Rotary Club of Estes Park
Service Above Self
Since April 17, 1926
Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Estes Park

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Nicky's Steakhouse
1350 Fall River Rd.
Estes Park, CO 80517
United States of America

Bulletin Subscribe

Subscribe to our eBulletin and stay up to date on the latest news and events.

Officers And Directors
President Elect
Past President
Club Administration Director
Community Service Director
Fund Development Director
International Service Director
Youth/New Generation Services Director
Membership Director
Home Page Stories
Thursday's program:
Dr. John Meyer on when to call the chopper
Our program this week will feature Dr. John Meyer, Estes Park Health Chief of Staff. His program is "When to Call a Chopper - an Emergency Department Presentation."
Join the program by clicking on the Zoom link before noon.

Dr. Meyer describes his leadership style as “laid back and approachable” and that has worked for him as a leadership trainer at the YMCA, as a camp counselor, the captain of his football team and now in the Emergency Department. “I may appear laid back,” Dr. Meyer adds, “but there are things that I actively want for this community. I want this town to have an excellent hospital with excellent patient care, and so do the other physicians.”

Dr. John Meyer

A career in medicine was a natural choice for Dr. Meyer. “I have always had a passion for working with people and helping others,” he says. “This, along with a passion for science made it an easy fit for me.”

As a trained Emergency Medicine physician, Dr. Meyer’s expertise is in helping people who’ve suffered an accident or serious sudden illness. To establish trust and open communication in these critical situations, Dr. Meyer treats each patient like a friend or family member.  “I am open and friendly with everyone I work with, as well as patients.” Immediately establishing rapport allows him to quickly address patient needs and take the proper course of action.

In his free time, Dr. Meyer spends time with his wife and two sons. In addition to going to the gym, skiing, and hiking, he enjoys listening to music, playing percussion, and “having as many laughs as I can dream up!”

Nov. 12 program:                                 
Director to present on the Urgent Care Center
Our program this week will feature Barb Valente, B.A., B.S.N., R.N, the director of the new Estes Park Health Urgent Care Center. The Urgent Care Center is a new venture for Estes Park Health, and provides an additional care option for Estes Park residents and visitors. Valente joined Estes Park Health in 2016, and accepted her newest role in December 2019.
Click on this link to join the meeting on Zoom:
Barb Valente, Urgent Care Center Director
The Urgent Care Center provides treatment for immediate or same-day non-emergency care for fevers, flu, coughs and colds, ear infections, minor broken bones, minor cuts and burns, altitude sickness, etc. It is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., and no appointment is needed to be seen for care. 
Prior to her current role, Valente functioned as a Triage and Float R.N. for the Estes Park Health Physician’s Clinic, doing telephone triage and working with all the providers. Before joining Estes Park Health, she worked as a NICU nurse for Boulder Community Hospital, and North Colorado Medical Center (Banner Health) before that. At Boulder Community, she was Chair of the Unit Based Council for three years, providing education, policy/procedure review, staff competencies and skills assessments based on evidence-based nursing practice.  
Nursing is a second career for Valente; she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from University of Northern Colorado in 2009, where she participated in the Second Degree nursing program, as well as being a full-ride Hansen Nursing Scholarship recipient. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Music. Her first career was as a music teacher, where she had her own private music studio for 10+ years.
Valente’s nursing career has been spent ensuring high quality patient care, patient education, providing a safe environment for patients, and furthering the industry in this ever-changing world of healthcare. She and her team are committed to making a positive difference in the health and well-being of all they serve at the Urgent Care Center.  
When Barb is not working, she loves spending time with her husband and two teenage children, performing with her band, and doing anything outdoors. She lives just outside of Estes Park, and is excited to be able to be able to offer this new service line of care for her community.
This week's program:
Carol Stark to present on Paul Harris giving
You may not know, but November is Foundation Month in Rotary. There's no better time than this to hear from our District 5440 Paul Harris Society Representative Carol Stark.
She will join our meeting via Zoom this week and will provide an overview of the benefits of giving to Rotary International's Paul Harris Fellowship program, the Paul Harris Society, or of becoming a Major Donor or Benefactor. Many members of our club are Paul Harris Fellows, 32 to be exact. Of that number, 17 are Multiple Paul Harris Fellows. In addition, three among us are Benefactors and another three are Major Donors.  Six club members have pledged to donate $1,000 annually, which places them in the Paul Harris Society. Carol will explain each level of recognition and why it's important to consider R.I. in your charitable giving.
Carol Stark is past president of the Loveland Rotary Club, past Assistant DG for the Greeley clubs, and PHS and TC (Triple Crown) chair for the District. She has been a Rotarian for 15 years. She is the owner of a company that makes fire nozzles. As she puts it, "Nozzles and valves, things that go on the end of a firehose. Specifically, products used for wildland fire fighting. Yes, we have been busy lately."
Join the meeting by clicking on this link:
E. P. Rotary Club marks progress toward a polio-free world 
Urges Rotarians, residents to help end the paralyzing disease 
Rotary Club members in Estes Park are taking action to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still cripples children in parts of the world today. World Polio Day is Saturday, Oct. 24.
The club has donated $1,000 to the Rotary International Polio Fund, and club members are encouraged to make online and mail-in donations. To add a donation to this worldwide effort, go online to and select the Polio Fund, or send a check made out to The Rotary Foundation with Polio Fund in the memo line, to The Rotary Foundation, 14280 Collections Center Dr., Chicago, IL 60693. To download a form to send with your check, click on this link:
When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, polio paralyzed 1,000 children every day. Great progress has been made against the disease since then, with the number of cases reduced by 99.9 percent. Polio is currently present in only two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. The initiative has vaccinated 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.
A highly infectious disease, polio causes paralysis and is sometimes fatal. It can strike people of any age but mainly affects children under five. As there is no cure, the best protection is prevention. For as little as 60 cents worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against polio for life. After an international investment of more than $9 billion, and the successful engagement of over 200 countries and 20 million volunteers, polio could be the first human disease of the 21st century to be eradicated.
“And we remain committed to the end,” said Ron Gordon, International Service Director for the Rotary Club of Estes Park. “We encourage everyone to make a donation to bring about the end of this disease in our lifetime.” 
With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has committed to raising $50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total of $150 million each year.  
Rotary has contributed nearly $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to ending polio since 1985. 
“The last few vestiges of this deadly virus remain In Afghanistan and Pakistan,” said Bill Solms, Rotary Club of Estes Park President. “This year Africa was finally declared wild polio virus free after three years of no cases!  We cannot relax our guard until the same occurs in these last two countries; until then testing, education, and vaccinations must receive our full support."
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who unite and take action to create lasting change in communities around the globe. For more than 110 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to improve lives through service. From promoting literacy and peace to providing clean water and improving health care, Rotary members are always working to better the world. Visit to learn more about Rotary and the fight to eradicate polio. Three videos about the fight to eradicate polio are available on: - video
This week's program:
New YMCA manager Shannon Jones to present Thursday
Shannon Jones is the new General Manager for the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. He and two colleagues from the Y will speak about the programs and fascinating history of the Y of the Rockies in Estes Park.
As general manager, Jones manages all operations at the 800-room property, including 130 full-time employees and 1,000 seasonal staff and volunteers. In addition to the traditional demands of leading a dynamic and diverse operation, he will also cultivate and maintain relationships with key donors and members who support the YMCA Association philanthropically.
Shannon Jones
Jones was born and raised in Southwest Nebraska, some might say close enough to Colorado and Kansas to have multiple residencies. He worked on a local farm at a young age and learned quickly what hard work was all about and the value in serving others. 
Jones earned an Associate Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management at Cloud County Community College. His internship with Marriott Corporate was to be a short stint, then back to school to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Instead, he was asked to participate in their Manager-in-Training program based on his attitude and effort during the internship, and now, after 31 years in the Hospitality Industry, obtaining the bachelor degree remains on his bucket list, possibly a retirement goal.
His volunteer activities include food drives, Red Cross, local church, and homeless shelters. He lists his hobbies as family, outdoor activities, fly fishing, hunting, college football, Hawaii, and more family.
His family includes wife Jill and children Hunter, Scoutt and Larkyn. Hunter and Scoutt both worked for the YMCA in Kearney, Nebraska. Jones frequented the Y while raising three active kids, so he describes his history with the YMCA as having been "on the receiving end of the mission and the core values shared with all that utilize this wonderful organization's services." 
Zoom link for the meeting:
This week's program:
Rick Taylor to present on leadership
"Our program is about a particular kind of leadership model," said Rick Taylor. " It’s called collaborative leadership and it is the opposite of the heroic model where the one recognized leader is the indispensable one with the plan."
So Zoom in or come to Nicky's for this timely presentation to our club. Why timely? The Nominating Committee is searching for next year's leaders, and the Duck Race Committee has just completed the process of choosing a new Big and Little Duck. Rick's presentation may energize our approach to leadership!  
The Taylors
The presentation will include a 15-minute video on the theme of collaborative leadership by an experienced leader in the field. After the video, Rick Taylor will share a few thoughts of his own. Then he’ll facilitate a conversation with all of us together on our theme of collaborative leadership. He'll pose a few questions for us to consider. 
Rick has had a variety of leadership experiences, all in the non-profit sector. His primary career for 20 years was as a YMCA Director for Ys in Denver and Houston. Since retiring from paid work in 2011, his volunteer work has been as a leader in several local volunteer organizations, including Rotary, Estes Park Non-Profit Resource Center, Boulder Friends of Jung, The Journeys Class for Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies, and two local Homeowner's Associations. 
This week's program:
 C.E.O. Vern Carda to discuss EPH's challenges

Besides Covid, the topics of conversation and concern in Estes Park during the month of September have been the Cameron Peak Fire and the financial issues facing our local hospital. Residents are watchful of the firefighters' progress, the evacuation maps and the red flag weather warnings. At the same time, hospital officials have been dealing with a red flag warning of their own: loss of revenue due to the pandemic which is affecting the future of the facility.

A community-wide discussion of a proposal to permanently close Estes Park Health Living Center has included tele-town meetings on Sept. 9 and Sept. 23. The hospital's board of directors will vote on the proposal to close EPHLC and is seeking community input. Their goal is to make a decision in mid-October, according to the EPH website.

Hospital C.E.O. Vern Carda will be our speaker this week. 

