Message from DG Jenalea Randall
After nearly three years of preparing, training and dreaming, it has finally arrived – the 2023-24 Rotary year, and my term as District Governor has started!
Our district stretches from Emporia to Junction City over to Kansas City and along the Kansas-Nebraska border. We have nearly 2,000 Northeast Kansans in 41 clubs who are focused on serving their communities through the Rotary mission and being People of Action.
Leading District 5710 is not something I take lightly. I consider each club, my club; each member, a friend.
I would like to take a moment to thank my home club, Rotary Club of Topeka South, for setting me on this road by nominating me for District Governor. Topeka South is the reason I am a Rotarian. As I visit clubs around Northeast Kansas, I will take with me the foundation of service, fellowship and giving that Topeka South has encouraged in me. I’ve always been amazed by the energy and spirit that the club members have at 7:15 a.m. Fridays. I’m looking forward to meeting Rotarians and experiencing your energy and unique club cultures.
Managing the district is not done alone. More than 30 of our fellow Rotarians from around the district raised their hands to serve at the district level. Thank you is not nearly enough – but THANK YOU district leaders and committee members for living Service Above Self.
Speaking of Service Above Self – The 41 club presidents are also taking the reigns of leadership. I am deeply honored to be walking alongside each of you during the next 12 months and am so looking forward to what we will accomplish!
One of my favorite quotes by Rotary International founder Paul Harris is: Whatever Rotary May Mean to Us, to the World it will be Known by the Results it Achieves.
It is my hope that my year as District Governor will be known by these results:
  • Club presidents and leaders feel supported, find resources and are inspired by District leadership. That they can focus on engaging their club members in service, fellowship, and growing their impact in how it is most valuable to their members and communities.
  • District 5710 dreams audacious goals as we find ways to support the mental health and wellness of fellow Rotarians and those in our communities. I have established a mental health taskforce made up of community mental health leaders, who are also Rotarians, who are going to examine how we can be involved in supporting mental health initiatives in the district.
  • Following the lead of the past three RI presidents, we will continue to Empower Girls by supporting projects that protect, empower, and create equity for girls. Empowered girls become empowered women. I hope that our district can offer opportunities for girls to elevate their voices and articulate their views, ideas and opinions. That we will be a source of inspiration and a guide for young women.
Rotary International President Gordon McInally has challenged us to “Create Hope in the World” by continuing to do what we do best – by remaining open and willing to change, by keeping our focus on building peace in the world and within ourselves.
Today, I ask you – What does Hope look like in your club and community? How can we - together - Create Hope and build peace? 
Thank you for this opportunity to serve as District Governor! I am looking forward to the year ahead!
Jenalea Randall
District Governor

Club & District News and Events

Rotary and Polio Plus
In this coming critical year of Rotary’s continued fight to see the last case of the Wild Polio Virus, with the help of every Rotarian and Club in District 5710, we can make a difference!  In 2022-23 many clubs across the District proved they continue to be PERSISTENT in their support for finally eradicating Polio by meeting and exceeding their Annual Polio Plus Goal.  As of June 30th we are proud to say that the Club’s and District’s donations, when combined with matching donations from the Rotary World Fund, a match from a Rotary International Director, and then obtaining the Gates Foundation $2:$1 Match we will have provided over $525,000 toward Polio Eradication!
So as the new Rotary year begins now is the time to start planning your club’s Polio Plus Fundraising activities and events for 2023-24. Here’s a few suggestions to consider:
  • Assign or recruit a Polio Plus Chair/Champion as a member of the club leadership
  • As annual budgets are developed, set an aggressive Polio Plus Goal in Club Central
  • Encourage as many members as possible to join the Polio Plus Society ($10/month)
  • Add a Polio Plus Goal Progress Status and Donation Link to your Club’s Social Media
  • Share a “Polio Progress/History” minute with the club during each week’s meeting 
  • Consider asking your city/community to Proclaim October 24th World Polio Day
  • Plan a specific Fundraising Event sponsored by the club around World Polio Day
  • Contact District Polio Chair if you need Fundraising suggestions or help
  • Promote your Polio Events in local Newspapers/radio
  • Invite a Polio Survivor to talk to the club about polio and the need for eradication
  • Ask a Rotarian who has participated in a National Immunization Project to talk
  • Look ahead to plan a Polio Fundraiser during World Immunization Week in April
  • Plan a “Over-The-Top” drive for “More Polio Drops” as the Rotary Year ends in June
Our District’s donations are more important than ever as the potential exists for finding and crushing the Wild Polio Virus in the few remaining locations in two small endemic regions of Pakistan & Afghanistan This year there have been only 1 case in Pakistan and 5 cases in Afghanistan.  See the “Countdown To History” below. The key to success will be to guarantee delivery of the vaccine drops to every child in those areas.  Every $ that is donated continues to be matched $2 for $1 by the Gates Foundation and underwrites the cost of delivering the Vaccine to another child. We need to continue vaccinating the world’s children against polio, because polio anywhere is a threat everywhere.  
