April 24-25, 2020 Hot Springs, SD-Friday afternoon, evening and Saturday morning.  Bring your family and enjoy the many activities Hot Springs has to offer! Tour offerings include a drive through Wind Cave with stops at Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore.

Our Friday evening banquet will feature special Rotarian awards, recognition, and a message from RI Representative Phil Silvers.  Evening entertainment includes Western music and history.  Saturday morning features an inspiring message from Dr. Fozia Alvi, who grew up in Pakistan. She is an American trained physician who has been working in Calgary, Alberta, for the past 13 years. She and her husband, Tahir Alvi, are passionate humanitarians and have organized several health and education-related projects in developing nations, including opening a charity-based maternity hospital in rural Pakistan. She went in for a medical mission to the Bangladesh refugees’ camps in 2017 and was moved by the plight of Rohingya and has since been an advocate for them. She spoke at various international levels about this genocide and is also involved in advocacy for the Uyghurs of China and putting a stop to illegal organ harvesting. She currently runs her foundation, Humanity Auxilium, and organizes medical relief missions. She has been given various awards for her advocacy work including being a Nobel prize nominee in 2019 and the 2019 Advocacy Award by CAMSS.

We have booked Tom Gump from Minnesota.  Tom will be speaking on the first ever Veterans Serving Veterans Rotary Club and will offer a mini-workshop on how to start a cause-based Rotary Club.  Jon Ruybalid of Whiteclay Makerspace will be speaking on our first ever effort at hosting a global grant project. It is a joint effort between Whiteclay Makerspace, Inc. and District 5610 designed to support Oglala Lakota artists and craftspeople with an economic and community development project.  Weather permitting, we will be offering a service project at the maker space in White Clay, NE.  Another presentation will be on our first ever Disaster Response grant to address Pine Ridge Reservation homes damaged by the bomb cyclones of 2019.

  Click Here for registration link, tentative agenda, and hotel information.  Come celebrate with us!

     One of the premier awards a Rotarian in District 5610 can receive is the “Roger Kozak Service Above Self Award.”  It was conceived about four years ago and has been awarded three times.
     Here is the description of the award: “In recognition of exceptional service to Rotarians in Rotary District 5610.  This award honors the memory of Roger L. Kozak, long-time member of the Vermillion Rotary Club, who served as District Governor, 2009-10, and who distinguished himself as an exceptional servant leader.”
     The award will be presented in April at the District Conference in Hot Springs.  If you have someone in mind to nominate for the award, please feel free to do so at any time prior to March 15.  You can send it by email to me, or contact any of the current selection committee members.   (Ed Jacobson email: coach@pie.midco.net)
     This year’s selection committee consists of (Ed Jacobson, Pierre, PDG, Chair), Larry Lyngstad (Pierre, first recipient), George Twitero (Rapid City Rushmore, second recipient), Pat Sutliff (Rapid City Rushmore, third recipient), Dave Lorenz (Vermillion, PDG), Steve Harrington (Le Mars, PDG), and Kathy Chandler (Secretary of the Vermillion Rotary Club).
     On behalf of the selection committee, thank you in advance for your consideration this request.
     To view a short video on the District's Youtube page featuring clips of the late Governor Roger Kozak talking about the role of service in Rotary, you can Click Here on the image below. 
Hello Rotarians of District 5610.  It is time for our annual district raffle fundraising event. The event will raise donations to support the Rotary Foundation.  This raffle is the largest single fundraising event for our district.
Each Rotary club in our district will submit a prize for the raffle in January, followed by raffle tickets being delivered to our clubs in February. All raffle donations need to be submitted by April 10th. Raffle winners will be drawn at our district conference in Hot Springs, SD this April.
The grand prize for the 2020 District 5610 Raffle is a SAMSUNG 4 PIECE KITCHEN SUITE valued at over $4,500.00.  In addition, there are 40 great prizes provided by the Rotary clubs in our district.
Let's make this year's raffle fundraiser the best ever! Look for the raffle tickets in your club the first part of February.

Steve Harrington, PDG
District RAFFLE Fundraising Chair

Thank you to all who contributed to one of The Rotary Foundation's charitable funds during the month of November, also known as Foundation Month in the Rotary world.  While we await the results in our friendly competition for Foundation Month club giving, we do have results from TRF's club awards for Rotary Year 2018-2019.

  • Top Three (3) Highest Per Capita Annual Giving Banner:  For the three clubs in each district that give the most, per capita, to the Annual Fund (requires a minimum of US$50 per capita.)  We are pleased to announce that for District 5610, these clubs will be receiving this banner:

    • 1st - Custer SD Rotary Club $712.58 per capita
    • 2nd - Marshall MN Sunrise Rotary Club $361.54 per capita
    • 3rd - Pierre-Fort Pierre SD Rotary Club $290.38 per capita
  • Every Rotarian, Every Year (EREY) Club:  For clubs that achieved a minimum Annual Fund contribution of US$100 per capita during the Rotary Year, with every dues paying member contributing at least US$25 to the Annual Fund.  Two District 5610 clubs will be receiving this banner:

