District Newsletter
June 1, 2021

Rotary Fellowships Month


June Message from DG Deb Linden
Welcome to the last month of our Rotary year, and what a year it has been! Challenging, weird, heart-wrenching, and heart-warming all at the same time. You - our members and clubs - have done an amazing job adapting to our “new normal” and finding ways to provide service and support to our communities and across the globe. I could not be prouder! And even though I did not get to visit you in person, I am so glad we had the technology that allowed me to be with you virtually. Although we cursed Zoom daily, imagine what we would have done without it this past year!  And now, as our clubs are opening back up to in-person meetings and events, I urge you to consider hybrid meetings where members can join virtually when they need to so they can stay engaged and involved even when they can’t be there in person.

Since this is my last newsletter message, I would like to share some personal news. Husband Bill and I have decided to move to the Monterey area to be closer to our sons and our siblings and their families. We just purchased a home in Marina and will be physically moving in August. But, thanks to the support of my club’s leaders, I’ll be staying in my club and in the District. I will be attending club meetings remotely and contributing and supporting my club however I can. I will continue to serve on the District Board and PETS Committee for another year and starting July 1, 2021, I start a new assignment as the Zones 26/27 Communications Officer. And I’ll be coming back for our really cool events such as the District Conference in October! We are excited for this new chapter in our lives and to be moving closer to our families.

Speaking of Cool Events…

I am so excited to announce that registration is now open for Encore: 2020-2021 District Awards & Year-End Celebration!  This FREE virtual event will be on Friday evening, June 25, 2021, at 6:00 pm. We will be giving surprise awards to clubs and members, honoring those we have lost this year, and celebrating the end of this very unique year. The event is free, but you must register in advance. Information and the link to register can be found at this link: https://rotarydistrict5240.org/sitepage/encore

Be sure to register for the 2021 Virtual RI Convention June 12-16, 2021! This is your chance to experience an RI Convention for only $65. For more information and registration information, click HERE.
Deb Linden
District Governor 2020-21



District Rotary Foundation Message
This month's message is posted by Frank Ortiz, District Rotary Foundation Chair
View the current message by clicking the button below!
Encore: 2020-2021 District Awards!
Jun 25, 2021 6:00 PM
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Funding Our Future - Auctions for Student Scholarships
The Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo Challenge Scholarship Program provides scholarships to local students who have faced significant personal challenges and excelled in their studies. Last year, we awarded $39,500 in scholarships to 14 local students to attend college or trade school, thanks to the support and generosity of our community members.
Add Your Events to the Newsletter!
This year, we will incorporate your club events and projects into the newsletter! We send the newsletter at the beginning of each month and will include events for that month.
Click the button below to send us your flyer, brief discription, and best link for the event.
Camarillo Rotary's Earth Day Project
For Earth Day, and to advocate for Rotary’s new area of interest in Protecting the Environment, project kits were distributed to 950 Second-Graders in Camarillo and Somis. The kits consisted of a bucket, shovel, packet of 100 carrot seeds, and a card with planting instructions and a QR code for more information. Each class was also given a bag of potting soil donated by B&B Hardware.
Mary Lingua and five Interactors prepared 1000 seed packets.  New Rotarian Megan Cooper wrote a brochure about Rotary’s interest in the environment. To avoid waste, the brochure was not printed on paper, but was linked with a QR code (see below).  A packet of 100 carrot seeds was attached to a card showing the QR code and planting instructions.  
Dictionaries for Santa Barbara Third Graders
Sunrisers worked from their homes to prepare dictionaries that will be delivered to 600 third grade students at Santa Barbara schools. Club members would normally gather in one location for the assembly part of the project and teams would deliver the dictionaries in person to each of the class4rooms. With health restrictions the assembly was done by each club member at home and the dictionaries were dropped off for teachers to distribute to their students. 
Each Student Dictionary includes the Rotary emblem sticker on the front and a book plate inside honoring the name of one of our speakers from the previous year. 
RC of Goleta Noontime Backpack Project
The Rotary Club of Goleta Noontime did a successful backpack program where they packed 288 backpacks in August. The project outline was to get school supplies for students in need, pack the supplies in backpacks and distribute them to the students one day a couple of weeks before the school started in August. The school district identifies who those students would be and provide Rotary with their needs. 40% of the students in Goleta are coming from low income families, most who do not have funds to pay for a new backpack or supplies.

