Peace & Conflict Prevention/Resolution
February is a special month for CELEBRATIONS. I have a birthday tomorrow, but more importantly it is a month we CELEBRATE and think about Peace and being more Peaceable. We reflect on resolving conflict. Think about the following: FOURTH: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. Borrowed from the 4th Object of Rotary which I have discussed 65 times thus far at club visits (only 13 more club visits to go)! Think about it. Have you considered moving your club closer to peace by becoming a Peacebuilder Club. Information can be found on the district website Peace Page.

Rotarians to plant 1.2 million trees!
One cool project that Rotary International President Ian Riseley has requested is for every club to organize and plant a tree for every member in each club, preferably by Arbor Day. How does it relate to peace? Long before I became a Rotarian I have always admired and felt more relaxed when surrounded by trees. Weather in a tree studded neighborhood or in a state or national park, trees are a good thing (they also provide oxygen for us to breathe). Obviously, there are many ways to promote peace and conflict resolution. Does a tree stop a war? Probably not. Consider the following…

District Tree Planting Request
In that regard, I will be asking each Club President to help with this request by appointing a member or committee in each club to coordinate a tree planting with its members, adjacent clubs, Interact, and Rotaract Clubs at a location of each club’s choosing.

Ventura Tree Planting
One tree planting opportunity already in place is being organized in Ventura on March 10th at 1PM in the afternoon following the District Training Assembly. This is just one opportunity for Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Interactors to plant trees. If you are interested, details will be shared in early February with your Club President.

Montecito Mudslides
Back on Tuesday January 9th we all witnessed the devastation of heavy rains on grounds that had suffered extreme fire. It happened to be the scheduled day for me to visit the Rotary Club of Montecito. My club visit has been delayed until February 20th. 21 lives were lost including a charter member from Goleta John McManigal and several lost their homes to the mudslides including Past District Governor Rich Abbott and his wife Sherry. While our hearts are hurting from the Thomas Fire devastation and the subsequent mudslides, I believe that our best days are just in front of us. Does the planting of a tree make a difference? Perhaps, but how much more if Rotarians come together to do a good thing like planting lots of trees! Yes, it promotes peace in so many ways!

New Interact Club chartered at New Tech in Nipomo
On January 22nd, the Interact Club at New Tech High in Nipomo was chartered making it the 76th Interact Club in our district thanks to the Rotarians from Five Cities Eco and Morro Bay Sunset among others. To see an example of what an Interact Club can do, click here to watch a YouTube video. Please note: this YouTube video was produced by the Interact Club itself. Does your Rotary Club have an active Interact Club you work with? If not, please consider chartering an interact club. District staff is available to help. If you have an Interact Club that you have sponsored, please invite the interactors and their parents to attend the Interact District Conference on February 24th in Oxnard and offer to drive them. Carpooling is FUN (and good for the environment)!

Details on many district events will be forthcoming:
February 10th -- YES (Youth Empowerment Summit) in Taft
February 24th -- Interact District Conference at Oxnard’s Pacific High School
March 10th -- District Training Assemblies (Oxnard)
March 24th -- District Training Assemblies (Bakersfield)
May 4th -- District Foundation Fiesta (Gala) Santa Maria – super Key note speaker will share his perspective as a son with a mother stricken with Polio living in an Iron Lung. Please plan to attend, you’ll be glad you did.
May 19th -- Emerging Leader Symposium – San Luis Obispo TBD
June 16th -- District Awards and District Governor celebrations Luncheon – TBD
District Governor Club Visits and Invitation to attend your clubs, projects, and events
Christine and I have now completed 65 Club Visits and are truly amazed at the Rotarians and projects of each club (only 13 Club visits to go!)! Now that the completion of my club visits are in sight and I’m feeling pretty good, I welcome invites to your club’s meetings and events. Celebrate Rotary: your friends, SERVICE, and HEALTH! We love each one of you and are so honored to serve with you!

District Governor John Weiss and Christine