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REGULAR MEETING

EVERY THURSDAY

12:05 PM - 1:05 PM

PIZZA RANCH 

19141 Freeport Street

Elk River, MN 55330

General Business, updates and great guest speakers.

Our Club Motto:

Serving Humanity 
Strengthening Youth 
Enhancing Lives

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

August 24 - Dirk Berrett
August 31 - Leon Barthel - Elk River Chief of Police Ron Nierenhausen. The essence of his program will be law enforcement in news and social media driven culture (dealing with public perceptions).
September 7 - Patty Carbajal - Peter Nelson - "Center of the American Experiment. 
September 14 - Lynn Caswell
September 21 - Dan Dixon
September 28 - Terry Bizal 
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Inspiring leaders with passion to serve humanity; strengthening youth for tomorrow's leadership and enhancing lives in our world.

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August 17, 2017 - Regular Meeting
 
Attendance: active status - 17 present, 18 absent
Honorary Status - 6 present, 6 absent
Total Membership - 41 members
 
Guests: Nick and Sophie Ertel, grandkids of Glen Ertel
Brett Weber was filling in for Dirk Barrett
 
President Molly Hanson ran our meeting for us.  John Osterman was in time to lead the song and Julie Fish provided a spontaneous prayer.
 
We welcomed new member Neil Gagnon, with a happy birthday song - the $10 version.
 
Image result for announcementsBob Maxwell shared flyers and announced that the annual Bean Bag Tournament is coming up 9/16/17, starting at 2 p.m. Register at bagptsd@yahoo.com.   They are collecting silent auction items and Robin Skinner will prepare a basket for the auction, using some of the left over wine from the Wall of Wine.  Proceeds from this fundraiser are going to “Hidden Wounds”. (hidden wounds.org)
 
Happy Hour is tonight at 5 and will be held at Lupulin in Big Lake.  Julie Fish will be providing snacks of beef sticks and popcorn of many flavors that she will purchase from her brother-in-laws shop - the Jerky Shoppe, located across the highway from Lupulin in Big Lake.
 
Pete Reiner announced that river clean up will be on Wednesday, August 30th at 5 pm.  Meet at the orono dam.  If you have a boat or canoe that can be used, please let Pete know.  He will start a sign up sheet next week.
 
Treasurer, Debbi Rydberg, reminded us that invoices have been sent out vie email and we have copies up front.  She will send reminders in the next week or so to those who have forgotten to pay.
 
Happy Bucks:
- Tricia Downey was happy that yesterday was her daughter, Ginger’s birthday.  On her birthday, she had to attend the 3rd day of volleyball tryouts and as a freshman, she made the sophomore team so it was a very happy birthday!  
- Robin Skinner was happy to get to go to happy hour at the nursing home tomorrow in Cloquet to celebrate her parent’s 61st wedding anniversary.
- Tove Lichty was happy to be leaving on vacation and going to Peru!
- Alan Sakry had a sad buck because his daughter Jordan is on her adventure of her first year of college in North Carolina.
- Lynn Caswell had an unhappy buck too - his charter fishing adventure was cancelled.
- Julie Fish was happy to have moved to Monticello!
- Leon Barthel was $7 happy.  One for each grandchild that will be visiting him over the weekend, along with his children and their spouses.
- Brandon Hanson was happy to be traveling to Watertown South Dakota to visit relatives for a family reunion.  He is currently not able to drive on his road right now, so he wasn’t looking forward to loading the car and hauling things.
- Molly Hanson was happy that her sister and brother-in-law are celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary.
 
Fine from the Floor:
- Brandon Hanson had a fine from the floor re: river clean up that didn’t happen in 2016.  He fined Pete for crushing Brandon at a previous clean up, by making comments about his waders.
 
Image result for playing cardsCard Game had a winner - Brandon Hanson won $49 and $49 went into our funds!  Thanks for playing!
 
Program:
President Molly Hanson introduced us to our speaker from Rivers of Hope and told us that today, treasurer Debbi Rydberg gave them their donation check for $10,000.00!    We heard from Chris Pommerenke, Executive Director for Rivers of Hope.  Chris is a past Rotarian and is from Lakeville.  She moved to Wright County two years ago.  Most of her career has been spent at non profit organizations.  She is thrilled to live and work here.  She took a moment to walk through what an advocate has to go through to take a vacation.   She shared an actual letter that was written by an advocate.  Wow!  A ton of assistance was needed!  They have 3 advocates - 2 for adults and 1 for youth.  One of four women in Minnesota have experienced violent crime!  In some places, one of three.  In 2016, 21 people were murdered due to domestic violence.  Safety plans are very important and domestic violence impacts the entire household.  Kids hear and see a lot.  One of nine children are exposed to domestic violence. Early experience can last for generations.  Rivers of Hope offers programs for support to be free from it.  On the youth side, 19 different schools in Wright and Sherburne County are assisted by Rivers of Hope.  Approximately 80 students and 45 of them are from Elk River.  Elk River has the best relationships built.  They get a lot of referrals from law enforcement.  The advocate is a person that the youth can have private conversations with. Teachers also refer youth.  They have a 24/7 crisis line.  Students can call or most often text her at any time.  They meet during the school day, during study hall.  They offer presentations to school staff and students.  They also have a support group in Elk River and in Buffalo and this program is a year long program.  The group gathers and gives back weekly.  They provide support for rough days, feelings of hopelessness/suicide and more.   Rivers of Hope was started in 1989 by a small group of people in Elk River.  28 years ago!  She is thankful for the relationship.  They have a new safe house in Monticello that provides a safe short term stay for people to give them time to figure things out.  A lot of times they have very little of their belongings due to having to flee.   In 2016, 223 women and 29 men in Sherburne and 334 women and 24 men in Wright Counties required assistance from Rivers of Hope.  There were 126 orders for protection in 2016 and that number has doubled since 2015.  This is partially due to taking calls 24/7, rather than referring folks to a safe house over the weekends.  This new program works much better and they are able to help and connect with victims in need. Early help is best.  What a great community we have!  She has been on the job only five months, but sees what wonderful people and businesses we have in Wright and Sherburne Counties.  Our support helps so many.  She thanked us for our help over the years and for the $10,000 given today.
 
