May 2020

Challenges of the Pandemic—How to Cope
Dear District 6630 fellow Rotarians and Friends:
All of us in Rotary (and beyond) have now been dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic for what seems like a very long time. The challenges, difficulties, and ramifications of the pandemic, both for our personal health and economic well-being as well as for our Clubs, have been severe and will likely continue for months.
This raises an especially important question—how do we deal with these challenges without allowing them to become overwhelming?
I was recently privileged enough to attend the Rotary Club of Rocky-River Sunrise meeting on April 29, 2020. As part of the virtual meeting, Dr. Robert (Bob) Smith, a psychologist at Metro General, spoke. Dr. Smith gave a truly inspiring talk about the concept of “Positive Psychology.” This approach to psychology is based on training your brain (something we can all do, regardless of age) to focus on the positive.
As I understand “Dr. Bob,” emotions follow thoughts. Thus, the more positive thoughts you have, the greater likelihood that your emotions will follow suit and be positive. While your life may not change, it will certainly seem much better.
Thus, the basic question becomes, what are you going to focus upon? As Dr. Bob points out, the brain changes and grows constantly. The direction in which it grows, that is which “muscles” strengthen, is based upon the “muscles” you choose to train. If all you do is look at the negative events you encounter, you are training your brain to focus on the negative.
Dr. Bob’s suggestion is while we cannot ignore problems, we also cannot afford to miss the “good stuff” that occurs all the time. It may be something as simple as a great sunrise, something your spouse, children, grandchildren, or a co-worker happened to do in the moment, or even the birds at the birdfeeder outside of your window. Many of these things come and go in an instant and may never be repeated. Thus it is extremely important to be looking for these things every day.
Dr. Bob, in a very frank set of comments, pointed out that there are only four “absolutes” in life. One is that it is in our nature to age. The second is, it is our nature to become sick as our bodies are frail. Third, it is in our nature to die. And fourth, it is in our nature that everything we care about will change and eventually go away.
Thus, the question becomes not how to avoid these immutable facts, but what we are going to do with the time in between these events? You want to train to look for balance. Enjoy your family, friends, and the things in life that make you feel good every day.
The key concept in this process is “mindfulness.” It is easy in concept, but hard to do. You need to live in the moment with no judgment. While living in the moment, use all of your senses to experience what is happening now.
In this process, you will want to avoid worrying about past events which you can no longer change or fix. Simply learn the lesson from them and move on. Further, excessive worry about the future will also divert you from living in the moment. We certainly all plan, but we need to understand that plans are just that, and we will need to actually live the events as they occur.
One way to help train your mind to focus on the good stuff is a really simple exercise. Get in the habit of writing down three good things that happened each day, and share those with someone close to you. In Dr. Bob’s experience, the first week of this undertaking can be difficult. The second week it gets a little better. The third week, you generally start to enjoy the process. By the fourth week, you have built this into your brain, and you recognize more and more good things that happen every day. This is a great way to have positive emotions built by those good thoughts.
Give it a try! Oh, and thank you to Dr. Bob and the Rotary Club of Rocky-River Sunrise!
The Immediate Future of In-Person Meetings
As all of you know, in-person club meetings, District Committee meetings, and other Rotary events are currently not permitted. I hope to be somewhat helpful to all of you by providing the most recent information I have received on when such meetings may become possible again. Of course, the situation is and will continue to be fluid and will require further updates as we move forward.
Governor DeWine’s Stay Safe Ohio Order entered April 30, 2020 extends the limitation upon public gatherings of unrelated individuals, together with social distancing requirements, through May 29, 2020. This continues the prohibition on in-person Rotary meetings in Ohio for at least that period of time.
Rotary International’s Board met virtually on April 21-24, 2020. The Board issued several important statements/instructions, including the following:
  • The health and safety of all participants in Rotary programs, meetings, and events is of paramount importance
  • No in-person meeting or event shall be mandatory for any Rotary participant who may feel uncomfortable because of the pandemic
  • All conveners and organizers of Rotary meetings are strongly encouraged to consider all health concerns in deciding whether to hold in-person meetings
  • All conveners and organizers of Rotary meetings should fully comply with all health and safety rules in effect in that location
The Board further decided that with these principles in mind, the Board adopted the following rules and guidance for Rotary activity.
  • All R.I. Board meetings shall be conducted virtually (and not in-person) for the remainder of the calendar year 2020
  • All R.I. Committee meetings shall be conducted virtually (and not in-person) for the remainder of the calendar year, 2020
  • ***
  • Governors are strongly encouraged to use virtual meetings for club visits during calendar year 2020
  • Regional leaders are strongly encouraged to use virtual meetings for training seminars and other events during calendar year 2020
As noted, updates and revisions will be forthcoming as warranted. In the interim, please continue your adherence to these rules—the protection of fellow Rotarians, friends, and neighbors continues to be important and we have and can do our part to help. Here at Buckingham, we are slowly re-opening our office and we are now all wearing masks and maintain our social distance (and some wags would say lawyers should always have worn masks) and it’s working out rather well. Hopefully all of you are encountering similar success.
Yours in Rotary Service,
John Reyes
Rotary District 6630 Governor 2019-2020

Tel: 330.258.6469
Learn about the monthly

District and Club Events Calendars

Upcoming District Events
Subject to change 
District Board Meeting
May 21, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
District Membership Committee Meeting
GoToMeeting Invite Sent to Attendees
Jun 08, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
AG (Assistant Governor) Social/Transition Meeting
Jun 22, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Watch for more details!!
Jul 11, 2020 11:00 AM
View entire list
If your Club subscribes to ClubRunner create an event within ClubRunner and mark the event to be shown on the District website.  It will then appear in this area for the Bulletin and on the District home page.



