Club President
member photo
As we approach the end of October it's hard to believe that nearly one-third of the Rotary year is behind us.  To date, we've had some great programs, completed some wonderful community service project, have recognized the generosity of our members and more.  Thank you for your presence at our virtual meetings, involvement in our Service Above Self initiatives and willingness to support Club, District and Rotary International projects.  I hope you'll join us on Tuesday when you'll hear from another vocational panel and hear an interesting presentation.  Look for your Zoom meeting invitation over the weekend.
October 27 Meeting
There's a double-feature on tap for this week's meeting.  The Vocational Service team has organized another panel discussion and then we'll hear from David Yorks, our featured speaker.  David’s talk is titled, “The Warren Commission: Fact or Fiction.”   
If Scott Lambert's CARB presentation last week has you wanting to learn more, check out or
Remember that the Risers Board and Club Support Team members will meet next Tuesday via Zoom.  Then, in lieu of our Zoom meeting on November 10, you're invited to a Rotation Day at Spark (Children's Museum of Rochester).  Please plan to meet at Spark, Apache Mall, at 7 a.m.  Masks required.
World Polio Day is October 24
Each year, October 24th is World Polio Day, where Rotarians and our partners promote our efforts and celebrate our success in reducing polio exposure around the world.  You should be proud of our efforts so far, so make sure you celebrate on Saturday!
We all have reason to celebrate our STRIKE OUT POLIO campaign here in District 5960, too.  So far, we have seen a great increase in support for Polio Plus this month compared to other years…check it out:
Rochester Rotary's World Polio Day/Month 2020
Our World Polio Day 2020 event will be held virtually this year. To mark the progress we have made toward the eradication of polio, Rotary’s significant involvement, and to encourage giving to PolioPlus, the three Rochester Rotary clubs will be publishing information about polio on Facebook all through the month of October. To kick things off, Mayor Kim Norton has issued a proclamation declaring October 24 World Polio Day in Rochester! Check out the video on the Rotary Clubs of Rochester Facebook page ( Please like and share! If you have not already “liked” our club’s Facebook page, you can do that here:
We are also encouraging Rotarians to change your profile picture to the official Rotary International “I want to end polio” frame. You can see mine below. You can find this frame by searching for “Rotary International End Polio” on the frames. Alternatively (or concurrently), you can change your profile picture to a “this close” picture with your thumb and forefinger.
Finally, please consider donating to PolioPlus in any amount during the month of October. As you saw, the District will be matching all giving to PolioPlus in the month of October with recognition points! Your donation is also matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jason Wagner
Risers Foundation Team Lead
District 5960 Strike Out Polio Program
Please help us END POLIO NOW!
It costs less than $5 to fully vaccinate a child, so any amount helps! 
Remember our matching incentive levels:
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 make you a Paul Harris Fellow!
It’s easy to give to PolioPlus: You can give a check (made payable to The Rotary Foundation with “PolioPlus” in the memo line) to your Club President or Foundation Chair, or you can make a payment online at  One note: you do need a My Rotary account to give through Rotary Direct, so CLICK HERE for easy set-up instructions. 
Remember, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a great partner in the effort to eradicate polio:
Every dollar Rotarians give, the Gates Foundation matches 2:1!!
As a Rotarian, you should be proud to be a part of the largest public/private partnership in world’s history.  We are this close…and you can help us finish the job!
Thanks for all you do as a Rotarian, and thanks for helping to STRIKE OUT POLIO!!
Calendar Raffle
How are your raffle ticket sales going?  Now is the time to reach out to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers with calendar raffle tickets.  Our goal as a club is to sell 1,000 tickets.  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.  SELL, SELL, SELL!
Thanks to Jolene for drafting the following email message that you can use or adapt to help sell your raffle tickets...
Hi John/Jane Doe:
As you know, I've been a Rotarian for a long time. That's because our motto is Service Above Self. To support our service projects the Rochester Rotary Risers are in the midst of our 2nd Annual Calendar Raffle. Here's how it works - your odds of winning are pretty dang good:
  • We sell 1,000 tickets only ($20 each)
  • 365 Winners are drawn - daily winning is $20
  • Special winnings on New Years Day $500, Tax Day $250, 4th of July $250, Labor Day $250, Christmas Day $500, seven other holidays are $100 winners
  • Every ticket drawn is thrown back in the hat so you can win multiple times
  • If your raffle number isn't drawn, you've supported one 1st grader in Rochester attending My Book Day - getting a tour of the library, their own hardcover book, a book bag and a library pass; and our international service projects in Guatemala, Nigeria and Honduras
More details are available if you have any questions. If interested, send me a check for how many raffle tickets you want and I'll mail or deliver your raffle tickets.
