Home Page Stories
Our membership in Rotary International presents us with a unique opportunity, in the time of COVID-19, to fully take advantage of our mission to join forces and help solve global issues of health and economic development, along with Rotary's four other Areas of Focus  Among the other service organizations, we as Rotarians are singularly positioned to talk directly with our counterparts in other countries and share experiences and best practices.

With that in mind, the Rotary Club of Brookline has schedule three speakers from three different countries for its Zoom meetings on the first three Thursdays in June, at 12:00 noon. The initial countries are Nepal, India and China. The Brookline club hopes to include, at later dates, England, Italy and Brazil. All these speakers are known to the Brookline club through its work in Rotary. 
 
What do you do with a broken toaster or lamp? Or, a shirt or blouse with a ripped-out seam? Toss it? No way! Get them - and any other household items in need of repair - ready for the first-ever virtual Bolton and Maynard Repair Café, set for this June 20.
 
The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, with support from Bolton Local and the Repair Cafe Foundation, is hosting this Repair Café via Zoom videoconferencing on Saturday, June 20, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. (ET). Residents of Bolton, Maynard and surrounding towns - as well as people around the world - are invited to join this Zoom session and find out what a Repair Café is all about.
 
(Shown, above, are several of the Bolton and Maynard Repair organizers during a recent Zoom meeting.)
 
Together with District Governor Pam Anastasi, our District's RYLA Committee has canceled the in-person RYLA 2020, scheduled for this June 26-28 at Fitchburg State University. The next in-person RYLA is scheduled for June 25-27, 2021. However, we may hold a fun virtual event this year, organized by RYLA 2020 group and program facilitators.
 
Fitchburg State University has canceled all June 2020 event-space rentals, including the in-person RYLA 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The District's RYLA Committee has been talking about this unfortunate possibility for some time.
 
Because of the current COVID-19 restrictions, District 7910 award applications are now due this June 30, with awards planned to be presented sometime during Fall 2020. To download the application form, in Word format, click here. Complete and e-mail the application form to both Laura Spear at laura@spear.net and Peggy Brodeur at peggy@albrodeur.com.
 
Please note: The award application is based on this year’s Rotary Citation, and is a streamlined Word document. We are not using the Club Planning spreadsheet that was used in the past few years.
 
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Rotary Club of Wellesley to cancel its annual “Taste of Wellesley” event, club members decided to raise money for local restaurants so they could provide meals to health-care workers. The club's service-above-self effort has received excellent Boston TV coverage.
 
Fourteen Massachusetts restaurants are banding together to help raise money to make meals for those on the frontline of the this pandemic. In Wellesely, they are Alta Strada, Cafe Mangal, Captain Marden's Seafoods, Comella's Restaurants, CrepeBerry, Fiorella's Cucina, Juniper Smith, Takara Wellesley, Whim Chocolate and Wollensky.
 
A member of the Rotary Club of Northborough was inspired by a personal conversation with Dr. Paul Farmer (shown below), co-founder of Partners in Health. Her enthusiasm, shared with club members, led us to work on a presentation about Partners In Health and its response to COVID-19.
 
Please take the time to view the presentation, from our latest club Zoom meeting, and consider joining us in our campaign to support the efforts of Partners In Health. To watch the 21-minute presentation, click here.
 
Please consider giving generously to Partners In Health - especially, during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. To donate now, click here.
 
 
Dr. Carl Good III, PhD, a member of the Rotary Club of Merrimack Valley, has a background as a molecular geneticist in clinical test development. He has developed a number of diagnostic tests, including some of the early tests for HIV.
 
Dr. Good has produced a video presentation titled The Importance of Testing COVID-19, which he has presented during Zoom meetings of his club and the Rotary Club of Groton-Pepperell. This version is his presentation to the Merrimack Valley club.
 
 
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our District Training Assembly took place on the Zoom online platform.
 
The District Assembly was training for the Rotary year 2020-2021 for all Rotarians who want to learn new ideas and best practices - especially, incoming Club leaders who are looking to strengthen their skill set. 
 
