May 2019

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Welcome to the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club, Founded November 1922


Service Above Self

2nd and 4th Wednesdays each month at Noon
Lake Lawn
2400 East Geneva Street
Delavan, WI  53115
United States of America
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
  Jill Kessenich, Director of the Fort Atkinson Club, spoke to the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club on May 22nd, 2019 at Lake Lawn Resort. The Club was built in 1912-13 and operated as a social club until the late 1920's. It was then sold to the Masons and it served as the Masonic Lodge until the early 1990's. The building then sat empty until the early 2010's and became an "ugly duckling" in downtown Fort Atkinson. Joan Jones, a Fort Atkinson philanthropist (and part of the Jones Dairy Farm Business) founded a non-profit to refurbish the building. The Fort Atkinson Club opened for business in January 2015. The 2.3 million dollar renovation allowed the Fort Atkinson Club to become a community center. Open to everyone, the Club hosts weddings, Chamber Concerts, Winter Farm Markets, Art Classes, Weddings and many other functions. Their website is
Rotary Students of the month Lindsay Vandebogert (Top) and McKenzie Janisch spoke to our club today. Lindsay plans to attend UW Madison to study Business. She has participated in Tennis, Track and Lydian Choir. She works at the Boys and Girls Club in Delavan and is a member of the National Honor Society. McKenzie Janisch will attend UW Milwaukee to study Marketing/Graphic Design. She has volunteered for the DAYS foundation and has studied dancing for 16 years. She's also in Choir and performs in all the plays in High School. A member of National Honor Society, McKenzie also took the AP Art Class.
Lloyd Kuehn, a volunteer at the Phoenix Park Bandshell, spoke to The Delavan-Darien Rotary Club on May 8, 2019 at Lake Lawn.  The Bandshell provides free concerts throughout the summer three times per week. In 1838, the founders of Delavan, Samuel F. and Henry Phoenix, donated 3.28 acres of land for a park and 4 houses of worship. The land was used for 4 churches (now three),  concerts and ice skating in the winter for many years. The City of Delavan built the current Bandshell, completed in the spring of 2007.  The Friends of The Phoenix Park Bandshell, with a $50,000 budget, schedule the free concerts, review the bands, provide the food and beverages and solicit sponsors. The schedule this year begins on May 25, 2019 with The Brothers Quinn and concludes with Pink Freud on September 14, 2019. Tax Deductible donations can be mailed to Friends of the Phoenix Park Bandshell, PO BOX 218, Delavan, WI. Their website is:
The Annual Spaghetti Dinner at the Village Supper Club was a  success.  Rotarian Marilyn Cayo reported 145 tickets used!!  As usual, the food and drinks were outstanding.  Pictured are incoming President Katherine Gaulke and Sue Costoff.
Rotarian Barb Bauer checking the address of the next Meals on Wheels recipient on Tuesday, April 30, 2019.  The Delavan-Darien Rotary Club is delivering Meals on Wheels the week of April 29-May 3, 2019
Emily Tucker, Rotary Regional Membership Officer, spoke to The Delavan-Darien Rotary Club on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 at Lake Lawn Resort.  Regional Membership Development Officers began 3-4 years ago as a pilot program. The Rotary International Board of Directors operationalized the program last fall. Emily now covers 25 Rotary Districts from Ontario to Texas! Her job is to help Rotary Clubs and Districts find out what works and doesn't work in Rotary Membership. There are lots of membership attraction strategies available at Some of the initiatives approved by Rotary International allow clubs to meet a minimum of two times per month instead of the traditional weekly meeting. Emily asked our club, "What is your value proposition?". It's important to articulate that proposition and get it out to the community. She also encouraged clubs to have a positive membership experience and have fun. Emily also told us about the Learning Center available at the RI Website using actual case studies from Rotary Clubs to help with membership development issues.
