What's Happening in District 5240
District Governor Jim Bell is pleased to confirm the District Nominating Committee selection of Sandra K. "Sandi" Schwartz as District Governor Nominee Designate who will serve as District Governor in Rotary year 2018-19.
Sandi has been a member of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield East (BERC) since 1994 and feels fortuante to have had the mentorship of PDG Chungsam Doh (BERC President that year). Her decision to be a Rotarian was solidified during a National Immunization Day trip to India in 2004 led by PDG Anil Garg and a "rat pack" of attendees including PDG's Arnie Dowdy, Sally Adelblue, Deepa Willingham and Rotarian Jim Lewis. She served her club as Director of The Rotary Foundation, Sergeant at Arms, editor/publisher of "The RotoNews", Club Service Director, Blood Bank Chair, RYLA Coordinator, and twice co-chaired her club's annual fundraiser Vino Amore. Bakersfield East named her Rotarian of the Year in 2009.
When she was Club president in 2013-14, her club grew by a net seven members, earned the RI Presidential Citation, District Gold Club Status Award and "Best Medium Size Club for Vocational Service". BERC became an EREY club that year with per capita giving of $177. Individually, she received the RI Avenue of Service Citation in 2013 and the District 5240 Jock McKenzie Leadership Award in 2014.
At the District level, Sandi has served on the Polio Plus Committee, has been a RYLA counselor/nurse, 2014 STEPS committee member, served on the District Conference Planning Committee 2015, and is currently Chief of Staff for Governor Jim Bell.
Professionally Sandi is a Registered Nurse of 43 years with the last 25 years in the fields of Home Health and Hospice. She and her husband Richard are recently retired, but both remain very active in the Bakersfield community. Collectively they have 7 children, both biologic and "acquired", and are proud grandparents of 9. Sandi and Richard have a Golden Retriever "Sam" and a Beagle "Sophie". Sandi's hobbies include hiking, cooking, crochet, all things sports, and being a Gramma.
They are Paul Harris Fellows and Major Donors; Sandi is a Paul Harris Society member.
About her goals, Sandi says, "We should continue expanding the use of social media to 'Celebrate Rotary' and our Club achievements. I want communities to know what Rotary is, to be thankful Rotary is there and subsequently want to be involved."
Sandi can be reached at sandischwartzdg1819@gmail.com
Congratulations, Sandi!


Polio and Peace

Traditionally November is Rotary Foundation Month. The Rotary Foundation leads the charge in worldwide campaigns like End Polio Now and promoting Peace. And what better timing than to mention both of these now. Re: Polio — It looks like we will end this year with less than 70 cases of Polio in the world narrowed down to only two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This time last year we had 242 cases in the world. John Hewko, our General Secretary, just announced that Rotary will increase its polio funding by an additional $40.4 million to "slam the door" as he says on polio forever. Since 1979, Rotary has contributed $1.5 billion to polio eradication.
Now re: PEACE — January 15 & 16, 2016 brings us the Rotary World Peace Conference right here in our own backyard, at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, California. This is one of six world-wide events this year, and the only one in the United States, endorsed by Rotary International President Ravi Ravindran. This event will have more than 100 guest speakers for you to choose from. Simply put, if they are recognized as a leader in Peace, have written or spoken about Peace around the world, they will be at this event. Learn more about this amazing conference and register here: www.PeaceConference2016.org.
P.S. — We need to help Bakersfield Rotaract "empty their closet" of these one of a kind, memorable, commemorative", District Conference T-Shirts! What a GREAT stocking stuffer!! Click the picture below for a larger version that you can pass around at your clubs.


Save The Date!

The Annual District 5240 Foundation Gala will be held Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 11AM.
California Lutheran University Soiland Center
Thousand Oaks, CA
Mark your calendars. More details and registration is coming soon!

(Click picture for full size version of the flyer to pass around to your club members.)

Fellow Rotarians,
Let's celebrate #GivingTuesday! A Rotary District with the highest number of donors who contribute to The Rotary Foundation online on December 1, 2015 may receive a visit from TRF Trustee Chairman Ray Klinginsmith.
#GivingTuesday is an online movement for charities and individuals to come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. Although you give to your communities and our Foundation year round, #GivingTuesday is a great chance to reach new supporters by leveraging social media and the momentum of Foundation Month in November.
On December 1, 2015 celebrate giving and giving back with Rotary by participating in #GivingTuesday. Last year, our Foundation raised over $100,000 on #GivingTuesday to fund sustainable, life-changing projects. With your support on December 1st, we can transform even more lives this year.
November is Foundation month, the District Foundation team is available to come to your club to give you updates on the Foundation worldwide and in District 5240.
Luz Maria Ortiz-Smith
District Rotary Foundation Committee Chair
(805) 403-1934

