GMS Registration Extended


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Register please by March 9 (Saturday)

The Grant Management Seminar is on March 16 and any club wanting to receive a District Grant or be a participant in a Multi-Club District Grant must have at least one person (more are welcome) attend the GMS.

So be sure that your club is in the game! Go to calendar and register for Pete’s sake.

You can take a look at and download the training documents that will be used at

Two of the documents are the Memorandum of Understanding or MOU and the Top Ten Tips for applying for a grant.

Our Purple Pinkie Dancing Queen courtesy of Bill Pollard.

Give your Presidents-Elect a hand (or two)


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Where are the P-Es this weekend?

The District 7600 Presidents-Elect are at Chesapeake Presidents-Elect Training (PETS) this weekend receiving training for their year of Presidency. Their terms begin July 1, but their work has already begun. They will return from PETS inspired, but also stunned by all of the possibilities. How can you help?

How can I help my P-E?

The first thing you can do is by helping take some of the load of her or his shoulders. One humongous opportunity for P-Es and their clubs is the whole grants thing. Every club wants to do a great local or international grant project. It is a reality that the district grant deadline (global grants operate differently) is on May 15, well before the P-E’s presidency begins. In addition to that two additional district grant eligibility requirements occur on May 1 when:

  • a club must have its Foundation Giving Goals entered into Rotary Club Central, and
  • a club must have closed out (approved final report) any 2018-19 district grants in which the club participated.

2019-20 Grants Documents:

You, yes you, whatever your role in the club, but especially if you are the incoming Club Foundation or the Club Service Projects Chair, can download important documents about this grant cycle. These documents will be shared with the P-Es this weekend, but they are also available on the District Foundation’s website.

While there, why not enter your email address to get up to the minute (almost) Rotary District Foundation news?

Peace Fellow Applications


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Peace Fellow application deadline May 31st:

The Peace Fellow application is a demanding but rewarding process, beginning with a club recommendation to the District of a vetted and club endorsed candidate. Then ensues an intense District level interview and further vetting process

Michael Little of the Rotary Club of Richmond is the District’s Peace Fellow Chair and can provide assistance in the process. His contact information can be found in of course.

Michael Little
Rotary Club of Richmond
District Peace Fellow Chair

For your initial information, you can download this fact sheet provided by The Rotary Foundation. The District will have its own internal guidelines and deadlines. Contact Mike for District 7600 specific information.

Enjoy this short video below.

Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center Conference on April 6

Registrations are being accepted now for the annual spring Peace Conference at the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center. The event normally sells out, so register soon at:

Gentle reminder about District 7600 #GMS:

You can register now for Grant Management Seminar (GMS) on March 16, 2019, on the calendar. Don’t let your club let this opportunity slip by to be eligible to apply for or participate in a Rotary grant.

The stuff of which dreams are made … #GMS


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Register on dacdb calendar

Incoming District Rotary Foundation Chair, Stephen Beer, promised that registration for the Grant Management Seminar to be held on March 16 would be open by February 15th. By golly, it is open! In fact, Rotarians from the Western Henrico, Chester, and Prince George Rotary clubs have already registered.

PDG Stephen Beer in Ghana

A bit of nitty-gritty

For a club to be eligible to apply for and receive a Rotary grant, it must have had at least one member attend a Grant Management Seminar (GMS) for that grant year. It is recommended that a club have more than one club member attend because:

  • that one person might win the lottery and decamp for the islands
  • that one person might have napped off during GMS and missed something really important
  • carpooling is a way to share ideas on the ride home

You might note there will be a GMS Webinar on April 20th. More details will follow about it. Attendance at either the March 16 Seminar or the April 20th Webinar will qualify the club to apply for a Rotary Grant. Registration for the Webinar will be open at a later date.

GMS details

Flyer by Dianne Shannon Gordonn, District Public Image Chair

Where is the world is … ?


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Where will you find D7600 Rotarians?

Last week as we ushered in Peace and Conflict Resolution Month we highlighted work in progress on Water and Sanitation global grant projects in Ghana. District Rotarians Shel Douglas (Prince George) and Past District Governor Stephen Beer (Innsbrook) are on the ground on that series of grants. Yes, you will get a little update.


