Welcome to District 5495 News

November is Rotary Foundation month and District 5495 will be hosting two great events to celebrate.
Saturday Nov 20:  Rotary Foundation Education Day, 9:00am to Noon
Join live via Zoom.  Watch for the link on the District website under the Rotary Foundation tab.
All Rotarians are welcome to attend.  Encourage your fellow club members to learn more about our Rotary Foundation.
Learn about Rotary Foundation Programs and Grants.  Get the latest updates on PolioPlus around the world.  Gain ideas on how to increase Rotary Foundation giving in your club.  And much more!

Sunday Nov 21:  Rotary Foundation Celebration Luncheon, 11:00am to 2:00pm
Arizona Broadway Theater,  7701 W Paradise Ln, Peoria, AZ 85382
Lunch with great Rotary fellowship.
Inspirational updates on Rotary Foundation projects - See how your donations are being used to do good in the world and in our own back yard.
Fun and lively entertainment.
Recognition for significant donors to the Rotary Foundation.
Register Today   $45/person - Note registration if limited due to space so register soon.
For more information or questions, please contact Charlie Tegarden.
By D5495 Governor Bret McKeand
Serve to Change Lives is Rotary’s worldwide theme for 2021-22, and after the first three months of the new Rotary year I’m proud to report our Rotarians in District 5495 are doing an incredible job living up to that promise!
I’ve had the incredible pleasure – and honor – of visiting nearly two dozen of our clubs since July 1, and the work we’re doing in Arizona is not only phenomenal – but more important, meaningful and impactful to citizens living in our communities, our state and throughout the world.
Coming off a year in which the pandemic presented stiff challenges to our clubs, it’s uplifting to find all our Rotarians in District 5495 remain committed and focused on community service. Despite the resurgence of a new variant of the Coronavirus, our clubs are undeterred and continue finding ways to help others.
Hearing about all the great projects pursued by our clubs – and the direct impact these projects are having on our fellow citizens and members – is so inspiring, invigorating and motivating. But more important to me, personally, is it reinforces the importance of Rotary and the role it – or I should say we – play in creating positive change throughout our world.
During my club visits I’m anxious to hear of the great workclubs are doing, but I’m also just as eager to share the worthy projects pursued by other clubs. Rotarians in our district ARE making a difference and it’s important all of us hear about those good works.
Dear Rotary member,

I am excited to announce that Rotary International is partnering with our friends at Kiwanis International, Lions Clubs International, and Optimist International to increase our collective impact through community service.

Celebrate Community is a weeklong service event taking place 10-16 October. During this time, Rotary, Rotaract, Kiwanis, Lions, and Optimist clubs are encouraged to collaborate with one another to complete a service project that benefits the community. Work with your fellow service club members to determine how you can best help your community, such as:
  • Cleaning up a park, highway, or waterway
  • Planting trees
  • Collecting nonperishable food for food pantries or clothing for homeless shelters
  • Packing meals
  • Harvesting a community garden
  • Reading to children at the local library
  • Volunteering at a local animal shelter
Whatever you choose to do, tell us about it! Tag @Rotary on social media to let us — and your neighbors — know how you’re giving back and celebrating community through service.

Use the club finder tool on the Kiwanis, Lions, and Optimist websites to find a club near you.

I hope this is one of many opportunities for our four organizations to collaborate and serve. We all want to do good in the world, and we can do even more when we do it together.


John Hewko
General Secretary
Rotary International
Rotary’s Action Plan is the bridge between what we are today and what we want and need to be. It is our plan for fulfilling our vision of a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change. Our members, as people of action, are the key to achieving any of the plan’s four priorities. So adding members allows us to achieve more. RI President Shekhar Mehta is deeply committed to growing and sustaining Rotary membership.
As one of his presidential initiatives, Mehta is asking clubs and districts to:
  1. Get a commitment from each active Rotaractor or Rotarian to sponsor one new member by 30 June 2022. The Each One, Bring One initiative will help us stay relevant, attract new members, and engage and retain current members and participants.
  2. Use public events to remind the public that Rotary and Rotaract clubs serve others and create positive change. Members can bring guests to events like Rotary Days of Service or this year’s presidential conferences, where they’ll experience the life-changing impact of Rotary.
  3. Form an effective membership committee to focus on growth, engagement, and making Rotary accessible to more people. The committee should have processes for finding prospective members, introducing them to current members, inviting them to join, and then offering a clear and useful orientation, fun activities, and Rotary opportunities beyond the club.
  4. Diversify Rotary by supporting Rotary’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. By connecting with prospective members and participants from all backgrounds and inviting them to experience Rotary, we’ll gather an abundance of perspectives, skills, and solutions.
Recognize those who attract new and diverse members and engage and retain those who join. Visit the Membership Society for New Member Sponsors and celebrate your fellow members who have committed to expanding our reach.
District 5495 Membership Update: The District 5495 Membership Committee is hosting monthly "office hours" 5-6 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month. Club presidents, membership chairs and other Rotarians are invited to discuss challenges and opportunities with members of the District Committee. For Zoom invitation information, email membership@rotary5495.org.
Submitted by PDG Barb Feder, District 5495 DEI Chair
We all know Rotary values diversity and celebrates the greater potential of our service with people of all backgrounds.
That, in essence, is the reason we’re committed to reflecting the communities we serve in our club membership.
More doors open and we’re much more effective in our service projects with sustainable and measurable results.
To learn more about how our clubs can expand opportunities and be more inclusive, visit the RI Learning Center and look for the following webinar series: “Accountability and Inclusion: A DEI Series.”
This series aired last fall but was archived and explores the following valuable topics:
  • The Power of Connection with Diverse Communities
  • Holding Each Other Accountable
  • No Justice, No Peace
  • Intergenerational Relationships
  • Building and Inclusive Brand
Yes, some challenging material is presented, but for Rotary to grow and flourish the time has come, for the betterment of us all. 
For more information and helpful material about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, visit https://rotary5495.org/page/2021-08-01-dei.
How can you support diversity, equity and inclusion?
Diversity is one of Rotary’s longtime core values. But we know we can do more to ensure that our organizational culture exemplifies diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Rotary International is looking honestly at how we work together to create more just, open, and welcoming clubs and programs for all people. RI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force is assessing the state of DEI throughout Rotary and developing a plan of action to present to the Board in October.
We ask all club leaders to share the updated commitment statement with members and discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in your clubs and communities. Invite guest speakers, host community forums, and set a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind.
Learn about other actions you can take.
Applications from qualified candidates are now being accepted for the position of District 5495 Governor in 2024-2025.