 
August 10, 2017 - Regular Meeting
 
Attendance: active status - 15 present, 20 absent
Honorary status - 4 present, 2 absent
Total membership of 41 members
 
Today, President  Molly Hanson led our meeting and our prayer was delivered by Jim Babcock.
President Molly Hanson introduced our newest member Neil Gagnon and our guests Cheryl  Wold and Marilyn Olson of Open Doors For Youth
 
Announcements:
Image result for announcementsBonnie Koste reminded us about our upcoming Social Hour at Lupulin Brewing in Big Lake from approximately 5:00 – 7:00 PM on August 17. Bonnie asked for those that would be attending and she received 12 positive responses. Let Bonnie know if you plan to attend as soon as possible. She would like to know the approximate number for food, etc.
 
Molly Hanson asked to see how many members received her email regarding Rotary committee assignments and requests members for additional participation. Check to see where you can be of service to the club and the community.
 
Molly Hanson took time to thank Leon Barthel and Dave Anderson for their continued assistance in setting up the room for our regular meetings. If you can assist them let Leon, Dave or her know.
 
Happy Bucks:
- Glen Ertel for his two week motorcycle trip through Colorado with his son.
- John Osterman - report from the Quarterback Club’s Golf Fundraiser. The coach is anticipating another great football season….”should be as good as last years’ state championship….”
- Dan Weber – His son’s baseball teams success and his sons opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the St. Cloud town teams baseball game.
- Debbi Rydberg – The opportunity to spend time with family in Kansas City and a “sad” buck to because her daughter had to return to Mexico.
-Bonnie Koste – Her son is participating in Elk River Football.
 
Weekly Drawing – The pot was approximately $50. I mean the total in the drawing was approximately $50. And the winner is……..NO ONE. The total Image result for playing cardsrolls to next week.  REMINDER: Get your card prior to start of the meeting for only $1.00….$2.00 after meeting starts. You could be the lucky winner next week. Oh, and you can’t win if you don’t play.
 
Program:
Jim Babcock introduced our Program – Cheryl Wold and Marilyn Olson from Open Doors For YouthCheryl and Marilyn are two of several founders of Open Doors For Youth. The organization is a 501C3 established approximately 2.5 years ago to provide service to homeless youth 16 -24 and/or an unstable home life. They have a drop in resource center at 554 3rd Avenue in Elk River. Funding has been provided by many. Our Elk River Rotary club has been with them from the beginning providing funding from the TASTE of ELK RIVER and also a recent donation of $2,000 from the club. They recently had a visit from members of the St. Cloud Rotary club interested in establishing such a place for youth in their area. They are currently looking for a proper location to set up a site. Location is important. It must be accessible but not in high traffic area such as a mall or shopping center. Also a visit from Monticello Rotary and contact with officials at the Monticello High School regarding expansion possibilities.
 
The local office has had contact with over 205 young people with over 1500 interactions.
 
Cheryl and Marilyn were also excited to announce the new director Cindy Lay as executive director. Cindy has been a volunteer and a board member. They indicated the need to establish this position for continued sustainability.
Shelter at night is a challenge for the youth. Seventy percent stay at friends or extended family for a very short period of time, many in their cars and others often outside. There are no overnight facilities at their location and often send them to the St. Cloud Salvation Army and Stepping Stones in Anoka. Help also coming from Hope For Youth in Anoka next to Stepping Stones.
 
OPEN DOORS FOR YOUTHThe many challenges for youth include sleeping arrangements, clothing, reliable transportation, hygiene products and of course jobs. They have found that when getting the youth rental housing without emotional support was failing. They now are working on a relationship network – “Circle of Support”. This focuses on relationship building first and then set them up with housing and employment support.
They had a generous donation for gas cards but their immediate need is money for their own rent which is not available through grants. For more information check out their website at  https://www.opendoorsforyouth.org
 
 
August 3, 2017 - Regular Meeting
 
Attendance: active status - 16 present, 19 absent
 Honorary status - 4 present, 2 absent
 Total membership of 41 members

 Today, president Molly Hanson led our meeting and led our prayer in the absence of Josh Anderson who was to have the program today, but due to miscommunications, Molly is “punting” and we will have a modified club assembly.

 Guests: Laurie and Cassie, guests and employees of Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba
 Laurie is an RN for 40 years and will be the director of nursing at Bee Hive Homes of Elk River.  Cassie is also an RN with a long history of working
 with geriatrics.  She said that the the best product for memory care is found at Bee Hive Homes.
 Mark your calendars for Wed., Aug. 23 from 4 to 7 to attend the soft opening at Bee Hive Homes, Marilyn’s company.

 A belated Happy Birthday song was joyfully sung to Dan Weber!

