Notes from the Governor
People of Action,
I hope everyone is staying safe, remaining healthy, and connecting with one another at virtual club meetings and happy hours. It is vitally important during this time to stay linked together in service and fellowship.
I have seen and heard from so many clubs during this time and I am amazed with the amount of community service that is taking place. Things are happening at the zone and international levels as well. There was a successful international telethon that raised over $1 million for the Rotary Foundation, the RI International Convention is going virtual and this will allow so many more people to have the experience of attending sessions and hearing from an extraordinary list of speakers. Current DGs and incoming governors are working across Zones 33-34 to plan for a new Rotary year with a new Rotary normal. Many districts, including our own, are adding new members to their rolls.

Related to new members, the month of May is Youth Service Month. On our June 4 th Lunch and Learn, you will hear from a very accomplished Rotaractor/Rotarian from neighboring district 7600, Alex Richie will speak about engaging and making a more conducive environment young adults in Rotary.
On the note of engagement, District 7610 has had another remarkable year with its youth programs. From RYLA, to study exchanges, to the speech contest, to the expansion of Interact clubs, we have seen solid growth. Youth Services Chair, Matt Leavitt and his team are the people who made that happen, and they understand that successful youth programs develop the pipelines for future Rotarians. Next year, you will see a continued effort to increase the number of Rotaractors in our district and the number of folks under 30 in our Rotary clubs.
Now is the time to be innovative, agile, and open to change. We have a real opportunity to Grow Rotary in many new and transformative ways. I look forward to continuing this journey with you.

YIRS,
In This Issue
  • Flags for Heroes
  • A Sterling Effort
  • Operation Cookie Drop
  • The Mustang is Missing
  • Arlington Gets Creative
  • Zooming in on Membership
  • Persevering in Purcellville
  • New Members
Flags for Heroes
By Tyra Garlington, President, Tysons Corner
COVID-19 could not deter the Rotary Clubs of McLean and Tysons Corner from their traditional recognition and celebration of designated heroes throughout the year. Out Flags for Heroes program currently installs and displays flags annually Memorial Day week, May 16-26; Flag Day, June 14, 2020; Independence Day, July 4, 2020; and Veterans Day November 11, 2020. Each flag identifies its donor.
Everyone has heroes in their lives. This means everyone can join the celebration. To do so, just contact the president of either the McLean or Tysons Corner Rotary Clubs for terms and conditions. You name your hero(s). We have expanded our recognition this year to include healthcare and all essential workers who have risen to support us during this tragic pandemic.
This is our Rotary way of saying, "Thank you!" to those who embody qualities of commitment and courage. 

You may view our flag displays at the following Mclean locations: The American Legion Post 270, The Sharon Masonic Lodge, The Garfield Memorial Christian Church, and The Medical Building on Old Dominion Road.
Who deserves your recognition?
A Sterling Effort!
By Lynne Ast, President, Sterling
The Loudoun County community, which the Sterling Rotary Club serves, features a mixed economic landscape. There are those blessed with great fortune, those in the middle whose security is in the balance, and those families that struggle with food and shelter insecurities every day. The COVID-19 stay-at-home order in our county has massively impacted the middle and lower income families, and the number of people that Salvation Army reaches with food insecurities has grown exponentially. 
Former Rotarian, Marc Engelking, owner of two Firehouse Subs restaurants, was faced with a different dilemma. Marc had plenty of food, but few customers. He also had employees who needed his support in order to avoid adding their names to those seeking help from the Salvation Army. Marc then called Sterling Rotary Club, President Lynne Ast, and a three pronged organization was born.
Salvation Army Captain, Pardeep Ramaji, told Lynne that the numbers of people needing food was growing like a three alarm fire, so we started with a mission to feed 300 people and dubbed the project FEED 300. In response, the club initiated a campaign to raise money to purchase meals from Firehouse Subs for $5 each and distribute them through the Salvation Army. During the first week the money came easily. The fundraiser did just enough to cover $1000 worth of meals and our club kicked in an additional $500. 
As we continued to push the campaign, donation overload had already settled in. There are just so many non-profits and organizations rising to the call, people became "overly asked" and the money didn't flow into our funnel as it did the week before. That's when Ashburn Rotary Club's Linda Carducci called and offered a donation of $750. That gave us a total of another $1500, to pay for meals and feed another 300 people for the second week.
Captain Pardeep Ramaji, from the Salvation Army gets ready to deliver 300 meals,
Since then, the fundraiser has taken a different path. Tribute at One Loudoun, a brand new senior community here in Loudoun, has suffered a serious COVID-19 blow. Several of their residents and staff have become ill, died, or been otherwise compromised by the virus. 
Last week, on Thursday, we fed the healthcare professionals at Tribute who are caregivers to our "Greatest Generation" and the other residents who are there for a variety of reasons. 

