Club President
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December is a great month to focus on Community Service and the many ways our Riser members are engaged in serving our local community.  In addition to the usual every week Meals on Wheels delivery, this month Risers are giving generously to the Lutheran Social Services Adopt a Family program and Salvation Army Bell Ringing.  AmeriCorps has compiled an annual list of state rankings for volunteerism and Minnesotan's are consistently in the top five.  The latest report:
Rank States Rate
1 Utah 51.0%
2 Minnesota 45.1%
3 Oregon 43.2%
4 Iowa 41.5%
5 Alaska 40.6%
Thanks to each and every Riser who's stepped up to share their time, talent and treasure with those who need and deserve our help.
Digging Deeper into the December 8 Program
Title: 21st Century Mining
On Tuesday, David Ulrich will introduce his company, Twin Metals Minnesota, and their project near Ely, MN. Specifically, David will offer a detailed discussion regarding 21st century mining practices and how the responsible collection of precious metals will advance green energy initiatives going forward - and help solve a human rights crisis.  Furthermore, David will offer insights into the unique opportunity this offers local economies in Minnesota and the long-term plan for the Twin Metals project.
District 5960 Governor Ed Marek
It's been confirmed...the District Governor will visit individually with the leadership teams from each of Rochester's three Rotary Clubs and deliver a joint Zoom address on Thursday, February 25, 2021.  Ed plans to meet with the Risers Board and Club Support Team leads from 9:30-10:15 a.m. and then will address all Rochester Rotarians between 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  Both sessions will be conducted via Zoom.  Please mark your calendars now to assure good Riser representation at both events.  Thanks!
Community Service Opportunities
It's been called to my attention that the Rotary-related volunteer hours Risers have submitted since July 1 are lagging significantly behind this same time last year.  Some of this is probably due to COVID-19 and the lack of face-to-face volunteer opportunities.  But I'm guessing that some of us have just failed to submit our service hours to Kim Keilholtz.  Remember that any hours related to Rotary count...STRIVE, District training, community service projects, raffle ticket sales, etc.  Joanne has indicated that she will submit the Meals on Wheels volunteer hours for all participants.
Please, whenever you complete Rotary-related service projects or activities above and beyond our regularly scheduled meetings, send your hours to Kim at kimdtm@msn.comThank you!
Thanks to the generosity of more than a dozen Risers, this year the holidays will be brighter for 10 individuals (7 senior citizens).  Together, we have contributed more than $750 for the annual Adopt a Family program, coordinated by Lutheran Social Services.  Special thanks to Kim Keilholtz, Community Service Team Lead, who has coordinated our campaign and has purchased the requested gift cards.  Your generosity is more evidence that we really are "Risers Rising to the Occasion."  Thank you! 
Much appreciation to those Risers who have agreed to give up precious weekend time to greet customers and staff the Salvation Army red kettle from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday at HyVee Crossroads.  As of Tuesday morning's Board meeting, all time slots were filled.
Thanks to Janet Swanson, Risers Treasurer and Salvation Army Board member, for coordinating this annual community service event.
Time's run out to sell your calendar raffle tickets.  Early indications are that most of you raced to the finish line having sold as many or more tickets than in 2019...resulting in a very successful fundraiser.  But, we won't know for sure until the proceeds are submitted and donors names inputted.  When you have completed your sales and inputted names on the spreadsheet, please send the spreadsheet to both Kim and Dean at:
If you can’t do the spreadsheet input that’s fine too – just be sure to get the ticket stubs, legible handwritten sales log, and the money to Jolene or Dean ASAP.  The ‘drawing’ is on Dec. 15 so we need to get everything inputted by then. 
Paul Harris 4X4 Group Members Call to Action!
The Risers have a little bit different kind of 4X4 club...several in fact...and even more impressive than the kind of 4X4s displayed here.  And although we don't have a new club forming every week, Jason Wagner and others have created an impressive number of groups, four Risers in each, that have committed to donate $250/year for four years to the Rotary Foundation.  For those of you engaged in one of our club's 4X4 groups, now is the time to submit your $250 contribution to Jason, Treasurer Janet or directly to the Rotary Foundation.  If you make a direct gift to the Foundation, please let Jason know.  Four-by-four members and others who might have questions about Foundation giving should contact Jason at

Strike Out a Success!

55 Rookies!
71 with a Base Hit!
106 Home Runs!
$62,586 Raised!!!
With Bill & Melinda Gates Match = $187,758

Way to go District 5960 Rotarians!

