What's Happening in District 5240
Last month I made the comment that our District is filled with "doers". That goes for the clubs too. We just completed our Million Dollar Brunch at Cal Lutheran University which included a presentation from The Rotary Foundation for awards earned for outstanding club performance during 2014-15. Our District had clubs recognized for excellence in three areas. I am so very impressed with these clubs' performances, I wanted to share those awards here with all of you:
Every Rotarian Every Year Award
This banner is awarded to clubs achieving a minimum of $100 per capita average with every active member personally contributing some amount to the Annual Fund during the Rotary year. I am very pleased to recognize those EREY clubs just awarded at the Million Dollar Brunch:
Cambria, Carpinteria Morning, China Lake, Conejo Valley, Fillmore, Goleta Noontime, Lompoc, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo Daybreak, Santa Maria, Santa Maria Breakfast, Simi Sunrise, Simi Sunset, Simi Valley, Ventura, Ventura East, Ventura South
100% Rotary Foundation Sustaining Member Club Award
This banner is awarded to clubs with every active member of the club personally contributing $100 or more to the Annual Fund during the Rotary year. Here are the clubs in our District recognized for this achievement:
Carpinteria Morning, Lompoc, Paso Robles Sunrise, Santa Maria Breakfast, Simi Sunrise, Ventura
Top Three Highest Per Capita Annual Giving Clubs (in our District)
Simi Sunset  $628.18
Paso Robles Sunrise  $597.22
Thousand Oaks  $385.34
Finally, Valentine's Day is just around the corner and falls this year on a Sunday. Please take time to remember all the "sweeties" in your life.
DG Jim

Please come for ALL or PART of a weekend of fun, food, melodrama and collegiate athletics all supporting the eradication of polio. See details on the flyer:
(Click on picture above for a larger version of the flyer that you can pass around to your club members.)

Pedal Against Polio is a District wide fundraiser to assist with Rotary’s goal of eradicating Polio. We are looking to the month of April, 2016 to run the event.  

Each District Club is encouraged to participate by putting together, in their area, both an outdoor and indoor bike ride.

Each District Club will have the discretion of determining the distances and locations for the outdoor ride. Each District Club will have the discretion of determining the location for the indoor ride. 

Many cities in District 5240 have multiple Rotary Clubs and I would encourage these Rotary Clubs to work together to increase participation.

Think of what could be raised in April of 2016 in the effort to eradicate Polio if all 73 District 5240 Clubs participated in putting on a Pedal Against Polio event.

For more information please contact me, Dan Giordano at dgiordano@bak.rr.com  or call 661-834-1065 if you are interested in participating in the Pedal Against Polio April event. 

Dear Colleagues:
(On January 13th), a horrific bomb attack in Quetta, Pakistan, took the lives of 15 security officers and civilians outside a polio immunization center. 
As an organization and Secretariat, we offer our heartfelt condolences and express a deep sadness in the wake of this terrorism against the cause of polio eradication. (Read the official Rotary statement condemning the deadly attack here.)
Unfortunately, we know that violent opposition to the brave work of polio health workers is not uncommon.
The Taliban and other extremists have waged a brutal campaign against vaccination teams, resulting in the deaths of more than 65 health workers and their supporters in Pakistan in the past two years. A local polio coordinator was killed by gunmen in the Swabi district of Pakistan in November.
This is why the commitment made following the blast by the police authorities in Balochistan, and the national government, to redouble their support of the polio eradication effort is an inspiration to everyone as we move forward past this sad day.
At Rotary, we must continue to demonstrate our commitment to ending polio in honor of those who risk their lives to reach every child with the vaccine. Vast improvements have been seen in Pakistan, with more than 80% fewer cases in the country than in 2014.
And our (post-blast) release of $35 million in grants for polio signals our determination to finish the job to which thousands of courageous individuals have committed themselves, and never forget the sacrifices made by those who were lost in attacks.
(January 13th was) not without a ray of hope. It (was) also the fifth anniversary of no new polio cases in India. This reminder of what can be achieved should give us strength to persevere, and bolster our resilience in the face of terror.
All the best.
John Hewko
General Secretary

(Click on picture above for larger PDF version of flyer that you can pass around to your club members.)

APRIL 9, 2016
10am to 4pm - Mission Bank
1330 Truxtun Ave
Bakersfield, CA
For more information, please contact Sandi Schwartz at 661-706-6663, sandischwartzdg1819@gmail.com, or on Facebook.