 Happy Bucks:

- Bruce Tyler was happy because today is his wife’s 70th birthday!
 - Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba went to the doctor yesterday for a bad hip and happily received a shot of cortisone and is feeling wonderful!
 - Al Sakry had a not so happy buck, as his daughter, Jordan, is leaving for college tomorrow!  He sees a lot of flights in his future as she is going to Carolina!
 - Julie Fish was happy to say “one week till move day”!
 - Bob Maxwell was happy to have spent time with classmates at his 45th high school reunion!
 - John Osterman was happy to announce that with the assistance of Dave Anderson, they received a $48 rebate check for the wine purchased for the wall of wine for the Taste of Elk River!
 - Tove Lichty had a couple of happy bucks!  First was that she and her husband will be traveling to South Dakota this weekend to visit friends.  They are also going to visit her father-in-law and shared a scary story about him with us.  He was in a bicycle race and his heart stopped and he went down.  Fortunately, the two people who saw him go down and were there first to assist were an emergency room nurse and an anesthesiologist and they started CPR right away.  Happy buck is because he is home after receiving a stint and is feeling normal!  The medical staff told them that only 2% of people survive this type of ordeal!
 - Dirk had a happy buck and a thanks to Pete Reiner for the invitation to play golf at the Elk River Chamber golf tourney a couple of weeks ago.  He nearly shot a hole in on on 17!  It hit off the pin.  He was also happy to be celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary and 40th birthdays!
 - Curt Hinkle was happy to announce the birth of his first great grandchild!

 
Image result for playing cardsCard Game - the queen of clubs was chosen and there was not a winner!

 Announcements:

Image result for announcements - On behalf of treasurer, Debbi Rydberg, Molly Hanson announced that invoices have been emailed and she also has a stack of printed ones if you would prefer it in that format.  They are up on the name badge table.
 - President Molly Hanson presented our newest member transfer, Bill Haring, with his official club name badge!
 - Troy Adams, membership chair, announced that there will be a membership committee meeting on Wednesday, August 30th.  Stay tuned for further details.
 - Dan Dixon emailed a message and a photo that was sent around the room.  The photo was of Dan and our inbound youth exchange student, Sara Henningsen.  He visited her and her family in Rodding, Denmark. Sara flies to Minnesota on August 22 to begin her exchange year in Elk River.  The first two host families have been secured and we are still in need of the third host family.  Contact Dan for further information.
 -
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Thursday, August 17th, Social Hour at 5 p.m. at Lupulin in Big Lake.  A sign up sheet will start next week.

 Program:
 President Molly Hanson led us in a club assembly.  She shared a handout of the current board structure and went through the line up with us.  She welcomes and invites everyone to participate on a committee of some form.  She thanked Dave Anderson (and Leon Barthel, who was absent) for their many years of service, handling the set up and take down of our cabinet items for our meetings.  She spoke about a new committee - web page/media.  She would like to see a strong committee for this as we have a lot of work to do with it.   Membership is also a key subject and both she and Troy Adams have big aspirations for this committee.  Her number one goal is to have a membership “on boarding system” for our club.   Membership update - Corey Wemple, Bank of Elk River has resigned and the board accepted it with regret and Neil Gagnon, Bank of Elk River has had his membership approved.  Please watch for more info to come via email re: participating on different committees.   John Osterman gave a shout out to Molly for doing a good job, thus far!   Molly stated that you don’t have to be asked to participate, but that you participate on your own volunteering.   Board of Directors meetings are now held on the second Thursday of the month, following our regular rotary meeting. Molly will report the highlights of the board meetings the following week at our regular meeting.   Tricia Downey took the lead next and asked for feedback for sponsorships for the Taste of Elk River.  Response was that people think repetitive visibility is important.  Robin stated that Elk River is one of 44 communities represented at MidwestOne Bank and they look for locally, visible and personal interest.  Timing is everything and planning early is better and key to getting into budgets.  Most budgets are done in the fall or the first part of the year.  Visibility and relationships need to be touched on and engaged in early.  Most of our sponsors are local businesses.  One thing we don’t do well, is tell our Rotary story and explain how we used the funds raised.  We don’t brag enough!  Molly shared that she recently received a note from a recent past STRIVE student and the student sent her the note to thank her for STRIVE and tell her how we touched her life!  This is a story we need to tell over and over again.  How can we tell our story better?  Brandon Hanson shared that he likes the structure/layout that Molly shared with us and suggested that we reach out to our sponsors for Rotary memberships.  Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba confirmed that a lot of businesses budget at year end/first of the year.  Tricia thanked us for our information and input.   Dan Weber suggested that we form a better relationship with our local media.  We can/should send things to the Star News for press releases.  Molly hopes that the web page/media committee can do weekly articles to the paper and said that they can receive photos to print also.  Keith Hemple suggested that we put our upcoming program line up in the newspaper to attract some attention.  Molly thanked us for our feedback and had us recite the 4 Way Test before she gave the bell a nice strong ring and dismissed the meeting!
 
 July 27, 2017 - Regular Meeting 
 
Attendance:   active status - 17 present, 18 absent
honorary status - 3 present, 3 absent
total membership at 41 members
 
 
Guest: Chase Robert Hanson, Bob Maxwell’s grandson
 
 
 
Announcements:
Image result for announcements- Bonnie Koste informed us of our next Social Hour that will be held on Thursday, August 17th at 5 p.m. at Lupulin Brewing in Big Lake.
Please get that on your calendar and come out and show support to one of our Taste of Elk River vendors/supporters!
- You will note on the back of the bulletin that there is a new category called Honorary Status Members.  Those members are elite and fall under the “Rule of 85” which means that they are over the age of 65 and with their age and years of Rotary membership added together equal 85. They do not pay membership dues and are not eligible to be on the board of directors, but are still full fledged Rotarians!  Congratulations to those in the Honorary Status category!
- On behalf of our new Treasurer, Debbi Rydberg, President Molly Hanson announced that she has paper invoices with her if you didn’t receive yours via email.  Please take yours out of the pile. 
- President Molly Hanson shared our new 2017-18 themed Rotary banner and gave the 2016-17 banner to past president, Cal Portner.  
- President Molly also shared a new small banner that we received from the YMCA for our support and sponsorships.
 
Image result for playing cards- The card game was played and a 6 of diamonds was pulled and there was not a winner.
 