Thank you for helping to keep the promise we made to children everywhere...a polio free world.
And “We are…This Close” as shown in our “Countdown to History”
Call or email me for ideas or help: Jim Arnett, Polio Plus District Chair
 (913) 200-0514 ~
Wild Poliovirus Weekly Update
Week Ending 30 June 2023
Total number of wild cases in 2019:  176
Total number of wild cases in 2020:  140
Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2021: 6
Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2022: 30(20 in Pakistan!)       
Total # of wild poliovirus cases this week: 6(4/Afghanistan!)
      (compared with Total of 11 for the same period in 2022)
Total number of Circulating Vaccine Derived cases - 2023:117
 (vs. totals in 2020: 1113; & 698 in 2021, with 864 in 2022)
Please Donate @ 
The Rotary Foundation 
As we close one Rotary year and start another, I would just like to thank all of you for your generosity concerning The Rotary Foundation! These numbers are not final and will probably increase once all the accounting is complete. As of June 30th, 2023, we have collectively given $302,636 to the Annual Fund-Share and $115,735 to Polio Plus. This could not have achieved without all the efforts your clubs have made through your club fundraisers, the Gathering For Good auction, and all of your individual contributions. We added 7 new people to the Paul Harris Society and endorsed two people as Peace Fellows. We received 6 Major Gifts and added several Major Donors to list. Overall, 2022-2023 has been a great year for D5710!
I will now list our Foundation Committee for 2023-2024. I will be in my 2nd year as your District Rotary Foundation. The other committee members and their roles are as follows:
Jim Arnett – Polio Eradication Chair
Carol Wheeler – Paul Harris Society Chair
Rebecca Gould – Peace Fellow Chair
Greg Shondell – District Grants Sub-Committee Chair
Roger Aeschliman – Endowment/ Major Gifts Chair
Steven Graham – Scholarships
Thank you to William Richter and Chuck Udell for your contributions and your commitment to our committee this past year! Both Bill and Chuck will be leaving the committee this year. Their service to our district has been outstanding in their capacity as Endowment/Major Gifts Chair and Peace Fellows Chair respectively. I look forward to working with the wonderful Rotarians who have agreed to be a part of our District Foundation Committee in 2023-2024.
I hope all of you can set your Rotary goals now so we can make this another great year for District 5710. We would love to hear about your fundraising efforts. Also, please reach out to any of us on the committee if you would like one of us to present to your club about any of the many Foundation areas.
I am excited to be working with District Governor, Jenalea Randall! I expect this coming year to be another great year for District 5710 and I am looking forward to what it will bring!
District 5710 Membership Update
Attract New Members – Engage All Members
With the 2022-2023 Rotary year now in the rear-view window, our district membership team thanks all club presidents, club membership chairs and all of their members for stepping up and successfully leading to improve and strengthen their club membership.  “Y’all done good!”
And speaking of our membership team – I want to especially thank them for the amazing work that they have done in providing membership enhancement tools to help our clubs grow.  Special appreciation goes to:
  • Shari Hansen, Leavenworth Rotary Club for managing our membership leads and providing clubs with ideas to attract new members.
  • Mary McKenzie, Jayhawk Breakfast Rotary Club for providing tools to help clubs better engage and retain their members as well as working with Mandy Sheldon to provide the new member welcome package.  Thank you, Mandy for always supporting us.
  • Bill Musgrave, Olathe - Santa Fe Trail Rotary Club for writing articles about all that amazing ways our clubs serve others as well as providing a tool to help clubs work with their local media.
  • Andrea Norris, Lawrence Rotary Club for beginning to plan ways during this coming Rotary year to help re-engage our Rotary alumni.
  • Kathy Peterson and Matt Zimmerman, Shawnee Rotary Club for starting a new Shawnee Rotary satellite club targeted for adults under 40.
District Membership Status
During this current Rotary year our clubs have added 245 new members - which is fantastic.  37 of our 41 clubs added at least one member.  Congratulations to 16 clubs in our district that had a net growth in membership during the 2022-2023 year. Thank you to our club leaders and members for making this happen.
