In April We Focus On Saving Mothers and Children

Rotary makes high-quality health care available to vulnerable mothers and children so they can live longer and grow stronger

We expand access to quality care, so mothers and children everywhere can have the same opportunities for a healthy future. An estimated 5.9 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, inadequate health care, and poor sanitation — all of which can be prevented.

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 District Events

Rotary International Convention 2018
Metro Toronto Convention Centre - North Bldg
Jun 23, 2018 – Jun 27, 2018
March in Review from DG Ed
Spring is here!
Happy Spring, Rotarians!  Despite the weather forecast for the first week of April in our District, the calendar tells us it is spring.  This month we joined the spirit of annual renewal and rebirth by training our Presidents-Elect and Presidents-Nominee for their new offices.  New relationships, new ideas, new growth abound as we get ready to transition to new Rotary Club leadership.  Congratulations to DGE Brian Robertson, DGN Dave Thomas, and District Trainer Tom Schmidt on a job well done.
March has been Water and Sanitation Month on Rotary’s calendar.  April is Maternal and Child Health Month, reminders of new birth and growth and our obligations as Rotarians to play a part in making the world a better place looking forward.
Keep reading for updates on tremendous news taking place around our District, and for a special invitation to the District Conference.

Upcoming Club Anniversaries April 2018

Club Name
# of Yrs
HollandApril 1, 192098
Boyne CityApril 1, 192296
Cedar SpringsApril 6, 194276
RoscommonApril 5, 195068
Montague-WhitehallApril 21, 195464
GaylordApril 20, 195662
Chippewa County (Sault Ste. Marie) SunriseApril 23, 200216

El Salvador Interact Service Trip Update

On March 31st 70 people departed for El Salvador on the 2018 Rotary Interact trip:  43 high school students and 26 adults from all over the US, including one participant from Mexico. The group is led by D6290 Interact Chair Doug Mealey. This is Doug's 18th trip taking Interact students to El Salvador, and his third year with a Michigan contingent (43) since his retirement here from previous home in New Hampshire. Among the adults are 3 medical personnel. The students are in an electronics-free environment for the week while they build homes for those in need. We know we'll hear lots of terrific stories upon their return!

Join Us!


Join Us At The Rotary Foundation Gala

Announcing D6290 Rotary Foundation Matching Points Program

For a limited time only, April 1, 2018 through May 15, 2018, on a first come first serve basis, Rotary International District 6290 is offering to match a new gift of $500 to The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund, with 500 recognition points to name a Paul Harris Fellow. (Note: “new” means that the entire $500 contribution must be made within the program dates.  Earlier partial donations cannot be counted towards the match.)

Please complete the attached form, (the form is in a fillable format) print and send along with a $500 USD check payable to The Rotary Foundation to: 

PDG Gernot Runschke
District Rotary Foundation Committee
1624 Gladys Circle
Grand Haven, MI 49417

Forms must be accompanied by a $500 USD check and postmarked no later than May 15, 2018.

Questions?  Contact Al Bonney at 231-223-4064 or

Or Gernot Runschke at 616-566-3815, or

Early-Act: The Ultimate Jump-Start for Rotary Membership!

Did you know there are Rotary youth programs for students in Elementary School - and they aren't going to be outdone by the more senior Interact and Rotaract members.
At North Muskegon EarlyAct their club includes 50+ fifth graders who meet weekly during lunch. Some of their projects this year have been cards to military and senior citizens, fundraising for polio vaccines by having a purple pinkie and pajama day, creating a rock garden for the school community, helping with a variety of other school organizations (March is Reading Month, specific North Muskegon student needs, etc.), and sponsoring a child through Compassion International.
Not far away is Cherry Creek Elementary EarlyAct at Lowell Public Schools. This group has over 40 fourth and fifth graders and they take on at least one project for each... the school, community, and the world. They are in their 6th year of micro-financing on Kiva and have lent out almost $15,000 of student-earned funds to 84 countries globally. Well over 500 loans of $25 each impacting 15,000+  lives. Follow their work online at

New! Be a Vibrant Club guide is ready

Discover what clubs in your region are doing to revitalize themselves and appeal to new members. The Be a Vibrant Club manual, presentation, and worksheet include new and exciting ideas to inspire greatness in your clubs. Order your regional guides, also available in several European languages, on Shop today.