Vern Carda, EPH CEO

Carda has been with EPH since March 2020. Previously, he was Vice President of Regional Operations for the Billings Clinic in Montana. Billings Clinic is Montana’s largest health care organization and serves a region covering much of Montana, northern Wyoming and the western Dakotas. 

Virtual Duck Race nets $96,577 for organizations
On a warm sunny day, perfect for the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race, the weather didn’t matter for the first time in 32 years. The First (and hopefully last) Annual Estes Park Virtual Duck Race took place inside the studios of the Rocky Mountain Channel in downtown Estes Park. In a very unusual year, the virtual race meant spinning a gold drum with entries instead of cheering the yellow ducks as they bobbed in the river. It eliminated in-person attendance at various Estes Park locations, but instead featured a YouTube live stream watched by fans across the nation. 
Because cancelling the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race was never an option, 67 local participating organizations will collect $96,577 to bolster their budgets in this challenging year. 
“Estes Park is an amazingly giving community, and this year is no different,” said ‘Big Duck’ 2020 Karen Thompson. “Everyone that adopted a duck should pat themselves on the back for making this year’s race successful.”
The race fans who generously adopted ducks reaped 438 prizes due to the hard work of the Merchant Prize Committee and the donations of sponsors. The winners of the major cash and travel prizes were drawn during the live broadcast and all prizes were posted on
Winners include:
  • Sammie Johns, Chino Hills, California - $2,000
  • Lois Ellingwood, Estes Park - $1,000
  • Ron Bell, Salt Lake City, Utah -  3-night stay at Tenaya Lodge, near Yosemite National Park, tour of Yosemite
  • Wayne Park, Estes Park -  3-night stay at Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone, tour of Grand Canyon or Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park
  • Linda Schneider, Estes Park -  3-night stay at The Pine Lodge, Whitefish Montana, near Glacier National Park, guided park tour.
Delaware North Parks and Resorts donated the travel prizes. 
The gold prize drum was spun several times and winners’ tickets were pulled by Honorary Duck Pluckers, individuals whose years of contributions have made the Duck Race a continuing success. Honorary Duck Pluckers also shared their favorite race memories with emcee Kris Hazelton, reminiscing about everything from rain, snow, lightening and dunks in the river, to rogue ducks tossed fraudulently into the stream. Honorary Duck Pluckers were Wayne Newsom, Tom Maher, Gary and Kris Hazelton, Wayne and Judy Andersen, Lee and Sandy Lasson, and Don and Barb Widrig.
Nick Mollé and Sean Doherty of the Rocky Mountain Channel hosted the event in the Channel 8 studios and both filmed for the live stream. They also created a 45-minute Pre-Flight Show featuring vintage race footage, interviews and clips of Big Duck and Lucky visiting Major sponsors. 
“I can’t say enough about the professionalism of Sean Doherty and Nick Mollé,” Thompson said. “Their ability to produce a high-quality video in such a short amount of time was amazing. They were fun to work with and very patient with our lack of experience.” 
Mollé, who began filming the Duck Race in 1993, shared his reason for stepping up to produce the virtual race.
“I have a lot of memories of the Duck Race and my kids always loved it,” Mollé said. “It’s our pleasure to be a part of the Virtual Race this year. I think what I most love about the race is that it makes so many people happy in this town.”
Big Duck 2020 Karen Thompson summed up her experience of leading the flock in a pandemic that forced postponement from May to September and then a rapid planning of the virtual event.
“This was a race that definitely took a lot of flockwork,” Thompson said. “Three weeks ago, we were concerned we would only have about 2,000 adoptions, but people really stepped up the last 10 days and we ended up with a very respectable 5,721 ducks in the race.  I am pleased the participating organizations made a final push to get their supporters to adopt ducks. I am also grateful for our 87 sponsors that provided funds, allowing us to purchase prizes this year. While the Merchant Prize Program was confusing to some, it came together quickly and the merchants were very appreciative of our efforts. Everyone on the committee did whatever was needed to have a successful race, and I am so proud of all of them.”
The process has begun to notify the winners of 438 prizes of their lucky ducks. Thompson encourages winners to remember to redeem their prize certificates.
"Please redeem your prize! Merchants participate in these types of events for several reasons, one of which is to draw more business through their doors,” she said. “If prizes are never redeemed they get discouraged and may not continue to participate.  If you, personally, don't want the prize, redeem it anyway and share it with a friend that would appreciate your thoughtfulness." 
Top 10 selling Participating Organizations included: Glen Haven Volunteer Fire Department, Rotary Club of Estes Park Foundation, Crossroads Ministry of Estes Park, Pet Association of Estes Park, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, Estes Park School Bands, Knights of Columbus, Estes Park Health Foundation, Lifelong Learning of the Estes Valley and Eagle Rock School.
“I think the organizations did a great job selling adoptions given the situation with the pandemic,” Larry Williams, Duck Race Committee chair who recruits and supports Participating Organizations.
Sept.17 program:
Unanticipated: what I've learned in my first year as town administrator
This week's program will be presented by Travis Machalek, who serves as the Town Administrator of Estes Park. If you are attending via Zoom, click on this link before noon so that ZoomHost Scott Thompson can invite you to the meeting: 

Travis Machalek
Machalek has worked for Estes Park for five years. He was born in Fort Collins and raised in Laramie, Wyoming. Travis has worked in various capacities for city and county governments in Wyoming, Kansas, and Colorado. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas. Travis lives with his wife Ashley in the Estes Valley. 
This week's program
 Learn about LaPuente's work and mission
This week's program will be presented by Lance Cheslock and Shanae Diaz from La Puente in Alamosa, Colorado. Cheslock is the executive director and Diaz is the volunteer coordinator director. They will present on Zoom. Click this link to join the program before noon. Zoom link: Zoom Host Scott Thompson will invite you to join the meeting.  
Our club has donated to LaPuente and several club members are regular volunteers at the Alamosa facility in the San Luis Valley. The vast and isolated region of the state experiences national high rates of poverty. Poverty begets hunger, homelessness and other crises that destabilize families. La Puente is the Alamosa community's response to address the effects of poverty by providing a safety net of services where individuals and families get what they need to stabilize, heal, strengthen and ultimately thrive. La Puente offers a network of services that include: an emergency shelter/soup kitchen, a food bank plus 14 pantries throughout the San Luis Valley, housing supportive services, youth stabilization services, homeless prevention and crisis intervention resources, street outreach, social enterprises and so much more.
"Our club has supported La Puente with grants and assistance including service visits from club members," said Bruce Brown, one of the volunteers from our club. "La Puente's newest initiative is geared towards serving the most vulnerable in the community, the unsheltered homeless who are not actively seeking resources and are living on the streets, in abandoned houses and along riverbanks."
Lance Cheslock
Cheslock has served as the executive Director of La Puente since 1989. He is a strong advocate who believes in sharing the story and dynamic of the silent epidemic of rural homelessness, in Colorado and nationally. He loves listening to the stories of those who experience and overcome homelessness and has enjoyed many adventures going undercover to stay in homeless shelters throughout the United States and abroad.
An easy way to help the Duck Race 
Have you adopted your ducks? It's easy to adopt online at
Lucky says that if everyone in the club:
1. Adopts 2 ducks for themselves
2. Gets 4 friends/family to adopt. 
Based on our current active and honorary membership, we could have additional sales of:
70X2=140 (Members)
70x4= 280 (Friends/family)
Total: 420 
Are you on Facebook? Post something today to encourage your friends and family to adopt a duck.
Send an email to your friends and acquaintances to make them aware that the Duck Race is still happening.
Not feeling creative? You can copy/paste this:
This year’s Virtual Estes Park Duck Race on Saturday, Sept. 19 will not take place in the familiar venues, but will deliver all the excitement that comes with a traditional race. All you need to do is adopt a duck online at and then tune in to Channel 8-The Rocky Mountain Channel to view a virtual race proDUCKtion. The Rocky Mountain Channel’s free app can be downloaded at the App Store or Google Play. All broadcast links will be available at
The broadcast will begin at 11 a.m. with a Pre-Flight Show featuring interviews, clips from historic footage, and appearances by mascot Lucky Duck and ‘Big Duck’ Karen Thompson, the leader of the 2020 flock. At 12:40 p.m., the broadcast will go live from the studios of Channel 8. You can adopt ducks right up until 1 p.m. Shortly after 1 p.m., watch the exciting Tail Spin, the live reveal of the top prize winners.
Major prizes and over 400 Duck Bucks certificates for local merchants will be awarded. All winners’ names will be posted on the Duck Race website on race day, at Winners also will be notified by email. Major Prizes include:
  • Cash Prizes: $2,000 and $1,000 
  • Travel Prizes: Pine Lodge on Whitefish River near Glacier National Park, Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone National Park, and Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park. All travel prizes are three-night accommodations for two people. Travel prizes, which have expiration dates well into 2022, include extras that vary between resorts. Delaware North, the lodging and concession corporation that includes the Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park, generously donated the travel prizes.
To adopt a duck or a flock, visit and choose a Participating Organization to receive $19 of each adoption fee.
District Governor Woodruff to visit this week
On Thursday, Sept. 3, Rotary District 5440 Governor Chris Woodruff will join our meeting via Zoom for his annual visit. He will be our featured speaker. Woodruff will also spend time with the club board at their meeting on Tuesday. Kathy Groesbeck, Assistant District Governor, also will join both meetings. 
Woodruff is the retired Assessor in Weld County Colorado. He makes his home In Greeley. He completed a 40-year career in property appraisal and assessment with work experience all over Colorado. He has a B.S. degree in Technical Management from Regis University and is a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser.
Woodruff became a Rotarian in 2000 when he joined the Rotary Club of Greeley - Centennial. He has served as Secretary, President and Foundation Chair of the Greeley club and was named club Rotarian of the Year three times. At the district level, Chris served as Assistant Governor for the Estes Park clubs, Awards Committee chairman, TRF mentor and as a member of the District Foundation Committee. He has also presented at several District Assemblies and has served as a facilitator at High Country PETS.
District 5440 Governor Chris Woodruff
Woodruff travelled to Saratov, Russia as part of a District 5440 delegation attending the chartering of a new club in that city. On that trip he saw the power of Rotary in transforming people’s lives by providing a means to connect across great geographic, cultural and language differences. 
He is married to Karoline, who is also a Rotarian who has served as past Club President and past Assistant Governor. Chris and Karoline are Multiple Paul Harris Fellows, Bequest Society members and Major Donors.
This week's program
Michael Moon to define The Paradise Gap
This week's program will be broadcast on Zoom and will feature Michael Moon. His topic: The Paradise Gap in Estes Park. Tune in at Nicky's or at home. To join on Zoom, click on this link before the meeting starts at noon: Scott Thompson is our ZoomHost.
Moon is an active retired Estes Valley resident who arrived with his wife, Catherine, in August 2013, just in time for the 2013 flood. He has taken a lead role in researching the business rationale for why we have such a deficiency in birth through age 5 childcare in the Estes Valley. Moon led the EDC Childcare Services Committee which developed the EDC’s Childcare Needs Assessment and was instrumental in the creation of Estes ECE a 501(c)(3) focused on the creation of publicly funded early childhood education capacity within the Estes Valley.
Michael Moon

Moon is Board President of Estes Early Childhood Education, Inc (Estes ECE, Inc.), a member of the Town of Estes Park’s Family Advisory Board, active in the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County (ECCLC), and a core member of the Larimer County committee working on creating deliverable action plans for Larimer County’s 2019-2023 Strategic Goal 2, Objective 3: Childcare.

