Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.



12:05 PM - 1:05 PM


19141 Freeport Street

Elk River, MN 55330

General Business, updates and great guest speakers.

Our Club Motto:

Serving Humanity 
Strengthening Youth 
Enhancing Lives


April 26 - Lori Severson - Jeannine Thompson - Heartland Girls Ranch 
May 3 - Dan Weber - Peter Gravett - Anoka Tech Foundation
May 10 - Alan Sakry- TBD
May 24 - Bruce Tyler 
May 31 - Robin Skinner
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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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April 19, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Attendance:     active status - 20 present, 15 absent
                        honorary status - 3 present, 5 absent
                        total membership at 43 members

Today was a Club Assembly day.  Molly Hanson, club president, led our meeting and shared a solid prayer with us!
-Lori Severson reminded all of us that tonight, we have a social hour from 5 to 7 at Mississippi Grill, in the Holiday Inn in Otsego.  Molly asked for a show of hands and it was quite light, like only three!  Hopefully, more are coming.  She will report in next week.

- We did not sing a birthday song this week, but Molly reminded Terry Bizal of his wedding anniversary . . . he had forgotten and quickly sent a text to his wife!

Image result for playing cards- Molly had Lynn Caswell draw a card and the 8 of clubs was pulled - no winner!

Happy Bucks:

- Tove Lichty was happy that this weekend, her sister, brother-in-law and niece are coming to visit them in their new home!  They will be their first visitors!
- Bruce Tyler was happy that he survived the 16 inning Twins baseball game that turned out victorious!
- Al Sakry was happy that next week, his daughter, Jordan will be coming home from college for the summer!
- Nicole Rasmussen was a few bucks happy and shared that she was happy to have attended the victorious Wild game on Sunday and survived the treacherous ride home.  She had a good luck buck because this Saturday, she is running the Earth Day Half Marathon in St. Cloud and finally, she was happy to have attended an awesome meeting with classmates to plan their 25th High School Reunion!
- Julie Fish was happy to give a good luck buck for Nicole Rasmussen’s half marathon event!
- Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba had a sad buck as she told of the passing of her dog.
- Debbi Rydberg had a happy buck because her sweet husband, Rob, drove her to an appointment in Annandale on Saturday, during the bad weather!
- Lynn Caswell had a buck, thinking about Nicole’s comment “now that we’re all grown  up”!

The program today was a Club Assembly/Taste of Elk River meeting.  We started off with Bruce Buck Tyler
leading us in a ticket sales update.  We heard from three of the four managers.  They all told us tales of sales!  We also heard some wise words from the Drug Czar, Brandon Hunk Hanson!  Stay alert . . .
The meeting was turned over to Tricia Downey and she led us in a discussion about the Taste of Elk River, coming up Thursday, May 17th!  She passed around the clipboard containing the sign up sheets for the day of the event.  Please be sure to sign yourself up before someone signs you up!  She told us what is expected from us that day.
1.      Come for set up - 2 to 5 pm
2.      Stay for clean up - 9 to 10 pm
3.      Sign up for a minimum of one, 2 hour shifts
4.      Dress Attire - white dress shirt, vest, black slacks, black shoes, name tag (If you need a name tag, contact Julie Fish. She will “hook” you up!)
Tricia shared that if we do a minimum of a 2 hour shift + wear your vest + give $20 to wall of wine = free entrance to the Taste of Elk River ($30 value).  You will still have to purchase the $15 Private Tasting area ticket if you would like to go there.   Tricia passed around another sign up sheet.  This was to sign up to attend a neighboring town Rotary Club and sell tickets, leave posters, and talk it up!  Next Tricia read off a bunch of our upcoming beverage vendors and turned it over to Brandon Hanson to read off the list of our current food vendors!  Wow!  What a list!  The list was given to Bob Maxwell, so be sure to check out our web page for all of the information!  Also, if you are a Facebook person, please go find and “like”” our Taste of Elk River and our Elk River Rotary Facebook pages.  Tricia is posting  a lot of information and she asked us to like and share the information.  Tricia went on to talk about the Health Department.  Last year they came an inspected.  This year, we have a new representative and Tricia is told that she will be coming this year - she heard it was fun!  We added hand wash stations last year and the new person is asking for many more.  We are allowed to make our own stations, rather than rent them for $95 each.  Tricia explained the process needed.  She asked us to collect pails and coffee makers for this project.  Contact her if you have either.    Next subject for discussion was entertainment.  We have had numerous things in our past and nothing was very successful.  Dirk Barrett told us that he has a PA system and is willing to put together some music to play during it.  If it doesn’t work out, we can shut it off.  Everyone thought that was a great idea and a group vote/consensus was YES and Thank You to Dirk for taking this on.  He asked if any of us have any music requests, to please let him know and he will see about getting them on the list.   Tove Lichty and Neil Gagnon are handling the Silent Auction and Tove asked each of us to donate or find someone to donate one auction item.  This would give us a wide array of auction items.  It is Tove and Neil’s goal to raise a minimum of $3,000. 

