Nominations are open for the next District Governor who will follow our current DGN, John Schneider.  The year of service will be July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.  Qualifications are to have served as a club president for a full term, be a member in good standing in a club within the district, and to have been a Rotary club member for seven years before taking office.  The successful candidate is expected to fulfill the training expectations and be willing to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the governor.
Submit your nomination to one of the nominating committee members by clicking on their name listed below for their email address:
Self-nominations are welcome.  Nominations are open until closed by the committee.  Please be prompt as the current district leadership wants to get a nominee in place as soon as possible for training purposes.  Include your nominee's name and Rotary Club.  We'll take it from there.
Yours in Service Above Self,

Ina Winter

District Governor 2019-2020
Nominating Committee Chairperson
RID 5610
Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.


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

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
Contribution: project and process knowledge
Linda Peterson, Rushmore Rotary, PDG, RPIC 2018-20
Contribution: financial management and product knowledge
Tom Katus, Rushmore Rotary, Omniciye Committee
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

Fellow Rotarians,
As you can imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the traditional timeline for soliciting host clubs and selecting outbound student for Rotary Youth Exchange. At this time, our multidistrict – Central States Rotary Youth Exchange – has suspended the application process until February 1, 2021. On that date, a decision will be made whether to more forward or cancel the 2021-2022 RYE program. If we move forward, the application will open and a condensed selection process will begin.
In the meantime, clubs are free to promote the program and possibly finalize club nominations of potential outbound students for the 2021-2022 Rotary Year. Students should be 16 to 18 ½ at the time of departure (typically August 15 or thereabouts) and in good academic standing at their school. Students and clubs can visit or to get general information on the program. For specific questions, please contact Cindy Bailie, Outbound Coordinator, or myself.
Lastly, if the program proceeds we will need commitments from clubs to host inbound students. If your club is interested in hosting a student, please send me an email at Patrick Morrison. I can provide information on responsibilities, expected costs, and the like. For those of you who remember the headache of the past trainings and paper forms, you will be happy to know that our transition to Central States has made this process much easier – and digital. As a reminder, it is not a requirement to send a student to host a student, so all clubs are eligible to host.
Stay well!
Patrick Morrison | District Chair, District 5610 | Rotary Youth Exchange
December 2020