Upcoming Events
District Governor Club Visit Resources
Capture Photos of Visit for a Post Event Facebook Post
Questions regarding your club's scheduled date and time: Contact Link for District Governor
Questions regarding pre and post event promoting of your club visit:  Contact Link for Public Image Chair

As I write this month’s newsletter, we are getting ready to head to the Black Hills to visit the Noon Rapid City Rotary Club and hopefully some members of the new Sturgis Rotaract Club.  I then only have a handful of visits close to home and then another time out to the Black Hills at the end of this month to visit the 4 other clubs there and help the Noon Cub celebrate their 100th Anniversary. We’ll visit Mobridge on the way home. As I said last month, these club visits have all been so fun and none have been a disappointment.  Rotations are wonderful people!!

Foremost in my mind now is the District Conference in Sioux City, September 22-24.  Registrations are needed by September 8th for the meal count.  Although we certainly won’t turn anyone away, please respond ASAP.  I am so excited about the lineup of speakers we have and I’m sure no one will be disappointed in the content of our programing.  It’s also a celebration of our clubs and members by the recognition many will receive.  See more details on the website!!!  Sioux City has several events available Saturday afternoon and evening including free vouchers to the Sioux City Symphony; Martoberfest, a German Oktoberfest style celebration; and the Alley Art Festival.

The Rotary theme of September is:  Basic Education and literacy.  It is one of the 7 Areas of Focus and a popular service project among Rotary Clubs. Several clubs have projects related to Storybook Lands, StoryWalk®, support of the School of St. Jude, Four Way Test Contest, Dictionary Distributions to Elementary Students and Scholarships.  The most recent Rotary Magazine cover introduces the Guatemala Literacy Project.  Please keep these types of projects in mind as you plan your Rotary year.

October is a month away, but it’s not too soon to think about planning for World Polio Day on October 24th.  Some of our clubs have some very creative ways to celebrate the day.  Ryan Odor of the Le Mars Club, created a great fundraiser for Polio Plus.  Ask him about it at the District Conference!  Please note Dr. Willis Sutliff’s article on the website.  Polio has hit close to home with a case in New York.  People younger than I don’t have much personal experience with Polio.  My brother is a polio survivor. He is 9 years older than I so I don’t have any memory of when he was sick, but I do remember the image of his leg braces hanging in the attic where I grew up.  He now is struck with the post-polio symptoms as several friends of mine are, too. 

I’m looking forward to seeing you in Sioux City at the District Conference!!!!!

John Schneider DG 5610

Congratulation to Steve Sikorski of the Downtown Sioux Falls Rotary Club, who was awarded the 2022-23 Roger Kozak Service Above Self Award at the District 5610 celebration conference in Sioux City on the evening of September 23rd.  It was presented to him by Rotary Past International Vice President and Rotary Foundation Trustee Greg Podd.
Steve Sikorski is a dedicated Rotarian, dedicated to Rotary, his community and the world. He is very active in his local Rotary club, Sioux Falls Downtown, and has served as president. In our district he was District Governor in 2015 - 16 and has remained active since that time serving as the District Treasurer for many years. One of Steve’s special loves is working with Hope Haven and Rotary to help deliver wheelchairs around the world especially to Romania where he has worked on special projects and has built many bridges of friendship. Speaking of friendship he has participated in and encouraged others to participate in Rotary Friendship Exchanges, helping to spread Rotary ideals around the world. Steve has also worked very hard supporting his college fraternity SAE and is very active in his church. Through his involvement with Master Gardeners he is working with “Ground Works” introducing S. D. Ag in the Classroom so children can learn where their food comes from. He has built over 150 raised garden beds for schools, day cares and churches. Steve is truly a #Service Above Self” Rotarian.
Roger Kozak
Service Above Self Award
“In recognition of exceptional service to Rotarians in Rotary District 5610. This award honors the memory of Roger L. Kozak, long-time member of the Vermillion Rotary Club, who served as District Governor, 2009-10, and who distinguished himself as an exceptional servant leader.”  Click here to learn more about Roger Kozak and his Service Above Self.

Past Kozak Award Winners:

2016-17 - Larry Lyngstad, Pierre-Fort Pierre
2017-18 - George Twitero, Rapid City Rushmore
2018-19 - Pat Sutliff, Rapid City Rushmore
2019-20 - Chuck Lindemann, Marshall
2020-21 - No Award (Covid Pandemic)
2021-22 - Dr. Willis Sutliff, Rapid City Rushmore
2022-23 - Steve Sikorski, Downtown Sioux Falls
Congratulations to Mary DeVany of the Rotary Club of Sioux Falls South, who has been presented Rotarian of the Quarter by District Governor John Schneider for her dedication as a Rotarian and as an Assistant Governor to Rotary District 5610.  She has been a resource person for several clubs.