Molly led us in the 4 Way Test and rang the bell!
April 12, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Attendance was Fabulous again! active status - 25 present, 10 absent
honorary status - 4 present, 4 absent
total membership at 43 members
- We sang a couple of happy birthday songs to Curt Hinkle and to Molly Hanson. 
- Lori Severson reminded us that next week, Thursday, April 19 from 5 to 7, a social hour will be held at the Mississippi Grill which is located in the Holiday Inn in Otsego.
- Lynn Caswell informed us of an event this weekend, sponsored by the Rogers Rotary.  They are having a concert on Sunday, April 15 from 7 to 9 at the Rogers High School theatre.  The featured musical group will be Monroe Crossing.
- Taste of Elk River team updates were given!  Bruce Buck Tyler led us with some baseball stories and managers present, Terry Bizal and John Osterman, filled our ears with who ha, which is typical of baseball talk!  Drug Czar Brandon Hanson also made an appearance!
Image result for playing cards- Card drawn was the five of spades - no winner!
Happy Bucks:
- Lori Severson was happy for the Elk River Pee Wee hockey student that she saw on tv and she is also happy every day because there are no more train horns!
- Barry Hohlen was happy that the Sharks play tonight and was happy to see that Rotarian Brandon Hanson was selected as Volunteer of the Month through the City of Elk River!
- Dirk Barrett was $2 happy for Brandon also!
- Julie Fish was $1 happy for Brandon!
- Bonnie Koste, Glen Ertel, Robin Skinner, Amanda Othoudt and a bunch of others were also happy for Brandon!
- Tricia Downey was happy for the Timberwolves going to the playoffs for the first time in 13 years!
- Bob Maxwell was happy to say that he was suspicious that we are buying off Drug Czar Brandon Hanson!
- Lynn Caswell was happy to not be a hockey fan!
- Bruce Tyler was happy to get his taxes done.  The good news is that he is done two days early!
Student of the Month:
- Our student of the month, this round, was a student from Spectrum High School.  Mark Leland from Spectrum, introduced us to a senior student, Beth Davis.  Her parents are Tim and Audrey Davis.  Beth is thinking about going into elementary education and master in special education.  She loves anything out doors - walks, kayaking, dancing, singing, and theatre.  She is involved in all of those and is also a member of NHS and keeps very active with that.  Her hero is her mom because she is really a giving person.  Mom has a job, homeschools a daughter, active in church, makes dinner and keeps the house clean, all selflessly and cheerfully and Beth would like to be like her one day!  How sweet! 
Our program today was arranged by Debbi Rydberg.  Debbi is in Rotary because she is addicted to volunteering and giving back to her community.  She counts each of us as her friend!  Debbi introduced us to Sharon Sandberg who is founder and president of Flight Expo Inc, a non-profit. Sharon grew up in New Hope/Crystal, MN.  Her interest in aviation stems from her father, John Sandberg, who had one of the leading aircraft engine overhaul companies (JRS Engines) located in Plymouth, MN.  Sharon started flying at the age of 14, soloed an aircraft at the age of 16.  She currently holds a private pilot’s license with an instrument rating.  Currently, she is working on her Commercial Flight Instructor.  Over the last 20 years, she has owned and operated All Star Warbirds Custom Embroidery that was built from the ground up, focusing in the aviation industry.  The company’s products are marketed widely through various vehicles such as AirVenture (in Oshkosh, WI) the largest Aviation Airshow in the world, various aviation museums and aviation organizations.  All Star Warbirds continues to support the aviation community.  Sharon was one of the founding members of Flight Expo, Inc. that has a mission of promoting aviation through education and preservation.  With a passion and love for aviation, Sharon was one of the prime movers to start Flight Expo’s Build A Plane program, located in Princeton, MN.  Build A Plane is in its fourth year.  The program started with six youth, four years ago and has increased to 15 youth and a waiting list!  Flight Expo has youth from Princeton, Cambridge, St. Michael, Zimmerman, Milaca, Becker, Big Lake, Rogers and Elk River.  Flight Expo’s Build A Plan program encourages hands on STEM, mechanical and safety skills.  The youth in the program gain credit by logging time and doing the various mechanical tasks that can be credited towards the time needed to gain their FAA Certified Aircraft and Powerplant license.   2017 Flight Expo sold one of the aircrafts that the youth finished in the Build A Plane program and purchased a Cessna 150 primary trainer aircraft.  This aircraft is available to the youth in the Build A Plan program for instruction at a reduced rate.  Once a year, Flight Expo also conducts a Private Pilot ground course, needed for the Private Pilots license. The participants hope to use the learned skills in future jobs.  A group of students jumped into Lake Orono this winter during the Elk River Chamber of Commerce Shiver event and they raised $1200 to go towards building their dream building in Princeton.  They accept volunteers, business sponsors, web designers, electricians, plumbers, attorneys, aviation, engineers, bookkeepers and also in-kind or monetary donations.  Their wish list is quite long!  Sharon may be contacted at or 763-568-3360.
Molly Hanson thanked our guest speaker and together we recited the 4-Way Test!
April 5, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Attendance was FABULOUS!
active status - 27 present, 8 absent
honorary status - 5 present, 3 absent
total membership at 43 members
Our meeting started with John Osterman leading us in our song to our American flag, followed by a prayer by Bruce Buck Tyler, followed by a round of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, in honor of MN Twins home opener and our Taste of Elk River team kick off for ticket sales!   President Molly Hanson led our meeting today.
Guests: Jim Acres, came to give us an update on the local boy scouts.
He thanked us for our hospitality and great singing!  He told us about the upcoming
Boy Scout Breakfast, Thursday, April 26 at 7 a.m. at the Elk River American Legion
This is their 15th annual breakfast.  Last year was attended by about 96 people and they raised over $9,000!
New in scouting . . . girls!  Girls are allowed to be in scouting at the pack level.  In 2019, they will be included at the Troop level.
Molly presented Jim with a donation check of $300.00
Cindy Shubert, Sherburne County Abstract & Title employee, guest of Linda Christian
Mackenzie, granddaughter and guest of of Bob Maxwell
We sang the cheap, horrible, crusty, the worst ever version of Happy Birthday to honorary member, Dave Anderson!  That’s what you get for the $5 song!
Happy Bucks:
- Robin Skinner went first with $5 for her luck in winning a couple of brackets through the NCAA!  She is $650 richer because of it!  That $5 donation, quickly turned into a $20!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy to have spent a happy birthday Easter with her grandsons!
- Neil Gagnon was happy that we entertain him and paid an additional dollar because his telephone rang during our meeting last week!  Way to follow the 4 Way Test, Neil!
- Julie Fish was happy to announce that her dad, Bill Fish, is going to be a guest on the Honor Flight this coming Saturday and will be traveling in one day, to Washington DC and will visit all of the memorials, be fed all meals and will fly back that same night, all in thanks for his service to our country!
- Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba had a happy $5!  Yesterday she received her hearing aids and has turned down her tv volume from 70 to 35!  She doesn’t have background noise and thinks we are too loud!  She paid $1 to Pete Reiner, who lent her $1 last week.  Pete, of course, donated that $1 to Rotary also!
- Pete Reiner had a couple of Fines from the Floor.  First one was a question to Leon Barthel about what an average contribution to a winning is.  His reply was 10%.  Pete then harassed Robin Skinner for only giving about 3% ($20) to Rotary!   His next fine was to Troy Adams who thought that the Honor Flight had to do with beer consumption!
- Glen Ertel was happy to share an airline experience he and his family had on a recent trip to Mexico.  On the flight home, Glen and his wife, Jeanette, were picked out and given First Class seats, in honor of their 60th wedding anniversary!
- Dr. Dave Anderson was happy to have had a vacation last week when he and his wife and two youngest, went to Arizona!
- Nicole Rasmussen had a stay cation last week, due to having strep throat.  She is happy to be on the mend and had a few extra relaxing days with her daughter!
- Linda Christian gave $5 as she was very happy to announce that her brother’s heart surgery went beautifully and he is on the mend!
- Terry Bizal was happy to announce that his daughter has received the 2018 Athena Award!
- Tricia Downey was happy to have had a vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico with her family.  She experienced the Georgia O’Keefe ranch and went to a glass blowing studio!
Image result for playing cardsCard Game:  Winner, with a 3 of spades was . . .  Julie Fish!  She won $21 and the Rotary Foundation thanks you for the other $21!
Honorary member, Dave (Swede) Anderson reminded everyone that hasn’t turned in their $20 to the Wall of Wine to do so ASAP!
Our program today was arranged by Bruce Buck Tyler.  He led us in our kick off event for the Taste of Elk River ticket sales.  As in the past, we have a baseball theme and four team managers gathered last week to do their team drafting.  Today, the big announcements will be made as to who is on each team!   Here are the teams:
Fighting Burbot: Team Manager John (The  Big O) Osterman and his players: Lynn (Cracker) Caswell, Molly (Hollywood) Hanson, Brandon (Hunk) Hanson, Alan (DaBomb) Sakry, Marilyn (Monroe) VanPatten-Chuba, Dan (Grill Master) Weber, David (DJ) Bakken, Corey (What’s the Story?) Wemple, Mark (On Your) Leland, David (The Plunger) Vinge, Dr. (Famous) Dave Anderson
Polanco’s Ped’s & Needles:  Team Manager Cal (Silent) Portner and his players:   Bonnie (The Boss) Koste, Pete (Nothing Could Be Finer) Reiner, Leon (Long Gone) Barthel, Patty (Catty) Carbajal, Lori (Wine Diva) Severson, Amanda (No Outs) Othoudt, Dave (Swede) Anderson, Glen (The Turtle) Ertel, Mary (Little Lamb) Eberley, Tony (The Tiber) Mikols, Dan (Dunk) DeBryun
Coco Crispers: Team Manager Nicole (Coco) Rasmussen and her players: Becky (I Got the Money) Wiehoff, Tricia (Goose) Downey, Jim (Bubba) Babcock, Julie (Cat) Fish, Tove (Lucky) Lichty, Curt (Tinkle) Hinkle, Linda (Kirby) Christian, Cathy (No Money) McManus, Annie (Upper) Deckert, Josh (Oh My Gosh) Anderson, Margie (Big Mac) MacLachalan
Oops I Did It Again: Team Manager Terry (Vinegar Bend) Bizal and his team players: Bob (House) Maxwell, Dan (Dandy) Dixon, Dirk (Yogi) Barret, Robin (Mule) Skinner, Troy (Sweet Water) Adams, Debbi (Diamone In the Rough) Rydberg, Greg (Dutch) Heinecke, Neil (Big White) Gagnon, Barry (How-Do) Hohlen, Don (Sparky) Horvath, Rob (Rock) Rydberg
Our Drug Czar again for the 4th year in a row is Brandon (Hunk) Hanson!  He said he has a number of worries this year and we still have to giant wall!  He called out Tricia (Goose) Downey for glass blowing, too close to Mexico.  Dan (Dandy) Dixon was warned that he is being watched and Cal (Silent) Portner was told that everyone on his team is suspect!  Brandon said that his job is easier this year but has one complication . . . we now have a good doctor in the club!
Bruce Buck Tyler finished the draft with the secret of baseball . . . run fast, turn left!
It was a crazy meeting and fun was had by ALL!
March 29, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Attendance:     active status - 20 present, 15 absent
                        honorary status - 4 present, 4 absent
                        total membership at 43 members

