First Edition from new editor Michela Swarthout, John Biggs' successor

June 2017 District Bulletin

Final Thoughts from Governor Jim Hogge

First, I would like to thank all the Rotarians in District 5400 for a wonderful year as District Governor.  It was my honor to serve with you and assist our clubs. You are so caring and motivated to serve others. Thank you for all you do - you inspire me to do more. I hope we will get meet again at various District events and at District Conference.
The Atlanta Convention was my first in the U.S. out of three and I learned a lot. The experience was great, the largest benefit of which was the people you meet. Carla and I got to see some Rotarian friends from Holland - Steven was a District Governor in the Netherlands and we shared our experiences, which were similar despite being from very different locations. The lesson learned was that Rotarians are similar whether you live in Idaho or Holland. 
Thanks for all you do for your community and the world.

Howdy From '17-'18 Governor Terry Jones

America is about to celebrate Independence Day and, as Rotarians, we are about to celebrate the beginning of a new Rotary Year. 
On July 1 the World of Rotary will begin with new leaders and new goals.  As your leadership has prepared to take this role on, it is time for all Rotarians to roll up our sleeves and support the goals that each club has set for itself. Goals that represent giving, goals that support programs both locally and globally, goals that will grow your club and, most importantly, goals that will ask you to “Ride for the Brand”. 
My name is Terry Jones and I am your new Governor. Now ride with me and Let’s get’er done.
Rotary: Making a Difference.

District 5400 at the RI National Convention

With at least 6 members in attendance, District 5400 was well-represented at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta June 11th-14th.

One of the highlights included Rotary International President John Germ announcing that eradication efforts would require another $1.5 billion dollars, $50 million of which would come from Rotary over the next three years. Following this announcement, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged a 2 for 1 match, making a collective commitment of $450 million. Other agencies and countries followed suit and in total, $1.2 billion was raised to end the fight against Polio. Gates noted, "It's easy to forget why this fight is so important, but to me, there is one particularly important statistic; 16 million people can walk today because they didn't contract polio."

Coca-Cola's CEO James Quincy made his first public appearance at the RI Convention, voicing Coca-Cola’s commitment to clean water, empowering women and other humanitarian efforts. This was followed by shared Cokes among supportive attendees.

We are proud to say that Rotary Club of Nampa member Kenton Lee was featured on the front page of the RI Convention program for efforts of his nonprofit The Shoe that Grows. He also hosted a booth at the House of Friendship.

Another highlight included the inaugural Women in Rotary awards at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, which featured homage to Sylvia Whitlock, the first woman Rotary Club President in 1987-88.


Jennifer Deroin and Rhea Allen, Rotary Club of Nampa

John Biggs in Atlanta

Linda and I were excited to attend our first RI Convention. I was interested to see how the space handled 40,000 people! Our first evening featured Ricky Skaggs at Centennial Park which was great! There were so many Rotarians that the Opening Ceremony was held twice! Heading to our first session, we experienced getting around the huge space and down I don't know how many levels to the main auditorium which allegedly held 20,000 people! There wasn't a bad seat in the house! The room was so big the stage disappeared over the horizon! I counted 26 big screens and a top-notch sound system. The convention center is 3.9 million square feet!
My favorite presentation was former Ambassador Andrew Young who gave a very inspirational message.
The "Friendship House" was unbelievable! It was literally hundreds of booths, either Rotary projects, Action Groups, fellowship Groups, high-quality Rotary gear and other "stuff". I don't think we ever got around the whole space!
The real fun, though, was just watching people from all over the world. Many of the Africans wore native clothing which is spectacular!
While in Atlanta we had a chance to do some tourist things like the Georgia Aquarium, the Ferris Wheel, CNN Center and Centennial Park. Its all right there!