We also have had a team in India working on preventing polio and vaccinating children. The 7600 Rotarians on that trip are Colleen Bonadonna (New Kent) our district’s Polio Plus Chair, Dianna M. Waters (Brandermill), and Muriel Hawkins (Petersburg Lunch). After two weeks of work, they are getting a little R & R.

Polio Plus Angels, Dianna, Muriel, Colleen

Costa Rica:

We have also learned of a global grant project in Costa Rica spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Richmond, with the Rotary Clubs of James River and Huguenot Trail joining in. This project has been to provide English language books to elementary schools in Costa Rica. Members from the Richmond Club have already been on one or more trips to Costa Rica including, Michael Little, Jeanne Walls, E.M. Miller, and John Delandro. Around the end of March, there will be another trip of local Rotarians to Costa Rica to bring additional books to assist elementary school children in learning and improving their English language skills. Mike Little, Jeanne Walls, Kelly Keene, and Karin Jimenez (James River Club) are scheduled to go on that trip along with Mike’s and Jeanne’s spouses.


The district Rotarians have actually just landed in Accra (about 1 pm our time Thursday) where they will meet with the District Governor on Friday morning. Then the team will have a few hours to shop, rest, read, whatever before they catch their flight back to Virginia. Two pictures sent by Shel captured this writer and are shared here. This is also an homage to our Rotarians in India just about to finish their work there.

Part of the grant project in the Andasi village in Ghana was to install a block of micro-flush toilets. This project builder is a young man trained last year by the grant’s master trainer. Everyone had said that this polio survivor would never be successful. He has proved them wrong!

This blog is just a teaser … More in the March Spirit of 7600

All three project trips will be featured in more detail in the March Spirit of 7600. It is an abundance of riches to have many of our District 7600 Rotarians engaged in three different international endeavors, Polio Plus, and two global grants, but how interconnected they are! Doing good in the world.

Peace … one well at a time


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Peace & Conflict Resolution

Rotary is serious about waging peace: “Through our service projects, peace fellowships, and scholarships, our members are taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education and unequal distribution of resources.”

February is Rotary’s Peace and Conflict Resolution Month. Clubs, through their district and global grants, are often getting at the underlying causes of conflict, one ‘starfish’ at a time.

Consider Our Ghana Global Grant

District 7600, the South Hill Rotary and the Prince George Rotary have joined many other districts and clubs in the US and other countries in a series of global grant projects in Ghana to supply borehole wells, micro-flush toilets, schools and school libraries to outlying communities. There are other components as well, such as solar collector power units, and disease prevention supplies.

On the road to the village of Abansere, Ghana.

Past District Governor, Stephen Beer, and Assistant Governor (Area 6), Shel Douglas, are on the ground now in Ghana, representing this district and our clubs in this complex series of grants.

Access to potable water, proper sanitation, education, access to electricity and other facilities, do so much to raise the quality of life, provide access to economic development, and resources for the future of the young.

Rotarians are waging peace, being the inspiration, and connecting the world.

Rotary Connects the World

2019-2020 Rotary Theme

Connecting at District Training

The District 7600 Rotary Foundation Committee (DRFC) joined other district leaders and committee chairs at our annual training on January 25th and 26th. District Governor Elect, Clenise Platt, and the District Trainer, Mary Landon, led the large group through introduction and communication exercises. All came away from the training enthused and eager to begin our Rotary work under the new theme for 2019-2020, “Rotary Connects the World”

DRFC Team Members in 2019
DTTS Planning Session

Incoming District Rotary Foundation Committee Chair

Welcome to Stephen Beer as he prepares to begin his three-year term (2019 -2022) as the DRFC Chair while on a water and sanitation grant in Ghana! Saturday he was in Williamsburg at the district training. Tuesday he was in Ghana with Shel Douglas and other team members. More about Stephen and his team coming soon.

90 Day Calendar

The next 90 days will be busy as Rotarians fulfill their goals for the current Rotary year and implement the training and building blocks for the 2019-20 year. How are you and your club doing?

