Norfolk Rotary Club, Est. 1920
                                                 "Having Fun Doing Good in Norfolk and the World!"

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August 2016
Aug 30, 2016
Oct 11, 2016
Gary Bren
District 5650 Governor

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Music in the Park Sponsors


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This is NOT Your Grandpa's

Rotary Club!

Come see for yourself! 

Join us at Black Cow Fat Pig Pub & Steak, 702 W. Norfolk Ave.

Tuesdays at Noon​



Latest Happenings
Do you have an interesting story to tell and want the community to know more about what you or your organization does?? Well our noon Rotary meetings are the place to be.
Contact us to see if we can get you on our calendar. Our weekly programs are informative, educational, and keeps our members plugged into the community.
Most of the interesting things that happen in Norfolk and the surrounding area eventually come to our weekly noon meetings to present.
This is a great opportunity to share your message.
Guests and prospective members are always welcome.

Rachel Lynn Urbanski, originally from Washington DC came to News Channel Nebraska as a reporter and evening anchor. She gave a very interesting program today on Pokemon Go and social media.
Rotary meets weekly at the Black Cow Fat Pig restaurant where we have interesting guest speakers like Rachel Lynn. Prospective members are welcome. Rotary is a great way to connect with the community.
Music in the Park, one of our club community service projects, is Thursday August 18th and will be the last one this season so please join us.

Fun meeting at the Norfolk Arts Center today for our noon Rotary Club meeting. We toured the 150 exhibit featuring art from artists with connections to Norfolk. Brought back a lot of great memories. A few of us had to hang around after the meeting to reminisce.

Skyview gives up the funk during opening concert
Has sAssets

What has quickly become a Norfolk tradition returned Thursday evening to Skyview Park.

Music in the Park, a free outdoor concert series sponsored by the Norfolk Rotary Club, debuted Thursday evening for 2105 under sunny skies that matched the mood of the concert-goers.

Competing against the Great American Comedy Festival and several area town festivals, hundreds of people still turned out on the east side of the lake for the performance by Soul Dawg.

They sat in lawn chairs, sipping everything from cold beer to sweet tea while enjoying the sweet music.

Brian Smith of Carroll was among those enjoying the seven-piece group from Lincoln.

Soul Dawg performed a variety of funk and rock, popular with those over 40 who appeared to make up the majority of the crowd.

Smith said he attended all four of the free concerts last year.

“I like blues, but this is all right. I listen to everything,” he said, noting that some of his favorite artists include B.B. King, Blues Travelers and Eric Clapton.

Smith said he enjoys coming to Norfolk for the outdoor concerts as they add to the summer entertainment offerings.

Stan Christensen, past president of the Rotary Club, said he couldn’t have been more pleased with how the weather turned out given how cool and wet it was Thursday morning.

“This is perfect,” he said. “It is God’s blessing that we got this nice today.”

Christensen said Music in the Park has grown each year since it began. This is the fourth year, with concerts generally lasting from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

While there is no admission charge, donations are taken. Many corporate sponsors also contribute or offer in-kind support.

“We get a lot of the bands come to us now,” Christensen said. “They play in Omaha and Lincoln and they might be just another band. They come here and they are like rock stars playing in front of 2,000 to 3,000 people sometimes. I think they enjoy it.”

The idea for the outdoor concerts was borrowed from Omaha, he said.

“Omaha will have something like this just about every night during the summer,” Christensen said. “I wanted something like this in Norfolk. It’s a quality-of-life thing.”

While alcohol usually is prohibited in Norfolk parks, people are allowed to bring wine and beer for the concerts.

Christensen said there never has been any problems.

“People are good,” he said. “They clean up after themselves. Everyone has been very responsible.”

Aaron Otten of Norfolk said he has enjoyed Music in the Park since it began.

“It is something the community needed,” he said. “We talk about quality of life and things we need to attract a quality work force. It is stuff like this that helps support Norfolk and makes Norfolk a great community to live in.”

Otten is vice president of Elkhorn Valley Bank, which is one of the corporate sponsors for the series.

Other bands and the dates they are scheduled to perform are High Heel with Lisa Larsen on July 2, Blue House on July 16, and The Confidentials on Aug. 6.



A club assembly was held for today’s meeting, so there was not invited speaker.  President Josh Moenning announced that member Dan Spray was recently appointed to the City of Norfolk Planning Commission.  Christine Keller announced that Larissa, our foreign exchange student from Brazil, is finishing her last semester at Norfolk High School and is currently competing on the school’s tennis team.

Local district Rotary grant applications are due by May 31.  It was proposed by John Schmitt that consideration be given to paving a section in front of the Skyview canopy for dancing.  Ron McKeever had been contacted by someone in the community in the past who said her dance studio may be interested in partnering with us to get this accomplished.  City officials would need to be contacted and approve such a project.  Also, Josh Moenning said there are some needs at Central Park that the funds could potentially be used for.

John announced that he contacted the Village Clerk in Pilger about donating $11,000 to their community that was given by an individual as well as a Rotary collection taken last summer at Music in the Park.  The clerk will get back to us after their town board meeting when they will discuss how to use the funds.

Discussion was held on donating $1,000 to TeamMates.  A vote was taken with a motion made by Robb Thomas to give this donation and was seconded by Jan Einspahr.  Motion carried.  John will contact Susie Buss about a time to meet for the presentation of the donation.

