My dear Rotary Friends:
 
My wife, Gautami, my daughter, Anu, and I just returned a week ago from Rotary International Conference in Hamburg, Germany.  Twenty-three Rotarians from our District 7870 have attended the International Conference.  Some of us were able to connect to pose for a picture at the convention.
 
Attending Rotary International Conference gives one a global perspective of Rotary’s power to do good in this world.   It is the international reach and networking capability of Rotary Clubs that gave us the confidence and strength needed to take up the fight against Polio about thirty-three years ago, and now we are at the brink of eliminating Polio from the face of the earth.  It shows us that even small clubs with great ideas can harness the Rotary international reach and networking capability to solve very big problems.  Do not forget that, as Rotarians, we are part of an intimate family of 1.2 million member strong. 
 
We, Rao family, also made a little vacation out of our trip to Hamburg by stopping at Kosta and Kalamar in Sweden, at Berlin in Germany and at the home of one of our 2012-2013 youth exchange student, Freja Gudmundsson, in Copenhagen, Denmark.  The President of Rotary Club of Amager, Copenhagen, Michael Mossefin invited me to their club to give a talk.  I was delighted to meet my classmate and their District Governor Susanne Gram-Hanssen there. I took advantage of this opportunity to present a “Check Dam” global grant project we are working for farmers in India.  By the end of the Rotary meeting, with the help and support of Freja, Rotary Club of Amager made financial commitment to be part of the “Check Dam” global grant project.  I love the connections we make to do good in the world.
 
As our Rotary year is coming to an end, please permit me to be reflective.  Having visited every one of the 59 clubs and listening about the extra ordinary work the clubs do, I have learned many things, but two of those are important enough that I will share them with you.
 
  1. The core mission of a Rotary Club:  For a group of volunteers to come together as Rotarians and look around in their community for those needs that are not met,  and to use creative ways to raise funds to meet those unmet needs.  The 59 clubs in our District 7870, from the smallest six-member West Rutland Rotary Club in Vermont to the biggest Nashua Rotary Club with more than hundred members in New Hampshire, and every other club in between, fulfill the core mission superbly. 
  2. The other obligations that Rotary Clubs try to fulfil, such as, supporting Interact and Rotaract Clubs, hosting youth exchange students, and participating in Global Grant Projects (International projects) are generally a natural progression for clubs with critical mass of 30 members or more.  So, my advice for clubs with less than 30 members is to put your emphasis and resources on growing your club rather than worrying about other Rotary Club obligations. 
At the beginning of the year I came to each club with the most important goal for the year: every club to achieve at least one net increase in membership by June 30, 2019.  I am delighted to report that by end of May, twenty-six clubs have more than one net membership increases, and fourteen clubs have maintained their memberships.  That is 40 clubs out of 59, about 68%, have either net increase in their membership or have maintained their memberships resulting, for the first time in many years, our District 7870 ending in net positive change in the membership.  This feat is due in no small measure to the inspirational leadership of our Club Presidents. I salute you.
 
Under the leadership of PDG Rich Berryman and his team, PDG Dennis McMann, DGN Steve Puderbaugh, DGND John Siemienowicz, we are also in the final stages of starting a new Rotary Club in Hooksett in our District.
 
As our District leadership organizational responsibilities are coming to an end, I would like to thank you all Assistant District Governors and Club Presidents for your selfless service to keep Rotary a vibrant organization and a force for good in the world. 
 
Finally, I want to thank everyone of you for your kindness and friendship and for your love to serve humanity.  I wish everyone of you many personally fulfilling Rotary years.
 
With Warm Regards,
Venu Rao
District Governor (2018-2019)
Rotary District 7870
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