COVID-19 Coronavirus message

COVID-19 Coronavirus message

COVID-19 Coronavirus message


Yesterday the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. We are in uncharted territory.

As our communities continue to be impacted by the evolving effects of the COVID-19 virus, my first concern is for the health and safety of every Rotarian and their families across District 5630. Considering all the known facts of the COVID-19 virus, I feel the safest place that everyone be is at home.  This morning I have made the difficult decision to cancel the upcoming District Conference that was scheduled for May 1-2 in Kearney. 

Additionally, Clubs are asking for guidance on how to navigate through this crisis. The health and safety of our members and our community is the highest priority.

 Many of our members are in the 60+ demographic, high-risk group which has been asked by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to stay home as much as possible. Let’s all keep in mind the Four Way Test and ask ourselves if our actions, including participation in Rotary events, will be “beneficial to all concerned”. All of us need to practice social distancing—keeping space between ourselves and others and avoiding large groups. Social distancing is essential to slow the spread of the disease and provide time for the community to be better prepared.

Around the world, Rotary clubs and districts are making difficult decisions about their planned activities. In District 5630, some senior centers have asked clubs not to meet in their space until further notice.  A number of clubs have made the decision to suspend club meetings until the immediate emergency passes. And yesterday we also canceled the travel to Nigeria for a global grant sponsored by the Minden Rotary club.  Additionally, or own District Governor Elect, Bob Taylor is currently in Africa, trying to make his way back to the United States and will likely be self-quarantined at a minimum if he is able to find his way home in the next couple days.

I will be working directly with our District leadership over the coming weeks to navigate through this crisis.

 Action Steps:

  • We can’t tell you how long this situation will continue. I would ask club leadership to consider postponing all gatherings, service projects, fundraisers and possibly meetings – scheduled for the next 2-3 weeks. We and you will monitor the situation and determine next steps.
  • Club Presidents are asked to discuss with their club the meetings and events scheduled for the next month and make a plan; please notify me of your intentions, copying Bob Mayber.
  • Consider meeting online using free services like ZOOM or If you would like to use ZOOM please contact me.  It will be handled on a first-come basis.
  • Please accept the decision of other members on their involvement or attendance at club events. Each must make the decision they feel best for themselves and their families.
  • Be aware of and implement CDC guidelines.
  • Individuals and communities should familiarize themselves with recommendations to protect themselves and their communities from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.
  • Be aware of the Nebraska Department of Public Health guidelines for COVID-19.

Our communities are looking to us for leadership. Let’s act responsibly and proactively.

We will communicate with you as developments unfold.

If you have questions, please contact me.

What is MOJO?

What is MOJO?

What is MOJO?

According to the dictionary:

mo·jo /ˈmōjō/ noun US

  1.  a magic charm, talisman, or spell. “someone must have their mojo working over at the record company”
    • magic power.

Mojo is typically defined as an American English slang term such as a good luck charm, a skill or something magical or supernatural.

It is believed that the word “mojo” probably arrived with the slaves brought to the US from West Africa, and is almost certainly rooted in African languages, possibly the Fula word “moco’o,” which means “medicine man.” It is also thought to be related to the Gullah word “moco” meaning “witchcraft.” (1)

For the purpose of this website and as an explanation of our blog title we will consider ways we have lost our momentum, how we can reverse the negative membership trends, what we are collectively accomplishing, our successes, and even our failed attempts at regaining our “mojo.”  One person on island is not going to be very successful at rescue, but quite possibly each of you with a lifeboat can all come to the aid.

… So let’s all go get Our Rotary Mojo back!

(1) The Word Detective, Blog Archive ( Jan 16, 2009   

World Polio Day – October 24

World Polio Day – October 24

World Polio Day – October 24

Watch our World Polio Day Global Update. This year’s theme is “A win against polio is a win for global health.”  Join us for World Polio Day as global health experts and partners share our progress on the road to polio eradication.  The Global Update on 24 October will begin at 8 a.m. CT. You can tune in here:

I also want to share a great single page update provided by Dr. Delayne Wycoff (No. Platte Rotary), attached.  Dr. Wycoff is the District Polio Plus Chair and is your single best resource for all things Polio Plus.  I know that Dr. Wycoff would also be happy to provide a ZOOM presentation for your club members if you need a presentation.

Your contribution to Polio Plus is so easy to accomplish.  If you are not already enrolled for Rotary Direct, it’s so easy to sign up.  You can login through your My.Rotary account by clicking on the “DONATE” button or visit

Virtual Luncheon and PolioPlus Fundraiser

African region declared free of wild poliovirus

African region declared free of wild poliovirus

African region declared free of wild poliovirus

Rotary and its GPEI partners celebrate a monumental achievement, say global eradication of wild polio is possible with the continued dedication and persistence of Rotarians.