    • Marshall MN Sunrise Rotary Club
    • Centerville SD Rotary Club
  • 100% Foundation Giving Club:  For clubs that achieve an average of $100 in per capita giving and 100% participation, with every dues-paying member contributing at least $25 to any or all of the following during the Rotary year: Annual Fund, PolioPlus Fund, approved global grants, or Endowment Fund.  Five District 5610 clubs have achieved this recognition and will receive banners:

    • Marshall MN Sunrise Rotary Club
    • Centerville SD Rotary Club
    • Marshall MN Rotary Club
    • Rock Valley IA Rotary Club
    • Winner SD Rotary Club
  • End Polio Now: Countdown to History Campaign Certificate of Appreciation:  For clubs that contributed at least US $1,500 to Rotary's polio eradication efforts.  These eight clubs in our district will receive this certificate:

    • Brookings SD Rotary Club
    • Custer SD Rotary Club
    • Marshall MN Rotary Club
    • Minneota MN Rotary Club
    • Pierre-Fort Pierre SD Rotary Club
    • Rapid City SD Rotary Club
    • Rapid City SD Rushmore Rotary Club
    • Winner SD Rotary Club

Of 35,000 Rotary clubs throughout the world only a few reach these levels of recognition.  Because of the $50 per capita minimum, only 1550 clubs are awarded a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd top rank in Annual Fund giving.  Only 3,400 clubs achieve EREY status, and only 4,000 clubs achieve 100% Foundation Giving Club status.

Congratulations to all of these clubs for achieving this recognition from The Rotary Foundation and thank you for your strong support of Rotary's charitable efforts.  Your Assistant Governor will be presenting these awards to your club at a future meeting.

Ina Winter
District Governor 2019-2020
RID 5610

It’s a simple ordinary tool that students have been using since its invention in the 1600s. But by January it has been worn down to a nub. That’s why members of Rapid City Rushmore Rotary are supplying several local elementary schools with more. Yes, it is the PENCIL!

Rushmore Rotary’s newly formed Community Action Committee selected this small project as a supplement to the club’s larger ongoing projects, such as raising thousands of dollars for the Black Hills Children’s Home and Storybook Island. The club members wanted more!

“We formed the Community Action Committee to focus resources on smaller service projects that can be quickly organized to meet urgent needs. In this case we found out that local school students needed pencils, so we took action,” stated Co-Chairs Dave Dolan and Todd Hyronimus. On Tuesday, February 18, immediately after the club meeting, 4 Rotarians delivered hundreds of pencils to three schools in Rapid City: Robbinsdale, South Park and South Middle. The principals and staff met us with smiles! More schools will be visited with the remaining collection, from over 2000 donated.

The committee discussed a long list of such projects to plan out for the future. They identified highway, parks and streams cleanups; items for food banks and shelters; teacher supplies; and the list goes on and on. This gives the club members opportunities to do good, while interacting with fellow Rotarians and serving the community in special ways.

“Belonging to a Rotary club provides members with an opportunity to give back to their communities and to connect with like-minded leaders and friends.” enthused Linda Peterson, Rotarian and Regional Public Image Coordinator for Rotary International.  “The club’s early morning meetings are dynamic and face-paced, so having time to meet with fellow Rotarians outside of the meeting and do good in the community promotes fellowship.”

Service Above Self is the motto of Rotary International. Our members believe our world becomes a better place when we give of ourselves to others. From grassroots, local community efforts, to joining Rotarians from around the world on international projects, Rotarians are proud but humble, to be making a difference in peoples lives.” President Gene Bilodeau states.

Rushmore Rotary meets every Tuesday at 7 AM at Howard Johnson Express hotel, located at 950 North Street. Visit the website for more information: www.rushmorerotary.org


