From the Governor's Desk
november is rotary foundation Month
A True Rotary Story
My dad was born in 1919 on a Kansas farm – he was the baby of 9. Being the baby of the family, his main chore was milking the cows before and after school. My grandmother would brag that he was the only son in the family to finish high school.  The depression came and then World War II, and Dad’s family left Kansas for California to find work.  A few years after Dad came home from the War, he and Mom bought a herd of cows (44) to be exact.  Shortly after that Rotary discovered Dad.
For the next 37 years Dad never missed a meeting, and my Mom became a very proud Rotary Ann.  What Dad loved about Rotary was the Four Way Test, the networking, the fellowship, and most of all, the good that Rotary did.  For years his goal in Rotary was to become a “Paul Harris Fellow.”    To him this was a legacy that allowed him to continue “doing good” for all time. 
This is Foundation month, and I urge you to leave a legacy, too, by becoming a Paul Harris Fellow.  It’s easy, just go to My Rotary and find Rotary Direct and sign up.  Make your Rotary experience live forever.
Before my Dad passed, I gave my Mom a Paul Harris Fellow because together they were “ROTARIANS.”
Ride for the Brand – Rotary: Making a difference.
Terry Jones, '17-'18 D5400 Governor

Terry Tracker

Nov 1: Western Treasure Valley
              Nov 14: Blue Lakes
Nov 7: Ketchum
              Nov 14: Boise East

McCall Rotary plays ball

The first annual McCall Ball tournament is in the books and it was considered, by all measures, a huge success!    The McCall Rotary Club, in partnership with McCall Parks and Recreation, organized and presented McCall Ball, a 3-person, co-ed ‘softball’ game.  All proceeds went to the McCall Rotary Foundation, earmarked for scholarships, grants, and funding for local charities and non-profit programs.
Adapted from a 3-person softball game in San Diego, McCall Ball uses a mush ball and plastic bat to eliminate injuries and maximize fun!  There are no bases in McCall Ball and therefore, no running bases!  Yay!  The object is to hit the ball into a rectangular field without the opposition catching it.  If they don’t, the batter scores a run.  A four inning game typically takes about 20 minutes to play. 
On July 16th, the Harris Vikings took top honors. They played consistently well throughout the tournament and prevailed with superior fielding and some fancy batting. Ella, Jasper and Zander are the grandchildren of Rotarian Tom Harris Jr. and his wife Sandy. Runners up, with only one run short, were the Rowdy Rubies sponsored by Rotarian George Seeds of McCall Jewelry.
Many wonderful prizes donated by local businesses were a big hit. The McCall Rotary Club wishes to thank this year's generous sponsors. Year One is in the books!  Next year we hope to see other teams from District 5400 challenge our locals.  Who knows, maybe we will have a perpetual Rotary Team Trophy to any Rotary team who thinks they are good enough to challenge us!  Come on up, help us raise funds, and Ride for the Brand!
Craig Vroom, McCall Rotary Club

nampa gifts free literacy

A partnership between the Rotary Club of Nampa, Nampa Housing Authority and the Kiwanis Club of Nampa will provide Little Free Libraries and increase access to books for underserved children and adults throughout Nampa.
Many Nampa residents have transportation or economic barriers, which make it difficult for them to purchase books or easily access the collection of the Nampa Public Library.
Working with the Urban Libraries Council and National Book Foundation's Book Rich Environment initiative, the Nampa Housing Authority staff and Nampa Rotary Club members built and painted 12 Little Free Libraries to be located at Nampa Housing Authority’s nine sites. A matching grant from District 5400 provided funds to purchase many of the Little Free Library kits.
The goal is to improve literacy and provide easy access to books to children and teens living in or near Nampa Housing Authority sites. 
The Urban Library Council and Kiwanis Club of Nampa are providing donations to purchase books to fill the libraries.
For more information about Little Libraries, see
Contact: Marie Bogetti Baker or 208-949-0382