Story Written By: Ryan Hyland
Aug. 24, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) on 25 August announced that transmission of the wild poliovirus has officially been stopped in all 47 countries of its African region. This is a historic and vital step toward global eradication of polio, which is Rotary’s top priority.

After decades of hard won gains in the region, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) — WHO, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the vaccine alliance — are proclaiming the milestone an achievement in public health. They offer it as proof that strong commitment, coordination, and perseverance can rid the world of polio.

The certification that the African region is free of wild poliovirus comes after the independent Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) conducted thorough field verifications that confirmed no new cases and analyzed documentation of polio surveillance, immunization, and laboratory capacity by Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria, and South Sudan. The commission had already accepted the documentation of the other 43 countries in the region.

“This is a big step in our journey to a polio-free world, but the fight is not over yet. We still need the support of our Rotary members, donors, and heroic effort of health care workers to finish the job.”


Holger Knaack
Rotary International President, 2020-2021

The last cases of polio caused by the wild virus in the African region were recorded in Nigeria’s northern state of Borno in August 2016, after two years with no cases. Conflict, along with challenges in reaching mobile populations, had hampered efforts to immunize children there.

Now that the African region is free of wild poliovirus, five of WHO’s six regions, representing more than 90 percent of the world’s population, are now free of the disease. Polio caused by the wild virus is still endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region.

The African region’s wild polio-free certification was celebrated during a livestream event. Speakers included Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Bill Gates, Rotary International President Holger Knaack, Nigeria PolioPlus chair Dr. Tunji Funsho, and representatives of other GPEI partners. The celebration was followed by a press conference.

In the program, Knaack spoke about people needing good news during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “The challenges ahead are formidable,” Knaack said. “That’s why we must recognize this great achievement and commend all the people who played important roles in reaching this milestone. It took tremendous effort over many years.”

Please Read the full story at 

O’Neill Rotary Club Answers the Call

O’Neill Rotary Club Answers the Call

O’Neill Rotary Club Answers the Call

by Amy Shane
Republished from the 

COVID-19 slammed our country earlier this spring and as people of action, members of the O’Neill Rotary Club have answered the call. At a time when many community members have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced, food insecurity has become very real. The O’Neill Rotary Club became aware of an opportunity to leverage their funds to access matching grant funds from the Rotary International Foundation to help meet the need for a stable food source in two ways.

O'Neill Rotary Club replenishes Food Pantry

Food Pantry was replenished with help of the O’Neill Rotary Club. Pictured are (l-r): Rotarians Jill Everitt, Carol Sibbel and Ron Anderson of Super Foods.

The club has donated $750, matched by an additional $750 from the Rotary International Foundation, to both the Meals on Wheels program and the O’Neill Community Food Pantry. The donation to the Meals on Wheels program will be used to purchase the disposable containers used to transport meals, as well as assist in purchasing the food used to prepare meals. Our local club members deliver Meals on Wheels regularly and will be next delivering the week of June 8 – 12. This program, coordinated by Jan Mitchell and supported by Terra Buller at the O’Neill Senior Center, is a crucial piece of providing food stability to our elderly and other vulnerable community members.

The O’Neill Food Pantry has seen a dramatic spike in usage during this unprecedented time. The O’Neill Rotary Club will be purchasing needed grocery items from Super Foods grocery store; they are helping our donation go further by giving generous discounts on purchased items. A big thanks to club member Ron Anderson and his wife Pam, and O’Neill Super Foods, for supporting our efforts!! Rotarians Cindy Cole and Steve Lind commented on the wonderful timing of this grant opportunity. “Just when the use of the Pantry is spiking, we are able to provide assistance to those struggling in our community!” Club members will purchase items for the May 21st Food Pantry, as well as the June 4th Food Pantry on the Mondays before the Pantry dates. Sheryl Cole, the coordinator of the O’Neill Food Pantry, provided the Club with a list of the items most needed at this time. We want to thank Sheryl and her team for all of the efforts they put into ensuring food stability for the O’Neill and surrounding communities!

This project is part of a larger effort by Rotary worldwide in response to the pandemic. The Rotary International Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International and local clubs worldwide. Rotary District 5630 has granted $25,150 to be used throughout outstate Nebraska in is response to COVID-19 and the pandemics impact on its communities.

Rotary’s motto is “service before self” and this is just one example of how Rotarians live that motto. The O’Neill Rotary Club meets at noon on Tuesdays (virtually via Zoom during this time), but typically at The Evergreen Assisted Living. We would like to invite all community members that want to make a difference to join our Club fellowship. You can join by contacting Co-presidents Ron Anderson or Steve Lind, or any other Rotarian. Together we can make our community and our world a better place! You can learn more about Rotary at

Alliance Rotary Club supports COVID-19 relief efforts

Alliance Rotary Club supports COVID-19 relief efforts

Alliance Rotary Club supports COVID-19 relief efforts

COVID-19 slammed our country earlier this spring and as people of action, members of the Alliance Rotary Club have answered the call. Through the Support Alliance Initiative, the Alliance Rotary Club sought to ensure the vulnerable population received necessary meals during this crisis, and to support and encourage our local healthcare professionals and businesses. The Club received $2,000 through The Rotary Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International and local clubs worldwide.