Whiteclay, Nebraska borders the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota and has a population of about 12.  It is about two miles from the village of Pine Ridge, SD. There were four liquor stores in Whiteclay that sold about 4 million cans of beer, mostly to residents of Pine Ridge who left the dry reservation to buy their liquor at these stores. In 2017, the State of Nebraska Liquor Commission did not renew any of the liquor licenses in Whiteclay. As a result, all of the liquor stores closed. A non-profit corporation, Whiteclay Makerspace LLC was formed in Nebraska with the purpose of buying one of the liquor stores and transforming it into a makerspace for Pine Ridge area artists and craftspersons. The building has been purchased and a group of local artists and craftspersons are working along with the owner, Jon Ruybalid, to clean, renovate and paint the building.
Rotary District 5610 is in the process of writing a global grant from The Rotary Foundation (TRF) to support the artists and craftspeople who will be making use of the new makerspace in Whiteclay, NE.  Elements of the grant project include:
Equip the Artists and Craftspeople to directly impact the beneficiaries by supplying them with the needed tools and equipment to produce their art.
Provide Training to succeed in developing their small businesses of art production, the beneficiaries have noted that training is needed in business practices, financial matters, entrepreneurship, marketing, online marketing, computer skills, and professional development.
Stand up a Supply Shop in Whiteclay Makerspace Studio to provide an initial stock of the type of supplies used by local artists and craftspeople. A needs assessment of community artists has been completed.
Install Solar Panels for the Whiteclay Makerspace Building to indirectly impact the beneficiaries by lowering building operating costs and thus lowering the cost to the beneficiaries of using the makerspace.
Rotary District 5610 will be the host Rotary entity of the global grant. The district will write the grant application, with international partner Varanasi Sunrise club of India District 3120, and other funding participants. Clubs may contribute to the grant, see the Whiteclay Makerspace pledge form on D5610 website download area. The contact with District 3120 was facilitated by PDG Pat Sutliff, who has been the international partner for them on several global grants. Our two Districts have coordinated grant funding for sewing machines, and improving schools in India. The two Rotarian entities with oversee the implementation of the grant, measure outcomes, evaluate the effectiveness of the project, and report on grant activities to TRF.
Whiteclay Makerspace LLC as the Cooperating Organization will partner with District 5610 to deliver the grant project to its participating artists and artisans. We will write and execute a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between District 5610 and Jon Ruybalid, as owner of Whiteclay Makerspace LLC.
The beneficiaries of the project will be the resident Lakota artists and craftspeople in need of space and other assistance to produce and sell works that will enable them to raise their level of income. District 5610 will be the grant applicant and administrator serving these beneficiaries. Whiteclay Makerspace will be the cooperating organization assisting District 5610 in delivering the project. Other organizations may be brought into the grant project as advisors, vendors, or cooperating organizations.
We would like to be able to start delivering the project as soon as remodeling of the building is completed. Now that we have an international partners onboard, and upon approval and receipt of grant funds, we can immediately start grant implementation. Project delivery, particularly the training element, may take up to two years. Monitoring and evaluation may be done during project implementation and up to five years after project completion to ensure outcomes are achieved and the artists and craftspeople are sustaining their businesses.
Principal Contacts
Ina Winter, Hot Springs Rotary, D5610 DG 2019-20 kristine.ina.winter@gmail.com
Linda Peterson, Rushmore Rotary, PDG, RPIC 2018-20 linda4rotary@me.com
Tom Katus, Rushmore Rotary, Omniciye Committee tmkatus@gmail.com

As the district fellowship chairman I would like your club to consider the idea of a “interclub” visit.

The idea is to have three or four or more members of YOUR club plan a visit to another club within district 5610.  Hopefully this would be a club that is out of your “neighborhood” so you could become familiar with other Rotarians that you do not normally meet on a regular basis.  It would also give you an opportunity to seek new ideas and activities for your club as well as support their club. 

Along with an activity such as this it would become an interclub exchange where THEIR club would come to visit YOUR club, and each might seek other interclub exchanges as an ongoing activity.

I would like to hear from any clubs that engage in such an activity, and get the pictures so that we may pass on the fun and experiences to other Rotarians.  Our hope is to spread this activity throughout the district.

If we get pictures we could have a space at the district conference showing all of the interaction with Rotarians.

I can be reached at 605.215.6916 or rvwest6916@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours in Rotary,
Bob Westman
District Fellowship Chair
District 5610 recently completed a Rotary Disaster Response project on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. 559 homes were damaged in the bomb cyclones of 2019. We helped the tribe's Emergency Management and Disaster Resiliency Departments buy a foam sprayer machine that will help waterproof and insulate these damaged homes. Because of this project families will be warmer and dryer in their own homes. This video was taken on November 14, 2019. Before and after photos were supplied by the Pine Ridge Disaster Resiliency Coordinator after the tribe started using the sprayer for repairs. Rotary cares.  You can watch the video by clicking on the image below or watch it on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.  -- Ina Winter, District Governor, 5610

Multi-district PETS – March 12-14, 2020 Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, MN - The North Central Presidents-Elect Training Seminar is an annual multi-district training event for incoming Rotary Club Presidents-Elect, and Presidents-Nominee.  Please submit the names of these officers as soon as possible to Nicole Rawden, rawdenconsulting@gmail.com for marketing and registration information has begun to be distributed to these officers.  All are welcome.  Registration fee for District 5610 President Elects will be covered by District 5610. https://www.ncpets.org/


Rotary Club of Marshall Noon - Club’s “Student Rotarian” Guest Program

The Rotary Marshall Noon Club, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, has a unique program that involves the Marshall Public School students in its weekly meetings.  For over 30 years the club has invited select Marshall senior class students to its weekly meetings as student guests, commonly referred to as student Rotarians.  The program has proven to be beneficial to all concerned.

Each year, 24 senior students – 12 females and 12 males - are nominated by the school faculty to be student Rotarians based on their academic achievement, school and community involvement, leadership and character.  Each student Rotarian is asked to attend a Marshall Noon Club Meeting for two consecutive weeks.  The first week, the student is introduced at the meeting by alternating club members.  The students each prepare a simple bio-sheet containing their name, parent’s name, address, and activities as well as their plans after graduation.  After the introduction, the student presents a 3-5-minute speech on a topic related to Rotary International.  The topic is up to the student to research and is a creative way for our club to experience a Rotary “Foundation minute”.  On the second week, the student presents a 5-7 minute speech highlighting their involvement in an activity that has made a difference in their life while a student at Marshall Public Schools.  The topics range from academics to fine arts activities to athletic achievements.