The previous day, the residents had been given the great gift of a parade of love by people in the community. Caregivers lined the sidewalks surrounding the facility, while families, friends and neighbors, drove slowly by with signs, balloons, costumes, honks and loud chants of gratitude and love to these valiant warriors. The Sterling Club's Membership Chair Brian Dyak's, mother lives there. He said it was so touching to see the numbers of people come out and the joy that it brought to the residents, to witness such kindness. We are so blessed to serve such a caring community of people.
America has risen to the challenge of bringing hope to its communities. The Rotary Club of Sterling has been blessed to be a part of the solution to feed the souls of those feeling the pain of this most, those on the front lines of the pandemic, as well as those suffering economic insecurities as a direct result.
Operation Cookie Drop
By Charlie Russell, Rappahannock-Fredericksburg
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus, the girl Scouts of America in the Fredericksburg Area, recently found themselves with an overabundance of unsold cookies in the back of an 18 wheeler at a local YMCA. Faced with a choice of storing the cookies or distributing them throughout the community, the Girl Scout leadership opted for trying to come up with a plan to distribute them to charities, feeding ministries, and first-responders in the local area. When the daughter of Rappahannock Rotary Club member, Patsy Thompson, mentioned this to her mother, Patsy suggested looking to Rotary to assist in the distribution.

At their normal Wednesday morning meeting, the Club was notified of the project and immediately moved into action.

The first challenge was to identify potential recipients of the cookies. Rappahannock Club members were asked to recommend organizations which would be good candidates to receive the gifts of Thin Mints, Trefoils, S'mores, etc. Club members June Woditsch and Vicki Lewis then took on the task of sorting through the recommended organizations, contacting them, determining how many cases each group should receive, and establishing delivery schedules.
With a plan in place, Forty-two Rotarian volunteers from the Rappahannock Club and its fledgling Satellite Club signed up to load individual vehicles and deliver the cookies to the recipients. All of this was accomplished with strict compliance to current “social distancing” rules in place in the community.
Lotta Cookies
Sam, being Smart, Practiced Social Distancing
Originally the project was estimated to take four days, but the club was able to complete the project in three. In the end, 561 cases (6,732 boxes) of cookies were delivered by more than 28 volunteers over the three day period. Team leader and President-Elect Darryl Barnes officially declared “Operation Cookie Drop” a complete success. Charitable organizations in the area that benefited from the Rappahannock-Fredericksburg Club'a Girl Scout organization's efforts are listed below
Encompass Health
Spring Arbor
Micah
Salvation Army
Stafford Food Security
Eight Fire Departments
Fredericksburg PD
Fredericksburg Public Works
Thurman Brisben Center
United Methodist Church
Rappahannock YMCA
Healthy Families Rappahannock
Embrace Foster Care
Lifepoint Church
Hughes Home
Mary Washington Hospital
Stafford Hospital
Heartwood Center
Empower House
Trinity Epsicopal Church 
Lucha Ministries
Serve of Stafford
The Mustang is Missing
By Dave Borowski, District PI Chair, Bailey's Crossroads
Our annual Rotary Club of Bailey's Crossroads, VA Mustang raffle supports the community in so many ways. Although we will be unable to raise money with our Mustang for the upcoming year, we will be using this year’s funds to provide assistance to the Bailey’s Crossroads community during this time of food insecurity.
On Monday May 11th, members delivered much needed food to the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center Food Pantry, it really is not enough.

For the next eight weeks club members will be procuring and delivering $1,000 worth of food to ACCA - Annandale Christian Community for Action and Dar Al Hijrah Food Pantries on alternating weeks. 
Arlington Responds to Community Crisis through
Continuity & Creativity
By Bob Car0lla, Arlington
Over the years and from the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, The Arlington Rotary Club has been supporting the Arlington Food Assistance Center ( AFAC ) in efforts to meet the needs of county residents.

In mid-April, a special appeal in which an anonymous donor matched up to $5,000 for every dollar donated through ARC’s website netted $6,141. The contribution was split between AFAC and the Bayou Bakery’s  free meals initiative t hrough Real Food For Kids .

Individual ARC members also posted appeals on Nextdoor.com to their neighborhoods with links for direct donations to AFAC. The free “hyperlocal” social networking tool helped raise the club’s profile and personalized the campaign.

Although the club's spring banquet and fundraiser on April 23 was cancelled due to the crisis, its Educational Fund will still award it annual scholarships for college-bound Arlington high school seniors. "We hope to present the $10,000 and $8,000 scholarship awards in person to our two recipients in June or later this summer," said ARC president Raquel Neumann.

ARC next major fundraising event will be its Trivia Night in October.

“In the meantime, we thank everyone whose g enerosity continues to help fund our programs,” Neumann said.

Sponsors of this year’s scholarships include:
  • AHC
  • Art-Eclectic
  • Claude Moore Charitable Foundation
  • John P. & Priscilla C. Becker
  • Gary & Janice Long
  • MESH Charities
  • Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
  • The Pearl L. Deck Fund
  • Phil Traina

Like many organizations, ARC has suspended in-person meetings, but continues to host weekly lunches on Zoom. Since March, they have included the following speakers:

·      Russell Danao-Schroeder is a principal planner with Arlington County’s
Housing Division since 2012, who has led establishment of the county’s affordable housing policy   county’s master plan.

