February is Peace & Conflict Resolution Month

After graduating from the Duke/UNC Rotary Center in 2010, Louisa Dow joined Habitat for Humanity Haiti's disaster response team. Based in Port-au-Prince, she advised on policy, managed an urban planning and capacity development project, and coordinated partnerships between NGOs and donors. Shelter, land tenure, and urban planning are intimately connected to peace-building, says Dow.

Helpful Links

Rotary Membership
Public Image
The Rotary Foundation
Rotary Foundation Grants
President Elect Information & PETS
Information for Life Leadership Chairs
Rotary Youth Exchange
District 6290 Interact
District 6290 Rotaract

Upcoming Events

D6290 Youth Exchange Winter Conference
Feb 08, 2017 – Feb 12, 2017
PETS 1 for clubs in the Pine River and Au Sable River Regions
Feb 25, 2017
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Great Lakes PETS
Radisson Hotel
Mar 16, 2017 – Mar 18, 2017
Rotary Peace Conference
University of Michigan
Mar 31, 2017 8:30 AM –
Apr 01, 2017 3:30 PM
D6290 Youth Exchange Spring Conference
Kettunen Center
Apr 07, 2017 – Apr 09, 2017
District Conference 2017
Crystal Mountain Resort
May 04, 2017 – May 06, 2017

Happy February Anniversary

Club Name
# of Yrs
Chartered Members
Current Members
Frankfort Feb 18 1924 92 4 44
Bellaire Feb 21 1948 68 2 16
Lowell Feb 23 1935 81 7 49
Houghton Lake Feb 24 1987 29 20 32

What are Rotary Peace Centers and Peace Fellows?

We've heard of these at District Conferences, maybe at a club program, or through posts on various social media channels . . . Rotary Peace Fellows and Rotary Peace Centers

Center Director Giorgio Shani explains the unique attributes of the Rotary Peace Center program at International Christian University, Japan (where D6290 Peace Fellow Sarah Sanderson is studying).

What are these?

Rotary's Peace Fellowship is a highly competitive educational program that awards 100 fully-funded masters degrees or professional certificates through one of six institutions designated as Rotary Peace Centers. These world-class programs are located in Australia, England, Japan, Sweden, Thailand, and United States.

District 6290 Peace Fellow, Sarah Sanderson, is currently studying at the International Christian University (ICU) Peace Center in Japan. 

Visit the Rotarian Action Group for Peace

Do you know someone that might be a good candidate and you need to learn more? Contact District 6290 Peace Studies Chair, PDG Chris Etienne (Petoskey Rotary Club).

2017 Rotary Peace Conference coming to Ann Arbor!

I want to draw your attention today to an incredible opportunity for Rotarians (and non-Rotarians) in your district. Please join RI President John Germ and a host of world-class speakers at the 2017 Rotary World Peace Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan this March 31st and April 1st. I'm especially excited to hear from famed economist Jeffrey Sachs, a leader in sustainable development and a UN Advisor. The NY Times has twice named him “the most important economist in the world”.
Also, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Peace Corp Director, Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Bobby Ghosh the Editor-in-Chief of the Hindustan Times. Previously, he was a Global News Analyst on CNN and worked for 16-years at TIME International. These are just a few of the incredible people you will meet.
There are limited seats so please share this with your district teams so they don’t miss this opportunity. As you know these types of events don’t happen in your own backyard very often.
The fee for the 2-day conference is $150, which includes lunches both days. 
[RI Director and Vice President Jennifer Jones]

Visit the Event Website
Download the Conference Brochure
ownload a Club Presentation

Explore Sponsorship Opportunities

Invite DGE Ed Swart to speak to your club about this outstanding upcoming event.

Join us in Atlanta

With almost 40,000 people already registered, the Atlanta Convention is shaping up to be the BIGGEST and BEST ever . . . a true once-in-a lifetime experience. Over 70 District 6290 Rotarians, family and friends are planning to attend. Join us!

The Zone party . . . sold out 600 spots but the good news is they were able to get additional 200 spaces and are already down to just 160 remaining! They are going fast. We would love to see you there!!

