Spring is in the Air!
Do you remember growing up? Every year, right around the beginning of April, I would begin noticing tender shoots of grass popping up everywhere and blossoms sending off a faint perfume that caused me to stop and take in a deep breath. I wanted to walk in the woods and swim in lakes and head off to the beach. And the sky was so blue, with clouds so white that I wanted to reach up and touch them.  Do you remember that it was right around April that your classmates (not YOU, of course) began daydreaming and/or cutting school?  Just because we are no longer teenagers doesn’t mean that those same kind of “spring is in the air” feelings don’t emerge. This year all the more. We have been isolated, shut in, and covered up, and now spring is calling to us to fly like this year’s newly born birds from our nests.
We have a choice. And that is, where do we fly? Do we fly away from all the activities and projects and gatherings that happen the last three months of our Rotary year? Or do we fly into it all with a fresh perspective, anticipation, enthusiasm, and drive? Each of us has that choice.
April is the right time to revisit your club’s goals and timelines to make sure you accomplish all you have set your sights on. Invite great speakers to your meetings and invite guests to hear them. Get outside for some fun outdoor projects or a springtime barbeque. You CAN do that safely!
The Club RALLYE Awards will be determined this month by April 7th. Be sure that someone in your club completes the RALLYE Awards form and sends it in to the Awards Committee by 4/7, at A big shout-out to Judy Clark and her team for pulling this together. Award winners will be announced on May 1st and 2nd during RALLYE week.
Speaking of RALLYE, register now at Our RALLYE Committee has been creatively putting together an EXPERIENCE for you, like watching your favorite cable show. It will be fast moving, fun, a little goofy, informational, AND inspirational. RALLYE week runs from April 30th starting with our district business meeting, through May 1-2, with our “conference” activities, parade of presidents and presidents elect, club awards, keynote speakers, youth highlights, celebrations, and acknowledgements. RALLYE will wrap up on May 8th, with our Leadership Learning Assembly. We hope you will attend. Also, be sure to visit our House of Friendship on the RALLYE website (IT’S OPEN NOW!) as well as bid on the silent auction of Area Baskets full of goodies from our local communities. You can even still buy a JOurneY hat to remember this year and support POLIO PLUS in the House of Friendship.
 Rotarians at Work Day is April 24th. Has your club decided how to make a showing and a difference in your community on that day? Remember to wear your Rotary shirts and hats and pins, bring your banners or other signage, and see if you can get “noticed” in your local media. Post your pictures! Gather safely. Have fun.
You probably have heard by now that our Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) has been postponed for the second year in a row. We are disappointed but know that safety must come first.
We are still hopeful that our other two key youth programs – Rotary Youth Leadership Awakening (RYLA) and Rotary Eighth Grade Leadership (REGL) – will be able to open back up this year. We should know for sure by the middle of April.  Keep looking for candidates; keep the process going, so that we can jump right in. FINGERS CROSSED! Thankfully, some of our other youth programs, like Achievement Beyond Obstacles (ABO), and other collegiate and vocational scholarships are in full force!
Congratulations to all the Presidents Elect and Assistant Governors who have recently finished a slate of trainings in preparation for next year. Thanks for your commitment!
Past District Governor Gail Ellingwood and I continue to hold Open Leadership Conversations about twice a month. Everyone and anyone is welcome to join in. The schedule and links are on the home page of our district website as well as on the district calendar. It’s an opportunity to learn from each other.
We are seventy five percent through our JOurneY of 2020-21. Your backpacks may be feeling a little lighter; your pace may be picking up as you see the accomplishments of this year come to fruition. Be proud of what you’ve done together. Be proud of the difference you continue to make to your communities and the people in them. Be proud to be Rotarians and people of action.
Let’s allow the energy and renewal of spring to put spring in all our steps, and let’s keep pace to finish our JOurneY strong!
Check Out The Downlaod: a District 5190 Podcast
Tune in, on your time, to get all the district news.