October 30, 2021 has been established as the date all qualified candidates will be interviewed by the District Nominating Committee. Applications shall be submitted electronically to the District Secretary Teresa Haire (teresalynn0928@gmail.com) no later than 12:00 p.m. (noon) MST on October 23, 2021.

The Nominating Committee will notify each applicant of the time for his or her interview appointment to be conducted on Oct. 30 at a location yet to be determined, or via Zoom. The space provided will satisfy social distancing guidelines and masks will be worn. 

Applicants are asked to submit an application form containing an endorsement by your club officers, your biography, a photograph, a statement addressing your desire and qualifications for the position and written responses to the following questions:

* How important would continuity be to you in setting direction and policy for the district?
* How would you work to ensure continuity?
* How would you work to build relationships with the clubs, and implement Rotary’s Strategic Action Priorities and Objectives?
* What one thing would you change about District 5495 if you had the authority and opportunity?
* Diversity is a core value in Rotary. How do you believe we can create a more inclusive, diverse, and equal environment in Rotary, within District 5495, and in our communities?

A letter by District Governor Bret McKeand explaining the application process in further detail and a full application are available at the district website. Visit here.

"The District Governor role is an important position in our district and I encourage all clubs to seriously consider nominating members who they think will help build our district and lead it into the future. We have a lot of great Rotarians in our district who I know would bring a lot of talent, expertise and passion to the role," said DG Bret McKeand.
What a great time to update your club’s brand materials and show your pride in Rotary!
For a limited time, Russell Hampton Co. is offering clubs in District 5495 a 10% discount off select items most used by clubs, including:
  • New Member Kits and Rotary Basics booklets to welcome your new members. 
  • Member badges. 
  • Club banners.
  • Community and road signs to upgrade your image in the community. 
  • End Polio Now materials to help you create awareness and build pride for World Polio Day October 24. 
  • Custom branded apparel for your club.
Click Here to access the special ordering site and enter discount code NEWBRAND at checkout to get the 10% discount. Note: For custom branded apparel, please call or email Russell Hampton with the discount code.
By DG Bret McKeand
Many of our clubs have asked how they and their members can help the victims of the devastating fires in District 5190 (California & Nevada), Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and the earthquake in Haiti.
Here are three opportunities for your clubs and members to provide financial assistance: 
District 5190 Fire Relief:  Please click  HERE  for fire relief funds donation Info.
Haiti Assistance: Please click  HERE  to support ShelterBox operations in Haiti.
Hurricane Ida: Please click here to support District 6200 (Louisiana) efforts to aid victims.
District 5495 Governor Bret McKeand has unveiled the 2021-22 edition of the District "5 Avenues of Service" Distinction Award.
This year's criteria for the award was shared during the August monthly President's Call on Aug. 26.
Criteria for this year's award reflect Presidential Initiatives promoted by Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta, as well as district initiatives promoted by DG Bret. The district's "5 Avenues of Service" Distinction is separate and different from  the RI Presidential Citation. To qualify for a Presidential Citation, club presidents must achieve goals as listed in My Rotary.
As in the past, there are five avenues of service: Club service, community service, international service, vocational service and youth service.
Each area of service has several achievement opportunities for clubs to pursue. To receive the award, clubs will need to achieve at least one required project in each avenue of service as well as one optional project.
Clubs have until May 1, 2022 to submit their final results. Winners and certificates will be announced and recognized at the 2022 District Conference, May 13-14 in Prescott, Arizona.
Contact District Governor Bret at scibret@aol.com with questions.
2022 Rotary International Convention:
Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 2022 Rotary International Convention in Houston, Texas. Join us next year to explore what’s possible in Rotary, in Houston, and in yourself.  

Whether you’re new to Rotary or a longtime member, it will be an unforgettable experience. Learn more at convention.rotary.org/houston

 Don’t miss your chance to Discover New Horizons at the 2022 Rotary International Convention!