Celebrating our
        Rotarians at work
              Paul Harris Society Members: 311
                       #1 District in U.S.!!
The end of a great Rotary year!
The real work of Rotary is done by individual Rotarians and their clubs, and most of what we do is known only to our small circle of volunteers who join us. I asked all of my presidents to send me what they felt was their favorite project this year and I’d like to share those projects with all of you.
Thank you again for your friendship and support in my year of service as District Governor. It was a deep privilege and a humbling experience to participate in your work as Rotarians.
Thank you for all you do for Rotary and for your communities, near and far!
Yours in Rotary service,
DG Bob


Clubs A-D

Alexandria (Sue Jung)
Corn & Pork Chop Feed 
Last August we did a Corn & Pork Chop Feed at the fire station, serving about 2,400 people. This spring we are going to plant trees for the city and paint fire hydrants.
Apple Valley (Wayne Hibbert)
Spaghetti Dinner for PolioPlus
One great event this year was our Spaghetti Dinner for PolioPlus. Our goal was $20,000. With the money raised at the event, donations to support Polio Plus, and a match from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we met our goal. Our club thanks Karen Kirkman for creating a new PolioPlus fundraiser.
Bloomington (Deb Newman)
What Would Hazel Do?
Each month we rely on members’ wit and wisdom for a meeting we call “What Would Hazel Do?” We recognize Rotarians celebrating their membership anniversary that month with Emcee Jim McDonald relaying a little-known fact about each so we get to know each other better. Then Jim hands each of them a crisp $100 bill which they have one month to pay forward in honor of Hazel, my mom. The second part of the meeting is listening to the touching (or humorous!) stories of what previous recipients did with their money. It ties in with the 2017-18 theme, Make a Difference. We are trying to make a difference in someone’s life. What has been fun is that most everyone is matching the giving; some have even multiplied it further.  
Brooklyn Center (Tom Agnes)
Meals on Wheels
My favorite project is one we have been doing for years -- Meals on Wheels. Every Friday we deliver hot meals to old folks. The appreciation they express when receiving lunch is always very fulfilling. 
Brooklyn Park (Steve Liable)
KPMG & Rotary Reader Program
A $5,000 district grant was leveraged to $12,265.65 for an innovative reading program at Title I elementary schools in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center. Our non-Rotary partner, KPMG, provided $6,265.65 that was used to procure and distribute over 2,500 age-appropriate books to 900 + children. District funds bought $2,000 of reading resources to motivate children reading below grade level to improve their reading skills. Another $2,000 was used for teaching aids for early childhood reading skill development. Rotarians and community volunteers also visited elementary schools and helped in the classroom, reading to children during their reading classes.
Buffalo (Jason Nelson)
Being the home club of the DG!
Actually, my favorite project this year was working with Phoenix Learning Center and their Walk for Water project, which will hopefully be tied in to the Guatemala project. They had initially hoped to raise $100. With a little coaxing, they moved that number to $1,000 though they emphatically said they would not reach it. At last count, they had raised over $3,500.
Burnsville Breakfast (Randy Sparling)
Gideon Pond Project
My favorite project was supporting the accessible playground at Gideon Pond Elementary School. This facility serves hearing-impaired children who often have additional challenges. Together with the Burnsville Rotary Club, the Burnsville Breakfast Rotary Club applied for and received a local grant from District 5950 to purchase two benches at the playground and plant trees. It was great fun digging deep holes for the trees; we also planted tulip bulbs.
Burnsville Noon (James Ball)
Food Shelf Support
Some food shelf clients are often not given canned goods because they do not own a can opener. Partnering with the Burnsville Breakfast Rotary Club we secured a district grant with the goal of making an impact in the community. We are now ordering can openers/blenders/smoothie recipe books. Organizations that we work with (e.g., MOMS, 360 Communities, Open Arms, Feeding the Homeless south of the river, LINK) will help distribute these and show the families how to make a healthy smoothie, salsa using the blender, etc. Burnsville High School’s Culinary class will help teach families kitchen basics and recipes.
Chanhassen (Janet Stanzak)
4th of July Fundraiser
Our 4th of July partnership with the City of Chanhassen is our biggest and most successful project in terms of serving the community and raising money. We netted $55,000 last year in activities like leading the parade, Taste of Chanhassen, Classic Car Show and, of course, the Beer Tent where we earn the “big bucks”! STRIVE is also highly successful because we do change lives. About one-third of our club is engaged in STRIVE.
Chanhassen Evening (Haley Pemrick)
Veteran's Day Holiday Dinner
Our annual Veteran's Day Holiday Dinner and gifts was our club's most fun and favorite project! Seventeen veterans and their families enjoyed dinner donated by Lunds & Byerly's and received tickets to local movie theaters and the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre. Crayola Experience also donated donated to help make their holiday season a little merrier.
Crystal-New Hope-Robbinsdale (Jim Benshoof)
Nicaragua Project Pilot Teacher Training Program
Jaime Belden and Elizabeth Dahl, through their non-profit organization called Future Roots, are providing vocational and educational training for at least 150 elementary and preschool teachers in low-income communities in Nicaragua. With improved skills and resources, classrooms are more conducive to learning, and attendance and retention rates increase. The $7,000 project purchased supplies for training, teachers’ educational materials, and financial support for the teachers. In addition to its own contribution, the Crystal-New Hope-Robbinsdale Club fulfilled the $7,000 project budget through contributions from three other District 5950 clubs and a club in Texas.