Episodes are archived on the District website. You can also subscribe to the show on your favorite listening app (Spotify, Google Play, Apple Podcasts), or check out each episode when it's posted to all the District social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook).
You'll hear all kinds of great things on the show and experience the District in a whole new way.
LATEST EPISODE: superb chat with Debe Fennell about the Bicentennial Park project from the Reno Club. Stayed tuned all the way through to the end for a fun treat!
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Happy listening!
P.S. Have an idea for an episode? Contact Shauna Ganes at and let her know.
Area 5:  Working Together on International Projects
Auburn is fortunate to have four clubs - Auburn, Auburn Gold Country, Auburn Sunset, and Sierra Passport - to work together on international fundraising and projects.  The fundraising for the past few years has included a Bingo Night.  The funds raised this past year benefitted three projects - Shelter Box Program (worldwide), Genesis Orphanage in Mexico, and Freedom for Girls Sanitation Project in Kenya.  The Auburn Club has also provided funding for an orphanage in Vietnam. 
Project Notes:
The Rancho Genesis orphanage project is the development of campgrounds for an orphanage near Ensenada, Mexico.  The orphanage serves children who have experienced intra-family violence, sexual abuse, abandonment, malnutrition, insufficient medical care, and lack of education.  The campgrounds will enable further development of the orphans’ self-confidence and their potential. This project began last year and will continue a few more.  When the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, club members can personally participate in the camp development.  At this time, the funds raised have enabled us to develop an irrigation system for shade trees to be planted for the campgrounds.  (See photo.)
The Freedom for Girls Sanitation Project provides funds to be matched by local Rotary clubs in Kenya to supply girls with sanitary towels, undergarments and a teaching manual to help the girls stay in school.  This will enable the girls not to miss as many as five days per month of school due to lack of sanitary protection and an inadequate knowledge of menstruation and how to manage it.
The third project is fulfilling the Auburn Club’s 20-year mission of providing food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical care for orphaned children in six locations around the central highlands of KonTum, Vietnam. Thanks to donor contributions, the club is supporting higher education and vocational training.  They hope to resume helping more students again as the Covid-19 pandemic diminishes.  Their goal of serving young people to develop professional careers and break away from agrarian livelihoods is a very recent phenomenon for Montagnard youth, an ethnic minority in Vietnam.
Reminder that these are going forward. Click here for update info.
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Our goal is to make the information coming from the District timely, relevant and valuable to every member of District 5190.
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As we are slowly starting to see light at the end of this COVID tunnel, we can expect to see more Rotarians in action.  However, the virus has not kept us from continuing to offer “Service Above Self”, even with many cancelled events.
Area 11 has four far flung clubs with the desire to see Rotary do great things in our communities.  All of our clubs have had to juggle “how do we meet” in a pandemic. Most have had to resorted to hybrid meeting, but it seems to change from month to month.  But as Spring approaches, and vaccines are made available, more members are opting to socially distance in person.
Many of our major events and fundraisers had to be cancelled this year, such as Ely’s Ice Fishing event, Winnemucca’s Golf Tournament and Elko Desert Sunrise’s Ride Around the Rubies.  Plans are already in the works to bring back these events so we can fund more community projects in 2021-2022.
Several projects did happen, however.  Elko Desert Sunrise was able to complete the Benches project in Lamoille Canyon and they also joined with the Elko Rotary Club to obtain grant money for COVID relief projects to support agencies that benefit the homeless, and also to supply meals to needy children during the school closures.
Plans are already in the works to bring back events before the 2020-2021 year ends.  The Winnemucca Club is hoping to have their Golf tournament in early summer and Elko Desert Sunrise is on track to have its re-branded Ride Around the Rubies, now called “Ruby Roubaix”, on June 19th.  Come join us!


