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05/18/2023 -TASTE of Elk River Prep

05/25/2023 - Kat Sarff

06/01/2023 - Marvin Sovala - Justin Femrite - Elk River City Engineer

06/08/2023 - Adam Stumne

06/22/2023 - Bruce Tyler - Jessica Stockamp - otsego Mayor

06/29/2023 - Theresa Slominski

07/06/2013 - NO MEETING

07/13/2023 - Club Assembly


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Inspiring leaders with passion to serve humanity; strengthening youth for tomorrow's leadership and enhancing lives in our world.

Thursday May 11, 2023 
Theresa Slominski led our meeting today. 


-Rob Rydberg, guest and husband of Debbi Rydberg
-Joe Stremcha, guest of Cal Portner, new staff member at the City of Elk River and soon to be an Elk River Rotarian via transfer from another club!

-Melanie Clemons and Sydney Archer with Kiser Construction, guest of John Osterman and also soon, Melanie will be an Elk River Rotarian!
-Denny Purdue, SPIRE Credit Union, guest of John Osterman
-Laura Lefebvre, guest of Debbi Rydberg

Dirk Barrett, Terry Bizal, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Katie Harstad, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Mark Kuyava, Tove Lichty, Cal Portner, Pete Reiner, Debbi Rydberg, Theresa Slominski, Marv Sorvala, Dave Vinje, Nicole Wojcik, Bill Yueill, honoraries Dave Anderson, Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell, John Osterman, Bruce Tyler, Stewart Wilson

We welcomed back from Florida Stewart Wilson!

John Houlton with First Bank Elk River was our speaker today and the subject was wine! He
Provided by mktgcdn.combrought samples to share with us and explained the differences between white wine and red wine where the grape is fermented in the skin. Wine is an agricultural product so soil, weather, the time of harvest and the crop treatment become the wine!  Wine growers are farmers.  It is epicurean so it is food!  In the 70’s there wasn’t a wine culture quite like there is today!  The US stands toe to toe with the world in our wine culture. John explained why Napa Valley has the perfect conditions for wine farming.  Air also ages the wine, so he suggests that waiting for 15 minutes before taking a drink of the wine is a great idea!  The samples shared will be available in the private tasting tent on Thursday at our Taste of Elk River event!  Be sure to stop by and check it out!

Taste of Elk River

-John Osterman needs some help with the ice and the water coming from Cub Foods.  Heather Kliewer volunteered the use of the freezer at CAER for the ice.
-Debbi Rydberg told us to keep an eye out in our email boxes for the sign up sheet.
-Katie Harstad, food vendor coordinator, reports that in 2022 we had 9 food vendors and this year, we have 11!   Great job to the go getters . . . You know who you are!
-Cal Portner, Commissioner for our ticket sales teams, led us off with some baseball trivia.  He called up Bruce Tyler, the Drug Despot who had an assistant who passed around a urine sample cup to everyone!  Bruce went around the room with his radar hand and he was irritating Cal Portner because he was taking so long and Cal went up to Bruce and ripped his shirt off of him!  Lol!  Cal then went on with more trivia and called on each of the team managers to give their report.  Terry Bizal went first and reported in with Glen Ertel with a grand slam and that he received more tickets today from our ticket master, Neil Gagnon.  Mark Kuyava shared yet another fabulous blog and John Osterman told of a team member that is at 25 in ticket sales! Nicole Wojcik shared the Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First” bit and reports Katie Harstad is killing it with 27 ticket sales!  Cal then told us about the song from 1908, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and how it came to be and about the 2016 time when Bill Murray sang it impersonating Daffy Duck!

-Card Game - a 7 of clubs was pulled and there was not a winner!

Happy Bucks
ulie Fish was happy for a new “great” #28.  It is a boy, Grant Mark, 7# 4 oz. and her 8th great nephew in a row!
-Marv Sorvala was happy to tell us of a purchase of a second home in Clearwater, Florida at On Top of the World!  They will leave for there in October!
-Melanie Clemons, one of our guests, had a happy thank you to John Osterman for inviting her today and for him being the voice on their business commercial for Kiser Construction that plays at the St. Michael Movie Theatre!
-Nicole Wojcik was happy that it was her husband’s 52 birthday!

