Category: District 5710 (page 1 of 2)

DG Adam Ehlert Is Committed to Making a Difference

During his year as District Governor, Adam Ehlert wants to encourage healthy clubs that are engaged and enthusiastic about “Making a Difference,” the Rotary International theme for 2017-2018. The motto “defines what we do day in and day out.” Such energy will attract additional members better than any membership drive, he believes.

Ehlert’s “Rotary moment” struck during a Group Study Exchange that he led to Finland during 2011. His team bonded after an evening of “ice swimming”—repeated trips between a steamy sauna and a icy river nearby.  The experience is the epitome of local culture. As the GSE team members huddled in comradery, wet and exhilarated, after several hours of the activity, the group spontaneously voiced heartfelt thanks to Rotary and to their hosts for the powerful impact of international exchange. The emotional situation committed Ehlert even more deeply to Rotary and its work and led him to his current leadership role.

N.E. Kansas Rotary Clubs Raise over $38,293 for Heart to Heart Disaster Relief Efforts

The 45 Rotary clubs of Rotary International’s District 5710 (Including Lawrence Central Rotary) have come together to support Heart to Heart International’s disaster relief efforts in Texas and Florida.

Immediately after Hurricane Harvey devastated the gulf coast of Texas with over 51 inches of rain, followed by the damage caused in Florida by Hurricane Irma, Rotarians opened their hearts and checkbooks to help. Rotary clubs have been involved with the Lenexa-based Heart to Heart International (HHI) since its inception in 1992. Many of their founders and some of their board members are Rotarians so there is a natural connection and interest in supporting their mission.

Initially, 5710’s District Governor Adam Ehlert asked that each of the 2400 Rotarians in the District give at least $5.00 which was matched with District funds. Ehlert said, “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of Rotarians in our District.” “To date, over $38,293 has been collected and an additional significant amount is given directly through the Heart to Heart’s website”. “Rotary International is the world’s most significant service organization, but we are not a relief agency. Heart to Heart is, and it’s our privilege to support them,” added Ehlert.

Rotarians have also been involved in assembling and packing hygiene kits for distribution to those involved in both disasters. Nearly 30,000 kits have been distributed in the affected areas and the need continues. In Houston, HHI plans on providing medical care for the next two to three months until regular providers are able to reopen their own clinics. Some of the HHI medical volunteers are on their second tour following a short break at home. These services are provided at no cost to patients.

Likewise, in Florida, HHI is the only organization providing emergency medical care to residents and responders in the area of Big Pine Key.

Rotarians and other volunteers collected donations at a recent T-Bones baseball game series at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Baseball fans including comedian Bill Murry (co-owner of the visiting St. Paul Saints) contributed to the effort. Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self”, is exemplified by HHI’s, Ex. Director of Disaster Response, Sue Mangicaro, whose own condo in Naples, Fla. was flooded while she had responded to the Texas disaster. According to Jim Mitchum, HHI CEO, “She has not yet taken time to go home and deal with her own loss; instead continuing to lead our medical response on the Florida Keys.”

The District 5710 has 45 Clubs throughout Northeast Kansas, with some 2400 members. Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work impacts people at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. 

District Governor Chris Ford Stresses Vitality and Membership

DG Chris Ford, District 5710

In introducing District Governor Chris Ford, Lawrence Central President Jim Peters listed the club’s activities, both local and international.  He named community bike rides, wreath sales, and fireside dinners as well as support for LiveWell Lawrence, Willow Domestic Violence Center, Salvation Army bell ringing, the Rotary Arboretum, and internationally, support for Shelter Boxes, the Open World Program, and Sister Cities, among many others.

“We’re a ‘DO IT’ club,” Peters said.

This attitude emphasized Ford’s theme of creating an active, vital group. Ford is passionate about Rotary, both its future and its past. He began his talk with a quote from founder Paul Harris that illustrates that enthusiasm. “Be passionate about Rotary. Embrace change,” Harris wrote in 1907 when the social club he had started in 1905 became a service club. “Paul Harris had real foresight,” Ford said. “He said for Rotary to achieve its proper destiny, it must be evolutionary and, at times, revolutionary.”