  • February 16-18 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards -Wakefield
  • March 1-2 Chesapeake PETS -Presidents-Elect Training – Chantilly
  • March 16 – Grant Management Seminar-Colonial Heritage (Registration to open around February 15th)
  • March 16-Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) (1-3) – Fairfax
  • April 6 – UNC-UNC Peace Conference -Raleigh-Durham
  • April 6- RLI (1-3) – Norfolk
  • April 9 – District Golf Outing – Kingsmill
  • April 20 – Grant Management Webinar – ODU Peninsula Work Center
  • April 27 – District Training Assembly & Seminars – ODU

Grant Management Seminar Coming March 16


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Save the date for March GMS:

Yes, GMS is the acronym for Grant Management Seminar. The in-person GMS will be on March 16, 2019, at the Colonial Heritage Club in Williamsburg. More details will be shared about this training, and the registration will be open for it around the middle of February on

More about GMS

A club’s attendance at a GMS is required every year for that club to be eligible to participate in a district grant for that Rotary year. Even if the club is not the lead club, but a partnering club, at least one member of that club, must have attended a district Grant Management Seminar. That is the rule of The Rotary Foundation. The district may not waive it. And, by the way, GMS is fun!

Reconstruction – DRFCs


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What is a DRFC?

Out of curiosity, do you know what the acronym DRFC stands for? Not to belabor the point,  DRFC refers to the District Rotary Foundation Committee. It is also used as the acronym to identify the Chair of a district’s DRFC.  

Do you know who currently holds the DRFC title in District 7600? Do you know how long a DRFC serves? Has there ever been a woman DRFC in District 7600? What does the DRFC (committee) do? For that matter, what does the DRFC (Chair) do?

Assuming you know anything about the DRFC, who has been your favorite DRFC? Why? Who have been the most recent DRFCs?

An informal poll was taken of recent Past District Governors to assist in reconstructing the list of prior DRFCs and the years they served. The past DRFCs relied on their memories or referred to treasured souvenir district directories so accuracy may be suspect.

  • Bob Stallworth (2000-2001),
  • John Nelson (2001-2002),
  • Joe Mulkerrin (2002-2007),
  • Bob Preston (2007-2010),
  • Bill Pollard (2010-2013),
  • Jim Probsdorfer (2013-2016),
  • and currently, Chuck Arnason (2016-2019).

It appears that before 2007 the term for a DRFC was one year.  Past Rotary International Director Joe Mulkerrin served for five years, and after that, the DRFCs have served for three years.

Now who will be our DRFC when Past District Governor Chuck completes his term in June?

Peace Fellow Alumni Update


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peace debbie vance

Peace Fellow Graduates are Alumni!

The first peace fellow graduating class was in 2004. There are 1235 living alumni from the peace fellow programs through 2019 (excluding the 2018-19 class at Bradford University. Almost all of the graduates have provided employment information to Rotary International at least once. Here are some employment tidbits from those updates.

Bill Rintz, Alumni Relations Specialist for Rotary Peace Fellows, provided an update on peace fellow graduates via Mark Zober on the Rotary International Federation of Rotarian Editors and Publishers (Rotary IFREP) Facebook Group recently.

  • 38% work for NGOs or other peace-related organizations
  • 14% work for governments or the military 
  • 10% are teachers or professors
  • 7% work in research or other academic positions
  • 5% are in advanced degree programs
  • 5% work for UN agencies
  • 3% are lawyers
  • 3% are in law enforcement
  • 1% work for the World Bank
  • 7% do not fit into easily described categories
  • 5% are in an employment search mode.

Do any of these figures surprise you? Have any ideas about how these peace fellows are distributed around the world?

Vadim Ostrovsky (3rd from right), Peace Fellow Alumni, honored at the Warwick at City Center Newport News Club in 2918. Vadim works in the Richmond area.

The featured image of the Rotary Peace Doves is by Debbie Vance and the photo of the Rotarians and Vadim Ostrovsky is by Carol Woodward.

D7600 TRF – a great year!


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Acronyms & #s … What Fun!

To ensure that District Foundation Endowment Chair, Bill Billings, doesn’t report this blog to the Acronym Police … TRF stands for The Rotary Foundation. The editor will add this cryptic character, a “#”, which in “digispeak” is called a hashtag. So here’s to #TRF.

Another salute goes to the District Rotary Foundation Committee or #DRFC. In common argot, DRFC can also stand for the District Rotary Foundation Chair. Sorry, Bill. Acronyms can have more that one reference. In our case, our DRFC is Chuck Arnason.