Theresa thanked us for coming and together we recited the 4 Way Test!
Thursday May 4, 2023 (The 4th was with us)
Today President Theresa Slominski led our meeting!  John Osterman led us in song – Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Theresa had a very solid prayer for us.
Dirk Barrett, Julie fish, Neil Gagnon, Katie Harstad, heather Kliewer, Mark Kuyava, Dr. laura Mullennex, Cal Portner, Beth Richards, Debbi Rydberg, Kat Sarff, Theresa Slominski, David Vinje, Nicole Wojcik, honoraries Dave Anderson, Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell, John Osterman and Bruce Tyler
Provided by mktgcdn.comWe had a couple of visitors, Joe Stremcha, guest and co worker of Cal Portner and
John Houlton with First Bank Elk River who came to give us a testimonial about why he loves to be a sponsor of the Taste of Elk River.  He thanked us for the opportunity and everyone in attendance, received a free logoed coffee cup.  The first cup handed out was to Neil Gagnon, Bank of Elk River employee and they went around the room! There was one left, so John gave that to Neil and asked him to give it to Pete Reiner, also Bank of Elk River employee, who wasn’t in attendance today!  All in good fun!  Thank you John and staff for being amazing to Elk River Rotary!  We appreciate your sponsorship and longevity!
Our program today was arranged by Rotarian Beth Richards.  Beth arranged for us to meet Demetrius Neal with the YMCA Camp Manitou where he is the program coordinator.  Camp Manitou is located at 9910 Briarwood Ave NE in Monticello.  Demetrius can be reached at 651-259-6170 or  He is 29 years old and was born in the Twin Cities.  He was a YMCA camper at the age of 8 years old and attended on scholarship funding for the whole summer every year until he was 18!  He is a teacher and has connections to the Hudson, WI Rotary club.  He enjoys working with kids  Camp Manitou has been operating in Monticello since 2016.  They have about 250 kids per week for 12 weeks.  Camp Manitou has the only camp with a lake that has no motorized boats on its waters and is one of the only camps with a splashpad, pool and many bodies of water.  YMCA Camp offers many, many types of “camps”.  Archery, fishing, gaga, cookouts, hiking, tie dye, fort building, canoeing, climbing, sling shot, 9 square, and arts and crafts to name a few!  He shared an average day schedule for one camp that runs from 9 am to 3:45 pm.  They go through a lot of sunscreen and bug spray!  At 3:45 pm, the kids load on the busses to go home.  If the child arrives home and they are dirty, they had a great day at camp!  They offer programming for the Elk River community with what they call Outdoor Club.  It runs every other week on Wednesdays, times depend on the age of the child between the ages of 7 and 14.  Bus services is provided starting at the Elk River YMCA. They also have Family Adventure Days on the last Saturday of the month, year round.  5/27/23 is the next one and the time is from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. There will be a scavenger hunt and tie dye! They are hoping to start up a Teen Zone soon. At this time, they serve ages 4 to 14.   Demetrius shared a video presentation filled with information! 
Taste of Elk River – where unforgettable memories will be created!   One of our leaders, Dirk Barrett, let us know that Johnny Pops will be a new vendor for us!  Commissioner Cal Portner went up front to lead the ticket sales update. He thanked Bruce Tyler for filling in for him last week then shared a theme story from an article about spitballs (the baseball kind, not the paper spit kind).  Cal called on our Drug Despot, Bruce Tyler who share a story with us about how he awoke in the middle of the night and his hand was tingling and the name John came to his mind so he tested John Osterman!  Bruce reported that the hair on his neck raised so he knew John was dirty!  John talked back to Buck and Buck told John that he cannot be saved!  Great fun!   Cal then shared some more spitball news and called on Cocoa Crispers manager, Nicole Wojcik.  Nicole chose to squeal on someone in the room, accusing them of suspicious activity.  She thinks Mark Kuyava should be checked out!  She also reports that her team is playing fair, honest ball!  Next was manager Mark Kuyava who defended himself and shared that we are now a pick up of a blogger, Joe Patrick Suchery Something or another and shared the blog “Who are these guys?” with us.  Last to report was the team manager of the 2022 winning team – John Osterman.  He reported that his teammate, Dave Vinje witnessed in Las Vegas prediction that his team is going to sell the most tickets!
-Happy Birthday was sung to Beth Richards!  She chose the $10 version!
-Card Game – a 9 of hearts was drawn and there was not a match, so no winner this week!
Happy Bucks
-Theresa Slominski was $5 happy to share part 2 with us of part 1 which she shared last week!  This week, she shared that her daughter who has been working for 3M for a couple of years, has accepted a new job in upstate New York to be a D3 college hockey coach!
-Debbi Rydberg was happy to be going to see her mom for mother’s day!
-Nicole Wojcik had a $5 happy for her mom to be going today, to South Africa for a trip.  She was also happy for a surprise visit from her step son who is home on leave!
-Julie Fish was happy for the outdoor seating to be open and happy for the wonderful job that Theresa Slominski does for us as our President!
-Kat Sarff was happy for the opportunity to interview a past president, Rotarian John Osterman!  John was amazing and inspiring and we should all go and check out their pod cast!
