The District Dispatch


The Monthly Newsletter of Rotary District 6250

February Edition

Important Note: Deadline for district newsletter submissions is the 25th of each month.
The newsletter will be distributed by the first full week of the month.

District Governor's Message

The Month of February!  This is the month that we finally remember to write 2018 instead of 2017, we wonder how January slipped away so fast, and we are starting to get sick of the cold weather and allow ourselves to think about spring.  In our Rotary lives, it is a time to start training and preparing for the next Rotary year that starts in July.  That is the strange thing about Rotary.  Just when we start to feel comfortable in our leadership roles, we start preparing the next group of leaders.  I believe that this is the strength of Rotary that ensures that our leadership has fresh ideas that will keep us relevant for another 100+ years.  I encourage you to not only help the incoming leadership prepare, but also start to consider where you will serve next. Perhaps that is in your own club or perhaps it is at the district level.  Wherever that may be, there is a position available and I encourage you to talk to those around you for guidance.  In Rotary, our work is never done.  There is more need today then there has ever been.  Please continue to serve and Make a Difference in your own back yard and around the world!

On January 9th, I had the privilege of completing my final(62nd) Official Club Visit.  Tina and I travelled with AG Cheryl Mader to meet with the Southwest WI Platteville Rotary Club.  It was a great visit as all previous club visits had been.  It has been an amazing journey and I want to thank you all for allowing me to serve in this capacity.  This is truly humbling to experience.  We have so much to be proud about in D6250.  My job is not done and I will continue to serve you and the district as DG until DGE Hoel takes over on July 1.  However, I am already talking and preparing for future positions in our district and our zone.  So, I too will continue to look around and see where I can serve best.  I look forward to working with you all for many years to come!

In January, I also had the privilege of visiting with Mayville and Lake Mills for their Annual Beer & Wine Festivals.  Both these groups know how to Make a Difference and have fun doing it.  Both events were packed and both were raising money for their projects.  If you want to know how to do this right, I encourage you to reach out to either club and ask for some advice. 

Over the next months, I plan on continuing to visit clubs for special events.  If there is anything I can help you with, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  I am here to help you accomplish your goals.  Whether that means I come to an event to speak or show up to clean dishes, I am here to serve.  If Tina and I can fit it in, we will be there.

February is Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month.  Millions of people all over the world are currently displaced by armed conflict or persecution. In fact, 90% of casualties in armed conflicts are civilians, half of which are children. Through service projects and Rotary programs, the Rotary family is committed to pursuing projects that address the structural causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.  We refuse to accept conflict as a way of life.  So, please join me in focusing on what we can do as Rotarians to Truly Make a Difference and bring peace to our world.

As mentioned last month, our district has seen an increase in membership.  Great Job!  Don’t stop telling your story and getting those members and giving them the gift of Rotary.  If there is anything that we can do to help, please let me know.  Also, don’t forget about the membership grants that are available to you.  We need to not only get the numbers up but get all our Rotarian’s engaged. 

I hope that you had a great start to the new year.  Thank you all for your dedication and service! Thank you for helping District 6250 be the best it can be!  Now, let’s go Make a Difference and continue to have a great Rotary year.


Joe Ruskey
District Governor 2017-2018
Rotary District 6250

District News, Events and Announcements


Register for the District Team Training Seminar 

Register for the February 2018 District Team Training

Saturday, February  10, 2018
Chula Vista Resort
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Please join us as we prepare for the 2018-2019 Rotary Year in District 6250!

The morning is the annual DTTS – District Team Training Seminar – where District committees come together to report on what they are doing now and what their plans are for the future.  You will hear reports from all District committees like Youth Programs, Visioning, Foundation, Membership and Friendship Exchange just to name a few.  This will help update the Board and generate awareness  on all that is happening in our District and the resources available to help.  With so much change in Rotary and the District in the last few years, this is certain to be time  well spent.  

Who Should Attend?

