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Now that half of this Rotary year is over, and my official visits around the District are essentially complete, I want to acknowledge how much I appreciate the opportunity of meeting and getting to know so many dynamic Rotarians in our District. With this interaction, I now understand and better appreciate the diversity among our Clubs. I also appreciate the help and support of our Vice-Governor Greg Arcaro, DGE Mary Shackleton, DGN George McKinnis and Assistant Governors. My visits have also strengthened my view that the Family of Rotary is active, vibrant and well in our district.

But perhaps the most exciting news I can share with you is the establishment of our District’s first Satellite Club – under the auspices of the North-East Westchester Club – with 12 new members.  All the new members are from Touro College.  Congratulations to President Marie Lacerra and PDG Karl Milde for making this happen.  New York Club’s Past President Jasmin Cowan was the architect of this Club and worked behind the scenes for a number of months to bring it to fruition.  We expect formal approval from RI in the first few weeks of the new year.

Another highlight of the month is the Chartering of 2 new Rotaract Clubs - one on Staten Island, and one in Peekskill.  This brings us to six active Rotaract Clubs in the District.  The Peekskill Club and jointly the North Shore and South Shore Clubs are the proud sponsors.  Congratulations !
 
I am also delighted to announce the formation of 4 new Interact Clubs - 2 on Staten Island and 2 in Bermuda.  The Staten Island Interact Clubs are sponsored by the Mid-Island Club and jointly by the North Shore and South Shore Clubs, while Interact Clubs in Bermuda are both sponsored by the Hamilton Club. Congratulations to the sponsors.

On membership, I am happy to report that our membership now officially stands at 1183 - a net growth of 3.77% from 1 July - the highest in our Zone.  This had a distinct contribution to our Zone's net growth of 0.11%. 
 
Now with the end of the holiday season and the beginning of the second half of the Rotary year, I hope you will reflect on and gain a greater appreciation of the significance of the gift of Rotary membership and fellowship. Hopefully, you will want to share this gift with others to become Rotarians.
 
At the invitation of the District Governors of District 3281 (the world's largest Rotary District) and District 3282 of Bangladesh, I had the privilege of attending a ceremony to felicitate Rotary International President Nominee Shekhar Mehta.  RIPN Mehta commended these two Districts for their phenomenal growth in membership going from 5,000 in 2014 to over 11,000 in 2019.  Over the next week, I hope to learn more about how this growth was achieved.
 
We are blessed with many gifts and talents. We are challenged to share these regularly, as we complete acts of kindness and humanitarian service. I am confident we will respond to the challenge as we all lend a hand while we Do Good and Have Fun.

Bina and I wish you all the best for a happy, exciting, healthy, safe and fun-filled 2020.

-DG Mahbub