She closed her talk by describing her experience with a couple successful Rotary Clubs and what made them successful. Among her observations: Great vibe when walking into the club; A friendly greeter at the door directing visitors where to go and making them feel welcome; Having a signature fund raising event that the community gets to know well such as a Brat Stand at a large sporting event.
On Saturday Night, March 30th, the five Rotary Clubs of Walworth County sponsored “dancing for a new beginning” at the Walworth County Fairgrounds Activity Center.  In front of a sold out crown of 300, Five dancing teams, patterned after Dancing with the Stars, competed for first place.  The objective of the entire evening was to raise funds for New Beginnings APFV, the Walworth County organization that helps victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.  Formerly known as the Association for the Prevention of Family Violence (APFV), New Beginnings APFV does not have a shelter for violence victims.  Rotarian Dawn Heath , from the Elkhorn Rotary Club, conceived the idea during her training to become a Rotary Club President.  Enlisting the help of the four other Rotary Club Presidents in Walworth County, the idea of  a Dancing with the Stars contest was born.    The Five Rotary Clubs in Walworth County (Lake Geneva, Elkhorn, Delavan-Darien, Walworth Fontana and Whitewater) each found a dancer and professional partner to dance for their club.  Each dance team raised $5,000 as part of the fund raising effort, in addition to learning their dance routines. With three volunteer judges, the contest was on with 300 spectators (each buying a $50.00 dollar ticket) watching and cheering.  The team of Sara Nichols and Brian Holt, dancing an East Coast Swing was declared the winner by the judges.  The People’s Choice Award went to the team of Greg Kunes and Katherine Stimpson, who danced a Fast Waltz.  The People’s Choice Award was selected by spectators voting by putting money in one of five boxes.  At the end of the evening, The Sugar Creek Lutheran Church Foundation donated $50,000 and the Elkhorn Rotary Club donated $10,000.  A live auction featured gift baskets donated by the five Rotary Clubs.  New Beginnings APFV served 952 families in 2018, guiding them to a healthy, violence free future.  New Beginnings APFV plans to operate a domestic violence shelter by 2020, and “dancing for  a new beginning” put the shelter project well on the way to completion. 
All dancers picture:  L to R  Greg Kunes, Katherine Stimpson; Sara Nichols, Brian Holt; Tom Hartz, Miss Christy; Becky Merwin, Garrett Volpendesta; Cameron Clapper and Jennifer French. 
   Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Tyler August spoke to our club today. In office since 2011, Tyler has advanced to the leadership position of Speaker Pro Tem. The biggest issue facing the Wisconsin Assembly this year is the budget. The Joint Finance Committee is beginning its work in earnest in April. Comprised of 16 assemblymen and senators, 12 are from the majority party and 4 from the minority. Tyler told Rotarians that the Legislative Fiscal Bureau has just released its analysis of Governor Ever's proposed budget. The Joint Finance Committee will hold 4-6 meetings with voters from around the state. Ideally, the budget process will be done by early July. If there is no adopted budget by then, the prior year budget spending levels will continue. Tyler predicted that education funding will likely increase. The other big issue facing the Assembly is transportation funding. Governor Evers has proposed a 9 cent per gallon state tax increase, coupled with a repeal of the minimum mark-up law, which could keep fuel prices stable. With the state transportation fund constitutionally protected, that fund cannot be raided for general purpose spending as both parties have done in the past. The big projects just completed such as the Zoo interchange in Milwaukee and big ongoing projects like I-39/90 from Beloit to Madison, will continue to make transportation funding a big challenge said August.
Former Rotarian Mary Knipper, Chairwoman of the Board of the Spirit of Hope Homeless Shelter, spoke to our club on March 13, 2019.  Rotarians may remember that Father Bill Myrick began the movement for a homeless shelter for men in Walworth County.  Father Bill dressed as a homeless person and laid down in from of this church.   Parishioners stepped over him and went in to church.  This galvanized the movement and in 2005 the Shelter was established.  The shelter rotates between 8 churches now and houses 14 men from October through April each year.  Since opening, the shelter has assisted 700 men and provided 12,446 nights spent and 3,549 meals.   Volunteers have contributed more that 37,000 hours.  Currently, The Board of Directors is looking for a permanent location for the Shelter.  Mary pointed out that the homeless problem persists even in today's strong economy.  This Shelter provides vital community service to those most deserving. 