Now More Than Ever, Rotary Connects the World: The 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention will join you with Rotary participants around the world during a time of unprecedented challenges.

Together, we’ll still experience the spirit of Rotary, be inspired by innovation, celebrate our resilience, and explore how clubs are addressing COVID-19. Experience Rotary in action during our Flag Ceremony, witness the power of connection during our general sessions, learn new ways to engage with Rotary during our breakout sessions, find inspiration from our global speakers, and much more.

We have never needed Rotary — and we have never needed each other — more than we do now. We hope to see you online, because Now More Than Ever, Rotary Connects the World.
Below is a list of dates and times for Virtual Convention programming.  As you can see, the convention does not run the entire day, but instead will be broadcast at a few set times each day. Additionally, if you miss the live broadcasts, they will be readily available on the convention website, providing some flexibility for you and event attendees to participate at your own convenience. The Virtual Convention is free to all attendees, however, there will be a sign in process in order to access the programming. Detailed Instructions for this process will be provided before the event.  

We hope that you will participate in some of the fun features of the Virtual Convention: wearing and sharing photos and videos of us in our Aloha wear, the Virtual Walking Challenge, and interacting with others in the virtual House of Friendship. Please know that we understand and appreciate that you are looking for more detailed information about the Featured Breakouts, the platform that will be utilized, and instructions for accessing the programming and transitioning back and forth between events. That information will be shared with you as soon as it is available. Look for additional messages in the coming weeks and check the convention website regularly.

Kindest regards, 

Mark Daniel Maloney
2019-2020 President, Rotary International 

Saturday 20 June
  • 8:00 – 9:15 Chicago Time (UTC-5) – Together We Connect – Virtual Convention General Session 1
  • 14:00 - 15:15 – London/Lagos Time
  • 21:00 - 22:15 – Taipei Time
Sunday 21 June
  • 8:00 – 9:15 Chicago Time (UTC-5) – Together We Learn – Virtual Convention General Session 2
  • 14:00 - 15:15 – London/Lagos Time
  • 21:00 - 22:15 – Taipei Time

Monday 22 June – Friday 26 June – Featured Breakouts (more details coming soon)
Daily, one breakout will be offered at each of the following times*:
  • 8:00 – 9:00 Chicago Time (UTC-5)
  • 12:00 – 13:00 Chicago Time (UTC-5)
  • 18:00 – 19:00 Chicago Time (UTC-5)
*Please be sure to check the date and time that is equivalent to the Chicago date and time in your area


Young Leaders in Action
May 2020
Engaging the next generation of Rotary leaders
Celebrating Youth Service Month
Youth Service Month is a special time in Rotary. Throughout the month of May, members of Rotary clubs, Rotaract, Interact, and those involved in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and Rotary Youth Exchange celebrate the opportunities Rotary provides to connect, grow through service, develop leadership skills, mentor or be mentored, and have fun.

The outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, may alter the way we observe Youth Service Month this year. But it need not dampen our enthusiasm, excitement, and gratitude for these programs and the volunteers who make them possible.

Check out four ways to safely celebrate Youth Service Month and share your celebrations with #RotaryYouthService. 

  Taking Action  
5 questions about organizing a RYLA
The Rotarian Magazine asks Lynda Rocha, RYLA chair, District 5040 (British Columbia), five questions about organizing a RYLA event. 

Interested in hosting a virtual RYLA? Get tips for adapting in-person training to online learning. Visit the Meeting Online learning topic to find and share resources, join discussions, and ask for expert advice about creating online meeting spaces.
Rotary Youth Exchange Annual Report
The newly designed Rotary Youth Exchange Annual Report for the 2018-19 Rotary year is now available! Read a message from Past Rotary International President Barry Rassin, along with inspiring stories and statistics about the program (available in English only).
Interact and Positive Peace
"When we thought about how we as Interact Club members could bring about Positive Peace, we thought about our desire to give back to the community, our drive to work with organizations that also promote peace, and our efforts to run our club in a way that builds harmony. We realized that there were many similarities between what is important to us and the eight pillars of Positive Peace."

Learn more about how Interact clubs can get involved with Positive Peace. 
Resources & Events
Note: This list is informational only and does not constitute an endorsement of any event. Please contact event organizers for details. 

