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COVID-19 has definitely brought the word perspective to the forefront for us all. Across Rotary's global network of Clubs and its members, COVID-19 has placed us all in unprecedented territory. Far from life as normal, far from business as normal. Members and leaders at all levels of our organization are faced with decisions they never believed they would encounter, and they are asking for guidance on how to deal with this global pandemic relative to Rotary.
 
We are all being asked to be socially responsible. That shouldn't be a heavy lift for us. We have been socially responsible as an organization for more than 115 years.
 
Let's spend some time thinking of the opportunities, not just the challenges. Can these canceled events, fundraisers and meetings become future service projects when the time is right? How can technology (Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, and other platforms) help us to stay connected during this time, and how can that knowledge help us to grow Rotary going forward? How can we find ways to support the most vulnerable populations affected by this pandemic?
 
Here are some suggestions on how to keep your club members connected - and to be Rotary active:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our District Training Assembly has been moved to an online platform – Zoom - starting this April 1.
 
The District Assembly is training for the Rotary year 2020-2021 for all Rotarians who want to learn new ideas and best practices - especially, incoming Club leaders who are looking to strengthen their skill set. 
 
There will be various sessions available to cover relevant topics that will impact both you and your club. All training sessions are two hours, and start at 7:00 pm.
 
The seven sessions are as follows:
 
Dear Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends,
 

Let me get right to the unfortunate news — the Rotary International Board of Directors has decided to cancel the 2020 Rotary International Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. We are all part of the Rotary family, and your safety remains our highest priority. Like the more than 20,000 registrants who planned to attend this year’s convention, I am very disappointed. However, this is the right and necessary decision to protect the health and safety of convention attendees, as well as those who call Honolulu home.

At this point, we are unsure that Rotary could adequately protect convention-goers from the risk of COVID-19 infection en route to, during, and after the convention. We are also unsure if restrictions on travel to the United States will be lifted by June. We have heard from a number of you who voiced concerns about gathering at the convention this year. I also heard from many who were hopeful that we could continue with the convention as planned. The Board was very diligent and considered all the facts before taking this decision.

At this time, we kindly ask that you do not contact RI Registration to inquire about your registration, ticket or housing cancellations as we work diligently to inform all attendees. Here is an overview of our plans for handling refunds and travel logistics.
 

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

The COVID-19 coronavirus is affecting every aspect of our lives in real time, and this puts Rotarians in an unfamiliar place. As People of Action, we are most comfortable when we are fully engaged in the world – moving freely, meeting openly, and offering helping hands. These are very difficult times for people who, like us, are at our best when we are learning, growing, and serving—together.

We are also leaders in our communities, and these times call for leadership. In many ways, this also is our time. We have proven abilities to reach out and collaborate to offer immediate help to people in need at a rapid pace. These are precisely the skills needed all over the world today. The global effort against COVID-19 depends on actions taken in every country. Rotary has the unique ability to help improve those efforts in every community and every country.

Using all the technology we have at our disposal, we as Rotarians can continue to reach out and collaborate on big projects with Rotary clubs, Rotaractors, and Interactors. There are a number of examples where Rotary clubs are helping health authorities communicate best practices or provide needed equipment or support that have been shared with our leaders around the world.

As Rotary’s president and president-elect, we have been thinking of these issues very seriously in regard to upcoming Rotary events. As you may be aware, we have made the difficult decision to cancel two Rotary Presidential Conferences honoring our relationship with the United Nations- one in Paris, another in Rome. In the near term, we recommend that Rotary districts and clubs cancel or postpone meetings or events following the advice of national and local health officials.
 
The District leadership continues to monitor the evolving circumstances regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID 19).  Our primary concern is the health and well-being of all Rotarians, their families and the community. Concerns about the coronavirus continue to prevail, and there is no immediate solution.
 
Therefore, effective immediately, all in-person District meetings will be cancelled for the next 30 days.  Meetings are still able to occur via Zoom, teleconferencing, etc.
 
As far as Club meetings, I strongly suggest that clubs cancel in-person meetings for the next few weeks. However, I will leave the final decision up to each Club and its Board of Directors.
 
Best Practices that everyone should focus on doing:
In response to the pandemic of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley has suspended face-to-face gatherings until at least this April 5. The Board will re-evaluate the situation then, and on an ongoing basis.
 
In the meantime, the charitable, non-profit service club, which covers Bolton, Lancaster and Stow, will virtually conduct board and club meetings through phone- and video-conferencing. Because Rotary's principal motto is service above self, the Nashoba Valley club is exploring virtual and limited-physical services to offer to its three communities.
 
