May, 2020
It’s no surprise that virtually every aspect of Rotary has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s also no surprise that Rotarians and clubs throughout our district are rising to the challenge with determination, imagination and innovation.
As I look at all the constructive actions being taken here in 7950 I can’t help but think we will emerge stronger in the new normal.
The month of May is when we in Rotary take time to recognize the youth in our organization and our communities and around the world. The Coronavirus has had a major impact on us but it has also had a major impact on the young people in our communities and the world.
Schools and colleges have been canceled. Students have had to take courses online. They lack the social interaction with their friends, classmates and dormmates. They are now mostly confined to their homes with little or no social interaction.
In addition, many of our Rotary programs have either been canceled or postponed.
  • RYLA, which was scheduled for the weekend of May 15-17 has been postponed. Beth Richards and her committee are planning on holding it sometime in October, but that will only happen if certain restriction are lifted by then. We will then hold a second RYLA in May 2021 for next year’s students.
  • Youth exchange has had major interruptions. We have terminated the exchanges for our current inbound students. Both Sophie (France) and Helena (Brazil) have returned home. Valeria (Peru) is still with us because there currently are no flights for her to return home.  As far as our outbounds go, Brendan has returned home to Sharon from France and Daniel will be returning home to Martha’s Vineyard from France in the near future.
  • For next year, both the long-term and short-term exchange programs have been canceled. Current travel restrictions forbid us from conducting the short term exchanges this summer and not knowing when schools will reopen and what the class structures would look like, the long-term exchanges for 2020-2021 have been canceled. We are looking forward to the summer of 2021 for the next short-term exchanges and the fall of 2021 for the next long-term exchanges. Please keep this exciting and rewarding program on your radar for future participation.
  • Our Earlyact, Interact and Rotaract Clubs are facing the same issues that we are. No in-person meetings, not able to gather in larger groups and not being at school. Some of these clubs had already been meeting online so they were far ahead of our Rotary Clubs. Please keep in touch with them during this difficult time and reach out to see if there is anything your club can do for them. Ask them to join in on your zoom meetings or join in on one of theirs. It would be a great way to build better relationships with them.  
DGE Charlene Jarest and I have put together a series of online events offering much of the educational content that was planned for the District Conference and District Business Meeting.
  • May 12 – 7:00 PM Secretaries Training – For all 2020-2021 Club Secretaries
  • May 13, – 7:00 PM Treasurers Training – For all 2020-2021 Club Treasurers
  • May 27 – 7:00 – 9:00 PM “It’s a New Day” aka District Assembly – For all Rotarians. Presenters Include
    --Membership – Louisa Horne, DG District 7820 - Rotary Club of Halifax Harborside
    --Public Image – Laura Spear, ARPIC (Asst. Rotary Public Image Coordinator Zone 32)
    --Foundation – Henry Atterbury, District Polio Plus Chair and George Camp (Tentative)
  • June 17 – 7:00 PM District Business Meeting - For all Current Club Presidents – All Rotarians are invited.
We hope you can join us on some or all of these meetings. They are open to all Rotarians and links will be sent out for each of them. If you don’t receive the link, check with your club President or Secretary.
Clubs are doing a great job of “Keeping the Light On” in Rotary.
Most of our clubs are conducting regular meetings virtually using zoom. Although not the same as   in-person interactive meetings, they are a great way to keep in contact with each other. My club meetings have turned into almost the same as a regular meeting with singing, guest speakers, rising stars from our local high schools and so much more. It’s taken a few weeks to work out all of the bugs but we are constantly seeing a rise in weekly participants, including those that have not returned home from Florida or other winter havens.
This is the future of Rotary. The pandemic has forced us to jump five years ahead of where we currently were and we should take every opportunity to embrace it as a way of the future. Even when we go back to in-person meetings we will more than likely include zoom in those meetings. Members who can’t make a meeting or members who are on vacation can still join in and be an active part of our clubs.
One of the most important part of our clubs is fundraising for all of the great projects and charities we support. We know these are going to take a huge hit this year and we must work hard to figure out how to overcome this so those that we support can still be supported at some level. I have heard clubs doing fundraisers on zoom, on facebook and using many other social platforms.
Dedicate one of your meetings to brainstorm on what to do about fundraising for the next year. Include the younger members in these brainstorming sessions. Include your Interact and Rotaract clubs and get ideas from them. Ask them to join in the fundraising with you. They are the ones with a wealth of social media knowledge and are currently looking for ways to help.