The Rotary Club of Bakersfield Twilight, better known as Twilight Rotary, the home club of District Governor (and Charter member) Jim Bell, held a dedication ceremony to honor the donation of 10 beautiful benches to the Kern County Museum on October 25, 2015. The project was the brainchild of Past Twilight President Sandy Foster. Special thanks to Twilight Rotarian Michael Foster and to all the donors who helped make the project a great success.
Bakersfield Twilight, the newest club in Bakersfield, may be new but it's full of vibrant Rotarians who are not new to Rotary. Chartered in 2009, the club has achieved 100% Paul Harris Fellow standing, and is the only evening club in Kern County. Make up or simply drop by the Bell Tower Club to enjoy a Twilight meeting Wednesdays at 6pm.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." This quote by John F. Kennedy illustrates the importance of helping our veterans. Veteran's Day is coming up on November 11th which is a day to honor and support veterans. They need our help now more than ever. Did you know that more than 22 veterans commit suicide every day? 1 in 3 combat veterans are diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. 1 in 3 of our country's homeless population are veterans. Three organizations are coming together and uniting with a special purpose. The Rotary Club of Cayucos-Seaside, Woods Humane Society and K9's 4 Veterans are collaborating on a project to supply service dogs and companion dogs to Central Coast Veterans at no cost to the veterans with PTSD. This partnership needs support to be successful.
Cayucos Rotarians were introduced to this problem back in February of 2013 when a veteran came and spoke to the club regarding PTSD and of the severe problem with veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. These men and women were diagnosed with PTSD. These Americans were getting nowhere with the VA. There has to be another alternative.
This alternative begins with New Life K9's. They look for dogs from a variety of sources including breeders and animal shelters. The trainers at New Life K9's are working in conjunction with trainers at Woods to find these unique dogs. The ideal service dog is calm and amiable.
That's where Dick Mellinger and Gil Igleheart, two members of the Rotary Club of Cayucos-Seaside, came in to help. These two Rotarians set up the meeting and everything fell into place. Woods would invite Nicole Hern, director of training at New Life K9's, to help the trainers at Woods. Nicole's training is much more complex than for regular dog training. She is a service dog trainer. She will help teach the trainers at Woods, who have been between 120-150 dogs a month in what to look for in a service dog. These dogs are very unique (maybe 1 in 10 makes it). This process will provide New Life K9's with between 12-15 dogs each month.
It has been documented that animals help relieve all kinds of emotional problems, depression, stress, anxiety, and PTSD. Most of these dogs are rescued from a shelter, so the dogs are as thankful as the veterans. These unique animals are trained to sense when the veteran is having a difficult time or if they forget to take their medications or if they simply need a hug.
As you can see, our veterans need our help. They gave their lives for us, isn't it about time for us to give to them? Instead of just uttering words in support, let's express our gratitude in the form of a comforting canine.
For more information, please contact Dick Mellinger at dick.mellinger@gmail.com or Gil Igleheart at 805-710-0332. Coming soon on the internet at www.PawsforaCauseCA.org.
Dick Mellinger
Rotary Club of Cayucos-Seaside

Our Rotary House Retreat has now launched our Crowdfunding campaign to raise funds outside of local Rotary Clubs to fund partial scholarships for First Responders to benefit from the assistance provided by our week-long retreat at Rankin Ranch. Click here for a PDF with details.
We at West are hopeful that anyone else interested may care to join our campaign website. At the District level, DG Jim Bell has been greatly helpful in directing CLUB donations for our Rotary House Retreat operations – but the crowdfunding is intended to be for individual Rotarians to support individual First Responders, as explained in the website.
Thanks very much!
John Pryor
Rotary Club of Bakersfield West

The Rotary Club of Camarillo was chartered 60 years ago. It all began in 1955, when Camarillo was just a small town. A group of prominent local business and professional leaders decided to start a Rotary Club.
The first meeting was held in the old community center on Ventura Boulevard. Sponsored by Oxnard Rotary, the main club in the area in 1955, Camarillo Rotary then sponsored a club in Thousand Oaks in 1958 and Camarillo Sunrise Rotary in 1985. In 1966, an Interact Club was established at Adolfo Camarillo High School and in 2005 a Rotaract Club was formed at California State University Channel Islands, giving students an opportunity to organize and carry out service projects.
Camarillo Rotary has been good for the community. The main fundraiser is a golf tournament each summer for Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families that has netted over $1.5 million in donations. The club also organizes a community dinner, Viva la Comida, each spring, serving over 35,000 meals since 1971. In addition to supporting Casa Pacifica, the Camarillo Rotary Foundation has given over $160,000 to other charities, causes and non-profit programs in the past 5 years, including the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club and scholarships.
Max Copenhagen
Rotary Club of Camarillo