He also serves the community as a Sargent in the Estes Park Police Department’s Auxiliary, is active with the Estes Valley Model Railroaders and their annual Rails In The Rockies show and is an Elder in the Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies.

Moon holds BSEE and MSEE degrees from Georgia Tech and an MBA from the University of Oregon. During his career he worked for Harris Semiconductor, Storage Technology, Intel Corporation and Weyerhaeuser in roles from component and system design to global IT management. 
This week's program-
Meet Donna Carlson, Chamber Director
This week's program will be broadcast on Zoom and will highlight the Estes Chamber of Commerce. Tune in at Nicky's or at home to meet Donna Carlson, Chamber Executive Director, and learn about this new organization on the Estes scene.
Donna Carlson
Donna Carlson joined the Chamber in March of 2020, right at the beginning of the COVID crisis. After 25 years of high-tech PR experience, Donna moved into the non-profit world and shifted her focus onto leadership development. After five years at Compassion International, she moved to The Center for Creative Leadership and then formed her own consultancy providing women's leadership development with 360 Life Strategies.
She was focused on small business strategies when the role with the Estes Chamber materialized.
"This is the perfect place to apply the combination of PR, marketing, networking and business development expertise," Donna says. "I also get to help a town I've loved for 25 years recover from a paradigm-changing global pandemic. It's an honor to be here."
Donna has been traveling to Estes Park as a visitor for 25 years. Her husband Jeff helps seniors save money on Medicare and her three daughters -- 23, 19 and 17 -- are big supporters of the ice cream business in town.
Matt Comstock to present:
Technology's Impact on Human Behavior

Matt Comstock was born in Maryland, but moved to Texas when he was 4 years old. After growing up in Houston, TX, Matt moved to Austin in 1986 to attend the University of Texas where he graduated with a degree in Advertising from the College of Communications. It was during this time that Matt met his future wife, Jennifer, and both moved to Dallas after graduation to begin careers in Advertising. They married in 1993 and will celebrate their 27th anniversary in November. They moved to Estes Park from Dallas in 2018.
Matt Comstock
Matt and Jennifer have been blessed with two children, Madison and Jack. Madison also graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, and is currently working at a digital media agency in Austin called PMG. Jack recently graduated from the Colorado School of Trades as a licensed gunsmith and is working at Ricochet Custom Firearms in Billings, Montana.
Matt has worked in the advertising industry for 30 years. Early in his career, he worked in Dallas for several global advertising agencies in their media departments. In this role, Matt developed strategies and media recommendations for international marketers. In 1997, Matt took his training and experience and turned it into a career selling advertising. From 2000-2014, Matt worked at Yahoo! as a sales leader managing a team and a book of business exceeding $150mm in advertising revenue. In 2014 Matt returned to the agency side and currently works remotely for Dallas-based Camelot Communications, a cutting-edge digital marketing company.
Matt is passionate about technology and studying the advances in mobile/video, which are changing how consumers and brands interact. When not working, Matt loves to read, fish, hike, walk the dog, hunt for arrowheads and fossils, and dive into whatever passion is capturing his interest at the moment (currently learning to play the dobro). Other than making many great new friends, his biggest accomplishments since moving to Estes in 2018 are summiting Longs Peak and becoming Chairman of the Town Planning Commission. 
President Bill's Message
We had a great first meeting at Nicky's this week. Don's presentation on the history of the internet blew me out of water! 
The set-up at Nicky's was outstanding although the projection sound needs some tweaking for those physically present. Mike will be there this coming week to help educate our crew on the projection detail. Scott did a great job of inviting and hosting from his home. All of our online attendees were able to enjoy Don's renderings and take part with announcements, Happy Dollars, and the like. I have heard of only one attendee with Internet problems; please let me know if there are others so we can try to improve reception. If you did not attend online, join us this coming Thursday; Matt Comstock is our speaker.  If you want to physically attend, make your reservation with Karol before Tuesday; a meal will be provided, so come ready to cover that expense at $15.00.
Please read your new and older Rotarian magazines for clues on my next trivia question; I might even ask if anyone remembers this past week's clue....
Also, be looking for the latest news on our Duck Race. Karen and the committee are committed to providing a special experience to our community and visitors this year, especially those local businesses that have been faithful contributors in the past in support of all our charities.
Matt Comstock is our speaker this week. We'll also have an announcement from Brittney Woodrum, a Rotary Peace Scholarship Grant nominee from a neighboring district who is scheduled to climb Longs Peak on July 20.
Hope to see and hear you on Thursday,
Bill Solms
Update as of July 6th
Welcome to the new Rotary year!
A special thanks to those of you who were able to tune into our Community Service Committee meeting via on June 30th led by our President-Elect Jim Whiteneck.  There is nothing more reassuring to me about the energy and health of our Club than planning to move ahead in the midst of the current events.
Past Pres. Doug sent me this email he received from Brittney Woodrum:
My name is Brittney Woodrum, and I am a Rotary Peace Fellow candidate and ShelterBox ambassador.You may not realize this, but ShelterBox was founded as a Rotary club project over 20 years ago and has since grown into a prominent disaster relief organization, providing shelter to countless individuals experiencing crisis around the world. There has never been a greater need for this type of work than now, and it’s organizations like these that inspired me to study humanitarian assistance and dedicate my life to serving others. Currently, ShelterBox is playing a key role in the international COVID-19 response, helping to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to shelter in place despite their circumstances.
Please contact our International Service Chair Ron Gordon if you are interested in more information. I have asked Brittney to let us know when she is planning to climb Longs…. Maybe I can go up the first few miles to the tree-line; I climbed Longs in 1974 and would like to hear your Longs Peak stories!
Warning re attending any public gatherings 
Attendance at any scheduled meetings must comply with Larimer County and CDC standards; we are currently restricted to 10 persons properly distanced, properly following breathing, hand, and dining hygiene. Any attendee must be free of C-19 symptoms, not have been exposed to an infected person, not have tested positive, be free from any pre-existing medical conditions involving immune suppression or age, and must wear a face mask.  Please see: CDC: Considerations for Events and Gatherings and Larimer County: Public Gatherings and Events. These restrictions will only be effective when we consistently clean our hands, wipe frequently used objects/surfaces, avoid physical contact, and keep our hands away from our face.  Nicky’s is in compliance with Larimer County’s strict standards for public gatherings, so I feel reasonably safe, but no one can guarantee there will be no exposure to the virus; so please evaluate your own risks before attending any public gathering, including Rotary.
Board Meeting July 7th
Since the library is not available (closed after 12pm), our Board will meet in the back room of Nicky’s at 5p.m. I have surveyed the spot with John Thomason. Any who wish to attend in person please advise Karol Rinehart. Scott Thompson will host on from his home. Here is the meeting link to join the Zoom Meeting:
Our Treasurer’s report, past Board meeting minutes, and our current agenda will be made available to Board members and any members requesting a copy.
First Weekly Meeting July 9th
Subject to our Board discussion on July 7th, John Thomason again has offered a safe venue for a small group of 10 of us this first meeting; the rest of us attending via Zoom. The first 10 to reserve a spot will be able to personally attend and be served lunch; please contact Karol Rinehart at to reserve your place.  She will keep a record of those who physically attend so that next week we can rotate to another 10 until all who wish to attend have had the privilege; the “wheel” will then repeat until we increase the number of attendees as we can feel safe and confident.  Again, Scott will host the meeting. Here is the link to join the Zoom Meeting:
Please let me know how this process is working for you, especially if you have any suggestions that will improve the effectiveness of what we our efforts to make this a quality meeting.
Let’s all stay well and set the example; also, tell a friend about Rotary and invite them to attend online!
President Bill Solms, 2020-21
This week's program:
Don Widrig presents history of the Internet
To kick off our new Rotary year and welcome all members back after three weeks without meetings, the July 9 program promises to be very exciting! Don Widrig, who joined our club in 2000, will share his knowledge of the Internet, from its early beginnings to the present day. He has titled his program, A Very Brief History of the Internet.
Don grew up in Wichita, Kansas. During his high school days, the class went on a field trip to Wichita State University to see one of the first COMPUTERS in Wichita. It was a room-sized machine that was roughly equivalent to today’s programmable calculators. When Don saw the machine, it was love at first sight and he quickly figured out what he wanted to do when he grew up. He has worked with computers ever since.