20-26 June, 2020

Rotary International Virtual Convention

27-28 June 2020
Rotaract Postconvention
Virtual event details coming soon

Do you have an upcoming event to add to this list? Email us at
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Young Leaders in Action is a monthly source of news, resources, and event information for young leaders in Rotaract, Interact, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program, and New Generations Service Exchange and Rotarians who support them. 
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Barberton Schools have been distributing food to families during the school closure. The Rotary Club of Barberton wanted to help ease the strain of the school closure with some fun. Club members brought game packs to be distributed with the May 11th food distribution consisting of a deck of cards and an instruction sheet. The instruction sheet contained the rules of some simple card games as well as a magic trick.
The club also tried to help the area food insecurity with two donations: a $2500 donation was sent to Barberton Area Community Ministries (BACM), and a $2500 donation was sent to the Ben Curtis Family Foundation. BACM serves the residents of the Barberton area, providing food assistance and other programs though the support of individual donors, churches, community groups, businesses, foundations and volunteers. No child should worry about when they’ll get their next meal. The Ben Curtis Family Foundation started the Birdie Bag Program to send packages of food and toiletries home with food insecure kids over long weekends during the school year.
The photo is of from left to right : Dorothy Suchka Somerville, Executive Director of Barberton Area Community Ministries and David Stephens, BACM board member and member of the Rotary Club of Barberton.


The Rotary Club of Green donates masks and hand sanitizer to the Summit County Sheriff’s office
The Rotary Club of Green donated a reusable, washable mask for each of the 350 Summit County Sheriff Deputies. In addition to that donation, the club purchased 250 personal bottles of hand sanitizer for the Deputies.
This project was the result of fundraising efforts the club has done throughout the year and due to a matching grant received from Rotary District 6630.
This donation came together through the coordination of businesses and entities switching operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rotary Club of Green worked with local business, Liquid located in Canton, Ohio, to make the customized SHERIFF masks. Liquid; normally a t-shirt and custom gift company; switched operations to mask making since the pandemic.
The hand sanitizer was produced by Rootstown Community Pharmacy at NEOMED in Portage County. Once the COVID pandemic hit, they started producing hand sanitizer and was happy to help the Rotary Club facilitate this purchase for the Deputies.
“Our Club was excited to provide these frontline heroes with something they can wear every day to help keep people safe during this unprecedented time,” Jeananne Chadsey said, Chadsey is President of the club.  Jeananne added that the Club is very proud to have added 6 new members since January!
The Summit County Sheriff's office wrote on Facebook:  This group of generous individuals heard we needed masks and sanitizer so they scrambled to provide both for our men and women in Patrol. Using monies from fundraising events and a grant from Rotary District 6630, the club worked with Liquid - a tee shirt maker in Canton, to produce 350 customized Sheriff masks. The club also arranged for Rootstown Community Pharmacy at NEOMED in Portage County to provide 250 bottles of sanitizer.
The Rotary Club of Green is committed to helping the Green community in any way possible during this challenging time. The Club was chartered in 2018 and continues to be a club of action with different efforts to further Rotary’s mission of “service above self.”


The RC Cleveland has started holding its weekly meetings via Zoom with over 50 members and guests attending each meeting. On April 16, 2020, their guest speaker was Jennifer Andress, Executive Director of Medworks. Medworks traditionally offers 100% free medical, dental and vision care to anyone who needs it. They have shut down all of their clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic, because their platform would be difficult to manage during this time of social distancing. Instead, they have turned their focus to providing food to those in need and the front line healthcare workers. The COVID-19 Relief Fund is used to purchase gift cards and meals from local restaurants to distribute to vulnerable families and those on the front lines, helping not only those in need but the restaurants too.
During our meeting one of our members offered to match the first $1,000 pledged to the Medworks Relief Fund. Rotarians and the guests stepped up and pledged $1,000, triggering the matching gift. THIS is the power of Rotary and shows both the compassion and generosity of our Club. All of the funds raised will be put back into the community. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about Medworks and donating to the COVID-19 Relief Fund can go to their website:


Hats off to Skip Claypool, Terry Palermo, 
and Bob Piecenski.   

Caretakers at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center did not know why firetrucks from five different cities were parked outside the main entrance to the hospital last Thursday morning.

A few nurses trickled outside to take pictures of the large U.S. flag suspended in the air between the ladders of two trucks.

The grand display was part of a lunch delivery the Chesterland Rotary Club provided — 300 pizzas to feed the entire hospital staff.

With a police escort, rotary club President Walter “Skip” Claypool led a procession of club members who honked and yelled “Thank you!” from their cars to the cheering hospital staff.

Claypool (affectionately known as Bada Bob) drove to the front door of UH to make the drop off, his car sporting a Bada Bing Pizza delivery sign.



