Message from DG Vern Henricks
We have completed three quarters of our 2021-22 Rotary year and our District continues to be active.  March was full of activities with our Gathering For Good fundraiser and PETS training.  Both events were resounding successes in many ways, but first and foremost was our ability to meet in person. 
The news about Polio Plus continues on a positive trend so let’s continue our support to get this deadly disease eradicated as soon as possible.
Our district membership is growing so keep those new members coming.  We know the end of the year will see many Rotarians transitioning, so let’s make sure we have our clubs ending the year with positive membership numbers by bringing in as many new members as possible during this last quarter.
I want to thank all Rotarians for the efforts made to share important messaging for vaccinations that has enabled us to reach our comfort level of today.  Albeit not 100% eliminated, the pandemic has reached a manageable state where we are all feeling more comfortable. 
I want to give big thanks to Faron Barr for his organizational efforts that lead to more than $27,000 being raised at our second annual Gathering For Good Fundraiser. Thanks also to our DG’s Stephanie Meyer, Jenalea Randall, and Tamara Sevcik for their efforts with the Live & Silent Auctions and the wine and liquor pull. Finally, much appreciation to our District Executive, Mandy Sheldon for her always amazing organizational efforts.
Another big thanks to DGE Stephanie Meyer for her efforts in making the 2022 Heartland PETS Conference a great success. It was so special and inspiring to have Rotary International President Elect Jennifer Jones share her thoughts and inspirational message with all attendees on Friday night.  D5710 was also able to record a conversation with her and our DG’s on our Rotary Talk 5710 podcast series that will be released the week of April 3rd.
Thank you  to everyone who has sent photos and information regarding our club international projects.  Keep them coming so I can prepare a good summary of our D5710 efforts around the world.
I want to also remind clubs that they still have time to enter and update their goals for the year in MyRotary.  I want to prepare a summary of our District impact and this can only be accomplished when the information is in the system.
Lastly, we all know about the deepening humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. I want to report that the Rotary Foundation has created an official channel for donors around the world to contribute funds to support the relief efforts underway by Rotary districts and has designated its Disaster Response Fund as the main avenue for contributions.  Thus far the Rotary Foundation has approved:
  • Now through 30 June 2022, designated Rotary districts that border Ukraine and the Rotary district in Ukraine may apply for grants of up to $50,000 each from the Disaster Response Fund. These expedited disaster response grants can be used to provide relief to refugees or other victims of the crisis including items such as water, food, shelter, medicine and clothing.
  • During this same period, other impacted Rotary districts that wish to offer support to refugees or other victims of the crisis in their district can apply for $25,000 grants from the Disaster Response Fund.
  • Now through 30 April 2022, Rotary districts can transfer unallocated District Designated Funds (DDF) to support the Disaster Response Fund, directly supporting these Ukraine-specific humanitarian grants.
  • Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund in support of Ukraine need to be received into the Disaster Response Fund by 30 April 2022 in order to qualify for use in support of the Ukrainian relief efforts.
  • Although the Disaster Response Fund will be the main avenue for Rotary Foundation support, Rotary and Rotaract clubs are also encouraged to create their own responses to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
In addition to support provided through the Disaster Response Fund, the Foundation is coordinating with partners and regional leaders, exploring effective solutions to the increased humanitarian needs.
  • The Foundation is in contact with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees – USA to prepare for and respond to the needs of those being displaced in Ukraine and to neighboring countries.
  • ShelterBox, RI’s project partner for disaster response, is in communication with Rotary members in Eastern Europe to explore how it may offer support with temporary transitional housing and other essential supplies.
  • The Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Migration is also mobilizing its resources to assist in this crisis.
More than two million people have fled Ukraine and are in dire need of emergency aid. The United Nations estimates that number could grow to as many as five million people displaced. Rotary clubs in Europe and around the world have stepped up their relief work, some working on the ground to help displaced families.  Rotarians are asked to obtain information by contacting the Rotary Support Center at

