November 2021

In this edition....
  • Letter from the President
  • Our November Speakers
  • Announcements 
  • Join Us - We Need YOU
  • Donate for Thanksgiving Food
  • How Are Our Service Projects Funded?
  • Rotary’s World Polio Day program looks toward polio eradication’s endgame
  • Thankfulness
  • Member Moment, Newsletter Edition
  • Meeting Information

Letter from the President

Dear Fellow Rotarians,
I am honored to be the President of Minneapolis University Rotary Club as we continue in our 31st year.  I am incredibly honored to accept the "baton" from last year's President, Erik van Kuijk, who was a gracious meeting leader and an exemplary president.  Thank you, Erik!
In 2020, when I joined the club, we were experiencing dramatic changes to our club in response to the pandemic, including holding our meetings by video and stopping community service and social activities.  Even in the midst of those changes we have made progress toward a number of our goals, ensuring we have a good and solid future.  We worked together to update our club's by-laws; we reviewed the Rotary Constitution; we adopted the Rotary District "Respectful Behavior" guidelines; we added ombudsman and ombudswoman roles to our club Board of Directors; and we grew our membership by adding six new members in the past few months.
We have these additional goals for this Rotary year:
  • hold "hybrid" meetings, a combination of in-person and video meetings, as a pilot project
  • begin new community service projects
  • add new members
  • engage more members in club activities and board positions for the future
  • match our Rotary Foundation giving from the last Rotary year -  $10,000 to the Annual Fund and $1,000 to the Polio Plus Fund
  • implement our Public Image Plan
As Gandhi said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."  Let's do that.  One thing I know for sure; whether you are interested in global service projects, or want to be more engaged in the local community, or hope to do both, the members of this club have big hearts and live up to our motto to “serve to change lives”!  We have a long, proven history of doing a lot and doing it well as a small club.  I truly look forward to working together this year.
Erin Bagniewski
President 2021-2022
Upcoming Speakers
Nov 03, 2021 12:00 PM
Lions Gift of Sight: The Past, Present and Future of Eye Banking
Lions Gift of Sight: The Past, Present and Future of Eye Banking

Sean will introduce eye banking and the importance of restoring sight. He will then give a brief history of eye banking focused on Lions Gift of Sight; present challenges; and the direction that eye banking is headed. 

Sean and his family moved to the Twin Cities just over four years ago. Prior to moving, Sean worked in a variety of positions at the University of California, San Diego (where he graduated), the University of Washington, and Seattle Children's Research Institute. Sean moved here to serve as Dr. Erik van Kuijk's administrator in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences. About a year into Sean's tenure in Ophthalmology Dr. van Kuijk deployed Sean to Lions Gift of Sight to help with some business challenges. It is there that Sean found his passion in life to restore sight.


Nov 10, 2021 12:00 PM
The Art and Science of Medicine
Nov 17, 2021 12:00 PM
Sacred Settlements: A Community First Approach to Homelessness
View entire list


  • Video Recordings of Meetings:  Want to watch a recording of MURC's meetings?  You can watch the speaker's presentation, Brag-a-Bucks, and the rest of each meeting using the button below.  Recordings will be posted by the end of the day of the meeting, and will be available for up to four weeks after each meeting.
Join Us - We Need YOU
Upcoming Community Service Projects
  • When:   Friday, November 5th, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Where:  Simpson United Methodist Church Food Pantry at 2740 First Avenue South in Minneapolis
  • Activity:  stocking shelves with food
  • Questions?  Contact Carol at cskulst@msn.com
  • Please join us!  Bring a friend!  
    MURC volunteers at Simpson       
  • Watch for notices about a December date to volunteer at the food shelf at First Covenant Church at 810 South 7th Street in Minneapolis, as well as future dates to volunteer at the Simpson Food Pantry.
Give For Thanksgiving Food
In 2020, the pandemic brought increased awareness to the food insecurity experienced by so many people in our Minneapolis communities. 

