World Polio Day 2023-10-11 05:00:00Z 0

Cradle to Career

The second C2C Summit on October 4 was a great success. This started as a three-club initiative; now it is community-owned and led. 
Cradle to Career 2023-10-11 05:00:00Z 0

3-Club Welcome to DG

In Rochester, the three clubs collaborate on grant writing, STRIVE, Ethics/Peacebuilding Day, RYLA, YE, Cradle to Career, and a brand new one - Community Clean-Up Day. 
Tonight, the three clubs collaborated at a deeper level.  The program included the club's president to share goals and projects. What resulted was a conversation, asking questions, commenting, and offering encouragement or congratulations. It heightened the sense of community; the feeling that we are in this together. 
3-Club Welcome to DG 2023-10-11 05:00:00Z 0
Volunteering at Channel One 2023-10-11 05:00:00Z 0
Passing the Gavel 2023-08-27 05:00:00Z 0

Installation Fun!!!

The Installation was a big success!  I hope my year runs as smoothly. Thanks to those who made it happen.

Dream TEAM: Lorie L, TRCR, GRR Denise, Judi, Alan, Don, and Andy 

THE Best VOLUNTEERS: Mike A and B, Bruce, Scott, Roger R and G, Dwight, Chris, Andy,  Risers; Paul and Don   TCRC Allie and Suzanne

Excellent PROGRAM: Andy, Denise, Kim, Risers: Gail, TRCR Ashok, Foundation: Tom

PS - I did not take any pictures. Some were shared with me, but if you have any, please send them. Thanks


The Floral Hall is a lovely older building that stands strong and keeps evolving in its usefulness. It reminds me of Rotary. We write our story over and over to meet the changing times. 

The Peace Selfie frame will be used all year. Use #peopleofaction  #district5960  #MakePeaceVisible  In this selfie are DG5950 Jewelie Grape and DG5580 Dave Long.

Many of the PDGs who moved the district forward were present. I am honored to be in their company.  

More photos - click read more

Installation Fun!!! 2023-06-28 05:00:00Z 0
District Governor Installation - You are Invited! 2023-05-10 05:00:00Z 0

International Peace Conference in Birmingham, AL

RI President Jennifer Jones was the Key Note Speaker opening the conference. Her message is clear - Rotary is an agent of peace worldwide. The last Key Note speaker was Rev. Dr. Bernice King. High school peacebuilders interviewed her.  She encouraged them to have a clear and consistent message and to prioritize their strategies. It was a memorable and hopeful weekend. Many good things are happening. 
International Peace Conference in Birmingham, AL 2023-05-09 05:00:00Z 0

We don't have much plastic. Surprise!

When asked about saving plastic, two store owners said they didn't have much but would save it because they liked the project.
They were SO surprised by how much they could recycle. Combined, these two stores collected 30 pounds of plastic. 
3 Kittens Needlepoint Art                     Herrings Frames
We don't have much plastic. Surprise! 2023-04-24 05:00:00Z 0

Move with the Mayor

The Spring Fit City Challenge, April 15-May 31, is being championed by Mayor Kim Norton (GRR member) in collaboration with many community partners. WHAT A GREAT IDEA. Let's set a personal six-week goal — at least 10 minutes of movement per day — and track the number of minutes of action.
Tracking sheets are available through the mayor’s office or online at
Move with the Mayor 2023-04-16 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary Promotes Peace

Rotary activates peacebuilders. Check out this presentation which highlights the many ways Rotary members, participants, and partners work together to build a more peaceful world.

Download the presentation template and tailor it to your local initiatives:
Rotary Promotes Peace 2023-03-12 06:00:00Z 0
4 Way Test Signs are Available 2023-03-12 06:00:00Z 0

Youth Exchange Orientation 

Youth Exchange orientation! The inbound students are doing a service project for Can Do, Canines. The presentation was excellent. Can Do Canines is also working in Rochester. They utilize inmates to help train the service dogs. 
Rubin is our 3-club student from Spain. 
Thanks. GRR Gerry for providing transportation so Rubin could attend.
Youth Exchange Orientation 2023-03-12 06:00:00Z 0

PolioPlus Society

Eradicating polio has been Rotary's top priority since 1988. We are down to 2 countries that still have live polio virus.  In October, we focus on raising awareness of polio and World Polio Day.  NewsFlash - We just got the PolioPlus Society lapel pins.  Our President, Andy Thilges, is the first GRR member to earn a PolioPlus Society lapel pin. Well done, Andy. Thank you for your donation. 
PolioPlus Society 2023-02-08 06:00:00Z 0

Dictionary Time

Dictionary Distribution Time! This is year 15!!!!  It is SO much fun to distribute dictionaries to the eager third graders in all of Rochester's public and private schools. We also introduce the 4 Way Test and give the class a 4WT flyer. Three Cheers to Denise Kelly and Alan Hansen for organizing another wonderful event. Well done!
Dictionary Time 2023-02-07 06:00:00Z 0

October  Welcome

Welcome, New Member Roger Graf! Roger Graf
Raised on a farm in northeast Iowa, Roger attended Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA, and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA. Roger served as a pastor for over 37 years to churches in Iowa, Seattle, WA, North Dakota, and Memphis, TN. Following his last pastorate, he came to Rochester, MN, to receive training to be a hospital chaplain and then served as a staff chaplain at Mayo Clinic until his retirement in 2021.
Roger is married to Elaine. They have 5 children, 9 grandchildren, and a BB parrot named Ollie. He enjoys working in the yard, bicycling, reading, traveling, and walking. Roger was previously a member of the Germantown, TN, Rotary Club and strongly believes in service to others.
October  Welcome 2022-10-25 05:00:00Z 0

August Fun Social with DG Dayle Quigley

Fun time at Chip Shots. My favorite was Zombie Dodgeball. Pickleball was a group pleaser. We have talent - Dan, Barb, Scott, Roger, and the rising star was DG Dayle.
Not pictured: Gerry and Emily, Pet and Miles, Stephanie, Mason and Brent, Diane and Chris, Patricia and John, Gary and Sandy.
August Fun Social with DG Dayle Quigley 2022-08-25 05:00:00Z 0

Passing of Gavel

President Dwight successfully passed the gavel to President Andy Thilges on June 29th at Alan and Jolene’s lovely home. It was a fun event with delicious food, A new member was inducted, Chris Schoenherr. It was lovely being with friends. 
Passing of Gavel 2022-07-05 05:00:00Z 0

Third New Member

We are excited that Chris Scheoherr has applied for membership. The board approved the application and will share the information with the members at the next 2 meetings. The induction will be in June. Chris has had several interesting jobs including serving as an energy executive. He recently retired and is ready for his next adventure. 
Third New Member 2022-05-20 05:00:00Z 0

Tree Planting May 2

The three Rotary Clubs in Rochester work cooperatively several times a year. One of our favorite joint projects is tree planting. This is the 5th year working with the Rochester Parks and Recreation Department. The location is Quarry Hills. We will be planting around 300 whips. The park staff goes in and clears out the buckthorn. Rotarians and community volunteers plant whips of various types of trees to help stop the invasion of non-native plants.
Tree Planting May 2 2022-05-03 05:00:00Z 0

2nd Annual April Tools Day

April 30 - Aprils Tools Day   What a successful day! It was just amazing.  We had about 80 donors and lots of great press coverage.
Thank you Judi Wilson, for your leadership, thank you to members who could help, and a big thank you to 125 Live for allowing the space and sharing the idea with their members. What a TEAM!
Volunteers: Brent, Dwight, Bruce, Andy, Gerry, Mike
The volunteers did an amazing job - feats of strength and warm Rotary welcomes! Judi will set up a meeting to discuss our goals moving forward.  Stay tuned.
2nd Annual April Tools Day 2022-05-02 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting was SO Rotary

Loved the meeting today. It was so Rotary. By that I mean, our great speaker was from another district. 5950 PDG Tom Gump shared practical ideas on how to grow your club. In the audience were people from 4-5 different locations around the world like Calcutta, Montego Bay, plus other states, and members were in traditional clubs and e-clubs. I love being a Rotarian.
Meeting was SO Rotary 2022-04-13 05:00:00Z 0

April Tools Day Sign Up

WHEN:       April 30th at 125 Live
WHERE:    125 Elton Hills Dr. NW, Rochester, MN 55901
TIME:         8 am - 1 pm
This is an outdoor event, rain or shine. People with tools they want to donate drive up, volunteers take the tools and then drive away.
What an easy way to recycle worn tools into refurbished, usable tools !!! The refurbished tools are given to groups who need tools or have clients who need tools. An example is Revolutionary Earth, a nonprofit that grows organic produce for disabled people with mobility issues. 
Contact Chair: Judi Wilson  507-216-8800
Sign Up Link for members
April Tools Day Sign Up 2022-03-31 05:00:00Z 0

Dictionary - Love It!

We finally were able to share the dictionaries in the schools. YEAH! It is a joyful and exciting project. We are most grateful to  Denise Kelly, Queen of the Dictionary Project, and her project partner, Alan Hansen for making all of the arrangements. The time in the classroom included an introduction to Rotary, the 4 Way Test, personally giving a dictionary to each child, and closing with an introduction to the dictionary. 
Here are teacher comments: "The students are so excited. They know it is coming and it is like a right of passage for them." "The media specialist at our school does a lesson using the dictionary before we send them home." "I use the dictionary with the class. I have many of the past dictionaries given and use them during lessons." 
We will send a survey to parents and teachers to help evaluate the impact of this project.  (more photos  - - - )
Dictionary - Love It! 2022-03-24 05:00:00Z 0
April Tools Day, April 30 at 125 LIVE 2022-03-16 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month

Developing youth is a focus of Rotary. The Students of the Month for  March are from Rochester Alternative Learning Center High School. R-ALC honors students who exhibit excellent characteristics of good citizenship,  good attendance, good leadership, ability to work as a team member, and/or made excellent progress achieving their goals. The two students to receive this recognition were Connor Delfs and Muki Rolli. Nicole Wibstad is the Community School Liason. It is wonderful to see the improvement in students when they get into an environment that matches their needs. Well done Connar and Muki
Student of the Month 2022-03-09 06:00:00Z 0

NCPETS Success

February 24 - 25 was the NCPETS virtual training. Over 330 participants enjoyed the training. The speakers were inspirational. Go to the NCPETS website for information about the speakers and check out the resources. There are resources helpful to clubs.
RI President Jennifer Jones 
NCPETS Success 2022-02-27 06:00:00Z 0

Share the Love 

The heart of Rotary is the work of the Foundation. What keeps the heart pumping is the donations to the Annual Fund. Last year, over 2000 grants were funded which means over 2000 locations in the world had a need met with clean water, schools, latrines, medical equipment, supplies, training, and much, much more.
Share the Love 2022-02-15 06:00:00Z 0


Greater Rochester Rotary was recognized as one of the 7 clubs in the entire district to be an EREY Club.       Every Rotary Every Year donates to the Rotary Foundation.  Well Done!
EREY 2022-02-04 06:00:00Z 0