October Training Tips

ClubRunner 101
How can you manage a club website without being tech-savvy? How can you post and access information that would be interesting to all club members?
These and other valuable topics will be addressed in the next ClubRunner Webinar, Wednesday, November 29th at 1 p.m. (MST). To connect, go to and follow the links.
Introducing New Members to Rotary
Have you ever wished you had a resource new or potential members could use to get a better vision of the international scope of Rotary? Do you wish you had materials that could be easily adapted to a new-member orientation event? You do!
It’s a quick-start approach with links to Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Exchange, RYLA and much more.
Give it a look! You’ll be amazed!
Bob Lee, D5400 Trainer

ian risely introduces pledge to plant

Our 2017-2018 Rotary International President Ian Riseley challenged all Rotarians to make a difference by planting a tree before Earth Day.

“It is my hope that the result of that effort will be far greater than the environmental benefit that those 1.2 million new trees will bring,” Riseley said. “I believe the greater result will be a Rotary that recognizes our responsibility not only to the people on our planet, but to the planet itself.”  See his speech on YouTube. 


Early to Rise, Eager to Serve

The Blue Lakes Rotary Club in Twin Falls have already started their effort by planting 4 trees and 2 shrubs at Dennis Bowyer Park with district matching grant funds. They challenge all Rotary clubs to take action! 

Bobbi Pyle, Blue Lakes Rotary Club

TRF District Grants Awarded

Rotary Foundation district grants for twenty-five clubs and the district are in the final stages of being disbursed to the clubs. Amounts vary by club from $500 to $5,000, totaling $45,562.
The projects consist of many local purposes within our district boundaries, including support of education and literacy, assisting the handicapped, community and park improvements, food for low income families and programs for children in low income areas to gain experience and build confidence.  
A big thank you to the participating clubs for making a difference in their communities!  Applications for next year's Rotary Foundation district block grant opportunity are due June 1, 2018.  Please start looking for additional great projects.  This is your money, returned to us from your contributions to The Rotary Foundation through Annual Fund-SHARE.  Clubs participating this Rotary year are working on their projects and will be providing progress or final reports by May 15, 2018. 
Jedd Thomas, Rotary Foundation D5400 District Grants Subcommittee Chair 

Boise honors dr. Neufeld

On September 29th, Boise Downtown lost a Rotarian who dedicated his life to helping people - Jacob "Dr. Jay" Neufeld. 

Thirty years ago Dr. Jay and his then Rotary Club in Philly started the
Strike Out Hunger campaign with the Phillies MLB Team. The effort continues to grow and has raised over $13 million dollars since its inception. On the left, Dr. Jay poses with Ian Risely in Philadelphia just a few weeks before his passing.

Members held a lighthearted 'mismatched socks' contest in honor of Dr. Jay and exchanged hugs around the room. Dr. Jay was an active Rotarian and will be missed by many throughout D5400 and beyond.

Ron Gambassie, Rotary Club of Boise Downtown


honoring first responders

On September 14th, Boise Downtown honored first responders in the Boise area. The Chief of Police, Boise Fire Chief, Police Captain, Boise Fire EMT and Ada County Sheriff Deputy were all in attendance.  It was a casual meeting with no designated speaker designed to encourage conversation and allow members to get more familiar with those who also serve the community in a different capacity.
Members were encouraged to ask questions of the guests and by many accounts, this was the best program of the year.  As a bonus, Fire Chief Dennis Doan changed his Rotary Status from an honorary member to an active member!

Nancy Chinn, Rotary Club of Boise

Rotoract coming to Boise

Over the next few months, Rotary clubs in the Boise area will be launching a Rotaract club. and we need your referrals.


What is Rotaract? 

Rotaract is a program of Rotary aimed providing opportunities for people aged 18-30 to serve, socialize, and develop leadership skills. Rotaract clubs operate independently and they also work side-by-side with Rotary clubs on service projects. With the high concentration of Rotarians in Boise, this is a good place for some collaboration between Rotary and a new Rotaract club. To learn more about Rotaract, click here.


Do you know a candidate?

Do you know a potential Rotaract member who lives near Boise?  Boise State students would be ideal candidates for this; however, anyone age 18-30 in the Boise area can join.  Think about the students and young professionals in your life who are in the Boise area: kids, grandkids, neices, nephews, neighbors' kids, etc.