Happy Bucks:
- Bruce Tyler was happy that last Saturday, his daughter-in-laws parents and nephew returned home after a one month visit at Bruce’s house.  He said he was full from eating too many full meals.  He was sad to say they’re gone!
- Tricia Downey was missing for the past three weeks while she was out having fun!  She had a vacation to Montana and had a sister come and stay with her for a week. She loves her sister! Her sister cooked!  Tricia was also happy to report that she took her daughter to a “boy band” concert and they couldn’t buy a backstage pass because they were sold out.  Tricia managed to make friends with the sound guy and got them back stage passes.  She said “I am the mom of the f-n year!”
- Julie Fish was happy that the weather was so fabulous that it was a top down sunny day!  Top down in the convertible, that is!
 
Program:
Our program today was arranged by Dave Anderson.  Dave has been a Rotarian since about 1982 or so.  He began at the Mound Rotary Club.  While there, he served as sergeant at arms, bulletin editor, was president twice and handled all club jobs at one time or another and it was fun!  He said that the Mound club tended to party a lot but he enjoyed it!  He retired from NSP/Xcel and started working for Connexus and that is when he joined the Elk River Rotary club.  He enjoys his membership and has chosen to be an Honorary Status Rotarian!    Dave introduced us to his speaker, Elk River Mayor, John Dietz.  He and John have been friends for a long time and John always amazes Dave with how he answers emails in about 5 minutes from receipt!   John is from Elk River and is a 1967 graduate.   John came today to speak off the cuff with us and answer questions.   Lynn Caswell started him off with a transportation question. What is the transportation plan for Highway 10 and Highway 169?  John reported that currently Highway 10 is underway.  For the future, there is no money at MN DOT and we may never see an overpass on Highway 10 going over downtown Elk River. It appears that Highway 10  in Anoka gets more funds than Sherburne County.  Mary Kiffmeyer is working hard on a project.  We lack political clout apparently.  Highway 10 work will be done this fall and next year, the Orono bridge will be worked on.  Joplin and Business Center Drive are done and have turned out nice.  The City is working with MN DOT to get a few yellow flashing turn signals in town.  Someone asked, when crossing the tracks at Martie”s Farm Service, is one to follow the light on the north side or the south side of the tracks.  The answer is the light on the north side, when traveling south.  Some one asked about the ISD 728 District Office.  They have received two offers.  One from an inpatient clinic and one from a daycare.  District offices are in the moving process with the majority of the moving completed.  Train update - there is a quiet zone on the east side of Elk River and they are working on getting Jackson/Main.  Hoping for completion by the end of the year.  It is dependent on the railroad to do the work and there is nothing the City can do further to get it completed.  The City received a $2,000,000 grant from the State to pay for the Main and Jackson crossings.  When asked about the hockey rink - the hockey rink is a tough nut.  The referendum failed. Council will discuss the subject again soon.  The Senior Center will be under discussion also.  Will they leave it where it is and remodel or perhaps form a relationship with the YMCA and move it there.  The City could then use the building for other uses.  There are a lot of choices!  They have met with the seniors of the community and hosted a two hour question/answer session.  John is hoping for a good solution.  They are working on the 2018 budget and there are new things coming.  The police department would like more officers.  They want to hire a communications director for the city so amongst things, they can monitor and control information better in social media.  John is thankful for the police officers and the department that we have in Elk River.  They take great care of us.  John spoke about the bike patrols and how they make friends with children in hopes of a better connection.  The Library - in the 1990’s they wanted to expand, but it wasn’t much of a financial difference between remodeling and building a new building, so they chose the new building.  They are now working to expand the hours to be open at 10 a.m., 6 days a week.  It is an excellent library and is well used.  it receives a lot of internet use from citizens.  Someone asked about the new building going up by Abra. They just had their ground breaking and it is a senior housing area.  They will have 30 memory care units, 30 independent living units and the rest will be assisted living.  Line Avenue will be changing to a culdesac in the future and there will eventually be lights at Twin Lakes Road and 181st.  Parks update - most work this summer has been on the trail improvements at Hillside Park.  50% of the new trails are complete.  People are coming to enjoy them.  They took the trails down a notch so that the average bicyclist can handle them.  There is one loop that will be asphalt, the rest are dirt trails.  There are also walking trails out there.  They have removed about 900 trees that were dead or diseased and it looks gorgeous.   One final question - Brandon Hanson asked “what are we going to do about ferrel cats in Elk River?  Giggles all around!  Apparently there is one particular citizen that is having an issue with her neighbors having many cats.  She blasted John after a council meeting where they decided to do not do anything.  Personal life- John and his wife, Jane, are doing well.  They have a daughter, son-in-law and 3 year old granddaughter who live in Savage, Minnesota and another daughter who lives in Minneapolis.   John encourages any one to contact him any time.  He takes pride in responding within 24 hours.  He can be reached at:  shortshot17@aol.com
 
 
July 13, 2017 - Regular Meeting
Attendance:     20 present, 21 absent = 41 members

Today was the first meeting for the 2017-18 year and our president, Molly Hanson, was not with us today and we were led by past president Cal Portner, who did a very fine job.

Guests: Debbi Rydberg’s family - husband Rob, daughter Amanda and son Matt
Bonnie Koste’s family - father Jim, brother mike, sister Terry and Terry's granddaughter and Terry’s mother-in-law Rita Miller
John Crooks, the immediate Past President of the Shakopee Rotary Club and General Manager for Shakopee Public Utilities and guest of Troy Adams

We had a few birthday folks in the room and sang the best songs to Robin Skinner and Pete Reiner.  Cal Portner chose the old, sludgy version and we sang it in the most awful form we cold find.  He said at 52, he is feeling old and questioning his mortality!  We did not help the cause!

