The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways that many of us experience Rotary. But every challenge also opens opportunities. Clubs are discovering that meeting online gives them more flexibility to adjust meeting times when that’s better for members. For some clubs, attendance has increased, and members say they can now participate more and contribute more to their clubs’ work. Clubs are also less constrained by geographic distance in pursuing members, inviting inspiring speakers, or partnering with others on service efforts. 


Twenty years ago a man named Chuck Hanson, an attorney that worked in downtown La Crosse, invited me to join Rotary.  Back then, that was the common practice.  A business person invited you to join Rotary because he thought it would be good for business and good for the community, and you said yes.
If It was not for Chuck (yes… that one – our past District Governor) it is unlikely I would be a Rotarian.
August is Membership and Extension month.  In District 6250, our Membership Committee thinks every month is August – they are continually focused on helping clubs grow and thrive.  More to come from John Locke and the membership team later.  Be sure to use this valuable district resource to make your club stronger and more vibrant.
Growing a vibrant membership was my entrance into Rotary at a beyond-my-club level.  For three+ years, I was the District Membership Chair. I focused on traveling around our district with my sidekick Joe Ruskey (yup – also a past District Governor) on how strong clubs create a strong Foundation… and vice-versa.  During my travels, I crafted ten tips to attract and retain members. These tips proved effective: our District had growing membership during two of these three years – and the third year was flat.  So If you’re looking to add members to your club, consider taking a page from these 10 tips...
As conversations continue around what school will look like for all ages this fall, it is important to remember and appreciate our access to education and the impact that makes on our lives.
Our District Rotary Foundation directly supports education each spring through a Global Grant Masters Degree Scholarship for $30,000 in a field relevant to our 7 areas of focus.  The parable of teaching a person to fish is a good perspective for our goal to OPEN OPPORTUNITIES for passionate people.  This investment to make a direct difference for our world will continue to make an impact for countless years to come.
Past scholars include members of Amnesty International, the Red Cross Refugee Program, and a program around treatments for neglected diseases in Switzerland.  Additional details about past scholar Mitch Paquette can be found here:
For more information please contact our Global Grant Scholar Chair Lois Smith at

A 2018/2019 Global Grant Scholar from District 6250, Mitchell Paquette completed an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex graduating with Distinction. He is now a researcher with Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Team where he uses open source research techniques to gather and verify evidence of potential human rights abuses around the globe.


Highlights from the Foundation

On behalf of the Rotary District 6250 Foundation Committee, thank you all for your service and gifts of time, talent and treasure this past Rotary year!
While there are always obstacles, this year has been particularly challenging with the pandemic. While we work to adapt to limited social interactions, travel and in many ways a new lifestyle, our District continues to do its good work in our communities and abroad almost without pause.  This is only possible because of the efforts of each of our committee members, and our many amazingly generous Rotarians in District 6250. 
Read a few highlights of our Foundation team's accomplishments in the past Rotary year.

Rotary Club of Sun Prairie Disaster Grant 2020

Check out the impact that the Rotary Club of Sun Prairie made on their community through the use of their COVID-19 Disaster Relief Grant!


District Member Count: 2627

Member Growth Success 7/2019 - 6/2020:
Madison After Hours +9, Oregon +5, Onalaska Hilltopper +4

Rotary’s monthly theme for August is Membership and New Club Development. During this disruptive time of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic and various “Safer at Home” orders, Rotary clubs have been forced to change the normal way of doing things. Recruiting Rotarians by inviting them to your the traditional club meeting is no longer possible for many clubs. Therefore, some clubs have embraced new approaches. Human beings by nature are social creatures and Rotary has helped many remain connected while in quarantine. Clubs who have Zoom social hours, virtual service projects, email threads, social distancing picnics, Zoom trivia, and a strong social media presence, have seen increases in their membership numbers. It takes some effort to change from what was normal, but people need Rotary now more than ever. The success of a club’s membership is everyone’s responsibility. Please don’t keep Rotary a secret!
The Public Image (PI) committee has been taking shape over the last several months and we have an excellent team of Rotarians ready to work together in the name of strengthening and supporting our clubs. Committee members bring a wide range of skills and backgrounds including marketing, graphic design, television production, video, public relations and more. The next steps for your PI team is to establish goals, roles and responsibilities and move forward with real solutions to tell the stories of our district and our clubs. Does your club have a PI chair/committee or do you need some PI help in your club? If we can help that take shape, please reach out to interim PI committee chair Ben Bauer at or 715-650-1060.
COVID-19 has certainly thrown quite a few curves at our Youth Programs for 2020-2021...the latest Youth Program change is to announce that the September RYLA event has been canceled.  Schools throughout the state have selected different approaches to the fall school year with many of them moving to online.  The committee discussed virtual options, however, students are already overburdened in the virtual environment.  The heart of RYLA is better communicated in an in person environment.  We will be looking to Spring 2021 for bringing RYLA back to the District.  For those clubs that have paid for RYLA students no checks have been deposited.  All checks will be shredded.  Should you have any questions please contact the RYLA Co-chairs or Rotary District 6250 Administration:

Michelle TerMaat-McGrath
(Madison Downtown Rotary Club)
Email -or- Phone: 608-886-9272

Ben Bauer
(Marshfield Sunrise Club)
Email -or- Phone: 715-650-1060

Our own Karen Kendrick Hands talking about the new 7th area of focus - the Environment. 5 Questions on Environmental Projects

1. How does the environment fit into Rotary’s areas of focus?

Any project in any area of focus will benefit from having environmental sustainability as one of its watchwords. It’s a lot harder to supply clean water to people if your watershed is compromised— if your river is full of industrial, human, and animal waste. Basic education and literacy is a challenge when kids are sick because the school well is contaminated. Health is affected when insects carrying diseases expand their geographic range due to changing climate patterns. Water wars and climate refugees will make achieving peace and conflict resolution more complicated. Economic development is slowed when there’s not adequate energy. Rotary would do a huge service to the world if it moved every water project from a diesel pump to wind or solar. That’s a project that’s scalable.

The U.S. Rotary Clubs and Districts Liability Insurance Program ("Program") provides all U.S. Rotary clubs and districts and Rotaract clubs with general liability (GL) and directors' and officers'/employment practices liability (D&O/EPL) insurance. 
The Program’s insurance policies have been renewed for the policy term 1 July 2020-2021. The 2020-21 Certificate of Insurance is posted on the broker website, Gallagher Insight. Rotary July Club Invoice includes insurance assessments (for general liability and D&O/EPL), which pay for this Program.

General liability insurance coverage remains the same, with exception of the changes noted in this letter and on the Gallagher Insight broker website. There are no changes to D&O/EPL insurance coverage. 
Additionally, there is important information regarding the communicable disease exclusion on the general liability policy, and reminders regarding accessing the Gallagher Insurance Website, crime insurance, and copyright infringement issues in a growing digital age.  
Please visit the Gallagher Insight website to learn about the insurance policies and coverage changes: 
Contact for Username and Password


  October 14, 2020 | 6:00pm

  Held virtually via Zoom

  (registration and workshop info coming soon)

Upham Woods - Rescheduled from May
Sep 18, 2020 – Sep 20, 2020
View entire list
Russell Hampton
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