Beat the Blues

Our 2nd Beat the Winter Blues activity was well received. The nursing home is West Health Services. The director was very excited about getting something for the residents and the wonderful staff of everyday heroes. She said that both groups value smiles. And smile they will get when they see the door hangings for the residents and candy for the staff. The partnership with Mayo Key Club was great. We supplied the materials; they provided the creative decorations! 
Beat the Blues 2022-01-28 06:00:00Z 0

Mayor Kim Norton - 1/12 Meeting

Mayor Kim Norton started the new year off with news about Rochester. I listened to the ups and downs of the year and the hopes for the future. What I heard is an authentic and ethical approach to leading the city forward. I am grateful to the mayor and all of the city leaders for their hard work. Rochester is lucky.
Mayor Kim Norton - 1/12 Meeting 2022-01-21 06:00:00Z 0

January Field Trip 

January 5 field trip to 125 Live was great! “More than a membership, it’s a mission.” That quote was illustrated when we took a tour of the facility and reviewed the program booklet.  They have 4000 members, they listen to their members and create fitness and other activities accordingly, hundreds of people use the facility daily. I am impressed. BIG thank you to Sylwia Oliver, Executive Director, for her leadership. Well done!
January Field Trip 2022-01-06 06:00:00Z 0

Successful Plastics Project 

The last amount of plastic was submitted for a total of - - - drum roll, please - - - 862 pounds of plastic was diverted from the landfill! It is a fun program. Thank you, partners! Yipee!
Interested in learning how you can do this program? Want a presentation? Leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Successful Plastics Project 2022-01-06 06:00:00Z 0
Happy New Year 2021-12-31 06:00:00Z 0

Students of the Month - R-ALC High School

The December Students of the Month were from the Rochester ALC High School. The students were recognized for excellence in citizenship qualities. Nicole Wibstab, the R-ALC staff, introduced Aaliyah Wiley and Hannah Engebertson. President Dwight gave the recognition certificates and 4 Way Test cards.
The students shared how ALC has turned their educational lives around. They are now eager to earn good grades and head for college.
Students of the Month - R-ALC High School 2021-12-04 06:00:00Z 0

The Landing Fundraiser - December

The Landing MN exists to build trust, give hope, and support steps toward stability for those experiencing homelessness.  Director, Dan Fifield, presented to the club in July. The members were touched. Over the last four years, the club members have donated 1200 socks to a homeless shelter because that was a need. The Landing had a different request - forget socks; we need underwear. The members liked the idea and had a "write a check" fundraiser. The goal was $500. We exceeded the goal and raised over $600.  Dan said that the money could not have come at a better time. 
The Landing Fundraiser - December 2021-12-04 06:00:00Z 0

4th Annual Three Club Ethics Day

Love ethics day! BIG thank you goes to Dr. Jason Skirry, St. Thomas University, and the 3-Club Ethics Day Team: Jolene Hansen and Peggy Elliot - Risers, Samantha Whipple - TRCR, and Patricia McCleese - GRR. The schools represented were Century, John Marshall, Mayo, and Lourdes. I learned a lot, and based on the evaluations, the students did, too. 
4th Annual Three Club Ethics Day 2021-11-17 06:00:00Z 0

We Cannot Do It Without Partners

We are grateful to our recycling partners for their eager participation in our new environmental project. Some of them give 1-2 times a week, a few give once a month or as a special event.  No matter how frequent, it all adds up to 500 pounds of plastic being saved from the landfill. 
We Cannot Do It Without Partners 2021-11-13 06:00:00Z 0
Plastic to Benches - What are we Looking for? 2021-11-05 05:00:00Z 0

Plastic for Benches Kick Off

We are excited to announce our 1st Plastic for Benches Project! 
What is it? We are collecting #2 and #4 plastic waste from businesses. So instead of the waste going in a landfill, we are sending it to Trex, a company that uses the raw material to make the decking and outdoor furniture that looks like wood but is plastic. 
When we collect and send 500 pounds of plastic, we earn a bench. The bench will be installed with the names of the recycling partners. 
The ultimate goal of this program is to provide more and more businesses with a recycling option for their plastic waste. What is exciting is how enthusiastic the businesses are to have this option. We also want to raise awareness about recycling with a purpose. 
RECYCLING PARTNERS are Carpet One, Collins Feed&Seed, Fresh Thyme, Rochester Pet and Country Store, Rochester Public Library, Top Shop, Vikings Electric, and YOU? Following are a few photos of our fabulous recycling partners. 
Plastic for Benches Kick Off 2021-11-03 05:00:00Z 0

Let's Bowl - World Polio Day

World Polio Day
It was a fun way to score high for polio. For all those who pledged - get those checkbooks out!!!
Brent and Mike A were the big scorers for GRR. I believe Dwight owes several hundreds of dollars for all of the strikes (only teasing, Dwight). Mason ( I think he is older than he looks) came in third which leaves me the winner of the lowest score. You have to be good at something. 
Let's Bowl - World Polio Day 2021-10-24 05:00:00Z 0


Rotary brings together leaders who step up to take on the world’s toughest challenges, locally and globally. The eradication of polio is one of our longest-standing and most significant efforts. Along with our partners, we have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. We have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide and we won't stop until we end the disease for good.
Only 2 cases of the live poliovirus have been reported this year. So why do we need to donate? Because millions of children are getting vaccinated each year to protect them from polio and other childhood diseases. Because money is needed to continue the research. Because money is needed to pay the people who vaccinate and for polio surveillance. The projected end date for this project is 2026. We are this close. 
  • How can you triple your impact on #endpolio? Thanks to a 2-to-1 match from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, every donation made to @Rotary to @EndPolioNow will be tripled. Donate today:  Donate online or send a check to Mike Adkins.
WORLD POLIO DAY - 10/24 2021-10-10 05:00:00Z 0

Field Trip - September

Our September field trip to Quarry Hill could not have been on a better day. Welcome Fall! Lunch in the shelter by the pond followed by a visit to the new and improved Nature Center. Facts learned: Quarry started in 1965, programs in 1970, around 98,000 people attend programs, around 179,000 visit the park annually, the science training for children is aligned with the school curriculum. I also learned I am not as smart as a 4th grader in science. Excellent presentation by Lori who then walked us around the pond where we learned more. LOVED IT! Great time to be out and about with friends. 
Field Trip - September 2021-09-23 05:00:00Z 0

This is the Time - Rotary is the Place

Rotary in the 2020s: Understanding Culture Change and
Gray Area Thinking® with Ellie Krug 
Zoom Presentation 

UPDATE: This important program will be on Zoom only. Registration is open! 

We’ve all heard the phrase, “diversity, equity, and inclusion”, but what does it actually mean to make an organization or even our personal lives more diverse, equitable, and inclusive? How can we get beyond grouping and labeling of other humans according to the color of their skin, the religion they practice, who they love or identify as, or the country in which they were born?
Can we really build a just and inclusive world, especially in this time of such division?
Even more, how can we make our organizations and lives more inclusive of those who are “Other” and different from “us?” Isn’t it time to at least consider a new approach to human inclusivity—where all humans regardless of differences are valued?

As Rotarians in the 2020s, we’ve been called upon to learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion and to embrace ideas about changing our culture to be welcoming to everyone, regardless of the community they represent or how they might be “different” or “diverse.”
Join national speaker, transgender writer, and “human inclusionist” Ellen “Ellie” Krug (a  member of the City of Lakes Club) as she talks about organizational culture/culture change and conducts her highly valued human inclusivity training, Gray Area Thinking®. This training will provide an easy-to-understand toolset on how to be more welcoming of anyone who is “Other” in our society. 
CLICK the following link to hear from Ellie Krug regarding this valuable training: 
This is the Time - Rotary is the Place 2021-09-23 05:00:00Z 0

Kick Off Basic Education and Literacy Month

The theme for September is Basic Education and Literacy Month. To kick off the month,  District 5960 is recognizing clubs with literacy programs. Our Dictionary Project has distributed dictionaries to third graders for over ten years. We are proud of our Dictionary Project and grateful to Denise Kelly for her outstanding leadership. 
Kick Off Basic Education and Literacy Month 2021-08-31 05:00:00Z 0

Conference of Clubs in Hastings, MN

District 5960 2021 Conference of Clubs at Levee Park in Hastings, MN celebrated a year of challenges, learning, and many successes. Accolades to District Governor Ed Merek for his leadership during the “year that nothing went as planned”. 
It was so good being in-person with fellow Rotarians. There was music, focus on Rotary's 7th Area if Focus - the environment, sharing information about the environmental projects done this year (very impressive), and well-deserved recognition of outstanding service to :
Jim Hunt - Citation for Meritorious
Kent Peterson - Avenues of Service Award
Newell Krogman - Distinguished Service Award
Conference of Clubs in Hastings, MN 2021-06-10 05:00:00Z 0

Tree Planting - We Did It!

It was a great day. 100 volunteers, 15 species of trees, 21 Trees Salute, 1000 whips were ALL planted between 9am- 4pm on May 1st.  It was an amazing three-club and community collaboration. DG Ed Marek and Mayor Kim Norton welcomed volunteers. BIG thanks to the Rotarians, community volunteers, and the high school students from Century, John Marshall, and Mayo who planted all of those trees. BIG thank you to the 3-Club tree planting team  BIG-BIG thank you to the Park and Recreation Department Team for all of the prep work and for volunteering to help on a Saturday. And whoever arranged for the weather - I want you on our team all of the time.
Tree Planting - We Did It! Patricia 2021-05-02 05:00:00Z 0

May 1st is 4th Annual Tree Planting

Our 4th Annual Three-Club Tree Planting Event is Saturday, May 1st. Registration is very easy.
Share the link. The first shift is full but there is space at the second shift 11:30am - 1:30pm and the third shift  2pm-4pm. 
We are planting 1000 whips (look like sticks with roots). The Parks and Recreation Department has cleared out Buckthorn and diseased Ash trees to make way for 5 different species of trees to be planted. 
Rotary has added the Environment as the 7th Area of Focus. 
May 1st is 4th Annual Tree Planting 2021-04-26 05:00:00Z 0
Successful April Tools Day 2021-04-21 05:00:00Z 0

Everyday Heroes Awards 

As this year’s Rotary President Holger Knaack has stated, “We believe that our acts of service, big and small, create opportunities for people who need our help. We also know that every act of service will inspire and change us… Everything we do opens another opportunity for someone, somewhere.”

During this pandemic, every act of service has inspired and changed us. It has made us more appreciative of family, friends, work, activities, and the service of others. We cannot thank everyone who has been an everyday hero during these challenging days but the club members were asked to recommend a group or an individual.

It is with gratitude that we recognize individuals or groups as Everyday Heroes. In their honor, a donation will be given to Polio Plus Fund /  Rotary Foundation. Twenty-five children will be vaccinated against polio. Rotary has partnered with other organizations to rid the world of polio. There are now just 2 out of 125 countries that still have polio.



