Rotary Club of Excelsior

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
BayView Event Center
687 Excelsior Boulevard
Excelsior, MN 55331 USA

August 2014

Upcoming Events


Club Executives & Directors

President Elect
Community Service Director
STRIVE Director
Vocational Services Director
Social Director
Social Director
Program Director
International Grants
IR Foundation Director
Communications Director
Web Site Director
Membership Director
Past President
World Service Director
Club Aministration

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Home Page Stories

Our Program on August 12th was a presentation by Abby Gordon, a senior at Minnetonka High School, and she talked about her honey bee project, and the fate of the honeybee. She had spoken to us before, and received a grant from our club to start a hive at Camp Tanadoona. The hive has become the center of a series of talks about bees and hives for the young campers, who have become knowledgeable about the subject.
            Abby’s goals in her project are to educate people about bees, their habits and habitats so that people will know how important bees are to our everyday style of life. She says that the current reduction in the number of bees, if it continues, will result in the bees dying out completely in 2035. With no bees, pollination of plants will be seriously curtailed, and food supplies will be endangered. Currently, according to Abby, China is reduced to having people pollinate their plants by hand.
            Another goal of Abby’s group is to provide healthier hives and habitats for the existing bees, so they will prosper and reverse the present trends. One of the issues is the use of pesticides; the City of Shorewood recently outlawed pesticides that are unfriendly and damaging to honey bees, and the hope is that all of the other cities will follow suit.
            Her third goal is to support the work of the U of Minnesota Bee Lab by helping to raise funds to further their research.

REMEMBER  - No lunch meeting on August 26th.


Our Program on August 5th was a presentation by Kellie Murphy Ringate about CPR. There have been some changes in the recommended procedures made by the heart association, and she brought us up to date. Most of our members already knew Kellie, because of her work with the Excelsior Fire Department. She’s been a volunteer for years, and now also does many fire inspections for the department.
            The current protocol for giving a victim CPR does not include the breathing aspect as before. Kellie showed the club the proper place on the chest to apply pressure, and the way to hold your hands and arms. In a cardiac arrest situation, the fingers of the hands are intertwined, and the pressure is applied by the heel of the hand. The elbows are held straight, which helps reduce fatigue.
            Kellie had two handouts; one showed us where the pressure point is, and the other gave us a listing of the common signs of a heart attack so we can identify a cardiac situation.


Community Service Coordinator Karen Frazier is asking member to do two things:  

    First we will donate all of the Happy Bucks from the July 29th meeting (Tomorrow) to the Back-to-School Supply Drive.  So please come ready to make a generous donation during Happy Bucks! 

    Secondly, please bring new school supplies to the Club Meeting on July 29th, August 5th and/or the 12th.  Attached please see the flyer from Resource West to promote the Back-to-School Supply Drive.  Supplies needed include New Backpacks, 2-Pocket Folders, Single Subject Notebooks, Loose Leaf Paper, Colored Pencils (12 pack), Plastic Rulers, Washable Markers (10 Pack) and Glue Sticks.

    “Let’s send these needy students back to school with the basic tools they need to be successful” says Karen.  “Can you imagine what it would be like to show-up for school and to see that all the other kids have their new school supplies and that you have nothing.  That is heartbreaking.  Let’s not let it happen to one child this fall.  Please donate until it feels good.  Each of our donations is a small price to pay for the education of a child which is priceless.  Thank you”


Our Program on July 29th was a presentation about Tour de Tonka, the bicycle ride sponsored by Minnetonka Community Education. This is the 9th tour, and the number of riders has steadily increased each year. Some of the riders come to the area from out-of-state to participate. The day includes riders who start their ride at 7:30 AM, and ride for one of six measured courses, from 16 to 100 miles.
          The routes are carefully selected, marked, and monitored by the  tour, and a number of rests stops are set up. There are bike mechanics stationed along the route in case of mechanical failure. The riders use trails and roads to complete their distance, and they are reminded again and again that this is a ride not a race. The routes are all in the western area, and the local police monitor the riders to keep the routes safe. Tim makes a last minute check on the routes because road repair crews will block a road without warning, and the riders hit an unexpected detour.
          Fees for joining the ride start at $42.00, and any excess monies are donated to the ICA. Over the past eight rides (Tim initiated the tour 9 years ago), the Tour de Tonka has donated over $30,000 to our local food shelf.

Our Program on July 22nd was the annual official visit of the new District Governor to our club. He is Jim Nelson, a member of Minneapolis City of the Lakes Club, an attorney, and a resident of Edina. His term as governor extends from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
            Prior to our luncheon meeting, the club’s board met with Jim in an informal discussion of where our club is and where we intend to go in the present year. Our clubs goals seem to parallel the direction of the district.  His talk to the club focused on the goals of the international club, and of the district.
            He was born and raised in Breckinridge MN, where his father was a lawyer and a Rotarian. His father died when Jim was a teenager, so his experiences with Rotary lay dormant until 1999, when a friend asked him to join present club. He felt very good being back in Rotary after being raised in a Rotary tradition.
            His talk focused on the four-way test, and the five avenues of Rotary: fellowship, service, diversity, integrity, and leadership. He spoke of the need to get new members for Rotary, as the current membership is aging. He talked about the Rotary Foundation, and how it helps us all do what needs to be done, and asked that we consider increasing our annual individual donations, pointing out that the money is used for matching grants for club projects, as well as Polio Plus, and especially the new focus of Rotary, safe water projects.

Our Program on July 15th was a presentation by Ken DeCubellis, the CEO of Black Ridge Oil Company. Black Ridge is a local company involved in the North Dakota oil fields, holding leasing rights to over 10,000 acres in the area.
            His talk was designed to give us a basic knowledge of “fracking” and “horizontal drilling”. Horizontal drilling is the key to the value in the Bakken and Three Forks oil fields. Horizontal drilling is a new concept, thought by some in the oil industry to be as important a discovery in the oil industry as the transistor was in electronics.
            The well begins in the standard manner, drilling downward. After passing the water-strata, the well shifts 90 degrees, boring parallel to the surface. When dealing with oil found in shale, it is the only economical and reasonable type of well to use. Fracking is the method used to extract the oil, forcing sand into the strata which pushes out the oil.  Ken had a short movie that described the processes used, and it is available on line at
Thirsty Thursday was held on July 17th at Excelsior Brewing Co. with 11 members taking part at some point in the evening and a good time was had by all!

Our Program on July 8th was a presentation by our favorite auctioneer, Karen Sorbo. She’s been an auctioneer for over 21 years (starting in ’93), and to date she has raised over $500,000,000.00 for charities. That’s a half a billion, no small change in anyone’s book!
            Raising money for others to do good works is a fine endeavor, but Karen wanted to become “hands-on” and use some of her money to help others. While she was in Africa visiting an orphanage, she spotted some kids across the street. Obviously homeless, they were living in a cemetery. She went across the street, talked to them , and found out their story. They begged by day and slept in the cemetery at night. They had been abandoned by their families, and survived now as a group. The one distinguishing characteristic of their group: they did not steal, and they prayed together each day.
            Karen made a movie, “The Invisible Ones”, about them. None of them have documentation (no birth certificates) so the government doesn’t acknowledge them (hence the movie title), they have no home, no prospects of an education, or any hope of a bright future. Karen has taken up their cause with her foundation, and is working to get them recognized by the government, to get them clothing and an education.
With her enthusiasm and dedication behind them, these kids will get what they need to prosper.
            I looked up “Karen Sorbo Foundation” on Google and watched her entire movie. Do it.

     Our Program on July 1st was President Steve’s first meeting, and he took the opportunity to give us a preview of things in store for us this year.
     First off, he promised three things: the present microphone will be replaced with one that is appropriate for our use, either a lapel mic or a headset mic. Second promise: good speakers each given 20 minutes to present their subject and 5 minutes for questions. Third promise: each meeting will end on time (this one was 3 minutes over).
     Then President Steve listed the charities and programs that we will be supporting this year. The list included ICA, the Karen Sorbo Foundation, Polio Plus, the Shelter Box Program, the Hearing Aid Program in Peru with the Starkey Foundation, and Camp Tanadoona. We’re making a special donation to the MHS Choir to help them make their trip to Rome and Italy next school year, setting up a program to help parents using Don Draayer’s latest book as the core, and sponsoring a survival training class to be held at Camp Tanadoona.
     On the social side, Third Thirsty Thursday will return this year with the first meeting to be held at Excelsior Brewing Company.
     It looks like the start of another great Rotary Year.

Our Program on June 24th was the last program of Molly’s year as president, and she took the opportunity to review the year for us.
            It was a good year for the members because there was an increase in the social events, and we all got to know each other a bit better. Tim Litfin, the club’s gameskeeper, got us involved in a number of games during the year. I was so proud of our club when the managers at Bayview had to ask us to quiet down one day!
            We received recognition at the District meeting for a number of things, including the fact that we added 7 new members during the year. We donated $19,995.00 to various charities during the year, including our joint international donation for clean water projects in Honduras. The joint project was started 4 years ago during Tom Anderson’s year as president.
            Molly named all of her board members, and thanked each of them for their contributions to our outstanding year. Incoming president Steve Frazier gave Molly a plaque signifying her year of leadership at the close of the meeting.

Our Program on June 17th was a presentation by Dr. Dennis Peterson, the superintendent of the Minnetonka School System. Dr. Peterson has been with the district for 11 years, and he took the opportunity to update us on some statistics about the district. Here is a shortened version of some of the data:
  • Standardized test data show that in tested grades, the district is at least a year ahead of the average in reading and math, and at 5th grade, students are performing beyond 11th grade stndards.
  • Language immersion classes and open-enrolled students score higher in the standardized tests for their grades.
  • In standardized tests, Tonka students are in the top places (1st or 2nd) in reading, math, and science in metro area districts.
  • Only 3 schools in the country exceed Minnetonka in scores on the ACT and SAT tests.
  • Open enrollment students brought in $63,774,262 in added revenue without offsetting costs.
  • 97% of the district parents would recommend Minnetonka to their friends as a good school.

Club News & Notes:   Kyle Green was greeter for the June 10th meeting, which was a late afternoon reception type
gathering “in the tent” at Bayview….. Good showing at the cocktail reception on the 10th of June. Good weather and good friendships. And Lou Graber seems to have been the big winner. He bought drinks with his winnings and left a generous “tip” for the bartender!  But we all won with a great evening together.
Upcoming Programs:  June 24th – President Molly Swenson’s Final Meeting and Farewell Address                                                                                                                          
Our Program was on June 10th, and featured Michael Wiskus as our speaker. He spoke at the May 1, 2012 meeting. Michael is the pilot who performs the aerobatic show at the 4th of July program at the Commons.
he told us of his childhood in Iowa in his earlier talk, and how he was bitten early by the flying bug, and
of the many interested pilots who helped him get his pilot’s license, and he still is a flying fanatic. He does a great deal to interest young people in flying. He operates his flight programs out of th
e Buffalo MN airport, and welcomes young people to “touch the airplane” and get familiar and comfortable with flight.
This year, he spoke of his recent brush with skin cancer, and told us how he grounded himself until the treatment was completed and the cancer was gone. He’s back flying and showed us a video taken during one of his flights.  We were all amazed and touched at his transformation in faith in God, love of country and the blessing of mentorship!
This year, he will again perform at the 4th of July program, and it sounded like he has some added components to the show.

Our Program on June 17th was a presentation by Dr. Dennis Peterson, the superintendent of the Minnetonka School System. Dr. Peterson has been with the district for 11 years, and he took the opportunity to update us on some statistics about the district. Here is a shortened version of some of the data:
  • Standardized test data show that in tested grades, the district is at least a year ahead of the average in reading and math, and at 5th grade, students are performing beyond 11th grade stndards.
  • Language immersion classes and open-enrolled students score higher in the standardized tests for their grades.
  • In standardized tests, Tonka students are in the top places (1st or 2nd) in reading, math, and science in metro area districts.
  • Only 3 schools in the country exceed Minnetonka in scores on the ACT and SAT tests.
  • Open enrollment students brought in $63,774,262 in added revenue without offsetting costs.
  • 97% of the district parents would recommend Minnetonka to their friends as a good school.

Our Program on May 20th was a double header with STRIVE Scholarships and Participation Awards an Marnie Wells presenting the Capital Master Plan for Camp Tanadoona.
     Dick Glover (STRIVE Coordinator) kicked-off the program noting that the seven STRIVE kids had demonstrated super participation this year and really made a commitment to be at the bi-weekly meetings.  Because of their outstanding improvement and participation Dick announced that our club would be giving seven awards rather than our usual 4 scholarships.  Dick presented the awards individually and had the students introduce their parents that were attending the luncheon.  Award winners this year were:     Ana Kuzara-$2000, Micaela Pekarek-$1000, Spencer Berggreen-$750, Paul Gogerty-$500, and the other three students each receiving participation awards of $500.  Dick also thanked and recognized all of the STRIVE Mentors and speakers from our club. 
            Next Marnie Wells went to bat for Camp Tanadoona explaining that Camp Tanadoona is a 103 acre treasure on the beautiful shores of Lake Minnewasha that is rustic and charming for the past 90 years.  She noted that some of the structures are tired and in need of renovation and new structures needed to carry the camp forward.  After extensive interviews and focus groups a master plan was promulgated to take Camp Tanadoona into the future and that the builder would be Bob Boyer.
            The Master Capital Plan is a five-million vision and there is an anonymous donor that will match up to $750,000 and Marnie is working to get the remaining $350K!  There are several phases to the plan that include getting the start-up capital, four-million dollars for an endowment to maintain Tanadoona into the future and this year’s construction goals.   The plan includes a new large stone entrance.   Construction of Day Cabins (eventually 12) is currently underway as 75% of the camp’s enrollment is day campers.  Day Cabins cost $15K each and the goal is to have six completed by July.  Also they are scheduled to build three Blue Bird Cabins (sleepover cabins) at $45K each.  Another structure called the Tree House will be an elevated open air flexible structure and also available to rent when camp isn’t in session.  In the wetlands there will be a Watershed House.  They plan to shift the walking paths into the woods and the prairie grass areas.  The Dining Room is scheduled for renovation as well as a new “Yurt” which is a tent-like structure in the woods.
            Marnie ended by saying “This is an awesome undertaking and responsibility because this is for the kids to re-connect them back into nature.”
            President Molly thanked Marnie and announced that the Excelsior Rotary Club will be donating $10,000 and will work with surrounding Rotary Clubs and private donors to raise an additional $35K to build a Rotary Blue Bird Sleepover Cabin!

Our Program for May 13th was a no-show, so President Molly had to wing-it a bit .She used the time for an impromptu club assembly, bring the club up-to-date on some matters……
            At the District Meeting, the club received district-wide mention, and she had the chance to talk about the recognition, and also award to Randy Schumacher the “Service Above Self Award.” The award was given to him to recognize all of the time and energy he devoted to the Club as treasurer and organizing the club’s finances when illness disabled our prior treasurer, his donation of time and talent at events where his musical group played, and his general help wherever needed, all offered at a time of personal discomfort.
            The club board has donated $500.00 to the Excelsior Lake Minnetonka Historical Society to help them sponsor the Rolling Stones cover band at the MHS Alumni Reunion. This is 50 years after the original concert at Danceland, and is being featured at the July Reunion.
            In the remaining time, President Molly asked that some of our members talk about their volunteer activities. She said that she knows of some of the many things our members do for area people and organizations, but asked some of our members to talk specifics. Those who responded included Marnie Wells (Public Land Trust and United Way), Steve Frazier (Lake Association’s fight against AIS, especially zebra mussels, his music at his church), Ron Hughes (his choir singing), Lu Graber (coaching youth teams especially football and skiing), John Gray (family’s work with Loaves and Fishes), Don Draayer (driving seniors to church, shopping), and Glenn Froberg (ICA delivering food, Meals on Wheels). Darel mentioned the extras he and the other merchants do to help promote Excelsior.

Our Program on May 6th was presented by Robb Hiller, a member and past president of the Eden Prairie Rotary Club. The title of his talk, “Stop Barking and Start Leading,” is also the title of his recently-published book.
His talk began with him introducing us, via Power Point, to the family dog, Barkley, a British Labrador. Robb said that his dog’s behavior patterns helped organize his thoughts to put together the book in just 5 months. His work is in the human relations field, and he contracts with companies to help maximize the use of their employees’ strong points. He shows his clients how to know your personnel so that you get them connecting with their work and winning in the marketplace.
He gave us 5 rules from his book that do the job of maximizing return:
1.  Know your God-given talents.      2.  Be who you are.
3.  Unleash your talents.           4.  Shake it off and “pick up your poop”.
5.  Be a guide for others.

Our Program on April 22nd was a field trip to Pique Travel in Excelsior with Jim and Linda Bendt.  Pique Travel occupies the old wood milling structure on 3rd Street that has been transformed yet keeping a rustic looking interior.  The Bendts fell in love with the structure as a place to create a new concept in travel agencies and specifically Excelsior because of its long history linked to tourism.
            Jim Bendt presented a multi-media presentation about Pique Travel and contrasted it with current online vacation planning.  With the advent of the internet, travel agencies have decreased from 46,000 to 14,000.  Pique is one of the survivors and provides trip and vacation planning that is worry free for the consumer that doesn’t want to take the 40-48 hours to plan a trip and the worry of making disastrous choices relating to tours and lodging.  Pique makes trip and vacation planning an experience and tailors it to their clients wants and needs at a competitive price.  Moreover Pique has clients and providers throughout the world that are reputable and creditable.  Unlike most travel agencies their staff is salaried so that they can build relationships with their clients rather than just being focused on “selling” you a trip.  They can offer tours and cruises for the same price as on-line bookings but the client gets Pique’s collaborative knowledge and experience to guide them to wise choices.  Also because of their worldwide network and contacts they can get many amenities (like 400!) added to their customized vacations.    Jim Bendt explained that their goal is to provide insight and value to their client’s cruises, Disneyland vacation packages, individual and group tours, and quality four-star hotels.

Our program was a presentation by John Nolter, from Prior Lake MN, entitled “Peace of Mind Project”. He is a commercial photographer whose life took a slightly different path than normal.
Everybody seems to talk about peace, wants to live in peace, and wants a peaceful world. But to John there was a disconnect between what people were saying and how they were acting. Part of the problem, John felt, had to do with people’s definition of peace, so he began asking people what peace meant to them. The result of his interviews is a book entitled “peace of Mind”, which is a compilation of 52 interviews he made.
His goal is to create a dialogue about peace, so that all people have the same definition and expectations of peace. In his interviews, he found that most people think of peace as a weakness rather than a strength. By defining the word peace, we can then set specific goals to achieve peace personally, nationally, and internationally.

Our Program on April 15th was presented by Nacia Dahl, and was about Can Do Canines, a program that provides assistance dogs for people with special needs.
Located in New Hope, the Can Do Canine Program has been in existence for 25 years. They have placed 450 dogs with people who have special needs. If a person qualifies for an assist dog, they receive the fully-trained dog without charge. Having a service dog is completely life-changing.
The group gives each dog at least 22 months of training before the dogs are considered ready to be assigned to the new owner. The dogs are trained to help people with one of five type of disabilities: hearing, mobility issues, diabetes, seizures, and autism. By providing warnings or guidance when the handler’s condition involves danger, the dogs give their handler extra time to correct the issue.
Support for the program comes from many areas, including veterinarian clinics, people who act as puppy raisers, those who handle the paperwork, and the Lions Club that offer financial support.

Our Program on April 1st was a series of games hosted by Past President Tim Litfin.                                                                                              
Tim divided the group into 4 teams and played a musical identification game; music themes from movie s were played for members to shout out the title. The first table game involved transferring a ping pong ball around the table to each member of the team back to the started. Then a small, simple jigsaw puzzle was given to each table (group) to assemble. Then the teams were challenged with a “Smaller to Larger Game”, in which each team had to line up according to the category named by Tim. Then we did “Steal the Tail from the Trailer”. The closing game was between the two highest scoring tables, and they were required to name the sound that he played on his recorder.      
Our club should be proud of ourselves: we were told we were making too much noise! From our club!! What a change from our usual meeting.

Our Program on March 25th was our annual concert by the Minnetonka High School Choir, led by Paula Holmberg. Usually held prior to Christmas, we know a few of the songs and can sing (or hum) along with many of them. This time, the choir sang a wide range of selections that were not familiar to us.
            Starting with a Swahili song, the Concert Choir shifted to a Monteverdi selection, followed by a modern polyphonic piece. They sang a gypsy song by Schumann and a French song before yielding the floor to their internal barbershop quartet. The quartet sang “Judgement Day”, and the choir followed with “No Time”, a camp meeting song. The Moses Hogah arrangement of the spiritual, “Ain’t That Good News”, proceeded the customary closer, the “Choral Benediction”, used to close every choir concert for 62 years.
            Paula has been directing the MHS choirs for 20 years now, and they seem to get continually better. The risers were not delivered for the concert, so the kids and Paula had to wing it a bit, but you would not have known there was a problem.

Our Program on March 18th was a presentation by Rich Stanek, the Hennepin County Sheriff. His office is elective, and he has held it for eight years. Prior to that, he worked in law enforcement for a number of years.                
His first message was about “active shooters” and what to do if you get into a dangerous situation. The three word answer is that if you are in an active shooter situation, the sequence of options is: “Run – Hide – Fight”. He ran a video that companies can use in their emergency planning. The county has an armored vehicle for use in these types of situations, and police personnel have had training in how to handle these problems.                 
The sheriff’s office has primary jurisdiction in some areas of the county, and is a backup service for all of the county’s emergency needs. There are over 2800 local police in Hennepin County, and the sheriff’s office provides much of the county-wide services for the area. The water patrol, the crime lab, court services, and 911 dispatch in most of the county are the responsibility of their office.   
It is amazing to see the numbers of police events they handled last year.

Our Program on March 4th was by Matheus, the morning club’s exchange student from Brazil. Resplendent in his Rotary blazer with badges from other Rotary exchange students and souvenirs of places he’s been, he gave a very good talk on his home country.
His PowerPoint displayed pictures of Brazil showing the range of climates from semi-desert to lush tropics. Located in Eastern South America, Brazil has the world’s sixth largest economy, and covers 3.3 million square miles. Sao Paulo is the largest city, with Rio de Janeiro second in size but the better known town.
Matheus lives in an apartment with his parents and his two younger brothers. His father is a college professor. In Brazil, as in many other exchange countries, students have to take comprehensive tests to qualify for college, and Matheus has those tests shortly after he returns. The school year in Brazil is the opposite of ours, starting in our spring.
He’s been traveling a bit with his host family, Dean and Laura Hotvet.

Club News & Note … Scott Dykhoff was greeter and Opening Marshal for the Feb. 25 meeting, and Jerry Brecke was collector of Happy Bucks and Joyce Kurus rang the bell for a $500 donation to Empty Bowls….. We also celebrated Tim Litfin’s Birthday with special treats! …We’re at the height of the winter migration, and attendance at the last meeting was low. Maybe we’ll have to move the tables closer together, face the fireplace instead of the icy outside, and pop some popcorn. But, remember, we’ll survive!!..... It’ll be warm for the District Conference on May 2nd. Plan to attend the meetings and dinner at the new Radisson Blu at the Mall of America. See info on the district website or contact Pres. Molly….. Speaking of hockey, boys’ state hockey tournament starts tomorrow (or have you noticed in the news media), daylight savings time starts Sunday, and the boys’ basketball tournament is next week…. Only 13 shopping days to St Patrick’s Day. Don’t forget your Irish friends.


Our Program  on January 14th was an excellent program presented by Marty Schultling, who among other accomplishments is a Lt. Col. in the Air Force Reserve. He sketched out his career path, and filled in some of the details about his overseas assignments.

Marty soloed in a two-seater Cessna at age 19, and went on to fly for the USAF. He has flown almost all types of aircraft in the service, altho most pilots concentrate on one type. He’s flown the F-15 fighter for 5 years, the B-2 Stealth bomber, the in-flight fueling tankers, and the flying freighters stationed at Wold-Chamberlain Field. While on active duty, he has been repeatedly assigned in the Arabian and the Afghanistan areas. His power-point photos showed the accommodations and facilities that the USAF has at their bases. Some of the bases he stayed at were not secured from attack, being barracks made of plywood walls and tin roofs.

When not on active duty, Marty is the corporate pilot for one of the group health organizations. He and his wife moved to Minnesota so they could raise their kids here. The big incident in his life recently was that his four-year old boy had successfully skied over the weekend.

It’s comforting to have that kind of person protecting our country.



On Thursday, November 21st Chrissy Peterson of the Excelsior rotary Club was the Presenter at STRIVE and worked with the students on developing good habits, setting up a study schedule and the importance of getting eight hours of sleep.  This was Chrissy’s first time presenting and she did a great job!



Our Program on November 26th was the personal bio of new member Rich Hirstein (pronounced Her- Stein). He is and has been involved in the girls’ basketball programs in the Minnetonka District for many years, including coaching (and lots of cheering). He told of watching three of the girls he coached sign college letters of intent last month at the high school. He has two daughters, one in high school, and one in college at NDSU (Am I just over-sensitive, or do all NDSU fans just happen to mention the two current years as national football champs?).

Rich is in the recycling business, and represents his company to local governments. There were a number of questions about recycling which Rich fielded very well.

The Rotary STRIVE Program met at Minnetonka High School on Thursday, January 9th and Minnetonka H.S. Post-Secondary Counselor Phil Trout presented a fascinating program on getting kids ready for college and what it can mean to the quality of their lives and the spectacular earning power a degree give them.  Phil did a Q&A with the students and invited them and their parents to visit him to get ready for college and other post-secondary options.  Following Phil’s presentation the STRIVE kids and mentors formed a group and the mentors shared their life and college journey’s and impressed on the kids that they can do it if they decide to go after it.                                            


Our Program   on December 17th was our Annual Kids Against Hunger Service Project at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church.    The large turn-out had a brief opening with Greeter and Opening Marshal Tim Liftin.  Event organizer Karen Frazier provided snacks and water in lieu of lunch as the regular lunch cost will go towards funding the packaging of meals and shipping costs.  The Kids Against Hunger Staff including Ross McGlasson gave the group a brief orientation and then the Excelsior Rotarians sprang into action knowing that they wanted to beat the Morning Club and also surpass last year’s packing of 6,996 meals.

The packaging of meal packages is quite a production.  The Excelsior Rotarians were organized into five groups.  Each group worked as a team to combine ingredients into meal packages that were weighed and sealed and then packed into boxes.  Each meal package feeds 6 people.  There are 36 meal packages in each box.  This year our Rotarians pulled out all of the stops and packed 49 boxes!  That is incredible and we set a new record for ourselves by providing 10,584 meals at our meeting! 

Thank you to everyone that took part in the Kids Against Hunger Project.  In addition to this year’s packaging efforts the Excelsior rotary also donated $2,000 to Kids Against Hunger West Metro as part of the upcoming Frazier Presidency.


Our Program on December 3rd was Kevin Merkel, director of the Minnesota High School League. Kevin’s early career was as coach and athletic director at Grand Marais, in Iowa, and at Northfield, Minnesota, before joining the MHSL as director. The MHSL was founded in 1919 to establish uniform rules for interscholastic contests. Broadened gradually, the league is a non-profit voluntary association of high schools, including many private schools. Any school in the state that satisfies the Minnesota compulsory- attendance laws can become a member. There are over 500 high schools that are members of the league. The costs of the league are covered by income from high school state tournaments and donations, not taxes.                The league encourages and regulates all of the inter-school student competitions in the state. These include regular sports events (baseball, basketball, football, track, swimming, hockey) for both boys and girls, speech and music related events (including debate, one-act plays), and a number of adapted sports.                                                                                                            Most of us only see the referees and umpires that are assigned by the league to keep the games fair and orderly; the largest amount of the work of the league is behind the scenes setting up the schedules and state tournaments that seem to run so smoothly. With an annual budget of over $8 million dollars, the MHSL is really a big business.                                                          

Steve Frazier was the presenter at the December 5th Meeting of STRIVE and his presentation was on Goal setting.  Steve worked with the students to understand that a goal is much more than a dream or a wish.  The saying he repeated over and over again in hsi presentation was that "The difference between a wish and a goal is a plan!"  the kisds worked with Steve, Dick Glover and John Hotvet on setting realistic goals and actually worked on some academic goal setting and then a plan to attain their goals.  Here Steve is Pictured with Tiffany who is a new member of STRIVE.


Our Program on November 19th was the annual report and review of the activities of the club’s foundation. The report was given by the chair of the board of trustees, Dr. Don Draayer.

It is somewhat confusing because of the two Rotary Foundations that we talk of. The large foundation is the international foundation, and we (as Rotarians) try to each donate something each year to their program. This is the big foundation, and funds Polio Plus and other international programs.

Don’s talk centered one the club’s own foundation. It was established to allow members to make tax-deductible donations to our club that will be used for charitable projects. In 5-1/2 years, this foundation has given $82,140.00 to projects approved by the club board and the foundation board of trustees. Current trustees are Don Draayer, Dave Peterka, Terry Roeser, and Randy Schumacher.



Following the club meeting last week our members also did our annual Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army.  Pictured here are Bob Boyer and Ron Hughes on bells and Steve Frazier on trumpet!



Our Program  on January 7th was a presentation by Mike Dronen, the Minnetonka School District Director of Technology. Mike is relatively new at the district, joining from the Stillwater District.

For the past ten years, an independent group has been surveying the four groups involved in schools and their use of technology. This national survey has shown wide variances in the four group’s acceptance of more complete reliance on technology in education. The four groups, teachers, administrators, parents, and students, all have differing attitudes toward the elements of change that are occurring; at least, all seem to agree that technology is the most important new tool in education.

Mike ended his talk with 10 predictions involving technology in the classroom. Gamification will continue and accelerate. Speech to text software will take a bigger place in the classroom. Touch interfaces will shift; tablets will continue to grow in use. Learning spaces will change considerably, and leveraged peer instruction will take place. Construction will take into account blended learning, and there will be more one on one instruction.                                                                                     



Our Program on November 5th was a talk by Bryan Bratt. He is in the process of establishing a Rotaract Club in the West Metro Area.

Rotaract Clubs are generally sponsored by regular Rotary Clubs, and their membership is composed of college students and young business people, usually age 18 to 35. A Rotaract Club is a natural feeder providing members to the sponsoring Rotary Clubs. They currently are immersed in the paperwork issues associated with starting a club, and have an event planned tonight in St Louis Park.

We know about Interact, the high school Rotary groups. Rotaract was founded in Charlotte, N.C., in 1968. Their motto is “Lead – Serve – Grow.” They intend to have two meetings a month, and expect to be up and running by January. He said there are four active Rotaract Clubs in the area. Rotaract Clubs are sponsored by a Rotary Club, and the members work together, but the Rotaract Club is separately chartered and self-governing. Contact info: phone 763-587-8923 Bryan Bratt, or web address:



Immediately following the Kids Against Hunger Service Project several ofour Excelsior Rotarians met at Minnewashta Elementary School and did the Dictionary Project in both English and Spanish.  The kids loved getting the dictionaries and even sent us letters and a class picture with the thank yous!  Only three schools remain to complete this year’s project with the third graders of the Minnetonka District and all private schools therein. (Click on the picture to get a larger view!)



Our Program on September 24th was a presentation by author Bob Showers. An Iowa native, he freely admitted to coming to the Twin Cities every chance he got to watch the Twins play at the old Met Stadium. He also was a North Stars fan, and went to their games whenever possible, too. He celebrated his love of the North Stars by writing a book about them.                          

He wanted to write about the Twins, also, and selected the period he wanted to cover: from 1961 to 1981 – the time the Twins played at Metropolitan Stadium. His book is titled, “The Twins at the Met”, and is available at Amazon, and at local book stores. It covers the 263 players who were on the Twins team during the time they played in the Met.                                                    

He had a number of inside connections, which helped him do the research. He had access to the Twins and the team records, and he used 1000 pictures from the period when he interviewed the players. He’d show the player a picture, and ask if there were any stories or comments. The stories flowed, and Bob recorded them, transcribed them, sent them to the individual players for approval, and them put them together in book form.  Comment on the quality of his presentation: there was not a sound in the room when he was talking!

The District 5950 Fall workshop was heal d on Friday, September 27th at the Landscape Arboretum.  Representing our Club were President Molly Swenson, Steve Frazier, Joyce Kurus and Tim Litfin.  The Fall Workshop was the largest in District 5950’s history and the speakers and breakout session were fabulous!                                           

The Annual Food Dash was held last Tuesday, October 8th at the Shorewood Cub foods Store in shorewood, and the result was a donation of $14,216.18 to the ICA Food Shelf. The two Excelsior Rotary Clubs and the Cub Foods at 41 and 7 do this annually and in the past eight years the event has resulted in over $100,000 in donations to ICA.  Pictured here is Jayson Palm accepting the donations form Roatary and Cub Foods.


Our Program on September 10th was presented at Camp Tanadoona, and actually was a “doubleheader”.

The first portion of the program was a presentation by Marnie Wells, who happens to be director of the camp. As you will recall, the camp is in the middle of a capital campaign, and she outlined phase one of the campaign. The camp, set on 103 acres bordering Lake Minnewashta, has been hosting campers since1924 – 89 years. There are 7 major changes planned for the first phase at a cost of $1,500,000:

(1)The entrance should clearly indicate that the area is a park-like refuge from the surrounding area, (2) day cabins are needed for the day campers to operate from, (3) treehouses – above-surface outdoor classrooms – for nature classes are needed, (4) a new main path for campers to use changing interior traffic patterns for greater safety, (5) large, safe playfields including soccer fields, (6) two gateway areas, one for day campers, and one for resident campers, and (7) upgrading of the heart of camp.

The program has an anonymous donor who will match up to half of the cost of the first phase. The overall plan will be a ten year project, and will cost approximately six million dollars.

The second portion of the program was a brief presentation on the Shelter Box Program by Greg Krauska of the Chanhassen Club. On September 28-29, there will be a program presentation on Shelter Boxes, and what to do in a disaster.



The Excelsior Rotary Highway 7 Clean-up was held on Friday, Oct. 11th with the group meeting at McDonald’s at 8:00.  It took the group about an hour to clean from Christmas Lake Road to Vine Hill Road and there was considerably more to pick-up this Fall than in the Spring clean-up.  Thanks members for helping to keep our community clean and beautiful!



Our Program on September 22nd was Abby Gordon, junior at MHS and recipient of a small grant from our club for her project.                                    

Last March 5th, she came to talk to us about honey bees, and she wanted to start her own bee hive project to get first-hand experience with bees. President Tim’s board approved a grant of $400.00 for her to continue with her work. She used the funds to buy materials for a hive, and ordered a hive of bees from an Alabama supply house. Her father, a teacher in another district, is friends with a beekeeper, so they went to him for information and guidance. She was able to find a good location for a hive on the grounds of Camp Tanadoona, and proceeded to set up shop.                                        

When the bees arrived by mail from the supplier, there were 7000 bees and one queen bee in a box about the size of a shoebox. She described how they were placed in the new hive and accepted it as their new home, and told of later having that group of bees swarm (fly away as a unit to another home), and how another swarm of bees then took up residence in the hive.                                                           

She said that the benefits of her work this summer is that she learned more about bees, has experience taking care of them, and has increased the number of local bees.                                           

Her goal now is to extend the number of hives in the area, and hopes to speak to other groups and get them to sponsor and care for one or more hives.  By the way, she is leaving on another project in the Bahamas in March.



Our Program on September 3rd was on the Mayan Culture, and it was presented by Professor Lewis Messenger. A professor in Hamline U’s Anthropology Department, he is a specialist in Mayan culture and has many an expedition to the area to his credit. From his presentation, it was apparent that he loves the area.

His slide presentation perfectly complemented his comments, and covered a wide range of topics. From the languages spoken to the topography in the Cancun area, he showed many scenes familiar to our Mexican-touring club. He spoke of Tulum and Chicken-Itza as well-known remnants of the Mayan civilization, and talked of recent discoveries made in Central America.

Hamline University has an annual anthropological journey to the area, and their “digs” are well-received by their students.



Our Program  on October 8th was a presentation by Tim Litfin. As Club Membership Director, he presented ideas and ways to find and ask out eligible friends to join our club.  He started his presentation by introducing our newest member, Elaine Love, and inducting her into the club. Then using Power Point, Tim asked a series of recruiting questions and had each of the tables’ present ideas for consideration. He pointed out that you have about 4 seconds to hold the attention of your listener when you start talking about Rotary, and he suggested developing a six word “catch phrase” to describe what Rotary means to each of us.  Here’s a few:  “Change the World, change lives.”  “Great opportunity to make a difference!”  “Jon’s in college because of STRIVE.”  “Rotary gives Sinamtheba’s children hope!”  We can expect to hear more about membership throughout the year as our club has a goal of adding 10 new members this year; we’re at 3 new members as of today.



Our Program  on November 29th was on the new program added to the curriculum at Minnetonka High: the Vantage Global Business Course. The presentation was made by Ron Kamps and Charlie Kanan. The program was originated in the Overland Park, Kansas, district, and is available only there and at Minnetonka. 200 students applied for the course, but only 38 were accepted.

The Vantage program is a year-long, three credit course of study where students learn through case studies, business partner directed projects and immersion in a professional-based program. In addition to working with businesses, they will have a series of lectures from many major internationally-known companies.                             

This is the first year of the program, and next year they hope to extend it to cover experiences in engineering, health services and media.



Our Program on September 17th was a presentation by Norwood Teague, the Athletic Director at the University of Minnesota.  Teague came to the Gophers after 6 years as Athletic Director at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. His work at VCU included setting up and implementing an updating of the facilities, raising the alumni support of the program including increasing the donations, and increasing GPAs and graduation rates for the athletes. Teague, 46, has a track record of successful tenures in his field.             

He gave away no secrets and had no surprise announcements at our meeting. He told of his commitment to upgrade the practice facilities for all sports at the U, and talked of the fundraising that would be involved. He told the story of hiring Pitino, and how the secret of his hiring was known on the street almost immediately even though no announcement had been made.                                                         

A few stats he gave were interesting. The U gets about $25,000,000 a year for athletic TV rights. 86% of the student athletes graduate from the U within 6 years. The U has invested about a quarter of a million dollars in a student athlete who has a scholarship.                                                                                         

Of course, the subject of Jerry Kill was covered; Teague said that Coach Kill has done an excellent job of motivating the team, both academically and athletically, and that his seizures are a nonissue. As long as there is no damage to him, health will not be cause to terminate. As a matter of fact, he said, he is helping others with epilepsy by showing that a near-normal life can be led.     



Our Program on October15th was the annual official visit of the District Governor Diann Kirby. With her was AG Jeffry Wosjc. She is a native of Cascade, Iowa, and a member of the Bloomington Club. She will be District 5950’s Governor for the year 2013-14. She is currently visiting all 63 clubs introducing herself, and giving each club the plan for Rotary both locally and worldwide for the year.

The international slogan chosen by Ron Burton, the RI President, is “Engage Rotary – Change Lives”. Using that as her stepping stone, she went on to list the five major goals of the district and RI.

1.  Membership. She said the number one reason people join Rotary is networking, but after a few months, they name camaraderie and service as their motive for staying. Our club’s membership goal this year pleased the DG, and she commented that we already had three new members.

2.  Future Vision. Rotary is looking to keep current by changing to meet the times. That way, Rotary will be relevant and in tune with the times.

3.  Funds. The DG has committed to raise $1,000,000.00 this year.  It is her hope that each Rotarian will donate so that it is a united giving, and not done by just a few big donors.

4.  Eradicate Polio. Three countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) are still not free of polio, and there are 285 cases reported so far this year. “We’re this close”.

5.  Celebrate Rotary. The District Conference will be May 2nd at the new Radisson Blue at the Mall of America. All Rotarians are welcome to a day of information, entertainment, and networking.



Our Program  Our Program on the first of October was Vocation Day; six of our present members gave presentations about their careers. Following are a couple of high points from each presentation:                      

            Dick Osgood told of his start in the lake aquatics field. He’s written a number of articles, including a column in the paper. He’s got a full woodworking shop, which is one of his hobbies.

            Joyce Kurus talked of her switch from handling stock certificates to doing hands-on help at Resource West for the needy in Hopkins, Minnetonka and the Excelsior area.

            Darel Leipold reminded us that he and LaVerna were both teachers before they opened their store 42 years ago, and he talked of the flexibility that store owners have so that they can be in step with their customers – not an asset of large box stores.