Club & District News and Events

Rotary and Polio Plus
Dear 5710 Polio Plus Supporters,
As we approach the end of this Rotary Year, now is the time to look back and remember the amazing March 26th, 1953 announcement by Dr. Salk of a successful Polio Vaccine and look forward to celebrating the success of that Polio vaccine that fights to end Polio by celebrating WORLD IMMUNIZATION WEEK, April 24-30. That week would be the perfect time for your club to complete its Polio Plus fundraising and help meet Rotary’s $50 Million/year donation Goals. So here are reminders to share with your club, your friends, and your communities.
On March 26, 1953, American medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk announces on a national radio show that he has successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes the crippling disease of polio. Here he is vaccinating his family. In 1952—an epidemic year for polio—there were 58,000 new cases reported in the United States, and more than 3,000 died from the disease. For his work in helping to eradicate the disease, Dr. Salk was celebrated as the great doctor-benefactor of his time.
Join with Rotary to promote the power of vaccines to protect children and save lives
During World Immunization Week, 24-30 April, let’s advocate for polio eradication and the importance of vaccines to the health and well-being of our communities.

Vaccines are one of the greatest advances of modern medicine. They’re safe, effective, and save millions of lives each year. Our progress in the fight to end polio is proof that vaccines work.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative estimates that the polio vaccine has saved more than 20 million children around the world from paralysis. We need to continue vaccinating children against polio, because as long as the poliovirus circulates anywhere, it is a threat everywhere.

Here’s how you can support Rotary’s efforts during World Immunization Week:
  • Use the World Immunization Week Toolkit for graphics and sample posts to share on social media with the hashtags #EndPolio and #VaccinesWork.  
  • Donate to PolioPlus to help Rotary and our partners deliver polio vaccines to vulnerable children. Or start an online fundraiser using Raise for Rotary and share it with your friends, colleagues, and family members. All contributions will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation..
And “We are…This Close” as shown in our “Countdown to History”
No WPV Cases & No CVDPV in Pakistan or Afghanistan
Call or email me for ideas or help: Jim Arnett, Polio Plus District Chair
 (913) 200-0514 ~
Wild Poliovirus Weekly Update
Week Ending 30 Mar 2022
Total number of wild cases in 2019:  176
Total number of wild cases in 2020:  140
Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2021: 6 (Nov 19, 2021)       
Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2022: 1 (Afghanistan)
Total # of wild poliovirus cases this week: 0
      (compared with Total of 2 for the same period in 2021)
Total number of Circulating Vaccine Derived cases - 2021: 635
 (vs. totals in 2019: 378; & a total of 1110 cases for 2020)
Please Donate @ 
April is Maternal & Child Health Month
Rotary makes high-quality health care available to vulnerable mothers and children so they can live longer and grow stronger.

We expand access to quality care, so mothers and children everywhere can have the same opportunities for a healthy future. An estimated 5.9 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, inadequate health care, and poor sanitation — all of which can be prevented.

Rotary provides education, immunizations, birth kits, and mobile health clinics. Women are taught how to prevent mother-to-infant HIV transmission, how to breast-feed, and how to protect themselves and their children from disease.

