Message from DG Jenalea Randall

Partnerships and collaborations. Rotary values these attributes and being that we are People of Action we make them happen!
This week DGND Michelle Sink and I were invited by the Rotary Club of Junction City to attend a rededication ceremony of a community building, 203 East 10th St. The building was built in 1918 as a recreation center for returning World War I soldiers thanks to funding from the 11th Rotary District. Now owned and operated by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, the building is a terrific example of Rotary’s impact and the power of partnership.
The Junction City Rotary Club and the Fraternal Order of the Eagles partnered to host the rededication and a fundraiser to benefit the Junction City Rotary Club’s Youth Leadership Camp and the Junction City Police Department’s First Responder Mental Health Training program. In addition, our district’s grant program helped fund the new marker that now displays the hard work of dedicated Rotarians 106 years ago to establish a center for soldiers.
This is but one example of our fellow Rotarians extending our hands in service and collaboration to support the community.
In November 2023, the Marysville and Valley Heights, Blue Rapids Rotary Clubs partnered with a Rotary Club in Nebraska to offer Mental Health First Aid training. They reported that five different communities were represented in the education session.
“It was a great day with lots of information,” said Paula Landoll-Smith, Assistant Governor and Marysville club member. “We had great interaction among participants. Awareness is key!”
On Feb. 2, Rotary in Topeka is co-hosting a blood drive with five other community service clubs in Topeka. Together with the Lions, Optimist, Kiwanis, Civitan and Sertoma we will help with the blood supply shortages in our greater community. Now this is service with its sleeves rolled up – quite literally!
What partnerships and collaborations are your clubs taking on? We never know what the long-term impact will be!
Jenalea Randall
District Governor, 2023-24
Member, Topeka South Rotary

