“Our job is to preserve and promote local history and interpret and share it with the public,” said Heidi Heinze, River Falls Historic Preservation Commission, as she presented to our club. Some of the ways that the organization accomplishes that are the survey of historical buildings for the National Register, installing plaques on downtown buildings, walking tours, consulting with city groups, the park board and placing historic photos on the outside of buildings.
Glen Park: a destination of natural beauty Jill Krentz 2018-12-04 06:00:00Z 0
Sharing Families information Jill Krentz 2018-12-02 06:00:00Z 0
Following a vocation for service and community Jill Krentz 2018-11-27 06:00:00Z 0
The Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center (CNC) began as a dream of Tom and Edna Carpenter, who set aside 325 acres for future generation enjoyment of the natural world. This soon grew to 425 acres, including 50 miles of trails. The Minnesota location is open 8-4:30 daily, and admission is free.
Education that takes us back to nature Jill Krentz 2018-11-20 06:00:00Z 0
Could you provide a home for a visiting student? Jill Krentz 2018-11-19 06:00:00Z 0
Rotary presented $1705 to Our Neighbors' Place for the backpack program at Tuesday's meeting. Scott Morrissette led the effort, and members contributed enough for 114 backpacks. Rotary funds provide the program with food during the holiday season.
Rotary supports Our Neighbors Place backpack program Jill Krentz 2018-11-13 06:00:00Z 0

Important announcements this week:

Rotary Foundation Giving: See John K. to see your donation status. He has the list!
Backpacks for Our Neighbors House: Thank you! Our goal was 75 backpacks and we're at 103! That means $1540 for the program! Scott will still accept orders through next Tuesday's meeting.
Hudson Free Clinic fundraiser: You can procure tickets from Heather. Note to Hudson residents: your gifts will be doubled through the end of this year. Find out more by contacting Heather.
Better Angels event is Wed., Nov. 14. Attendees will discuss how to have civil discourse in challenging times at a lunchtime event.  Contact Heather for more information.
The Croix Chordsmen will perform  Saturday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Stillwater. Tickets are $10. Children 12 and under are FREE. To order ticktes go to or call Ted 651-308-5775.
Taco Fund raiser lunch will benefit a family from Guatemala. See Tony J. for more info.
Thank you to Brian McQuade, for agreeing to head up the efforts for the 2019 Relay for Life event.
Announcements 2018-11-06 06:00:00Z 0
Dr. Nate Schurman, (right) Greenwood Elementary Principal and District Safety Director, spoke to the club about how the district is responding to the changing concept of school safety.
River Falls School Safety Jill Krentz 2018-11-06 06:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 30, 2018
  • Backpack program: Our Neighbors Place provides backpacks filled with food to school children each weekend. Rotary supplies these backpacks during Christmas week! Bring your checkbook and sign up. A clipboard will be circulated at the meeting.
  • Calling all Santas! Jump Start to Literacy needs a Santa on Dec. 17. Start growing that beard and see Tony J. for details.
  • Foundation donation listing: Are you a Paul Harris fellow? See John K. and find out how close you are.
Announcements Jill Krentz 2018-10-30 05:00:00Z 0
Check out announcements:
  • AAUW Book sale October 19 and 26
  • World Polio Day is October 24
  • The 2019 Gala is April 26! Here's what you need to know!
Announcements Jill Krentz 2018-10-19 05:00:00Z 0
Phoenix and Lionheart, two representatives from the Great Rivers chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA), provided a quick overview of how BACA works with law enforcement and the community to provide safety and security to kids who’ve experienced the horrors of abuse.
With more than 289 chapters internationally, (seven in Wisconsin), BACA’s intent is to create a safer environment for abused children.
“We exist as a body of Bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live,” said Phoenix. “We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization.”
BACA works in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children. It  desires to send a clear message to all involved with the abused child that this child is part of our organization, and that we are prepared to lend our physical and emotional support to them by affiliation, and our physical presence.