In response, MURC established a virtual food drive in partnership with the Food Group Minnesota, a local nonprofit organization.  Our donations support the Community Bridge Food Shelf and the Simpson United Methodist Church Food Pantry in Minneapolis.    
While the pandemic has eased in some communities, food insecurity remains, and so does MURC's commitment to help. 
If you can, please give.  You will make a difference.  Thank you!
How Are Our Service Projects Funded?
By Bob Margolis and Lori Simpson
Do you know how projects are funded in Rotary?  The topic may be a bit dry, and not as interesting as the projects themselves, but it’s good to know how funding works so we can feel comfortable with our own contributions, and so we can maximize our club’s ability to fund our projects.  So, please, read on. 
Individual Rotary clubs such as MURC, Rotary Districts, and Rotary International (RI), initiate and fund local and global projects. 
How does funding work for MURC-initiated projects? 
Rotary members and others contribute to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) and to the Minneapolis University Service Foundation (MUSF). 
Donations to TRF are made directly by Rotary members.  We have a goal of having each member donate each year, in any amount.  Donations to MUSF are made primarily by way of Brag-a-Bucks.  So, when members “brag,” it’s interesting, and we get to know each other better, but it also directly supports MURC's projects.
The process starts when someone in our club has an idea for a project.  That member develops a grant request application and submits it to MUSF.  Some smaller projects are funded fully by MUSF. 
Generally, however, the member must get commitments for funding from MUSF and from other Rotary clubs in order to meet an identified dollar amount, based on the project. 
Our Rotary District then receives the grant request, and, if approved, it supplies additional funds for the project.  For local projects, the project may then get underway. 
For global projects, the grant request is also submitted to TRF, and, if approved, TRF supplies additional funds and the project then gets underway. 
Outside organizations may also contribute to MURC projects.
Does MUSF contribute
funding to others' projects?
MUSF may contribute to other club's projects and to District projects. 
It is worth noting that a significant percentage of our individual donations to TRF come back to us to fund MURC local and global projects. 
Watch for an article in the next edition of this Newsletter about some of MURC's projects, including projects on track this Rotary year, and learn more about their enormous impact.
The following article represents one RI global project.

Rotary’s World Polio Day program looks toward polio eradication’s endgame

Rotary’s goal of ridding the world of polio is within reach, global health experts said during the 2021 World Polio Day Online Global Update on 24 October.  The 30-minute program, “Delivering on our Promise of a Polio-Free World,” provided encouraging information about the progress and remaining challenges in the fight to end polio.
So far in 2021, only two cases of wild polio have been reported — the lowest circulation of the disease ever — with one infection each in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the two countries where polio remains endemic.
"Appreciation is a wonderful thing:  it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."  -- Voltaire

Member Moment

                               Five Questions For Lori Simpson 

What is your favorite thing about MURC?
At MURC, members are many good things, but what stands out to me is their kindness.  I have read that kindness is the greatest wisdom, and I'm happy to be part of a club filled with kind and wise people.
If you could share dinner with two people, who would they be and why
My grandma so I could ask her all the questions I didn't realize I had about her life until it was too late.  Ida B. Wells, who was born into slavery, became a newspaper owner, a journalist, an abolitionist, and so much more.  Interesting fact:  she did not change her name when she got married in 1895.  I'd like to be present with her and just listen to her.    
If you had to change your name, what would your new name be and why?
Lori Einstein for obvious aspirational reasons, and how cool would that name be. :)
Would you rather have an excellent meal or an excellent bike ride?
Well, the meal.  Is this a real question?
What are you still learning?
Progress is enough; perfection is not required.
Club Information
 We are a small and mighty group of local professionals and we are part of a   global network of 1.2 million Rotarians.
 We meet Wednesdays, noon-1:15 p.m.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, club     meetings are held online via Zoom.  To join our meeting and receive the Zoom                     link, email us at mplsunivrotary@gmail.com.
Newsletter Editor
Lori Simpson
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