Various sessions were available to cover relevant topics that will impact both you and your club. All training sessions were two hours, and started at 7:00 pm.
 
The seven sessions were as follows:
 
COVID-19 has definitely brought the word perspective to the forefront for us all. Across Rotary's global network of Clubs and its members, COVID-19 has placed us all in unprecedented territory. Far from life as normal, far from business as normal. Members and leaders at all levels of our organization are faced with decisions they never believed they would encounter, and they are asking for guidance on how to deal with this global pandemic relative to Rotary.
 
We are all being asked to be socially responsible. That shouldn't be a heavy lift for us. We have been socially responsible as an organization for more than 115 years.
 
Let's spend some time thinking of the opportunities, not just the challenges. Can these canceled events, fundraisers and meetings become future service projects when the time is right? How can technology (Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, and other platforms) help us to stay connected during this time, and how can that knowledge help us to grow Rotary going forward? How can we find ways to support the most vulnerable populations affected by this pandemic?
 
Here are some suggestions on how to keep your club members connected - and to be Rotary active:
Updated April 28, 2020
 
The District leadership continues to monitor the evolving circumstances regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID 19).  Our primary concern is the health and well-being of all Rotarians, their families and the community. Concerns about the coronavirus continue to prevail, and there is no immediate solution.
 
Therefore, effective immediately, all in-person District meetings will be cancelled through May 18, which is when Governor Charlie Baker has extended a stay-at-home advisory and a non-essential-business closure. Meetings are still able to occur via Zoom, teleconferencing, etc.
 
As far as Club meetings, I strongly suggest that clubs cancel in-person meetings for the next few weeks. However, I will leave the final decision up to each Club and its Board of Directors.
 
Best Practices that everyone should focus on doing:
Dear Fellow Rotarians,

The COVID-19 coronavirus is affecting every aspect of our lives in real time, and this puts Rotarians in an unfamiliar place. As People of Action, we are most comfortable when we are fully engaged in the world – moving freely, meeting openly, and offering helping hands. These are very difficult times for people who, like us, are at our best when we are learning, growing, and serving—together.

We are also leaders in our communities, and these times call for leadership. In many ways, this also is our time. We have proven abilities to reach out and collaborate to offer immediate help to people in need at a rapid pace. These are precisely the skills needed all over the world today. The global effort against COVID-19 depends on actions taken in every country. Rotary has the unique ability to help improve those efforts in every community and every country.

Using all the technology we have at our disposal, we as Rotarians can continue to reach out and collaborate on big projects with Rotary clubs, Rotaractors, and Interactors. There are a number of examples where Rotary clubs are helping health authorities communicate best practices or provide needed equipment or support that have been shared with our leaders around the world.

As Rotary’s president and president-elect, we have been thinking of these issues very seriously in regard to upcoming Rotary events. As you may be aware, we have made the difficult decision to cancel two Rotary Presidential Conferences honoring our relationship with the United Nations- one in Paris, another in Rome. In the near term, we recommend that Rotary districts and clubs cancel or postpone meetings or events following the advice of national and local health officials.
 
Dear Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends,
 

Let me get right to the unfortunate news — the Rotary International Board of Directors has decided to cancel the 2020 Rotary International Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. We are all part of the Rotary family, and your safety remains our highest priority. Like the more than 20,000 registrants who planned to attend this year’s convention, I am very disappointed. However, this is the right and necessary decision to protect the health and safety of convention attendees, as well as those who call Honolulu home.

At this point, we are unsure that Rotary could adequately protect convention-goers from the risk of COVID-19 infection en route to, during, and after the convention. We are also unsure if restrictions on travel to the United States will be lifted by June. We have heard from a number of you who voiced concerns about gathering at the convention this year. I also heard from many who were hopeful that we could continue with the convention as planned. The Board was very diligent and considered all the facts before taking this decision.

At this time, we kindly ask that you do not contact RI Registration to inquire about your registration, ticket or housing cancellations as we work diligently to inform all attendees. Here is an overview of our plans for handling refunds and travel logistics.
 