There is an old saying:  “Actions speak louder than words”.
However, with the current social restrictions caused by the pandemic, in some instances, the reverse may be more true….words are actually becoming more powerful.  With fewer personal interactions, the written word (texted or emailed) is having more & more of an impact…both positive & negative.  Our words are now highlighted by inanimate emoji to express our feelings & are sent with lightening speed without accompanying body language or emotional content.
So before pressing the ‘Send’ key, consider this:
Words are powerful.
They can be a gift or a weapon, depending on how, when, & where they are used.
Words can lift your spirits or crush your hopes.
So think before you speak, write, or text them.
Know both the meaning of the words & your intention for using them.
Use words to inform…not insult;  to comfort…not coerce;  to create…not destroy.

ShelterBox NEWS - May 2020

ShelterBox USA President, Kerri Murray is going to give a live COVID-19 humanitarian response briefing on both Thursday, May 28 at 7PM EST and on Friday May 29th at 19 Noon EST.  For more information please feel free to contact PDG and Past Board Shelter Box Director, Jack Young for more information.
Below is a brief update on the humanitarian Response COVID -19 Response.  As we fae this global pandemic, the work of ShelterBox has never been more critical .  Our top priority is to follow core humanitarian principles and do no harm.  We are adapting and scaling our work to serve the displaced communities that are most at risk of being devasted by the COVID-19 virus.
Your help is now more than ever meet this need.  To ensure we can continue to adapt and scale this critical work in light of COVID 19 , ShelterBox is launching a campaigh to raise an additional $ 1,800,000.  This funding will be directed to our global COVID 19 mitigation projects in 2020 and will enable us to prepare for and respond to another unnamed catastrophic emergency this year.  ShelterBox has created a website dedicated to coronavirus  (  
In order to continue the education of our ShetlerBox Ambassador, SB is announcing our 2020 Ambassador Re-certification   These webinars will be held in the months of May and June.  The purpose of these webinars is to ensure our team is informed and up to date.  They also ensure that we are consistent across the country when sharing our ShelterBox story.
COMING SOON: Once our first re-certification webinar is completed, we will launch our new Ambassador University.  This will be quick/brief courses that deep dive into varying topics, including: ShelterBox History, ShelterBox evolution; Decision to Respond; HERO Program; Rotary and more.
The Fourteeners Project:  No one should have to worry about where their shelter will come fromand that is why SB Ambassador Britney Woodrum has committed to scale a total of 232,000 feet of elevation to raise money for our mission between July and September of this year.  Each of the 58 peeks scaled is available for the Mountain Hero sponsorship at $ 1,400.  (For more information her website is
Finally, ShelterBox is actively supporting the following disasters in May of 2020:
The Phillipines - Taal Volcano and COVID 19.  We are preparing ShelterBox Kits plus household items Such as tarpaulins, cooking items for distribution.
Vanuatu: Cyclone Harold to distribut Shelter kits, ropes and some household items.
Burkina: Conflict continues and shelter is needed to support children and families.
Syria: Conflict also continues and it is imperative to continue support for the basics of shelter Health care items.
Ethiopia: Conflict to continue providing essential health items and shelter to women and children.
Nigeria: Conflict where SB is working with country partners as to how to deal with COVID 19 Virus.
Cameroon: Conflict distributing Shelter Kits to families health care items for the COVID virus.
Somaliland: Drought where all items of the Shelter Box is needed to support families
SO YOU CAN SEE. THE SUPPORT of ShelterBox is needed during this challenging time by Rotary and Rotarians to help those who are struggling in the world as well as helping those to deal with COVID 19.
For more information please feel free to contact District 6630 PDG and Past ShelterBox USA Board member,  
Jack A. Young at 440-759-4000 or
Be Safe,
Jack a. Young, PDG 2005-06
ShelterBox USA Board of Directors 2007-14


Emergency Alert:
Cyclone Amphan hits Bangladesh and India
I am reaching out to keep you informed about Cyclone Amphan, the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal.
Earlier today, Cyclone Amphan made landfall in some of the poorest areas of Bangladesh and India, producing winds as high as 165 mph and forcing nearly 3 million people to evacuate from their homes. The storm is a massive threat to a very vulnerable and densely populated region. These families are facing the risk of coronavirus while also confronting a lack of clean water, health care and resilient housing.
Coronavirus is making it harder to evacuate people, and there are estimated to be around 14 million people in the storm’s path. Both India and Bangladesh are dealing with coronavirus outbreaks. India has passed more than 100,000 confirmed cases and Bangladesh's case count is also rapidly rising. Before Cyclone Amphan developed, Indian authorities repurposed hundreds of emergency shelters as COVID-19 quarantine centers, reducing the availability of emergency shelter.
People fleeing the storm will head for collective centers where social distancing and regular handwashing will be incredibly hard to achieve. It is likely that entire communities will need access to emergency shelter and other essential items like water filters and mosquito nets to help them survive and to keep them safe from coronavirus and other diseases.
A humanitarian disaster of this size, during a global pandemic, is going to be challenging but ShelterBox is ready to respond and we are committed to ensuring no family is left behind. Our team is following the storm, tracking its damage, and communicating with partners on the ground to ensure we have the most up to date information to inform a potential response.
Having worked extensively in the region in the past, to support Rohingya refugees and communities across Bangladesh, we are well positioned to support these vulnerable families. We have strong partnerships with other humanitarian organizations and are already in contact with our partners at Rotary to begin discussing how we can help.
We will keep you updated as the situation unfolds in the region. For updates on this response, please visit our website.
With gratitude,
Kerri Murray
President, ShelterBox USA
Shelter is a critical need for people who are simply struggling to survive after losing their home to disaster or conflict. Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 will make our work more challenging, however, we are committed to providing these vulnerable families with a place to call home through this outbreak.
ShelterBox is adapting and scaling our work to meet the critical needs of displaced families. We are currently responding in Syria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Vanuatu, and Burkina Faso. This work is only possible because of support from generous individuals like you.  