However, we have lost 272 members which brings our net district membership to 1,919 – a net loss of 37 since July 1, 2022. 
Besides new growth in membership your membership team continues to suggest focusing on another metric – member retention. Overall, our district has an 87.6% existing member retention rate which compares favorably to the 2021- 2022 Rotary year’s 84%.   And hats off to 14 of our clubs whose existing member retention rate is 90% or better.  Outstanding efforts for improving member retention rate high.
New Membership Tools
Two new membership tools were added to the Membership Club Resource Section under the Membership Tab on our District Web Site.  They are:
  • What to Consider in Your Club’s New Member Orientation Program – even if your club has a robust orientation program (which many of you do), we suggest that you take a look at this.  This guide has included not only best practices from clubs within our district, but also from other districts and from My Rotary.  You may find one or more items you can use.
  • New Member – Mentor Activity Checklists – there are two checklists put together by Mary McKenzie of the Jayhawk Breakfast Club: one for what is expected from mentors; and the other one for what mentors should do with their new club member mentee.  These lists include best practices from several of our clubs.
Speaking of tools – here is a list of some that are on the Membership Club Resource Section.  Several  are from the My Rotary website downloaded for your convenience and the rest were developed by our District Membership Team. To access, go to:
  • How to Propose New Members
  • Strengthen Your Membership
  • Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in District 5710
  • Action Plan for Membership Leads
  • Grow Your Club Using Membership Leads
  • Suggested Steps to Increase Your Club Membership
  • Encourage Clubs to Make leadership Roles More Accessible and Invite New Members into these Roles
  • What to Consider Including in Your New Member Orientation Program
  • New Member – Mentor Activity Checklist
  • Getting to Know Prospective New Members
  • Club Business Card Example with QR Code
  • Improving Your Member Retention
Our new 2023-2024 Rotary year
I am pleased to announce that Michelle Sink, immediate past president of the Manhattan Konza Club is joining our District Membership Team as district membership team vice chair.   I am also happy that the rest of our team will be continuing to further help our clubs grow and thrive.  Thank you for continuing to step up to serve our clubs.
Our team wishes all 2023-2024 club presidents, membership chairs, and the rest of their leadership team the very best for 2023-2024 to be a year of continued growth for our clubs where they will continue to impact their communities and elsewhere while having fun doing do.  We are looking forward to working with all of you.
As always, questions, concerns re membership, please reach out to me at
District Training
We hope you are enjoying the summer. Summertime can be a very busy time so we want you to SAVE this DATE: 19 August!
District 5710’s next scheduled learning event will be Team Seminar on 19 August from 8:30-1:30 at Maceli’s in Lawrence, KS. All District Rotarians are eligible to attend. Many District and Club Leaders, including our DG Jenalea Randall will attend. We encourage all Rotarians interested in sharing diverse perspectives to attend. New ideas can strengthen our Clubs, help us grow membership and retain members.
This is a no-cost event!  Attendees can look forward to an engaging and fun ½ day event with presentations, discussions, and a complimentary brunch and beverages (Mimosas and Bloody Marys included)! We will focus on Foundation, Leadership/Membership, Public Image and Training to “Create Hope in the World.”
We look forward to seeing and collaborating with you on 19 August.
Mandy will be sending out registration information in July so keep an eye on your Inbox!
Yours in Rotary,
DeEtte and Ellen
Rotary History Moment
As we end this Rotary year, I’m continuing the saga of Rotary in Eastern Kansas, this month we get to the rise of District 5710. This installment owes much to the scholarship of PDG Fred Krebs, my predecessor as District Historian.
Origins of District 5710, 1937-1955
District 5710 has existed in its present form and general boundaries since 1937. Only the numbers have changed. (#123, 1937-1949;  #180, 1949-1957; and #571, 1957-1991) Kansas City, Missouri, Rotary Club 13 (1910) and the Wichita, Kansas Rotary Club (1911) were major influences on development of Rotary clubs in Kansas. The earliest clubs in this district were Topeka  (1914); Kansas City (1915); Leavenworth (#210, 1916); Lawrence (#304, 1917); Emporia (#311, 1917); Junction City (#330, 1917); Manhattan (#335, 1917); Atchison (#430, 1918); and Ottawa (#843, 1921).  Six clubs from 1923 to 1932 joined these nine clubs. (Holton and Marysville (1923); Council Grove (1928); Baldwin City  (1929), Osawatomie (1930), and Paola (1932) In 1936-1937 fourteen clubs were formed, largely through efforts of a professional from R.I., and the eastern Kansas district began. (Alma (1936-1993); Blue Rapids (1937); Bonner Springs (1936); Burlingame (1937); Burlington (1937); Cottonwood Falls (1937-1949); Frankfort (1936); Howard (1936); Lyndon (1937-1972); Olathe (1937); Oskaloosa (1936); Overbrook (1937); Seneca (1937-1989); and Valley Falls (1937)).