             Don Draayer went from his days as a teacher to his recent activities lecturing on education. He’s spent 55 years as an educator, and he commented on the changes in education during that period.

Scott Gerber talked about the fire department in the area, and how much we owe to the dedicated volunteers who protect us.

             Bob Boyer told how he and his brothers grew up in their dad’s building business, and how they continue the tradition of high quality work that his father established.



Project Honey Bee Update:  The Honey Bees have arrived and were placed in the hive on Monday, June 3rd at 6:30PM.  Abby Gordon and her father Rod received on the job training on handling the bees and placing them in the hive by their friend Pat Sexton who is a bee keeper.  The 7,500 bees and the Queen Bee were placed in the hive and will spend the first week acclimating themselves to the hive, the Queen Bee and their new environment at Tanadoona.  Pictured here is Abby (left) and Pat placing the bees into the hive.  Notice that Pat isn’t wearing protective gear and no one got stung!  The Sun Newspaper did a front page article on Project Honey Bee on Thursday, June 6th where Abby’s efforts are highly praised and the Excelsior Rotary Club and Camp Tanadoona got some good PR!



Our Program on July 30th was a presentation by representatives of the Steven Rummler Hope Foundation. The opening speaker was Susan Rummler, mother of Steven, who told his  life story. Steven died of an overdose in April of 2011. His family started the hope foundation to provide education and other resources to heighten the awareness of the dilemma of chronic pain and the connection with addiction, and to improve the associated care process.

People who have chronic pain are usually prescribed opioids to control the pan. Opioids are a very dangerous family of drugs, and are very addictive. Doctors prescribe the painkillers many times without considering the addictive characteristics, and don’t match the drug they use with the patient’s sensitivities. Dr. Charles Reznikoff spoke and highlighted the problems from the medical doctor’s perspective.

Some facts: over 16,000 people died in 2010 from prescription painkiller overdoses; enough painkillers were prescribed in the US in 2010 to medicate every American adult around the clock for a month; and incidents involving prescription painkillers were responsible for more than 425,000 emergency room visits in 2010.



Our program on June 25th was a presentation by outgoing club president Tim Litfin. Having covered his vision of the club’s future last week, he talked about his team and the things done during his year as president.

Receiving a commemorative trophy were these team members: Jerry Brecke, Dick Glover, Molly Swenson, Steve Frazier, Karen Frazier, Dean Friesen, Don Draayer, Randy Schumacher, Marnie Wells, Tad Shaw, Theresa Zerby, and Woody Love.

Tim also thanked some non-club members for their help and support: his secretary, Ellen Schilling, our favorite serer, Kasey Zieman, and two other special people. Dr. Peterson of our school district gave Tim his full support as did Tim’s wife, Bunny.

A good Rotary year is one of cooperation, dedication and leadership, and we have just ended a good Rotary year. We’re looking forward to another hallmark year this year, Molly.



Our Program on June 18th was a presentation by Club President Tim Litfin where he discussed the present and future characteristics of the Rotary Club of Excelsior.

Tim started his presentation with a box full of slips of paper to define what Rotary Clubs and Rotarians represent. As the slips were read, the “ideal” Rotary club was presented. Tim went on to say that our club has most of the characteristics of a great club, including hospitality and dedication to our projects. He then cited three areas where our club can improve: (1) We need new members, and it needs to be a club-wide effort; (2) We need an event or project to identify our club, and (3) We need our member to be active in the club. He spoke of average age statistics, and, while we’re similar to other clubs in the region, we need to improve our demographics to survive.

His last points were to remind the members of what a club president needs from the membership. There has to be communication (both ways) between members and the president, attendance has to be consistent, and each member has to be willing to give time and support to the club.

Members present were asked to fill-out the set of commitment goals for the Rotary Year of 2013-14 that are listed below: 

My Personal Goals for Rotary in ‘13-14

(circle all that apply)

STRIVE –I will attend at least two MHS meetings

Membership - to bring in two potential members as guests

Conversation – discuss Rotary with non-Rotarians at least twice per week

Attendance – I will attend at least 80% of all Tuesday meetings

Membership – I will recruit one new member, as in Molly’s year

we will gain 10 new members

Events – I will attend/volunteer for at least four events

Program – I will recommend at least one presenter to Marnie and Tim

Other - ________________________________________________

Signed __________________________________




Our Program on August 13th was a presentation by Michelle Swanson who represented Xcel Energy. At our places at table, she gave each of us one of the new low energy lights to try at home.

            Her talk covered a wide range of topics, but her main message was that Xcel, formerly Northern States Power, is doing a good job providing power to their customers.

The corporate is to meet four goals: serve with reliability, provide power with responsibility, offer product at competitive prices, and form partnerships to improve customer relationships.

            Recent storms have caused a lot of problems for utilities in the past few years, with the most recent storms as an example. Lines are continually taken out by falling trees, and in a “normal storm”, they find that up to 500,000 customers can have a power interruption. There are emergency plans for work crews to go to storm sites and help local workers to restore power.



Our Program on July 23rd was given by James Wisker, the Director of Planning, Project and Land Conservation, for the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. The focus of his talk was on the restoration of the creek in the Knollwood Mall – Methodist Hospital corridor.

He first started out with some basics, explaining that a watershed is the area of land where all of the water drains into a specific water reservoir. Minnehaha Creek is one designated district, but it drains in to the Mississippi River, so the MCWD is also a part of the river’s designated watershed. The MCWD covers 181 square miles of land, mostly n Hennepin County. In recent year, the group has had an evolving philosophy.

Rather than try to maintain the creek on their own, they now integrate their planning with others – individual and corporate land owners – in order to make thoughtful and permanent changes and improvements to the creek’s route. An example of this cooperative effort is the area he highlighted. The Target store at Knollwood had flooding problems caused by the creek, and the creek was an eyesore at the hospital. By coordinating changes in the creek in the area with building plans, the creek is now more visible and more controlled. Other smaller projects are in process involving one or two homesteads, with the MCWD sharing in the costs.



Our Program on August 6th was a presentation by Steve and Karen Frazier detailing our Annual Golf Outing and Fundraising Dinner. This is the sixteenth annual golf outing, held jointly by our club and the Morning Club. All of the proceeds of the event are dedicated to our clubs’ charities. This is the main fundraiser of the year, so it is important that we put forth our best effort.

Registration for golf is at the club starting at 11:30 with shotgun start at 12:30. Social hour is listed at 5 PM, with dinner and auction following at 7PM with Karen Sorbo as Auctioneer.

Many area charities have benefitted from sponsorship from the local Rotary Clubs. The 2013 selected charities include ICA Food Shelf, Kids Against Hunger, St Stephan’s Housing Programs, Camp Tanadoona, The Mills Health Plan, Sinethemba Child Care Center in South Africa and the Rotary program Polio Plusto eradicate polio in the world.

There’s a website for you to register for golf; use



Our Program on July 9th was new president Molly Swenson’s first session as president. She told us what the expectations for the year are.

She started her talk by giving us the reasons that caused her to join Rotary, and she confessed that Bob Williams had told her that she should become president of the club. That Williams can spot the sharp people! She talked about her signature moves (watch out in photo ops; she always puts her hand on the shoulder of the person next to her), and then talked about the coming year.

Her first plan is to keep the fun going. Our club’s meetings are very informal and will remain so. The club will be hosting a Valentine’s Day Party probably at Tanadoona, and we will participate in some project with the Shelter Box organization.

Molly started the year very well, and we’ve got a good year going!


Our Program on June 11, 2013 was Rotary Night Out at BayView Event Center from 5 to 7 PM in the outside tent. Twenty-four members, a few spouses and a handful of potential members joined us out back at Bayview for conversation and appetizers Tuesday June 11 from 5-7:00 pm. “What a great idea, we had a ball” said Steve Frazier. Hugh Gilmore is seen in the photo with his winnings from the game left-center-right. A big thanks to Rebecca Hahn for taking a group photo. “This needs to be an annual event” said Molly Swenson. Thanks to all who attended! The weather was superb!


Our Program on August 20th  was  two seniors at Minnetonka High School, Jack Giese and Jack Hallett. Both are members of the MHS Interact Club.

Interact is an international organization and is a program sponsored by Rotary International. Interact was founded 50 years ago in Florida to introduce Rotary to high school students. Interact has over 200,000 members in 10,700 clubs. The local club was founded 10 years ago by the Morning Club. The MHS club has 60 members, and a 10 student board of directors. Our speakers are the current president and vice president. The club has two membership meetings a month, and two board meetings.

The club adopts a project each month on the local level and helps fill a need in this area, as well as having an international project each year.



Project Honey Bee Takes-Off at Tanadoona!  Do you remember Abby Gordon and her Project Honey Bee?  This past Wednesday (May 29th) she, her father Rod and the Tanadoona Staff met to select and put up the first honey bee hives.  Accompanied by Chris Dillmann – Sun Newspaper Editor and Steve Frazier the group toured Tanadoona (in the rain) for the perfect location and finally settled on a site next to the marshland with wild-flowers growing all around it.  Next the 7,500 bees and one Queen bee will arrive within days and then the project will truly be on its way.  Abby wants to thank our Excelsior Rotary Club for funding her project and saving honey bees from extinction one hive at a time!



The Spring Road Clean-up took place on Friday, May 31st with thirteen of our members cleaning the shoulders of Highway #7 from Christmas Lake Road to Vine Hill Road.  Project coordinator Karen Frazier said, “We had a great turnout on a beautiful morning and we got the opportunity to serve our community all at the same time!”  As always there were some unique things found along the way.  Don Draayer found an active debit card; Karen Frazier found protective eye wear but no one reported finding any money!  We will get a full report at our June 4th Club Meeting.  Helping out this spring were Tim Litfin, Bob Boyer, Dick Glover, Scott and Theresa Zerby, Marianne Laurent, Jean Gray, Cristie Lodge, Don Draayer, Bob Humphrey and Karen and Steve Frazier.  Karen Frazier wants to thank all the Rotary volunteers for putting “Service Above Self” and for giving of their time and service.



Our Speaker on 5/21 was the present mayor of Excelsior, Mark Gaylord. Because of his recent election, he just introduced himself, and then turned the session over for questions. And, let me say that there were a number of questions.

Two issues of great interest to the club members were the hotel project and the grocery store issue. The mayor said that the hotel project is still on track, and the city has a final review as the next step in the process. The grocery store issue is still in the air, and a write-in campaign to show civic interest in the store might help sway the reluctant grocery company into committing to the location.

Other issues brought up included the condition of the roads (patching is planned this spring, but repaving will wait until a major sewer line job next summer), building a parking ramp, and the new set-up for the farmers? market.



Our Program on Tuesday, June 6th was Rotarian Lori Pappas who spoke to us about the GTLI – Global Team for Local Initiative.  Lori explained that after retirement she got restless and in her travels she came across the Hamar people and children in the extreme SW corner of Ethiopia.  She witnessed wide spread famine, unsafe water supplies, tribal wars and conflicts due to loss of grazing land because of government and corporate oil exploitation.  She knew she had to do something that would help these people to survive and adjust to their changing existence.    Thus she started GTLI which has as its motto “Outer behavior follows the path of the inner mind” results in a change in human behavior.  In other words, what could she do to help these people survive and for those acts to be self-sustaining.  With the help of some major companies and a dozen Rotary Clubs all over the World the GTLI has made a great impact in the past three years.  They have enabled 302 community members to be trained to become future leaders.  Now 21,000 people have access to clean water wells that are locally maintained and self-sustained.  Healthy hygiene and proper sanitation are being taught and local people (41%) have gone from open field defecation to pit latrine use; and now 4,000 people have a local rural trading center rather than a two day walk to market.  The training of women has been the key to getting things moving in Hamar and GTLI has founded an orphanage to train these children to have a written language that will enable them to become the future leaders of their people.



Our Speaker on 4/3-/13 was Tim Mulcrone who is the Polio Plus chair for our Rotary District. Tim is one of the charter members of the Chanhassen Rotary Club. His interest in eliminating polio developed from his childhood experience with his uncle dying of the disease.

Tim gave a brief history of the PolioPlus program; in 1985, the two vaccines were developed and in use, and Rotary International accepted the challenge to eliminate polio from the world. Last year, there were 223 new cases of polio reported worldwide. The cases occurred in three countries. Preliminary info shows a reduction by 50% this year. Hopefully, this is the year!

The on-ground volunteers – the persons delivering the vaccine to the children – are the heroes of the effort. Local officials in some areas have threatened them because of fear of the vaccine, and some of the volunteers have been injured or have been killed.



Our Program on May 28th was presented by District PR Chair Heather Voorhees and why PR is important to Rotary as it helps clubs grow and builds public support and goodwill.  Heather says ‘It’s not about taking credit for good deeds, it’s about building credibility!”  Voorhees met with the PR Committee prior and indicated that the Excelsior Club has an excellent PR Program and a great website.                                                                                                                                                          Heather’s enthusiasm, passion and humor were evident when she talked about the seven tools that each club needs to have an effective PR Program: 1) Have an attractive and updated website with current member’s emails. 2) Be on Social Media.  3) Have a PR Committee and Chair. 4) Partnership with other non-profits.  5) Have a membership at the Chamber of Commerce.  6) Have a club brochure or business cards.  7) Form good relationships with the local media. (The Excelsior Rotary Club has six of the seven – Do you think we should invest in a Chamber Membership for our Club?)                                                                                                                                                            Voorhees ended her presentation by talking about what each member can do to promote Rotary.  She suggests that we brand ourselves like we just did by having club shirts.  Talk about rotary in your business and to friends.  Invite your colleagues and friends to Rotary meetings and events.  Support your clubs PR by “Liking” our facebook page and checking out the website.  She ended by saying, “Be engaged!  The best way to share your Rotary passion is to live your Rotary passion!



Our meeting on May 7th was a presentation by Greg Krauska from the Chanhassen Club. He spoke about ShelterBox, a 12 year old Rotary program.

ShelterBox was started by the Rotary Club in Cornwall, England in April, 2000, and it has now become the largest club project in the world, with active units across the globe. The concept is to provide items to residents in disaster areas other than food and medicine which are provided by other agencies.  The contents of the boxes vary by the area and type of disaster, and a typical box will include a large tent, stove for cooking and heating, blankets dishes and utensils, coloring books and crayons for the kids,. and basic hand tools.

With 28 million displaced persons in the world from political issues, the demand for help is there. Add to this the natural disasters (hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes), and ShelterBox sent out 22,000 boxes worldwide in 2005.



Volunteers Needed for Tour de Tonka

If you are riding in Tour de Tonka like Jim Hillis did last year – great!  Enjoy your summer of training and know that we will be ready for you with the best organized bicycle ride in the upper Midwest.  If you are not riding - please consider volunteering for the event.  Last year Molly Swenson, Chris Lizee, Karen Frazier, Steve Frazier, Terry Roeser, Tom Anderson, Tad Shaw and Dick Osgood all volunteered and played a major role in the success of the event. 

Check out the 2012 TDT highlight videos at this link to give you a better idea on how exciting and enticing Tour de Tonka truly is…

 Volunteers are needed for the eighth annual Tour de Tonka on Saturday, August 3. Last year over 400 volunteered to help, support and greet 2,738 riders.  Riders came from 53 of Minnesota’s 87 Counties, from 29 states, and from four countries.  Tour de Tonka is a major event.  Your participation will be highly valued, memorable and rewarding. 

We have over 450 volunteer positions.  One may be just right for you. Time commitments range from 2 to 4 hours. Simply complete the on-line volunteer form at   or respond to this email.

 If you have any questions please contact TDT volunteer coordinator Sarah Guse in MCE at 952-401-4157, or at  

Thank you!  I look forward to seeing you at Tour de Tonka on Saturday August 3.  Have a fabulous summer.



Our Program on May 14th was our club’s annual STRIVE Recognition lunch. Our STRIVE students and their parents joined us for lunch and the club was introduced to the 4 scholarship winners, as well as all of the students who participated. Dick Glover handled the STRIVE portion of the program, and had all students present introduce their parents to the club. Also present was Dave Adney, retiring principal of MHS whom Glover credits with providing great administrative support to program.

Some of the mentors in the program spoke, notably Don Draayer and Steve Frazier, both former educators who value the program. Bob Humphrey also spoke.



Our program on April 9th was a concert presented by the MMW Jazz Band, directed by Laura Olivier.

The group, composed of 24 musicians, is an extra-curricular activity at the school and the members attend rehearsal one hour early one morning a week. The students are all 6th, 7th, or 8th graders. While they were setting up, President Tim had each student tell us their name, grade, and the instrument they played.

They played four selections, none of which were familiar to any of us. The four songs were: “Work Song”, “Ready to Mango”, “Time to Testify”, and “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”.

The Minnetonka School District has enhanced the music program in recent years. During budget-cut years, the music program was all but eliminated; now the levels of instruction are sophisticated enough for “tweens” to participate in a jazz band program.



The District 5950 Spring Conference “One Day Fun Day” was held on a very snow covered Friday, April 19th at the Hotel Sofitel.  Attending from the Excelsior Rotary Club (pictured here) were Joyce Kurus, Nick Ruehl, Jean Gray, Jerry Brecke and Karen and Steve Frazier.


Rotary’s theme for this year is “Peace Through Service” and bringing greetings from RI President Sakuji Tanaka was Tom Fries from Green Bay.  He reviewed many of the World initiatives that Rotary is undertaking this year and made the statement, “Peace is a state of not…not any hunger, not any war, not any poverty.”  Then Governor Bob Stowell brought his greeting and awarded recognition and gifts to the conference planners and to Executive Director Diane Confer.  Bob talked about District initiatives and said, “Keep telling our Rotarian story and the impact that we can make as a group.”  Awards were then given to over 100 Rotarians for their work this past year The Excelsior Rotary Club received two awards.  One for Community Service and the other was the Rotary International Presidential Citation Award.  It was a great breakfast meeting and the place was packed!  Jerry Brecke and Nick Ruehl stayed for the rest of day to represent our club.



This Thursday 4-18 5:00 -6:30 at Spasso . It is on the corner of Minnetonka Blvd and Hwy 101, in Minnetonka. All Rotarians and significant others welcome!!  Bring a joke, and funny story, or just yourself. Stay as long as you want. As always, First year members get a free drink on me.

Bob Boyer

Boyer Building Corporation

Remodeling Division


License number BC002988




Our Program on April 2nd was given by Jerry Brecke, and he described his experiences in Chimbote, Peru as a member of the Starkey Hearing Foundation Project. Located in Eden Prairie, the Starkey Company was founded in Hopkins in 1967, then purchased and expanded by Bill Austin, the present leader. Starkey is the largest hearing aid manufacturer in the U. S.

The Starkey Foundation is the company’s way of sharing their technology with hard-of-hearing people in low-income countries. Bill Austin, the CEO, has a goal to donate 1,000,000 free hearing aids to needy worldwide by 2020. The Starkey Foundation is doing that by partnering with Rotary and other organizations to help complete the project. Giving away hearing aids is not like giving people food. Each hearing aid has to be individually fitted in order to work properly, and the new user has to be instructed in how to use and maintain the unit.

Jerry Brecke was recently in Chimbote, Peru to help the Starkey group fit aids to people with hearing issues. They make an individual ear mold for each client, fit the unit, and instruct each new user how to use the unit. He had a Power Point that showed the process, and the location where the fittings were held – at one of the local Rotary Club facilities in Chimbote. The process he participated in in Chimbote is duplicated throughout the world by groups working with Starkey, as these missions have occurred in over 100 countries.



Our Program on April 23rd was Laura Hotvet the Executive Director of the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce.  Laura grew-up in the area and is the Daughter of Rotarian Ross McGlassen and Daughter-in-Law of Rotarian John Hotvet.  Club member Marnie Wells and Laura attended the U of M together.  Laura is also a Council Member of the City of Shorewood.

Laura is often asked, “How do you like your new job?” and she responds by saying that she is lucky to part of this great community and she loves her new job!  With the merger of the Merchants Association with the Chamber there is going to be a lot going in Excelsior this year and Laura took the club members on a tour of this year’s events:   *Luck O’ The Lake Marathon on March 16th brought 600 runners into Excelsior with 45 volunteers helping out and the event raised $15,000.     *The Person of the Year was reactivated and held on April 19th with Rotarian Karen Frazier as one of the nominees.  Myra Wong was selected the Person of the Year and the event gave area business and residents an opportunity to celebrate and reconnect with each other.                                    *Art on the Lake was started some 33 years ago by Debbie Hart and has grown into a major event attracting over 140 artists.  This year’s event will include food, music, and entertainment by the Grammy winning Okey Dokey Bros. and also feature a Bike Valet and a safe area for bikes.   *The 4th of July in Excelsior is great!  The Firecracker Marathon attracted 1500 runners last year.  There will be the traditional fireworks with support from merchants, Rotary and area residents.  There will be a fantastic Airshow and music this year by the Big Band Sound of the Wolverines 19 piece band and singer Kate Raddatz from American Idol doing the National Anthem.    *Apple Days will be back for its 28th year with over 75 artisans with music by the Tim Mahoney Band.  Our own Darel and Laverna Leipold are retiring and the community appreciates their leadership all these years.     *The Farmers Market will be back again this year and will operate between 2nd and 3rd on Water Street in the middle of the street as not to restrict residents’ access to businesses.  The kickoff is scheduled for May 15th from 2-6pm for an eight week trial period.

Everyone enjoyed Laura’s comments and kidded her that she should really be a member of our Club instead of the AM Club.



Six of the members of the Rotary Club of Excelsior visited Bob Williams after the club meeting on Tuesday, April 9th and presented him with a Certificate of 100% Attendance.  The Certificate was signed by club members and guarantees him the right to keep his perfect record until he returns to full health and is again able to attend club meetings.  Pictured here with Bob is President Elect Molly Swenson.  We all join together in wishing Bob a speedy return to health and to our Rotary club!



Our program on April 16th was a presentation by Jan Callison, our Hennepin County Commissioner. She is experienced in local government having served on the council in Minnetonka, as well as being mayor of that city.

She began her talk with a number of questions about Hennepin County. Most of the people in the area don’t know very much about the county and what it does. She pointed out that it is a county of diversity with a wide range of ethnic groups and a wide range of activities from farming to transistor manufacture. It contains the largest population, and is second only to the state in size of budget.

25%  of the county budget is spent on human services, and 14% on police and safety. The county’s revenue comes from various sources, but 36% of the budget is covered by the property tax.



President Tim Litfin was notified by District 5950 Executive Director Diane Confer that the Excelsior Club along with 19 other clubs would be receiving the coveted RI Presidential Citation Award at the Spring Convention on April 19th.  Congratulations to our Excelsior Club for their work this past year to qualify for this great award.  Pasted below is the actual note from Diane Confer and lists all the clubs receiving this award.

Dear Club Presidents,

 Congratulations to all of the Rotary Clubs, and our Minnetonka High School Interact Club, which qualified for the 2012-2013 Presidential Citation!  The clubs that submitted application and were approved are listed below. 



Apple Valley

Bloomington Daymakers

Brooklyn Park



Crystal-New Hope-Robbinsdale

Eden Prairie

Edina Morningside


Great River

Lake Minnetonka-Excelsior

Maple Grove


Minneapolis City of Lakes

Minneapolis South




St. Cloud

MHS Interact

 Thanks very much,

Diane Confer

Rotary District 5950/Youth Exchange Office



Our Program on February 25th was presented by Ann Ruff, who is the V P of Resource Development for Common Bond Communities. Common Bond is a 41 year old nonprofit which began as a social justice concern for the Archdioceses of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and has grown to be the largest nonprofit provider of affordable rental apartments and town homes with life-enhancing services in the Upper Midwest.

The organization has 5,300 apartments and town homes serving 9,000 residents in the greater Twin Cities area outstate Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Our area is familiar with Common Bond because of the South Shore Apartments which they built 30 years ago. Located behind the Wyer-Pearce House, it has been recently updated and continues to serve our local residents with low-rent options for seniors and disabled citizens. Initial funding for the building came from community grants pooled by Excelsior, Tonka Bay, and Greenwood.

They have been selected to create 100 homes for homeless veterans in St Cloud and Minneapolis, and are working to utilize some of the unused facilities on the Fort Snelling property for this purpose. About 25% of their $16,000,000 annual income (in 2011) comes from contributors who are helping them reach the goal in their “Open 4000 Doors Campaign”.



            Our Program on March 5th was Abby Gordon presenting her “Honey Bee Project” and was introduced by her proud Aunt, Chris Lizee.  Abby is 15 years old and a student at MHS and is in her third year of Student Government and is Captain of the Speech Team.  However, her passion is Honey Bees!                       

            Abby exclaimed that “honey bees are in great distress from pesticides and their immune systems are down!”  She noted that bees are necessary for vegetation and a large portion of our food supply and “that if nothing is done the honey bee will cease to exist by 2035!”  She saw a public television program on “The Silence of the Bees” and became motivated to do something about it.  So she started the “Honey Bee Project” and is getting some help and encouragement from the U of M and the Arboretum.                                                                                                                          The Honey Bee Project has several parts:  1) To educate people about the plight of the honey bee; 2) To do fundraising for the U of M’s Bee Lab; 3) To provide a healthier habitat for bees; 4) To create a website; 5) To educate elementary students about the threat to bees and she has already worked with the students at Groveland; 5) to purchase bee hives and to place them in areas of healthy habitat; 6) and to find volunteer community bee keepers to help maintain and protect the bees.                                                                                                                                  We were all in awe of this articulate, passionate and dedicated young person and she answered all the questions without hesitation!         Abby said with a smile, “The placement of honey bee hives is all about Location-Location and Location!”  Everybody loved it!  She went on to explain that locating the hives in areas near natural plants and gardens improves the bees’ chances of survival.  Abby concluded by pitching the benefits of Gardens and Bees as a source of outdoor interactive education about eco systems, society benefits from their survival, and the overall environment will become healthier.                                                                                                                            President Litfin shared with the club that the Board of Directors has voted in favor of funding a $400 bee hive colony and will send its recommendation on to the Foundation for funding at their March 19th meeting.  



Our program on March 26th was a presentation by a group of students from Minnetonka Middle School East. Their teacher, Gina Nelson, had the students in her 7th grade history class participate in “World Savvy”, an academic program that engages students in world issues.

“World Savvy” is a program designed to bring the issue of sustainable communities to the attention of middle-schoolers. Currently, the program is offered in San Francisco, New York, and Minneapolis. The idea is to have the students become responsible global citizens who can thrive in the 21st century.

Her students broke up into teams, and each team researched an issue, and developed solutions for that problem. They also were required to develop an action plan to address the issue in their own home community. The 4 teams who came to our meeting gave us their presentations on these topics: child labor, carbon emissions from industry, water sanitation, and clean water.

This is the 3rd year for the program at MME, and 4 of the school’s teams advanced to the regional competition at Macalester; one of the MME teams won 1st place in the competition, the best of the 23 schools I the competition.



Our program on March 19th was a personal profile by one of our newer members, Joyce Kurus. She is with Resource West, the agency that provides social services to our area.

Joyce graduated from a Milwaukee high school that had a business track, and selected the Carlson School at the U of M for her college. Upon graduation, she went to work for a stock brokerage for 15 years. She is married and has three daughters. They live in the Hopkins area, where Resource West has their office. Her focus for Resource West is the South Lake area, where she co-ordinates the

Joyce and her husband are deep-rooted Minnesota Gopher fans, as her husband was a member of the football team. She claims to be a Viking fan, even thou she grew up in Milwaukee, aka Packerland.



Our program on February 19th was a game day, with President Tim leading us through some competitive activities. From tossing pencils and marshmallows (not at the same time) to retrieving shoes, all six tables competed for the prizes. Identifying musical passages and movies kept members intellectually sharp, to offset the physical activities of the other games.  To top-off the fun Game Day President Litfin had a cake prepared to celebrate Karen and Steve Frazier’s 51st Anniversary!    Because the Game Day event was so fun President Elect Molly Swenson and President Elect-Elect Steve Frazier have vowed to make Game Dan and annual event for the next two years!  (Pictured here is the winning Game Day Team!)



James R. "Jim" Olds Jr.


Rotarian Since December 1965

Olds, James R., Jr. "Jim" age 73, of Excelsior. Born May 17, 1939 and died Feb. 9, 2013. Jim was a lifetime resident of Excelsior, proprietor of Olds Dry Goods, a family-owned business since 1929. Jim was very involved in Excelsior city programs as council member, Mayor, City Treasurer, and many more. He was a longtime member and past president of the Excelsior Rotary Club. Jim was a kind man, a great brother, and loved to have visitors share his porch and great view of Lake Minnetonka. He will be missed by his family and many lifelong friends. Jim was a friend and mentor to so many. Preceded in death by parents, Roger & Betty Olds. Survived by brothers, Clifton (Susan) Olds and Robert (Nancy) Olds; nieces & nephew, Elizabeth Olds, Brian (Joanne) Olds and Gretchen (David) Pingree; 6 great nieces & nephews.


In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred for a Memorial Bench and the 4th of July Fireworks at the Excelsior Commons c/o Bob Olds, 3825 VanDan Rd., Minnetonka, MN 55345. Huber Funeral & Cremation Services Excelsior Chapel 952-474-9595,


A Celebration of Jim's Life will take place on Friday, March 1, 2013 from 3:00-6:00 PM with a public sharing time at 4:30 PM at Bayview Event Center, 687 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior (952-470-8439). Private family interment.


Published in Star Tribune from February 10 to February 17, 2013



Our Speaker on January 29th was a personal profile by one of our new prospective members, Keith Wilcock. Keith is the owner of Wilcock Gallery which is located on Water Street.

He is an art dealer who represents a number of painters from the area as well as being a very fine artist on his own. I “googled” Keith to view some of his paintings on the internet, and was also treated to pictures of some of his clients’ works. Keith has traveled around the world painting his impressions of the areas he has visited.

Keith chose to not talk very much about his art and gallery business, but instead highlighted the two books he has written. In one of his books, he highlighted the similarities between the hierarchy and organization of an Indian tribe with the hierarchy and the organization of the standard corporation.

There’s a lot more to the man Keith Wilcock than he talked about during his profile. It will be interesting talking with him at future meetings to find out more of his story.



Our speaker on January 22nd was a familiar figure at our meetings; this is his third visit as speaker. John Doleman last visited our club at the recap meeting where the kids involved in the Costa Rica Tree Ant Study made their report on the project. His prior visit was a year earlier when he first presented the project to us.

As you’ll recall, John was a very high-level project manager with NASA, when he noticed that all of the engineers that he was working with were from other countries; only 4% of them were Americans. A bit of research caused him to realize that American students weren’t becoming engineers. He started to work on getting students interested in the sciences. One of the ideas was the science experience with PhD’s in Costa Rica.

This visit was partially a recap of results of the student trips – 75% of the kids who participated in the study are now in college majoring in the science fields – and to present a couple of new focuses

As a side effort during the study, the students spent part of their extra time attaching radio locator devices to sea turtles that swim in to the area for nesting. These turtles come ashore within a few yards of the same place each time they return over their lifetimes. Biologists have many questions about the turtles that they want answered, and these animals may be another project for high school students to help in.


Our speaker on February 5th was a presentation by the chair of the Three Rivers Park District Board, John Gunyou. John is also our representative for the 4th district, and was the city manager for Minnetonka prior to his election to the board.

The Three Rivers Park District is our local district, covering the parks in suburban Hennepin County. There are 27,000 acres under their control, divided into 21 different parks. Some of the parks are located in Carver, Dakota, or Scott Counties. The group considers the properties under their environmental stewardship, and their plan calls for not over 20% of the parkland to be used for recreational purposes. Over one-half of the regional trails in the metro area are under their jurisdiction. Currently under development is the Nine Mile Creek Intercity Trail.



Our Program on February 12th was a presentation by Camy Martinez, who teaches yoga classes at the Minnetonka Community Education Center. After she was introduced, she started some soft, relaxing music, and began talking to us.

She began by saying that we should all sit straight in our chairs with our legs uncrossed and both feet on the floor. Then she asked us to close our eyes and roll our heads a bit to get comfortable. She then proceeded to give us a “soft” yoga session while we were seated in our chairs. We released the tension in our muscles and moved away from the hustle-bustle world we were in.   (I confess: I opened my eyes twice and checked to see how many were actively participating – I saw only two members who weren’t with the group). At the end of the “session”, it was a much more relaxed group of Rotarians





The Rotary Presenter at STRIVE on January 3, 2013 was Bob Humphrey.  Bob discussed the topic of Building confidence and Self Esteem and the importance of Role Models.  Pictured here with Bob is STRIVE student Anna Spray.

Bob began his presentation by letting the students know that he struggled with self-esteem in school because he always felt that he was under the microscope even though his famous father was always helpful and understanding.  It was easy to get lost in the limelight so Bob decided to engage himself understanding that “I couldn’t be my father” but that he could “Take the bull by the horns” and become the boss of his own destiny with determined “bulldog tenacity”.  He said the Presidential Campaign of 1968 helped bring him out of his shell as he went around the country speaking to colleges about the upcoming elections.  These experiences helped him take the bull by the horns and to begin setting goals for his life.

“By failing you can learn how to succeed and the main thing I did was choose to act!” said Humphrey.  He noted that MHS is one of the best of all U.S. high schools and urged students to take a chance and take on new challenges and to get involved in their studies and in co-curricula’s.  Bob smiles and says, “It will help you build character and self-confidence.”

Humphrey then had the students write down eight characteristics of self-esteem:

1.   Honor Thy Self

2.   Be Positive

3.   Be Fearless

4.   Participate

5.   Be Respectful

6.   Be Honest

7.   Be Cheerful

8.   Work Hard and Be Your Best


Bob smiled at the group and said, “The first thing in the morning look in the mirror and Honor Yourself – assess your attributes and determine how you can best use these attributes in your role in life.  Be positive!  So much in the world today is negative.  Work on being positive because the more you work at it the better you become at being positive and people like to be around a positive person. 


Be Fearless!  Don’t underestimate yourself, just jump-in because the experience may help you grow in self-confidence.  Get involved and participate.  Being involved in many things allows you to become a well-rounded individual.  Also by participating in new things you have the opportunity to gain new friends and each new experience has something to offer so don’t fear those new situations.


Be Respectful of others and they will notice this positive attribute within you.  Work on being honest and Truthful with others.  These are very basic values that you can cultivate within your personality and others will be drawn to you because you are a trustworthy friend.


Be Cheerful!  My Dad was a cheerful and positive person.  In the 1968 Presidential Campaign the Press Corp referred to my Dad as the ‘Happy Warrior’ – actually it was the name of the airplane used in the campaign but they called him that because he was so positive and fearless and the Happy Warrior title became part of his campaign.


Finally, Work hard and be your best every-day!   By applying these eight attributes to yourself every-day you will build self-esteem.  Also by applying these simple concepts to your life it will cause you to expand your horizons.”


Bob then briefly talked about five roadblocks to achieving and had the students write them down:  Bad Habits, Negative Attitudes, Apathy, Setting Limits, and Poor Role Models and talked with them about how to overcome these roadblocks in their lives.


Humphrey ended his presentation by discussing the importance of having good role-models in life.  He looked around the room and began naming-off the mentors in the room and how they have been role- models in their lives and the responsibilities that go along with being role-models to others in life.  He suggested that the class then go into small groups and discuss the eight attributes and also role-models in their lives and who the students are role-models for in their lives.  


The STRIVE students really got into discussing their most important attributes and also those that they would like to develop in themselves this year.  What was really interesting was in the role-model discussion was how each of them expressed who they were a role-model to and the responsibility that they feel to live up to that expectation in life.


The next STRIVE Meeting will be on January 24, 2012 with Phil Trout discussing Post Secondary Education at 9:00 at MHS in Room 1602.



The Program on January 8th was the same as a club assembly. During the meeting, President Tim Litfin discussed what has happened since he took office July 1, titling the program “Mid-Term Report”.

Each of the current directors spoke briefly about their area, focusing on the changes or improvements that have taken place during the half-year. Marnie and Woody told us that programs for the remainder of the year are planned with a few openings in mid-spring. Dick G. talked about the 26 MHS seniors involved in our club’s STRIVE program. Karen told of our successes in community service, and reminded us that the dictionary project is coming up next. Bob Boyer talked about our get-togethers, including the Christmas Party and Thirsty Third Thursdays.

In his talk, President Tim listed a number of changes and updates that have improved the club. A full list is shown on the website. Highlights include a new mission statement for the club, new logo, new budget lay-out, set up an investment policy for club funds, and coincidentally increased quarterly dues by $4.00.

2012-2013 Accomplishments so far in the Litfin Year Presidency

v  New Mission Statement

v  New Club Logo

v  New Apparel for Members

v  Investment Policy and Investing Club Funds in…

     Ø  Happy Bucks

     Ø  Reserve – Rainy Day

v  Putting our Golf Proceeds to work.  Initiated a Grant process for funds remaining from the Litfin year.

v  Member Satisfaction Survey

v  Each One Bring One – New Member Day – 9 guests

v  Increased Quarterly Dues / $66 to $70

v  Monthly Live Auction

     Ø  Benefits a member to use on travel for an International Rotary Trip

v  Monument Marker for Bayview – coming

v  Presenter evaluation form

v  Dick Osgood, Hugh Gilmore and Jerry Brecke performed an audit on the Club’s Book in October

v  Rotary Rookies – Tim meets with new members quarterly

v  12 Rotarians volunteered for Tour de Tonka on Saturday, August 4, 2012

v  Created a Club Calendar

v  Redesigned the weekly meeting flyer

v  Purchased speaker gift pens to award

v  Conducted a June Board Retreat

v  Redesigned the club budget sheet for greater clarity

And much more to come!


Our last meeting was on December 18th. That meeting was held at Minnetonka High School, and featured a concert by the MHS choirs, directed by Paula Holmberg.

A variety of choirs were presented singing and presenting their selections. The Varsity Women’s choir is composed of new voices in the school (mainly freshmen and sophomores), and they sang three  selections. They were followed by a men’s quartet doing “Deck the Halls” and “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree”. The next group, the chamber singers were followed by the 54 members of the  full choir. The concert ended with the usual  choral “Benediction”, a school  tradition since the choir began.

Our concert was performed in the school auditorium where the choirs usually give their public performances. All of the material presented to us was part of their annual winter concert.


TRIVIA:   More than 7,500 products bear the likeness of Mickey Mouse, making his image the most reproduced in the world. The image of Jesus is second, and Elvis is third.        Former disc jockeys include Tennessee Ernie Ford, John Larroquette, Rush Limbaugh,  Rod McKuen, Leslie Nielsen, and George Peppard.        A quarter has 119 grooves on its circumference, and a dime has one less.

Quote for the new year:  “ If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”  Eubie Blake

Or, would you prefer:    “Never eat more than you can lift.” Miss Piggy



Our program on January 15th was a personal profile given by new member Bill Damberg. Bill is the owner of the newest men’s store in town, Brightwater. He opened the store in town two-and-a-half years ago, and is pleased with its progress.

Bill was raised in Virginia, Minnesota, where he graduated from high school. College at Macalester was followed by a stint in retail in Ashland and Bayport, Wisconsin. He expanded the store, opened a number of branches, and was a member of the local Rotary Club. He was president of that local club, and very active locally. But then he came to a point where he wanted a change.

He came to the Twin Cities, and looked for a place to open a retail store. His method of research was rather interesting. He selected the best, “hottest” marketing area, and then he would go to coffee shops in the area and listen in to the local talk to get the “feel of the area”. In his visits, he found that people in Excelsior are “invested” in the area; the result was opening his men’s wear shop on Water Street.

Bill is a strong believer in Rotary. He began his profile with talk about his Rotary experiences in Wisconsin, and is glad to be back in Rotary.



The Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting of November 27, 2012 at  

Mount Calvary Lutheran Church

The Meeting was called to order by Chair Don Draayer at 1:36PM at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church on Tuesday, November 27, 2012.  In attendance were trustees Don Draayer (Chair), Jim Olds (Treasurer), Steve Frazier (Secretary).  Absent trustees:  Dave Peterka and Terry Roeser.  Also in attendance: Tim Litfin (Club President).  

Action on Minutes (2.0) was entertained.  The Minutes of October 30th were accepted by acclamation.

Jim Olds gave an abbreviated Treasurer’s Report (2.0).   Jim explained that due to health reasons he is resigning from the Treasurer’s position and the records and all claims for Foundation transactions have been forwarded to Dean Friesen who will assume the responsibilities as Acting Treasurer until a new Treasurer is appointed.  As a consequence of the circumstances the Fund analysis (3.1), Action on Requests from the Club for Charity Expenditure(s) (3.2) and acceptance of the Treasurers Report (3.3) were postponed until the January 22nd Meeting of the Foundation.  Jim did note that the all Scholarships had been previously paid.

