This website is for the use of the membership of District 5610 clubs, district leadership and the public. You can locate club meetings and locations in the left column, and District leaders in Organization. Please browse the information, suggest additions and changes, or ask questions by reaching leaders in "Contact Us." If you login as a member of Rotary, you can access additional club and district management information.

     Rotary International is the world's first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in over 35,000 clubs worldwide, divided into 535 Districts. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Good day, Rotarians of District 5610.  Hope all is well with you and family.  This newsletter is being sent to all Rotarians. 
New District 5610 By-Laws
Information on the newly revised Rotary District 5610 By-Laws, 2018 have been emailed to you.  We are asking Rotarians in our district to review the revisions (which are highlighted in color), and we will be taking a district-wide vote on passage of the new by-laws at PETS in Mitchell, April 13.
Please visit our Rotary District 5610 website  you will find more information about this and other district activities.
Rotary Foundation Raffle, Membership, and Public Image
  1. The FOUNDATION RAFFLE.  The district Foundation Raffle is underway, and will conclude on April 13th at PETS.  This is the biggest Rotary district-wide Foundation event of the year.  Each Rotarian in the district should be receiving ten $10 raffle tickets.  In a perfect world, every Rotarian would sell or purchase ten raffle tickets.  As a district $100 per capita giving is the goal.  But my friends, do the best you can.  Much of the foundation giving comes back to your communities through grants, and some of it supports global projects like polio-plus.  Be proud of your Foundation giving, it is one of the world’s greatest charities.
  2. MEMBERSHIP GROWTH.  I challenged all of you last April to bring one guest to your club meeting this year who may be a potential new member.  Many have, some have not. So, my friends, between March 1st and July 1st bring someone to your club.  Let us see a marked growth in our membership!  Carmen Hanson, district membership chair, can assist you with recruiting your visitors that come to the meetings.
  3. ROTARY PUBLIC IMAGE.  One of the best contributions you can make for Rotary and your community club is enhancing your Rotary Public Image.  And for the most part, it doesn’t cost much to do.  Things like press releases of your club’s activities, community signage on the road or in town, and your participation in local parades and community events.  Anything and everything you can do to increase Rotary awareness in your community is very important.
    In summary, go forth from this governor message and light Rotary up in your clubs, and in your communities.  Look forward to future successes. You control the fate of Rotary.  Through your efforts, dedication, and devotion to this amazing service organization called Rotary International we will be more successful than ever.  Let us redefine our future as Rotarians!
Yours, in Service Above Self,
Steve Harrington, District Governor 2017-18
    Current buzz words in Rotary usually include “member retention” and “engagement.” According to RI statistics, concern about these two issues is valid. The reasons Rotarians drop their membership are varied, and some are difficult to address, however, for most, an orientation of the Rotary mission, followed by education can be invaluable. One program our District offers is the Rotary Leadership Institute. The title of this program is somewhat misleading, as it may infer that the program is only for those Rotarians who are headed for club or district leadership. Rather, the program takes Rotarians who are already leaders – that’s why you were invited to join Rotary – and direct that leadership through a grassroots program of education, developed by Rotarians, for Rotarians, to increase the knowledge and enthusiasm of Rotarians on all things Rotary. 
    Why not make this the year that you complete the newly condensed RLI course and build/rebuild your enthusiasm for the many rewards Rotary has to offer? If you missed the course in your area, it’s not too late to register for the course in a neighboring area. Or, gather up a group of fellow Rotarians in your area and request another course be scheduled. 
    Course schedules are offered, as follows:
1/26/18 – Brookings, SD. Contacts: Dan Little and Chuck Lindemann
(Right: photo of attendees)
2/9/18 – Avera Prairie Center, 1000 E. 23rd St, Sioux Falls, SD. Contact person is Shelli Masek
2/24/18 – Rapid City, SD. Contact person is Verl Scheibe
(Left: 18 attendees from 5 clubs)
3/24/18 – Feeding South Dakota, 20562 Grace Av., Pierre, SD. Contact person is Larry Lyngstad
4/28/18 – Wagner, SD. Contact persons are Kelsey Doom, Larry Lyngstad.
TBD – Southeast SD/Northwest IA. More information to follow.

