Whiteclay Arts Makerspace Rotary Global Grant Project News Release #1

Whiteclay, Nebraska borders the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota and has a population of about 12. It is less than two miles from the village of Pine Ridge, SD, population 3,308. It is the largest Native American city in South Dakota and is the headquarters of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Nation. There were four liquor stores in Whiteclay that sold about 4 million cans of beer, mostly to residents of Pine Ridge who left the dry reservation to buy their liquor at these stores. In 2017, the State of Nebraska Liquor Commission did not renew any of the liquor licenses in Whiteclay. As a result, all of the liquor stores closed. A non-profit corporation, Whiteclay Makerspace, was formed in Nebraska with the purpose of buying one of the liquor stores and transforming it into a makerspace for Pine Ridge area artists and craftspersons. The building has been purchased, remodeled and opened for local artists and craftspersons. An online marketing space is now open on the website www.whiteclayredo.com

Rotary District 5610 project members Ina Winter (Hot Springs), Linda Peterson and Tom Katus (Rapid City Rushmore) worked with building manager Jon Ruybalid to secure a $57,575 global grant from The Rotary Foundation (TRF). The grant, approved in August 2020, will support the artists and craftspeople who will be making use of the new makerspace in Whiteclay, NE.  Elements of the grant project include:

Equip the Artists and Craftspeople to directly impact the beneficiaries by supplying them with the needed tools and equipment to produce their art. Five centers situated inside the building will include: Quilting & Beading, Painting & Drawing, Photography, Woodworking, and Conference rooms. A gallery of art will be in the front and supply shop areas.

Stand up a Supply Shop to provide an initial stock of the type of supplies used by local artists and craftspeople. Prices of items will be set to help replenish supplies.

Provide Training to succeed in developing their small businesses of art production, the beneficiaries have noted that training is needed in business practices, financial matters, entrepreneurship, marketing, online marketing, computer skills, and professional development.

The project committee members worked for over a year to interview artists, gather equipment costs, supplies list, and secure the training element. They wrote the grant application, secured international Rotary partners with India, Australia, Greece and Mexico, and US Rotary Districts in Vermont and Texas, to provide funding in addition to our District DDF.  The committee will oversee the implementation of the grant, measure outcomes, evaluate the effectiveness of the project, and report on grant activities to TRF.

Art Zeitler, Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator states “This is an outstanding project for an underserved population, and I am delighted to see the support, not only from my fellow Texas Rotarians, but also Mexico, India and elsewhere in the Rotary network. This is a great opportunity for use of a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant.”

Martin Cohn, past president, Brattleboro, and Tristam Johnson, Brattleboro Sunrise, Vermont, concur: “The Rotary Clubs of Brattleboro first became aware of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in October of 2011, making it the focus of their international work. We are proud to join with other Rotary Clubs in supporting the Whiteclay Makerspace in providing jobs and resources to artists on the reservation. We remain committed to its success.”

The beneficiaries of the project will be the resident Lakota artists and craftspeople in need of space and other assistance to produce and sell works that will enable them to raise their level of income. District 5610 project committee will be the grant administrator serving these beneficiaries. Whiteclay Makerspace will be the cooperating organization assisting District 5610 in delivering the project. First Peoples Fund is providing two Native trainers to lead business classes, included in the grant. This is the premier national Native American arts organization that has trained and provided funding to more than 2,000 Native artists over the past 20 years.

Donations of cash or in-kind items are welcomed. Please contact the committee members (listed below) for a current list of needs. Work days for volunteers to install equipment and prepare the space will be scheduled this fall.

Project delivery, particularly the training element, may take up to two years. Monitoring and evaluation may be done during project implementation and up to five years after project completion to ensure outcomes are achieved and the artists and craftspeople are sustaining their businesses.