Under Old Business (4.0) Secretary Steve Frazier reported on the progress of entering the minutes and other important documents of the Foundation on the website and noted that they will be found under the Foundation site page and in the Club Documents section (4.1).  The difficulty has been converting some of the documents to the format and file size that the website will accept.  Steve will work with the Chair on getting all of the documents converted and stored on the website. 

Next, action was taken to transfer dollars from the Club to cover the Foundation Operating Budget (4.2).   Operational expenses of the foundation include postage, printing costs, soft-wear upgrades and other expenses born on behalf of the functioning of the Foundation.   Jim Olds moved and Steve Frazier seconded that $500 be transferred from the 2012-13 Annual Fund (President Tim Litfin) to the General Fund (Operating Budget Fund) to cover Foundation operating expenses and the motion carried unanimously.

Action on the Annual Checklist (4.3) was taken-up by the trustees.  The Annual checklist drafted by Chair Draayer is a document that helps guide future trustees in the administration and sequencing of required actions and responsibilities of the Foundation in a timeline format.  The Annual Checklist had been first reviewed at the October meeting with the understanding that it would be brought back to the Trustees at the November meeting for action. It includes the required federal and state filings, organizational components and administrative flow of the financial and granting processes as well as investment fund guidance.  Don Draayer moved and was seconded by Steve Frazier to accept the Annual Checklist document as written and the motion passed unanimously.

Next the trustees held the First Reading on the Proposed Changes to Policy #3 (4.4) as modified and updated at the October 30, 2012 Foundation meeting.  The Trustees reiterated their support for the proposed changes including the threshold donations relating to Policy #3, Section 1.3.8 on Other Restricted (Forever) Endowment Funds and specifically subsections that “The initial donation for a restricted endowment fund without the donor’s name attached must be a least $10,000…”  and that “The initial donation for a restricted endowment fund with the donor’s name attached on all treasurer reports and public documents must be a least $25,000…”  Jim Olds moved and Steve Frazier seconded the motion that Policy #3 be revised and adopted with the changes and modifications discussed on October 30, 2012 and accepted as a first reading and the motion passed unanimously.

Under New Business (5.0) Chair Draayer gave his report and update (5.1).  He first discussed the Area 12 Consortium (5.1.1) and noted that $2,000   had been sent to Wayzata for their project and we have fulfilled our commitment to them.  It was also his suggestion that since the other clubs have been contacted by us through him that the Foundation take no further action until money is requested from one of the three other clubs.  He also noted that we now have the original agreement language between the four clubs as a guide for future actions. 

Chair Draayer then spoke about policies needed by the Foundation to meet IRS Scrutiny (5.1.2).   Chair Draayer shared his experience on another foundation and his discovery of a booklet on The Principles and Practices for Non-Profits Excellence.  Don outlined several areas needing policies including the posting and retention of minutes and records, protection from Trustees having conflicts of interest and a manner in which that can be documented and singed-off on by trustees and other policies to protect the Foundation.  The Trustees in attendance agreed with the value of having such policies and Chair Draayer volunteered to write such policies and to bring them back for review at the next regular meeting of the Foundation on January 22, 2013.

The final item of the agenda (which was actually discussed first to facilitate President Litfin’s schedule) under New Business (5.2) was an informal discussion between President Litfin and the Foundation Trustees about the Rotary Club’s interest in exploring ways to invest part of their large funds (i.e., Happy Bucks in particular) and if those funds could be legally comingled with Foundation’s funds on a prorated basis or in some other manner (5.2.1). 

Chair Draayer explained the basic investment practicality with the firm that the foundation uses (North Star Resource Group) that funds under 50K would most likely need to be invested in a brokerage account while over 50K would go into an investment account.  Several ideas were explored:                                                                             – Keep the status quo. – The Excelsior Rotary Club establish an Investment Policy Statement, as the Foundation did last year, and hire its own investment counselor/firm (North Star or other firm), and invest the Happy Buck Funds accordingly. – Co-mingle the Club Happy Buck Funds with Foundation Investment Funds for investment purposes and then disaggregate Happy Buck earnings with the Club Administration having full control over them. -- Transfer the Happy Bucks Scholarship and Education Fund to the Foundation as a General Foundation Fund for scholarships or as a Foundation (forever) Endowment Fund for scholarships with the interest each year being used for scholarships or education grants. 

Don Draayer noted that the advice from Foundation Advisors, Joe Froehling and Gary Thompson, was against, above, that being, to intermingle Club funds with existing Foundation investment funds for investment purposes.  This would be in conflict with IRS policies requiring financial and decision-making distinctions between the two separate organizations.  

Tim Litfin noted that the disadvantage to the Club in doing or would be the loss of total control of those funds by the Rotary Club. 

President Litfin thanked the trustees for their informal input and will take up this discussion with Rotary Board at their January Meeting.  Chair Draayer declined Presidents invitation to help the Club set-up an investment policy because of his current heavy load with the Foundation and also the need to have separation between the two policy making bodies of our Rotary Club but will be glad to informally advise if requested.

There being no other items of discussion Jim Olds moved to adjourn (6.0) and Steve seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous to adjourn until the next regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 1:00pm at the Bayview Events Center.

Respectfully submitted by Steve Frazier, Excelsior Rotary Foundation Secretary



Last Week’s Program on December 11th was presented by Richard Wing, a long-term resident at Lake Minnewashta. Richard is a retired Northwest (Delta) Airlines pilot, having flown for the airline for 39 years. He retired in 2004.

His talk centered on the changes in the aviation industry in the past few years. He didn’t even start to talk about the changes in the way passengers are treated – just the equipment and safety changes.


The most important change is in air traffic control. The days of radar as the airplane location system in use are numbered. Using GPS technology, traffic controllers can pinpoint the location of an aircraft to within 25 feet. Shifting to GPS, more aircraft can safely be allowed in an area, making obsolete many of the traffic patterns currently in use.


The new planes being built are more automated and lighter because there is very little metal in their construction. The engines being used are more powerful and economical, so there should be room for more passengers in the new planes at lower cost for the airlines.


TRIVIA:    The MOA (Mall of America) is the size of 78 football fields – 9.5 million square feet.   Because wool has outstanding elastic recovery, 150 yards of wool yarn are used in each official baseball.  


NO MEETING DECEMBER 25, OR JANUARY 1. Our next meeting is January 8th at Bayview.



Goodbye Rotary Friend Jim Grathwol


Grathwol, James Norbert 82, of Excelsior passed away on January 3, 2013, in Minneapolis. Preceded in death by his parents John (Jack) and Bozena Grathwol, brother John Grathwol, sister Mary Grathwol, and beloved wife Lael Grathwol.


An attorney in private practice, Jim was a wise counselor for his clients, a pillar in his community, and a generous and gentle father, guided by his strong Catholic faith. Summa Cum Laude graduate of both St. Thomas University and William Mitchell College of Law. He was a founding force of the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District, the South Shore Senior Center, longtime member and past president of the Noon Excelsior Rotary Club, president of the Excelsior Chamber of Commerce, past Councilmember and city attorney for many lake area communities. Avid sailor, singer, philosopher, gardener and volunteer for the less fortunate.


Jim is survived by siblings Kathy Costa and Robert Grathwol, children Bob, John (Rosann Berry), Joan Olson (Steve), Jim (Sara Langworthy), Kate (Barry Kleider), Pook (Mark Gaddis), and twelve grandchildren.


Mass of Christian Burial, Saturday January 12, 11 AM, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church 680 Mill Street, Excelsior, with 10 AM gathering of family and friends at the church.


Visitation Friday 4-8 PM at Huber Funeral Home, 520 Second Street, Excelsior. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Hope Community, Minneapolis or Visitation Monastery in Minneapolis, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, or donor's choice.

Published in Star Tribune from January 6 to January 9, 2013



Rotary Club of Excelsior (Sung to Rudolph…)


You know Brecke, and Marnie, and

Friesen, and Osgood,

Glover, and Gray, and 

Swenson and Frazier.  

They deserve a curtain call

The best Rotary Club of them all.


Rotary Club of Excelsior

Outstanding as can be

New members always welcome

Visit us and you’ll agree.


Though most other clubs

Have projects and service too

Since nineteen forty-nine

Each Tuesday at Bayview


Then in two thousand twelve

Williams stood and said

Guys 50 years gone by

Miss a meeting or heavy sigh.


Boyer and Green loved it

This Excelsior Rotary

All these fine Ro-tarians

You'll go down in history!




Our Program on November 27th was a work session where our members packed food packets for starving children for the program, “Kids Against Hunger”. We met at our usual hour but in Mount Calvary’s building, and with about 25 members present we packed over 6,000 food packets to be sent to one of the three areas currently receiving help from the organization. They could not tell us whether the food would go to Africa, Haiti, or one of the American Indian (Native American) Reservations.                                      (Pictured here is project organizer Karen Frazier with the Kids Against Hunger volunteers)





Our Program on December 4th was a presentation by three of the local city managers. Making presentations were the City Managers of Excelsior, Chanhassen, and Minnetonka. 

Kristie Luger is the manager of Excelsior, and has been there for over 5 years. She showed graphs and pictures showing that Excelsior has issued more building permits this year, has seen more commercial improvements, and has had a very good year. New businesses have opened, and more are on the horizon. Residential building in town is also at a high.

 Todd Gerhardt has worked for the City of Chanhassen for 26 years, and has been the City Manager for the past 12years. Their city is mainly new homes, but the infrastructure has been in place for a long time, and they are reserving funds to refresh their streets and parks. The new transit station is completed by the dinner theater, and no major construction is planned in the downtown area. With the city still growing, a rise in the home construction market will increase the city’s population in the next five years.

 Geralyn Barone has worked for the city of Minnetonka for over 20 years, and prior to her current appointment as manager was assistant city manager for years. The city’s problems involve an aging population, an older stock of housing, and the perils of the LRT route, which runs through the city. With retail shopping patterns changing, the future direction of Ridgedale and other shopping areas is a major concern of the city. Aging populations are being replaced by younger families, creating issues with the 3 school districts in the town, as well as the many private schools in the city.  (Story by Tad Shaw)



John Hotvet Presenting Attitudes for Success


On Thursday, November 29th  the STRIVE Students and mentors were treated to John Hotvet’s presentation on Attitudes II about his life’s journey and some of the people along the way that influenced him and the important role that having a positive attitudes plays in life. 


In John’s calm and laid back manner he described his life leading up to becoming a “Vet” and how the 44 years “went by in a flash” as her pursued his passion and love of animals.  He talked about the elements and people in his life that shaped him as a person and as a professional.  John admits that he was painfully shy in school until he met Tommy Reichert who always had a great smile, a positive attitude and was a good student.  John decided to emulate these characteristics and they worked and he began to develop a winning personality and self-confidence.  In college his music director always told him “to believe in yourself” and he gained self confidence by believing in himself.  John explained to the STRIVE kids that it is O.K. to change your mind as he did going from an art/music major to Veterinarian School.   Wendell DeVore convinced John that he could do it and John made it through.


John talked about his time in the Army and what a great experience it was and learned to appreciate power.  He spoke about going in to practice and referred to it as the “best job in the World.” 


“I want to set the record straight about I.Q.; I.Q. is very overrated!” said Hotvet.  John went on to say that …“Intelligence is only one part of life.  Many other parts are just important such as having a positive attitude and hard work.  Don’t pay attention to it!        He ended with some hints about life:

            Treat people nice and make them comfortable.

            Find something you are passionate about and go for it!

            Don’t be afraid to change directions in life.

            Don’t procrastinate.

            Be optimistic and think positive.

            Don’t assume anything.

            Be diligent.

            Engage with others.

            Be caring, trustworthy and respectful.

            Learn to listen.

            Be inclusive, patient and humble.

            Do good.

            Do the best that you can.

            Do what you love and love what you’re doing.

And believe “I’m better than ever!”


Pictured here with John Hotvet is one of our STRIVE Student Theodore Rogney.   



“The Difference Between A Wish And A Goal Is A Plan!”

Steve Frazier was the presenter at STRIVE on December 13, 2012 and worked with the students on Goal Setting both in terms of academics and careers.  Steve told about his early life and how goal setting made a difference in his life.  Steve asked the students, “What are your goals in life?” and had them briefly write it down on a study sheet that he had handed out to them.  He then had Anna come up and state the goals(s) she had written on her sheet.    She stated that “I want to get accepted to nursing school as a junior.”  Steve had her sit down and then explained that many things sound like goals and are good starting points but they are really wishes, dreams, hopes and action taken out of guilt or force.  Calling on Anna again he asked her if she had stated a goal or was it a wish, hope or dream.  She said it was a goal but her classmates thought it was a “soft” goal and that she was almost there in stating her goal.  (Pictured here is the group of STRIVE Students Steve work with at the previous meeting of STRIVE.)

The central part of the presentation was on the statement, “The difference between a wish and a goal is a plan.”  Steve instructed that goals always start right now and that they should be written.  He then delineated that goals are measurable, quantifiable, have a time frame, specific, verifiable, realistic and incremental.

Using grades he taught the students to begin making goal statements using the words “I will…” or  ”I am…” statements.  Steve worked through eight steps that students could use to drastically improve their grades and using any one step would improve their performance.  He showed the students how to use their notes to psych-out what their teachers wanted for their tests and how to use notes as a tool to identify test items.  He then had Anna come back up in front of the group and talk about her action plan to get to her goals.   She did a great job and when the class was asked if they believed that she would be successful in her goal to get into nursing school they affirmed her.  Steve included several other students in the discussion to help them attain better grades and to make action plans for their goals.

The class then divided into groups of 3 or 4 per mentor and worked on goal setting for the remainder of the period.  Most mentors reported that the kids’ goals were about finishing high school and graduating, improving their performance and planning for college.  Mentors also remarked how open and serious the students were about their goals and future plans.

The next STRIVE meeting will be on Thursday, January 3rd at 10:09 in room 1602 with Bob Humphrey discussing Self Confidence with the STRIVE Students. (Story by Steve Frazier)



We are excited to welcome our newest member Joyce Kurus.  Joyce brings a youthful enthusiasm to our Excelsior Rotary Club and is being sponsored and mentored by Karen Frazier.  Joyce is no stranger to our motto of "Service Above Self" as she is a family service provider that works with Family Resource West and their efforts to provide more services to the Excelsior Area.

Joyce is pictured here with here with her Sponsor - Karen Frazier and Jerry Brecke our Membership Chair.



The Rotary Club of Excelsior carried on the tradition of Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army on Tuesday, December 4th at the Cub Store in Shorewood from 2:00 to 6:00pm.  The weather was mild and the spirits of our 16 member volunteers were high as they collected donations to help in the good works of the Salvation Army.

Our Excelsior Rotary Volunteers were Darel Liepold, Dick Glover, Molly Swenson, Terry Roeser, Don Draayer, Christie Lodge, Tom Anderson, Jerry Brecke, Jim Hillis, Glen Froberg, Jean Gray. Woody Love, Bob Humphrey and Karen and Steve Frazier.  Steve provided music for the event by playing 35 traditional Christmas Carols and songs during the first and last one-hour shifts of the event.

The Rotary Club of Excelsior would like to thank our member volunteers for their committment of "Service Above Self" and to event coordinator Karen Frazier.  Karen commented that "People were very generous this year.  In fact they gave so much that we had to get a stick to push down the donations in the kettle so that we could more donations in it.  What a great cause to be involved in and to do it with our great club members!"

Pictured here are Karen Frazier, Woody Love Bob Humphrey and Steve Frazier.



Molly Swenson was the presenter at STRIVE on Thursday, November 9th at Minnetonka High School in Room 1602.  To begin her habits lesson Molly said that one of her favorite professional quotes is “We become what we repeatedly do.”  She explained that habits are the basic structure of how we live and that forming good habits is an important part of being successful.

Molly gave her background to get started mentioning that she has been a Rotary Member for about five years and in her professional life she is a senior loan officer.  She is a college graduate from St. Thomas and talked about her blended family and her five children.

At this point Molly interjected a personal story that happened to her in college about forming good study habits.  Early in her college career she had put off studies and at the end of the semester she pulled an all-nighter.  As a result she got a “D” on the test and ended up with exhaustion and some health issues.  Molly stated to the students “…And I never did that again!”  Form good study habits and it will help you do well in school was her advice.  She then quoted Henry Ford “If you think you can do well in school you are right.  If you don’t think you can do well in school you are still right!”

Molly then turned her attention to the bad habit of procrastination and asked if any of the students and mentors ever procrastinated and slowly everyone raised their hand.  “Procrastination is a bad habit so gets rid of it!” was Molly’s advice.  She pointed out that procrastination is a life-long challenge for all of us and she relayed a story-quote that Mark Twain had made about frogs and that if you were faced with having to eat a frog, get it out of the way first; and if you are faced with having to eat a bunch of frogs, eat the biggest one first!  “So in school and life get at what you have to do first and take on the toughest things first!”

Next molly moved to sleep habits and polled the group about how many hours of sleep they get on an average.  I turned out that most students got about 6-7 hours and most of the mentors get about 6 hours of sleep.  Molly advised the students to get 8 hours of sleep and especially prior to tests and other important school events.

Test Taking habits and hints was Molly’s next objective and she listed many habits that would help the students achieve better in tests including taking good notes, being an active listener, asking good questions and going in for special help to mention a few.  Likewise preparing for a test students should review old tests and quizzes, not leave anything to chance so study everything, go into the test calm and do muscle relaxation exercises, mark items you are not sure of and go back to them later in the test, and use all the time given for the test and don’t rush through the test to finish early.

Molly then asked how many of the STRIVE students have set the goal to go on to college and all of the students raised their hands.  She suggested that the students to get their college applications in ASAP.  Molly continued with goals and said that she had asked a lot of successful people about how they set goals in their lives and came up with a list for the students:                                                                 

1.      Write goals down 

2.      Be specific

3.      State goals positively

4.      Also set other types of goals in your everyday life like friendships and talents

5.      Set goals in a timeframe

6.      Check-off goals as you achieve them and then set new ones – keep score!

7.      Goals change in our life so doesn’t be afraid to change your goals as you go along.


 Molly had also asked these successful about what their best habits were and made a laminated bookmark for the students and mentors.  They were:

1.   Get good sleep!

2.   Make a daily to do list and eat that frog!

3.   Read the news (at least the front page!)

4.   Smile, smile, smile – It makes you look positive and approachable.

5.   Ask questions!

6.   Make eye contact and engage.

7.   Offer a firm handshake.

8.   Be interested and show interest in others.

9.   Always have your notebook.

10.  Work on a positive attitude.


Molly ended her presentation by asking everyone to take out their notebooks and to write down three of their good habits that they are now doing and have them ready to share in discussion groups.  The STRIVE students then went into small groups to discuss their three habits and things that they needed to work on from Molly’s presentation. 


Pictured above with Molly Swenson is Malia Henchel.





Our Program on November 13th was a presentation by Ted Schultz, the Activities Director for Minnetonka High School.

Ted has been the district’s AD for a little over three years.

 Student activities directed by his office include athletics, arts programs, activities and clubs. Initially, student activities were managed by a number of different persons, generally a teacher who was interested in the field. By combining things under an activity department, scheduling conflicts are avoided, and the four areas run much more smoothly. His office is the “go to” office for any problems that develop in programs involving students during the school year.

 Ted could have spent his entire time listing the teams that have competed in state championships this year, or the nationally recognized academic teams, or the social programs that have been noted nationally.

 TRIVIA:  The original Pledge of Allegiance was published in September 1892 in “The Youth’s Companion” in Boston.   Gene Simmons, of the rock group “Kiss”, has a B.A. in Education, and speaks 4 languages.   San Francisco’s cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments in our country.   Most lipsticks contain fish scales.                                                                                                                                                                      

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK: “When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.”  -Bernard Bailey (Story by Tad shaw)



Our Program on November 6th (Election Day) was a presentation by Mike Lynch, the meteorologist from WCCO Radio. He has been with the radio station for 32 years, and was raised in Richfield, MN., the oldest of 8 kids in his family. He got his degree in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

The first half of his talk was about his days at the station, and reminiscences of the people he has worked with. His favorite to work with was Steve Cannon, and the hardest to work with is Sid Hartmann. He also talked about Boone and Erickson, Howard Viken, and all of the voices that we all know. I was waiting for him to break into the “”Good Morning Song” that we heard every morning for years.


He shifted gears, and started to talk about his avocation, astronomy. Mike hosts starwatchers throughout the area, which give participants a chance to enjoy the beauty of the sky and stars. He gave out a map of the constellations in the November sky, and instructed us how to sit back in a chair in our yards and locate the various planets and constellations.


Every year, he has been going down to Arizona where the sky is clearer, and watching the stars through one of the five telescopes that he owns. Another location that is good for starwatching is in Northern Minnesota or Wisconsin, but it gets mighty cold up there in the winter.


TRIVIA:  The tax imposed on tea that triggered the Boston Tea Party in 1773 was 3 cents a pound.    Walt Disney World is home to the largest working wardrobe in the world with over 2.5 million costumes.  (Story by Tad Shaw)



Our Program on October 30th was presented by Adam Arvidson. His topic was about the eco regions in our area, and their specific effect on Camp Tanadoona.


Adam started by describing the three major eco regions that exist in the state of Minnesota (few other states have that many regions within their borders). All of this is due to the glaciers that came through Minnesota (and even Bob Williams can’t remember those days!).


Narrowing his focus, he showed us the local ecosystems, and described how the Tanadoona land, because it has not been marked too heavily by civilization, still shows the earmarks of five major ecosystems. Areas on the Eastern side of the land still exhibit the trees from the original times.


As we know, the camp is in the process of updating and reorganizing their property, and the new camp will include nature regions to show campers the characteristics of these five eco regions.


TRIVIA:  During the Crimean War, the British Army lost ten times more troops to dysentery than to battle wounds.   Boredom can lead to madness in parrots. Gray whales migrate 12,000 miles each year, farther than any other mammal.


QUOTATION (QUESTION) OF THE DAY:  “When the guy who made the first drawing board got it wrong, what did he go back to?”


Next week:    Ted Schultz, CAA, Student Activities Director at MHS



Last Week’s Program…was presented by Scott Gerber, the chief of the Excelsior Fire Department. He was introduced by Woody Love, former mayor of Shorewood who was on the committee who hired Scott.

            As a result of 9/11, every state has an emergency preparedness policy, and a part of that policy is a leadership team that co-ordinates the efforts of the various agencies and services that respond to the incident. Scott is on the Minnesota team, and was deployed to Massachusetts last year in response to a hurricane. This year, when that state was threatened by Hurricane Sandy, the state officials asked for the same team to come to help them. Scott and the four other members of the Minnesota team reported to the state’s underground command post, but the damage in the state was relatively minimal, so they were directed to Albany, New York, to help New York State cope with the storm damage.

        Their task was not to do the hands-on work, but to coordinate resources for the rescuers and make all of the resources available to the workers. From their underground bunker, they made sure that all of the donated goods got sent to the right place, and that the workers knew what was available to them and how to obtain the items.

TRIVIA: Franz Liszt was Richard Wagner’s father-in-law.   The National Lighter Museum in Guthrie, OK, has nearly 20,000 pieces, representing over 85,000 years of lighters and fire starters.  The sound of thunder travels about 1,100 feet a second.   

Next Week: The City Managers of Excelsior, Chanhassen and Minnetonka (Story by Tad Shaw)



The Excelsior Rotary Foundation Annual Report                                     of October 23, 2012 at the Bayview Events Center

The Annual Report of the Excelsior Rotary Foundation was given to the Excelsior Rotary Club on October 23, 2012.  President Litfin called on Foundation Chair Don Draayer at 12:47 to give the Annual Report.

Dr. Draayer started his presentation by referencing District Governor Bob Stowell’s moving presentation of a few weeks before and Gary Thompson’s remarks at Happy Bucks reminded Don of a May, 2012 article in the Rotarian Magazine and had Steve Frazier read it to the club.  The reading emphasized the importance of Rotary’s excellence in fiscal management, being transparent and accountable, building trust and Rotary’s commitment to its core beliefs. 

Chair Draayer affirmed that this too was the goal and mission of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.  Draayer continued by referencing Lee Paris as a long-time Rotarian of the Excelsior Club who bequeathed $75,000 to the club in his will and in 2007 the Excelsior Foundation was created as a 501(C)(3) to manage the funds in a manner that garnered accountability, wise fiscal management, and trust of the membership for the Foundation.

Draayer announced that the elements of trust and good educational club programs, namely STRIVE, led Steve Sherwood who is a non-member to approach Dick Glover and has donated $10,000 to the foundation for placement in a Restricted Education Fund.  Proceeds from this donation will be available to the club for educational programs and grants.  Don noted that trust in the Foundation is vitally important as members contemplate their estate planning and their bequests to the Excelsior Rotary Foundation.

Draayer then asked members to draw their attention to the handout entitled “Annual Report to the Excelsior Rotary Club Members” (Five Year Perspective) and proceeded to discuss the Foundation Leadership (1.0) and to introduce past and present trustees.  He went on to outline the chronology of the Foundation Infrastructure (2.0) and the policies to guide the Trustees and most recently the formation of the Endowment Fund Investment Policy Statement and accountability safeguards. 

Next Don explained the need for Foundation Advisors (3.0) and introduced Gary Thompson as advisor for law and policies; finance advisors Joe Froehling and Dean Friesen; and Annual Financial Review Advisors Jerry Brecke, Hugh Gilmore and Dick Osgood.  Don clarified that two club administrations and the financial review process recommended that that alternative investment opportunities be investigated that led to the development of an Investment Policy, extensive search process for a financial advisor, and the Selection of North Star Resource Group.  Don noted that Ann Wengronowitz our Investment Advisor and her assistant Emily Nelson would be making a brief investment update after his remarks.

Chair Draayer then reviewed the Budget Overview Sheet (4.0) that differentiates the Excelsior Rotary Club’s three major funds from those of the three major funds of the Foundation’s Charity Funds.  Don then moved on to the Fund Analysis (5.0) sheet that shows the charitable expenditures by each president starting with Bob Hoebelheinrich up to Tim Litfin made through the Foundation.  Don also explained how the carry-over of unused funds goes to the next president’s budget for charitable giving.  Don noted that over $50,000 in charitable giving has occurred over the past five years through the Foundation.  The final elements of the Fund Analysis that Don explained was the General Fund Balance  (6.0) of $1,344.00 and the Lee Paris Fund balance of $86,964.05.

Draayer then introduced Ann Wengronowitz and Emily Nelson for their investment update report.  Ann introduced herself as a 31 year financial planner and working with North Star.  She explained how she had met with the Foundation Trustees and after considerable research decided to go with the MAPS Income and Growth Portfolio and referenced the handout with the various portfolios listed.  She noted that the 75K of original investment is now at 80K and that the fund is reviewed every 6 months and rebalanced if necessary and that income and interest in the fund are divided with 50% of the interest going back to the club for grant proposals and 50% remains in the fund to counteract inflation and to continue to build the growth fund.

Chair Draayer (7.0) concluded his remarks by saying that we won’t know the total amount of earnings until January and will make that known to the membership at that time.  He thanked everyone for their trust and support of the work of the Foundation and that he and Ann and the Trustees would be available after the meeting to answer any questions.

The Annual Report Minutes are respectfully submitted by Secretary Steve Frazier on October 24, 2012.



Our meeting on October 23rd was the annual report from our club’s foundation board. Speaker was Don Draayer, the chair of the board. Other members of the current board are Steve Frazier, Jim Olds, Dave Peterka, and Terry Roeser.

            Don handed out a written report for each attendee, and verbally covered some of the important points. He started with a brief history of our club’s foundation, started in 2007, and brought us up to date with the leadership and policies of the foundation since then. He then reminded us that there are different places that our money goes. The club has an operating fund that handles day-to-day expenses, an emergency (reserve) fund, Happy Bucks donations, and then the two Rotary Foundations. Donations to RI Foundation are reported and tracked in a different way, and all of the handling is done in Rotary’s office. Our last pot of money is the club’s own foundation, with accountability locally by our five elected trustees.

            On page 3 and 4 of his handout, Don details the charitable donations by the club for the past 6 years and the remaining uncommitted balance.

            The foundation board has placed the funds held by the club in the hands of an investment counselor who invests the funds to gain a better return than is available by leaving the funds in a bank savings account. The manager of the funds, Ann Wengronowitz of North Star Resource Group, was introduced and made a few comments.




Our program on October 16th was a presentation by Heidi Heiland.

Heidi owns a company, Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens, which specializes in providing clients with sustainable landscaping on their property. She is also the vice president of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. Her presentation was a power point showing examples of sustainable gardens to explain to us the people-plant connection.

One of her series of slides involved “artificial floating islands”. The concept is to fabricate a small floating mass which includes a group of plantings that clarify the water and improve the environment. Using these in a stagnant area can clear the water and improve the water quality.

She has a demo plot at her home on Gleason Lake (405 Comstock Lane in Plymouth) and welcomes visitors if they call in advance (763-475-4960). Her website is


With almost $1 billion in yearly revenues, the NFL is the world’s richest professional sports league.   In 1915, the average annual family income in the U S was $687.00 per year.   Chevy Chase’s real first name is Cornelius.   The wooly mammoth had tusks almost 16 feet high.


“God cannot alter the past. That is why he had to create so many historians.”  Samuel Butler

(Story by Tad Shaw)



Our speakers last week were Austin Kraft and Cathy Maes, both from the AM Club. They came to our meeting to present exciting news.

ICA is helping set up a free medical clinic to serve the present ICA client base. The new clinic, to be called Mills Health Clinic, will be located adjacent to the ICA main office in Minnetonka Mills. The clinic will provide the same care as a standard family clinic at no cost to the eligible patients. They have the building already, and are awaiting final approval of the building changes by the Minnetonka City Council. Initial funding of $100,000 is partially met ($55,000), and they are busy writing grant requests for the additional money. They expect to be open and receiving patients in January, 2013. Because of space issues, there will be no room for a dental service at the clinic.

The idea of a supporting health clinic was presented to ICA two years ago, but legal problems made it appear impossible.  Last year, a revised plan was presented which overcame the legal obstacles, and the planning began. A separate non-profit is being formed which will operate the clinic. The Board of Directors is already in place, and helping with the planning and implementation of the plans. Staffing will be composed of qualified, licensed volunteers.

What can we do to help? Cathy and Austin suggested 3 areas where our individual help is important: (1) volunteer to work, (2) inform others of the clinic and the opportunities involved, and (3) help with the funding. The contact would be either Cathy (at ICA) or Austin.



2     Scott Zerby
9     Dick Glover
16   Bob Williams        
23   Dick Osgood
30   Don Draayer

6    Darel Leipold
13   Karen Frazier
20   Steve Frazier
27   Randy Schmacher   

4    Bob Humphrey
11   Woody Love
18   Jim Cada
25   Open                                                                                                                                   




"It Just Seemed Like The Right Thing To Do" with Bob Williams at STRIVE

Posted by Steve Frazier on Oct 25, 2012

Bob Williams spoke to the STRIVE students on Thursday, October 25th and captivated the STRIVE Students with his great message about the importance of having the right attitude. Bob told stories about people he knew and about their attitudes in life and how they used their positive frame of reference to impact the people around. He recounted stories about FDR, his brother Rex Williams and other stories about others and himself.

He told one story about a young man that worked for the Twins in the early years at spring training in Orlando, Florida. It seems that one of the visiting execs had an family emergency and couldn't get a flight so the young man drove the exec some 200 miles because "It just seemed like the right thing to do!" The young man did not want payment for the deed but the exec insisted. Upon his return to camp he mailed the money back explaining that he did not want payment because his good deed just seemed like the right thing to do. He never heard back from the exec again but every year since then he receives a World Series Louisville Slugger Bat because evidently the exec also thought it was the right thing to do!

The 25 STRIVE Students were very impressed with Bob's message and then sat in small groups with the Rotary Mentors and discussed attitudes and people that have been mentors to them and how that has helped them be a better person and to have a better attitude in life.

The next STRIVE Meeting will be on November 8th in Room 1602 at 9:02 at MHS when John Hotvet will continue with Attitudes.

Pictured here with Bob is STRIVE student Theodore Rogney. (Story and picture by Steve Frazier)




Our program on October 9th was the annual official visit of the District Governor. This year, the district governor is Bob Stowell, who is a member of the Burnsville Club.

He started his talk with three statistics: there are 62 clubs in our district (5950), there are 538 districts in RI covering the whole world, and our district has participated in 70 international projects recently. Because of our districts donation record, RI favors our requests for international projects. He talked then of Polio Plus, Rotary’s 27 year project to rid the world of polio, and how there are now only 3 countries that have children who are contracting the disease. India, the most recent country to have a polio-free year, has to have two more years before they can be declared polio free. The three remaining countries are among the most difficult areas to work in, because of armed conflicts and the peoples’ fear of immunizations.


Bob then told a bit of his personal history, explaining his strong feelings about food depravation and clean water projects.


This year our district’s focus is in three areas. (1) healthy clubs, (2) higher level of humanitarianism, and (3) increase public awareness of Rotary projects.  Bob wants to have all of the clubs healthy with active involved members, and each club having a full social and  service calendar. He did mention that interested Rotarians can help at the district level and above by working on district committees.


Adding to the projects done by clubs is another focus. There are so many places that need help that our clubs should be able to heighten the projects proposed this year.


The general public is not aware of the many projects done locally and internationally by Rotary, and the third focus is to make the public aware of what we are doing.


Next week:    The Annual Report of the Excelsior Rotary Foundation with Don Draayer



Dear Rotary Club of Excelsior:  


In just two plus weeks on Tuesday November 6 we are honored once again to participate as free citizens in our government via the elections.  Countless local, regional, state and national elections are taking place.  Voting is one of our highest privileges and honors we inherited as Americans.  Don’t take it for granted!  Celebrate this wonder that is truly American.  Celebrate your trip to and from the poles.  Celebrate the fact that your vote counts.


Also, remember that on Tuesday Nov. 6 our Rotary Club is hosting an “each one bring one” meeting.  Each of us as members are asked to bring a guest who may be a prospective new member for our club.  This is another way of voting…you are voting with your request to your guest that he or she may become a member.  There is power in your request.  There is responsibility in your request.  This club needs sustainability.  This club needs new younger members.  This club needs you!


This important meeting is an opportunity for us to link arms together and say…come and check us out – I know you will like what you see.


Mark your calendars……..Tuesday November 6.  Who are you bringing to Rotary?  Thank you.



The Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting 
of September 25, 2012 at Bayview Event Center

The Meeting was called to order by Chair Don Draayer at 1:11PM at the Bayview Event Center on Tuesday, September 25, 2012.  In attendance were trustees Don Draayer, Dave Peterka, Terry Roeser, Jim Olds, Steve Frazier, Financial Audit Representative  Jerry Brecke and Excelsior Rotary Club President Tim Litfin. (1.0)

The Proposed Agenda was accepted with the inclusion of the Band Shell Update by Terry Roeser. (2.0)

The Minutes of the July 24, 2012 were accepted as written by unanimous consent. (3.0)

Chair Draayer deviated from the printed agenda to allow Jerry Brecke to give the Audit Committee’s Report.  Brecke reported that the Committee had completed its work and had no recommendations for the Foundation resulting from their review.  They found the transfer of the $75,000 to the Lee Paris Investment Fund to be consistent with approved accounting practices and all the filings with the State and Federal Agencies to be in order.  The conclusion of the Audit Committee was that of a clean audit for the Foundation.  Brecke noted that the Audit Committee would meet in the next week and submit its’ signed report to the Foundation in writing.  Chair Draayer thank Jerry and the Audit Review Committee (Dick Osgood and Hugh Gilmore) for their work and the importance of having a “clean audit” in gaining the acceptance and trust of the Excelsior Rotary Club Membership.  The Audit Report was accepted by acclamation. (4.0)

Terry Roeser was called upon to give the Foundation Trustees an update on the Band Shell Feasibility Study.  She reported that the study had been suspended and that the $1, 500 from each club would be returned to the respective Foundation accounts.  The $1,500 to the Excelsior Foundation will be put back into the Lee Paris Interest Fund.  The entire Band Shell Project will now be handled by the City of Excelsior and not the multi-community philanthropic committee as originally envisioned. 

Next Jim Olds was called upon to give the Financial Report (4.0).   Olds reviewed the Bank Report (4.1) with the Directors and circulated a copy for members review.  The Balance Sheet was reviewed and shows Total Current Assets to be $28,050.03.  In turn the Profit & Loss Detail was handed out to members covering July 1 through September 25th.  Olds indicated that he had not received any investment reports to be included in the Bank Report. (4.3)  Chair Draayer commented that Ann Wengronowitz will speak at the Oct. 23rd meeting about the Investment Policy and our current investment profile.

Olds indicated that the outlays to colleges had been made that were previously approved and that there had not been any new requests for scholarship payments or any other funding requests (4.4). 

Olds’ requested that the Directors also review the situation with the Scholarship for Megan McCrady.  Megan’s father had requested that the scholarship to her be made to her personally for books and a computer and not to go through the Normandale Registrar as this would reduce her financial aid.  To this end the Club Board had voted to make payment to Megan under these circumstances and she would be required to submit receipts for the expenditures and that it would be taken out of the Happy Bucks Education Fund for later consideration of the Foundation at its fall meeting.  Treasurer Olds affirmed that Megan had submitted the appropriate receipts and paper work for the $1,500.  The Directors discussed the circumstances and decided that this was not a violation of the Foundation’s non-profit status and could be explained to the IRS if it came under review.  To this end Terry Roeser made the Motion and Seconded by Dave Peterka to reimburse the Happy Bucks Education Fund $1,500.  Motion passed unanimously.

Dave Peterka made the motion and seconded by Terry Roeser to accept the Treasurers report and the motion was passed unanimously (4.0).

Under Old Business (5.0) Chair Draayer reported that all of the Foundation Advisors that were nominated at the July 24th meeting have affirmed their commitment to serve for the 2012-13 fiscal year.  Joe Froehling and Dean Friesen as Financial Advisors, and Gary Thompson as Legal and Policy Advisor (5.1).

Chair Draayer reported that the Budgetary Distinction Overview Sheet that summarizes both the Club and Foundation funding distinctions has been reviewed and accepted by the Club’s Board of Directors for subsequent use at the October 23rd Foundation Annual Report meeting(5.2).

Chair Draayer also reported that Ann Wengronowitz will address the members about the Foundations Investment Policy and give an investment update as part of the Foundation annual Report on October 23rd (5.3)

Steve Frazier reported that a site page for the Foundation has been set-up for Foundation matters.  Scott Zerby and Frazier have set it up but it currently has limited ability for the storage of Foundation documents.  Steve will approach Club Runner to expand the site’s capabilities and allow for electronic storage of important documents such as Foundation Bylaws, Minutes, Financial Reports and Investment Policies.  Frazier will update the progress at the next meeting.  Frazier also reported that currently the Minutes of the Foundation are reported on the Home Page after acceptance and that will continue until site update occurs (5.4)

New Business (6.0) was a brainstorming session on the program for the Foundation Annual Report on October 23rd.   Chair Draayer distributed a handout that included a Five Year Perspective sheet of Foundation Leadership, Infrastructure, Advisors and supporting overview documents (i.e., Budgetary Overview Sheet and a Presidents Fund Analysis sheet of the Foundations distribution of charity dollars).

A lengthy discussion transpired over the Presidential Fund Analysis sheet that shows the funding allocations for each of the last six Presidents and their fund carryover to the next President.  Chair Draayer commented that he did not have an updated version of the Fund Analysis sheet.  Treasurer Olds indicated that there was some confusion about the consortium grant enacted when Tom Anderson was Rotary President and that clarification would was needed to determine the correct expenditures from the Love and Ltfin Presidential Funding Accounts.  Director Peterka suggested a meeting be set-up with former Treasurer Dean Friesen, Treasurer Olds, Chair Draayer and President Litfin to determine the expenditures to each of the succeeding presidential accounts.  He further emphasized the usefulness and importance of this Presidential Fund Analysis summary sheet for both members review and that of the role of the Foundation in funding projects.  Treasurer Olds volunteered to set-up the meeting and to get the Presidential Fund Analysis sheet updated for the October 23rd Foundation Report.

