Message from DG Vern Henricks
I want to thank all the Rotarians who joined us in Manhattan for the 2021 District 5710 Conference.  Our goal was to educate and inspire Rotarians to go out and Serve to Change Lives and from all accounts, I believe we achieved our goal. (Enjoy some conference photos below.)
Major General Sims’ message on Thursday night was outstanding and provided us all with comfort knowing that our Army leadership is in good hands.  He provided a message that was so genuine and insightful that made us all proud to have him serving our nation and recognized the importance of the work Rotary is doing around the world.
The conference began on Friday with a few remarks and highlights of my club visits that was followed by Dave Lewis having some fun with the facts from my updates.  Bryan Clay shared his story after lunch from his childhood to becoming the World’s Greatest Athlete that was not what we expected to hear.  It was a great message of overcoming adversity, hard work and determination that we all needed to hear.  After dinner Friday evening, Past District Governor Faron Barr and Foundation Chair Gary Duggan led off with 2020-2021 Club Awards.  A big shout out to the Leawood Club for receiving the Governor’s Bell.  Faron was also joined by Past R.I. Director Larry Dimmit as they presented Vickie Randel with Rotary’s Distinguished Leadership Award—one of only 50 that are given out in a year.  Friday’s feature presentation came from Carl Chinnery who provided a heartfelt message of Rotary’s involvement and impact in the quest to eradicate polio.  He was able to share several emotional stories and featured his speaking talents.  The afterhours events where directed by the fungineers themselves—Crystal Brant-Kearns and Michelle Sink, who led attendees in a Rotary trivia bingo game that took attendees all through downtown. 
Saturday opened with the announcement of the Bingo winners.  Awards of $250 to their clubs service projects were presented to Chuck Udell, Kendra Kuhlman, and Daisy More.  After breakfast, Saturday’s mornings general session featured a very moving recap of Manhattan Pulmonologist, Dr. Steve Short’s, sharing of his five weeks in Manhattan, New York during the onset of the COVID-19 breakout.  You had to be in attendance to appreciate his sacrifice and leadership in managing health care workers that he never met before to appreciate the impact of is efforts.  Following his presentation, he was awarding a District Service Award and a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his efforts.
Between the General Sessions there were a series of six breakout sessions featuring three presentations each that truly met the goal of educating and inspiring our District Rotarians.  The conference concluded with a short message from R.I. President Shekar Mehta about the need for Rotarians to Serve To Change Lives. 
I could not have been more pleased with the results of the hard work and dedicated efforts of our District volunteers. I want to recognize Mandy Sheldon, our D5710 Administrator, and the following committee members for their amazing dedication for several months of discussing, planning and implementing their ideas.  Here are those committees and their members;  PROGRAM - Robbin Cole, Chris Culbertson, Rebecca Gould, Steven Graham, Rachel Klataske, Nicole Springer; DECORATIONS - Nathalie Kind; GOLF - Dale Bradley, Richard Sell, Jason Cyr; MARKETING - Christina Nolte, Georgina Rubio-Clemens, Kendra Kuhlman, Felix Jiminez; FORT RILEY - Phil Mattox; SOCIAL EVENTS - Crystal Bryant-Kearns, Michelle Sink; SPONSORS - Mitzi Richards, Mark Claussen, Dallas Clemens, Shawn Drew; TECHNOLOGY - Vernon Turner, Dave Lewis; VENDORS - Jason Smith; VIP HOSTS - John Armbrust, Deb Rodenbaugh-Schaub.
Vern Henricks
District Governor 2021-2022
General Sims                     Bryan Clay
Service Project               Dr. Steven Short

Club & District News and Events

Rotary and Polio Plus
Our Goal is Global Polio Eradication!
A Win Against Polio is a Win for Global Health!
Rotary’s World-wide 2021-22 Rotary Year Polio Fundraising Goal is
 $150 Million – Including the Gates Foundation $2 to $1 Match
District 5710’s Goal is $100,000 – From our 44 Clubs
 Call or email me for ideas or help: Jim Arnett, Polio Plus District Chair
 (913) 200-0514 ~
Wild Poliovirus Weekly Update
Week Ending 28 Oct 2021
Total number of wild cases in 2018:  33
Total number of wild cases in 2019:  176
Total number of wild poliovirus cases in 2020: 140
     Total # of wild poliovirus cases this week: 0
     Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2021: 2 (Jan 27, 2021)
      (compared with Total of 132 for the same period in 2020)
Total number of Circulating Vaccine Derived cases - 2021: 432
(vs. totals in 2019: 378; in 2020: 1108; & 539 by now in 2020)
Please Donate @ 
November is Rotary Foundation Month
The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. Since it was founded more than 100 years ago, the Foundation has spent more than $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects. 
The Rotary Foundation helps Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace by improving health, providing quality education, improving the environment, and alleviating poverty.
What impact can one donation have?
  • For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected from polio.
  • $50 can provide clean water to help fight waterborne illness.
  • $500 can launch an antibullying campaign and create a safe environment for children.