Our club members value the personal connection to the High School students.  We get a chance to know these great ambassadors of the next generation.  The students also value the experience to be exposed to the good works of Rotary in their community and worldwide.

Scott Monson, Superintendent of Schools in Marshall and Rotary Marshall Noon Club member said, “One of the many things I find rewarding about the student Rotarian program is the learning that these students experience when they are researching a Rotary focus- such as promoting peace or eradicating polio for their week one speech.  The research and preparation for their speeches helps them to learn more about challenges in the world and how Rotarians across the globe are stepping up to help others overcome these challenges.  In my opinion, the knowledge that our student Rotarians gain is another important step in their leadership and development.”

In the Spring the students all come back together for one meeting in which they are responsible to plan, organize, and conduct.  This student-led meeting challenges each student to take a role in running the normal aspects of a Rotary meeting, from leading the Pledge of Allegiance to all the multiple aspects of the program.   The club is often rewarded with the talents of the students.

After the student-led meeting, the club assembles a committee to award four, $500 scholarships to the top participating student Rotarians.  Each student submits their speech and fills out a scholarship application.  The club committee members individually score the applications.  The scores are tallied from each committee member to reveal the four highest scores.  The scholarship money is awarded to their school upon enrollment of the deserving students.

The Marshall Public School District plays a vital role in the success of the student Rotarian program.  It requires a significant investment in time of the superintendent and his administration and faculty.  The student selection process is intentionally the sole responsibility of the school district.  Removing the club from this process insures objective nominees.  The school district sends an invitation letter to the parents encouraging them to attend the specific meetings attended by their son or daughter.   The Marshall school district even pays for the meals of the parents who attend their student’s “week 2” meeting.

The school district also sends a letter to the student’s parents from our club’s membership committee.  The letter describes Rotary and lists many of our club’s local projects with the intent of attracting new members.

The student Rotarian program in Marshall is all about connection to our community. 

“Life is so busy nowadays, and there can sometimes be sort of a disconnect between the community and students.  The student Rotarian program is one way that students are able to connect with civic and community members and leaders and for our Rotary members to connect with students.  I see it being mutually beneficial, as students see leaders in our community and Rotarians see future leaders who potentially may be leaders in our community at some point.” Scott Monson Superintendent of Marshall Public Schools.

Matt Pedersen

Rotary Marshall Noon Club President



Pictured:  Dean and Lenei


Pictured:  Keziah and Grant

It is time to start thinking about RY 2020-2021 District Grants. The timetable is being moved up this year to support projects starting around the beginning of the school year. The deadline for submitting a grant request through the www.matchinggrants.org website will be Jun 1, 2020! This will allow us to get the funds out to clubs by the end of July (we hope) so projects can start as early as August, instead of October.

A club MUST have at least one member attend a training sessions if you plan on submitting a grant for the 2020-2021 Rotary Year. The training should take less than 2 hours and you will need to be at a Mac or a PC (smartphones or tablets should work but I recommend a computer) with an internet connection to view the slides. You can either use the microphone and speakers of the computer or dial in to a phone number for audio. 
Here is the Tentative Schedule for Training for 2020-21 RY
To register for a session, click on the appropriate link. It will take you to a registration page. Once you have registered, you will receive the necessary login information for the webinar.
I hope to see a representative from each of your clubs attend. We have extra money to award as to District Grants this year, so I am looking forward to getting some great grant proposals!
Yours in Rotary,
Bruce Young
District 5610 Grant Subcommittee Chair
(712) 541-9822

Dear Rotarian,

I am excited to share some good news: Rotary International and Toastmasters International are working together to provide our members with even more opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Toastmasters International is a global nonprofit organization with more than 16,800 clubs in 143 countries. Its members attend club meetings where they give speeches, evaluate the speeches of others, and perform other club duties, with the goal of ultimately becoming more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders. Our organizations are complementary in many ways, but we are each unique in what we offer our members.

I hope you will join us in supporting this alliance in your community. You can start by learning more about Toastmasters, exploring its resources and public speaking tips, or visiting a local Toastmasters club. Although the structure of club meetings is consistent, Toastmaster clubs are similar to Rotary clubs in that they each have their own personality. If you do not have a club in your area, you can watch a video to learn what happens at a Toastmasters meeting.

You can also invite members of Toastmasters to visit your club and learn more about Rotary. If you have a Toastmasters club in your area, consider meeting with its members to explore opportunities to collaborate or inviting a member of Toastmasters to participate in a service activity or speak at your club.

Toastmasters will create a leadership development program for Rotarians and Rotaractors. A structured, robust leadership and communication curriculum can help members develop practical skills that will serve them not only in Rotary leadership roles, but in their professional and personal lives as well. Effective leadership skills can strengthen our clubs and increase our impact. We will provide updates about this program when we have more details.

Many of us joined Rotary to make a difference and connect with others in our communities. By working with Toastmasters, our members can discover new ways to network and learn from others, while finding even more value in their Rotary membership experience.

Learn more by reviewing these frequently asked questions. You can also send your questions and your stories about local collaboration efforts to toastmastersalliance@rotary.org.