Eight clubs founded between July 1, 1936, and June 30, 1937, the most prolific year to date, are still active (Burlington, Burlingame, Blue Rapids, Frankfort, Howard, Oskaloosa, Valley Falls, and Overbrook).  Two clubs, Garnett (1926) and Yates Center (1937-1992) would be added to our district in 1943 and 1965, respectively, from the “Four Corners” district. [NB: This was true when PDG Fred wrote this passage.  Sadly, as of this writing, only Burlington,  Howard, Valley Falls, and Garnett still get their Rotary on.  Howard is no longer in D5710, having been reorganized into District 5680, the other Kansas district to our west.  Blue Rapids lives on in the Valley Heights-Blue Rapids club that emerged from a merger of those clubs.  Our very rural small-town clubs really struggle(d) as the economics of farming in Kansas and the rise of the interstate highway system dramatically changed the flow of goods and services in the state.]
From 1937 to the early 1950s the District established stability and served communities with service projects and scholarships.  Working with the Crippled Children’s Fund and Easter Seals was a project for many district Rotary clubs. Several Rotary clubs in the district sponsored an international program, Boys and Girls Week. Rotary clubs also were one of the main sponsors for Scouting units. During World War II district clubs led scrap metal, paper, and letter writing drives. In 1944 and 1945 the district conferences were divided among regional sites to help on fuel rationing. Governor David MacFarlane (1941-1942), president of Kansas Teachers’ College (Emporia State University), promoted the idea of college scholarships and support of local libraries as club projects. The sixteen governors from 1937 to 1953 were from 13 clubs spread throughout the district with three clubs, Topeka, Lawrence, and Kansas City with two governors each.
After World War II, the emphases of Rotary International centered on peace and improved international relations, good citizenship, and development of new clubs. An internationally respected figure, Coach Forrest C. “Phog” Allen of Lawrence served as district governor from 1945 to 1946. One of the first Ambassadorial Fellowships was awarded to Robert O. Gibbon of Howard, Kansas, a political science professor from Eau Claire, Wisconsin who studied political science at the University of Edinburgh in 1948-1949. Rotary International was a major supporter of the United Nations and local clubs sponsored essay contests and programs on international relations.  District Governors during the post-war period, like William Eddy of Marysville (1947-1948) , Harry White of Council Grove (1948-1949), and Wilbur Lewis of Kansas City (1952-1953) encouraged clubs to promote good citizenship programs and scholarships. PDG Lewis would serve on the Rotary International Board of Directors (1963-1965) and received one of the first TRF awards for Distinguished Service in 1982. The expansion of Rotary in our district was sparked by the chartering of the Shawnee Mission club in 1946 under the governorship of Merrit Owens of Kansas City (1946-1947).  Although the Cottonwood Falls club would disband in 1949, four more clubs would join the district by 1961. (DeSoto—1949; Topeka West—1950, Overland Park—1960; and Kaw Valley (Kansas City South)—1960). [NB: Topeka West and Kansas City South no longer exist]
End Human Trafficking News
Fellow Rotarians - I am Steve Nettles with the Lenexa Rotary Club. I will taking over for Patti Mellard, our current fiscal year Chair for the District 5710 Anti-Human Trafficking Committee. Thank you Patti for your service.
Let’s review Rotary International’s mission to end Human Trafficking in our communities.
What Rotary is Doing To End Human Trafficking in communities, we will serve as facilitators and problem solvers, and provide forums for discussion. We will provide Rotary Clubs with information, resources and toolkits to engage their communities and support local organizations and agencies working to end human trafficking. To end human trafficking, we have to prevent it before it happens. To that end, our Initiative will focus on:
  • Raising Awareness
  • Educating Children and Youth
  • Reducing Risk Factors that make children vulnerable
  • Stopping the Demand
We encourage every Rotary Club to support local organizations working to end human trafficking to raise awareness about human trafficking, and to engage your community around this issue.
