This year’s District Conference was a unique 3-Act production at the Guthrie Theater.  Act I featured Past District Governors Jim Nelson and Tim Murphy as George and his guardian angel, Clarence (photographed at right, descending from Heaven!), who presented "angel wings" to District and local club projects and initiatives that have created “A Wonderful Life”  through the power of Rotary.   Richfield Rotary has made financial contributions to two of the recognized projects, the District 5950 tree planting initiative and Edina Rotary's project to combat opioid abuse.  
 
The Keynote speaker for Act I was Marilyn Carlson Nelson, retired chair and chief executive of Carlson, a global travel company.  Carlson described the efforts of Carlson Company and the Carlson Family Foundation to address the issue of human trafficking, including support for the “Minnesota Girls are Not for Sale” campaign, and a “replicable strategy” developed for the Super Bowl that can adapted to prevent trafficking at future large-scale events.  For Rotary Clubs confronting challenging issues, Carlson encouraged us to follow her father’s advice, “If you don’t like it, fix it!” 
 
Act II focused on Rotary Members in Action, including a “Done in a Day” project putting together self-care “Dignity” bags for rescued human trafficking victims, and a presentation by Maria Pacheco about Rotary projects to help Guatamalan women entrepreneurs bring their products to market and improve the well-being of their families and communities.  Maria shared her formula for success:  “Dreams + Opportunity = Change,” and thanked Rotary for helping Guatamalans make their dreams come true.  The emcee added, “District 5950 has two service teams going to Guatemala in January and February.  Sign up, and it will touch your heart!”
 
 
Rotary Youth Exchange students were introduced by country (right), and District Governor Bob Halagan also recognized several clubs for increasing female membership, including the Rotary Club of Richfield with over 50% female membership. 
 
Act III, “Back to the Future,” occurred after the Richfield Rotarians went home.  However, Barb Devlin, Chip Groth, and Jean Fox (pictured at left in costume) agree, “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a part of Rotary!