Howdy Fellow Rotarians,

Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun! January marks the mid-point in our Rotary year. Congratulations to you all and thank you for Creating Hope in the World. January also directs our focus to one of our five avenues of service, Vocational Service.  Martin Luther King, with his many inspiring words, reminds us that, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.” And through Rotary’s Vocational Service Avenue, we are called to share the transformative power of our skills and professions. Imagine a world where every career path becomes a force for positive change, where mentorship and ethical leadership light the way for others. In Vocational Service, we don’t just excel in our professions; we use them as tools to build a better society. It’s a call to be mentors, champions of integrity, and contributors to the greater good. Let’s ignite the spark within our vocations, creating a symphony of impact that resonates far beyond our individual roles. Together, we are architects of a brighter future through the extraordinary tapestry of our diverse vocations.

Cheers to you as you show up each day and share your light with others! Thank you for showing up and leading with Rotary!

Many Thanks,

DG Debb

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Thoughts on International Assembly

2024 International Assembly with Kevin and Jenny Kendrick and RIPE Stephanie Urchick

Rotary is an amazing organization. I’m more convinced of that now than ever before. Last week, I had the absolute honor and privilege of representing District 7680, my district, as the Governor-Elect for our 14-county area. Rotary has about 530+ folks who look like me…all District Governor-Elects, from all 530+ of our districts, representing almost 200 countries around the world. And to be perfectly clear, when I say “…who look like me”, I mean that in title only. In fact, we are an extremely diverse group, consisting of mature, young, women, men, short, tall, slim, full, differently abled, different languages, different cultures, different customs, but brought together by this incredible organization, because every single one of us believes in the power of Rotary to effect change for the good.

It started on a super-high note when we heard incoming President Stephanie Urchick’s inspirational message about our emphasis areas this upcoming year. We know Peace and resolving conflict are one of the top areas for us because, without peace, it’s difficult to address the other work that needs to be done. She saluted the women of Pakistan who face untold challenges as they traverse many miles in isolated villages to administer polio vaccines to children. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries remaining in the world where polio is endemic.

Before revealing the theme, Stephanie shared with us that membership, polio eradication, and building peace were our priorities for the upcoming year. She reminded us that care and comfort will continue to be a priority for us, as Rotarians, and that “Performing acts of kindness can ease symptoms of anxiety or depression and promote social connection more effectively than any other known approach. We find joy in helping others, but we also face a tough balancing act. We must change ourselves and stay true to who we are.”

She shared a story with us that some years ago, she was in the Dominican Republic helping install water filters. Two young boys watched as dirty water entered a filter in one end and emerged clean out the other end. One of the boys grabbed her sleeve and said, “Show me the magic again.” Of course, the water filter wasn’t magic. But those boys who had never known clean water knew that easy access to clean water would change their lives and for them, that was magical.

Using that wonderful example as a lead-in, Stephanie explained our theme for this year as, “The Magic of Rotary”.  There was thunderous applause in support of this theme and 530+ of us as well as our respective partners, nodded our heads in total agreement.

The rest of the week was filled with information supporting our Action Plan, meeting our classmates from around the world, and learning from our collective experience. We heard more about specific goals for RI as well as the Rotary Foundation. We heard wonderful ideas for projects locally and globally and learned of amazing ways in which we could collaborate. We exchanged ideas, business cards, small gifts, and much, much conversation. I will honestly say that Jenny and I left Orlando feeling energized, engaged, and excited about what lies in front of us personally and for our incredible clubs in District 7680.

Seeing all of the wonderful collaboration that occurred at International Assembly, I could not help but think of this: “Imagine a world where we create hope, and through our collective actions, show the magic of Rotary.”

2024 International Assembly Kevin Kendrick and RIP Gordon McInally


Cadre Can Help With Your Grant Proposals

The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers is a network of Rotary members who work to strengthen the impact of Rotary Foundation’s global grants and projects. We use our professional expertise and technical skills in Rotary’s  and financial auditing to assist members with project planning and grant applications.