NOTE: Due to the novel-coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak, the Guatemala WASH Mission has been postponed indefinitely.
 
When people in developing nations gain access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), many good things start to happen. Waterborne diseases decrease. Children stay healthier and attend school more regularly. And, parents spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families.
 
With this hopeful vision in mind, 21 Rotarians and non-Rotarians from District 7910 will soon be heading to the Lake Atitlán, Panajachel area of Guatemala. On March 21, they will journey to the Central American nation for a seven-day WASH mission. 
 
Shown, on the left, posing with a resident of the Lake Atitlán area during last year’s mission, is Steve Sager, of the Rotary Club of Westborough, a past district governor and current chair of the Foundation Committee for District 7910.
 
Updated on April 3, 2020
 
In response to the pandemic of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley has suspended face-to-face gatherings through at least this May 4, which is when Governor Charlie Baker has extended a stay-at-home advisory and a non-essential-business closure.
The Board will re-evaluate the situation then, and on an ongoing basis.
 
In the meantime, the charitable, non-profit service club, which covers Bolton, Lancaster and Stow, will virtually conduct board and club meetings through phone- and video-conferencing. Because Rotary's principal motto is service above self, the Nashoba Valley club is exploring virtual and limited-physical services to offer to its three communities.
 
District Governor Pam Anastasi (shown with her arms raised) has just experienced a chilling way to help end polio. On February 29, she and scores of other Rotarians, including Past District Governor Steve Sager, plunged into the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Long Beach in Gloucester, while taking part in District 7930's 10th Annual Polar Plunge to Eradicate Polio.
 
While DG Pam's goal was to raise at least $5,000, she raised more than $10,000. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match it 2 to 1, so our $10,000+ will become more than $30,000.
 
To watch a video of DG Pam, PDG Steve and other Rotarians taking this year's Polar Plunge, click here.
 
 
Nashoba Valley's first annual Cabin Fever Winter Festival has raised a net of $7,000. All net proceeds will be used by  the event's host, the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, to benefit needy individuals and families in Bolton, Lancaster and Stow. This fun-for-all-ages outdoor event, which took place on February 1, 2020 on Bolton Town Common in Bolton, attracted more than 300 hearty souls.
 
Upcoming Club Events
 
Contact Sue Peghiny or Steve Jones-D'Agostino to have your Club Event featured!
Rotary International News
Nature & Nurture

With help from a Rotary Foundation global grant, a group of women in rural Costa Rica are using ecotourism to enrich their families' futures.

Watch: Italian clubs aim to protect hospital workers responding to COVID-19

Rotary clubs in districts across Italy worked together to procure state-of-the-art equipment needed to combat the deadly coronavirus disease for 26 hospitals around the country.

Rotaract rising

The ongoing evolution of Rotaract is redefining its place within Rotary.

Kenyan Rotarians take action to prevent spread of COVID-19 

Rotary clubs in East Africa are forging partnerships to provide hand washing stations and food in areas where social distancing is a luxury that few can afford.

Italian club uses expertise to aid in coronavirus fight

Members help launch site so merchants can sell goods, organize supplies to make sanitizer, and provide food to health care workers.

Hacking a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic

Rotarians in Lithuania and the United States promote the use of bubble helmets to help patients avoid mechanical ventilators.

Club banner exchanges showcase local flair, global friendship

One of Rotary’s most colorful traditions is members’ exchanging club banners.

Joint Statement from Kiwanis International, Lions Clubs International, Optimist International, and Rotary International

Joint Statement from Kiwanis International, Lions Clubs International, Optimist International, and Rotary

Rotary clubs help fight the COVID-19 pandemic

Members use ingenuity, flexibility to help people affected by coronavirus and to stay connected

Sarah Parcak and the secrets of the satellites

Inspired in part by Indiana Jones, space archaeologist Sarah Parcak uses futuristic airborne technology to unearth the treasures of the past.

 
What would it take to change the world?
 
Upcoming District Events
 
Contact Sue Peghiny or Steve Jones-D'Agostino to have your District Event featured!