-Mark Kuyava was happy for a niece and nephew who are accelerating at college and have received awards for their athletics!  They take after their uncle Mark!
-Katie Harstad was happy to tell us about the upcoming Otsego Lions Club event – Pubs, Putts & Pars on Saturday, May 20th. This is a bar hop/mini golf event and is loads of fun!  It starts at noon and you need to go find it on the web or their facebook page to register! She was also happy to be going to a Blink 182 concert!
Together we recited the 4 Way test and Theresa dismissed us!
Thursday, April 27, 2023 
John Osterman led us in a round of the Take Me Out to the Ballgame song and President Theresa Slominski led us in a solid prayer!
Terry Bizal, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Molly Hanson, Katie Harstad, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Mark Kuyava, Dr. Laura Mullennex, Angela Nies, Debbi Rydberg, Kat Sarff, Theresa Slominski, Nicole Wojcik, Bill Yueill, honoraries Bob Maxwell, John Osterman and Bruce Tyler
Today our program is a Club Assembly with a guest speaker!
We had a guest speaker tell us about the LIFT program that Rotary has.  It is the replacement program for Fast for Hope and is sanctioned by the District Board of Directors as a District International team.  LIFT stands for Listen – Inquire – Facilitate – Transform.  They are fostering the means to end extreme poverty and sustainably improve lives.  He shared their core values and 7 areas of focus.  LIFT impacts providing clean water, protecting the environment, saving mothers and children, supplying education, and growing local economies. They are currently focused on Nicaragua.  This is not a project, but an ongoing model. They work with many other partners to do this.  Want more info?  Go on the District 5960 website and check things out!
Club Assembly
-Theresa Slominski led our club assembly.
-First on the agenda was to vote on our new and improved By Laws as a membership.  There were minor changes made to make it more current and to apply to our club.  The Board of Directors and a task group are to be thanked for their fabulous efforts!  Past President Tove Lichty initiated this update during her term and current President Theresa Slominski saw it through!  Many thanks to both of you for your leadership!
A motion was made to accept the by laws by Debbi Rydberg, seconded by Nicole Wojcik, all approved by membership.
-Budget was next.  A profit/loss hand out was shared to all to take a look at.  Theresa pointed out some things that are now paid and show unpaid and went through in detail on items.
-Change in the Dictionary Program. A task group has been gathering information to provide our 3rd grade students with something to replace the dictionaries they used to get from us.  Marv Sorvala ordered book samples and Heather Kliewer left a sample at the school and it is all approved to proceed by ISD 728!  We will spend the funds from this budget to buy the activity books and next years budget will provide funds to enhance this new program as well.  President-Elect Debbi Rydberg and Heather Kliewer will chat and make a plan!
-Nicole Wojcik shared that she received an email asking if our club would be interested in hosting a Youth Exchange student.  There are two students looking for home placement.  Interested?  Contact Nicole!
-Taste of Elk River Update
Bruce “Buck” Tyler was our fill in commissioner today in the absence of Commissioner Cal Portner.  He shared baseball stories with us and there were two team captains present at the time to share results.  Mark K. and Nicole W. shared their updates.  Mark shared his amazing blog that he wrote and Nicole gave her bit of B.S. report and shared her excitement!
Silent Auction email has been sent out so please check it out!  Each Rotarian is required to obtain or create a silent auction item!
Sign Up Sheet for working the day of our event was sent around. Molly Hanson pointed out that the front gate is in need of volunteers.
Happy Bucks
-Heather Kliewer was happy for her son’s adventure to Montana then on to Idaho for 4 months to work on a wind farm! He safely made it to his destination and had a great trip getting there!
-Neil Gagnon was happy that he and his family can eat at home and will have a microwave to use with outside ventilation, thanks to mark Kuyava and Ace Handyman Services!
-Nicole Wojcik was happy for her mom’s upcoming trip to South Africa in a week and was also happy the camper opened and there were zero mice!  She also shared a funny story about mice/bats in her home that turned out to be a fan issue! Her daughter Hailey secured a new job at the outlet mall!
-Debbi Rydberg was happy that PETS training is done as there were multiple sessions.  She has an idea for a project around recycling lithium batteries!
-Molly Hanson was happy to pay her happy buck I.O.U!
-Angela Nies was happy that the offer they put on a house was accepted!  Moving to a home with wheel chair accessibility so it will be great for their parents.  They have an offer coming on their existing home.  She was also happy that her daughter got a job at the Michaels store and she got a discount on flowers! She leaves next Wednesday for Florida and this Saturday is a BBQ for her birthday!
-Bob Maxwell was happy for on line sales and shared a message he received from a repeat purchaser!
-Theresa Slominski was happy for her daughter who is looking for a new job – stay tuned for details!
-Bill Yueill was happy to tell us that he had been having hearing troubles and now he can control his hearing from his phone and he has it figured out so he can now hear us better!
Together we recited the 4 Way Test!
Thursday, April 20, 2023 
imageToday, President Theresa Slominski ran our meeting.