Be a Vibrant Club resources are also available on the Trainers page on My Rotary.

Jump for Polio

As we enter the 2nd half of our Rotary Year we must continue to support The End Polio Campaign. This year the sky's the limit . . . literally!
We are holding a skydiving fundraising event.
Where:  Charlevoix Municipal Airport
When:  all day, Sunday, June 3; with weather make-up dates June 6 or 7
Host, Sponsor and reservations agent:  Skydive Harbor Springs / Charlevoix
This is a tandem skydiving event - so no previous experience is required. Current goal is to limit this to 20 participants, each with a fundraising goal of at least $1,000 (in addition to the cost of jump - $230).
If you have questions about this event, send email to Elk Rapids Rotarian Don Watkins
Already fired up and ready to jump? Download the Jumper procedures and Donation Tracking Form.
If you have a member in your club who has volunteered to jump, help them reach their fundraising goal by helping them promote to your network of friends. Any club or Rotarian donations to support the jumpers will also count towards their club goal to support polio eradication.

D6290 Public Image Updates

Helping promote Rotary's Global causes & impact
The next time your club has a major fundraiser and/or public-facing event  . . . if you don't already have free-standing banners such as those shown above, consider borrowing them from the District. We have ordered an extra set to make available to clubs. We'll cover outbound shipping if you cover the return. Contact Kathy at District Office for details and availability.
District 6290 People of Action Campaign w/9 & 10 News
This campaign will run through August. The primary deliverables are on-air and targeted on-line digital promotion (with station 1:1 match) of our 30 second PSAs and display ads. Additionally we will be 'pitching' key events (participating clubs & District) to the news team with the goal of securing coverage. When we are successful obtaining news coverage we share that via our Facebook page. Given the nature of the beast, it's nearly impossible to guarantee news coverage in advance given breaking news can pre-empt. If you'd like to monitor our progress please visit the new page at District website (within Public Image structure).

The Importance of Getting to Zero

The Polio Eradication Initiative is moving forward quickly these days.  While there have been only 6 cases of polio in the world year to date, all in Afghanistan, being "this close" is no longer the way to think about this project.  Getting To Zero is the real goal because every time there is a new case, it might be the last case.  This business of Getting to Zero is important because it will be three years of no new cases, AFTER the last case that the world can be certified as polio free. 
Getting to Zero . . . . and staying there, however, is expensive: $1.5 billion expensive.  Rotary has pledged $50 Million a year for three years and the Gates Foundation will matched that 2:1.  It is important that each club and each Rotarian do what they can to help meet that $50 Million pledge.  RI is asking each club to commit to $1,500 in donations, each year, to PolioPlus, to reach that commitment. I hope we can count on your club for that small donation.  It is important.  Now is the time to Get to Zero and stay there. It cannot be done without the funds to do it.
Here is the link to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative newsletter thjat I spoke of earlier:
Thanks for your support and thanks for all you do to keep Service Above Self alive and well in your community and the world.

Grant Management Seminars - Who Needs to Go & How to Sign Up

To qualify to apply for a matching grant using District 6290 District Designated Matching Grant funds, District policy says, “at least two Rotarians from your Club with a membership of 20 or more (based upon Rotary International records as of July 1, 2017) must complete a Grant Management Seminar in 2018. If your Club has fewer than 20 members, at least one of your Rotarians must complete a Grant Management Seminar in 2017.
NEW THIS YEAR: The Chair of your grant project must complete the current Grant Management Seminar and anyone (except for your Club President) signing your grant application must also have completed the current Grant Management Seminar. These may be the same person.
You may take the course online at your own pace, or sign up for the 'live' version taking place in Holland, Thursday May 17th

Do You Know A Future Peacebuilder?

