May is Rotary Foundation Youth Services Month and it was celebrated by 120 district youth who attended RYLA on Saturday May 4th at Larado Taft Campus just outside of Oregon, Illinois.  The weather was the best and the kids there were out going, friendly, and full of ideas and energy.   See Louise Clark’s writeup this newsletter

My District Conference was held at Faranda’s in DeKalb on Saturday April 28th.  Lots of Rotarians coming and going but it is estimated that over 140 individuals attended the meeting for some length of time.  People came after breakfast and left after lunch, came to lunch but left before dinner, and people who just came to the evening dinner.  The speakers were outstanding.  Bethany Lerch, a former Rotary Ambassadorial & Fullbright Scholar definitely left an impression on those who heard her talk.  She meet with the exchange students and they were in awe over her.   Other speakers including Kevin Stephens, Teressa Wasonga, Toni Lucas, PDG Shannon Sheffel certainly held everyones attention.  DGND Tom Brooks had the exchange students talk about their experiences.  PDG Ruth Lee moderated over ongoing projects in our district ranging from Rock Island’s African water project to Rochelle’s school project in India.  All this with stops along the way with projects in Morocco and Uganda.  

Jim MacMurdo supervised a very impressive silent auction that brought in over $4000 to the Rotary Foundation with that money going to the individuals Foundation accounts.  See his report.   We gave out 8000 Foundation points to lucky drawing winners.  Let’s see matching funds and more Paul Harris Fellows.  

On the day before the conference, 25 hardly and dedicated Rotarians tackled the task of going over the District’s Strategic Plan that was established in 2013 at Bob Hammon’s district conference.  Key items were reviewed and requalified.  New action plans were written up.  These will be reviewed by the DG line & District Corporate Board and prepared for an awesome  set of goals for DG Kathy Kwiat-Hess’s governor year starting July 1, 2018.  

Special notice:   Chad Anderson, our Global Scholar in South Africa, has been published in the Malaria Journal for the work he has been doing.  If interested in reading about it; the link is https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-018-2320-7.

The Northern Illinois Rotary’s iron lung was on display at the district conference.  It is currently housed in Spring Grove, Illinois.  You can rent it for $100 a day of usage.  Travel day before and after are not charged.  Go to:  Rotary6440.org/page/rilee for registration and information.  

Remember the RI Presidential Peace Conference meeting June 2 in Chicago.  Go to My Rotary for registration information.