In January We Focus on Vocational Service

A VTT from Thailand receives training in the U.S., and an American VTT helps build a water system in Thailand

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Upcoming District Events

D6290 Youth Exchange - Winter Orientation
Feb 22, 2018 – Feb 25, 2018
P.E.T.S. (President-Elect Training Seminar)
Radisson Plaza
Mar 15, 2018 1:30 PM –
Mar 17, 2018 1:00 PM

December Greetings from DG Ed

The holidays arrived.  For some of us it was the Festival of Lights, for others Lights on the Trees, and for others a celebration that the dark days are past and from now on each day will be lighter.  Most of us celebrate Christmas.  Whatever holidays you celebrated, I hope they were bright and cheerful and filled with the joy of family and with a sense of peace.  As Rotarians we are called to spread peace and joy and to serve our communities and respond to needs in our world.   

Carol and I and the Rotary Clubs of Holland enjoy the each year The Great American Christmas Tree Hunt which brings together exchange students and Interact students and Holland Rotarians to trudge through the snow in Allegan County till we find the right tree to adorn the Swart household.  Then, after hot chocolate, grilled cheese sandwiches, and tomato soup, we decorate it.  Such fun, and an opportunity for sharing stories of our faith, cultures, and traditions.

We had no Club visits this month!  I was back in my third-grade class until I came down with a bad cold and had to take a week off.  Normalcy has begun to show itself in the Swart household.

"Read More" for details on Disease & Prevention, our Nominating Committee, and the future leadership of our District.


Upcoming Club Anniversaries January 2018

Club Name
# of Yrs
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan1 Jan, 191998
Suttons Bay - Leelanau County2 Jan, 194671
Greenville10 Jan, 192790
Comstock Park23 Jan, 195265
Reed City27 Jan, 194275
Inspire others through vocational service

Vocational service calls on Rotarians to empower others by using their unique skills and expertise to address community needs and help others discover new professional opportunities and interests. January is Rotary’s Vocational Service Month, a great time to leverage vocational service in your clubs and activities.

  • Ask your members to talk about their profession as part of a club program, and take time to learn about fellow members’ occupations.

  • Use your club members’ skills and expertise to serve your community.

  • Help young people achieve their career goals.

  • Guide and encourage others in their professional development.

Download the updated Vocational Service Handbook to find more ideas.

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 December 2017

In the Spirit of Giving, Benzie High School &  Middle School Interact Clubs partnered up with St. Philips Church in Beulah, to help sort and organize thousands of gifts for our local families.
Forest Hills Northern Interact collected $608.01 and 288 chapsticks for donation to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. Fruit flavored chapstick is used to flavor the anesthesia induction mask and ease children's anxiety before surgery.
Officers from Montague Whitehall Interact shared plans for a $5,700 goal toward a project for building and maintaining a water well in Africa.
(L to R are Interact Club Members: Hannah Sanford, Secretary; Leeanna Burns, Vice President; Mika Smith, President; and
Jasmine Broton, Development.)
Grand Rapids STRIVE students and mentors volunteered for Elves and More, assembling bicycles that would serve as holiday gifts.
A Holland Rotary 'youth' gathering was held at the Swartz home. We suspect broad representation across multiple programs :-)
Sault Ste. Marie-Michigan Rotary's first session of Jr. Rotarians for the 2017-2018 School did their final presentation today and were honored with their Junior Rotarian Pins and certificates! Their presentation included presenting the three 6th grade winners of the “4-Way Test” Essay Contest.
Traverse Bay Twilight Rotary hosted the Traverse City Rotary Youth Exchange students to learn more about their experiences to date.
D6290 Interact News
We welcome the folks from Big Rapids who have just completed their orientation program for prospective new members and their parents.  The students will meet very soon to elect their officers and start the process of chartering and doing good in their area.  We wish them well.
The formation of this year's International Service trip to El Salvador is just about complete.  We are expecting that the group will be about 70+ in size (including chaperones.)  We will be building multigenerational homes for about 8 multigenerational families during the spring break.  

Baker College of Muskegon Rotaract Earns 4th Consecutive Presidential Citation Award

This year the club has chosen Muskegon Rescue Mission as its yearly project. Check out their GoFundMe page, and consider making a donation to help support Muskegon Rescue Mission!
Each year the Baker College of Muskegon Rotaract Club selects a nonprofit that will be the primary focus of their volunteer and fundraising efforts. In 2016-2017 the beneficiary was the Boys & Girls Club . . . but if you think that's the only thing they did, you are WAY off base.
From their recognition of member's individual random acts of kindness, to their monthly recognition of an outstanding Rotaract member, to an endless list of service projects and fundraisers, these students continue to awe and inspire.
"Read More" for a truly humbling list of their accomplishments. We know the Muskegon Rotary Club couldn't be prouder, and the same can be said of our entire District leadership team. Well done!

