Rotary District 5470
Southern Colorado From East to West
The Colorado Connector 
November 2020
District Governor Chip Ecks
November is
Rotary Foundation Month

Donating to Rotary means clean water and sanitation.

Health and hope in areas that were once ravaged by diseases like polio.

Economic development and new opportunities.

Your financial help makes all this happen, and more!

Would you please help us reach our District Goal of Every Rotarian contributing something and $300,000 in total donations for November & December!

By Erin Maloney

(sister of Past Rotary President Mark Maloney)

Until this summer, I had never really thought about joining a Rotary club. Even though I have been involved with service – from anti-domestic violence issues to giving music lessons – for all of my adult life, I was not interested in the traditional model of Rotary (with weekly meetings).

Living in Turkey, I was becoming more interested in reducing human trafficking, as I was concerned that female university students from abroad were being “groomed.” After the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it became more difficult to address this issue.

Meanwhile, I noticed that Rotary was becoming less traditional, open to a “new” kind of Rotarian – someone like me.

Perhaps the opportunities had been there for a while, but I first noticed them while attending the 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention (led by my brother, Mark Maloney, then Rotary International president). I saw three things that convinced me to join.

At the Convention’s first general session, I was impressed by a video about how communities like “Anytown” could have more Rotary clubs, if they broadened from the traditional model of meetings to a different sort of model, so that more “people of action” could participate.

Then, at the Convention’s second general session, I saw an example of a just such a non-traditional Rotary club. I had never seen one like it! It met only twice a month, on Sundays, in a coffee shop – with their children!

Finally, I looked carefully at the “booths” in the Virtual Convention’s House of Friendship. There, I learned about RAGAS (Rotary Action Group Against Slavery), and decided to attend a “Zoom” meeting to learn more about the work of the organization. I was impressed! With Zoom-chat, I asked if there was an international Rotary club devoted to ending modern slavery. I was immediately given contact information for the Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking in Minnesota, with Karen Walkowski as its Rotary Club president.

And the rest is history! I have now been a member of this Rotary club for three months, attending twice monthly meetings, online via Zoom. While a majority of its members live in the US, there are others like me who live around the world. I am impressed with the work and direction of the club.

I am happy that Rotary has broadened its meeting model, to include people of action like me.

Virtual Rotary Choir keeps the music going


Members of the IFRM Virtual Rotary World Choir during a recent online concert.

By Bonnie F. Sirower, past district governor of District 7490 (New Jersey, USA) 

A lot of Rotary members are not aware of the opportunities they have to dramatically increase their friendships and connections through a Rotary Fellowship.

I first joined the International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians (IFRM) at the 2005 Rotary International Convention in Chicago. I was drawn to their booth in the House of Friendship by the number of people having fun singing to the accompaniment of a pianist. I joined the fellowship right then and there and for several years, participated in the Rotary World Choir at conventions during the Interfaith Service on Sunday mornings. What a beautiful way to be together – making gorgeous music with people who had previously been strangers.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit and we lost our opportunity to sing together at the Honolulu convention, the leaders of our fellowship decided to start a new Zoom project to engage members through music. With social distancing, Rotarians were looking for ways to connect during social distancing.

In early April, the fellowship decided to perform music together in a virtual choir. Our Virtual Rotary World Choir, under the direction of John Ackenhusen, a musician who lives near Seattle, Washington, USA, now meets online every Saturday morning. Our members receive rehearsal material in advance, and then converge via Zoom to listen to the accompaniment and sing their parts. We then email our voice memos to John, who uses digital audio and video work stations to put the four-part harmony pieces together so that they are synced perfectly.

We have already engaged more than 25 Rotarian musicians in at least 12 countries. Over our brief history, we have recorded 13 songs, all of which have been posted on Facebook. The songs have ranged from hymns to popular music like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” and sillier songs like “All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir.” On off-weekends, when we are not recording, we sing songs from the Rotary Song Book, composed mostly of popular pieces, such as “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” (That was the first song ever sung at a Rotary meeting.)

Our Fellowship began in 1972 “to promote and encourage the use and appreciation of music in Rotary clubs by Rotarians in our society, and thereby, to encourage world understanding.” In addition to the World Rotary Choir and our virtual choir, we also put out a monthly publication called “Staccato.” It sponsors a convention talent bank, providing musicians for the many special events that accompany Rotary conventions. Our foundation helps to re-equip school music departments, provides instruments to community groups, and contributes to global grants through a Donor Advised Fund.

Any Rotarian, Rotaractor, or spouse of a Rotarian can join, by signing up on our website The Rotary Virtual World Choir has become like a second Rotary club to me; I look forward to seeing my new friends every week. It continues to engage Rotarians as more musicians discover the group. Some of my fellow singers have even appeared as presenters at my own Fair Lawn Sunrise Rotary Club, sharing their experiences with this fellowship and others. You can listen to our songs on the IFRM YouTube Channel.

Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile

A Note from the Governor


November 1st, 2020

As Pam and I wrap up our ninth week of travels around our district, we have seen so many beautiful parts of our great state and met so many incredibly special Rotarians.  From the eastern plains, where we wondered what the pioneers must have thought as they moved west, and then saw the Rocky Mountains, to the mountains themselves rising above the plains to the heavens above, and then to the magnificent plateaus and mesas of the western slope, all contained within our Rotary District, and all filled with Rotarians who believe whole heartedly in Service Above Self.  

It has been so heartwarming to visit with Rotarians that have been so instrumental to the well being of their communities through the myriad of programs designed to make life in their communities so much better.  Whether their programs help the local community or connect the world through peace and understanding, the dedication displayed by Rotarians and their clubs was utterly amazing and uplifting.  To all our new Rotarian friends, and to the wide variety of Rotary Clubs we have visited, thank you!   Please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay Rotary Strong!