Announcements:

Image result for announcements- Bruce Tyler took the floor and announced the ticket sales winners for team and individual.  He did the team winner first and announced the team levels from the worst to the best.   In last place, and pathetically last, was Dan Dixon’s team with 78 tickets sold; 3rd place went to the rookie manager that showed a good performance and that is to Corey Wemple’s team with 141 ticket sales; 2nd place was won by another rookie manager, Cal Portner, who’s team pulled 165 ticket sales; and
first place, for the third year in a row, went to John Osterman’s team The Fighting Burbot who had ticket sales of 198!   Great job team!   Next, Bruce announced the individual with the most ticket sales and she was not at the meeting, but he announced it any how.  The winner is Becky Wiehoff with 64 ticket sales!  Way to go Becky!
- New treasurer, Debbi Rydberg announced that she has emailed invoices and also has a paper version to hand out to each of us.

Image result for playing cards- The card game reached a high number of $166!  We pulled cards until we had a winner and the winner was Cal Portner who received half the pot.  The other half goes into our Paul Harris Fellow fund.

 

Happy Bucks:
- Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba had to go into Excelsior at 8 am and was happy that she doesn’t have to do that drive every day!
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy because after 11 years, she got a new vehicle.  A GMC terrain!  She was also happy that she has completed a full year at her new job.
- Debbi Rydberg was $5 happy - $1 for each of her guests and one for her son at home who works nights and was sleeping.  She was also happy that summer was well under way!
- Troy Adams was a lot of happy for Aaron Rogers and a few others - something about SP awards??   He was also happy because his son attended the Boy Scout Gray Wolf National camp and managed to live without his phone!  When asked what he learned about leadership, he said he learned that communications and body language is important.  Troy thought it was a week well spent!
- Bonnie Koste was $10 happy to have her family here and because she and her kids had a great vacation in the Bahamas at the Atlantis.
- Cal Portner was happy because he attended the Hamel Rodeo.  He was happy because he can now say “this ain’t my first rodeo”!

Program:

Image result for paul harris fellowBruce Tyler led our program today and started off by telling of how past Rotarian, Stewart Wilson used to give a great story about Paul Harris.  Since Stewart is now retired, Bruce accepted the call to duty to take care of this.  Paul Harris, started Rotary in 1905 as a way to network with fellow businessmen.  From there, Rotary clubs popped up around the country and in Canada.  In 1957, after Paul Harris passed away, a few of the Rotarians thought that this would be a great way to honor fellow Rotarian Paul Harris, with a foundation. Rotary is the 70th largest foundation in the world with $1.2 billion assets and growing.  Rotary has given out $232 million in grants and project funds.  Our rotary club has used foundation grants when we had a project with Nuevo Gualcho, Mexico.  Bruce gave a briefing on that project.  Elk River Rotary raised funds through a pancake breakfast and sent it to be matched by District and Rotary International to raise around $20,000.00 for the project.  Rotarian Dr. David Flannery, who was ISD 728 Superintendent at the time, led the charge on this project.  The second time we used matching funds was when we helped the CAER food shelf acquire a walk in freezer.   He talked about raising $265,000 as a club, without district help, to refurbish the Handke Stadium.   Elk River Rotary secures funding for Paul Harris Fellow awards two ways.  The president budgets for one and the other one or two are acquired through happy buck and the card game funds.    Bruce announced our first Paul Harris Fellow recipient and called Debbi Rydberg up to the front to present her with her award.  Debbi joined Rotary in 2008 and after about a year, got involved with the Taste of Elk River as the Food Chair.  She has taken on very difficult roles in the Rotary club for many years.  Bruce praised her for one of her projects of taking on the front entrance area to the Taste of Elk River, and giving it a better flow.  She has chaired this position for 3 years in a row and it is a thankless but important job.  July 1, 2017, Debbi started her volunteer position of treasurer and we are very grateful.  Debbi is truly deserving of the Paul Harris Fellow Award!   The membership gave her a much deserved standing ovation!

Julie Fish, through tears because she is a softie, introduced us to our second Paul Harris Fellow recipient, Bonnie Koste and asked her to come to the front of the room as Julie told us a little bit of information about Bonnie.   Bonnie owns American Family Insurance in Elk River. She has been with American Family Insurance for over 30 years, where she has obtained All American and American Family Life Insurance awards for Top Agent for numerous years.  For the past 3 years, Bonnie was named as an American Star Agent.   Locally, she is a Y Partner at the local YMCA, she has served on the board of directors and is a current member of the Elk River Chamber of Commerce and is very active at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Elk River.   Bonnie has been an Elk River Rotarian since 2008.  She is a member of the board of directors and has handled lining up programming for our weekly meetings for many years.   Bonnie served as the Silent Auction Chair numerous times for the Taste of Elk River and for the past few years has led the relentless charge of being our “Ticket Master” for the Taste of Elk River ticket sales.   Bonnie has also served on other committees in Rotary and is always willing to go “Above and Beyond” for others.  She exemplifies Paul Harris in her life!  She truly demonstrates Service Above Self and therefore is most deserving of this award!

Past president, Cal Portner had us recite the 4 Way Test to close the meeting.
 
In Memoriam
 Monday, June 26th, it was the 5th anniversary of Tom McNair’s passing.  Please  keep his family in our prayers.
 
 
June 29, 2017 - Regular Meeting
 
Attendance:  21 present, 19 absent = 40 members

Today was President Cal Portner’s final meeting as our fearless leader!   John Osterman led us in a great song and Cal had a very “solid prayer”, as we say!

Guests: Amanda Rydberg, daughter of Debbi Rydberg, on her summer vacation from teaching in Mexico
                Neil Gagnon, commercial lender at The Bank of Elk River, guest of Corey Wemple
                Barry Hohlen, Interim Director for Young Life, guest of Curt Hinkle, retired director of Young Life


New, transferred member William (Bill) Haring was with us today and turned in his membership application so we can get him transferred to our club, from the Forest Lake Rotary.  Welcome!

