ROTARY DAY OF SERVICE
                      Saturday, 18 May 2024                                
                                                                              
                                              See DG Loren's video message
Click on Image above for more details and to register.
DG Loren's April Update...
 
Greetings:
Have you seen anything on the District website that excited you? Were you pleasantly surprised by the number of projects clubs in our district have engaged and the lives they touched? If you haven’t, you have not been checking the website frequently enough. Vibrant and visibly active clubs are not only meeting the needs of needy humanity but are attracting other concerned individuals to join us in our efforts to serve needy humanity. I would argue that our selflessness as a district has allowed us to defy the trend in North America of shrinking membership, and made us the number one district of the 42 in our two contiguous zones, with consistent membership growth for the past 3 consecutive years. Well done, my fellow Rotarians, well done!
 
Shining Stars Rotaract Club:
Case in point, on the 3rd of March, the Shining Stars Rotaract Club was chartered through the efforts of Blooming Rose Rotary Club President Nasrin Khan and our Innovative Club Advocate, Bina Ahmad. The launch of the Shining Stars Rotaract Club with 12 new members is a testament to the vibrancy of our Rotarians and their ability to attract younger people to our efforts. Kudos to everyone who made this possible.  
 
Chinatown:
Have you ever seen a dragon dance? You would have, had you journeyed with the many Rotarians and visitors who traveled to Chinatown on a rainy and dismal day to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with the Chinatown Rotary Club. Not only were there dancing dragons, amazing entertainment, and great Rotary moments that were shared, but a fund raiser was done that will help the club with their many projects and outreach activities. In my humble opinion, I would say that they made a significant tug on the hearts of all the Rotarians and made anyone not yet a Rotarian question that decision.
 
Bermuda:
I tip my hat to the Rotary Clubs of Bermuda and the committee who worked in a remarkably harmonious and collaborative way to jointly celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Hamilton Club. If I did not know there are four clubs on the island of Bermuda, I would not have known by the festive, harmonious, and selfless agenda that was developed and presented over a four-day period by a committee made up of members of the four who worked so seamlessly that they appeared to be one club. And the awesome culmination of a grand gala that was fit for a king gave us a chance to celebrate the collaborative efforts of the team.  And if that weren’t enough, the celebration was capped off on Saturday with a golf outing and fund raiser that attracted people far and wide. Even I, with my limited golfing prowess, managed not to embarrass the district too much by dribbling the ball down the fairway as if I was on a basketball court. Jokes aside, the event was nothing short of spectacular all the way around.
 
District Fundraiser:
For those who do not know, the results of the raffle and fund raiser we held to take some district Rotarians from the US to the island for the event resulted in our being able to take one person with us. After several random selections of persons who could not schedule themselves to go, the person selected was PDG Marty Schulman. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Any remaining funds that were collected will be used to offset the cost of bringing the winner of the district-wide speech contest to our district conference to present their wining speech along with the winner from the US.
 
Speech Contest:
We extended the deadline for registration to April 19, at 11:59 p.m. Our first Annual Youth Speech Contest is open to all students in grades 9-12 who live or attend school in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, or Bermuda. Students could have registered by completing the online registration form available at https://bit.ly/speechcontest24. (If there are any exceptions you may have, please reach out directly to the District Governor). Videos must be submitted no later than May 3, 2024. Students will be provided with a link to use to upload their video after registering for the contest. Contestants are to prepare and deliver an original, English-language speech on the topic:
 
“Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship: What Can You Do?
 
I HOPE YOU ENCOURAGED THE YOUTH IN YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE TO PARTICIPATE.
 
Remember, it is FREE to enter, and cash prizes!  
 
District Conference:
 
 
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The venue is set! The 2024 District Conference will be held on Saturday, June 29 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM at the historic Yankee Stadium! The cost has been set at $199.00 per attendee. Telephone and tell a friend to join us for this historic and commemorative occasion. The link will also be available on the District website.
 
We are planning for a souvenir journal and encouraging clubs to take a page, and/or sponsor an activity, (the entertainment, videographer, cost of producing the journal). Clubs are also encouraged to sponsor an Interact or Rotaract member at the conference.
 
The District Conference will include:
  • Paul Harris Recognitions
  • Individual and Club Recognitions
  • Finals of the District Speech Contest
  • Memorial Recognition of Club Members
  • And more!
  • Parking will be free for the first 200 cars!
Rotary Foundation:
Let me put a plug in for the Rotary Foundation. It is, as our Rotary Foundation Chairperson Eric Storberg likes to say, the “crown jewel” of Rotary. It is through this vehicle, which has the highest rating possible for foundations, that we get the opportunity to do the amazing and life-altering projects and services we do to the tune of $26M in district grants, $15M in disaster response grants, $55M to global grants, and 1 program of scale grant annually of $2M, which totaled $98M in 2022-2023. 50% of the money we give through our District comes back three years later for us to do projects in our communities. In 2022-2023, we were able to distribute $30,000 in grants, ranging from $1,200 to $2,500.  Rotarians who give $1,000 or more to the Rotary Foundation in a year, are recognized at a luncheon and recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. The luncheon and recognition this year will be celebrated at the iconic Yankee Stadium during our District Conference.
 
RYLA:
Somehow, I missed announcing and encouraging every club to support Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) 2024! We have not had a RYLA event since pre-COVID, but now we are back, ready and raring to go! For those who are not familiar, RYLA is a leadership program for young people aged 14 to 30 and offers Rotarians an opportunity to personally participate in developing qualities of leadership, good citizenship, and personal and professional development in the young people of their communities. District 7230 has adjusted the content and format for students in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. Application Deadlines are as follows:
·      26th April 2024 from participants to Rotary Clubs
·      17th May 2024 from Rotary Clubs to RYLA Committee
·      Date: June 7th, 8th, 9th, 2024
·      Location: Alpine Scout Camp, Alpine, NJ
 
For more information, https://www.rotary7230.org/page/ryla (https://www.rotary7230.org/page/ryla)
 
Let’s make our return to RYLA
the most successful we have ever had.
 
Closing:
My year as District Governor is quickly coming to a close. I have had one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences of my life, meeting and getting to know so many wonderful and generous people like you. You have received me with open arms and taken my motto, “Not me, but WE” to heart and done some of the most amazing projects and touched the lives of so many people around the world. I am humbled to say that I have been a part of all of that because you have allowed me to be part of your life through Rotary.
 
Succession planning is one of the hallmarks of Rotary and allows us to continually and seamlessly personify our motto of “service above self.” Having said that, there is another significant event that I want to point out and that is the installation of my successor, Syed Alirahi on June 15, 2024. Please make your plans to support our incoming District Governor as strongly as you have supported me in my tenure, starting by being present at his installation.
 
I hope to see you there, and then at the District Conference at Yankee Stadium.
 
“Not ME, but  WE!”
 
Rev. Dr. J. Loren Russell
District Governor 2023-24
District 7230
718-757-1527
“Not ME, but WE!”
Create Hope in the World
 

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