Time to start thinking about travel arrangements to Atlanta.  Recently Delta is offering round trip GRR to ATL for $277.00  which is fairly low. If flying and looking for the best deal, would suggest considering booking if you find fares in this range. This is the start of the summer season,  Atlanta is a major world hub and high traffic with the Rotary Convention. Also as people book and planes start filling, fares increase. 

District 6360 which is the district directly south of us is planning a bus trip to ATL leaving June 9 and returning the June 15. The cost is $289.00 round trip per person. Download their flier for all the details

If you need Convention assistance, contact Wendell Christoff cell 616 581-1104 or

Give the Gift of Rotary

Rotary’s 112th anniversary is 23 February, and this year we celebrate The Rotary Foundation’s 100th year.

Consider giving a birthday gift to The Rotary Foundation today.

When you give to the Annual Fund, you empower leaders just like you to improve their communities and make a lasting impact.

Help Your Club Achieve Presidential & DG Citation Award

NEW GENERATION - Presidential Citation

Goal: Involve Rotaractors or Interactors in club projects and events. Report in Rotary Club Central.
Why Does This Matter?: These are our future Rotarians, they bring creativity and energy to everything they do, and we learn from them as much as they learn from us. Your club doesn't sponsor a Rotaract or Interact Club? No excuse! Invite a neighboring club. They'd probably get a kick out of helping you out!

HUMANITARIAN SERVICE - District Governor Citation

Goal: Partner with another Rotary Club and conduct a project together
Why Does This Matter?: It's important that we remind ourselves, through our actions, that each club is not an island unto itself. We are part of a vast, global network of inspiring Rotarians. Team up, take advantage of the additional energy that comes from strength in numbers. Show our communities that we are part of something so much bigger!
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Deadline to submit for DG Citation has been extended to April 1st

Membership Best Practice Tip: Be Flexible

Rotary International recognizes that in order to attract new members from a diverse demographic, while engaging and retaining current members, we need to be less restrictive. So in 2016, Rotary relaxed former guidelines and offered significant new options to put clubs in the position to design membership programs that make the most sense for their community. Clubs are empowered and encouraged to consider and adopt new approaches.
5 ways to use the new flexibility
  1. Change your meeting schedule
  2. Vary your meeting format
  3. Relax attendance requirements
  4. Offer multiple membership types
  5. Invite Rotaractors to be members of your club

Service Above Selfie Contest

For the second year, Grand Rapids Rotary is doing the Service Above Selfie contest, which will award three cash prizes (totaling $8,000) to non-profits in the Grand Rapids area.  Download the flyer and watch this video about the contest.
Information can also be found at
The winners will be announced at the Grand Rapid Rotary Club’s Service Above Self dinner event in March.

Who are we?

This 'Rotary Poem' was submitted by Stuart, at the encouragement of Petoskey Rotary Club, after our October Newsletter had been released. So with our apology for the delay in publishing, we're pleased to include it now. It's a great reminder of what makes a difference.
We are poets and writers
We are crime fighters
We administer schools
And enforce society’s rules
We sell real estate
And insure the poor have food on their plate.
We’re in health care, insurance, and education
And do countless things to help the nation.
We raise money to help people
To raise standards, more equal
We build parks and add quality to life
We build bridges, trying to eliminate strife.
We pick up trash on the side of the road
To beautify our streets, it really shows
Who are we?  Rotarians all
Serving our community, heeding the call
To give of our selves, and help humanity
Setting aside selfishness and vanity
So, take pride Rotarians, hold your heads high, for who you are and all you do
We are great examples for society; people to look up to.
We don’t do it for that, but nevertheless, your community admires, and looks up to you.

2017-18 presidential theme announced

RI President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley urged incoming district leaders to seek gender and age parity and protect the environment in announcing the 2017-18 presidential theme Rotary: Making a Difference at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.

Get Your Chili On!

GET YOUR CHILI ON! is a joint fundraiser of the 23 Interact and Rotaract students from our three Interact and two Rotaract Clubs to raise funds to build houses in El Salvador, and provide water filters and latrine construction in Honduras on upcoming World Community Service trips leaving in February and March.

Great chili, healthy salads, corn bread, dessert and beverages are what we are planning for Thursday, February 9, 5-7 pm at the GVSU Innovation Hub (formerly MAREC) downtown near Muskegon Lake next to the Parmenter Law Offices.

