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03/30/2023 - Bonnie Koste - The Reel Hope Project - Kaycee Stanley

April 6, 2023 - Dr. Laura Mullennex - Traci Larson - CEO Guardian Angels

04/13/2023 - Cal Portner - TASTE of Elk River Kickoff

o4/20/2023 - Pete Reiner - Ben Bauman

04/27/2023 - Club Assembly

05/04/2023 - Beth Richards -

04/11/2023 - Debbi Rydberg  -John Houlton - Tasting Tent and Wine Info

04/18/2023 -TASTE of Elk River Prep

04/25/2023 - Kat Sarff


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Strengthening Youth 
Enhancing Lives

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

Thursday, March 23, 2023 
Dirk Barrett, Terry Bizal, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Katie Harstad, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Mark Kuyava, Dr. LOaura 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 Frost, the defensive coordinator and players Kade 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.  Kade 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!
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!

imageThursday, March 9, 2023 
Today our meeting was led by President Theresa Slominski! 
Dirk Barrett, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Katie Harstad, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Mark Kuyava, Dr. Laura Mullennex, Pete Reiner, Debbi Rydberg, Theresa Slominski, Nicole Wojcik, Bill Yueill, honoraires Dave Anderson, Bob Maxwell, John Osterman and Bruce Tyler
We had a speaker cancellation, so Theresa ran an open meeting/club assembly for us today.  We talked about many things!
-Board of Directors, Debbi Rydberg presented a slate of directors.  Pete Reiner was nominated and accepted the Service Project Director board position.  Debbi Rydberg moved for approval of the slate, with the addition of Pete Reiner. Nicole Wojcik second the motion.  All in favor.  Board of Directors Slate for 2023-24 has been approved as follows:
President – Debbi Rydberg
President Elect – Heather Kliewer
Past President – Theresa Slominski
Secretary – Theresa Slominski
Treasurer – Neil Gagnon
Membership Director – Julie Fish
Youth Services Director – Molly Hanson
Service Project Director – Pete Reiner
Foundation Director – Tove Lichty
Communications Director – Cal Portner
Taste of Elk River Director – Katie Harstad
-Taste of Elk River
Sponsorship Packets are at the front table and have been emailed to all members.  The sign up sheet for sponsors was passed around the room.  All Rotarians are encourage to capture a sponsor or two or six!  The packet is also on the website.   We have a few sponsorships lined up – BOB FM, Metal Craft and Elk River Heating & AC, Homerun Human Resources are in!  Treasurer Neil Gagnon said if the sponsor needs an invoice and to pay with a credit card, to let him know so he can handle the paperwork. 
Food vendors are being asked.  Katie Harstad has received two no’s and 2 yeses!  Rockwoods and Cowboy Jack’s are in!
Beverage vendors are now up to 20 confirmed!
Pete Reiner reports that the fairgrounds and the tents have been secured!
Gambling license is secured!
Liquor license has been applied for at the City of Elk River!
Silent Auction will be firing up soon!
-Bylaws have been combed through by the Board of Directors.  At the next board meeting, they will be reviewed and approved.  After approval from the board, they will be emailed to all members for voting.
-CAER Food ShelfCAER Foodshelf has their upcoming Fools Run coming up on April 1st.  it starts at 9 am and is $40/person. The after event will be held at Aegir Brewing Company. Heather is looking for three Rotarian volunteers to handle passing out the water!  Neil Gagnon and Angela Nies volunteered.
-Meeting location discussion was held again.  Bruce Tyler suggested that we wait to decide until after we have our meetings on March 23 and 30 at Rockwoods.  Great idea!  Stay tuned!
-Meeting Location Changes  for Thursday, March 23 and Thursday, March 30 – our meetings these two Thursday’s will be held at Rockwoods!
-Happy Bucks!
-Bonnie Koste was happy for a crazy, busy life and for a get away to Mexico with her daughter, which was the nicest thing they have done together!
-Heather Kliewer had a shamless plug for the CAER Foodshelf Fools Run event and passed out flyers with a QR code for sign up and donations!
-Debbi Rydberg was happy for her upcoming event for the Chamber which will be two weeks today and held at the Crown Room starting at 5 pm.  Tickets are $65/person and reservations are a must!
-Katie Harstad was happy to tell us about an event Rockwoods is catering this weekend for 750 people in Elk River at the Furniture & Things Community Center!
-Pete Reiner was happy for a conference tournament for college basketball followed by March Madness where he will be happy to take money from Neil Gagnon!
-Bill Yueill was happy to tell us about his volunteer job as secretary/treasurer for a group he belongs to and shared brochures for an upcoming event!
-Mark Kuyava was happy for high school hockey tournament time!  He was also happy that he and his wife got to attend a Springstein concert!
- Theresa Slominski was happy for her daughter to come home for a visit this weekend!   She was also happy to have gone to the movie Jesus Revolution and reports that it was great and everyone should check it out! 
-imageCard game – a 3 of clubs was pulled and there was not a winner!
Together we recited the 4 Way Test and were dismissed!