She helped establish a regular schedule of monthly events for her club during her second term as President of Sioux Falls South which included 1 social and 1 service event and 2-3 regular presentations by speakers.  Several of their speakers were from outside Sioux Falls and presented remotely, including a Rotary International Director from our Zone. This schedule has been a great recruiting tool for new members to the Sioux Falls South club.  She is a constant reminder that new members are not only good for our clubs, but good for the new member and our communities.  She had led the outreach of the Sioux Falls South club to Harrisburg, SD for potential new members. Her organization and presentation skills are key.

Mary and her family also hosted a Rotary Youth Exchange student-Awan for six months.  Mary and her husband-Rex have one son.  She is a graduate of Leadership South Dakota, member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, sings in the choir and is a champion for Lutheran Outdoors. She has been a member of the Lennox Band for over 25 years and plays in the USD Alumni Band.  
Mary’s professional career for over 30 years has centered around telehealth.  She is the Associate Director at gpTrac for the University of of Minnesota as a TeleHealth Enthusiast and Rural Health Advocate helping people visualize how they might use telehealth.  Her educational background includes a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of South Dakota and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications/PR-Advertising at USD as well.
The District Governor Award for Rotarian of the Quarter is a Rotarian who has gone above and beyond and has proven to be extraordinary in her service above self.  This award honors one individual each quarter who has exhibited these attributes.  Congratulations Mary!
Nominations are being accepted for the following District 5610 position:
District 5610 Governor Nominee to serve as District Governor during the Rotary year of July 1, 2025 to June 30, 2026.
  • Qualifications are to have served as a club president for a full term (per Rotary International bylaws), 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.
  • Nominations or expressions of personal interest should be forwarded no later than September 30th, 2022 to:
Doug Lind, IPDG and Chairperson, dougdg2122@gmail.com and
Nicole Rawden, District Administrator, rawdenconsulting@gmail.com
  • Include your nominee's name and Rotary Club.  Should any Rotarian have any questions, please contact Doug Ling at 605-390-1502.
Please consider this an exceptional opportunity.
Doug Lind   
District Governor 2021-2022  
Rotary District 5610 / Rotary Club of Rapid City Rushmore    

Good afternoon, Club Presidents and Grant Officers,

District 5610 has funds available in its FY 2023 District Designated Fund account for clubs to use on projects. This is a "Call for Proposals" from clubs to apply for these funds for projects to benefit their communities.

A few notes:

  • Please use the attached grant application form.
  • The district requires a 1-to-1 local club financial match. For example, if you have a $2,000 project, the club should provide $1,000 and request $1,000 from the district.
  • The deadline for these grant proposals is Friday, September 30 with funds being disbursed to clubs shortly thereafter. Those clubs who submitted grant applications in May during the last fiscal year that were not funded will have those applications roll over into this grant round.  Projects must be completed within 24 months of receipt of funds.

As with all Rotary grants, these proposals must be for projects that have not yet started. You will be required to submit receipts validating your expenditure of funds, and the hands-on involvement of local Rotarians is required. Projects must involve more than just “passing a check” to an organization. Please email me if you have questions.

You are invited to attend the "Better Rotarians - Better Communities" session at the District 5610 Annual Meeting September 23rd to learn more about how clubs have utilized grant funds to create successful projects.

Application can be found under News/Downloads section on the right hand column of the district website homepage.


Thank you,

Don Norton

District 5610 Grants Chair

A case of polio paralysis has been reported in an adult in a suburban county of New York. This is more evidence that polio is only a plane ride away and that clusters of people who are unvaccinated are at risk of dying or having a life of paralysis if children or adults do not get the CDC recommended vaccinations. There is sewage testing proof that the vaccine derived polio virus is still circulating in Orange and Rockland counties in NY and polio immunization rates there are only 60 %. These are also counties close to NY City so further cases are very likely. Covid is also a factor as children's immunizations have lagged across the US. But what has really happened is there is a large number of people across the entire US who refuse immunizations for religious reasons and other non-scientific reasons. It is now apparent that where there are groups of non-immunized adults and children, polio is a real possibility. This is ANYWHERE in the US, including SD, MN, IA and NB. The United Kingdom has not had a paralysis case but sewage tests in London show they have a similar problem as does Israel. The take home message is to educate everyone you know that polio is not conquered even in the US and anti-vaxxers are playing with fire. Their result may be death or life long paralysis in a loved one.

