Rotary International President, Mark Daniel Maloney
During 2019-2020, I am encouraging Rotarians and Rotaractors to grow Rotary. We must grow our service, we must grow the impact of our projects, but, most importantly, we must grow our membership so that we can achieve more.

Let us try a new approach to membership, one that is more organized and strategic. I am asking every club to form an active membership committee consisting of people of different backgrounds who will look methodically at the leadership of the community.

Your club's membership committee will then apply Rotary's classification system — designed to ensure that the range of professions in your community is well represented — to identify potential leaders with the skill, the talent, and the character that will strengthen your club. If your club's membership committee is unsure how to proceed, look to the club membership committee checklist on for clearly defined steps to organizing its work.

How else will we connect to grow Rotary? We will also form new types of clubs — either independent clubs or satellite clubs — with different meeting experiences and engaging service opportunities, not just where there is no Rotary, but also where Rotary is already thriving. No Rotary club in the world can possibly serve all segments of its community. Therefore, we must organize new clubs to engage the community leaders who cannot connect with our existing clubs.

Growing Rotary is all about taking the connections that make our organization unique in the world and strengthening and multiplying them. Let us commit ourselves to growing Rotary and to welcoming the next diverse generation of women and men as Rotary Connects the World.

District Governor Rick Bricker and his wife Susan Bricker
Greetings Rotarians! What a great month Susan and I have experienced. We were welcomed by twenty-three clubs and made a lot of new rotary friends. 

Meeting with the board of directors is truly a highlight of our visits. The only real concern with the clubs is membership and guess what month it is in the Rotary world. That’s right August is membership month.

So, here is what clubs are doing to increase their membership. There are two things specifically that are working. Number one is attraction and public image. Having fun ranks real high. If your doing a project and everyone is having a good time people will notice. Making it a family event is even better. Add food. Everyone likes to eat. Invite a non-Rotarian friend or neighbor. Tell them about your project. Tell them you need an extra pair of hands. Can you spare a couple of hours to help? When they show up put a Rotary vest on them. Make them feel inclusive. Invite them to visit your club. Number two. When you do find a new member engage them immediately. So many times, we give too much information all at once. Keep it simple. Show them a list of projects and events that you are involved in. Ask them do you see something that you would like to help out with. Congratulations you have an engaged new member. Chances are you will retain that member for a long time.
If you need help with money for public image the district can help out. We can help with some matching grant money for brochures, newspaper, television, radio, billboards, etc. Contact Public Image chair, Scott Soderberg at, He can help you out. Thanks Rotarians. You are “Excellence in Action”
P.S. If you plan on going to the state fair August 30th is Rotary day. We will be at the M.P.R.  booth all day. Wear your Rotary gear and join us. It’s going to be fun.
Submitted by: Linda Marrin, District 5580 Trainer
(Photo credit: Rotary District 5550)
Join us for an upcoming webinar We Are Rotary: Advancing Women as Leaders on Wednesday, 28 August, 15:00-16:00 Chicago time (UTC-5). 


Women account for less than 25 percent of Rotary’s global membership, and are underrepresented in leadership positions at every level. Rotarians are ready to embrace change, as indicated by the record number of breakout sessions at the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg dedicated to the topic of women’s advancement in Rotary’s leadership. During one of these sessions, Rotarians Beth Keck and Todd Jenkins collected ideas from more than 500 members, both female and male, about how to take action and break down the barriers to women’s advancement in leadership positions. Hear the proposals and add your voice to this critical conversation.
Everyone who registers will be asked to share some thoughts before the webinar, and will also be provided access to the recording and slides after the webinar ends.
Submitted by: Past District 5580 Governor Herb Schmidt, Fargo-Moorhead AM Rotary Club
Read below for more information.
This project, Global Grant 1980712, was made possible by working together across our district and partnering with Rotary clubs around the world! Click here to learn more and get tickets. This event is a perfect opportunity to showcase what Rotary does locally and to network with partners across multiple states. Spread the word and consider inviting a prospective Rotarian to attend!
Diaper drive: In honor of the kick-off event, we are hosting a diaper drive, to provide moms a gift of diapers when they attend group prenatal care. Please bring a box of diapers when you attend the kick-off event. Clubs are welcome to collect diapers and deliver them to the Hilton Garden Inn on September 17 as well. If your club would like to participate in this from afar, you may send a financial donation to the FMAM Rotary Club (contact Alicia Belay,, for more information). 