Everyday Heroes Awards Patricia 2021-02-04 06:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Fellow Recognitions

Paul Harris Recognition       
The recognition is named after Rotary’s founder, the late Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer, who started Rotary with three business associates in 1905. A world of goodwill and better understanding comes closer to reality today because Rotarians 
 donate to The Rotary Foundation. The work of the Foundation makes doing good in the world possible. A person who contributes $1000 to the Rotary Foundation will be recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow. 
Paul Harris recognitions are also given to members and non-members recognized for their commitment to ‘Service
Above Self’ to benefit local and international communities. 
We are grateful.  The 2020-2021recipients of this honor will be recognized and added to this page throughout the year. 
Paul Harris Fellow Recognitions Patricia 2021-02-04 06:00:00Z 0

Beat the Blues

This first time activity was a success. 100 residents at Samaritan Bethany Nursing Home got a goodie bag and a personal note. The goodies were donated by members. The bags were packed by either members or by 3-5 graders at Holy Spirit School. It was a wonderful partnership which created a good feeling for all involved. Go Team! 
Beat the Blues 2021-02-02 06:00:00Z 0

Mid-Term - Register NOW!

Register Now!  
This year’s Mid-Term offers wonderful programs. It will be time well spent. 
On Monday, January 25th, at 6:30 p.m. we will feature a panel of representatives from three clubs that are doing some amazing work. 
  • Jon Stagman, President of the Waseca Club on “Reimagining the Club”
  • Kevin Donovan, Team Leader for White Bear Lake’s DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Team
  • Kent Peterson, from the Arden Hills-Shoreview Club who has founded and chaired the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition
Mid-Term - Register NOW! Patricia 2021-01-21 06:00:00Z 0

January at Greater Rochester Rotary

Happy New Year! Welcome  2021. 
January is Vocational Service Month. Each meeting will have a Vocational or Retirement Talk by a member 
Sign up for Beat the Blues activity with Samaritan Bethany. 
Mayor Kim Norton - A great way to start the year. Bring questions. Vocational Talk - Fran Filzen
Environment - What Can Be Done? Citizens Climate Lobby - Bipartisan  Speaker: Howard Clark. Vocational Talk - Judi Wilson
Braver Angels Workshop "Skills for Bridging the Divide"
No Meeting - Inauguration Day . The Paul Harris Recognitions will be presented on 2/10. 
Leah Labs - cancer cure for dogs. Speaker: CEO Wes Wierson . Vocational Talk - Gene Ellington
Beat the Blues Activity with Samaritan Bethany Drop Off Goodie Bags
Join us for a Zoom Meeting:
January at Greater Rochester Rotary 2021-01-05 06:00:00Z 0
Fun Day at GRR 2020-12-21 06:00:00Z 0
4th Socks for the Homeless 2020-12-17 06:00:00Z 0

Foundation Month Celebration

The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. The work of the three Rochester Rotary Clubs was recognized and celebrated. Rotarian Don Fell reported on the World Service work. The Foundation took the $30,000 raised by the three clubs and translated it into $170,000 in grant money. These grants helped thousands of our global neighbors. 
During One Rotary Summit, it was announced that clubs will have a Foundation Coach and shared the October Polio giving. 
Foundation Month Celebration 2020-11-20 06:00:00Z 0
Annual Socks for the Homeless Drive 2020-11-15 06:00:00Z 0


World Polio Day is October 24th    DONATE

Introducing District 5960’s STRIKE OUT POLIO Challenge!
We would like to encourage all members to donate to Polio Plus this month.  As always, we encourage people to give something, regardless of the amount.  It costs less than $5 to fully vaccinate a child, so any amount helps!
BASE HIT: Give at least $100 to Polio Plus during October and the donation will be matched 1:1 with Recognition Points.
HOME RUN: Give at least $365 (equivalent of $1/day) to Polio Plus during October and we will utilize Recognition Points to award a Paul Harris Fellowship!
STRIKE OUT POLIO CHALLENGE Patricia McCleese 2020-10-07 05:00:00Z 0

World Polio Month

We are raising awareness of World Polio / PoloPlus by sharing information during the month of October. Mayor Kim Norton reads the World Polio Day Proclamation and thanks the three Rotary Clubs of Rochester for the service projects provided in Rochester. 
World Polio Month 2020-10-01 05:00:00Z 0

Minnesota Auto Dealers Association

It is important to stay informed about issues.  Scott Lambert, MADA President, presented his case against the state adopting California Cars Initiative (CCI). In 2019, car dealers employed 21,000, sold 235,516 vehicles , generated 1 billion in sales tax. 76% of vehicle sold in MN are trucks. 1.5% of sales are for electric cars. Of course, due to Covid, auto sales are down 26%- lowest in eight years. Gov Walz wants the state to adopt CCI. MADA says that will increase costs of vehicles and not have an environmental impact. Adopting CCI will require an increase in sales of electric vehicles. MADA says that is not the consumer demand and is offering alternatives. For more details contact:
I contacted the Governor's office to see if they have speakers who would explain their perspective. Should be another good meeting. 
Minnesota Auto Dealers Association 2020-08-31 05:00:00Z 0

Fly RST 

Rotary is about service and we have very informative programs. The August 19th program is a good example. The pandemic has changed the way we do business. The airlines have been hit hard. Tiana O'Connor, Marketing and Communications Manager shared great information about RST and COVID.
Fly RST 2020-08-21 05:00:00Z 0

Do You Have 600 sq ft of Extra Yard Space?

Do you have a flat, sunny 600 sq. ft. area in your yard that you are tired of taking care of or you want to do something different with it? 
Well, do I have an idea for you! Donate the use of that flat, sunny area to Revolutionary Earth, an organization that grows organic produce for food-insecure families. They do not use pesticides, herbicides or any toxins. They do not even till. They will do all of the work. Check them out.  Revolutionary Earth is a Rochester original. It was started by Christopher Brenna in 2019. They started with two families and this year have grown to serving thirty-two families. Congrats to Christopher for his vision and work in making food accessible to those in need. 
Do You Have 600 sq ft of Extra Yard Space? 2020-08-12 05:00:00Z 0
Rotary Response to COVID 2020-08-09 05:00:00Z 0

GRR Vocational Panel 

Vocational Panel of GRR members shared their work and how their businesses are operating safely. It is impressive to learn what has been done to ensure the safety of employees and clients.
Melissa Schmidt shared how her company launched a business during Covid. Planning strategies had to adapt to the new normal. It was interesting to hear about the amount of research needed for the launch. They also focused on how to efficiently and effectively use digital contacts, promote referral bonuses and to safely meet face-to-face.
Andy Thilges shared the Hilton CleanStay Guest Experience 11 point plan. It ensured me that it is safe to stay there. Hope all hotels follow those practices. He said more rooms are being used now compared to April.
Scott Funke opened his dentist office this year. He said it has been a roller coaster experience. Things were changing so much. But they are reopened now. He and his team have exceeded expectations on keeping patients safe.
GRR Vocational Panel 2020-08-05 05:00:00Z 0
Jolly July Programs Patricia McCleese 2020-07-29 05:00:00Z 0

Welcome 2020-2021 President Brent Fisher

It's official! The Gavel was passed at the Fisher home. 
Thank you, Past-President Doug Herdahl for your leadership.
Welcome 2020-2021 President Brent Fisher! We are looking forward to another great year. 
Welcome 2020-2021 President Brent Fisher Patricia McCleese 2020-07-12 05:00:00Z 0

Grow Guatemala

The presentation on the Global Project - Grow Guatemala was wonderful. The Guatemala Grow project is a success! Thank you, Jen Brewer and Joanne Rosener for the presentation. A few facts: Guatemala is about the size of Utah. Thirty-six languages are spoken. The garden project targets children 2 and younger. It includes training in gardening and in cooking what they harvest. After the country closed down due to COVID, the families with gardens had food to eat. Our Foundation dollars at work. We are grateful. 
Grow Guatemala 2020-06-10 05:00:00Z 0 #greaterrochesterrotary,#grreclub,#peopleofaction

June - Rotary Fellowship Month

Rotarians like to have fun. Rotary Fellowships consist of members who share a common interest in recreational activities, sports, hobbies, or professions. These groups help expand skills, foster vocational development, and enhance the Rotary experience by exploring interests while developing connections around the world.  
Before the pandemic, we were going to try to develop fellowships within the club also.  What interests YOU? 
June - Rotary Fellowship Month Patricia McCleese 2020-06-06 05:00:00Z 0

STRIVE - Let's Celebrate

Our STRIVE students are high school graduates! We are so proud of YOU!
The recognition and celebration on June 2nd included a Keynote Speaker, Jasmine Dittrich, a former STRIVE student from John Marshall High School. She thanked the STRIVE program for believing in her. She encouraged the students to never let negativity get them down. She follows her own advice. She has successfully completed graduate school and is currently a school counselor. It was a great message.
Congratulations to all of our students. Best wishes to you and your successful future. Special thanks to the Rochester School Foundation and Samaritan Bethany for offering additional scholarships.   
To watch the video of the celebration, please use this link.
STRIVE - Let's Celebrate Patricia McCleese 2020-06-05 05:00:00Z 0

Fast for Hope

May 13th, Past District Governor Jim Hunt shared an update on the District’s Initiative Fast for Hope program. It is all about empowering a community to do more for itself. It is not a quick fix; it is a sustainable effort.
Fast for Hope Patricia McCleese 2020-05-15 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary Tree Planting 2020

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This event has been canceled by the City of Rochester and will be rescheduled for fall. 

30 volunteers are desired to dig holes and plant trees.  (at least 6 feet apart, right?)

Rotarians, along with family and friends of all ages, are invited and encouraged to join others to plant trees at Bear Creek Park, 4-7 pm on Wednesday, May 6. The group will gather at the park pavilion for instructions.
This planting is a continuation of efforts started by 2018 Rotary International President Ian Riseley when he encouraged Rotarians to focus on the environment and clubs to plant at least one tree per Rotarian. The Rotary clubs of Rochester have met the goal and continue to act upon the challenge.
You can be part of this effort in two ways: volunteer by registering your participation here and/or make a financial contribution to the Rotary Club of Rochester Foundation to assist with the purchase of the trees.
Rotary Tree Planting 2020 Doug Herdahl 2020-03-25 05:00:00Z 0

Let's Go Play Ball with the Honkers

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I hope everyone & their families are safe & healthy.
Here’s details Steph shared for a potential Honkers Fundraiser.  I was looking for details on this before all this virus stuff started, and now that we’re in the middle of this, the timing to do this event for August might be good as people will want to get out and live “normal” lives again, especially baseball fans which are going to get a late start to the season.
We reserved the 8th as a Rotary date.  We would earn 50% of all 500 tickets we sell, plus provides a PR opportunity for us.
Here are the details of the Honkers Fundraiser:
  • Saturday August 8th – 6:05pm
  • Vs. Waterloo Bucks
  • Fireworks Game
  • 500 tickets to sell
  • $10/ticket includes hot dog, soda and entrance to the game
  • Possible profit $2500
Action Items:
  • When/how/where to sell tickets
  • GRR Table at the game
  • First Pitch Representative
  • Radio Broadcast opportunity
  • Nation Anthem performer (if we want)
What are your ideas?
Let's Go Play Ball with the Honkers Brent Fisher 2020-03-25 05:00:00Z 0 #greaterrochesterrotary,#rochesterhonkers

Volunteer Opportunities

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This is a message from Dun Supalla, fellow Rotarian in Rochester.
I've reached out to several organizations (School District, United Way, Family Service, etc.) regarding volunteer opportunities. Here's the latest from Brooke at Family Services. If any of our club members looking for opportunities might want to check out the United Way site. Here is the response:
  • Through United Way's Get Connected site at, we have built a private (organization only) inter-agency exchange program to ensure the staffing needs of those organizations providing essential services in the community can continue to be met. Organizations can post either their needs or their willingness to redeploy staff to help at organizations with needs. United Way is also revamping the public-facing page to ensure volunteers get connected to the most urgent needs. We continue to discuss this in more detail and I can give Rotary a more concrete direction about how to best help. There will be many ways!
Brooke, Nonprofit Consortium Strategist
Volunteer Opportunities Doug Herdahl 2020-03-23 05:00:00Z 0

Ethics Day Review 

The three Rochester Rotary Clubs do a fantastic job of collaborating on big projects. An example is the Ethics Day Seminar held in November at Cascade Meadows.
You heard a verbal report after the event. Now you can see the final update. It is a wonderful program with good results. After you view the Powerpoint on the next page, you may want to know how to help. 
Easy : Volunteer  for the next Ethics Day. We will need table hosts, panelists
            Donate. The costs include, consultant, location, food, scholarships 
Ethics Day Review 2020-03-10 05:00:00Z 0

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Working with Rotary to Eradicate Polio

4 Questions with Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

1. What made you decide to work on polio eradication?

In 1952, three years before I was born, the U.S. experienced one of the worst polio epidemics in its history. Thousands died and even more were paralyzed. I was born a few months after the first polio vaccine became available. Growing up, I had no idea how lucky I was.