Mural Paintings to Stop Graffiti
Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary and Golden Valley High School Interact, along with neighborhood children, joined with the Arts Council of Kern and artist Alex Gallardo to paint a beautiful butterfly mural at Kern Bridges Youth Homes in Bakersfield. KBYH is a non-profit organization that provides a safe, stable, and consistent environment for children ages 0 to 21 years old. When a child is adopted through KBYH, a butterfly with his/her name and date of adoption is added to a wall inside the building. Reaching of butterflies in the mural signifies the more than 1400 youth hoping for a home. The mural covers a wall prone to graffiti and makes a welcome addition to the southwest neighborhood. It also encourages others to become interested in art and to beautify blighted areas of Bakersfield.
My Stuff Bags and the Blanket Brigade
My Stuff Bags is a project that the Westlake Village Sunrise Rotary Club completed in January for an organization called “My Stuff Bags”. It is a local organization with a nationwide outreach and the club has been working with them over the past several years to support their mission.
My Stuff bags are bright blue individual duffels filled with brand new age and gender, appropriate toys, books, a stuffed animal, school supplies, clothing, personal toiletries and a warm (often hand-made) "security blanket" that is all theirs to keep. My Stuff Bags provide things to do and to hold during a difficult time.

This year there was a particular need for fleece blankets for the many bags that are to be distributed. This need provided an opportunity to create a "hands-on" project in a safe environment while many of the club's members continue to remain at home during COVID challenges.  And so was born the WLV Sunrise Blanket Brigade!
RC of Cambria Helps With Uganda Education
Jesca Acipa is from Oduworo Village, a remote village in northeast Uganda. Upon completion of  primary school she was selected by the Rotary Community Corps from the village to attend  Lords Meade Vocational School in Jinja where she studied tailoring. She was then accepted to  St. Peter’s Secondary School in Kampala. Upon graduation, Jesca decided she wanted to be come a nurse or midwife, applied to and was accepted at Florence Nightingale School of Nursing  and Midwifery in Apac, Uganda. She is now in her second year of Nursing School which was de layed one year due to COVID. If all goes well, she will graduate in 2022-23. 

Because improving girls’ education can help pull families out of the poverty cycle, the Rotary Club of Cambria is proud to have sponsored Jesca for the past 6 years. It is reported that every additional  year of education yields a 10-25 percent increase in the income of a woman, 90% of which is then reinvested into her family.
Happy Face Hill
Why has Happy Face Hill Become so popular?
The simplicity of a Happy Face 100 foot in diameter on the hillside entering Simi Valley brings a smile on one’s face. Let us face it. It has been a tough year. People are looking for signs of joy. Simi Sunrise Rotary does maintenance on the hillside about every 4 months. The cars beeping in the distance on the 118 freeway as they go about their work fills their souls. The neighbors surrounding the hillside bring them water to drink. They want to say thank you to the ones doing the work. The club gives out a baseball cap with the Happy Face on the front and their Rotary logo on the back. The meeting speakers wear it immediately and the club knows it will be worn promoting the Rotary Brand. It has become an important part of the club. Club President, William Klepper says, "We say it jokingly we bring Happiness to the Community, but we know in our heart, we really do. It is our privilege."
Little Free Pantries
The Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo was proud to be the first club in our district to participate in the Little Free Pantries program.  Similar to Little Free Libraries, these Pantries are built and stocked by volunteers.  There is a tremendous need for easy access to food and personal care items, and the Pantries, being located in residential neighborhoods, are an important supplement to existing programs. Club member, Greg Gillett, approached the club with an urgent request for help shortly before Christmas, 2020.  He provided the plans and materials list, and members sprang into action, building 5 Pantries in time for the holidays.  Our members continue to keep them stocked, and have since built more Pantries which have been placed in a variety of locations throughout the county.  The club project received widespread recognition, and was featured, with credit to Central Coast Rotary clubs, on the front page of New Times in the February 11-18, 2021 issue.

