Fellow Rotarians!!
As spring approaches we have some very important Rotary Programs coming up.  First, PETS or the Spring Leadership Conference is April 27-29.  DGE Rich Burns and his committee have been working hard to put together a great program.  It involves not only education but also networking and fellowship.  Please encourage your president elect to attend and also the president nominee (sergeant at arms) are welcome.  In any case, please send someone from your club and I hope that your club would help with the expense of mileage and lodging.  In my club visits, I could see a difference between clubs that attend PETS and those who do not.  It was very telling when a club asked “What is the Foundation and who is Paul Harris?”  Second, applications for RYLA are due by the end of this month.  It is a wonderful opportunity and experience for high school students to engage in leadership development in a camp setting.   Third, we are looking for at least one more club to host a foreign exchange student.  You can find information about all of these programs on the District website or contact me and I will point you in the right direction.
The Rotary theme for March is Water and Sanitation.  Water and Sanitation is the cornerstone area of focus.  Without that we will not have Disease Prevention, Child and Maternal Health, Economic Development, Education, Peace and Conflict Resolution or an improved Environment.   I’m very proud of my home club of Le Mars as water has been a focus of several international projects.  Several years ago we were the lead club for a Global Grant water project in Honduras and supported several other non-Rotary projects there.  Our members have also assembled Chlorine Production Units to purify water in the third world and most recently supported a Global Grant water project in Tanzania.
Happy Spring and I look forward to seeing some of you in our travels later this month as we plan to attend the gala for the Children’s Home Society in Rapid City and possibly visit clubs as part of the trip.

Yours in Rotary!!

John Schneider DG 5610