    District Governor Steve Harrington has pledged District Funds to cover the cost for one member from each club to participate in the program. (see scholarship certificate attached.) Club presidents are asked to select one Rotarian from their club to attend the training. The cost for Rotarians to attend the program remains at $35 per individual, and clubs are requested to cover the charge. This fee covers course materials, meals and refreshments. If you are interested in providing a course in your area, contact your area’s Assistant Governor, or send me a message at:
Larry Lyngstad, RLI Coordinator
REGISTRATION for PETS and CLUB SECRETARY TRAINING is available for on-line registration!
    All Presidents-Elect are required to attend PETS. We ask all Presidents-Elect to bring your Club Secretary with you for valuable training. Register on-line for PETS under the upcoming events calendar or by clicking on the link below. 
    Club Secretaries are the glue that hold Rotary clubs together! In an effort to keep club secretaries up to date, special  sessions for club secretaries will be held during PETS – scheduled for Mitchell, SD on Friday, April 13. District 5610 Executive Assistant Nicole Rawden will moderate the training and will cover important topics such as ClubRunner, Rotary International Club Administration, Rotary Club Central and “Lead Your Club”, a manual for club secretaries with a month to month calendar. We encourage all club secretaries to hop in the car with their president elects and join your fellow club secretaries in Mitchell on April 13. There is no cost for attending and delicious food will be available.
   Training is scheduled for the Highland Conference Center on Friday, April 13. For those arriving the prior evening, a reception will be available and everyone is invited to attend.  A block of rooms have been reserved for Rotary at the Comfort Inn and Hampton Inn.  Both hotels adjoin the Highland Conference Center.
    Comfort Inn   605-990 2400
    Hampton Inn  605 995 1575
 For more details and to register please click on link
    The 2017 raffle was a tremendous success and the goal is to continue to build on that success by making this year even better! Karl's Appliance has again agreed to offer the grand prize of a KARL’S HOME KITCHEN MAKEOVER! This is a Whirlpool 4-Piece Kitchen Appliance Package, with a value up to $7,500 at Karl’s Retail Price*.
    Please note the following timeline of events:
Deadline for prize list – January 15, 2018
Ticket Printing and distribution – early February 2018
Ticket sales – late February – early April 2018  
Prize drawings -  PETS conference April 12-14, 2018 Mitchell (need not be present to win).
Let's make our District goal of $200,000 happen!
—Brad Preheim, of Centerville Rotary, Raffle Chair
Foundation giving totals through February 2018 is $78,024. 
We are a little over 37% of our District Goal met.
Remember the Foundation is one of the key aspects of our membership in Rotary.
It is how we are impacting the world for Rotary.
—Mike Gibson, D5610 Foundation Chair
   SDSM&T Rotaract and Rapid City Rushmore clubs met for pizza on February 26 at the SDSM&T campus. The student club maintains 15-25 members, and completed three service projects so far this year. They recruit students during the fall student fair, and elect officers every April.
   Attending from Black Hills State University was Jama Khainzan, a Northern Hills Spearfish Rotarian, who is energetically forming a Rotaract club at BHSU. She met with Meerab Joseph, SDSM&T Rotaract secretary, and Heidi Bell Gease, Rushmore club liaison, to gain some tips. Jama is a Rotarian from Mongolia, reported Rotaract is strong there, and suggests an exchange program with them in the future.
    There are great resources at the RI website/learning/membership and also at under Grow Your Club to survey your members.
Jumpstart Membership Webinar  Open to all Rotarians! There is an exciting line-up of excellent webinars held the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm (MST)/ 8pm (CST).
Building Better Friendships  Best Practices for Social Interaction to Recruit and Retain Members - Mark your calendars for 27 March as well! 
—Carmen Hansen, District Membership Chair 605-484-6056
    It's that time of year again when we think about the District 5610 Four Way Test Essay Contest. This is a great way to spread our Rotary ideals into our communities. The contest involves 6th graders and they are asked to write a 200 to 500 word essay on "How can I apply the Rotary 4 Way Test to my life?" You will be amazed and excited at the perspective 6th graders have on our 4 Way Test.
    You need to find a 6th grade teacher or group of teachers who are willing to participate in this great project. I have found that it is usually easier to approach teachers rather than the administrators as they have so many other issues on their minds. Provide the teacher with the forms found on our District 5610 website, an application, the history and requirements of the contest. When the essays have been written the teachers can narrow down the group and submit their top ten or they can submit all of the essays that they collect to your club. You need judges to determine the top essays and your club can reward a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize if you so choose.
    Then by the deadline of March 15, 2018 you need to submit your winning essay to the district where it will be judged with all of the other club winners. The District 5610 winners will be announced at PETS in April of 2018. The first place winner will receive a $200 check, a certificate, a Four Way Test coin and the chance to read their essay at the District Conference in Vermillion. Second place receives a $100 check, a certificate and a Four Way Test coin while third place receives a $50 check, a certificate and a Four Way Test coin.
     I am hoping that many, many of the District 5610 clubs will participate in this terrific project where we teach young people about what Rotary stands for.  For questions, to submit your winning essay or more information contact Pat Sutliff or 605-718-0559.
   The first Web-based District Grant Training session for 2018-19 was held on Jan. 25 with 16 people from 11 clubs in virtual attendance. The web-based training went well and saved many miles driving on winter roads for the participants. Also, keep your eye on the District YouTube channel. If everything works as planned, you will be able to watch the grant training session on YouTube soon! Watching it on YouTube won’t qualify your club, but it is a great way to get a refresher on the Rotary grant process.
    As you should be aware, District Grant Training is required every year for any club submitting a grant request. From now on, District 5610 will be holding Grant Training by Web Conference. There will be no official grant training at PETS this year, so please have someone from your club plan on attending one of the remaining web conference training sessions if you plan on submitting a grant for the 2018-2019 Rotary Year.

