HAPPY NEW YEAR, fellow Rotarians!
We have six more months in this Rotary year to continue to do amazing things as we Imagine Rotary. The New Year brings new opportunities to collaborate with other clubs in the District and nearby Districts.
I urge you to attend Mid Year Checkup on Saturday, January 14, 2023, in Bay St Louis to share ideas and hear about the projects completed and to be started. The link for registration is on the District Website. As a reminder, your District dues pay for this event so come join us. Please bring the list of your service projects, social events, and fundraisers to add to the District Directory we are establishing. And, share contacts for your best speakers with other clubs! Mid-Year Checkup promises to be fun, fast, and imaginative!  Expect a call or email from your Assistant Governor about preparing for your two minutes of fame! By the way, for the Clubs in the Orleans Territory, meet your new Assistant Governor: Dean Pelias!  Dean is a member of the Carrollton Club and is their current President. Thank you, Dean, for joining our team, and thank you Brian Mora for serving as AG for Orleans last year.
If you want to celebrate and learn about the Rotary Foundation and the Paul Harris Society, please join us on Friday evening, January 13, 2023, at the Great Southern Club in Gulfport. John Smarge, a Past Rotary International Director and a member of Haiti National Clean Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Strategy (HANWASH) joins us to talk about the importance of the Rotary Foundation and his passion for bringing clean water to those in need. Fr. Jeff Bayhi, currently pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Zachary will talk about Human Trafficking and Metanoia Manor, which is a safe haven for victims of human trafficking.  The link for registration for this dinner is on the District website.
  • Please take the time to register for Mid Year Checkup, set for Saturday, January 14, 2023, in Bay St. Louis. The registration link is on the website here: MidYear Checkup 2023 | District 6840 (clubrunner.ca).  Remember to bring the description and contact information of your service, fundraising, and social projects for the District Directory.
  • The Paul Harris Society Gala is Friday evening, Jan. 13, 2023. The registration link is on the website here: MyEventRunner - Event Public Fill (crsadmin.com)
PDG Elizabeth Van Sant will take time out from her European travels to once again offer Rotary Leadership Institute in person. Details are available here. RLI In Person 2022-2023 | District 6840 (clubrunner.ca) RLI is a great way to introduce Rotary to your new members and expand the knowledge of any member.
Greg Lier’s zoom series on Rotary Foundation continues on January 17, 2023, at 6 pm. Join us!
How to Close Your District Grants (Click HERE to register). If you want to highlight your club’s district grant during this session and get Greg’s help in closing it, please let us know.
By the way, if you are interested in the projects that received District Grants for 2022-23, click here to read more.  District 6840 Grants | District 6840 (clubrunner.ca)
I hope you have elected officers for the 2023-24 Rotary Year. Training for club presidents and other officers is underway and PETS will be back in Natchez in March. DGE Vicky Gutierrez is anticipating a fabulous year for her team. Old Man River PETS | (olemanriverpets.org)  More information to come, but check here for updates: PETS - workshop. | District 6840 (clubrunner.ca)
Are you participating in What’s My Club? The final clues will be released this month, in February and March. The winner will be announced at the District Conference in Hattiesburg, on April 21-22, 2023. Details on the prize are:
WINNER: Three Day, Two Night Las Vegas, or Lake Tahoe accommodations.  Taxes and Fees have been paid, but the winner is responsible for the travel.  You have two years to book your travel and can choose from several different resorts, including the Luxor in Las Vegas, or Lake Tahoe South in Lake Tahoe.
January clues:
Name the Assistant Governor and the clubs in that person’s territory for the Lake, Orleans, and Pontchartrain Territories.
December clues:
Name the home club of the Assistant Governor of the following Territories:
Bayou, Bay Pass, East Coast, Beach, and Heartland.
Make your guesses HERE:  https://forms.gle/N6JDc5KBCSYQQfjv6
Have you been playing? I hope the links are now working but let me know if you have any questions.
November Clues:
  • 1. Name the Assistant Governor for the Tangipahoa Territory and the five clubs in that territory.
  • 2. Name the Assistant Governor for the Hub Territory and the five clubs in that territory.
Previous clues:
  • Name two clubs that received their charter on the same date.
  • Name the newest Rotary Club in our district. (not Rotaract Clubs)
  • Name the most recent Past District Governor and his home club (2021-22)
  • Name the club that hosts the Alligator Festival.
