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Speaker- Cynthia Arnold, De-Clutter Hawaii
Plaza Club, 20th Fl
Mar 27, 2020
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
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Russell Hampton
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 UPDATE:  2020 Rotary Convention Canceled
West Honolulu Rotarians,
The disappointing news is the 2020 Rotary International Convention in Honolulu is canceled. Below is an email from RI President Mark Maloney.
A Big Mahalo to those of you that had volunteered to help or registered to attend.
I look forward to when we can all meet again safely and unite for Rotary!
Thank you,
Mike Kato, President
From: RI President Mark Maloney <>
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 1:52 PM

Subject: 2020 Rotary Convention Canceled
Mark Daniel Maloney
President, 2019-2020
Dear Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends,

Let me get right to the unfortunate news — the RI Board of Directors has decided to cancel the 2020 Rotary International Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. We are all part of the Rotary family, and your safety remains our highest priority. Like the more than 20,000 registrants who planned to attend this year’s convention, I am very disappointed. However, this is the right and necessary decision to protect the health and safety of convention attendees, as well as those who call Honolulu home.

At this point, we are unsure that Rotary could adequately protect convention-goers from the risk of COVID-19 infection en route to, during, and after the convention. We are also unsure if restrictions on travel to the United States will be lifted by June. We have heard from a number of you who voiced concerns about gathering at the convention this year. I also heard from many who were hopeful that we could continue with the convention as planned. The Board was very diligent and considered all the facts before taking this decision.

At this time, we kindly ask that you do not contact RI Registration to inquire about your registration, ticket or housing cancellations as we work diligently to inform all attendees. Here is an overview of our plans for handling refunds and travel logistics.

Convention refunds
Anyone who registered for the convention will receive a full refund. This includes purchases made for the Rotaract and Youth Exchange preconvention events and ticketed meal events. We will send instructions on how to receive your refund soon. For those who had already canceled prior to today, you will also receive a refund of the $50 processing fee.

You can help expedite the process by canceling your registrations online using your My Rotary account.

Rotary Foundation and United Nations events
If you registered through Rotary International for Rotary Foundation events or Rotary and the United Nations: Celebrating a 75-year Legacy of Humanitarian Cooperation, you will receive a full refund. We will provide details soon. 

Host Organization Committee ticketed event registrations
If you are registered for a host-ticketed event, the Host Organization Committee will contact you soon. As you can imagine, our Rotarian and Rotaractor friends in Hawaii are dealing with a difficult and evolving situation, and in most cases, are working remotely as so many of us are right now. So please be patient.

Hotel Rooms
If you booked an individual room within Rotary’s official housing block, you will receive a follow-up communication and your credit card will not be charged. If you booked as a group within Rotary’s official housing block and made a full or partial payment, you will receive a follow-up communication and instructions on receiving a refund.

Your ticketed travel
Many airlines are updating their cancellation and change policies to accommodate travel restrictions put in place by countries. Please work with your airline or travel agency.

Planning the Honolulu convention was hard work, and I want to thank the 2020 Honolulu Convention Committee, the Host Organization Committee, the 2020 Honolulu Convention Promotion Committee, and Rotary staff for planning what would have been one of the best Rotary conventions yet.  

The convention has always been an opportunity for us to generate new energy for Rotary and to draw inspiration as we come together to celebrate, learn, and grow. Now is our moment to demonstrate that Rotary Connects the World in innovative ways. Let’s redouble our focus and energy on the work we do in our communities. We know the power and potential that lie within our simple acts of connecting. This is particularly true when we lend helping, hopeful hands to others, especially those dealing with the effects of isolation and fear. As we do this, so too can we continue to collaborate on big projects using all of the technology and expertise at our disposal.

We are exploring how we can share a convention-like experience with you through a virtual event, which could be a great example of us following the Rotary Action Plan goal of increasing our ability to adapt.  We will have more to say on this in the near future.

I have no doubt that we will come through this and gather in the future to celebrate with an even deeper appreciation for our work, our experiences, and the many connections we have made through Rotary.

Until then, thank you for your understanding of this difficult decision. Please know that we will make decisions as quickly as we can. As I am sure you can imagine, both Rotary members and staff are operating in a challenging situation. Please be safe as you continue to take action and do good throughout the world.

