Sunday, December 23, 2018

President Elect Preparation for President Elect Orientation

President Elect Orientation for 2019-20 Presidents

For President Elect Orientation on January 28

Bring an idea for a project that you can share with other President Elects
         Talk with other club members to get some ideas

Work on your club goals

Questions on Leadership
          How to have interesting, entertaining meetings
          How to ensure that members find club fellowship

Any questions that your club has on Youth Programs

        What are the Best Practices for Acquisition of Members and Engagement of Members

Communications-What questions do you have about club communications?

Rotary Foundation-What questions do you have about the Rotary Foundation?
    Talk to your club about getting approved for grants. Bring along the signed form to get approved for next year.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Rotary Fellowship at Holiday Time

All our clubs have get-togethers at Holiday Time to provide Fellowship for all our members

Getting together for cocktails and snacks

Discussing how to do good in the world

Some of us like to dress up(or down)

Having a great time at a Yankee Swap
Celebrating the end of the Year and Holiday Time. What a great way to provide Fellowship

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Breakfast with Santa in East Hampton-A perspective

At Breakfast with Santa in East Hampton a lot of different things happen. Many of our club members come to help and we spend lots of time chatting and enjoying each others' company. So this is a great example of Fellowship at a Service project.
The club provides breakfast without charge but we do ask those coming to bring a gift for the Food Bank. event.
Here's the leadership team:Past Chair Bob, Current Chair Kevin and Club President Mark

Greeting people at the door are Sharon(dressed as an elf) and Bill

On their way to seeing Santa and the Mrs.

For the first time East Hampton had Mrs. Claus as well as Santa
 The Interact Club has many members in attendance and they love it. They organize the visit with Santa, the taking of pictures, there is always a line for the Santa visit. The Interact Club also does face painting and there is also an Amber Alert sign up. All these things go on throughout the event.

Here's the table where the Interactors arrange for face painting

The current chair and in the background the high school kitchen where the club makes the pancakes

George took care of the dishes. Thanks George

Rotary Leadership Basics

This video was prepared by Rotary District 7980 Governor Larry Gardner last year. It is a great video on how to lead a Rotary Clubs. We will share it with the President Elects this year.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Interact Fall Conference in District 7980

Each year the District 7980 Interact Board organizes a Fall conference. This year the theme of the conference was to help the Interactors improve their clubs and it was held Sunday, November 18.
The Interact District Board consists of one or two Interact District representatives plus several Interact Area representatives(who line up with the Rotary assistant governor areas)

The Interact District Board(part of it) with Keon the Interact District representative at the podium
 The group split into five break out groups to discuss various aspects of running an Interact Club. Funding and projects, District Interact help, communications, etc.
This is an exercise in the communication break out where the string follows the speaker
 The exercise is to emphasize the importance of participating and helps bring more students into the conversation.
Keon is the Interact District representative and led the conference

Rotary district Governor Larry Gardner gave a talk which involved the students and was well received

Thursday, November 15, 2018

President Elect Orientation-November 13 for Presidents 2019-20

On Tuesday, November 13, the President Elects from District 7980 met

President Elect Orientation for 2019-20 Presidents

            numbered items were identified by PEs as most important information
            blue items are comments or explanations which I have added
1. Contacts-
            a. PEs met a bunch of other PEs and also met Assistant Governors and PDGs
            b. In the handout is contact information for a bunch of people who are willing to help

2. Rotary Foundation-mentioned a few times by PEs as interesting and important
            More on International projects
Here is a link to the presentation on the Foundation just click on it to go to presentation.

3. Organizational punch list
            Your To-Dos for next few months-see below

4. Treasurer talk
            budget early
            PDG Paul Mangels expressed the importance of a President in keeping track of finances and making his budget early. All while working with the clubs' financial structure.
5. Leadership
            Don't forget to ask(in getting help from others)
            New project buy-in
            Setting goals
            Plan ahead
            Leadership is a key part of the Presidents job. It requires working with others and getting agreement on plans, budgets etc. See some elements of the handouts. There will be lots more about how to lead.
6. Membership
            retain members/retain
            New members/young members
Governor Larry talked about membership. In his talks to clubs he spends quite a bit of time on membership, so many of you have already heard some of his comments. There are two parts for membership a)acquisition of new members and b) retention of members. There will be seminars to help us all understand best practices in each of these areas. Some clubs are doing a great job on membership and we need to understand what they do. This will continue to be a focus next year and we will discuss it further in January.
7. New ideas
We all get new ideas from various sources. At PEOs and at PETS meetings other President Elects and AGs and others are a great source of new ideas. You should seek out new people, talk with them and ask them how they do the things you're interested in.