Send your referrals and your questions to John McGuire (, Jane Gordon (, and/or Mike Markley ( In early 2018, information sessions will be offered for potential members with a goal of launching the club in the late winter/spring.

Mike Markley, Boise Southwest

RI October Theme continues

This month, Canyon County Sunrise performed their annual dictionary distribution, championed again by member Ed Burnett. Not only did they distribute 534 total dictionaries to 7 different schools in 3 different cities, they also serviced the excited kids at Nampa Juvenile Correction Center. 
JR Richardson, Canyon County Sunrise Rotary
What a great idea to think outside the box of elementary schools and reach out to an often-overlooked demographic!

The Life-Changing Effects of RYE

Participating in the Rotary Youth Exchange program is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a Rotarian. It gives us an opportunity to get to know students from across the globe, inviting them into our homes and clubs, learning about their cultures and traditions.

The Rotary program is a true one-on-one exchange: for every student we welcome here, we send a student on exchange. With their service, our host families and clubs, counselors, committee members, and other volunteers make life-changing opportunities available to local students every year.

By staying involved with the program, our returning students (we call them rebounds) enhance the exchange program. Their involvement is critical. They know first-hand what it means to be an exchange student, and provide insight into our interview, training, and orientation processes.

“That’s the gist of Rotary isn’t it? Understanding? World peace? You’re raising a whole new generation. There’s that guy who said it: ‘if every 17 year-old went on exchange, there would be no more war.’ Well, he’s right.” - Emma, RYE student


Click here to read more student reactions and observations

Eagle/garden city asks, "Why Rotary?"

On September 28, the Eagle/Garden City club hosted a “Why Rotary?” meeting to promote membership. Members were tasked with inviting potential members and welcomed Marie Baker to lead the discussion. A few members spoke about why they are Rotarians and why they chose to be in the Eagle/Garden City Club. Guests received a free lunch, a club brochure and a membership application, if interested.
Marie Baker introduced this program to promote membership and establish periodic meetings that focus on bringing guests to offer transparency on what Rotary is and how it relates to them.
Though small, it was a great success - the presentation and testimonials attracted two potential members!
If you're interested in this program, contact Marie Baker.
Cathy Sears, President, Eagle/Garden City Rotary

Twin Falls Makes a splash

Rotary Club of Twin Falls presented a donation of $120,000 to the Urban Renewal Agency and the city on September 11. The money will go toward the completion of a downtown commons plaza off of Hansen Street, across from the new City Hall. The public area will include a splash pad.

The donation money has been pooled by the Rotary Club of Twin Falls over the past five years, President Travis Quast said. The club has also sold 300 bricks that will be laid in the plaza area.

Rotary Club of Twin Falls had initially begun fundraising to replace the old downtown fountain, but the plan eventually became part of the larger Main Avenue renovation project.

“It’s a proud day for Rotarians to be able to raise $120,000 toward a community project,” Quast said., September 13, 2017

help needed for 2018 Zone Institute in boise


D5400 will be hosting the 2018 Zone Institute for Zone 21b and 27 in Boise on September 4-9, 2018 and will be well-attended - it's estimated to bring in over 800 Rotarians and guests from the Intermountain West (Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, parts of Nebraska and Oklahoma, South Dakota, most of Texas and a tiny slice of Louisiana)!  Our Rotary International Director Larry Dimmitt will be presiding.

As the host district, we have the opportunity to put the best possible shine on our Rotarians in Idaho.  I am chairing the District Host Committee, which has the following subcommittees:

  • Airport & Hotel Greeters
  • Airport & Hotel Transportation
  • Local Activities (optional activities .. usually recreational or educational)
  • All Club Luncheon (Our clubs join the Institute participants for a lunch…usually a presentation by the state Governor or Mayor of hosting city)
  • All Class Reunion Dinner
  • Institute Entertainment (Have some inside information on great Idaho-based entertainment)?
  • Local Rotarian Participation Promotion (organizing a project for participation by Zone attendees)
  • Presentation of the Flags of Rotary (will involve our exchange students)
  • Sponsorships
  • Technology

I am looking for volunteers to chair and serve on each of these committees.  Please contact me with your interest….participating at Zone Institute is a wonderful way to see near-International Convention levels of Rotary speakers and presentations, plus the opportunity to meet your fellow Rotarians from around the country. 