Each year, the Rotary Foundation awards up to 50 fellowships for master’s degrees and 50 for certificate studies at premier universities around the world.

  • Master’s degree programs: Last 15 to 24 months and require a practical internship of two to three months during the academic break.
  • Professional development certificate program: For experienced professionals and lasts three months with two to three weeks of field study.

Through academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities, the Rotary Peace Centers program develops leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution. These fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses.

In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 1,000 fellows for careers in peacebuilding. Many of them are serving as leaders at international organizations or have started their own foundations.

Being selected as a Peace Fellow is an extraordinary honor and tremendous opportunity.

The application process is now open (due May 31). Read more for details, and direct questions to Chris Etienne.


Update from Rotary Peace Fellow Sarah Sanderson

Sarah Sanderson is a Rotary Peace Fellow who recently graduated from International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan with a degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution. After spending the summer studying at the University of Geneva in a program focusing on higher education opportunities for refugees, Sanderson accepted the position of English Language Fellow (ELF) with the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda.
Each year, the U.S. Department of State sends out 120 ELFs to developing countries around the world with the goal of enacting meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught abroad. Through projects developed by U.S. Embassy in more than 80 countries, ELFs work directly with local teachers, students and educational professional to improve the quality of English language instruction offered at prestigious universities and other academic institutions.

The year of the tree

RI President Ian H.S. Riseley issued a challenge last year. He wanted Rotarians to plant 1.2 million trees – one for every Rotarian in the world – between 1 July 2017, when he took office, and Earth Day, 22 April 2018. Clubs around the world have embraced that challenge.
Within our District we know there will be trees planted in Petoskey, and a separate event will take place in Cheboygan.
Be sure to share your plans and photos with us on Facebook!

Are you on track for Presidential Citation Award?

The deadline to submit accomplishments as part of the District Governor's Citation Award has passed (submissions were due April 1st). Don't worry though - it's not too late to participate in the Presidential Citation award.

Focus and Increase Humanitarian Service - Presidential Citation

Goal: Carry out at least one project focused on the environment. Report in Rotary Showcase, using the environment category.
Need an Idea? Earth Day is Sunday April 22nd. Rotary International President Ian has a personal goal of having clubs plant one tree per member. Why not merge these two goals into a single deliverable? Plant some trees! If that doesn't work for you, why not a clean up project? Surely there is some environmental-focused group in your community that has something going on for Earth Day that you can help sponsor?
All you need to do is make sure you log it in Club Central!
Don't forget that all activities related to the Presidential Citation Award must be submitted via Rotary Club Central by June 30th.
Reflections on Honduras

I brought five soccer balls with me to Honduras. Today I gave away two of those five. I gave the soccer ball away to a family of eight while we built their latrine. I went on the same mission trip here last year and gave away five soccer balls and it is honestly the greatest feeling in the world.It feels truly amazing to be able to bless these poverty stricken children with just a single soccer ball.

The "Buffalo" is a mountain that is a mountain that is easily seen by people who look up towards the mountains. It is amazing how much this mountain looks like a buffalo. Everyone here enjoys the view the buffalo (especially John Noling). 

Today we also learned the meaning of the term "gringo". It originally came from the Hondurans who didn't like having the US Army within their borders. Which, because of the white skin and the green army uniforms they would derogatorily shout green-go. Throughout the trip, dozens of Honduran children shout "hola gringos" as we pass by their homes. The term gringo has been passed down by generations of families; however, today, the term is not used for derogatory purposes. It is how the Honduran children refer to people with white skin.

Everyone is so blessed and thankful to be here on this trip. For me, it has truly been an eye opening experience, once again, of how lucky we truly are to be living in the US.

Mallory Meston
Mona Shores High School Rotary InterAct 

Life Leadership Conference is 70 years young!