posted by June Ring 

Some masked do-gooders were out last week leaving out, picking up, and dropping off fabric for mask making! Thank you Akron Rotarians for 10 donations with 6 drivers, totaling approximately 10 to 12 bags for  Mahananda Luitel thanked all for the donations! If you come up with more at a later date reach out direct to their website. Thank you!!


Julie Brandle, June Ring and Mahananda Luitel
Ginakaye Maddox & Tom Knauer
John Daily
Amador & Shannon Gonzalez
Cyndi Kane
Michael Wilson from the Akron Canton Foodbank and June Ring

posted by Lynda Farkas
Dear Fellow Rotarians and Friends,
Last Call…..
This is the last week for the collection of the Akron Food Bank “coin boxes.”   Please check those fat little piggy banks, pants pockets, purses and coin jars.  Jan Ryan and myself will be more than happy to do “curb side” pick-up!”   Please give me a call, text, email for assistants.
Many thanks to those Rotarians that did donate their change during the “material drive” for North Hill last weekend.  We sincerely appreciate every coin or dollar donated.  Thank you for joining in our donation to the Akron Food Bank in the name of the Akron Rotary Club!   
We can also collect dock-side at Portage Lakes!
Please let us know by Wednesday, May 27th if you would like a “drive-by” coin pick-up!   Lynda’s cell # 330.819.3739 or email, .  Thank you!

posted by Susan Colville-Hall
Exchange to me this next year holds so much importance to me as a person and practically as well. To start with the practical, I am a junior in high school planning to finish high school this year and graduate early. This past year I have had my lasts and said my goodbyes to the high school Friday football games, the after school Starbucks runs with my friends, the classmates I will not see next year, and I have worked countless hours saving to pay for my own exchange instead of going out to eat with friends or buying new things. For me this has been significant in my life as it ends a big portion of my life and signifies change and growth as a person to be moving towards this next stage of my life. For this next year, I was planning on having probably one of the best years of my life going on exchange. In a strictly practical sense, not going on exchange would mean that I would be at home for a year probably working and then going to college since this past year I did not apply to colleges. While this is not the worst thing that could happen in this upcoming year, it was not the way I had pictured or wished to be spending my time. For me emotionally, this exchange also has significance since around 8th grade I have longed to experience rich cultures and speak in another language. It wasn’t until this past year that I realized it was possible for me to go and I started this journey. As I became more involved with the exchange students here in the U.S. I have seen first hand how life changing it can be. Seeing the exchange students at the last overnighter was one of the happiest and saddest things to see as we sat around in a circle at night softly singing a song together and enjoying the limited time we had. I saw the deep connections each of them made with each other often feeling a little bit envious wondering why I wasn’t in their circle not realizing that what you must go through as a group is something unique to everyone who goes on exchange. This bond is something so unique and precious that can’t be made in any other setting than exchange. For me, being culturally aware and being able to understand and communicate in someone’s own language has always fascinated me and been one of my goals. Exchange for me would allow me to explore these avenues and continue my french learning in a new way. As I continue to get older, I find myself wishing to find my own identity and who I really am and what my values are in life. For me, exchange meant my first journey alone where I would be faced with challenges whether I liked it or not and I would have to be able to overcome these. I think being able to overcome these and really be myself without my parents would allow me to find out more of who I really am and discover new things I didn’t know about myself. Ever since I was little, I have had a passion and yearning for travelling as well as I have always been interested in trying new food when we go out to eat or watching foreign films. This passion for me goes beyond just wanting to travel and see cool places. For me I think it means understanding people better and connecting. It means opening up my own thoughts and challenging them and making me uncomfortable. This next year I hope to go on exchange and experience the challenges and uncomfortable moments and the new people to further expand myself as a person and those I meet. Exchange to me means so much more than just seeing a new place and I wish I could fully express myself and what it means to me, but I think it would be impossible in words. If there is one takeaway from this is that exchange means more to me a virus and more to me than having to wait a month to go.
Lydia Olin-Hitt, a hopeful future outbound