Announcements:

Image result for announcements- Corey Wemple had two silent auction items from the Taste of Elk River, that someone purchased but never claimed.  He brought them to auction off.  There was a picnic set/cooler/backpack and a Surly basket that contained can coolers, sunglasses, bottle openers and hats.   The Surly basket auctioned for $20 and Corey Wemple was the top bidder.  The picnic set went for $45 and Corey’s guest, Neil Gagnon, was the top bidder.  Thank you Corey and Tove Lichty,  for all of your hard work with the silent auction!

Happy Bucks:

- Alan Sakry was happy to have spent a week and a half at a cabin and reported in that it was amazing and a good time!  He was also happy that his wife, Diane and daughter, Jordan will be flying back from a 10 day adventure in Europe.  He missed them!
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy to report that she and her family had a great trip to Chicago and did it all!  She is also looking forward to the 4th weekend and spending time at their “cabin”!
- Tove Lichty was happy to be traveling to South Dakota to see family over the 4th holiday weekend!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy that her daughter is visiting for 5 weeks!
- Patty Carbajal was happy for a successful 6th birthday party for her son.  She hosted about 100 people!
- Julie Fish was happy to say “I’m going home!” in celebration of selling her home in Albertville in 24 hours and purchasing a 1946 home in Monticello on the mighty Mississippi River!
- Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba was happy to have had a great birthday celebration with 125-150 people!  She was also happy that her new business, Bee Hive Homes of Elk River, is moving along nicely and she has hired a nurse!
- Bill Haring was happy to have returned from Florida and is finally occupying his new home in Otsego!
- Cal Portner was happy to have survived his European vacation and was happy that his son was named to the academic team!
- Lynn Caswell was happy to be dressed like Cal Portner and claimed that they are calling it the new Rotary uniform!  Maroon shirts and khaki colored pants!


Fine from the Floor:  Nicole Rasmussen wanted to assess a fine to Brandon Hanson, claiming that he overcharged her for her card and undercharged Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba.  In reality, it was Pete Reiner that was, in his words, “injecting random information” and made it look like Marilyn only paid $1/card.  In the end, the fine went to Pete Reiner!   Too funny!

Image result for playing cardsCard game did not have a lucky winner.  The next time we meet, we will pull a card until there is a winner.  Be sure to be there!

Program:
Our program today was the annual Passing of the Gavel meeting.  Current President Cal Portner spoke about his year and that it had a slow start with attendance of members.  He spoke about accomplishments and pointed out that we finally have Rotary logo signs installed at the entrances of Elk River.  He thanked Brandon Hanson for starting this project a couple of years ago, and for assisting in getting the project completed!  He also thanked Amanda Larson for her work on the Strategic Planning update.  Cal wished Molly Hanson the best of luck and called her up to the front to give her 15 minute presentation!  Lol!    Cal presented our 2017-18 President, Molly Hanson!   On behalf of the board and the club, Molly presented Cal with a gift of appreciation - a personalized gavel with his name on it and the years 2016-17 to commemorate his year as President.   Molly said that she has learned a lot to carry things forward.  Things to add, things to change.  She has learned that asking your audience is a great thing and she asked us to share our ideas with her.  She also reminded members that everyone is invited to come to the Board meetings.  You are not allowed to vote on things at the board meetings, but are always welcome to attend and participate!  At this time, board meetings are held on the Thursday of the month, following our regular Rotary meeting. Molly then opened up the meeting for Club Assembly and asked for suggestions from membership.  Troy Adams misses the days of the Fine Master.  Lynn Caswell shared a briefing of the history of the Fine Master and shared that it seemed like the person acting as Fine Master, got stuck with the job for too long.  Lynn Caswell would like to see us have more Rotary educational subject programs, such as information on the Rotary benefactor program that Julie Fish is a part of.   Pete Reiner suggests that we do better at making sure our program speakers receive ample time to present.  Debbi Rydberg suggested that we change things up and have the speaker present first and have our business portion after the presentation.  Curt Hinkle shared that as a speaker to other clubs, he thought that was a great idea and that is is stressful when you are prepared to present for 15-20 minutes and it gets cut back.  We held a discussion about our start time for our meeting.  It is currently 12:05 to 1:05 and some thought that it might be good to change it to 12:00 to 1:00.  We discussed this for a bit, and received a bit of history on it and after the discussion, it was decided to leave it at 12:05 to 1:05.   Curt Hinkle also suggested that we leverage our Students of the Month more.  Maybe we could bring them to more than one meeting, or perhaps involve them in a service project, such as River Clean-up.   One item that is hot on Molly’s list is New Member Orientation.  She feels very strongly that we need to up our game with this subject!   Molly then introduced her board for 2017-18.  Robin Skinner-President Elect, Debbi Rydberg-Treasurer, Julie Fish-Secretary, Bonnie Koste-Director/Programs, Dan Dixon-Director/Youth Exchange, Tricia Downey-Director/Taste of Elk River Chair and Brandon Hanson-Director/STRIVE, who will be assisted by Patty Carbajal.    President Cal Portner came back up front and presented Molly with her President Pin and officially passed her the gavel!

Cal Portner finished with one final sign off quote “Good night and good news” and Julie Fish had the answer of Ted Baxter character on the Mary Tyler Moore show.  His real name is Ted Knight.
 
In Memoriam
 Monday, June 26th, it was the 5th anniversary of Tom McNair’s passing.  Please  keep his family in our prayers.
 
June 22, 2017 - Regular Meeting
 
Attendance:  19 present, 21 absent = 40 members
 
Guest/Transferring Member:  Bill Haring was with us again today and is going to transfer his membership from Forest Lake.  Bill has been a Rotarian at Forest Lake for about 15 years.  He retired a couple of years ago and has moved to Otsego.  We look forward to your membership, Bill!
 