Club & District News and Events

Gathering for Good 2024
Rotary and Polio Plus
Dear District 5710 Polio Eradication Warriors,
We are again pleased to report that there were NO new Wild Polio cases in Pakistan or Afghanistan during January 2024 and we are in the Final Race to make 2024 the year we see the last Wild Polio Case.   
As our “Countdown to History” continues this year, remember that after the last case of the WPV occurs the World Health Organization will monitor for up to 3 years before declaring the Polio Virus eradicated. During that time, Rotary’s continued support will be absolutely necessary!
As the next 3 critical years for Polio Eradication proceed it is vital that every club in the district have a member serving as the Club’s Polio Plus Chairman. This could be a dedicated board member such as the Club’s Vice President, Foundation Chair, or any member. If you believe that you can make the difference in having your Club be part of our District’s amazing support for Polio Eradication, consider volunteering to become your club’s Polio Champion. Here’s what you need to know about what a Club Polio Chair’s typical responsibilities should include:
  • Encourage donations for Polio Plus from Rotarians and local communities, including membership in the Polio Plus Society.
  • Advocate with Club leadership to annually set an aggressive Goal for donations to Polio Plus.
  • Organize at least one PolioPlus club fundraiser per year.
  • Work with the Club’s Membership Committee to educate new members about Rotary’s Polio eradication goal and request their support of the Club’s Polio Plus Goal.
  • Work with the Club’s Foundation Committee to make members of the Club aware that Polio Plus donations also support the member’s status toward earning Paul Harris Fellow awards.
  • Arrange annually for at least one Club Program devoted to Polio Plus information prior to World Polio Day.
  • Consider a wrap-up Polio Fundraising event during World Immunization Week at the end of April.
  • Participate in each monthly Board meeting by reporting plans for Polio Plus fundraising and progress toward the Club’s Polio Plus Goals.
  • Keep the District Polio Chairman informed of Polio Plus fundraising activities & request District assistance and/or participation as needed.
And as a special reminder to our District’s incoming 2024-2025 President-Elects, be sure to attend PETS/PELS in Salina on March 21-23 to pick up great ideas for making sure that your club steps up to the challenge of supporting Rotary’s #1 challenge as we work to end polio forever! Remember, be sure as your incoming Board begins its budgetary planning for the Rotary 2024-2025 year, that Polio Plus is included as a high priority by setting your Polio Plus Fundraising Goal at a higher level than last year. With every Rotarian’s help, “TOGETHER, WE END POLIO”!
And “We are…This Close” as shown in our “Countdown to History”
Call/email me for help / (913) 200-0514 ~ / Jim Arnett, Polio Plus 5710 Chair  
Wild Poliovirus Weekly Update
Week Ending 31 January 2024
Total number of wild cases in 2020:  140
Total number of wild cases in 2021:  6
Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2022: 30(20 in Pakistan!)        
Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2023: 12(6 in Pakistan!)       
Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2024: ZERO(yipee!)
      (compared with Total of 1 for the same period in 2023)
Total number of Circulating Vaccine Derived cases - 2023:428
 (vs. totals in 2020: 1113; & 698 in 2021, with 876 in 2022)
Please Donate @ 
Save the Date for PETS 2024
PETS Registration is now open! Click here to register!!
Our PETS is scheduled for 21-23 March 2024 in Salina, Kansas.
The PETS committee is working hard to make this a fun and informative event…stay tuned for more information and our Pre-PETS Zoom date!
Questions, email Tamara @
The Rotary Foundation 
Our Gathering For Good committee met this month and we are very excited to be planning for our 4th Annual event on April 6th! As before, this will be a silent and live auction with an open bar. The committee has decided to turn this into an 80s Theme Night. It is not required just encouraged to dress in your 80s style of choice and join us for the fun. We will have a DJ there spinning 80s music throughout the evening, so you never know who might break into dance at any given moment. This year, the Gathering For Good will be held at Doubletree by Hilton 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 donors who may commit to donating items to our live auction. 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 about $24,000 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 Roger Aeschliman, Carol Wheeler, Jim Arnett, Steven Graham, Rebecca Gould, Greg Shondell, and myself as the Chair. 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. Jim Arnett, Roger Aeschliman, Steven Graham, and I have already presented to you about Global Scholars, Polio Plus, the Endowment / Major Gifts, and general Rotary Foundation knowledge. Any of our team would be happy to speak with you or present to your club on several Foundation topics, including the aforementioned topics, Peace Fellows, 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 31th, we have, as a district, given 41% of what we contributed last year to TRF Annual fund and 42% 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!
District Training
This year’s President – Elect Training /Learning Seminar is scheduled for 21-23 March in Salina, KS. District 5710 and 5680 President-elects will attend facilitated sessions designed to provide them with knowledge and tools as they prepare for their year as Club Presidents.  Attendees also will have opportunities to meet, socialize, and collaborate with fellow PEs from across the districts and to hear from distinguished speakers and Rotary leaders. Be sure to check your email. Mandy has sent out registration details.