  • ALL Assistant Governors
  • ALL District Committee Chairs
  • ALL Interested District Committee members
  • ALL Area Membership Coordinators
  • District Governor-Elect
  • District Governor-Nominee
  • District Governor-Nominee Designate
  • District Governor
  • District Training Committee
  • ALL Past District Governors

Schedule and more information available here

RYLA Dates for 2018: May 18-20, 2018 at Camp Upham Woods, Wisconsin Dells, WI

What Is RYLA

Established as a Rotary Structured Program in 1971, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is Rotary's leadership training program for young people.

The Rotary District 6250 RYLA program is a camp designed to build future leaders and Rotarians who exemplify the four way test.

What is the cost?

  • The cost to attend the camp is:
  • $200 if complete paperwork is submitted by April 1, 2018 and is paid by the local Rotary Club.
  • $225 for any registrations with paperwork arriving after April 2, 2018 - April 13, 2018
    • Please Note:  Due to club response and camp limits we will be at a a maximum occupancy this year.  Availability will be on a first apply, first filled basis.  All paperwork must be submitted to guarantee a spot.  
    • Please note that transportation is the local Rotary Club’s responsibility.  
Learn about RYLA 
Click here to learn more about RYLA.


Baraboo Teens Organize Food Drive

Our two Interact Co-Presidents are raising money and recruiting volunteers for a Food Packing event through Food for Kidz on March 17, 2018. They are looking for about 240 volunteers and shifts should be about 2 hours each. More information in the article written by the Baraboo News Republic.

Full Article Here


Rotary Insurance Update

Questions about insurance coverage? There is a new broker this year!
RI Insurance Coverage for Clubs 

Rotary Change Her Story

This Rotary project began in 2017 and will continue for three years, having long-term impact on girls, their families and communities.

The program will:
- Provide menstrual hygiene kits to adolescent girls – 3,000 kits the first year, 6,000 the second and third years. Total: 15,000 lives changed.
- Provide reproductive health education for boys and girls in the schools we serve.
- Provide seed money, materials and expertise to launch community based production and sales of menstrual hygiene kits by local women.

More Information

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Wisconsin Rotarians Visit Peru on Rotary Friendship Exchange (RFE) - November 13-20, 2017

Six Rotarians from District 6250 accompanied by four spouses/partners spent 16 days in Peru on the outbound leg of a Rotary Friendship Exchange.  Three Rotarians from Peru visited our district last August.  Three Downtown Madison Rotarians were on the trip; Scott Haumersen, Bobbie Sladke and Mark Moody.  Also along were recent past District Governor, Dean McHugh, Mark Etrheim from LaCrosse, and David Clemens from Wisconsin Dells.
We all learned so much and were treated with tremendous warmth and hospitality by our Peruvian hosts. Peru is a marvelously diverse country; geographically, ethnically and culturally.  We saw amazing Aztec (actually Kechua) archeological sites including Machu Picchu, Pisaq and the Sacred Valley as well as the remains of the principal Aztec temple in Cusco.  We saw building from the early and mid-colonial eras dating back to the mid 1500s in Lima, Arequippa and Cusco.  We enjoyed marvelous Peruvian cuisine and learned that Peru has become a real center of culinary art and innovation.  Who knew that there are over 3,000 varieties of potatoes grown in Peru!  We went to see the endangered Andean condors at Colca Canyon, which is twice as deep as our Grand Canyon at its deepest.  To get there we drove on the highest road in all the Americas or Europe, traversing the high plateau at 16,000 feet.  We saw active volcanoes erupting in the distance.  We also spent three days in an eco-tourist lodge in the Amazon rainforest where we saw rare and endangered giant river otters, capybaras, amazing birdlife, tarantulas, army ants, a very slow moving sloth, and frantic monkeys.  We fished for piranhas, and sampled traditional indigenous medicines.  We climbed a rickety steel observation tower to a height of 180 feet and observed the rainforest from above the top of its canopy.  We sampled and learned how to make the national drink, Pisco sour.  Of course there were some misadventures as well; an entire planeload of lost luggage followed by getting drenched on our walk to the giant kapok tree in the rainforest. With some of our hosts there were language barriers since Spanish is the principal and official language.  While most of our hosts spoke English, some very proficiently, others did not.  Though sometimes limiting, this added to the fun and adventure.  As one member of our group wisely said, “the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is all in your state of mind.”
For me, the lasting impressions were the warmth and generosity and openness of the Peruvian people we met.  Second, the people of Peru are incredibly diverse; descendants of indigenous people, descendants of Spanish colonists, and descendants of immigrants from Spain, Italy, Poland, Japan, everywhere.  While Spanish is the official and principal language many indigenous people retain their linguistic and cultural heritage.  Finally, there is the geographic diversity.  Lima is on the coastal plain in one of the driest deserts on earth; drier than the Sahara!  The highland soars to the sky with at least 12 peaks over 20,000 feet.  And almost 60% of Peru is in the tropical rainforest of the Amazon basin.  Who knew?! 
But most memorable of all for me was the gracious and generous hospitality of our hosts and the bonds of friendship we made. 
Rotary Friendship Exchanges give Rotarians and their families the opportunity to experience other cultures firsthand, by participating in reciprocal visits with Rotarians and their families from other countries. Introduced in 1984, this program aims to advance international understanding and goodwill among Rotarians.  RFEs provide Rotarians with the opportunity to form personal contacts and make long-lasting friendships, and learn what other Rotary Clubs are doing while exploring different areas of the world.
Rotary Friendship Exchange is funded entirely by the program participants, and exchanges are carried out at no expense to Rotary International. Generally, guests are responsible for their travel expenses and personal spending while hosts are expected to provide housing, local transportation, some meals, and sightseeing opportunities — the same courtesies that we would extend to a visiting friend.
If you are adventurous and like to see the world outside the United States you should seriously consider an RFE.  Not only do you get to see interesting and exotic place, you get to meet and enjoy the hospitality of fellow Rotarians.  What could better?
You can also participating by helping to host visiting Rotarians on an RFE.  We have two groups scheduled to come to our district in 2018; one from Latvia and Sweden and one from Argentina.  We are sure to need volunteers to help.