Mark Daniel Maloney
President, Rotary International 2019-20
This video provides a few of the major reasons why you should consider joining Rotary. Rotary District 5610 covers all of the state of South Dakota, a portion of southwest Minnesota, northwest Iowa and northeast Nebraska in the US. There are 41 clubs in cities throughout the District, and one of them is waiting for you. Join an organization with the mission to serve others and to make their communities better for all. This website provides information on many wonderful activities of clubs in our District. To locate a club near you, click on the Club Directory & Contacts link.  You can play the video by clicking on the image below or by CLICKING HERE to watch it on the District YouTube channel. 

The official name of this exchange is Australia-USA Wiradjuri/Oceti Sakowin Rotary Group Study Exchange. Phase 1 of this grant project will support the Rotary District 9700 delegation of young indigenous Australian professionals to Rotary District 5610 to experience a different indigenous culture and to share experiences and connections to demonstrate the way Rotary works towards building understanding, peace and vocational excellence. This is planned to occur April 2020, ending at the District Conference in Hot Springs.  

Phase 2 of this grant project will be to send counterpart Native Tribal Americans to Australia in March 2021, to mirror the experience of the Phase 1 Aboriginal Australians. The Wiradjuri are a major Aboriginal indigenous tribe of southwest Australia. The 2016 census counted 786,685 Aboriginal people from more than 250 language groups or 3.3% of Australia’s population (about double the percentage of American Indians to total US population). This map shows the area the team will experience in New South Wales. 

The Native American leaders in Omniceye Rotary, Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS), Oglala Lakota College, and a number of other organizations will be consulted to provide personal connections to recruit applicants. A short form application is available from the contacts listed below. After collecting applications, interviews will be held to answer questions about the exchange and familiarize the Group Study Exchange (GSE) team with the exchange details.

How did this exchange come about? Following the 2014 International Rotary conference in Australia, a group of US Rotarians from District 5610, were hosted by Australian Rotarians from District 9700. They visited New South Wales, including Parkes, Australia, viewing aboriginal/settler primary school program and the Parkes Rotary Peace Precinct carvings by aboriginal artists. Parkes is also a Rotary Peace Community. In 2015 a delegation from District 9700 visited South Dakota and were reverse hosted by District 5610 Rotarians. The group began their visit in Rapid City and the Black Hills, hosted by Rotary clubs throughout the District, and culminated in the District 5610 conference in Pierre, SD. After the conclusion of both exchanges, a plan was formalized to create a Group Study Exchange between the two entities, comprised of non-Rotarian members. At the District 5610 conference held September 28-29, 2018 a number of the District 5610 leadership including Lorenz, Winter, Linda Peterson PDG and Zone 29 Public Image Coordinator and Pat Sutliff, PDG and Chair of the Rushmore Rotary international committee, met together with Katus to brainstorm follow-up steps. Peterson and Katus volunteered to draft a District 5610 grant request for funding of the first phase of this project to begin in 2019. Grants were approved for $2500 for Phase 1 and $10,850 for Phase 2. Cash and in-kind contributions to match this grant are welcomed. 

The GSE team will attend Rotary meetings as opportunities present during location in all areas. Rotarians and Clubs in District 5610 are invited to participate in home-hosting, touring and hosting  team members at club meetings. When the route is drafted, clubs along the tour will be contacted to help participate. 

Nation-building and vocational development for both indigenous peoples of Australia and Native Americans in South Dakota will be beneficial to all the communities impacted. Clubs and leaders in Rotary from around District 5610 have desired a better relationship with our native population and this GSE exchange is the next step in fostering a closer relationship and cooperation between clubs and the reservations’ population. Other Rotary clubs from around the US have projects already in several locations on the reservations. There is considerable international interest in this exchange program.

Project Contacts:

Linda Peterson, Rapid City Rushmore Rotary, PDG 2014-15, RPIC Zone 27/29 2018-20
Home 605-341-5006, Cell 605-390-0800 Email: Linda4Rotary@me.com
Tom Katus, Rapid City Rushmore Rotary, Omniceye Committee
Home 605-718-0545, Cell 605-391-7588 Email: tmkatus@gmail.com

Click Here for Australia-USA Wiradjuri/Oceti Sakowin Rotary Group Study Exchange Team Member Application


It's that time of year again when we think about the District 5610 Four Way Test Essay Contest.  This is a great way to spread our Rotary ideals into our communities.  The contest involves 6th graders and they are asked to write a 200 to 500 word essay on "How can I apply the Rotary 4 Way Test to my life?"  You will be amazed and excited at the perspective 6th graders have on our 4 Way Test.
You need to find a 6th grade teacher or group of teachers who are willing to participate in this great project.  you may find that it is usually easier to approach teachers rather than the administrators as they have so many other issues on their minds.  Provide the teacher with the attached forms describing the contest, it's history and requirements.  When the essays have been written the teachers can narrow down the group and submit their top ten or they can submit all of the essays that they collect to your club.  You need judges to determine the top essays and your club can reward a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize if you so choose.  Then by the deadline of March 15, 2020 you need to submit your winning essay to the district where it will be judged with all of the other club winners.  The District 5610 winners will be announced at District Conference in April of 2020.  The first place winner will receive a $200 check, a certificate, a Four Way Test coin and the chance to read their essay at the District Conference in Hot Springs.  Second place receives a $100 check, a certificate and a Four Way Test coin while third place receives a $50 check, a certificate and a Four Way Test coin.
We are hoping that many, many of the District 5610 clubs will participate in this terrific project where we teach young people about what Rotary stands for.  For questions or more information contact Pat Sutliff.
The necessary forms are attached.