For the 13th consecutive year, The Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating — four stars — from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S.

The Foundation earned the recognition for adhering to sector best practices and executing its mission in a financially efficient way, demonstrating both strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only one percent of the organizations Charity Navigator evaluates have received 13 consecutive 4-star evaluations.

Peace Fellowship News
In 2020, Jennifer Montgomery, Public Affairs Director, Office of KS Attorney General, was sponsored by District 5710 through TSR (Topeka South Rotary) for the Rotary Peace Fellow Certificate program. She was awarded this prestigious fellowship and is currently participating in the program at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. I encourage you to support Jennifer in this challenging program by following her blog.
The site address is: - To follow, please enter your email address in the box on the right and click "Follow".
For more information or for a program at your club meeting about the Rotary Peace Fellows program contact Chuck Udell @
Rotary Youth Exchange
District 5710 Youth Exchange is planning for a new exchange year for the fall of 2022. Applications to the district are due by December 1st with District interviews being December 18th. Please contact District YEO Stephen Wheatley at and let him know if your club has an applicant in the works. All applications will be submitted online this year.
District Training
Hello All-
We enjoyed seeing and socializing with many of you at the District Conference. DG Vern’s Conference Committee put together a valuable menu of training opportunities and a superior slate of speakers. As we had mentioned in last month’s newsletter, all District 5710 members would be receiving a short survey after the District Conference. The survey will capture your feedback in regard to RLI curriculum, preferred mode of learning sessions, and RLI attendance interest. Keep an eye on your email; Mandy is working her magic for us, and it should be arriving in the next week or so.  We are pleased to announce that again this year, District 5710 and 5681 have been awarded a Leadership Transformation Grant from the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) that consists of 60 spots/scholarships. This is an October treat-not a trick (!)- and it will send participants through the KLC core 2022 program. After we attend the Nov 9th KLC strategy sessions, we will provide you with the 2022 dates and application process.
Yours in Rotary,
Ellen Bogdan and DeEtte Lombard
End Human Trafficking News
Rotary Club of CAAHT (Community Action Against Human Trafficking) meets at noon on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month by Zoom. You are invited to attend and learn more about fighting human trafficking and current projects and grants in District 5710. For more information contact President Usha Reddi,, or Patti Mellard,
The Rotary Swarm to Counter Human Trafficking global grant continues to hold webinars and action planning meetings monthly. The November 10 noon meeting is “Community Conversations: Labor Trafficking in Kansas City.” You are invited to join the meeting by registering at All previous meeting recordings may also be accessed at that link.
As part of the grant, you can sign up for free courses to learn more about ending human trafficking at your own pace at and enter the code ROTARYSWARM to gain free access. For more information, contact
Help Wanted! Are you interested in serving on a new Rotary Global Grant project? Please join our grant planning committee and the services needed to prevent women released from incarceration from falling prey to sexual predators and sex trafficking. The first few weeks after release are an especially vulnerable time as released women have only the clothes on their back, no food, no money, no housing, and no identification documents. The offer of food, clothing, and a roof over your head in exchange for sexual servitude is very tempting. We believe that we can make a difference. Please join our efforts!  For more information contact Patti Mellard,, 785-640-9999.
Lawrence Central

Lawrence Central recently launched our annual fundraiser to help fund the work we do every year. As in year’s past, we will be selling wreaths and other holiday decorations from Lynch Creek Farms and in Lawrence Central’s partnership with them, we receive money back from every sale to help fund the service projects we do.  Some examples of our service activities include:

We want to continue to do this work and more with help from you and all you need to do is simply purchase holiday decorations. You can do this by talking to any of our members or there’s an even easier way – visit our Lynch Creek fundraising website, peruse what they have, and order yourself!  We’ve even set up an easy link:

If you’re not comfortable with ordering online we totally understand – you can also call Lynch Creek direct toll-free at 1-888-426-0781 and please Lawrence Central Rotary Fundraiser #1507453.

Lynch Creek is a family business that started in 1980, now transformed from selling a few flowers and vegetables at the local farmers’ market on the weekends, to a full-blown year-round business that ships throughout the United States.