 Don Widrig
Before finally retiring, Don had been active in our Rotary Club and has written extensively about computers for the local newspapers. Based on earlier programs written by our own former Rotarian, George Williford, Don created a brand new computer system that runs our Duck Race. He has also written the prototype database applications for the Town Code Compliance Department, the Restorative Justice group, the Rocky Mountain Transit shuttle service, Crossroads Ministry, Hobert Office Services, and the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness Office.
Message from 2020-21 President Bill Solms
Update as of June 26th
Greetings, Estes Park Rotarians!! These are very unusual times, so I am looking for ways to make our virtual meetings more responsive to those of us who wish to avail ourselves of this form of venue to meet and to socialize. A big thanks out to Rick Taylor for staying on top of our programs; he has us scheduled out into the Fall with captivating speakers. Also, big congratulations to our International Service Committee for successfully navigating the matching grants process through our District and Rotary International to fund a summer school for disabled kids in Albania in 2021. Please keep in touch with the committees in your service interest areas and call on me if you want some direction on where to get plugged into our Club.
I look forward to an innovative and energetic year while we adapt to our current restrictions such that our members and community can stay healthy and reasonably prosper.
Regular Meetings:
We are still working with Nicky’s to provide a safe venue for our weekly meetings. In our next Spoke edition for the week of July 6th I will share the latest information on this subject, but until any changes are made we will continue our virtual meetings on Zoom. John Thomason, our new Sergeant at Arms, will do all in his power to offer a secure venue when the proper time comes.
Board Meetings:
We are looking at various venues to conduct Board business; in the past we used Doug’s office conference room, so if the Library is not available for our July 7th meeting we will host a virtual Zoom meeting from my dining room starting at 5 pm.
Committee Meetings:
Community Service is meeting on June 30th; if you are not on that committee and want to join the meeting, please alert Jim Whiteneck so he can give you the contact information.
I am interested in being present at any other committee meetings and would encourage the chairs to schedule a meeting before the year ends. 
Opening Opportunities for Service, Fellowship in 2020-21,
President Bill Solms
Action-packed meeting set for noon Thursday
This week's meeting will be a celebration of our club's Rotary year, announcement of this year's awards, and a program. What more could you want? Lunch maybe? That will have to wait until Bill Solms tells us we can meet at Nicky's again.
As you many know, Presidents' Night, originally scheduled for June 18, has been postponed until we can safely schedule a festive gathering with our club members and special friends. But rather than wait to announce this year's awards, President Doug Mann will present them this week. 
In addition to the awards, Doug will bid us farewell as President and hand the gavel over to Incoming President Bill Solms. So buckle up, it's going to be a fun meeting!
Our program, "Adventure, Leadership, and Rotary," will be presented by Mandy Fabel, District 5440 Membership Co-Chair.
Mandy Fabel
Fabel is a resident of Lander, Wyoming who is passionate about leadership, outdoor adventures and Rotary. She serves as the Executive Director of Leadership Wyoming as well as the Membership Chair for her local Rotary Club and the Co-Chair of the District Membership Committee for District 5440. In her free time Mandy enjoys playing outside with her husband Brian as they climb rocks and ride mountain bikes, dirt bikes and snowmobiles. 
This week's program:
Kathryn Yuma will be our speaker on May 21st.  Her program is on the 'Hearts and Horses' non-profit organization in Loveland.  Kathryn is their Development and Communications director and ensures that Hearts & Horses’ interactions with our community have a consistent, positive and professional brand. Her love for animals might only be surpassed by her desire to help others. When she’s not out making a new friend, Kathryn is hiking with her husband and two dogs or making a home cooked meal for her family.
Hearts & Horses, a nonprofit therapeutic riding facility nestled in the foothills of Northern Colorado, has been changing lives for people with disabilities since 1997.
Our instructors are rigorously trained and certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl). Hearts & Horses is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center – the highest level of accreditation possible – and is a highly regarded training facility for therapeutic riding instructors.
Your Rotary Club is BACK! 
After an eight-week suspension of meetings to comply with COVID-19 guidelines for public gatherings, we are cautiously moving forward. Our first meeting will be held at President Doug Mann’s office, 166 Virginia Drive, Estes Park. You are cordially invited to join a small group in physical attendance or a large group logging in on Facebook.
Our meeting will begin at noon on Thursday, May 7. It will not include lunch, but it will include goodwill and friendship! The number of people allowed in the conference room will be limited. Doug Mann will preside over the meeting. Our program will focus on what's happening during the pandemic with the Estes Park nonprofit community. Our speaker will be Laurie Dale Marshall, Executive Director of the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center. Thanks, Rick Taylor, for arranging this timely program.
Surprises and prizes are in store for those who attend either in person or on Facebook! So, here’s what you need to know.
If you want to attend in person, contact Karol Rinehart at by 7 p.m. Monday, May 4. Karol is in charge of keeping the number of attendees to what is allowed. She will conduct a drawing, if necessary, to limit the size of the gathering.
To attend the meeting from your home, go to our club’s Facebook page. Scott Thompson will be livestreaming the meeting for the club. (Thanks, Scott!) You don’t need to be a member of Facebook to view the meeting. Our club’s page is public, so anyone can view it. Here’s all you need to do:
Click on the link below at noon on Thursday, May 7 and get ready to celebrate Rotary!
Look for the Facebook live video that is in progress and you will join the meeting.
See you Thursday!
A message from Club President Doug Mann
Fellow Rotarians -
Better days are on the horizon! Your Estes Park Rotary Club is already making plans for us to meet again, and return to whatever this “new normal” brings us all!  In concert with similar plans the morning club is developing, our plan right now is to resume club meetings as early as possible, hopefully by May 7th!
We recognize that we may be limited by our government officials in regard to the size of our gathering, so initially we may use a lottery system for those who would like to attend weekly meetings in person. Additionally, we also understand that many of you may still have concerns about meeting in larger groups at this time. For those club members, we plan to have each meeting streamed over Facebook Live so that you don’t miss a thing.  
While these plans are very fluid and dependent upon many outside circumstances beyond our control, be looking for more detailed information from us in the days and weeks ahead.
Thank you, friends, for continuing to be a light to this community even during these trying times. Your generosity as a club continues to amaze me, and I am greatly looking forward to our days ahead together as we resume regular club meetings. 
Service Above Self -
Doug Mann
Duck Race moves to online sales 
Ducks to paddle September 19
Planning for a large fundraising event during a global pandemic has presented a few challenges for the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival committee. While many spring and summer events have been canceled, the overwhelming benefit to the community of the annual Duck Race has kept the committee paddling along. 
Rotary’s belief in service has propelled the constant effort to reschedule the event to a time when it can be held safely. The goal has changed from mid-August to mid-September. Participating Organizations have been notified of the move to all-online sales to protect the safety of the many volunteers who traditionally process and handle paper Adoption Forms, checks and cash. Flexibility on the details of the event is an overriding consideration, so fans should be prepared for the possibility of a “virtual” race. 
At the head of the flock for this year’s event is Karen Thompson. She has convened Webex and email meetings of her committee and kept the large group focused on the goal: supporting Participating Organizations, especially during this time of need. 
“We are waiting for approval from the Town and Fire Protection District to hold the race on Septembern19,” Thompson explained. “We are hopeful restrictions will be lifted and we can safely run a great race on Fall River. If not, we have "Plan B" in place and can run a virtual race. Everyone's safety is of utmost importance, and that will be the deciding factor for a live or virtual race.”
The online-only sales began in mid-April and will continue through Race Day. Committee member Larry Williams is available to answer questions from Participating Organizations at by email at or phone at (970) 586-3295.
“The Organizations have been contacted by e-mail and are responding well,” Williams said. “The online purchasing process at is straightforward. You don’t have to go through your favorite Organization to support them. You can do it directly through the web site.”
While the race may look different and the method of purchasing adoptions has been simplified for safety, the goal of service to the community has never wavered.
“We so appreciate the flexibility of all the participating organizations. This pandemic hasn't been easy on anyone, and I'm sure fundraising efforts have been no exception,” Thompson said. 
Last year’s Duck Race raised $128,700 for 67 community organizations. Over 6,700 ducks were adopted. In the past 31 years, the Estes Park Duck Race has returned more than $2.7 million to Estes Valley organizations that serve residents of all ages.
Questions? Email  or call 970-480-5002.
Watch this space!
Duck Race date announcement coming
The Duck Race Committee is preparing to reschedule the event and is currently working on securing a permit from the Town of Estes Park. As soon as the town issues the permit, 'Big Duck' Karen Thompson will notify all club members of the new date.  
The 2020 Duck Race means so much to so many, please adopt your duck today online at
Duck Race postponed
Ducks hope to race in mid-August
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Rotary Club of Estes Park has decided to postpone this year’s Duck Race Festival by several months. While it’s too early to announce a new date, Duck Race planners hope to stage the event later this summer, if circumstances permit. A mid-August date is under consideration. Duck adoption sales, which began in late February, will continue with paper forms and online purchases at until Race Day. 
“We realize this is a difficult time for everyone, and since we don’t know when social distancing restrictions and mandated closures will be lifted, we decided it would be best to postpone the race and all the festivities of the day,” said 2020 ‘Big Duck’ Karen Thompson.  
Lucky says "Stay well!"
The committee’s decision, made March 19 at an online meeting of more than two dozen members of the planning team, underscores the importance of the event to the community. Last year’s Duck Race raised $128,700 for 67 community organizations. Over 6,700 ducks were adopted.
“Because this is such an important fundraiser for so many wonderful organizations in the Estes area, we didn’t want to consider canceling it,” Thompson explained. “At the same time, we had to keep everyone’s safety at the forefront, and the only way to do that was to postpone the race.” 
The planning team is viewing the postponement as positively as possible under the circumstances, Thompson said. The “glass half full” approach envisions more favorable August weather, more time for participating organizations to sell duck adoptions, and more time to build excitement for a community-wide celebration of a hopeful return to normalcy. In addition, an August date may draw new spectators who have never seen a fundraising duck race. 
“We hope that by holding the event when the weather is almost guaranteed to be beautiful, we’ll have a great turnout for the day’s festivities,” Thompson added. “We look forward to running a great race and giving away hundreds of prizes donated by our very generous merchants and sponsors. Most importantly, the participating organizations will be able to raise funds in order to carry on with their good work.”
More details on the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival will be shared in upcoming weeks, as the committee finalizes details of the postponed event with the Town of Estes Park, partners and vendors. Thompson wants to emphasize that the decision to delay follows Rotary International’s guiding principles: “Is it fair to all concerned?” and “Is it beneficial to all concerned?”  
“For all that has happened in the world with COVID-19 these last several months, it was important that the Rotary Club of Estes Park stand by its beliefs and make these necessary changes with the hope that circumstances will support rescheduling,” she said.
In the past 31 years, the Estes Park Duck Race has returned more than $2.7 million to Estes Valley organizations that serve residents of all ages.
The Grand Opening of Duck Central has been postponed. Participating Organizations are asked to collect and safeguard cash and checks from duck adoptions until further notice.
Coronavirus Guidelines:
Cancellations enacted to keep all safe
In compliance with state and local guidelines to curb transmission of the Coronavirus, the Club Board of Directors has voted to cancel the following meetings:
  • Thursday, March 26 Club Meeting
  • Thursday, April 2 Club Meeting
  • Tuesday, April 7 Board of Directors Meeting
In addition, the April 2 Josh the Baby Otter reading event/book distribution to kindergarten students has been canceled.
Rotary International and District 5440 Updates
  • Rotary International has canceled the June 6-10 International Convention in Honolulu.
  • District 5440 has canceled the May 29-30 District Conference.
  • District 5440 has canceled the May 28 Foundation Dinner.
  • At this time July RYLA and YRYLA are still on the calendar. Video interviews for candidates are recommended.
Sunrise Rotary in Estes Park will not meet again until April 14.
President Doug Mann's 3/22 message
Dear Club Members -
These are certainly challenging times for us all!  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we struggle together to make sense of the days we are living through at the moment.
I appreciate each of you so much, and your understanding in regard to all of our Rotary cancellations. I am excited for the day, very soon I hope, that Rotary can make a substantial impact in regard to helping our local community and our nation get back on its feet.
In the meantime, look for ways you can help your neighbors and community as individual Rotarians. We may not be able to assemble weekly at the moment - but our power is in both our joint and individual commitment to “Service Above Self.”  Now is certainly the time for us to live up to our motto.
Be safe.
Be carriers of encouragement.
I look forward to seeing each of you soon!
Doug Mann, President
Important Message-Please share!
March 19 E.P. Rotary meeting canceled
A message from President Doug Mann
Dear Rotary Colleagues,