We remain cautiously optimistic that three RYLA sessions (June 13-18, June 20-25 and July 11-16) will take place as scheduled.

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Plumas County, CA where our host, Grizzly Creek Ranch, is located.  We will know with certainty on or about April 1 if RYLA will take place.

For now, we urge you to begin the process of identifying participants who would like to attend.  If you registered students last year who would still like to attend, please let us know via one of the two email addresses at the bottom of this page.  We have archived all registration documents from 2020 and can easily transfer them to this year.  And remember, both Juniors and Seniors are eligible to attend.  The registration deadline has been extended to May 15.

For “new” participant registration please have students find and complete the “participant registration form” found at our public website under the “participants” heading on the top of page banner.

Once students have registered, confirmations will be sent to both the student and the sponsoring club. 

We will provide another update soon.





Rotary Club of Reno Central International Projects
Michael Rainey, International Service Committee Chair
Over the years, our club has completed a number of projects internationally all because of the generous donors who participate in our annual fundraisers. Over the past two years, we donated to two projects in Colombia, two in Mexico, one in Ecuador, and one in Panama.
In late 2019, we donated $10,000 in partnership with the Rotary Club, Pereira Perla del Otun, Colombia, through a Rotary Foundation Global Grant to purchase coffee processing equipment that benefited the coffee farmers and their families in the rural Colombian town of Belen de Umbria. The equipment added capacity to the processing plant which eliminated middlemen in the coffee distribution system and gave the families additional needed income.
Our club’s $3,300 donation through a Global Grant was added to donations by several other American Rotary Clubs and the Colombian Rotary Club of La Plata. With these funds, the existing water distribution system was completely rebuilt, and a water purification system installed in the rural community of El Camino, in the fall of 2019 to serve over 2,000 residents.
In the Spring of 2020, amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ecuador, our club in a short period of time raised $5,000 and contributed to several Ecuadorian Rotary Clubs that purchased and distributed over 100 new and repaired ventilators. This also funded appropriate personal protective equipment for hospitals and clinics throughout the country through a Rotary Foundation Global Grant.
A group of University of Nevada, Reno Hydrology Club students traveled to Panama, in May of 2019, to engineer and install a water distribution system in a small fishing village with donated materials from the Rotary Clubs of Reno Central and Reno. Our club’s $1,600 donation provided funding to purchase a water storage tank as shown in the photo below.
In Mexico, our club donated funds ($2,000) through a Global Grant sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nevada City 49ers Breakfast to provide dental equipment to a rural medical clinic near Tijuana in December 2019.  We also donated $2000 for emergency medical supplies through the NGO, Project C.U.R.E., to rural clinics near Puerto Vallarta in the Spring of 2020. The distribution of these supplies was done by the Rotaract Club of Puerto Vallarta Sur.
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Foundation News!
Congratulations to all the clubs that have achieved Rotary Foundation Giving Banners!
Click here to see all the honorees, plus information up the upcoming foundation celebration and updates on district grants.
RALLYE 2021 is coming! This virtual event will be full of fellowship and learning. Click here to register. Reminder there are amazing speakers scheduled and LLA is part of RALLYE. Get all your inspiration and training in one place! Click here to register. First 200 registrants get a fantastic gift!
Click here for the event flyer and click here to register. This is a unique opportunity that shouldn't be missed!
ABO Success Story
The four Area 8 Rotary Clubs involved with the Achievement Beyond Obstacles (ABO) Scholarship Program would like to share wonderful news about one of our students.  Lauren Mazurowski recently accepted an offer into the Yale PhD program for Chemical and Environmental Engineering, with a focus on water purification and technology.  Lauren received the ABO Scholarship for the entire six years of her college career to date, starting with her undergraduate degree, through her master’s degree. During the final year of her master’s program, Lauren decided to reach for her PhD.  She applied to four schools and was accepted by all of them – Yale, UC Berkley, UC Davis and CU Boulder!
Completing an undergraduate degree, let alone a Master’s or PhD, was something that Lauren truly never thought she would accomplish. While caregiving for her father during her high school career when he was suffering from frontal temporal degeneration, Lauren remained motivated to finish high school.  When her father died during her senior year, Lauren told us it was difficult even to imagine even going to college.  That wasn’t for a lack of want or motivation, but simply for a lack of time and resources, as she would need to work multiple jobs while in school.  She told us the ABO scholarship allowed her to study rather than always working.  It has allowed her to purchase and keep textbooks, and other valuable school materials, and she attributes the continuation of her education in graduate school to her ABO Scholarships.
Lauren had some great accomplishments during the past few years.  After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she immediately began studying for her master’s.  During her graduate studies, she has performed valuable research on removing pharmaceuticals from wastewater, as well as testing for COVID-19 in our wastewater.  She held several jobs, including an engineering technician position at Lumos and Associates, whose principal was Craig Wesner, a member of the Rotary Club of Reno.  At the time of her hire, neither Lauren or Craig knew of their mutual Rotary connections.  Lauren became a Rotarian in 2019 at the Reno Midtown Club.  And, she has spoken at numerous Rotary events regarding the impact six years of ABO scholarships has had on her educational career.
Reno South Rotary started the ABO Program (formerly Most Improved Student) in 1996 to recognize students whose pathway to high school graduation was much more difficult than it was for most of us. These students had to overcome issues such as significant health problems, abuse, dysfunctional families, homelessness, even brushes with the law – all the while continuing their coursework to graduation. Typically, scholarships are awarded based on academic prowess. The success of these ABO students has been their ability to overcome obstacles life placed in their way. The ABO program reaches out to our students with mentoring programs, encouragement and financial assistance so they may look to a new future by continuing their education.
In an effort to expand this program further, Reno South Rotary joined forces with the Rotary Clubs of Reno, Sparks, and Reno Central. The addition of these three Rotary clubs has enabled the Achievement Beyond Obstacles Program to increase the amount of scholarships and resources to these very deserving young men and women.  As you can see from this article, this expansion has helped students such as Lauren excel.  To learn more about the program, visit or follow us on Facebook.
Russell Hampton
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