District Governor's Message

Greetings Rotarians,

My club visits are coming to an end, and I have to say that I've been very impressed with what I've seen throughout our District. Our clubs are engaged, enthusiastic, and living the Rotary motto of "Service above Self." I have to laugh at the typical comments that are made to me when I'm introduced to another Rotarian as the District Governor. It's not unusual for that Rotarian to say something like "You have my sympathy" or ask "Did you draw the short straw?" It's certainly true that being the District Governor requires time and effort, but I have to say that these past few months of interaction with Rotarians throughout our District makes all of the time and effort worthwhile.

In addition to club visits, I was honored to attend RYLA during the weekend of October 3rd through the 5th as a participant. The weekend started with me picking up the six local high school students that my Rotary club sponsored, at 5:30AM, and driving them to Boulder Junction. Once we arrived at Camp Manitowish, we quickly became engaged with the other attendees, and began the process of making new friends. Of course, the vast majority of the attendees at RYLA were young people, but there were a handful of us "more experienced" participants. The weekend went by very quickly; filled with both small group and large group activities aimed at making all of us better leaders. Through the process of becoming more effective leaders, we also became great friends. The RYLA program clearly changes lives, and I would encourage you to read the article about the weekend elsewhere in this newsletter. For those clubs who sponsored one or more students to attend this year's RYLA weekend... thank you. If your club did not sponsor a student this year, please consider doing so in 2015. Sending a student to RYLA will be one of the best investments in our future that your club will ever make.

November is Rotary Foundation Month, and presents a great opportunity for Rotarians to honor all of the great projects that our Foundation supports. Certainly, all Rotarians are aware of the Rotary Foundations effort to eradicate polio from the face of the Earth. To date, over two billion children from throughout the world have been immunized, at a cost of one and a half billion Rotary Foundation dollars. In addition to eradicating polio, Rotarians are promoting peace through the Peace Fellowship program supported by the Rotary Foundation. Of course, the Rotary Foundation also supports the Global Scholar program that provides funding for post-graduate education to young people throughout the world who are entering a field of study the reflects one of Rotary's six Areas of Focus; Peace and Conflict Prevention, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Water and Sanitation, Mother and Child Health, Education and Literacy, and Economic and Community Development. In fact, since 1965 our Rotary Foundation has funded over 40,000 projects, in over 200 Countries; projects that provided refugee relief, literacy projects, clean water, food, shelter, and so much more. Our Rotary Foundation is one of the most respected and efficient Foundations in the World, and deserves our support. None of the projects mentioned above would have been possible without the generous support of Rotarians themselves. We are Rotary International and we "Do Good In The World!" Please consider making a donation to the Rotary Foundation before the end of the year.

Finally, registration is now open for Tri-Con 2015, the three-District Conference that will involve Rotarians from Districts 6220, 6250, and 6270. Tri-Con will take place over the weekend of May 15th through the 17th at the Paper Valley hotel in Appleton, Wisconsin. Please visit the Rotary District 6220 website and register today!

Once again, thank you for your "Service Above Self!"

~ Tom Berkedal
District Governor