State of the District - Part 1 - December 21 & 28, 2105
State of the District: Alive And Well (part 1 of 2)
By Jim Fusco
I am proud to report that Rotary District 7910 is alive and well. At my installation as district governor on June 16, I presented my goals for Rotary Year 2015-2016 and told you that I had a lot of running around to do - and that, I have done. Now that we are at the halfway point of our year, I would like to report on how we are doing. Because there is so much to report, I will break report into two segments. Part two will run in the January 4 newsletter. Please note: Due to the holidays, there will not be a newsletter issued on December 28.
Sneakers: I told you that I had lots of running around to do, so I would be wearing sneakers during my term. For one of my newsletters, my wife, Karen Fusco, provided you with a photo of my sneakers all lined up in front of my bureau - all ready to go. I am now on my eighth pair of sneakers
Interact: I stressed the importance of strengthening our youth programs and I challenged Interact Chair Ron Bott to strengthen our Interact program and to institute an Interact Training Program. On July 1, District 7910 had 14 Interact Clubs and on December 6 we had 16 clubs. Ron, who predicts we will have 20 Interact cubs by next June 30, held an Interact Advisor Training Seminar on November 14. Great job, Ron.
Rotaract: Rotaract Chair Carl Gomes has also been working hard and I also challenged him to strengthen our Rotaract program and institute a Rotaract Training Program. On July 1, District 7910 had four Rotaract clubs and on December 6 we had five clubs. We have two clubs being formed - Framingham State University and Brandeis University - and Carl is predicting we will have 10 to 12 clubs by next June 30. Carl is forming a District Rotaract Committee and is planning a Rotaract Advisor Training Seminar for February 8. Great job, Carl.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards: This program is well and alive. Christine Penney is the RYLA chair and has been working hard to assure that RYLA in June 2016 will be the best ever. RYLA has been held at Worcester State University for the past several years. Due to construction at WSU, they are unable to accommodate RYLA this year so RYLA will be held at Fitchburg State University. In 2015, 48 clubs sent RYLA students and 34 clubs sent volunteers. In 2016, we expect 49 clubs to send students and 40 clubs to send volunteers.
Membership: On June 19, I reported that membership had slipped during the past year and we would do something about it. I challenged Satya Mitra to establish a Membership Committee, hold a minimum of one committee meeting per quarter, and encourage club membership chairs to participate on the district committee. This has worked. On July 1, it was a committee of one. But by the first committee meeting in August, it had grown to nine members and now the committee has 18 members. The goal is to have 25 active members on this committee by next June 30. Our Membership Forum was held on October 14 and it was well-attended. Membership on July 1, 2014 was 1,575, by last July 1 it had dropped to 1,493, and now it is 1,489. Satya predicts we will have 1,642 members by next June 30. Corporate membership is one of the keys to building our membership. The Membership Committee has created and is delivering a corporate-membership packet to the clubs. Last July 1, we had two clubs utilizing corporate membership. Now, we have eight clubs and Satya predicts that 45 clubs will have corporate memberships by next June 30. Members of the committee have visited 25 clubs since last June 1 to promote membership and all clubs in our district will have a visit by next June 30.
Newsletter and Communications: On June 19, I stated my belief that communications with our clubs needed to be improved. To do so, I pledged to have a weekly newsletter and to improve the district website. With the help of many, this has been done. The Rotary District 7910 Newsletter is sent out every Monday at 5 a.m. (thank you, Steve Jones-D’Agostino) and I have encouraged the clubs to “toot their horns” about their projects and fundraisers. This has worked because so far 41 clubs have sent in materials for the newsletter.
Speaker Bureau: I stated that it is extremely important to have good speakers in order to have good meetings, so I pledged to increase the effectiveness of the speaker list on the district website. I appointed Steve Levitsky, who took over as Speaker Bureau chair last spring. (I wanted him to get an early start because we only had one speaker on the list). By June 1, he had six speakers on the list and now there are nine. Steve is getting about one new lead every month and he projects there will be 18 speakers on the list by next June 30. Great job, Steve.
In part two in the January 4 newsletter, I will report on the state of the Foundation, Foundation grants, PolioPlus, Public Relations, Awards, Visioning, Rotary Leadership Institute, District Directory, and District Conference.
Jim Fusco, 2015-2016 governor of District 7910, may be reached at