State of the District: Alive And Well (part 2 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 have broken this report into two segments. Part one, which ran in the December 21 & 28 issue, focused on the state of Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards,  Membership, Newsletter and Communications, and Speaker Bureau. In part two, I report on the state of the Foundation, Foundation grants, PolioPlus, Public Relations, Awards, Visioning, Rotary Leadership InstituteDistrict Directory, and District Conference. 
Foundation: Last June 19, I noted that District 7910 set a record for Foundation Giving for 2014-2015 but that I was not satisfied because three clubs that gave $0 and  while any other clubs gave something, some members of those clubs gave $0. I stated that I wanted the District Foundation Committee to educate those clubs and members on The Rotary Foundation because it is my opinion that once you educate them they will give. I also stated that I was creating some new Foundation subcommittees so we could do better. Since then, the committee through its subcommittees has been reaching out to those clubs. Foundation Chair Roy Balfour is visiting four clubs per month, Grant Chair Ralph Hammond is visiting an average of two clubs per month. Visits are also being done by the Polio Plus Committee (see below). Roy projects that giving during this 2015-2016 year will again be strong. He expects that through education he will get the three non-giving clubs to start participating by year’s end.  
Polio Plus: Last June 19, I also stated that I wanted to encourage Polio Plus giving and to educate our clubs on Polio and Purple Pinkie Day. I noted that only Afghanistan and Pakistan still have Polio and that with the final push it was possible to eliminate polio in those two countries by this June 30. Carl Good took this task to heart and with the help of Pam Anastasi and Chris Spear they have been visiting clubs to educate them on Polio Plus. As of December 6, they had visited 25 clubs and their plan is to visit all 51 clubs by June 30.
Public Relations: Last June 19, I reported that good PR is the key to growing membership and I challenged District Public Relations Chair Laura Spear to grow the PR Committee by encouraging club PR chairs to participate on the committee and to hold a minimum of one committee meeting per quarter. This has worked. Last July 1, it was a committee of one but by the first committee meeting later that month the committee had grown to six. The goal is to continue to grow this committee by reaching out to the club PR chairs. Our annual PR Forum, held last September 9, was well-attended. Laura has been visiting clubs and is encouraged by the increased engagement. Assisting in writing news releases when requested, working on PR for the Meal Packaging event last November 14 at Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, updating the PR section on the website, updating the district’s Facebook page, managing the district banners and providing advice to clubs when requested for presentations, brochures, videos, flyers, etc. are just a few of the things that have been accomplished. Planning is now underway for the Social Media Seminar on March 31.
Awards: Last June 19, I stated that I wanted to streamline the award system because I felt not enough of the clubs were applying for awards that they deserve. I challenged the Awards Committee, co-chaired by Bob Cassidy and Klaus Hachfeld, to create a form that clubs could use as a planning tool and that could ultimately be used to qualify for awards. I wanted this form to reward clubs by weighing progress on a point system that is based on the percentage of participation and not by the number of club members who participate at a district event. The committee came through with such a form. The playing field is now level for small and large clubs. Every president has been asked to use this form to guide them through their year and to assign a “champion” (preferably the president elect) to monitor progress and report monthly to both their board of directors and their membership. This system will only work when the club presidents properly use that form.
Visioning: The visioning program has now been in place for more than two years and the participation by clubs has been exceptional. With Bill Domings as the Visioning Committee chair, I predicted that we would “vision” six clubs during my year. Since last July 1, three clubs have been “visioned” and Bill projects that we will meet our goal.
Rotary Leadership Institute: Last June 19, I explained that RLI is a great program for all Rotarians (leaders, new members and long-time members) and I encouraged District 7910 members to attend. In October 2014, 58 Rotarians from our district attended RLI This past October, 74 attended RLI.
District Directory: Last June 19, I reported that I felt that the District Directory should be a hard-bound publication that includes valuable reference material about Rotary, historical information about our district, the District Resolutions, and club and member details. During the past several years, the District Directory had been streamlined and required readers visit the district Website to get this information. While my target to deliver the Directory was last July 1, it was not ready until August 7. In order to minimize the cost of the Directory, ads were sold and due to the generosity of our members we raised $2,450. Thank you to the many Rotarians who supported us on the Directory.
District Conference: Planning for the District Conference is well underway. With District Governor Nominee Karin Gaffney as the chair, I know things will get done. Last June 19, I stated that Your District Conference will be held at the Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor (previously, Radisson Plymouth Harbor Hotel) in Plymouth and that registration would be open on December 1, which it did.  I also stated that we would promote the District Conference by creating a promotional DVD and have District Conference Committee members visit each and every club. This will be done and plans are to start the visits in late January.
Jim Fusco, 2015-2016 governor of District 7910, may be reached at