May 2018 News

Recently, I’ve had the sensation of time moving faster and faster, like in an old movie that depicted passage of time by showing the pages of a calendar flipping forward rapidly.
Every day my inbox fills and refills with exciting news from D5495 clubs. As the year-end approaches, Rotarians have been busier than ever. The fruits of club fundraising efforts are increasingly visible in our communities and schools. You have been wrapping up grants projects, providing scholarships to our Youth, planting trees, hosting community events, erecting peace poles and much, much more. Clubs have been recounting their achievements, many in preparation for the Club Achievement Awards.
District Grant Final Report Due April 30, 2018!   If your club had a District Grant in 2017-18, please complete the Final Report Form found on the District 5495 website under Foundation/District Grants.  Upload this form along with all receipts to the project website:
The District Grant application for projects in Rotary year 2018-19 can be submitted from April 1 through June 30 on the project website.  Information about club qualification and the application process are found on the District5495 website under Foundation tabs: Grant Requirements, qualification and more/ District Grants.
Jim Bissonett
Motivated by the challenge to plant a tree that represents every member of Club 1256 by Earth Day on April 22, a team of Rotarians, headed by Project Manager Warren Salinger; President Ed Shockley; Treasurer Len LaFlesch; and the entire club membership worked to bring RI President Ian Riseley’s challenge to reality.
Riseley believes that environmental protection is something essential to Rotary’s goal of sustainable service, stating, “I believe the greater result will be a Rotary that recognizes our responsibility not only to the people on our planet, but to the planet itself.”
Our fellow Fountain Hills resident and Four Peaks Rotarian, Buzz Ponce, is gearing up to go on the ride of a lifetime!  Buzz will be riding his bike from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts this summer on a very worthy charity fundraising drive. From May through June, Buzz will be racking up the miles in order to help bring attention to Warriors Heart, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping active military, veterans and first responders who are coping with everything from PTSD to addiction and chemical dependency. The extensive treatment facility is located in Bandera, Texas, near San Antonio.
Rotarian Buzz plans to depart from Oceanside, California, on May 1st and arrive in St. Augustine, Florida, in early July. This nearly 3,000-mile trip will likely be the biggest challenge of his life, but it’s one that Buzz says he’s excited to undertake. The cause, Warriors Heart, is explained on his website: There, you can read up on his trip itinerary, find a link to the Warriors Heart website, view the blog he plans to update throughout the journey, and donate to his cause. Buzz says it’s important to understand that any donation made through his website goes directly to the charity, not to his bike ride. He’s covering all of the ride expenses himself!
Colton Cagle, a Junior at Westwood High in Mesa, and a 2-year veteran of the Interact District Council, has been selected to lead our 93-club Interact District 5495 next year as District Governor.   He has named Ryan Gentry, the other very qualified DG candidate this year, to be his Executive Assistant Governor.  Ryan is a Junior at Hamilton High in Chandler.  Both Colton and Ryan will be serving on the AZ Interact Ambassadors Team that leaves for Kenya on June 29.
Rounding out Colton’s extremely strong executive leadership team for 2018-19 will be District Secretary Gabby Alessio, a Junior at Notre Dame Prep in Scottsdale, and PDG Loralli Johnson, this year’s successful DG, who is a Junior at Perry High in Gilbert.
The Arizona Highlands encompass a strip of land that runs from southeast to northwest in central Arizona. Its boundaries are defined by the Mogollon (pronounced muggy-on) Rim on the south to the edge of the Colorado Plateau on the north with elevations ranging from about 3,500 in the Verde Valley to almost 8,000 feet in the Prescott National Forest. The most densely populated areas of the Highlands encompass the cities of Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley. These cities are home to five Rotary Clubs, three in Prescott and one each in Prescott Valley and Chino Valley.
Bullhead City, Chino Valley, E-Club of AZ, Flagstaff, Four Peaks, Gilbert, Glendale, Glendale-Thunderbird, Goodyear-White Tanks, Kingman, Kyrene, Lake Havasu City, Laughlin, Litchfield Park, London Bridge, Mesa, Mesa East,  Mesa Sunrise, North Phoenix, Parker, Phoenix Arcadia, Phoenix Squaw Peak, Poston, Prescott Sunup, Prescott Valley, Quartzite, Silver Creek, Springerville, White Mountain, Wickenburg
These clubs have not had any member attend a Grant Management Seminar.   In order to qualify for grant funds in 2018-19, at least one person of a club is required to attend.   Grant funds include both Global Grants and District Grants.    While only one club member needs to attend, clubs can register as many as they want for this seminar.  
The final opportunity will be a webinar, at 9:00 AM, Saturday, May 19.  To register, please go to:
Question?  Contact Jim Bissonett, District Rotary Foundation Committee
In March, approximately 30 Rotarians and their family members from several District 5495 clubs collaborated with the Rotary Club of Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) for three different projects in the Rocky Point Community. And … the weather was beautiful. It was a spring break weekend, so we had a little fun as well.
District Rotarians have another opportunity to help save lives—
Sign up to donate blood on site of the District Conference prior to the Conference Kickoff Luncheon on June 1.