There are more than 500 Cadre members from 75 countries who speak more than 80 languages.

Learn more about what the Cadre can do for your project!

Welcome to the January Membership Minute. At our Mid-Year Assembly, I will introduce three themes:

Create a culture of inviting: It’s simple. Clubs with a culture of inviting, namely, where it’s normal for members to regularly invite guests, grow. Those that don’t, shrink. How you get there is a worthy topic of discussion at a club Assembly. What has to change to create that culture where members WANT to invite guests to experience what they do in Rotary?

What’s in it for THEM? Rotary leaders regularly talk about membership growth, but none of us joined to help Rotary with that. We joined for our reasons, and so do our guests – what I call the Four Powerful Benefits of Rotary – Relationships, Service, Growth and Learning. Put yourself in a potential guest’s shoes and ask which could benefit them. Then invite them. Be guest-centered from start to finish.

Member Care is Easy. It simply requires one or a few members, depending on club size, to systematically and regularly reach out to members who have been absent recently or going through health issues. A short, simple email or phone call – an act of caring – is far more powerful than most of us realize. But because we are busy, it has to be formalized and intentional.

I’ll close with a quote from E. B. White – “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

Your Rotary invitation sales pitch should be: make the best use of your time, and do both here. ☺


Mental Health Corner
District 7680 Newsletter

Romy Cawood, PhD
Charlotte Dilworth Southend Rotary Club

The beginning of the year naturally brings thoughts of a new start and the New Year’s Resolution. Is it part of your New Year tradition?  Some people prefer the term “New Year’s Intentions,” with the idea that the commitment to change is more mindful and less rule-bound. 

In my practice of over twenty years, I have found that it feels natural to people to sync a new beginning with the start of a new bloc of time, whether it is a new day, a new week, or a new year. Whether you embrace New Year’s resolutions, or New Year’s intentions, or prefer to make commitments on your schedule, I thought I would share some pointers from my experience helping my clients to engage in change. 

Number 1: Make your goal small. There is an allure to big change, but I have found that making a goal small works better. For example, if you want to start exercising, and want to do so five days a week, I suggest you start with a goal of one day a week. I tell my clients to make their goals so small that it is not very different from what they do now. You can always build on it later if you want to.

Number 2: Think of your goal as an experiment. I invite people to put their “scientist hat” on when they make a new change. Try it on with the mindset of finding out what works, knowing that editing your plan along the way is a good thing.

Number 3: Avoid what we call the “Deprivation Mentality,” a pitfall of so many great goals. For example, if your goal is to eat more healthfully, focus on what good foods you would like to eat more of, rather than focusing on which you are cutting out. The more we focus on what we are deprived of, the more we think about it and a cycle of behavioral protest can follow. Craft your goal with a focus on what you are moving toward, not what you are leaving behind. 

Number 4:  Self-improvement is a big part of our culture and a reflexive part of our thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. Remember that the change you might love could have nothing to do with self-improvement, and more to do with dialing up joy and fun in your life.

Happy New Year!

For more reading on New Year’s Resolutions:

The Secret Behind Making your New Year’s Resolutions Last:

New Year’s Resolution Planner:  50 Ways to Change your Life in 2024:

The Power of New Year’s Resolutions:

Nurturing Peacebuilders: Rotary Peace Fellowship Applications for 2024-25

In a world where the pursuit of peace is paramount, Rotary International stands as a beacon of hope with its renowned Peace Fellowship program. Each year, Rotary awards up to 130 fully funded fellowships to dedicated leaders worldwide, fostering their growth into effective catalysts for peace. Rotary Peace Fellowship program is offering dedicated leaders from across the globe the opportunity to contribute to peace and development. As we enter the second half of Rotary year 2023-24, let’s delve into the significance of this program and the impact it has on cultivating professionals committed to fostering peace.

