Governor's Message

New District 5610 By-Laws
Information on the newly revised Rotary District 5610 By-Laws, 2018 have been emailed to you.  We are asking Rotarians in our district to review the revisions (which are highlighted in color), and we will be taking a district-wide vote on passage of the new by-laws at PETS in Mitchell, April 13.
    Please visit our Rotary District 5610 website  you will find more information about this and other district activities.
Rotary Foundation Raffle, Membership, and Public Image
  1. The FOUNDATION RAFFLE.  The district Foundation Raffle is underway, and will conclude on April 13th at PETS.  This is the biggest Rotary district-wide Foundation event of the year.  Each Rotarian in the district should be receiving ten $10 raffle tickets.  In a perfect world, every Rotarian would sell or purchase ten raffle tickets.  As a district $100 per capita giving is the goal.  But my friends, do the best you can.  Much of the foundation giving comes back to your communities through grants, and some of it supports global projects like polio-plus.  Be proud of your Foundation giving, it is one of the world’s greatest charities.
  2. MEMBERSHIP GROWTH.  I challenged all of you last April to bring one guest to your club meeting this year who may be a potential new member.  Many have, some have not. So, my friends, between March 1st and July 1st bring someone to your club.  Let us see a marked growth in our membership!  Carmen Hanson, district membership chair, can assist you with recruiting your visitors that come to the meetings.
  3. ROTARY PUBLIC IMAGE.  One of the best contributions you can make for Rotary and your community club is enhancing your Rotary Public Image.  And for the most part, it doesn’t cost much to do.  Things like press releases of your club’s activities, community signage on the road or in town, and your participation in local parades and community events.  Anything and everything you can do to increase Rotary awareness in your community is very important!
  4. In summary, go forth from this governor message and light Rotary up in your clubs, and in your communities.  Look forward to future successes. You control the fate of Rotary.  Through your efforts, dedication, and devotion to this amazing service organization called Rotary International we will be more successful than ever.  Let us redefine our future as Rotarians!
Yours, in Service Above Self,
Steve Harrington, District Governor 2017-18

Presidents-elect and Secretary Training Features Speakers

    Our featured speakers this year are Dian Edwards, Zone 27 Assistant Rotary Coordinator from O'Neill, NE, and Kathy Fahy, Zone 28 Public Image Coordinator, from Spirit Lake, IA. You will not want to miss their Rotary stories and messages!
    All Presidents-Elect are required to attend PETS. Nancy Moose, District Trtainer, has a full-day schedule that will get your year off to a great start! We ask all Presidents-Elect to bring your Club Secretary with you for valuable training. Club Secretaries are the glue that hold Rotary clubs together! In an effort to keep club secretaries up to date, special  sessions for club secretaries will be held during PETS – scheduled for Mitchell, SD on Friday, April 13. District 5610 Executive Assistant Nicole Rawden will moderate the training and will cover important topics such as ClubRunner, Rotary International Club Administration, Rotary Club Central and “Lead Your Club”, a manual for club secretaries with a month to month calendar. There is no cost for attending and delicious food will be available.
   Training is scheduled for the Highland Conference Center on Friday, April 13. For those arriving the prior evening, a reception will be available and everyone is invited to attend. A block of rooms have been reserved for Rotary at the Comfort Inn 605-990 2400 and Hampton Inn 605 995 1575.  Both hotels adjoin the Highland Conference Center.
REGISTRATION for PETS and CLUB SECRETARY TRAINING is available for on-line registration! For more details and to register please click on link

Governor’s Club Membership Challenge coming in April

    We have three months remaining in this Rotary year. Watch for details on a district-wide membership challenge coming in April. We started the year with 1835 members and we are currently at 1,806. 14 clubs have an increase in members this year, 7 clubs have no change and 20 clubs have a decrease. Special shout out to Watertown, with an increase of six members. Other clubs in the plus column are Centerville, Mobridge, Clark, Marshall Sunrise, Cherokee, Denison, Gregory, Yankton, Vermillion, Canby, Luverne, Brookings and Pierre-Fort Pierre.
    Let’s finish the year strong. Here are two links with great resources:
    Each club received the Club Membership Guide to help you develop a club membership plan. Need help? Give me a call.
—Carmen Hansen, District Membership Chair