Clubs E-L

Eagan (Jodi Hassing)
ArtWorks Eagan
We partnered with ArtWorks Eagan to help them purchase the former Eagan Administration Building. The Eagan club provided a $50,000 major project donation and committed to support them with an additional $10,000/year for the next five years.
Eagan Kick Start (Dave Verbeke)
The Open Door Food Shelf
We volunteer at The Open Door food shelf in Eagan every month.  We wear our Rotary shirts so the clients know that we are there to help them.  I didn’t realize our impact until I witnessed an interaction between a client and The Open Door receptionist.  After we had help him shop and load his groceries in his car, the client game back into the office and asked, “Can I volunteer here too?”  That was my Rotary moment. It demonstrated the impact of Service Above Self and the difference we made in his life.
Eden Prairie AM (Roger Jorgensen)
Vino Classico
Our Vino Classico was a successful fundraiser in October. We have given out numerous grants to local organizations.
Eden Prairie Noon (Kim Ross)
Ethics Day Workshop
We are very proud of our Ethics Day Workshop. This event is a cooperative effort between Eden Prairie High School and the Eden Prairie Noon Rotary. Based on a program developed by the University of St. Thomas, the Ethics Workshop is a full-day immersion into the field of ethics for 60-70 Eden Prairie High School student leaders. The day incorporates business ethics dilemmas with small-group experience where each student has a leadership role (CEO, CFO, HR, manufacturing, marketing) in a fictional company. Two years ago we developed a model that gives them a sense of the financial impact of their ethical decisions.
Edina Morningside (Tom Gump)
Sewing Project
The Rotary Club of Edina/Morningside collaborated with the Rotary Club of Maple Grove and others to raise money to build a Sewing Center in Uganda in one of the largest refugee camps in the world. The Rotary Club of Edina/Morningside also purchased sewing machines and supplies for the Sewing Center.
Edina Noon (San Asato)
Camp Enterprise, Youth Frontiers, Opioid Project
We are very proud of and will continue to support two youth projects, Camp Enterprise and the Inteact Club of Edina. Youth Frontiers was also seeded by Edina Noon. Our annual Opioid Workshop was in May. A memorable event was a multi-club speaker event featuring Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari; the video is available at Nearly 200 people attended.
Excelsior (John Ferm)
Tree Planting
My favorite project was planting trees and working on the planning commission to plant approximately 50 trees on the commons in Excelsior. We also planted one large tree in the Mitten Pond area.
Gaylord (Rebecca Lindemann)
Global Grant Project
We are executing our global grant. We have had some wonderful feedback from Sierra Leone. Receiving this feedback from overseas makes everything feel special and rewarding. When you hear a testimonial from a recipient and realize you’ve made that difference times 350 – half a world away from our little town – it’s awe-inspiring.
Glencoe (Nicole Grobe)
Tree Project
Glencoe Rotary helped build a playground at the newly remodeled school in town. Now we are partnering with Kahnke Tree Farms of Glencoe to add 23 very nice sized evergreens around the playground. The school’s budget did not include trees but the kids need shade. We are happy to increase their enjoyment now and in generations to come!
Golden Valley (Colleen Haubner)
Schaper Park
We secured a district grant, using $6,000 for bleachers, trees and Golden Valley Rotary recognition plaques and signs as a partner in the first-ever, fully all-inclusive accessible playground in Minnesota.
Hopkins (Tom Johnson)
Beds for Kids
Together with the Hopkins Police Department, Hopkins Rotary is buying and delivering beds to children in the community that don't have them. So far, 10 kids are now sleeping in a bed instead of on the floor. Our goal is 50 beds total this year. This project was featured on the front page of the local Sun Sailor newspaper.
Hutchinson (Dan Mahon)
Area 8 International Project
My favorite club project was our Area 8 International Project where our club purchased an ambulance for a remote Guatemalan village. Funding came from a District 5950 grant and contributions from the other Area 8 clubs and the Rotary Club of Madelia.
Litchfield (Jeremiah VanderVorst)
Our club’s busiest and most rewarding project this year has been the SplashPad. We finally received approval and support from the City of Litchfield. If all goes well, we will start construction this summer.

