Our leadership has asked each and every one of us to become a sustaining member which means that we contribute $9 or $10 (or more!) per month. A sustaining member donates $100 or more in a Rotary year. Please consider this month what you would be able to contribute to the Rotary Foundation--there's still time.   The Foundation combines our emotional response of compassion with pragmatic action. With both heart and brains, we can change the world!   ~ Debra Niemi, Rushmore Rotary Foundation Chair
Two special pin recognitions for Paul Harris Fellows were recently given to Norm Peterson (+7)  and Georgia O'Connor (+4).  The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation. 

Whiteclay Makerspace Christmas Bazaar

A total of nine Rotarians attended the Whiteclay Makerspace Christmas Bazaar on December 1st.  A quilt wall was created and installed by our own Mark Berry.  Members helped decorate donated items in the Gallery space.  Numerous residents visited the space, enjoyed lunch of chili and frybread, cocoa and cookies.  The Makerspace is a District 5610 Global Grant that equips artists and craftspeople located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with needed tools and equipment to produce their art. Training classes are in the works to help artists succeed in developing their small business practices. Thank you to Linda Peterson for her hard work in getting this global grant off and running.  

Christmas Gatherings


A small group of Rotarians gathered to make a JOYFUL noise at Storybook Island as part of our Christmas Social on December 15th. The weather was a chilly 30 degrees, but we enjoyed caroling, strolling through the park to see the lights and visit Santa, followed by warm drinks and treats at the Twiteros. 
At our December 22nd meeting, Feeding South Dakota came to make a presentation and members donated food and cash to support this great organization.  See "We are People of Action" for more information on our monthly volunteering opportunity at Feeding South Dakota.


 Don't forget to visit SBI for the Christmas Nights of Light thorugh December 31.  Thank you to members who have supported SBI in numerous ways in 2021 and over the 50 plus years the park has been operating.  Thank you to the Board members from our Club:  Amy, Michael and Tiffany and the dedicated staff at the Park. Photo courtesy Rapid City Journal.
New Members: Shawn Walters and Dave Ellenbecker
Shawn Walters is married with three children and five grandchildren.  Shawn spent 26 years in the Army, mostly as a specialist of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He and his wife Terri chose to retire here 6 years ago to be equally close to family in three different states. Currently he is a graduate student at the University of Montana as he tries to figure out the second stage of his life.  His interests are too many to list, but learning and exploring are his most favorite. Watching a comedy is also up there. He joined Rotary here in Rapid because they are a fun group that is also trying to make a better world. 
Dave Ellenbecker is married with two sons and two grandchildren.  He grew up in Pierre and attended University of Minnesota going through their Navy ROTC program.  Dave served 21 years in the Navy, starting out as a Surface Warfare Officer and then transferred to the Medical Service Corps. He retired in 2011 and moved back to South Dakota wanting to be closer to family.  He has worked for Monument Health for the past 10 years and is currently serving as their Vice President of Facilities Management.   Dave loves the Black Hills and being outdoors.   He joined Rotary after coming to a morning meeting as a speaker and seeing what a positive, high energy group the Rushmore Rotary team had.   Dave looks forward to finding new and better ways to serve the Community via Rotary.
Pictured with Shawn and Dave are President Scott Van Dam and Rene Sorenson receiving their "Four Way Test" plaques.  


Sturgis Rotaract Club held it’s first event at Sturgis Brewing Company, Friday, January 14th with Music Trivia Night.  Great community support, including Rotarians from Rushmore Rotary and Spearfish Rotary Club, the sponsoring club.  We welcome Sturgis Rotaract Club to the Rotary family.
Several Rotarians lunched and toured at The Minneluzahan Senior Center In January as a follow-up to the article in the Rapid City Journal and April Malik's Rotary Classification talk.  
Children's Home Society Tour

Several members enjoyed a tour of the Children's Home Society in November, led by Karl Jegeris (Rotary member and Chief Operating Officer at CHS).  Pictured are Stacy Johnson, Darla Crown, Rene Sorenson, Roger Heacock and Karl Jegeris. Great opportunity for some of our newer members to become familiar with one of our long-term Rotary projects.  

International Committee Update

We have completed many Global Grants with this district in India over the last 10 years, including Happy Schools.  It shows us making the world a better place (see Then and Now photos). Thank you for your dedication to Rotary.
Locally, the St. Thomas More Interact Club will be completing an International Project with The School of St Jude who needs water storage tanks (see example) for their new girl’s school.  The tanks will enable them to store clean water for use during the dry season.  The tanks hold 10,000 liters and cost $1,000.  They need 8 tanks for the school.  Rushmore Rotary's International Projects Committee proposed and approved a match for the money that the Interact Club raises up to $1,000.

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