Message from DG Stephanie Meyer
Happy New Year, fellow Rotarians!  This is one of my favorite times of the year, as it brings with it a fresh start (and if you’re like me…plenty of new office supplies and calendars!).  Perhaps you have a personal resolution or two this year, or you’re hoping to continue a habit you began in 2022.  Maybe you’ve even made a list of activities or goals you’d like to accomplish over the next twelve months.  What about your club?  Have you thought about what you’d like to continue moving into the new year, or tweaks you’d like to make?  Is your focus on growing your membership, increasing service, or simply ensuring your current members are happy with their Rotary experience?  Most clubs put together their goals when our Rotary calendar year flipped in July…how are they coming along?
Regardless of your goals or progress, your team at the district level is here to help!  Membership Chair Chuck Udell has put together a truly all-star team to assist clubs with growth and retention, and Foundation Chair Faron Barr and his team are a wealth of knowledge and guidance when it comes to maximizing your contribution towards the Rotary mission.  Still working on your Polio Plus goal?  We’ve got you covered there as well, as I doubt there is anyone in the United States better versed in polio eradication than our own Jim Arnett.  And, as always, feel free to reach out to me about all of that – or even just to invite me to an event or service project (my favorite)!
I hope the holidays have been a blessing to you, and that you’re as excited as I am to finish out the Rotary year (and begin a new calendar year) on a strong note!
Stephanie Meyer
District Governor