Alliance Rotary Club distributed the grant award to Community Table and purchased gift cards from Newberry’s Common Ground and Dairy Queen to gift to all employees of Box Butte General Hospital.

The Club donated $1,000 to Community Table, an organization that addresses poverty by providing a meal to those in need. Because of the coronavirus, Community Table transitioned from dine-in lunch service to a critical meal pick-up and delivery service. Local service groups volunteering for Community Table were preparing and delivering approximately 250-300 meals daily – an exponential increase from their typical 60-80 daily meals prior to COVID. To help them keep up with demand, the Alliance Rotary Club made the donation to Community Table by crediting their charge account at Grocery Kart.

Supporting small businesses who were experiencing a reduction in hours, customers, and income, as well as frontline healthcare workers, was another priority for the Club. To maximize the $1,000 grant, the Club purchased gift cards from Newberry’s Common Ground and Dairy Queen to donate to Box Butte General Hospital, a critical access hospital responsible for serving a large rural area. The donation of gift cards to BBGH helped the Club show gratitude for each of the 275 frontline healthcare professionals.

Rotary District 5630 made $25,150 available to clubs submitting a grant request project.  The Rotary Foundation  Disaster Aid grant was to be used throughout (central and Western) Nebraska in response to COVID-19 and the pandemic’s impact on its communities. If you are interested to learn more about Rotary Club, visit or contact Mara Andersen by email at with questions.

submitted by Mara Andersen
Alliance Rotary Club

Herb Knudsen 1941-2020

Herb Knudsen 1941-2020

In our lives we may never know if we have made an impression on others.  We might not realize the impact our friendship has meant to others.  We may not understand the importance of our counsel or advice to others.  We won’t add up all the little acts of kindness that have been so important to others.  These are the moral components that bind us as Rotarians.


On April 18, we lost a friend, a true humanitarian, a Rotarian.  Herb Knudsen was more than a member of the Ogallala Rotary Club.  Herb was the heart of the Ogallala Rotary Club.  Herb celebrated 30 years in February, and rarely missed a meeting.  Herb’s love of Rotary was in the Rotary Youth programs.  Herb was a Rotary Youth Exchange champion.  Exchange students over the past 23 years to Ogallala have remembered Herb in the video above.  Herb stayed young and vibrant by connecting with kids.  Herb was at RYLA so many times over the past 30 years and was a counselor to countless Rylarians.  Mostly Herb changed lives.

We will truly miss Herb’s smile, his engagement, but mostly the future RYE, RYLA students will miss Herb’s participation.  Our prayers are with his wife Karen and children Peter, Debbie, Karl and Mark.  

LIVE Streaming Event COVID-19 Telethon

LIVE Streaming Event COVID-19 Telethon

LIVE Streaming Event COVID-19 Telethon

I am excited to invite you to participate in a COVID-19 #RotaryResponds one-hour Telethon to raise critical funds for disaster response. This Facebook Live event will be simulcast on the Rotary Facebook page. The goal is to raise more than $1 million dollars.

Rotary’s 1.2 million members across the globe have taken swift action to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than $3.4 million in Rotary Disaster Response Grants have already been put into action on the frontlines to battle COVID-19.  And while we await approval of District 5630’s COVID Disaster Aid Grant application, millions of more dollars have been raised by Rotary’s #PeopleofAction.  They have responded quickly and are truly saving lives. Now, we need to do more and the need for additional funding is a priority.

On Saturday, May 2, you can join the “LIVE STREAMING” event to hear stories of hope, inspiration, and gratitude from Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends of Rotary from across the globe as they share what they are doing to help their communities. The telethon will also showcase how our polio eradication infrastructure is helping to combat COVID-19.

How can you participate:
  1. Participate in the telethon on Facebook Live on 2 May at Rotary International’s Facebook Page ( The live stream will be simulcast in eight languages.
  2. Share this event & spread the word through your social media channels.
  3. Invite friends, family, and members of your community to watch and see first-hand what Rotary’s People of Action are doing to combat COVID-19.
  4. Post on social media during the broadcast and on the day of the event using the hashtag #RotaryResponds.
  5. Donate as an individual or as a club at
  6. Encourage your Rotary District to donate District Designated Funds (DDF) at (Note: DDF received between April 22nd and May 3rd will be considered part of the telethon fundraising total.)

Thank you for all of your assistance in creating awareness about this opportunity to do more Good in the World