District 5495 Rotarians said farewell to outgoing District Governor Elizabeth Mahoney and installed Bret McKeand as the new DG during a special Installation Ceremony held July 10.
In addition to installing the new district governor, the program celebrated the achievements of the past year and recognized the efforts of dozens of Rotarians throughout the district. 
The event, held at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, was the first in-person district-sponsored event since March 2020. Nearly 200 Rotarians attended the luncheon program.
Outgoing District Governor Elizabeth was praised for her leadership and focus during a year that saw tremendous challenge caused by the worldwide pandemic.
“Elizabeth kept us all focused on those things we could do, rather than dwell on all those things we couldn’t do,” said Incoming District Governor Bret McKeand. “Despite all the hardships and having to meet virtually, many of our clubs continued to do great work and serve their communities.”
After a video tribute featuring remarks by several club presidents, AGs, Interact students and other Rotarians, Elizabeth was given the traditional “boot” and presented with a number of gifts – including a framed Larry Fitzgerald autographed jersey given to her by the District Governor line. (Yes, Elizabeth is a HUGE Larry Fitzgerald fan!)
The focus then shifted to the induction of the district’s new governor, Bret McKeand. After enduring a mock “This is Your Life” tribute that featured comments from friends and family, Bret was presented with the official district Rotary bell -- and five specially embroidered district governor shirts given to him by his home club, Peoria North.
The Rotary theme for this year is “Serve to Change Lives,” and Bret encouraged all clubs to make that their mission for the next 12 months.
“It’s certainly an appropriate theme for this year. We may be coming out of this pandemic, but the aftereffects will be with us for a long, long time. Our communities need us now more than ever before,” said Bret.