Dirk Barrett, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Katie Harstad, Heather Kliewer, Mark Kuyava, Tove Lichty, Angela Nies, Cal Portner, Pete Reiner, Debbi Rydberg, Theresa Slominski, Marv Sorvala, Nicole Wojcik, honoraries Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell, John Osterman and Bruce Tyler

Today for our program, we were introduced to Ben Bauman.  Ben is a local business owner of North Central Insurance. They offer a lot of different types of insurance but Ben came to talk to us about the topics of Medicare and Social Security.  He had an amazing information hand out for us today to help discuss the slightly complicated subject!  To Ben, it doesn’t appear to be complicated!  Medicare is a federal insurance program administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Social Security office does not provide supplemental plan information or enrollment.  Here is where Ben comes in!  He knows the ins and outs of the different four parts to Medicare. He suggests that it is really never too early to inquire with him about your situation because each person is unique.  Timing is important! The initial enrollment period is during the last seven months before your 65th birthday, and the last three months before your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday and three months after turning 65.  Ben shared the different components about the different parts to the program and shared a chart showing the Medicare Benefit, with the different plans, such as Medicare Only, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, Plan F, Plan G, Plan K, Plan L, Plan M, Plan N.  It is a lot of information!  When you are ready, contact Ben at 763-241-7900 or email him at   We thanked Ben for coming today and sharing this information with us and also thanked him for all of his contributions to the Elk River Community!  He is one of our Taste of Elk River Sponsors and has also given a donation to our Silent Auction at our event!  He is also active in the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce, is an Advisory Board member for Three Rivers Community Foundation and supports many other local things!  Thank you, Ben!

-Taste o
f Elk River
*Each Rotarian is asked to please provide a Silent Auction item.  Heather Kliewer is our Silent Auction coordinator again this year (thank you, Heather) so if you have any questions, please reach out to her.
*Bob Maxwell, online ticket guru reports that online sales are up and running and this morning he had a couple of ticket sales!
*Cal Portner led us in a team update with three of the four managers present in the room.  He first reported that we have to change the name of our “Drug Czar” to “Drug Despot”. (despot: a ruler or other person who olds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way.) Cal called up our Drug Despot, Bruce “Buck” Tyler who demonstrated how he will tell if someone is using PED’s with his magic switch in his right arm.  He reports that next week, someone will be hovered over!  Lol!  Nicole Wojcik with team Cocoa Crispers, John Osterman with team Fighting Burbot and Mark Kuyava with team The Bomba Squad each took a turn at filling us with a little team badgering and tall tale telling of ticket sales!   Rotarian Julie Fish explained to the new members, that during ticket sales and reporting, we do NOT follow the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do!   Commissioner Cal Portner shared many educational baseball tidbits with us and did a report for team Stealing Home who’s manager was not present to report.

Introducing Fighting Burbots
Veteran TASTE of Elk River
Team Manager:
Jon Osterman 
One of the best - a multi-year ticket sales winner but 
always a little "fishy". 

