District Governor
Loretta Butts and John

From the California Coast to the Valleys,
Welcome to District 5240

If we had to fit it on a Post-It, we’d tell you Rotary is about fellowship through service.
Rotary District 5240 is made up of 3,600 local business professionals and civic leaders, from 73 clubs, in four different counties within California, United States. We meet regularly to not only form bonds and friendships, but also to we strive to improve lives locally and around the world.
Rotary is the world’s largest service organization with more than 1.2 million members who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world.

What's Happening in District 5240

Members from the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Downtown shared a report from their international service trip to Guatemala. The late February trip marks the club's second year visiting NGO Mayan Families in Panajachel in the highlands of Guatemala.
Here's some of what they did: 
  • built 8 ONIL stoves in Mayan homes
  • installed 7 water filters and stands, which should last 10 years
  • provided 2 pilas, or large sinks
  • donated food baskets for 10 families in addition to 100 pounds of corn for 3 families
  • delivered stuffed animals and medical supplies
  • gave a bed and a wardrobe cabinet to a family in need
View a video of their trip here, and read more to learn more about this service project and the dates for the 2016 trip. 
Join the Rotary Club of Ojai West for the Ojai Wine Festival at Lake Casitas from noon to 4 PM on June 14.
General admission includes a keepsake crystal wine glass, unlimited tastes of wine or beer, live music, and free boat rides. Tickets are $60 on the day of the event, but read more to learn about available discounts.
In honor of World Water Day on March 22, Rotary District 5240 and the Rotary District 5240 Charitable Foundation announce the Water Projects Grant Program. Clubs in District 5240 who are engaging in water projects through Global Grants or District Grants can apply for financial assistance to help them aid in the global water crisis. 
To learn more, contact Rotary District 5240 Foundation Committee Chair and PDG Luz Maria Ortiz-Smith or Rotary District 5240 Charitable Foundation President Edwin Velarde
Click Read More to learn more about the state of water in our world. 

At the recent Symposium To End Poverty Sustainably (STEPS) conference, attendees voted for the most popular speaker or exhibit. Jason Haag and K9s for Warriors won, earning $1,000 for the cause. Second place awards of $500 each will go to Women’s Economic Ventures and Go-Care.  



Thank you for helping to make STEPS so successful this year. Next year, we look forward to the Rotary World Peace Conference. It will be held in Southern California in January. To register, go to www.PeaceConference2016.org. We plan to have STEPS again in January 2017!


The seven Rotary Clubs of Bakersfield come together to celebrate Rotary International’s 110th anniversary by launching an awareness campaign to “Paint Our Town Rotary” from March 15 through April 15. 
The Rotary Clubs of Bakersfield North, West, East, South, Downtown, Breakfast, and Twilight will be launching a “Paint Our Town Rotary” Campaign on March 15, 2015 to bring public awareness to the organization of Rotary and the Rotarians that serve in our City. During the campaign, members will post signs that include the messages: “Change Lives,” “Building Community,” “Make A Difference,” and “Attend A Meeting.” The signs and Rotarians ask all that are interested to “Join Us” in making our world a better place. And all seven Rotary Clubs are welcoming non-Rotarians to join them at a meeting for a free meal between March 23 and March 27!​
If you have questions, contact Sheri Horn-Bunk.

In February 2015, the Nomad Foundation, with funding and staffing from the Rotary Club of Ojai, completed a mission with three components:
1. Expanded maternal child health education for nomads in Niger
2. Training nomads in earth bag construction while building three structures
3. Economic support for at-risk youth
Read on for details about these three powerful projects and how your club can get involved with the youth of Niger. 
With the convention coming June 6 - 9 in Sao Paulo, it's time to make your plans to travel! Here are a few things to help.
1. Brasil is not a typo. That's how brasileiros spell it in Portuguese. 
2. Save money by registering before March 31. 
3. You'll need a visa, and you don't want to be at the Brazilian consulate when everyone is lined up for visas for Carnival. Read about visas here. 
4. If you go, you can say you were with the former president of Costa Rica, who is also a Nobel Peace laureate, because Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez will be among the distinguished speakers
5. Try the chicken hearts. If you find yourself dining at a churrascaria (restaurants known for serving meat on spears), you'll probably be offered chicken hearts. Try 'em. That go-with-the-flow approach will serve you well in Brazil.
Find more details about the 2015 RI Convention. http://www.riconvention.org/en/2015/Pages/ridefault.aspx

Are the workings of The Rotary Foundation (TRF) mysterious to you? Tusu Tusubira describes how, while serving with Rotary in Uganda, he answered, "What is The Rotary Foundation?" 
Spoiler alert: "It is not the staff in Chicago. It is not all the rules and regulations and policies. It is not the Trustees. It is dedicated Rotarians around the world, pouring themselves into service to help those who are in need."
Click Read More to enjoy his story.  
North Bakersfield Rotary was founded in 1942. Click Read More to learn about its fundraisers, service projects (including the spooky one pictured here), and traditions. 
Special thanks to Teresa Ford for telling the district about this club.
District Governor Loretta Butts announced Catherine Bonifant as District 5240’s new Rotary Peace Fellowship Chair. Catherine’s role will be to promote the Fellowship, recruit candidates for the six Rotary Peace centers, and oversee the academic program in the select universities. The chair also arranges the interviews by the subcommittee for the Peace Fellowship candidates who are seeking sponsorship from our district.
Catherine is currently a member of District 5240’s eClub of One World and is living in Robina, Queensland Australia.

If your Rotary club is working on an international service project with a community that could use some shirts, we have good news. PDG Wade Nomura has more than 2,000 new shirts that were donated. In past years, thousands of donated shirts have traveled to project sites in Africa and Central America. 
These shirts are unused because they may have cosmetic blemished or a discontinued logo. The shirts cannot be distributed in the United States, so they can only be used at international project sites. Not all shirts are appropriate for all countries.
If you are interested in getting some free shirts for your club's project, please email Wade Nomura at wadeDG1112@verizon.net. Please tell him where you will be distributing them and approximately how many you would like for your project.


The Rotary Peace Centers is proud to announce  that the application for the 2016 Rotary Peace Fellowship is now online, and we are more excited than ever for the upcoming year!

Why are we so excited? This year the Rotary Peace Centers Fellowship has a newly designed webpage with additional resources for you and potential applicants. Please go to our website to view the  new animation video about the application process, stories from alumni, and many more amazing resources. 


November gives us the chance to build greater ownership and pride in our Foundation. We have so much to celebrate. The new grant model, Rotary’s website, our publications, and our new branding effort all focus on building a strong message — the importance of contributing to and supporting our Rotary Foundation.


RI President, Gary Huang, has selected  ”Light Up Rotary” as the theme for 2014-2015.  In his first message to our 1.2 million members in this month’s edition of the Rotarian magazine, he reminds us there are so many people who need help, we sometimes think the task is too overwhelming and we can do nothing.  But we can do something.  We can light a candle for those who are in darkness. 

In my Rotary life, the story of the starfish has always resonated because it tells us we can make a difference even if it is only one starfish at a time.  We can bring hope where there is despair and light the way through our Rotary service.  It is the way of our District 5240.  It is the Rotary way.



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Upcoming District Events

Rotary District 5240 Office
3394 Bryan Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93063
Telephone: 805-578-1061 Fax: 805-578-1081
Email nlfalconer@aol.com
Administrative Assistant: Nancy Falconer
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