FOR YOUR CLUB – Create a Culture of Inviting

I was a Discussion Leader for 5 hours at the recent Carolinas PETS, the 2-day Rotary training for incoming Presidents from North and South Carolina. I spent 2 of those hours working with smaller groups of incoming Presidents on membership.

A concept I recently introduced here resonated with many of the Presidents-Elect: A Culture of Inviting. It’s simple. Clubs with it, where it’s more normal to invite guests than not, grow. Those that don’t, eventually shrink. 

If your club makes that Culture of Inviting the constant, and makes all that must change to create it, those variables become topics of worthy discussion within the club and the board. What has to change to create that culture in the next few months? Maybe a half dozen things. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it. 

FOR YOU – To make it easy to invite a guest, just remember, ‘What’s In It For Them?’

It’s much easier to invite someone to a meeting, service project, etc., if you keep the four major benefits of Rotary top of mind – Relationships, Service, Growth, and Learning. And all the interesting areas that come under each of those.

I was in my 50s before receiving my first Rotary meeting invitation. I was running out of time to ever be invited!  Yours may be the only invitation someone EVER receives, and it may be a life-changing gift like mine was. Remembering ‘What’s In it For Them’ makes it easier to extend that invitation.  Alternatively, you can just be annoying like my Sponsor was, until they say yes. Thank you Bill.  🙂

Mike Walker, District Membership Chair


Mental Health Corner
District 7680 Newsletter

Romy Cawood, PhD
Charlotte Dilworth Southend Rotary Club

Managing Conflict and Fighting Fair

Healthy relationships support mental health. We want harmony in our relationships and work to keep it, but conflict is inevitable and a normal part of life.  Having a good skill set for managing conflict can make a big difference in conflict outcomes.  Here are 6 tips for navigating conflict, or “fighting fair.”

Number 1:  Work out the conflict in person. With text and email, voice tone and body language are absent. When tensions are high, negative feelings can get projected on the other person’s message, distorting it. That can create an unnecessary extra layer of problems. With some exceptions (like if you do not feel safe in someone’s presence), in-person is best for important and conflicted conversations.

Number 2: Be respectful even if you disagree. Eye-rolling and other expressions of disrespect are associated with poor relationship outcomes. If you find irony in what the other person is saying, express it respectfully, as in “I feel strongly that you have a double standard here that is unfair to me.”

Number 3: Don’t use cold silence as a strategy when upset. Cold silence can be very tempting and can feel almost dignified to the person doing it, but it is not helpful. If you feel like you are very hurt or don’t know what to say, resist shutting down and being cold. Instead, signal what you are feeling. It can be short:  “I am so upset right now that I don’t know what to say.” Or “I feel very hurt right now and need a moment.”

Number 4: Do not leave the physical location of the conflict in the midst of conflict. Leaving the physical location in conflict evokes the threat of abandonment (even if not meant that way), and erodes the relationship. If you need a moment to collect yourself, state that specifically and do not go far, as in “I need a moment to think about that, if it’s OK with you I would like to step into the next room for a few minutes and then I’ll be back.”

Number 5:  Do not threaten break-up or divorce in the midst of conflict. If the thought occurs to you in an argument, keep it to yourself, take time to think it over, and make thoughtful preparations to bring it up if you so decide.  I advise my couple clients against bringing up a break-up or divorce unless they are seriously thinking about it outside the heat of an argument. Ending a relationship well honors it.

Number 6:  After a discussion or argument, let the other person know what you appreciated about how they handled it. Positive reinforcement is the most powerful way to encourage a desired behavior.

For more resources on managing conflict in relationship:

When and how to engage constructively in family arguments during the holidays:

The 4 Keys to Fighting Fair. By Grant Hilary Brenner, MD.;

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work:  A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, paperback, John Gottman PhD and Nan Silver.

Rotary District 7680 Peace Fellowship
Subcommittee Announcement

Dear Prospective Applicants,

Greetings from Rotary District 7680 Peace Fellowship Subcommittee! As the Chair of our esteemed committee, I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to the 2025 Rotary Peace Fellowship application process.

Allow me to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the application requirements and procedures to guide you through this significant opportunity:

Application Deadline: The deadline for submitting your application for the 2025 Rotary Peace Fellowship is May 15, 2024. Please note that once submitted, applications are considered final, and no further modifications can be made.

