Rotary District 6290
Monthly e-Bulletin

Volume 1 | Issue 6

Update from our District Governor, Brian Robertson
The start of a new calendar year and second half of the Rotary year. While some of us are enjoying the brisk winter weather others are subjecting themselves to sun burn and irritating sand in their shoes. Regardless of where you are, now is the time to reflect on what has been accomplished by your club and what remains to be done to make it more enjoyable for all members and the community you serve.
At the beginning of the Rotary year each club president was given a copy of Ri President Barry Rassin’s  theme and citation. If you have not done so please become familiar with what is required to receive one of these citations for your club, your Rotaract Club or Interact Club. If any of you require a copy please let me know.
The Rotary Foundation is a very big part of Rotary and I ask you to be aware of its accomplishments through information provided in the Rotary monthly magazine. The more we know about the Foundation the more we will be inclined to support it.
Polio eradication is now limited to three countries. While this a tremendous accomplishment we still have to cross that finish line There was a slight increase in the number of cases worldwide in 2018 ( 28 cases up from 21), it is small in comparison to what would have occurred had we not continued to work towards complete eradication. Sixteen million children are walking today because of the process. The world will be certified polio-free by the Global Certification Committee at least three years after the last time we see wild poliovirous. The journey has brought with it many benefits that will affect how many other diseases are treated  When Rotary launched PolioPlus in 1985 the “plus” signaled the belief that the fight against polio would increase immunizations against five other diseases prevalent in children; measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus. As time went on, the list of benefits grew. Polio immunization campaigns created an avenue for other lifesaving health interventions such as the distribution of vitamin A supplements. New equipment for transporting and storing vaccines made it easier to combat infectious diseases in developing areas. The enormous network of laboratories and health clinics charged with identifying new cases of polio began to monitor the spread of other viruses as well. And the Global Polio Eradication International  Initiative , which Rotary helped create, rose to international prominence as a model for public-private partnerships to address world health issues. The “plus” in  PolioPlus means that Rotarians are doing more than stopping the spread of polio in the last three countries in which it is endemic; they are also building a legacy infrastructure and partnerships that  will support the battle against infectious diseases long after polio is gone.
Transporting vaccines to developing areas is no easy task. From the time they leave the manufacturer until they reach recipients, vaccines must be kept between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius  ( though some may be frozen  at -15 to -25 degrees) Variance of even a few degrees could spoil the entire shipment leaving children without the protection they need. The “cold chain” created to distribute polio vaccine has been used to transport other vaccines, such as measles, tetanus and diphtheria. An estimated one-third of the cold chain capacity in sub-Saharan Africa was implemented to support polio eradication.
Please continue to support this program and make the whole world better, for every child forever
As of last Tuesday, January 15th, I along with Leona have now visited all the clubs within the District. I now intend to put together all the information that I have received so that we can all be more aware of what each other is doing in their particular area
The web site is now up and running for the May 2nd District Convention. Kathy Hegedus is in the process of sending out the information. Less than 100 days away !!!.  Hope to see you all there.
Brian Robertson
DG 6290 2018-19
District 6290 Governor 2017-2018 Foundation Challenge
We did it!  Thank you to all Rotarians, students, Rotaractors, Interactors, and clubs who participated!
You remember my story…
Two years ago this week, while attending the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego, I was seated next to Dr. Zamin Hussain, the District Governor Elect from District 3040 in India, from the home District of Siddhant Mehta, the inbound Rotary Youth Exchange student living in my home at the time. Zamin shared that one of the global grant projects he had been involved in recently was providing classroom furniture and teacher training for the government schools throughout his district. The global grant focused on the city of Sonkutch, Madya Pradesh, India, and 128 surrounding villages, where most of the 1.9 million school aged children attend the government run public schools.  Due to the lack of funding for basic furniture and supplies many of the students are forced to sit on the floor to learn where they develop eye strain and spinal/back problems. There is also a high dropout rate of the students due to health issues and lack of adequately trained teachers with 33% of students dropping out by the 5th grade and 45% by the 8th grade.
With your help we raised over $10,000 in our District, which was matched by $10,000 of our District’s Designated Share Fund, $15,000 from District 3040, and $25,000 from The Rotary Foundation World Fund, making over $60,000 available for furniture and teacher training.  This furniture will provide seating and desks for thousands of students in central India for over the next decade.  As a result, students will be able to stay in school and learn, be healthier, and contribute more to their local economies. 
Some of the attached pictures show teachers being trained in September.  Other pictures show furniture being delivered to schools. (Click on Read more to view pictures.)
Officially the following Rotary Clubs were partners to the project, although more made contributions: Rockford, Sonkutch, Grand Rapids, Gaylord, Holland, Houghton Lake, Kentwood, Montague-Whitehall, Petoskey Sunrise, Roscommon, Sault Ste. Marie North, Club Sault Ste. Marie Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, White Cloud, Great Lakes International Rotaract Club.  I thank you all for your support.  We truly have been able to Make a Difference.
In addition to thanking the Rotary Clubs and Rotarians of District 6290 I want to thank the Rotary Youth Exchange, Interact, and Rotaract students and Jon Loux and the Rotary Club of Rockford for believing in this project and supporting me to make this happen. 
Thank you for your Service Above Self,
Ed Swart
District 6290 Governor 2017-18
DGE, Dave Thomas with RI President Elect, Mark Maloney
District Governor Elect, Dave Thomas with Rotary International President Elect, Mark Maloney and wife Gay at the International Assembly.  Click on read more below to view opening and closing speeches.
Can we make a young girl's dream come true?
Hello Fellow Rotarians,
If Doing Good in the World is something that we who love the Rotary Foundation think is important, and if providing clean water for the world is an important priority for all of us and  if Joining Leaders and Taking Action is a good description of an effective Rotarian, have a look at an email that 13 year-old Eileen Conran (Grand Daughter of Ross Conran, 6290 DG in 2005-2006) sent to Kathy Hegedus.  She asks only that Kathy, "Get it to Mr. Robinson", which Kathy did at the Board meeting on January 14.  Read this for an  example of why Rotary will be alive and well after we are gone!  Maybe YOU are a leader looking to Take Action. Why not see how YOU could join with Eileen and have a Water Conference.
Eileen Writes, 

