WOW!  What a year 2020 was.  I know I’m glad it’s over, and I’m looking forward to a new and improved year – 2021.
As a District, we did actually pull off some pretty neat things:
  1.  RYLA – While the RYLA camp was cancelled, the RYLA management worked to create a new virtual camping model, giving a chance for those who didn’t get to go to camp a chance to experience RYLA, make new friends and learn new lessons.
  2. YOUTH EXCHANGE – Again the pandemic struck.  Long term and short term exchanges were cancelled, but again the RYE management team pulled together to create a virtual exchange experience.
  1. JOB EXCHANGE – Through the leadership of DGN Howard Templin, District 5810 and District 5790 (Fort Worth) created a virtual job posting board located on the website.  This board allowed those looking for help to post their open positions, and those Rotarians seeking employment a chance to find a new position.  Another feature of this board is the ability for Rotarians to list their firms/services on the board.  Anyone needing work done, or help, can search the board to see if a Rotarian offers that service.
  2. SPEAKERS BUREAU – Finding quality speakers for clubs has always been a challenge.  Our webmaster, Pam Blankenzee, has created a speaker data base clubs can use to find speakers, or to recommend good speakers.  You’ll find this feature on the website.
  3. VIRTUAL DISTRICT MEETINGS – Of course clubs as well as the District has gotten pretty good at meeting virtually.  This may not be the most satisfying way to hold a meeting, at least we continue to meet and to do Rotary work.  Obviously, we still hold the District Roundtable meetings (without refreshments) on the second Saturday of each month.  We have also had a large number of virtual committee meetings to support the clubs and the district.  The District Foundation Committee held a very successful Foundation Seminar which, among other things, qualified clubs for Foundation Grants during the 2021-2022 year.
  4. SERVICE PROJECTS – And it goes without saying that the Rotary Clubs of District 5810 continue to find ways to find and complete community service projects.  All you’ve got to do is look at this month’s, and prior month’s Monthly Report to see what the Clubs have been doing.
As a District, we also had our sad times as we lost a number of our friends and fellow Rotarians, including:
            Past District Governor Herb Kamm (Cedar Hill & Duncanville), Jon Burkman (Park Cities), Pastor J. Don George (Irving Las Colinas), Bob Carrell (Bonham), Rick Larsen (Irving Las Colinas), Richard Huff (Irving Las Colinas), David Allen Rains (Rockwall), John Lovetere (McKinney) and Sharon Key England Weinberg (Frisco)
So, looking forward to 2021, let’s hope the new vaccines get us over the pandemic and allow up all to return to our normal way of life.  We do have some events for which we can look forward, including
  1.  STRATEGIC PLANNING – DGE Max Duplant is organizing a committee to develop a strategic plan for the District.
  2. LONE STAR PETS – PETS, as it’s called, will be virtual this year, but will give incoming club presidents a head start for their year as club leaders.
  3. 4-WAY SPEECH CONTEST – Jim Bullock is working on our District’s virtual 4-Way Test with a date to be announced.
  4. DISTRICT ASSEMBLY – DGE Max Duplant will hold this event in April to provide training to incoming Club officers and more.
  5. DISTRICT CONFERENCE – This celebration of the 2020-2021 Rotary year will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Allen on April 23 & 24.  The long awaited, and frequently delayed ROARING 20’s Party supporting the Rotary Foundation will be held at the conclusion of the conference.
Don’t let your guard down. Stay safe.