Today we were led by president Molly Hanson.

We had a couple of visiting Rotarians, Chuck Larson  and Tracy Pierce.   Tracy had a guest with her, Ellen Ward, who spoke to us about Eagles Healing Nest.  It is a shelter for veterans.  She would be a great program!  (hint, hint)!   We had many guests!  Paul Novotny, Ben Krall, Gary-a friend of the speaker’s and a long lost, past Rotarian Stewart Wilson, graced us with his presence today!   Word on the street is that Stewart is interested in rejoining as an honorary member!!  Please encourage him if you see him!
Sara, our inbound youth exchange student from Denmark, was with us today. She came to deliver the box of cookie dough that everyone ordered from her to help her with her fund raiser for track.
A fabulous birthday song was sung to Julie Fish!  She picked the two five version as that is her new age!
Image result for playing cardsThe card pulled was a 2 of clubs and there was not a winner!

Taste of Elk River:
- Julie Fish shared a list of the sponsors with everyone and sent around the name tag sign up sheet.
- Dave Anderson announced that he is collecting $20 from each member to purchase the wine for the Wall of Wine at the Taste of Elk River.  If you have not turned in your $20 yet, please get that turned in to Dave.  It is almost time to go shopping!
- The team managers did their draft today.  Next week will be team announcements!

