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       Upcoming Meetings 

3/31/2022 - Curt Boysen - Africa Classroom Connection - Robin Coquyt

4/7/2022 - Acorn Housing Service

4/14/2022 - TBD

4/21/2022 - Rivers of Hope

4/28/2022 - Boys and Girls Club 

5/5/2022 - LOCATION CHANGE -Our meeting will be at PIZZA RANCH due to a wedding reception at CHOW

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

Zoom Link to March 31, 2022 
Meeting ID: 869 4595 8822\
Regular and Zoom Meeting - March 24, 2022
imageToday our meeting was ran by President Elect Theresa Slominski!  Her first meeting today and she did a fabulous job!
Guest: Mark Kyuava with Ace Handyman Service out of Rogers.  He reached out through and asked to be connected to our club.  He came to check us out today.  He opened his business this year on February 14th and Elk River is in his territory.  He is interested in giving back to the community!  Welcome Mark!
Also visiting was Dr. Laura with Ideal Health.  Rumor has it that she has received a membership application!  Welcome back Dr. Laura!
Attending: Terry Bizal, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Kevin Gardner, Molly Hanson, Heather Kliewer, John Osterman, Cal Portner, Nicole Rasmussen, Pete Reiner, Theresa Slominski, honorary Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell and Bruce “Buck” Tyler
Our program today was Tedi Carlson from our District.  She came today to tell us more about the Rotary efforts towards eliminating human trafficking. 
Image result for child traffickingHuman trafficking is usually either sexual or for labor.  It is kept in control by the trafficker.  An estimated 40 million people are enslaved around the world.  It is second only to illegal drugs.  Anyone under the age of 18 that is caught cannot be charged with prostitution.  There are 300,000 new victims each year in the USA.  Traffickers prey on children and those suffering from poverty. They are trafficking “underground” and not necessarily in large cities.  The Midwest is a big recruiting area due to the I-35 corridor that runs from Lorado, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota.  Minneapolis is the 13th largest for trafficking. She shared a list of 15 apps that are used for trafficking.  Often those being trafficked are branded with a tattoo.  Human trafficking is a problem because there is a demand.  There are over 480,000 sites that offer illegal pornography.  Typical buyers are men, aged 18 to 84.  Most purchase for the first time before 21 years old and over half are married or with a partner.  If you notice something, Tedi tells us to call 911 first and let them handle the situation.  There is a hotline as Preventing Human Traffickingwell - MN Hotline 866-223-111 or text 612-399-9995.  How can we end Human Trafficking?  She suggests we raise awareness, education children and adults, reduce the vulnerability/risk factor and stop the demand.  Why Rotary?  Rotary is the largest global service organization in the world. This program is being sponsored by Districts 5950/5960/5580.   She encourages us to have a club champion to lead the charge for our community.  For further information, contact Clare Lillie at

- Taste of Elk River Updates
*Pete Reiner reports that the tents
are secured!
* Treasurer Neil Gagnon has received sponsorship checks from The Bank of Elk River, SPIRE Credit Union, Cornerstone Auto, Metal Craft, Minnesota Optical and Elk River Printing!  Sponsorship deadline is right around the corner!
*Nicole Rasmussen
reports that she is looking for an
Image result for socialApril SOCIAL! So please offer her suggestions.  The May SOCIAL! Will be the Taste of Elk River “after party”!  Plan to be there for clean up and the fun!   June SOCIAL! Will be held at President Tove Lichty’s home and the date is TBD.

- Grant Update

Image result for rotary Grant Money* Heather Kliewer was pleased to tell us that we will have final approval soon for our grant for the Magnus Veterans Foundation.  Someone from the District will come in person and present us the funds!   Great job Heather Kliewer and transferred to a new club, Rotarian Casey Mahon for all of your hard work!
- Happy $$
*Terry Bizal was happy for last weekend when he
watched his daughter’s college hockey team win National Champions when they played in the Frozen Four!
*Tedi our guest was happy to be here with us and loved the environment at Chow!
* Cal Portner was happy also for attending a game of hockey for his daughter’s college hockey team who also won National Champs! He saw a lot of friends that they have missed due to covid.  He was also happy that his other daughter’s first live gig as a cover band in Florida went well and they received five new gigs!
* Heather Kliewer was happy for our guest, Mark and was also happy that this evening is the Elk River Area Chamber Gala at Rockwoods!
* Neil Gagnon was happy because last July, they ordered furniture and it is being delivered tomorrow morning, finally!  He is also happy to be going on a trip next week to Las Vegas.  They also have future plans for a family trip to go to Branson, MO!
- Theresa Slominski was happy that her daughter was home for spring break.  She has a summer job with 3M in Mankato so they went apartment looking!
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy to have ran a race for St. Patrick’s day and was happy that when she opened up her camper this spring, there was only one dead mouse.  She also had a buck to be going to the dentist after this rotary meeting!