Eligibility and Qualification: The initial section of the application will entail an eligibility and qualification questionnaire. It is imperative to thoroughly review the requirements outlined on our website at to ensure alignment. Candidates not meeting these criteria will not proceed further in the application process.

Candidate Certification: All applicants are required to acknowledge and agree to the terms of the Candidate Certification to progress with their application.

Personal Information and Program Selection: This segment necessitates the provision of demographic and contact details. Your information will be shared with The Rotary Foundation staff, application reviewers, and university representatives to facilitate the review process.

Engagement with Rotary: We strongly encourage applicants to establish connections with Rotary or Rotaract members during the application phase. Recommendations from Rotary club or district leaders can significantly enhance your application.Relevant Experience: It is essential that candidates demonstrate relevant professional contributions.

Education: Please ensure to provide comprehensive details of all higher education institutions attended.

Additional Requirements for Master’s Candidates: Master’s degree applicants are required to upload transcripts from all listed institutions.

Personal Statement Video: Applicants must record a personal statement video elucidating their commitment to peace and development, as well as their motivation for pursuing the Rotary Peace Fellowship.

Essays: Master’s degree candidates are expected to respond to four essay questions, while certificate program candidates respond to one.

Social Change Initiative Proposal: Certificate program candidates are required to submit a proposal outlining a social change initiative to be implemented between program sessions.

Cross-Cultural Experience: Descriptions of previous cross-cultural or international experiences are encouraged.

Language Proficiency: Proficiency in languages other than your native tongue should be indicated.

Proof of English Proficiency: Non-native English speakers applying for the master’s program need to provide evidence of English proficiency.

Recommendations: Master’s degree candidates require one academic and one professional recommendation. Certificate program candidates need two professional recommendations.

Optional Rotary Recommendation: Applicants are encouraged to seek recommendations from Rotary or Rotaract clubs or districts.

Submission: Applications must be submitted by midnight on May 15, 2024, in the candidate’s local time zone. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

After submission, applications will undergo a review process to ensure completeness and compliance with eligibility requirements. Successful candidates will proceed to further evaluation, with notifications scheduled to be sent out in November. Should you have any queries or require assistance throughout the application process, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Wishing you the very best in your application endeavors.

All the best,
Henry H. Aktig
Chair, Rotary District 7680 Peace Fellowship Subcommittee

Click here for full document.

Nurturing Growth and Building Bridges: My Rotary Peace Fellowship Journey

 Witten by: Elise Nassif – Lebanon, Rotary Peace Fellowship- Cohort 2024, Peace Centre: University of Bradford, UK, Rotaract Club of Sahel Metn- District 2452, Lebanon

As I embark on my Rotary Peace Fellowship journey that is set to commence in September 2024, I reflect on the transformative path that has been guided by District 7680 Peace Fellowship Subcommittee  which led me to this point and anticipate the impact it will have on both my personal and professional growth.

My decision to pursue the Rotary Peace Fellowship was rooted in a deep-seated commitment to contribute meaningfully to peacebuilding efforts. The path leading up to this moment has been paved with diverse experiences and challenges that have shaped my perspective and fuelled my desire for positive change.

One of the cornerstones of my journey is rooted in my diverse experiences, ranging from leadership roles in the Rotaract community to navigating challenges in the security sector reform and research. The anticipation and preparation for the program have been instrumental in shaping my outlook. The submission process has allowed me to reaffirm my aspirations, reflecting on the lessons from my past experiences and how they align with the goals of the Rotary Peace Fellowship. Ensuring that I enter the program with a clear sense of purpose and a commitment to making the most of this opportunity.

As I look forward to the future, my vision is rooted in applying the knowledge and skills gained through the Rotary Peace Fellowship to my home country, Lebanon. The region has faced its share of challenges, and I am driven by a deep-seated belief in the power of grassroots efforts and sustainable initiatives to foster lasting peace.

Essentially, my involvement in the fellowship is not merely a personal endeavour but a commitment to a larger vision – one that envisions a world where the lessons learned, and experiences gained are channelled into creating positive and enduring impacts. The fellowship represents a unique opportunity to make connections, exchange ideas, and cultivate the skills necessary to drive meaningful change.