Happy Bucks:

- Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba is happy to announce that she has hearing aides coming!
- Neil Gagnon was happy to announce that he may need hearing aides as he is going to a Sammy Hagar concert!
- Dan Weber was happy for the Twins opening day and paid an extra dollar because Nicole was sporting a Twins shirt!
- Nicole Rasmussen was $5 super happy!  She was happy for the sunshine today, and for her daughter’s last weekend of volleyball and that they did an amazing job with Erika Kelly as their coach.
- Bob Maxwell was happy for a new era with new Gopher hockey coach!
- Patty Carbajal was happy to announce that her house has a new official American as her husband has completed his citizenship!
- Brandon Hanson was happy to be told he is the drug czar again this year for the Taste of Elk River!
- Bill Haring gave a happy $5 for a few missed weeks for a great trip!

Our program was arranged by Pete Reiner.  Pete was introduced to Rotary at a young age, by his father, who was also a Rotarian in Sioux Falls, SD.  Pete has been a member at Devils Lake, Marshall and now Elk River.  He has been an Elk River Rotarian for 18 years and was brought to us by past Rotarian, Mel Beaudry.  He enjoys the people and the projects.   Pete introduced us to his friend Yazdan Bakhsh.   Yazdan came to share the story about his life journey.  He was born into one of the most persecuted ethnic cultures in Afghanistan, The Hazara.  He shared a map of Afghanistan and showed us the location  It is a high mountain region located in the middle of the country.   During the summer, they worked hard to prepare for harsh winters.  Winters can be long.  He shared photos with us of workers, homes and holy places. He told about Kuchi who are allowed to have guns and they go to Hazara and cause trouble and destroy things. They are very bad people.  This activity still takes place today. He shared a photo of the devastated village from 2012. When Yazdan was 15 years old, he left Afghanistan and traveled many middle eastern countries.  Only Lebanon let him stay and work.  His goal at that time was to get to Iran, but he couldn’t stay there.  He had no passport.  In Lebanon, he worked at an antique store and his job was to attract tourists by standing on a camel!   In 1975, the Lebanon Civil War began and he found himself in the middle with an American family.  Mr and Mrs Simkins were his American parents.  Mr Simkins was a professor for the U of M.  Yazdan guarded the family villa with a double barrel shotgun and slugs.  He came to the US with a student visa.  Afghanistan cancelled his passport while he was in the US and his American father had to go to the embassy in Washington to renew Yazdan’s passport.  Within a decade, Yazdan received his citizenship.  Of Mr. Simkins, Yazdan said “I owe him my life” and teared up, as he has lost him recently.  Yazdan has written a book, “You’ll Be My Son, Joe”  A story of Courage & Circumstance.  He has books with him and a portion of each book sale goes to his foundation.   Molly thanked him and presented him with a guest speaker certificate.

Molly announced that Robin Skinner has scholarship applications for ERHS and if anyone is interested in staying after to review and select, please do so.
March 22, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Attendance:     active status 18 present, 17 absent
                        honorary status 5 present, 3 absent
                        total membership at 43 members

John Osterman led us in song and also led us in a solid prayer, according to Pete Reiner!  President Molly Hanson led our meeting.

Taste of Elk River:
- Tricia Downey
, chair, introduced us to her newest marking idea for the Taste and showed off a couple of new signs.  One for Sponsorships and one for vendors to have to display that they are a proud sponsor or
participant.   Elk River Liquors is going to have signs on products in their stores that will be available for sampling at the Taste.  A sign up sheet was sent around for folks to order a name tag.  This sign up sheet will go around for a few weeks so if you need a tag, be sure to get your name/info on the sheet.   Buck Tyler let us know that next week 3/29, is the official team draft and the managers will gather at Pizza Ranch at 11 a.m. to take care of business.  Team announcements and ticket hand out will be on 4/5.  Presale tickets are key to the success of our #1 fundraiser!   Dave Anderson, wall of wine chair, announced that he is collecting $20 from each member to go purchase the wine.  Please get your money turned in to Dave ASAP!

Happy Bucks:    (lots of happy people today!)
- John Osterman started off with a fine from the floor.  He assessed Brandon “Hunk” Hanson $1 for wearing his
baseball cap during the meeting!
- Marilyn Van Patten-Chuba was happy that her daughter that lives in California was here for a two week visit.  Her daughter has a lot of energy and cleaned her lower level of her house, including drawers!  Marilyn also shared about a dream she had with John Osterman singing!  Her final happy buck was for a photo of Lynn Caswell that she saw from many years ago.
- Julie Fish was $5 happy for the safe return of her parents from wintering in Texas, being able to fix her lazy susan, getting her fridge repaired, Tricia Downey as Taste chair and Buck as ticket master!
- John Osterman had a $5 also because he’s had a busy week!  His daughter from California moved home and closed on their house in Rogers and John and his wife, Lynn have sold their home in Elk River!
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy for volleyball, volleyball, volleyball!
- Leon Barthel had a $1 that John Osterman did not charge his daughter his real estate fees!
- Pete Reiner is happy for his speaker next week!  He has an amazing and inspirational life story!
- Bonnie Koste had a sad, then happy buck as her son has decided to not play traveling baseball and that made her sad, but he is going to play lacrosse and that makes her happy!
- Glen Ertel was back from Texas!  He shared an experience he had over the winter in Texas!  Lol!!!
- Troy Adams was happy to share his theory - life is short, buy the concert tickets!  His wife, Sara, bought tickets to a Gretta VanFleet concert in July at the Armory!
- Tricia Downey was happy to end the volleyball chapter in her life for a while with 9 volleyball players in Indianapolis for the weekend where they won the last game of the tourney and took the whole thing!
- Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba had another happy buck - her children had a conference with her and she got hearing aides.
- Brandon Hanson was happy (and proud) to tell us that his oldest daughter, Alyssa, has landed a job in New York in the fashion industry!  Way to go Alyssa!
- Molly Hanson was happy to let us know that her oldest daughter has been accepted to grad school at St. Kate’s!

Image result for playing cardsCard drawn was a king of hearts and Nicole Rasmussen won half the pot.  The Rotary Foundation thanks us for the other half!