Sherri Prim brought Music in the Park posters that were available for everyone to distribute throughout the area.  It is expected that Rotarians will distribute posters to any businesses that were solicited for sponsorships as well as other businesses.

A club member is needed to present an award at the annual honors night at the Norfolk Jr. High on May 18.

Two new members were inducted into the Norfolk Rotary Club today.  Dan Spray of Connecting Point, is sponsored by Josh Moenning and Brian Sterud of Faith Regional Health Services is sponsored by John Schmitt.

NOTICE:  All future Norfolk Rotary Club meetings will take place at the Black Cow, Fat Pig Pub and Steak in downtown Norfolk.  Members may enter the meeting room using the west door facing Norfolk Ave.  Next week, R.C. Duskin of the Salvation Army will present on “Bridges Out of Poverty.”

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary



New member inductions:  Sponsor Josh Moenning, new member Dan Spray, new member Brian Sterud, sponsor John Schmitt



At today's meeting, guests included Dr. Tom Fennessy, a Norfolk physician, who was introduced by Christine Keller, and Byron Brogan, with the City of Madison, who was introduced by Mike Avok.

Stan Christensen asked all members to continue contacting businesses to solicit for sponsorships for Music in the Park.  If members have any questions about billing a business, they are to contact Stan.

Today's speaker was Paula Pflueger, Chairperson of the Great American Comedy Festival.  Paula shared how this event has grown over the years and mentions that volunteers are stilled needed to help with the event.  The festival will start June 17, with a magic show, and will run through June 20, with the gala event on the last night.   There are still tickets available, so we are encouraged to invite our friends.

John Schmitt read an email from Connie Kube that discussed a possible dinner to be held on May 28.  Rochelle Holm will be in Norfolk on that evening and she would like to present to Rotarians about the work she and her husband are doing in Malawi.  She manages the Mzuzu University Water and Sanitation Center, which is committed to increasing the availability and sustainability of clean water and improved sanitation in northern Malawi.  Clean water is one of Rotary's areas of focus.  Ed and Renee McClymont have offered to host a dinner for 10-11 Rotarians/spouses to hear Rochelle's story.  The time will be decided at a later date, but if anyone is interested, please let Connie know.

The meeting next Tuesday will be a club assembly to discuss ongoing club business.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary






The meeting was called to order by President Josh Moenning.

Stan Christensen requested that all members go to the Music in the Park Facebook page and invite their friends to the first concert which will be held on Thursday, June 18, with Soul Dawg performing.  The goal is to get 5,000 invitations sent out.

Dave Cox announced that a ham dinner benefit will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Sunday, April 26, from noon until 2pm.  A free will offering will be accepted.  The dinner is to thank the approximately 20 Mennonite workers who have been building homes in Pilger for the tornado victims.

Josh said that Mike Fuehrer of the Norfolk Area Sports Council would be contacting the Rotary Club again to ask about using the Rotary’s insurance policy to cover an all-star game this summer.

Connie Kube introduced Susie Buss, Executive Director of the Teammates mentoring program.  Susie was accompanied by approximately 20 students who are Teammates mentees.  They each shared what they appreciate about Teammates and Susie gave an overview of the program.  She said the goal of the mentors is to meet with their mentees at least 24 weeks per school year.  Scholarships are offered to Teammates participants for college each year.  In addition to meeting after school, they do outside activities such as attending the NU spring football game.  The organization was started in 1991 by Tom and Nancy Osborne.  There are currently 118 TM matches in Norfolk and there is always a need for more mentors.

Next week’s program will be presented by Paula Pflueger, Chairman of The Great American Comedy Festival board.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary


Susie Buss, second from left, with some of the Teammates participants at Tuesday's meeting.


Mike Fuehrer with the Norfolk Area Sports Council talked about the Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic that will be held on June 13, 2015. The All-Star Classic is asking the Rotary Club to provide proof of insurance for their event in return for an “in-kind” sponsorship. Our club will discuss and make a decision. Coleen Bressler invited and introduced the 5 scholarship recipients, their parents, and guidance counselors for 2015. From Norfolk High School the recipients were Paula Evans, Michaela Heimes, and Ashton Lindsay. From Lutheran High Northeast we had Sora Wolff and from Norfolk Catholic we had Ashley Weyhrich. Paul McIntosh spoke about a letter he wrote to Dr. Desai’s family who passed away this last weekend. Our guest speaker was Dr. Randall Bretz who talked about broadband in Nebraska and the benefits it creates for many communities. He described how businesses can grow and expand by having the availability of broadband. He gave us a website for more information.
Thanks to Andy Labenz for taking these notes in my absence. Our speaker next week will be Susie Buss, to discuss the Teammates of Nebraska program.
Submitted by:
John Schmitt, Secretary


The Rotary Club met at the Liberty Centre this noon.  A lunch was provided by the Liberty Centre staff to all in attendance.  Testimonials were shared by club members about the impact Liberty Centre has had on their lives and a video was shown. The organization serves about 300 people in 22 counties.  They provide community support services out of their additional space in the former Alco building.  In order to be a member, one must have a severe and persistent mental illness.

At our next meeting on April 14, our speaker will be Dr. Randall Bretz.  Dr. Bretz is a TEDxLincoln Licensee Member and a member of the Lincoln Downtown Rotary Club.  He will speak on “Broadband and the Good Life.”

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary



Left to right:  President Josh Moenning, sponsor Patty Skokan, Robb Thomas, new member Scott Adams



Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Club Membership Chair
Club Foundation Chair
Immediate Past Club President