Ava and I have now completed our first visit to all but 11 Clubs in our District. What we found is uplifting and echoed recently in the Awards Ceremony presided over by IPDG Jim Finstrom at our District Conference.

We are an Action District!

When presented with the problems occasioned by COVID-19 restrictions, our clubs saw opportunities, continuing to meet and perform service. While our Clubs were idled, most met virtually through Zoom, continued their fundraisers such as Flag Programs, and held service projects, all with appropriate safeguards.

Rotary Opens Opportunities!

Several Rotarians in our District truly distinguished themselves in Service Above Self since last April.

Congratulations go to PDG Ted Huffhines and IPDG Jim Finstrom for their work on the COVID Relief Grant from The Rotary Foundation, allowing us to distribute $25,000 to relieve food insecurity over Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma.

Congratulations also go to PDG John Jetter, DA Shirley Pinnix-Evans, and Social Media Chair Sarah Fox who, with the assistance of Leaders in Service Rotary President Sarah Jenkins, helped our District move from in-person meetings to virtual meetings in record time.

And congratulations to PDG Tom DeWitt and PDG Lee Montgomery who, seeing the need, completed the display trailer for our Iron Lung Polio Display.

Of course, it is impossible to list all the Clubs and Club members who helped continue fundraisers and projects during the pandemic, but many thanks to those of you who pressed on with your fundraisers, like West Bowie County Rotary with their Run the Rails, the Rotary Clubs of Tyler and Rotary Clubs of Longview with their help and assistance to the East Texas Food Bank, and Rotary Clubs of Athens and Cedar Creek Lake and the Rotary Club of Carthage who raised funds for Polio Plus for World Polio Day.

The only thing noticed repeatedly in visits to clubs was the lack of publicity received for all the good done in their communities. As Rotarians, we have come to expect Service Above Self of ourselves and our clubs. The problem comes when we become so caught up in service that we fail to take any credit at all. That is where your District leadership can help, most specifically Sarah Fox and Shirley Pinnix-Evans. Please forward information on your projects, fundraisers and celebrations to us so the whole District can join in to celebrate your successes. Also, please take photos to memorialize these events on social media so the entire community can celebrate with us.

It is truly an honor to serve you.
Yours in Rotary,
Jack Welge
District Governor 2020-21
Rotary International District 5830