8. Keep it fun
Of course but how to do it is the key.

9. Communication
PDG Trish talked about how to communicate with your club and with the outside world. She mentioned Facebook, Instagram and other social media as important. Also she commented that you don't have to be the expert, find someone to help you. Remember delegate, under leadership. She also mentioned the value of our District database and website in helping you communicate both within your club and outside. More on this at PE Tools on January 28.

Most important things to be a great club president


              Have a plan-
set club goals, set membership goals, set foundation goals, set club calendar

          Build your team-
officers, directors, committee chairs

          Use Rotary International tools-
website, printed materials, public relations materials

          Have some great projects
 that engage and excite your membership

          Have engaging meetings
with variety

          Leverage the Rotary Foundation
so that your projects extend further(support the Foundation)
          Use the District
 to help you succeed

Your to dos for next few months  

  • Ø   What are your clubs' Goals, membership goals, and foundation goals

    Ø   Working with your Board and Committees map out a calendar for next year including service projects, fundraisers, fellowship, Rotary Day, etc.

    Ø   Assemble your team i.e. the people you want to help you make things happen

    Ø   Start work on your Budget so you will know how much money you will have and where you want to spend it

Monday, November 12, 2018

Youth Exchange multi District dinner November 10, 2018

On Saturday, November 10th, the Plainfield Rotary Club hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for the Youth Exchange kids from districts 7890, 7980 and 7910. The interact students in Plainfield hosted the kids over night Friday and then they had a dinner Saturday for all host families and invited guests. It was wonderful! They went to Salvation Army to find costumes for randomly chosen characters and had a "showing" at the end of the night. It was very fun! Here is a picture of all the kids from the event. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Interact-A flyer from Jan Taigen of the Chester Rotary Club

Jan Taigen of the Chester Rotary Club prepared a flyer for Interact, here is a link

.Jan Taigen of Chester Rotary Club prepared this flyer/

Rotary Youth Services-A conversation

Rotarians from our Area 3 got together to talk about the things Rotary does to support our Youth. Thanks to Chris Hoeffel, and Tribury Rotary Club.
Here are some of the programs we do.

Next Generations is a one day conference to allow high school students to discuss issues that are important to them. It is facilitated by high school students.

RYLA is a three day conference to teach and convey leadership skills to high school students. There are three student directors and the facilitators(family leaders) are all high school students. RYLA alums who are now Rotaractors play a key role in making this an amazing program. The typical comment from high school students after RYLA is that "it changed my life".

Here are RYLA students making a presentation for the RYLA Challenge
Two RYLA students at this Area 3 meeting confirmed that "it changed them".

Interact are high school clubs which do service at their school and in their community. We probably have 55 in our District and over 1500 members. There are several Interact clubs in Area 3 and there was considerable discussion on how to make them better. An Interact school advisor from Pomperaug was at this meeting to give the school perspective. Also a principal conveyed his strong support of Interact. The advice given was 1. let the students take the lead, 2. encourage joint activities between Rotary clubs and Interact clubs and 3. ask the students to stop by the Rotary Club regularly.

Interact brochure prepared by Jan Taigen

Rotaract is a college age and beyond program. There are service clubs which can be in communities and at colleges. Some of our Interact graduates and RYLA alumni are in Rotaract clubs and do some wonderful service projects. The club at Yale provided medical equipment to Turkey for Syrian refugees last year.

Four Way Test speech contest. Every year high school students compete in a speech contest which incorporates the Rotary Four Way Test. The students prepare an up to 7 minute talk and give it in a competition with other students. The winners receive a financial award but everyone even the audience is more knowledgeable and inspired.

Global Leadership Initiative is a five day workshop to teach students 18 to 30 leadership and success skills. It has had interest from participants around the world.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

East Hampton Rotary-Giving Away Dictionaries to Third Graders

A very simple project that many clubs do every year is giving away dictionaries. The third graders love and cherish their dictionaries.There is so much more in our dictionaries than words.

