Youth Service shapes the future of Rotary with Interact, Rotary Youth Exchange, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotaract finally culminating in Rotary membership. There are 516,764 Interactors in 22,468 clubs worldwide; 76 of these are in our district. Rotarators number 249,895 in 10,856 clubs worldwide; and we have 9 active clubs in our district.

This is the month we CELEBRATE our youth. When you consider Rotary, it is first about Friendship and Service, then PEACE, and support for our YOUTH!  Of the sitting Club Presidents in our district, 75 percent say their first passion is Youth Service. And it shows in some respects.

The just concluded RYLA had 260 attendees supported by 50 volunteer staff. Every life involved was changed for the better. I HOPE that each club invites their students to their club as a program. It inspires the club members, staff, and more importantly, the students and the schools they attend. The difference is that obvious. 

On Sunday I was given the opportunity to address the Closing Ceremony audience about Personal Responsibility. I learned from Darin (RYLA Chair) as he addressed the audience the importance of being thankful and to let others know that you "love" them. It was an uplifting day and camp experience. The feedback was inspiringly positive! 

Last month we reported on the Interact District Conference of February 24th which changed lives, mine in particular AND each student and staff person in attendance. 

A part of every RYLA and District Conference is our great Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) program which amplifies the power of that special program. Each year about 9,000 exchanges take place. This year, our program needs students to travel abroad. If you know a RYE candidate, please reach out to Ronda Werner e-mail: or Mary Paseda  e-mail: for more information or an application.

In addition to the areas mentioned above, there are several other ways we CELEBRATE our youth in various projects locally and internationally. This month we announce the winners of the 4-Way Essay Test winners. Hopefully your club is participating in this program to bring our Rotary 4-Way Test to our schools. My hope is to personally visit every club with a winner and personally present their district check. Please coordinate with my calendar scheduler COO (and DGD) Deb Linden:

Rotaract Club Visits to Cal Lutheran and Conejo Valley

Rotaract is the bridge to Rotary and the greatest link in the Rotary career path. This year Rotaract is celebrating 50 years of service. In our district two new Roataract Clubs chartered: Santa Maria and at Cal Lutheran. UCSB Rotaract was also reactivated!

In April I visited two Rotaract Clubs - Cal Lutheran and Conejo Valley. Both clubs are active and well connected to local Rotary projects and projects of their own. Find the Rotaract Club nearest you and get involved --- you’ll be glad you did!

Emerging Leader Symposium Saturday June 2nd 

Connecting Millennials – Emerging Leaders (Young Professionals) is our planned Symposium on June 2nd. Details have been sent to club leadership and more details will be forthcoming. Registration is open with the goal of having one Club Leader and one member under 45 years of age attend from each of our clubs.

Sister Districts D3721 and D3722 (South Korea) and D4140 (Mexico)

Each year our sister districts honor each other and CELEBRATE our mutual friendships and hospitality by hosting each other at our respective district conferences. This year, the district conferences overlapped. Due to my cancer treatments, it was recommended to send Past District Governors as my representatives. For South Korea, PDG Jack and Jane McClenahan not only delivered my message, but Jack did so in Korean! In Mexico, PDG Nick Frankle traveled and delivered a message of friendship and support to our friends there. District Governor Elect Sandi Schwartz traveled to South Korea and District Governor Nominee Savi Bhim traveled to Mexico. Others from District Staff included Scott Phillips and PDG Wade Nomura. My special thanks to all for extending your hands of friendship to our sister districts and Rotary hosts. Their hospitality is always amazing and the experience inspiring – wish I could have been there this year as I was last year!


Foundation Gala - May 4th

Hopefully, by now you are registered for our annual RI Foundation Gala called Foundation Fiesta. We currently have 175 registered and room for many more. Please register today (May 2nd)!

May District Governor events include:

May 3rd  - Westlake Sunrise Charter night

May 4th – The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara CELEBRATES 100 years at lunch!

May 4th – Foundation Fiesta – Santa Maria Radisson

May 12th – Tree planting in areas most affected by the Thomas Fire or Montecito Mudslides. Wade Nomura is coordinating tree planting at three locations: Ojai, Carpenteria creekbed, and Montecito. Events in all locations are from 8 AM to Noon and Wade would like interested Rotarians to email him at Participants are encouraged to bring a pair of gloves and a shovel if possible.

May 28th – Memorial Day 1,000 Flags (Bakersfield Breakfast)

Ten great months so far, two to go and Christine and I are having a great time visiting your clubs, meeting your members, and participating in your projects and events. All of you INSPIRE us!

All our best,

District Governor John Weiss and Christine