New year, new connections — engaging with prospective members 

As the new year approaches, people around the world will make resolutions to live happier, more meaningful, more productive lives in 2018. Perhaps they want to get involved and give back to their community. Maybe they want to improve the world on a larger scale. Or they might be hoping to make new friends or professional connections.

Is your club following up with prospective members?

Every January, we see a sharp increase in inquiries about joining Rotary. Prospective members tell us about themselves and what they want in a Rotary club through Rotary staff screens these inquiries and sends them to district leaders, who then match the prospective members, or leads, with clubs that might meet their needs. It’s up to clubs to make sure that these people in their communities who want to make a difference hear back from Rotary. Learn how you can follow up on your membership leads to find great new Rotarians.


Help Your Club Achieve a Presidential & DG Citation Award

Support and Strengthen Clubs - Presidential Citation

Goal: Engage members in activities outside regular club meetings. In Rotary Club Central, either record at least one club social activity or indicate that more than 50 percent of your club’s members participated in club service activities.
Why Does This Matter?: When club members form lasting relationships with each other, they become more engaged in the life of the club. We know that nearly every club in our District has a holiday party, and many have a monthly social / after hours event. So all you need to do is make sure you log it in Club Central!

Mandatory Activities - District Governor Citation

Goal: The Club must have goals entered in Rotary Club Central for Membership, Engagement, and Foundation.  Progress toward these goals must be monitored throughout the year.
Why Does This Matter?: If we don't establish goals it's hard to track progress, hard to engage and develop club leadership, hard to communicate success to our members . . . Having these goals established in Club Central is a fundamental requirement for each club. Club President's have been coached on this since before they took office. Perhaps the time has come for our Club Presidents and President Elects to sit down and do this together if they haven't done so already?

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.

People of Action stories

Telling our Rotary story helps the world to better understand who we are: people of action, driven by a desire to strengthen communities, mobilize problem solvers, and find solutions to the tough challenges affecting people around the world.

Stories about fundraisers, contributions, or international service projects are important and an integral part of what we do, but they’re not necessarily People of Action stories. The People of Action campaign is designed to help better inform our local communities about Rotary and the work we do for the places we call home. To let the rest of the world know who we are, we must let our neighbors know first.

How do you tell a great People of Action story?


Rotary Club of Houghton Lake supports Turkeys for Tickets program

Three years ago, Gordie LaFontaine called Roscommon County Sheriff Ed Stern asking if he would like to help start a community project. Ed said "Sure, but what?". Gordie said "I don't know, you figure something out, I'll get you the money!", and from that was born the Turkeys for Tickets project. This is the third year for the project where during a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas the Roscommon County Sheriff will issue a turkey instead of a ticket for minor traffic violations. Last year 60 turkeys were gifted. This year, they supplied 100 turkeys throughout the entire county. The first year of the program received national news coverage. 

Click here to view the 9 & 10 News story.

In 2017 Houghton Lake and Roscommon Rotary Clubs provided financial support for the project.

Venison For Manna – Shoots Past Goal… over 2,400 lbs. of Venison gathered for Manna Food Project!

Another successful year for the Petoskey Rotary Sunrise Venison for Manna Project.  Each year the club encourages area hunters to donate venison to the local Manna Food Project, which provides food to 37 area food agencies in Emmet, Charlevoix and Antrim Counties, Michigan, USA.

The goal was to gather 2,000 lbs., and when the dust settled, over 2,400 lbs. of venison was donated.  A critical part of the project are four local processors; Walloon Lake General Store, Jurek’s Meat Market, Carp Lake General Store and Krueger’s Meat Market.  They are the focal point and their staff’s play an important role in helping promote the program to hunters as they bring their deer in for processing.

"Read More" for the details of this great service project.


Rotarians were generous on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a wonderful 21st Century invention, invented in response to the excess and gluttony of Black Friday, as an opportunity to take a moment and do a random act of kindness by giving to some charity that will make the world a better place. Representing a simple personal choice to "just do something good" because you can is a nice thing. I was proud to take part this year. 