*The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) has approved our grant request so those District 5710 Rotarians interested in attending the Center’s Leadership Courses may do so at no expense. As we have mentioned in the past, The KLC Leadership Path will influence the way you manage yourself and others in both your professional and personal lives.   We highly encourage you to follow the registration link and use the appropriate promo code below to reserve a spot now!
The promo code for 2024 is Rotary2024 (case sensitive) and registration is open for 2024 programs.
*Please let us know if your club is interested in hosting (providing a conference room/site) for an RLI (Rotary Learning Institute).  We intend to keep a hybrid design: Friday a Zoom mtg from 5:30-8:30 PM, and the in-person session on Saturday from approximately 8:30 AM-5:00 PM.
Yours in Rotary,
DeEtte Lombard and Ellen Bogdan
District Learning Co-Chairs
Rotary Youth Exchange 
This exchange year has hit the halfway mark and we are preparing for the next group of exchange students going out as well as getting clubs ready to host a student for the 2024-25 school year. This years group recently went to the annual South Central Rotary Youth Exchange conference in Tulsa and had a wonderful time. (photo from event below)
If you would like any information about how your club can get involved in either hosting a student or sending a student please contact District Youth exchange Officer Stephen Wheatley at  Now is the time for clubs to be getting prepped for the next exchange year!
Endowment & Major Gifts Update
In addition to losing weight, exercising more and to stop sniffing airplane glue, how about resolving to contribute to the Rotary Foundation?
Only about half of all District 5710 Rotarians financially support the Rotary International Foundation via the annual fund, polio plus or endowment gifting. Can you imagine the power of Rotary if EVERYONE gave something?
I am challenging all Rotarians to go $100x$100x$100 in 2024. That’s $100 to the annual fund, $100 to Polio Plus and $100 to the endowment. (If you are already giving more, thanks and DON’T STOP!!) Can you image the good works of Rotary if our giving DOUBLED?!?!
It is very easy to go to and click the DONATE button to make a one-time gift to each fund, or to set up a monthly $10 each, auto-paying from your bank account or credit card. And your club leadership will still take cash or checks if you want to pay up at the next meeting.
Recent visits to Topeka South and Manhattan Konza (7 a.m. at 20 below zero!) prove how awesome and generous Kansas Rotarians are. I would be pleased to attend your club meeting to talk about the Rotary Foundation, Endowments and Major Gifts. Call me at 785-267-8782 (daytime work) or (same) to connect and get energized about the Rotary International Foundation.
Rotary International professional Lizzy King (1-847-866-3017 or is also eager to visit with anyone about making a major gift or funding the Rotary endowment.
District Grants Training - Save the Date
District 5710 Club Grants for 2024
Is your club planning on submitting a District Grant funds application for 2024?
Please mark your calendars for this year’s District Grants Training on Monday, April 29th at 5:30pm via Zoom.
A basic requirement to be eligible to apply for a District Grant is that each club must have at least one club member who has attended a District Grants Training/Certification Seminar within the last three years prior to the application deadline date, which is August 31, 2024.
More information to follow, with preliminary grant forms posted on the district website ( in the first quarter.  For additional information or questions, please contact Greg Shondell, District 5710 Grants Subcommittee Chair,
Rotary's Harassment Policy
Rotary is committed to maintaining an environment that is free of any form of harassment. All members and individuals attending or participating in Rotary meetings, events, or activities should expect an environment free of harassment, including unwelcome physical contact, advances, or comments.
Rotary Clubs place great emphasis on their work with people in the community including young people, the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable persons through Rotary’s many programs including, but not limited to, RYLA, mentoring programs and Rotary Youth Exchange. This volunteer effort is vital to the quality of life in our communities and to the good reputation of Rotary and Rotarians. For this good work to continue, it is important that our Rotary clubs protect the interests of everyone involved and create and maintain a safe and respectful environment for all participants in Rotary activities.
It is the duty of all Rotarians, Rotarians’ spouses, partners, and other volunteers to safeguard to the best of their ability the welfare of and to prevent the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of every person at risk with whom they come into contact, including children, the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable persons. Fulfilling this duty also safeguard the interests of Rotary Clubs and Rotarians by minimizing their risk of liability, including legal liability, should a participant in a Rotary activity become a victim of abuse.
As our clubs approach its annual transition of officers, are your club's officers trained in policies and procedures for the prevention of abuse and harassment? Rotary International sets a high standard so that all members, volunteers, and youth are protected. The expectation is that officers are trained/retrained annually. Clubs can access RI's policies at
For information regarding training which is required annually for Rotary club officers may be obtained from Harold Frye
RYLA 2024
Happy New Years Everyone, 