Worldwide the drive to eliminate polio is steady but not great. The wild virus exists in only Afghanistan and Pakistan, but Pakistan's numbers are up to 7 as opposed to 4 for the entire year in 2021. There are a number of countries in Africa where circulating, vaccine-caused polio is  a major problem. This includes  Nigeria, Yeman and D R Congo. The new type 2 vaccine that has been developed should help, but many African countries are at war or having problems administering vaccines. I am still optimistic that polio can be eliminated from the world but it is extremely tough. Please continue to support Polio Plus and see that Rotary gets the promised Gates Foundation match of $2 for each $1 we donate to Polio Plus. OUR DISTRICT HAS STEPPED UP FOR POLIO PLUS IN SUCH A WONDERFUL WAY. Thanks to all of you. If you could summarize this for your fellow members and the need to give, I would appreciate it so much.

Willis Sutliff

Polio Plus Chair District 5610

Membership Minute
Focusing on the comfort and care of our members
August is Membership and New Club Development Month. One of RI President Jennifer Jones' initiatives is to focus on the comfort and care of our members, and Membership Month is the perfect time to make sure that  your club provides a welcoming experience. Members are more likely to stay if we listen to them and understand what they want out of Rotary. Here are a few ideas for helping people feel valued and involved:
Remember that for any Learning Center course, you’ll need a My Rotary account. 
Find more
membership resources on My Rotary. 
Questions?  Reach out to Carmen Hansen, District 5610 Membership Chair, carmenhansen@rushmore.com

Initiatives Overview

Rotary International President Jennifer Jones imagines a Rotary where members act to make their dreams become reality and make the most of their club experiences. During her year, Jones will focus on four presidential initiatives that Imagine Rotary: advancing our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); creating a welcoming club experience; empowering girls; and expanding our reach.

Imagine: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Diversity is one of Rotary's longstanding core values and greatest strengths. Jones knows there is more to be done to ensure that Rotary's culture exemplifies our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Rotary, with input and guidance from the DEI Task Force, has strengthened our commitment to DEI, resulting in a greater focus on celebrating every individual's contributions, advancing equity, and creating a more welcoming and inclusive culture.

President Jennifer Jones encourages each of us to do our part to ensure Rotary is a welcoming and inclusive community by:

  1. Learning more about DEI in Rotary, including understanding definitions and how to celebrate and respect our differences.
  2. Determining why DEI matters to our club and community and how using DEI principles can help our club grow and become stronger.
  3. Raising awareness of DEI, including creating a DEI committee in your club that reflects the demographics of your community.
  4. Taking action on DEI in our club and community for instance educating yourself about underrepresented groups in your community in order to become a more knowledgeable and effective advocate for DEI.

Learn more and take action by reading the DEI presidential brochure.
Find additional resources on our DEI web page.
Watch what Jones hopes to accomplish with DEI (download).

Imagine a welcoming club experience: Comfort and Care

Rotary has an important role to play to ensure that the club environment and experience is welcoming, inclusive, and enjoyable for all members and participants. Surveys show that comfort and care is the single greatest driver of satisfaction and our most powerful tool for retention. This begins with listening to and understanding what members and participants want out of their Rotary involvement. We often speak of the importance of "exit interviews" to better understand why former members leave. But why wait for them to leave? Jones urges club leaders to incorporate "entrance interviews" as well to understand the needs and expectations of new members at the outset. And of course, be sure to regularly survey all existing members, to ensure they have an opportunity to share thoughts about their membership experience.

Watch Jones talk about her Comfort and Care initiative (download)

Empowering Girls

Jones will continue past RI President Shekhar Mehta’s Girls Empowerment initiative, recognizing that empowered girls become empowered women. Share your Girls Empowerment projects on Showcase.

Imagine Impact: Expanding Rotary's reach media tours

Imagine Expanding Rotary's Reach Throughout the year, Jones will visit eight service projects that represent each of Rotary's areas of focus and polio eradication. The tour will provide examples of how Rotary can make a measurable difference, while introducing Rotary to new audiences and potential partners and influencers.

Watch and download video messages from Jones


-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

Upcoming Events
October 2022
Roger Kozak Service Above Self Award