image- Card Game - there was not a winner today and it was ok because there was a winner last week so we need to build up the funds!  Buy often!
Theresa asked us to join her to recite the 4 Way Test and then rang the bell of dismissal!

Regular and Zoom Meeting - March 24, 2022
Regular and Zoom Meeting - March 17, 2022 
imagePresident Tove Lichty led our meeting today!

Guest:  Dr. Laura with Ideal Health

Attending:  Dirk Barrett, Julie Fish, Kevin Gardner, Brandon Hanson, Heather Kliewer, Tove Lichty, Janet McCarty, John Osterman, Cal Portner, Nicole Rasmussen, Beth Richards, Debbi Rydberg, Theresa Slominski, honorary Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell and Bruce “Buck” Tyler

Our program today was not able to attend, so it was filled with talk of the upcoming Taste of Elk River event!  Dirk Barrett led us in a discussion of food vendors.  He
read off a list of past and prospective names and we brainstormed together to come up with some additional to add to the list.  Brandon Hanson has the master list and will get the new names added.   We then went on to Sponsorships, led by Bonnie Koste with some wonderful assistance from Kevin Gardner.  Currently we have ReMax, First Bank Elk River, American Family-Bonnie Koste Agency, BeeHive Homes of Elk River, Edward Jones-Tove Lichty, Gateway Financial Strategies, Homerun Human Resources, MidwestOne Bank, North Central Insurance, SPIRE Credit Union and Weber Interiors.  A list of many more was shared and a few people offered to reach out to the connection they had.  Stay tuned for more sponsors to the list next week!  Ticket/Team kick off will be held during the meeting on Thursday, April 7th so be sure to put this date on your “must attend Rotary today” list.  It will be very helpful to the team captains if you can be at the meeting to receive your tickets to sell.  Again this year, our Commissioner will be Cal Portner who may be assisted by Bruce “Buck” Tyler.  We will again follow the baseball theme for our ticket sales so get ready to rumble . . .
Final Taste reminder - get your $20 turned in to John Osterman as he is collecting for the booze/wine raffles that will be held during the Taste of Elk River.  He’s keeping a list!

Service Projects

Image result for Rotary Community Service- Tomorrow, March 18th from 11 am to 1 pm, come join in the fun at Open Doors for Youth to help them refresh with a spring clean!
- Saturday, April 9th, in the morning, come join in at Ruff Start Rescue and help them clean up a hay pile outside on their septic tank.  Bet there will be some cute pups to pet as well!

Share the Love - this District fund raiser has been extended into March so if you didn’t get a chance to donate in February, you can still do it and get in on the promotions going on!  Go to and in the upper right hand corner, click on the “donate now” button.

Thank you Brandon Hanson for being our Throw Back President for a day while Tove was on vacation in California where she used an app on her phone and found that there was a Rotary meeting in the hotel she was staying, so she attended!  She felt welcome right away and it was fun to see how other clubs run their meetings! She also shared that she felt a little intimidated with all of the very rich folks in the room with her!

John Osterman proposed a “fine from the floor” to Cal Portner because his town is being a title hog with both the girls and boys hockey teams taking State titles! 
Cal Portner proposed a “fine from the floor” to Tove Lichty because she is a financial planner and felt intimidated in a room with a bunch of rich folks!  And this, led to

Happy Bucks!