Project Committee Members

Ina Winter, Hot Springs Rotary, D5610 DG 2019-20 kristine.ina.winter@gmail.com
Contribution: project and process knowledge
Linda Peterson, Rushmore Rotary, PDG, RPIC 2018-20 linda4rotary@me.com
Contribution: financial management and product knowledge
Tom Katus, Rushmore Rotary, Omniciye Committee tmkatus@gmail.com
Contribution: people and place knowledge

To view and listen to a recent media news release by South Dakota Public Broadcasting click here:  A Once Tarnished Town Is Changing It's Legacy By Richard Two Bulls Sept. 1, 2020


Rotary Club of Luverne

Service Project Outdoor Nature Explorer Classroom Clean-up


Smiles! Someone once said “smiles” is the longest word in the world. Well, there were a lot of long, big smiles on the faces of those to whom Rotarians delivered roses to on Thursday, September 24. Of course, delivering roses was the final piece of the puzzle placed into the annual Rotary Club rose sale. As readers might recall, the Rotary club started its annual rose sale on August 18 and concluded it on September 10. In the end, the club sold 177 dozen roses. That’s a remarkable number, particularly when you factor in the possibility of covid-19 hovering around in unknown places. Covid-19 may have caused some anxiety among Rotarians and therefore limited themselves to the number of contacts made with potential customers. Nevertheless, roses arrived at Luverne Flowers on Tuesday, September 22. A small committee tagged each dozen with a name tag. This was done on Wednesday, September 23. On Thursday, September 24, an attempt to deliver all 177 dozen was made. “I made several deliveries,” remarked club member Gregg Gropel. “When I handed the roses to each recipient they immediately put on a big smile. One young lady, with a long smile upon her face, turned and looked at her husband and said, ‘Did you do this?’” Upon which her husband couldn’t help but reciprocate with his own big smile. “You could tell that dozen roses was a big hit in that family,” said Gropel. Smiles! You see, smiles is the longest word in the world because there is a mile between the two S’s. And a lot of those rose sale recipients ended the day with a mile long smile.  Click here for the full article on Luverne's Annual Rose Sale.

Rotary Club of Canby

Downtown Dining A Rotary District 5610 COVID-19 grant enabled the Canby Rotary Club to purchase bistro tables for public seating around downtown Canby. Tables are placed in the walking alleys near the Canby Print Shop and Moberg Meat Center as well as in Birthday Park next to True Value. It is Rotary’s hope that the community and visitors will use these seating areas to enjoy food and drink from any of the businesses in Canby.

Rotary Club of LeMars

The Le Mars Rotary Club hosted a flag pole dedication in O’Toole Park on Central Avenue North on Wednesday, Sept. 16, and honored a longtime Rotary member, Ina Gatts. Rotary Club President Bob Lee noted the Le Mars Rotary Club was founded in June 1919. “Last year marked our 100th anniversary as a club and under the leadership of Steve Harrington, a past President and District Governor last year, the members of the club decided that we wanted to do a special project for our anniversary at O’Toole Park,” he said. “Past President Ina Gatts, who was the first woman president of the club in 1992, wanted to help with our special project as well.”  Click here for the full article at LeMars Daily Sentinel.

