District Newsletter
May 1, 2021

Youth Service Month


May Message from DG Deb Linden
Happy May Day Fellow Rotary Members!  May Day (usually celebrated on May 1) is a celebration of Spring. It symbolizes a time of rebirth and unity as the flowers begin to bloom, the weather gets warmer, and we begin to emerge from our COVID isolation.
Youth Service Month:
May also marks Youth Service Month in Rotary when we turn our focus to the many programs and projects organized by our clubs and District to serve youth in our communities. We just concluded two of these programs – RYLA and the annual Four-Way Test Essay Contest. Our District organized its first ever Virtual RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) for over 130 high school students and it was a huge success! Congratulations to our RYLA Director Darin Arrasmith and his RYLA team for their willingness to adapt and for creating an amazing event. And Steve Geil once again led our District Four-Way Test Contest where nine outstanding students will be recognized and receive cash awards from their sponsoring clubs. Thank you Steve!
I would also like to welcome our newest Interact Club: The Vista Real High School Interact Club sponsored by the Rotary Club of Santa Paula. Forming a new Interact Club can be a challenge at best and even more so in the middle of a pandemic. I can’t wait to see what amazing things this club does for their school and community. 
Because of the continued threat of COVID in many parts of the world, Rotary International has suspended in-person Rotary Youth Exchanges for 2021-2022. But that does not mean we are giving up on RYE! Many Districts are engaging in different types of virtual exchanges and this is something our District Rotary Youth Exchange Chair Barry VanderKelen is exploring for the upcoming Rotary year. 
Rotary Foundation Donor Recognition:
Registration is now open for the 2021 District 5240 Rotary Foundation Donor Recognition & Celebration, which is virtual this year on Friday, May 7, 2021, at 6:00 pm. The event is free, but you need to register in advance by clicking HERE. We will be recognizing YOU – our members who have achieved various donation levels to The Rotary Foundation – and we will have a special presentation by the CFO from Feeding America about the dramatic increase in food insecurity during COVID and how organizations like Rotary helped address the crisis. A flyer for the event is below. 
Registration is Open for the 2021 Rotary International Convention:
Registration is now open for the 2021 Virtual RI Convention June 12-16, 2021! This is your chance to experience an RI Convention for only $49 (promotional rate good until May 7, then $65 after that). You can also register for pre-convention events focusing on Rotaract and Inter-Country Committees. For more information and registration information, click HERE.
Save the Date for the District Awards and End of Year Celebration:
On Friday evening, June 25, 2021, we will be coming together to honor very deserving Rotary members and clubs and celebrating their successes at our Virtual District Awards and End of Year Celebration. Despite the challenges this past year presented, our clubs and members have done amazing work deserving of recognition and celebration. We will also be remembering the members we lost this year and keeping them in our hearts. And we’ll be looking to the future as I turn over the virtual District gavel to our incoming District Governor Dana Moldovan! Please save the date and look for more details and registration information coming soon. 
Deb Linden
District Governor 2020-21



District Rotary Foundation Message
This month's message is posted by Frank Ortiz, District Rotary Foundation Chair
View the current message by clicking the button below!
The Rotary Foundation Virtual Celebration
May 07, 2021
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
View entire list


Simi Sunset Rotary - Rock For A Cause - Drive-in Concert
The Rotary Club of Simi Sunset Presents: ROCK FOR A CAUSE Drive-in Concert!
We are excited to have Bad Habit, one of Ventura County's TOP Cover Bands, play a much needed drive-in concert right here in Simi Valley. Come join us and listen to classic 80's hits and more from the comfort of your own vehicle. Proceeds from the event will support LOCAL organizations.
Sat, May 22, 2021
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM PDT
Cambria Rotary - Ping Pong Palooza
Win fun prizes - and all for a good cause!
Prior to the event, you'll receive notification of your ball numbers.
The ball drop will take place on June 2.
Need not be present to win.
Get yours by May 25th, 2021
Add Your Events to the Newsletter!
This year, we will incorporate your club events and projects into the newsletter! We send the newsletter at the beginning of each month and will include events for that month.
Click the button below to send us your flyer, brief discription, and best link for the event.
Conejo Valley Rotaract Helps Manna
On March 13th of this year Rotary year, the Rotaract club of Conejo Valley worked with the local Manna food bank to sort food. When they arrived, they were shown around the facility and were told that Manna would soon be moving into a larger facility they had purchased. Rotaract was told about the precautions they had to take during COVID and how those in need would have to fill out a form to receive their food.
The Rotaract Club was instructed on how to check for dates to make sure items were safe to give out to the community members that needed them. While it got hot during their service project, they were able to stay cool by drinking water and wearing sunscreen. Overall, the club members had a wonderful time sorting the food and making sure they put the items in the correct locations. Current club president, Benjamin Wilson, is confident that their club will be back to help again and enjoyed the time bonding over whether the item belonged in the ramen bin or the pasta bin.
District 5240 Joint International Project
Senguio, Mexico,  Additional Schoolroom Project

