It’s May, and Spring has finally arrived – along with yardwork, graduations, weddings, and finally a rest for the tired furnace!   
The District Conference, a collaboration of three districts, is just around the corner.  Reservations are pouring in, speakers are finalizing their travel plans, 74 Youth Exchange students have registered and are planning their Flag Ceremony,  several Rotaract clubs are planning to meet with the Rotaract Club at Lawrence University, and we are buried in last minute details – in other words, everything is the normal organized chaos before a conference.    We hope to see you there and if you can’t come for the entire conference, consider joining us for a few hours, or for one day. Details and registration information are on the district website.
     One aspect of Rotary that I love is the opportunity for international relationships.  Not only can we practice Service Above Self by reaching out to people all over the world, but we can also expand our horizons by meeting and exchanging ideas with people in other cultures.  Many Rotarians don’t realize that there are established Rotary Fellowships, open to all of us as a way to build relationships.  
     Do you like Beer or Wine?  (I know, that can be a silly question in Wisconsin!).   There are fellowships for that.   Are you someone who loves to spend weekends bicycling – curling – geocaching – canoeing – or cooking ?     Are you a lawyer, a travel agent, or in Law Enforcement?   Do you love to travel, or attend Rotary International Conventions?   Are you single and someone who would like to meet other single Rotarians?    There are fellowships for all of those !    Are you interested in growing your business, or expanding overseas?   Check out  the “Rotary Means Business” fellowship.  I was part of the Quilters and Fiber Artist fellowship and we worked together to make quilts and afghans to raise money for Polio.     Rotarians from all over the world knit, crocheted, or pieced a quilt square, then a lovely Rotarian in England put them all together and they were auctioned at an International Convention.     
     With about 66 different fellowships you are bound to find something you like.    Check it out by Googling “Rotary Fellowships”  or searching under “MyRotary”on the RI website.     Then let me know which one you joined !
Finally, as the year draws to a close please be sure to make your contributions to the Rotary Foundation soon – preferably by May 31 - to guarantee they are booked in for this year. This is OUR Foundation and as Rotarians it is our duty, and our privilege, to contribute to the foundation, just as we contribute to our church, and our favorite charities.  The Rotary Foundation is unique – it is efficiently run, it funds a wide variety of projects, scholars, and vocational training teams, and we have a say in the way the funds are divested.   What we contribute this year will determine the District Designated Funds available to us three years from now.  Rotary has done great things in the past 110 years, but our work is far from complete. There is always more to do, and it is up to us to keep building for the future.    
Have a wonderful month of May and thank you for all you do to  LIGHT UP ROTARY !! ​