Our goal is to raise at least $2000, after expenses, to split between the two trips to purchase needed supplies. We are being assisted by our Interact and Rotaract Clubs and the Rotary ReWine PM Club who have agreed to shift their February 9th meeting to the Hub and help sponsor and promote this Rotary event whose focus is on Youth and International Service.

Event Tickets are $10 donation and a whole family can join us for $25 donation.

Contact John Noling at Muskegon Rotary Club with questions.

Excited Interactors make final travel plans

Our group of Rotary Interactors throughout the district as well as some Rotarians from three clubs in the district are getting their paperwork together and are looking at what vaccinations they need in preparation for their International Service trip to El Salvador. When the entire group has arrived on March 22nd, there will be about 80 individuals who will build 5 homes for 5 multi-generational families in the community of Talnique.
Rotary Interactors from Houghton Lake, Orchard View, North Muskegon, Cedar Springs, Forest Hills Northern, Grand Haven, Mona Shores and Allendale High Schools as well as Rotary Interact alumni who are now Rotaractors from Muskegon Community College will participate in this project. Rotarians from Grand Rapids East, Muskegon and the South Kent Rotary Clubs will be some of the chaperones.

May 1 Deadline - Act Quickly

With a new 2017 application deadline of MAY 1, time is now on your side to recruit the best candidates to interview for this prestigious Rotary Scholarship Award for Youth Leadership. Last year, every seat was taken with 156 in attendance and we aim to fill the conference again in 2017. Don't wait until Spring Break to get started as the Conference will probably fill up before May 1 this year. 

Key Recruiting Resources:

Any questions? Need some help?  Have a concern?  Want to get your club involved?   Call John Noling, District LLC Chair at 231 670 3740 or email at

Youth Programs in Action in January '17

We learned first-hand what it's like to carry jugs of heavy water, just like millions of people around the world do each day. Our Early Act Council is working with Cherry Creek Elementary kids to donate money so a family in Haiti has a clean water filter.
(Sponsored by Lowell Rotary)
Amy Green, a senior at Frankfort High, gave a PowerPoint presentation on her year in Brazil as a Rotary Youth Exchange Scholar jointly sponsored by the Frankfort and Benzie Sunrise Rotary Clubs. 
Rotary Youth Exchange Scholar Sid shared some of his experiences with Holland A.M. Rotary Club. Sid is an inbound student from India sponsored by Holland Rotary clubs.
Fremont Rotary Club recognized January Middle School Students of the Month.
L. to R. Alyssa Keiper 6th grade - Fremont Public School; Grace Hudson 8th grade, - Fremont Public School; Michael Silvernail 7th grade - Fremont Public School; Elly Hooker 6th grade Fremont Christian School.

Sault Ste. Marie, ON Rotary welcomed our newest Rotary Youth Exchange student Vicky Maglio to Canada! She is joining us all the way from sunny City Bell, Argentina. Vicky is turning 16 in March and will be attending Superior Heights. [Winter arrivals are typical for our southern hemisphere inbounds]

STRIVE kids 2016-17 were introduced at Ludington Rotary's regular club meeting. Club President and STRIVE chair Linda OBrien had each mentor introduce his or her student. Andrea Large, LAS Superintendent, club member and STRIVE mentor, talked about the program and told the students the mentors and club members are there to support them as they work to complete high school and beyond.

Announcing Rotary's Interact Video Contest Winner

Create Club-Specific Rotary Youth Program Promo Materials


Fabulous news from's Brand Center . . . there is now a template in the 'Create Your Own' section that allows you to customized a brand-compliant rack card for your clubs' youth programs e.g. Interact, Rotaract, Youth Exchange, Life Leadership (RYLA). Select from list of programs and it swaps out program logo and provides suggested text as default. There's a library of images you can select from to tweak front/back. The text on front and back is customizable.

The output is in rack card format and can easily be tweaked to be graphic suitable for social media/websites. Print versions are pretty cost effective e.g. 500 cards for ~$100 via VistaPrint in Full color, card stock etc. 

It appears to be a fabulous start!

Thank you Rotary HQ!!