It was a fine day for a bicycle ride - sunny, mild breezes, temperatures in the upper 60's.  Getting to the ride, not so much.  The drive down to Tucson featured a white-knuckle trek over the I-25 Raton Pass - snow pack, blowing snow, single lane 20mph travel.  Not even the aggressive drivers were passing.  Stopped earlier than planned at Santa Fe, NM and had to chip the ice off my bicycle before bringing it into the hotel room.

The rest of the drive was uneventful and I arrived in time to attend the Rotary pre-race dinner.  Lots of fun with more fund-raising and a chance to meet up with Rotary friends from across the country.  This ride was the 37th El de Tucson charity ride and the 10th year for the Ride to End Polio portion sponsored by Rotary International District 5500.

There were just under 7,000 riders in all the races.  Distances of 100, 50, and 25 miles were offered and a shorter fun ride for kids was also on the agenda.  Traffic control was stellar and the City of Tucson and ride organizers went all out to provide an amazing ride for the participants.  Participants came from all over the United States and I even met a couple of Rotarian riders from Italy and Germany.

After mile 21, which followed a long uphill push of perhaps five miles, I was ready to quit.  Hadn't put in enough training miles for that kind of punishment.  But at the top of the hill, the Marana AZ Rotary Club aid station was an oasis of recovery.  I stayed awhile refreshing my energy with bananas and oranges and resting my legs for the last half of the ride.  The grueling uphill punishment was rewarded with a long downhill ride of about 15 miles to the final stretch which was composed of rolling terrain.

My goal of averaging 10 mph over the 50 miles and finishing in about five hours was busted.  It took two hours longer than anticipated, but I did finish ahead of the the course closing...barely.  The happy news is that my goal of raising $1,000 for PolioPlus was exceeded.  The final tally for my first Ride to End Polio was $1,855 before the 2:1 match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Next year?  Thinking the 25 mile course is good.  Looking forward to another fun time raising money for a worthy cause.  Perhaps there will be other District 5610 Rotarian riders next year?

Thank you to all who pledged to support my ride.  It really was you who helped me get back on the bike at mile 21.

Ina Winter
District Governor 2019-2020
RID 5610

Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.


The start of the 50 mile ride.  This was the event with the most riders.  All kinds of human-powered vehicles were used.  One guy even rode a unicycle in the 100 mile ride!

The start of the 50 mile ride.  This was the event with the most riders.  All kinds of human-powered vehicles were used.  One guy even rode a unicycle in the 100 mile ride!


The Marana AZ Rotary Club Aid Station with some of the Rotarian riders posing in front of District 5500's semi-trailer decked out in End Polio messages.


Judging by the smiles, this was either at the beginning of the race or on the long downhill reward after the Marana aid station.


This is what my bike looked like at the Santa Fe stop.  Despite the thick coating of ice and snow, the bike worked well during the ride.

Rotary Club of Centerville
The Centerville Rotary relocated the area food pantry and took over the management/volunteering of it.  We remodeled a storage room in the back of the Senior Center and are open to the public on Wednesdays from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.    Centerville Rotarians are the sole volunteers of the facility at this time.    We utilized a District grant of $1,000 and matched it with our own $1,000 to do the remodel.  We also coordinate food drives.
Rotary Club of Clark
A week ago Clark Rotary was invited to share the Thanksgiving meal at the Clark High School. This is an annual event we enjoy and attendance is often near 100%. During that time the Superintendent comes and gives the highs and lows of school activities. As usual, the student accomplishments in local, state and national events are reviewed and applauded. When asked about school needs, the Superintendent shared that school meals for many were becoming an issue of nonpayment. She had set up a fund called the Angel Fund and took personal donations from others for this fund. When a student ran out of money and could not pay for their meal, they were offered the same meal with money being taken from the Angel Fund. Following her presentation, Clark Rotary voted to donate $500 to the school for use in the fund. We would have had no idea of this need if we hadn’t been invited to the school that day. It put the “Thanks” in Thanksgiving for all of us.
DISTRICT 5610 GOVERNOR’S FOUNDATION MONTH CHALLENGE – Prizes worth a total of 5,000 in Paul Harris Foundation points to be awarded.
District 5610 Clubs and members are being challenged by Governor Ina Winter again in 2019 to support Rotary Foundation giving during the month of November, which is Rotary’s Foundation Month.  

Winners in member giving category of the Governor’s District Awards (2 awards) will receive 1,000 points for a Paul Harris Fellow gift to be awarded as they choose. All members who give a Paul Harris Fellowship gift in November will be entered in a drawing to select the members to recognize to give the points to recognize as they desire. Clubs in each division that win the per capita category will receive 1,000 Paul Harris Fellow points gift to award as they choose. A total of 5,000 in points will be awarded.  
Governor District Awards for:
The two Individuals with the highest Foundation giving in November will be selected either due to their gift or as selected in a drawing if we have a number of Paul Harris Fellowship gifts at the same amount.

