Notes from the Governor
March 8, 2021 was International Women’s Day. In light of this, I thought that it was a good a time to highlight some of the great accomplishments by women in Rotary International, but also, closer to home, here in District 7610. Dating back to 1989 when the Supreme Court opened Rotary International membership to women and required clubs to comply with this ruling, our District has led the way when it comes to strong, powerful, and impactful women leaders.
Ask any woman who makes it up the Rotary leadership chain and they will tell you that the road is hard, long, and filled with both inappropriate and unfair challenges. As I have told our clubs, there is a difference between being disrespectful and disagreeing, and the reality is that our organization has not always had the best record on this issue. However, over the past two years, Jonathan Lucus and I have worked hard to embrace a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, especially when it comes to women, female leadership opportunities, and empowerment.

We can be proud of growth that our organization has made. For instance, our current 12 members who make our corps of Area Governors have nine women in their ranks. Our group of leaders at the chair-level positions have three women leading key components of the six major committees. Our next three District Governors Pat Borowski, Sheila Brennan and Rene Laws are women. They secured their leadership positions based upon their own merits, and their demonstrated commitment to Rotary, its members, its standards and its role in our communities.

Is there more work to be done? Absolutely – the numbers tell the story. Of the 57 clubs we have in our District, only 12 are led by women. In Virginia, 51% of the population across all age groups are women; our clubs are less than 40% female. While our district numbers are better than the international or North American average, it is still unacceptable. What’s important is that this disparity adds to the overall gap in diversity in clubs’ future leadership.
 
Attracting more women to our clubs and to leadership is not going to happen if we continue to stand by the traditional ways of growing our organizations. Why? Because it hasn’t been working for the last 20 years.  Simply telling members to go out and find a woman to bring to a club is no longer good enough. (Don’t even think that suggesting that members bring their wives to their home clubs is the answer.) We need to rethink how we communicate about Rotary – and what Rotary offers to the next generation of potential members and leaders.
Where are many of our future members? At work or volunteering with other organizations. Taking care of families. Let’s “meet” them where they are. That means adding Rotary as part of your LinkedIn profile and posting about Rotary on LinkedIn. (It’s easy. Contact Lori Prencipe if you have any questions.)

This also means meeting with organizations, such as professional networking groups for women, community action centers, and churches and listening to their concerns. We need to hear what it is they want to accomplish and then work with them to show how Rotary can meet their goals. Partnering with these groups will help us extend our impact in and attract prospective members.

In the process, we also need to promote women leaders within our organization. Our clubs need to help develop leadership programs within their own ranks and promote women to critical positions. In addition, we need clubs to support and encourage women to attend programs like Rotary Leadership Institute and emerging leader programs.  Finally, clubs and the District need to do a better job of understanding the time challenges of successful professional women with families and working to adjust our schedules and activities to meet their specific needs.

Another option is to reach out groups like the African American Teachers Association and learn about their specific challenges. (Approximately 76% of public school teachers are female, according to the U.S. Department of Education.)

Do something different. Do something you believe will make a positive impact. And then let me know how it goes and how I can help.
Thank you for everything you do.
Yours in Rotary,

DG Harry Henderson
In This Issue
  • Challenging Racism and Raising $$$
  • We Are Family
  • High Honors to Non-Rotarians
  • Fifth - Is It Fun?
  • Call for Videos and Photos
  • Building Food Security
  • Springfield Gives Back
  • New Members
Raising $$$ And Challenging Racism
By Bob Corolla, Arlington
Arlington Rotary (ARC) hit the ground running for 2021. Despite the logistical challenges of the pandemic and social-distancing, hundreds of Arlingtonians participated in the club’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service project, assembling 250 no-sew blankets for low-income and homeless youth. Fox TV Channel 5 and WDVM both broadcast news stories on the project’s success.
Challenging Racism Continues for Club and District 7610

Teachers at Arlington’s Key School-Escuela Key bilingual immersion elementary school are returning to in-person classrooms. ARC delivered 45 hand-written notes of recognition and encouragement to them along with $15 gift cards along with $400 for the school’s food bank.
The club’s work with Challenging Racism (CR) continues to make race and equity issues a priority. ARC Peace Committee chair Steve Silcox, serves on CR’s board. Thanks to his introduction, the Northern Virginia organization is working with District 7610 on its own major initiative.