We could go on about how great these wreaths are, but when we were at the Lawrence Rotary Club recently,  Jennifer Berquist stopped us and told us this,

“I purchased several Lynch Creek items as holiday gifts. Those who received the evergreen gifts were so pleased and impressed with the quality. It is a huge seller for me that the Lawrence Central Rotary Club receives part of the profits. I will definitely place another order this year!” – Jennifer Berquist – Lawrence, KS 

Leavenworth Rotary
Rotarian John Nonnemaker was happy to participate in the District conference this month. In addition, seven Rotarians from our club attended the conference and had a great learning experience along with fellowship and fun!
Rotarian Maria Minchew and John Nonnemaker had fun participating in the city of Leavenworth’s Trunk or Treat this month; they handed out over 3,000 pieces of candy to approximately 800 children!
Our club partnered with the Lansing Lions Club for our semi-annual OTC Med Drive this month…we were able to donate six full bins of OTC Meds and $700 in cash donations for our Saint Vincent Clinic.
We also sponsored our semi-annual nonperishable food drive to help stock the food pantry shelves at our local Catholic Charities; once again, we were able to donate about 1500 pounds of food and almost $500 in cash.
Many of our members and friends attended our annual picnic (Oktoberfest Style); delicious German cuisine, a little beer and wine, fellowship, and an Oompa Band made for a fun evening!
Upcoming for Leavenworth:
Vets Day Pancake Breakfast and Parade
First Annual Rotary Day of Service (with LHS Interact Club Members and USM students)
Manhattan Rotary
The Manhattan Rotary Club continued to enjoy great speakers during the month of October.
  • District Governor Vern Henricks
  • Rotarian Robbin Cole, Executive Director of Pawnee Mental Health
  • Coach Jeff Mittie, KSU Head Women's Basketball Coach
  • Landry Brewer, author of Cold War Kansas
A book was donated each week to a different elementary school in Manhattan in each speaker's honor
5 Members went bowling with the Interact and Rotaract Clubs.
3 Members participated in a Kansas River Clean-up with Interactors, Rotaractors and other community members. 
2 Members planted a tree in front of KSU McCain Auditorium.
The City of Manhattan Proclaimed October 24 as World Polio day.
The club received a $10,000 "Together We Read-Community Early Learning Grant" from Save the Children and the Basic Education and Literacy Rotary Action Group.
One member was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow plus 2.
33 members represented the club at the District Conference.
Manhattan Konza Rotary
In only its second year, Manhattan Konza Rotary’s Purple Pinky Donut Fundraiser for the End Polio Now campaign has grown like yeast, raising 77 percent more than last year with a total of $8,077 toward the campaign in 2021.
A huge shout out to the Purple Pinky Team and our Konza Club members for selling 4,280 long johns, which if placed end to end, would stretch more than one-half mile.
The club delivered 80 boxes to local first responders, schools, and military personnel at Fort Riley.
With matching opportunities, donations from corporate partners and September cup collections, the club’s combined total to support the campaign since 2017 has netted $29,677.
Overland Park Rotary
By Clayton Smith
Polio is one of those diseases that most of us are lucky enough to no have to worry about,” says Rachel Feltman.  But not everyone has been lucky.  
The Overland Park Rotary Club hosted a Polio Plus program recently. Our speaker was Recil Skinner, who contracted polio at age three. She is speaking to three Rotary Clubs in the Missouri area in October, as she expresses gratitude for Rotary’s Polio Plus.
For me, Recil’s story was personal. I was a classmate and was one of several who would carry Recil and her wheel chair up and down the high school stairs every day.  You might say, I learned the value of “Service Above Self” because of Recil.  She has always been one of the most loved and respected life-long friends of many classmates of Chillicothe High School.
Ms Skinner is an excellent story teller.  Recil told of her dramatic life-time experience of surviving polio for the last 70 years. Like COVID 19, this epidemic of the 50’s and 60’s was tragic. The polio vaccine was released in 1955 and cases dropped by 85 to 90 percent within two years.  However, without the availability of vaccine polio has taken a world-wide toll.
Recil received her medical treatment and care at the Kansas University Hospital.  Her story included childhood pictures of being hospitalized at K U Med.  After high school she went on to earn degrees in Speech Pathology and Counseling and worked in the public schools and the State of Missouri for 33 years. 
The Overland Park Rotary Club was most appreciate of Recil, her story, advocacy for Polio Plus, her time, and her expense to drive her van from Columbia, her hometown. She continues to challenge every Rotarian to financially support the Polio Plus and Rotary’s disease fighting programs around the world!  
Please consider giving to the Rotary’s Polio Plus Fund with an annual gift of $100. Again this year, the Gates Foundation will match your gift x2! 

