In March We Focus on Water & Sanitation

Clean water and sanitation is a human right. When people, especially children, have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, they lead healthier and more successful lives.

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

District Conference
Haworth Inn
May 17, 2018 – May 19, 2018
Rotary Foundation Gala
City Flats Hotel
May 17, 2018 6:00 PM
Jump For Polio
Charlevoix Municipal Airport
Jun 03, 2018
10:30 AM – 5:00 PM

February In Review from DG Ed

Fellow Rotarians!
I know February is the shortest month of the year, but March still snuck up on me in a hurry.  I didn’t get this newsletter out before the end of the month. So we’ll do one mid March and one at start of April. 
THANK YOU BLIND RIVER AND SOO ROTARIANS!!  Thank you Lake Sate!!  I had the pleasure of accompanying our District’s inbound and preparing outbound exchange students to Blind River for their winter conference last weekend.  It was a wonderful four days of sharing Rotary, being home hosted by Blind River Rotarians and community members, learning about the traditions of First Nation people, and experiencing our youth.  But we got an extra day up north when the Mackinac Bridge was closed to bus traffic due to ice falling from the towers and high winds.  All it took was a phone call to Sault Ste Marie Rotarian Tim Hall, Superintendent of Sault Area School District, and we were directed to Sault Area High School for an afternoon of fun and pizza before our bus was guided to Lake Superior State University where we were greeted by Shelley Wooley, Dean of Student Life; Morrie Walworth, VP of Finance; and Dakota Baker, Student Government President. After a tour of campus and a chance for some of us to work out in the gym we were given cots and sheets to spend the night in the Walker Cisler Student Center before we left early Monday morning when we could cross the bridge.  It was certainly an adventure, and we thank those who made us feel so comfortable for the night. 
<keep reading for news about P.E.T.S., our District Conference and the International Convention>

Upcoming Club Anniversaries March 2018

Club Name
# of Yrs
East JordanMarch 3, 193979
GraylingMarch 5, 197246
Benzie SunriseMarch 8, 200018
CoopersvilleMarch 10, 194771
BaldwinMarch 13, 195068
KalkaskaMarch 13, 195662
SpartaMarch 19, 193781
MancelonaMarch 31, 198929

Join Us!

Celebrate Our Rotary Foundation

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).
If your club has not already notified John Noling of your student participants please do so ASAP. (Email John)

D6290 Team Travels to Honduras for Hands On Service

Gail Ringelberg, Grand Haven Rotary, organizes an annual service trip to Honduras. This year the group included Rotarians from four Rotary Clubs, nearly every Interact Club in the greater Muskegon area along with Rotary friends and family. Fourteen in all - eight of which were amazing young women. The team stayed outside the city of Comayagua at El Ayudante, a Christian mission and the current Honduras distribution center for Hydraid Biosand filters. 
Over the course of the week the team installed 12 water filters, performed checks on 21 filters, installed four latrines, began an adobe addition to a local home and poured a cement floor for another house. Wow. Of the filter reviews, 19 were consistently being used. 58 children were drinking clean water plus 49 adults. A couple filters had to be tweaked for flow rate. The oldest filter we tested was installed in 2015. Those filters are impressive!
Each of the young women who participated shared their perspective of the experience. What follows is one of those stories. We will feature others in upcoming newsletters.
Fiona laying adobe blocks for a new kitchen addition
"As a middle-class American living in the United States, it’s not hard to fall into a life of easy privilege. Most of us, especially students my age, don’t realize the advantages birth has afforded us. Before I left, I was not grateful for a clean glass of water, the use of a bathroom, or a public education. I expected to have them. Returning home, I can say the opposite, for what I have always taken for granted now feels like a blessing. I am deeply thankful for the opportunity to realize this, but the simple acknowledgment of privilege does not go very far by itself, it is the catalyst by which real progress must be enacted." - Fiona Nic, President of Grand Haven Interact Club
Continue reading for the rest of Fiona's wonderful reflections

Win $500 for your Club's Water & Sanitation Project!

What is World Water Day?

World Water is celebrated on March 22nd. It focuses on the approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide who must rely on water contaminated with feces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid, polio and other waterborne diseases. The UN's Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty. In 1993, the UN General Assembly designated March 22nd as World Water Day. It is now a globally recognized event.

How do you enter the competition?

Submit a brief description of your project to Include what you are doing, the target audience and the expected impact of the project. Remember to tell us your Club name and District number and give us a contact name, email address and phone number. Some projects will be showcased on the WASRAG website. Entries are due May 1st.

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. 

Our Rotaract Members are People of Action!

