One More Rotarian Needed to Travel with Rotary to Serve Children In Belize

Rotary District 6600’s Medical Equipment and Supplies Abroad (MESA) Program is partnering with our district’s own Resource Centers International (RCI) to equip 18 pre-schools in Stann Creek, Belize this fall and you can join! Our time in-country will begin November 24 and conclude December 8. Plan to travel at least a day before and afterwards.

Volunteers will be asked to participate in assembling the various materials necessary to make the preschool a sustainable place of learning and community.  On October 2, MESA shipped a container of supplies including gently used computers, software, and books to be used by children in Belize. Oftentimes, RCI supports schools in Spanish-speaking countries in Central America. Belize is an English-speaking country so there is no language barrier for Rotary volunteers to prevent interaction with these children and their teachers! Information about this and previous mission trips is available HERE.

While experience as an educator is ideal, your energy, passion and enthusiasm is all we need you to bring! Basic computer skills and familiarity with Windows and software installation is also helpful. Having people skills to interact with the various school personnel, parents and ministry of education staff is perhaps the most important contribution you can make. You should be prepared to give tutorials to teachers and others.  RCI has performed this activity over 60 times in the last ten years.

A complete orientation will take place in Belize. Participants will be responsible for their own expenses which typically amount to approximately $1,000.

We are limiting participation to 10 people but we need one more as of October 4.  Volunteers need a current passport and be current on their vaccinations; suggested vaccinations are Hepatitis A & B and a Flu shot. Interested Rotarians should communicate with Sylvania Rotarian Mel Honig at by November 1 to schedule or for more information.

District 6600 Announces 2018 STRIVE Scholarship Winners

STRIVE participants from the Western part of District 6600 include Tyree Edwards (Fremont), Megan Schimmoeler (Ottawa Glandorf), Haley Palmer (Maumee), Belle Fischer (Ontario) with District Governor Deb Cheney

STRIVE, which stands for Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education, is a program where Rotary Clubs work with a high school for the purpose of motivating students to improve their school performance during their senior year. The major aspect of the program is that it is Student Driven and only facilitated by Rotarians. Designed to support students in increasing their attendance and participation and improving their grades and attitude, this program is fun, interactive, and can involve every Rotarian in our clubs.

Annually, District 6600 awards scholarships to four students in the eastern and western halves of our district. First place winners receiving a two-year renewable $2,000 scholarship are Darian Taylor from Oberlin High School sponsored by Oberlin Rotary Club and Belle Fischer from Ontario High School sponsored by the Mansfield Rotary Club. Second place finishers receiving a one-year $1,000 scholarship are Tessa Kasper from FIrelands High School sponsored by the Oberlin Rotary Club and Haley Palmer form Maumee High School sponsored by the Maumee Rotary Club.

Clubs interested in starting their plans for a STRIVE Program now can download the 2018-19 STRIVE Toolkit HERE.

Update! 2018 Four Way Test Essay Winners Announced

Rotary District 6600 is pleased  to  announce  the winners of its annual Four-Way Test essay contest for the seventh and eighth grade students. The Four-Way Test is a set of four questions that Rotarians use to assist in the conduct of their personal and professional lives.  The questions are: “Is it the truth?  Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships?  Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”

The theme of this year’s contest was “The Four-Way Test in My Life.” Eight clubs participated in the 2018 Rotary Four Way Test Essay competition. Chaired by Lima Rotary Club Past President Esther Baldridge, the essays were judged by Rotarians Elizabeth Muether, Mike Makley, Mary Crehore and Heather Rutz.

This year’s winners were Morgan Shetzer, First Place, sponsored by the Fremont Club; Daniel Kurek, Second Place, sponsored by the Bucyrus Club; and Analei Jackson, Third Place, sponsored by the Lima Club. Rotary Clubs in North Coast, Perrysburg, Tiffin, St. Mary’s, and Bellevue also submitted essays after club-level competition.

To learn more about District 6600’s Four Way Test Essay Competition and other District Programs, visit Click HERE to download this year’s first, second, and third place essays.


Our first place winner, Morgan Shetzer, was unable to join us at the District Conference. See this note from her mother to Four Way Essay Contest Chair, Esther Baldridge.