Club & District News and Events

Rotary and Polio Plus
Let’s keep our Rotary New Year’s Resolution that all District 5710 Rotarians will help make our Promise of a World Free of the Wild Polio Virus happen by 2026!!  Great Polio Eradication News continues as we begin the second half of this Rotary year: NO NEW CASES OF WILD POLIO VIRUS TYPE 1 ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD FOR THE LAST NINETEEN WEEKS!!!
  • Share this amazing progress with your fellow Rotarians and this great news:
137 – The number of days since the last case of WPV1 occurred in Pakistan (September 15th)
153 – The number of days since the last case of WPV1 occurred in Afghanistan (August 29th)
173 – The number of days since the last case of WPV1 occurred in Mozambique (August 10th)
437 – The number of days since the last case of WPV1 occurred in Malawi (November 19, 2021)
  • Be sure to check out our monthly “COUNTDOWN TO HISTORY” below as Rotary works hand in hand with the Gates Foundation and the GPEI to End Polio by 2026!
CIRCULATING VACCINE-DERIVED POLIO - On our other battlefront in the war on polio, the circulating Vaccine-Derived Polio, there were only 2 new cases reported this last week both Type 1, compared to 40 the week before. One case occurred in Malawi and one in Mozambique. Since both occurred last year, this brings 2022 year to date case totals to 656. As of this report date, there have been no cases reported for the 2023 year so far. Of particular note is that there were no cases reported from trouble spot DR Congo this week.
How can District 5710 clubs and members keep our END POLIO NOW New Year’s Resolution?
  1. Every member donate at least $20.26 – a shout out to the year we will End Polio.
  2. Every member consider joining the District 5710 Polio Plus Society for $100/year. Many Rotarians choose the "recurring" option, whereby you donate a little bit each month, as little as $10 per month. The Commitment Form is on the district website. 
  3. Every club set a goal and hold at least one Polio Plus Funding activity - no matter how small or large – every $1 saves a child – even a club goal of a few $100 works!
  4. Get to know any polio survivors in your community and invite them to your meetings to tell their stories – spread awareness of the fight to END POLIO NOW throughout your communities by social media, and by sharing Rotary’s Polio Story.
  5. Look ahead to taking part in District sponsored Polio Plus awareness events that will take place next spring as we celebrate World Immunization Week and the anniversary of announcement of the successful development of the Salk vaccine.  
Thank you for your dedication to this, Rotary's #1 Priority, and 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 Jan 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: 0(For 19 Weeks!)
      (compared with Total of 0 for the same period in 2022)
Total number of Circulating Vaccine Derived cases - 2023: 0
 (vs. totals in 2020: 1113; & 689 in 2021, with 656 in 2022)
Please Donate @ 
The Rotary Foundation 
Our Gathering For Good committee met last week and we are very excited to be planning for our 3rd Annual event on May 6th! As before, this will be a silent and live auction along with live entertainment. This year, the Gathering For Good will be held at Maceli’s in Lawrence and our auctioneer extraordinaire, Charlie Moon, will be returning to lead us through the live auction. This event, as before, will be a very fun filled night with all of the funds raised going to The Rotary Foundation Annual fund in the name of the person purchasing any item that is available. Some of us have been in contact with a few of our past donors who have committed to donating items to our live auction again. If you have an idea for a silent or live auction item, please contact me ( and we can discuss where your item or auction package can be placed. Last year, we raised over $27,000 in one night and had a wonderful time! I hope you can join us.
As we progress through the Rotary year, I would like you to know that your District Rotary Foundation team is working very hard to help you with all of your Foundation needs. That team is William Richter, Carol Wheeler, Jim Arnett, Steven Graham, Chuck Udell, Greg Shondell, and myself as the Chair. We just recently added the new co-Chairs of Basic Education and Literacy (BEL), Jeremy Poling and Timothy Moran to our team. These team members are finding new ways to make our District Foundation efforts work better for you and for the people these funds can benefit. Several of our team have been contributing articles to this newsletter and contacting you directly. Carol Wheeler, Jim Arnett, Chuck Udell, Greg Shondell, and I have already presented to you about Peace Fellows, Paul Harris Society, Polio Plus, District grants, and general Rotary Foundation knowledge. Any of us would be happy to speak with you or present to your club on several Foundation topics, including the aforementioned topics, Global Scholars, Global grants, and alternative ways to give a significant gift to The Rotary Foundation (TRF). I encourage you to reach out to us if you would like us to present to you.
As of January 30th, we have, as a district, given 41% of what we contributed last year to TRF Annual fund and 55% to Polio Plus. With 5 months left in our Rotary year, we still have time to match or exceed our numbers from last year. Your District Foundation committee is dedicated to helping our members with various ways of contributing to TRF and with various ideas for projects that can benefit from those funds.
Your TRF contributions are truly impacting and enhancing lives! Thank you for all of your efforts so far!
The Rotary Foundation – Two New Giving Opportunities
Two New Giving Opportunities
Posted by Bill Richter, Endowment and Major Gifts Chair
