Fellow Rotarians of District 5830,
 
We are all returning to business as usual, checking on our friends and fellow Rotarians at club meetings and events, and emerging from battling a pandemic as we approach the end of our Rotary Year in June. 
 
Due to the continuing threat of COVID-19 many plans are still on hold, many events have been postponed or canceled, and even our Rotary International Board has voted to meet only through virtual (telephonic and  on-line) meetings through December. Rotary Executive’s Travel has been discouraged, canceled or severely restricted.
 
That brings us to the question of how we celebrate being Rotarians in fellowship and service, and how we keep our Clubs and District moving forward, continuing to make an impact in our communities and in the world.
We as creative business leaders have weathered disruptive events  before and have emerged stronger and more prepared to serve. 
 
In our Rotary International President Elect Holger Knaap’s Priorities, there are the following leadership strategies.
 
- Be open to new approaches.
 
- Make your Rotary Club Membership more appealing.
 
- Build environmental sustainability into Rotary Service Projects.
 
- Inspire youth to action.
 
- Finish our commitment to End Polio Now.
 
- Grow the Rotary Foundation.
 
Your District Leadership Team understands that confusion has existed over the best course of action, that a few clubs have immediately moved on-line through Zoom or FaceBook or some other platform, and that some have participated in long-standing service projects like a flag program and have otherwise just sat it out.
 
Please understand that not meeting for fellowship and service places membership at risk and our clubs at risk.
 
To make us stronger we should follow our 2020-2021 R.I. President in his request that all Clubs and Districts participate in Visioning. There is no better time than now.
 
If your club has already gone through Club Visioning, now is the time to engage in Strategic Planning to determine where you are and what has been achieved and how to accomplish what has not; most importantly, do your current plans bring value to your members?
 
Now is the time to meet and discuss what makes Rotary unique and worth sharing, and to discuss what opportunities Rotary has opened for each of us, and for those whom we serve.
 
Now is the time to remember our diverse backgrounds and classifications help make us great and that we are held together by the values we share and our bonds of friendship and fellowship.
 
Throughout, understand it is left to each Club and District to determine their meeting and service strategies. As it truly may be for some a question of life and death, be sure you have agreement among those planning to be present at in-person functions; be sure they know and accept the risks, agree to follow social distancing guidelines, and wear masks. No one  attends who has any symptoms of infection, or fever. No one is forced to attend.
 
Masks with Rotary Branding are available through Rotary Suppliers like Russell-Hampton and make great gifts, souvenirs and party favors.
 
Your District Team will honor commitments to be at your clubs as scheduled, however, in our District throughout North East Texas our COVID-19 infections count is still rising, has not leveled off, and is not yet falling. Precautions are necessary. I personally ask each Club Officer and Director to have options for online participation for those members who do not feel comfortable in attending, whereby they maintain their membership attendance.
 
If you have questions please contact me, our District Administrator, our District Visioning Chair or our District Media Coordinator.
 
It is an honor and privilege to serve. 
 
 
Yours in Rotary,
 
Jack Welge
District Governor 2020-21
Rotary International District 5830
P. O. Box 3624
Longview, Texas 75606-3624
Cell 512.773.5163 
 
 
Sponsors