Rotary has made the huge commitment to continue giving $50 million a year until polio is eradicated. This shows the level of support our wonderful organization is doing for one of the noblest projects in history. The Gates Foundation has also raised the bar by committing to match every dollar Rotary raises by two dollars. District 5610 is asking every Rotarian to help with a $40 gift a year. 
Covid has, as expected, been a setback with the total cases of wild virus increasing but not as much as was feared. Since the 4 month suspension ended in August the number of polio cases have increased in Afghanistan to 102 compared to 67 year to date last year.  Pakistan did better with only 65 cases versus 67 last year at this time. The eradication program had to be suspended from March to August so as not to become a vehicle for covid to spread but our personnel and resources were used to slow the spread of covid. During the near five suspension months it is estimated that over 40 million children went without polio vaccination. Now we have to make that up  in a very carefully masked, methodical and sanitized way. The effect of covid has also been felt worse in the number of vaccine derived cases of polio increasing. These happen when vaccination levels lag and the vaccine has a chance to revert and causes paralysis instead of protecting. These cases are now occurring in a number of the poorest countries of Africa. When this occurs the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) must go back  into these poor areas and vaccinate every child and then moving circularly out until the cases drop. This takes a huge amount of time, effort and money. Rotary and the partners of the GPEI have developed a new type 2 polio vaccination that should stop this problem in the future. Then we can again concentrate on Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Since Rotary first started the effort to eliminate polio from the world it has given $2.1 billion. We also have encouraged world governments to contribute $10 billion to the effort. In return this money has saved 19 million children from ruined lives of paralysis. 1.5 million children are now alive that would have died. Hundreds of thousands of adults will not have post polio syndrome which causes severe handicaps in their later years. The economic benefit from reducing the cases of polio are calculated to be $27 billion now, and by the year 2050 will add up to a value over $41 billion.
It is frustrating that it has been so long and so hard to get to the final eradication but we will as the Energizer Bunny says "keep going and going and going" because it is so vital to the lives  of ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD. Rotary is going to be remembered as the organization that wouldn't  and couldn't give up.
Thanks to the District, to the clubs and to the individual members for continuing to give so generously.
Willis Sutliff MD, Polio Plus Chair