For this coming year I would like all district clubs to work with the district committee on these four areas. To that end, I propose that we concentrate each quarter on one of these. Let’s start with Raising Awareness. I encourage all of us to take advantage of the three introductory courses at Justice University (
  1. What is human trafficking? How would I recognize it? How do I report it? (Approx. 1 hour)
  2. How can entire communities work together to end human trafficking? (Approx. 2 hours)
  3. How do I create a unique plan for myself to become part of the solution? (Approx. 2 hours)
I guarantee you will be amazed ( and sobered) about the issues involved in the human trafficking industry - a $150 billion industry worldwide. The approximate 5 hours spent on these courses is time well spent. All 3 courses are only $25 - first one is free.
I am scheduling our first District 5710 Anti-Human Trafficking Committee meeting (zoom) in late July or early August (details to follow). The agenda will include brainstorming for ways to increase awareness, e.g., hosting an expert speaker.  I hope you will attend and consider representing your club on the committee.
Update on our Global Grant Scholar Mattie Vandel
This past winter the District 5710 Global Grant Scholarship Committee selected Mattie Vandel for a scholarship. Mattie Vandel, from Weston, MO., attended Kansas State University and majored in Anthropology. She had been out working abroad and in the U.S. for four years.
Mattie applied to and was accepted to a unique Global Studies master’s program (only 20 were accepted out of 300 who applied) through Humboldt University in Berlin. Her Global Studies program is a two-year program where they study in Berlin for a while, then go abroad (South Africa) to study. They then move to another location (Thailand) for part of a year. Afterwards, they do a special project at some location and then finish their studies back in Berlin. What a truly Global Studies program.
Mattie started classes in Berlin last April. I talk to her regularly. She is enjoying her classes, all the required reading and the energetic class discussions (see pictures). Students are from Germany, the U.S., Colombia, Romania, India, Sri Lanka and elsewhere.
Mattie has met with her host Berlin Rotarians and done some volunteering with the club at a local soup kitchen (see pictures).
Mattie will be going to South Africa near the end of July and start her studies at the University of Pretoria. In mid to late January, she will go to Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.
Thanks to our committee, the District 5710 leadership for funding and restarting the Global Grant Scholarship, and for those clubs who helped find good candidates to apply. It is exciting to have another excellent scholar studying abroad and representing District 5710.
Steven M. Graham, Chair
Education and Scholarships Committee
District 5710 Rotarians  
Step Up for Their Communities
During the past four months of our just concluding 2022/2023 Rotary year – we have been highlighting several of our District clubs that have been going above and beyond in serving others in their communities.  No worries – if your club was not highlighted. We plan on continuing this series during the new 2023/2024 Rotary year.
We are so proud of the impactful Rotary projects that abundantly improved the lives of many people throughout District 5710 in 2022/2023.  Here are just ten amazing examples:
  • Lawrence Central Club focused on kids and family through their support of a domestic violence shelter, a homeless shelter and the Salvation Army adopt a family project.
  • Leawood Club is proud of its mentoring program called Project REACH that serves Bishop Ward High School juniors and seniors in Kansas City, KS.
  • Lenexa Club has built a powerful partnership with the Lenexa Fire Department and its Fire Safety Trailer.
  • Emporia Club organized a pickleball tournament with proceeds going to the food pantry for Emporia State University students.
  • Overland Park South Club worked with Geeks for Kids to help build custom electric cars and other assistive devise for kids with movement limitations.
  • Western Johnson County Club battled food insecurity by volunteering at Harvesters Community Food Network and collecting non-perishable donations for Shawnee Community Services.
  • Overland Park Club focused on education by supporting the Shawnee Mission South High School InterAct Club and delivering 22,000 books to students in five Kansas City, KS high schools and Center High School in Kansas City, MO.
  • Valley Falls Club Rotarians beautified their city park by refinishing the park gazebo.
  • Overbrook Club knows how to catch kids with their Youth Fishing Tournament.
  • DeSoto Club protects its kids by partnering with the Friends of the Kaw to present Kids About Water safety classes.
Clearly District 5710 Clubs exemplify Service Above Self.  

Manhattan Rotarians Spread “Manhappiness”
By Bill Musgrave, Santa-Fe Trail Rotary Club
Community spirit in Manhattan is called “Manhappiness” and Rotarians are some of its most enthusiastic ambassadors.