One of the largest assets in Rotary is our Rotary Foundation and the last month or two of each Rotary year is the time when most of our donations are given to the Foundation. Now is not the time to forget about this. Individuals and clubs should make every effort to contribute to Polio Plus and the Annual Fund so the Foundation and clubs around the world can continue to do the great things that we do.
When we look at the current pandemic and see how easily it spread around the world, we need to be reminded that this too can happen with the polio virus if we don’t finish the job we started. Experts estimate that if we allow the polio virus to spread, we could see 250,000 new cases each year within the next 10 years. It is something that we do not want to see after all of the hard work we have done.
Our District Polio Chair Henry Atterbury is offering a great opportunity: Any Rotarian or Club that donates at least $500 to the Polio Plus campaign between May 6, 2020 and June 30, 2020 will be given a chance to win a day of sailing for six people aboard his 47 foot sailboat around Fishers Island. Pick up and drop off at Mystic Seaport. Dark and Stormy’s included at the end of the sail. To enter the drawing, send your donation receipt to Steve Albright, 128 South Sea Ave, West Yarmouth MA 02673 or email it to me at:
Also, please do not forget the Annual Fund. This is where we get the money to fund District and Global Grants which help you to do great things in your communities and the world. Money from your million-dollar meals or any other fundraising event that your club might have done this past year should be sent at this time to The Rotary Foundation. In addition, individual Rotarians are encouraged to contribute.
As of press time, it looks like the District Installation of Officers will not be held as scheduled. Plans are being made to recognize the outgoing officers and welcome in the new officers in a much different way. More to follow on this.
This is probably what will happen in most clubs this year, “Virtual Installations” so please do not forgo some sort of recognition and installation ceremony in your clubs. The officers and directors give so much of their time and talent to make sure your clubs stay viable and an important part of your community.
My wish for all of you is that you and your families stay healthy during this difficult time. Have a very safe and healthy Memorial Day Holiday.
Yours in Rotary,
Steve Albright, DG
District Governor
Stephen Albright
District Governor Elect
Charlene Jarest
District Governor Nominee
Billy Roberts
Immediate Past District Governor
William Tennant, IPDG
DG’s Administrator
Jill Albright
District Secretary
Harvey Trieff
District Treasurer
Roger Cabral
Assistant Treasurer
Juan Barrera
District Trainer
Russell Bertrand, PDG
District Foundation Chair
Kristine Musco David, PDG
District Grant Steward
Stephen Certa, PDG
District Grants Chair
Jean Sullivan
District Membership Chair
Billy Roberts
District Public Image Chair
Art Norwalk
District International Services Committee
Paulette Boudrot
District Budget & Finance Chair
William Tennant, IPDG
District Nominating Chair
Stephen Albright, DG
Council on Legislation Chair
Policies & Guidelines Chair
Joseph Clancy, PDG
Technology and Website Chair
Chuck Sauer, AG
AG Coordinator
Lori DiPersio
Area 1 – Brad Boyd – Harwich/Dennis, Chatham, Nantucket, Nauset, Yarmouth
Area 2 - Robert Mascali – Falmouth, Barnstable Sunrise, Bourne Sandwich, Hyannis, Martha’s Vineyard, Osterville
Area 3 - Walter White –
Quincy, Braintree, Holbrook, Milton, Randolph/Avon/Canton, Weymouth
Area 4 – Joel Kopke – Plymouth Sunrise, Duxbury, Middleboro, Plymouth Noon, Tri-Town
Area 5 - Steve Savrann –
Sharon, Attleboro, Foxboro, Mansfield, North Attleboro, Norwood
Area 6 - Akee Parwaz –
The Bridgewaters, Abington, Brockton, Rockland/Hanson, Stoughton
Area 7 – Paula Raposa –
Taunton, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, New Bedford
Area 8 – Lori DiPersio – 
Bristol, East Providence/Seekonk, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, Warren/Barrington
Area 9 – Shameem Awan – Cunberland/Lincoln, Metro Providence, North Providence, Scituate RI, Smithfield, Woonsocket
Area 10 – Ed McDonough – Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, Pawtuxet Valley, Providence
Area 11 Chuck Sauer –
East Greenwich, Chariho, Jamestown, North Kinston, Wakefield, Westerly
Area 12 Diane
Cohasset, Hingham, Nantasket/Hull, Scituate MA
Russell Hampton
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