March 17, 2024 | Issue 37

Celebrating World Rotaract Week

Happy World Rotaract Week!

Each year, Rotarians and Rotaractors celebrate during the week of March 13th to honor the first Rotaract Club receiving their charter in 1968! That makes Rotaract 56 years old this year. On March 13, 1968, the first Rotaract club was certified by Rotary at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Since then, Rotaract has grown from a program into a cherished partner within the Rotary community.

There have been so many great experiences for me this Rotary year, but among the most memorable have been the opportunities to meet and interact with our amazing D6970 Rotaractors.

Rotaract is active, engaged and growing in our district. We have Rotaractors, present and former, serving in District leadership and on committees. We now have two Rotaractors who have served as Assistant Governor (a first in Zone 34). And most importantly, our Rotaract Clubs are having a positive impact in their communities.

These young Rotarians represent the future of Rotary and I would encourage you and your clubs to seek them out for ideas, assistance with your projects, and for participation in your District and Global Grants.

I only recently became aware of the Ascension Rotaract Network. It is a MDIO (Multi-District Information Organization) (Love the Rotary Acronyms!!) that provides resources, networking and support for Districts, and Clubs who are interested in growing and supporting Rotaract. You can find out more about it at:

And don't forget the amazing District Rotaract Team of Mike Selah, Racheal Daven and Sarah Hancock. They would be pleased to assist in any way.

You may also want to check out the following article at -

Beyond networking: 7 tips for building meaningful connections in Rotaract


John Tabor | District Governor 2023-2024

Rotary District 6970

John Tabor

District Governor


March 31, 2024

Watson and Williams Award Nomination Deadline

April 20, 2024

Rotary Learning Institute

Daytona State College,

Palm Coast

May 3 - 4, 2024

District Conference

University Center

UNF, Jacksonville

We had a great visit with First Coast Rotaract on March 14. I was joined by Area 6 AG Gerry Kelley and we had the pleasure of welcoming Dani Zentz, the newest Rotaractor in D6970.

Thanks to Pres. John Bachusz and the whole gang!

Ascension Rotaract Network MDIO, the zone-level support for Rotaract in Zones 28 through 34, is looking for Passionate and Driven leaders to join our board for the 2024-25 Rotary Year. 

If you are a Rotaractor, Rotarian, or Young Leader in your community interested in supporting Rotaract in the Eastern half of the United States & Caribbean, we would love to have your voice and enthusiasm on our team.


Please follow these 3 Easy Steps to apply to join the Ascension Rotaract Network Executive Team:

STEP 1: Learn about the Ascension Executive Team Roles: 

Description of Ascension Executive Team roles:

STEP 2: Fill out and submit the Application (this should take about 5-10 minutes)

Google Forms Application:

STEP 3: We will schedule a meeting with you

After you submit the above application, a member of our team will contact you about scheduling a meeting to get to know you and further discuss your interest in the role(s) you’ve selected. 

For questions reach out to our team at

Register Now for the

2024 District Assembly and Conference!

Early Registration Discount ends April 1

Please join us for the 2024 District Training Assembly and Conference May 3-4.

The venue is the Herbert University Center on the campus of the University of North Florida 12000 Alumni Drive, Bldg 43 Jacksonville, FL 32224.

The weekend begins with a dinner meeting of the College of Governors on Thursday evening May 2 at Maggiano's, St. John Town Center, 5:30pm.

District Training Assembly will begin Friday with a meeting of the Assistant Governors followed by a Lunch with the entire Assembly. Afternoon Training sessions will be offered for Club leaders, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Chair, Public Image Chair and Foundation Chair. All are welcome, aspiring leaders or members who just want to learn more.

Friday evening continues with a Cocktail Reception to kick-off the District Conference. Also featured will be a Scotch Whisky tasting led by the always entertaining George Robertson Burnett (Donation to Polio Plus required).

Saturday's Conference is a full day of inspiration and celebration. Speakers include:

Patrick Eakes, Zone 33/34 Director Elect -

Membership, Foundation and Communications. How it all comes together to make an impact

Dr. Yohani Kayinamura (RC Daytona Beach West) -

Rwanda Orphan Aid - Love, Faith and Service

Ken Schuppert, Presidential Rep, Past Vice Chairman of The Rotary Foundation

(RC Decatur, Alabama)

Creating Hope in the World

Barbara Spengler, Past District Governor D5130

(RC Lakewood Ranch, Florida)

The Power of Rotary

George Robertson Burnett, Past District Governor D6890

You can't be serious - It's Rotary!

