Rotary Club of Estes Park
Service Above Self 
Since May 6, 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

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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
The week's program:
A year for the Estes Park history books 
How would you describe the past year in Estes Park? It certainly has been a year like no other. Mayor Wendy Koenig will join our Zoom meeting on Thursday, May 13 to give us her impressions of the pasts 12 months in our little mountain town. 
Click on the link before noon: Our Zoom host, Scott Thompson, will give you access to the meeting.

Mayor Koenig is a 50-year Estes Park resident and attended school in Estes Park, graduating in 1973 from Estes Park High School. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in 1977 and Master of Science in 1978 from Colorado State University and earned her Doctor of Audiology in 2004 from Central Michigan University.

She was a two-time Olympian in the 1972 Munich Olympics and 1976 Montreal Olympics and her 28-year career in track and field exposed her to national and international politics as an athlete, team manager, USA track and field athlete representative and board member, Olympic Committee representative and Olympic Committee Board member.

In 1987, Mayor Koenig returned to Estes Park to raise her family and continue working as an audiologist. As an audiologist, she served on legislative committees for business regulation and state conventions. Since her return to Town, she has been involved in many town committees and boards including the Park Hospital District Board of Directors, Senior Center Board, Estes Park Lions Club and the Town Board of Trustees. In April 2020 Mayor Koenig began her four-year term as Mayor for the Town of Estes Park.

Duck Race fans broke records May 1 
The Rotary Duck Race proved for the second year that a pandemic could not dampen the community spirit that propels the 33-year-old event. Because a record number of ducks were adopted, 7,198 to be exact, the 65 Participating Organizations will receive a projected $118,579 to shore up their budgets and continue their important work in the Estes Valley. 
The May 1 event got an early start with a breakfast at The Egg of Estes for Duck Race Committee volunteers, followed by the Estes Park Running Club’s Duck Waddle 5K on the scenic Lake Estes Trail. Beginning at noon, programming was live-streamed from The Estes Valley Community Center’s Lazy River and viewed on YouTube, Facebook and TDS Channel 8/108 - The Rocky Mountain Channel. A Pre-Flight Show featured performances by singer/songwriter Cowboy Brad Fitch and Ballet Renaissance. Kurtis Kelly and Scott Thompson served as emcees and provided lively commentary as Major Sponsor and little race ducks navigated the current of The Lazy River. Personnel from the Estes Valley Fire Protection District, Glen Haven Area Volunteer Fire Department and Pinewood Springs Fire Protection District represented first responders that were honored this year for their heroic efforts during the recent wildfires. They participated in the duck drop and shared a timely message about wildfire preparedness.
The top prize winners for 2021 were:
  • Mark Wagner - $5,000 
  • Donald Kutz - $2,500 
  • Christopher Marr - $1,000
  • Kenny Lefebvre – Yellowstone Vacation Package
  • Debby Westley – Glacier National Park Vacation Package
In addition, over 300 merchant prizes were awarded. All winners are listed on
Leading the Rotary Duck Race flock this year as ‘Big Duck’, Bill Solms met the challenge of capturing the spirit of the event without the benefit of its traditional outdoor venues and cheering race fans. After the last duck was plucked from The Lazy River, Solms ‘quacked out’ some well-deserved thanks to several partners.
 “On behalf of Rotary and all those who worked so hard to help this event accomplish its purposes, I thank all who invested in this venture: the Town of Estes Park, the Estes Valley Community Center, Mayor Wendy Koenig, Chief David Wolf, and all of our other firefighting forces!”
Solms is most appreciate of the strong community support that resulted in a record-breaking number of Duck Adoptions.
“This year’s 33rd Rotary Duck Race allows us to send vital support to 65 participating non-profits as summer begins,” he added.
The race is available for viewing on YouTube for anyone who missed the big day or just wants to see it all again. Click on
Looking ahead to 2022, the Rotary Duck Race Committee is anticipating a return to the traditional format, with ducks racing on the Fall River from Nicky’s to Riverside Plaza. During 2020 and 2021, the race occurred indoors and without spectators, for the safety of race fans and volunteers.
One former Big Duck said the 2021 race “proved its mettle and staying power for this community by hanging in there for the long haul and adapting to a worldwide pandemic. The fact that the Duck Race is standing strong and ready to go back to the river shows its important value to the community because people show up to support it no matter what.”
Don Widrig, volunteer since 2002 who wrote the 41,000 lines computer code that runs all aspects of the race added his praise, “I rank this as the best race that I have ever participated in.”
Since its inception in 1989, the Duck Race has distributed $2.9 million to various Participating Organizations.
May 6 program:
Water Quality Management in Estes Park

Our program this week will flood you with information about our town's water quality and how it is maintained. Bring a gallon or two of questions! Our presenters will be Chris Eshelman, Town of Estes Park Water Superintendent, and Deb Callahan, Town of Estes Park Water Quality and Laboratory Supervisor.

