Hundreds of Rotarians gathering in Steamboat for annual conference |

Hundreds of Rotarians gathering in Steamboat for annual conference

Brent Boyer

— Steamboat Springs is playing host to more than 400 Rotarians this weekend as part of the Rotary District 5440 Conference.

The annual event kicked off Thursday and will continue through Saturday at The Steamboat Grand. The theme of the event is "Rotary Proud." The Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs is the host of the event. The Ski Town USA Rotary Club and the Craig Rotary Club are helping with the conference.

District 5440 is composed of 53 Rotary clubs in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Idaho. The event is hosted each year by one of the clubs in the district. Last year, the event was hosted by the Rotary Club of Estes Park. The last time the event was held in Steamboat Springs was in 2005.

During the three-day event in Steamboat, Rotarians will be encouraged to eat and shop in downtown Steamboat Springs. Activities such as golfing, hiking and biking will be organized, along with trips to local sites such as Fish Creek Falls and Strawberry Park Hot Springs.

A variety of speakers and acts have been lined up for the event, including the King N Trio, of Grand Junction, a popular folk act made up of four longtime Rotarians.

Also scheduled to appear is award-winning singer-songwriter and peace activist David LaMotte, of Chapel Hill, N.C. A veteran of 10 CDs and 2,000 concerts on four continents, he suspended his 18-year music career in 2008 to accept a Rotary World Peace Fellowship to study international relations, peace and conflict resolution at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. As part of that study, he also spent three months in rural Andhra Pradesh, India, working with a Gandhian development organization.

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Other speakers include Dave McSpadden, Rosemary Aragon, Leah Aylward, Greg Podd, Georgia Medori, Debbie Mueller and Karl Lueck.

New to the district conference this year is the Rotary World Cafe, where attendees will have the opportunity to "savor best practices" by attending three 15-minute standing presentations from other Rotarians. Topics for the World Cafe include local and international service projects, recruitment and retention and public relations.

True to the Rotary spirit of "Service Above Self," the district conference will feature two auctions — one live and one silent — and proceeds will benefit Humble Ranch, a Steamboat nonprofit organization that provides equine therapy to children and adults with special needs. For more information on Humble Ranch, visit

Two Steamboat photographers and Rotarians — Rod Hanna and Jim Steinberg — have donated photographs for the live auction.

"The Rotary Clubs of Steamboat Springs, Craig, and the Ski Town USA Rotary Club are looking forward to an exciting and truly innovative 2013 Rotary 5440 District Conference. We are Rotary Proud," said District 5440 Governor Mike Forney, a Steamboat Springs resident. 

Scott Marr is the chairman of the 2013 District Conference. Committee members include Ellen Kendall, Meg Boyer, Steve Hitchcock, Randy Rudasics, Lynaia South, Bobbe Fitzhugh, Kathie Sack, Kellie Tovar, Tara Weaver, Alice Klauzer, Jane Denning, Randy Looper, Pete Youngers, Jan Fritz, Scott Stanford, Dave Wittlinger, Angela Catterson, Rod Hanna, Suzanne Schlicht, Jane Bedell, Carol Parish, Gillian Morris, Winnie DelliQuadri, Kristal Eckley, Jenny Wall, Ashley VanNess, Dan Bonner, Jim Moylan, Susan Van Deren, Erik Griepentrog and Jeff Swoyer.

More information about the 2013 District Conference is available at

To reach Brent Boyer, call 970-871-4221 or email

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