Rotary District 6250 Annual Conference, June 8th & 9th in LaCrosse, WI
Submitted by Jacqui Sakowski
We arrived for the Business Meeting where we got to vote on the budget and other operational issues, before attending a very fun and inspiring lunch. We were addressed by a remarkable woman – Rotary International’s first female corporate officer and cancer sufferer, who was clearly in poor health, but spoke with confidence, energy and passion about the origins of the Four Way Test. She was to address us 4 more times before the conference ended. A display of resilience that we were all proud to witness!
Afternoon presentations on The Holocaust, the plight of children around the world and programs that help youth adopt and live by life-enhancing values made for a very informative and fast-paced afternoon. Inbound RYE students shared cultural insights about their country before supper. Our first Oktoberfest in June, was colorful and celebratory, as you can see …
Lots of connecting and re-connecting over dinner, made for lively breakfast meetings the next morning. After you dined with a District Governor clad in leiderhosen, it’s hard to stand on ceremony ever again! We celebrated gifts to the RI Foundation, and were in awe of the impact of RI dollars, and the creativity of clubs around the district who had doubled and quadrupled funds by leveraging Rotary and non-Rotary grants to expand their reach.
At lunch on Saturday we honored Rotarian’s, selected by their own clubs as Heroes. Here Nelson Cummings is greeted by Emily, a very bright RYE student who presented him with a certificate.
The afternoon flew by with programs on wellness, Rotaract, Interact and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards – the future of Rotary and the world seems to be in great hands if the young people who addressed us are the measure.
At dinner John Hewko and Betsy Demaray spoke about the importance of documenting Rotary’s true impact in the world, before the conference concluded with the (slightly early) installation of Rob Stroud as 2012-2013 District Governor.
Rob took the pin and then the stage, from where he invited Rotarian’s to assemble in Madison on May 31st and June 1st next year to celebrate 100 years of Rotary Service and Fellowship in WI, at Monona Terrace.
Paul and I headed out of LaCrosse at about 9;15 p.m. As we compared experiences on the journey home we realized that we each had new friends, new appreciation for the works and opportunities of Rotary, and an invigorated Rotary spirit to bring to our best efforts in the coming months. I am already excited for next year!