, and register it on
Why Does This Matter?: The memory of polio before we had a vaccine is fading for most of us in our local communities. The job of eradicating this disease isn't over, so we need to keep spreading the word. There are loads of fun and low-impact ways you can help.
Tap into the World Polio Day resources for ideas.

PUBLIC IMAGE - District Governor Citation

Goal: Update club announcement, road signs, club banners and stationary to meet the new branding initiative of Rotary International
Why Does This Matter?: The more we standardize our look the more we establish brand identity - not just for the club, but for the entire network of clubs and programs that make Rotary International. It makes it easier to tell our story because we're part of something extraordinarily impactful. Start simple - do you have a customized club logo, and have you put that in action for all your club programs? 
Use the customizable template at's Brand Center

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.

Toronto Convention September Update

There are already 51 individuals from District 6290 that have registered for the 2018 Rotary International Convention in Toronto!

Registration Fee: The online registration fee of $335 increases to $410 after December 15th.

Accommodations: Toronto is hosting a separate citywide event during the Rotary Convention that is raising demand and prices for hotels, especially in the downtown / entertainment center near our conference venue. The most cost effective options through Rotary are at airport properties which are about 15 miles away (transportation provided). Many D6290 Rotarians are exploring AirBnB options and are having good success finding cost-effective downtown options. We encourage you to book your accommodations sooner vs. later either through Experient, Rotary’s official housing partner, or through other channels.

Convention Website

What Does Your Website Say About Your Club?

When you are curious about something new, do you go online for a little research? I sure do! 

It's safe to say your club website is reviewed by community partners and prospective members who are curious to know more about you. What is that site visit going to say about the club? Will it convey that you area vibrant, engaged group of fabulous Rotarians?

Some of our clubs have done tremendous work updating their sites and/or launching entirely new sites. In some cases, while the look of the site has been updated, the content is still dated. In other cases it appears the only thing that has been updated in years is the list of officers. 

I'd like to offer some support. Here are a few observations from my travels around our D6290 Club websites:


Do you have the latest version of ClubRunner mobile app?

The ClubRunner Mobile App is your key to connect to your ClubRunner website on the go! Completely, free to download and use, this app will let you access the key info you need while you're on the go. Password protected just like your website, the ClubRunner Mobile app allows you to to view your member directory, contact your members and executives, read the latest articles posted to your website, learn more about your upcoming events and speakers, view your meeting details and track your attendance statistics, right from your smartphone or tablet!
To download the app from the Apple App Store or from Google Play, simply type in 'ClubRunner' in the search bar. Our mobile app is compatible with all versions of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch sets that have iOS 8.0 or later and with versions of Anrdoids that are 4.0.3 or better.

A Diplomatic Experience

District 6290 Rotary Peace Fellow Sarah Sanderson recently returned to Michigan after completing her two-year Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution through the Rotary Peace Center’s Program.  Sarah was the featured speaker at the Rotary Club of Petoskey on September 27, 2017. 
She is quite the impressive Scholar.  She will be leaving for Uganda in early October to work for the US Embassy.
Submit a video now for the Interact Video Awards
Interactors and Interact Club sponsors, Rotary wants you to show us your club in action for the 9th annual Interact Video Awards! The “Best Video” will be awarded US$1000 toward your next service project. Create a video that shows how Interactors inspire and transform our local and global communities for good. Show how your Interact club members are People of Action!
Check out last year's finalists to get inspired. Work together with Rotaract clubs, Rotary clubs, teachers, and parents to make your video a reality.  Make sure to submit your video before the 30 November deadline. Questions? Email

Programs For Young Leaders September Roundup

Now that school is back in session, we are finding that our Rotary Interact Clubs are reforming and starting to form plans for future events. We request that all clubs contact our District Coordinator and let him know the name and contact information of the club advisor(s) and the club president. This information is extremely important to our district as well as to RI.  Please forward this info on to Doug Mealey at
The 4th Annual D6290 Interact Conference takes place October 28th. 
Our Rotaract Clubs will start formal activities once students return to campus.
The 4th Annual Multi-District Rotaract Conference takes place October 28th in Mt. Pleasant.
If you want to learn more about Rotaract and what it takes to sponsor a club, please contact Steve Osborn our District Rotaract Chair.
Clubs throughout the District have been welcoming their 2017/2018 inbound students.
The Fall Orientation Conference for Inbound students takes place September 6 - 8 at Camp Daggett in Petoskey.
Clubs sponsoring students will be in the schools recruiting the 2018/2019 class of outbounds. Applications are due at the end of October. 
Questions? Contact Rod Stone, our D6290 Interim Youth Exchange Chair.
Be sure to invite 2017 LLC conferees to speak at a club program to share their experiences!
Club LLC Chairs should team up with club committees/individuals involved in youth programs to coordinate your recruiting/promotion strategy.
Clubs interested in learning more should explore materials at our website and contact John Noling, our District LLC Chair. 