  • Name the primary host club for the 2022-23 District Conference
  • Name the first 4 clubs chartered in our District with the dates of each charter
  • Name the home club of the current District Governor
  • Name the primary host club for the 2022-23 District Conference
Please submit your guesses here: Newsletter Scavenger Hunt Guess! - Google Forms
Have you registered to attend District Conference? Planning your treats for Food Fest? Registration for the Conference, golf tournament, optional events, and hotels is open and available on the District website. Thanks to the Conference Committee for their hard work and dedication.
  • District Conference, April 21-22, 2023, in Hattiesburg will include a Golf Tournament on Friday morning, Optional Family events (cooking demonstration at USM or tour of Camp Shelby) on Friday morning. The opening sessions start on Friday afternoon followed by Food Fest on USM’s campus later that evening. Saturday will begin with a memorial service to celebrate the lives of those Rotarians who died during the past year. Sessions will include membership, public image, club administration, fundraising, grants, and the Rotary Foundation. We will close the day with the Governor’s banquet to celebrate your achievements within your clubs and the District.
Your response to my request for book drives has been overwhelming. I genuinely appreciate your help. And, please let me know how you Imagine your club will disburse books to children in your community.
Speaking of the District Conference, we ask each club to seek sponsors to help with the expenses of the conference and to support our Literacy efforts. More information is on the website, including sponsorship options. Chair Mark Killingsworth of the Rotary Club of Hattiesburg is available for comments and questions. Thank you!
Thank you to the Clubs who continue to send me information and photos of their wonderful events. Several are highlighted in this Message. Happening in the Clubs:
If you’re looking for something to do on February 9th, come on over and put your taste buds to work for the Rotary Club of Bay St. Louis’s annual Chili/Mac-N-Cheese Cook-Off! Held at the Bay St. Louis Community Hall from 5-8 p.m., this fundraiser will support service projects both locally and internationally. We’ll also be selling beer, wine, and soft drinks to make sure that 5-Alarm chili doesn’t burn your windpipes.
You can enter a team if you’re feeling like a master chef, or you can simply choose to sponsor the event. Either way, we appreciate it. Entry and sponsorships begin at $100 and go up to $1,000 if you’re feeling super generous. Don’t worry, there’s plenty in it for you too!
There will also be awards for Best Chili (1st, 2nd, and 3rd), The Big Cheese, 5-Alarm Hot & Spicy, Best Booth, Best Lagniappe, and People’s Choice. All decisions will be made by a team of secret judges except People’s Choice, which will be voted on by how much cash they can get in their jar.
For more information, you can contact Ashley Mayley at (228) 671-9861 or ashleymayley@coastepa.com.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Salvation Army Bell Ringing Bell Ringing 2022 happened this past Saturday at Belk’s in Crossroads Shopping Center. A huge “THANK YOU” to all of our volunteer Rotarians and their spouses who gave their time yesterday to this traditional service project. A special shout out to the Harrison Central High School Interactors and their advisor Sharon Johnson. And finally, special recognition to Colin Rummell a Rock-A-Chaw from St. Stanislaus and son of Rotarian Brad Rummel who was on duty for over 7 hours to earn his community service hours. Thank you to one and all!
On Saturday, December 17, 2022, Wreaths Across America was at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery to Remember and Honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country's fallen heroes and the act of saying the name of every veteran aloud. Wreaths Across America
The Rotary magazine is a wealth of information and creative ideas. Just in case you haven’t read recent issues, here is an idea that caught my attention. Turning Wine Bottles Back into Sand | District 6840 (clubrunner.ca)
Some of the girls from Grace Girls Home, the orphanage in Sri Lanka RYLA supports, performed a program for their local Rotary club. Learn more here: Grace Girls (gracegirlshome.org)
Thanks to Mike Sigler for the photos! 
Although I have repeated information about many upcoming events in this newsletter, thank you for taking the time to consider attending these events. I encourage you to be active in the District. Some so many amazing people quietly put Service Above Self and strive to make our communities a better place to live, grow and Imagine.
News from Clubs around District 6840
Thank you to the clubs who are sending me information on events at your club or communities. I think we are getting better at posting the events timely. Noelle Reznik of the Mid-City Club has agreed to help gather and organize those great stories about your club’s fundraising, service, and social events. Please watch for her requests for information. So, continue to send in your stories and flyers, including contact information.  You can also submit your story here to the Google Form here. 
Let’s continue to Imagine Rotary in 2023!
May this New Year bring you happiness, health, and friendship.
DG Regina Wedig