·       Brad McNiff, a professional engineer and principal o f GHT Building Systems , specializing in sustainable designs for energy, efficiency, health and wellness in. commercial and government facilities and multi-family dwellings.

·       Captain Wayne Vincent and Detective Timothy Parsons of the Arlington Police Department‘s Community Outreach Uni t on financial crimes and identity protection.

·         Arlington County Fire Chief David Povlitz on fire safety, community services and emergency response. Worth noting: Fire Station 6 in the City of Falls Church following renovations.

·       Marty Swaim, executive director of Challenging Racism , on expanding community conversations about racial equity throughout the DMV metropolitan area.
Arlington Rotary’s Zoom lunch speaker on May 14 was Marty Swaim, executive director of Challenging Racism. The organization hopes to expand community conversations about racial equity throughout the DMV region.

Challenging Racism is scheduled to hold Learning to Lead, a 5-day training program in Arlington, July 6-10. Skills learned and practiced in the course enable other groups to create safe spaces for difficult conversations about race or race-related topics.
Zoom lunches have offered a special benefit: Rotarians who spend winter months in warmer climates are able to continue to participate.

“As tragic as the coronavirus is for people, many people are moving into greater comfort levels in using technology,” Neumann observed. “It is a time for creativity. It is an opportunity to strengthen Rotary’s bonds locally, nationally and internationally and add new strategies for service.”
 Zooooming in on Membership
By Earl Baughman, District Membership Chair
When I told a friend of mine last week that I was the Membership Chair for my Rotary District, the dialogue went like this:

My Friend, “Well, I guess you’ll have a few months with nothing to do.” 

Me, “Why do you say that?”

My Friend, “Well, it’s kinda like the way things are in this environment. You just gotta hunker down, see what happens, and get ready to pick up the pieces when this is all over.”
 
Me, “Well, Rotary doesn’t see to be doing that. We’re having club meetings, board meetings, social hours, training sessions, etc. using RingCentral/Zoom meetings. Clubs are still carrying out community service projects. In fact, my own club just participated in a major project, delivering cases of Girl Scout Cookies to charities, first responders, etc. I don’t see why membership efforts should have to come to a grinding halt.”
So, we have demonstrated that there are ways we can carry on the business of Rotary within the constraints of today’s Covid-19 environment. The following are some suggestions about how we can couple the available technological resources and the flexibility that Rotary International has afforded today’s clubs, to attract and keep members.
  • Forward announcements of Zoom club meetings to friends and prospective members and invite them to join in.
  • Set up Zoom meetings with a few (maybe five or fewer) prospective members and do a Discover Rotary presentation followed by a question and answer session.
  • Take advantage of the fact that speakers don’t have to live in your local community to be invited to make a presentation.
  • Hold a virtual Happy Hour and invite friends to join in.
  • Add information to your website that would allow someone to contact a club member and get an invitation to an online meeting.
  • Develop a process to induct new members during an online meeting.
  • Take advantage of the polling capability in the Zoom App to see what your current club members are thinking. 
  • Record your Zoom meetings and make them available to members who were not able to attend or prospective members.

I'm sure that Rotarians, being a creative lot, can come up with a whole host of novel ideas to exploit the technology and capabilities that are at our disposable. As you develop new ideas please forward them to me at ebaughman@cox.net so I can share them with others. 
Persevering in Purcellville
By Lynn Dimhoff, Past President, Purcellville
The Purcellville Club holds virtual meetings weekly, and it’s great to see more members join us every week as they get used to the virtual format. We are all looking a little shaggy, but it’s great to see our family every Thursday morning.
Our own Priscilla Godfrey has been making Rotary masks out of some unsold Rotary tee shirts. So now when we go out and about, we are protected and sporting our favorite logo! It does strike up conversations, and we have some interested folks who will join us when we meet in person.

Our biggest project has been in conjunction with the Good Shepherd Alliance. They have several residences in Loudoun County that house women and their children who are emerging from abusive relationships, and/or homelessness. As you can imagine, the numbers of ladies needing their help has been growing rather quickly.

One family in particular has needed some extraordinary assistance. The mom had finally found a great job, and started working last November. Then BAM. Her oldest son (16) was diagnosed with Leukemia. He is currently in Children’s Hospital in DC for his third chemotherapy session, each of which has lasted 28 days. They are searching for a bone marrow transplant donor, but in the meantime are trying to keep him as healthy as possible.
Good Shepherd had an apartment for her, but it needed some major repairs, and that’s where we swung into action. Thanks to some wonderful neighbors, our Club has been able to provide a top-to-bottom paint job, and new flooring throughout. We have also assisted in furnishing the 3-bedroom 800 square foot house through our generous members. She and her son now have a clean and safe environment where he can regain his health. 
New Members
These are the new members added in April 2020