Out of an abundance of caution and in light of current world circumstances, we will be canceling our Rotary club meeting this Thursday, March 19th.
We will assess on a week-by-week basis the Coronavirus climate in our area and recommendations by those in authority. We will notify you via The Spoke of additional weekly meeting cancellations as/if necessary.  So, it is very important that if you do not receive the Spoke, please contact Club Secretary Rita DuChateau ( to make sure you are getting these very important updates.

If you are leading major club functions or activities in the next few weeks, I request that you reach out to me, and we can discuss the possibility of postponement or cancellation of these events.

As much as I will miss gathering with each of you this Thursday, I’d rather be confident that you are all healthy and happy, so that we have many more club meetings together in our future.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to either myself or Rita, our club Secretary.

Warmly -

Doug Mann, Club President
Life in a WWII detention camp:
Local author to share her family's story 

Hulda Bachman-Neeb, writer and former member of the Dutch Foreign Service, will be speaking to our club on Thursday, March 12, at our regular noon meeting. Her program will focus on her time as prisoner in a Japanese detention camp during the Second World War.


Hulda was born in Indonesia of colonial Dutch parentage two years before the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. As much of Asia fell under Japanese control, all non-Asians were imprisoned in concentration camps. They were held until August of 1945, the end of the war in the Pacific.

In her book Perils and Pearls, with the help of her mother, Bachman-Neeb shares a collection of incidents and memories of her family’s story of survival and freedom from a Japanese jungle prison camp.

As a member of the Dutch Foreign Service in her adult life, Bachman-Neeb had assignments in 25 countries over 36 years, retiring in 1996. She and her husband live in Estes Park.

This week's program-
A glimpse into the life and work of a groundbreaking actress - Program Canceled
In 1940, Denver-raised Hattie McDaniel became the first actor of color to be nominated for and to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her groundbreaking role as co-star of "Gone With the Wind".

Actress Hattie McDaniel

Charlene Porter, Denver Post #1 local bestselling author of Boldfaced Lies, will be speaking to our club on Thursday, March 5. Her program will provide a capsule overview of Hattie McDaniel’s family history, phenomenal career, and extensive philanthropy.

Author Charlene Porter

McDaniel’s parents, Henry and Susan McDaniel, were both born enslaved on southern plantations. Against all odds, McDaniel’s achievements include her pioneering radio show, her appearance in more than 300 Hollywood produced movies, and her financial and organizational support of the lawsuit that abolished restricted mortgage covenants in Los Angeles.  

McDaniel will be the focal point of the in-development, Denver-located Hattie McDaniel Museum of African American Performing Arts. To this day, Hattie McDaniel is Colorado’s only on-screen Academy Award Oscar winner.

This week: time for committees to get to work!
Do you remember why you joined Rotary?
  • Was it to make a difference in the Estes Valley through community service projects and grants? 
  • Was it to join with Rotarians across the globe to address poverty, literacy, water scarcity, maternal and child health issues?
  • Was it to connect local students with our very own scholarships?
  • Was it to encourage local recycling and community clean-up projects?
  • Was it to mentor a Rotary Exchange Student or help middle and high school teens attend a life-changing leadership camp?
  • Was it to share your passion for service?
  • Was it to find ways to raise funds so that all of the above could happen?
This week, you can meet with a committee to reconnect with the reason you joined Rotary and the Rotary Club of Estes Park. Following a delicious lunch at Nicky's you can sit down with club members in any of the following groups:
  • Community Service- Board Director Peter Sinnott
  • International Service - Board Director Ron Gordon
  • Youth/New Generations - Board Director Susan Fereday
  • Fund Development - Board Director Karen Thompson
  • Membership - President Elect Bill Solms
Your committee choices for this year are listed at the bottom of this newsletter. But, fear not, you can join any committee at any time.
Be there and be a part of your club. You make it all happen!


This Week's Program:

Vanessa Solesbee, Parking & Transit Manager for the Town of Estes Park, will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Estes Park on Thursday, February 20, at their regular noon meeting.  She will be discussing the parking and transit program in Estes Park.


Solesbee manages on- and off-street parking, permitting, technology, and the seasonal parking staff.  In addition, she manages Estes Transit, a free seasonal shuttle system that serves 55 stops over 79 days of summer service and 12 special events.


Prior to joining the Town staff, Vanessa was President of The Solesbee Group, LLC, a management consultancy specializing in parking strategic planning for municipalities and universities. In her role as a consultant Vanessa worked with communities all over the US and Canada, as well as many mountain west clients including the cities of Boulder, CO, Fort Collins, CO, Jackson Hole, WY, Casper, WY, Cheyene, WY, Denver, CO, Parker, CO, Castle Rock, CO, Longmont, CO, Provo, UT, Missoula, MT, Billings, MT and Aurora, CO.


Solesbee has served on numerous Parking Expert Advisory Panels across the country, and gave a keynote address on innovations in public participation at the 2016 Parking Australia Conference & Expo in Perth, Australia. In addition to serving as the Parking Matters Committee Co-Chair from 2015-2019, Solesbee serves on IPMI's Conference Program Committee. Also, she has been a member of the Pacific Intermountain Parking and Transportation Association's (PIPTA's) Board of Directors and Executive Committee. 


Solesbee lives in Estes Park with her husband and two young daughters.

Thursday's program

Crimea and Russia: 2 sides of the ruble

Dr. Milt Garrett will be speaking to the club on Thursday, Feb. 13, at our regular noon meeting. He will be discussing Crimea and Russia: Two Sides of the Coin.  Is it rational for Crimea to return to the Russian Motherland?

Dr. Milt Garrett

Russian President Vladimir Putin views the breakup of the Soviet Union as the “greatest catastrophe of the 20th century.” Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker during the George H. Bush administration vowed “not one inch east.” Furthermore, Garrett notes the negative economic impact on Ukraine due to the breakup. What are we to make of Russian annexation of Crimea?  

Geographically, Crimea is surrounded on three sides by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Towards the north, it is connected to Ukraine. Since 2018, it is connected to Russia by a bridge.

When Garrett last spoke at our club, he enlightened us with his 21 years of observations and stories about living in and helping with the Russian economic recovery, along with other issues. Since then, he was invited to apply and became one of 50 citizen diplomats to visit several cities in Russia. In September, for 30 days, he interviewed almost 100 persons in eight cities, including three cities in Crimea. 

He plans to share the current prevailing views and news in Crimea and how the American media gets Crimea and the present Russian economy wrong.  Specifically, he will address how Crimeans view the West’s position on annexation. Note that the United States has never recognized Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea and still considers Crimea a part of Ukraine.

In addition, he will share Crimean views on President Donald Trump, on climate change, on U.S. and Russian military budgets and military bases. Does Russia want war? What about the U.S. sanctions for Russia’s annexation of Crimea? How does the United Nations’ Charter, Article 1.2, relate to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and the Pacific’s newest nation, Bougainville – and Crimea?

Fourth Thursday Committee Meetings
Check the bottom of your newsletter to see which committees you've chosen for this Rotary year. Was it Financial Development? Community Service? International Service? Youth/New Generations/Vocational Service? Membership? Programs? Club Administration? Meet in a small group of your choice after lunch this week. You are welcome to join any committee at any time!
Fund Development - Karen Thompson
International Service - Ron Gordon
Membership - Trudy Collar
Community Service - Jack Overly/Pete Sinnott
Youth/New Generations - Sue Fereday
Programs - Rick Taylor
Club Administration - Karol Rinehart
County Clerk to present Jan. 16 program
Our speaker this week will be Angela Myers, Larimer County Clerk and Recorder. She will explain election processes and discuss how the election laws have changed, public records and vehicle licensing.
Myers was appointed to the position by the Board of County Commissioners in May 2013, elected in November 2014 and re-elected in November 2018. Prior to becoming Clerk, Angela had worked at the side of the former Clerk for nearly 10 years.  
She leads a staff of 84 employees who, in addition to administering elections also safeguard the foundation of county government with the recording of property and other records, and act as agents of the state in the administration of vehicle titling and licensing processes. Under Myers’ leadership, all major systems have been replaced.  
The Larimer County recording system replacement has included many efficiency improvements for users and office operations.  Myers is familiar with the processes and challenges associated with these types of system conversions, and she is dedicated to “collaborating” with vendors to ensure continued system evolutionary improvement.  In February 2019, Secretary of State Jena Griswold appointed her to the State Electronic Recording Technology Board (ERTB), whose mission is to develop, maintain, improve, replace or preserve land records in the state – accomplishing this largely through the distribution of grant funding.
Before working at Larimer County, Angela’s professional experience was diverse. She was a small business owner, spent a short time providing clerk services for local law enforcement, and otherwise worked directly with executive managers in various areas of business, from public affairs to engineering. 
She has worked collaboratively with many Larimer County departments during her years in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Myers is dedicated to educating the public on the processes she is responsible for and is often expresses her belief that this is “where you touch your government.”
Her office received the 2016 Larimer County Innovation Award for the vehicle licensing Book A time Appointment feature – creating the first and only county in the state where there is never a reason to wait in line for vehicle licensing transactions; and was Runner-Up for the same award in 2017 for the Vehicle Licensing/PhoneTag innovations.  
In 2014, she received her CERA (Certified Elections/Registration Administrator) certification through The Election Center; and she serves as Central Region Chair, Education Committee Chair, Motor Vehicle Legislative Chair and on the Executive Board of the Colorado County Clerks Association.
Angela lives in Fort Collins with Gary, her husband of 34 years, and her two dogs, Rosie and Mazy.
Friendship Card will save you $$$$
Estes Park’s $10 local discount card is now available for purchase at the following locations: Estes Park Visitor Center, MacDonald Book Shop, Nicky’s Steak and Seafood House, Quality Inn, Safeway (Guest Services), Rocky Mountain Gateway and The Village Store at National Park Village. Or, buy your Friendship Card at the next Rotary meeting when you check in.
The Friendship Card will be valid at more than 70 local businesses, who offer discounts on food and drink, shopping, entertainment, and services. Friendship Card holders will need to show their card at the business to receive the discount. Certain restrictions may apply. Participating merchants will be listed on the Friendship Card’s Facebook page – Printed brochures will be available at locations selling the card, and participating merchants will display the Friendship Card window decal. The 2020 card will be valid through December 31, 2020.
The Friendship Card is brought to you by our Rotary Club. Net proceeds from the sale of the card are used to support the club’s many charitable projects, including but not limited to scholarships and community grants. The Rotary Club of Estes Park would like to thank the many participating merchants, as this fundraising project would not be possible without each one of them. Questions? Contact Karen Thompson at
Jan. 9 meeting
Two hospital speakers headline program