I have mentioned before the wondrous benefits of donating to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) through Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs) and Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs). We can provide lifetime income for ourselves and/or others while ultimately supporting Rotary’s work throughout the world. I recently learned of two changes that might be of interest to anyone contemplating one of these life-income donations. Both changes became effective January 1, 2023.
1.         CGA Rates Have Risen Significantly.
The annuity return to donors has gone up about 0.6 percentage points. Someone the ages of my wife and myself who created a $10,000 CGA in December would have received $640 (6.4%) for the remainder of their lives. As of January 1, that amount increased to $700 (7%). The 2-life annuity rate for both annuitants age 50 is 4%; age 60 – 4.4%; age 70 – 5.2%; age 80 – 6.5%. Single-life annuities are higher: 50 (4.2%); 60 (4.9%); 70(5.9%); 80 (7.6%). You actually get to count your next age six months before your birthday. I will be 84 next April, so my return on a 1-life CGA is now a whopping 8.5%. TRF and most other charities follow the rate guidelines of the American Council on Gift Annuities. Anyone who wishes to know their specific rates can consult the tables on the ACGA website:
2.         QCDs can be used to create CGAs or CRTs.
Please excuse the abundance of acronyms. Anyone age 72 or older is required to take a minimum distribution (RMD) each year from tax-deferred retirement funds such as traditional IRAs, 401Ks or 403Bs. Anyone 70.5 or older can donate directly from a traditional IRA to a charity (like The Rotary Foundation). Such a donation, called a Qualified Charitable Donation (QCD), does not count as a charitable contribution, but the distribution does not count as income, so is not taxed. As of January 1, it is possible for a qualified donor to make a one-time QCD of up to $50,000 from a traditional IRA to a CGA or CRT. In my case, for instance, if I had $50,000 or more in a traditional IRA that I wanted to donate as a QCD to create a CGA, I could do so, receive $4,250 per year (8.5%) for the rest of my life, and know that the remainder of my gift would benefit Rotary long after I am gone.
One other thought – real estate or other noncash gifts can also be donated to create CRTs. If you have property that has appreciated (or that you have depreciated for tax purposes) over the years, selling it might create a large capital-gains tax liability. Donating it to create a CRT could result in a lifetime income, partially tax-free, with the capital-gains tax spread out over several years.
Anyone interested in pursuing these tax-savvy CGA and CRT giving opportunities with The Rotary Foundation should contact Rebecca Tanaka, Planned Giving Officer, at 1.847.866.3166, Mobile 1.847.997.8421, For outright cash or QCD/RMD gifts (not life income donations like CGAs or CRTs), contact Eric Thompson,  Major Gifts Officer, 1.847.866.3190, If I can be of assistance feel free to contact me at 785.539.6202 or
District 5710 District Global Grant Scholarships Opportunity
As a district, we will be awarding a Global Grant Scholarship in 2023 to a student studying in our Kansas Rotary district or a student from Kansas who may be studying outside of the district.  This scholarship will cover the costs of studying abroad for one year of a graduate degree (M.S. or PH.D.) or graduate research. Attached you will find full information on the program. We need your help in promoting this exciting opportunity and finding applicants!
Would you please share the following text on your Rotary social media channels and personal LinkedIn and social media pages, and encourage members of your club to do the same?
Applications Open! Rotary District 5710 (Kansas) Global Grant Scholarship
Calling all 2023 Graduate students with plans to study overseas!  We are looking for a future leader working in disease prevention, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, literacy, community economic development, peacebuilding, or environmental studies who plans to take part in graduate-level coursework or research internationally in 2023? If so, they may be eligible to receive a scholarship which will cover expenses of their program for one full year!
More information at Welcome | Rotary District 5710 (, click on LINKS. Ideal candidates will have a long-term commitment to creating measurable and sustainable change in the world.
Applications are open until January 15, 2023 (or very soon afterwards) and consist of a short set of essays followed by an interview with a local Rotary club. Thank you.
Steven M. Graham
Education and Scholarships Chair
Rotary District 5710, NE Kansas,
Cell PH:  785-532-8120
District Training
We are so excited that our 10-11 Feb RLI is filled! This class will be a hybrid class with an updated curriculum.   Friday evening we will meet on Zoom, and we will meet in person on Saturday in Manhattan, KS at the Rockin’ K conference room. Participants will learn so much about Rotary through the expert facilitation of an experienced cadre of Rotary leaders: Chuck Udell, Bill Musgrave, Tom Gray, Vernon Turner, and Debra and Patrick Schaub.  Also, our DG Stephanie will be joining us on Saturday!
2023 PETS is going to be another purposeful and fun training event. We hope to see President Elects and others interested in Salina 31 March – 1 April. This will definitely be a weekend of inspiring speakers, collaboration, and classes that will help you when you take the reins of your club as a president or leader.
Reminder: There are a limited amount of RLC scholarships so apply now if you are interested. See attached.
Yours in Rotary,
DeEtte and Ellen
District 5710 Leadership Transformation Grants
District 5710 has been awarded 30 grants to participate in the programs of the Kansas Leadership Center. The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) is a non-profit organization committed to fostering leadership for stronger, healthier and more prosperous Kansas communities.
The KLC offers three programs that build on each other:

