Almost three years ago when I put my name in the hat for District Governor,
I had no idea that Rotary would pretty much become my full-time occupation from that date all the way through June 2017. A lot has happened since 2013, not the least of which is our upcoming merger with District 5490. I couldn’t be more excited and optimistic about our giving birth to a brand new district next July: District 5495. That makes this 2016-17
Rotary year even more auspicious as it will be the final year for District 5510. We have much to honor, celebrate, and look forward to as Rotarians in Arizona! You’ll be hearing more all year long about the merger process and how we will be much stronger together as 5495. For more details, visit http://azrotarymerger.info.
My partner, Steve, and I recently returned from the 2016 RI International Convention in Seoul, South Korea. Wow, was it tremendous! We were joined by 50,000 attendees from 160 countries, Rotary’s largest gathering to date. The speakers and programs were truly impressive, among them: the UN Secretary-General; Prime Minister of Sri Lanka; the President and CEO of National Geographic Society; Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking; ambassadors from numerous countries; and of course, PSY, K-POP superstar (of “Gangnam Style” song fame). And I do believe one of the best Rotary speeches I have ever heard was given in closing by outgoing RI President Ravi Ravindran (http://video.rotary.org/guA6/ri-president-ravindran-closing-remarks). We cannot wait to go to the 2017 Convention in Atlanta, June 10-14!
As you’ve heard, new RI President John Germ’s theme for 2016-17 is “Rotary Serving Humanity.” I am sincerely enthusiastic about what District 5510 clubs can accomplish this year serving others, both locally and abroad. In addition to supporting our stellar Youth Services Programs and our new Young Professionals/Emerging Leaders efforts, I am launching a new Assist-an-Elder Campaign. Living in AZ, we are fortunate to be surrounded by
older adults. Many are in good health and are active (like most of our highly-valued “seasoned Rotarians”), but many need some assistance. I am challenging every club to take part in at least one project, via active, hands-on participation and/or monetary contribution, that benefits our elders. It’s the least we can do for them! I look forward to my club visits to see and hear how Rotary can make a difference to this ubiquitous and deserving segment of our population. I invite you to submit ideas anytime to me at RotaryTonya@gmail.com.
And you’ll be hearing all year about a giant Rotary milestone: The Centennial Year of The Rotary Foundation (TRF). We have to celebrate 100 years of giving around the world! Please consider giving a special amount in honor of this unparalleled landmark and help to finally eradicate polio from the planet.
Lastly, I want to say a hearty thank you to now-PDG Sherry Mischel for her endless hours of work, her ready smile, and her courage to make some hard decisions on behalf of our district. She helped paved the way for a stronger, healthier, more sustainable Rotary in AZ. We owe much to her leadership team and her!
Yours in Rotary Service,
DG Tonya Watson