The entire Board agreed that the Five Year Perspective outline and supporting documents as prepared by Chair Draayer was right on point and would make for an excellent Foundation Report to the Club Membership.  Members also affirmed the desirability of having Ann Wengronowitz there to gain visibility and trust with the members.

Chair Draayer requested that Secretary Frazier take Minutes of the Foundation Annual Report on October 23rd for the permanent record and fulfillment of the bylaws.

The next Board of Trustees Meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 27th at 1:00pm at the Bayview Event Center.  Topics for future meetings will focus on Record Retention and policy formation on Conflict of Interest as it relates to the Foundation.

Chair Draayer thanked everyone for their participation and ideas and entertained a motion for adjournment (10.0).  Peterka moved and Frazier seconded a motion for Adjournment until November 27, 2012 at 1:00PM at Bayview Event Center.  The motion carried unanimously. 

Respectfully submitted by Steve Frazier, Excelsior Rotary Foundation Secretary



Our Program on September 4th was presented by Shiela Ross.

Last year, four Rotary Clubs (including us) set up a joint effort to do international projects. Last year, we did the bus for the orphanage in Haiti. This year, the clubs are supporting “Light of Hope”, a project in Kenya. The Wayzata Rotary is the lead club in this project.

The organization founded and supports a complex in Naivasha, Kenya, which provides refuge for lost and homeless girls. Most of the 60-plus girls who are residents are either orphans, from abusive homes, or were abandoned. Once there, the girls are given education, a stable home environment, and hope for their future. The girls range from 9 years to adult, and are educated in a school that has a Christian-based value system. On-premises education is through grade 8, and education  9th grade through university is funded by ELIMU Foundation.

Light of Hope was founded by Boni and Sandy Karanja and has strong roots in our area. Many of the corporate directors are from the Wayzata area. The website shows the campus in Kenya, and shows the progress over the past decade. Construction of the dining hall has begun, and the current effort of the group is to outfit the kitchen and dining hall so that the girls can eat sitting at tables instead of taking their food to classrooms to eat.

Contact information can be found at You can also contact them by mail at Light of Hope, 4208 Hemlock Lane No, Plymouth, MN 55441, thru Wayzata Community Church, or thru Wayzata Rotary Club.




Our Program on September 18th was presented by our own Bob Williams. He told a number of stories about his experiences during the Great Depression as a youngster living in Excelsior.

            Bob touched on a lot of Excelsior history in his talk, with references to the amusement park and how the town of Excelsior was famed for the park, and how it appeared that all of the town kids worked at the park sometime during their teens. He talked about the park’s policy of welcoming company employee groups, and of discounted rides on special days where a milk bottle cap and three cents would get you on any ride in the park. 

            As an alum of Excelsior High School, he told a few stories about school days in the ‘30s, His wife, Patty, also was raised in town, and he included memories of the days when her family’s ice company provided the ice for all of the homes in town.

            Bob also reminded us that sliced bread was a new item in his youth, and admitted he spent a lot of evenings in Danceland dancing to popular bands such as Ted Weems, the Dorseys, and others.

            The Professor (aka Jim Cada) is appearing in “Old Explorers” at Wayzata Community Church. A 2-man comedy, it will be onstage on Oct 5,6,7,11,12, and 13. Contact Jim for more info or for tickets.



Next week:    District Governor Bob Stowell



Last Week’s Program: was presented by Rebecca Hahn. Becky talked about photography, giving us general information about taking pictures, and handling the finished photos. Becky is a former columnist, former tennis teacher, and married to our John Ferm.                                                         

Because of the public’s acceptance and use of digital cameras, the photo developers are slowly going out of business. Becky said that the two discount retailers, Costco and Sam’s Club are excellent places to have your films developed. They have knowledgeable employees, and their pricing is very competitive. She also said to have enlargements made “full frame” (8x12); the cost is good and the photos are printed in full – there is no cropping. When you frame the picture, you are the one who decides what to be cut.

Becky talked about frames for photos, and said that she gets most of her frames at garage sales. The pictures she had on display were all framed in “garage sale frames”. She also gave hints on posing people for pictures. Generally, have the subject turned a little from the camera – no direct lineup. Watch out for windows; they are not friends of photographers. Have portraits printed on matte rather than shiny paper; the finish makes the person look better.


Quotation: “I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of a national emergency, even if I am in a cabinet meeting”  Ronald Reagan


Our Program on August 14th was a presentation about the West Suburban Teen Clinic, made by Lisa Stordahl.
          The West Suburban Teen Clinic was founded in 1972, and our own Glenn Froberg was on the board of directors. They currently have a staff of 100 volunteers, and they are the only clinic that serves a clientele in an area of 1200 square miles. They specialize in providing health care to youth from 12 to 23 years of age. They now have a branch in Hopkins which was recently opened.
         When they first opened, the public was misinformed as to their purpose. The rumors were that it was an abortion clinic, and that their purpose was greatly misunderstood. Now, after 40 years of operation, their mission is understood and accepted by most people.
The clinic operates on a sliding scale fee basis, and no young person is turned away. They provide basic health care, usually to uninsured kids, and provide tests and treatment for illness. They do counseling for youth, and for family issues. They have an education program that reaches kids in all of the area high schools and talks about reproductive and social issues. They also provide reproductive health care to youth.
The reproductive care is the part that was controversial. Their intent was to provide information to kids about the process, and offer guidance and support if a girl was pregnant. Help was provided for new teenage parents to help them cope with the responsibilities of raising a family. 
         They are planning to celebrate their 40th anniversary with a gala on Friday, September 28th. The party to be held in the Doubletree Hotel in St. Louis Park will feature the band that played at Rupert’s (remember Rupert’s?), and it appears that they will be announcing a new name for their clinic at that affair. The name they have used doesn’t fully fit their current mission.

Phone contact: Lisa Stordahl  952-474-3251   E-mail:

No Meeting Next Week on August 28th because of the Golf-Auction Fundraiser !   



Our Program on August 21st was a presentation by Monique Hammond. Monique lost her hearing in four hours, and she came to talk with us about preventing hearing loss. She started her presentation with the fact (according to Johns Hopkins research) that one in five Americans over the age of 12 has a hearing disability. Most of the issues stem from excessive continuous noise.

There are two kinds of hearing loss, conductive (involving the middle ear and the external arts of the ear) and sensorineural (involving the inner ear and nerves). The conductive can be handled with hearing aids, but the sensorineural is harder to handle. It is caused by excessive noise and aging, and results in loss of hearing and in early cases poor word recognition. When we are born, we get hearing cells covering the full range of sound, but the hearing cells do not regenerate when damaged or killed. Hence, as we age, our hearing range diminishes.

Her message, that people should avoid exposure to loud sounds to avoid hearing loss is one she wants us to pass on to others. Workers should wear the protective earplugs provided by their employers, or devise their own. Exposure to loud music is the same hazard as being near power tools with unprotected ears.

Monique was born in Luxembourg, and gradated fro the U of Minnesota with degrees in pharmacy. When she suffered the sudden loss of hearing in her left ear, it severely impaired her ability to work and she resigned rather than risk making a mistake in her work. She is a good spokesperson for those with hearing loss.

Her book, “What Did You Say?”, is available at, and at book stores, and her website,, is very informative.



Last Week’s Program:  on September 11th was a review of our club’s five- year old five-year plan, with President Tim Litfin reviewing the salient points of the current program. Further discussions will be held and the present plan will be updated at a future club assembly.

President Tim pointed out that the club had never formulated a mission statement, and there were three sample statements included in the printed packet we were given. He then reviewed the entire document, which covered our vision of five years ago.

Our stated goals for each of the avenues of service were listed in some detail with special emphasis on Club Service.

The next steps in the process are to have the club members provide input as to changes in the document, draft a new vision statement, and present it to the club in a future club assembly.

Future Programs:

October 2        District Governor Bob Stowell

October 9        Cathy Maes – ICA Free Clinic

TRIVIA:   Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them would burn their houses down – hence the expression “to get fired”.

Pound for pound, hamburgers cost more than new cars.

The average giraffe’s blood pressure is two or three times that of a healthy man.

Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.

QUOTE: “A rocket will never be able to leave the earth’s atmosphere”  the New York Times, 1936



Last Week’s Program: Our speaker on July 24th was Darel Leipold, and he told us about four of the famous people who were the original movers and shakers in the automotive industry.


The first of the four was Will Durant. He started the Flint Wagon Works, was involved in the early days of many of the brand names we know today, He was a wheeler and dealer, and bought and sold companies to build the empire. He was the man, who built General Motors, and he bought the patent for the first automobile self-started, but the product didn’t work. After a lifetime of dealing, he dies broke.


The second was E.L. Cord. He was a race driver who got into the marketing end of the business, designed and sold the Cord car, and then started to invest in the radio and television business. He did well, and died in 1974.


The third was Walter Chrysler. He, like the others, interacted with the group, and built cars and empires for his own companies and those of his friends. He also built a skyscraper in New York City and named it after himself.


The fourth man was Henry Ford. At one time half of the cars on the road were built by Ford and his companies.


The bottom line of the presentation was that while these four are the founders of the auto revolution, they were more interested in the financial markets, and were not too adept at playing it.



The program on July 31st was presented by member Bob Pillsbury.

Bob and Tody have sold their home, and that was the impetus for his talk about business ethics with a bit of his family history. In preparing to move, Bob got into some old boxes that they had kept, and he ran across a publication that included a speech given by his grandfather at the 27th annual convention of Rotary International. Bob's grandfather was an electrical engineer by training, and he was in top management at Munsingwear.

His speech, given at the height of the financial distress called the Great Depression, spoke to the subject of business ethics, especially in times of stress. The talk reminded his peers that it was not ethical to cut quality in order to freeze out your competitors, and that special care had to be taken by managers to remain ethical when all of commerce was straining to survive.



Next week:    West Suburban Teen Clinic




Our program on July 17th was presented by Alexis Hallin, and was a description of her year as a Rotary Exchange Student.  She is a student at Mound-Westonka High School, and is the grand-daughter of our long term friend (who should be a member of our club), Phil Hallin. She spent the last school year in Columbia, South America.


Alexis has a visual presentation of her year, and showed pictures of her two schools, her host families, typical meals, and some of the cities she visited. There were a number of exchange students in the country and they frequently met together to do activities. During her year, she visited many of the principal towns in the country.


Some of her comments: she found that much of their food was deep-fried, and they serve rice at almost every meal. A student starts school and stays with the same classmates throughout the education process. During the question period, she talked about the violence that we hear about in the country, but said that none of the exchange students saw any problems, and that the majority of the Columbian people are very nice.


This year, she will be taking classes for high school AND college credit, and will “catch up” to her Westonka classmates that way.


Alexis had her Rotary Exchange Blazer jacket with her, and it was filled with badges from around the world.



Next week:    Bob Pillsbury

Greeter:  Darel Leipold



Last Week’s Program:  on July 10th was entitled “A Vision of Rotary for 2012-2013”, and was a presentation of our new president, Tim Litfin.

Tim started by introducing his board for the coming year.

The tentative calendar for the year was presented showing all of the major events as they are presently scheduled; Tim did say there might be some minor revisions through the year. Shown on the calendar were a few of new items.


Each month on the first meeting, there will be a live auction. Special items (Viking tickets, dinners, etc.) will be auctioned off during the meeting. During the year, Tim will meet three times with our newest members to keep them in step with Rotary’s goals and our club’s activities. All of this year’s activities were shown on the calendar with the date of the event in the new-year.


Tim, in his talk, covered a wide range of topics, including the budget, our foundation, enthusiasm, participation, and new members. He has projected a membership growth of 5 members for the year.



Next week:    Ambassadorial Scholar Mika Thuening



Last Week’s Program on August 7th was a presentation by Connor Swenson, the son of our member, Molly. Connor graduated from Wayzata High School three years ago, is a student at Tulane, and decided that he wanted to learn more about the culture in Northern Africa. He applied for a year’s study abroad in Egypt, which had been welcoming to exchange programs. However, the recent unrest took Egypt out of the exchange business, and Connor’s second choice was Morocco. He spent the last school year in Rabat, Morocco.

 Egypt is at the east end of Northern Africa, and Morocco is at the west corner of the continent, across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain and Portugal. The largest city, Casablanca, houses about one half of the country’s 32,000,000 population. Rabat, his town, is the second largest city. He showed us pictures of his exchange-family, and of some of activities where all of the U.S. exchange students gathered together. He also was able to do a great deal of traveling to parts of the country, and to Europe as well.

He said that his goals were to learn the language, and to learn about the political structure. The dialect is different in Morocco than in the other countries, but the basics are the same. The political climate in Morocco is calm while the rest of Northern Africa is having riots. Connor said that the monarch in Morocco is more socially aware, and has granted concessions in his country, and the citizens respect the king because of his more democratic leanings.



Our program on June 19th was presented by Renae Clark from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.  Her main topic was the dam at Gray’s Bay, and how it is managed. The raising or lowering of the Lake Minnetonka water levels is regulated by her division of the MCWD, and is governed by a water management plan developed in 1980. The plan balances the need for maintaining water levels in the Lake with controlling creek flow through the rest of the district.                                                                                 

A heavy rainfall may require some adjustment of the water level from the established lake level, 929.40 feet above sea level. How much water is retained in the lake and how much water flows down the creek affects residents all over the county.                                                             

President Woody and Renae both agreed that the MWCD did NOT open the dam to get water flowing over Minnehaha Falls when President and Mrs. Johnson visited one year. The water that appeared when they visited was provided by the Minneapolis Fire Department from their hydrant system that came from the Mississippi River.




NOTE:  On Father’s Day, our friend and member Dave McCuskey died after a battle with cancer. Dave was a retired lawyer, a longtime member of Rotary, and active in the International Village Clinic in India. A memorial gathering will be held Saturday, June 30th at his home in Shorewood from 1 to 4.


At our Rotary Meeting on Tuesday, June 19th John Hotvet shared the sad news that our dear Rotarian friend David McCuskey had past away on Father's Day.  David had suffered for several years with cancer and will be missed by all of us.  Our love and sympathy to David's family and John will update us on funeral arrangements. 


The program on Tuesday, May 29th was to be the Cooks of Crocus Hills but because of a last minute scheduling conflict Dick Glover the Director of the STRIVE Program and Chris Lizee the Scholarship Committee Chair stepped in to discuss this year’s STRIVE and Scholarships Programs respectively.                             

Glover talked about the incredible group of 35 students that registered to be part of the STRIVE Program that met bi-weekly at MHS throughout the year.  This is the largest turnout in the six year history of STRIVE and the students brought with them a high motivation to attend and participate in group discussions.  Dick complimented the STRIVE Presenters that were all from our club and distributed a handout that highlighted each speaker in this year’s program.  Glover said, “These kids are amazing and almost all of them improved their GPA with ten students making the “B” Honor Roll and two making the “A” Honor Roll.  In fact they did so well that we had to add an additional scholarship because of their improved achievement!”                        

Top STRIVE Scholarship honors for most improved achievement went to Rachel Lehman -$2,000, Laura Cisewski - $1000, Matthew Boyce $600, Hanna Kasid - $500 and Troy Goemer – $400.  Dick closed by saying, “It is a great honor to work with these terrific kids and to be part of making a difference in their lives and in their future.”                  

Chris Lizee discussed the new direction taken by the Scholarship Committee this year and how the “Make a Difference” Scholarships really went to students who really worked hard and needed the financial help to attend college.  With the help of “Family Friends” and Mary Beth Wiig from the Counseling Staff at MHS two students were selected to receive $1500 scholarships.  The Awards went to Patience Cole and Megan McCrady.   Chris smiled and said, “We did not find out until the Awards Ceremony at MHS that both of the Rotary scholarship recipients were also members of this year’s STRIVE group!”

President Woody Love presented Bob Williams with the District 5950 “Service above Self” Award for his contributions to the club throughout the years and notwithstanding his perfect attendance for the past 50 years!  Bob Williams then put his “Service above Self” into action by collecting Happy Bucks.  We are proud of Bob and each of our members that serve Rotary with dignity and humility and practice “Service above Self” in their business and in their personal lives.



Our meeting on June 26th was the annual “Changing of the Guard”. As we all know, Rotary Clubs change presidents and boards on July 1st of each year, and the districts and international officers are all serving annual terms that end on the 30th of June. So all of Rotary is “under new management” since our last meeting.

In our case, President Woody spent his last meeting as president talking about his board and the work they did for him and for us.  Some of the present board will continue to serve under Tim Litfin. The list of new board members is on the last page of the bulletin.

Special mention was made of the service of Dean Friesen. Dean has been the club treasurer for longer than most members can remember. He has handled billings, payments, taxes and other filings for years with accuracy and care. Dean received two awards from Woody; one of the awards was recognition from the club for his service, and the other was a “Service Above Self Award” from District 5950. Our new club treasurer will be Jim Olds.

Woody ended his comments, and turned the club’s gavel over  to incoming president Tim Litfin. Tim presented an award recognizing Woody’s service as president of the club. During Happy Bucks, many members commented on the quality of the year and the excellent job Woody had done.

Tim’s second act was to check his watch, and ring the bell. He says he wants to have as good an “On Time Record” as Woody had, closing meetings by the one o’clock deadline.



Our speaker on June 12th was Telly Mamayek, the Communications Director of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.


The MCWD is a public agency that is charged with the management of the entire watershed for Minnehaha Creek. It was established by the legislature in 1967 as multi-city effort to control flooding along the creek. The organization oversees watershed management in 29 communities covering 181 square miles.


Managing a watershed sounds easy, but it actually is quite complicated. Just a list of the responsibilities will show the complexity: control of aquatic invasive species, including monitoring and testing effectiveness of various methods of control; testing water quality throughout the watershed and monitoring clean-up efforts; restoring the creek-bed in locations where the bed has been damaged or destroyed by building projects or natural causes; purchasing adjoining land to increase “green space’” along the creek route; proposing, interpreting, and enforcing regulation and laws pertaining to the watershed; updating and maintaining the operating equipment ; and educating the public about the issues and solutions involved in the effort.


The MCWD has an annual budget of about $10,000,000. . The group has taxation authority to fund its work.


Getting enough clean water flow to allow canoeing from Gray’s Bay Dam to Minnehaha Falls is just a minor effect of the work of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.


NEXT WEEK: Renae Clark, Operations Manager of MCWD

Greeter: Dick Glover



Last Week’s Program:  Bill Carlson from the Morning Club was the presenter at the June 5th meeting on “The 2012 Rotary Golf Tournament and Auction Idea Session” and was assisted by Karen and Steve Frazier.  In Bill’s preliminary remarks he noted that last year we raised $38,000 and after the Food Dash each club received $15,000 for their designated charities.  Bill went on to say that this year’s goal is $50,000 and we hope to raise $16,000 on the auction. The Rotary Golf Tournament and Auction will be held at Burl Oaks Golf Course on Monday, August  27th. 

To help get everyone involved in the auction, Bill had Karen Frazier hand out discussion sheets to every table and requested each table to have a recorder and discuss ideas for auction items and then to have each table report out their findings.  Steve Frazier facilitated the table reports and the response of our Rotarians was fantastic with over 70 ideas presented and several commitments for auction items. Items committed were the donation of an English Telephone Booth by John Gray; a Time-share at Lake Carlos in Alexandria by Jim Cada, a guided Historical Tour of Big Island by Darel Leipold and Bob Humphrey, a weekend Get-Away on Madelin Island by Jim Hillis, Lunch and Tour of the Police Station with Chief Litzey for four people and a Guided Tour of the Lake Minnetonka Area in a Model A Ford with Darel Leipold.  Many creative and fun suggestions were brought-up and a complete list will be given to the members the following week when the event flyers and raffle tickets are to be distributed.                                                          

Steve also announced that the Rotary Clubs of Excelsior would have a booth on the “Art on the Lake” event on Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10 and that members would be contacted by email to volunteer to do a one hour shift to sell raffle tickets, hand out flyers and talk with members of the public about Rotary.                                                                     

Bill returned to thank everyone for their great participation and encouraged everyone to get involved in this year’s Rotary August Classic.




Tuesday, May 1st – Meet at McDonalds at 8:00

Join us even if you have not signed-up!

Team 1 North – Gas station at 7 & Christmas Lake Rd. to Manor Road.  Park at gas station.  Fairly easy walking.

1.Jim Hillis  2. Dick Glover


Team 1 South – Christmas Lake Rd to Radisson Inn Rd. near #7.  Park at Christmas Lake Rd. and Radisson Inn Rd.  Fairly easy walking.

1.Karen Frazier  2. Steve Frazier


Team 2 North – Manor Rd. to Old Market & 7 Intersection.  Park either on Excelsior Blvd at Manor or at the Skate Park off of St. Albans Bay Cir.  Steeper edges and more difficult walking.

1.Randy Schumacher  2. John Hotvet


Team 2 South – Radisson road near & to Old Market Intersection.  Park at either Radisson Rd. near 7 or at Old Market intersection.  Steeper edges and more difficult walking.

1.Molly Swenson 2. Tim Litfin


Team 3 North – Old Market Intersection to Vine Hill.  Fairly easy walking.  Park at Woody’s lot.  Fairly easy walking.

1.    Woody Love  2. Gary Thompson


Team 3 South – Old Market Intersection to Vine Hill Intersection.  Easy walking.  Park at Old Market or on Shady Hills Rd. by Preschool.  Easy walking.

1.Theresa Zerby  2. Bob Humphrey




The Excelsior Rotary’s Greeters and Opening Marshals for the remainder of Woody Love Presidency are:

May 1

Randy Schumacher

May 8

Don Draayer

May 15

Pam Prosser

May 22

John Hotvet

May 29

Glen froberg

June 5

Chris Lizee

June 12

Ron Hughes

June 19

Dick Glover

June 26

John Marty



          Our May Day program was a presentation by Mike Wiskus, who will present the aerobatic show over the lake as part of the 4th of July Program this year.
          Mike is a professional pilot who is based out of the Buffalo MN airport, and has a “day job” as a corporate pilot. But from his presentation, it’s clear that his heart is in aerobatic flying and doing air shows. He will be a part of the evening presentations on the 4th of July, doing stunt flying over the lake to entertain the crowd before the orchestra and the fireworks. He has a bright red biplane, and he has his program all planned and approved by the FAA; the remaining approvals have to come from the sheriff and the LMCD.
           He told a bit of his life story, starting with his early years at the family farm next door to the Mason City, Iowa, airport, and his job as a line boy there starting at age 13. He soloed at age 17, and by then had a large group of mentors who cheered him on and helped him learn the aviation trade. Mike talked of his ability to walk onto the field and look at and touch the airplanes – something that kids can’t easily do now with the tightened airport security. He encouraged all of us to help kids get familiar with aircraft; there are too few young people interested, and in the future, we may find ourselves with a shortage of pilots.
           He does 20 air shows a year, with up to 6 performances at each one. He has a number of sponsors, with Lucas Oil as the main one. There is something especially thrilling about an air show, and a show of hands showed that almost all of our members have been to at least one air show. The 4th of July show should really liven up the evening for sure!                                         
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)


Our program on May 8th was a musical program presented by the MMW Jazz Band. The band, composed of twenty-seven 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, from Minnetonka Middle School West, was led by director (and music teacher) Laura Bergren.

The musicians arrived, set up, and got tuned in short order. They played 4 selections for us, starting with “First Time Around”, followed by “Cute”, “Jazz Police”, and finally “Sing, Sing, Sing”, originally made famous by Benny Goodman. Four students played solos during the concert.

Before the group played, Ms. Bergren explained to the club members that the jazz band is an extracurricular program, and that all of the members are also in one of the school’s regular band programs. To become a member of the jazz group, the students have to audition, and then they have to commit to attending band practice an hour before classes start once a week.

Tim Litfin did some quick interviews before the start, and many of the band members had been playing their instrument for under two years. A show of hands told us that about 70% of our members had played in band in school, and about 25% had played in jazz ensembles or “big band” groups as part of their high school experiences. There was a lot of toe tapping and a lot of smiling during the numbers, especially the last one. This concert was the first one many members had heard with a middle school band playing jazz, and I heard many comments about the increased level of accomplishment in recent years. (Story by Tad shaw and Photo by Steve Frazier)



Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees

Minutes: May 08, 2012

Location: Bayview Conference Center @ 1:00 PM



The meeting was called to order by Chairman Don Draayer.  Trustees present were: Don Draayer, Dean Friesen, Steve Frazier, Dave Peterka and Carl Zinn.  No trustees were absent.

Also in attendance were our investment advisor(s): Ann Wengronowitz, CFP, Emily Nelson, RR, and Gary Thompson, Special Advisor to the Foundation Board of Trustees, and Jerry Brecke, member of the Rotary Club of Excelsior.

Action Item: The agenda was reviewed and approved with the single change that the Treasurers report would be moved to new business so it could be reviewed in conjunction with the discussion regarding “Budgetary Distinctions.”

 Secretary’s Report

The Secretary’s Report of the minutes for the March 22, 2012 meeting was presented for approval by Secretary Dave Peterka.  It was moved by Dean Friesen and seconded by Carl Zinn to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.  Also presented for approval were the minutes for the April 7, 2012 “un-official” meeting.  It was moved by Steve Frazier and seconded by Don Draayer to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.

Old Business:

Don Draayer present for approval, Draft #9 of The Excelsior Rotary Foundation Policy #5: Lee Paris Fund and Endowment Fund Investment Policy Statement.  After considerable discussion and input from Ann Wengronowitz, CFP and Emily Nelson RR, this final policy statement was brought to a vote.  It was moved by Carl Zinn and seconded by Dave Peterka to approve the final policy statement as presented.  The motion carried unanimously. 

Additionally, Don Draayer led a discussion regarding the recommendation on Placement of “Leftover Funds” from the Presidential Accounts (Policy #3) from year to year.  This topic caused considerable conversation at the previous joint “un-official” board meeting between the Rotary Club of Excelsior and the Excelsior Rotary Foundation held on April 7, 2012.  After considerable discussion by all, including comments from Joe Froehling, Special Advisor to the Foundation Board of Trustees, (delivered by Don Draayer), it was moved by Carl Zinn and seconded by Steve Frazier to continue with the current language, that is that any funds not expended from the Foundation’s sub-account of the Rotary Club president during his or her term of office will be transferred to the next president’s annual sub-account, therefore making no procedural change in the language of Policy #3.  The motion carried unanimously. 

New Business:

Investment Advisor Ann Wengronowitz, CFP led the Board of Trustees through her proposed investment recommendations for the long term investment of the initial $75,000 unrestricted endowment fund of Rotarian Lee Paris.  The proposal consisted of a blend of fixed income bonds (46%), equity investments (31%), tactical investments (20%), and cash (3%).  It was moved by Carl Zinn and seconded by Dean Friesen to approve Ann’s recommendation as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.

With our investment advisor in place and her investment recommendations approved, it was moved by Steve Frazier and seconded by Carl Zinn to approve the transfer of $75,000 to North Star Resource Group via Ann Wengronowitz.  The motion carried unanimously.

For discussion, Don Draayer presented the One Page Budgetary Distinction which attempts to distinguish between funds held for the Rotary Club of Excelsior from those held for The Excelsior Rotary Foundation.  After much discussion, we agreed that this format could be a very helpful document for both club and foundation use.  Dean Friesen noted that the title, “Paul Harris Fellows Fund,” on the “club side” isn’t quite true, because club member donations go directly to the Rotary International Foundation.  It was suggested that the reference to Paul Harris be included as a footnote on the club side of the page. Don Draayer will further develop this document.  

 Treasurer’s Report

 The Treasurer’s Report for month-end April 30, 2012 was presented by Treasurer Dean Friesen.  Internally prepared financial statements covering YTD April 30, 2012 activity reflect total revenues of $19,506.54 less total expenses of $15,832.02 (consisting largely of charitable contributions) yielding a YTD net income of $3,674.52.  The corresponding balance sheet for the same period reflects total equity of $118,785.39 supporting total assets of $118,785.39.  This Foundation has no liabilities.

The question was raised by Don Draayer regarding how Foundation operating expenses are covered.  He noted that there is no explicit budget category shown on the spread sheets which cites and records such expenses and that complete transparency of Foundation activities would be more complete with this addition.  He said that past foundation chair, Joe Froehling, answered this question for him by saying such expenses, which have been very small, have been withdrawn from the Annual Fund (Presidential Accounts).  Dean Friesen confirmed this practice.  

A careful review of the Foundation Fund Analysis, consisting of the Annual Fund, the General Fund, and the Endowment Fund (including the Lee Paris Unrestricted Account) followed.  It was moved by Carl Zinn, seconded by Steve Frazier, and carried to approve the Treasurer’s report.  The motion carried unanimously.


There being no further business, it was moved by Dave Peterka and seconded by Carl Zinn to adjourn the meeting.  The motion carried unanimously.

 Respectfully Submitted,

 Dave Peterka, Secretary of the Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees



The STRIVE presenter on March 1, 2012 was Steve Frazier and he used the smart board to present the topic “Turning Your Dreams into Reality.”  The power point presentation and discussion was a lesson on how the STRIVE students can make their dreams come true and he used pictures of each of this year’s mentor presentations and their main quotes to add interest and capture the essence of the STRIVE student’s journey with Rotary through the year.

Steve started out the presentation by reminding the students that “The difference between a Dream and a Goal is a plan!”  He reviewed with the students that goals always start right now and that they are measurable, have a time frame, specific and realistic and should start with the words “I will…”

Frazier pointed out 14 “I will statements” to help the STRIVE students attain their goals and dreams:

1.       I will believe in myself!

2.       I will not give into self-doubt.

3.       If it’s going to be it’s up to me.

4.       I will not procrastinate!

5.       I will have a positive attitude!

6.       I will own my own feelings. I will turn my scars into stars.

7.       I will write down my goals and plans.

8.       I will visualize my goals daily.

9.       I will create my own entitlements.

10.   I will always give more than what is expected of me.

11.   I will set my sights on the horizon.

12.   I will give life 100% every day!

13.   I will pursue my passions with vigor and enthusiasm!

14.   When I have done my best then I will “let go and let God!”

Steve tied each of the statements back to each of the presenters this year and lessons from his own life.  Steve called Travis to the front of the STRIVE group to apply the 14 “I will statements” to his goal of becoming a Wall Street Trader and the business opportunity he has to buy-in on a pet store.  Travis talked about his goals and several ways that he plans to achieve his goal.   Steve handed out two “To Do” check lists; one on the application process check list and the other on getting things ready for college that included a check list for parents. 



Our Program on April 24th was a presentation by our member and director of Campfire USA – Minnesota.


Camp Tanadoona, the 103-acre park-like camp area owned by the organization, has been in existence for 88 years, and is due for a major revitalization. The camp last year served just over 1500 kids with day camps, overnight camping experiences, and nature days. All of the buildings are in need of repairs, and the ground-use plan is 88 years old. Using the services of an architect and a landscape designer, and with many meeting involving the stakeholders (kids, parents, camp staff, etc.), a new plan for the area was drawn.


The new plan is set in several stages, and the first stage has a price-tag of $1,500,000. Among the improvements and changes are the following: change of the entry by making pickup and drop off on one-way roads, moving the campers and kids to a pathway system removed from vehicle traffic, and adding outdoor living classrooms, Many of the present buildings will be moved or removed, and those remaining will be outfitted for year-round use.


Camp Tanadoona is the campground closest to the inner cities, and has been voted best camping experience by Sun Newspapers for the past two years.


To get the fund drive, which ends next June, started, an anonymous donor has posted a $750,000 challenge grant, so they’re already 50% to their goal.


Marnie has invited any of our club members to tour the facility; just call her in advance.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)



Osgood Receives Secchi Disk Award


On Oct. 27,2011 MinnesotaWaters’ Board of Directors member Dick Osgood was given the Secchi Disk Award by the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS).

The Secchi Disk Award is given annually to recognize and honor the NALMS member who has made the most significant contributions to the goals and objectives of the Society.  Osgood was awarded for his dedicated service to NALMS. He has logged substantial NALMS committee time serving as Policy Committee Chair, Treasurer, President-elect, President and Past President.  As Treasurer he was instrumental in significantly improving the accounting practices and moving NALMS into a better financial state (from “in the red” to “in the black”) working with NALMS staff to cut costs and increase revenues. He was very concerned with Board development, strategic planning and put a lot of effort into moving NALMS from a heavily volunteer-run organization to one that now has great staff who put forth a great effort to keep NALMS running. 

In his private work, Osgood is a NALMS certified lake manager and is well known and respected as a lake consultant in high demand nationally. He is very involved in his community, serving as Executive Director of the Lake Minnetonka Association and statewide as a member of the Minnesota Waters’ Board of Directors.

We congratulate Dick on his award and thank him for his continued service to our water resources.
(Our Excelsior Rotary club also offers its congratulations!)


The April Rotary Thirsty Thursday social event will be held on Thursday, April 19th at the Hazelwood Bar and Grill from 5-7PM.  Come and socialize and get to know other club members and their partners in this fun and relxed setting.  We hope to see you there!


Our program on April 17th was an example of how to react in an emergency. The scheduled speaker did not appear, so there was no program. President Woody and Jeremy Huisheere put together two speakers who gave us some valuable information about their organizations.

Visiting guest Brian Olson told us about his company, Maxmail. Brian works out of Chanhassen representing the company. They do mass mailings on the internet for clients, using, maintaining, and updating the lists continually so the messages get to the desired clients.

 Also speaking was our member, Pam Prosser, who is very active in the Haiti Outreach organization. She has been to Haiti a number of times, and told us of the programs that her group has active in the country. Much of what they do is in cooperation with Rotary Clubs.

She started by reminding us that Haiti is the 4th poorest country in the world, and was struggling prior to the recent devastating earthquake. The program helps Haitians in three ways. Water wells are drilled and a management program is installed along wit h the wells so that there is an ongoing local management group to keep the well functioning. Their people get a local “buyin” before any work is started. Without such a program, the well would not be maintained and would be worthless in 6 months.

Their second focus is what are called mini-loans. Small (to us) sums are lent to individuals to help them grow their businesses and become self-sufficient.

Thirdly, they build high schools to broaden the education possibilities. They have one school already going, and another about to be built. Before construction, Haiti Outreach gets local and national "buyin" so teachers, books and supplies will continue to be provided by the government.
(Story by Tad Shaw and picture by Steve Frazier)



Our Program on April 10th was a talk about Social Security presented by Dan Fleak. Dan is a home office representative of Protective Insurance Group. His career is to instruct and help people with their retirement plans.

He said that there are two questions that every client asks him. The first question is w hen is the right time to start receiving social Security benefits. With 94% of the people in America in the plan and qualifying for payments when they retire, he said the right time is controlled by the date that you die so there is no way to predict when an individual should start. Because of the increase in the lifespan of people, more people are getting payments for a longer period of time.

The second question that every one asks is will the system run out of money. The trust fund holds 3.2 trillion dollars at the present time. If nothing is done to change the system, it will run out of money in 2037. To date, only in 2009 did the system pay out more than it received. By the year 2016 the program will pay out more money each month than it receives in payroll taxes. Congress can easily fix the system, but will delay until the last minute because it is a fix that requires an increase in payroll taxes.

There are two dangers in the projections for the future of Social Security. One problem will be if there is a long period of unemployment. In 2009, results were bad because of unemployment. And the second fear is low interest rates. The growth of the trust fund is predicted using assumed interest rates, and if the actual rates are lower, the trust fund will be less.  
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)

Next Week: Camp Tanadoona



The STRIVE Program held its last meeting of the year on Thursday, April 12th in room 1602 at Minnetonka High School.  The program for the meeting was to have the STRIVE students complete a written evaluation of this year’s programs and also to give each student the opportunity to get up in front of the group and tell what they found memorable about STRIVE this year and what their plans are for this coming year and a future goal in their life.  Overall the students really liked all the sessions and particularly appreciated the lessons on attitudes, goal setting and study skills.

                Scott Dykhoff and Dick Glover conducted the evaluation and expressed how proud we as Rotarians are of the commitment and progress the STRIVE students have made this year.  Dick Glover said “This is the best STRIVE Group we have ever had!”  Dick also expressed appreciation to Scott for his leadership of the STRIVE Program and that he would now be working with the Eden Prairie Rotary Club because of his promotion and change of business location. 

                When asked how the STRIVE Students would like to be communicated with they overwhelmingly wanted to be texted or tweeted.  Dick admitted that the Rotarians have some modernizing to do to make that happen for next year’s program and that Scott Zerby from the Rotary Club has volunteered to help in that regard.  Each of the Mentors present also spoke and thanked the students for their commitment to the program and how proud they were of the STRIVE kids this year.

                There will be one final luncheon for the STRIVE Students and their parents sometime in May.  Because of the large size of the group plans are being looked into to hold the luncheon at MHS in the Black Box.  It has been a great year for STRIVE and we want to thank all of the Rotarians that attended and presented this year to make the program such a great success.



Hugh Gilmore presented Morals, Ethics and Values at the STRIVE meeting held on March 15th at MHS.  Hugh spoke about his background growing-up in Granite Falls during the depression and his high school days and involvement in activities and sports.  He contrasted his experience in a senior class of 40 with MHS with over 600 students and the great opportunity he had to be involved in both school and community events.

He graduated from Minneapolis College of Business and worked after graduation in business but he felt called to go into the ministry and because of his involvement at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church went on to Augsburg and then the seminary for eight years to become a minister.  Hugh served in many churches including Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior for 17 years.  After retiring he went back to Mt. Olivet to help out on a temporary part-time basis and he is still helping out some 20 years later!  He has been married for 52 years and told the STRIVE kids that all of his kids attended MHS and have been successful in life.

Hugh told the students about the Rotarian’s 4 Way Test and his commitment to those values in life.  He said, “We all live by a set of values and standards even though we may not have written them down.”  He emphasized the importance of being truthful in life so that people can count on you and your word.  “Adults make many choices that affect their futures and the lives of other.”  Hugh talked about the destructive decisions the some famous people have made in the last few years in cheating people out of millions of dollars and how their decisions have ruined their lives and that of others.  “The good news is that many companies are now starting to train their employees on ethics,” says Gilmore.

Hugh talked about the many types of struggles people and families are going through as he works with them at Mount Olivet and how we all are faced with ethical situations and decisions each day in our lives.  Hugh handed out a discussion sheet on “Ethics and Morality” and the students and mentors broke into small discussion groups to discuss the challenges they face and how to cope with them.

Here Hugh is pictured with STRIVE Student Joe as they chat about Joe’s interest in entering youth work and the ministry.

(Story, photo and posting by Steve Frazier)



Our program on April 3rd was presented by Darel Leipold, and was a history of the short life of the steamship, Titanic.

The Titanic was the second of three ships (Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic) built in Ireland for White Star Lines. Completed in 1912, RMS Titanic left Southampton, England on its maiden voyage on April 10th. Many of the fittings on the three ships were the same, and all of the ships were very large, 882 feet long. On its first voyage ever, from England to New York, the Titanic struck an iceberg near Newfoundland and sank. There were fewer lifeboats than needed for the large number of people, and there was a large loss of life.

Other ships were in the area, one about 50 miles away, and they came to the area and picked up the survivors. Because of the severity of the damage, the ship did not remain floating very long (only 2 –1/2 hours), and the hull split in two before sinking. Much lore accompanies the sinking of the vessel, and there have been three movies made telling the story of the ship. Because it was the “latest” and the “safest”, the maiden voyage was filled with elite passengers, and most of them did not survive. Of the 2,224 on the Titanic, 1514 did not survive.

The 100th Anniversary of the launching, maiden voyage, and sinking of Titanic is being observed on both sides of the Atlantic. In Belfast, where the ship was built and launched, a ceremony was held commemorating the launching. Many plays will be staged in England and Ireland, and a new museum in Southampton will be opened depicting 2000 years of sailing, and honoring the 538 city residents who died in the wreck. The 1997 movie “Titanic” is also being re-released in 3D at this time.

We marked the exact departure of the ship from the port of Southampton 100 years ago today at 7 AM this morning. (Pictured here is Darel Leipold holding an original copy of the Titanic given to him by his father.)
(Story by Tad shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)



     Our program on March 27th was presented by our president-elect, Tim Litfin. His term as president begins July 1.

     Tim introduced his board of directors, and told us of things to come during the 2012-2013 year, especially focusing on August’s activities. There are three events planned for our club that month, and it is important that all of our members are involved in all of them.

     The first is the Tour de Tonka. This is a bike ride event that Tim started when he came to town, and which is very successful – over 2500 riders start at MHS and ride varying distances from 5 to 100 miles on a Saturday morning, this year August 4th. Volunteers from our club and elsewhere make it a smooth-running event.