15 and the Mahomies Team Up with Lead To Read KC and Rotary Club of Overland Park To Distribute 25K Books to Local Schools
Patrick Mahomes encourages kids to read for 15 minutes a day with the help of local nonprofit organizations
In an effort to encourage reading among youth, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and his foundation, 15 and the Mahomies, are teaming up with local nonprofits Lead to Read KC and the Rotary Club of Overland Park to get books in the hands of children in Kansas City. It is estimated that 28 million children read below proficiency level for their age. A lack of books and lack of practice are the leading causes of childhood illiteracy. One of the most successful ways to improve a child's reading ability is to increase access to books.
The 15 and the Mahomies’ Read for 15 program enlists children, with the support of their parents and caregivers, to read for 15 minutes every day outside of school for 15 weeks. Reading 15 minutes a day is the “magic number” at which students see a substantial gain in reading achievement. “The most important message of this program is that reading is cool,” said Mahomes. “Whether it’s reading books, short stories, magazines or whatever you’re interested in - reading is a key skill for success.”
The Overland Park Rotary Club’s Rotary Reads program is providing 25,000 books for Read for 15. Together with the Kansas City Chiefs Ambassadors, 15 and the Mahomies and Lead to Read KC, they will collectively deliver 40 cases of books to 15 of Lead to Read KC's partner schools. “Lead to Read KC is excited to support Read for 15 because encouraging children to read at home is an important part of helping children become strong readers,” said Pauly Hart, Lead to Read KC Executive Director. “We hope that by supporting Read for 15 and by expanding our Reading Is Everywhere community book distribution initiative, children will adopt the habit of reading wherever they may be—not just in school.”
The Read for 15 program will kickoff with a delivery to the Brookside Charter School on Thursday, October 28 at 9:45 AM. KC Wolf will rally hundreds of children the day of the book delivery, where they will watch a personal video message from Mahomes on a big screen and select their books to read at home. Students, parents and caregivers can sign a pledge to read for 15 minutes a day for 15 weeks, and share pictures of their children reading on social media using #ReadFor15!.
Overland Park South Rotary
The Overland Park South and Overland Park clubs held a joint social at Johnson County Community College. The fun event raised $233 for PolioPlus. OP South is also collecting clothes and household items for Care Beyond the Boulevard, Project Uplift, and Della Lamb Refugee Services.
Shawnee Rotary
Rotarians are inspired and inspiring people and the Rotary Club of Shawnee had the opportunity to be inspired a lot of late.  The speakers we have hosted in the past months have been stellar!  I would like to share these names with other clubs in the District so that they may have these varied and interesting individuals if they so choose.
  • Trevor Miller of the Overland Park Fire Department came and shared the amazing story behind the creation and continuation of the September 11th Memorial in Overland Park. 
  • The National Ag Hall of Fame’s Dave Hurrelbrink spoke to us about this historic and still growing gem right in our backyard. 
  • Jan Zimmerman of S.A.F.E. was able to join us and give us information on this vital yet little known organization which is there for our Fire Responders and their families at the most terrible of times. 
  • Rick Terrell, local author, spoke to us about his latest book - LEADERSHIP RITES of PASSAGE (available on Amazon and is getting wonderful reviews) and how this book came to be with amazing insights on Aspiring Leaders and Mentoring.  A good read for any age business person.  Stocking stuffer?
  • Jonathan Chester – aka The Penguin Lover – is a local photographer who shared his work, his story and regaled us with his adventures and expeditions in Antarctica. 
  • The Golden Scoop is an amazing place for Ice Cream and opportunity.  Amber Schreiber is so much fun and you must learn about this growing business with a purpose!
Each Rotarian has their own story, passion, and desire to make their community, business and world a better place.  I am grateful for the fellowship of these individuals and speakers which are able to come and make us think or laugh or wonder.  Our club has truly benefitted from these speakers!
Each speaker at the Rotary Club of Shawnee signs a children’s book which is later donated to a local school/library. 
Western Johnson County
The Rotary Club of Western Johnson County participated in the Lenexa Chili Challenge on Saturday October 9th.  This was a great opportunity for us to engage with the community and share the Rotary message!  As the winner of our club’s chili challenge in September, Jim Houvener represented the club in the homestyle chili category.  Jim’s chili placed 16th out of 170 entries!  Congratulations Jim!
Our club also hosted a bowling event on Tuesday October 26th.  Club members were encouraged to bring a companion that might be interested in joining Rotary.  We had a nice turnout of members, spouses, and potential future Rotarians! 

Russell Hampton
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