Carla Wiegers and I are excited to announce that RYLA 2024 is ready to go! 

RLYA is a high school leadership conference designed to give high schoolers the chance to develop leadership skills, while learning about the things we do as Rotarians on both an international scale, as well as in our communities. 

Now is the time to start looking for some students who might be interested! Past participants have included: General Student Body, Inbound Students, Future Outbound Students, Interactors. Our goal is to reach: 100 participants! 

Some FAQ you might have: 

  • RYLA will take place June 2nd - June 6th at the University of Kansas
  • The price is now: $400 a student  (we suggest the student pay $25 of that) 
  • Carla and I will send confirmation emails out to the participants themselves. 
  • When you commit to the camp, you have to be there from the time registration begins until Graduation. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS 
  • Application and more information should be posted on the website soon, but in the meantime, reach out to either Carla or I. 
While we still have your attention, we are bringing back the Rotary Lunch where anyone in the district is welcome to come join us. All Rotarians, Past RYLA Participants, Parents, EVERYONE is welcome to join us. If you would be interested, please reach out to me
If you need anything else from us (presentation, questions, etc.) please contact us:
Daisy More (Manhattan Konza) 
(913) 340-2782 
Junction City to Topeka
Carla Wiegers (Leavenworth)
Topeka to Leavenworth
Update on our Global Grant Scholar Mattie Vandel
District 5710 Global Grant Scholar Mattie Vandel is working on a unique Global Studies master’s program 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 to various locations to study.
Mattie studied in Pretoria, South Africa during fall semester 2023. Mattie returned home in early December for the Holidays and spoke to the Manhattan Rotary Club on December 21st
In January 2024, Mattie went to India to attend a 10-day Global Winter School as part of her Global Studies program. There the School delegates studied inequalities in different sects of Indian society, including healthcare, education, agriculture, religion, and more. The study area was the small town of Pali, which lies within the greater Rajasthan region (see pictures).
Just recently, Mattie arrived at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand for spring semester. In Bangkok, she is taking courses on Globalization and Development, Regional Governance of Southeast Asia, Research Methods, Thai Culture and Peoples, plus she has two extracurricular courses: Taekwondo and Thai Language. Mattie has already connected with the Bangkok Rotary Club and will try to meet with the Rotaract Club at Chulalongkorn University.
Thanks to our Scholarship committee, to District 5710 leadership for funding and restarting the Global Grant Scholarship, and for those clubs who help find good candidates to apply. It is exciting to have an excellent scholar studying abroad and representing District 5710.
Steven M. Graham, Chair
Education and Scholarships Committee
Rotary District 5710
In mid-January, Mattie will go to India to attend a 10-day Global Winter School as part of her Global Studies program.  In late January, she will go to Chulalongkorn University in Thailand for spring semester.
Thanks to our Scholarship committee, to District 5710 leadership for funding and restarting the Global Grant Scholarship, and for those clubs who help find good candidates to apply.  It is exciting to have these excellent scholars studying abroad and representing District 5710.
Steven M. Graham, Chair
Education and Scholarships Committee
Rotary District 5710
District 5710 Membership Update
New Year, New Membership Updates!
Current District Membership 1,894  ↑ 26 net members since 7/1
                Top Clubs: Manhattan +9, Manhattan Konza +9, Junction City +7
Membership Olympic Updates:
1st Place: Junction City,   2nd Place: Manhattan
Ready to get started? Find the games here and submit your challenges through the provided links on the webpage: (Links to the left for more information) Contact Michelle or Chuck with any questions.
We want to hear from YOU! Follow this link to submit a 2 question survey:                
Don’t forget to check out the Membership Club Resource Tab for ways to grow your club and engage members
Do you have a membership story you would like to share? Email Michelle or enter it here and upload your photos:
To Get New Members, You Have to Ask
Over the last several months we have talked about ways to enhance Rotary’s image, where and how we should focus our message, and how to attract younger, more diverse people to consider joining Rotary. 
However, all of this knowledge means nothing if we--meaning every member of every Rotary Club--don’t take the initiative to ASK others to join us.  We can’t rely on a committee, or an email/text/Facebook page to do the job for us.  We have to have the commitment and gumption to talk directly to our friends, neighbors and colleagues who we think would make good Rotarians.
With that in mind here are five simple ways to help you begin a conversation with a potential prospect:
1. "I've been a part of Rotary for some time now, and it's been a truly rewarding experience. I believe your skills and passions would be a great fit for our community of service-oriented individuals."
2. "I'd love for you to join me at our next Rotary meeting to see firsthand the amazing work we do and the difference we're making in our local and global communities. I think you'd find it inspiring."
3. "In Rotary, we have a strong network of professionals and community leaders who are committed to making a positive impact. Your unique perspective and expertise would be a valuable addition to our team."
4. "Rotary provides opportunities for personal and professional growth through leadership development, networking, and the chance to contribute to meaningful projects. I think you'd find it both fulfilling and beneficial."
5. "I believe that your commitment to service and your passion for making a difference align perfectly with Rotary's values. I'd be honored to have you join us in our efforts to create positive change."
By expressing the positive impact of Rotary, the opportunities for personal and professional growth, and the value of the individual's contribution, you can effectively convey the invitation to join without overwhelming the person with too much information. These simple statements can serve as a friendly and sincere introduction to the idea of becoming a part of the Rotary community.
Hopefully, these tips will give you and your club members some easy to use approaches for asking others to join us.  Just think how easily you could double your club’s membership if each current member would get one new member. 
But it won’t happen if you don’t ASK!
Rotary Peace Fellowship
I have been sharing snippets about our Rotary Peace Fellow alumni. You have heard from Jennifer Montgomery and Katrina Lewis. The following is from an email exchange with David Kozar, Rotary Peace Fellow (formerly referred to as World Peace Fellow). The Peace Fellowship funded Kozar's studies toward a Master's in international studies in peace and conflict resolution at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia in 2009. 
Since completing his Master’s David has become one of Australia’s leading international development practitioners who has developed and managed over 50 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-funded international aid projects with a value of over $26 million. These projects have been designed in line with Australia’s development priorities and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through these programs he has effectively promoted Australia’s national interests by contributing to sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, improving gender, equity, and social inclusion all whilst strengthening people-to-people connections globally. 
One example from David’s international projects is the Bougainville Senior Leaders Program (BSLT) where he served as Project Manager for two years until the program’s successful completion. The BSLT brought together over 30 senior-level public officials (President, Vice-President, Speaker of the House, Ministers, Secretaries and Parliamentarians) to build their capacity to perform their roles and exercise their responsibilities to improve governance and service delivery in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The strategic intent of the BSLT was to develop a cadre of ethical and accountable public officials that can collaborate, lead and manage the delivery of equitable government services to all citizens of Bougainville as they move toward independence.  
He continues to actively support the professional development needs of senior government officials from Bougainville and the Government of Papua New Guinea to strengthen the development of a unique, ethical, and inclusive Bougainville society.  
In addition to his work in Bougainville, David has returned to his alma mater, UQ, where he has been appointed as Manager, International Development within the University’s international development unit. 
"This, like many opportunities before it, is a direct result of Rotary's support and the Rotary Peace Fellowship.  I will be eternally grateful for the support, mentorship, and guidance of so many in Rotary and at K-State and want to express my sincere thanks specifically to Bill Richter and Terrie McCants (Konza Club) for ongoing support over the years". 
Please consider nominating individuals for the Rotary Peace Fellowship. More information is available here .
Anti-Human Trafficking Committee Update