     Let's show our members and communities who and what Rotary is! The new People of Action public awareness campaign materials are available! We want to prepare a visible image of Rotary to grow our membership. See the download area for an information sheet on the campaign instructions. It is simple, it is effective, it is ACTION!
    The People of Action video from Rotary Brand Center is now airing as PSAs on VAST and Midco cable channels with a tagline to the District website. Billboards are going up in Marshall, Sioux Falls and Rapid City! You can ask your local radio and TV stations to air PSAs for free too!
    Use your club Facebook page to promote People of Action ads that you can edit and personalize on the Brand Center. Then "friend" the District Facebook group page and link to your club's page, for even more synergy!
—Linda Peterson, D5610 Public Image Chair   605-341-5006
    Telling our Rotary story helps the world to better understand who we are: people of action, driven by a desire to strengthen communities, mobilize problem solvers, and find solutions to the tough challenges affecting people around the world.
    Stories about fundraisers, contributions, or international service projects are important and an integral part of what we do, but they’re not necessarily People of Action stories. The People of Action campaign is designed to help better inform our local communities about Rotary and the work we do for the places we call home. To let the rest of the world know who we are, we must let our neighbors know first.
    How do you tell a great People of Action story? A People of Action story connects with people by showing the positive impact we have on our communities. The best way to do this is by incorporating certain elements effectively into your story, such as:
*  A clear focus on a Rotary project in your local community
*   A description of how you or your club identified a challenge
*  An explanation of how club members and others in your community found a solution to the problem
*  A depiction of how your club saw that project through to completion, whether it’s in the works, complete, or ongoing
    Use the People of Action materials in the Brand Center.

Food For Kidz project in Marshall

    Marshall Rotarians connected with Marshall Middle School for the ninth year, packing 100,000 meals, totaling 800,000 so far. Chuck Lindemann worked with the Weekender Independent newspaper to capture front page stories. Good work Marshall Rotary!

Rotaract flourishing in Black Hills!

   SDSM&T Rotaract and Rapid City Rushmore clubs met for pizza on February 26 at the SDSM&T campus. The student club maintains 15-25 members, and completed three service projects so far this year. They recruit students during the fall student fair, and elect officers every April.
   Attending from Black Hills State University was Jama Khainzan, a Northern Hills Spearfish Rotarian, who is energetically forming a Rotaract club at BHSU. She met with Meerab Joseph, SDSM&T Rotaract secretary, and Heidi Bell Gease, Rushmore club liaison, to gain some tips. Jama is a Rotarian from Mongolia, reported Rotaract is strong there, and suggests an exchange program with them in the future.

District 5610 Raffle Cooking Again!

    The 2017 raffle was a tremendous success and the goal is to continue to build on that success by making this year even better! Karl's Appliance has again agreed to offer the grand prize of a KARL’S HOME KITCHEN MAKEOVER! This is a Whirlpool 4-Piece Kitchen Appliance Package, with a value up to $7,500 at Karl’s Retail Price*.
    Please bring your ticket stubs to PETS on April 12! Send your Foundation donations to Rotary International.
Prize drawings -  PETS conference April 12-14, 2018 Mitchell (need not be present to win).
Let's make our District goal of $200,000 happen!
—Brad Preheim, of Centerville Rotary, Raffle Chair

Rotary Foundation Goal

Foundation giving totals through March 2018 is $88,882.
We are a little over 45% of our District Goal met. Turn in your clubs' Foundation ticket sales to RI quickly!
Remember the Foundation is one of the key aspects of our membership in Rotary.
It is how we are impacting the world for Rotary.
—Mike Gibson, D5610 Foundation Chair

About Friendship Exchanges

    Friendship Exchange is one of the few International Exchange programs in Rotary that Rotarians can participate in. Vocational Training Teams are another. Because of tax laws, many exchanges and scholarships are not available to Rotarians or their families. However, in a Friendship Exchange a Rotarian and their spouse or friend are able to fully participate. The exchange consists of a team of 10 to 12 people traveling to another Rotary District around the world and touring there for about 2 weeks. During this time they are hosted in Rotarian homes, visit many Rotary meetings and projects, and see the country or area from the local's view. The team is taken to places that the local people think are important and would like to share. It really gives you a chance to learn about the customs, foods, etc of the area that you usually miss as a regular tourist. On these exchanges you typically pay your transportation to and from the country and for small gifts that you bring for the hosting Rotarians. Then the district that is visited sends a team to the country that they just hosted and those who participated in the exchange are responsible for hosting that returning team. Hosting on either side means providing home stays, food in restaurants some times, paying for entrance fees and providing transportation around the district. Some of these hosting duties may vary depending on the specifics of the particular exchange.

