Writer / Janelle Morrison Photographer / JJ Kaplan Far in advance of the season’s first snow, the Rotary District 6560’s conference committee has been deep into its planning for the 2016 district conference that will be held in Carmel. Inspiration, celebration, entertainment and information are just a few of the words Rotary International District 6560 Governor Mark Blade used as he shared his vision for the 2016 District Conference. The conference will be held Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23, 2016, at the 502 East Event Centre in Carmel. Governor Blade has assembled a team of Rotarians from all over 6560, led by Co-Chairs Salim Najjar, Past District Governor, and Dale Basham, Immediate Past President of Muncie Rotary. The conference will include a House of Friendship filled with booths, showcasing the work of clubs throughout the district, along with gift baskets and other silent auction items donated by the District 6560’s clubs to raise money for The Rotary Foundation which funds humanitarian activities from local service projects to global initiatives. “Rotarians, speakers, public officials and sponsors of the conference will be audience to a variety speakers and performers,” Dale Basham, co-chair, explained. “The 2016 conference will focus their attention on hunger but will expand on that theme as attendees will hear from Rotarians who will share their stories of hunger for freedom, education and hope as well as food. “The opening session of the conference will begin on Friday afternoon with special guests, including elected officials from Carmel welcoming us to their city. The afternoon will be full of ‘edutainers’ leading up to a gala dinner at the 502 East Event Centre. “The conference will resume the next morning with more performers and speakers throughout the day, along with an action-packed on-site service project designed to ‘Be a gift to the world,’ the Rotary International 2015-16 theme, starting in our own community. The entire leadership team is focused on showcasing the talents of Rotarians and projects of Rotary clubs throughout this incredible district. This will not be your grandfather’s district conference.” Governor Blade wrote, “I am excited that our next district conference will be in Carmel. I want Rotarians to be energized to go out and continue to do great things in their communities. The conference is designed to focus on hunger, provide rich fellowship and exchange of ideas and finally to raise money for The Rotary Foundation. We hope to display the passion of what Rotary is all about: doing good in our communities and in the world.” Hosting the District Conference in Carmel will bring in Rotarians and speakers from all over the state and will be another positive booster for the local economy. Several of the area’s hotels are offering conference attendees discounted rates for the weekend. Rotarians and guests will be able to take advantage of the local area restaurants and attractions before or after the conference. “Expect some surprises,” Basham said. “Door prizes will be given throughout the conference with a special drawing on Saturday afternoon. And yes, you must to be present to win. Saturday will be capped with an opportunity for conference-attending Rotarians to buy tickets at an unbelievable discount for a concert by The Oak Ridge Boys at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, just a short distance from the conference site.” Rotarians are currently seeking local businesses for sponsorship opportunities and hope to include as many corporate partners as they can. Rotarians would like to take this opportunity to educate the local business community on the vast number of ongoing projects and to include them as part of the positive impact that organizations like Rotary International have in our local, national and global communities. For more information on the Rotary International District 6560 Conference or how to become a sponsor, please contact conference co-chair Dale Basham at firstname.lastname@example.org.