Help me make this one of our paired Zones' best institute ever!

Ken Howell, Past District Governor, 2015-2016

Semilla Nueva hosts their annual gala

Semilla Nueva (SN) is an NGO in Guatemala focused on developing crops, specifically corn and rice, with higher content of critical nutrients like protein and zinc. This organization is familiar to D5400 members because its founder, Curt Bowen, is also a Rotarian.

In 2017, SN decided primarily focus on the development of higher protein, higher yield, and a drought-resistant hybrid corn variant they named Fortaleza 3. The first harvest occurred a few weeks ago and is ready to go to market at competitive prices, which means that SN is taking its first steps down the path of financial self-sufficiency; a significant and positive milestone.

Next year, SN plans to expand production of F3 seed and further improve it in terms of color, yield, and kernel size. They are establishing distribution partners so that F3 will be available to farmers in all regions of Guatemala, and are using the kilograms of seed sold and numbers of diets impacted to measure success. With the endemic malnutrition issues in Guatemala, they have great yet realistic hopes that these efforts will positively affect the diets of hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans in the coming years.

Support SN by attending its annual Gala!

The primary USA-based fundraiser will be in Boise on Wednesday evening November 15 on the top floor of the Zions Bank Building. Curt Bowen will be speaking on the plans SN has in 2018 and beyond. And they’ll have tasty American and Guatemalan treats for our guests to enjoy! Tickets can be purchased at the following website:

SN thanks everyone in D5400 who have supported them in the past. The organization is getting attention all over the world and its future is filled with some incredible opportunities! We invite you to join us on Nov. 15 and see how we are planning to change the world!

John Lodal, Boise Sunrise/Semilla Nueva Board Chairman

rotarian leaders in the community

Boise Metro's Allison Dunn is organizing and presenting in the Boise Business Excellence Forum on Nov 14th, and would love to extend a Rotary discount to members interested in attending. In short, it's a one-day forum featuring four amazing speakers from around the world talking about how to

  • Add real purpose and meaning to your business.

  • Turn every employee into a profit center and cultivate a high performing (fun) workplace!

  • Work on your business rather than in it.

  • Separate your "to-do list" from your "bucket list" and live a full life. 

Email Allison Dunn for more information, or visit the web link above.


emmett crows appreciation

District Governor Terry Jones poses with Rotary Club of Emmett's Rotary Rooster! 

The Rotary Rooster is being placed in front of businesses that supported the club's Youth Auction last May to bring attention to the businesses.  It has been well received and people are starting to look for it around town. 

This is just another way we "thank" the businesses for their support!

Kathy Buck, '17-'18 President, Rotary Club of Emmett

Ride To End Polio Now!

Fellow Rotarians!  You're off the hook! No need travel all the way to Tucson to participate in this year's Ride To End Polio!! We're now offering an opportunity for YOU to grab your bike or borrow a stationary one at the gym to ride however many MILES or MINUTES you choose, WHEREVER YOU WISH! The MORE THE MERRIER, the MORE MONEY TO END POLIO!!

YOU now have the power to solicit donations from your family and friends to END POLIO NOW!

All donations will be matched 2 to 1 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation!

Grab your water bottle, towel, jump on  your bike and get moving! We're asking your personal ride occur the week of Nov. 11-18 or sometime around then! There are SO many ways people can donate to YOUR RIDE!:

  • Check:  write a check to YOUR Rotary club for RIDE TO END POLIO!
  • Online:  Fellow Rotarians can donate ONLINE in their OWN NAME  to receive PAUL HARRIS points on your behalf!
  • Cash:  Collect cash donations and have your club write a check to RI for the total collected

Mary Reiman, Boise Metro Rotary Club

NVA Honors Kirstin Nickisch

The National Veterinarians Association (NVA)  honored Pocatello Rotary Club President Nickisch Nickisch in September with an award for service to her patients, clients and community at their National Convention.