Wishing you a healthy 2021,
Your Name
Community Service Opportunities
The Risers have a long-standing reputation as a "doer" club...offering an impressive number of volunteer activities in a wide variety of service opportunities.  Over the next several weeks, there are a number of opportunities for community service...Salvation Army bell ringing, Adopt-a-Family, Meals on Wheels II and STRIVE mentoring.  Please lend a hand if/when you can. 
Whenever you complete Rotary-related service projects, please send your hours worked to Kim at kimdtm@msn.comThank you!
Adopt a Family
By a show of hands, the Risers agreed to continue our previous practice this holiday season and
Our club has agreed to adopt up to 10 individuals.  Due to COVID, this year's program will be a bit different in that no gifts will be purchased, rather, donors will be asked to buy $65-75 in gift cards from the recipient's suggested list.  Let's help brighten the holidays for some less fortunate.  Kim and the Community Service Team will be coordinating this effort so look for more information in the coming weeks.
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.  This is a great family activity and previous experience shows that donors are more generous when children participate.
Social Distancing Socializing!
McKinsey Goodenberger and her Social Team organized a great Risers Unusual Talent Show for Friday, November 13th at 7 p.m.  Please don't let a Friday the 13th keep you from joining as a participant or spectator. 
Mark your calendars now and join us for some November Friday night fun.
Friday, November 13, 7 p.m.
Risers Zoom Unusual/Hidden Talent Show






Getting to Know RI

World Polio Day
If you want to learn more about Rotary's PolioPlus eradication efforts, check out “World Polio Day Global Update” from Rotary International on Vimeo.  The video is available for your viewing pleasure at
International Convention in Taipei
It's not too early to begin planning what could be your next international travel.  RI intends to hold the 2021 International Convention in Taipei from June 12-16.  The "Feel the Energy" convention will feature world-class speakers, breakout sessions that inspire, leadership skill building opportunities and give you ideas for projects, fundraising and membership.  And, while in Taipei, you'll have an opportunity to check out the Taipei 101 Tower (1,667 feet tall).  The tower, once the tallest in the world, is just one of many attractions you'll experience as you enjoy the local culture.
Strike Out Polio
We’re halfway through our STRIKE OUT POLIO campaign and you are definitely helping end polio!  Giving is up significantly over the past few years in October…so thank you!  If you haven’t donated yet, you still have a couple weeks to do so!
We have decreased polio cases by 99.9% since the mid 1980s…and we need to finish the job.  It’s estimated that a polio free world will reap financial savings and reduce healthcare costs by up to $50 Billion through 2035!!  In fact, we’ve already saved $27 Billion since 1985!
District Governor Nominee Dayle Quigley from the St. Paul Rotary Club traveled to India in 2011 for an immunization trip.  Watch her story here, along with her thoughts about polio eradication as a medical doctor!
Please help us END POLIO NOW!
It costs less than $5 to fully vaccinate a child, so any amount helps! 
Remember our matching incentive levels:
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 make you a Paul Harris Fellow!
It’s easy to give to PolioPlus: You can give a check (made payable to The Rotary Foundation with “PolioPlus” in the memo line) to your Club President or Foundation Chair, or you can make a payment online at  One note: you do need a My Rotary account to give through Rotary Direct, so CLICK HERE for easy set-up instructions. 
Remember, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a great partner in the effort to eradicate polio:
Every dollar Rotarians give, the Gates Foundation matches 2:1!!
As a Rotarian, you should be proud to be a part of the largest public/private partnership in world’s history.  We are this close…and you can help us finish the job!
Thanks for all you do as a Rotarian, and thanks for helping to STRIKE OUT POLIO!!