- Cal Portner was happy to have visited his parents.  His dad, who had surgery, is healing well.  Cal spent Tues.-Fri. In Arizona for a reunion of Air Force squadrons who he spent time with in Germany.  21 gathered for their first get together and he was happy for many great stories!  He is also happy to be leaving tomorrow with his wife and daughter to go to Boston for the Women’s Frozen Four!
- Julie Fish was happy to announce the birth of her 26th Great, who was born on the same day that is this little one’s great, great grandfather’s 120th birthday!
- Dirk Barrett was happy for an upcoming two week road trip to the west and south!
- Theresa Slominski was happy for her mom to have a trip to Arizona to visit with Theresa’s brother.  However, while there, she ended up in the hospital with low oxygen for five days, but is out and doing better.  Theresa was also happy to be spending the upcoming weekend with her kids and the frozen face off, men’s tournament.
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy to have some time off work for spring break.  Happy to be wearing green for St. Patrick’s day, happy to be working her side gig and happy to be doing a 7k race this Saturday for St. Patrick’s Day!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy to give a sales pitch about the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce upcoming gala and silent auction.  She put around a few flyers with a QR code that will take you to their auction items.  Bid often . . .  Bids close at 7:50 on Thursday, March 24th.
- Beth Richards was happy to have spent last weekend at camp with 78 kids who were earning merit badges!  She was also happy for a confirmed speaker for a leadership breakfast in Princeton!
- Tove Lichty was happy for a great trip to California. Napa was her favorite.  She was thankful to Brandon for filling in and reminded us that she will not be here next week as she has some training for work to tend to.
- Bob Maxwell had a happy buck for the fact that the camera that tipped over landed in a box and received no damage!  (Phrew!)

imageCard Game - today we had a winning match in the hand of Dirk Barrett!  Dirk turned his half of the funds back in to go to the foundation so the total funds to the foundation today were at $61!   The Rotary Foundation Thanks You!

President Tove had a challenge for each of us to engage in our community in a Rotary way, to grow awareness of rotary.

Together we recited the 4 Way Test and the bell of dismissal was rung!
Regular and Zoom Meeting March 10, 2022 
imageToday at Rotary, we had a throw-back Thursday meeting!  A past president, Brandon Hanson, ran our meeting in the absence of Tove Lichty, current president!

Guest:  Rob Rydberg, guest and husband of Debbi Rydberg

Attending: Dirk Barrett, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Kevin Gardner, Brandon Hanson, Molly Hanson, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Janet McCarty, John Osterman, Nicole Rasmussen, Pete Reiner, Debbi Rydberg, Theresa Slominski, honorary Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell, Bruce “Buck” Tyler and Stewart Wilson

Brandon Hanson started us off with Happy Bucks today!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy that her husband Rob could be with us today and was happy about the Chamber’s virtual silent auction!  Go check it out!
- Heather Kliewer was happy that yesterday with the Chamber Ambassador’s group, they met a travel agent and Heather booked a flight!
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy for a great weekend visiting her mom.  Her taxes are done and she gets a refund and yesterday, her boyfriend Marc’s son was accepted into the Air Force and leaves for Texas in June!
- Molly Hanson was happy for having a day off tomorrow to hang out with her sister and niece for a girls day!
- Julie Fish was happy for her Grandpa Fish, who is in heaven celebrating his 120th birthday and she was also hopeful that her newest great nephew would arrive on this day . . .  Stay tuned!
- Bob Maxwell was happy that after an hour of time, the zoom in the room is working! We have new equipment that is all ours!
- Bonnie Koste was happy to see her daughter working today at Chow as our server and gave $20!  She was also happy for our program today, Katie Shatusky, as she and Bonnie are cousins!

Club Announcements

- Bonnie Koste is rallying the Sponsorship Committee for the Taste of Elk River 2022!  She encourages us to all assist and she has a spreadsheet to share with names and looks forward to adding to it!  Bob Maxwell sent out the packet a week or so ago.  If you can’t find it, please contact Bonnie for a packet!
- Janet McCarty reminded us of a couple of upcoming Service Projects!  Friday, March 18th we will assist Open Doors for Youth with some spring cleaning projects and on Saturday, April 9th, we will assist Ruff Start Rescue.  Please be sure to get your name on the sign up sheet!
- Molly Hanson reported in for the Youth and we have our scholarship checks and forms sent in to ERHS, Spectrum and Ivan Sand School!   Thanks Molly for taking care of things!
- Julie Fish shared that the Three Rivers Community Foundation is hosting their annual Golf Tournament and asked if some Rotarians may want to put a team together.  Flyers were left on the tables for information and sign up!  Funds raised helps TRCF provide scholarships to all schools in ISD 728 and gives grants to ISD 728 non-profit groups at around $60,000 annually.  Please help us grow our endowment with your generosity and some fun playing golf!  It is a blast!
- Nicole Rasmussen is seeking ideas for an upcoming Social and the group decided that St. Patrick’s Day was reason enough to gather! An email will be sent out with details!
- Dirk Barrett gave a Taste of Elk River update and
again stressed the importance of the Sponsors.   He also has chatted with Joe with Elk River Liquors and they have some new ideas brewing for raffles.   John Osterman is collecting $20 from each Rotarian to go towards the raffles so be sure to get your bucks turned in to him.
- Brandon Hanson reported that he and Cal Portner met to discuss our current Mission Statement and some changes it could use.

image- Card Game - an 8 of clubs was drawn and although Pete Reiner tried to cheat, there was not a winner!

