Happy October, Rotary family:
It’s hard to believe that one-fourth of this Rotary year has already flown by. And yet, as I look over the last three months, I’m so heartened by how much our clubs have accomplished already.  Paramount among those examples is the recent collaboration for the California Coastal Clean-Up Day. 20 Rotary Clubs and 3 Interact Clubs participated and helped remove garbage to help protect our beautiful coastlines and local neighborhoods. Thank you to all of the volunteers who participated.
This past month, your governor line (Immediate Past Governor Gary Chow, Governor Elect Steve Wright and his partner Colleen, and my partner, Jenny Bates, and me) had the opportunity to visit Rotary International Headquarters in Evanston, IL. This has been a tradition for the governance line of District 5150 for many years now. The purpose of the visit is for your District leaders to meet with key staff and leaders of Rotary International for briefings on new data and resources to help our clubs achieve new goals and help our members have a more enriching Rotary experience.  Read more about this experience on our district blog.
October is a special month for Rotary, with some key observances to help raise awareness of Rotary’s work around the globe.
First is World Polio Day, October 24. World Polio Day is an annual observance to raise awareness about the global effort to eradicate polio, a highly infectious and potentially crippling disease caused by the poliovirus. This day serves as a reminder of the progress made in the fight against polio and the importance of continued vaccination campaigns to reach every child in every corner of the world, ultimately striving for a polio-free planet. It also acknowledges the dedication of healthcare workers, volunteers, and organizations -- like Rotary -- working tirelessly to eliminate this disease and highlights the need for ongoing support and resources to achieve this goal.  Learn more about planned activities for World Polio Day on our blog.
Second is World Mental Health Day, October 10. It serves as a platform to encourage open conversations about mental health, promote understanding, and highlight the importance of mental well-being in our daily lives. The day aims to mobilize individuals, communities, and organizations to take actions that can improve mental health outcomes, provide resources for those in need, and ultimately contribute to a world where mental health is prioritized and mental illness is treated with compassion and understanding.  Learn more about planned activities for World Mental Health Day on our blog.
Finally, October is “Economic and Community Development month for Rotary International. Rotary’s work in this area encompasses a wide range of initiatives to address pressing issues such as poverty alleviation, vocational training, job creation, and access to essential resources like clean water and sanitation. By promoting sustainable development and economic self-sufficiency, Rotary plays a crucial role in helping communities break the cycle of poverty, fostering resilience, and enhancing the well-being of individuals and families in need.
As we look to the next quarter of the Rotary year, I challenge all members and clubs to reflect on the goals they set for themselves back in July.  Have you asked any friends or colleagues to consider joining Rotary? Are you making steps toward launching your “dream” service project? Have you supported the “Every Rotarian, Every Year” campaign yet and taken a step closer to reaching your personal giving goal in support of The Rotary Foundation? Whatever goals you set for yourself, don’t let the busyness of the Fall season distract you from continuing to take big leaps and do great things in Rotary.
Yours in Rotary,
Laine Hendricks
Rotary International District 5150 Governor 2023-2024
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