Hello Miss Hegedus,

My name is Eileen Conran. I am 13 years old. I started attending our Rotary meetings at a few weeks old. As I got older, I started to come up with fundraiser ideas for water filters in the Dominican Republic. It varied from bears to just donations from other rotary members. I raised enough money each time to buy at least two water filters. I enjoyed helping those people get the water they need to survive. Just thinking about the fact that there are hundreds of people drinking the water that got them sick in the first place, pains me. We are fortunate enough to revive the fresh clean water that we do, but these people have to walk 4 miles or more every day, just to live. This is a subject that is very close to my heart. I would love to start helping these people again. Due to the fact that we haven't been acting on this topic for a while now, I would like to request that we try to start a conference of some sort up again. I wasn't quite sure who to talk to about this subject, so if you could bring this up to Mr. Robertson that would be highly appreciated.
Understanding that Rotary, along with the help of Bill Gates and various other people, has almost eradicated polio, I would just like to ask that in the next few years or so we start to work on Malaria. That is yet another virus. Of course I am speaking as if Polio will be eradicated in the next few year, but then again, we are that close. Malaria is just another virus that I do believe we can eradicate.
Thank you for your time, I understand that you are probably quite busy, but if you could just bring this to Mr. Robertson, it would be an honor.

Thank you for your time.
~Eileen Conran  
Got a tear in your eye?
Cedar Springs Rotary Club "End Polio Now"
The Cedar Springs Rotary Club would like to thank everyone that supported our “End Polio Now” fundraiser on December 17 at the Cedar Springs Brewing Company. The Club raised $393 that evening. The CSBC donated $200 from the sale of food that night and we raised the $193 from donations in our “bucket.” We had a great time and were joined by Rotarians from Greenville, Grand Haven, and Lowell!
Is "Zero Cases of Polio" in our future?
I got this link from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative newsletter. The good thing about this announcement is the recognition and description on “how we are going to get to zero”.  Recognizing a new strategy is necessary to move past “This Close” and achieve “Zero Cases of Polio” is a significant level of awareness on the part of the GPEI partners as well as important information for all Rotarians. 
The letter’s purpose is to expand on the central recognition of, “The aim of the 2013-2018 Endgame Plan had been to be finished with this job by end 2018. This is not the case, and the Plan has to now be revised and extended through 2023.” The letter outlines what needs to be different as we move from  “This Close” to achieving “Zero Cases of Polio”. 
As Rotarians, the GPEI is telling us that we have a role in this, too. 31 years is too many.  “There is no reason why polio should persist anywhere in the world.”  Small Pox was eradicated. Polio can be too. 
Al Bonney
2014-2015 District Governor
Rotary District 6290
Rotary International Convention Hamburg Germany, 1-5 June 2019