Human Trafficking...A Learning Opportunity

The Harmful Effects of Pornography

January 9, 2021 – 9 am-Noon – Via Zoom

Learn about the addictive nature of pornography and how it is a contributing factor to sexual violence and has a strong connection to human trafficking. Its usage has increased due to COVID-19. Hear scientific and research-based information on what pornography is and its effects on the viewer and society as a whole. This program is appropriate for youth and adults.

Presented by Neil Dennison, Violence Prevention Specialist/Volunteer Coordinator for Victim Services, with a panel of local professional experts, including Detective Dan Johnson with Olmsted County Law Enforcement and Andrea White, Safe Harbor Regional Navigator.


(Note:  You must register at least 2 days in advance to receive Zoom Link.)


For event information, contact Sister Marlys at 507-529-3524

For registration information, contact Jessica at 507-280-2195

Getting to Know Rotary International
December 1 was Rotary Foundation Day!  A day earmarked each year for Rotarians around the world to make a contribution to the Foundation.  Did you know...

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 our community and around the world.

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 anti-bullying campaign and create a safe environment for children.
The Foundation awarded $86,677,399 in funding to 1,306 grants during fiscal year 2018.
It's Not All Bad News!

It's Not All Bad News:  10 Good Things to Come Out of 2020

[The following was taken from an article of the same name in the latest Minnesota Sheriffs' Association newsletter.]

While 2020 has been a most challenging year, and COVID-19 has flipped the script on normal, it's not all bad.  In not particular order, consider these 10 Good Things to come out of 2020.

Good Hygiene Habits - We are all benefitting from a renewed emphasis on the importance of proper and frequent hand washing and germ mitigation.

Community Spirit - Despite the fact that many people are shut away in their homes, many communities have never been closer.

Appreciation for Essential Workers - Supermarket cashiers, stackers and delivery drivers are not generally thought of as heroes.  But COVID-19 has highlighted the essential roles played by key workers we depend on.

Drive-in Movies are Making a Comeback and Drive-in Concerts were Born - Many of us remember the good old days at the drive-in.  Now a new generation is getting the opportunity to take in a movie or even a live performance from the comfort and safety of their automobile.  You can even go to drive-in church now.

Restaurants are Sharing Their Secret Recipes - From McDonalds Egg McMuffin to IKEA meatballs, Panera Bread pastries to a Disney Dole Whip, a number of formerly best-kept recipe secrets have been shared by their sources, so we can enjoy their staples in the comfort and safety of our homes.

Animal Adoptions are Up - Shelters across the country are seeing an increase in pet adoption applicants.  Animals in need are finding forever homes.

Corporations are Stepping Up - Major companies such as 3M and Apple pooled resources or shifted production to make millions of personal protection equipment items.  Ford, GM, Tesla and other automobile manufacturers were able to make ventilators and other medical devices.  Distilleries around the country, large and small, have used their resources to produce badly needed hand sanitizer.

Virtual Access to Culture and Nature - You can visit the Met in New York, take in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum or the Louvre in Paris, virtually tour national parks and zoos, and even go on an expedition to Mars, all without leaving home.

Board Games, Puzzles and Books - The board game, jigsaw puzzle and book industries are all reporting increased sales.  A new generation is discovering the old family and household standards as more people are enjoying family time - unplugged.

More Community and More Caring - Stories abound of communities coming together, serving one another and rallying to meet needs among society's most vulnerable.  (Think Rochester's Together and the City and County Caring Funds)

Office Attire Changes - Sweatpants, t-shirts and pajamas...need we say more?

Rotary Foundation Giving Tuesday - December 1
Give the gift of Rotary
Each November and December, The Rotary Foundation appeals to current and prospective donors to give the gift of Rotary. This campaign focuses on demonstrating the impact that a donation to the Foundation of any size can have. For more details, check out this digital flyer, encouraging members to give generously. 

Thank you for your support!
The Rotary Foundation
African Region Declared Polio Free

It our pleasure to announce to you that the African region has just been certified wild poliovirus-free.

Rotary members have played an invaluable role in the effort to rid the African region of wild polio. We should be proud of all the hard work that we’ve done to eliminate the wild poliovirus throughout Africa and in nearly every country in the world. 

This progress is the result of a decades-long effort across the 47 countries of the African region. It has involved millions of health workers traveling by foot, boat, bike and bus, innovative strategies to vaccinate children amid conflict and insecurity, and a huge disease surveillance network to test cases of paralysis and check sewage for the virus. 