A sign of the times, our Rotary exchange student Elin Na with Anita and Tom Gedelian (photo) at her side said good-bye at the airport with a selfie of their masked faces as Elin embarked on her long journey home to South Korea. 
When I met Elin the day before her departure, she was all smiles but sad to leave until she saw the photo book of her Rotary Exchange Year with pictures of our Akron club members, exchange students from District 6630, events at Stow Munroe Falls High School, her primary host family Tom and Anita Gedelian, and her other hosts, the Nuñez and Lanzinger families.  Tears formed and the urge to hug her host mom and me was hesitantly extinguished, a necessary action in this era of social distancing!!!  Photos of fantastic memories for one exceptional young ambassador!!!!   So much to be thankful for!!!!  And, so you ask, “Why was she smiling?”   Elin was holding a bag full of pins from her Rotary Club in Korea for me to distribute to members of the Rotary Club of Akron, something that will hopefully be done at our first non-distancing opportunity.  A generous gesture, one that will help us remember this quiet, beautiful young lady and this stellar year marked only by this abrupt Covid-19 interruption.  Hopefully, Elin’s adventures will bring her back to Akron someday.  And, although there will be changes made to the Rotary Youth Exchange motto, “World peace, one handshake at time,”  we pray that Rotary exchanges will start again in the not so distant future.
Elin Na (Hye Rim) from  Yeoju (city), Gyeonggi-do (province), S. Korea has spent this year with the Rotary Club of Akron.  Because of our Covid-19 pandemic, April 16 she will be returning to her parents who are real estate agents, and her younger sister and younger brother. In case you are interested, Yeoju is located in the middle of the Korean Peninsula where many ginkgo trees grow and the temperature has extremes (very hot and very cold).
While in Akron, she attended Stow Munroe Falls High School where she enrolled in multiple classes and played the clarinet in the marching band and the concert band.  She especially enjoyed marching in the Brown’s Game in the fall when the SMFHS band played at halftime.  She now understands the NFL!!!  Elin easily made friends and was able to take advantage of many opportunities to experience American culture, both through Rotary and her host family. One of her favorite experiences was going to Disney World and spending time with Jill Flagg Lanzinger’s family during Winter Break.  Jill and her family had volunteered to host Elin in May and June.
Her host parents, Anita and Tom Gedelian, opened their doors and hearts to Elin.  She spent time with their grandchildren and celebrated her birthday Korean style at Seoul Gardens with the whole Gedelian gang in January.  She felt very comfortable at home with the Gedelians.
Elin had planned a trip  with Anita to visit another Gedelian daughter and her family in Texas in April, but that trip has been cancelled.
 Elin has also had the opportunity to spend time with the Nuñez family.  She and son, Manny shared an interest in band and were great friends at school.  Rachel and Jacinto have great welcoming expertise as they hosted Sotaro Yamasaki, our RYE student from Japan, for a good part of last year.
Elin has been a wonderful ambassador for her country and a delightful visitor to the U.S.  She was so looking forward to the Eastern trip to visit Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. in March, and to meet all the other RYE students but that trip was canceled a week before departure.   And now the summer Western Trip to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Colorado and California has been canceled.  No luck for Elin!!  We are sorry Elin will miss so many of the spring cultural events such as Prom, our Rotary 6630 Conference, and graduation as well as summer prospects of fun in the sun.  But a decision to return is always best when personal safety is the focus.   It is certain that we will miss her delightful smile and her eagerness to help us learn more about and appreciate Korean culture.  Here’s a photo of Elin as we hiked the Bike Trail at Brust Park along the Cuyahoga River in Munroe Falls last week while maintaining good social distancing!

Zoé Mayeur, from Brussels, Belgium, spent the 2019-2020  exchange year with the Rotary Club of Akron.  Because of the current Covid-19 pandemic, she left April 5 to return home to ride out the rest of this storm with her parents and older sister Fanny.  In her own words, “The trip was not easy but I made it home.  I am quarantining with my parents and my sister so I enjoy my time with them, we go on bike rides, we cook, we talk.”   Like most people in the time of Covid-19, her parents are not working.  Normally, Zoe’s mother serves as a Federal Ombudsman for the Belgium Parliament.  Her father is a criminologist in charge of helping prisoners who are released find jobs and then he follows up on them in their work. 
While in Akron, Zoé was enrolled in classes at Stow Munroe Falls High School.    Eager to try something new, she started playing the clarinet in the marching band and participated in cross-country and track and field. She said she“likes playing on a team because of the team spirit.”   Zoé especially enjoyed marching in the Brown’s Game in the fall when the SMFHS band played at halftime.  She now understands Americans’ enthusiasm for football! Due to her curiosity and eagerness to discover new things, Zoé made friends in her classes, in the band, in the SMFHS Interact Club and in her sports.  Consequently, she was able to take advantage of many opportunities to experience American culture, through Rotary, her school and her host family.
Her host parents, Jen and Richard Carroll, generously opened their doors and hearts to Zoé and treated her like one of their own children, of which they have two - Audrey and David.   Audrey was our Outbound Exchange Student to Germany last year.   Zoé spent a lot of valuable time with her new family and celebrated the ordinary things of American life.   One of her favorite experiences was going to Puerto Rico during Winter Break with her family to enjoy the warmth of one of the U.S.’s Caribbean territories.  And life was not too boring after the orderfor “shelter -in-place” was issued.  The kids enjoyed playing games, watching movies and cooking.
District 6630 Exchange students have been using Zoom to connect for the last 3 weeks, thanks to Shelia Hedrick who connects us all.  Before her departure, Zoé took time to demonstrate a no-cook dessert recipe made with Belgium cookies (biscuits) and whipped cream, it was so delicious looking!!! She “was happy to share one more thing about [her] before leaving.”  Wish we could have tasted it!  
Zoé has been a wonderful ambassador for Belgium and a delightful visitor to the U.S.  Like Elin, she was so looking forward to the Eastern trip to visit Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. in March, and to meet other RYE students.  A disappointed ambassador to say the least, Zoé took the cancelation in stride as well as news of no summer Western Trip to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Colorado and California, understanding that personal safety comes first.  So Zoé, too, will miss so many of the spring cultural events such as Prom, our Rotary 6630 Conference, and graduation as well as summer prospects of fun in the sun. 
Zoé’s “goal this year was to be immersed in a new culture with people who don’t necessarily think like [her] and learn from them and to share [her] Belgium culture with them.  We can say that she more than accomplished this goal.  And she is still eager to help us learn more about Belgium.  We hope to connect with Zoé using Zoom one day soon to see her smiling face and listen to her charming voice again and learn more about Belgium culture. 
Her greeting to us:
“I miss you and the rest so much... Stay safe!”
Rotary Exchange Student Zoé Mayeur from Belgium 