Our meeting today, was led by our 2016-17 Past President, Troy Adams.  Song was led by John Osterman and the outstanding prayer was offered up by Becky Wiehoff. Troy gave us an update on the Iron Maiden concert he attended.  Troy was in a suite at the Xcel Center and it just happens that the Elk River hockey sweats were hanging on display under the suite!  He was pumped!
 
John Osterman was reminded of his wedding anniversary of 42 years and Dave Anderson is celebrating his 45th wedding anniversary!  Congratulations to you and your brides!
 
Youth Exchange Update;  Dan Dixon told us that Cassie Lovric, from Germany, is now on her east coast rotary trip and will then be heading back to Germany.   He thanked us for our donations last week.  We collected $105 to send with Cassie.  She loves her last host family, the Merklings, very much and had a great year.  This experience has touched her life!   Our new inbound student, Sara Henningsen, will be arriving here August 23/24 time frame.  We are still in need of our first host family.  Dan has two asks out at this time.  The Merklings will host Sara during the second session.    Dan and his wife will be traveling to Germany to meet relatives and will also be going to Denmark and will meet members from Sara’s sponsor club, and her family.
 
Happy Bucks:
- Dan Dixon was happy to be going to German, Norway and Denmark!
- Tove Lichty was happy to have had lunch with  friend that encouraged her to buy a new car - and so she did!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy to announce that her husband, who has been unemployed for a few months, has landed a new job!
- Julie Fish was happy to announce that she has found a home in Monticello on the Mississippi River to purchase and her home in Albertville went on the market today.   UPDATE:  ALBERTVILLE HOME SOLD TO THE FIRST LOOKER!  It is for real!
 
Fine from the Floor:
- Brandon Hanson overheard a conversation that Dan Dixon was involved in.  Someone asked him “what is rotary” and he replied “a service club, just like the Lions”!   He was fined and boo’ed!
 
Card Drawing:  The 7 of clubs was pulled and again, no winner!  The pot thickens!
 
Scholarship Recipient, Logan Gacke from Elk River High School joined us for lunch today.   Troy Adams spoke about leadership and encouraged Logan to dream big and then dream bigger!   Logan is attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  In high school, he was a member of the National Honor Society, a three year hockey athlete, and a national DECA competitor.  He works at the Elk River Country Club.  He golfs a lot, enjoys writing and hopes to major in finance and maybe go into law.  When he visited the Madison campus, he fell in love with it.  It is also a top notch finance school. 
 
Program:
Our program today was arranged by Becky Wiehoff.  She enjoys being a Rotarian and loves the Taste of Elk River. She likes how we raise money in a fun way and that we do good things with the funds raised!   Becky introduced us to Derrick Montplaisir, the IT security director from First National Bank.  He makes IT fun and interesting.  He shared a video with us regarding ransomware that talked about popcorn time ransom.  Most people click on it, but you should shut down your computer and let the IT department know what happened.  If you don’t do this and click on it, you will infect many others.  He advised that you would never pay the ransom.  The hacker is just after the money!   Never click on something if you don’t understand.  He also spoke about back up and it’s importance.  Derrick suggests that you back up to the cloud or invest in a USB for back up.  Anything in the cloud has a chance to be compromised so he doesn’t recommend backing up taxes, photos of children, etc. to the cloud.   It your computer is compromised, it would be wise to change your password to the cloud back up.
 
Troy had us recite the Four Way Test and reminded us to dream big and then dream bigger!
 
June 15, 2017 - Regular Meeting

Attendance:  19 present, 21 absent = 40 members

President Elect, Molly Hanson, led our meeting today.  We started off with a fabulous happy birthday song to Bruce “Buck” Tyler!


 
Happy Bucks:
- Brandon Hanson led us off with a “Marilynesque” type happy buck, but no visual aids!  Two weeks ago, he and his wife both forgot their wedding anniversary; graduation went great, three day trip to the Mayo with Kailey, the graduate for ok test results; he hit a deer; the air conditioning went out, drove home in the storm to get there to no electricity and a dog freaking out, broke into the house to save the dog and as the door opens, the electricity comes back on!  The good news is that he won a trip to Disney through the CAER Classic golf tournament!
- Dan Dixon was happy to have gone fishing on Rainey lake with his son, who managed to capture a 40” northern!
- Pete Reiner was happy for Troy Adams and his crew at Municipal Utilities for helping in his neighborhood during the storm aftermath.  Pete was also happy that yesterday and today, he wasn’t the first person out of the house as his daughter, Erin, has a job as a CNA at Guardian Angels and starts early in the morning!
- Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba was happy to have had a great birthday celebration. There were about 125 people there, her kids were home and she is happy that they have gone home!
- Troy Adams was happy that his crews worked safely through the storm clean up.  He is also happy to be attending the Iron Maiden concert Friday at the Excel Center!

Youth Exchange:
Dan Dixon sent around a collection box for funds for our inbound student Cassandra Lovric, who will be leaving on Saturday for the east coast trip and then back home.  We collected $105.00 for her!   Dan told us that we have a serious need!  We are in need of securing our first host family for our inbound student for the 2017-18 school year.  He passed around flyers and asked us to reach out to as many people as possible.  Our student is a 16 year old female from Denmark.  Please help!   He is also looking for an outbound student for the 2018-19 school year.

Taste of Elk River:

Tricia Downey told us of the winners for the food and beverage vendors at the Taste.  This year, there will be 6 winners and plaques are being made for them.

Molly Hanson passed around a thank you note from Rivers of Hope for our generous donation of $10,000!