This week's meeting will be on Zoom. Click on the link before noon:

Chris Eshelman has worked for the Town a total of 12 and half years. Formerly, Chris operated his own local excavation company. He grew up in Estes Park, raised his kids here with his wife, Marlys, and is looking forward to introducing his new baby granddaughter to the Town as well.

Chris Esheleman

Deb Callahan has been with the Town for three+ years after retiring from her laboratory career at the Water Purification Plant in Sioux Falls, SD. She is in awe of the beauty of Colorado! Deb enjoys exploring new places and advocating for her two daughters to follow her lead and move to Colorado too!


Deb Callahan

Ballet, folk, and waddle await Duck Race fans 
The Rotary Duck Race is just a few days away, so it’s time to plan your Virtual Race Day fun. The day takes flight with the 9 a.m. Duck Waddle, a 5K sponsored by the Estes Park Running Club that will encircle Lake Estes. Before the little yellow rubber ducks hit the water, be sure to tune in to the Pre-Flight Show at noon, featuring clips from historic race day footage, an appearance by Lucky Duck and recognition of Major Sponsors. Next up, at 12:40 p.m., the live event coverage begins from the Lazy River at the Estes Valley Community Center. Adoption sales end at 1 p.m. The ducks will race starting around 1:15 p.m. Major Prize winners will be announced as the first five ducks reach the finish line. All other prize winners will be posted on by 5 p.m.
The event will be live-streamed for viewing on YouTube, Facebook and TDS Channel 8/108 - The Rocky Mountain Channel. No in-person attendance by the general public will be permitted.
Special moments will include several songs by singer/songwriter Cowboy Brad Fitch, a favorite of Race Day crowds, as well as an enchanting performance of Duck Lake by Ballet Renaissance.
“It’s my great pleasure to once again be part of our town’s annual Rotary Club Duck Race,” said Fitch. “With the help of Sean Doherty from Nick Mollé  Productions, we have been able to contribute to the virtual event this year. I encourage everyone to participate in the Estes Park Duck Race, which helps so many organizations and individuals in our community.”
The Ballet Renaissance Ducky Ballerinas have delighted Race Day fans since 2013 with their performances along the Duck Race route and are happy to be part of the 2021 live-stream.
“Ballet Renaissance is pleased to support this year’s annual Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival livestream with an original performance of Duck Lake,” said Brianna Furnish, Ballet Renaissance supporter and children’s ballet instructor. “Inspired by the traditional characters and choreography of Swan Lake, Duck Lake, produced by Nick Mollé Productions, features select Ballet Renaissance students, along with a cameo appearance by Rotary’s very own Lucky Duck. Ballet Renaissance extends a special thank you to Leslie Glover and Mark Holdt, who hosted three outdoor rehearsals, and film day for the performance. Here’s to a great race.”
According to Big Duck ‘21 Bill Solms, Race Day promises to be memorable because many volunteers have waddled up to join in the feathered fun.
“Please do not miss the ‘Mystery of Lucky Duck’ and the performance of our middle school volunteers that will ‘mix it up’ in the Lazy River,” Solms said. “Special appearances by mariachi ducks, first responder ducks, and various medical duck personnel will dare the raging waters of the river to distract the creatures appearing within in order to free our race ducks to seek the finish line!”
The global pandemic has affected traditional Estes Park events, but the Duck Race Committee anticipates that the live-stream broadcast will appeal to all Duck Race fans. 
“This year's Duck Race shows how resilient the members of Rotary can be during times like these,” Solms said. “But Rotary could not succeed in its mission to support the Town and its non-profit organizations that put their energies into all aspects of this event without the vital contributions from our Major Sponsors, the athletes from the Estes Valley Runners Club, the Renaissance Ballet and its choreographic talent, our local and talented Brad Fitch, businesses providing merchant prizes, and so on. There is no shortage of enthusiasm. Our first responders have been some of the most prolific duck adoption promoters! A special shout-out to Mayor Koenig, Fire Chief David Wolf from Estes Valley Fire Protection District, the neighboring Fire District  departments participating, as well as Kurtis Kelly and Scott Thompson, our Race Day Masters of Ceremonies. Join us on Race Day, May 1st, starting at noon Mountain Time. You will be glad you did.”
To be a part of the day, plan to  adopt a duck or a flock by logging onto  All adoptions are being handled online. A full schedule of the day’s events is also available on
The Duck Waddle begins at 9 a.m. near the Estes Park Parking Structure and follows the Lake Estes Trail. Details are available on
Silence is not Golden, it's Lonely: 
Hearing and Technology Update
Our program on Thursday, April 15, will feature Audiologist Cory Workman, former president of the Colorado Academy of Audiology.
Dr. Cory Workman
Dr. Workman "Dr. Cory" comes to Estes Park by way of Idaho. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Idaho State University in his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho in 2006. He received his doctorate in Audiology in 2013, also from Idaho State University. He completed a clinical residency with Colorado West Otolaryngologists Ear, Nose, & Throat physician's clinic in Grand Junction, CO. He spent three years in Grand Junction specializing in hearing loss and balance disorders. He also coordinated the implantable hearing device program while there. Most recently, Dr. Cory has worked in Boise, Idaho with Southwest Idaho ENT as a clinical audiologist. Dr. Cory specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, balance and dizziness disorders, hearing aids, repairs, wax removal, hearing protection and assistive devices. He brings a personalized, straightforward approach to his patients and enjoys improving the lives of those he serves. 