-Tove Lichty Provided a report on a forum she attended.  The topic was about kids and mental health.  It was dynamic event and she was surprised at how many non-Rotarians were in attendance.  Cindy from Open Doors for Youth attended the event with Tove. This event filled Tove’s Rotary heart!

-President Theresa Slominski reported that she attended the Rochester Rotary’s 35th Anniversary event this past week and had a chance to meet the new incoming International President who is from Pennsylvania.  Her topic was “What makes a club irresistible?”.  Theresa shared that there are a lot of different ways to engage folks.  For some, zoom meetings was huge.  Some have impact clubs where they only do projects and do not have meetings.  Some clubs have satellite style groups of their clubs.  We are encourage to step out of our box to come up with something new to involve more people.

-Card Game - a king of clubs was drawn and there was not a match . . . the fund grows!

Happy Bucks

-Theresa Slominski was $5 happy for some one on one time with her daughter for a couple of days!
-Heather Kliewer was happy for time spent with her son, Jackson, who is going to be spending time in Idaho for about four months.  They went to Aegir and played trivia and she was also happy to have seen Casey Mahon, past Elk River rotarian.
-Debbi Rydberg was happy for a new employee, happy for Ben Bauman and all he does, happy for Rotary training, that it is good and that they spread it out, and happy for the digital sign at the Chamber office, which will have a sign telling folks to buy Taste of Elk River tickets there and happy for today - 4/20!
-Katie Harstad was happy to tell us about oldest of three kids.  Her daughter is turning 12 on Friday and has a dance competition to perform her solo at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium and Katie is looking forward to spending quality time doing fun things with her daughter during the six hour bit of time between performance and awards!
- Julie Fish was happy for a new employee, for Ben and all he does and for a road trip this afternoon to Brainerd to go cheer on a couple of cousins who are performing in a Dancing with the Stars fund raiser for Habitat for Humanity!
-Dirk Barrett was happy for Ben to be our speaker and all he does for our community.
-Pete Reiner also had a happy buck for Ben!  Good thing Ben came today!  He raised some funds for us!  Lol!
-Marv Sorvala was happy to tell us that he and his wife are house shopping in Florida for a “winter” home!
-Nicole Wojcik was happy to hopefully be opening up her happy place camper near Clear Lake next week to enjoy relaxing time there.  She was also happy to report that her friend Connie who had cancer, has had her final reconstructive surgery is is doing well, her hair is coming back and she is cancer free!  Nicole also shared that we are her extended family and that she loves our support, especially in the month of April as this is the month, 17 years ago she lost her cousin who was like a brother and 5 years ago, she lost her dad.  She appreciates our support!

Together we recited the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do!
Thursday, April 13, 2023 

Today President Theresa Slominski led our imagemeeting.  John Osterman led us in our usual song, then to Cal Portner who had the program today and led us in the “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” song to kick off our Taste of Elk River ticket sales day!

Dirk Barrett, Julie Fish, Katie Harstad, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Mark Kuyava, Tove Lichty, Dr. Laura Mullennex, Angela Nikes, Cal Portner, Pete Reiner, Theresa Slominski, Marv Sorvala, David Vinje, Nicole Wojcik, Bill Yueill, honoraries Dave Anderson, Bob Maxwell, John Osterman and Bruce Tyler

-Mike, soon to be our assistant district governor.  He will replace Sandy Campbell

He was excited to be here.  He represents Area 12 of District 5960 so he has Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids, Cambridge-Isanti.  He will visit us every few weeks and looks forward to learning about us.
Image result for boy scouts of americaJim Acres with the Boy Scouts came today to tell us about the upcoming Boy Scout breakfast, Thursday, April 27, 7 to 8 am at the Elk River American Legion.

Today was the exciting day - the Taste of Elk
River ticket sales kick off!  Cal Portner once again has committed to us to be our Commissioner for our baseball themed ticket sales.  He explained the baseball theme to everyone and told us that it is an honor to him to be our Commissioner.  There are only 10 commissioners in baseball since forever ago! He informed us of our new Drug Czar - Bruce “Buck” Tyler.  He will make sure we all play nice and he will be checking for PHD’s in those who are suspicious, according to Buck! Buck is watching us and said that Managers may exempt, but may be not!  In usual tradition, Cal had some baseball stories to share with us. He called up John Osterman with the Fighting Burbott team as that team is the reigning champion team! John shared his team line up with us - Julie F., David V., Pete R., Tim Jones with Aegir, Kat S., Lynn Caswell, Glen E., Robin Skinner, Matt Schiller with Lupulin, Dr. Laura “The Back Breaker” Mullennex.  Dr. Laura is a new member so I am sharing their nick names!  Lol!
Next up was Terry Bizal.  Past team name of “Oops You Did It Again” and new team name of “Stealing Home Team”. Terry announced his team line up - Brandon Hanson, Stewart W., Jim B., Dave A., Angela “Never Say Nies” Nies, Cal P., Molly H., Neil G., Jay “Big Lake Calhoun” Calhoun, Dirk Barrett.
Next in line was Nicole Wojcik with her team, the Cocoa Crispers.  Here line up is - Katie “The Rock” Harstad, Heather “The Meat” Kliewer, Tove L., Theresa S., Adam S., Beth R., Marv “Civil” Sorvala, Bill “Wild Bill” Yueill, Bruce T., and Willies on the Water!
Final Manager is a new manger!  Welcome to Management, Mark “Cool Java” Kuyava! The team name is The Bomba Squad.  Mark’s line up of players is - Casey Mahon, Debbi R., James Clock, Bonnie K., John Kalade, Marilyn VanPatten-Chiba, Jennifer Wagner, D’s Smokehouse and Pour Wine Bar & Bistro.

Bob Maxwell will once again be at the on-line sales helm and he is his own team!
Great job Commissioner Cal Portner and the team mangers!  A fun time was had by all!

Taste of Elk River
* Posters, flyers etc. are on the back table.  Take as many as you like and please feel free to hang them around town.
* Molly Hanson has sent around the shift sign up sheet.  Each Rotarian is asked to be there for set up (1 to 5 pm), volunteer for at least one 2 hour time slot during the event, and stay for clean up and social when our event is done. 
* It was noted that the Private Tasting Room tickets price has raised from $15 to $20.  Taste tickets are $35.  If selling both, the cost will be $55.
* Dirk reported that tents and electricity will be done Wednesday before the event.

-President Theresa reminded the board that there is a board of directors meeting next week, following our regular meeting.

-Debbi Rydberg let us know that the yard signs that were ordered are in!  Please take yours if you ordered one.

-Tove Lichty, next week on Wednesday morning, is going to the Women’s Club in St. Paul to attend a forum on mental health in high schools.  This is sponsored by the St. Paul Rotary Club.  She and Cindy Le from Open Doors for Youth are attending and all are welcome to join them!  Let her know if you’d like to attend also!

-Card draw was a 6 of clubs and there was not a winner!

-Happy Birthday song was sung to Molly Hanson!  She chose the $10 version and note to treasurer, Neil Gagnon, she needs an I.O.U. on that!

Happy Buckeroooos
-Heather Kliewer shared some CAER Food Shelf stats with us!  They served an 1031 families, normally 500 to 600 families!  It was a record breaker!
-Debbi Rydberg was happy for the stunning weather and happy to have traveled up and down Hwy. 169 without swearing!  She was also happy that the Zimmerman Business Council meeting had 40 in attendance for their first meeting!
-Angela Nies was happy for the sunshine and a loud radio!
-Bob Maxwell paid a not happy buck for the Gophers hockey team! Second was not too bad.
-Mike, our incoming Assistant District Governor was happy to be here!
-Bill Yueill was happy for a Twins win and recovery!
-Julie Fish was happy to have seen the great white pelicans and some loons on the Mississippi River in her back yard!

