Rotary District 5470
Southern Colorado From East to West
The Colorado Connector 
March 2021!
District Governor Chip Ecks
March is Clean Water & Sanitation 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 this year to the Rotary Annual fund!
Hey would your club host a T.A.C.O event!  What is a T.A.C.O. event.....glad you asked!  
Local Rotarians,(like your club)  could be hosting a Fiesta on (you pick the date) for anyone looking to make a difference in your community and the world. T.A.C.O.(Totally Awesome Caring (Club) Opportunity Night is an interactive event at a Mexican Restuarant or Members house where all attendees will be exposed to an exciting opportunity to part of a local non-profit, non-denominational, non-political service organization available for select people, who like to meet other like-minded locals who have a servant-leaders spirit, and you will enjoy some great food and fun!
Watch for more information in your email in box!
Steve Oneill
District Membership Chair

Knowledge network: Using member expertise and connections to grow

This club develops presentations on a particular subject - conflict, migration, and refugees - to help other clubs improve their projects


Members of the Rotary Club of Washington Global, from left: Rose Cardarelli, Lara Bersano, Quentin Wodon, and Manuela Mot.

Credit: Kyna Uwaeme

Quentin Wodon, an economist at the World Bank, joined Rotary to share his expertise, to network, and to help others. He has remained a member because he enjoys it. “I have been a Rotarian for 10 years,” says Wodon. “My father was a Rotarian, and I was a Rotaractor in Belgium. I also did Rotary Youth Exchange, so I’ve known Rotary for a long time.”

Wodon, who was a member of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill (Washington, D.C.) and before that the Rotary Club of Washington, had been thinking about starting a club unlike any he had been a part of before. “I wanted to make it a knowledge club,” he explains. “In Rotary, we have a lot of goodwill. But, by nature, it’s extremely decentralized.” That decentralization, he says, makes it hard to share best practices and evaluate effectiveness. He thought that if a club could focus on collecting information and disseminating reports, it would not only help other clubs improve their projects, but also enhance Rotary’s authority among other international development organizations.

With this vision in mind, Wodon formed the Rotary Club of Washington Global a year ago with 38 members. “We accept both local members and members all over the world who join us online,” he says.

The first meeting was held in person for members in the Washington area, with others joining via videoconference, but when the coronavirus pandemic prompted stay-at-home orders, the club switched to all-virtual meetings. That hasn’t stopped its growth. “We’re already at more than 50 members,” says Manuela Mot, who serves as the club’s membership chair and who, like a number of other members, works at the World Bank. “I think we actually got many members because of COVID-19. People want to feel that they belong somewhere right now.”

Interested in making a difference in your community? That’s what Rotary clubs do. Learn more about the many ways to get involved or find a club near you.

The club recently hosted a series of events on conflict, migration, and refugees, highlighting the expertise and connections of its members, many of whom work in international development. Those connections paved the way for the club to co-host, with the Organization of American States (OAS), an online conference on migration and refugees in June 2020. “We are trying to bring together the strength of Rotary with the strength of the institutions that we work for,” says member Lara Bersano, who works for the Trust for the Americas, which is affiliated with the OAS.

While most Rotary clubs bring in a diverse roster of speakers to their meetings, the Washington Global club spends months developing a series of presentations that delve into a particular subject. Members solicit expert speakers, host webinars, and then put together a detailed report on the topic. Their first report focused on migration and refugees; the second examined education. “We aim to serve as a knowledge club or small think tank for Rotarians,” Wodon says.

This model has proved attractive to younger professionals. “Many of our charter members are people under 40,” Mot notes, and many are Rotary alumni. Mot, who is originally from Romania, is a former Rotary Peace Fellow. Bersano grew up in Argentina, where she participated in Interact, Rotaract, RYLA, and Rotary. “Many of our members are people who have benefited from Rotary in the past,” Mot says. “They now want to give back to the community and help Rotary.”

Low dues and flexible attendance options have also helped bring in younger members. Dues are set at $250 per year, with a $50 discount for members under age 35. The current membership rolls include people based in countries including the United States, Canada, France, and Uganda who work at organizations that include the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, OAS, and USAID.

In 2019, Manuela Mot spent a month evaluating World Bank investments on the Philippine island of Mindanao, an area that has experienced conflict since the late 1960s. “Development is possible even in conflict-affected areas,” she says. “The main target of the program was not only to build roads, but to have the factions make decisions together.”

Mot observed how bank-funded infrastructure projects brought to the table Muslim and Christian stakeholders who in other circumstances might have been at war with each other. By working together on projects that would benefit everyone, the groups began to see one another in a new light and to build trust.

Mot gained the peacebuilding skills she puts into practice working for the World Bank through a 2009-11 Rotary Peace Fellowship at Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; she was the first Romanian to take part in the program. She’s a member of the recently chartered Rotary Club of Washington Global, D.C.

The club sponsors a small community-based satellite club in Maryland where members can take part in local projects. Members are also working on the new Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Migration – which was approved in November 2020 – and on a fellowship being formed for Rotary members interested in global development.

“Refugees are of interest to our members because they need support in every one of the seven areas of focus,” Wodon explains. “It’s also an issue that’s going to get worse and worse.”

Initial interest in the action group has been strong, and Wodon hopes the group will eventually serve as a kind of consultancy for clubs organizing projects that help refugees. “Knowledge is as important as funding,” he says. “That’s why the action groups are so important. They are Rotary’s way to provide expertise.” The new fellowship will provide a networking opportunity for members who work in global development, as well as a way to share information.

The swift growth of the Washington Global club is a testament to the commitment of members like Rose Cardarelli, who is new to Rotary but has already recruited three other members. “I think we have a responsibility to reach out, because people are interested but don’t know how to approach the organization,” she says. Cardarelli, who runs a nonprofit that focuses on education, is also Rotary International’s new representative to UNICEF in New York City.