Clubs M-R

Maple Grove (Suzanne Plant)
Tree Planting & Junior Rotarians
The Rotary Club of Maple Grove donated and planted 61 trees at Maple Grove Middle School Community Playfield, fulfilling Rotary International’s challenge to plant one tree for every member of the club by Earth Day 2018. Also, we focused on our Junior Rotarians who are great volunteers but very quiet at meetings. I invited them to be meeting greeters and lead the song, Pledge of Allegiance, Four-Way Test, invocation/reflection, and to help with the fines! (They continue to do school updates.) It has been incredible to have them be a part of the meetings!
Minneapolis (Bill Kuhlmann)
The Family Partnership
We have partnered with The Family Partnership, making it possible for them to create a full-time position providing counseling and support for individuals and their families who were involved in sex trafficking. The support needed is often multifaceted and different for every person and family. The employee was hired in early winter; the program of support builds on other work that The Family Partnership has done in the past. We made a three-year commitment to fund this position. 
Minneapolis City of Lakes (Bill Klein)
Honduras WASH Project
Over a two-year period, the Honduras WASH project will provide potable water and sanitation facilities to 20 communities in rural Western Honduras. Nearly 6,600 people will receive clean water; 2,232 also will receive sanitation facilities. Within the 20 communities, clean water taps will be piped directly to several hundred homes, 21 schools, and nine health care facilities.
Minneapolis South (Fred Herron)
Hands on Science and Math in Assam, India
This project provides access to quality science and math education in the remote rural areas of Assam in India. Hands-on education through experiments and projects develops conceptual understanding and a mindset for the process of scientific inquiry. Besides working with area students, the project will also help science and math teachers develop their own hands-on sessions. A focus on girls will encourage them to take up science/math in higher education.
Minneapolis-University (Robert Margolis)
San Felipe Medical & Club Rebranding
Our cataract surgery project in San Felipe, Mexico, will bring vision to hundreds more in the town. Our hearing clinic in the same location is bringing hearing services to a region where none are available. And a reading program is bringing literacy to students in a school in our own neighborhood. But I am most proud of how we reinvented the club. Membership peaked at 52 in 2001, then dwindled to 16. We restructured our costs, renegotiated with the hotel, and created an affiliate member category for young people. There is a new spirit in the club that has attracted 11 full members and four affiliate members. They make our meetings more vibrant and attractive.
Minneapolis Uptown (Guy Johnson)
District Fieldtrip
A real highlight for Minneapolis Uptown this year was using a district grant to provide a field trip for all of the third and eighth graders at Jefferson Community School. About 125 students rode the city bus to Magers & Quinn bookstore to pick out their very own books. The event was covered extensively by the Hill & Lake Press. It also included giving dictionaries to the third graders and thesauri to the eighth graders.
Minnetonka (Jacob Millner)
