Happy May Day, 5610 Rotarians!  I hope today’s newsletter finds you all happy and healthy, and working hard to “FINISH STRONG” in this Rotary year!  Having just returned from a difficult trip to say goodbye to Penny’s stepdad, who passed away recently, I was once again reminded of the importance of living every day in an optimistic, joyful and productive way.  My father-in-law lived his life fully and completely, traveling the world, living a joyful and productive life, and dedicating much of his time to helping others above and beyond his regular responsibilities. 

Our world of social media and non-stop “breaking news” makes it easy to fall into the trap of focusing on all the things wrong with our world, instead of seeing the countless blessings we have to be grateful for!  ROTARY is one way, if not the best way to respond and show gratitude for all we are given; our way of “paying it forward”.  Most of you already know our well-kept Rotary “secret” – the more we do for others, and the more we give, the better we feel and the more we receive!

As we get closer and closer to the finish line for this Rotary year, take a moment to step back and count your blessings, review your Rotary Goals for the year, and give it your best effort to successfully complete your goals.  There’s still six weeks to go – plenty of time to bring that friend or business associate to their first Rotary meeting or project and help them become a new Rotary member. 

June will be here in just a few weeks, and with it will come the first “live, in-person” Rotary International Convention in three years!  Penny and I, along with thirteen other District Rotarians, are looking forward to hearing tons of great speakers, reconnecting with Rotary friends from around the world, and learning lots of new things about on-going and upcoming Rotary projects in other countries, and making lots of new friends!  It’s still not too late, if you have a last-minute change of plans or happen to be an impulsive person, to attend this memorable event!  Also in June, I will have the honor of passing my Governor’s pin on to incoming Governor John Schneider, at his home club in Le Mars, IA.  I look forward to helping John in the next several months as he assumes the responsibility of this amazing job!  

Thanks everyone for your continued efforts to help our District become better, stronger and more vital than ever! 

Service above self in Rotary,

Doug Lind   

District Governor 2021-2022  


On July 1, John Schneider assumes the volunteer post of Rotary International District Governor for 2022-23.  As Governor, he serves as a guide and resource along with his district leadership team for the clubs in District 5610 encompassing all of South Dakota, northwestern Iowa, and southwestern Minnesota.  John will serve through June 30, 2023.  Attached is a link to incoming District Governor John Schneider's club visit schedule.  As incoming Presidents for 2022-23 please review the schedule and please confirm the scheduled date, time, and location with District Governor 2022-23 John Schneider at 1-712-540-4250 or by email at jsswine@midlands.net.

Click here for DG Club Visits Schedule


The Trail of Governors Foundation wishes to thank the Rotary Clubs of District 5610 who generously supported the Sponsorship of the statue of former Governor and long time Rotarian, Dennis Daugaard, whose statue was added to the Trail in 2019. All Rotarians are invited to attend the unveiling of the statues of the final three of the 31 former governors who will join the Trail at 10:00AM on Friday, June 17, 2022 in the rotunda of the State Capitol. 

The Club Donors are as follows: Sioux Falls Downtown, Pierre-Ft. Pierre, Mitchell, Mobridge, Winner, Centerville, and Hot Springs. 

Also, received were individual contributions from Rotary members and Rotary friends in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Hot Springs, Rapid City, Salem, Spearfish, Wagner, Winner, Vermillion, Yankton and Dell Rapids.  All donors are recognized on the Foundation website: www.trailofgovernors.com and as a Sponsor, Rotary District 5610 is included on the bronze plaque that accompanies Governor Daugaard's statue.

-Part of a Quarter Million Dollar Multi-District Effort; Other Donations Also Being Rushed to War-Torn Country

Rotary International is noted for its global healthcare response, especially as a major sponsor of polio eradication, clean water sources, and more. And now District 5610, which includes all Rotary clubs in South Dakota as well as portions of Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, will send $25,000 toward emergency supplies to healthcare workers in Ukraine to assist with the urgent need in that war-torn country.

District 5610 was awarded $25,000 in disaster relief funding from The Rotary Foundation to provide "Shipping of Emergency and Healthcare Supplies for front-line emergency workers, hospitals, clinics, and physicians in Ukraine." The district is one of 10 working together on a joint project to support the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA).  This multi-district Disaster Grant will provide $250,000 toward airlifting pallets of supplies into Ukraine.

Crews are assembling medical supplies (tourniquets, gauze with blood clotting powder, etc), survival food supplies and emergency aid in a warehouse in Illinois, with 330 pallets already assembled. But this isn’t the only Rotarian response to the Ukrainian crisis.

“District 5610 Rotarians also have already contributed more than $20,000 to Ukrainian support through Hope Haven, an international ministry that provides wheelchairs to those in need,” said District 5610 Governor Doug Lind. And, noted District 5610 Foundation Chair Dan Little, the district also is working on a streamlined District grant of at least $10,000 to the Rotary Club of Barlad, Romania for humanitarian relief for Ukrainian refugees.

“This will bring current and anticipated District 5610 contributions to Ukrainian aid to more than $55,000,” said Little.

Any contributions to the Rotary Foundation Disaster Fund prior to April 30, 2022 will all be allocated to Ukrainian Aid.  Rotarians may donate through their MyRotary account online, designating “Ukrainian Disaster Fund,” and others may give by logging in to https://my.rotary.org/en/donate and choosing “Disaster Response Fund.”