Program: John Osterman organized our program and when asked why he stays in Rotary, his response was because he loves us!  And we love him!   He introduced us to Chris McArdle with the Salvation Army.  Chris is a 2005 graduate of Anoka High School.  He is also a past employee of the Elk River Cinema!  He grew up on Bowers Drive in Ramsey.  He has worked with the Salvation Army for a year, but a couple of months ago, was promoted to headquarters!  This is his fifth rotary meeting in two months!  He is from Iowa and has a past career of disc jockey!   Chris thanked us for having him and told us that he loves our joy and laughter in the room!  He is 3-1/2 year sober from alcohol.  After treatment, he decided he wants to help others and went to the Salvation Army seeking employment.  In 1865, the Salvation Army was founded in England by a man named William Booth who wanted to help out those people on the streets.  Chris shared the Salvation Army mission statement with us.  It is an international organization and is in more than 120 countries.  It came to the twin cities in 1886.  There are many centers, service centers and thrift stores.  Their slogan from back in the day was Soup, Soap, Salvation!  They offer meal programs and food for the food shelves, clothing, food stamp application assistance, rental assistance, senior housing and have the largest shelter in the state, offering over 100 beds for sheltering the homeless.  They have youth services and offer after school programs, teen drop in centers, music and the Northwoods camp. Salvation Army offers rehab services to adults and have a Harbor Light Center.  They also have a prison ministry with corrections departments.  They help them with resumes and jobs.  They help with disaster services, assisting with food, help and spiritual needs of people trying to heal.  Chris spoke about the bell ringers next.  An average bell ringer brings in $30 to $60 per hour.  John Osterman and a group of his friends, sing at the kettle and the money piles up!  Chris told us how that money is spent and gave statistics on things like what $10 buys, $15 buys, etc. He encourages us to ring the bell at Cub, Coborns, etc.  He can be contacted at 651-746-3424 or