We held the card game and once again - no winner! 
The pot is currently at $81.00!  Be sure to come next week to try to win!

Program:

Our program today was arranged by Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba.  When asked why she stays in Rotary, she answered “because it’s fun!”
 
She introduced us to Bruce Price, with Sherburne County Veterans Services.   Bruce is retired from the army after 25 years of service.  He is from OhioCounty Veterans Service Officer, and recognized a few folks in the room!  He was here to speak a few years back. He has a bit of a southern accent and when asked about it, he tells people he is from Albert Lea, the south of MN!  He shared a few stats with us.  Out of 323 million Americans, less than 1% have served in the military.  Out of that 1%, 80% nationwide, have not come in to visit a VA office to get their benefits.  He encourages us to send people to see him.  Lou Gehrig’s disease effects more people in military than the rest of the U.S. population. This information came out in 2009.  Vietnam vets who were physically in Vietnam, could have one of many diseases.   Bruce recently met a man from Sherburne County who served in the Navy for WWII.  The man told him about the ship he was on.  It was built in 1944, commissioned in 1945, decommissioned in 1946, and destroyed and sunk in 1948.  It was used for nuclear testing.  Everyone on the ship was contaminated by nuclear waste!  The gentleman shared a few stories with Bruce about the testing operations.  Bruce’s office sees about 40 to 50 new people each month.  There are both Federal anImage result for armed servicesd State benefits that Veterans may be eligible for.   If you know of someone who served at Camp Lejeune airfare base from 1957 to 1987 (30 years), there was fuel delivered to this base and it contaminated the water.  There are benefits available for these people.  Those who not only served there, but spouses and families that lived there.  It was started in 2012 and was signed into Federal law on 3/14/17.   Bruce also let us know that there are many pension programs available to help out with assisted living payments and that a spouse of a veteran may qualify for a $5,000 grant to get hearing aids for them.  The grant is based on income/assets.    Both Bruce Tyler and Bob Maxwell told us that we are very blessed to have Bruce Price at Sherburne County Veterans Services.  He is very dedicated to veterans.   Bob, through tears of gratitude to Bruce Price, thanked him for his work with Bob’s son-in-law who suffers from PTSD Bruce Price took him under his wing and Bob’s son-in-law is doing well now and has a full time job!   Send your veteran friends to their local county offices to get the benefits they are much deserving of.
 
June 8, 2017 - Regular Meeting
 
Attendance:  18 present, 22 absent = 40 members

Our meeting today was led my president-elect, Molly Hanson. She welcomed the STRIVE students and their guests.   We started off with a very special Happy Birthday song for Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba.

 
 
 
Happy Bucks:
- Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba was happy that her husband, Denny is throwing her a birthday party on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. and it will be held at the BeeHive Homes of Elk River.
- Bruce Tyler was happy because he has been a grandfather since March and he was recently left “in charge” and got to perform his first diaper change!
- Molly Hanson was very happy that her daughter, who was our 2016-17 outbound youth exchange student, Sydney, was back home from South Africa.  She has changed over the past few months and they are looking forward to graduation tomorrow night!  Sydney will come and speak to us about her journey on July 20th.  John Osterman asked what her first food request was?  Olive Garden, followed by Buffalo Wild Wings and Pompeii Pizzeria!   Molly was also happy to have STRIVE students and their guests with us today!

Special Guest:  Darcy Wilkenson - Darcy is a lead RN at Fairview and she and Jeannie stepped up to volunteer to be STRIVE mentors for our Rotary club!  Thank you!

Program:
Molly Hanson
asked each STRIVE student to introduce themselves and their guest, share their future plans with us and make a comment on the STRIVE program.  We were introduced to Monica-Anoka Ramsey for generals and loved STRIVE; Brooke-PCI Academy; Matt-working this year and will get generals the following year; Cullin-going into the Marines; Jake-construction over the summer and getting generals later; Zack-going into the Navy; Josette-Montana Community College for her first year and MSU to follow; Kali-working this year; Tyler-going into the Army and enjoyed STRIVE; Morgan-Bemidji State; Samantha-Anoka Ramsey for generals; Jared-Anoka Ramsey for nursing!  Molly introduced us to Michelle Reimer who is the guidance counselor  /STRIVE coordinator from ERHS.  Many thanks to Michelle for all she does behind the scenes for this program! Molly also thanked Rotarian and ERHS Principal, Terry Bizal, for allowing us to come into ERHS and do our program!  Molly shared some of the results of the evaluation that the students filled out.  Tyler suggested having STRIVE t-shirts printed.  The top three, most loved STRIVE sessions were Alan Sakry’s inspirational speaking, the PACE testing and results and the career panel.  They would like to see Rotarians more than once a month and preferably any hour but first hour.  Jake felt it was a good use of his time and that it broke him out of a rut.  He got a new field of energy from STRIVE!  Tyler said he is yet to use the financial information but has received a lot of other good advise.   Suggestions for future programming:  information on how to apply to colleges.  Michelle said that she heard a lot of students comment on how they liked the small group discussions and enjoyed getting to know the Rotarians and their experiences. Molly talked about attendance.  Attendance is key to success in life!  Students with the best attendance had the best increased GPA’s.  The attendance rules were adjusted a bit this year.  Each student was allowed to miss up to 2 sessions, and those sessions had to be made up with their mentors, initiated by the student.  Those with perfect attendance, received a crispy, new $100 bill!
Molly, with the help of John Osterman, handed out certificates and cash to Monica, Brooke, Matt, Josette, Jake, Kali, Zack, Samantha and Morgan.  There were two others that were reported in late, but they will also receive their $100 bills.  That is a total of 11 students with perfect attendance!  How awesome!   There were not any scholarships given out.  Students were asked to write an essay to be entered into the scholarship draw and no essays were received.  We ended the meeting with a short social gathering!