Well we are almost ready for the Grand Finale of the Rotary Year 2016/17.  It is not just the District, but all Club Presidents are looking at the end of their year of service.  It has been Debbie’s and my privilege to serve you.  It has been a busy, exciting, and at times challenging year.  We have been blessed to make many new friends all over our District.  We are so proud to be members of a District that has so many Service Projects in our communities, regions, nationally and worldwide.
Later this week, I hope to get to visit and enjoy your fellowship at the 2016/17 Rotary District Conference.   Taking the time to reflect on the success of this year is a valuable exercise.
Many times, we fail to fully enjoy how successful we have been.  I don’t want to miss out on this joint celebration, so please look me up during the conference.  (I will be the one driving the Golf Cart and will likely not be far away from the displays, or the Fellowship Hall.) I am sure you have heard about all the activities for this week.  But Kent Grier summed up the design of the conference, “This conference is structured as an EVENT, FOOD and FUN, not a meal and meeting only!”
  • This is the 30th year of women in Rotary. On Thursday, in Harlingen, we will celebrate the successes of the Leaders, past, present and future of our Rotary Clubs and District that happen to be WOMEN.
  • Friday, we learn and continue to work on how to improve the “life blood” of our Clubs, our members. The seminar on Friday morning is “Membership Matters.”
  • Friday evening we celebrate the victory over the French, while watching the close-up magic of our own Rotarian and Assistant Governor Scott Hollingsworth and watch the magical dance of our own Laredo Rotarian Maria Gorecki and the troupe of dancers. Don’t forget to stop in at the “Professional” Photo Booth to capture this moment in time. Juan and Juanita have planned an exciting Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
  • Saturday is a busy day, but once we get the required meetings done, the activities continue with displays and a few presentations from the Gov. We will be outside seeing the portable technology that Rotarian Wayne Beaumier takes to every disaster, natural or otherwise.
  • Saturday afternoon we can refresh, relax while enjoying the water, and wildlife on board of the “Skimmer” (reserve your seat now before this activity is sold out).
  • I am looking forward to enjoying Saturday evening with Amanda Wirtz. We had the opportunity to watch her perform 4 years ago. Her life experiences combined with her skills as a violin player is something to see, and see again if you can.
  • Sunday we keep our efforts up on eradicating Polio with a walk around the “Park”. We have only had 5 new cases of Polio this year. That is right - you only need one hand to count the number of cases so far this year, but we are still “This Close!”
  • Sunday will be our Celebration of Life to show our respects to our Rotarians who have passed away since last years District Conference. 
Opps – how could I forget the Gov’s Banquet on Saturday evening where we will recognize our Youth Exchange students from Belgium and Taiwan?
There is so much more for this event – don’t forget to download our District APP <iOS - apple.co/1g99yo1 ♦ Android - goo.gl/MGgkfM> to be “in the know.”
Be there or be square!
Life is good!
Yours in Rotary, 
Joe (First Dude)