Wed. 3/28/2018 7:30 PM CST (6:30 PM MST) – preregister at

Mon. 5/21/2018 8:00 PM CST (7:00 PM MST) – preregister at

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The training should take less than 2 hours and you will need to be at a Mac or a PC (a smartphone or tablet should work but I recommend a computer) with an internet connection to view the slides. You can either use the microphone and speakers of the computer or dial in to a phone number for audio if your internet connection isn’t fast enough for good audio. If you have questions about the grant training or other questions about the grant process, please email Bruce Young at or call him at (712) 541-9822.
     Let's show our members and communities who and what Rotary is! The new People of Action public awareness campaign materials are available! We want to prepare a visible image of Rotary to grow our membership. See the download area for an information sheet on the campaign instructions. It is simple, it is effective, it is ACTION!
    The People of Action video from Rotary Brand Center is now airing as PSAs on VAST and Midco cable channels with a tagline to the District website. You can ask your local radio and TV stations to air PSAs for free too!
    Use your club Facebook page to promote People of Action ads that you can edit and personalize on the Brand Center. Then "friend" the District Facebook group page and link to your club's page, for even more synergy!
—Linda Peterson, D5610 Public Image Chair   605-341-5006
    Telling our Rotary story helps the world to better understand who we are: people of action, driven by a desire to strengthen communities, mobilize problem solvers, and find solutions to the tough challenges affecting people around the world.
    Stories about fundraisers, contributions, or international service projects are important and an integral part of what we do, but they’re not necessarily People of Action stories. The People of Action campaign is designed to help better inform our local communities about Rotary and the work we do for the places we call home. To let the rest of the world know who we are, we must let our neighbors know first.
    How do you tell a great People of Action story? A People of Action story connects with people by showing the positive impact we have on our communities. The best way to do this is by incorporating certain elements effectively into your story, such as:
*  A clear focus on a Rotary project in your local community
*   A description of how you or your club identified a challenge
*  An explanation of how club members and others in your community found a solution to the problem
*  A depiction of how your club saw that project through to completion, whether it’s in the works, complete, or ongoing
    Use the People of Action materials in the Brand Center.
Upcoming Events
March 2018