3rd Annual Interact International Service Trip

Our third annual international service trip is now scheduled for April 1 to April 10. We will not be able to take more than 80 Rotary Interactors and chaperones this year. Last year our group totaled 74 individuals. We can only take 6 more than last year and interest throughout the District is running very high for this year’s trip.
Here is some additional basic information that you will need:
  • Estimated cost: $1050.00 (includes airfare, hotel, all bus transportation, meals and entrance charges.  We do not provide snacks like pizza, soda, souvenirs, etc.
  • This trip is sponsored by the Noroeste Rotary Club in El Salvador.
A request to all of our Rotary Clubs: If you are financially able and willing, would you consider a donation of funds for building materials. It is our plan to build 10 concrete homes (cost is $3000 per house.) Any club that donates the total cost of a home, will have a plaque attached to the home saying something like: THIS HOME HAS BEEN DONATED BY THE XYZ ROTARY CLUB OF MICHIGAN OR ONTARIO. Please let Doug Mealey know if you will be able to help out our youth with the construction material costs.
A student/parent meeting will be set up in your area soon. If you don't hear of a meeting in your area, please contact Doug Mealey for a date and place near you. A meeting has already been held at Houghton Lake and one is set for Allendale (Sept. 27th @6:30pm) at the high school.

Youth Programs In Action September 2017

21 District 6290 Rotary Youth Exchange inbound students connected at Camp Daggett for their Fall Orientation Conference. In addition to the student orientation, there was training for Youth Exchange Officers, Youth Exchange Counselors, Club Presidents, and any interested Rotarians,. Thank you to all who volunteered to make it a successful weekend!
Check out this great recap of this club's 2016-2017 year
Montague-Whitehall Rotary Club hosted 6 of the 7 high school students who attended the 69th annual D6290 Life Leadership Conference to share their experience. 

How do D6290 Clubs Raise Funds For Community & Economic Development?

Big Rapids, Elk Rapids, Frankfort, Gaylord, Grayling, Kalkaska, Mancelona

Chicken BBQ

Club members run an annual Chicken (and/or Ribs) BBQ raising significant funds for community service projects

Cadillac, Charlevoix, Grand Haven, Houghton Lake, Lowell, Muskegon, Petoskey, Sault Ste. Marie MI, Traverse City

Annual Auction / Dinner / Party

These clubs choose a new community beneficiary each year and hold a major auction / dinner to generate funds. Events range from standalone silent & live auctions to events that include silent/live auctions, such as "Diamonds & Denim" dinner/auctions, St. Patty's Day party, Gourmet Game Night, and D'Vine & 'Grape Escape' wine/beer tastings

East Jordan, Elk Rapids, Frankfort, Sault Ste Marie MI, Traverse City

Rotary Show

Members organize an annual variety show which serves as their primary fundraiser for community service projects.

Ada-Cascade, Bellaire, Benzie Sunrise, Cedar Springs, Cheboygan, Coopersville, Grand Rapids, Grayling, Kentwood, Lowell, Mancelona, Manistee, Manton, Montague-Whitehall, Reed City, Sault Ste. Marie ON, Shelby, South Kent, Sparta, Traverse City, White Cloud

Golf Outing

These outings generate income that fuels community service projects, youth programs and scholarships.


Caramel Apple Sales

In partnership with a local business, the club sells caramel apples (which they make!) as a major fundraiser for community good works


Travelogue Series

Seven programs offered throughout the academic year at local high school feature a guest speaker on an adventurous topic

Petoskey Sunrise


Multiple teams, complete with wild costumes, raise donations which are directed to a group of designated community beneficiaries


Big Daddy Duck Race

This unique annual fundraiser generates proceeds to support the community


Duck Race

Not to be outdone by Rockford, Roscommon Rotary also holds an annual duck race on the AuSable River.

Sault Ste Marie, ON


One of a kind, this massive multi-day summer festival engages the entire community and raises a fortune towards their signature causes.
Did we miss  your signature fundraiser that supports growing communities?
Have your club Facebook administrator post that to and we will share with everyone following our page!

What Are You Doing For World Polio Day?



Celebrate World Polio Day on 24 October by hosting an event in your community. Register your event, and download resources to help you plan, promote and execute your event including sample press releases, social media graphics, and templates for invites. 


Honoring Rotary Foundation in September 2017

During his visit to Charlevoix Rotary DG Ed recognized five Paul Harris Fellows! 
(L-R): David Prahl, Tom Darnton, Jon VanWagnen, Mark Heydlauff and Bob Molter
Teresa Beachum received a PHF from Lowell Rotary Club's immediate past president Mark Mundt. Teresa is responsible for coordinating our Pink Arrow Project. All money raised stays in Lowell to assist those who need assistance. 
MaryAnn Norton Short was presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship by District Gov. Ed Edward C. Swart 9-27-17

Global Polio Eradication At-A-Glance September 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 September 27 , 2017

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 September 27, 2017 )


September 2017 Membership & Foundation Giving

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