February, 2020

A Note from Your District Governor

Greetings, District 5970! Winter has finally arrived in Iowa, but your ongoing generosity never fails to warm my heart.

Just one month into 2020, we’re already seeing clubs dive into their community initiatives. From children’s health programs to caring for the elderly and homeless, I’m touched by your seemingly endless compassion and dedication.

In this month of love and caring, remember to recognize your fellow Rotarians for their acts of kindness. Send a handwritten note of thanks or encouragement. Text thank you to a member who gives 150%. Leave a voicemail to encourage someone with a lot on their plate. Meet for coffee and find ways to support the people in your life, be it personally, professionally, or in Rotary.

Remember, even the smallest acts of kindness can render great joy. Take care - I look forward to seeing your great works this winter.

International Rotary Collaboration Will Benefit Iowans’ Health

In an unprecedented act of collaboration, Rotary International clubs and districts in Brazil and India have donated to a $194,306 Global Grant to support health initiatives for homeless, near-homeless, and otherwise underserved Eastern Iowans.

Nearly 87,000 eligible Eastern Iowa children and adults went without Community Health Center (CHC) care in 2018, and more than 11,000 of them did not have insurance. While CHCs provide many facets of healthcare for thousands of Iowans annually, there is more work to be done.

Wai Club in India donated more than $19,000 to the Global Grant. District 5970 in Iowa, 5950 in Minnesota, 4590 in Brazil, and 3011 and 3132 in India donated funds. Eight Eastern Iowa clubs and one Minnesota club contributed dollars, which were matched with a Global Grant of more than $85,000 from Rotary International:

  • Cedar Rapids
  • Marion-East Cedar Rapids
  • Dubuque
  • Cedar Falls
  • Fort Dodge
  • Cedar Valley
  • Waterloo
  • Bellevue
  • Edina, MN

This outreach is the first of its kind in our district. Countries facing their own health crises opened their hearts and spared funds to take care of people they’ll never meet, making the world a better place in the spirit of Rotary.

Along with fellow Rotarian Jacob Wittrock, Assistant District Governor for District 5970, I traveled to Brazil in 2013 on a friendship exchange to find a project we could support as part of a bigger Global grant. As we visited project after project, we were greatly impacted by Princess Victoria Rehabilitation Center. Jacob turned to me and said, “This is the one.” 

At that time no one ever dreamed the Brazilian Rotarians would reciprocate at a future date. The partnerships from India were also born out of connections and relationships - I traveled to India to vaccinate children against polio in February 2019. 

Dollars from the Global Grant will be used to support Iowa CHCs in providing vaccinations, prenatal care, and dental care in Eastern Iowa Communities. Support will include purchase of new medical equipment, staff training, and vaccinations in 2020. 

Registration Is Now Open: District Conference 2020 in Cedar Rapids

Mark your calendars and register today for the Leadership Summit/District Conference - Connecting the World with 2020 Vision. 

Join us April 24-25 at the Marriott in Cedar Rapids for interactive leadership sessions that will excite and inspire you, personally and professionally.

Attendees will walk away with a range of information and resources, including:

  • Tips to develop their personal leadership skills
  • Actionable ideas to impact the community in 2020 and beyond
  • Fun and fellowship

The conference will feature Quinn Petiffer of The Gazette as moderator of a panel of local leaders, as well as a range of Iowa leaders and speakers. Stay tuned for more information! Register now!