PDG Jack Young, a Air Force Veteran and Viet Nam Era Veteran has been working for the past 4  years with Rotary clubs to honor Rotarians who are Veterans.  One of the areas that he has been working on is supporting Medina Country Veterans who are adding several HISTORICAL displays to honor Veterans.  (More Information will follow)
Working with Dave Taylor Commander, Legion Post 202 in Medina, Dave has arranged a Vitural Meeting with Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez and his staff to answer various Questions for Veterans to learn more about their COVID-19 benefits and concerns.
If anyone, especially Veterans and or their families would like to be part of this virtual meeting, please contact PDG Young wirh you contact information so that you can be added to the list.   This meeting is being planned for June 10th in the PM.  If you are not sure you can join the meeting and have questions, please contact PDG Young with your questions by June 1st so that he can ask them on your behalf.  (
 BEST  wishes and thank you, our Veterans, for your service to our country. 


Medina Sunrise Rotary proudly announces ‘Rotary Woman of Action’, Paula Knizner, will become the club's next Chairperson of International Service. As a highly respected Cleveland Public School teacher who brings her knowledge, time and passion for helping children in countries around the world, Paula exemplifies the 2018-2020 Rotary International Theme - "Rotary Connects the World”.
Paula recently spent a six-week sabbatical at St. Adrian's School for orphans in Uganda. There she tutored, farmed, did daily chores, and most importantly – nurtured and mentored children from Pre-K to 18 years of age. She returned to Medina in April 2020, with a heart full of love, and a Memorandum of Understanding from the Rotary Club of Kajjansi to initiate a Rotary 2020-2021 International Literacy, Vocational and Basic Educational Global Grant. This Grant is in partnership with Medina Sunrise Rotary and the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo, California. Rotary Global Grants support large international activities with sustainable and measurable outcomes in Rotary's areas of focus, working with other Rotarians to respond to real community needs.
"My own life's mission has always been to join with others to make a difference in the lives of children in our community and beyond, through our time, talents and treasures," said Paula. "Rotary has a heart and is the perfect fit for me and other people of action."



On his day off from work at Lowe's in Dublin, Ohio, SPC Lucas Hammond drives over 100 miles to Medina, Ohio, to volunteer alongside his father, Sergeant First Class Eric Hammond. Together they join the National Guard, Medina County Sheriff, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and other volunteers in packing 1,500 school meals at Feeding Medina County during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I am excited for the opportunity to serve in the National Guard with my son, Lucas, who is a construction and engineering Specialist," Sergeant Hammond stated proudly.  "It's an honor to have him follow my path in the National Guard and watch him progress as an adult and a Soldier while he serves our state and nation.  Lucas is the third oldest of our 12 children, and he sets a great example for his younger siblings."
The National Guard is as proud of the legacy of the Hammond family as Sergeant Hammond is of his son Lucas. They represent both the history and the future of men and women in meaningful service. Can you see yourself serving your country and community in the National Guard?  If you can, please contact Sergeant Jeff Cain: 330-631-5836, or

Feeding Medina County free food drive-through was made possible by the selfless service of The Medina County Sheriff, The Medina Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Community Emergency Response Team - CERT, Rotary Club of Medina Sunrise, Kiwanis, and loyal Feeding Medina County volunteers.
"We provided food to 265 households this morning," stated Sergeant Jeff Cain from the Ohio Army National Guard. "During this COVID-19 crisis, we are grateful to be able to bring help and hope to our friends and neighbors in Medina County, where we live and serve.  We look forward to serving you at the next drive-through."
If you are interested in volunteering at Feeding Medina County, please contact Dan Meagher: tel 330.421.3051 or email
For more information about registering for food at Feeding Medina County, please contact Michelle Cottrell:  tel 330.421.4816 or

to Rotary District 6630 Youth Exchange Student Sergio Neto (Brazil) on his acceptance to UT