Professionally, Kirsten is a well-respected and active veterinarian in the Pocatello area where she also works to grow and lead the Pocatello Rotary Club, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.  

Congratulations Kirstin!

Rich Kirkham, Pocatello Rotary Club

Rotary Partners with Pocatello Grays

The Centennial Rotary Club of Pocatello finished up its summer fundraiser by partnering up with the Pocatello Grays semi-pro baseball club to host a tent selling beer.  This is the club’s major annual fundraiser which helps provide funding for matching grants and other community projects.


Shelley Allen, Centennial Rotary Club of Pocatello

No Wild Polio Cases Reported This Week

The Countdown to History starts after the final Wild Polio case. 
Today we count one week after the report of the most recent Wild Polio case.
SYRIA & DRC  - No new cases of circulating vaccine-derived Poliovirus type 2 were reported in the past week in Syria, leaving the total number of cases for Syria at 52.  No new cases reported in DRC, leaving their total unchanged at 9.

Q: What is vaccine-derived polio?

A: Oral polio vaccine (OPV) contains a weakened vaccine-virus, activating an immune response in the body. When a child is immunized with OPV, the weakened vaccine-virus replicates in the intestine for a limited period, thereby developing immunity by building up antibodies. In areas of inadequate sanitation, this excreted vaccine-virus can spread in the immediate community before eventually dying out. This can offer protection to other children through ‘passive’ immunization. 

On rare occasions, if a population is seriously under-immunized, an excreted vaccine-virus can continue to circulate for an extended period of time. The longer it is allowed to survive, the more genetic changes it undergoes. In very rare instances, the vaccine-virus can genetically change into a form that can paralyse – this is what is known as a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV).

Since 2000, more than 10 billion doses of OPV have been administered to nearly 3 billion children worldwide. As a result, more than 13 million cases of polio have been prevented, and the disease has been reduced by more than 99%. During that time, 24 cVDPV outbreaks occurred in 21 countries, resulting in fewer than 760 VDPV cases.

The small risk of cVDPVs pales in significance to the tremendous public health benefits associated with OPV. Every year, hundreds of thousands of cases due to wild polio virus are prevented. Well over 10 million cases have been averted since large-scale administration of OPV began 20 years ago.

Quote of the day -   "To be successful, one must dig the well before you get thirsty."  Michael McQueen, Futurist,             

The Final Three Endemic Countries:

Pakistan: No new Polio cases reported this week. Five cases reported in 2017 -the most recent from the Lakki Marwat district, Khyber Pakhtoon province with an onset of paralysis on August 21. Twenty Polio cases were reported in 2016.  One new Environmental Sample reported this week, from Sindh provionce, bringing the total WPV1 positive samples in 2017 to 91. 
Afghanistan: No new Polio cases reported this week.  Seven cases reported in 2017 - the most recent from the Batikot district in Nangarhar Province with the onset of paralysis on 09/15/17.  The case occurred in a 15 month old child who had received one dose of IPV previously.  Thirteen Polio cases were reported in 2016.  Two new Polio-positive environmental samples were collected this week in Afghanistan, one from Nangarhar and one from Kandahar provinces.
Nigeria: No new Polio cases reported this week.   Four Polio cases reported in 2016 - with no cases reported in 2015 or 2017.  The most recent case was reported on 8/2016 in Borno State.  Nigeria has once again gone over one year without a Wild Polio case after previously going two years before an undetected outbreak of four cases was reported on 8/20/16.

Terry Ziegler, Rotary District 5890 Polio Eradication Chair & Zone 21B/27 PHS Coordinator
Upcoming Events
Twin Falls Centennial
Canyon Crest Events Center
Apr 04, 2018
5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Rotary District Conference 2018
Sun Valley Resort
May 18, 2018 12:00 PM –
May 19, 2018 9:00 PM
Rotary News
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Email Michela Swarthout
I'd love your feedback!
Please add to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.