Governor's Message: Plans underway for multi-district Young Professionals Summit
By Jim Fusco
One more week is under my belt - and a good week it was. Last week, we had several meetings as we commenced our planning for the Young Professionals Summit, which will be held in late August. We are joining forces with Rotary Districts 7780, 7850, 7870 and 7930 to plan and hold this event.
Also last week, planning continued for the 2016 District Conference on May 20, 21, and 22 in Plymouth. And, we held our quarterly District Trustees Meeting last Monday. I also had the honor last Tuesday of attending the Charter Dinner of the Southbridge Middle High School Interact Club. Unfortunately, I had two other events on Tuesday and was unable to attend both the Nashoba Valley club’s Power of Change event and the Fitchburg and Leominster clubs’ Breakfast for the Bands Awards Dinner.
Last week, we also held our monthly Assistant Governors Meeting. I want you to know that your AGs are always up-to-date on Club Central, District 7910 and Rotary International happenings, so please contact them as needed. They are always there for you.
This week, I have plenty to do. My wife, Karen Fusco of the Fitchburg club, and I will I will make District Conference presentations at the Athol-Orange, Fitchburg and Fitchburg East clubs. Today, I will be holding my third quarterly District Council Meeting and tomorrow, I will visit the Public Service Center at MIT with Victor Tom of the Bedford club. On Wednesday, I will travel to the Southborough club to induct a new member and on Thursday, I will attend the my own club’s meeting, where Ron Bott of the Nashoba Valley will speak to the Montachusett Area club about starting an Interact club. District Conference planning will continues as we hold our full District Conference Committee meeting on Thursday.
No changes to our grant system
While I reported on this last week, I believe it is important to state again:
There has been much talk around the district about changes to the grant process. There has been no change to our grant system other than Past District Governor Ralph Hammond of the Bedford club stepping down as chair of that committee’s Grant Subcommittee. What is a fact is that the Grant Subcommittee will be changing from a committee of one – Ralph - to an expanded committee in order to continue the subcommittee grant work that Ralph has singularly done. The workload is simply too great and too important to our clubs for one person to carry this burden as done by Ralph for nearly 20 years. This new structure will allow us to quickly approve grants, monitor grants, review final reports, and quickly disburse funds when grant applications have been approved.
As with every other committee in the district, I have insisted on total transparency and clarity and the very first mission of the new Grant Subcommittee will be to publish guidelines so that every club knows how to apply for grants, what is needed to do to qualify, how much money is available, and the allocation for each year as set by the district governor elect. The goal is to publish these guidelines before our presidents elects go to PETS (Presidents Elect Training Seminar) so that planning can immediately begin on grants for the 2016-2017 Rotary year, which begins this July 1. The Grant Subcommittee will be there as a resource to help clubs apply, qualify for grants and obtain a fair allocation of The Rotary Foundation’s resources.
Also, the end of the current Rotary year this June 30 will mark the end of the three-year term for Roy Balfour of the Shrewsbury club as chair of our district’s Foundation Committee. Much has been accomplished in recent years, such as increasing donations from $90 per Rotarian to last year’s $142 per Rotarian. We have mobilized clubs in the district to fully utilize all global and district grant funds available for doing good in the world, which consists of their own communities as well as some communities abroad. District 7910’s “open” grant applications reached a historical milestone this year with a community/world-projects impact of $1 million. Plus, for two years in a row our district was the first in the world to get our spending plans approved by Rotary International, enabling clubs in our district to start their projects in April, if they so chose.
Enter Our Facebook Contest
Did you know that we now have a new Facebook Event page for the 2016 District Conference? To view and invite your own Rotarian Facebook “friends” to that page, click here. At the District Conference, one of the Free Time activities during the afternoon of Saturday, May 21 will be a harbor cruise on the Pilgrim Bell. It is our goal to increase the “likes” and “shares” on our District 7910 Facebook page (which the Event page is part of) we are running a contest, which will start this week. At the end of the contest on February 13, the club with the “most” and the club with the “highest percentage” of members “liking” our Facebook page will win a free harbor cruise on the Pilgrim Bell during the District Conference. Watch for contest details, which are coming soon.
Closing reminders
Final-Report Deadline: If you club has a District Grant for the 2015-2016 Rotary year, you should working on your Final Report, which is due by this April 15, so you can receive your grant match from the District 7910.
RI And District Semi-Annual Dues: I have just checked the records and am thrilled that so many clubs have already paid their District 7910 and Rotary International dues. If you have yet to pay club your dues, please do so ASAP. Thank you for your cooperation. If for some reason your club did not receive your RI invoice, please contact me ASAP at
Club-Planning Worksheet: Last week, I sent each club president and president-elect a request to forward your worksheet so I can see your progress at the halfway point of this current Rotary year. I am proud to report that several clubs have already sent me their working copy. Yesterday, I sent another notice to those clubs that have yet to respond. If you have not been filling out your worksheets, please do so now and forward them to me. The Club Planning Worksheet is very important to me, so I would appreciate every club responding to me. Thank you in advance for your cooperation on this matter.  (Click here to download it in Excel format.)
District Conference 2016 in Plymouth: It is hard to imagine, but your annual District Conference at The Hotel 1620 at Plymouth Harbor to celebrate your Rotary year is only 108 days away - and registration is open.To register, click hereRemember that our Early Bird pricing extends through February 13, so register ASAP. Please check out the fun in the informative "Plymouth Rocks" video that Assistant Governor Richard Simon of the Nashoba Valley club has produced to promote our District Conference. To watch itclick here. In addition, we've produced a four-page, black-and-white (making it less costly to print) handout containing "Conference Pricing" and "Frequently Asked Questions" information. To download it, in PDF format, click here. Meanwhile, members of the District Conference Committee members have been visiting clubs to promote the annual event. We will have a great time and want to ensure that you do not miss out. Don’t forget that this is a family-friendly conference, so think about bringing your kids and grandkids.
District Banners: Our District Banners have been busy. This week, you will see them displayed proudly at the Nashoba Valley club’s Food Packing event, at the Athol-Orange club’s Super Bowl Brunch and at the Fitchburg East club’s Super Bowl Brunch. To reserve one of those banners, contact Laura Spear of the Nashoba Valley club, who chairs our district's Public Image Committee, at
Rotaract Advisor Training Seminar: Don't forget this informational event on Monday, February 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Framingham State University. For additional details, which are being arranged by District Rotaract Chair Carl Gomes of the Nashoba Valley club, click here.
Rotary Leadership Institute: District RLI Chair Doug Detweiler of the Concord club and I have stressed the importance of having Rotarians attend RLI. This program is geared toward all Rotarians - new members as well as current and future club and district leadership. The next RLI will be held on Saturday, March 26 in Lincoln, RI. To register, click here.
Thank you for being part of a great organization and for being a Gift to the World.
We will have a great year!