Announcing 10 Graduate Scholarships in Water & Sanitation

The Rotary Foundation and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education are working together to tackle the world’s water and sanitation crisis and are offering up to 10 scholarships for graduate study at UNESCO-IHE's Delft campus in the Netherlands. The partnership aims to increase the number of trained professionals who can devise, plan, and implement water and sanitation solutions in developing areas. The scholarships also are designed to promote long-term productive relationships between Rotarians and skilled water and sanitation professionals in their communities.

Scholars will receive a Master of Science degree in urban water and sanitation, water management, or water science and engineering. Graduates work with their Rotary club sponsors on a related project to benefit their local community. The application deadline is 15 June. For more information, review the application toolkit and scholarship terms and conditions. Documents also available at District website under Foundation - Foundation Education Programs.

If you have questions, please contact

District 50/50 Raffle to Benefit Rotary Foundation

Our District Foundation Committee has held a 50/50 raffle in each of the past two years. The payouts last year were pretty rich!

In 2017 the program is a straight 50/50 raffle: Tickets are $20 each. 50% goes to the Rotary Foundation. Clubs selling tickets will get per capita credit of $10 for each ticket sold in that club. The other 50% will be split among 6 individual winners at a ticket drawing of all tickets sold, to be held at PETS on 3/17 in Kalamazoo.

This raffle gets richer and richer for the winners as the number of tickets sold goes up. The more tickets we sell, the more EVERYONE wins.

Contact your Club President and/or Foundation Chair for details. 

Good luck and thanks for your support of this important project: good for the Foundation and good for the winners!

Download the brochure.

What do they do with my money?

I made a club visit to the Charlevoix Rotary club to present a program on The Rotary Foundation called "What do they do with my money?" As part of my presentation I spoke on the upcoming District 50/50 raffle for the Rotary Foundation and passed out the promotional rack cards. 

Immediately following my presentation they had their 50/50 drawing (They do the progressive type 50/50) and Jon VanWagonen, the club president, won. Of course he had to then draw a card in search of the Ace of Spades to win the $600 pot.

Go figure--he drew the Ace of Spades and promptly announced he would use his new $600 to purchase 30 raffle tickets!!   Immediately several members came up to purchase their own tickets.  I would not be surprised if they have not already sold their 50 ticket quota! YOU GO, JON!!

Honoring Rotary Foundation Supporters in January '17
Rob Clarke (left) and Russell Reid (above) of Rotary Club of Wawa both received Paul Harris Awards for their continuing contribution to the Rotary Foundation.
Blake Brooks and Pat Storrer were recognized as Paul Harris Fellows by District Governor Gernot Runschke at the January 18th Meeting of Frankfort Rotary Club.
Traverse Bay Sunrise Rotary Club President Linda Raetz recognizes Andrew Shotwell as a new Paul Harris Fellow.
Sault Ste. Marie, ON Club President recognized Lynn Hollingsworth for receiving his Paul Harris +4 and Rod Stone for receiving his Paul Harris +6.

Learn about the new Grant Center

Did you know that you can use the Grant Center to find all of the grants sponsored by our district, whether or not your club is involved? It’s easy.
First, sign in to My Rotary and navigate to the Grant Center.
Click Grant Search, top right. That will take you to a page that has a search bar you can use to search by grant number or grant title.
  • You can also search by area of focus.
  • This search feature also lets you see your district’s district grant.
Please tell others in your club about this, and let them know that learning about the district’s other grants is a good thing to do before beginning any new projects.

We Saw You On Facebook in January '17

At a Benzie Central High School basketball game, Barb Skurdall, Immediate Past President of the Club, presented a check to Asa Kelly for $20,000 to support the school's "Back The Track" project. The gift was from the Benzie Sunrise Rotary Club and Benzie Sunrise Rotary Foundation. Funds to support the gift included money raised by the Club during the Club's annual Bike Benzie and Charity Golf Outing Fundraisers, a Rotary International District Grant, and donations made to the Foundation in support of the many charitable activities important to the Club.

Sault Ste. Marie, ON Rotary's annual "Battle of the Sections" fundraiser at Soo Greyhounds game raised almost $4,300 for Rotary youth charities! The event was also special because it was Isobel's first official appearance as Easter Seals Ambassador, and she got to drop the puck.