District Rotarians seemed to feel like I did because 15 of us gave $3,450 to the Rotary Foundation for Giving Tuesday. I am sure many more gave to other favorite charities, and that is good too - the important things was just to do something to make the world a better place.

Zone 29 (the Rotary Zone we belong to) gave $11,000, the third highest giving district on Giving Tuesday in the whole world! For 6290 to have given almost a third of the whole Zone contribution also speaks to our generous nature and desire to do good in the world.

We Saw You On Facebook December 2017

Michigan State Police Sgt. Scott Bates and Community Services Trooper Kyle McInerney  spoke to the Rotary Club of Houghton Lake about the Shop With A Hero Program. This is the 14th year of the program where Police, DNR, Fire, and EMS Heroes help 50-60 children in the community shop for the holidays. The children get dinner from Subway, and a Police escorted charter bus trip from the police post to Walmart where they receive a $100 gift card and a Hero to help them purchase gifts. Interact club, cheerleaders, and victim services members help the children wrap the presents.
Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Denise Stefanko presented a $1,000 donation to Scott & Kyle in support of the program.
Charlevoix Rotary set a new record with $3575 in cash donations and approx 3000 food items collected!
Big Rapids Rotary got into the spirit of things with their 1st Annual 'Ugly Sweater'  Contest. Looks like there were lots of winners :-)
Baker College Rotaract members Kendrad, Caroline & Kaylee served meals at their signature project - Muskegon Rescue Mission!! (Megan is working too)
Sault Rotaract held their 4th annual donation drive to provide care packages to a local men's shelter.
Chippewa County Sunrise Rotary dedicated a meeting to wrap gifts they had acquired for their "Community Action Family." 
Frankfort Rotary Club's Winter Warmth Coat Collection was a big success again this year!
Elk Rapids Rotary raised over $3,000 at their Annual Christmas Dinner & Auction! 
Merry Elf Mel and Elfette Judy made the rounds to encourage bidding on the auction.
Hart Rotary held their annual holiday party which included all sorts of fun and games . . . and the return of "Prancer the Plunger" . . . we know there's a story here . . . club wasn't terribly forthcoming on Facebook :-)
Grand Haven Rotary is gearing up for their January 27th "Sleepwalker Run" - a family-friendly 2.62 mile fun run to help rebuild the Imagination Station.
Little Traverse Bay Sunset Rotary combined service with their holiday party. Members joined forces to label fruit bars, stock shelves, and had our Christmas party. Have to admit that of all the wild outfits we saw in photos - this one front & center takes the prize!
Ludington Rotarians Steve Begnoche and Pat Patterson display one of the auction items at their annual fundraiser - a sold out event with 250 attendees raising thousands of dollars for STRIVE, community and youth programs.
It was a perfect December day for a Christmas Parade from Whitehall into Montague-49 sunny degrees! Here are the candy distributors who were with the float while 6 more of us were behind the scenes getting everything in order. 
Petoskey Rotary presented a check to our 2017 Diamonds & Denim Partner, Petoskey Band Boosters in the amount of $60,000.00. We wish them continued success as they shape the future of many Petoskey School young adult's lives. 
Roscommon Rotary attended lunch with the 3rd grade class at Roscommon Area Public Schools today. Pizza lunch and gifts of books for each child in their reading level selected by their teachers. An annual tradition we enjoy!
Sault Ste. Marie-Michigan Rotary is gearing up for their major fundraiser - "Betsy's Game Show Extravaganza" - trust us, this event is one of a kind!
Sault Ste Marie ON Rotary celebrated the holiday season with friends and family at our Rotary Children's Christmas Party which had everything from face painting, to cookie decorating, to a visit from Santa himself!
Stanton Rotary Club is modifying their meeting dates/formats in the New Year!
Traverse Bay Sunrise Rotary received the support of a local business - Morsel's - who donated $0.25 for each treat sold in support of the clubs Backpacks for Kids program.
Every year the Rotary Club of Traverse City arranges for the Club members to make contributions to the "Christmas Basket" program. Here the staff from the Rotary Club, Charities & Camps get together with the staff from United Way and wrap presents for a disadvantaged family of seven.

Over $20,139 raised by D6290 clubs Indoor Ride to End Polio

The Indoor Ride to End Polio is a ready-made polio fundraising event open to every Rotary Club, Rotary District and Rotarian in the world. The Indoor Ride is a complement to the Ride to End Polio, a bicycling fundraiser held each November in Tucson, Arizona, USA, in conjunction with El Tour de Tucson, one of the largest perimeter bicycling events in the US. El Tour, organized by Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, annually attracts more than 8,000 cyclists. The Indoor Ride allows riders across the country and around the world to participate without coming to Tucson by riding stationary bikes at home or in a gym, collecting donations for each minute of the ride.