The town’s two Rotary Clubs, Manhattan and Manhattan Konza, work independently and together to improve the quality of life, education and environment there.  The clubs work together on a number of projects, such as:
  • Co-sponsoring the high school Interact Club,
  • Helping clean up the Fairmont Boat Ramp under the 177 Bridge, and the Kansas River between Manhattan and St. George, picking up old battery casings, tires and other trash,
  • Helping women transition out of sexual slavery and back into productive lives,
  • Sponsoring a golf tournament,
  • And sponsoring an outgoing Rotary Youth Exchange student this fall.
Individually, some highlights of the Manhattan club include providing books and training to librarians in a 12-county region through a Rotary Early Learning partnership (RELP) Grant, sponsoring high school students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy, sending birthing kits to Africa and more.  Many projects are done in conjunction with the K-State Rotaract Club.
The Manhattan Konza Club prepared new office space for the Sunflower Children’s Collective in downtown Manhattan and hosted its third annual Purple Pinky Donuts fundraiser with proceeds benefitting Polio Plus, ringing Salvation Army bells and more.
In short, you can’t turn around in Manhattan without running into a Rotarian spreading “Manhappiness.” 
Endowment & Major Gifts Update
A huge thank you and bouquets to Bill Richter, outgoing Endowment and Major Gift Chairman for District 5710. I have been walking in the shadow of his greatness since my freshman year at Kansas State University, as a student in his Introduction to Political Science course. Bill inspired me to add Political Science atop my Journalism Major and I took three of Bill’s classes.
Look for additional Foundation, Endowment and Major Gifts information on the District website early in 23-24. This is Bill’s final work and we can all make use of this easy to access information to raise money for the many great works of Rotary (especially Polio, being truly “THIS” close!).
To fire off this year I will to come to your club meeting (in person or digitally) to make remarks, conduct training, or present an entire program anytime, starting right now! If your club is already gifting and fund-raising, good for you and I’ll help you get even better. If your club is not looking so hot on the Rotary Foundation fund-raising meter, I’ll help you get jump-started.
Call me at 785-267-8782 (daytime work) or (same) to connect and get energized about the Rotary International Foundation.
Upcoming Club Events
Each month we will share with you upcoming Club Events.
Thank you for supporting your fellow Rotarians!
Leawood Rotary Pickleball Tournament
July 30 @ Chicken & Pickle
Bonner Springs
The Bonner Springs Rotary Club presented Vaughn-Trent Community Services with a check for $8,000, raised at this year's Kentucky Derby fundraiser!  Vaughn-Trent provides food and utilities assistance to income-eligible residents of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville.  Pictured here are event organizer Jim Miller, Vaughn-Trent Director Joy Gilrath, and Club President Bruce Coleman.
Emporia Rotary
The Emporia Rotary Club initiated its board of directors in its final meeting of 2022-23.  Pictured from left to right are Richard Duncan, foundation coordinator; Dan Robertson, treasurer; Barb Wry, program coordinator; Rolland Trahoon, board member; Karly Witte, board member; Rachael Correll, past president; Mickey Edwards, club president; and Marshall Miller, board member.  Not pictured are Marc Fusaro, president elect; Jim Wayman, club secretary; Tom Mais, board member; and Jacqulyn Wellnitz, vice president.
Gardner Rotary
The Gardner Rotary Club in partnership with RIP Medical Debt (a 501c3) has launched a campaign with the goal of purchasing and forgiving old medical debt in Johnson County and the surrounding area. We set an aggressive goal of $15,000, which is estimated to have the power to eliminate over $12,000,000 in local medical debt owed by individuals and families that are living at lower levels of income. This is debt that is still valid and follows the debtors for years. Medical debt is the number one reason for bankruptcy in the US and our local club is committed to help people who, through no fault of their own, are caught up in an endless cycle of debt.
At our June 22 regular meeting, we had commitments for $5,000 which, along with what our club foundation has already pledged, puts us at our goal! NOW, we want to see how much more we can raise by Labor Day. The more we raise, the more debt we can purchase and forgive. Anyone can help with this very substantial goal that will relieve an amazing amount of debt in our area, so pass this along to family and friends. 
For more information or to help neighbors in need, visit: Rotary Club of Gardner Debt Relief Campaign - RIP Medical Debt
Leavenworth Rotary
Finishing the Year Strong with Three New Members!  We were happy to welcome new members, Dave Maggard, Anna Freiderich-Maggard and John Alexander this month; they are shown with sponsors Mark Schoenemann (far left) and Tom Dials (far right) just after lighting their candles of commitment. Welcome to Diana, Dave, Anna and John ! (pictured at right)
President Derek presents our Mayor, Jermaine Wilson, with our highly coveted Service Above Self Award for his assistance in facilitating our club’s work in making Melissa Etheridge an honorary member and honoring her as a Paul Harris Fellow. President Derek Wohlgemuth is recognized as a PHF plus one; pictured here with Foundation Chair, DeEtte Lombard.