This summary of activities from our Rotaract Clubs make us so proud! Be sure to 'read more' to see what all the other clubs have been up to - it is stunning.
Grand Valley State University Rotaract Club
  • Painted rocks with inspirational quotes and placed them around campus
  • Painted flower pots and planted beautiful mums in them for the local nursing home
  • Made Valentine’s Day cards for the local nursing home
  • Colored lunch bags for Kid’s Food Basket
  • Donated school supplies to Palmer Elementary School
  • Participated in the Hot Cider Run
  • Participated in the Bark in the Dark for the Western Humane Society
  • Went to a Teacher’s Leadership awards event
  • Participated with the Allendale Rotary Club in a Euchre tournament
  • Participated in the Art Prize, Children’s Museum
  • Participated in Tulip Time in Holland
  • Looking forward to participating in the upcoming Foam Dash
Keep reading!!

Youth Programs In Action February 2018

Houghton Lake High School Interact members (left to right: Jacob Hamp, Kyle Barnes, and Anthony Lindemeyer) got creative with their Garage Sale fundraiser - they dressed up in some of the items to help advertise the event. All proceeds were to support their upcoming travel to El Salvador where they will be helping to build concrete homes for those in need.
Sixteen students from Houghton Lake will leave on the service trip on March 31 and will return April 10. They will work with 34 other Rotary Interact students and 30 adult Rotary chaperones from Michigan and five other states to build the homes.
When the dollars were counted they totalled $2,107! Nothing like a little creativity to spark interest!
The Greenville High School Interact Club sold hurricane relief bracelets at a basketball home game. They raised $286.50 and Rotary Club of Greenville donated another $250.
Interact members are working to find an Interact Club in Houston that will partner on a project to benefit folks affected by the hurricane. (Interact is an internationally recognized Rotary Club at the high school level.)
Minnie Wongsittigorn, Inbound exchange student from Thailand, gave her presentation to Holland Rotary.

Collaborating For Good!

Pictured left to right.  Mary Sue Mahan, Hart Club President, Mishelle Comstock, Shelby Club President, Peggy Anderson, Montague-Whitehall Club President. 

Shelby, Hart and Whitehall-Montague have President Elects with three things in common:

  1. They are all women!

  2. They work for Shelby State Bank.

  3. They are on fire to raise money for their communities.

Mishelle Comstock, Shelby Rotary Club President is President & CEO of Shelby State Bank. Mary Sue Mahan, President of the Hart Rotary Club is Vice President and Manager of the Hart Office of Shelby State Bank. Peggy Anderson, President of the Montague Whitehall Rotary Club is Branch Officer at the Whitehall Branch of Shelby State Bank.

When they came together as part of their President Elect Training they realized that, collectively, they could do a lot of good by teaming up for joint fundraising initiatives. Their unique fundraiser - “3 for 30 raffle” was recently launched. Tickets are being sold for a chance to win one of 30 prizes to be given away every day during the month of June. It’s a unique fundraiser with some very unique prizes. Amazingly, the value of the 30 different prizes totals over $10,000. The proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit local projects in their respective communities. 

Way to go ladies! What a fabulous example of collaborating for good!

We Saw You On Facebook February 2018
Allendale Rotary held its annual Euchre Tournament fundraiser with volunteers from Grand Valley State Rotaract Club helping to keep score.
Big Rapids Rotarians are busy reading to the students in their local elementary schools.

A donation from the Rotary Club of Cadillac is helping middle school students in orchestra at Cadillac Area Public Schools. The music stands that the orchestra had were old and falling apart, so the rotary made a donation of $2,500 so they could buy all new ones.

Cedar Springs Rotary honored these amazing 5th graders and their teachers. They wrote essays about integrity and our four-way test. Cash prizes, certificates and medallions were given to each winner. 

A copy of Jonathan Rand's book, Michigan Chillers-Sault Sainte Marie Sea Monsters, was delivered to third grade students of Brimley schools by Chippewa County Sunrise Rotarian Joshua MacDonaldJosh delivered books and read part of the book together with the students and their teachers. Each student received their own book to keep and enjoy.

Tammy Vincent from the East Jordan Rotary Club along with Lindsay Malpass, Paul Nachazel and Kathy Keyser presented a check for $3,000 to East Jordan Public Schools Superintendent, Matt Stevenson.
The East Jordan Rotary Club has designated these funds to be used for sound and lighting upgrades to the Community Auditorium.
Frankfort Rotary celebrated 93 year years of Service Above Self
Grand Rapids Rotary announced the winners of their annual Service Above Selfie contest.
Gaylord Rotary Club is excited to share that our first shipment of PET carts with Mobility Worldwide has been distributed to disabled recipients in the Freetown, Sierra Leone area.
Treasurer Sharon Blankenship (L) and President Peggy Anderson(R) surprised Fr. Omogo with a check for $11,000 from the Montague Whitehall Rotary Club for the building of 2 water wells in Nigeria at the 3/7/18 Samuel Omogo Foundation Annual Meeting
Rotarians from the three Petoskey clubs and Charlevoix and Cheboygan connected for their first ever 'regional' social.
Muskegon Rotarians were out and about at Smash Wine Bar & Bistro in the Frauenthal Center! 
Petoskey Rotary held their annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser - made special this year because for the first time it was a zero waste event! Well done Petoskey!!