The club gives out the dictionaries as the students walk in. They then look through it
We tell the students what Rotary is and explain the Four Way Test
Then we give them a little about the dictionary. Here is Kevin Reich(former teacher, former
Assistant superintendent current Assistant Governor) explaining
what's in the dictionary 

The dictionary includes a Periodic Table of the Elements. Us chemists
really appreciate that. We've been giving out dictionaries for more than 20
years, the Periodic Table in those early dictionaries are no longer correct.
When we took a picture of the Rotarians and some students we realized that there were
about 8 grandchildren of the Rotarians present in the group.
So this project provides a learning tool to the children, gives Rotarians some fellowship and gives
the Rotarians whose grandkids are there, a real positive experience.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Milford Rotary Club chooses sides-Red Sox or Yankees

The Division Series between the Red Sox and Yankees was about to kick off. The Milford Rotary Club was meeting and debated the merits of the teams. Well not really. It's baseball.
And by the way there was a Jets fan defending his forecast, that the Jets were a future team to be reckoned with. Us Jets fans have heard that before.

So back to the Yankees or the Red Sox.
Here's the sargent, not partisan much. 

Baseball hats from the competing teams at the podium. Some vintage hats here.
 A fun Rotary Club meeting. The speaker talked about RYLA. Go Yankees/Red Sox.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Next Generations Conference-Some comments

Next Generations conferences are arranged by Rotary but organized and facilitated by students. In District 7980 in southern Connecticut we have a conference in February each year. Hear are some comments.

Here's Dave Ullman who is quoted in the comments

Here is the student who talked about Next Generations to the Trumbull Rotary Club

You Gotta See These Youngsters In Action

Evani Dulal, a junior at Trumbull High School, talked last Friday to the club about her participation the Next Generations program. Next Generations is a one day, Rotarian organized, youth directed workshop in which 150 students from across our district meet in small groups to discuss “topics that aren’t traditionally discussed in school,” topics like human sexuality and human growth.

The program provides a forum for open discussion — most sessions are adult free — and so helps these teenagers discover “who and what they are,” in the words of Dave Ullman, a Hamden Rotarian, a Next Generations leader since 1996, and a retired Milford High School History teacher.

Ms. Dulal called the mix of students and the range of perspectives “eye opening.” She recalled a session on racial inequality she attended as a freshman that stood out because of the breadth of the group’s perspectives.

Last year she was a facilitator. She led a session on technology, “something important to our generation because it is so prevalent, though,” she added, “not all students have equal access to it.”

Next Generations brings together students from quite diverse backgrounds. They share experiences, learn from each other, make new friends and come away with broadened, if not new perspectives. Results, Ullman said, are “community building and personal growth.”
“it’s apolitical… This is what they will be involved with.”

He believes this program helps “these youngsters… deal with issues, especially in this day and age, that are so important… (they) express concern about what’s going in our country today. They “learn to be centered, to be assertive.”

“If there was ever a wonderful example of what these youngsters do, if you watch any of the tv networks regarding gun violence and persuading legislators to make changes so they could be protected and no matter the opposition, these youngsters, like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg represent the kind of people Evani (and Next Generations) share experiences with.”

Ullman, still the teacher, commanded the floor when he spoke. He ascribed the success of the program to its affective approach, rather than a cognitive one. It’s “the human piece.” If it was just knowledge — if you could do the math, the science, and be successful, if that’s all it was — then why do we have the problems we do today?”

Ullman commended Justin Phillips as “a very important co-partner, one of the very best I’ve worked with.”

He closed by mentioning the variety of Rotary youth programs, from middle school, through Interact in high school, then Rotaract for college students; the one day Next Generations and the weekend RYLA. There’s the Four Way Test Speech Competition, Youth Exchange and the World Affairs Seminar. There’s UN Day.

And the Rotary Foundation offers scholarships to college graduates and professionals to study peace and conflict resolution, fighting disease, providing clean water and sanitation, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies.

