December is upon us and our Rotary district is alive and vibrant.  We are coming into the sixth month of the Rotary year and nearing the half way mark. The monthly theme is Disease Prevention and Treatment which is the Area of Focus Number 2 of the 7 areas that Rotary identifies. Our fight to end polio is the primary goal for Rotary International and it is with realistic anticipation that we await the eradication of this disease. 
The wild polio virus is still responsible for paralytic complications and occasional fatal outcomes in Afghanistan and Pakistan attacking around 100 victims yearly (mainly children). The continent of Africa has not experienced a case of polio in over 3 years and was declared polio free in August by the World Health Organization. I urge you as individuals and clubs to continue to support our End Polio Now campaign. On a global level, the Bill and Melinda Gaits Foundation will do the 2 to 1 match with Rotary when we raise $1 million USD. We will be successful in the match again this year.
Following along with the Disease Prevention and Treatment theme, our organization continues to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The impact of this nasty virus both globally and locally has been profound. I believe 2020 will be a milestone year for our generation and we will refer to timelines as BC (before COVID) and AC (after COVID). The way we meet, fundraise, do service projects and socials has been dramatically different from what we anticipated a year ago. And yet, we have shown resilience, creativity and innovation in response. Our Foundation Team has rallied to provide matching grants to many District Clubs with projects aimed at food insecurity, social unrest and community building.
Our organization prides itself in creating leaders and providing training for all of us to improve our knowledge of Rotary and our leadership skills. The District Training Team led by Sandhya Maini DGN has done a terrific job in switching the training format of our programs to virtual from our traditional in-person routine. This includes PETS, Rotary Leadership Institute and Club Leadership Training. Combined with our training programs is the strong emphasis we have in succession planning at all levels of our organization from DG to the club officers. 31 of our clubs have identified their President Elects and I am confident that the remaining clubs will elect their PE’s in December. The District Governor for 23/24 has been selected and will be announced shortly and highlighted in the December Newsletter.
Our District Environment Committee has met twice and is continuing to plan to be a resource and support for clubs in the District. This group is hoping to provide reliable information for clubs, to develop a speaker series and to plan events that will inform us all and invite us to participate in community projects. A Multi-District Waterside Clean up is being planned for April 24. More information will be provided in December. If your club wants to start an Environment Committee look on the website in the Community Service Section.
Related to the above paragraph but with broader significance, is the announcement that a District Conference will be held on Saturday May 29 with the Environment being the them.  A committee to plan this event is being chaired by Jennifer Ngo, Mississauga West.
Stay tuned for updates on the International Convention, Taipei, Taiwan June 122-16. The theme is “Feel the Energy – of Innovation and Tradition.  It is not yet known if this event will be virtual, in-person or hybrid.
Until next month- take care of yourself, each other and the planet.
DG Mike