Together we recited the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do!
imageToday, President Theresa Slominski led our meeting for us.  She welcomed honorary Rotarian Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba who has been missing for a while.
Guest:   Eileen Anderson, guest of Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba
Dirk Barrett, Terry Bizal, Julie fish, Molly Hanson, Katie Harstad, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Mark Kuyava, Tove Lichty, Dr. Laura Mullennex, Angela Nies, Cal Portner, Pete Reiner, Debbi Rydberg, Kat Sarff, Theresa Slominski, Marv Sorvala, Nicole Wajcik, honorary Bob Maxwell, John Osterman, Bruce Tyler and Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba
Dr. Laura arranged our program today and had a very solid prayer to start us off!  She introduced us to Traci Larson, RNC & LNHA and CEO of Guardian Angels of Elk River.  She has been with Guardian Angels for one year in May.  She replaced Dan Dixon, who was a past Rotarian.  Traci shared their mission statement and had a slide presentation for us.  Guardian Angels was started in 1965 and serve the local population over 85 years young. They now have 500 staff members, 713 residents, 1504 home care/hospice clients and a revenue of 40 million, annually.  They have a couple of great fund raisers – a gala and a golf tournament.  Traci shared the history of Guardian Angels withus and how it began. She then went through each location and told us the stats of the number of units available.  All of their sites are 95 to 98% full! They are always looking for volunteers to help with many things as they are growing like crazy!
-Taste of Elk River meeting tonight at 5 pm at Aegir.    Cal Portner reports he is in need of one more team manager.  The draft was held today and teams will be announced and tickets handed out next week.  If you are a new member and don’t have your baseball nick name yet, this is your chance to get the nick name you want – let Cal Portner know your desires.  If not, he will be assigning your baseball name.   Food vendors will be offered a $200 stipend this year.  Heather Kliewer is heading up our Silent Auction and asks that each rotarian provide at least one silent auction item.
-Friends of Scouting   All are welcome to Image result for boy scouts of americaattend!  President Theresa has a brochure.
-Our District Governor, Dayle Quigley is encouraging attendance to an Imagine Rotary Midwest conference at the end of April and will be held at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd.  Let Theresa know if you need more information.
-Rochester Rotary is celebrating their 25th year and invites to join in their fun on April 19th.  The speaker is the new incoming International President.
-Birthday!  Julie Fish had a birthday and flipped into a new decade!  She requested that everyone sing Happy Birthday to her backwards and it was worth three 20 dollar bills!  One buck for each year!
Happy $$
-Heather Kliewer was happy for her 5K volunteers in the room – Mark K., Dirk B., Angela N. and Neil G. for their assistance with their blizzard 5K Fools Run.  100 people came and a lot of help was received from city and county levels!
-Angela Nies was happy because she has six kids and is nearly an empty nester.  She was happy because all were going to be home for the holiday!
-Bonnie Koste was $20 happy!  A sad dollar for putting Bob on the spot and sad she missed her meeting/program last week.  She thanked Bob for filling in.  Vacations are done!
-Cal Portner was happy that silly basketball is over and hockey can commence!  Go Gophers!
-Nicole Wojcik was happy for a trip to Baxter with her daughter to visit her mom and do some shipping.  She was also happy for Easter family time.
-Marilyn VanPatten Chuba was happy to be here and plans to be here4 more often.  She was happy for a good winter, she hibernated!
-Kat Sarff was happy because she hit her two year job marker and is seeing things come to fruition and it makes her super happy and proud of herself. She is excited for the future of networking with other non-profits!
-John Osterman was happy for his bowling team who won the league for the second year in a row!
-Tove Lichty was happy to be back.  Florida was great and warm!  She was also happy to be traveling to South Dakota for Easter and she will see her 8 nieces/nephews.  She was also happy to tell us she attended a grant meeting at the district level and our club is eligible to write a grant!  Ideas?  Contact Tove to get the ball rolling!
-Mark Kuyava was happy for a $2 gopher hockey theme - $2 for 2 wins!
Together we recited the 4 way test of the things we think, say and do!
Thursday, March 30, 2023 
Dirk Barrett, Terry Bizal, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Katie Harstad, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Mark Kuyava, Dr. Laura Mullennex, Angela Nies, Cal Portner, Pete Reiner, Marv Sorvala, Nicole Wojcik, Bill Yueill, honorary Dave Anderson, Bob Maxwell, John Osterman and Bruce Tyler
Today our meeting was led by past president from 1998, John Osterman.  Bob Maxwell led our prayer.  It was held at Rockwoods.
Bob Maxwell introduced us to one of our own Rotarians – Katie Harstad with Rockwoods.  Katie is the General Manager at Rockwoods and worked her way up the success ladder from being a waitress in the beginning!  She has been with the company for 17 years.  At home, she has three children from ages 12 to 2!  Both of her parents are ERHS graduates and she loves the Elk River community!  She is involved in Rotary, Chamber, Otsego Lions, Biz to Biz and is a part of the ISD 728 CT Advisory board.  She has a presentation on the screen for us and shared photos of things she loves and her family!  She then went into a presentation about running a restaurant and provided us with lots of great information and what makes the “Rockwoods Difference”!  The difference is the fresh food they use and the quality employees they have!  A lot of their staff has been there for many years! Rockwoods hosts weddings and custom events and does catering offsite as well.  One of their favorite things they do is Bonfire Wednesdays where they provide a free outdoor concert each Wednesday of the summer!  Great presentation, Katie.
Next up – John Osterman called up the head coach of the ERHS 2022 Football team – Steve Hamilton. 
Steve is in his 25th year of coaching as head coach.  He is from Michigan, has coached there and in Georgia before coming to Elk River.  We also met Mike Cross, the defensive coordinator and players Cade and Jack.  Steve stated that it is an honor to be here, but it is really about the players and their hard work.  Since 2016, the Elks have had 69 wins in 6 years and are #2 in the state. 
Cade was voted as Mr. Football for being the best player in the state and Jack is an All State Defense player and Tight End!  The players had a great run of hard work.  No missing and they show up every day to work hard!  There are two factors to their success.  They have identity of who they are.  They have discipline, mental toughness and are selfless.  It is who they are!  They have a vision to achieve goals and everyone needs to go the same direction.  Players trust the process that the coaches lead.  They had many kickers this year, but they had their first female – Bree!  Bree was awesome and was a starting goalie for the soccer team. She was a consistent kicker and during the championship game, the coaches trusted her to get the job done.  She is the first female to EVER score in a prep bowl!  Coach Hamilton hopes that it inspires other females!  Question/Answer session was had.
The program took up the whole time of our meeting so there were no announcements, happy bucks or the card game.
Together we recited the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do!
Together we recited the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do!
Thursday, March 16, 2023 
imageToday, President Theresa Slominski ran our program for us!
Jay Calhoun, Neil Gagnon, Molly Hanson, Heather Kliewer, Mark Kuyava, Dr. Laura Mullennex, Debbi Rydberg, Theresa Slominski, Marv Sorvala, Nicole Wojcik, honoraries Dave Anderson, Bob Maxwell, John Osterman and Bruce Tyler