Does your club have a plan to celebrate World Polio Day on October 24? The big day is just five weeks away and it’s time for all clubs to develop a plan to help spread the word about Rotary’s work to end this horrible disease and to celebrate the wonderful work so far.
District 5610 encourages you to do something to highlight the event - a watch party, a proclamation from the city government, a speaker at your weekly meeting, etc. As important as it is to plan your club's event, it's also important to try to promote the event among your club members and in the community. We want everyone to understand that we are so close to eradicating polio from our planet. Please plan something to help celebrate the day and send me a note and let me know what your club is doing. 
This message provides a wide variety of options for your club to celebrate World Polio Day on Wednesday, October 24. Please forgive the length of this message. I wanted to use just one message, and give you many options. 
A large number of resources are available on the End Polio Now website (www.endpolio.org/world-polio-day). Most of them are ready to be used, so they require no work on your part. Some can be customized for your event or local media. A folder with all the resources can be downloaded here (www.endpolio.org/sites/default/files/wpd_2020_en.zip), or you can visit the resource center (https://www.endpolio.org/resource-center#see-more) to choose which resources you want to download.  The resource center provides an array of materials, including banners, posters, news releases, sample proclamations, invitation templates, fact sheets with program information, and social media messages.  Rotary International’s Brand Center (https://brandcenter.rotary.org/en-GB) also has images, videos, etc. that talk about the polio eradication initiative. It is truly amazing how many resources are available.  Please let me know if I can help you to access any of the information.
Below there are suggestions of what you can do to celebrate World Polio Day 2020!  Review those ideas and search for others. Work with the club to determine how you will celebrate the day, and then choose materials from the resource center and other links to help you.
     A Few Ideas for Celebrating World Polio Day:
  • Mark your calendar to watch the Rotary International Online Global Update on 24 October and share the event on your social media pages.
  • Follow the event on social media and share it with your network.
  • RSVP to the Online Global Update on Facebook and see who else is participating.
  • Get early access to see a downloadable program by registering your World Polio Day event by 15 October
  • Use the sample posts from the World Polio Day Toolkit on your social media pages
  • Use the #EndPolio and #WorldPolioDay hashtags to follow and join the global conversation on social media.Follow End Polio Now on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Follow @EndPolioNow on Facebook and Twitter, and visit the World Polio Day page on www.endpolio.org  for updates.
  • Update your Facebook cover photo and Twitter avatar, using the graphics provided.
  • Use Rotary’s Brand Center to create a People of Action social media post about ending polio that promotes your club’s events. Just sign in, hover over Ads, and choose Online. In the options on the left, choose Fighting Polio.
  • Organize a community event with club members, friends, and family members to observe World Polio Day. Invite local media representatives, officials, and other leaders to participate, and use the opportunity to introduce them to Rotary.
  • Organize a viewing party for friends and club members to watch the World Polio Day events.
  • Invite local media, officials, and leaders to introduce them to Rotary.
  • Dedicate a club meeting to World Polio Day and update your website with the event details.
  • Create a fundraising or community event. Every dollar raised is matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Register your event (https://www.endpolio.org/register-your-event) and tell us how you’re participating with the global Rotary community.
  • Email or call local reporters and pitch a story about World Polio Day and your club’s contributions to the effort. Send them the news release and the fact sheet about Rotary’s efforts to eradicate Polio.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the importance of ending polio. Send it to the op-ed or editorial features editor for consideration.
  • Write your government officials asking for an official proclamation for World Polio Day.  A template for the proclamation is included on the resources page.
Thank you for all that you do to make your Rotary club a critical part of your community. 
Chuck Lubbers
Public Information Director - District 5610
Rotary Club of Brookings
Installation has begun on two “Born Learning Trails” in Hillcrest and McClemans Parks, thanks to support from the Brookings Rotary Club and the Brookings Area United Way.
Born Learning Trails are a series of 10 reinforced signs that offer fun, evidence-based learning activities for young children and their families and are a source of free outdoor play in the community.
Funding for the project was made possible by a donation from the Brookings Rotary Club, this year celebrating its 100th year, as well as a grant from Rotary District 5610, the Brookings Area United Way, and labor from the Brookings Park District and local Rotarians.
Rotary Clubs of Marshall
Donated iPads to Local Care Facilities
Noon Rotary Club and Sunrise Rotary Club of Marshall, MN recently came together and provided funds in the amount of $2,500 to purchase 11 iPads to help patients connect with their families and friends amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The funds raised matched the $2,500 donation given by Schwan’s Home Delivery whose funds were also used to purchase iPad devices for similar use.
“This is amazing and greatly appreciated by the facilities to not only connect with families but also to have virtual healthcare visits with their providers”, stated Melissa Maranell, Patient Care Coordinator for Marshall Avera@Home.
Noon Rotary Club Member Susie Sammons, Hill Street Place Senior Housing Administrator, conducted a needs assessment and was instrumental in ensuring that the iPads could be utilized throughout not only in Marshall facilities, but including Minneota as well.
Marshall Rotary and Schwan’s together distributed iPads to the following facilities:
2-Marshall Avera @ Home and Hospice Care
4-Hill Street Place Senior Apartments
4 -Prairie Home Hospice and Fieldcrest
2-Minneota Madison Ave Senior Apartments
2-Boulder Creek Memory Care
Noon Rotary President Matt Pedersen said that offering community assistance during this crisis is what Rotary is all about, “Providing this technology to connect patients and individuals to their loved ones or their medical provider who they would otherwise have no means to contact makes an immediate powerful and emotional impact."
“The coronavirus implications have limited access to loved ones and extended isolation is difficult on many”, said Sunrise Rotary President Christian Becker, “this donation eases the individual’s situation by providing an important communication link”.
The motto of Rotarians is "Service above Self". It reminds Rotarians to think of how they can help others instead of selfish thoughts.
Rotary Club of Watertown
Boxes of children books were delivered to the Watertown Boys and Girls Club this summer during Covid-19. Waterown Rotary Club collected books for ages 1-18 so that children could pick a book when receiving summer lunches. 
Rotary Club of Vermillion
In recognition of the national "Read Across America" day, the Vermillion SD Rotary Club works with the local elementary schools to provide a free book for all Kindergarten and Jr. Kindergarten students in the community. Students get to select a book from those provided to each classroom and the extra books are left for the teacher's use. The video link capture the joy of the event. We hope that receiving these books is another small step to developing a passion for reading. You can watch the video on the Vermillion Club's YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE or on the image below.
Thank you to all clubs doing good in their communities and across the globe to support educations in so many ways:  student scholarships, sponsoring and funding of early education of students internationally, dictionaries, pencils, and school supplies distributions, meals/backpack programs, providing funding to support school clubs and activities, Rotary Youth Exchange, and more. 