Yours in Rotary Service,
Governor, Rotary District 5470


1.  Every Rotarian contributes something between now and the 31st of December to the Rotary Annual Fund
2.  We Raise $300,000 in donations to help fund our club service to the world!!
It is our honor and privilege to announce the kick off of our ANNUAL DISTRICT 5470 FUND THE FOUNDATION CAMPAIGN!  November is Rotary Foundation month and between now and the end of the year we will connect with each of the members in our district to help raise funds for The Rotary Foundation's Annul Fund
This campaign is part of our Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) fund drive and CRITICAL to the SERVICE we provide in OUR COMMUNITIES  and around the world!  The District has set a goal to raise $300,000 in contributions so that 36 months from now, our District will have $150,000 to fund District & Global grants to our clubs!  There is no way to express how IMPORTANT YOUR CONTRIBUTION is to our District's ability to provide funds to your service projects at the club level!
Lets break this goal down.  We are asking each member of our District to contribute something. There is no amount too small that helps our efforts to fund global and district grants.  Remember, half of every dollar you contribute comes back the district to fund our district & global grants. We are recognized and rewarded if we can get Every Rotarian (Every Year) to contribute SOMETHING! 
No matter what you contribute it HELPS and WE THANK YOU!
Now, here is what would be ideal!   We would love for each member to consider donating a total of at least $150 over the next TWO MONTHS (TEN WEEKS)!  That's right...we would be INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL if each member would consider finding $150 dollars over the last TEN WEEKS REMAINING in the YEAR ($15 / Week) to Donate to the Rotary Foundations' Annual Fund.  You can break that down into 10 $15 contributions; you can do TWO $75 contributions or you can donate one time $150!  If all roughly 2000 members of our District contributes $150 or moreWE WILL REACH OUR GOAL!  
We know this year has been tough on so many Rotary families.  We know times have been crazy!  We know and understand if you can't help at this time!  We TOTALLY UNDERSTAND!  BUT, IF YOU CAN, WE WOULD BE SO GRATEFUL FOR ANY HELP with the goal of $150 over the next TWO MONTHS from EVERY ROTARIAN in the District!  This is $15 a week for the next 10 weeks! 
CAN YOU HELP US RAISE $300,000 for the ROTARY FOUNDATION ANNUL FUND to support our service?  
If we raise $300,000 for the Rotary Foundations' Annul Fund, our District will receive $150,000 to fund
our District & Global Grants 3 years from now!
The Rotary Foundation Global Grant
Dollars at Work!

A year after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, local Rotary members continue to rebuild homes and lives

By Photos by 

Eladio Montalvo faced a stark choice: risk drowning in his one-story home or climb through a window into the house next door. It was under construction but had a second floor where he could escape the rising floodwaters. He boosted his dog through and scrambled in after him. The two huddled inside an upstairs bathroom for 22 hours while Hurricane Maria raged over Puerto Rico. With 155 mph winds and torrential rains, Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit the island in more than 80 years.  

After the storm, Montalvo went out to see what was left of the home he had lived in since 1958. The walls were standing, but the water inside had risen chest-high. Everything was destroyed. Without any family nearby, he had nowhere to go. He moved into his car. 

“But after the storm came the calm,” he says. “Good people came.”

Public image in the age of COVID-19


By Laura Spear, assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 32

How can your club promote your activities and service projects if almost all of it is virtual today? Your club’s website and social media channels are now more important than ever.

Many clubs are meeting virtually, using tools like Zoom, WebEx, and GoToMeeting. Capture a screen image of your members and post it on your digital channels to show that your club remains active. Post club bulletins and newsletters to update your members and community on your club’s activities, even if you aren’t meeting in person. Consistent communication with both members and the public is essential for keeping your club visible in your community.

Perhaps most important, keep promoting your service projects! Many clubs are providing behind-the-scenes support, such as making masks for front-line responders, writing cards and letters for nursing homes, funding gift cards for local grocery stores and restaurants, donating “thinking of you” presents and treats for house-bound local residents, and providing school supplies and materials for students who have to attend school remotely. Some clubs have even become a centralized community resource, documenting where residents can go if they have questions or issues related to social services during this challenging time.

Here are some other things clubs have been doing:

  • Have members who are at lower risk provide in-person support. They can package donations for food pantries, shop for elders, and run errands for those who cannot leave their homes.
  • Sponsor or support international projects, including virtual meetings for best practices on staying safe during the pandemic. Train people globally on resources for remote learning.
  • Make sure your club website is up-to-date, using the Rotary branding guides described in the Voice and Visual Identity Guidelines (available in the Brand Center by signing in to My Rotary).
  • Select one primary social media platform—such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn—and update it regularly, at least once a week.
  • Let the public know through virtual technology all of the good work that your club is doing. Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially on digital channels. Try to get photos of your members actively performing service, either in their homes without masks or out in the community with masks. You can even live stream your service activities using tools like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or Periscope. Record your live-streamed events and post them on your club’s social media channels and website. Videos can go viral, increasing our public image impact.
  • Consider how you can help members of community use technology to connect with loved ones or seek needed support services. Promote these opportunities on your club’s website and social media and share them with your community’s digital channels. Most local towns and cities have a Facebook page or Twitter account. Join and post, and share posts from others in your club to promote the club’s activities.

Need a starting point? The Brand Center has a quick start guide for Rotary websites. Set up a social media channel for you club and share postings from Rotary International. Additionally, you can share your ideas and learn more on the Rotarians Respond to COVID-19 Facebook group. 

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