Dear Fellow Rotarians,
This is my final DG message. It is with pride and nostalgia that I look back on this past year of service to you as your District Governor in the first year of District 5495. When we began this journey together in July 2017, we were hopeful that our new District, merged from two cultures, would transition successfully during this first year. Many volunteers worked tirelessly to prepare our programs and services, and to them we owe a debt of gratitude. During the course of the past 11 months, dozens of you stepped up to take on new leadership roles, serve on teams and act on new ideas. We have experienced many successes this year, and our hopes have been realized. And, it’s all because of you, our members and friends!
Together we have accomplished much good in our local and global communities. We’ve truly been “Rotarians at Work!” In our own clubs we have continued to meet for fellowship as we put Service Above Self, the value that binds us together and makes us unique among the service organizations of the world.
“Planting” seems to be a theme in our first year together as a merged district.
  • We’ve planted trees and Peace Poles.
  • We’ve planted in our Youth the love of service and aspirations for leadership success.
  • We’ve planted fresh seeds of leadership growth and development opportunity for our members, building stronger clubs for all of us in the coming years.
  • We’ve planted and fertilized relationships with other clubs and organizations through partnering on events and projects, thus increasing our capacity and building goodwill.
There is no way to adequately share all the amazing work that has been done this year within District 5495. We have really reaped a lot of what we have sown. To highlight a few specific first-time events and amazing projects that took place this year:
We hosted the 18th USA-Friendship Conference where we pledged participation in nearly 1 million dollars worth of project funding.
  • As a District, we conducted a weekend service project in Rocky Point in partnership with the Rotary club there, which resulted in many service hours and new friendships.
  • We now have a Crisis Communication Plan for Clubs, and we have begun a new Strategic Plan.
  • We held our first-ever Pre-Conference – The Pursuing Peace Conference
  • We are leaders in Rotary for club engagement in grants, an impressive accomplishment.
  • So much more!
None of this was possible without the teamwork and passions of our Rotarians – you! 
A final thought:
Who will be the leaders of our future world? Can we Rotarians help shape that outcome? Our Rotary Youth truly hold the future in their palms. Let’s redouble our commitment to support and guide them.  Imagine how tough it is to be a student today – it is definitely a far different world than we grew up in.  Let’s continue – and increase – our investment in our Rotary Youth. Let’s make sure they are equipped to be the ones who carry us into a future of service and an eagerness to make our world a better place.
Tom and I want to thank you once more for the privilege of working alongside you and getting to know you better during this past year. We are proud to be a part of our District – our great network of clubs.  Together we have changed lives all around the world, including our own. It has been an incredible year.
Warmest regards and appreciation,
Nancy and Tom