Later in life through the work of our foundation, I began to see firsthand the impact that polio was having on kids. The U.S. had seen its last case of polio in 1979 thanks to polio vaccines, but even 25 years later in 2004, more than 1,000 children in Asia and Africa were paralyzed by polio simply because of where they were born.

Before our foundation joined the fight to end polio in 2007, I had spent months talking to experts and analyzing the history of eradication. While global progress against polio had stalled, I believed that eradication was possible because the world had done it before, with smallpox in 1980.

Rotary played an important role in inspiring the foundation to become involved in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, an incredible global partnership committed to fighting the disease. We knew that Rotarians would be passionate, committed allies in the push for eradication.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Doug Herdahl 2020-02-29 06:00:00Z 0 #district5960,#endpolionow,#greaterrochesterrotary

Polio Eradication in Pakistan

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Polio eradication in Pakistan: Rotary members will finish the job

Pakistan is one of two countries that continues to report cases of polio caused by the wild poliovirus. Aziz Memon, an incoming Rotary Foundation trustee and chair of the Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee, explains what motivates Rotarians in Pakistan to finish the task of polio eradication.

Aziz Memon, incoming Rotary Foundation Trustee and chair of the Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee explains why he’s determined to finish the task of polio eradication.

“Tears were rolling down her cheeks. She was a true embodiment of pain and fatigue. She had huddled to her chest an eleven-year-old boy whose thin legs were hanging down, hampering her while she walked. I was stunned by the scene and stopped. I was curious to ask the woman what had happened to the child she was carrying. The poor woman wiped her tears to reply to me and revealed that out of her six children, three were suffering polio paralysis.”

Aziz Memon narrates his first encounter with a child suffering from polio. The experience proved life-changing. Over 22 years, he has risen to become one of the most influential philanthropists working to end polio in Pakistan.

22 years, 200,000 vaccine carriers, and millions raised to end polio

Aziz Memon is a good person to speak to for insight into Rotary’s work in Pakistan. Chair of the Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee, Aziz is also a member of the International PolioPlus Committee. He has won multiple awards for his work to defeat the virus, and in October he became the first incoming Rotary Foundation Trustee appointed from Pakistan.

Polio Eradication in Pakistan Doug Herdahl 2020-02-29 06:00:00Z 0 #district5960,#endpolionow,#greaterrochesterrotary

Cradle to Career Community Voice March 10th

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Cradle to Career Community Voice Event

As you may remember, C2C committed to providing an update to the community twice/year. The first for 2020 will be coming up on Tuesday, March 10 from 6-7:30 p.m. at John Marshall High School. Attached are two items. One is an invitation to attend the event. The second is a call for volunteers to help provide assistance at the event.
Please distribute these broadly to our Rotarian members with our thanks for their support and encouragement!
Link to volunteer: You can access the electronic sign up here.  
Thank you so much!
Elaine Case
"Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development."      Kofi Annan
Cradle to Career Community Voice March 10th Doug Herdahl 2020-02-26 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary International Convention 2020 June 6 - 10

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Make plans to attend

Rotary International Convention

The 2020 Rotary International Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA is where people of action from all over the world will gather to connect, celebrate, and collaborate to make a better world. The convention takes place from June 6-10, 2020.

At the general and breakout sessions taking place during the convention, you can:

  • Hear from world leaders, philanthropists, and other remarkable people during general sessions.
  • Take part in breakout sessions to learn more about thought-provoking topics at in-depth seminars, workshops, and discussions.


Oahu accommodations include resorts, hotels, rental cottages and condos. You will find places to stay available across Oahu, but the majority are available in and around Waikiki, near where the Convention will be held. This area also offers several restaurants, a variety of shopping options, and numerous beach activities.

Please visit the Rotary International Convention website for additional information on accommodations.

Rotary International Convention 2020 June 6 - 10 Doug Herdahl 2020-02-25 06:00:00Z 0

NCPETS is Coming to Town Mar 12-14

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Signups for the 2020 NC PETS (North Central Presidents-Elect Training Seminar) Volunteers

Rotarians from five districts will gather in Rochester March 12-14 for NCPETS - North Central President-Elect Training Seminar. Local Rotarians are needed to help staff the registration table, provide directions within the Mayo Civic Center, check for badges at mealtimes, and support the break-out sessions. Shifts range from 1-1/2 to 3 hours. If you are available, please click here to sign up.
Registration Desk
Breakout Session Hosts
Door Greeters/Badge Checkers for Meals
House of Friendship Support
Many Rotarians will be needed to help our visiting Rotarians feel welcome in Rochester! Thank you!
NCPETS is Coming to Town Mar 12-14 Doug Herdahl 2020-02-25 06:00:00Z 0

Toastmasters and Rotary

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Our New Collaboration with Toastmasters

Rotary is proud to be working with Toastmasters International, a leading international educational organization that helps its members become more effective speakers, communicators, and leaders. This new collaboration is designed to enhance your membership experience, as well as help you expand your network, develop your leadership and communication skills, and make an even bigger impact in your community. 

Check out the ways our GRR club can get involved with the Toastmasters collaboration.  Who would be interested in finding a local Toastmasters club and arrange a visit, or invite a Toastmasters member to one of your club service activities or social events? You can see a listing of the local Toastmasters here.

RI expects that interest in joining Rotary may be sparked by this new alliance and urge district and club leaders to quickly follow up with any prospective members.  

Click here to read more about our collaboration.
Toastmasters and Rotary Patricia 2020-02-23 06:00:00Z 0

NC PETS Volunteer Sign Up

NC PETS is in Rochester March 12, 13, and 14. This is a wonderful time to volunteer, meet other Rotarians, and have fun. The shifts are 2 hours, Your participation is important as we welcome Rotarians from around several Districts. The training is for president-elects and president-elect nominees. Sign up is easy. Just click the link.  Click to sign up for volunteering  Click for more information about NC PETS
NC PETS Volunteer Sign Up Patricia McCleese 2020-02-23 06:00:00Z 0

You Are Invited to Mardi Gras

Rotary International of Cannon Falls invites you to join us for Mardi Gras!


Beer, Wine & Spirit Tasting
Closing online auction at 8 pm
50/50 Raffle
Mardi Gras Masks and Beads available for purchase


Fat Tuesday, February 25th, 2020
6 - 8 pm tasting with social until 9 pm

Falls Landing at Artisan Plaza, 1223 4th St. S., Cannon Falls

$30 per person admission, covers appetizers & tasting event. Tickets available at Cannon Falls Chamber office, Fall Landing or from any Rotary member.
For more information find us
contact or 507-263-0326

Online Auction Coming Soon!!! 
Online bidding February 16th through the event, February 25th at 8:00 pm. Need not be present at the event for a winning bid on these great items. Register to bid and preview items at
In-person bidding will be available at the event.

Proceeds go to polio eradication, student foreign-exchange program, food backpack program in CF schools and various local charitable projects.
You Are Invited to Mardi Gras Doug Herdahl 2020-02-11 06:00:00Z 0

Gates Foundation to Continue Polio Matching

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Great News! The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation just announced the extension of our fundraising partnership. The Gates Foundation will continue matching donations to Rotary’s PolioPlus program 2-1, up to $50 million every year. View the full announcement with this link.

Vaccinators track a population in motion

Mobile phones and simple text messaging may be the keys to victory in the world’s largest public health initiative: the eradication of polio. 

As the disease retreats from the global stage, thriving in only a few remote areas in three countries, it’s up to health workers to deliver vaccines and share information with speed and accuracy. Health workers in Pakistan are receiving cellphone and e-monitoring training at the Rotary Resource Center in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are strengthening the lines of communication by giving cellphones to health workers in Pakistan and Nigeria, where a single text message could save a life. 

In Pakistan, Rotary has been working to replace traditional paper-based reporting of maternal and child health information, including polio immunization data, with mobile phone and e-monitoring technology. 

Community health workers across the nation have received more than 800 phones through a partnership with Rotary, the Pakistani government; Telenor, the country’s second-largest telecommunications provider; and Eycon, a data monitoring, and evaluation specialist. Organizers plan to distribute a total of 5,000 cellphones by the end of 2018. 

Health workers can use the phones to send data via text message to a central server. If they see a potential polio case, they can immediately alert officials at Pakistan’s National Emergency Operations Center. They also can note any children who didn’t receive the vaccine or parental refusals – and record successful immunizations. In Pakistan, the polio eradication effort aims to reach the nation’s 35 million children under age five.

Gates Foundation to Continue Polio Matching Doug Herdahl 2020-02-11 06:00:00Z 0 #endpolionow,#peopleofaction

Homelessness in Rochester is an Issue

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Well, we pulled 'em off.  Actually, all these socks were all "new".

Rotary sees a need and tries to help. Homelessness in Rochester is an issue. One major request is to provide warm socks. In December or January, we donated Socks for the Homeless.  Thank you Rotarians for dozens of donations for this cause.
Homelessness in Rochester is an Issue Doug Herdahl 2020-02-11 06:00:00Z 0 #district5960,#homelessness,#peopleofaction

An Urgent Topic - Chronic Wasting Disease

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Thank you to our speaker last week Dr. Peter Larsen.  It was a very interesting topic.
Chad asked to share a letter so that you can copy this and send it to your state legislator about Dr. Larsen's presentation and the University of Minnesota. Feel free to make any edits you wish. If you do submit one or more, please bcc Chad Fahning at in that email. If you have any questions, reach out to him directly.  

Chad Fahning | @weberjohnsonpa    651-890-7466 cell

==== Please copy and email or mail this important letter below. You can also share this on social media. ====

Dear Senator/Representative XXXX, 

As I’m sure you know, Chronic Wasting Disease is a severe threat to Southeast Minnesota. For years, hunters and farmers alike have had to deal with the fast spread of the disease. The disease is difficult to identify because a deer may show no signs of being infected and may still be a carrier. Currently, the only way to discover if a deer is infected is to kill the animal, detach its lymph node, send it for testing, wait several weeks, and then receive the result. This disease is spreading in Minnesota, with two new counties reporting animals with CWD in 2020 already. 