Highway Cleanup
Our club gets together to clean up a stretch of highway we adopted. I also really liked our holiday project with Resource West, helping low-income families shop for presents from donated toys and gifts. 
Monticello (Linda Mielke)
Bertrum Chain of Lakes
Our Bertrum Chain of Lakes Connection project is rewarding because we are protecting our environment and valuable natural resources. It incorporates tree planting and connecting the pathway systems of the City of Monticello to the pathway network of the Bertrum Chain of Lakes County/City Park, a stretch enjoyed by pedestrians and bicyclists. We are collaborating with the City of Monticello to plant approximately 100 bare-root trees of assorted species, and provide ongoing maintenance of the trail and trees. Rotary signage will be placed at each end of the trail. This project adds to the Natural Playground our Rotary Club built in 2015 at the Bertrum Chain of Lakes Park, as well as our in-process planting an edible garden and building nature discovery trails at the park.
North Minneapolis Club (Gloria Howard)
Community Int'l Peace Day
This year was our five-year reset. However, the best action was going out (impromptu) on International Peace Day and saluting our community with fruit, cookies and water on a hot, sunny, rush hour evening! We engaged people right where they were and just said Hi and Thanks!!
Plymouth (Jason Cardwell)
We completed two successful fundraisers. We increase those trained on CPR to 4,697 (on our way to 7K). We put on a wonderful kids’ ice fishing contest, and we received a grant for our tree-planting project with the City of Plymouth. We did a quick-turnaround water project support in Honduras, and we host a Youth Exchange student. For a 34-member club, we contribute much to our community and get a lot done!
Redwood Falls (Denise Kerkhoff)
Landscape Project and Senior Day
The Redwood Falls Rotary Club has received several District Community Grants over the years. Typically, we focus on improving the community landscape with park benches, trees, bushes, etc. Our projects benefit large numbers of people and fit a Rotary focus area.
Hosting Senior Day has become our signature event. We gather at the local community center for a formal day complete with tablecloths and a great meal. Six students and two Rotarians sit at each table. The day begins with a light breakfast; opening remarks, the Pledge and the Four-Way Test. First is an interactive session on Networking. To get the students moving and practicing the skills they have just learned we play Human Bingo! The next sessions are Your Social Media Footprint and Dining Etiquette. Following lunch, local Redwood Valley alumni share the sometimes-rocky road their careers took, and how it led them to where they are now. The day ends with Goal Setting. We fully fund the day and it is a source of pride for our club.
Rogers (Kyle Sabot)
CornerHouse Fundraiser
Spearheaded by Rogers Police Chief Jeff Beahen, our club sponsored a fundraising concert to support the new CornerHouse satellite location within the Rogers Police Department. CornerHouse staff conduct forensic interviews and medical care for sexually and emotionally abused youth. Bringing a satellite location to northwest Hennepin County serves a growing need. The club was excited to support a project the chief is so passionate about providing.