Celebrate Rotary-Style this Month

Ground hogs, Valentine’s Day and President’s Day.  February’s has a variety of opportunities to celebrate American traditions.  Here are few ideas for celebrating Rotary-style this month.
How long will winter last?  Supporting our Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund through Rotary Direct gives me a warm feeling that I am helping Rotarians do good in the world – even when it’s not top of mind.  You can choose the amount and frequency of your donation and never have to think about it again. It’s easy to enroll online or with the Rotary Direct Form.
Wondering what to do for your Valentine?  A gift to our Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund can be made in honor of your valentine.   There aren’t many things that say I care more than making lasting change for peace in our world.
President’s Day.  To be honest, I’m not sure how to connect this federal holiday with support for our Rotary Foundation.  It isn’t a stretch to imagine that fellow Rotarians who became President supported our Rotary Foundation.  Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Gerald R. Ford would encourage us to continue the important work of Rotary.
No matter what your motivation, support for our Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund/SHARE program can be done at any time.  So why not start today with Rotary Direct?  If you already participate, thank you! 

RI Convention - Toronto - June 23-27, 2018

Registration is now open for Toronto -2018!    Next Early Bird deadines is March 31, 2018!



Club News, Events and Announcements



Rotary Club of Lodi Beer and Wine Tasting

February 10
5-8 p.m.
Waddle Inn, LodiTickets: $35 per person - available at Wisconsin River Bank, Lodi Branch or Contact Doug Richmond at 608-370-1135 or Dennis Crow at 608-592-7419

Includes: Beer, Wine, Spirit tastings, appetizer pairings with the Beer, Wine, Spirits and a souvenir glass

Brewery, Winery and Distillery representatives, Raffles

Proceeds benefits local community projects!

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Oregon Rotary Club Cheese and Wine Tasting



 Rotary Club of Jefferson Beer and Wine Tasting

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Baraboo Rotary - Kegs and Corks

Save the date!

Ticket information available soon.


RI News

The Rotarian Magazine

The Rotarian Magazine is our link to the greater Rotary world. The pictures and stories tell us of the wonderful work that is being done, in and through Rotary, to make the world a better, safer and a more peaceful place…all because we are advancing the key elements of social justice, health projects, and educational opportunity and alleviating the dire effects of poverty.

A person is not free if they are hungry. A man is not free when he has to watch his children die because of the lack of clean water or adequate food. A mother will not be free if her sick child cannot receive medical care and when people are not free they will seek social justice even if it means going to
war to achieve it.