Our program today was Katie Shatusky with
Image result for Thumbs Up 5K Elk River MN. Size: 165 x 170. Source: raceroster.comThumbs Up.  Thumbs Up is our Taste of Elk River 2022 significant donation recipient!  She came to thank us for selecting them and to give us an update!  They were established in 2014 after she lost her Grandpa Bob to suicide.  It all began with a 5K where they had 500 people attend!  It was then that they realized that this was bigger than they thought it would be!  The first year they raised thumbs up$10,000.  They gave $9,500 to the Yellow Ribbon group at ERHS and kept $500 seed money for the next years event. In 2021, they had 992 people attend and raised $87,000!  Wow!   Thumbs Up is a 501(c)(3) non profit.  They do many things such as bereavement gifts to families who are experiencing a suicide loss.  It includes a bell wind chime, worry stones, keep moving forward bracelet and a sympathy card. They have created “calming corners” spaces at each school in ISD 728.  These are places for de escalating and calming so the student can go back to the classroom.  Thumbs Up gives out cheer bags and also have these at all ISD 728 schools and in Spring Lake Park as well. The counselors at the schools have them.  They are customized by age and are to brighten the live of someone who is struggling.  Thumbs Up also helps with Emotion Support Dogs where they partner and donate one dog/year to a family in need of a support dog to help with anxiety, depression, autism and more! They also have a referral assistance program where they pay for counseling for those who can’t afford it.  It is an application process that is available on their website.  They will pay for up to 5 sessions and have had 27 applicants so far!  They also assist the Seniors of our community with Smiles for Seniors where they do such things as donate iPads and do things to let them know that they are thought of.  They do community outreach through their 5K in the fall and also through a program that will be held on Monday, April 18th at ERHS in the Zabee Theatre.  Doors open at 5:30 and the program is from 6 to 8.  Keynote speaker i Katie Gladdin and she will teach that resilience is a skill that can be learned and she hopes to empower teens through life’s unexpected, uncertain and unwanted challenges. Most recently they have opened a place in downtown Elk River to help with youth mental health awareness and prevention.  The center is open Monday - Friday from 2:15 to 5 pm and is a place for middle and high school students to hang out to do homework, play games, art projects and more.  They have had over 100 visits in February!  Katie works full time for Thumbs Up and has a part time administrative assistant and many, many volunteers!  To learn more -

Throw Back Thursday President, Brandon Hanson led us through the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do and rang the dismissal bell!
Regular Meeting - March 3, 2022
imageToday our meeting was led by President Tove Lichty who was excited for our board of directors election today!

Attending: Dirk Barrett, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Brandon Hanson, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Tove Lichty, Janet McCarty, John Osterman, Nicole Rasmussen, Beth Richards, Debbi Rydberg, honorary Dave Anderson, Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell, Bruce Tyler and Stewart Wilson

Guest:  Maddie, who is a physician assistant in Rogers, is also helping out Open Doors for Youth here in Elk River.  Maddie and others, have put together a new non-profit health services business to offer to the folks at Open Doors for Youth.  She is currently the only provider and is will be there on Tuesdays for scheduled appointments or walk in clients.  She will meet with the youth where they are at physically to determine their health care needs.  They will expand as they go.  This is a free service for youth.  If she cannot help, she will refer the youth to someone.  They are working with Goodrich Pharmacy and Kemper Drug for assistance with medicine needs.  Most of the youth are 18 years old plus, so there should not be an issue.  If the youth is under 18 years old, a parental assistance may be needed.