“Many people are watching the news and wondering, ‘What can I do to help?’ and feeling helpless,” said Little. “Making a donation to this effort is one way to make a direct difference in the life of someone who is suffering.” Added District Governor Lind, “The respected reputation of Rotary International and its Foundation for being able to penetrate boundaries and provide global assistance makes this donation opportunity a very good choice for anyone wishing to help.”

Questions may be directed to your local Rotary club, or by emailing 5610dlittle@delittledvm.com


During the recent District Assembly for District 5610, Rotarian Bruce Nearhood was elected to the position of District Governor Nominee (DGN) for the 2022-23 Rotary year. The following year, 2023-24, Bruce will serve as the District Governor Elect (DGE) and he will serve as the District Governor (DG) in 2024-25.  

Bruce, a member of the Rapid City Rushmore Club since 1987, has served as Club President, and also has held club leadership roles as Foundation Chair and Membership Chair, successfully launching effective growth and retention campaigns for his club and personally sponsoring eight new members. As a proven District leader, Bruce served as 5610 Foundation Chair from 2011-15 and was most recently co-chair of the 2021-22 District Conference. He also was a facilitator for the Rotary Leadership Institutes from 2010-19.

Bruce’s service through Rotary has extended far beyond the boundaries of our District. He has participated in five Rotary-sponsored humanitarian trips, four to Haiti and one to Guatemala. He and his wife were part of Friendship Exchanges to Italy and Japan. A passionate supporter of The Rotary Foundation, Bruce is a member of the Paul Harris Society, is a major donor, and a Level 5 Bequest Society member. Bruce has continued to expand his well-rounded knowledge of Rotary International by attending three Rotary International Conventions.



The District Governor Award for Rotarian of the Quarter is presented to Jennifer Rollins she is a Rotarian who has gone above and beyond and has proven to be extraordinary in her service above self.  This is a new award this Rotary year that will serve to honor one individual each quarter who has exhibited these attributes.  Congratulations Jennifer! 
Jennifer Rollins is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel having served 22 years in active duty as a B-1 Bomber aviator.  She was stationed throughout the U.S. as well as Europe and Africa and deployed a total of 10 times.  She now devotes her time to multiple volunteer passions.  Having grown up near the mountains in Utah, Jennifer has a passion for downhill ski racing and recently served on the U.S. Ski Association Master’s Division Board of Directors.  Furthermore, she interviews and evaluates candidates as a College Rep for the U.S. Air Force Academy.  But her ultimate community passion is Rotary and became a member of Rushmore Rotary in 2013.  Along with involvement on various club committees, she also attended a service project mission to Guatemala and two Friendship Exchanges.  Jennifer is in her second year serving as the chairperson for the District Global Grant/Vocational Training Team subcommittee, with special focus on project initiatives to address human trafficking.  In 2021, she graduated from Leadership South Dakota and looks forward to putting her collective experience into action as President of Rushmore Rotary 2022-2023.  

The  Rollercoaster Ride of Polio Elimination

The drive to eliminate polio from the world forever seems like a rollercoaster ride with emotional highs and lows. This continued last year but with a high in the real progress made in Afghanistan and Pakistan and lows in Israel having a circulating vaccine paralysis case and Malawi having a wild polio case. Overall however we showed excellent progress by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.* Afghanistan cases dropped from 141 cases in 2020 to 4 cases in 2021. Pakistan has dropped to only 1 case in 2021. And it occurred in Jan. 2021 so Pakistan has been without a polio case for 14 months. Covid caused a hold in giving vaccinations for a few months so we were pleasantly surprised to see the drop in cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They probably occurred due to a decrease in travel.

A Plane Ride Away

You likely saw on line or on the news that a case of wild virus polio occurred in Africa in Malawi. The genetic tests of the virus showed the origin of the virus was  from Pakistan. This demonstrated the importation by international travel. The case has been surrounded by an emergency vaccination task force. It has encircled the case and is giving vaccination in concentric circles around the case until no more virus is detected in sewage and no cases in children. Africa still is considered polio free as the case is contained. This case graphically illustrates that “polio is just a plane ride away” from all of us. Another case of vaccine derived polio paralysis in Israel shows that a pocket of anti-vaxxers can put a large community at risk of polio. The case occurred in a group of Israelis who for religious reasons avoided vaccines. Groups like this could derail Rotary’s long and expensive effort to eliminate polio from the world. So please, please vaccinate your children and educate your family members to see their children are all vaccinated. Other favorable facts show that circulating virus polio cases decreased from 959 in 2020 to 38 cases in 2021.

Vaccinator Deaths in Afghanistan

Sadly the polio elimination drive saw the brutal killing of 9 more workers in Afghanistan. I personally got to meet some of the brave Afghan women vaccinators two years ago and saw how strong and committed they are to getting rid of the scourge of polio. And they all were well aware that they could be giving the ultimate sacrifice. Please tell your clubs about them and their bravery. I hope there can be money raised in their name by our clubs and district so we can be sure their lives have not been given in vane. I also hope you can talk to your members about the fact that groups of unvaccinated children could bring polio back to the United States and ruin the effort to eliminate polio from the world for good. We must continue vaccinating every child in the US.

*Global Polio Eradication Initiative members are; Rotary International, the Gates Foundation,UN WHO and UNICEF and US CDC.

Willis Sutliff, District Polio Plus Chair


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