Dear Fellow Rotarians,
I am overwhelmed, but not surprised, by your outpouring of generosity and responsiveness to the tragic disaster in Texas and the Gulf Coast.  So many of you have contacted me about how you or your clubs can best donate.  The Rotary Foundation has now established another option for those of you who would like to provide support directly through your own account with the Rotary Foundation.   The exact name of the Fund is The Gulf Coast Disaster Relief Donor Advised Fund #608   Go to
Every time I have the privilege of visiting a club, I am reminded anew why I love Rotary.  For me, it’s about the people, the projects and the power.  Rotarians are people of action with generous spirits and integrity. We share our diverse thinking, skills and resources to be a global force for good.  Our projects, whether large or small, are impactful and we make a difference in countless lives. Our power lies in our ability to collaborate and multiply our capacity, using resources like District and Global Grants, and the Rotary Foundation.
Club activities have moved into full swing as we gear up for fall projects and events. Please remember to send a photo or two showing your club in action so it can be included on the Rotarians in Action photo carousel on the Home Page.  
During August, three Traveling Friendship Trophies began making their way around the District.  They launched their journeys at Tempe South, Flagstaff, and Prescott Sunup Rotary Clubs.  A special shout-out to Kevin Pitts (Prescott), for developing the idea.  Thank you to Neal McEwen (Prescott Sunup) for designing and carving the wonderful trophies, and to Greg Raskin (Prescott Sunup) for the engraving.  Enjoy “Passing the Cactus” when it gets to your club… and of course, take photos.
You’ll find a new feature in this newsletter.  Starting this month, we’ll have an opportunity to get acquainted with the various clubs across our District.  Each month two Assistant Governors will provide District 5495 “Area Showcases.”  This month the Sedona/Verde Valley clubs and our two e-clubs are featured!  Thanks to AGs Donna Hawk and Aaron Fritz for submitting.
I hope you’ve taken the opportunity to explore the District website.  It’s an amazing resource—a one-stop shop through which you can link directly Rotary International sites, information about Our District, Our Clubs, Member Resources, and the District Rotary Foundation, not to mention news stories and club updates.
Here are a couple of fun Facebook pages to visit:
Follow the adventures of our newest Rotary Youth Exchange students as they become acclimated to our culture. Has your club invited a RYE student or a returned exchange student (Rotex) to visit?
Help spread the word about Rotary and your club by posting on the District 5495 Facebook Page. 
Photo: DG Nancy passing the cactus to the RC of Flagstaff President, LaVelle
Enjoy Labor Day weekend and the onset of Autumn in Arizona!
Nancy Van Pelt
District Governor