“Starting a new Rotary club is not like riding a bike. The people and the issues are different every time,” says Bersano, who has previously helped to charter a Rotaract and a Rotary club. “But what’s the same is the vision of Paul Harris. We are friends and help each other, and then we go out and help our community.”

• This story originally appeared in the February 2021 issue of Rotary magazine.



Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
We hope everything is GREAT in your life!

We have been thinking a lot about you because we have accepted a challenge from District Governor Ecks that has become one the most significant projects of this Rotary year…we know, we know, this has been a crazy
Part of us are extremely excited to share this announcement and part of us are petrified, but we realize that all growth occurs outside of our comfort zone so WE ARE READY!!!...
The District Leadership team has accepted a challenge along with we hope 2000+ Changemaker, Servant Leaders from around Southern Colorado where we hope EVERY ROTARIAN is committed to doubling OUR IMPACT within the next 90 days by GROWING ROTARY!  Yep, ITS TIME TO GROW OUR CLUB MEMBERSHIP!
This means that 90 days from, if everyone does their part, we will be serving DOUBLE the number of ROTARIANS in our DISTRICT and the only way we will be able to accomplish this extraordinary feat is with your help!
Please think of and connect YOUR CLUB with ONE PERSON (and one person only) who would benefit immensely from learning more about Rotary and your club. THAT's IT;  JUST ONE!!  Help that ONE Person become a member of your club!

HOW?  By inviting them to a special membership event your club could be hosting or to a club meeting!  The District Leadership Team will be requesting for clubs to host bi-monthly membership events over the next few months, so watch for those, but it may be you just invite a friend to your normal club meeting!

The thing is…membership is about intention and action, and we are asking everyone to take the next 90 days and be intentional & purposeful, take action and invite a friend, someone like you, to Rotary!
We often struggle with asking for help, but we are committed to this project and we know we cannot do it alone!
You can also learn more about the #PowerOfOne Project here:
We really appreciate your support - We know everyone will benefit because of this project, your club, your community and the world!


Lets DO THIS ROTARIANS!  LET's DOUBLE OUR IMPACT by GROWING 2X the Rotarians serving Southern Colorado & the World!

Steve O’Neill

D5470 Membership Chair

1.  Every Rotarian contributes something between now and the 30th of June to the Rotary Annual Fund
2.  We Raise $300,000 in donations to help fund our club service to the world!!
We are ranking in the TOP FIVE Districts for Contributions to the Annul Fund in our ZONE!  THIS IS HUGE!  We have very seldom, (if ever) been there....especially with the wealthy California Districts and Denver inspiring their members!  
While we are not in competition with the other Districts in our Zone, lets face it.....they track it....and we know we have incredibly generous people in our District too!!  We can do this Rotarians!  LETS MAKE OUR GOAL PLEASE!  $300,000!
Rotarians of District 5470!  GREAT JOB!  So many of you contributed to the Rotary Annual fund in November, December, January and February!!  We are SO GRATEFUL and SO THANKFUL for your support of our District's continued service to bring clean water and sanitation, pandemic relief, education and so so much more!  
While we made a great start at our goal to raise $300,000 in contributions to the Annual Fund (half of which comes back to the district to fund our service projects)  We are little over HALF WAY THERE!
We need to raise another $130,000 in contributions to the annual fund to reach our District Goal of $300,000
The District Governor, Chip Ecks, has asked us to continue to work our FUND the FOUNDATION campaign until we reach our goal of $300,000 or the end of the Rotary year June 30th!  We know that with just everyone in the district finding as little as $300 over the next few months we can reach our goal!
We are starting the year and coming into the NEW YEAR, ROTARY STRONG!  Lets see if we can show the world we will not go silently into the night, we will not be caught in fear and doubt, we will not be people of apathy and hopelessness.....No Rotarians, WE ARE PEOPLE OF ACTION!  WE ARE DOERS!  WE ARE SERVANT LEADERS here in southern Colorado!
So as our clubs start to meet again in person over the coming weeks, LIKE WE ARE SUPPOSED TO ..rally to the claxon's call of SERVICE!  Rally to the call of FELLOWSHIP!  Rally to the call of GIVING!  We have 5 more months to impact our communities and the world Rotarians!  WE CAN DO THIS!  ROTARY STRONG!
So for those who have contributed, WE THANK YOU!  For those who have not.....would you consider providing a $300 or more, contribution to the annual fund between now and JUNE!  
IT WILL make all the difference to the District, our Service and our
to support our District service?  
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Project in Nigeria By Kate Carnahan Davis, North Colo. Springs RC
Project Partners Needed!
Hi! I'm Kate Carnahan Davis and am a member of North Colorado Springs Rotary Club. I wanted to speak a little bit about a project that my club is supporting. It is a club project for Rotary E-Club One and a Global Grant spearheaded by member Buchi Anikpezie, the DGE for 5450 and a personal friend. The project is a water, sanitation, and hygiene response to Covid-19 and other diseases. It will benefit eight communities in the Kwara State, Nigeria. The purpose is to provide these communities the opportunity to have access to water that is clean and free of diseases. The way in which this will be accomplished is through providing boreholes to the aforementioned communities. Currently, women and children have to walk 8km roundtrip to access the shallow river that is their water source. This is far too difficult to retrieve water. All of the communities will ensure that there will be persons designated to ensure good compliance and maintain culture while the borehole will be operated. The project site will be watched and projects monitored. Community guards will watch the project site, while a committee made up of Rotarians and nominated contact people will monitor the projects. Both the materials and the labor are local. This project is in conjunction with The Rotary Club of Ilorin, Nigeria.
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