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Governor's Update - October 2023

Oct 15, 2023

As I’m gathering my thoughts and writing this, I am sitting at the Toronto airport having just attended the “Learning to Lead” Zone Conference alongside 400+ other Rotarians from across Canada and much of eastern USA. I not only was privileged to be reunited with many of my fellow Governors across 40 districts, but I was also able to participate in several interactive sessions that focused on membership, public image, The Foundation, diversity equity & inclusion, and of course leadership. Governor Nominee Tracy (Kamloops West) completed her training and Governor Elect Tom (Lake Chelan) graduated his training and is well on his way to follow me as Governor. We were joined by several other District leaders who will be sharing their thoughts at the upcoming District 1st quarter business meeting on Oct 14th. So why am I telling you this, you might be asking yourself? What is the value to the District for us to be all the way out here?

Rotary began as an opportunity to network with others. A young attorney simply wanted to create a space for business leaders to exchange ideas and form lifelong friendships. We thrive on human connections. There is something to be said for sitting across a table from others face to face. This is where amazing things begin to happen.

Zoom has its place, don’t get me wrong. But being in a room with like-minded individuals to learn about what makes a successful and thriving Rotary club or District, realizing that some challenges we face on the west coast are no different from those on the east coast….there is value in that. Having that “Aha!” moment after a lively discussion about how we can encourage a new Rotarian about contributing to The Foundation….there is value in that.

Speaking of The Foundation…..

Has anyone ever wondered what District leadership might do to help raise money for The Foundation???? The answer, by the way is…

“Just about anything!”

Our District stepped up! I put out a message on social media asking members to make donations to The Foundation (in their own names) in an effort to raise $1000USD. If we were able to do that, I would be placed in a giant rubber zorb to duke it out in the ring against other District leaders across our Zone. The result?? We were able to collect over $2000USD for The Rotary Foundation….in about 3 days! Past Governor Peter Schultz volunteered as our 2nd rep and off we went!

Across the Zone, over $50K was raised before anyone even entered the ring. “Bets” were placed to support individual competitors and while neither of us reigned supreme in the tournament that involved over 40 “zorbers”, we are very proud to announce that the tournament raised over $103,000 USD for The Foundation. I survived a few rounds and made it to the top 5 or 6, so I’m proud of that. For those wondering, yes, there is video proof!

World Polio Day is coming up on October 24th. What does your club have planned? As I have been travelling around the District I’ve heard about some great ideas including “Pints for Polio”, “Pies for Polio” and “Cornhole-io for Polio”. As a friendly reminder, please be sure to register your activities at

If you are stuck for resources and ideas, you can visit the EndPolio website at

Finally, I am excited to introduce this month’s Governor’s Video Challenge. These challenges are simply another way to help encourage clubs to think about their meetings and their activities in a different way. There is no judgement and clubs are not evaluated or penalized for not doing the activities. I just hope that you think about at least trying to complete some of them and share your successes (and challenges) with the rest of the District by sharing your progress through your social media, website, the District newsletter, or via email to your Assistant Governor or myself.

As a review, the last 3 challenges were:

July – host a fellowship event

August – conduct a new member induction

September – host a fireside event

It’s not too late, friends! If your club has not been able to do any of these activities yet, you still can! Snap a couple of photos and let us know!

For this month’s challenge…..drum roll……

October – complete a service project during a meeting

Some clubs already do this, which is amazing! Others may not have thought about this yet. What sorts of things can you do?? Oh my, the possibilities are endless…fill backpacks or hospitality packs for those experiencing homelessness, read books to elementary students, move your meeting off-site and help out at the food bank, and the list goes on and on. With World Polio Day hitting on a Tuesday this year, some of you might be about to use that to your advantage at your regular club meeting!

I’m excited to hear about about clubs come up with; please don’t forget to share your activities with us!