Dr. Cory has served on the national Student Academy of Audiology board of directors from 2011 to 2013 and as president of the Colorado Academy of Audiology from 2014 to 2015. He carries board certification from the American Board of Audiology and is very active nationally for the professional of audiology. 

Dr. Cory and his wife, Melinda, have two daughters and share a love of music, the arts and the great outdoors. They can be found around town looking for the best live music or in the outdoors biking and skiing. They are excited to be a part of the Estes Park community and look forward to many years ahead.
This week's meeting will be on Zoom. Click on the link before noon:
 Duck Waddle set for Duck Race Day
While the Rotary Duck Race will be conducted without the traditional riverside crowds this year, there is a big way for everyone to get Race Day off to a healthy and fun start. Sign up for the Duck Waddle 5K and get your feet moving at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 1. 
The event is sponsored by the Estes Park Running Club, and after having to cancel the 2020 Duck Waddle, planners are more than excited to offer it this year. Safety precautions will be in place, so it’s best to plan ahead for the Duck Waddle. The race begins and ends in Bond Park and the route includes a scenic trek along MacGregor Ave., Big Thompson Ave. and Fall River Rd.
Here’s what you can do to ensure a place in the starting line:
  • Go to and register.  Late registration is April 26 - May 1, with a $7 increase to the entry fee.  In-person registration available, 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. on Race Day
  • Adult registration is $30 and includes a Duck Adoption (value $20) and “Firefighter Duck” shirt ($5 added).
  • Seniors (60 and up) registration is $25 and includes a Duck Adoption (value $20) and  “Firefighter Duck” shirt ($5 added).
  • Youth 14 and under will be charged $25.
  • Pick up your packet between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on April 30 at Med-X of Estes Park, 158 First St. OR in Bond Park on Race Day beginning at 8 a.m.
  • All participants must observe social distancing guidelines and wear a mask at all times, except while running.
“We want to have a safe and fun race for everyone!” said Belle Morris, Estes Park Running Club President and Race Director. “Join us by following our Social Contract agreement for COVID-19 precautions. All participants are asked to wear a face mask at all times, with exception while running or walking during race. Social distancing at the start line and at the separate finish line is expected. A time-trial interval start, of 3-second spacing, will allow participants adequate spacing.” 
A special commemorative race shirt will be available to the public for purchase on Race Day for $20, Morris added.
Following the Duck Waddle 5K, top finishers will receive awards and prizes. These include 1st and 2nd place male and female overall. Additional awards will be presented to 1st and 2nd place, male and female, in the following categories: 13 and under; 14-16; 17-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69; 70-70; and over 80. 
“The Estes Park Running Club provides their unique and challenging schedule to all of our runners,” said ‘Big Duck ‘21’ Bill Solms. “Their participation in our Duck Race Festival in this unusual year shows their individual caring and dedication to our cause of raising support and directing attention towards all of our non-profits in the Estes Valley!! Please join them in their special Duck Waddle this year by running in the race and/or by adopting one of their racing ducks.”
April 8 program:
Economically Speaking: the state of Estes
Adam Shake will be our featured speaker on Thursday, April 8. He will present on a topic that affects all of us in many ways: the state of the Estes Park economy. Our meeting will be on Zoom only, so log in before noon with the following link and be welcomed by Scott Thompson, our meeting host:
Adam Shake
Shake is the President/CEO of the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation. He served nearly 15 years in the U.S. Army before working in Washington DC for 11 years before moving to Colorado. Since his arrival in Estes Park, he’s served on the boards of Visit Estes Park, Estes Valley Partners for Commerce and Flinch Forward as well as volunteering for many other community initiatives. 
April 1 program:
How has Rotary influenced Russia?
Will it be Beneficial to All Concerned?” Many Rotarians since the 1990's economic devastation of Russia, most notably the Eugene, Oregon Rotary Club, believed helping Russians met the purpose of the Four-Way Test. Certainly, “Will it Build GOODWILL and BETTER Friendships?” fits the bill. As Mikhail Gorbachev said, “It is better to be friends than to be enemies. It is better to do business than to do war.” Thus, Rotary stood tall … and still does today.