Member Jay Calhoun joined us and had been missing for quite a bit of time!  President Theresa took the opportunity to officially induct him into membership!  Welcome Jay!

Today our program was arranged by Tove Lichty.  She introduced us to John Purves with the Glencoe Rotary Club.  John shared information with us about Camp RYLA.  Camp RYLA is a four day leadership camp for High School sophomores and juniors.  It is held at the YMCA Camp outside of Hudson, WI.  Through interaction with other students and adult supervisors, engaging with outside speakers and program experts, problem solving, communication challenges and other activities, students gain great insight into leadership basics; communication; problem solving and decision making; conflict management and resolution; personal strengths; community and global citizenship.  The camp is open to sophomores and juniors who are sponsored by local Rotary clubs from the greater Minneapolis and St. Paul areas.  Students come from schools within an area that includes North Branch, Amery Wisconsin, Rochester, Glencoe and more!  They get a diverse population of students from different backgrounds and this ser4ves to enhance the experience for everyone!  Cost to attend is at no cost to the student.  Each sponsoring rotary club pays for their student to attend.  For 2023, the fee will be $450.    How can Elk River Rotary participate?  Sponsor a student and provide transportation to the event, including attending the Tuesday noon rotary luncheon in St. Paul.  Club members are welcome to attend Sunday night dinner at camp and observe or help lead ethical discussions after. Club members also have the opportunity to help to present on Leadership Toolbox items Saturday morning and may also volunteer as an Adult Counselor for the five-day four-night event. John shared a couple of stories and photos with us.   Camp RYLA dates are April 21-25, 2023 and registration is open now.  Please visit, click on the “PARTICIPANTS” tab at the top of the page, then click on the “ROTARY CLUB REGISTRATION FORM” box.  Complete the three pages of this form. You can either reserve a spot for your students now and resubmit with names later, or fill in your names now if you have them.  Direct your students to the same page and also have the parent/guardian go in and do this also.   There are separate application forms for students and for their parents.

-President Theresa Slominski and Honorary Rotarian John Osterman
both reported on the Rogers High School Reality Fair.  It was very interesting, students were awesome!

Happy Bucks
Nicole Wojcik, Molly Hanson, Theresa Slominski and Debbi Rydberg all had happy bucks.
Together we recited the 4 Way Test and were dismissed!