Notes from the Governor
The invasion of our Capitol building during the January 6th reading of electoral votes was nothing short of sickening. I watched in horror as friends found themselves calling loved ones to tell them they were unsure if they would make it out of the Capitol alive. Individuals with sweatshirts reading “Camp Auschwitz” broke through windows destroyed congressional offices and attacked police officers. At the time of this writing, five people have died because of this avoidable attack.
This is not what you would normally expect to read about in your District newsletter. But it is important to be clear. I, sadly, have seen some inaccuracies and conspiracies put forth by Rotary members.

Let’s be clear on the events of January 6th. The attackers were not waved in. The Capitol Hill police did not go down without a fight; they stood their ground. When officers ran out of pepper spray, they began counting how many bullets they had and calculating how long they could hold their positions. Officers were attacked. They were beaten, and in one case, killed for defending Democracy. (Yes, that is Democracy with a capital D.)
This was not a staged attack by BLM or Antifa. This was an attack on the very core of our values – values that are the platform for safety and security and that set this country apart from so many others. This was an attack on the American tradition of peaceful transition of power – a critical part of the United States’ position as a global leader.
Our nation and our community have enough problems. We don’t need to have un-American terrorists added to them. We need to find ways to work together to heal the wounds in our nation. The longer we spend pointing fingers the harder it will be to find solutions. 
So, I am pleading with you all today to be the leaders our community needs. Reject the politics of personal destruction that both parties have engaged in. 
Rotarians are leaders in our communities. We need to be the example of how to find solutions. We need to be the example of the right way to do something. So, let me suggest an extremely basic step that every Rotarian can take on social media: Count to five before publishing your post.

Use that time to ask yourself, “Does this help solve the problem or am I trying to score cheap political points?” If it is the latter, stop and think about the four-way test and determine if it is beneficial for ALL concerned.
Ronald Reagan is a political hero to me. He used to say, “We need to stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.” Rotarians need to do the same. 

If you are posting that snarky comment about either side, understand, you are part of the problem. For as Jennifer Jones once said, “Rotary is where leaders come together to discuss problems, identify solutions, and make our communities and our world a better place.”
Thank you for everything you do.
Yours in Rotary,

DG Harry Henderson
In This Issue
  • Rosslyn Keeps Pedaling
  • New Global Scholar
  • Who Was that Masked Rotarian?
  • Seventeen New Paul Harris Fellows
  • New Venue Needed
  • Letters to Santa
  • Learning, Giving, and Connecting
  • New Members
Rosslyn Rotary's Virtual Cross Country Ride
By Randy Fleitman, Rosslyn-Fort Myer
Rosslyn Rotary Club members have now ridden over 4,100 miles in their virtual bike ride along Interstates 90 and 70 between Seattle and Arlington to raise $30,000 for my Rosslyn Rotary Club's project to buy X-ray and Sonogram machines for the new medical center in Tema, an underserved community of 300,000 in Upper Egypt. The Center is open and serving the community from a Church building.
John Veldhuis (our superman) has already pedaled the whole 3,000 miles, doing 100 mile-days in his garage. Randy Fleitman has biked, hiked, and skiied over 1,700 miles on roads and trails in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and Richard Garrison has pedaled over 150 miles through Nebraska. We have already raised over $7,000, and have pledges of another $15,000, but we need your support. You can find more information on the project and donate by going to our club website at  The global grant application number is GG2120764. 
Introducing Luisa Banchoff, Global Scholar
By Dave Simon, Crystal City Pentagon
Crystal City Pentagon Rotary is proud to introduce our Global Scholar, Luisa Banchoff! A native of Arlington, Virginia, Luisa received one of two District 2020 Global Scholarships last December.
Luisa is pursuing a MSc in Social Anthropology with a specific focus on “Religion in the Contemporary World” at the London School of Economics, which she entered in the fall of 2020. "Since arriving in London this past September, I have settled in nicely to university life. Despite the unprecedented challenges of studying during a pandemic, I have found creative ways to safely connect with my professors and fellow students. I am so grateful for the steadfast support of the Rotary community, both in London and Virginia.", says Luisa.

Luisa graduated from Princeton University in 2017 with a B.A. in Religion. Her academic work focused on interreligious and intercultural encounters and she conducted independent research on Christian-Muslim dialogue and the Syriac Orthodox Church in Berlin, Germany. Following her studies, she spent a year and a half teaching history to middle school students at Maru-a-Pula School in Gaborone, Botswana, as part of a Princeton in Africa fellowship. Upon returning to the DC area, she worked as a researcher and report writer for the non-profit World Faiths Development Dialogue, an organization that works at the intersection of religion and development.

A 2013 graduate of Washington-Liberty High School, Luisa completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in 2013. She was also an active member of the Crossed Sabres school newspaper, Penman literary magazine, and Key Club. During her senior year, she was named to the inaugural class of National Student Poets as part of a White House-sponsored program promoting creative expression among young people across the nation.

