On July 1st of 2019 we lifted off into a new Rotary year.  We stopped planning and started doing in anticipation of the Splash Down that happened today.  This eBulletin is dedicated to highlighting your accomplishments during the 2019-20 Rotary year.  Time to reflect and celebrate because tomorrow we launch another mission ... to infinity and beyond!
On Saturday morning June 20th; 518 unique visitors took part in District 6250's Virtual RotaryFest and District Conference on Zoom.  Don't get too excited about the attendance, some Rotarians were only able to stop by for a few minutes while others hung out with us all morning long.  Around 100  international visitors from a variety of countries joined in on the fun with Interact in Nepal being especially well represented. 
We had a lot of fun putting it on and even the occasional hiccup just added spice to the mix ... many got to see a gratuitous shot of a Holstein Frisian as Rotarian Pieter Schouten, a Dutch dairy farmer and the inventor of the interior Rotary Milking Parlor, accidentally went Zoom live while milking his cows!
Virtual RotaryFest was recorded (link below) ... in the video's description on YouTube you can skip to specific segments.  Also, the Chat that was on-going throughout the Virtual Conference is quite interesting, quite international and can be viewed here:  2020 Virtual RotaryFest 2020 Chat.
For those who did not attend the Virtual RotaryFest and District Conference, I, Winston Churchill, was able to present your own Joe Ruskey with Rotary's Service Above Self Award.  Joseph has been a member of his club since 2003.  He served as Club President, a member of the board of directors, membership chair and chair of the fundraising committee.  In 2008, he started with the Rotary District as an Assistant Governor.  In 2012, he accepted the position of District Rotary Foundation Chair.  He served in that role until 2016.  In 2014, he was selected to serve as District Governor for the Rotary year 2017-2018.  He is currently serving as an Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Consultant and as facilities chair for Midwest PETS.
In 2020, worldwide, 143 Rotarians received the Service Above Self Award.  As Rotary‚Äôs highest honor for individual Rotarians, this award recognizes Rotarians who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service, with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others through Rotary.  Congratulate Joe the next time you see him ... it is a well deserved honor.
This year Rotary International reduced the requirements to achieve the Rotary Citation due to the COVID-19 crisis.  It became immediately obvious that all of our Clubs would probably be eligible for the Citation but that the complicated system that Rotary has in place to report Citation achievements would prevent many clubs from receiving the Citation.  
Therefore, over the past two months we've been using the Mission Control Center as well as "spying" on many of you to note and record your club accomplishments.  I'm happy to report that all 60 District 6250 clubs have legitimately achieved the Rotary International Citation for 2019-20.   For some clubs this was very easy and for others fairly difficult ... look at Mission Control and you can immediately see why.  The more you do the easier it is!  Keep this in mind for next year.
From Lift Off to Splash Down; our club specific Mission Control Center has been tracking our progress.  Some highlights as follows:
  • Rotary International Citation:  60 of 60 clubs anticipated.
  • Rotary International Citation with Presidential Distinction:  13 of 60 clubs anticipated..
  • Membership:  Over 200 new members joined us but over 300 members left.  Engagement ... we can and need to do better.
  • Membership:  No new clubs.  An area where we can and need to do better.
  • Rotary Foundation:  Anticipated that 60 of 60 clubs will exceed $100/member in annual giving.
  • Rotary Foundation:  Anticipated that 60 of 60 clubs will have contributed to PolioPlus.
  • Rotary Foundation:  Anticipated over $350,000 in Annual Share Giving and over $110,000 in PolioPlus Giving.  
  • Rotary Foundation:  District sponsored Peace Fellows and Global Scholars.
  • District Grants:  21 District Clubs received District Grants for local projects.
  • Global Grants:  20 District Clubs involved in 15 Global Grants (2019 and 2020).
  • Disaster Grant:  30 District Clubs received funding for local COVID-19 projects from the Rotary Foundation.
  • Interact:  35 District Clubs have Interact Clubs that are identified (many were lost) and fully registered with Rotary International.
  • Rotaract:  No progress; still only two clubs.  An area where we can and need to do better.
  • District Youth Exchange:  40 District Clubs participating in some type of Youth Exchange.  District 6250 Youth Exchange is #1 within Central States Youth Exchange (20 Districts)
  • RYLA:  42 Clubs participating in RYLA.
  • Rotary Friendship Exchange:  15 Clubs participating in RFE.  District 6250 has a very robust RFE program.
  • District Zoom:  Clubs and members trained in Zoom ... bonus accomplishment for the year :)
With the Club and District leadership we have coming down the pike I am confident that we will continue to increase our impact, expand our reach, enhance participant engagement and increase our ability to adapt.  The pillars of Rotary's Strategic Plan.
Detailed club specific Mission Control Center can be viewed here:   Mission Control Center
This video provides information on Rotary's PolioPlus campaign and COVID-19.  Feel free to share it at your next Zoom meeting.  Thank you to La Crosse Valley View Rotary for asking me to record it.  Thanks to all of our District Rotarians for your PolioPlus contributions this year.
Throughout 2019-20 all of us, without realizing it, have followed the simple strategy of just Doing More with the Swiss Army Knife that is Rotary.  Although we used the Lift Off, Splash Down and Mission Control analogies; none of what we did was rocket science.  I'm happy to announce that the Doing More strategy is now being "adopted" :) by incoming RI President Holger Knaack.  From the July 2020 Rotarian:
All of us love this organization, and all of us should feel we ought to do something to make Rotary stronger.  It's not hard to do MORE:  be MORE involved in your club, MORE interested in your friends, MORE involved in projects and programs.  Ask yourself:  Is our club involved in youth service?  Can we come up with better ideas for fundraising?  And the club also has a responsibility to make people feel good, feel welcome, feel proud.  It has to feel special to be a Rotarian.
It has to feel special to be a Rotarian.  I hope you will all continue to Do More because that is what makes Rotary feel special.  Continue to enjoy yourself, continue to have fun with Rotary, continue to be a little selfish with Rotary.  As I've said all year long, it's o.k. if Rotary benefits you, your family and/or your friends.  Very loosely paraphrasing Obi Wan Kenobi:  Remember, the Swiss Army Knife that is Rotary will be with you ... always.
For those who didn't think I was working this year, I want to mention and thank my clients and especially Rob & Kim Campbell of the Dog & Shrub Distillery in Lake Mills.  We started building their new distillery during Lift Off last July and they opened for business last week.  As a gift I've purchased a one year corporate membership for them with the Lake Mills Rotary Club.  As my last act as District Governor I hereby declare Rob and Kim as the first new District Rotarians for 2020-21.  Let's welcome them and let's welcome many more like them!
A big thank you to all the club presidents, all the assistant governors and the entire district leadership team.  Time flies when you're having fun ... thanks for all your efforts!
Finally, a very special thank you to my wife, Joanna.  Her constant support has benefited our District greatly.  Have a great 2020-21 everyone!
Russell Hampton
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