The annual District Conference was held on May 6th and 7th at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth, MA—our first District Conference since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
By all measures, the Conference was a great success! Nearly 200 Rotarians attended, representing a majority of clubs in our District.  The Conference included a mix of plenary meetings with updates from District leaders and awards & recognition for exemplary service; informative break-out sessions; House of Friendship - a showcase for club projects; and of course, many opportunities to catch-up with old friends and make new ones.
While the Conference covered a wealth of topics, the progress our District is making in the area of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion was an underlying theme throughout both days. In the year ahead women will represent half of the District Governor team; District Governor David Sampson, District Governor Elect Angela Ponte, District Governor Nominee Sharon Johnson, Immediate Past District Governor Billy Roberts, who each played an important role in the Conference.
 In recognition of our debt to Native Americans as the caretakers of the lands on which we live and serve, the conference was opened with a prayer by Rotarian and Indigenous tribe member, Amy Wyman.  On Saturday morning, District DEI Chair Joe Small spoke about the progress clubs are making in recruiting a more diverse membership and their efforts to promote understanding and amity in their communities. Following his talk, District Governor Roberts presented citations to 19 clubs for their exemplary work in this area. Guest speaker for Saturday’s lunch was Dr. Nohelani Lawrence, a young African American woman who grew up on Cape Cod and now serves as Director of Wellness and Clinical Services for the New York Giants.
Valerie Wafer, Rotary International Vice President, was the keynote speaker at dinner on Friday.  Saturday’s dinner welcomed former recipients of the Dr. Percy Hodgson Memorial award as we welcomed Lori DiPersio of the East Providence Seekonk Club for outstanding and dedicated service into those ranks.  A Murder Mystery dinner played by all present was a fun-filled and boisterous evening concluding with hospitality suites sponsored by the Barnstable Sunrise, Braintree and Weymouth Clubs.
What a great time we had, learning, discussing, laughing, and eating!  Truly memorable!