District 6290 Life Leadership Conference is the longest continually running Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program in the Rotary world.  The Life Leadership conference is held at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan.  The Conference is held on a small wooded campus designed especially for leadership training.
This year's event is scheduled for June 13 - 16.
We have over 120 students already confirmed. Given we are celebrating 70 years this year, we're expecting another sell-out (165 students). Online registration for the students will open in April. 
If your club has not already notified John Noling of your student participants please do so ASAP. (Email John)

Calling all Youth Leadership All-Stars

May is Rotary's Youth Service Month! We are looking for Youth Leadership All-Stars to share their stories and be recognized on the Rotary Voices blog. 
Please be sure to share this with the students in your STRIVE, Interact, Youth Exchange, Rotaract & Life Leadership programs!
Questions they need to address:
How have you become a more effective leader? Why is youth service so important in your community? What are you doing to make positive change in the world?
Encourage them to learn more and submit their story by 23 April 2018 for a chance to be featured as a Youth Leadership All-Star. 

5 steps to telling a People of Action story

doctorThe new People of Action campaign helps you bring Rotary’s story to life by showing Rotary members as the people of action we are. Telling our People of Action stories in a meaningful, coordinated way builds the public’s understanding of who we are and what we do. It highlights the impact we make in our communities and around the world. Learn how to tell your People of Action story and help answer the question, “What is Rotary?”

New People of Action materials on Brand Center

OnlineHorizontal and Skyscraper banners for use in online channels
OutdoorUse these outdoor billboards and transit shelter ads for outdoor advertising opportunities in your community
VideoA 25-second version of the “What We See” video is now available. Work with your local TV station or video-editing facility to add five seconds that give your club’s information.
RadioUse the produced radio ads or work with your local radio station to record the ad and include your club’s contract information.
Visit the Brand Center for details

Pro Tips: Telling Rotary’s story through photography

President Peter Agar (left) and member Geoff Vallance, of the Rotary Club of Lower Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, prepare food for the club’s barbecue booth at the monthly Rotary market in Glenbrook. Photo: Monika Lozinska
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure your club’s images are telling a clear and compelling story by working with a professional photographer.
Professionals can capture images that grab viewers’ attention and evoke emotion. They can also help you identify the types of photos that bring your Rotary story to life.
Here are a few ideas for finding and working with photographers:

Toronto Convention March Update

We have 93 D6290 Rotarians and family/friends attending the International Convention. Our goal is 100. Let's do it!!!

Register now and be sure to sign up for the Zone party and fabulous hospitality events.

Download the latest Convention Newsletter

If you have an RV of any size, you might want to drive to Toronto.  The RV Fellowship has secured a site 2 miles from the Convention venues - and on the RI bus route - with electric power.  They have lots of fun activities planned  before, during and after the Convention.  Details in above newsletter.

Global Polio Eradication At-A-Glance March 2018

Wild poliovirus type 1 and Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus cases
CountriesYTD 2018YTD 2017Total in 2017Onset of paralysis of  
most  recent case


Polio this week as of March 28, 2018

  • New on The journey of a stool sample: Understanding polio surveillance.
  • Summary of newly-reported viruses this week: Afghanistan: One new case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been confirmed this week, occurring in Kandahar province. One new WPV1 positive environmental sample has been reported in Kabul province. Pakistan: Two new WPV1 positive environmental samples have been reported, one in Sindh province, and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Somalia: Confirmation of one new cVDPV2 positive environmental sample in Banadir province. This sample was advance notification last week.
  • See country-specific sections for further details.

NA: Onset of paralysis in most recent case is prior to 2017. Figures exclude non-AFP sources. All cVDPV are type2.  cVDPV definition: see document “Reporting and classification of vaccine-derived polioviruses” at [pdf]

Keep Reading for an Endemic Country Summary
(as of March 28, 2018)


March 2018 Membership and Foundation Giving

* All numbers reported through March 31, 2018
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District Office
Kathy Hegedus Administrative Assistant
PO Box 381
Grand Haven, MI. 49417
616-638-8769 (cell)