Molly thanked Chris and had us recite the 4 Way Test together.
March 15, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Attendance: active status - 17 present, 18 absent
honorary status - 3 present, 5 absent
total membership at 43 members
Visitors: lots of visitors today!
Sara Henningsen, youth exchange student from Denmark, guest of Dan Dixon
Dan told us that Sara has a limp now, as she has joined the track team!
She had a fundraiser that went around the room to help raise funds for track.
Aaron Othoudt, husband and guest of Rotarian Amanda Othoudt
Mckenzie and Rennick, grandkids and guests of Rotarian Bob Maxwell
Nick, Kaylie and Alyssa, children and guests of Rotarian Brandon Hanson
President Molly Hanson reminded Lynn Caswell of his upcoming wedding anniversary.  Lynn reports in that it is their 42nd anniversary!
Taste of Elk River -
- Bruce “Buck” Tyler reports in that he is ramping up the baseball theme ticket sales!  He reports in that we have 6 new members and that he has emailed them re: their nickname desires and how this whole thing works.   He is losing two managers - Corey Wemple is no longer a Rotarian and Dan Dixon is retiring from managing.  Terry Bizal and Nicole Rasmussen have stepped up to be managers!  The draft will be held in a couple of weeks!  Stay tuned!
- Brandon Hanson spoke on behalf of the Food Committee.  He has packets for his committee so if you are on it, or know of a food establishment that you think should be included, please get a packet or two from Brandon!
- Tricia Downey, Chair of the 2018 Taste of Elk River, reports that she has met with the new Sherburne County Fair representative and she seems easy to work with.  Tricia asked the group if anyone knows how we use the clear pitchers that are in our storage spot. We have not used them for a couple of years and will continue to not use them!  HELP WANTED!!  Debbie Rydberg is leaving her post of front end manager and we are in need of a new chair for that task.  Please let Tricia know if you are interested.   Next was the need for an Ice Man and she found one in Barry Hohlen!  Thanks Barry!
- Julie Fish is handling name tags for the Taste of Elk River.  A sign up sheet will go around next week.
- Wall of Wine - Each Rotarian is responsible to pay $20 to Dave Anderson who handles the Wall of Wine for the Taste of Elk River.  Each Rotarian pays $20 and Dave and John Osterman go to Elk River Liquors during the wine sale and they purchase the wine for the Wall of Wine. If you have favorites that you think they should purchase, please let Dave know.   Dave reports that he has collected $20 from 19 out of 43 members.  PLEASE GET YOUR $20 TO DAVE ANDERSON BY MARCH 29TH.   Thank you!
- Sponsorships were reported by Amanda Othoudt and she told us we have gotten more sponsorships.  Packets are due today, so please get your packet and money turned in to her so we can print tickets, flyers, posters, etc. and start promoting the fun!
Image result for playing cardsA four of hearts was drawn - no winner!
Happy Bucks:
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy to have a healthy child this week.  She was sick all week last week and it took a few visits to the doctor before they found out she had influenza!   This week, she is back to volleyball!
- Linda Christian had a happy buck for the singing birdies!
- Our speaker, Dave, had a happy buck because he is happy to be here!
Student of the Month:
Terry Bizal did another outstanding job, presenting us with our March Student of the Month!  He introduced us to Brad Nelson.  Brad introduced us to his parents, Trish and Jeff Nelson.  Terry inquired on a few things from a questionnaire that Brad filled out.  Brad participates in NHS and Football.  His proudest accomplishment is creating a group he can be with through his high school career.  His favorite class is math because he can comprehend it well and he excels in the class!  Future plans - go to college and get a degree in some kind of engineering.  Hobbies and personal interests are football, hanging out with friends and fantasy sports. His most memorable moment thus far, has been the playoff football game in Buffalo where they were playing in 3-4 inches of snow!  He demonstrates leadership by being positive and finding compromises. His approach to academics to achieve success is that he does his best and sets his own standards that he strives to achieve.  He volunteers at Parker Elementary, helping out with the chess and science clubs.  He feels that he won this award because he is a good student who helps others become better in school. This award means that his every day actions are recognized and that he is positively affecting his community!   Several comments made by his teachers regarding his selection:  “Bradley is an asset to my Pre-Calc class.  He is willing to answer questions during notes and he works well in his group explaining concepts to his partners.  It is apparent that Bradley wants to succeed in school.”  “Brad is a wonderful student who puts in great effort in this APUSH class.  He has shown great balance this school year and continues to improve on his academic writing and reading comprehension skills, which is allowing him to do very well in class.  Brad has continued to be a model student here at ERHS.”  “Bradley would be an excellent rotary student of the month.  He is an outstanding student that always strives for perfection.  He is a natural leader.”   “Bradley is one of the top students in AP Chemistry.  He’s consistently one of the top scores on exams.  He understands difficult concepts quickly and efficiently.”    Rotarian and teacher, Barry Hohlen spoke up and said that he knows Brad Nelson and Brad is genuine, humble, sincere and kind every day!
Amanda Othoudt arranged our program today.  She enjoys rotary because our group is super fun!  She joined three years ago to get to know people.  She likes the motto - Service Above Self - and this is part of her being.  She is part of many other groups, but we are the most fun!  She introduced us to Dave and Susie Weigel who represent Running for Justice.  They are a 501 3(c) organization.  They educate and create awareness for sex trafficking.  It is a non-religious organization and they want to get the message out to suburbia that sex trafficking is here today!  It is everywhere.  They started their non-profit after a mission trip visit to Cambodia and Vietnam.  Susie came back to the US and wondered why she went in the first place.  She came back and started sharing a DVD that changed her heart about prostitution and how they are tricked, manipulated, controlled and not living how they’d like to be.   They also met another couple that wanted to create homes in Thailand to help students that were pulled into sex trafficking.  Early in 2013, Susie started a 5k fundraiser, here in Elk River.  It takes place in August each year and at the end, there is a speaker on some aspect of sex trafficking.  Again, to build awareness!   Funds raised go to their friends to assist with their homes in Thailand.  As she was nearing her 65th birthday, Dave tells us that Susie has also started a bike-a-thon from Duluth to Elk River in May.   14 participated in the bike-a-thon and it ended in Elk River at Living Waters Church with a speaker to build awareness and educate.   Susie and Dave speak to schools, church youth groups and they caution youth to not get trapped.  If they can influence one child’s life, they have achieved their goal.  Dave shared a story about a man who portrayed himself as a woman through social media to a group of young male athletes.  The perpetrator would extortion the kids and one of them committed suicide because of it.  They were threatened by the manipulator that this person would share inappropriate photos on social media.  This man was caught and received 38 years of prison.  He harmed 155 young male lives.  Pornography is the gateway to trafficking.  This project is Susie’s passion and Dave went along, kicking and screaming.  He has seen many things happen and they have taken in a few people into their homes and has witnessed it first hand.  Prevention starts by education to third graders. They believe that they should start young to keep them safe.  The manipulators are cruel.   They had brochures up front to share with us and if you would like, they will provide you with a brochure rack in your business, for free, to help promote this great cause.    President Elect Robin Skinner, recently attended Rotary PETS training and reported that Rotary’s next large project is going to be working with the abolishment of sex trafficking, world wide!  Go Rotary!
We recited the four way test and were on our merry way.
Attendance: active status - 23 present and 12 absent
honorary status - 4 present and 4 absent
We had a couple of special guests today!
Honorary Rotarian, Keith Hempel and his wife, Colleen were with us today!  It is Keith’s 80th birthday on Saturday so we sang a big happy birthday song to him!   
We also had Michael Boho as a visitor.  Michael lives in Otsego and was here today to check out our group and possibly join!  He grew up in Chicago and runs a risk management company.  He is a Marine corp veteran, is married and has a son who is currently in China for college.  Michael looks forward to learning about us!
President Molly Hanson noted that it was good to see a couple of Rotarians that have been missing for a bit - welcome Tony Mikols and Dan Dixon!
Dan Dixon brought our inbound youth exchange student, Sara Henningsen from Denmark, to our meeting today.  Sara is here until June, then will head out for the east coast trip with other exchange students.  She will return to Minnesota to celebrate the 4th of July and will head home to Denmark on July 8th.  She has enjoyed her stay in Minnesota and is staying with her second host family, the Merklings, for the third term and she is very happy about that!  She will be speaking at the District Conference about the highlights and good things she has gained with this experience.
STRIVE  will be held next week on Tuesday at ERHS.  Bruce “Buck” Tyler, will be the presenter with the subject of human resources!
Taste of Elk River:
- Amanda Othoudt, Sponsorship Chair, announced that the sponsorships are slowly trickling in.  Please reach out to your contacts and bring us a sponsor!