Dear Ms. Baldridge, Morgan has a school music showcase on the same day as the conference. She plays her French horn in the morning and her violin in the afternoon. Morgan doesn’t want to disappoint her class by not being there but we are finding it difficult to make both events . After looking at the link you sent her to the district conference, she has decided to donate her district winnings back to the Rotary. Perhaps the funds would help expenses for the “kids against hunger” project. She has placed her winnings from the Fremont contest in her college savings account and is very appreciative. Thank you, Leanne Shetzer

Thank you, Morgan, four your generosity and your heart for helping others!

Rotarians Respond to Gatlinburg Fires


Devastating fires have affected the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area and Rotarians in the affected area have organized a response. District 6600 Clubs or individual Rotarians who are interested in helping are asked to consider helping in any of the following ways: 

1. COLLECT any of these items and bring to the MESA Warehouse (1370 N. Main Street Fostoria, OH) from now until Thursday, December 22, 2016 by noon: Coats (especially children’s sizes), warm gloves, shovels, rakes, water hoses, work gloves, mops, brooms, can openers, canned food, and bottled water.  MESA Operations Director Gary Davis is available to accept donations. Please call Gary at 419-348-7719 to arrange your drop off time.

2. VOLUNTEER your time to the relief efforts at a distribution center in Sevier County. Contact Upper Sandusky Rotarian Bill Aubry to learn more.

3. DONATE funds directly to the Rotarian response efforts online at or mail checks to:
Oak Ridge Rotary Community Fund
PO Box 4183
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Attn: David Carr
On the memo line write: Firestorm

For questions about District 6600’s Relief Committee contact Melanie Satterfield

District 6600 Receives $100,000 to Match Polio Donations


Thanks to a $100,000 pledge from an anonymous donor in District 6600 and a 2-to-1 match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we have the chance to contribute nearly $600,000 to the End Polio Now campaign this year.

The details of the $100,000 End Polio Now match are simple:

  • Individuals who make contributions between $101 and $1,000 will have their donation matched.
  • Clubs who make a contribution of $1 or higher will have their donation matched.
  • Donations must be made by May 21, 2017 to the End Polio Now campaign.
  • Give now at

PolioPlus began 30 years ago as one Rotarian’s idea that has since spread around the globe. Polio eradication is the one common service project among Rotary Clubs everywhere. The World Health Organization celebrates World Polio Day on October 24th with the goal of educating the world about the devastating effects of this disease.

A highly infectious disease, polio causes paralysis and is sometimes fatal.  As there is no cure, the best protection is prevention. For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.  After the successful engagement of over 200 countries and 20 million volunteers, polio could be the first human disease of the 21st century to be eradicated.

World Polio Day happens just once a year, but Rotary’s mission to end Polio happens every day. Thank you for your donations, support and commitment to this cause. Last year District 6600 provided enough funding to immunize 164,734 children worldwide with donations over $91,840. Our donations were then matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a total of 494,202 children who will never experience this devastating disease.


For questions on World Polio Day:

Harry Hooyenga, District Polio Chair or Joe Ludwig, District Foundation Chair

Hats Off to M.E.S.A.

Hats Off to M.E.S.A.

In the midst of all of the life-saving medical equipment shipped in containers by District 6600’s organization, Medical Equipment Supplies Abroad (M.E.S.A.), a simple ball cap can seem like a relatively unimportant after thought. But shipment after shipment, these hats show they are so much more than a discarded hat.

The high-quality hats (some retail up to $18) are provided to M.E.S.A. by Pukka Inc., a custom hat and apparel company in Findlay, Ohio and owned by a Findlay Rotarian, Kent Rogers. Pukka gives M.E.S.A. hats that are unable to be sold by the company for a variety of reasons. The hats may be branded with a company logo and often end up in the company’s basement.

M.E.S.A. gives the Pukka hats to children in the area where the equipment containers land. Sometimes the hats are even offered as payment to individuals for helping to unload the containers. M.E.S.A. Operations Director Gary Davis shares, “I can only send a few hundred at a time because if I send too many the black market gets ahold of them and sells them for about $10 each, a huge amount of money in these areas.”

Whenever the hats are delivered, M.E.S.A. always receives pictures back of happy individuals wearing the hats. In turn, MESA shares those pictures with the people at Pukka who continue provide hats as they know they will end up reaching the most disadvantaged in the world.

The hats are an great example of taking items that are nearly worthless to one organization and making them invaluable to another. Hats off to Pukka and M.E.S.A. for this excellent partnership!

Pictured below are hats from a recent shipment to Tanzania. Tanzania is located on the southeastern side of Africa. Pukka hats were delivered to five different areas in the country.