We are proud to sponsor Luisa’s scholarship and important work supporting Rotary’s Avenues of Service!
Promote Rotary with Your Face Mask
By Jim Kirkpatrick, West Springfield
Editor's Note: This article appeared in the December Edition, but, given the current state of the Covid pandemic, I thought it would be appropriate to reiterate the message.
It looks like we’ll be wearing masks for quite some time, and what a great way to highlight Rotary. Although we’re all used to wearing Rotary shirts, caps and pins, when people look at you these days the first thing they notice is your mask. My club just purchased masks for all our members through the Russell Hampton Company (Rotary’s original vendor of club supplies) and since we ordered fifty the price was only $6.00 each.  Think of the impact if every member in the District wore a Rotary mask! You can order online at
Seventeen New Paul Harris Fellows Plus More!
By Cindi Kacer, President, Manassas
On November 30th we donated 95 Hope Bags (filled with 12 hygiene items) to the DCJS for Human Trafficking.  Our members were more than generous, and a group of us had a good time putting them together.
We participated in a Book Drive with Bookworm Central and collected monies for books to be distributed to Georgetown South for the holidays.

On December 16th we presented Major Woodcock from the Salvation Army with a large check and additional donations from the members.
On December 23rd we recognized 17 new Paul Harris Fellows. We had the honor of having Ronnie Chantker, District Rotary Foundation Chair to join us. We are very proud of our fellow Rotarians Jamie and Patty Baisden, 2019-2020 honorees in the Arch Klumph Society. As we were unable to have our Christmas Party and the tradition of having the Manassas Choir sing for us, our fellow Rotarians entertained us with song and a beautiful video. It was a special day. 

We are planning on working on a Literacy Program in 2021. We look forward to a bright 2021, along with its many challenges, and we will continue to serve Rotary and our community.
Have Venue? Will Travel
By Randy Fleitman, Rosslyn-Fort Myer
On Sunday, December 13, at 8 am, the Rosslyn Holiday Inn was imploded to make room for a new residential and hotel tower. The hotel was built in 1972, and its 17th floor Vantage Point restaurant was the beloved venue for the Tuesday lunch meetings of the Rosslyn-Ft Myer Rotary Club since its founding in 1979.
 Member Richard Garrison watched from across Wilson Boulevard, and said: “It was impressive. Over 100 people gathered by dawn's early light, and this was clearly the most major public event here in Rosslyn since the Marine Marathon. The blast, even though expected, was startling, and extended over a few seconds. You can watch the video here:

It was not just a single explosion. I thought that the noise it most resembled was outgoing artillery. The charges on the Vantage side were the last to explode, and that part fell backward, into the building, which was evidently what was intended. Even though there was no wind, a dust cloud did spread to Wilson Boulevard, at which point l left. I will eat a slice of pecan pie to the memory of the Vantage restaurant, our Rotary home.” 
The hotel warned us in 2019 of the plan to close in September of 2020, but we stopped our lunch meetings in the Vantage Point in March because of the pandemic. Our guests and visiting Rotarians will remember the spectacular views of the Georgetown waterfront down past the Kennedy Center. We will continue to meet by zoom, and hope to select a new venue in Rosslyn once it’s safe to meet again in person. But we will mourn the disappearance of our long-time venue.
Letters to Santa
By John Coker, Rappahannock-Fredericksburg
Our Rappahannock-Fredericksburg Rotary club placed a special mailbox in downtown Fredericksburg for 3 weeks in November and December, dedicated to mail destined for the North Pole and Santa Clause. Over 1,100 youngsters took advantage of the opportunity to relay their wants and wishes to the Big Guy. Rotary Club members then responded to all the children who mailed letters with return addresses. We hope all the children were thrilled to receive a letter from Santa from the North Pole, and it certainly warmed the hearts of all the Rotarians who wrote letters back to the children.
North Stafford Rotary Club Learns, Gives, and Connects
By Tracy McPeck, North Stafford
We certainly missed getting together in person for the holidays as we normally do, but we are never lacking in opportunities to learn something new, give back, and connect! 
In December, we enjoyed a few special guest speakers at our virtual meetings. One interesting and informative presentation was given by the Virginia Commission for the Arts Executive Director Janet Starke and Fredericksburg Arts Commissioner Jan Monroe. We learned about the Commission’s new mission statement, their commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA), Poetry Out Loud, and their new creative efforts, including Arts and the Military. You can find out more at 
NSRC members contributed to two worthy projects for the holidays. The first was to Operation Warm, which seeks to provide brand-new winter coats to all children. Our goal is $1,235, and as this is an all-year fundraiser, we will continue to support this project. The other project NSCR helped support is a gift card drive for S.E.R.V.E., Stafford’s local food pantry. Several gift cards, donated by NSRC members, were collected in lieu of toys due to COVID and distributed with family meals for the holidays.
Our other big news is that NSRC RY20-21 President Shawn Lumpkin was interviewed for our District 7610 Rotary Times YouTube channel! Dr. Deborah Jackson was a gracious host and interviewer. You can watch their conversation and learn all about Shawn, his family, and his vision for our North Stafford Rotary Club here.
New Members
These are the new members added in December 2020