Stories In This Issue

District Conference celebrates 2020-21 achievements

District Governor Tom Gump showcased a wide variety of district accomplishments during District Conference on May 1. The casual Central Park (in Brooklyn Center) setting was perfect for expanded seating, food truck meals, and Covid-19 accommodations. Pictured (clockwise) are DG Tom and RI Director Suzi Howe, the governor's remarks, Tom and Catherine Gump (Edina Rotary) at the Peace Pole, and a presentation to RC of Network for Empowering Women club president Anastasia Persico.
The emotional highlight of District Conference was Past District Governor Tim Murphy's (Edina) arrival and acceptance of a Lifetime Achievement Award. "Murph" served as
DG during the 2015-16 Rotary year and has been an effective mentor to district leaders ever since. His recent health crisis did not stop him from extolling the value of Rotary (left) or joking with friend and fellow Rotarian, Edina Mayor Jim Hovland (Edina/Morningside). The entire audience embraced him with affection and respect.

Additional Award Recipients

YMCA Equity and Innovation Center: Rotary District 5950 Partnership award
(for “Creating a Better Story” series)

Suzanne Kochevar: Rotary District 5950 Community Equity Advocate Award

Edina Rotary Club & Edina Morningside Rotary Club: Rotary District 5950
Youth Programming Innovation and Leadership  (for Edina High School Rotary
Global Scholars program)

Rotary Club of Network for Empowering Women: Rotary District 5950 Membership Growth Award

Raj Khankari: Rotary District 5950 Global Grant Guru Award

Clare Richards: Rotary District 5950 Rotaract Accelerator Award

Steve Solbrack: Rotary District 5950 Environmental Champion Award

Tim Mulcrone: Rotary District 5950 Polio Eradication Champion Award

Andrew Ramirez & Bill Sierks: Rotary District 5950 Rotary Peace Forest Champions Award

John Crudele: Rotary District 5950 Hybrid Meeting Champion Award

Irene Kelly: Rotary District 5950 PETS Excellence in Education Award

Russ Michaletz: Rotary District 5950 TRF Advocate Award

Lloyd Campbell: Rotary District 5950 Membership Support Award

Thanks to tree donations and participants' sweat equity, there is now a Rotary Peace Forest in Brookdale Park. The Tree Planting Project is the district’s first environmental sustainability project under Rotary International’s new Area of Focus: Supporting the Environment. The trees were planted in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and Tree Trust, planting trees in historically under-resourced communities and low tree canopy areas.

Rotary E-Club of Global Travelers charters during District Conference

A unique feature of the District Conference program was RI Director Suzi Howe (left) chartering the Rotary E-Club of Global Travelers, Minnesota USA. Ellen Durkin accepted the charter on behalf of the new club.
Travelers focuses on global issues with a team that shares a passion for international service through travel and friendships. It is a Rotary e-club within District 5950 with members all over the United States and around the world.
Global Travelers will be meeting two Tuesdays each month though the summer. The next meeting is a May 23 social gather from noon-3 p.m. Email to register and receive the New Brighton address. If you would like to join the club, it offers both full and associate memberships. 

End Human Trafficking Club marks first anniversary

May marks the one-year anniversary of chartering the Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking. We celebrate:
  • Growing almost 70% to 38 members representing 11 states and six other countries
  • Welcoming 22 women and 16 men, with 23 members new to Rotary
  • Providing amazing speakers and committees
  • Developing a model for other Rotary clubs
  • Coordinating a major presentation for the Zone Institute
  • Being a point of contact for organizations wanting to learn
    what Rotary is doing to End Human Trafficking.
With the strong foundation that we have established in our first year, we look forward to 2021-22 accomplishments driven by our strategic planning process.

EcoClub grant installs solar panels

The Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub led a Rotary grant project to install solar panels on the hydroponic Freight Farm at North Market in North Minneapolis. The hydroponic farm provides fresh, healthy hyper-local food to an area of Minneapolis that has the least amount of access to fresh healthy food. The project is a collaboration with Pillsbury United Communities, Greenway Solar, St. Thomas University Engineering Students, and Rotary District 5950. The Freight Farm is now 100% on renewable energy.
See the project's impact in this 1:40 video that includes drone footage of the solar panel array on the roof of North Market in North Minneapolis. Also meet some young adult uber-Rotarians!

Let's end COVID, just as we will Polio

I know many of you, like me and my family, are patiently working through the weeks of getting fully vaccinated. 
Just like Rotarians encourage people in countries where Polio is still endemic to get vaccinated, we hope you will encourage your family, friends and neighbors to get COVID-19 vaccinations.  
                                    --DG Tom

Experience Zone Institute in Houston!

REGISTER now!           Reserve your HOTEL

The 2021 Rotary Zone Institute will bring together Rotarians and Rotaractors from paired Zones 25B and 29 for in-depth trainings, inspiring speakers, fresh entertainment, fellowship, and a pre-international convention exploration of Houston's best attractions. This is the place to meet fellow Rotarians from around our Zone, network, learn from experienced Rotary members, and share your talents with others. You never know who you will meet, or how you will be inspired.

Any Rotary or Rotaract member can attend the Zone Institute, and your significant other is welcome to join. This is a celebration of the efforts of over 49,000 Rotary and Rotaract members in our Zone, how we lead ourselves, and our communities, and to set a path for how we will continue to move Rotary and Rotaract forward.
Learn about the horrors of human trafficking and effective methods for combating it. 
Get up close and personal with Jennifer Jones, first female Rotary International President Nominee, at 'Lunch with Jen.' Listen to space stories from hall of fame astronaut Col. Brian Duffy. After getting inspired, find some respite in the resort-like Royal Sonesta Houston Hotel and expand your mind on an educational trip to Space Center Houston.

Golden Valley marks 25 years of highway cleanup

The Sun-Post featured Golden Valley Rotary for 25 years of Adopt-a-Highway participation. "A highway cleanup is no glamorous endeavor, but the group has been doing it routinely as part of the Adopt-A-Highway program since 1996," the article credited.

'We’re kind of like the postal service here, neither rain nor sleet,' joked Rotarian Betsy Anderson.

After the work was finished, the Rotarians warmed up at Doolittles Woodfire Grill. Anderson marveled that so many of her fellow club members continue to feel a sense of responsibility to the highway, though most were not in the club when it opted into the Adopt-A-Highway program. “It has lived on beyond the people that started it,” she said.

Eagan clubs jointly honor educators

The Rotary Clubs of Eagan and Eagan Kick-Start jointly honored 16 outstanding education professionals nominated by school principals representing every public and private school in Eagan.

"Despite the challenges of educating students in a pandemic setting, the principals noted how the dedication, compassion and creativity of our educators have helped students make progress and tapped into the resourcefulness of both students and teachers,” said Bill Lindberg (Eagan), chair of the Teacher Recognition Committee. “It truly does take a village to educate our youth and Eagan is blessed with talented and caring teaching professionals,”

Carol Wirsbinski (Kick-Start) noted that COVID restrictions brought out the dedication and flexibility of teachers who stayed positive as they sought out the best tools to keep the students interested and learning. Two school nurses and two school counselors were honorees.

Each educator was given $200 from the Eagan Rotary Foundation.


Upcoming Events
District Governor - Marianna Khauv Installation
Jun 24, 2021
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