     The new event is “Escape to Tanadoona”, which occurs on Saturday, August 11th. A series of breakout sessions and “campfire events” and lunch is planned, with other Rotarians and the general public invited. Molly will be looking for plenty of help in setting that up.
The third event is the annual Golf Fundraiser on Monday, a 27th. This event is co-sponsored with the A M club, and they have the major responsibilities this year, but Karen will need many volunteers to handle important tasks. Dinner and auction are part of the day, and this event is our major annual fundraiser.

Next week:    Dan Fleak will talk about Social Security, and Dick Osgood will be Greeter.





Our program on March 20th was a presentation by Christine Berger of the Realtors Association. She is a lobbyist for the Realtors PAC, and a graduate economist. Her talk centered on the recent recession.


She started her presentation by asking if any of us knew what “NBER” was. Hearing no yeses, she explained that the NBER: National Bureau of Economic Advisors is a non-government bureau that declares when a downturn in the economy qualifies as a recession. They have 5 standards that they use which are published data from our government. They are (1) the quarterly Gross Domestic Product report, (2) Personal Income Report (minus transfers), (3) employment, (4) Industrial production, and (5) Sales Volume.


Christine showed us charts for each of the above standards, and asked if we thought that the NBER was correct in their choice of dates considering the data on each of the charts. The consensus was that in the narrow definition that they use, the board had chosen the correct dates for the recent recession. The recovery period from the recession has been longer than expected, so it still seems to many of us that we’re still in a recession.


And, speaking to her specialty, real estate is slower to recover than other businesses, but there are signs of health.


Next Week: The Titanic Darel Leipold

                        Greeter:     Darel Leipold (Story by Tad Shaw


Our program on March 13ta was a presentation on the Rotary Foundation, given by Tim Murphy, who is a member of the Edina Club, and the district chair. He made an excellent Powerpoint presentation using data from the past five years. (Pictured to the left is Tim Murphy from District 5950 with Randy Schumacher who is our club's RI Foundation Coordinator.)

He first explained the two Rotary Foundations that our club supports, the club foundation which is controlled by trustees who are members of our club, and the Rotary International Foundation that is supported by all Rotarians, and makes grants from the RI headquarters in Chicago. All of the monies donated to the RI Foundation are deposited in the bank for three years before any is given as grants. The interest on the deposits is used to pay/offset any expenses of the foundation, so every penny donated can and does go to charitable projects.

Tim showed that 63 projects have been done by RI in the past three years, with a cost of  $3,400,000. Included in the total are $2,000,000 for Safe Water Projects in Africa, plus projects in Asia, Latin and South America, and Europe. Our purchase of the school bus for the orphanage in Haiti is on the list as one of the uncompleted projects, but Jean Gray feels confident it will be completed shortly.

Also highlighted in his presentation was the fact that Rotary International Foundation is always at or near the top of the charity organizations in terms of efficiency – more of the money received goes for grants than in other groups.

Our club is a !00% club; that is, all of our members donate, and this year we would like to see a net increase in our club’s donation by 50%.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)



The meeting of the Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Directors of March 22, 2012 was called to order by Chairman Don Draayer.  Trustees present were: Don Draayer, Dean Friesen, Steve Frazier, Dave Peterka and Carl Zinn.  No trustees were absent.

Also in attendance (for varying times through out the meeting) were Tim Litfin, President Elect of the Rotary Club of Excelsior and Ann M. Wengronowitz, CFP and partner in North Star Resource Group.

The following Action Items were reviewed and approved:

1.      The agenda for the 03.22.12 meeting was reviewed and accepted with no changes.

The Secretary’s Report of the minutes for the March 1, 2012 meeting was presented by Acting Secretary Steve Frazier for approval.  It was moved by Carl Zinn and seconded by Dean Friesen to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.

There was no Treasurer’s Report presented for approval.

Prior to getting into the routine agenda items of our meeting, Don Draayer invited Tim Litfin, President Elect of the Rotary Club of Excelsior for the Rotary year 07.01.12 – 06.30.13 for a “Get Acquainted Session” with our Board of Trustees.  Don did this because it is very important that communication moves freely between the President of the Rotary Club of Excelsior (and his Board of Directors) and the Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees.  The workings of each are very much inter-connected.  That said, Tim shared several areas he intends to focus his efforts next year, including more Rotarian interaction with one another, a focus on younger membership, the creation of a “signature event” to draw attention to our club in the community, and the need to address the dues structure for membership in our club.  Further, our board communicated to Tim the importance of submitting their annual budget and anticipated donations to be funded by through the foundation.  All Trustees were encouraged and impressed with Tim’s organized and well thought out approach to his term as president. 

Our Board of Trustees looks forward to a smooth transition and a great working relationship with Tim and his board next year.

Old Business:

The primary goal for this meeting was to draw conclusion to the series of meetings, interviews, and conversations with perspective investment advisors to ultimately select an advisor to help our Foundation manage its funds.  It should be noted that over the last few months, this board interviewed the following candidates for this engagement:

  1. Rebecca Hopf, AWMA, Investment Counselor, Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors
  2. John Hinz, CLU, ChFC Financial Advisor, Lang, Hinz, & Associates
  3. Ann M. Wengronowitz, CFP and Partner, North Star Resource Group

That said, Ann M. Wengronowitz was invited to this meeting to be formally elected as our Investment Advisor.  It was moved by Don Draayer and seconded by Dave Peterka to approve the election of Ann M. Wengronowitz, CFP and Partner, North Star Resource Group as the Investment Advisor for the Excelsior Rotary Foundation.  The motion carried unanimously.

Following that election, Ann helped our Board of Trustees with Draft #6 of our proposed investment policy.  A thorough and careful review (word by word – line by line) of this proposed investment policy statement followed.  We focused on the purpose, goals, allocations, diversification, allowable/prohibited assets and transactions, distributions, and expectations of the investment advisor.  Several changes were recommended by Ann as well as all Trustees.  Draft #7 will be delivered by e-mail to all by President Don Draayer for further review.

New Business: None


No date has been set for the next meeting of the Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees.   

There being no further business, it was moved by Steve Frazier and seconded by Dave Peterka to adjourn the meeting.  The motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,

Dave Peterka,


Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees



We are sad to report that our Rotarian friend John Huber has passed away.  John was a long time member of the Excelsior Rotary Club and Past President, a local business owner in Excelsior of Huber Funeral Home, and an active citizen serving on the Minnetonka School Board and other local leadership roles.  John was a remarkable man and you can view his obituary at . 

The Visitation will be this Sunday March 18th from 4-7PM at the Huber Funeral Home in Excelsior.  The Service will be held at 11:00AM at St. John's Catholic Church on Monday, March 19th.  We hope that as many Rotarians as possible can attend his Visitation and/or Funeral to express our sympathies to his family and in remembrance of his "Service Above Self" to our club and to our community.


          Our program on March 6th was a Club Assembly and a presentation on Presbyterian Homes by Rob Lahammer.
           In the club assembly portion of the program, the slate of new officers was presented and elected by club members present.  Next year’s officers are President, Tim Litfin, President-Elect, Molly Swenson, Secretary, Theresa Zerby, and Treasurer, Bob Boyer.  The new officers take their offices officially on July 1, 2011.
          Jerry Brecke then introduced Rob Lahammer who is in charge of what used to be called Twin Birch, but is now called “Lake Minnetonka Shores”. With lakeshore on Minnetonka in Island Park, the facility has been greatly expanded and modernized recently, and provides a wide range of services to their clients. Activities available span a full typewritten page.
          Rob’s message to us was about the direction that the long term care industry is heading. Fewer facilities are providing “nursing home care” because of the current focus on home care, and assisted living care. To break even, nursing homes and assisted living units have to reach out to the homebound, and provide services that seniors and disabled persons need. The successful health care facility now has to be creative and community-oriented to survive.
          Rob is a very enthusiastic member of the Presbyterian Homes family, and many of our members have had family or friends at this  facility, which is one of the 56 campuses operated by the Christian-based nonprofit.  (Story by Tad Shaw and photo be Steve Frazier)


The March 1, 2012 meeting of the Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees was called to order at 1:07 PM by Chair Don Draayer.  Trustees present were: Don Draayer, Dean Friesen, Steve Frazier, Dave Peterka and Carl Zinn.  No trustees were absent.


Four items were placed on the Agenda:

1.      The interview of the prospective Investment Advisor.

2.      Feedback and finalization of the Ranking Sheet for the Investment Advisor Candidates.

3.      Meeting with President-Elect Tim Litfin on funding scholarships for prospective new members.

4.      Discussion of the Draft #4 of the Policies and the Investment Policy Statement.


No Secretary’s Report or Treasurer’s Report were given at the meeting.


Old Business:

  1. Ann Wengronowitz and Emily Nelson from the North Star Resource Group met with the Foundation Directors as part of the interview process for the selection of a Financial Advisor.  Chair Don Draayer introduced the candidate by noting that Ann Wengronowitz was the candidate that the trustees selected to interview from a list that emanated from inquiries Don had made to other Rotary Clubs who had members that were investment advisors and met the criteria of being in the top investment firms.  Draayer briefly discussed the nature of the Endowment Fund and the intention of the Trustees to conservatively invest the $75,000 principal corpus from the Lee Paris bequest and any other subsequent bequests and to use a portion of the interest for charitable grants in the future.

1.1        Ann Wengronowitz indicated that she is a Certified Financial Planner and Partner at North Star Financial Group which is an independent and privately owned investment company that has offices in 19 cities in Minnesota with over 250 representatives in the company.  She has been with North Star Resources since 1981.  She first explained that she is a Charter Member of the Minnetonka Rotary Club and served as their fifth president.  She has been active in her club and on the Advisory Board of District 5950 and had once been approached to become District Governor.  Ann received her B.S. Degree from St. Cloud University in Sales and Marketing.

1.2        Emily Nelson has worked with Ann for 11 years at North Star.  She is a Financial Registered Representative, a licensed Insurance Agent and attended Metropolitain State University in Business Administration and was previously a travel agent for 11 years.

1.3        Wengronowitz explained that North Star Resource Group offers securities and investment advisory services through CRI Securities and Securian Financial Services. 

1.3.1        She first outlined two types of portfolios from Securian Financial Services.  One being the MAPS Strategic Model Portfolio and the other being the MAPS Tactical Portfolios.  In each portfolio both Income and Growth and Conservative Growth portfolios were examined.  The tactical portfolio provides more investment flexibility.  Both plans are fee based from 1-1.3% for Funds up to $500,000.

1.3.2        Ann then reviewed two Spectrum Proposals; one with Income and Growth and the other showing Conservative Growth.  The Income and Growth Proposal appeared to be similar to the parameters of the working draft of our investment policy statement was Dean Friesen’s observation.  The fee base for these portfolios 1% for the service and .72% for operational costs that is set yearly.  Online quarterly reports are available to the trustees.

1.3.3         Both models of portfolios would be reported out twice a year and for rebalancing to take place upon the direction of the foundation.  Ann answered many of the trustee questions and closed by saying that North Star handles some 600-700 clients and in June handled 800 million in assets.  Don thanked Ann and Emily for their presentation and said that he would be in contact with them once the trustees had made their selection.

2.      The second item on the agenda was the discussion about the “Candidate Ranking Sheet” to help in the process of selecting the Investment Advisor.  The ranking sheet would have a total of 15 points that each of the trustee would allocate among the three candidates.  There were also three narrative questions to help clarify choices about the candidates.  It was agreed by consensus to use the ranking system.  Chair Draayer will email a final copy to each trustee and they will in turn apply their rankings and narrative comments by email to Don by Tuesday, March 6th.  Don will calculate the rankings and post the comments to the three narrative questions and return them to the trustees as soon as possible.  If there is a clear consensus on a particular candidate the rankings will act as the electronic vote and the Investment Advisor will be accepted.  If no clear consensus exists the trustees will review each other’s rankings and consider each other’s narrative answers and then do a second round of rankings to determine the Investment Advisor.  If no clear consensus is reached after the second round of rankings a special meeting will be called to appoint the Investment Advisor.

3.      The third item on the agenda was to be a meeting with President Elect Tim Liftin and his request to use foundation dollars to provide scholarship dues and meals reduction costs to new and younger members coming into the club.  Unfortunately a family member’s hospitalization called him away and the trustees were not able to meet with                                                                                                        him.  The Trustees discussed his basic request and the trustees all supported his efforts

to help-out new members with dues and meal costs.    However, Foundation dollars are not to be used for member benefits but rather for charitable donations and generally to non-profits.  The Trustees generated many ideas of how this might occur.  Carl Zinn suggested that monthly dues could be increased to defray the new member subsidy costs, increase the meal cost or even hold a fundraiser.  Chair Don Draayer suggested that scholarship “Happy Bucks” could be used in this regard.  By consensus it was agreed that the Chair would draft a letter to Tim Liftin with the above ideas in support of Tim’s efforts.  A short discussion ensued about the member classification system and if our club is utilizing it to the best advantage of the Club and our members. 

4.      The final item on the agenda was to discuss the #4th draft of the Foundation Policies and particularly the Investment Policy Statement (IPS) starting on page 7.  To this end consensus was reached on the Asset Allocation Guidelines Diversification guidelines on page 9.  General agreement was reached on investing in bonds rated BBB or better but with flexibility upon the advice of the Investment Advisor.  Consensus was also reached on Distributions on Page 12 with 50% of earning being reinvested to grow the fund and 50% to be placed in short term investments and/or available for charitable disbursements. The Donor Contribution section on page 12 was also discussed and consensus reached to honor all bequests to the Endowment Fund by listing donor’s names on the Foundation WEB Site without naming the amount of the donation, except for donations of $10,000 or more who would have the amount shown unless anonymity is requested by the donor. 

4.1. Steve Frazier requested a possible change to Policy 1.1.3 to have any unspent charity allocations to go back into the Endowment Fund.  General consensus was reached on the concept of the idea and Chair Draayer will include new wording in draft #5 of the Policies and IPS.

4.2. The trustees agreed that the process from here on out would be:

4.2.1.      Chair Draayer will update the Policies and IPS in draft #5 and distribute it to the trustees for their review and comments and their O.K. by e-mail.

4.2.2.      Chair Draayer will send out a composite of the Investment Advisor Candidate’s rankings and comments for trustee review and final selection.  If no clear consensus exists Don will send out a second round of rankings after members have had an opportunity to review each other’s comments on the candidates to determine the selection of the Investment Advisor.

4.2.3.      Chair Draayer will then meet with the Club Board of Directors at their April Meeting to receive their comments and recommendations on the policy and the IPS.

4.2.4.      Final adoption of the policies and IPS to take place in May or June.


            The next meeting of the Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees will be held on Thursday, March 22, 2012 @ 1:00 PM at the office of Carl Zinn.  That meeting will be to

ratify the selection of the Investment Advisor, review draft #5of the Policies and IPS and other requests and considerations to come before the trustees.    

There being no further business, it was moved by Dave Peterka and seconded by Dean Friesen to adjourn the meeting.  The motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,


Steve Frazier,

Secretary Pro Temp

Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees



Our program on 2/21 was a presentation on the proposal for a racino in Minnesota. A racino is a combined race track and casino, and in the present proposal one would be at Canterbury, and one at Running Acres Harness Park.Jeff Hilger, owner of Blue Valley Farm in Stillwater, and Rosemary Higgins were the presenters for the group supporting the proposal.


There are 60,000 horse owners in the state, and over 155,000 horses at present.  The horse business is a billion dollar industry in Minnesota, and allowing racinos would enhance the business. Part of the proceeds of the new gambling, which would be managed by the Minnesota Lottery, would go to enhance the purses at the racing events at the two tracks, as well as funds would be dedicated to other elements of the horse business. Ther plan would net $250,000,000 in added tax revenue for the State of Minnesota.


There are two groups who oppose this plan, and they have prevented the bill from being introduced in the legislature. One of the groups is composed of the anti-gaming people, and the other is made up of the owners of the present casinos.


Questions from the audience included the issues of gambling addiction, and where the money would come from.


Greeters: March 6: Jerry Brecke, March 13: Jim Cada, March 20: Bob Boyer, March 27: Randy Schumacher



Our Program on February 28th was a rundown of the activities since the start of the recent Commons Bandshell Improvement Committee. Most of our club members knew that our club, the morning club, and the City of Excelsior had established a joint project to consider improvements to the band shell. Funding for a feasibility study was split between the three interested groups. Input has been received from interested parties, and the head of the feasibility study, Kim Snyder of Excelsior Bay Group, spoke to our club about the progress of the effort to date.

The committee has a wide range of information to assemble before they will be in a position to make any decisions about a new or remodeled bandshell. There are issues about who would use a better bandshell, how the project would be financed, how it fits into the comprehensive plan for the city of Excelsior, how it would affect the neighbors, what would be the effect on the ambiance of the commons park, and how it would effect the overall usage of the park. Members in the Q & A period brought up additional issues, including asking whether we needed to make any changes at all.

Research into recently built bandshells in the region showed a wide range of plans, prices and amenities.

Issues to be addressed by the committee are shown on the website,



The STRIVE Presenter on February 16th was Dave Peterka, Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of Beacon Bank and an Excelsior Rotary Club Member.  Dave discussed Financial Management and Planning with the students.  He started out by telling the students that he has been in the lending and operations end of the banking business for 34 years and that 30 of those years have been right here in Excelsior.  He and two others started the Beacon Bank 21 years ago.  Dave told the students that his kids graduated from Minnetonka High School.

Dave started his presentation by suggesting that participation is important when discussing financial information and that the students could ask questions at any time during his talk.  As it turned out the STRIVE students asked more questions that any group in the past.  Peterka handed-out a worksheet for the students to work from that covered the main topics of Budgeting, Spending, Savings, and Debt.

“Everyone needs a budget” was Dave’s first major point.  He pointed out that without a budget it is too easy to get in debt regardless of your age or income level.  Dave has had a personal budget for the past 33 years and pointed out that it is important to save something every pay period.  Page two of the handout contained a sample personal budget and Dave urged the students and mentors to begin budgeting.  He asked how many of the students track their money with a written record or an electronic and all the students indicated that they did it electronically.  Dave emphasized how important it is not to have overdrafts and the consequences thereof.  (Pictured here with Dave are Matt and Travis who are interested in pursuing Business Majors in college.)

Peterka next turned to the topic of spending and the importance of tracking your spending.  He indicated that there are many types of software out there such as “Quicken” and “Simply Checking” to help them track their spending and to avoid the consequences of overdraft charges.  Dave discussed Credit Cards and the need for the students to protect their credit card information and to be sure to pay-off the charges each month.  “Credit card debt is Bad Debt!” exclaimed Peterka.  Along with this line of thinking Dave also discussed Credit Scores from good ratings of near 850 all the way down to 300.  He suggested that two credit cards are better than one because it shows that you can manage multiple accounts. “Also be sure to stay current with payments to protect your credit scores and a higher credit score gets you lower rates on loans.” said Peterka.

At this point Dave was bombarded with questions about credit scores and managing money issues that the STRIVE students were concerned about.  He said, “This is the perfect place to discuss ‘Good Debt vs. Bad Debt’.  Good Debt is major purchases you can plan and budget for and might include a home loan, buying a car and/or taking out a student loan.  If you take out a student loan use it only for tuition and take out as little as possible.” 

“Bad Debt on the other hand is getting into credit card debt that isn’t paid off within 30 days.”  Dave knows of people who have had over 30 credit cards and have gotten themselves into deep financial debt.  So Peterka cautioned them, “Do not have more than two credit cards and payoff your balances monthly and above all else do not fall into impulse buying!”

After many more questions Dave summarized his presentation by making the following hints for good financial management and planning:

1.   Start reading “Money & Business” in the Sunday Tribune (some good hints weekly)

2.   Maintain close control of your own money

3.   Manage your money and expenditures daily (using software)

4.   Establish a budget and follow it (budget some fun)

5.   Don’t use credit

6.   When you get paid – save a little!

7.   Protect your identity – do not share it with anyone!




The first gathering of the “Thirsty Thursday” Excelsior Rotary Club took place at Hazelwood Restaurant on Thursday, February 16th with ten members participating.  In attendance were Theresa and Scott Zerby, Terry Roeser, Dick Osgood, Dick Glover, Woody Love, Jim Olds, Dave Paterka, Randy Schumacher and Tim Litfin.  Everyone had a great time!

Thirsty Thursday will meet at Hazelwood each month on the third Thursday to socialize and build Rotary friendships.  Member can also bring guests as a way to introduce them to the club.



Choices: Reasons for Failure and Decision Making


The STRIVE presenter on Thursday February 2nd was Rotarian Member and Police Chief Brian Litsey talking about Choices and Reasons for Failure and Decision Making.  Brian shared with the students that he became interested in law while he was attending Normandale College when he was about 20 years old.  He went on to get his Associates Degree (two year) and then went on to college to get his Bachelors and Master’s Degrees in Criminology and Law Enforcement.

Litsey talked with the students about making wise choices and that in law enforcement careers their choices count and become part of their permanent record.  “In law enforcement you have to make split-second decisions based on the best data and information you have in your possession at that time and under the circumstances and surroundings of the situation you are in.  A lot of it has to do with your training and a lot has to do with your strength of character.  So, make good decisions!”  Brian went on to discuss making good decisions with these points:

1.    Think about things in advance – Drinking, Drugs, Driving, etc.

2.    Learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat bad behaviors.

3.    Look for alternatives within Your Choices that have the most positive outcomes for now and your future life.    

(At that point in the choices discussion he interjected a bit of humor by looking over at the raised glazed donuts that are supplied for each STRIVE Meeting and said, “I will not eat any of those donuts so as not to perpetuate the “Cop” stereotype about donuts!”  He got a great laugh from the kids and the mentors.)

Brian went on to discuss the “Six Pillars of Character” that he uses in teaching his law enforcement class at Mankato State University and talked about each of the six pillars:

1.    Trustworthiness - be honest

2.    Respect – respect yourself and others

3.    Responsibility – be reliable and follow through on your commitments

4.    Fairness – do the right thing and stand-up for the right things; build a good reputation

5.    Caring – be caring and considerate to your friends and others

6.    Citizenship – be a good citizen – practice Rotary’s “Service Above Self” – give back

Litsey then handed out a reading entitled “Living A Life That Matters” and read it for the students and ended his presentation by discussing some of the decisions that they will need to face in the coming months and then did Q & A with the STRIVE Students.  (Pictured with Chief Litsey is a STRIVE Student interested in a career in Law Enforcement.)



Our program on Valentine’s Day was presented by The Miracles of Mitch Foundation, located in Chanhassen.

Mitchell Chepokis was a nine-year old victim of cancer. He died in April, 2003. The Christmas before his death, he asked his family to donate all of his money and gifts to the other kids in the cancer ward because many of them were without the strong support system that he had. From this act the foundation was born. There is a long list of sponsoring organizations, including Cargill and Chanhassen Rotary, that help the foundation provide funds for support of the families of cancer victims. The families are provided with financial aid so they can visit and encourage their child; summer camps are provided, fully staffed medically, so that the kids can have a week at camp; and individual families are given a “Pampered in Pink Weekend” (remember that promotion?) at a hotel adjacent to the Mall of America.

In 2004, the group sponsored a Kids’ Triathlon and 300 kids participated. The event has really grown, and raised $600,000 last year. This year the goal is $750,000, and the triathlon event is now held in two locations: on August 4th at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis, and on August 18th at Lake Ann in Chanhassen. The format is the standard sponsorship event with kids raising money by pledges. Kids from 6 to 17 participate in the event, and every finisher gets a medal at an afternoon award ceremony. The day of the event is filled with activities that kids enjoy.

They also have a Twins baseball event, and a gala dinner fundraiser on New Year’s Eve every year.

Check out their website:


Our program was presented by our own member and Resident Historian, Darel Leipold. His talk was about the history of the Ford Motor Company, and Henry Ford.
You need a chart to follow all of the ins and outs of the corporate history of Ford Motor Company. It was formed on August 6, 1902 in Detroit. Henry Ford was of English descent, although he was born in Ireland. He built his first horseless carriage in 1896, and had to tear out a wall of the shed it was built in to get the vehicle out.
He built two race cars in 1902, and hired Barney Oldfield as driver of the second one. The Model T was developed in 1907, and assembly of the model began in December, 1908.
In 1922, 50% of the vehicles on the road were built by Ford Motor Company.
Henry Ford at one time owned 51% of the company, but he also owned 100% of a tractor company, Henry Ford & Son, Inc., which made the Fordson tractor line. Operating separately from 1917 to 1920, the Fordson tractor had 70% of the tractor market in the US. The son in the company name, by the way, was Edsel Ford. The company was merged into the bigger company, and the Ford Company made Fordson tractors until 1964. At the beginning, some Minneapolis investors formed a company and built Ford Tractors, but they didn’t get permission from Ford to use the name and dropped their effort after manufacturing a few units.  (Story by Tad Shaw)

Our speaker on January 17th was Mike Max, from WCCO-TV. He is well-known and respected local sports reporter and is a close personal friend of Sid Hartman. Mike grew up in Gaylord, Minnesota, and now lives in Minneapolis. A graduate of Hamline University, he claims to have played every sport except bullfighting, which he says wasn’t available in Gaylord as he grew up.
He began his talk by telling us that his dad was a life-long Rotarian, and his brother is currently an active member. His parents hosted at least one exchange student.
Mike said that his job is a dream job because he is surrounded by the best people in the field of athletics. To succeed in professional (and amateur) sports, you have to have a positive attitude, and you have to work and practice to be the best on the field. The sports world is filled with interesting people and their stories. His message to us was almost motivational; he used stories about Michael Jordan, Sid Hartman, Tony Dungy, Lou Holtz, Jack Jablonski, and Jesse Ventura to remind us that although we all have handicaps of one sort or another, they can usually be overcome with effort and a positive attitude. Winning players and teams focus on what they can control, and work hard to win.
During the Q & A period, Mike outlined the challenges that Jerry Kill faces in trying to change Gopher football into a winning program, and talked a bit about the Twins.  (Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)

On Thursday, January 26, 2012 Dr. Don Draayer spoke to the STRIVE Students about “Service Above Self” and how to serve others.  Don’s focus was to impress on the kids the differentiation between “Self” and “Others” and how it is important to strike a balance in life.  Don started his presentation with a hockey role-playing exercise using five STRIVE students.  Two students were players coming down towards the goal and three were the goalie and the two sides of the net.  The role-playing situation showed that the players have to make two decisions as they are bringing down the puck – should they pass it to the other player (i.e., be generous) or take it all the way and shoot it (i.e., hog it or be selfish).  The goalie also has to anticipate and decide if the player is going to pass or take the shot on goal.  Don summed-up the role play by saying that “Life is a lot like a hockey game – you have to decide to pass it on in life and be generous or you can keep it to yourself and be selfish.” 
Draayer likened life as a balancing act between being generous or selfish as a that of the teeter-totter of life by visually showing that the selfish part of human behavior (i.e., me, mine, I) being balanced by the reaching-out to others (i.e., selfless, kind, considerate, giving).  He emphasized that as Rotarians we strive to cultivated our concern and caring for others through our club and in our personal lives. 
Don worked with the students using a handout of six major points to help them differentiate the selfish part of our personality and the giving or generous aspect of our lives and that this too is a balancing act.  Don pointed out that in our life journey we start out selfish and then throughout life we learn from our role models how to be more giving and others directed.  All relationships are a give and take and it is important to balance these in life.  Don told the students about Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” and the importance of giving back in life and that was the reason that the STRIVE Mentors give of their time and talents at MHS and in the community.
Draayer ended the presentation with the final point that the “Hear of the STRIVE Theme for today is…Do on to others as you would have them do on to you and find a balance in life between self and giving to others.”  (Story by Steve Frazier)

Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees
Minutes: January 19, 2012
Location:  Hosted by Carl Zinn
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Don Draayer.  Trustees present were: Don Draayer, Dean Friesen, Steve Frazier, Dave Peterka and Carl Zinn.  No trustees were absent.
The following Action Items were reviewed and approved:
1.      The agenda for the 01.19.12 meeting was reviewed and accepted with no changes.
The Secretary’s Report of the minutes for the November 11, 2011 meeting was presented by Secretary Dave Peterka for approval.  It was moved by Steve Frazier and seconded by Carl Zinn to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.  Additionally, Dave Peterka presented the minutes for the November 22, 2011 meeting for approval.  It was moved by Carl Zinn and seconded by Steve Frazier to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion carried unanimously. 
The Treasurer’s Report for month-end December 31, 2011 was presented by Treasurer Dean Friesen as follows: 
1.      Internally prepared financial statements covering YTD activity reflect total revenues of $19,368.39, less total expenses of $7,557.02 (consisting largely of charitable contributions) yielding a YTD net income of $11,811.37.  The corresponding balance sheet for the same period reflects total equity of $126,922.24 supporting total assets of $126,922.24.  This Foundation has no liabilities.  A careful review of the Foundation Fund Analysis, consisting of the Annual Fund, the General Fund, and the Lee Paris Fund, followed.  It was moved by Steve Frazier and seconded by Carl Zinn to approve the Treasurer’s report as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.
2.       Dean Friesen presented for approval, the External Fiscal Review Committee’s report for the 2010-2011 Budget Year.  The committee consists of Excelsior Rotary Club members: Jerry Brecke, Dick Osgood, and Hugh Gilmore.  The committee’s findings revealed two areas of concern described below:
·         The Foundation’s internal controls for handling accounts receivable
Concern exists around the lack of dual control throughout the process, commencing with creation of the invoice, billing, receipt of payment, and finally deposit of the funds and application to the appropriate general ledger account.  Considerable discussion evolved with agreement by all committee members that action needs to be taken.  All committee members will bring points of discussion to our next meeting to resolve this concern.  
·         The management of our investments accounts
Concern exists around the management of our investment accounts.  Specifically, the recommendation was made that the Board of Trustees investigate any alternative institution where a safe and better return could be received on investments.  The Foundation Board agreed with this concern.  Consequently, action had already been started to interview funds management firms.  Further, Don Draayer has agreed to formulate the first draft of an investment policy.  This endeavor has our commitment to resolve by the end of this Board’s year of service. 
It was moved by Carl Zinn and seconded by Steve Frazier to approve and accept the External Fiscal Review Committee’s report as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.
3.      There were no “action required” on funding requests.
Old Business:
  1. Rebecca Hopf, AWMA, Investment Counselor with Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors gave a presentation on her firm’s ability to provide investment services to our Excelsior Rotary Foundation.  Considerable discussion followed including opinion’s expressed by each trustee relative to their risk appetite for foundation investments.  All trustees were very similar in their opinions.  Rebecca was very supportive of the creation of an investment policy as a starting point to drive our investment opportunities.  We further agreed that the next step is to interview additional investment counselors from other companies for comparison purposes. The Trustees were favorably impressed with Rebecca’s presentation, level of knowledge, and personality.  Carl Zinn will continue to research additional investment firms for our Board of Trustees to interview.
  2. A very brief discussion ensued on the policy elements relating to the newly established Endowment Fund.  Further discussion will follow at our next meeting.
New Business:
  1. Don Draayer asked the Trustees for their reaction to the forms Woody Love submitted earlier for the Trustees feedback.  The Trustees appreciated the courtesy invitation to react.  The Trustees determined that the full-disclosure-nature of the forms for projects would yield primary benefit to The Rotary Club Board of Directors who make the initial determination to recommend (or not to recommend) funding of a charity proposal.   Thus, the structure and content of the forms should fall most heavily to the Rotary Club Board, and no formal action was taken by the Trustees.  On the other hand, the Trustees acknowledged that their own decision-making will be enhanced if the information on the forms is attached to a request for Foundation payment. 
The next meeting of the Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 @ 1:00 PM at the office of Carl Zinn.  That meeting will be a shortened meeting primarily to facilitate the presentation by John Hinz, Investment Counselor from Ameriprise Financial.
There being no further business, it was moved by Dave Peterka and seconded by Dean Friesen to adjourn the meeting.  The motion carried unanimously.
Respectfully Submitted,
Dave Peterka,
Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees

Our program for 1/31/12 was given by Blane Driscoll. He talked about weight loss, and methods to make a weight loss permanent.
His first point was to tell us that each pound of fat is 3500 calories. The way to reduce your weight is to increase your burning of calories daily, or to reduce your daily intake of calories. It is not quite as simple as that, however.
Just like quitting smoking, it takes a mental change to be successful. To quit smoking, you have to train your subconscious mind to think you are a nonsmoker, and your body, in about 25 days, will have accepted that as a fact, and your smoking will end. To lose weight, you have to either increase your activity, or reduce your calorie intake. When you reset the sensors in your brain, it takes about 20 to 25 days before the body accepts the lower calorie intake and the weight loss begins. One way to reset the sensors in the brain is to use hypnosis, where the change is immediate, but it still takes time for the weight to go away.  (Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on the 10th was a talk by our own member, author Don Draayer. He has recently written and published a children’s book. His talk was principally about the challenges a self-publishing author faces.
The first challenge is to write the material. Normally, once a book is accepted by a publisher, they take over and do all of the printing, promotion, and such. If you are self-publishing, all of these burdens fall on your shoulders. The first problem is to find an appropriate artist who will do the illustrations in a children’s book. The ideal answer was former club member, Al Tollefson, who did a masterful job of visualizing and drawing the main characters. Don then contacted a firm that helps self-publishers and found them to be very helpful – almost too much so. Don told us that he had 13 calls with proposals for special promotion programs when his book hit the streets.
His story was surrounded by reference to the beginnings of his life in Hollandale, MN., where his grandparents and parents had farms, and where he and the other kids were taught strong personal values – religion, honesty, hard work, and such – values which have lasted for his lifetime.

At the Mid-Term Assembly of District 5950 this past Saturday we had 16 speakers give short presentations about things that are going on in the district.  Some of the ideas that were appealing are as follows:
1.       Our Club should explore and began to use the community e-news website out of Minnetonka called PATCH.  Our PR Committee will look into this option for coverage.
2.       There are two grants that we could go after to help Camp Tanadoona.   One is a local community action grant (CAP) that we could apply for and get up to $4,000.  The main factor is that it would need to have our actual participation in building and/or fixing-up the camp.  The other possibility is a matching grant (NCS) for a first time grant of up to $1,000.  The district has money but the grant would have to be filed by Feb. 1, 2012!
3.       Rotary encourages members to get involved in local community wide projects – to get involved early in the planning and to see it through to the end.  Tim Litfin had a great idea to hold a local event called the “Excelsior Area Hall of Fame” to honor people from the community.  We’ll get Tim to tell you more about the idea in the next several weeks.
4.       There is an annual three day camp that is called “Camp Enterprise” and it is for students interested in business.  Should we be sending one of our scholarship and/or STRIVE students to attend this camp?
5.       District 5950 has a social media grant and Theresa Zerby is going to get our club involved in that grant so that we can reach out to folks in there 30’s and 40’s and to become more active in our use of social media.
6.       Rotary has a Friendship Exchange Program and this year a group is going from our district to India for two weeks.  There is also the opportunity to go as an individual or to work on a project.  The neat this is that you stay with a Rotarian family while there and get to see things you would never see on a tour trip.
7.       One club has started a STRIVE club at the middle/junior high level working with 9th graders as they get ready to go to the high school.  Some other clubs allow students to be in STRIVE that are not seniors.  Our club is discussing some options about allowing 11th graders to attend to get to them earlier than their senior year.
8.       There is now an E-Rotary Club.  This option is for members that can’t get away but want to be involved in a club and also to do community service projects.  This is a good alternative for members that have to drop-out because of new job status or financial issues.  This way they can keep their active status and possibly come back to the club in the future.
We’ll kick some of these ideas around with the board and in committees and see how they might apply to the Excelsior rotary club.

The Mid-Term Assembly for District 5950 was held at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on Saturday, January 14th.  In attendance from the Rotary Club of Excelsior were Woody Love, John Gray, Tim Litfin, Theresa Zerby, Molly Swenson, Randy Schumacher and Steve Frazier. 
This assembly was unique in that instead of having break-out groups with various mini workshops the entire assembly of 166 Rotarians from all over the district got to hear 16 different reports covering virtually every aspect of what is going on in 5950.  Each of the presenters took about five minutes to outline topics all the way from Membership Recruitment, Foundation, Grants, Fundraisers, District Projects, Social Media, Future Vision, PR, STRIVE and even the 2013 District Elect Governor Bob Stowell. 
The Rotary Club of Excelsior was highlighted several times in the meeting because of our recruitment of new members and the percentage of member increase was among the best in the district.  Scott Lucas from the morning Club highlighted our Virtual Mistletoe Joint Fundraiser expressing thanks f to our two clubs and terry Roeser for her help in conceiving the idea and lots of pictures of our members kissing!
The day flew by and each of our seven members were taking notes on programs that would fit our club and great resources contacts as we make attempts to keep our club relevant and in-step with changing times in Rotary.  We will have the members that attended the assembly each put together a set of ideas that appealed to them at the conference and put them on the website over the next several weeks.
The Keynote speaker was Mark Lanternman who talked about the “Impact of Digital Evidence” as it relates to the law and court trials.  It was absolutely great and Lanternman had a great sense of humor and everyone went away feeling informed and thoroughly entertained!  Governor Chuck Berg ended the session about helping our members find their passion in Rotary and urged us to continue to grow our clubs and to spread the Rotary message “Service Above Self.”

The Rotary Presenter at STRIVE on January 5, 2012 was Bob Humphrey.  Bob discussed the topic of Building confidence and Self Esteem and the importance of Role Models.  Pictured here with Bob is STRIVE student Rachel.
Humphrey began the presentation by having the students write down eight characteristics of self-esteem:
1.   Honor Thy Self
2.   Be Positive
3.   Be Fearless
4.   Participate
5.   Be Respectful
6.   Be Honest
7.   Be Cheerful
8.   Work Hard and Be Your Best

Bob smiled at the group and said, “The first thing in the morning look in the mirror and Honor Yourself – assess your attributes and determine how you can best use these attributes in your role in life.  Be positive!  So much in the world today is negative.  Work on being positive because the more you work at it the better you become at being positive and people like to be around a positive person. 
Be Fearless!  Don’t underestimate yourself, just jump-in because the experience may help you grow in self-confidence.  Get involved and participate.  Being involved in many things allows you to become a well-rounded individual.  Also by participating in new things you have the opportunity to gain new friends and each new experience has something to offer so don’t fear those new situations.
Be Respectful of others and they will notice this positive attribute within you.  Work on being honest and Truthful with others.  These are very basic values that you can cultivate within your personality and others will be drawn to you because you are a trustworthy friend.
Be Cheerful!  My Dad was a cheerful and positive person.  In the 1986 Presidential Campaign the Press Corp referred to my Dad as the ‘Happy Warrior’ – actually it was the name of the airplane used in the campaign but they called him that because he was so positive and fearless and the Happy Warrior title became part of his campaign.
Finally, Work hard and be your best every-day!   By applying these eight attributes to yourself every-day you will build self-esteem.  Also by applying these simple concepts to your life it will cause you to expand your horizons.”
Bob then briefly talked about the importance of having role-models in life.  He looked around the room and began naming-off the mentors in the room and how they have been role- models in their lives and the responsibilities that go along with being role-models to others in life.  He suggested that the class then go into small groups and discuss the eight attributes and also role-models in their lives and who the students are role-models for in their lives.  
The STRIVE students really got into discussing their most important attributes and also those that they would like to develop in themselves this year.  What was really interesting was in the role-model discussion was how each of them expressed who they were a role-model to and the responsibility that they feel to live up to that expectation in life.
The next STRIVE Meeting will be on January 26, 2012 with Dr. Don Draayer discussing “Service Above Self” at 10:00 at MHS in Room 1602.