District Training
On 5 March, we attended District 5520’s RLI Part 111 session via ZOOM. Jeff Weinrich and Dan Garrison (Rocky Mountain RLI Division) led this session and provided us this opportunity to experience how RLI is effectively facilitated on Zoom. It was a great interactive session that demonstrated how a hybrid approach could serve as a future implementation method for District 5710.
Heartland Multi-District PETS (March 31st-April 2nd) was a great success. District 5710 and 5680  President-elects attended facilitated training sessions that were designed to provide them with knowledge and tools as they prepare for their year as Club Presidents.  Attendees also had opportunities to meet, socialize, and collaborate with fellow PEs from across the district and to hear from distinguished Rotary leaders including Jennifer Jones, who will become the first female Rotary International President in Rotary year 2022-2023! It was a weekend that offered purposeful training balanced with so many opportunities to collaborate, socialize, and Imagine Rotary.
District 5710 has been awarded 30 Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) scholarships. Apply now so you can secure enrollment. See the application information here.
Yours in Rotary,
DeEtte Lombard and Ellen Bogdan
Gathering for Good Wrap Up!
What a night! Our 2nd annual Gathering For Good Foundation event was a smashing success with $27,810 raised in just one night. This is over $10,000 more than we raised last year! Thank you to all who attended. Without you this event would not have been successful. We had a lot fun and raised a significant amount of funds for The Rotary Foundation Annual Fund – SHARE. I know we will have a few Paul Harris Fellows to hand out after this, so club presidents should be watching their mail for those. I thank KC Aerial Arts for providing our live entertainment. They were amazing! Charlie Moon, our auctioneer extraordinaire, was lively and entertaining, as always, helping us raise thousands of dollars for our live auction items. A very special thank you goes out to the G4G planning committee. These individuals are the magic that makes events like this work. I look forward to next year’s Gathering For Good. With this much fun, why would we stop now?
Jamie Stafford provided the photos above of the baskets she won at the auction - both were big hits with her children! "I was really impressed by the baskets... I even ended up buying not just one, but two of them!" she said.
Valley Falls President Phil Huffman and member Rhonda Troxel (pictured at left) looked like they had a great time at the event
Heartland PETS 2022
“In order to live in the kind of society you want, you have to help build it.”
My heart is so full following our annual Heartland PETS training. So many amazing folks, taking time out of their busy lives to commit to making our little corner of the world a better place…incredible. From guest speakers to facilitators to president-elects, I was so humbled by their ideas, motivation, and plans.
It was a special treat to have the opportunity to spend the day with RIPE Jennifer Jones. Much has been made (rightfully so!) about her being our first female President, but I’d put my money on her any day, in any setting, against anyone. Plus, she’s climbed Kilimanjaro and likes Australian Sauvignon Blancs, so we’re basically soul sisters.
Imagine Rotary!!
RYLA 2022
The University of Kansas in Lawrence will once again host District 5710's Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA). There are several past participants of this program that stated their experience was life-changing and made them more aware of their capabilities. It is common to see a student become emotional when talking about their experience with RYLA. For many students, this is their first exposure to Rotary and what we, as Rotarians, can accomplish. The projects and exercises in this five-day camp are designed to get the students to think differently about certain situations and develop their own solutions with fellow students they may have not met before attending the camp. Many students worldwide, who have attended RYLA, have continued on to become members of an Interact, Rotaract, and eventually a Rotary club.
Brochure and Applications are now on the District website. 
PDG Jon Wilhite Obituary
We are saddened to report the passing of Past District Governor Jon Wilhite of Overbrook. Obituary below.

Karol “Jon” Wilhite, 86, of Overbrook, KS, passed away March 19, 2022 at his home.  Jon was born on May 19, 1935 in Emporia, KS, the son of Karol A. Wilhite and Ruby (Loomis) Wilhite. Jon grew up in Emporia graduating from Emporia High School with the class of 1953. In 1957 he graduated from Emporia State University and then graduated from the Madison, Wisconsin School of Banking.

From May of 1953 until 1961 Jon served his country proudly in the United Sates Army Reserves as a member of the 622nd Transportation Company, Emporia, KS, and 400th Signal Company, Topeka, KS. 

On August 10, 1958 Jon was united in marriage to Wanda Schmidt in Emporia, KS.  They celebrated sixty-three years of marriage this past year.

Jon worked for thirty-two years as a banker at the Kansas State Bank, Overbrook, KS, working his way up to Vice President of the bank. 

Jon was actively involved in the Overbrook community all of his adult life.  He was a member of the Ridgeway Masonic Lodge for sixty-two years; a member of the Scottish Rite for fifty-years earning his 33rd degree; member of the Arab Shrine, Topeka for fifty years; member of the Overbrook United Methodist Church; a sixty-one year and three month member of the Overbrook Rotary Club, serving in 1975-1976 as District Governor.  Jon also led a rotary group study team to Australia in 1968 and was a Paul Harris Fellow.

Jon never met a stranger.  He could instantly envelop a stranger in a conversation as if they were long lost friends and make them feel as if he had known them for years.  He was always a jokester and had his own unique “Jonisms” as the family referred to them.  He loved his antique cars and working on his rental properties.  He was especially fond of painting.  Jon was also a talented singer and a member of the men’s Choir group Sons of the King, performing at several area churches and rescue missions over the years.  He was devoted to his community, his country, but especially to his family and loving wife.

Jon is preceded in death by his parents, Karol and Ruby Wilhite; brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Barbara Wilhite; sister-in-law, Kathy Wilhite; and son-in-law, Lance Freeman.

