Notes from the Governor
People of Action,
February’s Rotary International theme is peace and conflict resolution. I hope you all got a chance to read about District 7610’s outstanding peace fellowship scholars in the recent foundation newsletter. Farrah Hasnain, from Alexandria and Ida Sue Smith, from Fredericksburg were both selected with Harrison George, from London, England selected as an alternate. These outstanding people will be leading Rotary’s effort to solve conflicts here in the U.S. and around the world.
However, we all have a part to play is this effort. Everything Rotarians do contributes to greater understanding among people and provides hope to entire communities. Hope is the cornerstone to peace. So, every time a Rotarian packs a meal, hands out a winter coat, vaccinates a child, supports a single mother or provides a village with clean water, peace grows.

Every time a boy or girl is given a book, a check is cut to a deserving local service organization, a young person is given the opportunity to lead a service project, peace grows. Every time a club adds a diversity initiative to its membership strategy, a club partners with another organization to serve humanity or an exchange program across continents takes place, peace grows.

You will witness this growth at our district conference in early April, you will witness this growth when the team from Australia comes town in March, and you will witness this growth in the articles in this newsletter.

I think Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when she stated, “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

We Rotarians, as People of Action , live out this sentiment every day. This is what the 4 Way Test is all about. Keep working and keep believing. Keep being the ambassadors of hope that allows peace to grow!

In This Issue
  • Busy Days in Stafford
  • Rotary on the Vine
  • Tackling Opioids and Drug Abuse
  • Dictionaries for West Pointers
  • Rotary Senior Senior Prom
  • New(ish) Member Orientation
  • January Newcomers
Busy Days in Stafford
By Leigh Ann Poland, President, Staqfford
February continues to be a busy month for Stafford Rotary. It started with a Valentine's Day Raffle organized by Rotarian Laura Watts. The winning couple is heading to The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, VA for a Valentine's dinner and a luxurious night's stay. The $100 cash adder can be used to enjoy a show or shop for special gifts.
Following the drawing, the club got back to the task of preparing "Thank You" bags for every Middle School Teacher in Stafford County. This Vocational Recognition project was organized by Rotarian Cherice Taylor, to recognize the dedication of those teaching at such a critical transitional time for students, as they start to look beyond themselves and out into world to see the impact that can be made. The bags contained commonly needed items for the classroom, as well as Valentine candy and other helpful items, donated by Stafford Rotary and community partners. All 708 "Thank You" bags will be delivered across the 8 Middle Schools in one week. In the photo below, one school's "Thank You" bags have been prepared for delivery by Jack Poland, Phillip Goodlett, Cherice Taylor, Leigh Ann Poland and Sandy and Donald Duckworth.
And February will be capped by another successful "Meals of Hope" project on Feb 22. "Meals of Hope", started by a Rotarian, is a meal-packing event that provides shelf-stable, vitamin-fortified meals for the American palate. This is the 3rd year the club has hosted a "Meals of Hope" event and it has proven to be a great opportunity to engage the community and help address the foundational issue of food insecurity. Stafford High School is the host site, but meal packers will come from all over the area. The Stafford Rotary meals (the target is 75,000!) will be distributed by existing grass-roots food ministries across the greater Fredericksburg area including the surrounding counties. Rotarian Lori Hayes is the leader of this community event.
Rotary on the Vine
By Tyra Garlington, Tysons Cornor
The Rotary Clubs of Tysons Corner and Dunn Loring-Merrifield collaborate to bring you a wonderful event that will benefit local charities they serve. On Friday, March 27, 2020 7:00 -10:00 p.m. join fellow wine connoisseurs for an exclusive experience. Sommeliers and wine professionals will guide you through a variety of wines amid the ambiance of the beautiful Washington Golf and Country Club. Dinner, dancing, and live music will complete the experience. Visit to purchase tickets and sponsorships.

Tackling Opioids and Drug Abuse
By Eileen Curtis, Great Falls
Rotary of Great Falls is tackling opioids and drug abuse. We persuaded our local CVS pharmacy to install a medication disposal box in the store. It was the only one that CVS provided for its entire region this year. Within a few weeks time, CVS had already sent back a box full of used medications--a clear indication of its need and importance.

