Aloha Rotarians,
As we close out the year of opportunities and Holomua, we move forward to new opportunities to serve to change lives.  This Rotary year was extraordinary in so many ways and has left me with a deepen appreciation for the relevance of Rotary.  It has been my honor to serve you as District Governor and I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to the Club Presidents and Boards for leading your clubs. Thank you to the Assistant Governors and District Leadership Team for supporting the Presidents and Rotarians.  Thank you to my husband Dean for your support.  I would not have been able to devote as much time to Rotary without your help. Together, we all united to be problem-solvers and we took action to make lasting changes across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.  We did the right things in the right way, at the right time, in the right place, to the right person. .  Kina’ole! 
COVID-19 went pandemic in early 2020 and the world shut down in an effort to understand and control its rampant spread and this impacted the medical resources, economic well-being, and social health of the global community.  Being the most isolated land mass in the world and the fear of not knowing what to expect created an environment of uncertainty.  Yet, Rotarians in District 5000 and throughout the world stepped up to the plate and delivered needed help to our communities and worked towards establishing the new normal. Let me count the ways we were able to pivoted and accomplish great things:
  1. ZOOM became an effective tool to have meetings and training sessions
  2. The District Conference went virtual and brought us together to celebrate our successes and the Rotary Wine Appreciation Fellowship even had a virtual wine tasting led by Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya, with REAL wine!
  3. We planted 9,000 trees across the State, including 1,000 fruit trees on Maui for our annual Rotary Gives Thanks effort.  These trees will absorb 279,00 pounds of carbon each year.
  4. The annual Rotarians at Work Day in April brought out many clubs to pick up thousands of pounds of plastics and trash all across the District.
  5. RYLA went virtual with students District-wide having fun and learning at the same time.
  6. The first ever middle school RYLA was awesome and was the catalyst for forming new Interact clubs in the middle schools.
  7. The District Youth Service met regularly and held webinars on college application process, financial aid, and a Toastmasters session on making good impressions.
  8. We held a virtual Peace Forum with awesome speakers that brought attendees from all over the world.
  9. The Rotary Doing Business marketplace featured Rotarian businesses and the business directory on the District website makes it easy to find a Rotary connection. The District chartered Rotary Means Business Fellowship offers a way for clubs to hold networking events.
  10. Rotaract was elevated and a Rotaract Council was formed with Rotaractors and Rotarians working together and meeting regularly.
  11. These District-wide special interest groups were formed and meet regularly:  Promoting Peace, Environment Sustainability, and  Young Professionals.
  12. Training webinars were offered to build our Rotary I.Q., including a monthly “Welcome to Rotary” session for newcomers. 
  13. The Club Trainer position has been expanded to offer support in the President and Boards and they meet monthly with the District Trainer.
  14. The Island Resource Teams offered assistance on the ground in each County.
  15. Promoting Rotary through our Facebook posts and through the state-wide tabloid, along with the public service announcements on TV and press releases have brought more attention to Rotary.
  16. The District International Service committee assisted with information and support to clubs. We held a virtual Friendship Exchange with Russia and have more planned. We have 100% of clubs participating in Global Grants.       
  17. Awareness of Rotary’s position on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has been highlight through training and a DEI District Committee was formed.
  18. The District Leadership Academy was revitalized and the cohort of 12 graduated with flying colors.  (The deadline to apply has been extended to July 15th)
  19. The 3 R’s series on mental health wellness and relaxation was well received. A District Health and Wellness Committee was formed and they brought us information on COVID and vaccinations.  
  20. The awareness of our Polio Eradication effort was heightened and the World Polio Day event on October 24th was fabulous with $22k raised that day for PolioPlus!
As you can see, our District is alive and thriving and it is with a heartfelt thank you to the many who made this happen.   Here are some stats:
  • Projects
    • $265k in community projects, including club cash
    • $911k in global grants (completed and pending), including $268k World Fund 
    • 11,200 volunteer hours reported on Rotary Club Central
    • Internationally, $31 million in district grants and $47 million in global grants
  • Contributions
    • $287k to the TRF Annual fund
    • $96k to PolioPlus (matched by the Gate Foundation makes it $288k)
  • Scholarships Awarded
    • $270k from Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation
    • $161k from clubs                                                
D5000 Clubs love doing service projects and this year, we had more opportunities to serve.  Covid-19 has devastated our state economy.  People needed basic necessities like food.  Several Rotary clubs supported food drives and distributions. 
The Kona club already had a feeding program in place, where they got food donations, cooked the food and distributed it to families.  As the need increased, the club began to collaborate with other organizations to fill the increased demand.  This effort truly exemplifies community spirit.
During the initial vaccination rollout period, a request for volunteers was sent out.  Rotarians volunteered to assist at numerous vaccinations sites.  These volunteers help to make the vaccination process operate smoothly.
During this time of need, we cannot forget about the homeless.  As various organizations work to place the homeless in transitional housing, the Rotary Club of West Honolulu assembled and distributed “welcome kits” filled with items like bedding, kitchen and bathroom supplies.  These organizations and the transitioning homeless deeply appreciate this effort.
Congratulations to the Rotary Club of Hilo for 100 years of service, to our 2 internationally-recognized Rotarians, Dr. James Ham for being named one of 6 People of Action Champions of Health and Dr. Paul Moroz for the prestigious RI Service Above Self Award.  Congratulations to the Clubs of the Year: Eco Rotary, Upcountry Maui and Lahaina Sunset.  Congratulations to all 53 clubs in District 5000 for serving your communities and your members.
I am so humbled and proud to have served your as your Governor.  We have so much to look forward to and I know you will continue to grow Rotary.  As Sandy steps up to lead the charge to Serve with Aloha to Change Lives,  I know that you will continue to live up to “Service Above Self.” We are Rotary Strong!
Aloha and Mahalo.
District Governor Naomi Masuno
2020-2021, a year to remember
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile