President Chip Groth and Barb Devlin joined over 260 Rotarians from across District 5950 at the Mid-Term Assembly, the largest attendance ever for this event.  They heard from District Governor Bob Hallagan, who highlighted contributions of District leaders and clubs.  They visited booths in the Rotary Showcase, attended in-depth breakout sessions on topics of interest, and were inspired by KSTP sportscaster Joe Schmit, who shared stories from his book, Silent Impact: Stories of Influence Through Purpose, Persistence, & Passion
 
Barb Devlin attended two break-out sessions, each opening the door to possibilities for Richfield Rotary:
 

"People of Action: Join the Campaign"

While “Service Above Self” is the long-standing motto of Rotary International, the “People of Action” campaign highlights Rotarians being active in service.  Rotary International has resources for clubs to use to show club members actively engaged:  connecting, inspiring, transforming, or helping to end polio.  Local clubs are encouraged to use these resources to “tell our story,” e.g. in our newsletter, website, Facebook page, or the local community page.  The Branding Center tool kit is available at myRotary.org. 


“The Opioid Epidemic:  Time to Act” 

Josh Sprague, Rotary Club of Edina, introduced the session, noting that marketing of opioids by big pharma over the past 20 years has resulted in a nation-wide epidemic.  “Death due to opioids is now the leading cause of death for people under age 50, and a third of the population is susceptible to becoming addicted.”  Three impressive panelists joined Josh in the presentation.
 
Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek observed, “People start on prescription opioids, get addicted, and then move to street drugs.   In Minnesota, there were 400 opioid-related deaths in 2015 and the opioid-related death rate in Hennepin County has doubled from 2015 to 2017.”
 
Lexi Reed Holtum, Executive Director of the Steve Rummler Hope Network,  described the “disease of addiction” that lead to the death of husband and father Steve Rummler and so many others.  She thanked Edina and other area Rotary clubs for providing funding for a 2017 TPT documentary video.  (Click here to watch excerpts.)  https://vimeo.com/rummlerhope
 
Rob Reynolds, Director of Advocacy, Verde Technologies (shown at left), noted that unused opioids sitting in our medicine cabinets are a tempting target.  He handed out a “Deterra” packet  to each attendee, a “safe, convenient, and effective way to deactivate drugs,”  and suggested that local Rotary clubs could fund the purchase and distribution of these packets within the community, e.g. as part of the National Night Out event.  He noted that the packet could be printed to include the name of the sponsoring Rotary Club.
 

 

Sprague concluded by saying that the Edina Club remains committed to combatting the opioid crisis.  Their 2018 Action Plan is set up an online curriculum ($9200) and an interactive website and video intended for HS students.   Participating clubs would have access to and be able to promote the resource in their own communities.  Edina has a grant proposal for a District match, but would like other clubs to participate for as little as $100.