The University of Minnesota is working to create a device where someone could test an animal for CWD without killing the animal. This would go far in containing CWD since you need to first identify populations infected. This exciting research was presented to me at a weekly Rotary Club meeting, where Dr. Peter Larsen of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota visited on January 29, 2020. Dr. Larsen’s program, though only a year old, has already tested a prototype where CWD was detected in 9 hours. When compared to other means of testing, this is a major breakthrough in the fight against CWD. This doesn’t necessarily mean a device to detect CWD on the spot will be on the market in a year or two, but it is a significant step in the right direction. 

Many in our community believe the University of Minnesota is a distant entity, segregated in the Twin Cities and no further. This narrative could not be more wrong, and Dr. Larsen’s research and presentation in Rochester exemplifies that. Research done at the U has a large impact on all Minnesotans and research is just one of the many sectors the university is leading the way on. The University of Minnesota is a top-tier institution dedicated to serving Minnesotans. After younger generations are trained there, they often stay in our state and contribute to our state’s skyrocketing economy. The University of Minnesota trains an abundance of high-level professionals in their dozens of highly ranked postgraduate programs.

Finally, the University of Minnesota Extension Office works with cities across the state, including Rochester, to connect subject matter experts with communities. They have worked with local schools, businesses, municipalities, and other organizations to ensure their mission of service to the state is upheld. 
You realize the value the University of Minnesota brings to the state and I hope that you see their bonding request is fully funded in this legislative session. Thank you for your service to the State of Minnesota and consideration of this important issue. 

An Urgent Topic - Chronic Wasting Disease Doug Herdahl 2020-02-04 06:00:00Z 0

Happy Birthday Rotary

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Sunday, February 23rd is Rotary’s 115th Birthday!

Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.

Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision gradually extended to humanitarian service. Members have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities and around the world.

Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves. 


Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

See more here:

Happy Birthday Rotary Doug Herdahl 2020-01-28 06:00:00Z 0

Prospective Rotary Members

Keep Your Eyes Open for Prospective Rotarians
Prospective members can include any of the following:
• A qualified person proposed by one of your club’s members (see Proposing New Members)
• Someone who approached your club (perhaps having found it through Club Finder)
• Someone identified by your club (see Finding New Members: A Prospective Member Exercise)
• A candidate who expressed interest through’s Join page*
• A former Rotarian who is interested in rejoining*
• A current Rotarian who wants to change clubs*
• A qualified person referred by a Rotarian from another club*
*You’ll learn about some prospective members through online membership leads. You can track these leads by updating their status on the Manage Membership Leads page.
However you learn about prospective members, it’s important to take the time to meet with them so you can get to know them and determine whether they are a good fit for your club. Meeting with them also allows you to introduce them to your club so they can decide whether it offers what they are looking for. Because people can become members of a Rotary club only if invited, the process of admitting new members involves thoughtful planning and deliberation, but also timely response and tact. Whether or not prospects become members of your club, their experience of Rotary should be positive. You can offer a positive experience to all prospective members by following the tips in this guide.
Rotary International President-elect Holger Knaack has selected Rotary Opens Opportunities as his theme for 2020-21.
For additional information, go to the website.
Prospective Rotary Members Doug Herdahl 2020-01-28 06:00:00Z 0

Visit Other Rotary Clubs

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One of the great joys of Rotary is that you can visit any of the 34,000 Rotary clubs worldwide. Here is a map of the clubs in our District 5960.
When you travel, take a couple of your Rotary club's trading banners. When you visit another club, ask them to trade banners with you. Virtually every Rotary club in the world will have a few of their banners on hand and will be honored to trade with you.
Visit Other Rotary Clubs Doug Herdahl 2020-01-28 06:00:00Z 0

Chamber Champion

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The three Rotary Clubs of Rochester are members of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. Consider signing up for a Chamber Member event and tell others about Rotary!
You can view future events here. There is no admission charged. 
Chamber Champion Doug Herdahl 2020-01-24 06:00:00Z 0

Polio By The Numbers

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Polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 30 years. Our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever.

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we've reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.

We've helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. So far, Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating the disease worldwide.

It’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.
Polio By The Numbers Doug Herdahl 2020-01-21 06:00:00Z 0

The Rotary Foundation is 100 Plus

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The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.

Since it was founded more than 100 years ago, the Foundation has spent more than $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.

With your help, we can make lives better in your community and around the world.

Our mission

The mission of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

What impact can one donation have?

  • For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected from polio.
  • $50 can provide clean water to help fight waterborne illness.
  • $500 can launch an antibullying campaign and create a safe environment for children.

Foundation history

At the 1917 convention, outgoing Rotary president Arch Klumph proposed setting up an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” That one idea, and an initial contribution of $26.50, set in motion a powerful force that has transformed millions of lives around the globe.

To learn more, contact Ken Boyer at (507) 282-3776.

The Rotary Foundation is 100 Plus Doug Herdahl 2020-01-21 06:00:00Z 0

German Cultural Exchange April 29-May 8

Great News! German Cultural Exchange team will be visiting Rochester May 2 - May 5.
They treated us royally last year and we hope to make their trip as memorable. Your help is needed. They will be here for 3 nights and 2 days. 
The German team consists of five couples and one single person. CONTACT Patricia if willing to help or offer suggestions for activities. 507-202-4618
1, Need host families. What does that entail?
  • Provide housing for 1, 2 or 3 nights. 
  • How many can you take -  1, 2 or 3 people? 
  • Provide breakfast, dinner or transportation to dinner. See the tentative schedule for details. The number of meals depends on how many dates you are hosting.
2. Drivers on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We need two vans. If anyone has contacts so we rent them cheaply or get them for free, let me know. 
3. I need suggestions for activities. The following schedule is a work in progress. 
German Cultural Exchange April 29-May 8 Patricia McCleese 2020-01-19 06:00:00Z 0 #germanculturalexchange,#greaterrochesterrotary

Believe In Me Bike Ride - June 13 2020

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Planning is underway for our 2020 Believe In Me Bike Ride on June 13th.
Much of this event will duplicate the success we achieved last year but we'll continue to tweak it to bring in additional riders. Please save this date and volunteer when we get to that stage.
We're looking for help with marketing and our website. If you have interest in helping, please contact Stan Shreve to lend a hand. You can reach Stan at
Believe In Me Bike Ride - June 13 2020 Doug Herdahl 2020-01-14 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary May 2020 European Tours

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May 2020 Eastern European Rotary Tours 
Sponsored by the Prior Lake Rotary Club
The Prior Lake Rotary Club invites you to join us on a fun trip
of a lifetime through 8 countries in Eastern and Central Europe.
The 2019 tours went so well, we decided to do it again!
Two options:
Tallinn, Estonia to Budapest, Hungary
12 days, 11 nights, May 9 – 19
(with an optional additional day in Helsinki)
Budapest to Tallinn
13 days, 12 nights, May 19 - 31
Icelandic Air is having a sale on their flights to Europe until December 31, so time is of the essence. The savings are great, as the normal cost from MSP to Helsinki is $990 but about $317 while the sale lasts. This makes an inexpensive (but luxurious) tour even more affordable.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial
Bratislava, Slovakia
Rotary May 2020 European Tours Doug Herdahl 2019-12-24 06:00:00Z 0

Dictionary Project Completed for 2019

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GRR Rotarians Created 1,200 SMILES in 2 Weeks.   
And the 3rd grader recipients are so thankful to YOU.
Patricia McCleese asked the teachers if they felt this project was useful to them and the students. All of the teachers said how important it was for students to have the own dictionaries. One teacher said that students can Google a word or ask Siri for help but learning how to use the dictionary teaches more critical skills students will need.
This is a video from the (dictionary distribution) event at Rochester Public Schools produced by Heather Nessler, Executive Director Communications, Marketing, & Technology, Rochester Public Schools It was shared on the RPS Facebook page. Please take a look by clicking on this link.
Dictionary Project Completed for 2019 Doug Herdahl 2019-12-17 06:00:00Z 0

Classic Volunteers Are Still Needed

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The Rotary Holiday Classic, our annual 3-club Rotary fundraiser, is just 10 days away. This is the annual 3-club fundraiser for Rochester Rotary Risers, Greater Rochester Rotary and The Rotary Club of Rochester. Thirty-two Minnesota varsity basketball teams are hosted and play two games over two days at Mayo Civic Center. All proceeds from the event are distributed as grants to local nonprofits working with youth for education.

30% of the net proceeds from this year's Classic will be distributed to the three Rotary clubs of Rochester for Rotary youth and education programs, and each club will have the opportunity to receive an equal share of those proceeds based on their (proportionate) volunteerism at the event. If a clubs staffs all required shifts to meet its volunteer requirement, 100% of their share will be paid out. 

A few positions still need to be filled.  Please check your calendar and sign up here to serve your shift(s).  
Classic Volunteers Are Still Needed Doug Herdahl 2019-12-17 06:00:00Z 0

Human Trafficking Awareness Event

Posted on Dec 11, 2019
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Human Trafficking Awareness Event
Survivors and Systems: A Collaborative Perspective

All are invited to hear compelling stories from those who have been trafficked. Join us to hear what is happening in Southeastern Minnesota, and continue to learn what our community and providers can do to be survivor informed.

Featuring Trafficking Survivors: Bukola Oriola and Eleana Lukes

When: January 11, 2020     Time: 8:30 am to 12:00 pm     Where:  Assisi Heights Auditorium - 1001 14th St NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Registration begins at 8:30am and Program begins at 8:45am

No charge to attend.  Pre-registration required to confirm seating.