On Feb 22, ARC sponsored an online discussion of red-lining, the practice by which past federal government officials denied black home buyers mortgages while subsidizing white suburbs, including Arlington. Background for the discussion included viewing “The House We Live In” a short video case study of the post-WWII development of Levittown, N.Y.

The club’s weekly speakers included C-SPAN marketing representative Doug Hemming who described the network’s civic programming, free newsletters and other resources and Richard White of Boeing on the aerospace industry's navigation of the pandemic's economic crisis.
Arlington Rotary Raises $16,000 for Emergency Relief

In February, the club raised more than $16,000 for Arlington Thrive's same-day emergency relief for Arlington families struck by sudden illness, unemployment or other financial distress that puts them at risk of homelessness. The special fundraising drive was made possible thanks to a matching challenge of up to $10,000 by an anonymous Rotarian. Through social media, about a third of donations came from non-club members. Many thanks to all!
The club also donated 32 homelessness survival kits to Recovery Program Solutions of Virginia. (RPSV) In addition to Arlington, RPSV operates drop-in recovery centers for adults with mental health, substance use, and homelessness issues in Annandale, Merrifield, Reston, and Alexandria.
“There is new hope this year for recovery from the pandemic, but the health and economic crisis is not over,” said ARC President Chelsi Dildine. “Arlington Thrive has reported that 6,000 Arlington residents are unemployed and at risk of homelessness. In District 7610, RPSV serves 9,000 adults annually. About a third are veterans.”
Meanwhile, ARC has resumed its Trivia Contest Happy Hours. Over 60 players played in the second match of 2021 and an Arlington Club team finally defeated the Crystal Club team, the widely-heralded champions of 2020. For $10 per player, other District 7610 Rotary clubs and friends are invited to take up the challenge. The next contest is Wednesday, April 14th from 5:-6:30 p.m.
North Stafford Rotary Club: We Are Family
By Tracy McPeck, North Stafford
We are saddened at the recent passing of two of our members’ loved ones: Sandrine “Sandy” Goeller, wife of Gilles Goeller, and James “Doc” Walding, Kent Walding’s father and T.J. Walding’s father-in-law. Our thoughts are with Gilles and his children, Robin and Louise, as well as with Kent and T.J. 

Now, more than ever, we rely on each other to survive difficult times. NSRC President Shawn Lumpkin said it beautifully, “I firmly believe that the last year has shown us the importance of relationships and having that deeper connection with family, friends, and organizations you acquaint/identify yourself with which makes us, in the end, all FAMILY. As FAMILY, it is my hope that we continue to support each other and it can be as meaningful as saying a prayer, or if able, giving more.”
February’s snowy weather did not deter the North Stafford Rotary Club from (safely) gathering to inventory, clean, and repair about 200 flags used in our annual Flags for Heroes campaign. 
We also welcomed Tim White of Stafford Food Security, a nonprofit devoted to eliminating hunger in the children and families of Stafford County and our surrounding areas. Prior to the pandemic, Stafford Food Security delivered shelf-stable family meals via backpacks through students in 66 area schools. During the pandemic, meals have been delivered to families whose students have been identified by their teachers as having a need. Stafford Food Security also partners with area organizations to provide meals during the summer, and recently purchased a food truck that will start bringing meals to underserved communities this spring. In addition, they recently opened a storefront in Stafford, and those interested in contributing are welcome to volunteer for two-hour shifts to help in the store. 

High Honors Awarded To Eight Non-Rotarians
By Joan Ledebur and Ireka Sanders, Springfield
The Rotary Club of Springfield recently recognized eight outstanding supporters by making them Paul Harris Fellows. In addition to Rotarians who monetarily support The Rotary Foundation, the prestigious Paul Harris Award is given to community members whose contribution, values, and commitment express the best aspirations of Rotary International.