Hello all.  Happy new year! 
I’m pleased to report that National Geographic Online posted an article today about the future of polio eradication. The article heavily quotes our very own, Dr. Carol Pandak and highlights Rotary’s role in the fight against polio.  
National Geographic Magazine Online gets 2,517,119 unique visitors to the site each month and this story is a wonderful way to reinforce Rotary’s amazing work to its readers.
I’ve posted the link and story below my signature, highlighting all of Dr. Pandak’s quotes.
Chanele Williams
Media Relations Specialist | Public Relations Group

Jim Lewis
D5240 Polio Plus Committee Chair & International Service Director 2015-16
PP Rotary Club of Moorpark

Please read the message below from RI President K.R. Ravindran.  8000 Rotarians are able to attend mass with Pope Francis at the April 30 event sponsored by Rotary District 2080 and the Vatican.
My Dear Friends,
I am pleased to bring you the good news that His Holiness Pope Francis will officiate at a Mass to Rotarians at St. Peter’s Square, Rome, on 30 April. We will have 8,000 seats reserved for Rotarians, as well as friends and family.
It is my great pleasure to invite you to join me in Italy on this day as we celebrate the Jubilee of Rotarians, a special event hosted by Rotary District 2080 and the Vatican.
In addition, local Rotarians will host special celebratory dinners and plan a service project for attendees.
I believe this event is a tremendous honor that will raise Rotary’s status across so much of the world, and it should bring us all great happiness to be a part of it, regardless of our own religions and beliefs.
For more information, please visit the Jubilee of Rotarians website, which has been provided by our friends in District 2080. Updates and additional information will be available leading up to the event. Registration will open 18 January. I ask that you also include mention of this event in your governor’s monthly letter.
This Jubilee, as established by Pope Francis, is known as the Holy Year of Mercy. It marks the time of forgiveness and reconciliation, of solidarity, hope, and justice. It is a commitment to serve with joy and in peace across the world.
As you work hard to Be a Gift to the World, I do hope you will make the effort to be in Rome with as many members of your district as possible.
Best regards
K.R. Ravindran
Rotary International President, 2015-16
Click the Read More link to learn more about the History of Rotary District 2080 Italy.
We would like to take this opportunity as the new year starts, to remind you about Rotary Global Rewards, our member benefit program featuring special offers that allow you to do a lot more for a lot less—no matter what you’re doing. 
Whether you’re working on your club’s community projects, enjoying a night out with friends or sharing your Rotary story with someone new, you can take advantage of discounts and special offers on airfare, hotels, vehicle rentals, and entertainment.
Would you like to offer discounts from your business to other Rotarians? Help build the program by adding special offers from your own company to the growing portfolio of Rotary Global Rewards. To learn more, visit Rotary.org/GlobalRewards.
Please share this exciting news with your members. You’ll find promotional tools on the Rotary Global Rewards website that will help you introduce your Rotarian friends to the program.
The good you do comes back to you.

Dear Rotarian,
We are excited to announce that the 2017 Rotary Peace Fellowship is now available online! We encourage you to promote the fellowship and have your district endorse qualified applicants who are dedicated to promoting peace.
Please go to our website to review the fellowship details, application process, animation video, and find additional resources for applicants and Rotarians. 
Important reminders about the peace fellowship:
  1. Districts are not responsible for funding applicants. Your district can endorse as many candidates as deemed qualified at no cost.
  2. 31 May 2016 District Deadline - Applications should be sent to DG Jim (jimbelldg1516@gmail.com)
a.   Applicants must submit their application to the district by 31 May to seek endorsement.
b.   Districts must interview and submit their endorsement forms to The Rotary Foundation by 1 July 2016.
c.   Applicants can choose to apply online or with the PDF application. Both can be located on the website. 
Linked to this email are extra resources to help recruit applicants, better understand the application process, and conduct interviews for applicants you are interested in endorsing.
Additional resources include:
3.      Rotary Peace Centers Programmatic Webinar (English only): https://vimeo.com/147646382
We thank you for your dedication and support to the Rotary Peace Centers and the Rotary Peace Fellowship. By working together to recruit and select highly qualified candidates for the 2017 Rotary Peace Fellowship, we continue to build peace and work towards conflict prevention and resolution in our world.
Warm regards,
Rotary Peace Centers

Hear how a 33 member Rotary club in Worcester, Massachusetts brought in 82 members the year Satya Mitra was president.  He now sits on the RI Membership Committee and speaks to clubs all over the world.  We are delighted he will be in our area the first week of March.
Come hear Satya on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at noon at the RC of Thousand Oaks meeting, Los Robles Greens in Thousand Oaks.  You’ll be glad you did.