Sponsored by: IMAA, Office of Olmsted County Attorney, Safe Harbor, Sisters of Saint Francis and Victim Services: Dodge, Fillmore and Olmsted Counties

Human Trafficking Awareness Event Doug Herdahl 2019-12-11 06:00:00Z 0
Conference of Clubs 2020 Apr 30 - May 1 Doug Herdahl 2019-12-10 06:00:00Z 0

District 5960 Mid-Term

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Dec 10, 2019
District 5960 Rotarians and Rotaractors, the District 5960 Mid-Term is Saturday, January 11, 2020, at the Anderson Center on the campus of Hamline University. It's an exciting time to connect with other District Rotarians and Rotaractors to look back and look ahead as we start a new decade of "Connecting the World," inspiring others, and making a positive difference in our communities and the world! 
We have a great lineup for this FREE event with a variety of topics and speakers, time to learn, time to interact, and capped off with some post-holiday socializing! We will offer light breakfast items and a full lunch buffet. Bring a fellow Rotarian or Rotaractor, or two, with you. Sign up before the clock strikes midnight on 12/31/19 for a chance to win some great prizes!
District 5960 Mid-Term Doug Herdahl 2019-12-10 06:00:00Z 0

Visioning at GRR - Session Two

Posted by Patricia McCleese on Nov 27, 2019
Why Is A Vision Needed? 
A club with a VISION "sees" the reality of today with the possibilities of tomorrow.  VISION keeps forward motion on critical issues. 
Our last visioning was done 5 years ago. That is when we came up with the wonderful Believe in Me Bike Ride as our major fundraiser.
It is now time to review what we do and make decisions. Can't wait to see the "possibilities of tomorrow" we see in our future. 
Visioning Part Two - January 15th! We will look into our "Rotary Crystal Ball" to see what accomplishments we will have achieved by 2023.  Thank you in advance for your participation.  
A few reminders / requests: 
1) This is a working lunch with tight time constraints.  
If you can, arrive and get your lunch early. We need an hour to complete the activities. Your input is important. If you need to leave early, fine. Your input is important. 
2) Bring the Visioning Writing Activity or your ideas.   The goal is to think big about what we can accomplish between the 2020-2021 Rotary year through the 2022-2023 year.  
3) We will brainstorm ideas and complete the voting on several topics such as
• Foundation Success     
• Club Service   
• Public Image
Do I have to do all of the writing activity?
Complete as much as you can.  Perhaps hearing what others are saying at the meeting will generate more ideas. 
What if I am a newer member?
This is an important time to add your ideas and thoughts. 
What about lunch?
- Buffet lunch is still available.
- We ask that you come early enough so we can start by 12:05 pm. 
We have a wonderful club because of what you and the other members are doing. This is an exciting time for us. Thank you for your participation.
Sincerely - Visioning Team
Doug, Brent, Patricia 
Visioning at GRR - Session Two Patricia McCleese 2019-11-27 06:00:00Z 0

Holiday Classic - VOLUNTEER Sign up 

Posted by Patricia McCleese
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There is a service opportunity for everyone during this three-club major fundraiser. All Rochester Rotarians are asked to volunteer at this event. Friends of Rotary are also welcome to serve as volunteers. 
IMPORTANT: Sign up IS NOW OPEN WITH THIS LINK. Last year, enough money was raised to funds grants helping 29 local non-profits. This fundraiser allows us to make a bigger impact on the quality of life for our local neighbors. YOUR participation is critical. Tickets are $40; volunteering is priceless. 
Enjoy the games as an attendee on December 27 - 28, 2019 at the Civic Center. 
Thank you for your willingness to serve!
Holiday Classic - VOLUNTEER Sign up Patricia McCleese 2019-11-20 06:00:00Z 0

Socks for the Homeless

Posted by Patricia McCleese on Nov 19, 2019
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Start looking for sales on warm socks for children and/or adults who find themselves homeless.
This is the third year for Socks For The Homeless. Each year we give more socks. Last year, we donated 200 pairs of socks to the Family Promise.
Let's see if we can break that number this year. January 15th is the last day to bring them in. 
A Point-in-Time Count is done each year. Last January, 452 people were counted outside. 166 of them were children under 18. Providing socks to the homeless is important. 
Socks for the Homeless Patricia McCleese 2019-11-19 06:00:00Z 0
Ethics Day Success Patricia McCleese 2019-11-17 06:00:00Z 0

Community Food Response - December 4, 2019

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Nov 11, 2019
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Please join fellow Rotarians for the December 4th Community Food Response monthly project.  Our club does not meet on the first Wednesday of each month because of this service to our community. 
People in our community are in need of food. You can help. 

Drivers —  use their own vehicles to collect food from a list of pre-determined donors.  Drivers pick up coolers loaded with ice packs at CFR, drive to each donor listed on their route, pack the donated food into the coolers, and return the full coolers to CFR.

Food Sorters — unload the food from coolers, sort it and place it in the walk-in refrigerator. Food sorters also help pull food from the freezers and help maintain the cleanliness of the freezers, refrigerator and coolers.

Food Distributors — help assemble and distribute bags of food to clients who visit CFR during open hours. As coolers loaded with food are emptied, food distributors also help wash coolers and put leftover food into the freezers or walk-in refrigerator.

There are a few positions that still need to be filled for December 4th.

Click “Tickets” to register.  There is a Community Food Response staff person there to provide assistance. CFR is a worthwhile way to spend 90 minutes!
Community Food Response - December 4, 2019 Doug Herdahl 2019-11-11 06:00:00Z 0

2019 Dictionary Project

Posted on Nov 11, 2019
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The new dictionaries have arrived, they're labeled and are being shipped to the elementary schools.  NEXT, we need Rotarians to sign up to hand these out.  You decide the school you want to serve, the date and time on December 9th and 10th.  Denise Kelly is putting the schedule together via email. 
In this 10th year of the project, we will be distributing a beautiful, hardcover Scholastic Dictionary to over 1,000 3rd-graders in Rochester! For those of you who are new to Greater Rochester Rotary, and to those of you who are veterans, here is a summary of the project and how we do it.
Literacy has long been a focus of Rotary. We know that reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success; that some states use 3rd and 4th-grade literacy statistics to determine future prison bed needs; and that the number of books in a home is also a predictor of the literacy of its occupants.
Rochester is no stranger to literacy issues, and in 2008, we began this project to improve our community. In December, two of us visit each 3rd-grade classroom to describe Rotary, to deliver the dictionaries and to lead an exercise to familiarize the students with their book. The students take the dictionaries home to use as a resource. They learn that there are adults (other than their teachers and parents) who care about their success. In this stage of development, third graders value ownership and are just learning dictionary skills.
Thank you for the many volunteers AND contributors that allow this great project to happen each year.     
2019 Dictionary Project Denise Kelly 2019-11-11 06:00:00Z 0

2019 Ethics Workshop Nov 13th

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Nov 11, 2019
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We want to provide an update on the upcoming Rotary Ethics Workshop, which is a three-club initiative, to be held on November 13.

In February 2017, we held the first ethics workshop and determined with such positive feedback that we would hold another workshop in 2018. We
gathered information on what we could improve from our 2017 and 2018 students and table leaders, so we have an improved curriculum in 2019.
We will have a keynote speaker from the University of St. Thomas asking the question, Are we really as good as we think we are? We will also share
case studies and a panel presentation with local panelists discussing ethical dilemmas at work, as well as some worktime for the students to
discuss the most pressing ethical issues facing high school students today.

Five Rochester high schools will be sending 35 students to our Ethics Workshop. We are excited to work with these students and share more
about the Four-Way Test and how it can be used as a tool and premise for life-long skills in decision making for ethical issues.

Those of us involved in the Ethics Workshop believe this is a very good way to introduce Rotary to our young people in a relevant way that can
impact their lives in a lasting way.

We do have the opportunity for you to support the workshop through a financial gift. Please consider a donation payable to the Rotary Club of
Rochester Foundation to benefit the Ethics Workshop. We hope you will consider supporting our youth with a financial gift.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to either one of us or to Elizabeth.
Lorie Luedke
Co-Chair, Rotary Ethics Workshop
Past President, TRCR
Stacey Vanden Heuvel
Co-Chair, Rotary Ethics Workshop
Past President, TRCR
2019 Ethics Workshop Nov 13th Doug Herdahl 2019-11-11 06:00:00Z 0

November is Rotary Foundation Month

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Oct 29, 2019
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November is Rotary Foundation Month – Here’s why!
Each year, Rotary International highlights November as Rotary Foundation Month to emphasize the importance of and need for Rotarian support of The Rotary Foundation.
Contributions from Rotarians around the world go to the Foundation's Annual Programs Fund, which provides grants and awards through Foundation programs; and the Permanent Fund, an endowment from which only the earnings are spent in support of Foundation programs, ensuring the long term viability of the Foundation.
Every dollar contributed by Rotarians funds humanitarian and educational programs and program operations. Clubs and districts apply for and receive Foundation grants to carry out worthy projects worldwide, like the Heartline Maternity Center in Haiti.
If Rotary is to be there to teach children to read, build wells, feed the hungry, care for the sick, shelter the poor; then Every Rotarian is invited and encouraged to support the Annual Fund with a personal contribution, Every Year.
How can I make a gift in support of the Rotary Foundation? Visit the Rotary International website ( to make your gift: one time, regular/sustaining (recurring gift at the timing of your choice), to the program area of your choice – all of the information is there for you to choose what would be most meaningful to you.
You may also use the pledge form available at all Rotary meetings or by contacting Ken Boyer, our club’s foundation chair. Use this pledge form to provide a one-time gift in support of Rotary, or to sign up to have your name added to the list of club members who make regular contributions to Rotary Foundation via our quarterly Rotary billing statements. It’s very simple – just talk to Ken for details!
Please return completed forms and any checks to either Ken Boyer or Mike Adkins, club treasurer. Or – you can visit and click on The Rotary Foundation for additional information on ways to give, as well as to learn more about how our gifts make a difference around the world. Let’s meet the yearly challenge to get 100% WSP/MH participation in the annual fund this year, and set the standard for every year to follow!
Examples of how your investment in the Rotary Foundation makes a difference:  
  • $100 per year helps Rotary provide three backpacks filled with supplies for primary school children in Honduras; fifty malaria diagnostic tests to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria in Mali; and one biosand filter and water-hygiene training for a family in Peru.  
  • $1,000 per year helps Rotary provide 14 HIV antiretroviral drugs to prevent the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their babies in Liberia; one bicycle to play sports for youth with disabilities in France; and sexual assault and domestic abuse education for young women in Texas.
Visit for great information about why your support will make a difference!
November is Rotary Foundation Month Doug Herdahl 2019-10-29 05:00:00Z 0

Dec 27 and 28 2019 Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Oct 22, 2019
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Please mark your calendar and prepare to volunteer for the 3-club Rotary US Bank Holiday Classic basketball tournament, which fills three halls at Mayo Civic Center Thursday and Friday, December 27 and 28, 2019. Sixteen boys teams and 16 girls teams will compete. One of our best-kept secrets: You can’t beat a basketball game and a box of popcorn in the 1930s-era auditorium at the civic center.
The Rotary Holiday Classic is just around the corner and we need your help! We will send out an email when the signup link is available.

We are looking for volunteers to work one or more shifts from Friday, December 27th to Saturday, December 28th at Mayo Civic Center. The shifts are between 10:00 am and 10:00 pm and are listed on the attached schedule.

With the final changes to the Mayo Civic Center, we have changed our ticket selling location to the Grand Lobby at the bottom of the stairs from the skyway access.  We will have ONE ticket station this year with signs at the North Lobby directing people to the new ticket location.

If you have any questions about volunteering to sell tickets, please let us know. Thank you for your consideration in helping us with this great fundraising event!