Our magazine, paid for in our RI dues, is not junk mail. It makes you and me “literate” in the great story of Rotary. Read it. Share it with others. Drop it off in
a public area where literature is offered, a dentist's reception area, the waiting room at your local hospital or when you go to your accountant's office to pick up your tax filings. Plant the seeds of Rotary by sharing our great story.

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Friendship Exchange News

Note from the Friendship Exchange Committee
The Friendship Exchange Committee is looking for clubs to host nine Rotarians and friends from Latvia.  They will be in our district from May 12-24.  There are three couples and three individuals.  The club should agree to host them for a minimum of two days, providing transportation, food, home, and entertainment.  If interested, please contact Dave Clemens at

Rotary Friendship Exchange for 2018 – Latvia/Sweden
With Our District 6250 and District 2410 Located in Latvia and Southeast Sweden
Group from District 2410 Latvia/Sweden will be hosted by our District 6250 for 14 days--May 10-24, 2018. Group from our Rotary District 6250 travels to Latvia/Southeast Sweden for 14 days—Aug. 10-24, 2018.

Our Rotary District 6250 Friendship Exchange Committee has arranged an exchange with Riga, Latvia, and Kalmar, Sweden areas. We will host a group of 8-10 persons from May 10-24, 2018 and then travel to their District 2410 from August 10-24, 2018.  We expect to travel with no more than 10 persons. 
Anticipated expenses per person for participants:

  • Round trip airfare to/from Riga, Latvia
  • Meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Ferry travel across the Baltic Sea
  • Personal costs, such as gifts 

Hosts on each end of the exchange program support the visitors with room, board and some entertainment and perhaps transportation while in the country.
Preliminary Itinerary:
Day 1-7 in Riga, Latvia
Day 8 Ferry travel to Sweden
Day 9-14 in Kalmar region of Sweden
Contact the one of our chairpersons, either Dave Clemens at, or Mark Moody at, if you are interested in hosting or traveling.

Rotary Friendship Exchange for 2018 – Argentina
With Our District 6250 and District 4920 Located Argentina
Group from District 4920 in Argentina will be hosted by our District 6250 for 14 days—June 6-22, 2018.
Group from our Rotary District 6250 travels to District 4920 in Argentina for 14 days—October 6-18, 2018.

Our district has arranged a second Rotary Friendship Exchange for 2018 with District 4920 in Argentina. This is the area just below Buenos Aires, including Mar De Plata, and above Bahia Blanca. We expect to host a group from June 6-22, so they can attend the International Convention in Toronto directly after visiting us. We will travel to Argentina from October 6-18. This exchange will be no larger than 8 persons per group.
Anticipated Expenses for travelers:

  • Round trip airfare to/from Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Costs associated with side visit to Iguazu Falls
  • Personal expenses such as gifts
  • Travel insurance
  • Some meals or room costs at the beginning and end 

Hosts on each end of the exchange program support the visitors with room, board and some entertainment and perhaps transportation while in the country.
Preliminary Itinerary:
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires and enjoy the city
Day 2 Travel to our first hosts
Day 3-12 Visit clubs within the district
Day 13 Visit Iguazu Falls on Brazil border
Day 14 Fly home
Contact the one of our chairpersons, either Dave Clemens at, or Mark Moody at, if you are interested in hosting or traveling.

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Zone News



Update on Annual Giving

New RI Foundation Donation Forms

Club executive members can now download a Multiple Donor Form that is pre-populated (filled out) with details of club members including their ID number. This form is on at member access. Club presidents and club secretaries have access to this form. Also club treasurers and club Rotary Foundation chairs can get this form if they have been registered on member access by the president or secretary. Select the club members who have donated and add the amount of each donation. The new form makes it easy to forward donations from a group of club members who contribute weekly, quarterly, etc. More Info.

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Attendance Report

Reporting Tool for District Attendance is now in Club Runner.  All Secretaries automatically are designated to update the data in club runner.  If you are having trouble accessing the Club Runner screens or just don't know where to go, please contact the Rotary District 6250 Office at 608.204.9835 or  


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