Traverse Bay Twilight Rotarians at the West Bay Baby Pantry reading and giving out books to the most precious kids as part of their signature project Born To Read!!
Gaylord Rotary's dear friend Al Glasby stopped by for a visit! On behalf of Gaylord Community Productions, Mr. Glasby accepted a check of $500 from the Rotary Club of Gaylord Steve Glidden Scholarship Fund.
On January 11, the Rotary Clubs of Cedar Springs and Rockford presented NKCS Executive Director Claire Guisfredi a check for $14,000. Presenting the check on behalf of the two clubs were Rockford President Jason Parker, (a former Cedar Springs Rotarian), Kim Stout, and Cedar Springs’ President Tom Noreen.
Benzie Sunrise Foundation Board member Dave Wynne presents a symbolic check for $2,030 to Kimmee Wenkel of COGnition Science & Discovery Center in Beulah. This was one of three grants made by the Foundation to local non-profits following its most recent quarterly review of grant applications.
Chippewa County Sunrise Rotary demonstrate Service before Self at the soup kitchen.
We spotted AG Roger Boyer at Sault Ste. Marie, MI Rotary's annual event - Betsy's Rotary Game Show Extravaganza! and it looks like he was serving as a judge. You've got to check out this photo album because this looks like a hysterically FUN fundraiser. Proceeds benefit "Raise the Roof" at Sault Theatre Project, and also improvements at Project Playground.
Rotary Club of Gaylord held its second "Cash Mob" for lucky merchant Seams Like New. (check out the above video!)
This is what the Grayling Rotary Club was up to on Saturday, January 21, 2017 in partnership with Hanson Hills Recreation Area in Grayling, Michigan. The club sponsored and also volunteered in support of the event.
Twilight Rotarians busy at the Library packing envelopes for our BORN to READ Program. All kinds of great information and books for moms and their newborns, so they can start reading right from the start!
Doc Barker demonstrating CPR on Dennis Gale at Hart Rotary.
D6290: What a practical idea for a club program - AED demo, CPR demo - not everyone gets these skills at work
Congratulations to Herb Lemcool, member of Rotary Club of Traverse City, who was honored by the Traverse Area Chamber of Commerce with their annual Distinguished Service Award
Muskegon Rotarians braved the cold and volunteered at a local Habitat build.
Rotary releases $35 million to combat polio


Rotary has released another $35 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio. Nearly half of the new funds, $16.15 million, will support emergency response campaigns in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin, where four cases were detected last year after Nigeria had previously gone two years without a case.
Global Polio Eradication At-A-Glance Jan '17
Wild poliovirus type 1 and Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus cases
Countries Year-to-date 2017 YTD 2016 Total in 2016 Onset of paralysis of  
most  recent case
Afghanistan 0 0 13
Nigeria 0 0 4 20-Aug-16
Pakistan 0 0 20 21-Dec-16


Polio this week as of Feb 1, 2017

  • The Executive Board of the World Health Organization at its meeting in Geneva last week noted that the world is closer than ever to being polio-free, and urged for increased support to the remaining endemic countries. At the same time, ministries commended efforts made on containment and to manage an ongoing global inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) supply constraint. The Board also encouraged plans to transition the polio infrastructure for the long-term, to ensure it continues to benefit broader public health efforts even after the disease is gone. To this effect, the Board adopted a ‘decision’, requesting the GPEI to present a strategic roadmap towards polio transition and the development of a post-certification strategy at the May World Health Assembly. Closing the discussion, Rotary International addressed the ministries with a clear call to action: “We must protect the gains. An additional US$1.3 billion is needed through 2019. Together, we can end polio and forever build a better future for all children.”
  • Summary of newly-reported viruses this week (see country-specific section below for further details): Pakistan – five environmental wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) samples.

Keep Reading for an Endemic Country Summary
(as of February 1, 2017 )


January '17 Membership and Foundation Giving

* All numbers reported through January 31, 2017

Monthly Newsletter Deadlines

Our goal is to release the District newsletter at the start of each month. If you have a contribution, we appreciate receiving the materials no later than one week prior to the first of the month. If you have an example of a 'best practice' or have other great news to share, please complete our 'Club News' submission form (found at under Public Image. Electronic photos are encouraged. Please try to limit your submission to 300 words or less.

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District Office
Kathy Hegedus Administrative Assistant
PO Box 381
Grand Haven, MI. 49417
616-638-8769 (cell)