(Submitted by: 2020 District 5580 Conference Planning Committee)
The 2020 District Conference committee is planning an exciting mix of education, service above self, and fun! Historic Madden's resort on beautiful Gull Lake in Brainerd, Minnesota will be our hosts for the conference and opportunities for fellowship and fun are being planned for the whole family with a variety of events including a golf tournament, "family fun night" with games and activities, glow golf opportunity, cigar rolling class, wine and whiskey tasting, guided painting event, and all the amenities the resort has to offer. 
This event is a great chance to get your business or brand out to many attendees from across the district. Sponsorship opportunities are available; please see the sponsorship levels and reply to Debby Erickson at with your commitment by October 30th. 
Submitted by: Gloria Mink, Executive Secretary 
District 5580 is now calling for nominations for the office of District Governor for the Rotary year 2022-2023, and qualified Rotarians may submit a nomination for consideration by the District Nominating Committee.  The Nominee must submit the following documents:                                       
2. Curriculum Vitae to accompany Governor-Nominee Data Form;
5. Photo of Nominee (head and shoulders) in .jpeg format, if emailed.
The above documents must be received no later than October 4, 2019.  
Please take time to review the Qualification Guidelines (included in this link), as you will want to make certain your nominee meets the criteria prior to submitting his/her nomination. Following receipt of all nominations, the District Nominating Committee will schedule interviews with each nominee at a specified time. Interviews will be held at Timberlake Lodge in Staples , MN on Saturday, October 26, 2019. 
Submitted by: Marjorie McPeak, District 5580 Literacy Coordinator
Summer is a time of community gatherings at parks, backyards, play grounds –  and at Little Free Libraries.  These simple, popular structures  are popping up on walking trails, in neighborhoods and many locations in small towns and come in all sorts of designs and colors.  The premise of “take a book-- return a book” is  simple, but also a source of pleasure for folks of all ages.
(Photo credit: Little Free Library website)
This phenomenon began with Rotarian Todd Bol in 2009 in his workshop in Hudson, WI.  The first Little Free Library was built  as a tribute to Bol's Mother, a teacher who loved to read.  The story of Little Free Libraries'  beginnings first appeared in the Rotarian in March of 2014.  His ideas and plans soon caught the interest of many groups including AARP, Rotary and other Civic groups as well as inmates of a Wisconsin prison who made them as part of their vocational training and community service.  At the time the Rotarian article appeared more than 16,000 little buildings had been built in the U.S. and internationally. Since that time the numbers have skyrocketed.  What a wonderful encouraging boost for Literacy!
(Photo credit: Little Free Library website)
Does your Club have a “woodworker”  and some other volunteers who can help build,   generate contributions to initially stock the Little Libraries with children's and adult materials and then maintain them throughout the year?  Plans are available at  To learn more about materials, sources from which to order ready-made structures and other helpful suggestions, Google “Little Free Libraries” where you will find a wealth of information. 
Support Literacy, your community, and community service – Sponsor a Little Free Library!
Written by: Rose and Hope McCallum, Co-authors
Submitted by: Sumiye Sugawara, Nipigon Public Library 
Photo Credits: Nipigon Public Library
We are absolutely thrilled that the Rotary Club of Nipigon has chosen our book ‘The Watermelon Shield’ as a Vocational/Club project to enhance existing anti-bullying programs. Thank you for purchasing and placing copies in local school classrooms, school libraries, along with public libraries in your district!
Our story is a true coping strategy that Hope utilized when she was six years old and coping with bullying behaviours at school.  In ‘The Watermelon Shield’, Hope develops an understanding that children who say or do unkind things to others, are often not getting the love & kindness that they need in their own lives, and that the unkindness is often a reflection of how the child who is bullying feels inside. (In big terms, ‘Projection’).
Through this insight, Hope was able to gain a compassionate awareness of why bullying happens, and learned that unkind words & actions had nothing to do with her.  Our story also uses symbolism as a way to help children protect their hearts, and stay confident.  Just like the watermelon has tender red fruit on the inside protected by a tough strong rind, we each have a tender heart inside of us that is protected by our skin- if we let unkind words & actions get past our skin and into our hearts, it can start to affect how we feel about ourselves. Many children find visualizations helpful when learning, so the use of a ‘watermelon shield’ is an easy to grasp concept.
The ‘Watermelon Shield’ is a practical creative coping tool that can help children maintain their self-confidence, & stay awesome and amazing! It worked so well for Hope, that she asked to write a book about it when she was eight years old. When we self-published our book in 2017, Hope was asked what her next goal with the book would be. She said she would just like every child to have the opportunity to read it.  
Our most sincere thanks to Mr. Don Evans for taking our book and sharing it with Mr. Brian Davis (Youth Exchange Officer), and Mrs. Lee Davis (Vocational Committee Chairperson), and for all of your incredible support & helping to achieve Hope’s goal. We feel confident this very generous contribution & project by the Rotary Club of Nipigon will benefit so many children.
We would love for you to visit our website, and follow our Facebook page at ‘The Watermelon Shield’,
With sincere gratitude,
Rose and Hope McCallum                                                                                                                   
Editor's Note: This section honors the Rotary legacy of District 5580 Rotarians who have passed away during each month. Clubs are encouraged to send information and share reflections for inclusion in "Cross Currents".
This month we remember Tim Kaminski of the Hibbing Rotary Club and  Lawrence Schilla of the Dickinson Rotary Club.
Timothy J. Kaminski
Tim Kaminski, Past District 5580 Governor and Hibbing Rotary Club member, passed away unexpectedly, Thursday, July 18, 2019 in Hibbing, Minnesota. He was born Aug. 30, 1952 in International Falls, MN, the son of George and Marie Kaminski.  Tim worked as a financial advisor there and in 1999 he moved to Hibbing where he worked for Fintegra at the Security State Bank.  Tim was an active member of the community was very active in the Rotary Club of Hibbing.  While a member he was a past president of the club and a past district governor.  Although active in the community, Tim’s first priority was being with, and helping his family.
He is survived by his wife Janna, sons: Jesse Hedlund of New Ulm, MN, Zachary Kaminski of Hibbing and Christopher Kaminski of Hibbing, his granddaughter Savanna Hedlund, a brother Jerry (Betty) Kaminski and a sister Jan (Dr. Steve) Takaichi both of International Falls, MN.
We extend our deepest condolences, thoughts, and prayers to Tim's family, friends and the Rotary community. His full obituary can be accessed here.