Legend is an average-looking Labrador retriever with an extraordinary job. He is a therapy dog used to comfort court witnesses and victims, including devastated children, as they recall traumatic events.
On a recent assignment, Legend sat in the witness box of a Bakersfield, Ca. courtroom, his nose in the lap of a child as she explained how her stepfather shot her mother in the head. The child was understandably nervous; she had not seen her stepfather since the night of the shooting. Legend spent over an hour with the child on the stand as she described details surrounding that horrific event.
Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Green, a criminal prosecutor and Legend’s owner, works to make neighborhoods safer by keeping criminals off the street. Sometimes this requires the testimony of children. Child witnesses are glad to have a gentle, intuitive pooch stay near during a difficult time. For these children, Legend is a hero. A hero that brings relief and healing for vulnerable children who have undergone experiences so appalling they should never have lived through them, let alone be asked to explain them again to a jury. Legend’s comfort for children comes at a critical time. This calm creature soothes children in the witness box as they recount memories of rape, shootings and assault. To prevent swaying jurors’ opinions of the witness or their testimony, Legend is trained to stay hidden, and usually does.
Legend has always had a tender soul. Green initially took Legend as a puppy to train him as a guide dog. But when Legend, raised by Green’s family in a rural setting, failed a stressful performance examination on a busy Los Angeles street, a new purpose at court emerged. Legend was already a beloved court visitor when he was rejected as a guide dog – he spent days lying around Green’s office. Legend had already been present for most of Green’s time working with child molestation victims and was a natural fit because his calm nature had a soothing effect on children.
Months later, after many tests and a performance exam, Legend was certified as a comfort dog. Now, Green brings Legend to work with him almost every day. For his courthouse job, Legend was taught to take commands from far away without making eye contact with the handler, maintain positions for long periods of time and respond to witnesses’ emotional needs. Legend has a knack for these things. And it is for these reasons and more, that Rotarian John Fallgatter of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield West made Legend a RI Paul Harris Fellow.
Legend’s popularity has earned him his own Facebook page. Green and his wife are preparing to add another trainer and more dogs to the witness comfort program. Once the training is formalized, Green plans to expand the program to provide nuzzling solace for more child witnesses.
*Submitted by Rotarian Jacquelyn S. Jans as reported by Bakersfield Life Magazine, July 2015.
** Photos include Legend receiving his PH certificate, pin and medallion (which personally belonged to John Fallgatter when he was made a PH); along with RC of West President Roger Griess, Rotarian Jacquelyn S. Jans, Deputy Dist. Attorney Ken Green, Faith Green and Rotarian John Fallgatter.

Congratulations to Sheri Horn-Bunk member and Past President (2014-15) of Bakersfield North Rotary Club . . . 5240 is proud of you! The following was taken from the January 19, 2016 blog written by Richard Beene, Bakersfield Californian ­president and CEO:  
It was good to hear that the Taft Chamber of Commerce is recognizing Sheri Horn-Bunk as its Woman of the Year for 2016. The ever-energetic Horn-Bunk is director of the Taft College Foundation and is one of the brains behind the successful West Kern Petroleum Summit that is held on the college campus.” 

The Rotaract Presidents of District 5240 are meeting for the first ever President's Retreat Saturday, March 19, 2016 in San Luis Obispo, CA. All Rotaract clubs in the district will be represented by either the current club president or a proxy to begin forming the Rotaract District Counsel led by the District Rotaract Chair, and District Rotaract Representative.
During this meeting, Rotaractors will discuss concerns and ideas for further involvement with Rotaract Clubs from a district level. Members will also talk over training opportunities, recruitment strategies, and how to transition Rotaract members to a sponsoring Rotary Club.
Now more than ever, District 5240 is putting together a plan to "bridge the gap" between our youth programs and Rotarians to continue the legacy of Rotary International.
MacKenzie West
Bakersfield Rotaract President 2015-16

Taken from Deb Holler’s (RC of Simi Valley) Facebook page is the following heart-warming story of Rotarians in action:
Thank you to all members of Team Tony for your prayers and encouraging words! In less than 24 hours from now, Tony Falato will receive the gift of life from fellow Rotarian Rocky Rhodes, and the transplant process will begin!! We ask for your continued prayers and positive thoughts for Tony and our donor Rocky throughout the day tomorrow and in the coming weeks as they begin the recovery process. We will post updates on the Team Tony page as we are able. We thank for so much love and support through this process!!
 Look at these smiles with their signed hospital gowns from the Rotary Club of Simi Valley! It says it all! The person giving the gift of life and the person receiving the gift of life. Praying for the perfect outcome today!! We love you Tony Falato and Rocky Rhodes!!
The day after surgery both Tony and Rocky are resting and recovering. Your continued prayers are appreciated! Thank you to all of you for your comments, prayers, and show of amazing support and love!!

Connect With Us
Upcoming District Events
Rotary District 5240 Office
3394 Bryan Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93063
Telephone: 805-578-1061 Fax: 805-578-1081
Email nlfalconer@aol.com
Administrative Assistant: Nancy Falconer