Dear Fellow Rotarians,
Clubs were off to a fast start in July with events, fundraisers, service projects and planning meetings.
Thanks to the five clubs in Area 4 (Northwest Valley) for inviting me to their Celebration Dinner. It was my first official function as D5495 Governor and what a treat it was getting acquainted with so many Rotarians in a social setting! Witnessing the synergy between the Presidents, Immediate Past Presidents and Presidents-elect from five clubs was amazing—talk about continuity of leadership
Another July highlight was attending the Annual Planning Meeting of the Interact District Council. The Council is made up of Interact leaders who serve as AGs to the 88 Interact clubs in Rotary District 5495. This impressive group of future Rotaractors and Rotarians demonstrates the powerful results our Youth Services programs. Thanks to the many clubs and individual Rotarians who support leadership, service projects and personal growth opportunities for our youth. And a special shout-out to the D5495 Interact leaders who have nurtured and coached those talented Council members.
Ten of our clubs have signed up to be part of Zone Director John Matthews’ Sustainable Club Project—the most in the Zone! I am proud and excited about their involvement. This brand new pilot is just beginning, so look for more details in future newsletters. Kudos to Parker, Sun City West, Laughlin, Sedona, Prescott Sunup, Wickenburg, London Bridge, Surprise, Peoria and Lake Havasu City Rotary Clubs. 
Important deadline! Our District’s first Club Achievement Award includes a challenge item that needs to be completed by September 1. I hope your club is planning to earn the Five Avenues of Service Award. Check it out on the website in the Awards section.
In this newsletter you’ll find a feature by Tom Hutchinson of Glendale West. Tom shares resources and ideas for how your club might respond to our RI President Ian Riseley’s Tree Planting Challenge.
You’ll also find a flyer about our District Polio Plus effort, led by Rod Daniels of Mesa West. Rod explains how we can take advantage of the Bill & Melinda Gates 2-to-1 match, and more.
DG Club visits begin in mid-August. First stops will be the Payson and Rim Country-Payson clubs. All of the DG visit dates are posted on the District calendar.
PS—have you seen the Odyssey video clip on the front page of our website? It was created by PDG Charlie Tegarden.
Have a great August—
DG Nancy Van Pelt