Greetings everyone! Happy May!
May is Youth Services Month. This is a time when Rotary Clubs around the world focus on youth services, Rotaract, Interact, RYLA and Youth Exchange.
COVID-19 has significantly disrupted many Rotary youth programs. School closures have shut down Interact clubs. Rotaract clubs have been affected by university closures. The Rotary Board of Directors has decided to suspend the Youth Exchange Program through June, 2022.  However, Rotary International President Holger Knaack optimistically wrote “Our ability to meet in person is limited now, but we know Rotary Opens Opportunities. Now is the time to get ready, so that when the pandemic is behind us, Rotary’s exchange programs will come back stronger than before, serving a world yearning to connect.”
This past weekend the first Virtual Rotary District 7120 District Conference was held. On Friday night we held our yearly District Business Meeting, followed by fellowship and fun with the first District Wide Trivia Contest.  Thanks to all who attended. Congratulations to the winning Trivia team, “It Doesn’t Matter” and the 2nd place winner “Stop Dogs.”  It was a lot of fun.
On Saturday the District held its first virtual Rotary District Conference. Being that the first Virtual Strict Training Assembly had breakouts on subjects dealt with during our year, we concentrated on recognition of clubs and individual Rotarians.
We recognized two outstanding Rotarians for leading the two new Districts Committees.  Dr. Sim Covington from the Canandaigua Rotary Club was recognized for stepping to be the chair of the District Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.  Gary Anderson was recognized as the first chair of the District Environmental Action Committee.
We also recognized the respected Assistant Governors: Lisa Norwood, Tom Vonglis, Barb Harper and Mary Green who chose to retire from their positions at the end of the Rotary year.
We recognized clubs that had a successful fundraisers and service projects during this challenging year. The top 3 finalists chosen by a judging committee were:
 #1 the Perry Rotary Club’s “Give the Gift of Rotary”,
 #2 the Naples Rotary Club: “The walk of life”
 # 3 the Corning Rotary Club: “Filling the need”.
Awards were announced by Public Image Chair Tom Brown for Facebook and Websites.
Awards by the District Literacy Committee were announced.  
Grants Chair Bruce Spector discussed the Rotary Foundation & announced what clubs were receiving District Grant this coming year.
Rotary District was awarded a Covid 19 Disaster Relief Grant by Rotary International for PPE to go to the participating ARC listed in the grant. DGE Janet Tenreiro spoke of presenting John Quinlan with a Paul Harris Fellow. This recognition was bestowed upon John for his work coordinating and distributing PPE to 10 ARCs in the District.
There was also a touching Memorial Service recognizing Rotarians who had passed during the past 2 years.
All of this and more will be up on the District 7120 Website once we receive the file of the presentation. So, please be on the lookout for it.
I cannot thank my District Conference team from my home club of Penfield Rotary enough for working on the District Conference for 3 years as it changed from being an  in person meeting  in Tarrytown, NY to a potentially hybrid Conference in Corning to ultimately a Virtual Conference, live from CMI Communications with pre-recorded video.
Thank you to my District Conference Co-Chairs Marie Cinti and Paul Marinucci, Treasurer Dennis Shew, sage advisor PDG Don Milton, Laurie Dietrich, Judi Marinucci Sharon Mathiason, Nancy Aumann and Club President Barbara Power, Neal Gorman, Pastor Steve Brotzman, Jerry Christopher and Ken Kohl. In addition thanks to Robyn Whittaker and Joe Corona from Webster Rotary and Assistant Governor JoAnn Terry, East Rochester Rotary.  Finally, thanks to everyone who presented and contributed to the success of the District Conference.
On that note I shall conclude my column wishing you a wonderful month of May.
Yours in Rotary,
District Governor 2020-2021
Rotary District 7120