Tamara Sevcik receives the annual President’s Award from Derek Wohlgemuth. Rotarian Michelle Knight (left) is excited to lose her red new member ribbon at a recent meeting; Michelle is pictured here with her sponsor and past President, Shari Hansen.
Leawood Rotary
Pickleball Tournament – July 30 – Come Join Us: Leawood Rotary is the Title Sponsor for the First Annual Project C.U.R.E. Pickleball Tournament on July 30 at Chicken and Pickle in Overland Park.  Project C.U.R.E., founded in 1987 to address the staggering shortage of medical resources around the world, recently announced reaching the extraordinary milestone of delivering over $1 billion in medical supplies, equipment and services to people in underserved communities in over 135 countries.
The first annual Project C.U.R.E. Pickleball Tournament will be a family friendly event with numerous activities for the everyone.  Thirty-six teams will make up the tournament field and there will be no skill or classification levels.  All teams are guaranteed a minimum of 3 games – two in the Round Robin portion of the tournament and a minimum of one game in the single elimination portion of the tournament.
All attendees will be able to play corn hole, bocci ball, ping pong, shuffleboard and even a giant jinga game if they wish.  Food and drinks will of course be available for individual purchase.  If you have not been to Chicken and Pickle you will be amazed at all the activities and the fun atmosphere.  It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours cheering on your team and socializing with fellow Rotarians.  For more information and to register a team or donate go to
Successful matchmaking at Leawood Rotary:  Fellow Leawood Rotarians, Lisa May and Steve Black introduced their children during a Rise for Hunger club volunteer event in November of 2019.  Nearly four years later, their children, Nathan May and Kara Black celebrated their nuptials on June 3 in Kansas City, MO and now reside in Columbia, MO where Dr. Nathan May begins his residency at University of Missouri Medical Center and Kara will be an elementary school teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes.
Manhattan Rotary
Five Manhattan High School students were able to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Academy held June 4-8 in Lawrence, sponsored by the MRC. The comments from our students were all positive, with a few wanting to remain at RYLA.
The Club supported the Juneteenth celebration with a $500 donation from cup money. Randy Peterson presented a check for $500 to Sonya Baker, chair of the Juneteenth celebration.
On Saturday, June 17th, Rotary members helped set up for and serve a brunch to those who marched in the Juneteenth Parade from Long's Park to the Douglass Activity Center (see pictures).
On June 19th, the annual Manhattan/Konza Rotary Club Golf tournament was held to raise funds for the Rotary Foundation with 47 golfers participating. Rotarian Katharine Hensler won the award for the women’s longest putt at 44’ 5”. Coming in first place was the team of Rich Sell, Chris Bryant and Rick Hernandez. The second-place team was Vern Henricks, Daryn Soldan, Lorenza Lockett and Brad Roberts.
In FY 2022/2023, our club honored 19 Paul Harris Fellows (PHF). We celebrated two Paul Harris Fellows, four PHF+1, three PHF+2, three PHF+3, two PHF+4, two PHF+5, two PHF+6 and one PHF+8.
The Club carried out 23 unique service projects, three District grants, received a $15,000 grant from Save the Children for early children’s literacy, distributed 10,000 Disney books, received and distributed ~$2.5 million in donated goods through our Community Cares Chest, ended the year with 174 members, and accomplished 22 of our 25 Rotary International goals. Our Rotaract Club is alive and well and in its 33rd year at Kansas State University.
On June 29th, the Club held the annual awards program that included summarizing the year’s accomplishments, the naming of Rotary Blue and Gold award recipients, identifying the Rotarian of the Year, and the passing of the gavel from President Steven Graham to Incoming President Mitzi Richards, creating continuity and “hope in the world.”
Manhattan Konza Rotary

The Manhattan Rotary and Manhattan Konza Rotary Clubs hosted their annual golf tournament and social at the Manhattan Country Club on Monday, June 19th. The following Konza Rotarian golfers donated the cash prizes won from their events to Rotary International.

