Club President
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Based on meeting attendance, Foundation giving, community service project involvement and your feedback, I think it's safe to assume we have one of the more active and engaged Rotary clubs in District 5960.  Even though COVID-19 has changed the way Rotarians conduct business, you've proven that the "F" word of this millennium is flexibility!  When many other Rotarians have decided to disengage, Risers continue to show up at virtual meetings in numbers equivalent to our prior live meetings, give generously to the Rotary Foundation, eagerly sign up for community service projects and don't hesitate to step up when asked to take on new roles and responsibilities.  As we approach the upcoming holidays and zero in on the mid-point of our Rotary year,  I'm proud of what, together, we've been able to accomplish and eagerly look forward to an even bigger, brighter and better 2021.  Thanks for your support!
November 17 Program - "World Without Orphans"
This week the Risers have the privilege of learning what World Without Orphans is all about from Dr. Susan Hillis, Chief Strategy Officer, and Karmen Friesen, Principal Global Coordinator.  In 2019, the best estimates show there are from 2 to 8 million children living in orphanages around the world, more than 150 million children who have lost one or both parents, and more than a billion children who experience serious abuse each year.  World Without Orphans is calling and equipping national leaders to collaborate in solving their own country's orphaned and vulnerable children crisis.
As a member of the Olmsted Medical Center Regional Foundation Board and candidate for next year's Chair of the Board, I'll be away attending an OMC Board meeting.  You'll be in excellent hands as Riser President-Elect Sherden will be leading this week's meeting.
November 24 Program - Superintendent Michael Munoz
Next week the Risers program focus will feature another Rochester headliner, Superintendent Munoz.  Like so many other businesses and organizations, Rochester Public Schools is navigating unchartered waters.  Join us via Zoom and learn more about how the District's dealing with COVID-19, new facilities under construction, changing faces on the School Board and more.
Rotation Day at Spark
Beth Sherden, Spark Executive Director and Risers President-Elect, hosted a hearty contingent of Risers eager to learn about the newly opened facility and some of the many educational programming opportunities open to young learners.  Beth shared a brief history of the Children's Museum, highlighted the focused learning areas, answered questions and then invited Rotarians to engage in some of the many hands-on, learn-by-doing activities.
Mark you calendars now for the Risers next Rotation Day.  Our very last meeting of this calendar year, December 22, we're scheduled to tour Rochester Fire Station #2 on Viola Road NE and hear from Fire Chief Eric Kerska. 
Nine...Count Em...Nine PHF Awarded!!!
It was my honor this week to recognize nine Risers with their first or multiple Paul Harris Fellows.  It was especially exciting to present these awards now since this is Rotary International's Foundation Month.  Learn more elsewhere in this newsletter on how you can become a PHF while helping support international, District and local Rotary projects.  Congratulations to the most recent Risers Fellows:
New PHFs:  Jason Wagner, Pat Wimmer and Joel McNeil
PHF + 1:  Paul Baessler
PHF + 2:  Peggy Elliott
PHF + 3:  Don Supalla
PHF + 4:  Dean Stenehjem
PHF + 5:  Elaine Case
PHF + 6:  Joanne Rosener
Interested in Joining a New PHF 4X4 Group?
There appears to be interest in starting up a new 4X4 group within our club.  If you're interested in working towards earning a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF), this might be a financially easier way than making a one-time contribution.  Four club members each agree to contribute $250/annually for 4 years and one name is drawn each year to receive a PHF.  Already a PHF...this might be a good way to become a multiple PHF.  Think about it!  If you have questions or are interested in participating, connect with Jason Wagner.
New Member Sylwia Bujak Oliver
Please join me in welcoming Sylwia Bujak Oliver, Executive Director at 125 Live as our newest club member!  Sylwia was recruited and nominated by Joanne Rosener and will be inducted in the near future.  
Elaine Case - Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year!
On November 9 the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Minnesota Chapter recognized Elaine Case as the 2020 Outstanding Philanthropist!  Elaine was recognized for her contributions to many non-profits, including Rotary, Cradle to Career, Jeremiah Program and more!  Elaine is a much sought after strategic planning facilitator and has generously given of her time, talents and treasure.  Elaine's husband, and our Assistant Governor, Bill Wiktor was recognized with the award in 2014.  Congratulations, Elaine and Bill!