Thank you,

Elaine Case and Janice Domke – Holiday Classic Committee Members
For the balance of the positions and shifts, a signup link will be sent out when it's available and we need each of you to volunteer for (at least) one shift.  The admission is free as a worker, PLUS, it's a very worthwhile endeavor.  This year the proceeds will be divided up to the 3 clubs based on how many hours the volunteers work per club.  
Over the last 30 years, this event has raised nearly 1 million dollars for local charities.  It is the biggest 3-Club FUNraiser.
Be a sponsor! Support local youth, reach customers, and be associated with the biggest high school holiday basketball event in the area! 
Be a volunteer! Have fun while creating a friendly event for the public to enjoy.
Participate as a team! Click the website for details.
Enjoy the games as an attendee on December 27 - 28, 2019 at the Civic Center. 
Dec 27 and 28 2019 Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament Doug Herdahl 2019-10-22 05:00:00Z 0

Support the 2019 Rotary Holiday Classic

Posted on Oct 22, 2019
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It's not too late to participate as an advertiser for or sponsor of the 2019 Rotary Holiday Classic basketball showcase! 
The 32nd Rotary Holiday Classic will take place on December 27 & 28 at Mayo Civic Center, and the Rotary clubs of Rochester will once again host 32 boys and girls varsity basketball teams along with their families and fans for games played over the two days. All net proceeds from the event are distributed as Rotary Community Grants to local nonprofit, youth and education-related programs. More than $981,000 has been given over the last 31 years, and Rotarians are looking forward to raising enough money at this year's event to reach that remarkable $1 million!
Program advertisements range in price from $125 for a quarter page to $275 for a full-page, and sponsorships range in price from $500 for a bronze sponsorship to $5000 for a platinum sponsorship. Sponsorship benefits include your name on a banner in all game venues; your name and an advertisement in our professionally printed program distributed to attendees; your logo printed on mini basketballs and thrown out to attendees during game halftimes; your name listed on our website, in social media posts, and during games; and complimentary passes to the event. 
Please contact the Rotary office at if you would like to be a 2019 advertiser or sponsor. You can find event details on the Rotary Holiday Classic website
Support the 2019 Rotary Holiday Classic 2019-10-22 05:00:00Z 0
Rotary Readers Sign up until 10/11 Patricia McCleese 2019-10-03 05:00:00Z 0

Pizza for Polio on World Polio Day October 24, 2019

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Oct 02, 2019
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Help support efforts to raise funds to eradicate polio. Dine-in, take out or order delivery at one of the following participating restaurants or order takeout or delivery on October 24, 2019. 
How can you triple your impact? Thanks to a 2-to-1 match from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, every donation made to Rotary to end polio will be tripled.
Since BB's Pizzaria has a large seating area, several Rotarians will be meeting up and ordering pizza around 7:30 pm. Come and join us.  The Vikings play the Washington Redskins at 7:20 pm.  

- 5 Dollar Pizza offers delivery and take-out.  Location: 1105 7th St NW, Rochester, MN  Call: 507-258-5528

- BB’s Pizzaria offers delivery, take-out, and indoor seating.  They are located at 3456 West Circle Drive, Rochester, MN.  Call: 507-424-3366

- Toppers Pizza between 4 pm to 9 pm.  Both locations offer delivery, take-out, and indoor seating.
  •      The SE location is located at 1217 Marion Rd SE, Rochester, MN  Call: 507-258-4444
  •      The SW location is located at 187 16th Ave SW, Rochester, MN  Call: 507-281-4545

These establishments have already made a large contribution so be sure to mention the Pizza for Polio fundraiser at the time of your order. IN ADDITION, Toppers Pizza will donate 20% of your sale if you tell them that you are ordering through the Pizza for Polio fundraiser!
Here is a link to a great video about the Polio Surveillance Program.  Learn more about Rotary's efforts to eradicate polio at End Polio Now and Rotary International.
Pizza for Polio on World Polio Day October 24, 2019 Doug Herdahl 2019-10-02 05:00:00Z 0

A Refresher on the Policy Regarding Harassment and Discrimination

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Oct 01, 2019
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From the Rotary District 5960 website page.
Policy Regarding Harassment and Discrimination
Adopted by the Board of Directors June 18, 2018. (Revision of the December 2011 policy, as revised February 28, 2018).)
Guiding Principles
At the core of our Rotary community is a spirit of mutual respect grounded in the Rotary Code of Conduct and the Four-Way Test.
Of the things we think, say, or do
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
We seek to respect the integrity and worth of every individual and his or her individual viewpoints. Disrespect, including harassment and discrimination, adversely affects relationships and results in a loss of well-being, and a negative image for both the individuals involved and Rotary. It can also cause loss of membership. The purpose of this policy is to encourage mutually respectful behavior.
To see the balance of the policy, please follow this link.
A Refresher on the Policy Regarding Harassment and Discrimination Doug Herdahl 2019-10-01 05:00:00Z 0

Human Trafficking - Together We Can End It

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Sep 25, 2019
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Sex traffickers use threats, manipulation, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. Under U.S. law, any minor under the age of 18 years induced into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking — regardless of whether or not the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion.
The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary dramatically. Many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces or manipulates them into prostitution. Others are lured in with false promises of a job, such as modeling or dancing. Some are forced to sell sex by their parents or other family members. They may be involved in a trafficking situation for a few days or weeks, or may remain in the same trafficking situation for years.
Victims of sex trafficking can be U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, women, men, children, and LGBTQ individuals. Vulnerable populations are frequently targeted by traffickers, including runaway and homeless youth, as well as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war, or social discrimination.
Sex trafficking occurs in a range of venues including fake massage businesses, via online ads or escort services, in residential brothels, on the street or at truck stops, or at hotels and motels.
Find out more on the Rotary End Human Trafficking website here.     A Rotary Club engagement toolkit is available for Rotary clubs worldwide to help eliminate human trafficking.
Human Trafficking - Together We Can End It Doug Herdahl 2019-09-25 05:00:00Z 0

Rochester Schools Grew by 1,000 in five years.

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Sep 24, 2019
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The Rochester Schools have run out of space and options.

On November 5, 2019, Rochester residents will be able to vote on whether to increase Rochester Public Schools’ funding through a bond. During our club meeting on Wed, Sept 25th, we had a presentation about this topic. 

Vote early by an absentee ballot beginning September 20th or on Election Day, November 5th at your polling place. Learn more here.

Here are some links to the recent school board meeting and documents about the referendum and the tax impact.

1. The referendum web page.

2. The entire BoardDoc and all nine attachments.

3. The presentation only.

4. The replay of the school board meeting.


In just five years, enrollment in the District has increased by more than 1,000 students. Community Growth and Housing Study, conducted by Cooperative Strategies, reports the District will experience significant housing development over the next five years, including an additional 4,000 to 6,000 multi-and single-family units. As a result, enrollment is projected to increase by over 1,200 students. The District is currently operating near capacity. 

Capacity Table of schools for RPS District.

Based on enrollment projections, the District will be operating over capacity at the elementary and middle school levels within two years. This will require additional classroom space.

The safety of our students and staff is a top priority. Some schools’ main entrances need to be redesigned to better monitor and control visitor access. Many schools’ door locking systems also need to be updated to remotely monitor all entrances, and emergency alarm systems need to be replaced to meet Americans with Disabilities (ADA) code requirements. 

Finally, there are a number of support areas that need to be updated in our middle and high schools. The sound and lighting systems in the high schools’ auditoriums are in need of replacement. As well as some of the District’s pools have outlived their service life and others are in need of updates. 

Rochester Schools Grew by 1,000 in five years. Doug Herdahl 2019-09-24 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary One Summit

The focus of the Rotary One Summit is on the pillars of Rotary: Public Image, Membership, and Foundation. The “pillars” become real through our stories of how we are taking action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. It is inspiring to hear what others are doing. Go Rotary! The next Summit is on October 26. Consider car pooling with President Doug . 
Rotary One Summit Patricia A McCleese 2019-09-22 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary Readers 

Posted by Patricia McCleese on Sep 20, 2019
Rotary Readers is a fun volunteer activity. You meet with the same children and listen to them read. You can sign up for a reading session once or twice a month or once every week. The time slots are 30-60 minutes. Jody Peterson, Family Liaison at Riverside, will be sending a schedule once the children have been assessed. Sign up between Oct 1-October 11. The sessions will start  the last week of October. How does listening to the children read help them? The children being served usually don't feel good about their reading. They need additional practice in a supportive ,fun, and positive way. 
     Here are a few quotes from the students: "I got to read my favorite book to him and he liked it, too." "My reader had a pretty smile like my mom." 
Rotary Readers Patricia McCleese 2019-09-20 05:00:00Z 0

Social at Sargents

Posted by Patricia McCleese on Sep 11, 2019
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Greater Rochester Rotary Membership Social
The Greater Rochester Rotary Club encourages you to visit us at Sargent’s on 2nd for a fabulous afternoon learning about Rotary International from our superb
members. You will be able to hear about the multitude of impactful differences our club is making for our local community and worldwide through our own efforts
and alongside other local Rotary Clubs and organizations. In addition, we will share what Rotary means to each of us and what it could mean to you!

We will be offering light refreshments and hosting a raffle during the event as well!  Register here with this link.
Social at Sargents Patricia McCleese 2019-09-11 05:00:00Z 0

STRIVE (Students Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of Education) Update

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Sep 10, 2019
STRIVE for the 2019 - 2020 school year has launched and all mentor positions have been filled. A big thank you to all mentors.  
What is STRIVE?
STRIVE is a program where Rotary Clubs work with a high school for the purpose of motivating students to improve their school performance during their senior year. The major aspect of the program is that it is Student Driven and only facilitated by Rotarians. This program is FUN, INTERACTIVE, and can involve every Rotarian in your club.
STRIVE stands for, "Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education."
STRIVE was created right here in District 5960 by Rotarian Don Mooney for the White Bear Rotary Club.
Watch our club website for more information throughout the school year.
STRIVE (Students Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of Education) Update Doug Herdahl 2019-09-10 05:00:00Z 0

Human Trafficking Prevention Workshop

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Sep 03, 2019
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The Rotary Club of Edina will host a Human Trafficking Workshop, Thursday, September 19, Sep 19, 2019 from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM, at the Edina Country Club. This workshop has been developed by the Edina Rotary Human Trafficking Prevention Committee which is led by Club Champions: Renee Harberts and Bonnie Rolstad.
There will be a panel discussion with three experts who have dedicated their lives to stopping and addressing the effects of human trafficking.  The speakers will discuss the issues surrounding international human traffickers, as well as what is going on within the Twin Cities community.  The goal is for all of our attendees to walk away with a better understanding of what human trafficking looks like, know what steps are being taken in our community to address the problem, and what we can do individually in our community, schools, and families to stop it.
Rotary members from other Clubs will sign up through their home club. They will not pay at the door, their club will be invoiced for their lunch. Registration for the workshop closes September 14, 2019. All registrations are final.  To make your RSVP for this event, please send an email to with the number attending.  Your lunch meal can be paid through our ClubRunner program.
Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. and we recommend that guests sign in early as all Clubs in the District and key Human Trafficking Prevention agencies have been invited. Lunch will be served at 12:00 p.m. sharp. 
Questions? Contact organizer Renee Harberts or 612-804-5687.
Human Trafficking Prevention Workshop Doug Herdahl 2019-09-03 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary Co-sponsors CRADLE2CAREER Event

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Sep 02, 2019
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Enhancing Workforce Through Early Childhood Investments

Date/Time: Tue, Oct 15, 2019, at 8:30 AM
The Rotary Clubs of Rochester, along with other business and civic organizations, are co-sponsoring a Cradle2Career event on October 15 featuring Art Rolnick, former Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
Cradle to Career
Rolnick has done number studies on the economic benefits of early childhood education, which fits right in with Cradle2Career's focus. Cradle2Career is a community initiative born several years ago from a Rotary Clubs of Rochester effort to investigate how best to improve literacy in Rochester. Through a Rotary grant and participation from the clubs the efforts have lead to a clear mission and goals and, best of all, community ownership from the business, government, education and non-profit sectors. 
Learn more about Cradle2Career at their website:
The event will be held October 15, 2019, at the downtown Hilton and registration is at this link:
To register to help at this event, this link is for all three clubs
Rotary Co-sponsors CRADLE2CAREER Event Doug Herdahl 2019-09-02 05:00:00Z 0
The 3-Club Rotary Meeting and Meet and Greet Doug Herdahl 2019-08-27 05:00:00Z 0