Aloha and kindest regards,

Mark Daniel Maloney
President, Rotary International, 2019-2020
URGENT: West Honolulu Rotary Club weekly meetings "CANCELED" until further notice
From: Michael Kato
Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2020 11:29 PM

Subject: URGENT: West Honolulu Rotary Club weekly meetings "CANCELED" until further notice
West Honolulu Rotarians,
In light of the current situation of the COVID-19 virus, our weekly Friday meetings will be canceled until further notice. The safety of our members, as well as their families, is of the utmost importance.
Contained below is an email received from RI President Mark Maloney and RI President Elect Holger Knaack with recommendations on how as Rotarians, we can assist with the current situation.
Please stay safe and take care everyone.
All The Best,
Mike Kato, President
From: Mark Maloney & Holger Knaack <>
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2020 11:38 AM

Subject: Rotary’s Role in Battling Coronavirus

Dear Fellow Rotarian,

The COVID-19 coronavirus is affecting every aspect of our lives in real time, and this puts Rotarians in an unfamiliar place. As People of Action, we are most comfortable when we are fully engaged in the world – moving freely, meeting openly, and offering helping hands. These are very difficult times for people who, like us, are at our best when we are learning, growing, and serving—together.

We are also leaders in our communities, and these times call for leadership. In many ways, this also is our time. We have proven abilities to reach out and collaborate to offer immediate help to people in need at a rapid pace. These are precisely the skills needed all over the world today. The global effort against COVID-19 depends on actions taken in every country. Rotary has the unique ability to help improve those efforts in every community and every country.

Using all the technology we have at our disposal, we as Rotarians can continue to reach out and collaborate on big projects with Rotary clubs, Rotaractors, and Interactors. There are a number of examples where Rotary clubs are helping health authorities communicate best practices or provide needed equipment or support that have been shared with our leaders around the world.

As Rotary’s president and president-elect, we have been thinking of these issues very seriously in regard to upcoming Rotary events. As you may be aware, we have made the difficult decision to cancel two Rotary Presidential Conferences honoring our relationship with the United Nations- one in Paris, another in Rome. In the near term, we recommend that Rotary districts and clubs cancel or postpone meetings or events following the advice of national and local health officials.

We know that clubs and districts are seizing the opportunity to become leaders in their communities and are making better use of technology in this time of need. For example, a Rotary e-club in Italy held a live online session about COVID-19 awareness, a Taiwan club worked with companies and a pharmacy association to donate 1,600 bottles of hand sanitizer to the city of Ji-Long, and Rotary clubs in Sri Lanka helped upgrade software and hardware for the health promotion bureau to assist its social messaging.

We cannot know quite yet what path this virus will take. We know we can play a role to help “flatten the curve,” reducing the number of cases in the short term to allow our health systems to address this issue. If the collective global effort helps bring the situation under control, then we hope to re-embrace our core values at the 2020 Rotary Convention in Honolulu. Our time together will have greater meaning and purpose than ever.

Please know that we are taking a close, continuing look at our plans for the convention in June to make sure all attendees’ safety will be protected. We are following the lead of the world’s most trusted sources, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for their guidance. We want you to be able to make decisions about what is best for you and your families in terms of attending this year’s event.

In the meantime, this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate that Rotary Connects the World in innovative ways. We should be closely following the advice of the WHO and local health authorities. Again, this includes canceling Rotary club events and meetings in the short term to reduce unnecessary interactions that could cause infections. We can put a greater emphasis on the work we do in our communities by helping our less fortunate neighbors cope with the effects of isolation and fear, or by supporting our health authorities to address this situation.

We are dealing with this situation in real time. Please visit the COVID-19 response page for ongoing updates.

This is an unprecedented challenge for nearly all of us. But it is also an opportunity for Rotarians to find new, meaningful ways to lead individuals and communities to connect and do good in the world.

We have never been prouder to be part of an organization that does so much to protect and strengthen our communities, at home and across the globe.

Kindest regards,

Mark Daniel Maloney
2019-2020, President, Rotary International
Holger Knaack
2020-21, President, Rotary International