Next Generations, along with Rotary’s other outreach programs, offer opportunities to bring Service Above Self to a far wider audience, to afford young people avenues to learn about and impact a world well beyond their own communities.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Rotary Youth Exchange Orientation on Laurel Island

Every year some students from our District 7980 go abroad on a Youth Exchange experience and we have students come here from various countries. Soon after the students arrive, the Youth Exchange team helps them get comfortable and we provide some instruction on how to get along as an exchange student in New England.  On August 25 and 26th the Youth Exchange leadership of District 7980 hosted an inbound student orientation meeting on Laurel Island in East Hampton, Connecticut.  Exchange students and the Youth Exchange leadership from Districts 7890, 7910 and 7950 as well as students from 7980 were there.

Our District, 7980, has students from Taiwan at Norwich, Italy at Orange, Bolivia at Middletown, Thailand at Deep River, Belgium at East Hampton, Peru at Westport, Japan at New Canaan and Brazil at Monroe.  It is wonderful that these clubs are hosting the students and thanks to Carol Williams and Joanne Corvino who are the leaders of District 7980 Youth Exchange.

Here are Rotary leaders from 7980 and 7950 discussing the training which will soon occur

We have started involving return Youth Exchange students in our program. Here are three past exchange students who helped with this training. They were very helpful and supportive.

One of the training points is to acquaint the students with English idioms. Another is to talk about what they should not do. Here they are getting the information

On Sunday there was a picnic for club Youth Exchange leaders and host families and others. Governor Larry and his wife Sharon attended the picnic met the students and others. Here is Sharon with AG Chris Hoeffel

Here during the picnic some students and visitors took advantage of the recreational opportunities on Laurel Island

More than 90 people came to the picnic on Sunday, met the students and talked about Youth Exchange and other subjects. Many of the attendees were future host families for these students. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Membership-New Members Best Practices

Governor Larry has set a goal of identifying best practices for bringing in and engaging new members. Here we will keep a list of practices used to bring in new members by our clubs in Southern Connecticut.

Rotary International has tips on bringing in new members at

Member Added Practices tried in District 7980-Southern Connecticut

1.     Use the Rotary Club Heath Check to assess your club and determine what your club is doing well and where you might want to make some changes.

2.              Discuss and create a vision for your club to decide what you want your club to be line in the immediate future and in 3 – 5 years.  Take your club through this process in a fun and new location to foster innovation.

3.              Consider varying meeting times and locations, loosening attendance rules reducing fees for new or younger members, varying service projects, and allowing for different kinds of membership.

4.              In talking to prospective members, consider their interests and needs to explain some of the most popular benefits of Rotary membership: community service, friendship and connections, family involvement and international focus.

5.              Use digital communications to promote your club and attract members. Does your club have a website? A Facebook page? Do you update them regularly?  Have you joined conversations in LinkedIn?  Use the power of social media to reach a broad audience.

6.              Post an upcoming club service project or social activity as a Facebook event. This is a good way to connect with people in your community who are not familiar with Rotary and may be interested in getting involved.

7.              Invite a prospective member to a club service project or event, so that she or he can see that your cub is active and involved in the community. Assign a member to contact the prospective members after the event and invite them to a club meeting to get to know the club.

8.              Partner with local organizations like young professional networks or professional women’s organizations to identify prospective members.

9.              Consider young professionals who have participated in Rotary’s programs such as former group study exchange or vocational training team members, Ambassadorial Scholars, Rotary Peace fellows, Rotary Friendship Exchange participants and Rotaractors as well as the parents and grandparents of Interactors, RYLA participants, and Rotary Youth Exchange students, and youth exchange host families.

10.           Membership leads are available on referral. Make sure to check these often for potential leads in your area.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Middletown Rotary Club-An Idea for a Program

The President of Middletown Rotary Club, Eric Rodko, has had some great programs in July including the Official visit by our Governor. On July 31 he invited the Presidents of nearby Rotary Clubs for a discussion of what makes your club great and how to improve your club. He had Guy Tomassi of Guilford and Daryl Porto of Wallingford as well as me, pinchhitting for Mark Cibula of East Hampton.  He asked us three questions and we had a great discussion on how to make our clubs more vibrant. What a great idea for a club program that any of us can do. It fosters interclub interactions and gets us talking about what we like and what we'd like  more of in Rotary.
 On the left, Eric Rodko, President of Middletown, describing the discussion we are about to have

On the left, Guy Tomassi of Guilford describing why his club is vibrant

Eric and the three speakers in the Rotary Club of Middletown  picture frame.
Organize a club event like this at your club.
Isn't that picture frame idea neat!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Northeast President Elect Training Seminar-Putting it Together

Each year Rotary clubs have a President who makes the club happen. The year before, the District Governors to be, help those Presidents to be learn what it takes to make a club vibrant,exciting and provide service to their town and the world. There are many elements to this training for the President to be, but an important element is the President Elect Training Seminar(PETS). In our area the Districts covering New England and a small part of Canada, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont get together and in three days provide a remarkable amount of information to the Presidents to be and the Area Governors for these Districts.