Rotary Youth Closet Project in Pocatello

The Gate City Rotary Club of Pocatello recently had the dedication and ribbon cutting for the Rotary Youth Closet project, a right-sized, well-outfitted quality shed, funded by District 5400 matching grant monies, that contains shelving and various sizes of plastic storage containers.
The project was first envisioned by club member Molly Swallow after a presentation to the club by Kent Hobbs, Pocatello School District #25 Director of Student Support Services. He revealed that there are over 170 homeless and at-risk youth in the school district. The need of these students for basic necessities of toiletries, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, and sanitary products, plus certain clothing and other essentials was an ongoing challenge to provide. Molly suggested applying for a district grant to help share in the finances needed to help accomplish the goal of having a place where students could acquire these essentials.
The shed is located in a secured area of New Horizon High School. District Community Resource Officers and various administrators organize the distribution of the contents as needed. A plan is in place to help replenish supplies when stock gets low.
The Gate City Rotary Club is so thankful that the district offers the means to help provide the resources needed to serve others in the community of Pocatello and around the world.
Tim Bridges, President, Gate City Rotary Club of Pocatello

Youth Exchange Students Returning This Summer

Over the summer our 2016-17 Inbound students will travel home after a wonderful year in Idaho/Oregon. In turn, 15 Idaho Outbound students will return from their own exchange abroad. We will be encouraging these returning students to visit their sponsor clubs and tell them about their experiences. In August, District 5400 is welcoming 19 students for the 2017-18 school year and sending 18 Idaho students abroad. It's an exciting time for all 68 students connected with District 5400 in 2017!
Many thanks to the following clubs for their participation in the program in 2016-17 and/or 2017-18:  Western Treasure Valley, Preston, Pocatello Gate City, Pocatello, Montpelier, McCall, Idaho Falls, Hailey, Eagle-Garden City, Caldwell, Buhl, Boise-Sunrise, Boise-Southwest, Boise-Metro, Boise-East, Boise-Downtown, Boise-Centennial, Boise, and Blackfoot.

RYLA Thanks Clubs for Generous Support

The RYLA 2017 camp is full with 80 students sponsored by the generous Rotary clubs in district 5400. Each May and June there is a frantic match-making process to get all 80 students sponsored by one of the 43 Rotary clubs. This year we added 8 more students and the clubs stepped up providing more financial support.
Clubs that were unable to identify a student this year let me know they were willing to sponsor any student that needed funding.  RYLA could not happen without the incredible support from the great Rotary clubs in district 5400. Many thanks from all the RYLA students and volunteers. RYLA 2017 is August 3 - 6th at CSI campus in Twin Falls Idaho.
Todd Fischer, RYLA Chair

No Wild Polio Cases Reported This Week

A circulating Vaccine-Derived Polio outbreak in Syria has paralyzed 17. Efforts are underway to insure the security of vaccinators ready to immunize 400,000 children in the outbreak area. While not considered as serious as wild Polio outbreaks, vaccine-derived cases indicate low immunity levels and poor sanitation.
Team Rotary Bicycle Race Across America raced from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD this month in an effort to raise money and awareness of Polio eradication. Last year the team raised $300,000, which was matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
With PolioPlus, Polio eradication donations can be made quickly, easily, and securely on any device. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged to match up to $50 Million of Rotarian raised donations 2 to 1 for the next three years, so our Goal is set.

The Final Three Endemic Countries:

Pakistan: No new Polio cases reported this week. Two cases reported in 2017, the most recent from the Diamir district, Gilgit Baltistan province with an onset on 2/13/17. 20 Polio cases were reported in 2016. No new WPV1 positive environmental samples were reported in the past week.
Afghanistan: No new Polio cases reported this week. Four cases reported in 2017 - the most recent in the Nawzad district, Hilmand with the onset of paralysis on 4/16/17. 13 Polio cases were reported in 2016. No new Polio-positive environmental samples were collected this week in Afghanistan.
Nigeria: No new Polio cases reported this week.   Four Polio cases reported in 2016 - with no cases reported in 2015. The most recent case was reported on 8/2016 in Borno State.

Help Find 2018-19 Rotary Youth Exchange Students

We are looking for local students interested in going on exchange from August, 2018, through June/July, 2019. Students need to be between age 16 and 18 in August, 2018 (with a few exceptions for 15.5 to 18.5 years old). Applicants apply through their local clubs, who collect applications and perform initial interviews by the end of September.
If you have a student who is interested in learning more, please see the information provided on the district website. For more information about recruiting students, or if students/parents would like more information, contact outbound coordinators, Mike Markley ( / 208-861-8879) or Beth Markley ( / 208-484-4424).