We are following up on this issue with a Community Forum on Feb. 29, which will feature keynote speaker Dr. William Hazel, former Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are partnering with two other community organizations and the McLean Rotary to cast a wide net of information on the event.
Dictionaries for West Pointers
By Madison Mott, West Point
I wanted to share some images from the West Point Rotary club providing dictionaries to the third grade class at West Point Elementary school. Each third grader goes home every year with their own dictionary. This is a project we have done for many years and plan to do for many years to come.
Thank you, have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Valentines Day!

Rotary Senior Senior Prom
By Pat Williams, Herndon
 Adults “age 55 and better” in the area have been dressing up and coming to a big afternoon dance party offered to them by the Herndon and Reston Rotary Clubs for 18 years. The Senior Senior Prom is so popular that it has grown from 60 attendees to over 350!  We advertise the time from 2 pm to 4 pm, but over time guests are arriving earlier and earlier – even before 1pm! One table of guests announced they were having so much fun that they took a vote and decided they wouldn’t leave until 4:30! “Can we do it again next month?” is heard often!

This event calls for all hands on deck! The Publicity Committee contacts the area senior independent and assisted living residences and churches and announces the date in the local publications. One enthusiastic senior volunteer calls all the people who were on the previous year’s reservation list to sign them up. The Decorations Committee lays out colorful plastic tablecloths on 40 round tables and covers them with fun beach-themed décor that can be taken home by our guests. The local grocer has donated 40 pineapples the last two years for our centerpieces. The pineapple has gone home with oldest guest at the table, or the one with the most grandchildren, or the one with the closest birthday, etc. One Rotarian arranges free rides for those who need it and recruits drivers in the clubs. The Greeters welcome our guests, pin a carnation on, and help people to their tables.  
The SS Prom Committee arranges for the 20-piece Loudoun Jazz Ensemble to play fantastic swing-era music. A photographer takes a picture of every person or couple as they pose in a flower-covered indoor gazebo. Some years this photo has been presented to each guest in a folded frame designed by Interact members. A popular Herndon restaurant brings over hot lasagna and salad. For desserts, we found that sugar-free cakes are popular. If our guests don’t take home all the leftovers in the bags we provide, we take them to the homeless shelter or the fire station. We have had demonstrations of swing dancing and ballroom dancing by local groups, and the dancers stay and invite our guests to dance with them! 

 What is a prom without a King and Queen?  We have a crown and tiara on hand for them - usually the oldest lady and gentleman. They also received framed certificates like the ones we ward for Superlatives like male and female Best Dancer, Best Dressed, Best Smile, and Best Rhythm, which is reserved for someone who can no longer get up and dance but is enjoying tapping out the beat at the table. 
The music is so lively that it’s hard to sit still, so we encourage our club and Interact members to invite our guests to dance. One volunteer came in his Navy uniform and invited a lady to dance with him. She thanked him, but said she could not dance, pointing to her walker. He insisted he would hold her. She relented. After the dance she thanked him happily and tearfully, saying she said she was very grateful because she hadn’t been in a man’s arms for many many years.
One lady looked like she wanted to dance, and no one was asking her, so I said, “Let’s dance together.” She got up excitedly and said, “Oh Patricia, this is just like it was in my high school! The boys were off to war, and so the girls danced with each other.” 
We invite sponsorships and we gratefully accept donations to cover part of our expenses. The Senior Senior Prom is one of our Rotary club’s gifts to the community. It gives our guests (and us) an event to look forward to every year, and every year we all leave with big smiles on our faces and music in our hearts.
New(ish) Member Orientation
By Dave Borowski, Bailey's Crossroads
The Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club held its new(ish) member orientation Jan. 25 at the Goodwin House in Bailey’s Crossroads. About 25 members attended the event as a mix of new and potential members heard about the role of Rotary as an organization that works to create positive and lasting change in the world. The meeting was also a chance to show new and potential members what our club does in the community and around the world. Members stressed the importance of our only fundraiser (Mustang raffle) in allowing us to make such an impact in the community. Members of the club board of directors gave presentations as well as members of the board of the club foundation.
New Members
These are the new members added in January 2020