The RC of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is working with the RC of Morelia Experiencia & Juventad District 4140 to provide an additional schoolroom at the Teodora Medina de Guijosa elementary school in the Senguio Community near Morelia in the state of Michoacan.  The effort is to provide educational opportunities for youth with the aim of diverting them from joining gang life.  Earlier projects undertaken with support from District 5240 RC San Luis Obispo Daybreak and RC Conejo Valley provided a new classroom, computer room, water, bathrooms, computers, desks, chairs, school supplies, and school uniforms.  As a result, enrollment increased from 17 to 70 students, who are meeting in 2 classrooms (3 grades in each). 
Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa helps local families survive the pandemic
Last Fall, after six months living through the pandemic, the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa knew more support was needed for local charities as these organizations struggled from the lasting impacts of COVID-19. To meet this need, the Board of Directors voted to accelerate the club’s annual community grants program, which would normally have occurred in Spring 2021, and to focus specifically on COVID relief. A total of $25,000 was distributed by the end of calendar year 2020 to five organizations, each receiving $5,000.
Mexico Hearing Aid III Global Grant Project
Thousand Oaks (and Sister Tijuana Club) Rotarians Partner to Help Hearing-Impaired Children and Elderly
The Thousand Oaks Rotary Club is the International Sponsor of a Global Grant providing hearing aid devices, fittings and speech therapy to underprivileged children and elderly individuals in Tijuana, Mexico.  The Tijuana Rotary Club (which has been the “Sister Club” of the Thousand Oaks Rotary Club for over 15 years) was the local Host Club, and the grant project also involved the assistance of two medical services charities located in Tijuana.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic public gathering restrictions, fitting sessions were spread out over four months (from November 2020 through March 2021), with each session involving a small number of recipients, instead of two large fitting ceremonies as was initially planned.
2021 4-Way Test Essay Contest Winners
RC of Thousand Oaks Cleans Up Hometowns
Members and Friends of the Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks participated in this year’s Coastal Cleanup. Because of COVID, instead of being at the beach, Coastal Cleanup encouraged the volunteers to clean up their hometowns. They cleaned up in Thousand Oaks. 18 individuals picked up approximately 800 pounds of trash from two locations. 15 volunteers cleaned up the wash that runs along the 23 Freeway between Janss Road and Paige Lane, which includes a homeless encampment and 3 volunteers cleaned up at Wildwood Park. Thank you to everyone who helped out.
RC of Thousand Oaks Helps James Storehouse
The Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks created a grant to benefit James Storehouse that helps out young men and women transition from a foster program to being successfully independent. The club recently provided approximately $600 worth of cookware, containers, utensils, bathroom items, and more to get a young woman started in her apartment. Thank you to Deborah Kniss for organizing this. The club plans to set up 8 more apartments and provide 50 kitchen kits and 20 bathroom kits for these young adults.  They are glad to be partnering with James Storehouse. 
Cambria Rotary’s High School Peace Essay Contest
In an effort to empower youth as informed peacebuilders, we reached out to Sarah  Johnston, CUHS English teacher, to ask whether she was interested in coordinating a  Peace Essay contest for her students. As the daughter of Rotarians, she embraced  the idea immediately but needed to figure out how to work it into the year’s course  work. A few ideas were sourced from Rotary’s website for Sarah’s consideration.
RC Arroyo Grande Water Project in Uganda
The Arroyo Grande Rotary Club has been staying busy throughout 2020-2021.  We partnered with St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church of Monterey Park, CA to fund a clean water project for the Village of Wakiso,, Mukono District, Uganda.  A well was dug to access clean water, underground piping was laid and an 8 foot high structure was built for three water storage tanks to provide water pressure and protect from the unwanted animals.  Additionally solar panels were installed to power the well pump ensuring continual operations.  Now the over 350 families of Wakiso Village have clean water and the children can spend their time in school rather than traveling daily to carry containers of water gathered from ponds they find.
Bakersfield Clubs Come Together for District Cleanup
Rotary Club of Bakersfield Twilight (“Twilight Rotary Club”) joined members of Bakersfield East Rotary Club (“BERC”) and students from Centennial High Interact Club (“Interact”) for the District 5240 Rotary Work Day on Saturday, April 24th.  The volunteers met at the Rotary Wheel area of Panorama Park, also known as Rotary Park, where they cleaned up the Rotary Wheel area and areas surrounding the pathway along the Bluffs.  The volunteers enjoyed perfect weather as they fanned out in groups of three and four to pick up an eclectic mix of trash and debris that littered the pathway along the bluffs and pruned overgrown and dead shrubs around the Rotary Wheel area. When the volunteers were done, there was a large pile of dead shrubbery removed from plants and numerous large bags of trash collected by the Rotary and Interact members.
Add Your Stories to the Newsletter!
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