To help First Responders sanitize vehicles and equipment, the Rotary Club of Berea has donated a mobile disinfection device to the Berea Fire Department.
The Diversey MoonBeam 3 uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces.
Assistant Fire Chief Tom Emling said that ambulances are wiped down after each run with sanitary wipes. “They kill about 50 percent of the bacteria and viruses,” Emling said. “This (the MoonBeam 3) kills 99.9 percent.”
This method also takes less time. Hand-cleaning a squad can take 20 minutes or more to get to hard-to-reach areas. The MoonBeam takes 3-5 minutes. That means firefighters and paramedics have less turnaround time to handle runs for emergency calls.
Fire Chief Mark Kaufhold said that Southwest General Health Center uses a MoonBeam 3 in operating rooms and the emergency room. The hospital has purchased a second unit to be used by local fire departments when they deliver patients to the ER. The Middleburg Heights Fire Department also uses a Moonbeam 3.
Kaufhold said Berea’s MoonBeam will be used throughout the fire station to make sure living areas are germ-free.
Emling said the unit is “much like a tanning bed only stronger. It’ll kill C. diff (Clostridioides difficile – a bacteria that causes diarrhea and colitis). That’s how strong it is.”
The three arms of the MoonBeam each emit ultraviolet light. The arms can be adjusted to multiple directions – up, down and sideways – to reach all the nooks and crannies. The ultraviolet light bulbs are good for around 600 hours.
The unit is operated remotely. During a demonstration, Emling placed the unit in a squad, shutting all the doors tightly. He programmed the timer and pressed the start button from a remote control nearby. The unit has a motion sensor. If someone opens the door or a person is detected within the squad, the MoonBeam automatically shuts off. The MoonBeam must be operated in unoccupied areas because of the intensity of the UVC.
The MoonBeam 3 is manufactured by Codonics Inc. and distributed by Daylight Medical – both based in Middleburg Heights. The unit retails for $31,000.  As a special during the coronavirus pandemic, Codonics offered the device to Berea for $24,900. The Berea Rotary Foundation picked up the cost.
Berea Rotarian David Skrzynski, a past club president and past district governor, said he saw a story on a television newscast about the Middleburg Heights MoonBeam and brought the idea to the Berea Club to consider. “It was the right thing to do,” he said.
Berea Assistant Fire Chief Tom Emling, left, and Fire Chief Mark Kaufhold, right,
demonstrate the MoonBeam 3 for Bob Huge, president of the Rotary Club of Berea.


Dear grant sponsors:

Last month I wrote to tell you that all grant-funded travel planned for March and April was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, Rotary has extended its travel ban to every country. If your grant involves travel to another country, you will need to wait until this global travel restriction is lifted and make sure that your destination country is not still on the Travel Ban List then. I encourage you to check the list often.

Your regional grants officer is always available to answer questions. Stay safe and well.


Abby McNear
Director of Grants
Tel +1-847-425-5656

cc: Rotary International Board of Directors, The Rotary Foundation Trustees, Rotary Foundation Programs Committee, regional Rotary Foundation coordinators, district governors, district governors-elect, district Rotary Foundation chairs, district grants subcommittee chairs
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Rotary in Review
15 May 2020A roundup of Rotary news
Italian Rotarians aid in coronavirus fight 
While Italy has been largely locked down to fight the coronavirus, members of the Rotary Club of Morimondo Abbazia have provided support for people and businesses reeling from the effects of the pandemic. Their efforts are addressing both immediate and long-term needs including donating meals to health care workers, organizing a supply chain to get ingredients for liquid sanitizer, and helping businesses that depend on in-person commerce move their operations online. Read more
 This week's stories 
How to support Rotary Youth Exchange students during COVID-19 

Rotary Youth Exchange students are facing unique challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic radically altered the realities of their exchange year. Some returned home, where they faced recommended periods of quarantine, while others stayed with their hosts but in a much different experience than they expected with online classes and social distancing. Rotary’s youth exchange and youth protection staff gathered advice from two district leaders on how to support exchange students in these unusual times.

Interactors share thoughts about positive peace 

During Youth Service Month, we celebrate the many opportunities Rotary provides for youth and young adults to connect, develop leadership skills, and grow through service. Recently, co-presidents of the Interact Club of South Delta Secondary, British Columbia, Canada, shared what Positive Peace means to them and how Interact gives youth the opportunity to contribute to peace beyond the borders of their local communities. 

Join our Facebook Live series 
Join our next #RotaryResponds Facebook Live event 20 May to make connections and take part in engaging conversation. The series features Rotary leaders, members, and leaders from partner organizations sharing how they're taking action in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020 Rotary Virtual Convention 
Join the family of Rotary at the 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention 20-26 June. Learn more.

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  • June 2Oth
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