Your Leadership Edge is the introductory program that focuses on personal leadership competencies.  It helps participants stretch and grow their leadership while addressing their toughest challenges.

Lead for Change is the advanced, deep dive into individual leadership – helping leaders understand how to mobilize others to deal with tough problems and change processes.

Equip to Lead focuses on communications, integrating leadership principles into the organization, and facilitating real change.

These programs range from $399 to $799 in value.  The grant allows Rotarians to attend for free.

Who Should Attend?

Each club should consider sending up and coming leaders from their club and community.  The virtual sessions are ideal for clubs in western Kansas. Leaders who have done the first program should consider the second and third programs.

How To Register

To Sign Up for one of the three programs, we ask that you do two things:

1. Visit the KLC website at:  www.kansasleadershipcenter.orgCreate a personal account and register using the code RotaryMiniGrant to waive the tuition fee.
2. Notify District 5710’s Trainers, Ellen Bogdan and DeEtte Lombard, of your interest in order that we might track Rotarians who are taking advantage of this grant.  Our contact data is:   (C: 913-683-3906)    (H: 816-858-5759)

Rotary History Moment
February is Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention month, and, on the 23rd, Rotary’s anniversary.  This month, I am taking the easy way out – since I can’t really wordsmith a better article on Rotary’s role in this Area of Focus, I recommend that all of you read this article of Rotary history; Rotary at the start of the United Nations and see the role Rotary played during the formation of the United Nations – both as an organization, as well as individual Rotarians much more directly involved.  There is more detail, including articles from The Rotarian where we facilitated discussion during WWII on how to approach both the end of, and aftermath, of the war.
Bonner Springs Rotary
On December 10th the Bonner Springs Club and the Village West Club in Kansas City held a friendly bell-ringing competition for the Salvation Army at separate Walmart locations.  The Bonner Springs club raised $384.81, the Village West Club raised $424.02, and everyone had fun.