So the District Governor Elects from the Districts get together in July
to work out a plan for the coming years' PETS. Here's some of
them July 7 in East Hampton, Connecticut

Here are the 8 Governor Elects. Notice that the photographer has
made a classic error, they are in the shade with a bright background. Neverthess
they are there, 5 guys and three gals during the planning of 2019 PETS
The spouses and others for the Governor Elects were present and enjoyed
a great weekend. We adjourned to a restaurant Saturday night to eat and
hear live music. Here is the President of East Hampton Rotary Club, who
just happened to be at the restaurant, talking with Joan the Governor Elect
in Massachusetts. Her husband is on her left.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Middletown Rotary Club  President Eric Rodko

I recently made my first official club visit as district governor to the Rotary Club of Middletown. This is a very impressive club numbering roughly 50 members.  The club is very active in the Middletown community, collaborating with other organizations to make Middletown a better place.  Some of the projects they support include the Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project; Amber Alert; Warm the Children; The Wilfredo Nieves Dictionary for Students, Family Literacy Program; Tools of the Trade; Polio Eradication; and hosting – in partnership with the East Hampton Rotary Club – an International exchange high school student from Bolivia.  There is also a strong emphasis on supporting local youth with programs including the high school Student of the Month Awards; local Community Service Awards; “Service Above Self” scholarships to civically active high school seniors; engaging Rotary Interact clubs at Mercy High School and Independent Day School; and providing “Tools of the Trade” to high school seniors from Vinal Tech.

It was a delight to meet the members of this club; they were all very friendly and welcoming.  I'm looking forward to a return visit soon.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Woodbridge Rotary Club 47th anniversary dinner and Installation of Officers

Woodbridge Rotary Club installed new officers and celebrated the last year on June 15, 2018

Larry Gardner, about to be District Governor, installed the new President Spenser Rubin
And his team Diane Millan, Jessica Halprin, Tom Shernow, Neelima Kaushal, Tony Anastaio,

Tony Anastaio the current President, gave a wonderful talk
on what is a Rotarian. He recounted various projects and talked
about the fellowship

Bill DeRosa was the Master of Ceremonies and did a great job.
He was also given a surprise Paul Harris in honor of his
long work for the club

Monday, June 11, 2018

RYLA Alumni Attend Graduation of Current RYLA High School Seniors

Some RYLA facilitators in caps and gowns with the RYLA alumni
behind them
RYLA Creates bonds between the participants and with the Facilitators and Leaders. District 7980 has a RYLA alumni group which helps run the RYLA and preserves the alumni relationship with ongoing RYLAs. Recently some RYLA facilitators graduated from high school and RYLA alumni showed up to honor the graduates.
Jason and Kate. Jason has been a facilitator at several RYLAs
and Kate organizes the RYLA alumni and is a Rotaractor

Friday, June 8, 2018

Scholarships Awarded by Rotary District 7980

Club in District 7980 Amount
Ansonia 1500
Beacon Falls 1000
Branford 7500
Bridgeport 27500
Cheshire 5000
Clinton 3500
Colchester 4500
DeepRiver 4000
Derby-Shelton 18000
East Hampton 16000
East Haven
Fairfield 25000
Guilford 25500
Hamden 2250
Madison 5000
Middletown 7783
Milford 28000
Monroe 4000
Naugatuck 6500
New Canaan
New Haven
New London
Newtown 5000
North Branford 1000
North Haven 12000
Norwich Sunrise
Old Saybrook
Orange 6000
Seymour-Oxford 1000
Stamford 150000
Trumbull 23000
West Haven 8500
Westport Sunrise
Wilton 2000
Tribury 4000
Total for Scholarships 405033

Formerly a Club 
East Haddam 10000
Clubs in other Districts
Torrington-Winsted 22500