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.

Chuck’s Last Banquet as Foundation Chair – don’t miss it!


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Going out with a bang:

cropped-relaxed-rotarians-in-evanston.jpgChuck’s tenure as the District Rotary Foundation Chair (“DRFC”) ends on June 30, 2019, but our banquet on November 8th will be his last Foundation Awards Banquet as the DRFC.

It is poetic that his last banquet will celebrate the district’s first $1,000,000 year in 2017T1718_EN-2018. Past District Governor ({DG) John D. Padgett and DRFC Chuck Arnason want to celebrate the clubs and devoted Rotarians responsible for this stellar year of generosity. As PDG John’s theme stated “Rotary: Making a Difference.”


Hair today, gone tomorrow:

You may remember that previously to Chuck challenged Rotarians to give, give, give and in exchange he would shave his head. Well, they did and he did.


This year he has made no such challenge, but maybe we could give him a special thanks for his innovation of the recognition points match on “Giving Tuesdays, the special promotion of Benefactor promises, and his strong support of the Paul Harris Society, which he once chaired before becoming District Governor  … oh so long ago.


Every Donation Matters:


He and PDG John are proud also, that this year District 7600 has two generous donors inducted into the e Arch Klumph Society.

But, Chuck & John salute all Rotarians who dipped into their accounts or their estates to support the work of The Rotary Foundation.

So, you have tonight (November 3) and tomorrow (November 4) to register for the banquet.  Because of headcount reporting requirements, there can be NO walkins for the banquet.

Join PDG John and DRFC Chuck Thursday for the Banquet, but register Now on

Need help.  Contact Carol Woodward at Her cell phone number is in  Just search in “Find a Member”.

Banquet Registration Extended!


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Registration extended till November 4th!

If you haven’t registered yet for the District 7600 Foundation Awards Banquet, you still have a few days to sign up on  We want a great turn out to help celebrate the generosity of the D7600 Clubs and member donors.  After all, 2017-18 is our very first M I L L I O N Dollar giving year.


How you can help, dear reader:

First off, register yourself and/ or your spouse/significant other, so you have someone to chat with on the road.

Secondly, if you are reading this on Facebook, “like” it and write a comment about your own Rotary Foundation story. Do this even if you have already registered. Next share it to your own timeline or any Facebook page on which you may post.

Finally, there are fourteen clubs which are on the Awards list which have not had anyone from the club register. If you can put a bug in the right persons’ ears to get those clubs represented, it would be super much appreciated.

Those 14 clubs are:

Bon Air, Brandermill, Emporia, Farmville, Great Bridge, Mechanicsville, Newport News, Norfolk Sunrise, Petersburg, Powhatan, Richmond, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Virginia Peninsula.

Carol's Mad Men Avi

Carol’s “Madmen” AVI

If you have any questions about the Banquet, please reach out to Carol Dois Woodward at Facebook Messenger, by DM at twitter @caroldwoodward, or by email at  Really just contact her. You can also find her cell phone number on  She would like to help while there is still time to get you registered. Walk-ins will not be allowed so please reach out before November 4.

Foundation Awards Banquet – Zoe


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Another reason to come to the Foundation Banquet:

Zoe Romano, our most recent District Global Scholar, has just returned from her two years of graduate study and volunteer teaching in South America and she will be our Keynoter at the Banquet.


Zoe was nominated to District 7600 as a Global Scholar candidate by the Rotary Club of South Richmond (SRRC to those in the know). She and SRRC had developed a relationship when she ran the Tour de France route to raise money for medical supplies for children as part of an SRRC project.


Because of that relationship the South Richmond club committed to the sometimes frustrating and long-lived application process for Zoe. The District approved her candidacy and allocated funds to her scholarship. Fortunately, The Rotary Foundation supported her application in April 2016, and the entire South Richmond club went on vacation.

We don’t want to share too much more here because we want there to still be some things for you to learn about her on November 8th.  We will tell you that since returning from her studies, she and William Byers have married, honeymooned, and are now free to join us as we honor our clubs and members for their generosity in this first mi$$ion dollar year of giving in District 7600.

Please come and meet Zoe and William on November 8th in Williamsburg. You will also have the chance to talk with some of the SRRC folks if your club has an interest in supporting the candidacy of a global scholar. Register on


Foundation Awards Banquet – yummo


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What does it take to get you to register by October 28th?

Would it be the Colonial Heritage Americana Buffet?

  • warm rolls & sweet butter
  • Mixed Greens Salad with Tomato, Cucumber, Carrots, Onions, Cheese & Croutons
  • Ranch Dressing or Chef’s Vinaigrette
  • Pan Seared Chicken Breast with forest mushrooms
  • Country ham in a chablis buerre blanc
  • Dill crusted salmon with chardonnay cream sauce
  • Roasted vegetable medley (squash, zucchini, & peppers)
  • Wild rice pilaf (without chicken broth so vegetarians can enjoy it)
  • Flourless chocolate cake topped with Vanilla Sauce & Chocolate Ganache
  • Coffee, tea, & water station

Zone Dinner

How many of these usual suspects do you recognize?

A vegan plate with quinoa & vegetable stuffed green pepper is available and can be selected when you register on

A cash bar reception with light appetizers precedes dinner and attendees may purchase wine by the bottle for their tables.


Would it be the music?

Back by popular demand, we have Jeff Paul at the keyboard and this year he will be accompanied by his vocalist  Kathleen Plutz. Showtunes, classics, and some oldie faves are in the repertoire.

Would it be the awards?

Ken Hodge CMS

Ken Hodge-Past Pierce Award Recipient

Forty-Four clubs will receive Foundation recognitions. Ten Rotarians from the district will receive District Service Awards.  The Outstanding Alumni Award and the Pierce Foundation Leadership Award will be bestowed upon two very deserving Rotarians from District 7600. How many of your friends will be among the recipients?

The time is now to register. While you are at it, please register your spouse or significant other, or potential Rotarians, as guests. Wouldn’t suggest registering both your spouse and your significant other.  Just a little joke.