Our Program on December 20th was a presentation by Tiffany Hartert about fitness. Tiffany is the daughter of Karen and Steve Frazier, and has been a guest at our lunch a number of times, as have her two daughters.
Tiffany is an energetic and enthusiastic positive attitude person, and she reflected that in her presentation. She’s a Minnetonka High School alum, and teaches fitness classes at Lifetime as well as being a personal trainer. Her style and positive attitude make her one of the most popular fitness teachers in the Lifetime system.
She said that there are three elements in a good lifestyle; exercise, proper food choices, and attitude. By exercise, she didn’t necessarily mean exercycles, treadmills or pushups. She said that any activity can be considered exercise: mowing the lawn, walking, participation in athletics; she said that exercise without fun is a waste. An especially good exercise is swimming.
Proper food choices doesn’t need to include a diet. Careful selection of food in type and quantity does more than a formal diet to keep a person in condition. Moderation is the key word.
Lastly, point three was attitude. A good, positive attitude goes a long distance in keeping you healthy.
Happy New Year
          Our website:

Our program on December 27th was a talk by Lt. Philip Litfin, USN, who has just returned from a tour of duty in the Middle East. As you know, Philip is the son of our member, Tim Litfin, and graduated from the U S Naval Academy a few years ago. He went through flight training at Pensacola, Fl., and was assigned for a seven-month tour of duty piloting reconnaissance flights over the Persian Gulf, and the other waters surrounding the Arabian Peninsula and Eastern Africa. During this tour, he flew enough miles to circle the globe 17 times.
He flies a revision of the old Lockheed Electra, one of the early propjet airliners. They are equipped as anti-submarine and reconnaissance planes, and each flight is a ten-hour flight over an area of very troubled waters. Part of the area borders on Somalia, so there are boatloads of pirates to find and discourage from any violence, and there are two extremely important sea lanes that must be kept open to insure the shipment of oil from the Arabian oil wells.
Philip gave a short synopsis of the political situation involving the Shiite and the Sunnis, and he said that they feel that they have a God-given right to control traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrowing of the waters between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Sea. It is in the international interest to keep this narrow passage free from national control by any country, and his squadron’s flights over the area provide instant knowledge if any attempt by Iran was started. On Thursday, an article in the Star Trib said that Iran is making threats to close the strait again.
Philip is now reassigned to Pensacola as a flight instructor where he will train new pilots on the planes. The planes are obsolete, and the navy is replacing them with planes in the Boeing 7x7 series.  
Pictured here is Philip and his family.
(Story by Tad Shaw and Photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Programon the 13th was the annual concert by the Minnetonka High School Concert Choir.
The choir, composed of 59 seniors and juniors at the school, is directed by Paula Holmberg, The program that was done for us was a part of their winter concert, and included songs of the season.
The Chamber Singers, a select group of 19 of the choir members, sang three Christmas songs, including an energetic version of Jingle Bells. Also doing a special version of The Twelve Days of Christmas was a barber shop quartet from within the group.
The entire choir sang a number of songs, including a Gloria, Gaudete Omnes, and Earth Song. The program ended with the traditional Choral Benediction, which was preceded by two surprises. The entire choir sang Jai Hoi (Victory Dance), part of the theme music from the movie, Slumdog Millionaire. And the closing selection was Merry Christmas Past, which was written by our own Bob Williams (who will celebrate his 90th birthday on Saturday).
Program rating on the TMT (Troublemakers’ Table) Scale: 10.
Merry Christmas to all!!!!
DONATE to the RI Foundation by 12/31/11, and it is a deduction this tax year! And Rotary International will disburse 100% of your money to approved projects in 2014.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier) 

Our Program on January 3rd was presented by Bill Wenmark. Bill
is a familiar face around the area, as he has been on the Minnetonka School Board, and is active in a number of school and local area activities. He came to talk about some of his activities, especially ALARC, and the New Year’s Day Ice Dive at Bayview.
The ice dive began 22 years ago, when Bill and 7 others started it at Lake Minnetonka. The location of the dive has varied through the years, but now is permanently at Bayview. Over 950 people “took a dive” this year, down from last year’s record. Bill says that the weather conditions on New Year’s Day controls the numbers who dive. Fifteen below with a –30 wind chill cuts into the crowd, and the chill on the first this year had its effect. There are three persons who have made the dive 20 or more years. The money made by the dive has gone to a number of local and national charitable programs, with this year’s proceeds benefiting “Semper Fi”, an organization that provides continuing support to US Marines with serious disabilities caused in combat.
In the 22 years of diving, only one injury has occurred: a young woman who was jumping in a diving threesome misheard the count, and jumped before her partners and dislocated her shoulder. There is a full complement of emergency experts at each jump: police, EMT, ambulance personnel, and there are always a few doctors among the jumpers.
Bill is also a marathon runner, and in 1976 he established ALARC, which is an organization that prepares people to be successful in running events.
The website is Pictures of the recent divers are posted on the site. They also have a Facebook page. 
(Pictured her is Bill and Woody having a good laugh after the presentation.)
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Program last week was spent packing food for "Kids Against Hunger". A very large number of our members met at Mount Calvary, and spent the hour preparing food packs to send to feed starving people in Kenya and Haiti. We packed 8,640 meals during our session, and the staff was astounded at the efficiency and dedication of our club. They were not prepared for that much production!

The packets are 392 to 400 grams in weight, and when prepared with water, each packet provides six meals. In the 7 years that the project has been working at Mount Calvary, they have prepared and shipped packets equal to 3,500,000 meals. Including all costs, each meal costs about 15 cents to deliver to the kids and families in Kenya or Haiti. The sobering fact is that even with efforts such as this, every 6 seconds a child dies of starvation.

We're not the only group to do packing; some other groups that have done packing at Mount Calvary include school PTAs, all ages of school children, families, YMCA groups, companies, and many sports teams.
Not a bad way to spend a lunch-hour, feeing 8,640 starving people!

Phil Trout was the guest presenter at the STRIVE Meeting on Thursday, December 15th.  Phil is the College Counselor at MHS and helps students make wise choices about their post-secondary options. 
Mr. Trout built his presentation around three numbers:  93 – 1,000,000 and 1.  Phil stressed the importance of getting a high school diploma and how that will help open doors to each of the STRIVE kids futures.  In a nutshell the three numbers represent the fact that 93% of the 2011 grads are attending some type of college this year!  Also that a college education will help its recipient earn $1,000,000 more than not having a college education and 2012 is this groups graduation year and they should make sure that they have everything in line so that they will graduate on time. Phil mentioned that 99% of last year’s seniors graduated high school and that is a very impressive figure.  “The number “1” is the most important because it is you.  Everyone one of us counts!  You as an individual have the responsibility to… determine the path of your own life; to protect your life; and to be a good family member.”  Phil pointed-out that the Rotarian mentors and he is here to help each of them reach their goals.  He also emphasized that when the STRIVE students come to see him they are the most important one and that he will help you in making their post-secondary plans.  He ended his formal remarks by stating, “I’m thrilled that you are here in STRIVE to peruse your future1”
After his remarks he took many questions form the students.  One student asked about how credits transfer from a community college to a four-year college and what information is sent to the college.  Phil said that there is only one thing that is asked for upon transferring and that is the student’s GPA.  “They are not interested in your H.S. GPA, your ACT scores, Your hair color or anything else – just you GPA!” said Phil.  There were many questions but the one that stood out to the STRIVE students was his cost comparison between of various types of colleges:  State University - $14K; Private - $45K, Normandale - $5; and U of M - $22.5K and also covered how financial aid can play an important role in attending college.  Two important sources for information are: and for information on colleges and financial aid.  He ended by handing out “Go Places” which is a publication of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to help the STRIVE students explore the possibilities as they make their future plans.
It was a great presentation and every one of the STRIVE students and our Rotary Mentors took time to thank Phil for the presentation and what he does for the students at Minnetonka High School.
Pictured here with Dick Glover is a 2010 Grad, Ms. Burdick who briefly talked with the STRIVE students about her transition to college life and living away from home. (Story by Steve Frazier)



Our Program on 12/3 was about the situation in Chimbote, Peru. The history: in 1971, Father Jack Davis, a catholic priest from the Fargo, ND. Diocese, went on assignment to a poverty-ridden parish in Chimbote, Peru. His efforts to help the 40,000 people in his barrio parish have been aided by at least 5 U S Rotary Clubs, church congregations, countless individuals and other groups. Tony and Dorothy Brama spoke to our club last week and brought us up to date.

Tony and Dorothy became involved in helping Chimbote when they joined the group finding items to include in the two containers sent down yearly from the Twin Cities. They are members of St Michael's parish in Prior Lake (Prior Lake Rotary was the first Rotary in the Greater Twin Cities to organize to help Father Jack). They have been down to Peru a number of times. They presented a video showing aspects of the help being provided from the US.

Currently, there are 7 soup kitchens that provide 2900 meals a week - the only food for many kids in the area. There is a micro-lending program to help individuals start or improve their own businesses. There are medical and dental clinics that serve the ill without charge; some of the clinics are staffed by American volunteers who create miracles! And there are scholarships available for grade school, high school, technical school, and college for deserving kids (handled by the Chanhassen Rotary Club). Father Jack says that the way out of poverty for the kids is education, and that is one of his focuses. Medical supplies are sent in the two 40 foot containers that are shipped annually, and to date this area has shipped goods worth $5,800,000 to help.

The project's email is


Steve Frazier was the presenter at STRIVE on December 1, 2011 and worked with the students on Goal Setting both in terms of academics and careers.  Steve asked the students, “What are your goals in life?” and had them briefly write it down on a study sheet that he had handed out to them.  He then had Megan come up and state the goals(s) she had written on her sheet (pictured here with Steve).    She stated that “I want to go to culinary school and maybe into teaching.”  Steve had her sit down and then explained that many things sound like goals and are good starting points but they are really wishes, dreams, hopes and action taken out of guilt or force.  Calling on Megan again he asked her if she had stated a goal and she admitted that she had stated hers as “dreams” and not stated as goals.
The central part of the presentation was on the statement, “The difference between a wish and a goal is a plan.”  Steve instructed that goals always start right now and that they should be written.  He then delineated that goals are measurable, quantifiable, have a time frame, specific, verifiable, realistic and incremental.
Using grades he taught the students to begin making goal statements using the words “I will…” or  ”I am…” statements.  Steve worked through eight steps that students could use to drastically improve their grades and using any one step would improve their performance.  He showed the students how to use their notes to psych-out what their teachers wanted for their tests and how to use notes as a tool to identify test items.  He then had Megan come back up in front of the group and talk about her action plan to get to her goals.   She did a great job and admitted that she had a Biology class that was giving her trouble and was going to make that part of her goal plan to pass that class.
The class then divided into groups of 3 or 4 per mentor and worked on goal setting for the remainder of the period.  Most mentors reported that the kids goals were about finishing high school and graduating and planning for college.  Mentors also remarked how open and serious the students were about their goals and future plans.
The next STRIVE meeting will be on Thursday, December 15th at 10:09 in room 1602 with Bob Humphrey discussing Self Confidence with the STRIVE Students.

Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees
Minutes: November 14,  2011
Location:  Beacon Bank Conference Room
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Don Draayer.  Trustees present were: Don Draayer, Dean Friesen, Steve Frazier, and Dave Peterka, and Carl Zinn.  Also in attendance was special advisor Gary Thompson.
The following Action Items were reviewed and approved:
1.      The agenda for the 11.14.11 meeting was reviewed and accepted with no changes.
The Secretary’s Report of the minutes for the September 8, 2011 meeting was presented by Secretary Dave Peterka for approval.  It was moved by Steve Frazier and seconded by Dean Friesen to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.
The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Treasurer Dean Friesen as follows:
1.      Internally prepared financial statements covering YTD activity reflect total revenues of $15,997.60, less total expenses of $7,157.02 (consisting largely of charitable contributions) yielding a YTD net income of $8,840.58.  The corresponding balance sheet for the same period reflects total equity of $123,951.45 on total assets of $115,110.87.  This Foundation has no liabilities.  A careful review followed of the fund analysis consisting of the Annual Fund, the General Fund, and the Lee Paris Fund.  It was moved by Dave Peterka and seconded by Steve Frazier to approve the Treasurer’s report as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.
2.      Dean Friesen presented for approval, the External Fiscal Review Committee for the 2010-2011 Budget Year.  The proposed committee consists of Excelsior Rotary Club members: Jerry Brecke, Dick Osgood, and Hugh Gilmore.  It was moved by Carl Zinn and seconded by Steve Frazier to approve the committee appointments as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.
Old Business:
  1. As a follow up to the discussion at the September 8, 2011 Foundation Board of Trustees meeting wherein concurrence by all trustees occurred on the amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Excelsior Rotary Foundation, and subsequent presentation of these same Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Excelsior Rotary Foundation to The Rotary Club of Excelsior general membership meeting on October 25, 2011, it was moved by Steve Frazier and seconded by Carl Zinn to approve these Articles and Bylaws as presented.  The motion carried unanimously. 
New Business:
1.       Steve Frazier presented the following four requests from The Rotary Club of Excelsior for funding by The Excelsior Rotary Foundation:
    • A contribution of $750.00 for the local service project Feed My Starving Children.  It was moved by Steve Frazier, seconded by Dave Peterka to approve this contribution.  The motion carried unanimously.
    • A contribution of $400.00 for the Resource West Hat and Glove Project.  It was moved by Carl Zinn, seconded by Dean Friesen to approve this contribution with the caveat that this is the third time this particular proposal has been forwarded in the last four years.  (Refer to provision 5.0 of the Foundation Policy.)   The motion carried unanimously.
    • A contribution of $1,700.00 for the Elementary 3rd Grader Dictionary Program.  It was moved by Steve Frazier, seconded by Carl Zinn to approve this contribution with the caveat that this is the third time this particular proposal has been forwarded in the last four years.  (Refer to provision 5.0 of the Foundation Policy.)    The motion carried unanimously.
    • A contribution of $4,000.00 for our share of the Feasibility Study for the Excelsior Band Shell.  It was moved by Steve Frazier, seconded by Carl Zinn to approve this contribution.  A lengthy discussion ensued around two themes:
1.      Concern that this expenditure would draw down this year’s Annual Fund reserve of $17,239.74 for the entire year to less than $2,000.00 with almost seven and one and a half months left as well as an open question of what commitments have already been made to Camp Tonadonna (Golf Tournament beneficiary) that are not yet paid as well as scholarships that have not yet been paid.
2.      The desire for additional rationale behind this requested appropriation.  It was moved by Carl Zinn, seconded by Dean Friesen to approve that the motion be tabled, pending further review.  The motion to table carried unanimously. 
Don Draayer said he would draft a letter to President Woody Love regarding this matter, run it by Trustees for feedback prior to finalization, and forward it to Woody Love as soon as possible.
  1. Don Draayer reminded Trustees that, per the Foundation’s Bylaws, on October 4, 2011, the Board of Trustees consulted with the Rotary Board of Directors relative to investments pertaining to the $75,000 bequest from Lee Paris.  Directors expressed concern about the low rates of return on CDs as well as the desire to increase rates of return without incurring too much risk.  The suggestion made to Trustees was to seek financial expertise in this matter.   To this end, Chair Don Draayer led a discussion regarding a proposed Financial Investment Advisory Committee (definition, size, membership) for the management of the Lee Paris Fund and perhaps other Foundation funds.  Carl Zinn offered to take the lead on this process to research and solicit ideas form club members and foundation management firms and report back to this Board of Trustees on his findings.  It was moved by Dave Peterka, seconded by Steve Frazier to approve this undertaking.  The motion carried unanimously.
  2. Don Draayer led a discussion regarding the establishment of a new Fund with the Foundation, entitled Endowment Fund.  It would enable Club members to donate a sum of money in life or through Will bequests whose principle would be safeguarded indefinitely and investments there from would be available for charitable causes.  It was moved by Dave Peterka, seconded by Dean Friesen that an Endowment Fund be established with related policy development and marketing strategies be developed over the next year.  The motion passed unanimously.
There being no further business, it was moved by Dean Friesen and seconded by Dave Peterka to adjourn the meeting.  The motion carried unanimously.
Respectfully Submitted,
Dave Peterka,
Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees

Our Program on November 8th was a presentation by
Milton Schoen, the director of Veterans’ Services for Hennepin County. He and his staff of four provide initial and referral services to the 75,000 veterans in Hennepin County.
Most of those returning from active duty don’t know much about the benefits available to them from various sources, and Milton heads the reference center for these benefits in the county. Much of their work involves checking on eligibility for federal programs through the VA and helping eligible veterans apply for those services. Examples of established programs include VA health care, long-term disability, chemical dependency treatment, behavioral health services, and vocational rehabilitation.
New programs recently initiated include treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Veterans’ Court, help for urban homeless veterans, and expediting access to the VA Health Care system for qualified veterans.
Their main office is in the Government Center in downtown Minneapolis, which is not a convenient location for many veterans, so they are opening up their second satellite center at Ridgedale soon. These centers make access easier for the suburban veterans. Hours at t he satellites in Brookdale and Ridgedale are currently very limited, but the high usage insures that these hours will be increased.
The VA and the Federal government are currently addressing the homeless veteran issue, and recently open was a sober house  for 120 veterans near the VA Hospital.                                    (Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)

Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees
Minutes: November 22,  2011 @ 11:00 AM
Location:  Bayview Conference Center
The special meeting of the Excelsior Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees was called to order by Chairman Don Draayer.  All five Foundation Trustees were present: Don Draayer, Dean Friesen, Steve Frazier, and Dave Peterka, and Carl Zinn.  Also in attendance: Special Advisor, Gary Thompson; Rotary Club of Excelsior President, Woody Love; President-elect, Tim Litfin; and Rotary Board of Directors member, Terry Roerser.   
Chairman Don Draayer stated that the purposes of this special meeting:
1.      To remove the tabled motion from the table that was enacted at the November 14, 2011 Board of Trustees meeting (shown below);
2.      To open the matter for discussion, elaboration, and improved understanding; and,
3.      To pursue the desired courses of action:
…To fund a contribution of $4,000.00 for our share of the Feasibility Study for the Excelsior Band Shell.  It was moved by Steve Frazier, seconded by Carl Zinn to approve this contribution.  A lengthy discussion followed around two themes:
1.      Concern that this expenditure would draw down this year’s Annual Fund reserve of $17,239.74 for the entire year to less than $2,000.00 with almost seven and one and a half months left as well as an open question of what commitments have already been made to Camp Tonadonna (Golf Tournament beneficiary) that are not yet paid as well as scholarships that have not yet been paid.
2.      The desire for additional rationale behind this requested appropriation.  It was moved by Carl Zinn, seconded by Dean Friesen to approve that the motion be tabled, pending further review.  The motion to table carried unanimously. 
Don Draayer said he would draft a letter to President Woody Love regarding this matter, run it by Trustees for feedback prior to finalization, and forward it to Woody Love as soon as possible.
It was moved by Carl Zinn, seconded by Steve Frazier to take the above referenced tabled motion (#2 above) off the table.  The motion carried unanimously.
Ensuing discussion on the original motion included: the number of remaining dollars for 2011-2012 in the Woody Love Annual Fund; Treasurer Dean Friesen’s updated accounting of the Annual Fund allocation and expenditures; inquiry as to the whereabouts of an entry related to the $2000 obligation to the charity of choice question to two other clubs in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 (that had earlier been agreed to by Tom Anderson, Woody Love, and Tim Litfin); reference to an expenditure authorized in a past administration (Dick Glover) and held in escrow but not yet paid out; accumulated interest earnings in the Lee Paris Fund; perceptions of the term feasibility study and the role of Rotary relative to it; commitments already made by the City of Excelsior and the morning Excelsior Rotary Club; Rotary 5950 goal of expanding local community awareness of Rotary through “signature type” community projects; review of a written timeline by Terry Roerser of steps already taken on the band shell project as well as the timeliness of Foundation action; and explanations and clarifications by Woody Love behind the request for $4,000 for the Feasibility Study for the Excelsior Band Shell.  
Rotary Club President Woody Love recommended that Trustees utilize accrued interest income from the Lee Paris Fund, rather than any dollars remaining in the Annual Fund for Woody Love. 
Steve Frazier moved, seconded by Carl Zinn, that the original motion approving the expenditure of $4,000 be amended to make clear that the funding request of $4,000, if approved, would be withdrawn from the accumulated interest earnings from the Lee Paris Fund.  The motion on the amendment carried unanimously.
At 12:00 noon, Trustee Chair Don Draayer announced that the Rotary Club weekly meeting was about to commence, that the hour long regular Rotary meeting would give time and opportunity for Trustees, as individuals, to process all that had been discussed, and that the Foundation Board of Trustees meeting on the matters at hand would be continued at 1:00 pm. 
Reassembling at 1:00 PM, Draayer asked each Trustee to share his thoughts, concerns, and perceptions prior to taking action on this amended motion:  That the Foundation Trustees approve the expenditure of $4,000.00 from the Lee Paris Fund accumulated investment earnings to help fund the Feasibility Study for the Excelsior Band Shell.    
Each Trustee expressed their thinking and feelings, which included pros and cons to the proposed action, following which time the Foundation Chair called for the vote.  The motion passed unanimously: 5 yes and 0 no.  
There being no further business, it was moved by Dean Friesen and seconded by Dave Peterka to adjourn the meeting at 1:25 PM.  The motion carried unanimously.
Respectfully Submitted,
Dave Peterka,
Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees

Our Program on October 25th was a presentation on our club's foundation, led by Dr Don Draayer, and including segments by Dean Friesen and Randy Schumacher.

Founded five years ago, the club's foundation gives members (and others) a tax-free place to make donations to. The foundation has its own elected board of directors (trustees) and is run by the five of them. All of our charitable activities are run through the foundation.

The Excelsior Rotary Foundation currently contains funds from various contributors, the money from the Lee Harris bequest, and the balances remaining from the club's fund raisers, and the total is within a few dollars of $100,000.00. All of this money is club money that has been specifically dedicated to our charitable causes. The board of this organization makes annual reports to the club's officers, and their activities are monitored by an audit board consisting of three independent club members.

Rotary International also has a foundation, which was established shortly after the end of World War I, called the Rotary Foundation. This international fund is used by RI to fund their charitable causes; the campaign to end polio is the recent notable program sponsored by them.

For further information about the RI Foundation and the Paul Harris Awards, the contact is Randy Schumacher. For further information about the Excelsior Rotary Foundation, contact one of the five trustees: Don Draayer, Dave Peterka, Dean Friesen. Steve Frazier, or Carl Zinn. 
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)

On Thursday, October27th  the STRIVE Students and mentors were treated to John Hotvet’s presentation on Attitudes II about his life’s journey and some of the people along the way that influenced him and the important role that having a positive attitudes plays in life. 
In John’s calm and laid back manner he described his life leading up to becoming a “Vet” and how the 44 years “went by in a flash” as her pursued his passion and love of animals.  He talked about the elements and people in his life that shaped him as a person and as a professional.  John admits that he was painfully shy in school until he met Tommy Reichert who always had a great smile, a positive attitude and was a good student.  John decided to emulate these characteristics and they worked and he began to develop a winning personality and self-confidence.  In college his music director always told him “to believe in yourself” and he gained self confidence by believing in himself.  John explained to the STRIVE kids that it is O.K. to change your mind as he did going from an art/music major to Veterinarian School.   Wendell DeVore convinced John that he could do it and John made it through.
John talked about his time in the Army and what a great experience it was and learned to appreciate power.  He spoke about going in to practice and referred to it as the “best job in the World.”  He spoke touchingly about treating everyone with respect and compassion because treating one of their pests was like treating one of the family members. 
He ended with some hints about life:
            Treat people nice and make them comfortable
            Find something you are passionate about and go for it!
            Don’t be afraid to change directions in life
            Don’t procrastinate
            Be optimistic and think positive
            Don’t assume anything
            Be diligent
            Engage with others
            Be caring, trustworthy and respectful
            Learn to listen
            Be inclusive, patient and humble
            Do good
            Do the best that you can
            Love what you do and do what you love
And believe “I’m better than ever!”
Pictured here with John Hotvet is one of our STRIVE Students that wants to become a Veterinarian.   (Story and photo by Steve Frazier)

The STRIVE Program for November 10th was Chris Lizee presenting Habits: Sleep, Attitudes and Time Management.  There were 32 students and ten mentors present at STRIVE.
Chris started out by asking everyone present how many hours they thought it took to become a pilot.  With help from the kids and Dick Glover it was determined that it take 40 hours of flying time to get a private pilot’s license; 225-250 hours to get an instrument rating and 1200 hours to get an airlines pilot license.  The point Chris was making is that to achieve this goal or any goal you need to develop healthy habits such as a positive attitude, time management to get you to your goal and proper care of oneself such as proper sleep to achieve at your best.
Everyone was surprised to find out that high school students should get 9 ¼ hours of sleep to do their best in school.  She contrasted the difference in performance of not enough to well rested performance on a continuum for the group.  She noted several really good tips for getting to sleep and waking rested.  She suggested that students should write down a to-do-list prior to bed so they do not have to worry about what is coming tomorrow and that the room should be dark (No electronics), quiet and peaceful.
Moving into time management Chris noted that it takes about 10,000 hours to become an expert in any given field.  That means that if you spent eight hours a day studying/working on one specific skill/field it would take you three and a half years!  She is an accomplished knitter and she attests to the fact that she has way over 10,000 hours of experience and is still learning. 
Chris handed out a planning check list to the group and had them rate themselves on six areas of time management and to rate themselves five levels from “Never” to “Always” and then to calculate their scores.  Most of the students were average planners but all had areas they admitted that they needed to work on to do better in school.  Chris went on to suggest that they start with some type of daily planner.  It can be one of the commercial types or one of their own.  They can use a whiteboard in their room or even have one on their electronic communications device.  She challenged the entire group – including mentors – to chart their time management for one week to experience the feeling of accomplishment and better performance that results with good time management.
Before dividing into discussion groups she said, “I can’t teach you how to study better or test better but I can teach you how to manage your time better and get positive results.”  She said that she would be lost without her planner as it holds all of her appointments and meetings as Mayor of Shorewood so that she accomplishes all tasks required of her as mayor. 
Pictured here with Chris is STRIVE Students Hanna and Laura who feel they are good planners but found out several new things that they are going to try the following week to make their planning better and increase their performance.  (Story and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on November 1st was a visit to the headquarters of ICA. The ICA is our local food shelf, and is a non-profit which was started by 33 local church congregations.  All 33 are represented at the monthly report given to them by Kathy Maes, the director.

Kathy gave us an update on their operations, highlighting the fact that client base is up 80% since 2008, and that they have been able to reduce waiting time for groceries to fewer than 24 hours. The new Excelsior office has allowed faster distribution of food to their clients, although the wait at the home location is still over a week. Food is distributed to clients on a schedule; the families are given a specific time to arrive at the center for their food, so there is no wait for them.

During the tour of the facility that she lead, she told of the processes used to get food, from accepting food donations and cash, buying food from their uplink (Second Harvest), and collecting perishables from the major supermarkets in the area, sorting and checking done by volunteers who shelf the food so that bags of groceries can be prepared for the individual clients. As we walked through the processing area, most of us found two or three friends who are ICA volunteers.

The ICA board is looking for ways to improve delivery to their clients, including the purchase of a truck to deliver groceries to clients in senior high rises and to disabled clients.

Next Week: Jim Bagwell will talk about the Shriners in Minnesota. Opening Marshal will be Karen Frazier.
 (Story by Tad shaw and Photo by Steve Frazier)

Cathy Maes visited our club on Tuesday, October 18th to thank our Excelsior Rotary Club for its participation and funding of the 2011 Dash for Hunger.  Cathy is the Executive Director of the ICA Food Shelf and indicated that this year’s food dash raised over $14,500 for ICA. 
Cathy also visited our club to invite the entire membership to a lunch and tour of the ICA complex on Tuesday, November 1st at 11:00AM.  The ICA Food Shelf is located at 12990 St. Davids Road in Minnetonka just off of Minnetonka Blvd.  The ICA Food Shelf is one of our signature charities and we look forward to a great turn-out for this important club event.  (Story and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on October 18th was a presentation by Robert Stevens, the president of Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia. His talk was about the changes and trends in the business of medical care.

His first comments were about the consolidations and mergers that are taking place. Because of the reduced level of reimbursements by health insurers, especially Medicare, and because of the increase of costs for equipment and personnel, many of the individual practices, clinics, and hospitals are being forced to align with the "big guys". He sees this trend continuing. He also commented on Ridgeview's new "212 Health Center", which is owned by Ridgeview but which has incorporated other major providers in the building.

Patient health was another topic. Currently, medical care is billed on a fee for each element of service provided. This drives the costs up, and does not necessarily provide the best medical care. The trend is toward capped payments by the insurers for specific diagnoses.

The third area he discussed was the conflict between group insured, individually insured, the insurers, and the care givers. He stated the 20% of the costs in medical care are because of "defensive medicine" - things which are done by doctors and hospitals to "PYA" and not really necessary to treat the patient.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)
Our club’s website address: click on link

Our programon October 11th was presented by Bethany Connelly who is certified in the fields of yoga, fitness, and overall wellness. Her topic was fitness, and she gave a presentation which outlines the three areas that we can all easily work on to increase our level of fitness.

The first area of concern is REST. For sleeping, a dark room is best (she wears a blackout mask). Eating heavily before retiring is not good; the digestive tract works best between 10 AM and 2 PM, so the largest meal should be around noon. When we wake up after sleep, the brain is the most active, and this is the time to set the mood for the day. And, she says 20 minute power naps should be an important part of the day.

The second area is EXERCISE. Two important considerations are maintaining flexibility and strength. There are many easy programs to follow that provide for both of these elements and a cardio exercise training program is also easy to do; swimming is an excellent option.

Lastly, proper NUTRITION is important. A 24 hour food journal is an important tool for this, as it shows you what you ate and how it affected you. All of us need to eat more vegetables, and drink more water. She said that over 80% of headaches are caused by dehydration.

Bethany's website is
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)


Bob Williams spoke to the STRIVE students on Thursday, October 6th and captivated the STRIVE Students with his great message about the importance of having the right attitude. Bob told stories about people he knew and about their attitudes in life and how they used their positive frame of reference to impact the people around. He recounted stories about FDR, his brother Rex Williams and other stories about others and himself.

He told one story about a young man that worked for the Twins in the early years at spring training in Orlando, Florida. It seems that one of the visiting execs had an family emergency and couldn't get a flight so the young man drove the exec some 200 miles because "It just seemed like the right thing to do!" The young man did not want payment for the deed but the exec insisted. Upon his return to camp he mailed the money back explaining that he did not want payment because his good deed just seemed like the right thing to do. He never heard back from the exec again but every year since then he receives a World Series Louisville Slugger Bat because evidently the exec also thought it was the right thing to do!

The STRIVE Students were very impressed with Bob's message and then sat in small groups with the 13 Rotary Mentors and discussed attitudes and people that have been mentors to them and how that has helped them be a better person and to have a better attitude in life.

The next STRIVE Meeting will be on October 27th in Room 1602 at 9:02 at MHS when John Hotvet will continue with Attitudes.

Pictured here with Bob is STRIVE student Lauren. (Story and picture by Steve Frazier)



Our program on October 4th was a presentation by Patrick Connoy about the various local government economic development programs. Patrick had worked in the recent past along with our Bob Humphrey in the City of Minneapolis Community Development Authority.

 Patrick is with the “Hennepin County Common Bond Fund”, which provides funding for businesses within the county. It used to be a Minneapolis program, but has extended to cover the whole county. Approved projects are funded by bonds issued by the city of Minneapolis, and the largest recent grant was $18,000,000 for building a factory in rural Hennepin County.

Another program that he talked about was the “Minnesota Community Capitol Fund”, which exists to keep companies in Minnesota, and stop the movement of jobs to other states and countries. Two additional programs he talked about were “Economic Garden” and “Open to Business”. Some of their work is supporting businesses in the current rail corridors where construction has limited or closed access to businesses. An interesting side note that he mentioned is that the Metropolitan Council has received approval to do the engineering for the Southwest Corridor Light Rail - that project will have direct and important impact on our area.

The website for his group, which is called the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, is located at All of the programs are discussed in detail there.                                 (Story by Tad Shaw and photo by Steve Frazier)



Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 6th Annual Cub Foods/Rotary Food Dash on Tuesday, October 4th.  All together, $14,510.50 was raised for the ICA Food Shelf!  Reporters from WCCO and KARE11 were there and both stations gave the event air time and the Lake Shore Weekly and Sun Sailor newspapers also covered the event. 

Cub Foods and Rotary each contributed $6,655.25 to match the amount of groceries gather by the dasher and the teams all contributed their $1,200 Cub gift cards winnings to the ICA Food Shelf.

Here are the team results:

·         1st place raising $3,055.39  – Stephanie Weiss, Raffle Winner, and Excelsior Mayor Nick Ruehl

·         2nd place raising $2,269.35Kathy Benhardus, ICA Board President, and Tonka Bay Mayor Bill LaBelle

·         3rd place raising $1,330.51Cathy Maes, ICA Executive Director, and Police Chief Bryan Litsey

Great job everyone!  This brings the total contributions to $75,000 from this event to the ICA Food Shelf over the last six years.

Special thanks to Bruce Trippet of the morning club for organizing the event and to the dashers, Club Presidents Love and Ellison, Chris Lizee, Ross McGlasson and everyone else that made this such a successful event.

Thank you all and we hope to see you next year at the 7th Annual Dash for Hunger!                                      (Story and photo by Steve Frazier)


The Rotary Club of Excelsior was represented at the District 5950 Fall Training Session by Woody Love,  Tim Litfin, Chris Lizee, Theresa Zerby, Randy Schumacher and Steve Frazier.  The event was held at the Golden Valley country Club on Friday, September 23, 2011.  Tom Thorfinnson (Past RI Vice President) was the mornings keynote speaker who spoke about the mission of rotary and how to tell the story of Rotary to prospective new members.  Then the Excelsior Delegation was off to the breakout sessions for the Rotary Foundation, membership, PR and the Leadership Academy.  The sessions were excellent and filled with tips for improving the Excelsior Club.
The afternoon keynote speaker was Amanda Robertson of the Rotary Foundation areas of Water and Sanitation Projects and she joined the Excelsior Delegation for lunch.  She spoke about the great work that Rotary is doing throughout the world through the RI Foundation.  She emphasized the importance of have continuity over a period of time on projects so that Rotarians can make a meaningful difference not just with their financial donations but to become involved in the community they are helping.
All who attend agreed that they all picked-up valuable ideas to help improve the Excelsior Club.    Pictured here with the Excelsior Delegation is Amanda Robinson   (Story and photo by Steve Frazier)

Welcome everybody to the 6th Annual Dash for Hunger sponsored by Cub Foods and the local Rotary Clubs from Excelsior to be held next Tuesday, Oct 4, from 10-11 am at the Shorewood Cub Foods at Highways 41 and 7. This event has raised over $60,000 for the ICA Food Shelf over the years. 
Below are the team pairings, contact information and updated rules.  Note that the coffee section has been added to the excluded sections this year so the teams will need to adjust their strategies accordingly.  is off limits this year for the first time so revise your sorry). Feel free to contact your team member to coordinate strategies or to show up early and figure it out then.  Team names and costumes are encouraged.
·         Team 1: Stephanie Weiss and Mayor Nick Ruehl, Excelsior
·         Team 2: Kathy Benhardus and Mayor Bill LaBelle, Tonka Bay
·         Team 3: Cathy Maes and Police Chief Bryan Litsey, South Lake Minnetonka
A big thank you goes to Raffle Winners Tom Verburgt and Peggy Morgan, from Excelsior, who are donating their winnings to the ICA Food Shelf.  They are being represented in the Dash by Cathy Maes, Executive Director, and Kathy Venhardus, President, ICA Food Shelf.
Team contact Information:
  • Stephanie Weiss, c (612) 710-8507,
  • Cathy Maes, c (952) 992-0000,
·         Kathy Berhardus, (952) 935-2427,
  • Bill LaBelle, Mayor, Tonka Bay, h (952) 470-0374,
  • Nick Ruehl, Mayor, Excelsior, w (952) 474-4504, c (612) 889-2851,
·         Bryan Litsey, Police Chief, South Lake Minnetonka, w (952) 474-3261,
The event agenda is attached.  Dash rules and background information is below.  .
Thank you again for being part of this fun and worthwhile event sponsored by Cub Foods and the Excelsior Rotary Clubs to benefit the ICA Food Shelf.  
See you at the Dash!
Dash for Hunger Rules
·   The length of the Food Dash is 3 minutes.
·   Each team must stay together and with their cart at all times.
·   Aisles to be used are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 14.  Not included:
§  Spice, Baking Pan and coffee sections in aisle 8;
§  Water Filter section in aisle 9. 
·   Each team must visit at least 3 different aisles.
·   Bring back each filled cart to the team’s assigned checkout lane where an empty cart will be available.
·   Items must be picked up and placed into the grocery cart, rather them just “sweeping” the items from the shelf and allowing the items to fall into the cart. 
·   Items dropped need to be picked up if not broken and placed in the cart, or returned to the appropriate shelf.
Dash for Hunger Charity Event Background
Cub Foods Shorewood and the Rotary Clubs of Excelsior are sponsoring a 3 minute shopping spree with involvement from local mayors and winners of the recent local Rotary Club fundraising raffle held in August.  The three prizewinners (or their representatives) are paired with three of the mayors in a timed race through the aisles of Cub Foods.  
The contestants compete for $1,200 in winnings (lst prize - $500 in Cub gift cards; 2nd prize - $400; 3rd prize - $300).
Cub Foods will donate the equivalent dollar amount of groceries that are selected to the ICA Food Shelf.  This amount will be matched by the combined Excelsior Rotary Clubs:
  • Excelsior Rotary Club  - Meets Tuesday noon at Bayview
  • Lake Minnetonka – Excelsior Rotary Club meets Wed 8 am at Maynards
This event has raised over $60,000 for the local food shelf since it was started in 2006.
Total ICA Food Shelf Donations 2006-2010
Cub Foods' Matching Donations
Rotary Clubs' Matching Donations
Cub Foods' Gift Certificates Donated
Total Raised

 (Pictured here is the Food Dash Team of 2010 - Story and photo by Steve Frazier)



The Program on September 27th was presented by Diane Windingland, and was titled "Small Talk, Big Results"

She told of her beginnings as a public speaker, and of the fear that she felt whenever she spoke in front of a group. Now, she says, she finds it easy to talk to a group. One of the major things she has learned is that people do not easily remember statistics, but they do recall stories and anecdotes. Her speaking secret is to tell pointed stories to validate the points being made.

People remember stories as they give meaning and relevance to the points being made. Facts are abstract, but people don't buy based on facts. They make their decisions based on emotions, and stories paint a picture that the client can relate to.

Further information from the website:

Future programs:
October 11     Fitness - Bethan Connelly
October 18     Trends in the Medical Industry: Robert Stevens
October 25     Excelsior Rotary Foundation
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)  

The Strive Program had its first meeting on September 22nd in room 1602 at MHS.  Thirty students attend the meeting along with ten mentors from the Excelsior rotary Club.  The first meeting was devoted to how the program operates and expectations of the students.  Dick Glover kicked-off the program with introductions and challenged the students to take advantage of the program and to strive for better achievement this year and to start working on their goals for the future.
Scott Dykhoff gave each student a commitment contract explained that we expect 90% attendance at meetings and that students maintain a “C” average and actively participate in the program discussions.  Scott also discussed the opportunities for scholarships and stressed that the scholarships were not about getting the highest GPA but rather the most improved students will receive scholarships.  Scott then gave each STRIVE student a folder to keep their STRIVE materials in for the year, the program of topics and speakers, and had them sign their commitment contracts.
We have great expectations for this year’s STRIVE Program and encourage Excelsior Rotarians to come and help mentor these great kids. 
(Story and Photo by Steve Frazier)


The Rotary Club of Excelsior held it Fall Road Cleanup on Tuesday, September 27th.  The group of volunteers met at McDonald's to organize into cleaning teams and put on their safety vests and received their supply of heavy duty bags.  The Excelsior rotary club has the responsibility to clean highway #7 from Christmas Lake Road to Vine Hill Road on the north and south sides.  The group had a good time and were completed with their work in less than an hour.  Organizer of the event was Karen Frazier and said, "We want to thank all of the Rotarians that volunteers their time to work on this service project and to help keep our community beautiful."  (Story and photo by Steve Frazier) 


Last week's Program was presented by Dr. Dennis Peterson, the Superintendent of the Minnetonka School District. Dr. Peterson has been the administrative leader of the district for slightly over 10 years.

His talk was on "The State of the School District", with most of the material in the form of graphs or comparisons charts. The summary would be that the district is still a leader not only in districts state-wide but country-wide as well. Comparisons with leading districts throughout the country show our district is a leader in the many of categories of comparison. Increasing scores on all of the comparative tests show that the district is delivering better education to all students. Dr. Peterson emphasized that the term "all students" is important, as achievement has increased across the board, not just among the good learners, but for average learners as well as the challenged.

Schools that showed better results nationwide all had higher per student costs. Our district did some planning ahead, and we will not be needing any referendum funds for the coming year; almost every surrounding district will be asking for more money from their voters to support their programs.

