During DGE Caroline Earle’s Graduation Ceremony at a Zones 28 & 32 gathering on September 23rd, our Rotary International Director Valarie Wafer noted that Autumn signifies change through the changing colors all around us.  It’s a vivid reminder of our call to Serve to Change Lives!
Following a recent visit with the Barre Rotary Club, AG Nicole DiDomenico shared with me the latest developments with the Tanzania Project, a wonderful example of Serving to Change Lives, that the Norwich Rotaract Club initiated almost 10 years ago, and the immediate hope for making this a truly sustainable school and economic engine in the region. 
Yep, I’m standing in a sea of “back to school” backpacks which is where my mind went when I looked up our RI Theme for this month: “Basic Education and Literacy.”  Because I’m hoping that my club (Plymouth, NH) will get involved in a literacy project with our new Children’s Learning Center in town, and remembering years past when other clubs I have been a part of did different things to help kids get off to a great start in the new school year, I thought I’d reach out to our current club presidents and ask what kinds of things their clubs are involved in to support education and literacy.  And the response I got (which also included some photographs) made me so proud of what Rotarians are doing locally and globally as we Serve to Change Lives!
“On the road again…”  Yes, the GovMobile is ready to hit the road and bring me to your club meeting, project, or special event!  And I am so looking forward to connecting in-person with our 7850 Rotarians once again.  To say the least, finding our way out of all the challenges COVID brought us these past 18 months, and still presents to our communities, building out my travel calendar is a work-in-progress.  And, as I think we all know, things can change in a heartbeat. 
The Rotary theme for this month puts the spotlight on membership and new club development.  Certainly, growing membership and starting new clubs is a continuing challenge for all of us in North America.  However, I want us to never forget about our existing members in the desire to make our organization strong and effective as we Serve to Change Lives.  So, here is a challenge to all 40 of our clubs this month…. 

Introducing Our First District Polio Plus Advocate

I’m Paul Brochu, a member of the Plymouth, NH club and DG Mike Carrier has asked me to serve our District 7850 as our first PolioPlus Advocate.  As the PolioPlus Advocate, I’ll help keep Rotary’s commitment to the eradication of polio in the public eye, to provide any assistance that I can to District 7850 clubs as they help with Rotary’s polio eradication effort, and to help raise funds for Rotary’s End Polio campaign.
Our now Past District Governor, Jamie Milne, certainly showed us how to maneuver through the choppy waters of a global pandemic last year to remain a vibrant and innovative District that didn’t skip a beat in “Doing Good in the World.”  During the June 24th President’s Celebration/Changeover on Zoom, Jamie, along with several Club Presidents, shared highlights of the year and how many of our clubs discovered new and exciting opportunities for service, grew membership, took advantage of virtual platforms to host speakers from around the world, revamped fundraisers, and most importantly continued to stay connected and care for one another.
Wilkins Harley-Davidson interviewed Karl Rinker who gave us a video rundown on what's going on in Barre! The Rotary Club of Barre is hosting an event called the "Barre Art Splash".
As we begin to build out our training schedule for this year, we want to make sure we are responsive to those areas of club life where you feel a course or seminar would be helpful in building your skills and knowledge.  Your input will be really helpful as we put together our training modules for Lyndonville in November and the District Conference in May.  During the winter and spring of this past year we offered a number of Zoom seminars on various topics that were very well received including, District Grants Training, ClubRunner, My Rotary, how to conduct a Zoom meeting, etc.  At any time throughout the year, please send me your course/seminar ideas.