The 2017 District Conference was held August 11th at the Omaha Community Playhouse and August 12th at the Creighton University Harper Center.  Total Conference attendance was 331, including 269 Rotarians and 72 public.  

The Conference had two special objectives: To accomplish community service/outreach and to put substantial benefits back into our clubs and Rotarians.
Along with a program rich with powerful speakers we:
  • Kicked off the Whale Project, which will initially benefit the lives of 5,000 children.   More information on the Whale Project can be found here.
  • Kicked off an initiative to get 5,000 people Citizen CPR trained.  More information on the CPR initiative can be found here.
  • Donated $8,000 of video production and $6,000 of matching project funds to our clubs.  More information on the District Video Project can be found here.
  • Donated $3,000 of matching project funds to clubs with the highest Saturday Conference attendance.
Of the $42,000 of direct and in-kind sponsorship generated for the Conference, almost $30,,000 came back to clubs and Rotarians during the Conference.
For additional information, the Conference program can be accessed here.
The 2017 District Conference was held August 11th at the Omaha Community Playhouse and August 12th at the Creighton University Harper Center.  Total Conference attendance was 331, including 269 Rotarians and 72 public.  The theme of the Conference was "The Power of One," which reflects the idea at the core of Rotary:  That all change, all great projects, start in the heart and mind of one person....and Rotary surrounds that person with people willing to hold their hand and say "what can I do to help make your dream real?"
Friday night, August 11th at the Omaha Community Playhouse
Friday started with two pre-Conference events:  A Vibrant Clubs seminar led by Zone 28 Regional Coordinator Nicki Scott and a Young Leaders event led by Zone 28 Regional Public Image Coordinator Kathy Fahy.   The Conference kicked off at 6:30 with a reception that featured backstage tours of the Playhouse.   The main event was our keynote speaker, Michael "Pinball" Clemons.  We were able to get Michael through a cooperative partnership with the Cornhuskers...Michael spoke to the team the night before the Conference.  
Saturday, August 12th at the Creighton University Harper Center.
There were three main programs featured on Saturday:
"Foundation for Change" was the morning program.   The program is an intentional double entendre....The Rotary Foundation is a foundation for change and Rotary itself is a foundation for Rotarians to effect change in the world.   Videos from the District Video Project (more information here) were interspersed between speakers that included:
  • Council Bluffs Rotarian Jill Orton and Lincoln 14 Rotarian Mailani Veney telling the story of their "Unexpected Journey"
  • Omaha Morning Rotarian Martha Goedert telling the story of her VTT experience "Exchanging Knowledge and Saving Lives"
  • Youth Exchange Student and soon to be Harvard freshman Ryen Diaz telling the impact of "A Student's Journey"
  • Feroz Mohmand telling the gripping "A Refugee's Story"
  • Buey Tut from Aqua Africa talking about "Water is Life"
  • Lincoln East Rotarian Chuck Erickson and Beatrice Rotarian Dorothy Zimmerman tell the story of "The Zambia Project" and premiering new mini-documentary about it.
  • Geneva Rotarian Jill Schmitt telling the story of "The WHALE Project."  More information on WHALE can be found here.
Ann Lee Hussey was our after lunch speaker.  Ann Lee served as District 7780 Governor in 2010‐2011. She currently serves as District 7780 Major Gifts Officer, as vice‐ chair of the Rotary PDGs Fellowship, as Chair, Polio Survivors Rotarian Action Group and as Chair of the Rotarian Action Groups. Ann Lee also currently serves as Adviser to the International Polio Plus Committee (IPPC) and as Rotary’s representative on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative Transition Management Group.
Since 2001 Ann Lee has participated in 32 volunteer NID (National Immunization Days) teams organizing and leading the last 28 teams herself, in the countries of Niger, Chad, Mali, Bangladesh, Egypt, Benin, and multiple times to Nigeria and India, choosing to travel where the need is greatest and where the publicity and goodwill surrounding the trip are as critical as the immunizations themselves to help communicate the need for eradication.
Ann Lee is a polio survivor. She has shared her story and passion for polio eradication throughout the Rotary world, at District Conferences, Zone Institutes, Presidents-elect Training Seminars, and Rotary Foundation Seminars. Highlights include the RIBI (Rotary International in Britain and Ireland) Conference in 2010, International Institute in Salt Lake City in 2007, the Presidential Peace Conference in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007 and at numerous International Conventions including a keynote address in Seoul. Her work has earned her the International Service Award for a Polio Free World, the Rotary Service Above Self Award and she was honored as a White House Champion of Change.
The main event of the afternoon was a service project that featured a partnership with the Red Cross with two main components: a blood drive and a CPR Challenge.  We donated 25 units of blood that will help save the lives of up 75 people...the impact best expressed by this lovely little girl....
The CPR Challenge got the first 300 of 5,000 people trained.   For more information and to find out what you can do to help, there is more information here.
The afternoon events were followed by receptions and the dinner program.  Our excellent President's Representative, Pete Doragh, spoke at lunch and dinner.   During dinner Curt Peters was awarded the Cadwallader Award and this article has information on the other awards.