Each year, Rotary bestows up to 130 fully funded fellowships to passionate leaders, allowing them to study at one of the prestigious Rotary Peace Centers. These centers provide academic training, hands-on experience, and global networking opportunities, all geared towards developing the capacity of peace and development professionals to become effective catalysts for peace.

The fellowships cover a range of expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and internship and field-study expenses. This comprehensive support ensures that peace fellows can focus on their studies and practical experiences without financial burdens.

We are delighted to announce that District 7680 has successfully proposed and guided the applications of three applicants(namely; Diego Carneiro, Elis Nassif and Salim Uqdah), including one from our city of Charlotte, Selim Uqdah last year (2023-24). We are proud to share with you that all three applicants have been accepted into the Rotary Peace Fellowship Program. This achievement exemplifies the strength and solidity of our foundation as the Peace Committee of District 7680. It underscores the power of teamwork and collaboration, aligning with the core principles of Rotary. Together, we continue to make a positive impact on the world. You can reach the results for the 2023-24 application cycle by clicking on this link:

Since its inception in 2002, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained over 1,700 fellows who now work in more than 140 countries. These alumni serve as leaders in governments, NGOs, education and research institutions, peacekeeping and law enforcement agencies, as well as international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

Applications for the 2024-25 Rotary Peace Fellowships:

Rotary is now accepting applications for the 2024-25 Rotary Peace Fellowships. This year, the program will select 50 peace fellows for master’s degree programs and 40 fellows for professional development certificate studies. The application deadline is 15 May, providing aspiring peacebuilders with an opportunity to contribute to global peace efforts.

How You Can Contribute:

Rotary and Rotaract members can play a vital role in promoting the Rotary Peace Fellowship and encouraging potential candidates to apply. Here are some ways to get involved:

  1. Take the “All About the Rotary Peace Fellowship” course to understand the qualification criteria, eligibility restrictions, and the application process.
  2. Forward the fellowship announcement to your contacts and include it in club and district communications.
  3. Use the referral form to inform Rotary about potential candidates.
  4. Share a PowerPoint presentation about the fellowships with your club members and community.
  5. Follow the Rotary Peace Center Facebook page and share their posts.

Call for Action in District 7680:

As members of District 7680, let’s come together to learn more about the Rotary Peace Fellowship program and actively seek out potential candidates for the 2024 application cycle. To discover more about how you can contribute to recruiting the next generation of peace fellows, reach out to your district Rotary Peace Fellowship subcommittee chair or write to

Let’s unite in fostering peace and development, creating a brighter future for our global community.

Henry Lyon

Rotary Foundation Points

What are Foundation recognition points, and how can I accumulate them?

Foundation recognition points are awarded to donors who contribute to The Rotary Foundation through the Annual Fund or PolioPlus or who contribute to the sponsorship of a Foundation grant.

Donors receive one recognition point for every U.S. dollar contributed to these funds. Contributions to the Endowment Fund are not eligible. Donors can transfer Foundation recognition points to others to help them qualify as a Paul Harris Fellow or Multiple Paul Harris Fellow. Foundation recognition points belong to the original donor until the donor’s death, unless the points are transferred or until the donor uses them. (The surviving spouse of a Major Donor may also use the points.)

How do I transfer Foundation recognition points?

A minimum of 100 Foundation recognition points must be transferred at a time, and you must complete and sign the Recognition and Transfer Request. The points may not be transferred from individuals to a club or district. Individual donors are the only ones authorized to transfer recognition points from their accounts. Club presidents are the only ones authorized to transfer recognition points from a club account. District Governors are the only ones authorized to transfer recognition points from a district account.

How are Foundation recognition points tracked?

Your club and district leaders can view the online Club Recognition Summary, which includes the recognition amount, tally of recognition points, current Paul Harris Fellow level, and date that level was achieved. Through your My Rotary account, you can view your personal contribution history, recognition amount, and available Foundation recognition points.