Dr. Peterson said that the district is going into a new phase called "Innovation Planning" to continue to keep a few steps ahead of the other districts. Because of the high marks the district gets, parents from surrounding areas are "opting in", giving the district increasing numbers of youngsters in our own district. Keeping high enrollment allows better staffing and high quality programs.
(Story by Tad shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier) 

Last Week's Program was a presentation by Steve Frazier which was designed to familiarize our members with the club's website.

Using a computer. Steve logged into the website, and showed the group the new website designed by Scott Zerby. The schedule of future programs, list of officers and board members, stories, and the bulletins were all available to members and others who visit the site at Behind this general information site is an area with a tremendous amount of information for our members. This area is ONLY AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS WITH A PASSWORD. Personal information on the website CANNOT be accessed by the general public.

In this private area of the website is the membership roster, and the personal information about our members. Using this information, members can e-mail other members, find home and work addresses, and cell, work, and home telephone numbers. Some of the members have outdated or incomplete information in this area, and Steve showed how a person can update this personal data. A goal of the club board is to have all of this information correct and complete by their next meeting, so all members are asked t review their info on the website. If you have any problems doing this, contact Steve Frazier, Tad Shaw or Woody Love for help.
(Story by tad Shaw and Posting and Photo by steve Frazier) 

Our Program on September 13th was presented by Boone Day, the vice-commander and manager of the local American Legion Post, named after local resident Clarence Clofer who died in WWI. Boone is a lifelong resident of Tonka Bay, and a 22 year member of the Legion. He has been very active in the organization, and has served as commander, vice commander, and chair of a number of club committees.

The American Legion was founded in March, 1919 and has its first organizational meeting in Paris, France. A second organizational caucus was held in St Louis in May of 1919, with the first (annual) convention held in Minneapolis MN November 10-12, 1919. Membership in the legion itself is restricted to those who served the United States in the armed forces during a period of conflict. There are also groups - SAL (Sons of the American Legion), and the Legion Auxiliary - where no military service is required to be eligible. Two of our Rotarians are members of the local post, but many more veterans in our group are eligible. Membership is $35.00 per year. Contacts are Glenn Froberg or Tad Shaw for membership info.

The local post is headquartered in an old converted farmhouse across Smithtown Road from the country club, and across Co. Road 19 from "Tonka Terrace". Because of the number of deaths of World War I veterans, the  membership numbers in the legion are decreasing; the national total is about 2,300,000 members, a little less than 20% of those eligible. Membership in the local post has decreased also, from a high of 423 to the present 260.

The Legion has a number of programs designed to help veterans, including the new Legacy Foundation, which has provided funds for veterans' secondary education for those serving since 1990. The American Legion's baseball league program is well-known, with the Excelsior team one of the best in the nation. Locally, the Clarence Clofer Post is known as benefactor of a number of projects: Chris Lizee mentioned their help with the SouthShore Center, most of the playground equipment in the area parks was paid for by the post, and they help in hundreds of ways to make life better for residents in the area.

If you're eligible, why aren't you a member?
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier) 


Our Program on August 30th was a personal profile presented by Steve Frazier.

Steve was born and raised in North Minneapolis. His family had a series of problems, and Steve was raised by a foster family from very early in grade school. He had a lot of problems with school work, but loved music and athletics. He was awarded letters in 4 sports in high school. After graduating from Patrick Henry High School, he went to St Cloud for college. While there, he met Karen. He said it was love at first sight. They married, and Steve completed college.

He interviewed for a position at the Minnetonka School District, and was offered a teaching job. After a lifetime of teaching and counseling kids in the district, Steve retired and he and Karen own Excelsior Florist.

There's much more to the story, however, They have three children, Todd, Trent, (both heavily into computers as their profession) and Tiffany who is a fitness trainer. They live in Shorewood and have a lake place near Aitkin that they love to escape to frequently. Steve is an active member of many groups and organizations, and I mean very active. He was mayor of Shorewood for 8 years, active in the teachers' union and professional groups, a leader at his church in Excelsior, a lifelong choir member in his church, president and a strong leader in his lake association near Aitkin. He has been an active worker and leader in our club during his membership.
(Story by Tad shaw and posting by Steve Frazier) 



Our Program for August 23rd was a talk by Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak. Bob Humphrey and Nick Ruehl introduced the Mayor to the group that included the Excelsior Lake Minnetonka morning club. Bob pointed out that Rybak is from a pharmacy-based family background, just as Bob's dad was, hinting perhaps that both mayors knew what was good for curing the city because of their family background.

Mayor Rybak told us that his first "real job" was as a reporter for the Sun Newspapers, and he said he used to travel all around the area looking for news. For the last 10 years, he's been the elected mayor of the city of Minneapolis. During that time the city has had an 8% reduction in personnel, and a 10% reduction in budget. He's in the middle of formulating his budget for the next period at the present time.

He spoke of the need to "regionalize" our thinking; it is no longer Excelsior, Tonka Bay, Minneapolis, and Maplewood, but rather the Twin Cities Metro Area, and we have to include a wide range of neighbors in our thinking and planning. Citizens of Minneapolis can dial 3-1-1 0n their phone, and reach a person who is the point person for a multitude of services. Almost any city-related question can be answered for callers to that number in Minneapolis. The city currently is making a disproportional investment in filling needs in areas where help is needed.. He cited a few examples of this, including the "Minneapolis Promise" and "Step Up", initiatives aimed at disadvantaged city youths. Youngsters in Minneapolis are very world savvy, some speaking four or more languages fluently, and the city is making a special effort to give them a good start toward completing a good education and finding good jobs as adults. Although the schools are not under his control, he thinks all kids should be reading well by 3rd grade.

Minneapolis' infrastructure needed significant work done, even before the recent tornado on the North side added to the city's problems. Light rail is proceeding and will increase the city's tax base because of the building - residential and commercial - that will ensue.
(Story by Tad shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)



Our Program on August 16th was a report on one of our sponsored projects, the Costa Rican Leaf Ant Study. Present at our meeting were four of the sixteen Minnetonka High School biology students who participated, a biology teacher, and John Doleman, who originally brought the project to our attention. Through our sales of coffee, we funded three of the students who participated.

Molly Swenson introduced the four students present at our meeting, and they made a presentation on the experience. The trip was from July 29 to August 8. They were outside a small town in Costa Rica where a Ph.D. in Biology is conducting experiments to find out more about leaf ants. These ants cut up leaves on trees and transport them to the nest where they are processed by the worker ants by chewing them up. The result of the process is a powerful anti-biotic drug, more potent than anything our scientists can come up with.

The students broke up into 4 groups, and each group conducted an experiment to develop more information on some aspect of leaf ant life. The ants live in gigantic anthills, and they devour many crops planted by the local farmers. Two of the experiments involved ways of controlling the ants to keep them from  wiping whole fields of crops out and bankrupting the farmers.

The four students were very articulate and felt that they had learned a lot about the scientific process, and all plan to continue in the scientific fields. (Story by Tad shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)


Our Program on August 9th was presented by former District Governor Sandra Schley, who is a member of the Edina Club.

When she went to Africa on a Rotary-trip about funding water systems for dry areas, she visited the Mathau Valley in Kenya. When she was there, she saw a 3-year old who was poorly dressed, and had crossed eyes. The image of the boy stayed with her, and when she returned to Kenya two years later, she found the boy and befriended him. In Kenya, children who have physical problems such as crossed eyes are kept out of the mainstream, and have short, unproductive lives. She found out that his name is Moses, and learned of his family and background. She brought pictures of him back, and showed them to her club as part of a presentation on her trip. An eye surgeon in the club told her that the vision issue was correctable with surgery, and that if Moses was brought to the Edina hospital, his crossed eyes could be corrected. That was all Sandra had to hear.

Travel was arranged (not an easy task because of the Kenyan laxness in officially recording births, needed for passports), and Moses arrived at MSP for an eight day visit to the Twin Cities. While here, he had the eye surgery, and some basic dental work donated by a woman dentist who was originally from Kenya (she also was able to arrange follow-up work thru friends in the profession in Kenya). He returned to his home with glasses, corrected vision, and a bigger smile.

Education is a serious problem in Kenya, and Sandra was able to arrange for funding for Moses' full education through a fund raising effort and a generous matching grant of $10,000 from an individual Rotarian. The total raised was over $29,000.00.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)
Miracle of Moses

Our meeting on July 26th was an update on our club's international projects in Chimbote, Peru. Speaker was former club president Pook Grathwol.

It all started when the Grathwol kids each decided to spend a year as an exchange student. Pook in '79-'80 was a student in Bolivia, and on her way back to the US detoured to visit a friend in Chimbote, Peru, a seaside town of about 500,000 people. When there, she visited some of the slums and was astounded by the poverty. Through the years, she maintained contact with townspeople, including Father Jack Davis, a priest missionary from Fargo, ND who has helped the poor of Chimbote since the 1970s. On a visit to the town in the '90s, she found some projects that could be done by Rotary Clubs, and returned to Excelsior and presented the ideas to the club. Our club responded by collecting medical equipment and supplies that were sent to equip a clinic in the center of the poorest area. Our next project was the establishment of libraries in the area. A main library and five branches were equipped and are operating today allowing children and adults to get books to read to improve their education. There are no other libraries in the area. Because of the family participation in the project (Pook's mother selected the books, her father Jim and Pook handled the shipment), the library is named after the Grathwol family.

To date, through the efforts of Rotary Clubs in our area, and matches from RI, over $200,000 has been sent to help the area. The Chanhassen Club has taken over our lead in the projects, and they continue to collect medical supplies and equipment for shipment, and they have a scholarship program to send students on for more education. Bob Schmidt, former member/president of our club is still very active in this program.
 (Pictured here is Pook speaking with Dick Glover and with Gary Thompson and his guest from Mexico)
(Story by Tad shaw and poto and posting by Steve Frazier) 

Our Program on August 2nd was the Annual Official Visit of the new District Governor. This year's governor is Chuck Berg from the Shakopee Club. He was born and raised in Shakopee, and is currently serving on the Shakopee School Board.

The areas of focus for Rotary this year are three; family, continuity, and change. Strong families develop children who are good leaders, good businesspersons, and potential Rotarians. In Rotary, we need the continuity of continued emphasis on our areas of strength, and we need to welcome change where our ideas and programs have become outdated. This year Rotary is expecting to have a 3% increase in membership, and Chuck is targeting an increase in our RI Foundation giving. There also is an initiative to develop a Leadership Training Program that will benefit participants in their work and family experience as well as their Rotary life.

Then the DG went off the normal track, and told of his life experience, and how Rotarians changed it. Born into a dysfunctional and abusive family, Chuck was always in trouble around age 13; the school principal instead of using his authority, sat down with him and they talked about alternatives and responsibility for your actions. When he bought his first car at 16, he ran away from home and was confronted by a deputy sheriff in South Dakota. Instead of using his authority, he bought Chuck a meal, and sat and talked to him, and gave him money to get back home. Both of these authority figures that used kindness toward him were Rotarians, and when he was asked to join Rotary, he said he knew what Rotary was and what it stood for.
(Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier) 

Our Program on July 19th was presented by Doug Schmitt, the fourth generation president of the family business, Schmitt Music Company, and a twenty-five year member of the Land of Lakes Rotary Club in downtown Minneapolis. He told us of his club's installation of a Musical/ instrument Playground in Jackson Square Park, 22nd and Jackson Street, in Northeast Minneapolis. 

The plan was to install a number of all-season, indestructible, percussion musical instruments in a city park for kids (and maybe adults) to use. The instruments are hollow tubes, plastic drums, and xylophone type devices. Kids who are not familiar with any type of instrument could play them and make pretty sounds, and might "get turned on" by music. There are statistics that show that students who learn music have higher SAT scores than non-learners.

Doug outlined some of the problems involved in the project. The entire project was funded by their club, and placed on Minneapolis Park Board property, so the entire plan had to be approved by the Park Board. Finding qualified volunteers to do the grading, cement work, and installation proved fairly easy, As the project is in a public park, they were required to provide for repairs in the future in the form of a cash bond of $5,000. In addition, to keep the instruments from harm, they enlisted the help and support of the local residents, the YMCA across the street, and the nearby schools and music teachers.  (Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on July 12th was a presentation by President Woody Love entitled "Direction of the Club".

Woody talked about the fact that a club such as ours has to know where it has been and what it has done in order to focus on plans for the future. He commented on the Rotary conventions and workshops and meetings that members can attend, and how these gatherings help members understand and appreciate the social importance of Rotary. He recommended that we all attend these district and national events in the future.

He then asked for some of the members to tell what was the "defining moment" - the event that brought the message of Rotary home - to that member. About a dozen members responded with their experience, mainly centered on our efforts with kids, young people, and especially our exchange program with high school students.

No definitive action was taken, but we all left the meeting with a better sense of what Rotary is, where it is going, and of our part in the action. Woody made it clear that there is room for more active participation from our members in the worldwide programs and local efforts of Rotary.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier.)

            Our own Jerry Brecke presented the Program on July 12th. He went to the annual Rotary International Convention in New Orleans in May.
           Jerry attended as a delegate representing our club. The convention, held May 21 thru 25, was in the New Orleans Convention Center. Jerry went four days early to "get the feel of the place", and did most of his sightseeing prior to the meetings. It appears, from his report, that he attended a number of the sessions, at a convention that had 19,000 registered delegates and guests.
          Most of the sessions provided extensive information on various Rotary programs, including Rotaract and on the object of Rotary. Bill Gates spoke, and his large donation to the Rotary Polio Plus program was given because ONLY Rotary can overcome the individual barriers erected by countries around the world, and accomplish something as difficult as immunizing every child in the world against a disease. Jerry said that the goal is very near, and the number of new polio cases is in the hundreds not the thousands at present.
          He went to the scheduled Interdenominational Faith Service, and described how five ministers from the five major divisions of faith groups conducted the service.
          The convention will be held for the next five years on different continents so it may be difficult (but fun) to attend.  (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on June 14th was the personal profile of our new member, Pam Prosser.

Pam was born in Minneapolis, but her family moved to Minnetonka when she was in elementary school, and she graduated from Minnetonka High School. After getting her B.A. (major: business) from the U of M, she continued her formal education with a four- year course at Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy, and has been nationally certified as an alternative medical practitioner and health coach with an office in St Louis Park. She provided us with a printout describing homeopathy, and there were a number of questions about homeopathy from the club members. Homeopathy is an adjunct to many of our standard medical and chiropractic practices, and helps the body heal from medical incidents faster. Many health issues can be addressed using only homeopathic remedies, thereby avoiding drugs and the damaging side effects.

Pam also has a website where clients can shop for travel arrangements and do other shopping. She loves to travel, and has been to all 6 of the inhabited continents (winter stations and laboratories don't make Antarctica inhabited!). Part of her summer is spent at the family cabin at Bay Lake, and some of the year she is in Florida. She recently spent time in San Diego where she celebrated her daughter's wedding to a navy pilot. Wherever she is, she always tries to find some time to see movies and plays.

Another facet of Pam's life is her interest in helping others. She is active in the Landmark Education Program, and a long-time active member of Haiti Outreach. Haiti Outreach is an organization that has raised over $6,000,000 to help the people of Haiti starting long before the recent earthquake, and the organization has built three high schools, started micro banking, built public wells, and constructed 50 homes in Haiti. Rotary International has allied with Haiti Outreach in some of the water well projects because the group has a requirement that the local people and government are stakeholders in the investment. 
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)

Our meeting on June 28th was the Changing of the Guard. Because of a scheduling problem, the meeting started at 11:30 instead of noon. Attendance was the highest we've seen in a couple of years, close to 100%.

Outgoing president Tom outlined the events, goals and challenges of the year, and thanked the membership for their support during the year. Our club received a Presidential Citation from RI for our achievements during the year. He singled out the board members for their special help, telling the membership of how each board member had helped meet this year's club's goals. He then turned the gavel over to the incoming president, Woody Love.

President Woody thanked Tom for an excellent year, and presented him with a plaque memorializing his year of leadership.

He went on to say that attending Rotary District and International events is an excellent way to understand what Rotary is and what it symbolizes. Future programs will highlight the recent international convention in New Orleans and our past efforts in Chimbote, Peru. One of his goals is to encourage members to attend and participate in Rotary events. He mentioned that the new district governor, Chuck Berg, is from Shakopee, and that the annual district conference will be there next May.

At the July 12th meeting, President Woody will talk about his vision for the direction of the club this year.

Future Programs:
July 5       Jerry Brecke: RI International Convention
July 12     Woody Love: Direction of the Club
July 19     Doug Schmitt - Instrument Playgrounds
July 26     Pook Grathwol: Chimbote, Peru Projects & Our Club
(Story by Tad Shaw and Posting and Photo by Steve Frazier)  

Our Program on June 21st was the personal profile of new member, Jerry Martin.

Jerry was born in Missouri, and was raised on a 350-acre farm. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he taught for three years, and then went into the agribusiness world. First employed by Carnation Company, he went to General Mills in 1969, and retired from there in 2002. Recently, he was contracted to do some part-time consulting in the grain business, so he still has an interest in the food business.

His three children were all graduates of Minnetonka High School, and after the death of his first wife, he married his present wife; they now live in the Amesbury development in Shorewood. Jerry says that his hobbies are work, golf, swimming, gardening and family. Just recently, all of his kids came home for the Third Annual Martin Family Summer Gathering, a relatively new tradition. The family always got together during the holidays, but now they are together at least twice a year.
(Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

The Director of eQuality, Greg Hani, presented our Program on May 31st. Greg started the organization with a $1,000 grant from Minneapolis Lions Club. The purpose of the organization is to provide day care for developmentally disabled adults.

One of our local programs, Choice, provides jobs for challenged people, generally cleaning or housekeeping tasks. The purpose of eQuality is to provide employment to the same segment of the population, but have them work in other types of work, such as assembly line, shipping, moving, or farming. The workers in their program are also included in other aspects of asset building, such as social events, recreational opportunities, education, physical workouts, and involvement in the arts. To each person's limits, they are also welcomed to develop values, consequences of choices, and responsibility for themselves.

The home office of eQuality is in Loretto, and the organization was originally designed to serve the communities in the Northwest portion of Hennepin County. Some of the elements of the program are now serving Minneapolis, and the work is done under a contract with Hennepin County. With an annual budget of over $2,000,000, eQuality serves 137 disabled adults.

Further information is available online at Greg is pictured here with our club member Pam Prosser as they discuss the challenges facing non-profit organizations.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on June 7th was a personal profile given by Ron Kaufman, who recently joined our club. Ron has a history as a prior Rotarian, as he was a member of the Bloomington Club for years, and the first president of the then-newly chartered Edina-Morningside Club.

Ron was born and raised in Northern Iowa, one of four boys in his family. He received a basketball scholarship from Iowa State University in Ames, graduated,  and went out to seek his fortune. He spent his first two years teaching, and then decided that he didn't want an academic career. He decided on a career in sales, and joined North Star Resource Group, where he has served his clients for over 40 years. Ron sells and services life and investment products for his clients. He is still active on a part time basis.

Ron has two children from his first marriage, and one of his sons, Phillip, lives in Orono and has 3 kids (all under the age of 5), and the other son, John, lives in Denver area and has one child. Ann brought two children to the marriage, a son and a daughter, and she has been a member of the Minnetonka School Board. Ron and Ann live in the Groveland Assembly Area in Woodland.

He told the story of his wedding day, where he decided on the spur of the moment to ring the building's bell just before the ceremony, and the bell-ringing assembly fell and hit him in the mouth. He spent the first few minutes after his wedding in the Urgent Care office getting a doctor to stitch up his lower lip. 
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)

Our Programon May 10th was presented by Tom Harold, founder of the company, ScyFix. Tom is a local person, and the company office (world headquarters) is in Chanhassen. He is a marketing specialist, having worked at Pillsbury and Wilson Learning as well as doing consultant work with a long list of successful companies. Scyfix has developed a therapy machine for people with eye diseases, especially Retinitis Pigmentosa and other degenerative eye diseases. The unit is cleared for use by humans in Europe, and the approval process by the FDA in the US is underway.

The unit uses microcurrents to stimulate the cells in the eye, and this stimulation appears to stop the degenerative process. The process is technically called neuromodulation, and the equipment produces a series of microcurrents that simulate the electric currents in a healthy eye. In some cases, the stimulation even reverses the process, and the patient's vision improves. Field tests were run in India, where there is a genetic issue that causes higher incidence of blindness, and Tom showed us charts of the results of the studies.

The ScyFix 700 is the current product, available on the internet, and it is manufactured in Winona, MN. The cost of a unit is approximately $6,400.00 (4500 Euros).

The treatment regimen is generally two daily sessions with the patient having two pads connected to the ScyFix 700 placed over the eyes for that period. Once the degeneration has been stopped, the patient still has to do daily treatments. The good thing about this method of treatment is that there are no drugs involved; the machine supplements natural processes.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier) 

Our program on May 24th was the annual meeting with the MHS seniors who are members of our club's STRIVE program, and Scott Dykhoff introduced each of the seniors to the club and presented a plaque and certificate of accomplishment to each of the students who completed the program.

The fourteen students who completed the program this year are David Allen, Emerson French, Rami Jubara, Blake Eucker, Ryan Crippa, A J Berger, Ethan King, Melissa Mettert, Matthew Nowocin, Joey Goldberg, Zachary Gabler, Marilyn Kruy, Brady Kirchner, and Sam Hultman. All of the students who were present at lunch told of their plans for next year, including two boys (men) who are joining the armed services. The rest of the group seem to favor Normandale College and other regional smaller colleges.. Some of the colleges chosen by the students have matches for scholarships, so those funds will be increased by the schools.

After the introductions, the winners in the program were announced. The actual awards had been given at the high school on Award Night earlier, so the students already knew who were the winners. Sam Hultman was the big winner and he will get a match from his college, Normandale, as will Marilyn Kruy, who also is attending Normandale. Ryan Crippa and Zachary Gabler were the other winners.

Dick Glover announced that this year brings our student total to over 100 students who have been members of our STRIVE Program. The word STRIVE is an acronym, which stands for "Students Trying to Renew Interest in Education".

Future Programs:
June 7: Personal Profile: Ron Kaufman
           Greeter: Dave McCuskey
June 14: Personal Profile: Pam Prosser
           Greeter: Ron Hughes
(Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Luncheon Programwas held at Camp Tanadoona last week. There were ghosts of the memories of summer camping past roaming through the lunchroom during the meal. Marnie gave a short history of the 103 acre facility, which was purchased by Minneapolis Rotary 87 years ago and donated to the Campfire organization. Currently, they provide camp experiences to about a hundred kids each week during the summer.

After lunch, our speaker, Kris Boesch, of Choose People, LLC, gave her presentation. Choose People LLC is an organization founded by Kris, and it's purpose is to encourage employers to recognize the value of a company's employees. According to Kris, there are three parts to any commercial transaction: the customer, the company's service or product, and the employees who deliver the service. Happy, satisfied employees deliver a better image to the client, and give the employer higher value for the wages paid. Generally, a happy employee will stay with an employer longer, work harder, and have less sick time. Kris provided a handout that shows that converting an unhappy employee to a happy one can save the employer just under $60,000.

Next week:
     Greg Hani from eQualtiy
     Greeter Glenn Froberg 
(Story by Tad Shaw and posting by Steve Frazier) 

Our meeting on May 3rd featured a talk by John Stuck, a Rotarian from Plymouth, who runs a company of 168 care givers. His primary clients are seniors, and he spoke to us about the scams and con games that are being used on elder citizens.

There seems to be a new scam every day, and there are more and more young people working the field to dupe others, especially seniors. John suggested that one way to protect against telephone scams is to get your phone placed on the "Do Not Call" list (, which should protect you for five years from unsolicited calls. Also, always have your guard up to prevent identity theft; one step to take is to always shred papers with personal identity items on them. Also, don't give out info to anyone on line, on the phone, or in person without verifying that they have a right to have your personal information.

Some of the current scams are an invitation to a free dinner to learn about some product, phishing efforts (generally on line), contest winners who are require to send money to someone in order to get the promised winnings, secret shopper jobs where you are required to pay the costs of purchases for the employer, and a wide range of home improvement scams.

The bottom line of his talk seemed to be that you should know whom you are dealing with, and verify all credentials (and the firm's reputation with the Better Business Bureau) before proceeding to "make a deal". The saying "If it looks like too good a deal, it probably is" applies now more than ever.  (Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)


The 2011 Golf Event is set for Monday August 22 @ Burl Oaks Golf Course in Minnetrista.  Please save this date – you are needed in at least one way for this very important fund raiser for our morning and noon clubs.


Please read on, but before you do – did you record the date on your calendar?  I’ll wait…go ahead.


Here is the schedule for Monday August 22:

  • Registration @ 11:30
  • Golf begins @ 12:30
  • Silent Auction @ 5:00
  • Dinner @ 6:00
  • Live auction and raffle drawing @ 7:00



Our Program on April 26th was a personal profile provided by Marnie Wells. Marnie joined our club earlier this year, and she works as the CEO of Campfire USA in Minnesota.

Marnie is the younger of two sisters, and was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Her parents divorced, so her childhood was split between the two houses, with her dad living in a condo with a swimming pool. Liviing in Iowa, where  they held the first presidential caucuses, she has seen and heard all of the major candidates for that office when they spoke campaigning in her town. She was a swimmer in high school, and graduated from the University of Minnesota. She appears to be addicted to education, because she has degrees and certificates from a number of regional colleges.

As an adult, Marnie is a weight lifter and a runner. She used to run early in the morning alone but after an intruder invaded her home, she is careful to be accompanied when running - at present she runs only with another runner who has a large dog. She is very competitive and driven to excel, so she is always setting higher goals for herself in her exercise programs as well as in her business life. She has 5 personal traits she listed at the outset of her talk: she is a vegetarian, likes to take naps, is scared of wild turkeys, has never had a dental cavity, and wants to  be a U.S. Senator.

As the director of Campfire USA in Minnesota, she is responsible for Camp Tanadoona, and she is proud of the programs that they have that help improve the lives of city kids. She is married to Ralph Bovard, a medical doctor, and currently lives in South Minneapolis.

Coming Programs:
May 10: Tom Harold, founder of ScyFix
May 17: Kris Boesch, Choose People, LLC
May 24: Greg Hani: eQualtiy - Pathway to Potential
May 31: STRIVE: Scott Dykhoff

(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)



Hugh Gilmore presented Morals, Ethics and Values at the STRIVE meeting held on April 21st at MHS.  Hugh spoke about his background growing-up in Granite Falls during the depression and his high school days and involvement in activities and sports.  He contrasted his experience in a senior class of 40 with MHS with over 600 students and the great opportunity he had to be involved in both school and community events.

He graduated from Minneapolis College of Business and worked after graduation in business but he felt called to go into the ministry and because of his involvement at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church went on to Augsburg and then the seminary for eight years to become a minister.  Hugh served in many churches including Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior.  He has been married for 51 years and told the STRIVE kids that all of his kids attended MHS and have been successful in life.

Hugh told the students about the Rotarian’s 4 Way Test and his commitment to those values in life.  He said, “We all live by a set of values and standards even though we may not have written them down.”  He emphasized the importance of being truthful in life so that people can count on you and your word.  “Adults make many choices that affect their futures and the lives of other.”  Hugh talked about the destructive decisions the some famous people have made in the last few years in cheating people out of millions of dollars and how their decisions have ruined their lives and that of others.  “The good news is that many companies are now starting to train their employees on ethics,” says Gilmore.

Hugh talked about the many types of struggles people and families are going through as he works with them at Mount Olivet and how we all are faced with ethical situations and decisions each day in our lives.  Hugh handed out a discussion sheet on “Ethics and Morality” and the students and mentors broke into small discussion groups to discuss the challenges they face and how to cope with them.

This was the last speaker session of the year in STRIVE.  The students have 34 days of school left and STRIVE will meet once more on May 5th to evaluate the program and discuss their progress this year.  STRIVE students and their parents will be invited to an upcoming Club meeting for lunch and to award scholarships.

(Story, photo and posting by Steve Frazier)


Our Programon April 19th was presented by Tom and Maria Lofquist, who produce the local cable TV show, "Excelsior Forever Upwards". The show is presented on Mediacom channel 12 for local cable users on Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30 P.M., and on Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 P.M.

Maria is the hostess on the show, and she speaks very softly with a faint accent from her homeland, New Zealand. Her husband, Tom, produces the show and is on camera, too. We were given a preview of the content for the rest of this year, and were shown a short segment from the show. The projector/computer setup was not in synch, so we watched the segment on a laptop computer screen.
For the remainder of the year, they expect to feature a Memorial Day program, an arts program, 4th of July program, a music program, and one featuring Apple Days. On each show, they have en featuring Nick Reuhl in a question/answer segment about Excelsior government.

A number of our club members have already participated in the show, including Bob Williams, Darel and LaVerna Leipold, and Nick Ruehl. During the question period, a number of our members suggested other topics that could be included in their shows, including meetings with other mayors and the police chief, featuring charity events such as our Rotary Clubs' golf outing, and STRIVE.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier) 


Our Program on April 12th was "Irreparable Good: Strategies for Shocking Business Performance" presented by Magaly Rodriguez, in which she talked about how a business can inprove its performance. Her personal history includes having lived in a number of countries, and she has worked with a number of large corporations to help change and improve their work environment. She is co-founder of Volentum, an organization that promotes the development of "Voluntary Momentum" within the work force of a company.

Voluntary Momentum is a system that develops a "vitalized work culture", directing employees' efforts toward behavior that has a positive effect on the organization. The results are shown in better bottom line results, and increased levels of accountability, morale, and trust among employees.

Magaly spent much of her time discussing Dr. David Hawkins' "Courage Scale", and its ramifications in the business world. The scale runs from 0 at the bottom (representing Death where there is no interaction) to 700 to 1000 on the top (representing Enlightenment). At the 200 mark is the Courage Line. Below the line are those activities that "take from life" where energy spirals down to emotional death. Such items are listed on the scale as shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, and anger. Above the courage line are the activities that contribute to life and add dynamic energy to persons. Above the courage line are listed such items as openness, willingness, logic, reason, love, joy, peace, and enlightenment. Recognizing this scale, we can learn to use the courage skills to better manage feelings, raise our emotional intelligence, and make a difference in the lives of others. (Story by Tad Shaw and posing and photo by Steve Frazier) 


On April 5th President Tom Anderson called the club meeting to order and Greeter and Opening Marshal Joe Froehling led the group in the pledge and a prayer.  Guests were introduced. Then the President introduced Jack Fredricks and he was inducted into the club as our newest member.
Notable among the announcements was the celebration of John Gray’s 26th Rotary Anniversary and Molly Swenson’s fourth Wedding Anniversary and third Club Anniversary.  Gary Thompson was welcomed back from his winter retreat in Mexico and Darel Leipold corrected the bulletin that there were 13 days until tax day because we have the weekend this year.    
Our Program was a Club Assembly with the purpose of discussing Club Communications.  President Tom noted that the Board of Directors had discussed club communications and thought that members should be brought up-to-date about the club’s communication plan and upcoming improvements and suggestions to keep members informed about club announcements and activities and how members can update their personal information on the website. 
Steve Frazier was called upon to describe the Club’s Communication Plan that included how to access the Club’s Website, how members can update their personal information, and future additions to the club’s communication plan.  Frazier asked how many members had visited our site and nine members raised their hands.  Steve said that we were in a new age of electronic communications but that our club is in the “Email” phase and that is where we were exerting our current energies.  Steve invited members to visit the website and see that new look that Scott Zerby did to make our website more modern and user friendly.  Our website is at and our homepage has four main elements: Weekly stories with pictures and all the events of the club; an Events Calendar of weekly club meetings and upcoming speakers, STRIVE, and other club events and programs;  a listing of all the Club Officers that members can click-on to send them an email without having to look it up in the club directory; and links to the District 5950 Website.  Steve mentioned that there are many capabilities that Communications Committee is currently working on which include on-line Pay Pal to pay member fees, event and dinner costs for special events with registration electronically rather than our current pencil and paper model.
Frazier then explained how members can log-in to the website to update their personal information by going to and then logging-in by supplying their email address and that their password.  Steve told them that he would send out an instruction sheet of the step-by-step process for them to access the site and how then to update their information.
Steve completed his remarks by announcing that the Communications Committee currently sends out all-member email that are sent to Steve with important announcements or other information about upcoming events.  He indicated that Theresa Zerby was working on a link for our Excelsior Rotary on Face Book and hoped to have that up and running this spring.  Carl Zinn said that he is a Face Book user and finds it superior and he can get updates on his phone.
President Tom repeated the goal of the Club to have every member update their information this month and went over the access process with the members.  Tom then opened the meeting for member comments.  The following recommendations were made and will be put in effect for the club:  1. Email members an instruction sheet on how to access the website and step-by-step instructions on how to update members personal information on the site.  2.  Send out an all-member email once a month listing upcoming speakers and events.  3.  Add the web address to the weekly bulletin.  4.  Institute the link to Face Book for Excelsior Rotary members who would like to be informed in that manner.  (Story and Photo by Steve Frazier)

Jim Olson who is the Carver County Sheriff presented the program on March 29th. His position is an elective job, although he has been a full-time employee of the department for 24 years. During the question period, he was asked why the sheriff is elected and not appointed, and he said that it is good to have the head of the department answerable and responsible directly to the voters. Jim is only the 15th sheriff to have served Carver County since 1855.

Carver County is the county just South and West of Hennepin County, and includes the towns of Chaska, Chanhassen, Waconia, New Germany, Mayer, Watertown, Carver, Cologne, Norwood, Young America, and Victoria. The sheriff's department is the only local police authority in the county other than the city of Chaska, which has its own department. Carver is one of the smaller counties in Minnesota based on its area of 376 square miles, but the region is currently undergoing a population explosion growing from 14,000 in 1940 to over 90,000 now. There were 40,000 "calls for service" generated by this population last year, down about 2% from the year before.

The annual budget for the department is about $17,000,000.00 per year. This figure includes the payroll for the 162 full-time employees, half of whom are licensed police officers. Nowadays, there has to be a police officer assigned to duty in each of the schools. They have an Explorer Program established that allows young people interested in police work to meet and work with active officers.

The county ranges from highly sophisticated residential areas to areas in the west that are still family farms, so generalizations are difficult, but Jim stated that identity theft and paper crimes are increasing fastest in Carver County. The last homicide was in 2006. Crime does not honor county lines, so much of their work in done cooperatively with other police units, including South Lake, Hennepin County, and state and federal police units.
(Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Dick Glover was the presenter at the March 24th meeting of STRIVE.  Dick presentation was on “Dreams – The Crystallization Process”.  Dick spoke about the importance of having a positive attitude and that the STRIVE students can accomplish their dreams with the right attitude and effort.  Glover shared his journey from becoming an aeronautic engineer to becoming a NW pilot and his love of flying. 
“You have to ask yourself three questions,” said Glover, “1.  What do you want to accomplish? (What’s going to be the direction of your life?)  2.  Why do you want to accomplish it? (What motivates you?) And, What will I gain if I accomplish it?  (What’s the ultimate reward?).”  He gave the students a sheet with two columns – one column was “Ways to Accomplish” their dreams and the other was entitled “Obstacles” which they may encounter along the way.  “Now formulate a plan and implement it!” says Dick.  “If you can dream it you can do it!”    Dick then went on to say, “Ask yourself three more questions – 1.  Is my dream worth the time?  Is my dream worth the effort?  And, Is my dream worth the money?”   Glover suggested that the students look for affirmations for their plan so that they know that they are on the right track to achieving their dreams and goals.  “Once you get there,” says Glover with a big smile, “start on a new dream!”
Dick then had the students and mentors split-up into discussion groups to talk about the student’s dreams and future plans and any obstacles they may be having in reaching their goals. 
STRIVE has only three more meetings to finish-up the year.  The next meeting of STRIVE will be on April 21st at 10 a.m. with Hugh Gilmore presenting “Values: Ethics and Morality.”
(Pictured here is Dick Glover discussing David Allen’s plans to attend college in the fall.)

Our Program on March 22 was presented by our own member, Darel Leipold, and was centered on the "Dusty Thirties".

We've all either read the book by Steinbeck, or seen the movie, "Grapes of Wrath", and know of the tough times during the thirties. Unemployment due to the depression and a climate change bringing drought made for severe problems for Midwesterners, even more so for residents on the coasts.

In the "cereal bowl" area of the US, farmers had grown the same crop on their land for years, and had increased their farming acreage by plowing and planting wheat, a very good cash crop for them. In the twenties, a general drought hit the US in an unexpected climate change. With the natural cover gone on most of the land, the winds started to blow away the top soil, and especially in 1930 and 1936, there were "black clouds" of dirt rolling across the prairies, and even into New York City and Washington.

Add the stock market crash on 10-29-29 to the situation, and people had few options to survive. Many Midwesterners went west; the Los Angeles area was closed to migration by the local authorities, and even the St Paul Ford Plant was closed for over a year. FDR established many programs to help the poor.

It took three forces to get the country out of the situation: (1) the drought ended in 1938/39; (2) the programs started by FDR got many people to work; and (3) the arming of the nation for the oncoming World War created an active economy.
  (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Special Guests at our March 15th meeting were representatives of five groups from Minnetonka High School. Dr Don Draayer introduced Dr Dennis Peterson, superintendent of the district, and Ted Schultz, the director of co-curricular activities at the high school. It was the first time many of us had heard Ted talk, and he had the distinct honor of introducing team members from 5 MHS activities which have gained statewide recognition..

Two students were introduced from the State 2nd place MHS boys' Alpine Skiing Team, from the State Champion Girls' Alpine Skiing Team, from the State  Champion Boys' Swimming Team, and from the highest award-winning one act play cast. All of the students gave a short talk about themselves and the team experience, and we had a short excerpt from a very powerful play that was the winner in the one act play competition. Four students were present from the girls State Champion Hockey team. They also introduced themselves and talked of the tournament experience. Noted among the hockey players was Don Draayer's granddaughter.


Fire It Up for the August Golf Silent and Live Auction,
Monday August 22.  Start singing…
Little ditty about Jack and Diane
Two Rotarians biddin’ the best they can
Jack’s always been an auction star
Diane’s coy bidding from her seat at the cash-bar
Jack wanted to bid on the hotel stay
Got confused bought Gopher FB tickets and said no way
Jacky say, Hey Diane lets trade
I want that golf club we’ll both have it made
Can you say bid or raise your hand
Then you’ve got what it takes – please stand
Oh yeah the auction goes on
Gift certificates, wine, vacations – bid before they’re gone
Jack and Diane’s proceeds help ICA
Other charities too, it’s good – hip hooray
Find, buy and donate without delay
Email me before the auction’s underway
Oh yeah say the auction goes on
Burl Oaks, Aug. 22 – Bid on
Little ditty about Jack and Diane
Two Rotary kids biddin’ the best they can – so long!

Our Programwas titled "A Look at Lake Minnetonka", and was presented by our own member, Dick Osgood. Dick is the president of the Lake Minnetonka Association, and an expert in water management matters.

His talk took the form of a 1,000 year look at the lake, from what Minnetonka was like 500 years ago to what it will be in 500 years from today. 500 years ago, about the time that Columbus discovered the new world, Minnetonka was a series of medium-sized lakes unconnected to each other, and with heavy underbrush along all of the shoreline. You would have to be in the water before you could see that the area was  a water-filled lake. Fifty years ago, the lake was one body of water with well-defined shoreline, and was just ending the era where it was used as a summer resort area. Five years ago, the AIS era (Aquatic Invasive Species) was in full swing. All of us are familiar with the lake today, and the problems with milfoil and zebra mussels.

Five years from now, Dick predicts that milfoil will be under control and no longer a problem. New invasive species will become problems, and control over the Minnetonka (and other lakes in Minnesota) will be shifting from federal and state agencies back to local control. Ten to twenty years down the line, the citizens and agencies will be sifting through all of environmental rules ,and making them unified and sensible throughout  the area. Fifty years in the future, the use of lakes for fishing will be severely diminished ( a trend that has already started), and scientists will have discovered and implemented cures for the AIS (invasive species) that plague the waterways. 500 years from today, Lake Minnetonka will still be the recreational magnet that it is today, and people will have discovered new and unique ways to enjoy the water. Personal submarine, anyone?
(Story by Tad Shaw and posting and picture by Steve Frazier)

Our program on March 1st was presented by Dale Snyder who is a Rotarian, and one of the founders of Haiti Outreach. His last visit to our club was when he was recruiting people to jump into icy Fish Lake in Maple Grove in mid-January as a fundraiser for one of the Haiti Outreach projects.