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Human Trafficking    (Information Provided by the Blue Campaign)

1 Myth: Human trafficking does not occur in the United States. It only happens in other countries.

Fact: Human trafficking exists in every country, including the United States. It exists nationwide—in cities, suburbs, and rural towns—and possibly in your own community.

2 Myth: Human trafficking victims are only foreign born individuals and those who are poor.

Fact: Human trafficking victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. They may come from any socioeconomic group. A socioeconomic group is the social standing or class of an individual or group. It is often measured as a combination of education, income and occupation.

3 Myth: Human trafficking is only sex trafficking.

Fact: Sex trafficking exists, but it is not the only type of human trafficking. Forced labor is another type of human trafficking; both involve exploitation of people. Victims are found in legitimate and illegitimate labor industries, including sweatshops, massage parlors, agriculture, restaurants, hotels, and domestic service.

4 Myth: Individuals must be forced or coerced into commercial sex acts to be victims of human trafficking.

Fact: Under U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 who is induced to perform commercial sex acts is a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether he or she is forced or coerced.

5 Myth: Human trafficking and human smuggling are the same.

Fact: Human trafficking is not the same as smuggling. “Trafficking” is based on exploitation and does not require movement across borders. “Smuggling” is based on movement and involves moving a person across a country’s border with that person’s consent in violation of immigration laws. Although human smuggling is very different from human trafficking, human smuggling can turn into trafficking if the smuggler uses force, fraud, or coercion to hold people against their will for the purposes of labor or sexual exploitation. Under federal law, every minor induced to engage in commercial sex is a victim of human trafficking.

6 Myth: Human trafficking victims will attempt to seek help when in public.

Fact: Human trafficking is often a hidden crime. Victims may be afraid to come forward and get help; they may be forced or coerced through threats or violence; they may fear retribution from traffickers, including danger to their families; and they may not be in possession of or have control of their identification documents.

If you need additional information or have questions please contact me: Steve Nettles, District 5710 Anti-Human Trafficking Committee Chair