Photo: Joel Sheets, President-Elect, Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo, stocking one of the Little Free Pantries
Hand Sanitizer Distribution
The Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo has distributed 1,000 16-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer to local non-profits and schools, as part of their local COVID relief outreach.  Obtained through a special program by the California Medical Association, the Club was assisted by Transitions-Mental Health Association which contributed to the shipping costs and storage pending local distribution.  Recipients have included Shower the People, PathPoint, CAPSLO, SLO County YMCA, Noor Clinic, San Luis Coastal Unified School District, Casa de Flores, and Transitions-Mental Health Association, each of which will utilize the hand sanitizer in connection with their local community programs.  Delivery to the recipients was made by local Girl Scout Troop 40104, as part of their efforts toward their Silver Award.  
Wheelchairs Delivered To Ukraine, Venezuela, and Colombia!
The Rotary Club of Conejo Valley along with 11 local Rotary Clubs, The Wheelchair Foundation, and friends distributed over 330 wheelchairs!
The need for wheelchairs around the World is tremendous. "It is estimated that over 100 million children, teens, and adults with physical disabilities worldwide need wheelchairs, though less than 1 percent own or have access to one." ~ Wheelchair Foundation 
In 2020, International Service Director, Diego Velasquez, along with his Rotary Club of Conejo Valley, set out in their mission to distribute a container of 280 Wheelchairs to Ukraine. 

Garden Boxes for Boys and Girls Club
Moorpark Morning Club President, Chris Barrett, was picking up his kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark when one of the staff noticed he was wearing a Rotary mask. She mentioned that they were hoping to start a gardening project for the kids, but wanted to know if Rotary had anyone who might know a source for building garden boxes. As a firm believer that we are people of action, Chris let the staff member know that Rotary would make it happen.
When his club heard the need, they quickly had a committee formed to make this dream a reality.  After pricing to build the boxes themselves, they found a source who could make the boxes cheaper than they could get the wood for, so they ordered 8 boxes.
Roatan Clinic—A Vocational Service Team Project
19 years ago, Glenda Fae Woods had a dream.  She saw the needless complications of diabetes and hypertension, no access to medical care or medications were killing her people.  With a small inheritance from her father’s estate, she built a clinic and volunteer house for her people.  This was 19 years ago.  Since then, her dream has been realized.
Glenda was born and raised on Roatan, a 40-mile-long island, 30 miles off the coast of Honduras.  She moved to Los Angeles where she currently works as a registry nurse on the obstetrics wards of several Southland hospitals and enjoys dual citizenship. She works tirelessly and makes 2-3 trips a year to the Island to serve her people.
Healing Little Hearts in Romania
This past week, DGE Dana Moldovan visited a Global Grant project she helped develop in Romania. The project, called Healing Little Hearts, provides life-saving heart surgery for infants and children. The project was developed by Rotary Clubs in Romania and USA and with two foundations, Gift of Life International based in USA and Save a Child’s Heart based in Israel.
Dana visited the Children’s Hospital in Bucharest, Romania while six surgeries were performed. The grant will provide funds for heart surgery for about 56 children and will continue the development of a sustainable pediatric cardiac surgical department at the hospital. Three previous Global Grants provided training for the surgeries by funding nine Vocational Training Teams from other countries to help train the Bucharest medical staff. 
Add Your Stories to the Newsletter!
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