Nicholaus Mize, D.O., a new physician at Estes Park Health, will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Estes Park on Thursday, Jan. 9, at the regular noon meeting.  He will provide a program on palliative health services at Estes Park Health. In addition, the Estes Park Health Director of Financial Services will be describing the new Estes Park Health electronic billing system.

Dr. Nicholaus Mize

Dr. Mize attended the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Rock Vista University in Parker, Colorado. He then completed his internal medicine residency at Medical City Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas. He recently concluded a fellowship in palliative care at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas. He is Board Certified in internal medicine and Board Eligible in palliative care.

Dr. Mize states that “I want my patients to know that medicine is a fluid science. Medicine changes daily because of the ever-increasing data, and creativity. I am always learning and will apply my knowledge to the best of my abilities to aid my patients through their lives.” He prides himself on listening and asking questions, creating a clear path for attainable health goals, and being honest with his patients.

Jan. 2 program
Helping students reach goals, achieve dreams

The Estes Park Learning Place, founded in 1998, is an innovative center for learners of all ages, serving the greater Estes Valley community. The Learning Place offers one-to-one tutoring, creates a learning plan based on individual learning styles and needs, and cultivates student learning so that they may reach their highest potential.

Sue Yowell, Executive Director of the Estes Park Learning Place, will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Estes Park on Thursday, Jan. 2, at their regular noon meeting. She will discuss how the Learning Place helps students reach their goals and achieve their dreams.  

Sue Yowell

Yowell received her Bachelor degree in Anthropology/Archeology from Southern Methodist University, her Master of Arts in Education from the University of Colorado, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver.

For 38 years, she worked in Student Affairs in Higher Education, including 21 years as the Dean of Students and at the Vice President level. She served at numerous colleges and universities, including DePauw University, Emory University, University of Puget Sound, Illinois College, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, University of Detroit Mercy, Brevard College, Dana College, and Western Nebraska Community College.  

Her family owns a historic cabin on Twin Sisters, built in 1922 and purchased by her grandparents. Her parents met while college students working in Estes Park 71 years ago.

Dec. 12 program
Come and hear sounds of the season

It is the season to carol, to sing our holiday songs. To help us get into the holiday mood, Mountain Echoes, a student choir from the Estes Park Elementary School, will sing at our club meeting on Thursday, Dec. 12.  

The 40-member Mountain Echoes Choir is an after-school choir for students in Grades 3, 4, and 5 at the Estes Park Elementary School. Mountain Echoes is directed by Mrs. Jenna Williams and accompanied by Mr. Mike Williams and Mr. Alex Leija.  

Mountain Echoes Choir

Recently, Mountain Echoes had the honor of singing The National Anthem at a Colorado Rockies game this past May.

Thursday's Program
Bringing a school to tsunami-stricken village

Anna Weddle, Youth and Children’s Director at the Rocky Mountain Church, will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Estes Park on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the regular noon meeting. She will be discussing the Estes Park Partnership’s efforts of establishing the Good Shepherd School in the village of Marakanam, Tamil Nadu, India.


Anna Weddle

Marakanam was one of many villages devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 24, 2004. Coincidently, at the time of the disaster, there was a group of Christians in Estes Park seeking to become involved in freeing the “outcasts” in Indian culture from a life of oppression and slavery. Education was deemed to be the key to helping them gain their freedom.

In 2006, Estes Park was offered the opportunity to partner with a startup Good Shepherd School in the village of Marakanam by the Dalit Freedom Network (now Dignity Freedom Network).  Since that time, four teams from Estes Park have visited Marakanam and over $350,000 has been invested in the physical plant. In addition, 300 students from Lower Kindergarten through Grade 5 have been sponsored by Estes Park churches and individuals. The Marakanam Good Shepherd School is one of 104 Good Shepherd Schools across India with 25,000 students.

The current goal for the Estes Park Partnership is to extend the school through Grade 10 and to increase the school student population to 1,000 students. To achieve this goal will require $108,000 per year for three years.  The cost of a student sponsorship at the Marakanam Good Shepherd School is $33/month, which covers all educational costs.

After completing high school in Kansas, Weddle lived for five months in North India, before completing her bachelors degree in both Psychology and Bible. In 2015, she joined the Rocky Mountain Church as their Youth and Children’s Director.  Her family has been vacationing at the YMCA of the Rockies for three generations.

Nov. 14 program: 
Learn about the RM Conservancy 

Rocky Mountain Conservancy promotes stewardship of Rocky Mountain National Park and similar lands through education and philanthropy. Established in 1931, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy (formerly the Rocky Mountain Nature Association) is one of the oldest national park cooperating organizations in the nation. 

Estee Rivera Murdock, Executive Director at the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Estes Park on Thursday, Nov. 14, at their regular noon meeting.  Her program will focus on the Rocky Mountain Conservancy.


Estee Rivera Murdock

Since its founding, the Conservancy has provided over 30 million dollars of funding in order to support Rocky Mountain National Park and related public lands.  Furthermore, it produces educational publications, offers seminars, supports research, and provides philanthropic support to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Born and raised in southern Arizona, Murdock worked for the National Park Service for nearly a decade, first at Saguaro National Park and later at the Washington DC Headquarters office.

Murdock received a BA in Anthropology and Spanish literature and a MA in Geography with a focus on Hispanic Community Engagement and Public Lands and Geographic Information Science, all from the University of Arizona. Currently, she resides in Estes Park with her husband and daughter.

Delivering pumpkins and smiles to students
Rotary Club of Estes Park continues tradition 
Hundreds of elementary and preschool students came home from school October 18 with pumpkins, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Estes Park and the Safeway Foundation. The tradition, which began in 1936, is one of the many local service projects of the 93-year old club. 
This year’s event organizer was Sue Fereday, Rotary club’s Youth and New Generations director. She was especially grateful for the help provided by the Estes Park Interact Club . Interact is a service club for youth ages 12 to 18 who want to connect with other young people and have fun while serving their communities and learning about the world. Clubs are sponsored by local Rotary clubs. 
Fereday applied for a grant from the Safeway Foundation, which generously donated 560 large pumpkins. She picked up 14 crates of pumpkins at Safeway and delivered them to Estes Park Elementary School and Mountaintop Preschool, where she and volunteers unloaded them and helped the students select the perfect prize. Fereday is thankful for the support of several Estes Park Safeway employees, including Store Manager Elise Rowton, Assistant Grocery Manager Eric Gruber and Assistant Produce Manager Laura Madigan.
“They are wonderful people to work with,” Fereday said.
Rotary volunteers included Jim Austin, Barb Bibler, Mike Connolly, Kris and Gary Hazelton and Virgil Holtgrewe. 
“It’s exciting to watch Rotarians carry on an Estes Park tradition that has been in place for over 80 years now,” said Rotary Club President Doug Mann. “Some of the parents of these children even received pumpkins from this club when they were in school! We’re thrilled to have been able to continue this wonderful community project this year.”
The 83rd Annual Pumpkin Distribution Day began in 1936 with Ron Brodie, former Estes Park mayor and Rotary Club of Estes Park president, according to 42-year club member Tom Maher. Brodie owned Brodie’s Supermarket and provided pumpkins for elementary students for many years. Following Brodie’s death, Rotary Club took over the pumpkin project, with the support of Brodie’s family and friends. The tradition continues.
Financial wellness:
What it means for J1 international students

Jennifer Comstock, a Financial Wellness Consultant at Key Bank and a member of our club, will be speaking on Thursday, Oct. 17, at our regular noon meeting. Her program will focus on financial wellness, in particular how it relates to the J1 visa international students who work in our local Estes Park businesses each summer.

Jennifer Comstock

Joining Comstock will be Hristina Zhabievska, a former J1 student from Macedonia and now, likewise, a Financial Wellness Consultant at Key Bank. Zhabievska will share her experience with the J1 program in Estes Park and her path to U.S. citizenship.

After completing her bachelors degree at the University of Texas at Austin, Comstock worked in client services in multiple industries, including advertising, marketing, real estate, and now banking.  She moved to Estes Park from Texas a year ago with her husband, spending as much time as possible enjoying all the beauty Estes has to offer.

This week's program: EPH's Tim Cashman

Tim Cashman, Chief Financial Officer for Estes Park Health, will be speaking to our club on Thursday, Oct. 3, at the regular noon meeting. His program will focus on critical access hospitals.