Boise Centennial Gets Their Hands Dirty

On June 21st, members of Boise Centennial headed over to Giraffe Laugh, a non-profit that ensures school readiness for area children, and determinedly cleansed and repaired the center's deprecated, damaged and disheveled items. They finished the evening with an organized organization and a trailer full of items for disposal.
For the past two years Giraffe Laugh has been the beneficiary of Boise Centennial's annual Winter Wine'd Up event. We look forward to our partnership for many years to come!

Learn more about Rotary Club of Boise Centennial


Opportunities to Serve on District 5400 Committees


We are planning to grow our District Membership Committee this year and are looking for members who are passionate about membership recruitment, engagement, and retention.  Please contact Marie Baker, District Membership Chair, at or call 208-949-0382  by July 12th, 2017 if you are interested in exploring the possibility of serving on this committee.  


The District Foundation committee is also looking for members to serve in several areas. Please contact Marianne Barker, District Foundation chair by July 12th , 2017  at or call 208-308-5687 if this is an area where you would like to serve.

2017-2018 District Grants Update

The Rotary Foundation District 5400 District Block Grant applications have been received and are being assembled for submission to The Rotary Foundation for approval. We hope to have the submission complete shortly after the July 4th holiday. Applications were reviewed and considered.  Notice has been given in circumstance of ineligibility. The 23 applications totaling $44,669 that are being submitted for approval will be significant in serving the proposed beneficiaries. Clubs with projects are reminded that no project costs may be incurred until after the Block Grant submission has been approved by The Rotary Foundation. A big thank you to all the participating clubs!

Jedd Thomas, Rotary Foundation District 5400 District Grant Subcommittee Chair

Let’s get intentional about membership and engagement this Rotary year!  Here are three starting goals to get your club on the path to success:
  1. Who is passionate about membership in your club?Invite them to be membership chair and encourage them to form a strong committee that would include fellowship & engagement of members.Remember to put the membership chair in Club Runner so they can receive valuable membership information throughout the year.
  2. Set your membership goals in Rotary Central at to achieve a net gain this Rotary year.If your club has 50 members or less, a realistic goal is one more member than at the start of the year (remember, throughout the year retention is vital); if your club has over 50 members work toward a plus two member status.
  3. August is Membership Month.  Now is the time to plan an exciting meeting, service project, and/or fellowship during the month of August to invite prospective members to join your club!  One suggestion is to have a Club Assembly in July to create a list of prospective members and create several events to invite them to find out more about Rotary.  The vibrancy of your club depends on your commitment to growth and engagement.
Marie Baker, District 5400 Membership Chair

Nampa Rotary Honors Members

Bill Deal Sr. recently received Nampa Rotary’s second annual Community Impact Paul Harris. The Rotary Club of Nampa chose a nonmember who lives by Rotary’s Four Way Test.
The award was presented during the Nampa Rotary Club’s annual year-end dinner.
The honor recognizes Deal for his high personal and professional ethical standards. The Community Impact Paul Harris Fellow is named after Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris, and is considered a significant achievement among Rotarians. Mary Carol Niland and Cal Dillabaugh received the awards in 2015 and 2016.
Several other awards were presented to the year’s top Rotarians:
  • Rotarian of the Year is Phil Mortenson
  • Spirit of Rotary is Bryan Beban 
Two special awards also were presented at the event. Rhea Allen honored her husband, Drew Allen, with a Paul Harris Award in honor of his service to the club. John Deroin received a special Paul Harris Award from his wife and District Governor-Elect Jennifer Deroin.
To learn more about the Nampa Rotary Club, please visit  The Nampa Rotary Club meets noon Tuesdays at Stevens Henager College on Midland in Nampa.

Buy a brick, support a Rotarian effort and help fund a park celebrating the final section of the Boise Greenbelt for only $50!

- This is also a thoughtful gift idea that will be appreciated for years to come-
Upcoming Events
McCall Ball 2017
Jul 14, 2017 – Jul 16, 2017
Aug 03, 2017
Rotary News
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