- Tricia Downey, Taste Chair, gave an update.  She has met with the food vendor team and they will be reaching out to restaurants to invite them to join in on the fun of the Taste of Elk River!  She also met with John Osterman, beverage vendor lead, and with Joe Audette who is the new Elk River Liquor Stores manager.  Tricia made a request.  If we email her for something about the Taste, please put Taste of Elk River in the subject line to help her keep organized.  More to come next week . . .  we are 10 weeks away from the event, May 17th! 
Happy Bucks:
- Lynn Caswell was happy to tell us that his son-in-law has a new job and may be moving out!
- Tricia Downey was happy because she took her daughter, Ginger to a concert at 1st Avenue in Mpls and was able to snag a couple of VIP tickets!  She had a great time! She was also happy that her son has graduated high school from STMA on March 1st!  It crammed and took an online class and is now working full time!
- DJ Bakken was happy that it is his son’s birthday today!  He also announced that his business will be a Taste sponsor!
- Buck Tyler was happy that his son, daughter-in-law and grandson are coming home tonight! They have been gone for a month!
- Dan Dixon was happy that this weekend is the 16th Annual Guardian Angels Gala.  They are expecting 430 guests and have netted over one million that has gone back to area seniors.  In the early years, John Bailey Sr. was a Rotarian and was on the first board of directors at GA!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy that for the first time in three weeks, all staff are on hand at the chamber office!
- Amanda Othoudt was $5 happy as her oldest son has received his Eagle Scout!  This same son will graduate high school this spring and has been accepted to UMD and they are taking him on a graduation trip to Switzerland!
- Robin Skinner had a happy buck because she is heading to Rochester this afternoon to attend Rotary PETS training!  Her dollar was because her hubby, Ben is going to go with her!  Thank you, Robin!  
- Troy Adams was happy to have met an old scout in line in Washington DC.  This man is an Eagle scout, has three sons that are Eagle scouts and has grandsons who are also Eagle scouts!  He also took some crap from the city administrator from a MN town, for stealing Joe Audette for the Liquor Store! His final happy buck was because his son is out of town and his wife and daughter are going to a concert on Saturday and he will have the whole day to himself!  
Image result for playing cardsThe 6 of spades was drawn and there was not a winner!
Our program today was arranged by Nicole Rasmussen with the help of DJ Bakken.   Nicole has been a Rotarian Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, beardfor 8 years.  She joined when her previous job allowed her to join Rotary to represent them.  She sent a message to our current president and then she joined!  She is proud to be a part of rotary and it has enriched her live and given her many opportunities!  She thanked us all for that!    She turned it over to DJ Bakken, who introduced us to his good friend Max Fetisov.  Max is from the Ukraine and is the founder and director of True Hope Ukraine.  He started True Hope Ukraine in 2009.  At the age of 20, he graduated with his law degree, which enables him to assist with all the legal needs of the people they help.  Now, at the age of 29, Max continues, with the help of many people who have joined the mission of True Hope, to love and serve the orphans and hopeless in Ukraine.  They help orphans, handicapped and refugees.  All of these are considered unworthy in the Ukraine society.  A fundraiser was held in MN for True Hope Ukraine a couple of months ago and DJ report that they raised $30,000 and someone came along and donated another $20,000, making the total $50,000!  If you would like to donate, you can find the link on their web page    Max’s ministry helps orphans over 18 years old.  They are kicked out of the orphanages at 18 and have no where to go and have no life skills.  The ministry provides a dorm setting and offers classes, both educational and for emotional support.  They create relationships as these kids feel everything in life is temporary.  They provide a family and trust as the orphans just want to be a part of a family.  Max helps to bring darkness to light - one child at a time!  They minister to all ages. Max told us about his education and how he did not desire to learn to speak English but picked up on it at the age of 16 and it has come to him as a gift from God.  He believe he has this gift so he can be a voice for those without one.  He speaks for the orphans, seniors, handicapped, prostitutes and prisoners.  They are not allowed in churches as the mentality is still the same on thoughts/feeling about orphans in Ukraine.  They are all taught to stay away.  Max has adopted 17 kids for their safety as they were at risk for being sold for their organs.   In total, he has adopted 28 kids and they range from ages 14 to 25.  He is also married to Amanda, who is from Texas and met him when she visited the Ukraine for a mission trip.    Max told us that the handicapped and the orphans in the Ukraine are considered abnormal and not ok.  They are placed outside the city.  You cannot go to an orphanage by just walking in off the street.  Max has connections and is able to get in.   If you are from the Ukraine, you can adopt an orphan quickly and it is free.  If you are from another country, you can adopt a healthy child for $40,000 or a handicapped child for $20,000.    If you would like further information, contact US Contact, Mary Hedlund at 763-447-9702 or you can email or find Max on Facebook at max.fetisov
March 1, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Attendance:    active status - 18 present, 17 absent
                        honorary status - 4 present, 4 absent
                        total membership at 43
Our regular song leader returned this week, John Osterman, and lead us in our official opening song
“My Country Tis of Thee.  Cal  had a solid prayer and President Molly Hanson led our meeting today!
Amanda O. -  gave us a TASTE Sponsorship update. We only have Connexus and HR Human Resources committed so far and need the members help to contact additional sponsors or at least give her the contact information so she can. She handed out a list of potential sponsors from years past to help.
Tricia D. - Looking for committee chair volunteers and overall volunteer coordinator. Please sign up if you can help.
David A.-  Still seeking, for those who have not already, your $20 donation for the Wall of Wine purchases. Please give to Dave as soon as you can.
Molly H. – Presented next years’ leadership team. President - Robin S; President Elect - Bonnie K; Secretary – Julie F; Treasurer  - Debbi R; Directors - Tricia D and Dirk B; Membership -  Dan W; Director at Large – Tove L and Director of Youth – Still open, let Molly know if you would like to help fill out the board.
Happy Bucks,
Bonnie K – Daughters new drivers’ license and saving a tremendous amount of time not running her to all her activities.
Cal P. – Headed to Boston to see daughter play in hockey tournament. Happy for Maddie Rooney, a friend of the family and the Olympic God Medal winning goaltender for the US Olympic Womens Hockey Team. (Hope to get her to a meeting sometime in the near future). Also Jessie Diggins the Gold Metal Winning Olympic Womens Cross Country Skier sponsored by Cal’s wife’s employer. Will be doing trade shows for them when not training in New England.
Marilyn VPC. – Thankful her sister survived a scare from taking too many meds for her COPD. Fortunately she made it to the hospital in time to get help.
Patty C. – Celebrating her husbands’ US citizenship after 15 years of following the rules to make it happen. They were married in 2003 and he received permanent resident status in 2007 but now the final step has finally been completed. Congratulations.
Leon B.Dave and his persistent desire to collect the $20 for the TASTE
Nicolle R. - For the sunshine and snow melt. For Halley and her performance at her vocal ensemble….and tomorrow is Friday.  
Robin S. – John Shuster – Gold Medal Winning Curler was from around her home town. She also said she was a curler in her time noting, “it was the only sport you could drink and smoke and play at the same time.” So I guess we can assume she was also Gold Medal material but threw in “the rock” too soon.
Image result for playing cardsDrawing – Card winner Patty C. – no amount was heard by this scribe.
Cal noted the reason he continues to be a member of Rotary, I’m sure among many others, is to see all the genuine smiles every week and the joy it brings to his life.
Cal introduced us to Joe Audette, Liquor Operations Manager for Westbound and Northbound Liquor for the City of Elk River. Cal noted that they selected Joe for his background and beer mug paper clip holding all his personal information. Seriously there was some solid competition but Joe passed the test. He was from Rush City and his wife from Pine City. He worked for Cub Foods liquor in East St. Paul before going to Windom and now excited to be starting here in Elk River. He loves craft beer, whiskey and enjoys educating his customers if he is asked but there are no pressure sales at his locations. He was also excited to be able to work on his beard here in Elk River because he was not allowed to have it in some previous locations. 
Joe gave a brief history of liquor and prohibition. Also information on some 230 off sale locations in Minnesota ranging from $100,000 to $14 million per year -  with profits of approximately $300 Million. The Elk River locations have approximately $ 7 million in gross sales and contribute to the tax base of $1 million each. Questions addressed were those about Total Wine and pricing and philosophy in sales. It’s difficult to compete with brand name items on pricing but more customer “hard sell” off brand products with greater profits are their sales efforts. Also, municipal buying groups have risen for better pricing but limits on quantities they can purchase have minimized their advantages. Joe said he won a couple liquor awards - one local and one national for his store in Windom while he was there. He is very anxious and excited to participate in the TASTE of Elk River. He has some very interesting ideas to help bring distributors and vendors to our celebration.
Molly H. – Thanked Joe and we recited the FOUR WAY TEST….and were dismissed.
Respectfully submitted as you can see by your relief scribe Bob M. 
February 22, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Attendance:     active status - 17 present, 18 absent
                        honorary status - 4 present, 4 absent
                        total membership at 43