Bike group works in partnership with the community Jill Krentz 2018-10-19 05:00:00Z 0
Abbie Testaberg from the Kinni Hemp company, outlined for our group how she went from coffee shop owner to becoming someone who can speak both eloquently and scientifically about health and phyto chemicals.
Abby and her husband, Jody, make their home in River Falls and are owners of the Kinni Hemp Co.  
Kinni Hemp Co. and industrial hemp 2018-10-02 05:00:00Z 0
Communication, plans and visioning tool Jill Krentz 2018-10-02 05:00:00Z 0
Carole Mottaz, Board Chair of the St. Croix Valley chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin and River Falls Rotarian, is shown with the Events Manager, Paula Skoviera and Program Manager, Nate Schorr.  St. Croix Valley has recently changed their business model, closing the office in Hudson so that Paula and Nate can work remotely.  Carole opened a used sporting goods store called Sporting World in August to raise funds for St. Croix Valley BBBS on N. Main Street, River Falls. 
Sporting World benefits Big Brothers and Big Sisters Jill Krentz 2018-09-18 05:00:00Z 0
Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) is a five-day camp which strengthens leadership skills and capabilities of high school students through physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual challenges. There is an emphasis on problem solving, teamwork, and interaction with other outstanding students and volunteer counselors and presenters. Because all participants were leaders at their own schools, it was initially challenging, as they had to learn to sometimes lead and sometimes follow.
Challenges of Camp RYLA help students strengthen leadership skills Heather Logelin 2018-06-12 05:00:00Z 0
Around the World in 140+ Days Heather Logelin 2018-06-05 05:00:00Z 0
It started with creating a documentary on the lost boys of Sudan, and evolved into providing education for hundreds. Deb Dawson, of African Soul, American Heart shared her story of children torn by war and healed through education.
African Soul, American Heart Heather Logelin 2018-05-29 05:00:00Z 0
Amy Schreiner is a local chiropractor (and former Rotary Group Study Exchange participant) recently completed a five-day training to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings.
MHFA helps prepare everyday people to respond to mental health issues. The intention is to make MHFA training as familiar and widespread as CPR and First Aid training. MHFA is an evidence-based, peer-reviewed curriculum that follows a very proscriptive path.
You can be certified in Mental Health First Aid Heather Logelin 2018-05-22 05:00:00Z 0
Ed Robbins provided an update on his work with a school in Belize. When he arrived this year, he learned that what his students needed most was materials to help them prepare for their exams. He purchased a printer and they subsequently printed thousands of pages of materials to help them prepare. While he was there, another opportunity to help presented itself! Find out how you can help.
Belize update: An opportunity to help in a direct way Heather Logelin 2018-05-21 05:00:00Z 0
River Falls Sunshine Fund comes up with support Heather Logelin 2018-05-15 05:00:00Z 0
This summer, the RFGC is breaking ground on a new 15,000 squre foot facility, the “River Falls State Bank Center,” which will be home not only to the RFGC but also to the River Falls Wildcats gymnastics team. The new facility is directly east of the high school, north of the track. The new two-story facility was designed to be a state-of-the-art facility for all participants; a dedicated preschool area will serve participants as young as 18 months.  Find out how you can help!
River Falls Gymastics Club: building strong kids and a strong community Heather Logelin 2018-05-08 05:00:00Z 0
Students from the River Falls Public Montessori School shared their experience participating in the Model United Nations Conference in Chicago, IL. The goal of the Model UN program is to bring students together to solve real-world issues such as clean water to all, gender equality, global sustainability, etc. Students at this year’s conference came from all of the United States and Canada, totaling more than 200 students.
River Falls Montessori – Model United Nations Heather Logelin 2018-05-01 05:00:00Z 0
The work of the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas includes sports equipment, Chica Nica doll dresses, lending libraries, the stove and chimney project, Firefighters United, backpacks, learning centers, eyeglass projects, and more. The Firefighters United projects provides used equipment to municipalities in Nicaragua; to date, Wisconsin has sent 25 ambulances and 35 fire trucks to Nicaragua.