So now, thank you, Rotarians of District 7600. Our DRFC year has been successful and fun, so far with more to come as we transition toward the 2019-2020 Rotary year.

We had our first $1,000,000 giving year, held our first celebration of National, Mustard Day thanks to David Rosenthal and Neva Lynde, and have seen the most creative Christmas Sweater every worn by a #DRFC.

So thanks to all District 7600 Rotarians. You are the tops. Oh, if you don’t know why a hashtag matters, ask your 12 year old children or grandchildren.

D7600 & Global Water Grants


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Clean water, toilets, & schools, oh my …

Rotary District 7600,  clubs in the district, as well as districts and clubs throughout the US and in Ghana, have committed funds and volunteers to a series of water and sanitation global grant projects in Ghana.

These grants, spearheaded by Walter Hughes of District 7570 and greatly aided by grant writer, Shel Douglas, Past President of the Prince George Club and Assistant Governor of Area 6, will also include basic school buildings complete with libraries filled with books.  There will be volunteer work trips, one of which is coming up in late January and three of the volunteers on that trip will be Walter, Shel, and Past District Governor Stephen Beer.

Walter visited the Rotary Club of Prince George County on December 12 and provided the club with information about the water & hygiene grants in particular, but also about the Rotary Water & Hygiene Area of Focus (or Cause, if you will).  On hand were PDG Stephen, PDG & current District Rotary Foundation Chair, Chuck Arnason, District Polio Plus Chair, Colleen Bonadonna, and non-Rotarian visitors and guests interested in health, education, clean water, and sanitation.

Walther Hughes addressing Prince George Rotary

The presentation is provided here as a video and runs about 20 minutes. Watch it if you can, but if not, know that the gist of Walter’s message is that access to sustainable potable water, hygienic sanitation, education, and maintenance training,  not only fights disease but also provides economic development opportunities for isolated areas. These opportunities build the ability of communities to continue improving their own facilities, resources, and futures.

Shel Douglas & Walter Hughes

Preventing Disease:


Every Month is Foundation Month

Most Rotarians think of November as The Rotary Foundation Month.  And it is. But as we prepare to leave November, it is well to remember that every month is an opportunity to share in the good works of The Rotary Foundation, both by giving  and by volunteering.

December is Prevention of Disease and Treatment month.  One key of disease prevention is having access to safe drinking water and sanitation. 

Evert Month is Rotary Foundation Month
Meme by Debbie Vance
As you will read in the December issue of the Spirit of 7600, which will hit your email accounts this weekend, there is an article about a global grant in Ghana in which our District and two of our clubs, Prince George and South Hill, are participating. Shel Douglas, Assistant Governor for Area 6, will actually deploy on one of the trips to Ghana.
This global grant project, being completed in phases, will drill boreholes for safe water, install micro-flush toilets, build schools, and educate local communities on how to maintain their wells and other equipment.

To whet your appetite, here is a 4-minute video to share in this adventure of disease prevention and to see what Shel will be seeing when she has feet on the ground in Ghana.

PDG Edwin M. Betts, Jr.


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It is with sadness that we say goodbye to PDG Ed, who passed away on Thanksgiving Day.

Edwin M. Betts, Jr.

PDG Ed was District Governor during Rotary Year 1991-1992 and over the years served in many capacities at both the District and Petersburg Club level. He was serving as Executive Secretary of his club when he passed.

He was a supporter of The Rotary Foundation and was a Major Donor. He also served as the Team Leader of a Group Study Exchange (GSE) Team in 2007 to Great Britain, which included our District Governor Elect Clenise Platt. He really enjoyed having a GSE team of “all girls”

This retired public education administrator was known for his intense commitment to his community and friends and stepped in often on a temporary basis to act as the Petersburg School System Superintendent when that seat was vacant.

PDG Ed will be truly missed, but his memory will live on in those who knew him.  There will be a memorial service for him Friday, November 30 at 11 a.m. at the Christ and Grace Church, 1545 S. Sycamore St. Petersburg, Virginia.

A special thank you goes out to Past Rotary International Director Joe Mulkerrin and to Past District Governors Robert “Bob” Preston and Bill Pollard for information providing information.