Clubs S-Z

Sauk Centre (Mike Traeger)
Golf & Raffle Event
Our Sauk Centre club is proud of kicking off a new fundraiser -- our first Rotary 9 hole Par 3 Shootout and 50/50 raffle. This was a big undertaking by our club. We netted about $6,000. Our 2018 Golf & Raffle event is June 29. It has been a revitalizing event for our club!
Shakopee (Barb Danielson)
Speakeasy Fundraiser
After losing our main moneymaker (pull tabs), we rallied and created an event at Canterbury named Little Chicago - Speakeasy because Shakopee was named Little Chicago during prohibition years. Over 350 people attended and our net profit was over $15,000.
South Metro Mpls Evening (Ashley Taylor)
Friends of Ngong Road
Our club took on its first global grant, partnering with Friends of Ngong Road to provide laptops and mentoring programs for children in Kenya. These are children whose parents either have AIDS or have died from AIDS. The total amount was raised from $35,000 to $55,000. We will put in sweat equity by going to Kenya in 2019 to spend time with the impacted students. 
Springfield (Ramsey Beyer)
Tree Project
We planted 26 trees around a softball and football field at Sticker Field in Springfield. It will provide much needed shade and a backdrop for the park. Our entire membership helped in one way or another. It was a fun project and something that we can see/remember for a long time. 
St. James (Jim Branstad)
Rotary District Grant
The St. James Rotary Club received a Rotary grant to be used at a new dog park for the St. James community. We will be assisting in putting up fencing, cleaning away brush and possibly planting some trees.
St. Louis Park (Mark Ihrke)
Global Grant Scholar
This year we are sponsoring Ms. Amal Gani, a Global Grant Scholar at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Ms. Gani is earning a Master’s degree in International Law and hopes to become an international reconciliation specialist. She has already participated in several learning events at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
St Michael-Albertville (Christine Konz)
Cork and Keg 5K
In just the second year of our Cork and Keg 5K we doubled the number of participants and cleared almost $5,000 in profit. We were also able to get a grant that provided water fountains for our local parks. This will provide club recognition and a safer environment for kids playing outside. 
St. Cloud (Troy Fritz)
Pathways 4 Youth
Officials estimate that up to 150 youth aged 16 to 23 are homeless in St. Cloud each day. The St. Cloud Rotary Club has partnered with other local Rotary clubs to open a 3,700 square foot daytime resource center. Pathways 4 Youth (P4Y) connects teens to social services, medical professionals, lockers, showers, laundry facilities, food, clothing and a mailing address. The Rotary Club of St. Cloud established P4Y as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and developed a business plan to ensure the project's sustainability. Operating expenses and administration costs will be funded by the Rotary Club of St. Cloud, the Granite Rotary Club, the Great River Rotary Club and the St. Cloud Rotaract Club. The center opened in March 2018 and will serve 20-25 youth on a daily basis.
Waconia West Carver (Darren Noble)
Rotary Duck Race
Our club’s fall fundraiser is Rotary Duck Races, held during Waconia’s Nickle Dickle Day. This annual event is such a fun time for children and families, as well as the many business sponsors who decorate ducks showcased in races throughout the day. We raised $17,000. We’re giving this money away, supplemented by profits from our Gourmet Wine Dinner and spring flower sale.
Willmar (Kelly Zuidema)
Rockin Robbins Summer Concert
Rockin’ Robbins is our summer concert series. We hold four concerts in July and August, drawing an incredible turnout from the community and raising around $30,000 to put back into our Robbin’s Island park. With some of the money that we have raised over the past two years, contributions from other clubs and a district grant, we are doing our first upgrade to the park this spring. We are overhauling the entrance to the park, installing a sign, and landscaping the entryway including planting trees as part of the district-wide tree planting project. The concert series has really gained traction over the past few years. Our concert lineup is at:

Upcoming Events
Rotary International Convention
Jun 23, 2018 – Jun 28, 2018
Meet and Greet at Mill Street - RI Covention in Toronto
Jun 24, 2018
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
Rotary International District 5950
PO Box 2158  
Minneapolis, MN 55337-2158
For further information, please email
Carol MacDonald, Executive Director 
Cheri Ashfeld, Newsletter Editor