Haiti Outreach is a non-profit 501C3 corporation established in 1997 to help foster community-initiated projects to help improve the life of the people of Haiti. Currently the group has 37 employees, mostly in Haiti. This country is the poorest nation in our hemisphere, and in addition to being at the bottom of the scale in all monetary measures, is low on all of the health scales, and has corruption at all levels of government. Add to that the devastation of the earthquake last year which killed an estimated 300,000 Haitians, and you have an idea of the problems that face these people.

"Working Together Building Communities" is the slogan of Haiti Outreach, and the organization enables and funds community initiated projects. The key to their program is that any project they support has to have local community and government "buy-in". For example, they have built schools in Haiti; no school will be built unless the board of education makes a commitment to provide teachers and funding, and the local governments and citizens agree to maintain and care for the buildings. Once those commitments are made, the actual building is started. They have completed 2 secondary schools, and one addition to an existing school.

Haiti Outreach is acting in four areas to reduce poverty and need in Haiti. First, most of their efforts have been in providing clean water to residents (they have funded and drilled 70 wells in central Haiti which provide safe water to over 100,000 residents). Their second focus has been on building secondary public schools, as only 18% of the children have access to education after grade school. The icy dive in Fish Lake in January was the first fund-raising effort for a new $225,000 school that will have solar power and computers in the classrooms. The third area of effort is in micro lending, where small loans are made to individuals to start them in business. Their final area of concentration is organizing and running trips to Haiti for individuals who want to do volunteer work on projects in the country.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)

Our program on March 8th was introduced by Jerry Brecke. Joel Holm is active in the program, "Let's Go Fishing", and he provided us with a description of the program.

"Let's Go Fishing" provides fishing and boating experiences for seniors, youth, and veterans throughout the state of Minnesota. The organization, started in 2002, takes guests on water outing during the summer. There are currently 30 chapters in Minnesota, and in eight summers, the members have provided over 50,000 people with water outings at no cost to their guests. Each chapter is locally funded, although the State of Minnesota has provided 50% matching grants to the group because of the long-term values of the program.

About 14,000 volunteers are involved in the 30 locations, and they provide boating and fishing opportunities to youngsters from the cities who otherwise would never have any boating experiences, as well as veterans and people with physical challenges. Each of the 30 chapters has a lake location of their own that is used for their program. People are hearing about the program, and the number of requests to participate are increasing. The group intends to have 48 active chapters in the state by the start of boating season 2015.

The recent growth has posed organizational problems for LGF, and they are working to get their administrative problems solved. Issues such as safety training, licensing, day-to-day matters, and leadership have to be solved as they grow. Minnesota Bound, another non-profit, has been very helpful in providing organizational advice.

Getting information out to the boating public is a prime problem, as there are many boatowners who would join and support the program.

(Story and photo by Steve Frazier and editing by Tad Shaw)

Our program on February 22nd Featured Elliot Saltzman, who spoke on the "Secret to Public Speaking". He is recently married, and told us that his wife is a former Rotary Ambassador Scholar, having studied for a year in New Zealand. Elliot has delivered his message to a number of Rotary Clubs.

Most people are afraid to speak in front of a group. To be a good speaker, you have to be "mentally tough" when under pressure, which is one of the traits of most of the top speakers. Speakers generally talk from note, a pre-printed text, or from memory. For those who use memorized talks, Elliot told of the trick with the note card in the pocket. On the note card is the full text of the memorized speech; if the speaker gets lost, he pulls out the card and refreshes his mind, then puts the card away saying, "I was going to mention something , but it's a bit off the subject, so I'll just get back to my topic".

It is important to present your best effort for each talk, and remember that when you are speaking before a group, you won't fail; if you have issues with your presentation, you'll find the ways to learn and grow from the experience. One thing to remember is to lighten up and remember that people learn better when they are smiling. Sometimes, your prepared message has to be altered a bit to fit the audience; keep your eyes open for signs that the listeners are not getting your message and tailor the presentation to the group.
(Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier) 


On Thursday, February 10th Dr. Don Draayer spoke to the STRIVE Students about “Service Above Self” and how to serve others.  Don’s focus was to impress on the kids the differentiation between “Self” and “Others” and how it is important to strike a balance in life.  Draayer likened the balancing act of the teeter-totter of life by visually showing that the selfish part of human behavior (i.e., me, mine, I) being balanced by the reaching-out to others (i.e., selfless, kind, considerate, giving).  He emphasized that as Rotarians we strive to cultivated our concern and caring for others through our club and in our personal lives. 

           Don introduced Laurie Lokar from the Minnetonka District who spoke to the STRIVE kids about volunteer opportunities in the district and our surrounding community.  Don completed his fascinating presentation by helping the students map what stage of life they are now in as it relates to self and others.  Here Don gets a couple of students to help with his presentation!  (Story by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on February 15th, introduced by Jeremy Huisheere, was presented by Tony Signorelli, owner of Signorelli & Associates. A resident of the Stillwater area, he has owned and managed different types of businesses, but found his niche when he formed his current company 15 years ago, and began providing larger companies with advice on sales force effectiveness.

Tony didn't give away all of the secrets of his program, but he did provide a listing of his Rules of Personal Productivity, which he formulated in their present form in 2008. He found that his best and most productive time is spent getting projects from clients, and doing projects for clients; all of the other tasks he was doing were not generating income for the business. Following is the outline of his method to improve productivity, keyed to the five letters P,E,A,D and O.

1. Prioritize. Each day for a week, make a list of every business task that you do, and the time taken. The list will probably include things like open mail, read industry journals, pay bills, process e-mails, etc. At the end of the week, reorganize the tasks into priority based upon how much they fulfill the basic requirement (in his case,get and do projects).

2. Eliminate. Drop tasks that are not productive. Conventions and conferences do not generate clients. Continuing ed requirements should be filled with worthwhile information.

3. Automate. Transfer required processes, such as bill paying, to online or outsource routine tasks and reports.

4. Delegate. Employees are hired to do work; challenge them with valuable tasks so they earn their money.

5. Organize. Do the work that you retain as your responsibility in an organized manner. For example, drive to visit clients only on assigned days, and go to certain territories on a schedule instead of randomly driving to clients as the client requests. If a client knows you'll be visiting on the third Wednesday of the month, most will save his problems to discuss then.

His closing comment was that our business should serve us, not the reverse.

Contact info: website (Story by Tad shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on February 8th was a bit unusual. Our guests were Louis Zakariasen and his trio. Hidden in the back corner (but not hidden for long) was our own Nick Ruehl..and his internationally-renowned guitar.

The band played seven numbers during the program, and we all knew all of the words to them. Well, we had to have a cheat sheet for one of the songs. For the second song, a rendition of one of the rousers sung by students at Excelsior High School at pep fests and during games, Bob Williams was consulted, and he provided the words so all of us "new folks" could sing along: "Excelsior Will Shine Tonight...When the sun goes down and the moon comes up, Excelsior will shine".

Other tunes ranged from a Johnny Cash favorite to Louis Armstrong to Kingston Trio songs. We were invited to sing along, and a glance around the room showed smiles and a high level of participation.

The song which featured our mayor as vocalist, "MTA", was a very energetic rendering of the tune. We should do a club service project, and send Nick up to Winnipeg for the International Conference this month so that he can have an opportunity to expend some of his musical energy, and resharpen his late night entertaining talents. (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Phil Trout was the guest presenter at the STRIVE Meeting on Thursday, January 27th. Phil is the College Counselor at MHS and helps students make wise choices about their post secondary options.

Mr. Trout built his presentation around three numbers: 92 – 1,000,000 and 2011. Phil stressed the importance of getting a high school diploma and how that will help open doors to each of the STRIVE kids futures. In a nutshell the three numbers represent the fact that 92% of the 2010 grads are attending some type of college this year! Also that a college education will help its recipient earn $1,000,000 more than not having a college education and 2011 is this groups graduation year and they should make sure that they have everything in line so that they will graduate on time. Phil mentioned that 99% of last year's seniors graduated high school and that is a very impressive figure.

Phil gave a great presentation and after his remarks he took many questions form the students. Marilyn (Pictured here with Phil) as the winning question about how credits transfer from a community college to a four-year college and what information is sent to the college. Phil said that there is only one thing that is asked for upon transferring and that is the student's GPA. "They are not interested in your H.S. GPA, your ACT scores, Your hair color or anything else – just you GPA!" said Phil.

It was a great presentation and everyone of the STRIVE students and our Rotary Mentors took time to thank Phil for the presentation and what he does for the students at Minnetonka High School. (Story, photo and posting by Steve Frazier)

Our Speaker on January 18th was Linda Murrell from the South Lake - Excelsior Chamber of Commerce. Although almost all of our members know Linda, she was properly introduced by Scott Zerby, the new President of the chamber.

Linda started with the chamber in 1999. There has been a growth in membership and also a change of name; originally the Excelsior Chamber, the organization is now called "South Lake - Excelsior Chamber of Commerce" to better reflect the towns in the area that the chamber represents. In 2003, the chamber initiated an effort to get the area recognized, and the ad campaign was very successful; the media all over the country picked up on the theme that Excelsior was not a town that wanted chain stores. Linda said that there was some backlash over the campaign, but the resulting publicity calmed the dissenters down. Most recently, the December 4th inauguration of the Christmas Shopping Season in town on December 4th received a severe setback when a power failure caused half of downtown to be dark and powerless all day. Linda said that most of the events in 2010 had weather issues (except Apple Days) and the attendance and response to the programs was not up to expectations. The goal of the chamber for 2011 is provide better services to its members.

The chamber has a number of events and activities planned for this year. The first in line is the annual "Party of the Year", which will be held in Bayview on Friday, March 4th. Dinner, dance, silent and live auction are features, as well as the annual awards given by the chamber to recognize local leaders. The Farmers' Market is now an event sponsored by the chamber, with some serious issues this year as to location; the Lyman Park property where it was held last year and before has been purchased by the county for the new Excelsior Library. Art on the Lake will be held in early June, as usual, followed by the 4th of July events. The largest of the activities, the 4th of July will include the Minnesota Orchestra again this year (for the twelfth year in a row) as well as the traditional fireworks display. The last of the annual events is Apple Days in early September.

That's a full schedule for a chamber with only one employee, but the events are handled by a crew of experienced - and very much appreciated - volunteers. Many of the events have Rotarians from our club as chairs of the committees involved, and Linda started her talk by recognizing the many members of our club who have contributed so much time and energy to make the annual events - and the chamber itself - successful. (Story by Tad Shaw and psoting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on January 25th was a talk by Dick Bremer, the voice of the Minnesota Twins. After his introduction by Tim Litfin, Dick gave us a short personal biography. He was born and raised in Dumont MN. (population 122), got his primary education in a one-room school house (a total of eight students in 8 grades), finished high school in Staples MN., and graduated from St Cloud State in 1978. He worked at a number of local stations and came to the Twin Cities to work for channel 11. He began as the television voice of the Twins in 1983, and is in his 28th year at the job. He currently is teamed with Bert Blyleven for the games telecast by Fox Sports North (FSN). Dick is a resident of St Michael, MN.

The broadcast routine that he and Bert have is to get to the ballpark 3 to 4 hours before gametime, visit with the teams and managers, review the recent news items, and then prepare for the game. They may have 100 to 150 items that they can present during a game, but the flow of that information is dependent on the flow of the game. Some games, they may only cover ten of the items they have prepared.

He gave away no secrets about the team, but he did comment about what this year's lineup would be, and cast an optimistic vision of the team. He said that the owners have followed their business plan, and not made any panic moves, and that that stability has helped the players and managers field consistently good teams. The Yankees jinx is the thing to beat this season, especially in the extra games at the end of the year. He predicted the Twins will make the playoffs, and could go all the way.

He is impressed with Ron Gardenhire as the manager. Ron stands behind his players, and develops a type of "team spirit" unusual to pro sports. The whole management team has been in place for a long time, and that stability helps the team.

The new ballpark got favorable comment from Dick, too. He complimented Mortenson Construction Company and the Twins management for the way the structure turned out. He feels it is one of if not the best in the world. He said they built a 14 acre facility in an 8 acre space, and made it seem very spacious. When he asked our club for a show of hands of those who had been in the park, I think he was a bit surprised when almost every hand in the room was raised.

Currently, the team is doing the winter tours around the area visiting in all of the towns to encourage support. He was in Ely, Hibbing and Eveleth last week meeting with the local fans; he is looking forward to spring training; as he said, "Baseball is right around the corner". (Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on 1-11-11 was presented by Shawn Dooling, from Renewable Energy SD. They have officed in Excelsior for two years, first on Water Street, and more recently in the old police building (as opposed to the old old police building) behind Adele's.. Shawn and his family live in Shorewood near Howard's Point. Their company in the recently completed second year had $120 million dollars in revenue.

We've all seen hilltops in Western Minnesota, the Dakotas and Iowa covered with "wind farms" - large groupings of wind turbines. Shawn's company specializes in the placement of smaller units in limited numbers. They market 160 foot towers that are used by farmers, co-ops and other individual users to produce electricity for their own use and for sale to electric companies. Current units have a life span of about 25 years, and they pay for themselves in 5 to 7 years. With electric rate changes in the works, the payoff period is bound to decrease.. Currently (note the pun), the units they are marketing are made in the US (Kansas and New Jersey factories), and they are expecting to transfer to selling units made in Minnesota factories during 2011.

Wind-generated power is a backup source of electrical power and will never become the primary source of electricity in the United States, but the projections are that up to 30% of the power generated will be from wind turbines. Federal mandates are in place to "nudge" the power companies and co-ops to transfer a larger portion of their generating capacity from coal and nuclear plants to "greener" methods, and the best environmentally-friendly source outside of waterfalls and dams is wind generation. Each wind turbine generates as much electricity as 170,000 pounds of coal, and most of the power used in the Midwest is generated using coal.

Laws are in place in Minnesota that mandate that electric companies pay a fair rate to individual wind turbine companies for excess energy they sell to the power grid. This industry is growing at the present time, and Shawn indicated that their company is one of many in the wind turbine business that is currently hiring. (Story by Tad shaw and posting by Steve Frazier)

Our meeting on January 4th was a recollection of holiday memories of each member. Everyone present told a short episode in their life related to the Christmas holiday. The theme of the recollections revolved around family and family times at the holidays. And that is as it should be: Christmas is about God the Father and his family. (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on December 28th was a Club Assembly moderated by President Tom Anderson. Two items were discussed during the assembly.

The first discussion centered around the timing of our meetings. President Tom suggested that perhaps we should extend our announced meeting time by 15 minutes, to cover the period from noon to 1:15 P M. A number of member spoke up with their opinions, and the consensus seemed to be that the present hour dedicated to the meeting is very convenient, with members having the option of coming early or staying late if they wish. The point was made that extending the time to 1:15 will ultimately result in the meeting extending beyond that time and then we would be faced with whether to extend the announced time again. President Tom ended the discussion with the statement that he would have to monitor the progress of the meetings more carefully and see that they end at the appropriate time.

The second subject discussed involved the club's current international projects, with a report by Molly Swenson. There are currently two projects in process.

Our first project is the purchase of a bus for an orphanage in Haiti. Our project was started before the earthquake hit, and we have now set up a 4 club group in our district to jointly donate funds to an annually designated international project. Our club's $2,000 was matched by the other 3 clubs, and then matched by district and international, making the $29,000 needed for the purchase available. Because there is a limit of 5 projects in a country going on at one time, our project is temporarily on hold. We think our project is the next in line in Haiti and expect to have completion soon.

The other project is the leaf ant study involving the students at MHS. We have as a club committed to fund two students on their trip to Costa Rico. There are school organizations that are funding the remaining 14 students who will go. The trip is a 10 day trip starting July 29th, 2011, and the students will interact with and help graduate students who are conducting the actual study. Our club is fund-raising by selling coffee to raise the money. The sale of the coffee at $10.00 a pound is being handled by Molly, and half of the money received goes to fund the project.
(Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

January 4 John O. Marty
January 11 Dick Glover
January 18 Woody Love
January 25 Scott Dykhoff
February 1 Jean Gray
February 8 Bryan Litsey
February 15 Terry Roeser
February 22 Karen Frazier
March 1 Steve Frazier
March 8 Tim Litfin
March 15 Bob Boyer
March 22 Bob Boyer
March 29 Scott Zerby
April 5 Joe Froehling
April 12 Dick Osgood
April 19 Don Draayer
April 26 Bob Humphrey
May 3 Jim Hillis
May 10 Mollly Swenson
May 17 Chris Lizee
May 25 Jon Monsen
June 7 Dave McCusky
June 14 Ron Hughes
June 21 Darel Leipold
June 28 Dave McCusky
July 5
July 12
July 19 Robbie Green
July 25 Tom Anderson
Greeter Coordinator - Darel Leipold

Our Program on December 21st was the annual holiday concert by the Minnetonka High School Choir, directed by Paula Holmberg. The fifty-four member choir came in wearing the traditional white-trimmed blue gowns with the letter M on the front. Their first song, Sorida, was a song of greeting from Zimbabwe, and had the choir gathering from all parts of the room. The second song, My Spirit Sang All Day, was written in 1930 by British composer Gerald Finzi and embraced the poetry of Robert Bridges. The entire group then tested their Latin by singing O Magnum Mysterium, a Christmas nativity scene written by Morten Lauridsen.

The Chamber Singers stepped forward and presented a barbershop version of Silver Bells, followed by a traditional sacred song sung in Hebrew, Yedid Nefesh. Breaking out of the larger group, a men's quartet enjoyed singing an American spiritual, De Animal's A-comin. The whole choir sang a Gloria fanfare, John Playford's To Drive the Cold Winter Away, and closed the concert with the traditional choral benediction, The Lord Bless You and Keep You.

A surprise addition to the program was Bob William's Merry Christmas Past. Paula said that the members of the group liked the song, and wanted to include it in the program. The song is becoming a choir standard at Christmas, as Bob tells me that over 500 choirs around the country have purchased the music and many include it in their seasonal concerts each year. After the song, Bob spoke to the choir members and said that they should treasure their time in the choir as they'll look back on the experience every time they hear one of the songs they have learned and preformed. (Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)


Our December 16th STRIVE session focused on Goal Setting by Steve Frazier.  Steve gave a brief introduction about his younger life and with its hardships and learning challenges and related it to the STRIVE kids and some of the struggles they are having in school.

Steve started the lesson by giving a review of statements that the first four rotarians had used in their presentations and added his comment that he found in a fortune cookie that stated; "A dream is just a dream.  A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline."  He then called-up Rami Jubara who he had did a demonstration on goal setting at the previous meeting of STRIVE.  Rami had set the goal of getting an A+ on his English Lit. composition and had him update how successful Rami's goal setting had been.  Rami told the STRIVE students that he got his paper in on time, made it his best effort and that his teacher had given him an "A" on the composition.  He admitted that the session had motivated him to do well and was satisfied with the grade even though he did not get an "A+" on the paper.

The STRIVE students divided into small groups and work on each person setting a goal that was important to them at this point in their life.  After 10 minutes of discussion Steve called the groups back and began teaching the students the difference between dreams, wishes and hopes and that goals always start right now, they are measurable, specific, have a time frame, verifiable, incremental and realistic.  Throughout the presentation Steve said that "The difference between a wish and a goal is a plan!"  "I will..." statements are a great way to state goals because they show your commitment and resolve to achieve your goal."

When Steve asked if they wanted to improve their grades every hand went up at the meeting.  Steve preceeded to show them that by doing one new thing that they are not now doing they can raise their grade level in that class within the next quarter.  Steve talked about ways to really improve grades and got the commitment from the students to take on the challenge to do one thing more than they are now doing and to watch their grades go up at least on level!

The groups then met again to restate their goals and discuss their goals with their Rotary mentors.  In the last five minutes of the period Steve introduced Bob Humphrey who is the presenter for the January 13th STRIVE meeting and will be presenting on role models and building confidence and self esteem.


Chris Lizee spoke with the STRIVE Group on December 2nd about Time Management. She surveyed the students about their sleep habits and found that they were all not getting enough sleep.

Chris then went into the importance of time management and how students can do all the things they want to do with a time management plan.

Lizee outlined a 4 Step Tme Management Plan:

1. Create a daily/weekly schedule.

2. Create a plan for each including time management, materials needed and to allow for unexpected occurances.

3. Adjust plan daily and be flexible.

4. Evaluate your plan weekly and monitor and adjust as necessary.

Chris then introduced Steve Frazier to introduce Goal Setting that he will be covering with the group on December 16th. Steve started by reading a fortune cookie inscription that stated, "A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline." Steve pick-out one of the students to demonstrate how goal setting works and with a little mentoring the student came up with a goal to get and A+ on his English Lit paper that was due that week. And that is where the session ended to be continued on December 16th!

Here Chris Lizee is pictured with the two students used in the goal setting exercise. (Story, photo and posting by Steve Frazier.)

The December 7th Program was introduced by Jeremy Huisheere, and the presentations started with a talk by Captain Jim Kosmos.. He is the owner of the excursion boat, the Paddleford that plies the Mississippi in the summer. He also is a Rotarian from Bayport, and formerly an editor/owner of a newspaper. He wrote a book about the life and experiences of the other presenter, whom he introduced as the second speaker.

John Kriesel is about 30 years old, married to Katy, and has two children. He is the newly-elected representative to the state house from his district, and will take the oath of office after the first of the year. He joined the Minnesota National Guard at the age of 17, and was a member of the Red Bull Division. His unit was activated, and he served a hitch in Kosovo.

His unit was deactivated and it returned to Minnesota. John and a group of friends volunteered for another tour of active duty in Iraq. They were sent over and joined a contingent of marines in camp, where their task was to stabilize an area. Daily patrols and constant danger were their way of life.

On December 2, 2006, his unit was sent out to secure a specific location. He was riding as front seat passenger in an armored Humvee, which was following an armored troop carrier. Without warning, the Humvee was struck by an explosive device which destroyed the vehicle, and sent John flying. He woke up to find himself seriously injured with a broken arm, and two useless legs. His friends from his unit tried to keep him calm until the evac helicopter arrived, when he was airlifted from the scene. He passed out and came to eight days later in Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D. C. Two of his pals in the Humvee did not make it. He was told by the doctors at the hospital that he would be there for at least two years, and that he would never walk again.

Nine months later, he was out of the hospital and back in Minnesota. He walks with two artificial legs, and only uses a wheelchair when he first gets up in the morning. He has a very positive attitude about life and celebrates the anniversary of his injury - December 2nd - as "Alive Day", and considers his life now as a second chance. (Story by Tad Shaw and posting by Steve Frazier)


Our Program for December 14th featured Leah Hebert, the Executive Director of the West Suburban Teen Clinic in Excelsior. This organization is one of our designated charities, and we will give a sizable donation to them to sponsor their work. The current clinic is located in a converted home across the street from the Koehnen station on Second Street.

The West Suburban Teen Clinic was founded over 35 years ago, and this year it served 3,000 clients who made over 8,000 visits to the clinic. To operate the clinic, even with all of the volunteer help they receive, cost $1,354,261 in 2009. About half of the cost is covered by patient fees, and another 35% is covered by government and foundation grants. The main task of the director is to fund raise, and spread the word about the clinic and its work.

There are four focuses in the program. First is mental health counseling, one of the most needed service among today's teens. A recent needs assessment in the area underlined the need that teens have for this service. Second focus is medical care at the clinic. Third is an education program for young women age 13 to 23 who are pregnant and have no concept of what parents are supposed to do. And fourth, there is an education program where presentations are made at 75 schools in the area covering such topics as pregnancy prevention, parent/teen communications, and stress reduction among teenagers.

In an effort to reach more of their potential teen clients, the WSTC is opening a new branch in downtown Hopkins shortly after the start of 2011. (Story by Tad Shaw and photo and posting by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on November 30th was presented by Curt Carpenter, the principal at Clear Springs Elementary School.

Curt was raised in St Francis, MN, and served our country as a member of the Air Force. He taught at Deephaven Elementary School prior to getting his certification as a principal, and has been the principal at Clear Springs (located on Highway 101 next to the District Service Center) for over 5 years. He thanked us for the student dictionaries that our club has given to his students, and said that it's great to see students get excited over receiving the books.

One part of his talk was a short video showing how technology is now used in the Minnetonka grade school classroom. A class on the human brain was videoed at Deephaven, and the video demonstrated how technology and creativity can combine to make a lesson vivid for the students. And, of course, as it's recorded and on the district website, students can bring it up on their home computers and review the exact lesson. He also showed the club the 2010 annual report of the district. He also pointed out that district enrollment is up in numbers, primarily because of open enrollment. About 1 in 5 students in the district are living in other districts and attending Minnetonka Schools under open enrollment. His school, because of its location, has a higher percentage of students from outside the district: one in three are open enrolled.

During question time, open enrollment came up again, and Curt explained that all of the state funding for transferred students comes to Minnetonka, so that there is more revenue, and class sizes are actually lowered by the added students. (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and Photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Program on November 16th was a presentation by Jim Larson about the MAMA ADA FOUNDATION. Also present for the talk was Julie Keller, the current president of the foundation.

The daughter of Mama Ada is a parishioner of St David's Church in Minnetonka Mills ,and her mother came to the United States from Kenya to visit. Stories of the poverty in Kenya moved some church-members to start helping with donations, and two years ago the process was formalized with the establishment of a 501C3 foundation. The mission of the group is to "stimulate economic development by education and entrepreneurship". The group partners with US groups, and coordinates donations with Kenyan groups. Specifically, donations are handled by the episcopal diocese in Kenya.

Three ways that this group is helping to reduce poverty in the area: (1) high school tuition is not free in Kenya; each student has to pay about $200.00 a year for high school education, or $400..00 a year for college; (2) farmers are provided with seeds and fertilizer to grow their crops and support their family (cost about $205.00 for the first year); and mini-loans are made to enable start up of small businesses (average investment by the foundation $500.00).

Selection of the students to be funded is an issue, and rather than select young peole based on past records, need, etc,. the foundation uses a random selection basis. Getting a high school education gives that student the best chance to succeed. The area that the foundation concentrates on is the Rift Valley Province, one of seven provinces in Kenya. In the Northwest part of the country, it is the largest province in Kenya.

Email address for the group is (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Program for November 23rd was presented by our newest member, Jon Monson, in the form of a personal profile.

The historical data he presented included the facts that he graduated from Robbinsdale High School in 1970, and from college in 1976 with a B.A. in Architecture. He and his wife Mary have been married for 34 years, and have 3 children, all "out of the nest". Two of his children live in Excelsior, and the youngest is in Colorado living his skiing dream. The family home is in Deephaven, in a restored historic residence.

The theme of his biography presentation was the continuity in his life: the recurring people and places in his lifestory. He emphasized how the Excelsior area is a place where continuity is recognized and appreciated. Jon claims to be a "contrarian", as he is usually bucking the popular trends.

After graduating from college, into a bad job market in 1976, he found a job outside of the building industry. He was offered a a position with an architecture firm about a year later at a 40% reduction in pay. Because his wife had a good job, he was able to take the job and start his career in architecture. In a relatively short time, he formed his own partnership and soon became a "working architect", designing and building homes, and restoring existing structures. His big project in downtown Excelsior is the old hardware store, now Jake O'Connor's. (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

On November 11th the STRIVE Students and mentors were treated to John Hotvet's presentation on Attitudes II about his life's journey and some of the people along the way that influenced him and the important role that having a positive attitudes plays in life.

In John's calm and laid back manner he described his life leading up to becoming a "Vet" and how the 44 years "went by in a flash" as her pursued his passion and love of animals. He talked about the elements and people in his life that shaped him as a person and as a professional. John admits that he was painfully shy in school until he met Tommy Reichert who always had a great smile, a positive attitude and was a good student. John decided to emulate these characteristics and they worked and he began to develop a winning personality and self-confidence. In college his music director always told him "to believe in yourself" and he gained self confidence by believing in himself. John explained to the STRIVE kids that it is O.K. to change your mind as he did going from an art/music major to Veterinarian School. Wendell DeVore convinced John that he could do it and John made it through.

John talked about his time in the Army and what a great experience it was and learned to appreciate power. He spoke about going in to practice and referred to it as the "best job in the World." He spoke touchingly about an employee named Jenny that came to work for him from Mini-School at MHS and how she has impacted his life. He called her "Radar" because she was amazingly telepathic and empathetic at knowing what he and pet owners were thinking and needing and that she is still at the clinic some 40 years later!

He ended with some hints about life: *Treat people nice and make them comfortable *Find something you are passionate about and go for it! *Don't be afraid to change directions in life *Don't procrastinate *Be optimistic and think positive *Don't assume anything *Be diligent *Engage with others *Be caring, trustworthy and respectful *Learn to listen *Be inclusive, patient and humble *Do good *Do the best that you can

And believe "I'm better than ever!"

Pictured here with John Hotvet are STRIVE Students Matt and Joey. (Story, posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our Program for November 9th was presented by J. B. Ball, a Rotarian from Burnsville, who is a business associate of our own Randy Schumacher. He started a program called "Tee It Up for the Troops".

In 2005, his son enlisted in the army and was sent to Iraq. After sending a lot of foo packages and telephone calling cards to his son and friends, the idea of a permanent form of support for our troops and veterans came into being...

On the Saturday closest to 9/11, golf courses all over the country open their links to this organization. In the morning, veterans are welcomed to a free round of golf; in the afternoon, regular scheduled foursomes play. The afternoon golfers are requested to add 10% to their fees which is forwarded to the Tee It Up organization for use in fulfilling their mission: "to honor, respect and remember the service of those who have given so freely to protect our nation". Funds are given to military support programs who handle the individual grants.

Next year's event is on Saturday, September 9, 2011.

A list of who has received funds from the organization, and other information on the activities of the group is available at (Storu by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)


Our meeting on November 2nd was held at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, where our club members packed packets of food for children in Haiti. This is the fifth year we have done this, and Ross McGlasson has it set up as a friendly competition between the two Excelsior clubs; every year we win. However, none of our members has even gone to the other club to see what Ross tells them.

This year our Rotary group of about 30 members packed 43 boxes of food which translates to 9,288 meals for the people of Haiti. The group worked for just over one hour to accomplish the project.

The October 26th meeting was a club assembly on the subject of our club's foundation. The foundation was established a few years ago, and it offers our members a 501c3 charitable foundation for donations. This local foundation has a board of trustees drawn from our club's past presidents, and they control our club's charitable funds. Joe Froehling is the chair, and a presentation on the foundation, its goals and rules was presented by Don Draayer, one of the trustees.

It is very important for members to understand that there are two totally different foundations in our Rotary lives: the major, international Rotary Foundation is housed and run in Chicago by international headquarters, and makes grants for projects all over the world. As Rotarians, we all know of this organization and the PAul Harris Fellowship program. Our club and our members have an annual donation to this fund.

The local foundation is set up to receive and disburse funds from members, the club, and other donors to fund charitable causes as desired by our club. Donations to both foundations are tax free (under 501C3 rules).

At the end of the presentation, the club members were asked to approve the foundations policies as set up by the board of trustees: Joe Froehling, Don Draayer, Carl Zinn, Dave Peterka, and Dean Friesen, and that action was taken. (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Bob Williams spoke to the STRIVE students on Thursday, October 28th and captivated the STRIVE Students with his great message about the importance of having the right attitude. Bob told stories about people he knew and about their attitudes in life and how they used their positive frame of reference to impact the people around. He recounted stories about FDR, his brother Rex Williams, Don Draayer, and other stories about others and himself.

He told one story about a young man that worked for the Twins in the early years at spring training in Orlando, Florida. It seems that one of the visiting execs had an family emergency and couldn't get a flight so the young man drove the exec some 200 miles because "It just seemed like the right thing to do!" The young man did not want payment for the deed but the exec insisted. Upon his return to camp he mailed the money back explaining that he did not want payment because his good deed just seemed like the right thing to do. He never heard back from the exec again but every year since then he receives a World Series Louisville Slugger Bat because evidently the exec also thought it was the right thing to do!

The STRIVE Students were very impressed with Bob's message and then sat in small groups with the Rotary Mentors and discussed attitudes and how they can improve their attitudes in life. The next STRIVE Meeting will be on November 11th in Room 1602 at 9:02 at MHS.

Pictured here with Bob is STRIVE student David Allen. (Story, picture and posting by Steve Frazier.)

Our Speaker for October 19th was Paul Twenge, the baseball coach and assistant athletic director at Minnetonka High School. His talk was an answer to John Ahern's concerns during lunch, not what he had originally intended to talk about. John, as an alum of the U of Minnesota was concerned about the football coach situation at the U.

Paul said that athletics is now considered a marketing tool by most colleges; a good football, baseball, track, or basketball team gets the school lots of publicity, and that publicity attracts students. In addition, the good programs generate revenue that the board of regents can use to help academic programs. In some cases, there are situations where the athletic concerns overrule the academic ones, and schools start down the wrong path. The NCAA often has to deal with aspects of college programs that are violating rules, and suspend or otherwise punish erring programs. The choice of the football coach at Minnesota is important to the entire athletic program because the football team is one of the most visible programs. A good football program attracts not only good athletes, but also good students.

Paul was raised in North Dakota, and was baseball coach at Valpariso U in Indiana before coming to Minnetonka. He is very pleased with the environment for athletics in Minnetonka, and he talked about Pagel Center, Veteran's Field ,and the football stadium as top notch facilities in the region. As a side note, he mentioned that the baseball fields at Veterans hosted 263 baseball games so far this year. (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and shoto by Steve Frazier)

The fall Highway Clean up was held on Tuesday, October 12th and we had 12 of our the Excelsior Rotary Members particiapate in the event. With such a large turnout we were able to setup six teams to divide-up the 1.4 mile stretch between Christmas Lake Road and Vine Hill Road on State Highway #7. A new twist this year was the addition of maps defining the various cleaning zones.

As always the group met at McDonald's at 8:00am and organized and had their picture take as shown here. The great thing about having so many volunteers was that the teams were finished with the cleanup in about 30 minutes. Treasures this year included a $1 bill, a rubber fishing worm and an empty whiskey bottle! A fun time was had by all and everyone got some good exercise to start the day. (Story and photo by Steve Frazier)

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 5th Annual Cub Foods/Rotary Food Dash on Tuesday, October 12th. All together, $11,644.62 was raised for the ICA Food Shelf. The Dash was featured on KARE 11 last and we hope to see articles in the Lake Shore Weekly and Sun Sailor newspapers soon.

Our two Rotary Clubs and Cub Foods donated the $4,972.31 each to match the shopping spree of the three dash teams. Cub Foods also donated $1,200 in gift certificates to the raffle winners who in turn presented them to the ICA Food Shelf. Finally, in commemoration of the 5th year of the event, an additional $500 was raised by Dash participants and supporters for the ICA Food Shelf.

Here are the team results totaling $4,972.31:

1st place raising $1,911.06 – Roger Ackley, Eden Prairie. and Tonka Bay Mayor Bill LaBelle (who was on the first place team last year as well!).

2nd place raising $1,771.19 – Idelle Bjelleland, Tonka Bay, and Excelsior Mayor Nick Ruehl.

3rd place raising $1,290.06 – Allison Lang, Chaska and Greenwood Mayor Debra Kind.

Roger Ackley ($500), Idelle Bjelleland ($400), and Allison Lang ($300) donated their winnings to the ICA Food Shelf. Other participants and supporters donated $500 in commemoration of the 5th running of the Dash.

This brings the total contributions to $61,000 from this event to the ICA Food Shelf over the last five years.

Thank you all and see you next year at the 6th Annual Dash for Hunger! (Story by Bruce Trippet and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

Our program on October 12th was a presentation by John Gilbert, who was introduced by Tim Litfin. Tim prepared us by telling us that John was a hockey fan extraordinaire.

John is from Duluth, where he still maintains a home. He started writing for the Star Tribune in 1969 where he covered the hockey scene for the paper. He is an auto racing fan, and he also became the primary reporter for that sport. Through the years, he became friends with many sports figures, but he became a fan of Herb Brooks as well as a friend. After Brooks' death in an auto accident, John felt it was time to write a book memorializing a great person and hockey coach, so he wrote "Herb Brooks: The Inside Story of a Hockey Mastermind". Printed two years ago, it is still moving off the shelves in bookstores at a very good rate.

Most of us know John because a radio show Saturday mornings on WCCO, or as a writer about cars in the Star Tribune. Most of his talk was about test-driving new model cars and the state of the auto business. He said that no one can predict what the auto industry will look like in 10 years, nor is the "car of the future" easy to predict. He is about to test drive the much-promoted Chevy Volt, GM's electric car. Other car manufacturers put their hybrid products out on the road while GM bemoaned the lack of adequate batteries for their product, and now they are finally ready to market a vehicle using the present-day technology in batteries.

John made a trio to Korea to visit the home and factory of Kia-Hyundai there. The second largest auto manufacturer in Asia, they have developed some very good products - good enough to compete with the best in the market. A new engine was developed using direct injection that is incorporated in many of their new models.

John's website is (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier.)

Our Program on October 5th featured a talk by Don Stolz, In his introduction , Darel Leipold told of Don's arrival at the new theater in 1941, a recent graduate of Northwestern University, carrying his MFA degree under his arm. He looked much too young for the director's job, and the locals were concerned but soon found out that he was more than qualified.

Don began his talk by quickly sketching the theater scene in the Twin Cities in the 1930s.....there was none. The last acting company had gone out of business (offstage?) in 1933 due to the depression and the effects of movies and radio. A group of local Excelsior people got together, converted a barn into a stage theater in 1940, and the Old Log Theater was born. In the early years, the cast presented a different play each week - 13 different plays in a 13 week season. (Admission was 50 cents, and because of the condition of the roof, it was risky to go to a play on a rainy night. Coke was sold - 5 cents - from a kiosk during the intermission.)

Don told a number of anecdotes involving the theater, some involving on-stage incidents, but mostly involving the box office. Don is seldom at a loss for words, and his visits to our club are always memorable.

Don recently completed a book about the Old Log Theater, describing many of the incidents that have occurred through the years. Local reviewers recommend the book which is available at Excelsior Bay Books, Old Log Theater, Leipold's, or directly from Don. Pictured with Don is Karen Frazier purchasing Don's new book about the Old Log. (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and photo by Steve Frazier)

The Excelsior Rotary Club kicked-off its 2011 STRIVE Program on Thursday, October 7th with thirteen students in attendance and eight mentors.

Scott Dykhoff is the new coordinator for the STRIVE Program this year and used the first meeting to set the requirements of the program and to challenge the students to use STRIVE to bring about a transformation in their lives. Scott spoke about a professor he had in college that changed his life and started him on a path of challenge and excellence. Scott said, "I was feeling uncertain and worried about my future and this prof talked about worry and fear in the class. He said one thing that changed my life an that was "Action Negates Fear" and from that moment on I was motivated to get going with my life and when I got uptight I just went into action."

The STRIVE students were introduced to the program topics for the year and then the eight mentors from our club spoke about their background and the great opportunities that are available to these students just for the taking. All of the mentors also talked about the importance of having a positive attitude and the difference it can make in ones life. As a matter of fact our first presenter is Bob Williams and he will speak at the November STRIVE meeting about Attitudes!

Pictured above are the 2011 STRIVE students with their Excelsior Rotary Mentors.

Our Speaker for September 28th was introduced by Chris Lizee. Kathryn Netwal is a Master Gardener, and she spoke about "Kate's Gardens".

Kate had a Powerpoint showing a number of gardens, and used them to illustrate the points she wished to make. She explained that gardens have many uses, including the personal satisfaction of growing things, the aesthetic values of beautiful gardens, the control of erosion, support of wildlife, and also the crops that you derive - both food and flowers.

Discussing the Hennepin County Master Gardener's program, she said that the program was conducted in concert with the University of Minnesota and the Arboretum, and that further information on the program was available at Her work involves managing and maintaining a number of gardens for clients, as well as providing "garden coaching" for others on a bi-weekly basis.

In one of the most active Q and A sessions we've had, Kate answered a series of questions from members. This is the best time to apply herbicide to have a good lawn next year, creeping charley can be controlled with a boron-based product (although it is a great filler for shady spots), and Tim Litfin found out that the prairie grass in his yard will very soon take over the whole lot; my notes call the troubling plant "silver feather Litfin", but I think it really is "silver feather Miscanthus". (Story by Tad Shaw and posting and picture by Steve Frazier)