The district club with the highest per capita giving in November Governor Division Awards (3 Divisions):
The club in each division with the highest per capita giving in November receives special governor recognition, and 1,000 Paul Harris Fellow points.
Division I – Canton, Centerville, Clark, Gettysburg, Gregory, Huron, LeMars, Mapleton, Marshall Sunrise, Minneota, Rock Valley, Scotland, Sibley, , Suburban Sioux City, Tyndall, and Wagner. (16)
Division II – Aberdeen, Canby, Cherokee, Custer, Denison, Hot Springs, Madison, Marshall, Mobridge, Sioux Falls North, Sioux Falls South, Spearfish, and Yankton. (13)
Division III -  Brookings, Luverne, Mitchell, Pierre-Ft Pierre, Rapid City, Rapid City Rushmore, Sioux Falls Downtown, Sioux Falls West, Sioux City, Watertown, Winner, and Vermillion. (12)
Contest parameters: Winners will be determined by monitoring all Foundation giving from NOVEMBER 1 to DECEMBER 10. Giving will be extended to December 10th to allow late donations to be registered in the Rotary Foundation records.
Contact Mike Gibson, District Foundation Chair for more information.  
Below are a couple of links for your review about The Rotary Foundation and how to donate to the Foundation. 

All but one of the 40 active clubs in District 5610 have received the official Governor's visit.  I am also excited to visit, in the near future, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Rotaract Club.  The club visits exceeded my expectations.  It was truly enjoyable visiting each club and learning what the clubs are doing to serve their communities and contribute to the greater Rotary community.  I am humbled by the extraordinary leadership of the clubs and have a renewed appreciation of Rotary on the ground in District 5610.

During my visits, I took a survey of the members present and offered them an opportunity to identify themselves as veteran Rotarians, novice Rotarians, or somewhere in-between.  They were then asked to grade their club as vibrant, thriving, surviving, or struggling and why.  Rotarians also got the opportunity to leave a message for club leadership and district leadership.  Each club president got the original surveys from their club and a summary of all responses.  The one club with a visit pending was surveyed online, so the survey represents the entire district.  It is not a scientific survey, but the results are valuable nonetheless.

We collected 464 completed surveys which is 27% of our entire district membership of 1750.  That is an extremely good rate of return.  Veterans accounted for 58% of the responses, 14% were from novices, and 28% fell somewhere in-between.  29% of respondents rated their club vibrant, 37% rated it thriving, 32% rated it surviving, and the remainder of less than 2% said their club was struggling.  One conclusion that may be drawn from the data is that club members are generally happy with their club and recognize that there is room for improvement.

As interesting as the numbers are, the best information from the survey came from the written comments.  Overwhelmingly, our members recognize that their club needs to recruit and retain new members...many called out younger members as the most sought after prospect.  The second most called out need was for basic Rotary information.  I have distributed the survey results to District 5610 leadership and we will be working on delivering what the members have cited as needs.  Stay tuned.

Finally, I would like to comment on the exceeding generosity and gratitude members expressed for their volunteer club and district leadership.  I was not expecting that and it was quite encouraging.  Thank you, District 5610 Rotarians for being Rotarians and making the world a better place in the many ways each of you contribute.

Warmly and kindly,

Ina Winter

DG 2019-2020

District 5610 has a rider in the 10th annual Ride to End Polio! Polio eradication was one of the two main reasons Ina joined Rotary, so she felt it was time to do this ride. We are asking for your pledge to support her fundraising goal of $1,000 to PolioPlus.

After many years away from biking, she is getting back in the saddle to Ride to End Polio.  Not wishing to overdo and injure herself, she is training for the 50 mile course.  She is asking friends, family, and Rotarians to pledge $1/mile for this important and vital cause.  Really, any pledge is welcome.  All pledges will be matched 2 to 1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Rotary Foundation is one of the highest rated charitable organizations in the world - rated 1st by Charity Navigator for 12 straight years!  No safer investment for your charitable contribution.

Ina is also riding to honor her mother, Phyllis Winter, who worked as a Registered Nurse and tended to polio victims using the old iron lungs.  Ina recalls her mom dragging the kids to a public immunization event and how thrilled she was to be able to give the vaccine to them.

We encourage you to support the Ride to End Polio by clicking here to reach District Governor Ina Winter's Pledge Page.

Greetings Rotarians of District 5610. Karl's TV and Appliance stores and Hope Haven International (HHI) are seeking help in the collection of wheelchairs in your areas again in 2019. Karl's TV and Appliance stores are asking you to consider promoting this drive by helping to call nursing homes, hospitals, medical equipment sales dealers, VFW's, etc, in your communities, to see if they can donate their used wheelchairs, walkers, canes and crutches. All Karl's locations will store the mobility devices at their stores as well as ship them back to HHI in Sioux Falls. Please help us to collect these items through Karl's so we can rebuild these wheelchairs and give mobility to those in need around the world. Please contact Mark Siemonsma at 712.470.0298 or msiemons@hopehaven.org if you would like to help or need more information. Thank you again and blessings to all this holiday season!