The Rotary Club of Sedona is excited to announce its eighth-annual Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, May 5 at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. This is a part of the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village’s Cinco de Mayo Fiesta weekend. The Great Sedona Chili Cook-off runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 and children under 12 are free. Top chefs from area restaurants, along with a number of community leaders, are busy perfecting their special chili recipes, which can be sampled at festive booths in Tlaquepaque’s Calle de Independencia.
Congratulations to our Chandler Horizon Rotary Club friends Tiffany Jones and Soo Stevens for recognition at the recent City of Chandler Mayor's Appreciation Reception.

We are deeply grateful for their devotion and hard work on the Chandler Domestic Violence Commission. Mayoral appointments: Soo is the CDV Commission Chair, and Chandler Horizon's incoming President Tiffany Jones is a tireless community volunteer
(both pictured here in Rotary blue).
Rotary inspires each of us to respond to our best emotions, our very best selves, to lift up our hearts, locally, nationally, internationally, in everything we say and do.
"It's a great day to be a Rotarian!"
Grow Your Rotary visiting    
You can gain skills to implement best practices and obtain resources to help you and your club be successful! 
The season for RYLA camps (Pinerock in Prescott in January and Ponderosa in Heber in April) has come to an end for this Rotary year with the completion of RYLA Ponderosa program April 5-8. Students from all over District 5495 attended—72 delegates strong—ready to challenge themselves, develop leadership skills and learn what it means to work as a team. The program was a huge success. The spirit of RYLA still lingers in the air.
This camp participated for the very first time in the Kids Against Hunger project, a food packing service project, conducted by Manzanita Outreach from Cottonwood (RYLA Pinerock has participated in this project for several years). The packed food was picked up by St John’s Food Bank to be distributed to people in need in Apache County. The delegates who packed food found out that this county has the highest percentage of malnourished people in the USA.
Our new Rotary district, 5495, is almost a year old. During this first year, our two RYLA camps have worked together to enhance resources, share ideas and provide our students with the very best experiences possible. Our two camps together served 218 high school students, 16 inbound Rotary youth exchange students and packed over 75,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger. Wow!
Finally, we would like to thank all the clubs in the district who supported our programs. We could not do this without your help.  Until next time!
On Saturday, April 21, we had a fantastic day at Club Leadership Academy, where over 200 club members attended and took advantage of over 40 classes offered, some examples being leadership development, executive coaching and club engagement.
My favorite class was the Priority #1 Plus training facilitated by Steve Lingenbrink and Vicki Puliz, who both hold membership roles with Zone 25/26. Okay, I might be a little biased! It was a joy to see passionate members focusing on enhancing the culture of their clubs.
Rotary Clubs Announce 2018 Youth Salute Awards
In April, the Rotary Club of Scottsdale, along with the Paradise Valley Rotary Club, selected four winners and two alternates to receive trips to a Youth Salute Leadership Town Meeting on Tomorrow Conference to be held October 20-23, 2018 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Youth Salute is a recognition program for high school juniors who are leadership achievers. The program is designed to applaud young people who are good citizens, have at least a B grade point average, and have been elected to leadership positions by their peers, in their schools and or community organizations.
There were 46 applicants from eight different Scottsdale high schools. Students were interviewed as Youth Salute candidates on March 22 by Rotarians and community leaders. On April 3, 12 semi-finalists were announced at a gathering at Scottsdale Community College. Each of the semi-finalists were given two minutes to answer a "final question" on stage. The final question was "Teens with a sense of purpose do better academically, are healthier and more resilient. How do you, as a leader, define your sense of purpose?" After hearing each student’s remarks, the judges convened and selected four students and two alternates as the 2018 Scottsdale Youth Salute winners.  Dr. Jan Gehler, president of Scottsdale Community College; Mary Blank, Rotary Club of Scottsdale past president; and Adam Evans, president of Paradise Valley Rotary Club, were the evening's judges.
Register Now!  Pursuing Peace Conference - May 31st, 2018.  The Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park.
Do you have a heart for community, education, your business?  The Pursuing Peace Conference will explore how you can encourage and equip YOUR organization to work toward peaceful and more unifying outcomes!  Register at: 
In March, our District's Rotary Youth Exchange 2018-2019 Outbound Orientation was a huge success. The weekend was to provide training and information to the Outbounds and their parents. It was a mandatory weekend camp, and every minute was planned full of information, support, guidance and direction. Students were exposed to an environment to promote international relations and ambassadorship and service above self. Not only did we host the Outbounds and their parents, but all current Inbounds attended as well.
District 5495 is blessed to have a fantastic, active group of ROTEX, some of whom also attended the weekend event and offered their assistance in training, advice and their own personal stories and perspective of youth exchange. 
For those that do not know, Treasures 4 Teachers (T4T) is a 501c3 charity that works with teachers to provide them with classroom materials that they can, and do, use for the students.
Teachers become members by paying a $35 fee and that gives them access to a 3,000-square-foot warehouse at 3025 S. 48th Street, #102 in Tempe. A large number of items are free to the teachers, such as the toilet paper tubes and business-supplied items that The Tempe Downtown club provided T4T with a $500 grant to be used for enrolling new teachers and paying the first year fee.