The Paul Harris Fellowship was created in memory of Paul Harris, who founded Rotary along with three business associates in Chicago in 1905. The award honors those who give so much to their communities and fellow citizens, including non-Rotarians. The awardees were pinned in a virtual ceremony with family, friends, and club members looking on via Zoom. 

One of the award recipients was Mr. Joe Funderburke. Joe partnered with the Rotary Club of Springfield and the Interact Club to train and encourage more than 50 potential service academy candidates through multiple training iterations of the Cadet Fitness Assessment (CFA).
He was one of several volunteers who worked tirelessly with individual candidates on multiple techniques to improve their physical fitness performance and provided each candidate the best opportunity for acceptance into service academies.

“This is a passion of mine,” said Mr. Funderburke. “Through the Rotary Club of Springfield’s effort, we created a family. Thank you for the opportunity to give back.”
Dr. Joe Funderburke participates in the virtual award ceremony for the Paul Harris Award.
Korban Thepsoumane, a high school senior in Fairfax County, was one of many future leaders who benefitted from this effort. Thepsoumane saw an 85 percent improvement in the pull up event under Joe's mentorship. 

“You are a great mentor and example of what could be done if you are willing to work for it,” said Thepsoumane. “It is like you helped take us from zero to hero. I would not have thought I was capable of attending an academy if it were not for you.”

The CFA training support program is an on-going Rotary Club of Springfield effort. The individual contributions of the following
recipients and local Interact Club prepared aspiring leaders for admission to Service Academies through an innovative physical fitness program. 

Every Paul Harris Fellow receives a pin and a certificate upon becoming a Fellow. This identifies the Paul Harris Fellow as an advocate of the foundation’s goals of world peace and international understanding.

The Rotary Club of Springfield thanks all of its volunteers who selflessly contribute to opening the doors for a better world. Other recipients from the Rotary Club of Springfield include Dr. John Moeller, Mr. James Bell, Mr. Justin Fitzgerald, Ms. Charice Smith, Dr. Dennis Rowe, Dr. Charlotte Farmer, Michael Locke and Sarah Locke.
Mr. Michael Locke receives his Paul Harris Pin and Certificate from his wife, Rotarian Patricia Locke
Lt Sarah Locke is awarded her Paul Harris Fellowship at her duty station by her Commanding Officer
Fifth - Is It Fun?
By Willow Pedersen, e-Club of Global Peacebuilders
The Rotary e-Club of Global Peacebuilders has implemented a fun Get-to-know-you Game/Social Night in the spirit of fellowship. These are optional meetings that are designed to get to know each of the club members in an informal and fun way.

On the first night, the club utilized Zoom breakout rooms to pair members, allowing people 15 minutes with their partners to go deep and learn about each other one-on-one, before returning to a group-wide session. 15 minutes might seem too long, but more than one group ran out of time. After listening to our partners, we each drew our best representation of their personality and then presented those drawings to the larger group. This helped members find common ground and present what they learned in a memorable way to the rest of the group.
The second club event involved the use of an online and free website called “Rocketcrab” and one of its apps called “DrawPhone”. “NOTE from the app - In Drawphone, there are no winners... only losers! Players take turns drawing pictures and guessing what those pictures are. If you guess correctly, nothing happens! If you guess wrong or draw like a toddler and ruin the chain of drawings and guesses, rest assured that you will be mercilessly mocked for your honest mistake (which ultimately doesn't even matter in the grand scheme of the world).”
We “managed” to play 3 games – 8 words each (24 in total) and wound up with only 3 correct answers! The interaction and laughter emanating from this game was fantastic and provided everyone with another opportunity to learn about other club members. 