Ford said his goal for 2017 is 3,000 Rotarians in District 5710. “We’re a small district with 45 clubs. I want a growth rate of 20% for our clubs.“ He outlined three goals for Rotary clubs: new members, retention of current members, and improved attendance. He said we must inspire members to stay in Rotary and have the quality of programs that will keep attendance high. Rotary projects are important. Polio has been conquered but other worldwide concerns include literacy and education, maternal and child health, clean water, and a host of others.

Ford closed his talk with an invitation to the District Conference, May 5-6, in Overland Park. His goal for the conference is to make it inspirational with more Rotarians attending. “The conference,“ he said “is to celebrate Rotary.”

Vickie Randell Updates Lawrence Central on the Rotary Foundation

Vickie Randel | Lawrence Central RotaryVickie Randell, former Rotary District Governor, current district Rotary Foundation coordinator, (and now Assistant Regional Foundation Coordinator for Zone 27) is excited about what the Rotary Foundation has done and even more excited about what’s coming in the future.

“People tell me I’m a Rotary faucet,” the member of the Lawrence noon club said. “You ask me about the Rotary Foundation and you’ve turned the tap for a flood of information.”

The Rotary Foundation supports projects all over the globe as well as locally. “In our district we have clubs whose members have formed especially strong bonds with people in Panama and Guatemala.

“We’ve done global grants there that have helped educate people about clean water sources, worked on schools and provided medical supplies, “she said. She showed a slide of a rocky, road, filled in spots with water that children had to walk through to get to school.  Rotarians cleaned it up and graded it.

The water supply for one community was a filthy, refuse filled stream. Through Rotary intervention there are now huge tanks supplying clean water.

“Teams of Kansas Rotarians have  gone to Mexico to build houses,” she said.  In India dump dwellers, who made their living scavenging in the dump, where they also lived, are being taught other ways to support themselves.  In Uganda vocational training teams are teaching nurses in pediatric hospitals.

“Foundation money comes to local communities too,” she said. “A holiday shopping event is sponsored for children who otherwise couldn’t shop for  gifts.  The Lawrence Rotary arboretum is a sterling example of what clubs can do when they work together.”

Randal also talked about how in an unusual twist, Rotary clubs in Japan sent foundation money to the U.S. to help victims of hurricane Katrina proving the work of Rotary goes wherever it is needed.

There is always more to do. “We’re building the Rotary Peace Fellowship project, dedicated to eliminating conflict and helping the victims of conflict.  And polio is not quite gone. There were still  54 cases in the world this year.

“Everything we do in Rotary builds peace, “ she said. “And peace helps people become their true selves.”

Rotary District 5710 Gov John Donovan Visits

Rotary District 5710 Governor John Donovan was full of praise for Lawrence Central Rotary when he spoke to the club on October 28. “You have the best website in the district.  You are on the upswing in most areas, your membership is trending up. You are a powerful presence in the community. ”

Donovan said he  sees Rotary as not only  a force in local communities but as a Gift To The World, which is the theme of his year as DG.

John-Donovan-historianOn a personal level the Leavenworth Rotarian said “being District Governor is an amazing job,“ detailing his year of visits to the 45 clubs in his district.  He tries to balance his role with living on a former dairy farm outside of Easton, KS, where he and his wife keep horses and raise angora goats, peafowl, Bourbon Red turkeys, ducks, chickens, guineas and are staff for five dogs and nine cats. Being a former military science professor and artillery afficianado, there is also cannon in his front yard.

His enthusiasm for Rotary showed when he said he believes Rotary International should be in contention for the Nobel Prize for eliminating polio and for the current finding that the labs built  around the world to track polio have also been able to make early detection of the Ebola virus and recently halted an outbreak.

He briefly outlined Rotary’s history and highpoints, from its beginning in the early 20th century, to its becoming international,  developing the Rotary Foundation, admitting women and adopting the 4-way test.

His philosophy is that Rotary should be  a vital part of its members’ lives.

“I want to be interesting and I want Rotary to be interesting. I want Rotarians to have fun, be daring, do something new and act, following the 4-way test which is what Rotary is all about.”

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