A Major Donor reception will be held prior to dinner.

Awards and recognition as well as an auction to benefit Polio Plus will also be part of the dinner celebration.

George Robertson Burnett

Conference Keynote Speaker (Dinner)

PDG District 6890

RC Bartow, FL

Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, George was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and Aberdeen College of Commerce. First employed as a fledgling journalist, George went on to serve Her Majesty’s Government, in the smuggling and drug enforcement department.

After moving to England, George started his own company - George Hotels Ltd, and specialized in ownership and operation of Hotels, Restaurants and English pubs. George sold all of his UK business interests and moved to the United States in 2004 with his wife Carole and daughter Pippa.

George started GRB Properties LLC in Florida, but retired in 2008 when he secured green card residency, George, Carole and Pippa became US citizens in 2015.

A Past President of the Bartow Rotary Club, and Past District Governor of District 6890, George is currently serving his second three year term as District Representative to the Council on Legislation. George is a Major Donor to the Rotary Foundation. 

George served a four year term as Assistant Rotary Coordinator 2014-2018 and was until July 2021, the Rotary Coordinator for Zone 34. George is currently on the Zone 34 Membership Action Plan Committee and heads up the MAP Ambassadors program. He also served on the Executive Committee for Zones 33/34 Institute in the Bahamas

George is the incoming Chair for Rotary Florida PETS 2025.


RC Bartram Trail Seeks Global Grant Partners

The Rotary Club of Bartram Trail - Julington Creek, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Usula, Honduras is seeking financial partners for the construction of a water system for the mountain village of Neblinas, Honduras.

This project consists of the construction of a new complete drinking water system that will supply 231 houses (580 people) of the Neblinas community, which is in the mountain range of El Merendón. The drinking water system will be a gravity system, which will be fed by a surface water source channeled in a small dam. The dam will be 1.20 meters high to provide the necessary flow to fill the 25,000-gallon recharge tank. Engineering and cost estimates are complete. This is a shovel ready project.

The Rotary Club of Bartram Trail - Julington Creek has just completed a similar project in the village of la Virtud, Honduras with the Rotary Club of Usula. The project was completed with funding from a Rotary Foundation Global Grant.

Bartram Trail club members have visited the project and met with the Usula club members. The Usula Club has completed several of these projects in the area over the last few years and have a track record of success.

We are seeking combined commitments from other clubs and RC Bartram Trail totalling $26,300. No funds are due until the grant is approved by TRF, likely fall 2024. Commitments are needed by April 15, 2024.

Contact Information: Jose Gavarrette ~ 407-376-1177 ~

Previous Project – Water Storage Tank

Meet your District Leadership

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Ike Sherlock

Assistant Governor - Membership Area 6

RC West Jacksonville

Past President

Rotarian 20 Years

Ike has been in Rotary since 2004. He is a member of RC West JAX since 2007, is a Paul Harris Sustaining Member and has received multiple Paul Harris Fellow recognition. Ike is also a graduate of Rotary Leadership Institute.

As President and CEO of Air Van Inc., Ike is responsible for leading the company's Jacksonville based 3PL company, comprised of transportation, warehousing, and brokerage.

He formerly served as Vice President of Operations at Total Distribution, Inc. (TDI) where he was responsible for the operation of a 650,000 SF warehouse, including a kitting and packaging division, and an asset-based trucking division with more than 150 associates. He first joined TDI’s predecessor organization, The Grimes Company, in 2006 leading that organization through successful growth for more than a dozen years, while winning multiple industry awards for excellence.

Ike’s ties to the North Florida business community span more than two decades. He is a Past President of CSCMP Jacksonville Roundtable, Florida State Director of SWA, President of the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville and Chairman of the Board of The River Club.

Sherlock’s other memberships and affiliations include TALON, TCJAX, Jacksonville Propeller Club, American Trucking Association and the Florida Trucking Association.

A native of Alabama, Sherlock received his Bachelor of Science from Troy University. He lives in Jacksonville with his wife, Jennifer, and two sons, Hazen and Connor. He is an avid golfer and enjoys running in his free time.

Paul Alexander: 'Man in the iron lung' dies at the age of 78

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"Paul Alexander contracted polio in 1952 when he was six, leaving him paralysed from the neck down. The disease left him unable to breathe independently, leading doctors to place him in the metal cylinder, where he would spend the rest of his life.

He would go on to earn a law degree - and practise law - as well as publish a memoir.

"Paul Alexander, 'The Man in the Iron Lung', passed away yesterday," a post on a fundraising website said."

Read the Article at

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