District 5240 is putting together another team of Rotarians to India to participate in a NID (National Immunization Day) on February 21-22, 2016.
The trip will most likely start on February 16th and end around February 28th, 2016. Besides the activities on February 21st, door to door immunization will be done over a few days starting on the 22nd (we will do door to door immunization only for 1 day). This will entail some long hours and lots of walking (which means you need to be in good shape, physically and mentally).
Here are some guidelines that will influence the selection process:
  1. Team size will be limited to constraints of our host Rotarians.
  2. A club sponsoring a participant can consider this as an international service project and should be prepared to explore worthy projects from the host districts in India. It is strongly suggested that the team member makes a presentation to the club on their NID experience.
  3. Preference will be given to those who have not participated in previous NIDs.
  4. Team members must be in good physical and mental health considering the stress and strains of long flying time and a busy and hectic schedule while in India. This requirement is very important.
  5. The District expects that the team members will become ambassadors of the Polio Eradication Program in their respective clubs and their local communities.
  6. A rough estimate of the total cost, including air travel, is around $3,000-$3,500, ($500 out of this amount is required to be sent with the Participation Form now). This does not including any shopping sprees. You can reduce your cost by sharing the hotel room with another team member. Once we have the team finalized, you will get a copy of the participants with their contact information. You can contact other people on the team and seek for roommates.
  7. We will have a day or so to do shopping and sightseeing in New Delhi. We will also go to Agra for a day to see the Taj Mahal.
  8. Once we are in India, the team will be split into teams of 3-5 people and each team will go to different locations. Some internal travel will be involved which will be arranged by us. Cost of that travel and the international travel is all inclusive in the total estimate.
  9. Please make sure that your passport is current and does not expire within 6 months of the trip completion. Once we have the team in place, we will give you directions on how to obtain a Visa for India (you will need 2 passport size photos for this).
  10. One, 3 to 4 hour's orientation program will be held on January 31, 2016 at my home, 655 Oldstone Place, Simi Valley, CA, for education on polio and other cultural nuances. It is mandatory to attend this session.
  11. Our role on this trip is three fold: (1) To boost the morale of the workers who have been doing this for many years and they are getting fatigued and tired, (2) To increase the visibility of the immunization program, and lastly, (3) get a chance to give oral polio drops to the children.
  12. Once the team is put together, you will be asked to send more funds/credit card info to purchase airline tickets. You will be paying for the hotel stay directly to the hotel when we are in India. Usually, our hosts will pay for our meals when we are in the field, but the meals taken in the hotel is paid by you. We will complete all the accounting at the end of the trip and any refunds due will be sent after we return.
  13. We will be making all the arrangements for air travel to India, travel within India and the hotel stay.
Please complete the forms below as early as possible and send to the address below but no later than November 30, 2015. Please make sure that your Bio is more about Rotary and please don't send me your resume. I would prefer if the Bio is printed on the computer or typed. Hand written Bios are very hard to read. They will be sent to the hosts in India. All the material should be sent to me together and not in installments.
PDG Anil Garg
655 Oldstone Place
Simi Valley, CA 93065



Chris Smith, son of Bakersfield Twilight Club member Amy Smith and Bakersfield North President Zane Smith donated his bone marrow today to someone he doesn't know, someone he hasn't seen and all because he showed up to an off-site meeting of Bakersfield Twilight at the local blood bank.
Chris who is afraid of needles not only donated blood that night, he signed up for the bone marrow registry. He recently was notified that he was a 100% match to a 60 year old lady with leukemia and would be be willing to donate his bone marrow. He of course said yes. According to his mother, he has undergone a battery of blood tests and bone marrow stimulating shots that really make your joints and bones ache.
He took the time out of his busy work and volunteer schedule to travel to La Jolla to donate his marrow. Not an easy procedure. He is back in his room resting and plans to return to Bakersfield tomorrow.
For those of you who attended the District Conference, Chris was the young man who spoke on his experiences at RYLA. He is not only afraid of needles, he is equally afraid of public speaking although you would not know it by his presentation at the conference.
Let's all send him our best wishes and kudos award as today Chris saved a life and is a real hero. You can contact Chris by emailing him at chris.z.smith94@gmail.com.
Sandi Schwartz, Chief of Staff
Rotary District 5240


Connect With Us

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