Rotary Cares About Human Trafficking Victims!
Six Rotary Clubs came together to show that Rotary Cares about those who are being exploited and victims of human trafficking this winter. Rotarians and friends gathered to pack  “winter kits” for those at risk of exploitation in our communities. The kits included hats, scarves, gloves, hoodies, sweats, hand warmers, socks, mylar blankets, and protein bars to make the winter a bit easier. 
The clubs participating in this District Grant project are: Lenexa, Overland Park, Manhattan, Shawnee Mission, Leawood, and Community Action Against Human Trafficking. We also received donations from KBS Contractors, Costco, and members of the Ending Forced Organ Harvesting Satellite Club. We held three service days to assemble kits in Topeka (16 volunteers), Mission (19 volunteers), and Manhattan (15 volunteers) for a total of 50 Rotarians participating in this project!
The Winter Care Kits were distributed to the YWCA Day Center, Rended Heart, Veronica’s Voice, Valeo Behavioral Health, Manhattan Emergency Shelter, Crisis Center, Be Able, and Intersection to Care participants who have been released from incarceration this year. 
Special thanks to all the clubs that contributed funding for this project!  We made 180 kits and enjoyed fellowship across District 5710!
(Pictures from Shawnee Mission and Lenexa Assembly)
Members of CAAHT gathered in January to make casseroles for the YWCA Women’s Crisis Center and Day Center. Providing a hot meal to the centers that serve women who are exploited, abused, and trafficked helps to reinforce the message that we care and are there to help. This project is part of our CAAHT District Grant.
Gardner Rotary
Gardner's District Grant project for 23/24 is renovating the basement multi-purpose room at Selah House - a transitional housing place in Johnson County for survivors of Sex Trafficking. Selah House is a part of 1/99 - which has been established with the ultimate goal to compassionately collaborate with each Survivor to achieve well-rounded, abundant living in the community one survivor at a time. Here is what they had to say about the club's work: "Members of the Gardner Rotary Club have given so much time, talent and treasure towards the Selah House multi-purpose room completion over the past few weeks. This is a big deal to our survivor- participants! A space for prevocational training, group study, one-one mentoring sessions, & fitness."
Leavenworth Rotary
Our club recently made a $1000 donation to Riverside Resources. Shown here are Michelle Hill, PEN Rita Kowalewski, Gregory Pickman and President Blake Waters. PDG (Past President) John Donovan was recently named Rotarian of the Year; pictured with John are two of our past Rotarians of the Year, DeEtte Lombard and Blake Waters, not pictured is Mike Sevcik.  The last three Rotarians of the Year have the honor of selecting the newest Rotarian of the Year. Congratulations, John!
Our club was happy to host Peace Fellow, Jennifer Montgomery and Miss Topeka, Brynna Darley at our 17 January meeting.
Many of our club members enJOYed our 2024 New Year Reception hosted by President Blake Waters; thanks to Rotarians Caroline Webster, Jo Burkett and Tamara Sevcik for their work in putting this great event together!  Several photos follow.
Upcoming for our Club:
Interact Club Valentine's Day Rose Sale
42d Annual Irish Stew Dinner (flyer attached) ///Saint Patrick's Day Parade
Non-Perishable Food Drive
Over-the-Counter Medicine Drive
Leawood Rotary
At the Topeka District Conference leaders of the Leawood Rotary were introduced to The Outreach Program and realized through Avenue for Life an opportunity to help Kansas City area school children. Avenue for Life, a local charity, had previously provided a program to the club.
Seizing the opportunity for a winter service project the Leawood Club organized a meal packing event facilitated by The Outreach Program provider of the food and packaging.  On a very cold, windy, wintry morning 60 participants gathered at KW Partners — thanks to member Kathy Dull — and packed 10,000 servings of Fortified Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.  Each packet requires only the addition of hot water to provide a healthy breakfast for a Kansas City school child.  In addition to the 21 Leawood Rotarians, spouses and friends, the club enlisted the aid of eight Leawood Chamber Young Professionals and 31 students from Blue Valley North High School.
Individual participants commented on the diverse, multi-generational group enjoying each others company as well as the music and casual conversations with co-workers as they worked together around tables accommodating 8 to 10 volunteers.  At the conclusion Avenue for Life, the beneficiary of the event, picked up the 10,000 breakfasts to distribute throughout the Greater Kansas City school system.
Manhattan Rotary
The Club hosted two Students of the Month, Tyshion Miller and Sonika Khosla and shared their leadership, athletic and academic success. Students spoke of their future college plans. These students along with other Students of the Month will compete for $1,000 scholarships funded through district grants.
Randy Peterson presented the BIG CHECK to fellow Konza Rotarian, Rick Hernandez, Director of the Manhattan Free Clinic recipient of our December Cup Money contributions. Rick expressed their gratitude as these funds help underwrite the cost of medical prescriptions that otherwise their clients would not be able to access. 