GRR Membership Social at Sargent's on 2nd

Posted by Patricia McCleese on Aug 12, 2019
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Greater Rochester Rotary Membership Social
The Greater Rochester Rotary Club encourages you to visit us at Sargent’s on 2nd for a fabulous afternoon on September 11th learning about Rotary International from our superb members. You will be able to hear about the multitude of impactful differences our club is making for our local community and worldwide through our own efforts
and alongside other local Rotary Clubs and organizations. In addition, we will share what Rotary means to each of us and what it could mean to you!
There will be a tour, light refreshments, music, a raffle and the enjoyment of having fun together. It is a membership drive AND a fun time for members. Of course, we want more members so invite anyone you think would be a good Rotarian. However, a major part of being a Rotarian is to have fun. So, just be there. 
Social at Sargents on 2nd
1811 2nd St. SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55902
5pm - 6:30pm  
Light Refreshments
Tour     Music     Raffle     FUN
We will be offering light refreshments and hosting a raffle during the event as well!  Register here with this link.
GRR Membership Social at Sargent's on 2nd Patricia McCleese 2019-08-12 05:00:00Z 0

District Governor Paul Perez Meet and Greet

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Aug 12, 2019
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You're invited to meet with District Governor Paul Perez, fellow Rotarians, guests, and a few of the Rotary District Representatives August 22nd from 5 to 7 pm at Herring Gardens.
District Governor Paul Perez Meet and Greet Doug Herdahl 2019-08-12 05:00:00Z 0

Hundreds of Rotarians Are Needed

Posted by Doug Herdahl on Aug 11, 2019

We need you and yours (families encouraged) to build a blitz with hundreds of our upper Midwest Rotary Family. And what better way to throw a party than at the "Great Minnesota Get-Together!" We are not the only ones that recognize how spectacular this annual must-go event is. Newsweek recently honored it as the sole North American entry [“Americana at it’s best”], in late summer worldwide festivals.

If it’s been a while since your last fair visit, now’s the time to get reacquainted with this Minnesota staple, and no better way than with a couple hundred Rotarian friends and family!  We need your help for a 2-hour shift to "do good".
Hundreds of Rotarians Are Needed Doug Herdahl 2019-08-11 05:00:00Z 0
Climate Action Thoughts Patricia McCleese 2019-08-11 05:00:00Z 0 CircularEconomy,ResponsibleLiving,SmartPurchasing
New members bring fresh perspectives Doug Herdahl 2019-07-16 05:00:00Z 0

2018-2019 Awards

2018-2019 was another great year for Greater Rochester Rotary.
We were involved in many worthwhile activities and had fun doing good in  local and global communities.
Join us at the Marriott Courtyard / Saints, across from St Mary's. We meet for lunch on Wednesdays.
Free parking behind hotel, 2nd level. Exception - the first Wednesday is a service day ; no meeting.  
2018-2019 Awards 2019-06-27 05:00:00Z 0

German Cultural Exchange Trip

The German Cultural Exchange trip was fantastic. The German Rotarians treated us royally.Staying with hosts families in the five areas was one of the best parts. The exchange of information about life in our countries was most interesting. If you ever have a chance to participate in a cultural exchange,  do not hesitate. It has enriched my life and will yours, too. 
German Cultural Exchange Trip Patricia McCleese 2019-06-03 05:00:00Z 0

Better Angels Workshop

    One of Rotary's areas of focus is  "Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution". Therefore, we are excited to be one of the hosts of a new Better Angels Workshop   "Depolarizing America: Starting with Yourself and the People on Your Own Side" . Rotary is a neutral, non-political organization and does not endorse parties or candidates. We believe life – and our clubs- are richer with diversity of thought, culture, and yes… political leanings. We respect the goals of Better Angels as an agent to help citizens practice listening, empathy, and appreciation for those with whom we disagree. We hope you will attend this workshop so we can learn together how to create peace and conflict prevention / resolution. 
Presenter: Bill Doherty, PhD is a University of Minnesota Professor of Family Social Science and marriage and family therapist.
Where: Rochester Public Library
When: Sun, April 28, 2019 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CDT      Registration is requested   Free Meeting   http://
Better Angels Workshop Patricia McCleese 2019-04-08 05:00:00Z 0
Conference of Clubs Patricia McCleese 2019-03-05 06:00:00Z 0

New Location

Join us at our new location! Marriott Courtyard / Saints Across from St Mary's
Fun, friendly, informative plus a great lunch!
New Location Patricia McCleese 2019-01-10 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary International Citation 

Past District Governor Kyle Haugen presented the Rotary Citation to GRR for the club’s work in doing good in the world. Only 13 of the 69 clubs in our District received the Rotary International Award. Our club members are hard-working Rotarians who make the world a better place! Past-President Judi Wilson received the award for the club. Congrats GRR! Thank you , Judi Wilson, for your leadership.
Rotary International Citation 2018-12-17 06:00:00Z 0

Socks for the Homeless

Though homelessness is not always clearly visible in Rochester, it certainly exists. People double up in houses, sleep in cars, on the heat vents in alleys, in alcoves in buildings or underneath bridges. We can't provide all the resources the homeless need BUT WE CAN PROVIDE WARM SOCKS. All sizes needed. Bring a bag of socks to one of the meetings or contact Patricia and she will pick them up. 
Socks for the Homeless Patricia McCleese 2018-12-01 06:00:00Z 0

Global Giving Tuesday

Global Day of Giving Tuesday happens once a year, but your gift of Rotary will make a difference for a lifetime. This Giving Tuesday, consider making a special gift to The Rotary Foundation and together we can continue Doing Good in the World.
Global Giving Tuesday Patricia McCleese 2018-11-26 06:00:00Z 0

2019 Cultural Exchange - Germany

Great News! District 5960 has arranged a Group Cultural Exchange May 21 - 31, 2019 with District 1860 in Germany.    We expect the German team here in 2019-20 Rotary Year .  The applications were reviewed by a District Team and 10 Rotarians were selected to be on the GCE team. The Rotarians from Rochester are Zoey Jantsan from the TRCR and Patricia McCleese from GRR. 
2019 Cultural Exchange - Germany 2018-11-20 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Buzz - 3-Club Open House

Posted on Nov 15, 2018
Thank you for inviting  your friends and associates to the open house .  We introduced five people to Rochester’s three Rotary Clubs.  A personal ask is important. Keep up the buzz.  We want everyone to know that Rotary offers service opportunities for those interested in making a difference. Through meetings, social events, and volunteer projects, our members learn about the issues facing our community and communities all over the world.  We partner with local, national, and global experts to exchange ideas about potential solutions and take action.  Along with these opportunities to serve, members network at weekly meetings, creating lifelong friendships and business connections.
Rotary Buzz - 3-Club Open House Patricia McCleese 2018-11-15 06:00:00Z 0

Cradle to Career - Community Report

Cradle to Career Community Report Summit reviewed why this collaborative initiative is so important, the progress made so far, and the next steps to be taken.  Julie Brock, Executive Director, used the experiences of a student to guide us through the data. It made the information very meaningful.  This initiative started because the 3 Rochester Rotary Clubs formed a team to explore how Rotarians' service could make an even bigger impact in the community. The hope of doing good has grown into a community focus. 
Cradle to Career - Community Report Patricia McCleese 2018-10-16 05:00:00Z 0

Better Angels Workshop  - October 18

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory…will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
– Abraham Lincoln, 1861
I enjoyed the Better Angels Skills Workshop.  It did cover the following objectives. 
  • Learn skills to have respectful conversations with people who disagree with you.
  • Clarify differences
  • Search for common ground
  • Deal with the stress among family members and friends whose view differ from yours
My main take away is that conversations with members of our families , circle of friends and / or associates must be approached with a  mind set of understanding. The goal is not to change or persuade others to your side. The purpose is to listen and to try to understand. You may discover areas of common interest; you may come to appreciate the person's point of view; you may find common ground or you may agree to disagree. This type of work is essential if we are going to move forward. 
Better Angels Workshop - October 18 Patricia McCleese 2018-09-14 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary One Summit 

Why Rotary? This session focused on personalizing what it means to be a Rotarian. It is not just what we do or how we do it. The spotlight was on why we do what we do. When someone asks me , "Why Rotary?", my answer will no longer be - 1.2 million members join together to do good in the world. We are eradicating polio etc. Now I will say, "Why Rotary?". Rotary enriches my life with purpose, friends, fun, and the ability to do good around the world. What is your answer to "Why Rotary?"
Ed Marek, DG 2020-21,  lead us in conversation at this year’s District 5960 One Rotary Summit. Great meeting! 
Rotary One Summit Patricia McCleese 2018-09-13 05:00:00Z 0

Music and BBQ Fun

Super fun time at Fred and Carol's place on August 16th. Music, friends, good food - the rain stopped just in time. 
BBQ provided by Chef Mike, Chef Chris, Saucy Chef Scott, and Weber Chef Steve. 
Music by D'Sievers duo!
Music and BBQ Fun Patricia McCleese 2018-08-16 05:00:00Z 0

World Polio Day

YOU ARE INVITED to our annual World Polio Day event to raise awareness and support to end polio - a vaccine preventable disease that still threatens children.  It's a great opportunity to learn more about Rotary's work!  Details to come for this Fall, 2018 event.
World Polio Day 2017-10-19 05:00:00Z 0
Believe in Me Bike Ride - Volunteer Sign Up Stephanie Fisher 2017-05-12 05:00:00Z 0
Believe in Me Bike Ride - Member Sponsorship Stephanie Fisher 2017-05-12 05:00:00Z 0
Believe in Me Bike Ride Stephanie Fisher 2017-03-20 05:00:00Z 0
Rotary US Bank Holiday Classic SLF 2017-03-20 05:00:00Z 0

Join our e-Club Rotary Meetings

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Greater Rochester Rotary Club via e-Club meetings are on Zoom.  

Since we cannot hold our regular meeting, the Greater Rochester Rotary Club has created e-Club Meetings on Zoom each week. Wednesday noon of every week and each Thursday at 7 pm.

All Rotarians and interested guests are invited to join our Zoom e-Club meeting and also invite others. If you are a visiting Rotarian, please send an email to to obtain a meeting make-up slip. The meeting will be recorded.

To set up your device the first time before the meeting, go to on your smartphone, tablet or computer. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020,    12:00 PM  -OR-  Thursday, April 16, 2020,    7:00 PM

Meeting speaker/topic: Remembering Vince McCoy

Join with this link:

Meeting ID: 114 602 661
Password: 991373

- OR -

To just listen in, call: (312) 626-6799. Enter the meeting ID: 114 602 661.

This new way of experiencing Rotary offers the benefits of a Rotary club, with added flexibility.
Join our e-Club Rotary Meetings Doug Herdahl 0 #greaterrochesterrotary,#grreclub,#peopleofaction,#rochestermneclub,#rotaryopensdoors