June 23, 2024 | Issue 51

2024 Program of Scale Grant Awarded to Support Farmers in India

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Rotary International’s fourth Programs of Scale grant will support members' work with Indian farmers who have been affected by climate change.

Barry Rassin, chair of The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees, announced the US$2 million grant at the 2024 Rotary International Convention in Singapore.

The program, Partners for Water Access and Better Harvests in India, will aim to increase groundwater tables, extend cultivation areas, and raise the incomes of about 60,000 farmers by 25% to 30%.

“Farmers in India are responsible for producing much of the world’s wheat, rice, and other food staples. But the groundwater these farmers depend on is vanishing. Climate change is making rainfall more erratic, which leads to drought,” Rassin said. “We are working with Indian farmers on a five-year program to plant the seeds for sustainable farming in India for generations to come.”

Partners for Water Access and Better Harvests in India will build rainwater collection systems such as check dams and ponds to increase groundwater tables by 10% to 15% each year in four states. It will also work to reduce soil erosion on about 4,100 hectares (more than 10,000 acres) of land by introducing drip irrigation and planting native species and fruit trees. This will help offset the effects of climate change and facilitate sustainable farming practices.

The Rotary Foundation has awarded Programs of Scale grants to evidence-based, sustainable, and successful programs that target at least one of Rotary’s areas of focus and can be expanded to create far-reaching change. The programs are sponsored by Rotary members in collaboration with local communities and partners that offer additional expertise and support.


John Tabor | District Governor 2023-2024

Rotary District 6970

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John Tabor

District Governor


August 10, 2024

Rotary Learning Institute

Sante Fe College

Gainesville, FL

Together, we see a world where people unite

and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

RC Downtown Deland Presents

Community 4-Way Test Awards

On May 21, The Rotary Club of Downtown DeLand celebrated seven members of the community with inaugural 4-Way Test Awards. Each of these awardees are non-Rotarians, nominated by club members, and recognized for their commitment to Service Above Self, and using the 4-Way Test as a way of life. 

Congratulations to each and thank you for your positive impact on the DeLand and West Volusia community!

Recipients shown with President Doug Wedekind -

Top Row, Left to Right


Lance Harding - Lance is a hard-working entrepreneur who owns a landscaping business. He is consistently polite, honest, faithful, pleasant to work with, and a good leader. Lance is a member of the Garden Club of DeLand, drawing in new and younger members. He goes above and beyond to help people, brings a spark of joy and a smile to all of his interactions.


Leo James – For the last seven years, Leo has worked in a local auto-mechanic shop. His customers have come to know him a kind, honest, hard-working, truthful and trusted individual


Jen Armstrong - Jenn has an outstanding commitment to serving others, consistently going above and beyond in her effort to make a positive impact on the lives of those around her, particularly in Downtown DeLand. Jenn serves selflessly, prioritizes the needs of others.


Bottom Row, Left to Right


Pat Patterson - For many decades Pat has sought the goodwill of our community. As a schoolteacher, as an elected official for Volusia County, in the Early Learning Coalition, and Advent Health Community Boards. His mentoring and friendship of so many has made a huge impact in DeLand.


Pam “PJay” Peck - PJay is a deeply devoted and involved community member in DeLand. She always puts others above herself. She tirelessly works to ensure that everyone who comes to DeLand feels welcome and encourages others to follow her example.


Courtney Ford Hamil – Some of DeLand’s biggest events are because of Courtney. She is constantly working behind the scenes to highlight local talents, artists, and businesses, along with being a champion for all things DeLand and donating her time, talent, money and resources to many causes and organizations. 


Donna Carter – As the Section 8 Manager for Volusia County, Donna goes above and beyond to help her customers to ensure that each person’s needs are met, and they can live a better life. A single mother, with over 20 years of experience in community assistance, her co-workers, customers and community describe her as having a heart of gold. 

Meet your District Leadership

Mickey Ulmer

District Governor Elect

RC Flagler Beach

Past President (Amelia Island Sunrise)

Rotarian 39 years

District Governor-Elect Mickey Ulmer . . . began his career as an “old school” retailer.  For 25 years, he developed his skills in advertising, promotions and strategic planning for a variety of consumer based companies.  While helping lead an advertising agency, he expanded his focus to hospitality and customer service which led him to 25 more years with the Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q chain — first as Director of Marketing producing promotions and “from-the-heart” customer service — and then as a franchisee putting those ideas to work satisfying customers every day. 

Mickey excelled at assessing consumer needs and then creating high-impact messages to excite potential customers.  His work brought numerous Addy Awards for creativity, then the Silver Medal For Lifetime Achievement from the American Advertising Federation, and later he was twice recognized Business Of The Year by the Amelia Island Chamber of Commerce.  Throughout the years, he served on a number of civic boards including the Patient Advisory Council for Baptist/Nassau Medical Center and the Advertising Advisory Council for The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication where he was made Professor Honorarius for his years of service to the college and its students.

As a restaurateur, Mickey fine-tuned his community service skills supporting Toy For Tots, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the Navy League and more; he helped organize a Cold Night Shelter and continually donated food to the relief effort; and he opened his restaurant each Thanksgiving Day to provide over 200 people in need a hot holiday meal and a bit of encouragement. 

As a member and president of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise, he found new avenues for his passion for service and became a Paul Harris Society member.  Moving on to District responsibilities, Mickey served as Area 4 Assistant Governor, Fund & Procedures Committee member and the RLI Director for District 6970.

Native Floridians, Mickey and his wife, Gale, moved to Palm Coast at the end of 2020 where he is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Flagler Beach.  With his District responsibilities continuing to expand, Mickey is committed to service being his focus for his next 25 years!

Mickey will serve as District Governor for 2024-2025

The CART Fund Awards

$1.4Million in Grants for 2024

After a record fundraising year and an increased number of grant applications, the Executive Committee of The CART Fund, under the direction and advice of the Scientific Review Panel, has announced the organization will award a record $1.4 million in Alzheimer's research grants in 2024.

The top award, the Roger Ackerman Memorial Grant for $300,000, will be presented to Ana Griciuc, Ph.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Her project is titled “Utilizing CD33-targeting antisense oligonucleotides to reduce Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology.”

The next award, the Dr. John Trojanowski Memorial Grant for $300,000, will be presented to Amy Nelson, Ph.D., from Gulf Coast Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Her research will focus on “Determining the role of caldesmon in MCI/AD pericyte vascular function."

Dr. Marcia Gordon, Ph.D., from Michigan State University will also receive a $300,000 grant to study the “Role of Microglial Cellular Senescence in a Mouse Model with Amyloid-Induced Tauopathy."

Two additional grant awards of $250,000 each will be presented to: 

Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D. (University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine): “Understanding the complex interplay between genetic factors and social determinants of health in AD risk."

Nicholas Tonks, Ph.D. (NCI Cancer Center, Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory (New York, NY): “A new approach to treatment of Alzheimer’s disease through inhibitors of PTP1B”.

Founded in 1995 by Roger Ackerman, a Rotarian in Sumter, SC, The CART Fund (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) is a non-profit grassroots organization that provides “seed” money for cutting edge, high impact research grants to help find a treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Register for Rotary Learning Institute

Saturday August 10

Santa Fe College - Charles L Blount Center

530 W University Ave

Gainesville, FL 32601


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