Welcome to November!  I logged quite a few more miles this past month visiting eight clubs in person and three virtually. I receive so much joy meeting with all the clubs and their members, hearing of their projects, membership growth, and their plans for the future.

District 5650 was #1 in our zone in membership growth in the first quarter of the Rotary year! This is incredible, amidst all that is happening in our communities right now. It proves the tenacity of our members’ being able to find the positive in everyone.

Congratulations goes to Lincoln 14 for being awarded Service Group of the Year by Serve Nebraska. I watched the award program last week and was impressed with the video highlighting the club’s service.  This recognition was a tremendous honor for Lincoln 14 and provided great visibility for Rotary around our state.

Another club to recognize is Western Douglas County. I was proud to attend a presentation of a specially designed bicycle to the Omaha Police Department in memory of Ron Mortenson. Ron, who passed away last year, was a dedicated, long-time member of the WDC and the initiator of the OPD bicycle patrol. The bicycle bears Ron’s name and the Rotary logo. The tribute was so appropriate to a great Rotarian and humanitarian.

November is The Rotary Foundation Month - “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” I encourage each of our members to consider seriously contributing his or her fair share. As a result of the generosity of our members three years ago all 48 district grant applications this year were funded 100%. Western Douglas County’s special bicycle is a perfect example of what matching District Designated Funds can do to help clubs achieve extraordinary projects.

The easiest way to give to TRF is to enroll in the automatic payment program at rotary.org. The process makes it very easy to give. A little each month can amount to so much good for so many.

The district awards committee is being chaired this year by PDG Julie O’Hara. I give my sincere thanks to Nicki Klein, who has served in this role for many years and has done a tremendous job…Thank you Nicki.

The committee has developed a new strategy for recognition. We believe the time is right to begin realizing a new vision, bringing more people together, increasing our impact, and creating lasting change in our communities and around the world.

District 5650 is following the new strategic priorities and objectives established by Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation to establish new ways to recognize our club members and clubs as examples of excellence.

We are replacing the traditional District awards. A cross section of our District members will recognize clubs for their innovation and examples of excellence, not based on a club’s membership size, but rather on its successes. The goal is to grow together as a district and share ideas so we can “open opportunities” for our members, communities, and the world.

We will encourage clubs to set their goals in line with Rotary’s Strategic Priorities. Each quarter I will send out a short evaluation form for each club to complete and return. This will provide the committee with information about the wonderful projects, growth and innovative accomplishments being achieved.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone…we do have so much to be thankful for as Rotarians.

Remember to “Look for the Good in Everything,”

Roxy Orr, DG 5650