Tony Jilek’s late wife, Ann, made four trips to Nicaragua before her untimely passing; Tony and his family visited our club to talk about their work in Ann’s memory through the eyeglass project of the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Amerias.
Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners Of The Americas Heather Logelin 2018-04-24 05:00:00Z 0
With long term family connections to scouting, Judie Foster Babcock sees many connections between the scouting mottos/laws and the Rotary 4-Way Test; that’s part of what attracted her to Rotary. Many of her jobs revolved around helping people. She currently works at St. Paul Traveler's Insurance; however, her Rotary badge reads “Philanthropist."
Judie Foster Babcock: a history of helping others Heather Logelin 2018-04-10 05:00:00Z 0
The River Falls School District has two referendum questions on the ballot for next Tuesday, April 3, said Jamie Benson at the March 27 Rotary meeting. The referendum will help River Falls maintain its high performance by investing in facilities that support learning.
A video on the district’s website provides an overview of the referendum, including the proposed projects and the needs they will address.
Referendum offers an investment to support learning Heather Logelin 2018-03-27 05:00:00Z 0
Kevin Westhuis (Utility Director) and Ron Growth (Water/Wastewater Superintendent) are proud of the work that Ron and his team do to take care of our water and wasterwater systems. Water and wastewater operators are required to be certified (and recertified) by the State of Wisconsin; this is important and serious business!
Kevin noted that River Falls Municipal Utility (RFMU) delivers safe, fresh, cold drinking water to our homes for about $2/1000 gallons.
Safe, fresh, cold drinking water: brought to you by RFMU! Heather Logelin 2018-03-20 05:00:00Z 0
Rotary has the power to make dreams come true, according to Carlos Galvez, who visited and updated the club on the Chapita Bonita Stove Project. "When you support this project, you are helping people who are a world away," he said. "One thousand, twenty eight miles from here, you are making other people’s dreams come true."
New stoves make dreams come true, showcase power of Rotary Heather Logelin 2018-03-13 05:00:00Z 0
When we surveyed members last year, one of the themes was a desire for more service projects, according to Carole Mottaz.

Well, Carole has a proposal! Carole is chair of the board of our local Big Brothers, Big Sisters affiliate. As an affiliate, BBBS is allowed to “do anything” as long as they can fund it. When a funder recently did not renew support for 2017, leaving a $50,000 hole in their budget, they started thinking about ways they could generate more support for the affiliate. They are now looking at a new funding source, a second-hand sporting goods store in River Falls.
Second hand sports store would help fund Big Brothers / Big Sisters program Heather Logelin 2018-03-03 06:00:00Z 0
View from the porch! Thank you to all our donors 2018-02-24 06:00:00Z 0
The Islamic Resource Group ( works to build bridges of understanding between Minnesota Muslims and the broader Minnesota community through education. Members believe a deeper understanding of different religions and cultures contributes to peace and harmony in the world. "As with Christianity, Islamic religion and culture are two different things, and it is important to understand both," said John Emery, left, who started his path to Islam when he served as a translator in the Armed Forces. Also pictured: Bill Montgomery.
Group seeks to build bridges between Muslims and broader community 2018-02-23 06:00:00Z 0
One in three women will be a victim of some form of intimate partner violence in her lifetime. An average of four women are murdered every month in the state of Wisconsin, and about half of those homicides occur in rural areas like ours.
Turningpoint provides help for survivors to rebuild healthy lives free from domestic violence and abuse.
Turningpoint helps survivors of domestic abuse start over Heather Logelin 2018-02-06 06:00:00Z 0
Marsy’s Law is an organization based in California that advocates for rights for crime victims. Each state does things its own way. “Marsy” was Marsalee Ann Nicholas, a UC-Santa Barbara student who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Marsy’s law was eventually started by Marsy’s brother, who was very disturbed when his family encountered Marsy’s murderer in a grocery store just one week after Marsy’s murder; they had no idea he’d been released on bail.