Tim Cashman

Cashman has been working in the finance space of health care for over 25 years, bringing extensive experience and knowledge of rural hospital management.  He began in Colorado Springs at Cedar Springs Psychiatric Hospital in 1988. He then migrated to Gunnison in 1996 as CFO for Gunnison Valley Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital. After 15 years, he and his family moved to Glenwood Springs to work with Valley View Hospital. In 2015, Cashman moved to Billings, Montana, for two years as Network Finance Director with the Billings Clinic, overseeing several critical access hospitals in the Montana area.  

Tim enjoys reading, running, skiing, exploring the West, and hanging out with family and friends.

Be a positive presence in a youth's life 
Learn how at this week's program

Have you ever considered mentoring a child?  Partners Mentoring Youth helps match youth age 7-17 with positive adult role models to enrich lives and build community.

Kathy Whitacre, Program Coordinator for Partners Mentoring Youth, will be speaking to our club on Thursday, Sept. 19, at our regular noon meeting. Her program will discuss programs, volunteer opportunities, the youth they serve, and the challenges this younger generation may face. 

Kathy Whitacre

Whitacre worked for 20 years as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Flood Recovery Specialist. After a successful career helping people recover from traumatic injuries and events, she now facilitates building enriching relationships between our youth, adults, and community.

Kayce Anderson to present this week:
How For the Good improves girls' lives

Dr. Kayce Anderson, Executive Director of For the Good, will be speaking to our club on Thursday, Sept. 12, at our regular noon meeting. Her program will discuss how For the Good is involved in helping young girls in rural Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa attain a secondary school education.


Dr. Kayce Anderson with young girls in Africa

As a humanitarian, ecologist, explorer, student, and mother, Anderson feels strongly that education is a right and a leverage point to address many global challenges. She applies her training as an ecologist to her work, combining evidence-based methods and community input to improve education outcomes for girls.

Anderson completed a bachelors degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis. She tries to stay outside more than in, surrounds herself with people she respects, and challenges her own preconceptions. She loves to see people set big goals and succeed.

Lifting 1,000 children from poverty in India
Mark Lee to present on Bethania Kids
The Thursday, Sept. 5 program will be presented by Estes Park resident Mark Lee. He will provide an introduction to the economic conditions in India and the impact they have on Indian children. Then he will introduce the to the Bethania Kids organization and its charter and tell the story of how it is making a positive difference in the life of more than 1,000 children today.
Lee has worked in the consulting and information technology industry for the last 30 years, including 12 years as a partner with KPMG and most currently as the Senior VP of Customer Services for a Silicon Valley software company, Solix Technologies. Like many technology workers, the internet has made it possible for him to work from anywhere, and he chose Estes Park as  home base. Lee moved to the Estes Valley in 2005 with his wife Karen, and son, David. During these years, Lee's work has required frequent trips to India to collaborate with a large group of engineers on his team based in Hyderabad, India.     
Lee, center with some of the older boys and alumni of Angel House in Rajahmundry, Andra Pradesh.
"During my trips, I have witnessed the extreme poverty in India and seen its effect on children," Lee explains. "Being surrounded by small children in the street begging for food and rupees made a huge impression and motivated me to learn more about these kids. This ultimately led me to Bethania Kids, a charity focused on helping at-risk children in southern India. First I became a donor, then a volunteer, and have recently joined their board of directors."
Some young residents of Angel Home
D.G. Chris Woodruff to present program 
Chris Woodruff, Governor of Rotary District 5440, will speak this week at our regular club meeting at Nicky's. His district includes 53 Rotary clubs in Wyoming, Northern Colorado, Eastern Idaho and Western Nebraska.
The International Rotary theme for the year is Rotary Connects the World!  DG Chris will focus on the People of Action Campaign for Rotary International and the difference that Rotarians make in their community. The theme emphasizes all the projects and activities that the Estes Park Club accomplishes, locally and internationally. Opportunities are plentiful for potential members, young and old, to help Rotary achieve its mission of “peace and understanding throughout the world,” and by bringing their passion for service to their communities.
Chris Woodruff is the retired assessor in Weld County. He makes his home In Greeley. He completed a 40-year career in property appraisal and assessment with work experience all over the Colorado. He has a bachelor's degree in technical management from Regis University and is a certified general real estate appraiser.
Chris became a Rotarian in 2000 when he joined the Rotary Club of Greeley - Centennial.  He subsequently served as secretary, president and Foundation chair and was named club Rotarian of the Year three times. At the district level, Chris served as assistant governor for the Estes Park clubs, awards committee chairman, TRF mentor and as a member of the district Foundation committee. He has also presented at several district assemblies and has served as a facilitator at High Country PETS. Chris travelled to Saratov, Russia as part of a District 5440 delegation attending the chartering of a new club in that city. On that trip he saw the power of Rotary in transforming people’s lives by providing a means to connect across great geographic, cultural and language differences. 
He is married to Karoline, who is also a Rotarian, a past club president and past assistant governor. Karoline retired from a career in higher education in 2016. Chris and Karoline are Multiple Paul Harris Fellows, Bequest Society members and Major Donors.They have attended Rotary International Conferences in Montreal, Atlanta, Toronto, and Hamburg. Both are active at Trinity Episcopal Church and in other areas of the Greeley community, including the Weld Food Bank, and Greeley Center for Independence, and have been past Board members of the Greeley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau. Both are graduates of Leadership Weld County. Chris and Karoline enjoy gardening, reading, traveling the world and wearing their Rotary pins. They have three sons, three daughters-in-law and one beautiful granddaughter.
Chris and Karoline Woodruff

Thursday's program

The life of a football referee

Jon Bible, football referee and current SEC instant replay official, will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Estes Park on Thursday, Aug. 15, at their regular noon meeting. His presentation will focus on how football referees prepare for SEC football games. Please note the Rotary Club of Estes Park’s new meeting location at Nicky’s Restaurant.

Bible will discuss how referees prepare throughout the year and are evaluated, some philosophies in calling fouls, and controversial areas such as catch vs. incomplete pass. In addition, he will review the complexity of the rule book.  

John Bible

His professional officiating included stints in the NFL, NFL Europe, and the United Football League. His collegiate officiating has included the Big XII Conference and the Southwest Conference. On-field post-season has included the BCS 2007 National Championship, the Division I 1992 National Championship, five Big XII Championship Games, and the Holiday Bowl twice, Outback Bowl, Aloha Bowl, Peach/Chick-fil-A Bowl 5 times and Poinsettia Bowl. Instant replay post-season has included the BCS 2018 Semi-final (Cotton Bowl), SEC Championship Game, and the Holiday Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl.

Furthermore, he has extensive experience as a baseball umpire, both professional umpiring and collegiate umpiring. He was chosen as the U.S. representative for the 1988 Olympics and the 1987 Pan American Games.

A Professor of Business Law, he is a Professor Emeritus at Texas State University. Married to Carolyn, he spends time in both Texas and Colorado.

Aaron Florence, D.O. 

A cut above - EPH surgical services

Aaron Florence, D.O., orthopedic surgeon, will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Estes Park on Thursday, August 8, at their regular noon meeting.  Dr. Florence will talk about Estes Park Health’s General and Orthopedic Surgical Services. Please note the club's new meeting location at Nicky’s Restaurant. 

A native of Idaho, Dr. Florence received his B.S. degree in Biology from Idaho State University and went on to obtain his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from A.T. Still University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri.  

Aaron Florence, D.O.

He completed his residency at the New York Institute of Technology-New York College of Osteopathic Medicine at Peninsula Hospital Center in the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System. He completed his sub-specialty fellowship training in sports medicine at the Barton/Lake Tahoe Orthopedic Sports Medicine Fellowship in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.  

During his residency in New York City and Long Island and his fellowship training in Lake Tahoe, Dr. Florence trained and performed surgery in 14 different hospitals with team physicians of the NY Yankees, NY Jets, NY Islanders, National Basketball Association Referees, U.S. Open Tennis, Professional Golf Association, U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding, U.S. Figure Skating, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Football at Kings Point, Nassau Community College Football, and Hofstra University Football. 

Throughout his training, a recurrent theme emerged as surgeon after surgeon would say the same thing—the ultimate compliment in the world of orthopedic surgery:  "You have good hands." With those good hands, Dr. Florence excelled in many of the subspecialties of orthopedic surgery, including sports medicine, joint replacements and fracture care. With such a diverse skill set, his focus could not be limited to only one orthopedic subspecialty. Instead, he confidently set out to provide excellent orthopedic care and started the Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Service Line at Estes Park Health in 2010. This new service line has provided the residents of Estes Park, with advanced, ultramodern orthopedic care without having to travel down to the Front Range.

In this capacity, Dr. Florence provides orthopedic care to various joints, including hips, knees, and shoulders. He performs surgical procedures, including arthroscopy, fracture care, and total joint replacements of the hips, knees, shoulders and elbows. With his additional sports medicine training, he performs many other specialized surgeries in both the young and older injured athlete, including hip arthroscopy, rotator cuff repair and ACL reconstruction. He is both a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and a Board Certified Orthopedic Sports Medicine Subspecialist.

Having grown up in a small Idaho town and living in the Midwest and New York, Dr. Florence and his wife and five children are excited to be living in Estes Park.

August 1 program
Learn about the new K9 Program for EPPD

Officer Mikel Otazua and Captain Eric Rose, of the Estes Park Police Department, will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Estes Park on Thursday, August 1, at the regular noon meeting. They would like to introduce us to the new Police Department K9 Program. Please note the Rotary Club of Estes Park’s new meeting location at Nicky’s Restaurant.


           Captain Eric Rose                        Officer Mikel Otazua

Mikel Otazua, a member of the Estes Park Police Department for three years, has had a life-long career goal of becoming a K9 Handler in a small town. Born in Venezuela, he moved to Texas at the age of six where his passion for dogs began. While growing up, he was actively involved in fostering, adopting and rescuing dogs, before finding their forever homes. He received his education from Miami-Dade Community College, Florida International University to study criminal justice, and University of Colorado Denver. He completed the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Academy, prior to being hired by the Estes Park Police Department.

Eric Rose, Captain for Police Operations, is responsible for customer service, training, recruiting, equipment, budgeting, emergency manager, and more.

