Posted by DG Gerry Lambert
“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”
German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche.
The sun is shining and though there is a stiff breeze it is a beautiful day. Most likely, this is the best day so far this year here in Northern New York and I suspect for those across the border as well. Who would think that we would be in the midst of the worst health and financial crisis the world has seen since the “Spanish Flu” pandemic of one hundred years ago?
Fortunately, just like then, Rotary is here to help. Much has occurred since our last bulletin…
  • Approximately 90% or 59/66 clubs have transitioned to online club meetings, board meetings, fundraisers, and even social events. Zoom has become part of our daily lexicon.
  • Twelve out of 13 Area Governors are holding Presidents Councils on a routine basis in order to work as a team in providing support in their area. Area Governors are also meeting with District Governor Elect Hadi Mortada and me regularly in order to assist, support and coordinate their efforts during this crisis.
  • Almost all clubs have donated funds or created/partnered with other clubs/organizations within their communities to help first responders, assist those who are quarantined, support people who are hungry or alone and assist the most vulnerable - the young and the elderly. It has been amazing.
District Support:
As a District we have also stepped up to help clubs with their COVID-19 efforts.
  • New COVID-19 District Grants:
    • Thanks to the work of many within the District, we were able to identify over 50 thousand dollars in matching funds for these special grants and have solicited applications from clubs within the District.
    • Response: The response was excellent as 29 clubs applied and were approved for funding. These projects range from support for food banks and food deliveries to PPE and Ventilator purchases.  Note: As part of these grants many Club Rotarians stepped forward and assisted by donating additional funds for these projects.
  • RI Disaster Response Grants:
    • District 7040 has applied to RI and is currently on a waiting list for an RI grant of up to 25,000 USD to further assist clubs within the District with COVID projects.
    • RI is in the process of raising additional funds to replenish these grants.
    • RI held a live online #RotaryResponds Telethon, hosted by Past RI President Barry Rassin Saturday to assist in raising the money needed. It was an excellent event. Please take a look and donate if you can
  • Working on the fly:
…the borders are closed, and restrictions are in place, but life continues.
  • President Elect Training-seamlessly transitioned to and continues as an online format led by Gayle Oudeh, the District Training chair and her committee, and the District Governor Elect Hadi Mortada.
  • Global Grant Scholarship/Peace Fellowship: One out of 8 applicants was selected on Saturday and will be receiving a 30 thousand USD Global Grant Scholarship to assist them in funding one year of a Master’s degree in one of Rotary’s six areas of focus.  These 8 were submitted by clubs within the District. They were amazing candidates and they are the future of the world. Additionally, an applicant was also selected to submit to RI for a Peace Fellowship.
  • Foundation Walk May 9th -Now Virtual-Please walk in your area, take photos and post them on Facebook and your club webpages. Also, see your Foundation Chair to donate to PolioPlus.
  • Still coming in May/June: District Council Meeting, District Changeover, Committee meetings, club visits, etc.… more info to follow.
  • New 20-26th June-RI Online Convention more info to be released in May.
In closing, Thanks to every Rotarian.  All of you have stepped up and are helping in some form or fashion during this crisis and as a result Rotary continues to make a difference.