Luke Martz: Marsy's Law Heather Logelin 2018-01-16 06:00:00Z 0
ARC  (Assistance & Resource Center) is an all-volunteer organization and works out of space donated by St. Bridget’s church. With 97-98% of dollars contributed  distributed to clients, they operate on very low expenses. If they can’t help, they refer patients to other resources, like The Salvation Army. In some cases, because they are locally controlled, ARC is able to provide more and/or different types of support to those in need.
ARC coordinates local help to support neighbors in need  Heather Logelin 2018-01-09 06:00:00Z 0
International presentation 2018-01-04 06:00:00Z 0
Rick Wilson teed up “an experiment,” sharing a Ted Talk that he came across a few years ago and found inspiring. Rick noted that representatives of the Rochester Rotary clubs use Ted Talks to spark conversation between members, and he hopes this might do the same for our club.
Rick Wilson: New Year’s Inspiration 2018-01-04 06:00:00Z 0
Human trafficking has been selected as Rotary’s next global initiative, following the incredible work we are close to finishing with polio eradication. We acknowledge that we are not the expert in this area, but know that we can play the important role of convener, bringing together and supporting those who are already working on human trafficking.
Emma Becker: Ending human trafficking in Minnesota 2017-12-19 06:00:00Z 0
Greg Dahl, Winfield United, spoke about Land O’Lakes, a Fortune 500 company with 290 facilities across all 50 states and 50+ countries. They have 10,000 employees and are the 3rd largest US member-owned cooperative. WinField United is a crop protection, seed marketing and professional products company in River Falls for 30 years!
Winfield United: Crop protection, seed marketing and more 2017-12-12 06:00:00Z 0
Hossein Najafi, PhD, gave an overview about data science field and the UW-RF program. UW-RF is the only school in the UW system that offers at data science undergraduate degree. Data science is a relatively new – but huge – field of study. It is emerging now for three reasons: data volume, computational power, and advancements in machine learning.
Najafi touched on aspects of data volume, computational power and advancements in machine learning (AKA artificial intelligence or “AI.”)
Data Science: a new but huge field of study 2017-12-05 06:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Foundation has been named the “best charity in the world” by charity watchdogs. Not only do the funds you donate end up directly funding projects, making it efficient, but it’s also effective. This is because of Rotary’s unique ability to leverage the “local experts” on the ground – Rotarians in countries where the work is happening.
Roy and Marlene Gargulak presented to the group as part of the District Foundation Committee, convened with the goal of growing giving to The Rotary Foundation by Rotarians in our District.
The Rotary Foundation: Doing good in the world 2017-11-28 06:00:00Z 0
The public library, according to Nancy Miller, is the best thing we do with local tax dollars. Celebrating 34 years of working at the library (the past 20 in the new building), Nancy said that people often tell her that the library is one of the reasons they chose to locate in River Falls.
Nancy Miller: Your Public Library 2017-11-14 06:00:00Z 0
John Kremer recognized as Multiple Paul Harris Fellow Linda 2017-11-14 06:00:00Z 0
Introductory Talk: Jill Krentz 2017-11-07 06:00:00Z 0
Maesa Kuchera reads with Rick Wilson, a River Falls Rotary Reader.  Maesa was chosen to be the River Falls Rotary Reader Student of the Month for October.  Maesa is in Ms. Lori Rosenow’s third grade class at Westside School.  Maesa enjoys reading with Rick Wilson on a weekly basis, and her favorite book series is Pete the Cat.  In her free time, Maesa loves swimming and dancing.
October Rotary Reader of the Month Linda Yde 2017-10-30 05:00:00Z 0
The River Falls Rotary Club marked World Polio Day by viewing a brief video , followed by a rousing game of POLIO JEOPARDY!