World Polio Day - October 24
FROM:  Charlie Cogan & Joe Stahlmann, D5960 Polio Plus Team Leaders
              Kyle Haugen, D5960 Rotary Foundation Team Leader
              Ed Marek, 2020-21 District Governor
October 24th is World Polio Day.  We hope that you are planning to promote this significant event within your club and community.  To provide some help in that messaging, please keep your eyes open for an update very soon for our big October push for PolioPlus giving.  We’re not going to give you the details today but, since we’re all baseball fans, the theme will coincide with the Major League Baseball playoffs!
In 1988, there were 125 nations with endemic polio. Now, there are two.

Good news for a gloomy time: Polio has been eradicated from Africa
By Charles Adams Cogan
September 15, 2020 — 5:41pm
As of Aug. 25, it is official. The World Health Organization African Region has been certified free of the wild poliovirus.
This is great news and has been a long time coming. At this time last year, Nigeria, the last polio-endemic country in Africa, had gone three full years without a case of wild polio. But certification takes longer, to ensure that the virus is completely eliminated in all countries in a region.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was launched in 1988 when there were still 125 countries across the planet that were polio-endemic. In that year, there were more than 350,000 cases of polio. As of today, there are only two countries remaining that are still polio-endemic: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
While continued vigilance and vaccinations are needed in Africa and in other regions of the world, the focus is now on eradicating polio in those two countries.
As of this week, there have been 37 cases in 2020 caused by the wild poliovirus in Afghanistan and another 65 cases in Pakistan for a total of 102 cases worldwide this year. When compared with the 350,000 global cases in 1988, the progress has been huge.
Each partner in the GPEI brings a set of strengths to the effort to finish the job, working with the national health services in these last two countries. The World Health Organization (WHO), which works with governments around the world on disease prevention, has the expertise and health care specialists on the ground. UNICEF is working in Pakistan and Afghanistan to open health care centers that will provide services beyond polio vaccinations to meet multiple health needs of rural populations that do not have access to many vaccinations and medicines.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have set up high-functioning labs that can be used to test cases of polio. At the same time, these same labs are already fighting to control the spread of the novel coronavirus in both countries, as well as in nations around the world that still use these labs to monitor for poliovirus.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined the GPEI in 2007, and has brought their expertise and their network of funding sources to the effort, while Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has recently joined the effort and ensures funding for the global polio vaccine supply.
Each partner has an important role, including Rotary International, which has been a key partner in the GPEI from the start. Rotarians have raised over $2.1 billion for polio eradication since 1988, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, which matches every dollar raised by Rotarians 2 to 1, up to $50 million per year.
While Rotarians have been traveling around the world for many years to participate in National Immunization Day (NID) events, even a large group of Rotarians can only vaccinate a fairly small number of children. Their most important role when they take part in a polio eradication campaign is to bear witness to the incredible work being done by Rotarians, national health workers and volunteers across the globe.
When India was struggling to eliminate polio within its borders, thousands of Rotarians traveled to participate in campaigns and then returned home to raise awareness of the effort in their communities. India has been polio-free since 2014.
Dr. Dick Huston of Faribault was given a rare opportunity to see Pakistani Rotarians in action when he visited the cities of Karachi and Hyderabad in November 2019. He was invited by Aziz Memon, Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee Chair.
Dr. Huston was not sure what to expect during his trip to Pakistan. Their hospitality left a lasting impression. He got to see Rotarians at work and came away full of hope that Pakistan has the determination, knowledge, creativity, cultural sensitivity, and passion to finish the job.
The polio eradication efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan were temporarily paused earlier this year to avoid spreading COVID-19 in house-to-house vaccination campaigns. New protocols have been put in place to allow the vaccinations to continue.
There is a lot of work still to be done, but the needed willpower and resources will be mobilized, inshallah! (God willing!) If you would like to learn more about this effort or make a contribution (to be matched two-to-one by the Gates Foundation), please go to
Charles Adams Cogan, of Northfield, is PolioPlus team co-leader for Rotary District 5960 and a former Peace Corps volunteer to Togo, West Africa.
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
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Meeting Responsibilities
Greeter 1
Elliott, Peggy
Greeter 2
Cantlon, Matt
Program Coordinator
Cantlon, Matt
Oct 27, 2020
The Warren Commission: Fact or Fiction
Nov 03, 2020 7:00 AM
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Nicholas Rethemeier
October 21
Patricia Wimmer
October 27
Join Date
Paul Baessler
October 1, 2016
4 years
Erin O'Brien
October 15, 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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