  • Rich, Chris and Rick also won the Par 3 Poker Contest ($80)
    • Chris Brandt won Men’s Longest Putt ($20)
  • Emily Dixon won Women’s Closest to the Pin ($20)
  • Rob Wild and his team won the Par 3 Birdie Contest ($80)
    • Rob also won the cash 50/50 contest ($180)
A total of $680 was donated from cash prizes. As part of the registration fee, all participants that were Rotarians had $50 donated to Rotary International in their names. With 10 Konza participants, $500 was donated from this portion of the registration fee. In total, $1,180 was donated to Rotary International by Konza Rotarians as a result of this tournament.
Valley Falls
Thursday, June 8, 2023 Rotary Meeting
Larry Martin, our Vice District Governor, was in attendance to present Bill Klenklen with the Paul Harris Fellow Award. The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation. Congratulations, Bill!!
Amelia Brown, Lindsey Martin and Brooklynn Schmelzle were the guests of the Valley Falls Rotary Club. The girls represented FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) which is a Career and Technical Student organization that functions as an integral part of the Family and Consumer Sciences education curriculum and operates within the school system. 

The Valley Falls Rotary Club donated a check for $1000 to help defray costs for their trip to the National Leadership Conference located in Denver Colorado that will be held July 2-6!  Good luck to all participants!!
Village West
Year-Ending Member Gratitude!
In our final activity of the 2022-2023 season, club members and spouses were delighted by the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, President Neil Wakefield, as he spoke eloquently about what we have accomplished this past year.
We met at the home of Matt and Trisha Watkins last night to celebrate a great year of achievement while recognizing some members and sponsors for their contributions of time, talent and treasures towards the good of the local community.
Among the many activities Village West Rotary engaged in this past year were planting and harvesting at the Rotary Community Garden and the distribution of dictionaries to 3rd grade students in Edwardsville, Bonner Springs and Kansas City, KS.
Fundraisers included Christmas-time bell ringing for the Salvation Army. Our Pints for Polio event raised awareness and money for the international fight against polio.
Brews Bags & BBQ (BBB), which included a silent auction, cornhole tournament and 50-50 raffle raised money for Hillcrest Transitional Housing. 
We also awarded scholarships to nine (9) deserving local area high school students.
A check for $3,263 from proceeds of the BBB event was presented to Tom Lally, President of Hillcrest Transitional Housing.
Dr. Russell King, long time Rotarian, has spearheaded annual planting, cultivating and harvesting of produce in the Rotary Community Garden efforts over the years. This past year’s harvest was estimated at between 2,000 and 2,500 pounds worth of produce. The fresh vegetables and greens were donated to Cross-Lines for their community kitchen and food pantry.
We heard from seventeen (17) speakers over the past year, with topics ranging from Rotary foundation programs to coaching football, commercial construction planning in the area, the new Homefield Resort/Athletic Project, Kansas state government, book authors, Salvation Army, community food kitchen, transitional housing and an inspirational talk on the meaning of Memorial Day that included the Kansas State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution color guard flag ceremony.
Member and sponsor award presentations were made to the following.
Paul Harris Fellow (gifted by Neil Wakefield for outstanding services rendered):
  Clayton Hunter
  Tom Lally
  Robert Lofthouse
Rotary Garden Certificate of Appreciation:
  Dr. William Russell King
Fundraising Talent and Leadership Certificate of Appreciation:
  Cathi Hahner
Sponsorship Certificates of Appreciation
  Larry Becker
  Craig Gaffney, Country Club Bank
  Michelle Hereford
  Clayton Hunter
  Tom Lally
  Jack Manahan
  Benjamin McAnany, McAnany Construction
  Karen Orr, Providence Medical Center
  Matthew Watkins, Reece Commercial
  Mary, Nathan & Aaron Weiser, Outfield Beer Company
Engraved, Personalized Pens:
  David Anderson
  Glenn Harte
  Clayton Hunter
  Robert Lofthouse
  Jack Manahan
  Matthew Watkins
After bestowing the foregoing recognition on club members and fundraising sponsors, President Wakefield handed over the gavel to his successor, Clayton Hunter.
President-Elect Hunter takes over on July 1st and as a final act in his current role, presented a plaque of appreciation from the Village West Club to outgoing President Wakefield for all his efforts to organize the above-mentioned club activities.
Good time enjoyed by all and we're looking forward to building off our 2022-2023 success!
We hope you’ll join us in August when we tour the new Homefield Wyandotte County with Dustin Lewis. It is truly an amazing facility that will become widely known throughout the Midwest!
Reserve August 24th on your calendar, and check out our Village West web page for details after the first of August.
See you all real soon!
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