One way to use Foundation recognition points
The Rotary Club of Frankenmuth has a unique way of donating money to the Annual Fund-Share account. It raises money for The Rotary Foundation and helps club members obtain Paul Harris levels.

Steve List, Foundation Chair for the Rotary Club of Frankenmuth states:
”When our members are about to leave Rotary because of retirement, illness, or job relocation, we ask them if they would consider transferring their accumulated recognition points available to be used as a transfer for a matching contribution that an active member would receive for a minimum donation of $100 to a maximum of $200. We also send emails to those members who are within $400 to get to the next level of Paul Harris recognition. By doing this, the member knows that with a $200 donation matched with a $200 transfer they would reach the next level. In the last Rotary year, we raised over $36,000 for The Rotary Foundation, and this matching program was an important factor in achieving that goal.”

Develop a plan to use recognition points

I encourage each member, club president, and Foundation chair to check the Club Recognition Summary in My Rotary/Rotary Club Central to determine the number of Foundation recognition points each member and the club has accumulated. Individual members or a club can use their points to obtain a Paul Harris recognition for a club member or a non-Rotary individual. I suggest your club develop a plan to use these points annually.

Chuck Cusick, District 6310

Happy New Year from the Zones 33/34 Public Image Team!

As we continue to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of communication and outreach, it is essential for us to explore innovative tools that can enhance our public image efforts. With this in mind, we are excited to invite you to a special webinar focused on using AI tools to boost your club’s public image.

During this webinar, we will delve into the various ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools can be leveraged to elevate and strengthen Rotary’s public image. From practical tips and best practices, to content personalization and information protection, we’ll cover the basics of using tools like ChatGPT and more.

Webinar: Artificial Intelligence Tips & Tricks – Tuesday, January 23 at 6:00 pm

Sharing Hope With The World

Remember the sense of discovery, excitement, and community you experienced in Melbourne? The new relationships you developed? The project ideas exchanged? Those opportunities and more are all awaiting you again at the 2024 Rotary International Convention in Singapore!

From 25-29 May, you’ll connect with old friends, forge new bonds, learn fresh ways to create impact and join us in Sharing Hope With the World.

Tell your club members about your awe-inspiring experience at the last Rotary convention and encourage them to join you at the biggest Rotary event of 2024.

Register now for savings. But don’t wait! This discounted rate expires 15 December 2023.

Sign Up Here.

Poetry Contest


From the Rotary e-Club of Innovation comes a competition, open to all, where Rotarians and others can contribute their thoughts their words, their humor, their talent, and a little bit of cash in aid of our Rotary Charities

It is often said, there is a book or a poem inside everyone. So, get your creative juices flowing , grab your pen, choose a category, and become a wordsmith – ENJOY

Prepare to be recognized by the Rotary eClub of Innovation’s extraordinary poetry competition.

We are inviting creative spirits from across the globe to embark on a journey of literary brilliance.

Embrace this opportunity to weave your words into captivating tapestries of emotions, painting images and touching hearts worldwide.

It’s time to make your mark on the poetic canvas – join in and become a beacon of inspiration in the literacy of verse!

Unleash the poet within and let your creativity soar to new heights!

See here for more information.

Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Announce Bourbon Tasting Event

The Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club will host an exclusive bourbon-tasting event on Friday, February 9, 2024, with Bourbon Expert Thomas Thacker, Co-Founder & CEO of Southern Grace Distillery. The fundraiser will take place from 7 pm to 9:30 pm at the Doyer Clubhouse in The Hamptons subdivision located off of Sam Furr Road in Huntersville.

Tickets are $75 in advance and include a wide variety of bourbon tastings coupled with hearty hors d’ouerves. The fundraising event benefits the “Service Above Self” efforts of the Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club and its humanitarian projects locally and abroad.

For more information, call or text Mark Kincer at  704-517-1220 or purchase tickets at


Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Announces 4th Annual Lake Norman Men That Cook Event

Annual Fundraiser Expected to Raise Thousands of Dollars for Local Charities.

The Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club’s most popular event, “Lake Norman Men That Cook” will return to The Venues at Langtree in Mooresville on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17, 2024.

Each year, Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club awards many local charities with thousands of dollars generated by their Lake Norman Men that Cook event. Ticket sales go directly to support charities that serve the communities of North Mecklenburg and South Iredell counties.

Several charities enter their best food creations, and each event participant votes for their favorite food and charity, by placing their ticket in a bucket on each team’s table. That entry ticket value is then given to that charity. In addition to ticket sales, sponsorship dollars will be split among the non-profits represented, making everyone a winner!

In 2023, $23,000 was raised for 21 non-profit organizations with sponsorship from local businesses and community partners. This year the tradition continues with cooking teams competing for funds for their favorite charity with samples of their signature dish.

This family-friendly event provides a smorgasbord of tasty cuisine and a chance to vote for the “best of the best” in six different food categories. First, second, and third-place winners are selected by a panel of chefs from well-known area restaurants. Prize money from the funds raised is divided and shared by all the charities and every admission ticket counts as a vote. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door with a choice of two sessions, 11 am to 12:30 pm or 12:30 pm to 2 pm.  Tickets for children under 10 are $10.  Children under 5 are free.

This event is only possible with the generous support of our wonderful sponsors who support the cooking teams and their charities. Entry fees for cooking teams are $100 per team. The Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club has a 501(C)3 status. All sponsorships and contributions are tax deductible. To buy tickets to the event, become a sponsor, or register a team, contact John Beiler, at 608-469-5552 or visit the Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary website

Rowan Rotary Club Hosts Service Above Self Youth Awards

Established in 1995 by Rowan Rotary member Dr. Jim Duncan, the Service Above Self Youth Awards is a program that recognizes young people for their service to others in our community. On January 11, the Rowan Rotary Club, with the assistance and support of Rowan County United Way Board, Cheerwine, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Livingstone College, and Catawba College hosted the twenty-seventh Service Above Self awards program at Keppel Auditorium on the campus of Catawba College.  As with many programs, the Service Above Self awards program is on the rebound from pandemic and hosted the most successful program since that period. 135 nominations were received to recognize both individual and groups ranging from kindergarten through high school. Each of the nominations were judged and three winners were chosen in individual and group categories from elementary, middle, and high school classifications. The top middle and high school winners received medals, cash awards and scholarships totaling $60,000 to attend Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Catawba College, and Livingstone College. Special thanks to our District Governor Debb Corbett for attending and speaking to the award nominees. Preparations will soon be underway for the twenty-eighth edition of Rowan Rotary’s Service Above Self award program.

Jay Baker, Rowan Rotary Club President 2023-24

Mecklenburg South Rotary Club Rose Against Hunger!


On January 12, 2024, we made 10,150 meals in 1.5 hours qurg 50+ volunteers! Way to go Mecklenburg County- South Rotary and thank you to all our friends as well as friends from Ballantyne Rotary Club and guests for lending a hand and helping out!

Consider doing this project at your club, contact David McQueen at


Charlotte South Serves Dinner

The Rotary Club of Charlotte South serves dinners monthly at Salvation Army’s Center for Hope, which serves homeless women and children.
Please note the latest trends in hair nets and aprons!

On a side note: while carpooling to the center, new members Barbara Kupperman and Ed Picket learned they are cousins. Never know what you’re going to learn when volunteering for Rotary!

Scott Van Der Linden

January 27: Mid-Year Assembly/Pre-PETS

Feb 23-25: It’s Rotary’s birthday on Feb 23! We are celebrating with a weekend of service projects and a collective PR/PI focus. Participate in a local Rotary project or activity and SHARE your experience with the hashtag, #GoRotary! 

March 14-16: PETS

March 23: Grants Training

April 19-21: Go Rotary! District Conference, Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC.

May 25-30: Rotary International Conference, Singapore

To submit articles to the District Newsletter, please send to Jenny Kendrick at by the last Thursday of the month.