When Dr. Dan Little of Brookings accepted the position of District Governor nominee for Rotary District 5610, he was looking forward to the two years of extensive training that would prepare him to lead 40 clubs throughout all of South Dakota and parts of Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa. That was in 2018.

Fast forward to the first day of his District Governor term, July 1, 2020, and the world looked much different.

“Everything changed in March, when most clubs suspended their meetings for at least a few weeks due to COVID-19. However, now about three quarters of the clubs are back to weekly gatherings, even if they are held virtually. The work of Rotary continues,” said Little.

Rotary International began in 1905 in Chicago, when Paul Harris and three other businessmen started meeting regularly to share ideas and network, “rotating” their meeting locations among their four offices. Now Rotary International membership tops 1.2 million with more than 33,000 clubs in about 200 countries. The organization is divided into 34 zones (Brookings is in Zone 29) and 531 worldwide districts. Each district has a governor, and this year’s governor for District 5610 is from right here in Brookings.

Little, a consulting veterinarian, provides expert opinions in complex scenarios regarding dairy, swine, beef, poultry, equine, small ruminants, practice management, and personal injury. Many of his current forensic investigations relate to alleged feed mixing and contamination concerns. He believes his background as a vet has helped him respond to the current challenges facing Rotary.

“Veterinarians use systematic problem solving to make decisions – possibly followed by another decision.” he said. This type of problem solving has come in handy as he helps guide his district through unprecedented times. “When faced with concerns or obstacles we must pursue the discovery of the root cause before we can effect positive change,” Little continued. “The ‘positive change’ work of Rotary has not stopped in these COVID-19 times. In fact, our mission and goals are more relevant than ever.”

Little notes that the Rotary International theme for 2020-21 is “Rotary Opens Opportunities.” Those opportunities include taking advantage of technology in ways not considered prior to the pandemic. “COVID is forcing us to adapt to the digital age. We have been stretched out of our comfort zone, but like a rubber band, I do not expect that we will ever go back to all of our past behaviors,” said Little. “Zoom and digital tools improve the ability of young professionals to participate in Rotary activities, so one unexpected result might just be membership for those who hadn’t previously been able to attend a more traditional, in-person, lunch meeting.”

Little grew up on a dairy and swine family farm near Faribault in south central Minnesota. He received his B.A. in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College, his M. S. in Physiology of Reproduction from Texas A&M University and his DVM from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine before establishing a veterinary practice in southeastern Minnesota in 1984. 

His practice has focused on a systems management approach to food animal medicine. In addition to providing on-farm services to diagnose and prevent health challenges, he has also provided technical support to companies that desire to develop, market and implement biotech solutions in livestock systems. He has presented at national and international professional conferences and is a published author in scientific journals and industry magazines.

Although Rotary district governors are charged with the ultimate decision-making and leadership of their districts, Little ultimately sees his role as more of a “facilitator.”

“I view this position as an opportunity to be a team leader, providing the clubs in District 5610 with the Rotary International tools they need to meet their individual club goals,” explained Little. “We have tremendously talented and passionate Rotarians throughout District 5610.”

Although Little has been a Rotarian since 1994, he said he really understood the importance of membership when he joined the Brookings club after moving to Brookings in 2002. “I realized that I was immediately accepted and trusted in a new community of Rotarians.” Little subsequently served as president of the Brookings club, then as assistant governor and ultimately received the required training at the district, zone and international levels to prepare for his year as district governor.

“It’s a big commitment – one I entered into very seriously – but it’s a tremendous honor. The opportunity to be a leader in an organization where you can contribute locally but have an impact globally is humbling.”

Little remembers the first time he heard a former district governor challenge members of the Brookings Club to join the Paul Harris Society; the DG explained the global nature of Rotary’s work, but also emphasized that it was important to remember that behind each dollar donated, there was an individual, a real person, who benefitted. Little is proud to be a Paul Harris Fellow and a member of the Paul Harris Society.