Sault Ste Marie ON annual Snowarama had 100 riders out in support of Easter Seals kids. Thanks to their hard work and the generous support of the community, the event raised $31,650 for kids with physical disabilities. 

Godfrey-Lee Public School received a $1,000 donation from the South Kent Rotary Club, to go towards Literacy initiatives in our District.  
Spring Lake Rotary Snow Jam was named the #1 thing to do the weekend of the event by Grand Haven Tribune.
Traverse City Rotarians met with Traverse City High students as part of an annual career fair.
Wawa Rotarian Gib Sabourin presents funds to Volunteer Firefighter Yannick Cassavant in support of the purchase of Portable Equipment.

Rotary Foundation is alive and well at the Rotary Club of Ludington

Among our current members no one had earned a Paul Harris Fellow between 2006 and 2015.  I did not realize that RI stopped giving medallions to PHF recipients until I was presenting my first, first-time PHF in 2017.  In my President year I presented a PHF +3 and a PHF + 1 but no new ones.  I was surprised there was not a medallion with the certificate & pin with the new one I was to present in 2017.  Even the write ups that I found online to present the PHF still had the medallions in them.  So I asked a bunch of questions and found out that RI stopped sending them.   I talked about it with a couple other PHF’s in our club and we agreed to try and find a way to give a medallion to everyone who did not have one . . . or at least try.  It turned out we had 3 first-time PHF’s in 2015 who did not receive medallions.  Our secretary found them on the RI site for only $15.  We held a secret board vote (leaving out those that didn’t receive medallions and ordered 6 for them:  3 for 2015 and 3 for the 2017 recipients. 

Notes from a Bangkok Diary

D6290 Peace Fellow Joanne Elvy
Joanne Elvy was granted a Rotary Peace Centers Fellowship in October.  She was nominated by our District and selected by the Rotary Foundation Trustees as part of a highly competitive process. She is participating in The Rotary Foundation 90-day professional development certificate program in Bangkok January through April 2018.  Joanne is from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Earlier this month "Class 24" from the Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University traveled to northern Thailand for hands-on exploration on development issues affecting the Mekong River.  A lifeline that flows through 6 nations, the Mekong is respected as the "mother" to those in the region.  There are 23 of us representing 19 nations, featured here at the "Golden Triangle" in the Chiang Rai district (Thailand) in face of Myanmar and Laos.  
Over a five-day period we met with government officials who spoke on development plans for the region, and then specialists who explained the rich biodiversity.  "Theory met practice" as we shared meals with local villagers who then spoke passionately how their entire economic basin was being affected by dams built upstream by the Chinese.  Learning experientially, we hiked through forests and wetlands and then spent time on the Mekong itself, accompanied by those who rely on her for their very livelihood.  Back in Bangkok, as reflective practitioners we now prepare reports on insights gained.  Later this month we’ll head out to the Aceh region in western Indonesia.  Stay tuned for updates!  
Yours in Peace,
Joanne Elvy

Jump for Polio

PDG Al Bonney took the plunge in 2017! Click on above image to see how much fun he had.
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?

Toronto Convention February Update

Pre-Registration Discount ends March 31st!

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 February 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 13, 2018

  • New on For International Women’s Day, we highlighted the critical role that women play in global polio eradication efforts. Dr Adele Daleke Lisi Aluma works to reach children who have never been vaccinated, whilst in Somalia, women are the face of polio eradication. In Nigeria, dedicated female mobilizers are ending polio, one home at a time.
  • We also launched the Gender and Polio section of our website.
  • On the WHO Instagram, and on Twitter at @WHOAfghanistan, see the March polio vaccination campaign in Afghanistan from start to finish.
  • The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) Polio Working Group recently met in Geneva, Switzerland, to review global progress against polio. The group reviewed and endorsed the main elements of the Post-Eradication Strategy(PCS) currently being developed at the request of Member States, aimed at ensuring the availability of core functions to sustain a polio-free world after global certification (such as outbreak response capacity, surveillance, immunization and containment).  The PCS will be presented in April to the full SAGE, and to Member States at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May. The group also reviewed current outbreak response protocols to vaccine-derived poliovirus, and agreed with a proposed plan to harmonize recommendations on immunization schedules in countries with Polio Essential Facilities (PEFs – facilities that will continue to handle poliovirus stock under appropriate containment).
  • Summary of newly-reported viruses this week: Afghanistan: Advance notifications have been received of two new cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1), one occurring in Kunar province, and one in Kandahar province. Three new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) positive environmental samples have been reported in Nangarhar province. Pakistan: One new WPV1 positive environmental sample has been reported in Balochistan province. Democratic Republic of the Congo: Two cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) reported, one from Tanganyika province, and one from Haut Lomami province.
  • 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 13, 2018)


February 2018 Membership & Foundation Giving

* All numbers reported through February 28, 2018
Subscribe to Bulletin
Subscribe to our eBulletin and stay up to date on the latest news and events.
District Office
Kathy Hegedus Administrative Assistant
PO Box 381
Grand Haven, MI. 49417
616-638-8769 (cell)