As the program draws near, I am filled with a sense of anticipation and readiness. The Rotary Peace Fellowship is not just a stepping stone in my career; it is a transformative chapter that aligns seamlessly with my aspirations to contribute meaningfully to a more peaceful and harmonious world.


The Rotary International Convention is where you’ll find people of action from around the world brainstorming solutions to some of the most pressing challenges and celebrating our works of service that create lasting change.

The convention is where you’ll renew connections, discover fresh perspectives, and create unforgettable moments and enduring relationships.

There are going to be some amazing opportunities at the upcoming Rotary International Convention in Singapore for members of our Action Group  to exchange ideas and learn from each other. We are confident that our Mental Health Initiatives Rotary Action Group (RAG) communities worldwide are going to strengthen and we look forward to meeting you!

The first event is known as “RAGTime” where all the RAGs worldwide get together for fellowship and sharing. Please join us on Thursday, May 23rdat 7:00p.m. Look for our Mental Health Initiatives area and we would love to have you join us! Please register (there is a fee) at:

Our RAG meets annually, on-site, in person at the Rotary International Convention. This is an Annual Membership meeting, open to all. Please join us on Saturday, May 25th at 8:00am.  The room details will be announced shortly.

If the larger Rotary Action Group world interests you, there is a Chairs’ Council Meeting. Please feel free to join us on Sunday May 26th at 8:00am – again the room details will be announced nearer the time.  Since Mental Health Initiatives is one of many worldwide, it may be interesting to learn about the worldwide picture of all RAGs.

The House of Friendship (HoF) is an area of the convention you don’t want to miss. It is certainly a highlight with all the information booths, resources, items for purchase, club displays and more.

This year is extraordinary for us because we have a large area to accommodate the need to provide awareness and educational opportunities in addition to our Booth #1929.  You can volunteer a shift to speak with visitors in our Booth or apply to give a presentation in our Hub #1829 (by submitting your presentation for consideration by March 20th to The HoF is a hub of inspiration, hope, and resources. We hope we can learn more about you in the HoF!

There will be a variety of breakout sessions for you to choose from at the convention. These are information sessions in a workshop format. Sessions are located at the Mariana Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center. We encourage you to attend our two that focus on mental health:

Tuesday, May 28th at 2:30p.m. in Simpor 4913, we will be hosting a panel on our Looking Inward Toolkit. This is a Club Well-Being Assessment and one of our current toolkits available to all clubs and districts. Before the convention, you can explore the toolkits online in all Rotary languages through this link (

Wednesday, May 29th at 11:00a.m. we have a panel of experts discussing examples of our “Impact on Mental Health” in Jasmine 3902.

Join us in some way, at some time, in Singapore this year!

Belmont Club Member  Mike McKeever Discusses Rotary Disaster Relief Effort in Nepal in 2015

Mike McKeever exemplifies Service Above Self

Belmont Rotarian Mike McKeever (below) with club president Thomas Hunter. In the photo on the screen behind Mike’s head, he can be seen (in a blue shirt) working in a rubble pile in Nepal to provide temporary shelter for people who had lost their homes in an earthquake that killed thousands and left millions homeless. In the photo below, Mike is at a school damaged by the quake giving soccer balls to children, most of whom were living in tents.

Disaster Aid USA: Putting Rotary motto into action

Just before noon on April 25, 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck a region of Nepal northwest of Kathmandu near the China border. It lasted only 50 seconds. Entire villages were flattened. Almost 9,000 people died, 22,000 were injured, 500,000 houses were destroyed and 3.5 million were left homeless. Among the dead were 19 climbers on Mount Everest who were killed when the quake triggered an avalanche that struck their base camp.

Disaster recovery and relief workers poured into Nepal from all over the world. One of those volunteers was Belmont Rotary Club’s own Mike McKeever, who shared with his fellow Rotarians at a recent meeting his story of working to help the homeless in Nepal nine years ago this month.

At the time, Mike lived in Maryland and was a member of the Bladensburg Rotary Club, now known as the Rotary Club of Prince George’s County. That club holds the distinction of having started a Rotary project to provide disaster relief that now is nationwide in scope and is known as Disaster Aid USA.