Paul Harris Fellows are those who have contributed (or have had donated in their name) at least $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation, the organization that provides funding for local and global projects supporting Rotary projects involving health, economic development and peace. Last year, the Brookings Rotary Club achieved 100 percent Paul Harris Fellow status. Paul Harris Society members pledge to contribute $1,000 per year to the Rotary Foundation.

The reach is expansive; in 2018, the Rotary Foundation distributed more than $86 million to causes that reflect Rotary’s mission, most notably its continued quest to eradicate polio. “As recently as 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio worldwide. Now, we are down to 72 isolated cases, with pockets of infection in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We’re remarkably close to total eradication,” said Little.

In addition to club members contributing to global causes, Rotarians exemplify their motto of “Service Above Self” by participating in local, club-level projects. Recent projects supported by the Brookings club, for instance, include a community food drive to benefit the Brookings Food Pantry, collaboration with the Brookings Area United Way to create the Born Learning Trails in two parks for area families to enjoy, the purchase of gift cards for all employees of area assisted living facilities, and the gift to the City of Brookings of a clock that was recently installed in the downtown area to commemorate the club’s 100th anniversary. As Little visits other clubs in the district (“a requirement of my job but also a great privilege!”), he learns about their projects, similarly organized to improve their communities and address the unique needs of their areas.

“These are the types of projects that attract people of all ages, backgrounds and experiences to Rotary,” said Little. “What does a Rotarian look like? One who cares about others and chooses to invest personal time in making the world a better place for people they may never even meet.”

Little is also a private pilot and a member of the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians. His wife, Pat, is a retired real estate broker and provides business management services for their family businesses. They have six children and nine grandchildren within three hours of their home near Lake Campbell south of Brookings. They enjoy traveling, golfing, hiking, and spending time with family.

Article written by: Kay Norton, Brookings Rotary Club

What is your club’s ACTION PLAN?   Here is Rotary’s Action Plan.  How does it align with your club?
INCREASE IMPACT Achieving impact and measuring results and outcomes of our work is critical in order for clubs to continue to attract members, partners, and donors.
  • DEVELOP A STRATEGY for educating members about the importance of service projects. 
  • CONDUCT A COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT to identify top concerns in your area.  RI has great Community Assessment Tools.
  • FOCUS YOUR EFFORTS Review your club’s activities, focus on activities that make an impact.
EXPAND YOUR REACH Collaborating with new and different groups will help increase your club’s openness and appeal, create a more diverse membership base, and expand your capacity for service.
  • SET A GOAL to collaborate with new groups through service projects or social events, introducing more people to Rotary.
  • USE ROTARY’S MEMBERSHIP TOOLS to assess your club.  Membership Assessment Tools
  • CONSIDER FORMING NEW CLUBS.  Take advantage of flexible club models.
  • TELL YOUR STORY.  Use Brand Center to show your club’s impact.
ENHANCE PARTICIPANT ENGAGEMENT By understanding the needs of others, you’re able to improve the experience for members and others that participate in club activities. 
  • FOCUS NOT ONLY ON GAINING NEW MEMBERS BUT ALSO ON DELIVERING VALUE – survey members to find out what is important.  Hold a brainstorming session.
  • ENCOURAGE MEMBER INVOLVEMENT - Resources for engaging current members
  • UTILIZE THE LEARNING CENTER CURRICULUM – there are great leadership development courses for members and participants. 
INCREASE OUR ABILITY TO ADAPT - Looking at your internal processes is essential for creating a strong foundation for innovation, sustainability, and growth.
  • HOLD BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS with club members to gather ideas for activities and service projects.  Contact other organizations or clubs to partner. 
  • REVIEW YOUR CLUB ROLES, PROCESSES AND TASKS – look for ways to become more efficient – whether its by reducing, combining, or eliminating responsibilities or using different technology.  Rotary Club Health Check
Carmen Hansen – District Membership Chair
Upcoming Events
October 2020