Rotary Students of the month Kora Quinn (R) and Maddy Andreoni (L) spoke to our club today.  Kora just completed the musical 'Footloose' as the female lead.  She has also volunteered extensively for the DAYS Foundation.  Kora plays violin in the school orchestra and sings in the choir.  She really enjoys Math and is one of only three students in AP (advanced placement) Calculus!  Kora has been accepted at UW Madison and she plans to study Political Science/Journalism.  Maddy's family is heavily involved in school district.  Her father is on the school board and her mother has taught in the district for 25 years.  Maddy has played the violin for many years, including concertmaster at the DDHS Orchestra and 5 years with MYSO (Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra).  She has also tutored young students and is very involved in her Church Youth Group.  Maddy plans to attend either NIU or Carroll University studying Psychology and perhaps minoring in music. 
Rotary Students of the month Sam Grover and Sydney Anderson--both seniors at DDHS--spoke to our club on February 27, 2019.   Sydney has been involved in Basketball, Volleyball and Softball.  She is in the National Honor Society, Student Council and worked on the prom committee.  She's also involved in 4H and the DAYS Foundation and sports camps.  She plans to attend UW Whitewater and play softball, majoring in criminology and/or special education.  Sam Grover plays basketball, track and football.  He's a member of FBLA (future business leaders of America), Student Council and FFA.  He has volunteered at Sky Circus on Ice, Sports Camps and the McGMO Golf Tournament.  Sam will attend UNC-Wilmington to study business.
Rotary Students of the Month Leroy Gloria and Emree Deibert spoke to our club on Feb 13, 2019 at Lake Lawn.  Leroy has played football and tennis.  A regular volunteer at St Patrick's Parish in Elkhorn, he also works part time at Dunkin Donuts.  He plans to attend UW Whitewater and major in Applied Mathematics.  Emree volunteers at the School for the Deaf and is a member of the National Honor Society.  An identical twin, she plans to attend Gateway Technical College and major in Graphic Communications.
Rotarian Barb Bauer checking the next Meals on Wheels delivery address.  During the week of Jan 2-4, 2019, the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club delivered 'Meals on Wheels'.  The route takes about one hour to complete and is located mostly within the city of Delavan.  Meals on Wheels recipients are always very thankful for the delivered meals.

Rotary Students of the month Aidan Showalter (Top) and Esther Jeninga spoke to the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club on Monday, December 17, 2018 at Lake Lawn Resort.
Aidan attended St Andrew through 8th grade. He has been on the High Honor Roll every semester he has been in High School! He's also the president of The National Honor Society Chapter at the High School. Aidan has volunteered for the Delavan Food Pantry and played Football on the varsity team during his Junior and Sen...ior years. He's been accepted at UW Platteville and MSOE to study Electrical Engineering.

Esther Jeninga told Rotarians that she was prepared because "her mother told her to write out her remarks". Esther has been involved in Theater and singing throughout her high school career. She also volunteers with the DAYS foundation, the Apple Pie Fundraiser at Delavan Christian School and sings on the worship team at Delavan Christian Reformed Church. She hopes to study at UW Whitewater majoring in Physics Education. Her goal is to be a high school teacher in Physics. Finally, Esther also hopes to continue singing and acting in local plays.

Dr. Jeff Scherer, president of the Delavan-Darien School District Board, spoke to the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club on Dec 17, 2018 at Lake Lawn Resort. A member of the School Board since 2007, Dr. Scherer is now the longest tenured member.