The Bonner Springs club also welcomed two new members recently, Chris Brake and Nathan Brungardt.
Emporia Rotary
For their last meeting of the calendar year, and for a special holiday club meeting, the Rotary Club of Emporia encourages member to bring their families to the meeting.  The program for the meeting is the Choir from Emporia High School which perform a selection of seasonal songs.  Some of their selections come from the community concert, of which they were a part, held the previous week.  Most notable of these was “Carol of the Bells” performed in its original form, in the Ukranian language.  Some of the students were encouraging Choir Director Sarah Bays for short explanations to that they could make it back to the school in time for final exams.  Other students were encouraging Ms. Bays to talk longer so that they would not make it back in time for their final exams.
Pictured is Choir Director Sarah Bays directing students of the Emporia High School Choir.
Lawrence Central
On Friday evening, Nov. 25, hundreds of children of all ages gathered in the heart of Lawrence to witness the annual illumination of the downtown holiday lights, this year sponsored by the Lawrence Central Rotary’s Lawrence Kids Calendar.
The Club assumed leadership of the event following Downtown Lawrence, Inc.’s decision not to sponsor the decades-long tradition. The Lawrence Kids Calendar is a website and weekly email that informs families of upcoming activities for kids and has been a project of the Club since 2016.
As everyone waited for the lighting ceremony, several groups provided entertainment, including the Cantemos Youth Chorale (below), the Mason Family Fiddlers, the Lawrence High School Chorale and Richard Renner, the Vaudeville Clown.
Mayor Courtney Shipley read a proclamation just prior to illuminating the holiday lights.
Children also stood in line to drop their letters to Santa Claus in Santa’s Special Delivery Mailbox. More than 170 letters were received and answered by Santa’s Lawrence Central Rotarian helpers.
As the moment for flipping the light switch approached, word spread throughout the crowd that Santa Claus had become mysteriously stranded atop Weaver’s Department Store. The emergency call went out and Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical rapidly responded, quickly deploying its massive hook-&-ladder truck. The crowd held its collective breath as Santa slowly descended the ladder but erupted into cheers as Santa signaled his safe landing.
Massachusetts Street became a kaleidoscope of color once the lights were lit.
Leavenworth Rotary
Rotary Starting the New Year Right...
Congrats to our Rotarian of the Year!!! DeEtte Lombard has been named Rotarian of the Year due to her efforts in supporting our club in many of our seven areas of focus.  Pictured here are (left to right) President Derek Wohlgemuth, DeEtte, and past Rotarians of the Year, Tamara Sevcik, Mike Sevcik and Blake Waters.
Congrats to our Silent Rotarian of the Year!!! Mike Gould has been named Silent Rotarian of the Year for his behind the scenes work for our club.  Mike is picture here with President Derek Wohlgemuth.
Welcome to our newest member, Michelle Knight; Michelle is pictured here with her sponsor, Shari Hansen after they lit our Rotary candle of commitment! Another Rotary Perspective... President Derek presents our Club banner to Carrie Hendrickson from the Rotary Club of Wichita; Carrie spoke to our membership about Wichita Rotary Women and is the daughter of Past District Governor Bill Kromer.
Interact (Leavenworth High School) Valentine's Day Rose Sales: Courtney and Abigail from the L'worth High School Interact Club came to one of our meetings this month to present our Rotary Minute.  The club is in the process of selling roses for Valentine's Day; this year all proceeds will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor one of their fellow Interact Club members who passed away earlier this year from cystic fibrosis (if you'd like to make a direct donation you can send a check to Leavenworth High School Interact Club, Leavenworth High School, 2012 Tenth Avenue, Leavenworth, KS  66048).  Our club is incredibly lucky to sponsor such an active Interact Club!
Leawood Rotary
At the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Leawood Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, December 13, the Chamber honored the Leawood Rotary Club with the Hall of Fame Award.  This prestigious award was bestowed in recognition of the club’s hundreds of hours of volunteer work and tens-of-thousands of dollars donated to increase the safety, health and well-being of those not only locally but around the world.
In accepting the award, President John Meier, recognized all Rotarians in attendance and enumerated briefly the many projects of both Rotary International and the Leawood Club locally.  President Meier then invited anyone in attendance to come see what the Leawood Rotary Club was doing by joining us for breakfast, Thursday mornings at 7:15 a.m. at The Hereford House.
In other news, the Leawood Club concluded 2022 with the annual Christmas Auction held over two weekly meetings.  A special thanks to Jake and Debbie Schloegel, Rod Pemberton, and Gary Bussing who helped make this event a huge success. Club members brought a wide variety of items to be auctioned and as a result of very generous bidding over $8,000 was raised for the Veterans Community Project. 
As 2022 draws to a close our club looks forward to continuing our efforts to have a positive impact on those in need —wherever they may be —by continuing the tradition of service above self in the new year.
Manhattan Rotary
December is a charitable month for the Manhattan Rotary Club. Vice-president Randy Peterson presented a check for November’s cup money to Robbin Cole, Executive Director of Pawnee Mental Health Services and Past-President of the Club. The Club also provided a generous year end tip to the waitstaff at the Manhattan Country Club for their work supporting Club meetings. Thanks to our members, the Club is half way towards the annual Rotary Foundation goal and three quarters of the way towards our Polio Plus goal.
The club welcomed two new members - Gary Powell, Senior Manager with Sink, Gordon & Associates, and Elizabeth Nelson, Director, Manhattan Senior Center.
Bill Varney (at left), a Rotarian since May 24, 1960, and club president in 1968-69, was recognized at a club meeting by Bob Ward, Rotary Foundation Chair, with a Paul Harris Fellow +6 award.
Rotarian Jeff Sackrider was recognized as one of the 15 under 40, by the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Club is back to work on the Rotary: Early Learning Partnership Grant. The grant offers free books and mini-grants of $200-$1,000 to enhance book accessibility to partners.  Members are also distributing hygiene essentials and socks to non-profits in the area thanks to a collaboration with the Overland Park Rotary Club and Feed the Hungry.
The Manhattan Rotary Club lost two long time Rotary members. Ed Seaton, a 52-year member, died on December 26. He served as President from 1976-1977. Two days after his passing, our Foundation chair received his annual contribution to the Rotary Foundation. Ed Freshnock, a 44-year member, died on January 12. In memoriam, $100 contributions are made to the Rotary Foundation in their names.
Past-President Robin Cole introduced the slate of officers for 2023-2024, including Mitzi Richards, president; Randy Peterson, president-elect; and Chris Culbertson, vice president. 
Manhattan Konza Rotary
On Saturday, January 14, Manhattan Konza Rotary held its first social event of 2023. Club members and their families gathered together for Club in a Pub at Kite's in Aggieville, then headed to a family ice skating party at City Park. A great time was had by all!
Overbrook Rotary
Brigadier General (Ret) Ed Gerhardt is the president and operations officer of the Museum of the Kansas National Guard, Topeka. On December 06, 2022, he gave a presentation for the Overbrook Rotary Club. Pictured is Club President Larry Butel presenting General Gerharde with a Rotary 4-way test pen, to the right is Randy Durban who was his sponsor. 
On December 13th the Overbrook Rotary Club enjoyed a festive Christmas Dinner at the La Finca Mexican Restaurant in downtown Overbrook.
Overland Park Rotary
Service Above Self - the Flourishing of Others
The January Rotary 2023 magazine’s theme – Connection - forced a moment of reflection in looking back at 2022 … and then to look forward to the new year unfolding before us.
Following Covid and meeting changes because of social distancing, the Overland Park Rotary was happy to settle back into Monday meetings at the Overland Park DoubleTree. It was like coming home. Tables full of conversation, laughter, catching up on each other’s lives and adding new Rotarians made the beginning of last year a welcome relief – after time of being ‘disconnected’. A new Strategic Plan was developed and put in place led by Rotary President Laurie McCormack
Throughout 2022 the focus of Service Above Self surged forward as The Overland Park Rotary members served in projects for Veterans, provided student scholarships, gave $24,000 of grants through the OP Rotary Foundation, served at Johnson County Christmas Bureau, served alongside students in the Shawnee Mission South InterAct Club, delivered 22,000 books to students in the five Kansas City Kansas high schools and Center High School in Kansas City Missouri, finished the year with a Holiday Party and food/snack donations to a Senior Citizen living center, and so much more.
With expectancy we look forward to even greater opportunities in 2023 connecting with fellow Rotarians and making a difference in our community … as together we serve seeking the flourishing of others. Happy New Year.
Western Johnson County
Our club recently welcomed new member Cindy Huston, a returning Rotarian!  Cindy was a club member and Past President of the former Johnson County Sunset Club.  Cindy is also the wife of current club member Dave Huston.  Cindy has been a regular guest at our club meetings and frequently volunteers at club service projects.  Welcome Cindy!
We also recognized a new Paul Harris Fellow – Kristin Johnson!  Kristin has held various positions within our club, including Club President, and is currently serving as our Membership Chair.  Kristin is always one of the first to volunteer for service projects and brings her Rotary enthusiasm to every club get together.  Congratulations Kristin!

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