What have we learned since three Swedish Rotarians first visited Russia in 1988 and the first club was chartered in Moscow in 1990? What have hundreds of American Rotary Clubs given to the Russian economy and stability (before the pandemic, of course)?
Milt Garrett is possibly one among a very small handful of American Rotarians who have, over many decades, consistently aided in that Four-Way Test consideration across Russia’s 11 time zones. 
Milt Garrett
This summer’s return trip will be Garrett’s 23rd year working with Russian entrepreneurs. A self-funded Rotarian, he’s twice been selected as a citizen diplomat. Ten of 23 years he did this work pro bono as a Rotarian. He’s a former member of the Rotary International’s U.S.-Russia Intercountry Committee.
In the Fall 1999 with the Grand Junction Rotary Club, and later sponsored by a San Francisco organization that Congress funded, Dr. Garrett was sent across America to many Rotary Clubs. When there, he spent a first full week as their lead instructor and taught industry-specific delegations of Russian men and women. Local Rotarian hosts were responsible for the expenses for the three weeks of training. The purpose of this effort by Rotarians and San Francisco was to restart the economic recovery of Russia. What has he learned? Has Rotary really been beneficial to the Russian entrepreneur? If so, how has it helped in their economy since the Christmas Day 1991 breakup?
Dr. Milt Garrett will answer those questions with his presentation: “How Has Rotary influenced Russia?
Join the Zoom meeting before noon by clicking on the following link:
Club grant will help feed the community
The Rotary Club of Estes Park has a longstanding commitment to address areas of need in the local community and has recently awarded a grant to help with a shortfall of holiday collections by The Salvation Army.
Due to the COVID pandemic, the bell-ringing campaign sponsored by The Salvation Army came up short this year. The Community Service Committee of the Rotary Club of Estes Park, which vets and recommends grants funded by the club, recently delivered $1,000 to the Community Corner Café to help provide weekly free dinners for all Estes Valley residents. Half of the amount came from the club’s Friendship Card proceeds, and $500 was donated by a generous club member.
Roxy Hause (left) and Rev. Bruce Brackman (right) happily accept the $1,000 grant from the Rotary Club of Estes Park representative Beth Weisberg to help with the Community Corner Café.
The Community Corner Café is based at Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church on Dry Gulch Road, near Good Samaritan Village. Free meals are provided every Friday between the first Friday in October and the last Friday in April, between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Due to COVID, meals are “to go” during this CCC season.
“Community Corner Café is about Community, celebrating our ‘common unity.’ We provide good nourishing meals at no cost to anyone in Estes Park and surrounding areas,” said Bruce Brackman, pastor of Shepherd of the Mountains. “So far this year we are averaging over 225 meals every Friday night. We are so thankful for the Noon Rotary’s grant of $500 and a $500 match by an anonymous donor. We absolutely would not be able to serve without the generosity of the Noon Rotary and other organizations that consider Community Corner Café an important ministry to Estes Park and surrounding areas. CCC is funded purely by grants and donations.”
Founded in 1926, The Rotary Club of Estes Park is a service organization open to all. The club currently meets on Zoom on first four Thursdays of every month. Meetings begin at noon, with an optional lunch served at 11:30 a.m. Interested in joining? Contact Anne Slack, membership chairperson at To help the club’s philanthropic efforts, consider buying a $10 Friendship Card for local discounts at any of the following locations: Cabintique, Country Market, Macdonald Book Shop, Mad Moose, Nicky’s Steak and Seafood House, Quality Inn, Safeway Guest Services, Rocky Mountain Gateway, Wynbrier Home and Wynbrier Ltd.
What You Need to Know: 
Getting Around Downtown This Summer
This week's program will head off unwanted parking tickets, because as they say, Knowledge is Power!
Both parking and transit in Estes Park will look a little different in Summer 2021. Plans to implement seasonal paid parking were put on hold in 2020 due to COVID, as was the vision for expanded transportation offerings around Town and down the hill. However, even with the pandemic, parking areas downtown were as full, or in some cases, more full in 2020 than in previous years. This presentation will cover the Town's plans for resuming implementation of seasonal paid parking in 2021, new parking permit options for business owners, employees and locals, and proposed transit service offerings.