District 5500 in Tucson created the Indoor Ride in 2016 and District 6290 has had a team in the race each year since it started. Each year the earning totals go up and we have been proud to add our fundraising power to this important effort.

"Read More" to learn which clubs participated in End Polio fundraising.


This is your Rotary Club: a new approach to engaging members

So many Rotary membership events focus on engagement and retention. It makes sense. For every member that joins Rotary, it seems there’s another member walking out the door. Long term engagement and retention are an important part of successfully growing a club for the simple fact that new membership gains can be quickly wiped out by non-engaged members choosing to leave.

The advice being given by membership chairs and leaders is sound: get new members involved right away. Our club has taken this one step further by explaining something important to our new members.

Honoring Rotary Foundation Supporters December 2017

Long-time member of Muskegon Rotary Club, Bill Johanson, honored his daughter Carrie Kelly as a Paul Harris Fellow. It was a very special day for Carrie.  In Bill's words "I've been a member of the Muskegon Rotary Club for nearly 27 years. Rotary's major honor is to be named a Paul Harris Fellow. The honoree does not have to be a Rotarian and the award can be given for a number of reasons, including exceptional community service, helping foster better understanding and friendly relations among all people as well as any number of things that make a positive difference in the world." Read more about this special woman and the impact she has made in her community.
Cheboygan Rotary Club presented long time Rotarian Jim Chamberlain with a Paul Harris Fellow. (pictured left to right, Jim Chamberlain, Kay Bohls and Gil Chamberlain)
Frankfort Rotarian Carol Marsh was presented her Paul Harris +2 by Josh Mills-club President.
Holland Rotarians Gary and Donna Bogle awarded a Paul Harris Fellow to Pat Aldean. Also shown is Rebecca Lamper and Herb Aldean.

The new Rotary Global Rewards app is here

Now, wherever you go, you can find discounts and special offers by using the new Rotary Global Rewards app. It lets you:
  • Get discounts on products and services
  • Find offers that give a percentage of your purchase to Rotary
  • Post your own offers for members of the Rotary family
  • Search for offers by name or keyword
Download the app: Apple App Store® or Google Play™

Changes coming to global grant reports

On 23 January we’ll unveil changes to the global grant reporting section of the Grant Center. The updated report will match the layout and language in the global grant application, making it easier to understand and use. Both primary contacts are now required to authorize reports. 

Global grant reports that are now in the system will be modified to fit the new format. However, because we’ve changed the report so extensively, much of the information that was entered earlier will stop being visible on 23 January. This information will still be available to staff, and we can provide it upon request.

Here’s how your reports will be affected and what you’ll need to do, depending on their status:


Toronto Convention December Update

The 2018 Rotary Convention, 23-27 June, will bring thousands of Rotarians from around the world to Toronto, the "Capital of Nice" . . . and over 75 people from D6290 are already signed up! 

December Convention Newsletter

Our zone has established a Facebook group specifically for Rotarians from Zones 28 & 29 who are registered for the Convention.  This is a CLOSED (PRIVATE) GROUP that requires you to send a request to join.  Why a closed group?  So that everyone will feel comfortable sharing personal information such as hotel or your travel plans, or to search for a roommate, set up a dinner date, get information about District activities,etc.  

All of the monthly newsletters, as well as the flyer for the Zone party, are posted on the Facebook page.  And as we get closer to the Convention and people start posting information, the page will become very useful.

Over 200 Rotarians have already joined the group.  If you have not yet joined, go to and send a request to join the group.  The Group Administrator will check to make sure that the person requesting access is, indeed, a Zone 28 or 29 Rotarian/Guest registered for the convention before approving the request. 

Hospitality Event at Convention

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

  • One new case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been reported in Pakistan, in Kila Abdullah district, Balochistan province, with onset of paralysis on 13 November. This follows advance notification of the case last week. The total number of WPV1 cases in Pakistan in 2017 is now 8.
  • Two new cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one in Manono district, and one in Ankoro district, Tanganika province. The case in Manono had onset on 9 November, and the case in Ankoro on 17 November. The total number of cVDPV2 cases in the DRC in 2017 is now 12.

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 December 20, 2017 )


December 2017 Membership & Foundation Giving

* All numbers reported through December 31, 2017
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District Office
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