The Delavan-Darien School District was founded in the mid 1970's by consolidating the 28 elementary schools that existed at that time. This consolidation was controversial at the time, as local residents didn't want to give up control of their individual schools. Two years ago, the School Board voted to change the way members were elected. In the past, each school board member represented a specific geographic district. Now, all board members are elected at large--easing the task of finding qualified and interested candidates.
The district budget is some 29 Million Dollars each year. The recently passed referendum gives the District 2.8 million dollars of additional revenue over the next four years. Since 1993, each school district in Wisconsin has a revenue cap based on a per student dollar figure. Currently, the revenue cap for the District is $9,400 per student. The only way to exceed that cap is to go to the voters for a referendum.
Dr. Scherer told Rotarians that the Board has used Act 10, the Budget Repair Bill passed in 2011 to trim costs in the district. The Board also hopes to re-engineer the District Strategic Plan. He said that they would like to start a Birth to 3 year old day care program with certified teachers, possibly at Wileman Elementary. If instituted, this program could lead to reopening the Darien Elementary School. Dr. Scherer pointed with pride to the State Department of Education Report Card. The district received 83.6%, the highest score in the area. And, he noted, the dual language immersion program has attracted an inflow of 50-60 students to the district, helping to mitigate the outflow of 600 students due to open enrolling in other districts.
The Delavan-Darien Rotary Club celebrated Christmas again this year at Greenies.  Delicious tenderloin with all the trimmings was served.  The fabulous DDHS Lydian Choir sang a selection of Christmas Songs and Hymns.  This year, all of the singers except two were seniors!  Director Jim Larsen said it will be difficult to replace so many great singers. 
Rotary International President Barry Rassin of Nassau, Bahamas, spoke to the Rotary Club of Milwaukee (RCM).  More than 50 visiting Rotarians from District 6270 joined RCM members to hear his talk.  Barry's main point was to thank assembled Rotarians for their support of worldwide projects like Polio Plus.  In 1979, Rotary eradicated polio in the Philippines.  The World Health Organization wasn't ready at that point to get behind a worldwide eradication effort.  Then Rotary helped eliminated Polio in Cuba.  After re-engagement with the WHO, the effort to eliminate polio began in earnest.  In 1985, there were 350,000 cases per year.  So far this year, only 27 cases have been reported!  Barry also told about a Global Grant project in Manilla.  That project was a dialysis center.  Because of Rotarians, 80% of the patients can get free dialysis treatments.  Barry told assembled Rotarians that a woman patient told him that because of Rotarians, she was alive!  He also asked Rotarians what we can do to make Rotary more relevant to today's world.  He suggested starting more Rotaract Clubs.  Rotaract Clubs are adults age 18-30 who take action in their communities.  Barry finished by saying that when you pick up a rock, you pick up the past.  When you pick a flower, you are picking up the future.  And finally, if you change a life, you change the future.   
Ron Sandoval, Director of Language Acquisition and Community Education for the Delavan-Darien School District, spoke to the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club on November 26, 2018 at Lake Lawn about the Dual Language Education (DLE) Program.  The Dual Language Program is in its 5th year.  The Delavan area has a long history of Hispanic Residents moving to the area back to 1931.  By the 1960’s-1970’s, migrant families started to spend all year in the Delavan Area.  Today, 30% of the Delavan Population is of Hispanic Descent.  And, 53% of students in the District are of Hispanic Descent.  Ron told Rotarians that only two of 473 Districts in the state have higher needs than Delavan for language training—and both are on a Native American Reservation.  27% of Delavan-Darien District Students need language training now.