Risers Grant and Joanne Rosener Featured in The Rotarian
Check out the November Rotarian. The Our World article features one of our Risers grants and member Joanne Rosener.
Rosener says the Rotary clubs involved are committed to supporting the Maya Health Alliance for the long haul, and she is pleased that the gardens have produced positive results.  "We know the kids aren't slipping," she says.  "We know they're making progress.  But reversing the effects of malnutrition doesn't happen overnight."
Now, that's some PR!!
District Governor's Rescheduled Visit
Ed Marek has tentatively rescheduled his joint meeting with the three Rochester Rotary clubs for mid-day on Thursday, February 25, 2021.  Save this date as a tentative Zoom visit and stay tuned for future updates.
Have your family, neighbors, friends and colleagues heard from you yet?  Have you promoted our fundraiser on your Facebook or Instagram page?  Now is the time to reach out to them with calendar raffle tickets.  Our goal as a club is to sell 1,000 tickets.  Please use the script (or modify it to your liking) to remind prospective buyers that the purchase of this raffle enables the Risers to support some very worthy projects.  Our funds support local projects like My Book Day and international projects like a pulmonary and nutrition project in Guatemala and a clean water project in Nigeria and Honduras.  Additional raffle tickets are still available.  SELL, SELL, SELL!
Community Service Opportunities
Whenever you complete Rotary-related service projects, please send your hours worked to Kim at kimdtm@msn.comThank you!
As the calendar year winds down, so too does the number of community service projects on the Risers docket.  Over the next several weeks, there are still a number of opportunities for community service...keep reading to check out details on our upcoming Salvation Army bell ringing and Adopt-a-Family opportunities.  Please lend a hand if/when you can. 
Adopt a Family
You should have received the following email message from Community Service Team Lead Kim Keilholtz...
I'm still waiting to receive information from Lutheran Social Services regarding this year's Adopt a Family program, but I think we need to start now.  Not meeting in person adds a challenge to this year's collection of money for the purchase of gift cards (due to COVID-19, this year, instead of purchasing presents, recipients will receive gift cards).
Rather than wait for more information, I’d like you to send me money for gift cards and I’ll buy them.  Lutheran Social Services has suggested gift cards totaling $65-75 per recipient would be much appreciated.  Our club committed to making the holidays brighter for up to 10 individuals.
A contribution to cover all or a portion of any one recipient would be wonderful...however, any amount will be much appreciated!  Please do not send cash in the mail.  Rather, contributions should be made in the form of a check to Kim Keilholtz and sent to:
Kim Keilholtz
2739 Spyglass Court NW
Rochester, MN  55901


Salvation Army Bell Ringing
If you enjoyed ringing bells in the past, you'll have an opportunity to do it again this holiday season.  The Risers will be greeting customers and staffing the red kettle throughout the day on Saturday, December 5 at HyVee Crossroads.  
Janet Swanson is coordinating this annual community service event and has provided a sign-up link below.  Due to COVID, the Salvation Army is recommending no more than two people per time slot so if you have someone joining you, please register both time slots.
Don't Miss Tonight's Friday the 13th Risers Talent Show!
McKinsey Goodenberger and her Social Team have organized a great Risers Hidden/Unusual Talent Show for 7 p.m. tonight!  Please don't let a Friday the 13th keep you from Zooming as a participant or spectator.  Any family-friendly talent is welcome...go ahead and ask a spouse, significant other, kids or pets to accompany you. 
Friday, November 13, 7 p.m.
Risers Zoom Unusual/Hidden Talent Show
Getting to Know RI
Help the Rotary Foundation raise funds on Giving Tuesday. This day of global giving is an opportunity for Rotarians and Rotaractors to make a big impact with a small gift to the Annual Fund-SHARE. Please plan now to give generously on Tuesday, December 1.  See the flyer in the Stories section of the newsletter for more details. 
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
Rethemeier, Nicholas
Greeter 2
Ferson, Jerome
Program Coordinator
Cantlon, Matt
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Join Date
Jeffrey Warfield
November 1, 1992
28 years
Joanne Rosener
November 1, 1994
26 years
Beth Sherden
November 7, 2017
3 years
Peggy Elliott
November 19, 2019
1 year
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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