Dirk Barrett was our program and gave us information for the Taste of Elk River 2022!  It will be held Thursday, May 19th from 5 to 9 pm at the Sherburne County Fair Grounds.  He has packets for Sponsorships and please watch your email for a Sponsorship Packet coming your way from Bob Maxwell.  Bonnie Koste is leading the Sponsorship team, but all hands are needed to gather sponsors.  The goal this year is to have $30,000 in sponsorships.  If each person could pull in $1000 in sponsorships, we would have it!  Dirk shared that John Houlton with First Bank Elk River is committed to a $5,000 sponsorship and says it is the best money spent for promotion!  They are having a Mediterranean wine theme in the VIP tent this year!  Sponsorship cut off date is March 18th.  Ticket sales will launch on April 7th.  Cal Portner has agreed to be the commissioner again for 2022 and Brandon Hanson, past “drug czar” will continue on in this position, but with a new title - drug lord!  In 2022, the wall of wine will not be held, however, each rotarian is requested to donate $20 to John Osterman.  These funds will be used to purchase the booze for the barrel of booze.  John collected from a few rotarians right away and is keeping a list.  Again this year we will have the silent auction.  There is talk of music, maybe food trucks?  Dirk is open to all ideas to raise funds.  Brandon Hanson is handling the food vendors again this year and John Osterman is handling the beverage vendors.  There is a meeting today, following our regular meeting.


On behalf of Janet McCarty, Debbi Rydberg gave us an update on upcoming service projects.  Contact Janet to sign up or get your name on the list at the front table.  The upcoming events are:  Friday, March 18th from 11 am to 1 pm to assist with some update projects at Open Doors for Youth.  Saturday, April 9th starting at 9 am, Ruff Start Rescue is asking for some assistance at their center.
President Tove Lichty was excited to update us on our campaign for the District Share the Love fund raiser.  Our club, so far, has raised $1,250!  The campaign has been extended through March so if you didn’t get in on the fun, there is still time!  Go to and find the donate button in the upper right hand corner.
President Tove let us know that she will be on vacation next week and we will have a throw back Thursday leader as Brandon Hanson plays president for the day!  Be sure to come and join in the fun!  There is talk that a fine master may be present!
- The donations committee met and Debbi Rydberg gave us an update. There were some funds left from the first run and the committee received new requests and donated the following:  $300 to the Boy Scout breakfast coming up in April; $100 to Spectrum High School Graduation Party; $250 to Elk River High School Graduation Party; $100 to Ivan Sand High School; $100 to Zimmerman High School Graduation Party; $300 to the CAER Fool Run fundraiser; $500 to Cambridge/Isanti Rotary for participation in an international project in the Ukraine.
Board of Directors vote is today and for the first time, probably ever, there will be a campaign for President Elect 2023/24 by Debbi Rydberg and Heather Kliewer as both are interested in the position.  One will receive the position and the other will be on the board of directors as a member at large and could be President Elect 2024/25.  Debbi went first and told of the reasons why we should vote for her, followed by Heather who had the same opportunity.  Ballots were passed out and at the end of the meeting, treasurer Neil Gagnon, who tallied the votes, informed us that we have a winner, by only one vote!  Our President Elect 2023/24 will be Debbi Rydberg!  Congratulations Debbi!

imageCard game - a 9 of clubs was pulled and there was not a winner.

Happy Bucks
Nicole Rasmussen started us off with a happy buck for a fun trip to Vegas where she completed a half marathon.  She is very sore, but the weather was great!  She also had a happy buck to be going to Baxter to visit her mom this weekend!
Bruce “Buck” Tyler had a happy buck and a story!  Yesterday, their clothes dryer quit in the middle of a load with another load to go.  Off they went to the store and $1500 later, they have a new dryer!
Brandon Hanson was happy that over 20 years ago, he coached hockey and now, he is coaching the team his son is on and they are District 10 Champions!
- Julie Fish was happy that the Monticello Moose high school hockey team is going to the State Tournament!  Bob Maxwell shared the story about the name Moose!
Dirk Barrett had a happy buck which was a sad buck as he shared his loss of two people in his life.  His wife’s uncle Wayne Eull and an old friend Doug Anderson.  Our sympathies to you Dirk!
John Osterman was happy to tell us that he is going to announce at the Elk River Girls Basketball game tonight!
Tove Lichty was $20 happy to go on vacation tomorrow!  Heading to San Francisco, Napa, Tahoe and is looking forward to breathing fresh air.  She was also happy because their contractor is going to be doing some work in their home while they’re gone!

Together we recited the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do and Tove rang the dismissal bell!