*Please note, we are not collecting electric wheelchairs or wooden crutches or canes.

Global Grant 1980712, Group Prenatal Care Training for Indigenous Women, officially launched in Fargo on September 17.  Over 100 people attended the kick off celebration on September 17, with representatives of 10 Rotary Clubs in attendance!  It was a wonderful evening with a poster session, dinner/program, and dancing/drumming by the Buffalo River Singers & Dancers.  The diaper drive was very successful as well, with approximately $2000 in diapers/funds collected from attendees and five clubs contributing! 
After the kick off event, health providers from each of the five sites (one each from MT, ND, SD, NE, and MN) stayed on for two more days, to train with the national March of Dimes staff on how to implement group prenatal care in their communities! 
The elimination of polio from the world has had a tough year. Many parents in Pakistan have become vaccine deniers and are newly refusing to have their children vaccinated. This appears to be a response to the government's attempts to get better coverage with threats of jail for non-immunizers and increasing the age of the immunized to 10 years. A public hysterical reaction took place aided by the false information online stating there is a conspiracy by the West to give polio drops that are unsafe and are a part of the effort to hurt and sterilize Muslim children. Over 40 thousand children were reportedly taken to medical facilities with symptoms of nausea and feeling bad after receiving polio drops. Fortunately, no medical condition was present, but immunization has stalled with a subsequent increase in cases of polio paralysis resulting. Now new efforts to combat vaccine denial and more education must be accomplished if we are to move on with the elimination of polio. The Gates Foundation has announced continued matching two dollars for each dollar raised by Rotary. We must as the Energizer Bunny says, "keep going and going and going" and redouble funding efforts.
Willis Sutliff PolioPlus Chair District 5610
District Governor Ina encourages you to join her in giving an additional $35 to PolioPlus this year to help fund The Rotary Foundation's pledge to raise $50 million this Rotary year for polio eradication.  Ina will be making her donation on World Polio Day, October 24, 2019.  District 5610 Rotary Clubs are also encouraged to raise funds on World Polio Day from their celebrations and awareness events.
Thank you, Rotarians - because of your work more than 16 million people have avoided paralysis.  Let's continue until no one has to face polio again.

Does your club have a plan to celebrate World Polio Day on October 24?  What will you do to highlight this important day - a watch party, a proclamation from the city government, a speaker at your weekly meeting?  The graphic below has some ideas on how you and your club can help celebrate World Polio Day 2019! Review those ideas and search for others. Work with the club to determine how they will celebrate the day, and then choose materials from the resource center and other links to help you.


As important as it is to plan your club's event, it is also important to try to promote the event among your club members and the local community. We want everyone to understand that we are so close to eradicating polio from our planet. Please plan something to help celebrate the day and share that with us.


A great deal of material for World Polio Day 2019 is available on the End Polio Now website (https://www.endpolio.org/world-polio-day).  You can go to this link to access all of the items listed below. The links are active in this file, so that you can click on any of the highlighted materials and you should be taken to that material on the website.  The End Polio Now site also has an extensive Resource Center. The resource center provides material in the areas under the categories of:  InfographicsBanners & PostersVideosEducationSocial MediaEvent MaterialsBrand Center


Materials to raise awareness: https://www.endpolio.org/resource-center#see-more

1. A fact sheet – Rotary and Polio – that can be the foundation for a media contact

2. A sample press release – that can be customized for your event

3. A template for an official proclamation for world polio day

4. Images for social media to promote the World Polio Day livestream event

5. A page with example posts for Facebook and Twitter- These can be combined with the images for social media.


Materials to plan an event:  https://www.endpolio.org/resource-center#see-more

1. An event planning guide

2. A template for an event invitation

3. A template for sign on a donation box

Rotary International has designated September, 2019, as Basic Education and Literacy Month.  775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. Rotary International has a range of programs to improve global education and literacy rates (https://www.rotary.org/en/our-causes/supporting-education).  What is your club doing to promote education and literacy initiatives in your community? During September, please post to the District's Facebook page examples of what your club is doing to promote basic education and literacy. 


Rotary clubs around the world are working on literacy. Two examples of those activities in District 5610 are tied to “Read Across America Day” on March 2 of each year. The Sioux Falls South Rotary Club has selected the Cleveland Elementary School and has been actively working to promote literacy initiatives. In addition to celebrating Read Across America Day by having Rotarians read their favorite books in classrooms, they have also donated money to allow all the students to purchase one or more books. CLICK HERE to see a local news report on their program.


The Vermillion Rotary Club has long supported the local schools through scholarships, giving bike helmets to all second graders and donating to school initiatives, such as the Community Service Day, the Robotics Team, the German Exchange student program, and many more. Several years ago, the club decided to help promote the love of reading. School officials were consulted and it was agreed that the focus should be on the Kindergarten students, since first grade students were the focus of another program for Read Across America Day. The club purchased age appropriate books for all Kindergarten students in the community, with extra copies for teachers to use in the classroom. CLICK HERE or on the image below to see a video that was made using some of the photos from the book distribution on Read Across America Day in 2018. 

Upcoming Events
February 2020