Rotary District 5650 is making connections happen!
Several of our larger clubs have taken the lead in establishing online meetings and many more are exploring the concept. I want to share some news with all of you that I think meets the Four Way Test and will definitely be "beneficial to all concerned" to all in the District.
Last evening the District 5650 Board of Directors approved an initiative to provide each club in the District with a free ZOOM "Pro" subscription for one year. Using this account your club will be able to conduct online club meetings for up to 100 persons with meeting duration's up to 24 hours. For larger clubs this account easily connects with other group mediums such as Facebook live and YouTube so that all members and guests can participate. If your club already has a ZOOM account, the District will reimburse you the cost of the one year ZOOM Pro subscription.
All you need is a computer, laptop or phone and you can participate in club meetings, committee meetings and keep yourself connected to your club and Rotary. Having a video camera definitely adds to the experience. Most of you know I am technically challenged and have a hard time turning on a computer, but I have to tell you ZOOM is the easiest meeting app I have ever used and if I can do it, anyone can do it. Setting up a call is as easy as clicking the schedule button, set the date and time of your call, copy the call details by clicking the copy invitation button and send the meeting details to your invitees giving them the link to the meeting . Then all you do is start the meeting by clicking the start meeting button. Attendees simply click the link they receive or call the phone number in the invitation to join. No special software or apps are required to join a meeting. Screens can be shared and if you have your camera on you will be joined visually in addition to hearing the audio. Once you use it, you'll get hooked and you'll use it more than you ever thought you would. 
Some clubs are using ZOOM for social events such as "Virtual After hours" to enjoy each other's fellowship and a few libations if desired and I'll offer the first toast if invited. I encourage all members to ask their club leadership to take advantage of this offer. Club Presidents can contact me for details on how to take advantage of this offer.
Additionally the District will start monthly ZOOM meetings where we will provide updates on the happenings going on at RI, in the District and news from clubs and how they continue to make a difference during these trying times.
AG's will be reaching out to their area clubs via Zoom and clubs are encouraged to meet virtually with each other to find out what the other clubs in their area are doing and how we can collaborate and support each other. 
During times like these it's easy to feel isolated, alone and overwhelmed. The friendships and fellowship we enjoy as Rotarian's are critical to our health and well being and Rotary as an organization. Zoom will keep Rotary alive in all of us and help us to continue to do good work in our communities.  "Rotary Connects the World" and I can't help but think how we connect during this time will build lasting connections among our clubs, foster ongoing collaboration and build better friendships in the future.
Let's connect, get your Club's ZOOM account today!
DG 5650