NOTE: Due to the novel-coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak, the Guatemala WASH Mission has been postponed indefinitely.
 
When people in developing nations gain access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), many good things start to happen. Waterborne diseases decrease. Children stay healthier and attend school more regularly. And, parents spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families.
 
With this hopeful vision in mind, 21 Rotarians and non-Rotarians from District 7910 will soon be heading to the Lake Atitlán, Panajachel area of Guatemala. On March 21, they will journey to the Central American nation for a seven-day WASH mission. 
 
Shown, on the left, posing with a resident of the Lake Atitlán area during last year’s mission, is Steve Sager, of the Rotary Club of Westborough, a past district governor and current chair of the Foundation Committee for District 7910.
 
All applications for district recognition awards are due April 15, and the awards will be presented the evening of May 2 at the District Conference in Salem.
 
Please complete the application form, and send it to both Laura Spear at laura@spear.net and Peggy Sheldon at peggy@albrodeur.com.
 
As a reminder, the application is based on this year’s Rotary Citation, and is a streamlined Word document. We are not using the Club Planning spreadsheet that was used in the past few years.
 
District Governor Pam Anastasi (shown with her arms raised) has just experienced a chilling way to help end polio. On February 29, she and scores of other Rotarians, including Past District Governor Steve Sager, plunged into the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Long Beach in Gloucester, while taking part in District 7930's 10th Annual Polar Plunge to Eradicate Polio.
 
While DG Pam's goal was to raise at least $5,000, she raised more than $10,000. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match it 2 to 1, so our $10,000+ will become more than $30,000.
 
To watch a video of DG Pam, PDG Steve and other Rotarians taking this year's Polar Plunge, click here.
 
 
Nashoba Valley's first annual Cabin Fever Winter Festival has raised a net of $7,000. All net proceeds will be used by  the event's host, the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, to benefit needy individuals and families in Bolton, Lancaster and Stow. This fun-for-all-ages outdoor event, which took place on February 1, 2020 on Bolton Town Common in Bolton, attracted more than 300 hearty souls.
 
Rotary International President-elect from Germany Holger Knaack (shown) has announced Rotary Opens Opportunities as the 2020-2021 Presidential Theme. He made the announcement at the opening ceremony of the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego, CA. The International Assembly was attended by 535 district governors-elect from around the world. To learn more, click here.
 
The incoming DGs were gathered for Rotary's annual training meeting. The week-long event gave them a chance to share with other Rotary leaders ideas for strengthening clubs and improving communities.
 
The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, with support from Bolton Local and the Repair Cafe Foundation, hosted a Bolton Repair Cafe on Saturday, January 11 at the Florence Sawyer School in Bolton. We had 74 residents of Bolton and surrounding towns come and find out what a Repair Café is all about, and 32 volunteers to serve them. A bell, which gets run when an item is fixed, was rung many times. Click here to view event photos
On December 11, the Rotary Club of District 7910 Passport (Provisional) officially launched by electing officers and approving  a draft of Club Bylaws. The initial set of officers is: Karin Gaffney (second from left), president and interim membership chair; Ron Bott (center), interim secretary and interim treasurer; Tatjana Kobb (on screen), foundation chair; and, Tamar Russell Brown (second from right), public-image co-chair, and Steve Jones-D'Agostino (holding screen), interim public-image co-chair. (The position of president-elect has yet to be filled.) Also shown is club member Sam Squailia (far right).
 
The next meeting of the Passport Club will be on December 30 at 6:00 p.m. (ET) via Skype. Tatjana Kobb, who is organizing the Skype call, may be reached at t.kobb@northeastern.edu.
Please join me in congratulating Cliff Rober (shown, left) as the 2021-2022 District Governor and Victor Tom (shown, below) as the 2022-2023 District Governor for Rotary District 7910. Cliff is a past president of the Rotary Club of Bedford, and is currently serving as the District Sergeant at Arms. Victor is also a past president of the Rotary Club of Bedford, and is currently serving as chair of the District Rotary Foundation Grants Subcommittee and an assistant governor. 
 
Both were selected on December 9, 2019 by the District Nominating Committee. Once confirmed, they will assume the role of District Governor Nominee (DGN) and District Governor Nominee Designate (DGND), respectively.
 
 
Upcoming District Events
 
Contact Sue Peghiny or Steve Jones-D'Agostino to have your District Event featured!