We will continue to explore other avenues of online interactive activities for the club to pursue and continue to have FUN!  
Call for Videos and Photos Showing People of Action
By Lori Prencipe, District PI Chair
Barry Gordon (Fairfax) and Lori Prencipe are developing a video to demonstrate 7610 Rotarians as people of action. Please send high quality videos and photos to prencipe.rotary@gmail.com
 
Videos and photos showing diversity in age, color, gender, locations and event types are of particular interest. Please also send photo/video releases if people outside of Rotary are included in the shot. In addition, if you have any upcoming events that might be good to include in the video, please let them know prior to the event. 
Building Food Security
By Steven Wasko, Bailey's Crossroads
Food Security Community Partnership with Parkwood Apartments

District 7610 awarded Bailey's Crossroads Rotary Club (BXRC) a grant, “Expanding Community Partnerships: Building Food Security as a First Step,” to design a sustainable community infrastructure for addressing the challenges of food security in Bailey's Crossroads. Specifically, the $3,000 grant with 10% matching from BXRC will enable us to form a partnership with the leasing office at Parkwood Apartments in order to provide residents of 40 households with groceries, as well as community education on grocery and nutrition. BXRC already has an existing relationship with the families of Parkwood and the organizations which support them through delivery of groceries at Thanksgiving and through support of schools in their neighborhood. Do you want to get involved? We are looking for BXRC members to help by leading "Neighborhood Conversations" on grocery and nutrition or provide technical support for remote community education meetings. (POC: Johnetta)
Food Packaging Update

BXRC continues working to fight hunger in our community. Members have and will be packaging meals for students and food pantries in the area. We are working with The Outreach Program, founded by fellow Rotarians in Iowa. Normally, we would all get together for a large event, but COVID has forced us to work separately. Recently, DG Harry, along with friends and family, packed 3,600 meals. Tijani and Yazmin (pictured here rocking the hairnets) packaged about 1,900 meals as did Kari. If you can lend a hand, please contact Kate.
The Rotary Club of Springfield Gives Back
By Joan Ledebur and Ireka Sanders, Springfield
Over the past year, the Rotary Club of Springfield donated more than eleven hundred dollars to each of three local organizations charged with serving individuals and families impacted by the pandemic. These donations contributed to key efforts focused on food insecurity, clothing and emergency services for our neighbors who face significant challenges to protect themselves.

“I am proud of Rotary efforts,” said Wayne Chiles from the Rotary Club of Springfield, “Many of our members have participated in one or more projects to collect materials or funds for our partner organizations.”

One of Rotary’s partnerships is ECHO (Ecumenical Community Helping Others) an all-volunteer, non-profit, Springfield organization that has helped the community through monetary donations, clothing, household items, non-perishable foods, school supplies and toys for children’s holiday gifts, and distributes aid in a dignified and respectful way to local residents who seek assistance.

“Your donations help make a real difference for the people in the community that are struggling to overcome difficult circumstances,” said ECHO president, Robert T. Vitter. “As we celebrate over 50 years of service to the Springfield/Burke area, we recognize that fulfilling our mission of meeting the needs of more than 1,700 families and neighbors is only possible because of the heartfelt care and concern of people throughout this community-people such as you.”

“Donating to partner programs is one of many ways we give back to the community,” said Angela Contee, the Rotary Club of Springfield president. “We strengthen our bonds with our community through established programs like ECHO that provide critical care for people in the community.” 
The Rotary Club of Springfield President Angela Contee and club foundation treasurer Rotarian Wayne Chiles present a donation to ECHO [Ecumenical Community Helping Others] in Springfield President Bob Vitter, and executive director Anita King.  
Rotarian Mark Blanchard and Rotarian Jim Hendricks presents a club donation to FACETs in Fairfax, VA.
Rotarian Wayne Chiles from the Rotary Club of Springfield presents a club donation to Koinonia Club Director, Judy Davis at their Franconia United Methodist Church property
The Rotary Club of Springfield also partners with FACETS to serve individuals and families who are homeless, low income, unstably housed, and at-risk of homelessness in Fairfax County and the Koinonia Foundation that provides both short-term emergency assistance and self-sufficiency services to residents of the Franconia/Kingstowne area.

Since last May, the Rotary Club of Springfield has provided additional support and resources of more than $2000 in value. Those efforts resulted in assistance to more than 12 different activities in support of community programs.

Rotary Opens Doors!
New Members
These are the new members added in February 2021