In mid-January, fifteen volunteers assembled sixty Warm Care Kits.  These Kits were shared with Be Able, Crisis Center and the Manhattan Emergency Center neighbors faced with these bitter cold temperatures.  Thanks to all who supported this effort: Chris Culbertson, Gary Fees, Rebecca Gould, Steven Graham, Vern Henricks, Mike Heylin, Eric Ingersoll, Phill Mattox, Tom Phillips, Dan & Mitzi Richards, Bill Richter, Bob Shannon, Stacey Smith, and Jim Wright. Thank you to Rotarian Patti Mellard for coordinating assembly of the kits for clubs in the district.
Club members mourn the passing of longtime Rotarian, Donn Leach. He was a member of the Manhattan Rotary Club for 24 years.
The Community Cares Chest had a huge shipment during January designated for Fort Riley.  
Manhattan Konza Rotary
This month's article is an update from Chloé, the Manhattan student living in France through Rotary Youth Exchange.
My name is Chloe, and right now I am spending my Junior year studying abroad in France.
The first thing I want to say is how thankful I am for being chosen to spend this year here by Rotary. My world is opening up and I have and will continue to discover the French way of life. 
In the beginning, around the first 2 weeks, I was amazed by my surroundings and came across so many culture shocks. But after the first couple weeks the difficulty started settling in. When you study abroad, you’re going into a completely different world but without the things and the relationships closest to you. I’ve had many moments where all I want to do is cry in my mom’s arms.
Here in France, we have 10 hour schooldays where a “block schedule” is put into place with around 11 classes weekly. The school year lasts from September to the middle of July, and this is one of the difficulties I face because I wake up early, get home later, eat dinner late, and go to bed. And, most of my teachers expect me to perform like I am also passing the baccalaureate (tests to achieve one’s diploma). It’s already so stressful because of the difference in how the students here are taught, but I try my best to put in effort. 
The time spent with my new friends and my 3 host families has definitely helped deal with that. My first host family is really sweet and kind, and my host sister is humorous. Now, in my second host family, they are really thoughtful and amazing. And, my host mom cooks and bakes really well. I haven’t switched to my third host family yet, not until April, but I have a feeling that I am going to love it there too. 
I wouldn’t say that the French language is difficult, but some of the people here (whether it be my host club or the teachers in the school) put a lot of pressure on speaking French which can be stressful sometimes. Other than that, I am really enjoying learning how to speak french and have started practicing and preparing for my DELF with one of my super awesome teachers. 
Another thing to add is that the bread and bakery items here are really good and inexpensive too. I mention that now because as I write this I am eating a pain au chocolat.
Olathe Rotary
The Olathe Noon Rotary Club, along with the Olathe Chick-fil-A Restaurant and Journey Bible Church, sponsored a coat and warm weather clothing drive to collect coats, scarves, gloves and blankets which were donated to God’s Bucket Brigade in Kansas City to give to our homeless citizens during these very cold winter months. Surplus items are also being taken to Vision Appalachia to assist the poor in West Virginia. Over 150 coats were collected. Rotarians Wes McCoy and Norm Christoffersen, who is the promotions director for this Chick-fil-A, coordinated this project.
Shawnee Mission Rotary
Shawnee Mission Club had a busy and fun Holiday Season and kickoff of the new year. We began with the energizing ring of the Salvation Army bells as a cheerful call to their donation kettle. In a Mid December meeting, Matt Henderson, Director of Business Development for BRR architects, discussed his personal growth into the architecture arena, as well as insight into the process of how ideas become projects for creative design companies. The Club followed Matt’s presentation with Christmas gift wrapping and delivery of presents for a local family though Mission’s Adopt a Family program – a ‘smile’ activity for everyone. We finished December with our Club Holiday Party, complete with wonderful family fellowship of members, a delicious Italian Buffet, and an always fun, devious, and strategic ‘White Elephant’ anonymous gift “exchange” in which any worthy sea pirate would be proud of the prowess displayed by these Rotarians to achieve a successful ‘find’!
January returned to Service Above Self when Denise Lester, Founder and Exec. Dir. of Rended Hearts (RH), enlightened our Club about RH’s much-valued and caring activity of supporting victimized women caught up in Sex Trafficking in the KC metro area. RH was a recipient organization, along with Veronica’s Voice in KC, of the Warm-Kit Assembly of duffel bags containing clothing and some cold weather survival gear. Our Kit Assembly in Mission was accomplished by 25 Rotarians between two Clubs with the valued partnership of Steve Nettles’ volunteers from the Lenexa Rotary Club. Both of our Clubs were eager participants in Patti Mellard’s multi-Kansas-clubs District Allocation Grant submitted by her CAAHT Club.
January ended with an interesting presentation, and informative discussion, led by Stoney Bogan of the NorthEast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce activities to promote local businesses, as well the potential for interaction with Rotary Clubs. We look forward to sunny days of Rotary regardless of how freezing our butts might be!
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