     Friendship Exchanges are an amazing way to make lasting friendships around the world. I also think that they are a great beginning to peace in our world as we learn more about each other, begin to understand each other and build lasting relationships. I am always looking for contacts in other districts who might want to do a Friendship Exchange with our district. Any ideas that people have for places to go or contacts abroad who might be helpful are very much appreciated. Any questions please contact me.

—Pat Sutliff, District 5610 Friendship Exchange Chair or 605-593-2896

Leadership Institute rolls out for 2018

    Current buzz words in Rotary usually include “member retention” and “engagement.” According to RI statistics, concern about these two issues is valid. The reasons Rotarians drop their membership are varied, and some are difficult to address, however, for most, an orientation of the Rotary mission, followed by education can be invaluable. One program our District offers is the Rotary Leadership Institute. The title of this program is somewhat misleading, as it may infer that the program is only for those Rotarians who are headed for club or district leadership. Rather, the program takes Rotarians who are already leaders – that’s why you were invited to join Rotary – and direct that leadership through a grassroots program of education, developed by Rotarians, for Rotarians, to increase the knowledge and enthusiasm of Rotarians on all things Rotary. 
    Why not make this the year that you complete the newly condensed RLI course and build/rebuild your enthusiasm for the many rewards Rotary has to offer? If you missed the course in your area, it’s not too late to register for the course in a neighboring area. Or, gather up a group of fellow Rotarians in your area and request another course be scheduled. 
    Course schedule remaining:
4/28/18 – Wagner, SD. Contact persons are Kelsey Doom, Larry Lyngstad.
TBD – Southeast SD/Northwest IA. More information to follow.

    District Governor Steve Harrington has pledged District Funds to cover the cost for one member from each club to participate in the program. (see scholarship certificate attached.) Club presidents are asked to select one Rotarian from their club to attend the training. The cost for Rotarians to attend the program remains at $35 per individual, and clubs are requested to cover the charge. This fee covers course materials, meals and refreshments. If you are interested in providing a course in your area, contact your area’s Assistant Governor, or send me a message at:
Larry Lyngstad, RLI Coordinator

District Grants Training Webinars Schedule

   The first Web-based District Grant Training session for 2018-19 was held on Jan. 25 with 16 people from 11 clubs in virtual attendance. The web-based training went well and saved many miles driving on winter roads for the participants. Also, keep your eye on the District YouTube channel. If everything works as planned, you will be able to watch the grant training session on YouTube soon! Watching it on YouTube won’t qualify your club, but it is a great way to get a refresher on the Rotary grant process.
    As you should be aware, District Grant Training is required every year for any club submitting a grant request. From now on, District 5610 will be holding Grant Training by Web Conference. There will be no official grant training at PETS this year, so please have someone from your club plan on attending one of the remaining web conference training sessions if you plan on submitting a grant for the 2018-2019 Rotary Year.

Mon. 5/21/2018 8:00 PM CST (7:00 PM MST) – preregister at

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The training should take less than 2 hours and you will need to be at a Mac or a PC (a smartphone or tablet should work but I recommend a computer) with an internet connection to view the slides. You can either use the microphone and speakers of the computer or dial in to a phone number for audio if your internet connection isn’t fast enough for good audio. If you have questions about the grant training or other questions about the grant process, please email Bruce Young at or call him at (712) 541-9822.

D5610 Launches YouTube Channel!

Rotarians! You should check out the Denmark Rotary Friendship Exchange video produced by Tom Dempster now listed on our Rotary District 5610 new YouTube Channel. Access the YouTube Channel by clicking on the photo or the YouTube Icon.  If you have a video you would like to share on the Rotary District 5610 YouTube Channel, please contact:
Upcoming Events
Assistant Governors and Executive Board Call
Apr 03, 2018
8:00 PM – 8:45 PM
Executive Board Call
Apr 05, 2018
8:00 PM – 8:45 PM
President Elect Training (PETS)
Highland Conference Center
Apr 12, 2018 8:00 PM –
Apr 13, 2018
Rotary Leadership Institute Training - Wagner
Wagner, SD
Apr 28, 2018
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
District Grants Training
May 21, 2018
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
District Leadership Meeting in Vermillion
Sep 27, 2018
District Conference 2018 in Vermillion
Sep 28, 2018 – Sep 29, 2018
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
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