Over the last two decades, countless Rotary members in countries across the African region and around the world have worked together to raise funds, immunize children, advocate with local and national leaders, and raise awareness about the importance of vaccination, enabling the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to effectively respond to and stop polio outbreaks. 

This milestone is an incredible public health achievement for Rotary members, the African region, and our GPEI partners, and a huge step forward on the road to global polio eradication. But we still have important work to do in order to eradicate wild polio in the last two endemic countries.

We have faced many challenges in our journey to eradicate polio. But we’ve made remarkable progress, and the polio infrastructure that Rotarians helped build will serve as a lasting legacy that will continue to help protect vulnerable children against other diseases for decades to come.

We are calling on you today to recommit yourselves to ending polio. We need each and every one of you to help finish this fight and continue raising $50 million each year for PolioPlus. The eradication of wild polio in the African region shows us that polio eradication is achievable, and shows how our hard work, partnerships and financial commitment continue to propel us forward, even during a global pandemic.

Thank you for your continued efforts, for achieving a wild polio-free African region, and for remaining committed to fulfilling our promise of a polio-free world.

Holger Knaack, President                                                     K.R. Ravindran, Chair
Rotary International                                                           The Rotary Foundation

Rotary International President Holger Knaack and Nigeria National PolioPlus Chair Dr. Tunji Funsho congratulate Rotarians on eradicating wild polio in the African Region. Watch here.

Rochester Rotary Risers Recognized at District Event
On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Rotarians from District 5960, which covers south east and east metro Minnesota and western Wisconsin, met virtually for the 2019-20 District Awards Happy Hour.  Clubs were recognized for their efforts in various categories and based on the size of the club – Large, Medium Plus, Medium, or Small – as part of the District’s Awards Program.
The Rochester Rotary Risers Club was responsible for submitting examples of their efforts against a checklist for up to six categories – Club Service, Community Service, International Service, Public Image, Vocational Service, and Youth Service. The submissions were then judged by Rotarians from Clubs in a different size category to keep the voting objective. The Rotary Club of Rochester Rotary Risers was in the Medium Plus size club category.   
After the tabulating, the club received several awards for its efforts, including the District Governor's Citation, 3rd place in Club Service, 1st place in Vocational Service, and 3rd place in Community Service! The Club has been focusing on Vocational Service through vocational talks, Rotation Days, vocational programs, a vocational workshop, and recognition of a community member with a Paul Harris Award for being a Rotarian at heart. The Club has also been involved with and sponsored community programs like the Jeremiah Program, that helps families move from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time, and Cradle to Career, that focuses community resources on programs that make a difference in the lives of children and young adults in reaching education goals and eventually employment.
About Rotary and District 5960
Rotary’s vision is “Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, in our community, across the globe, and in ourselves.” We do this through a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Our mission is to advance world peace and understanding, good will and peace through improved health, the support of education and alleviation of poverty. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Within District 5960, which includes much of south east and east metro Minnesota in addition to 6 counties in western Wisconsin, there are 63 clubs focused on humanitarian service. Locally, the Rotary Club of Rochester Rotary Risers members provides both hands on skills and financial support for sustainable projects to improve our community. Our work improves lives at both the local and international levels including our continuing work toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit ( or
The Awards Happy Hour reception was recorded and can be viewed here:
Club Information
Rochester Risers
Service Above Self
We meet Tuesdays at 7:00 AM
Hilton Garden Inn
225 S. Broadway
Rochester, MN  55904
United States
DistrictSiteIcon District Site
VenueMap Venue Map
Meeting Responsibilities
Greeter 1
Landsverk, Arne
Greeter 2
Hansen, Jolene
Program Coordinator
Cantlon, Matt
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
McKinsey Goodenberger
December 8
Sylwia Bujak Oliver
December 19
Janet Swanson
December 31
Join Date
Joel McNeil
December 17, 2019
1 year
Elaine Case
December 18, 2012
8 years
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Community Service Team Lead
Vocational Service Team Lead
Club Service Team Lead
International Service Team Lead
Rotary Foundation Team Lead
Past President
Fundraising Team Lead
Human Trafficking Officer
Rotary Classic Event Liaison
Youth Service Team Lead
Literacy Team Lead
Social Team Lead
President Elect Nominee
Membership Team Lead
Public Image Team Lead
Club Administrator
Russell Hampton
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