Jon is survived by wife, Wanda Wilhite, of the home; daughter, Terri Current and her husband, Curtis, Auburn, KS; son Steven Wilhite, Overland Park, KS; daughter, Julie McMurphy and her husband, Dallas, Breaux Bridge, LA; a brother, Larry J. Wilhite, Bonner Springs, KS; six grandchildren, Erin Ward and her husband, James, Ryan Current and his wife, Grace, Caleb Current and his wife, Tatum, Colby Current, Emily Freeman, Levi Freeman; three great grandchildren, Bailey, Isaac, Addison; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

End Human Trafficking News
District 5710’s 4th Global Grant supporting our fight to end human trafficking has been approved!!
Our new grant is Intersection to Care – Providing reintegration services to women leaving incarceration. In our community more than 50 women are released from jail every month. There is a critical need for a comprehensive reintegration process for these women. Without these services, women are susceptible to sex traffickers who are waiting in the jail’s dark and ominous parking lot to “help.”  These women are extremely vulnerable because they have experienced trauma; many having been sold for sex. They leave incarceration with only the clothes they wore coming to jail, no food, money, phone, transportation, or housing. Traffickers offering basic needs in exchange for sexual servitude are likely very tempting. Prior to a woman’s release, our project will provide a comprehensive community-based support program implemented as they exit the jail door. We will provide immediate, basic needs in the form of clothing, food vouchers, prepaid phones, and bus fare. We will meet with each woman to develop a mentorship plan to help them overcome barriers to housing, employment, education, and healthcare. We will work with area employers to help them attain sustainable employment and become a contributing member of their community.
We are looking for volunteers to help with implementation of this grant. Please contact Patti Mellard @ if you are interested in learning more.
2023 Rotary Peace Fellowships
The Rotary Talk 5710 Podcast About the Rotary Peace Fellowship Program is NOW Available!
The Rotary Talk 5710 pod cast about the Rotary Peace Fellow is packed with information and opportunities for individuals to apply to become one.  Facilitator Dave Lewis did an amazing job facilitating as well as introducing three guest to discuss the 2023 Peace Fellowship.  They are:  Chuck Udell, Leawood Rotary Club and District World Peace Programs Committee Chair; Bill Richter, Manhattan Rotary Club, long time committee chair, and former committee chair; and Summer Lewis, a Peace Fellow alum from Manhattan, Kansas now living in Oaxaca, Mexico working for Rotary International. 
Thank yous go to Chuck, Bill, and Summer for their participation; Dave for his awesome facilitating; and DG Vern Henricks for enabling this tool to be available. 
Click here for the link to the Peace Fellowship podcast. 
Please listen to this 17 minute podcast and think about non Rotarians who you know in your community who could be interested.   And, then send their names along with any questions you may have to Chuck Udell at
Thanks so much for support of this awesome Rotary program!
Rotary Night at Wichita Wind Surge!
SAVE THE DATE! Join our Neighboring Rotarians in District 5680 for a Wichita Wind Surge Game!
  • June 1, 2022 7:05 pm start
  • All Kansas Rotary Clubs are invited to bring their friends and families.
  • Tickets are $15 plus tax (approx. $16-$17 total) which includes $4 toward concession purchases.
  • The Wind Surge will run a 2-3 minute video for Rotary if we can get at least 300 people there. We can ask for more if we get more people there!
  • The Wind Surge are holding a block of tickets so we can sit together (and they’re saving us great seats this year!)
  • More details to come in the next few weeks along with a sign up link to purchase tickets.
The Wichita Wind Surge are a Minor League Baseball team of the Texas League and the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. They are located in Wichita, Kansas, and began play in 2021 at Riverfront Stadium.
Upcoming Club Events
Each month we will share with you upcoming Club Events, that you might like to participate in.

Thursday, April 28th, 5:30-9pm - Celebrating Manhattan Konza Rotary Club - 25 years of Service and FUN! 

Prairiewood Retreat - Blue Sage Barn - 1484 Wildcat Creek Rd, Manhattan, KS 66503

To register:

Cheers to 25 years!