The Dual Language Program started in the mid 1980’s with one bilingual teacher.  After an 6 year run from 1998-2004, the Bilingual Language Program was dropped.  The current version of Dual Language Education began in 2013-14.  Currently there are 16 ESL (English as a second language) staff.  And, Ron stressed, it is difficult to get highly qualified dual language instructors.  The district has recruited internationally for highly qualified instructors.    The program starts in 4K (Kindergarten for 4 year olds).  The first year, instruction is 90% Spanish and 10% English.  By 5th grade, the instruction is 50%-50%.  Students are fully bilingual, biliterate and bicultural by the end of 5th grade.  Today, there are 370 students enrolled in the program and consist of 50% Hispanic background students and 50% English as a first language students.  Ron stressed that the program is best when begun at the 4K level—young minds are very capable of learning two languages at the same time.  And, he stated, the byproducts of bicultural education are extremely valuable.  Any parent who would like their child to be enrolled in the DLE Program can go to the website   and fill out the Student Interest Form. 

 Edward Caceres, who grew up in Lima, Peru, is a Small Business Development Center Consultant in Rockford, IL. Edward holds a bachelor’s degree from Lima, Peru and an MBA from Rockford University. He operated a number of business both in Peru and the United States. He is also an Aram Public Library Trustee in Delavan. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides a vast array of technical support to businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. SBDC’s are funded with federal and state dollars. They don’t charge for their services. Edward said that the hardest problem facing prospective entrepreneurs is finding financial support for their prospective businesses. The SBDC works with local banks to help with this issue. There are also SBDC’s near UW Parkside and UW Milwaukee. Edward said that his job is “The best job in the world”. He enjoys helping small businesses succeed. And he told Rotarians that prospective business owners must “think outside the box”, as many jobs and business don’t even exist today. Their website is: www.rockfordsbdc.ord
Rotary Students of the month Lizzy Sirkman (bottom photo) and Madelyn Gonzalez spoke to our club on November 12, 2018.  Lizzy is ranked 1st in her class of 192.  She is president of the student senate, has been involved in National Honor Society and is a member of the international club.  She volunteers for the DAYS foundation and is a site leader.  She manages several sports teams and enjoys math like Advanced Placement Calculus.  She would like to attend the University of Washington and study environmental architecture.
Madelyn Gonzalez is #5 of 192 in her class.  She is in National Honor Society and played Volleyball for 3 years.  She participates in Biz Tank and the DAYS foundation, where she is also a site leader.  Madelyn coaches Recreation League Volleyball as well. She hopes to attend UW Madison or Madison Tech and study dentistry. 
During the week of 29 October-2 November, the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club delivered 'Meals on Wheels' to City of Delavan Residents.  The Meals on Wheels program is administered by Walworth County.  Recipients are very thankful for the delicious hot meal delivered five days a week at lunch time.
DDHS Senior Olivia Patterson spoke to the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club on October 15th at Lake Lawn Resort. Olivia attended the World Affairs Seminar at Carroll University, Waukesha, WI in June of 2018. The theme of the World Affairs Seminar was Innovation. On the first day of the seminar, Olivia met her roommate from Italy and also met a student from Jamaica. Initially, she said that it appeared that the many delegates to the seminar were different, but as the week wore on, it became remarkable how alike they all were. The Capstone project for the Seminar was answering the question, "What is Innovation to me and where will it take you". Her group solicited opinions of the 200 some delegates on sticky notes.  The response was overwhelming.   Olivia closed by telling Rotarians that the World Affairs Seminar taught her that it is a privilege to participate in Democracy.
On Monday October 15, Rotary Students of the month Olivia Patterson and Katelynn Riviere spoke to our club.  Olivia is a senior and has been involved in the DAYS foundation, Student Council, National Honor Society and the Soccer Team.  She has been involved in soccer since a young child.  Olivia is interested in studying neuroscience, and especially what makes a human human.  She hopes to study at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities or the University of Washington in Seattle.  Katelynn Riviere is also a senior and has been heavily involved in FFA.  She has raised beef and horses.  She's currently the Vice President of the National Honor Society and has been president and vice president of the DDHS FFA Chapter.  The FFA chapter is very involved in community service such as a food drive for the Delavan Food Bank.  Katelynn has also been involved in the National Short Horn Association.  She hopes to study Biology and Pharmacology at either the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities or at UW Madison.  Katelynn is pictured on top  and then Olivia.