Like all DAUSA response team volunteers, Mike received extensive training before being deployed on a mission. On the Nepal mission, his team was assigned primarily to provide and set up tents to shelter homeless quake victims. Mike told Rotarians his team worked in seven different villages during the 10 days he was in Nepal.

In addition to Nepal, Mike said he also has participated in relief missions in the Bahamas, in Arkansas to assist in recovery following a tornado and in eastern North Carolina to help flood victims. 

Some of the other skills Disaster Aid USA can provide include mass feeding management, water purification, rescue, firefighting, family and youth counseling and more. DAUSA has large disaster relief trailers filled with tools, tents, tarps, generators and other emergency equipment and supplies and positioned in each of the 11 Rotary zones across the United States. 

Mike gave a moving account of having felt particularly down on one day in Nepal because he thought he wasn’t helping enough. That’s when another relief volunteer showed him a photo she had taken of Mike at a school damaged by the quake giving soccer balls to a group of happy children, most of whom were living in tents, and she pointed out that he was helping in other ways besides putting up tents. 

By the end of Mike’s 20-minute program, every Rotarian in the room knew he or she had just witnessed a living example of the Rotary motto: Service Above Self





Lake Norman Club in the News!

Program helps community workers afford Lake Norman rentals

Lake Norman Media Group

Lake Norman Men That Cook Raises $19,000 for Charity

45 Cash Prizes Awarded at Post-Event Celebration

Huntersville, April 8, 2024:  The Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club recognized cooking teams, charities, and sponsors at an awards celebration for its Lake Norman Men That Cook fundraiser on Monday night at Hickory Tavern in Huntersville.

“Lake Norman Men That Cook is our signature event,” said Eric Franzen, President of the Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club. “Each year, we invite the community to get involved, and we all have a lot of fun for a good cause.”

The fundraiser was held on March 17th at the Venues at Langtree in Mooresville and raised $19,000 from patrons and sponsors.  Prize money was awarded based on first, second, and third-place standings in five different cooking categories.  Chefs from local restaurants served as judges including Steve Jordan, On the Nines; Nazira Atme, Habibi Lebanese Bar & Grill; Diane Pfeil, The Counter, and Lisa Dowless, Banquet Manager at the Venues at Langtree.

There were 15 cooking teams in attendance and awards were given in each of the five categories. First place winners were, Welcome Home Veterans Coffee Shop for Chili, Hough High School JROTC for BBQ, Feed NC for Other Great Food, Lydia’s Loft for Vegetarian, and East Huntersville Community Outreach for Dessert.  Second place went to Angels & Sparrows for Chili, Hope House for BBQ, Mababu Live for Other Great Food, Hinds Feet Farm for Vegetarian, and North Meck Animal Rescue for Dessert. Those taking third place included Lake Norman Kiwanis for Chili, Caterpillar Ministries for BBQ, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for Other Great Food, Little Smiles for Vegetarian, and HealthReach Community Clinic for Dessert.

Bob Wilson who served as District Governor for Rotary in 2008/2009, founded the club in 2014 with his wife Ineke, who also served a term as District Governor. At the end of the night in his closing remarks, Bob thanked all sponsors and charities for a successful event.  He challenged everyone to raise even more money next year. “We have a unique opportunity to help a lot of people in need of a safety net.  I believe we can do this as a club and as a community. Let’s keep a good thing going,” he said.

Rotary Club of Charlotte and Myers Park High School Interact Club Painted the Town Green

Myers Park High School’s Interact club sponsored by the Rotary Club of Charlotte, painted the town green and made memories that’ll last a lifetime!  With a float created by Myers Park High School’s Interact club, they celebrated the luck of the Irish and spread some serious Irish cheer in Charlotte’s exciting 2024 St. Patrick’s Day parade.  As they painted the town green, they made memories that’ll last a lifetime!  As they marched together, both Charlotte Rotary and Myers Park Interact promoted Rotary and Interact at this festive celebration.

Also, thanks to Jason Otte with Instant Imprints and our club member, we now have a parade banner for Rotary and Interact!

Click here to view more photos.

May 25-30: Rotary International Conference, Singapore

June 18: #GoRotary! Baseball Game

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