World Polio Day! 2017-10-24 05:00:00Z 0
As an anthropologist, Ed Robins appreciates the value of intercultural exchanges. He first traveled to Belize in 2002, to assess the likelihood of developing a study tour for UW-River Falls students. They did subsequently develop a two-week study tour. Over 15 years, more than 500 UW-River Falls students had the opportunity to experience what he calls “the conservation of cultural experience and biological diversity.” Now, River Falls Rotary is going into action with even more support for Belize.
Intercultural volunteering: Belize project 2017-10-10 05:00:00Z 0
A fruitful beginning to a lofty goal Heather Logelin 2017-10-09 05:00:00Z 0
Ana Novoa, Rotary's youth exchange student from Spain, provides an early look at her experiences as an exchange student. She talked about daily life and culture in her region of Spain, Galicia.
Ana Novoa, exchange student 2017-10-03 05:00:00Z 0
Victory and Valor for Vets, created by Jessica Schmitt to honor her husband’s memory, provides assistance to veterans, service members and military families.
Jessica and her husband, Derrick, grew up in River Falls and were high school sweethearts, married right out of high school. He joined the National Guard with an understanding that they wanted to stay here in River Falls. He ended up in active duty, eventually the first from Minnesota trained as a member of the Elite Air Force Special Forces Phoenix Raven.
Foundation provides one-stop resource for veterans in need Heather Logelin 2017-10-01 05:00:00Z 0
Steve Englehart: What's up with Steve? 2017-09-26 05:00:00Z 0
What if you could empower women, protect the environment and improve the lives of families throughout a whole country? Hudson Daybreak Rotarians have found an amazing way to accomplish this in Gautemala. Led by Dr. Greg Young, Rotarians Linda Robertson and Margaret Christianson visited with our group to talk about their work. He has traveled to Guatemala many times with his family, doing medical mission work, but recently focused on providing clean cooking stoves to Guatemalans.
Clean cooking transforms kitchens to family gathering places Jill Krentz 2017-09-19 05:00:00Z 0
Music has been an important part of leading an ordinary life for students at the Music School for Children With Disabilities in Honor of Paul Harris in Lublin, Poland. Founded by Rotary members, the school serves 20 students with various disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, and visual impairments. The Rotary Club of Lublin-Centrum-Maria Curie-Sklodowska has provided funding with help from Rotary Foundation Matching Grants and the Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society, which houses the school.
After their son Mateusz was born with underdeveloped eyes, Mariusz and Joanna Kania looked for ways to help him be active. When he showed an aptitude for music, they looked for a teacher and were thrilled to find the Paul Harris music school.
Helping people with disabilities make their own music 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0
For years, Angalia Bianca had slept in abandoned buildings throughout Chicago. She stole. She did drugs. She spent time in and out of jail for forgery, theft, trespassing, and possession of narcotics. But after she landed in prison for the seventh time, something changed -- Bianca knew she wanted a better life. She just didn’t know how to make it happen.
After serving her time, Bianca sought help from a local homeless organization, A Safe Haven, and moved to its shelter in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Bianca followed the program closely -- she attended all the required meetings, passed drug tests, and volunteered at every opportunity.
Finding Safe Haven 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0
What is it like taking a large team to Africa?  It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. A large trip is a real blessing because each person sees Ghana and our work in a different way.

A highlight for the team was greeting the chief of Sagadugu. The team got excited about buying goats and food for children in the villages where I support eight churches. It was good to see the pastors of most of the eight churches, and I had to explain that we were just passing through on our way to Bolgatanga.
Saving lives in Ghana 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0
Throughout India and around the world, Rotary clubs are celebrating a major milestone: India has gone three years without a new case of polio. The last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal on 13 January 2011. To mark this historic triumph, Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with four simple but powerful words, "India is polio free."
The three-year achievement sets the stage for polio-free certification of the entire Southeast Asia region by the World Health Organization. The Indian government also plans to convene a polio summit in February to commemorate this victory in the global effort to eradicate polio.
India celebrates three years without polio 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z 0