Our regular song leader, John Osterman, was absent today as he is “up north der, catching some of does dar eel pout, doncha know?” so Julie Fish led our pitch for singing today.  Lori Severson had a solid prayer and President Molly Hanson led our meeting today!

- STRIVE mentors were reminded that next Tuesday, February 27th, there will be a STRIVE session at ERHS.
- Taste of Elk RiverAmanda Othoudt, Sponsorships Chair, announced that she has a few more packets.  We currently have two sponsors - Home Run Human Resources and Connexus Energy!  This is a team sport, so be sure to put your personal touch on attracting a few sponsors for our event!
- Taste of Elk River - Tricia Downey, chair of our event, told us about the remodeling that has taken place in the Commerce Building at the fair grounds.  They have removed the wall in the center of the building, and will be hanging up a large curtain for our event, so we can keep the vendors separated.  She is working on details as to how to hang things for display in the background, etc.  She asked the group for entertainment ideas.  If you might have any, please let her know.  She knows a fabulous magician that might be fun!  Debbi Rydberg asked about the possibility of having food/cooking demonstrations.  Looking for ideas to toss around.  If we will not be having a stage this year, we can downsize a tent and save some funds.
- Taste of Elk River - WALL OF WINE - $20 is requested/required from each member to help support the purchase of the wine for the Wall of Wine.  Please turn in your $20 to Dave Anderson and he will check you off the list!
- President Molly said that we will table the announcement of the 2018-19 Board of Directors until President Elect, Robin Skinner is present to make the announcement.

Image result for playing cards- A 10 of diamonds was pulled from the deck.  No winner.

Happy Bucks:

- Debbi Rydberg was happy because Tuesday, she was able to hang out with 1700 of her friends, including our Governor, who spoke clearly!  All of the legislators played nice.  She was also happy that it was not snowing yet!
- Amanda Othoudt was happy to have spent last weekend in Duluth with her husband and 17 year old son, touring UMD.  Her son has committed to that school and is a future Bulldog!  She was also happy to announce that this same son, finally turned in his application for his Eagle Scout.  His project has been complete since September.  (Editor Note:  No job is finished until the paperwork is done! Lol!)
- Tricia Downey had a happy buck for the
USA Women’s Hockey team for bringing home the gold!
- Troy Adams was happy to attend a production of Shrek, staring his daughter as “village girl”!
- Bob Maxwell was happy to report a good bill of heart health and reports that his pacemaker should be good for another 7 years!

Our program was arranged by Lori Severson who has been a Rotarian since 2012 and was sponsored by Ty Sunderman, past Rotarian.  Lori introduced us to Becky Hagen from Ivan Sand Community High School. Becky attended Rotary in December and spoke to us on behalf of Young Life!  She has been working at Ivan Sand High School for 10 years.  She is here today to talk to us about Ivan Sand Prom.  She had a couple of students who attended prom last year and are on the planning committee for the 2018 prom.  Lora and April both spoke to us. They are both at Ivan Sand for different reasons, but both enjoyed prom so much last year, that they want to help out this year.  Becky shared a story about the first prom that was put together by a student, Brandon and his desire and will power to have a prom.  He was determined and made it happen.  Lora said that the first prom was shocking and that it all turned out great.  April has an older sister that she watched go to prom and when she discovered she was behind in school and was going to attend Ivan Sand, one of her concerns was if there was a prom!  She attended in 2017 and it was an awesome experience. The teachers from Ivan Sand attend the prom and interact with the students.  Becky found herself in a dance battle competition with students!  Their prom changes yearly but it is always about the kids and that they feel save and valued.  There are many ways to help them out.  Their theme is “An Evening In Paris” this year and it will be held on April 28, 2018 with a 5 pm Grand March at the Little Theatre at ERHS with 7 to 11 pm for dinner and dancing at Ivan Sand Community High School.  Their needs are donations for gently used prom dresses, shoes, accessories for the ladies and dress clothing-shirts, pants, ties, shoes, jackets, for the gentlemen.  They would love to get a connection with area salons to have appointments for 5 to 6 “up do’s”.  A photographer or two would be a great donation of time.  They are also seeking out donations of gift cards or prizes for restaurants, stores or venues to be given away in their raffle.  Joann’s gift cards are great for alteration funds.  They currently have the dinner donated by Zimmerman Bar & Grill, Anthony VonBank will be the DJ and they are hopeful for donations for scholarships to fund tickets for students who can’t afford to buy tickets.   If you can donate, please contact Becky Hagen at or work phone 763-241-3530 or cell phone 612-940-9555   Rotarian Dirk Barrett, borrowed a hat from Marilyn VanPatten-Chuba and it was sent around the room to collect donations for their prom.  Molly Hanson asked Becky for a formal request for a donation and that it will go to the board of directors at their March 8th meeting.   Molly presented them with key tags and we recited the 4 Way Test.