Supporting literacy in Nigeria- 
Thaine Norris describes his journey
Jenta Reads Community Library is an organic community development project started by a group of youth in a slum in Jos, Nigeria. Burdened by patterns of school dropouts, teen pregnancy, drug addiction, and general hopelessness, a team of about 15 twenty-somethings launched an intiative to #ChangeTheNarrative of their own community. Starting in a humble storage room in 2018, the Jenta Reads Community Library is now a three room facility with a full time librarian, and an army of trained volunteers and strategic partnerships, doing children's reading programs, poetry and writing competitions, chess competitions, computer classes, robotics and electronics, community health projects, community waste management projects, addiction recovery programs, spawning child libraries in other communities and schools, and more. It is truly a beautiful story.
Thaine Norris
Thaine Norris is a follower of Jesus, husband of Dr. Norris, father of six, and works at home as an independent software developer. He and his family have lived in Estes Park for 12 years, where they have been involved in the community through church, scouting, Rotary student exchanges, music, and cycling.Thaine and his family travel frequently because of personal involvements all over the world, but primarily in Asia and Africa.
"We have yet to travel simply as tourists," Norris said.

Trail grants and roundabouts:

Upcoming public works projects in Estes Park

The Town of Estes Park Public Works Department is pursuing federal grant funding in excess of $50 million for trail, roadway, bridge, and Big Thompson River channel improvement projects to be built by 2025. Additionally, roundabout control upgrades are under design for three intersections in Estes Park. Construction is anticipated in 2020, 2022, and a future date to be determined by funding availability.   

Greg Muhonen, Director of the Town of Estes Park Public Works Department, will be speaking to the club on Thursday, July 11, at the regular noon meeting. His program will focus on trail grants and roundabouts.

Greg Muhonen, public works director

Muhonen earned a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, completed graduate studies in Arctic Engineering at the University of Alaska, and is a Licensed Professional Engineer. He has used his training and life experience to serve the transportation infrastructure needs of Larimer county residents for over 33 years.  

His civil engineering work experience spans private land development, land use entitlement review, traffic engineering, municipal policy, and public works capital project design and construction.  He was honored as Employee of the Year for the City of Loveland Engineering Division twice and for Program of the Year for the Larimer County Urban Area Street Standards.

As Estes Park Director of Public Works for five years, he oversees all aspects of the streets, parks, engineering, facilities, parking/transit, and fleet divisions for the Town. In 2017, he received the Public Works Project Award for the Estes Park Transit Facility Parking Structure.

The club meets this Thursday at Nicky's Steakhouse, 1350 Fall River Rd, Estes Park. Visitors interested in learning more about Rotary and its programs are welcome to attend. Buffet is served at 11:30 a.m., the Rotary business meeting opens at noon, and the program begins at 12:30 p.m. 

SAVA strives to reduce sexual violence

Our program this week will be presented by Dorothy Farrel, executive director of the Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center, which serves Northern Colorado. She will discuss myths and statistics surrounding sexual assault, as well as laws and reporting requirements. Farrel will share a survivor's story, share SAVA's resources, and some strategies on what we can do to change the culture of sexual assault in our community. 

Dorothy Farrel

Dorothy Farrel grew up in Estes Park, where her parents still live. She then moved to Arizona after receiving her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Social Work from Colorado State University. While in Arizona, she worked in the nonprofit sector for 17 years, including a role of Executive Director for a nonprofit that served high risk youth and young adults. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in AZ and CO. In 2010, she achieved a personal goal of obtaining her Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership. She then moved back home to Northern Colorado and taught at CSU and online universities. Last spring she joined the SAVA team as Executive Director, where she shares her mission of reducing sexual violence within the community. 

This week's program:

What's new in your park and rec district?

The Estes Valley Community Center opened February, 2018,  and has become an integral part of the recreation, fitness and wellness opportunities in Estes Park.  

Tom Carosello and Dawn Wilson will be speaking to our club  on Thursday, June 6, at the regular noon meeting. Please note the change in venue to Nicky’s Restaurant. Carosello and Wilson will provide an update on the Community Center as well as the new disc golf course at the Lake Estes 9-hole Golf Course, Stanley Park updates, and various other improvements throughout the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District.



Carosello was named the executive director for the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District in 2015, after having served in a similar capacity for the Town of Pagosa Springs for nine years. Prior to that, he was a journalist and grant writer who covered local sports, environmental, and government issues in Ohio, Arizona and Colorado. He has a B.A. in Sports Journalism and Public Relations from the Ohio State University.  

Wilson is the marketing and communications manager for the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District since 2016. She leads the promotional efforts for all of the District’s businesses, including the golf courses, rec center, marina, campgrounds, recreation, and general District activities and events.

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world.  There are 1.2 million Rotary members in 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary clubs have been serving communities worldwide for more than a century. Rotary clubs around the world initiate projects that address critical issues such as conflict resolution, hunger, poverty, disease and illiteracy.

The Rotary Club of Estes Park meets this Thursday at Nicky’s Restaurant in Estes Park, located at 1350 Fall River Road. Visitors interested in learning more about Rotary and its programs are welcome to attend. Buffet is served at 11:30 a.m., the Rotary business meeting opens at noon, and the program begins at 12:30 p.m. 

Keeping visiting grandkids safe-

Dr. John Meyer to discuss pediatric poisonings

The most common place for a child to become exposed to dangerous chemicals and to suffer poisoning is at grandma and grandpa’s house.  

Dr. John Meyer, Emergency Medicine Physician at Estes Park Health, will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Estes Park on Thursday, May 16, at our regular noon meeting. Meyer will be discussing common household pediatric poisonings, statistical data from 2017 poisonings, and tips to prevent household poisonings.

Dr. John Meyer

Meyer was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, attended Colorado State University, and received his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine. He is the Co-Director of the Emergency Department and the current Chief of Staff at Estes Park Health.

Meyer, married with two young children, has lived in Estes Park for six years.

Thursday's program: 
Duck Race celebration, sponsor recognition
The Rotary Club of Estes Park will host a Duck Race Celebration Luncheon/Thank You Reception for sponsors of the Rotary Duck Race Festival on Thursday, May 9, 2019 during the regular club meeting at The Ridgeline Hotel in the Trail Ridge Room. Duck Race Sponsors have been invited to attend to enjoy a complimentary lunch provided by The Ridgeline Hotel. 'Big Duck' Kathy Groesbeck will introduce each sponsor and award them their souvenir 2019 Sponsor Duck painted especially for them by students at Eagle Rock and Estes Park High School. Kathy  also will offer some special highlights of this year's successful 31st annual Rotary Duck Race Festival. Club member Harriette Woodard chairs this event and has planned a delightful luncheon to honor our Duck Race sponsors. We deeply appreciate their generosity and look forward to thanking them in person at the luncheon!
Come and celebrate our Duck Race and its generous sponsors

EPHS Major 13 to perform Thursday

Having just performed at the Colorado High School Activities Association Vocal Jazz and A Cappella Festival in Colorado Springs, Major13 brings a brilliant repertoire to our Rotary club on Thursday. Dr. Alan Denney directs the ensemble. Be ready to be entertained!

Dr. Alan Denney

Major13 is the vocal jazz ensemble of Estes Park High School and is comprised of a select group of auditioned students. This ensemble regularly performs in the Estes Park community. Under Denney's direction, the EPHS choir students have performed four times in Carnegie Hall and annually perform the national anthem for Denver Nuggets’ and Colorado Avalanche games.

Denney is in his 14th year as choral director at Estes Park High School and Estes Park Middle School. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Indiana State University, a Master of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition from Colorado State University, and a Doctor of Arts degree in Choral Conducting from University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Denney serves on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

Powering the future, battling climate change

Gordon McAlpine, retired astrophysicist and consultant for the Platte River Power Authority, will speak to the Rotary Club of Estes Park Thursday, April 17, at their regular noon meeting. MacAlpine will be speaking about climate change, electricity generation in Colorado, and the need to transition to renewable energy generation.

Gordon McAlpine

Global temperatures are rising, and they will continue to rise because of the well documented greenhouse effect. Burning fossil fuels has loaded Earth’s atmosphere with more carbon dioxide than prior to the Pliocene Epoch, when oceans were roughly 100 feet higher and many animals lived above the Arctic Circle and on the Antarctic continent.  

Recent reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United States Fourth National Climate Assessment indicate that humanity has only about a 10-12 year window of opportunity to cut back dramatically on fossil fuel use if we are to head off the most catastrophic climatic events. These climatic events include massive methane releases, which have occurred in the past and were associated with destruction of the biosphere and with global mass extinctions.  

Here in Colorado, higher temperatures are causing drought conditions, increased wildfires, pine-beetle infestations, and wildlife stress and losses. In addition, economic impacts related to human health, agricultural productivity, property destruction, and ecosystem services are considerable. Coloradans are paying a huge “hidden tax” for electricity from fossil-fuel power plants.

Fortunately, technology and electric grid advances, along with price reductions such as economies of scale, have produced a situation where carbon-free electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind can be reliable and significantly less expensive compared with electricity derived from burning coal or gas. Detailed analyses suggest that Colorado utilities can make the transition to primarily solar and wind power within 10-12 years, with net savings of billions of dollars.

The municipalities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, along with the Platte River Power Authority which serves them, have set a goal of achieving 100% carbon-free electricity production by 2030. The state of Colorado has also committed to renewable electricity by 2040. There will be challenges, but these are realistic and necessary goals as we move forward with preserving the state’s environment and growing its clean-energy economy.

McAlpine has a BA in Physics from Earlham College and a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Wisconsin. Following a stint as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, he joined the Astronomy faculty at the University of Michigan. After retiring from Michigan, he accepted a position at Trinity University in Texas, where he continued to teach Physics and Climate Science. Gordon and his wife, Barbara, moved to Estes Park in 2014. He has been active with the Estes Valley Astronomical Society and has been working with the Platte River Power Authority as they transition to renewable energy generation.

Rassin's 2018 presidential theme

2018-19 RI President Barry Rassin wants Rotary members to Be the

Saving mothers and babies

New Zealand Rotary club sets new standard for childbirth care in

Migration challenges inspire Rotary peace scholar

Migration challenges inspire peace scholarRotary Peace Fellow Linda Low could not have known what world events would bring when she took a position as the communications manager for the Europe region of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent

Rotary praises unsung heroes on World Polio Day

Rotary and the Gates Foundation host fifth annual World Polio Day to highlight progress in the fight to eradicate the

Bill Solms
Dec 03, 2020
Awards Presentation Program
Jonathan Shibley
Dec 10, 2020
Global Advance