Bonner Springs Rotary Kentucky Derby Party
Saturday, May 7th, 4:30-6:30
The Fuel House, 611 W. 2nd Street, Bonner Springs
$40 ticket includes dinner and two drink tickets.
Prizes for best dressed.  Entertainment includes music from the Newkirks, mouse races, a silent auction, and, of course, the Derby itself.
For tickets or more information call 687-4966.
Leavenworth Rotary
Irish Stew Dinner Highlights:
We had a steady flow of diners all evening and many take outs. Past Grand Marshals of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade pictured with the 2022 Grand Marshal, Frank Carroll (right photo, front row).
Green beer was flowing all evening! Having fun even though they worked hard; Mo Minchew, left and Ron Booth pictured below. Our littlest Leprechaun, Jameson Murray Johnson, pictured with his mommy, Meg Murray Johnson.  
A good time was had by all at the 39th Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade; our Rotary Wheel was parade ready…this year our Wheel pulled by a member’s father’s 1952 Model A, 2-cylinder John Deere tractor!
The Gathering for Good was a great event!
Manhattan Rotary
March was a good month for the Manhattan Rotary Club.  We continued to enjoy a high quality of presentations.  
  • Kathy Ray, Executive Director, The Crisis Center 
  • Dawn Buehler, Executive Director, Kansas River Keeper:  The Kaw:  Where are we Today? 
  • Stan Slaughter, Eco Troubadour: Compost is the Answer, What is the question? 
  • Doug Wareham, President and CEO, Kansas Bankers Association 
  • Pete Hughes, Head Coach KSU Men's Baseball. 
A book was donated each week to a different elementary school in Manhattan in each speaker's honor.
The club donated weekly cup money to Pawnee Mental Health Services.
The club enjoyed supporting District 5710's Gathering for Good.
  • Seven members attended
  • Members donated toward the wine and liquor pull 
  • Members donated towards the club's reading basket 
  • A club member donated towards the live auction 
Two new members were welcomed to the club.
One new member transferred to the club.  
The club distributed a member survey regarding the role of the board, committees and members as part of strategic planning process
The club received word from the Rotary club of Kampala Wandegeya Uganda, that the birthing kits they received were presented at the ground breaking ceremony of a maternity and fistula ward in Kalira Eastern Uganda.
Members delivered water, tide pods, paper towels and other household items to The Homestead for adult female sex trafficking survivors.
Manhattan Konza Rotary
Konza Rotary Club was well represented in two very important events these last couple weeks. On Saturday 3/26 Members Joan, Deb, Pat joined President Elect Michelle along with current President Rich at the Gathering for the Good. So amazing to have some many Rotarians participate and enjoy a wonderful evening with new and old Rotary friends. Congratulations to all involved as over $21,000 was raised. Looking forward to next year’s event!
On Friday night April 1st in Wichita, we were honored to be present to meet and hear from RI President Elect Jennifer Jones. Joan, President Elect Michelle, and current President Rich came away inspired to “Imagine Rotary”.  A fun time showing off the Rotary tattoo’s (might Jenny get one?) along with meeting fellow President Elects who will lead this next rotary Year.
Overland Park Rotary
Overland Park Rotary Club has enjoyed numerous community updates recently from a variety of speakers.  Our own Andy Bowne, Johnson County Community College President, provided an update on the crown jewel of the county entitled, “Your Community College.” Mayor Curt Skoog delivered an informative presentation and discussion about the City of Overland Park and the many reasons it continues to be named one of the best places to live in the U.S.  Johnson County Appraiser, Beau Boisvert, provided an overview of the January 2022 property valuation and interesting statistics about the unprecedented seller’s market that we are experiencing. 
Shawnee Rotary
The Rotary Club of Shawnee enjoyed several inspirational and engaging speakers during the month of March!  We also received a request to gather tactic gloves and first aid/trauma kits for transport to Ukraine.  Over $1,000 in gloves and triage essentials will be prepared for shipment next week (pic at right). 
Western Johnson County
Our club is hosting a Zoom Virtual Music Bingo fundraiser THIS Thursday 4/7 6:00p – 8:00p CT!  Proceeds will benefit CASA of Johnson & Wyandotte Counties and Veterans Community Project! 
This event is open to ANYONE who wants to participate!
Bingo cards are $20 each or 3 for $50.  Cards will be emailed to players prior to the event.  A link to the Zoom meeting will also be sent.  We will be playing 3 games – 1 line, 3 lines, and a cover-all.  Each game winner will receive a prize package donated by our amazing Kansas City-area supporters!  Music theme will be Classic Rock.
The deadline to signup is THIS Wednesday 4/6 6:00p!  If you’d like to participate, please reserve your bingo cards here:
CASA volunteers provide support for children going through the court system.  Many times, a child going through the court system doesn't have someone looking out for their best interests.  This is when CASA steps in and becomes that advocate for the child!  To learn more about CASA, visit their website:
Veterans Community Project volunteers take care of our military Veterans who are homeless or looking for help and have no where else to turn.  VCP has a "tiny homes village" here in Kansas City, which provides a place that over 40 of our Veterans call home!  VCP also provides guidance and services to support our Veterans.  To learn more about VCP, visit their website:

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