Lawrence Schilla

Lawrence Schilla, an honorary member of the Dickinson Rotary Club, passed away, Thursday, July 4, 2019 at CHI St. Alexius Hospital in Dickinson.
Lawrence was born July 24, 1929 in Dickinson, the son of Paul and Alice (Hamann) Schilla.  He attended Roosevelt Grade School and graduated in 1947 from Dickinson High School.  He continued his education at Concordia College in Minnesota, graduating in 1951.  Lawrence played clarinet with the Dickinson City Band and he was a member of the college bands.  Following college, Lawrence enlisted in the US Air Force and served four years from his bases at Clovis Air Force Base, NM and Hahn Air Base in Germany.  After his honorable discharge as Staff Sergeant in 1955, he returned home and worked with his father at Schilla Hardware and Furniture.  Lawrence married Geraldine Jesperson in Taylor on June 21, 1957 (with four inches of rain making their day interesting).  They were blessed with three children, Kevin, Karen and Karleen, who have blessed them with ten grandchildren.  Lawrence worked in retailing most of his life.  He enjoyed photography and genealogy.  He also played an active role in the community while participating in the Dickinson City band, Elks Sodbuster band, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, St. John Lutheran Church and the Greene Drug Coffee Group.
Lawrence is survived by his wife, Geraldine Schilla; son, Kevin Schilla of Orefield, PA; daughters, Karen Schilla of Kettering, OH, Karleen Bishop of Loveland, CO; ten grandchildren; sister, Yvonne Schilla of Royal Oak, MI.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Alice Schilla; and infant sister, Carline.
We extend our deepest condolences, thoughts, and prayers to Lawrence's family, friends and the Rotary community. His full obituary can be accessed here
Mar 31, 2020
Apr 16, 2020
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Apr 22, 2020
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Madden's on Gull Lake
Apr 23, 2020 – Apr 25, 2020
Madden's on Gull Lake
Apr 23, 2020
11:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Apr 30, 2020
Jun 06, 2020 – Jun 10, 2020
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Program
Jul 12, 2020 – Jul 18, 2020
Sep 08, 2020 – Sep 13, 2020
View entire list