Our speakers will be Vanessa Solesbee and Matt Eisenberg, Town of Estes Park employees.
Vanessa Solsesbee
Solesbee has been the Town's Parking & Transit Manager since 2018 and has worked in the parking industry for 13 years. 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. Vanessa has worked with communities all over the US and Canada, as well as many mountain west clients including the cities of Boulder, Fort Collins, Denver, Parker, Castle Rock, Longmont, Aurora, Jackson Hole; Cheyenne, Provo, Missoula, MT, and Billings. Vanessa lives in Estes Park with her husband, John, and two daughters Ava Fox (5) and Ella Bee (2).
Eisenberg is General Manager of The Car Park’s Estes Park branch. He and his family relocated to Estes Park from Boise, Idaho last year to help the Town with the implementation and management of its seasonal paid parking program. Prior to Boise, the Eisenbergs lived in Telluride for over a decade, and are very happy to be back in Colorado.  
Click on the Zoom link before noon on Thursday and our host Scott Thompson will invite you into the session:
This week's program:
Financial Literacy for Women
This week's program will be presented by Andrea Anthony, who will provide information on what women should know about managing finances. She aims to help women navigate difficult financial life changes. Our speaker is well known to at least two club members, Michelle and Doug Mann, because Andrea is Michelle's sister.
Andrea Anthony

Andrea Anthony, CPA, CDFA, M. Acc.. has over 30 years of accounting experience and has  served as a director, treasurer, and advisor for numerous boards, from nonprofits to private  companies to political organizations. Her Estes Park, Colorado-based firm, Changing Tides CPA,  Inc., gives her the flexibility to address a cause close to her heart—assisting women to attain  financial literacy so they are no longer at risk of financial exploitation, ruin, or abuse. This  includes aiding elderly women who find themselves suddenly alone and unfamiliar with financial  matters as their late spouse was the one who "took care of everything." 

Anthony, licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in both Florida and Colorado, is also a  Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). She provides a range of needed services: 

  • Divorce financial analysis
  • Support services for those divorcing, separated or contemplating either 
  • Eldercare financial counseling and assistance
  • Small business and personal accounting consulting, such as company oversight, internal  control reviews, cash flow management, budgeting, and cash flow forecasting.  

Anthony received her Masters of Science in Accounting from the University of North Florida and began her career with the two firms that would later become Price Waterhouse Coopers. She  is the Finance Director for St. John's Academy, a private school in St. Augustine, FL., where she  has served for more than 25 years. Anthony has also volunteered accounting support to nonprofit  humanitarian agencies in Kosovo, Albania, and Sudan. Recently, she served on the Board of  Directors for The Betty Griffin Center in St. Augustine, FL, which helps local victims of  domestic violence and their children. She is currently Treasurer of the Board for The Historic  Stanley Home Foundation.

Join the meeting by clicking on this link before the program begins at noon:

This week's program:
American Legion plans for Wall of Honor
Our program on Thursday, March 4 will feature an exciting project sponsored by the Estes Park American Legion Post 119. Our speaker, Deborah Schmitt, will describe the Wall of Honor Project, which aims to commemorate the service of our veterans, their family members and the community.
Deborah "Sunny" Schmitt is a member of Post 119 and the Sunrise Rotary. She retired from the Air Force after 22 years of active service.
Deborah Schmitt
To join the meeting on Zoom, click on the link before noon and Host Scott Thompson will welcome you:
Estes Park to honor role of historic women
Our program this week will provide the background, scope and progress on the Estes Park Women's Monument Project. The goal of the project is to celebrate the role of women in the growth and success of Estes Park. Ron Wilcocks, chair of the Estes Park Women's Monument Project Committee, will present.
Ron Wilcocks
Wilcocks, who moved to Estes Park in 1999,  is co-owner of Earthwood Galleries of Colorado, which includes Earthwood Collections and Earthwood Artisans. He is an active volunteer, having previously served as Vice President of the Cultural Arts Council, Vice-Chair of the Estes Park Urban Renewal Authority and other community-based boards and committees. Currently, he is a member of the Parks Advisory Board and the Transportation Advisory Board, as well as leading the Women's Monument Project.
Previously, Wilcocks applied his bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science in several lead software engineering positions, including as a Director at the US West/Quest Advanced Technology Labs in Boulder. Married to Ann for nearly 37 years, Ron and Ann raised their two children in Estes Park.
To join the meeting on Zoom, click on the Zoom link before noon. Scott Thompson, our Zoom host, will welcome you. Meeting link:
The 4-legged ladder:
Carl Robicheaux to explain estate planning
This week's program will feature one of our own, Carl Robicheaux. His program is titled: Simple Estate Planning - The Four Legs of the Ladder.
Carl Robicheaux
Carl was born and raised in South Louisiana. He graduated from Loyola Law School in New Orleans and is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Louisiana and Connecticut. Carl's vast experience in his varied legal career has spanned over 33 years. He has represented individuals and companies in small cases and multi-million dollar litigation.
Carl has worked as a solo practitioner and with a small, three-attorney law firm providing legal services to rural clients needing affordable and professional legal representation. He has also represented multi-national insurance companies and Fortune 500 companies in personal injury litigation.
After caring for his elderly mother Carl realized that individuals need a strong voice to help them through everyday legal issues. Carl moved to Estes Park and opened Elkhorn Law, devoting his practice to estate planning, probate, real estate, HOA law, elder law issues, business formation and governance. Carl also provides general legal counseling.
Carl is the Vice President and Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Estes Park Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Estes Park Health Foundation and the Estes Chamber of Commerce.
Carl enjoys spending time with his wife, Aime, his 3 dogs, hiking, playing golf and attempting to fly fish (when his flies are in the river and not a tangled mess).

To join the meeting on Zoom, click on the Zoom link before noon, and Scott Thompson, our Zoom host, will welcome you.  Meeting link:
This week's program:
Rosenkrance to discuss learning in a pandemic

Imagine for a moment the logistics required to deliver instruction to 1,100 students in elementary, middle and high school during a pandemic. We've invited our Estes Park School District R-3 Superintendent Sheldon Rosenkrance to describe the process, challenges and successes of the past year.

Rosenkrance came to Estes Park as superintendent in August 2014. He is in his seventh school year at the Estes Park School District as Superintendent of Schools.

Sheldon Rosenkrance

Originally from Mackay, Idaho, he attended Idaho State University as well as Washington State University. He was both a teacher and a principal in Idaho and Washington prior to coming to Colorado. Sheldon was a principal for Coupeville Middle/High Schools for eight years on Whidbey Island in Washington when he accepted the position of Superintendent of Schools in Estes Park. This will be his 33rd year in education and he has a great passion for providing the best educational opportunities for students, staff, and community.

Sheldon’s wife, Janie, is a math teacher for the Poudre School District. They have four daughters. Their youngest, Carlie is a graduate of Estes Park High School and attending CSU. Cassidi is a recent graduate of Colorado State University, Chelsea lives in Seattle, and Nikki and her family live and work in Greeley. Their family has had a great transition from Washington to Colorado and they truly enjoy being part of such a supportive community. In their free time they enjoy hiking and exploring the many wonders of Estes Park and the surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park.

Superintendent Rosenkrance truly believes that Estes Park is a special place and is appreciative of the opportunity to build on the strengths of the district, as well as the ability to partner with the community to enhance these efforts.

To join the meeting on Zoom, click on the Zoom link before noon, and Scott Thompson, our Zoom host, will welcome you.  Meeting link:

Ducks to swim in Lazy River May 1 
 It’s official! Thousands of little yellow ducks will swim again in 2021. After taking a year off for a virtual race in a television studio 2020, the ducks will again hit the water on Saturday, May 1 at the 33rd annual Rotary Duck Race Festival.
The Duck Race will be modified due to COVID safety guidelines, but it is guaranteed to bring a much-needed morning of joy and fundraising. Details are still being “feathered out” but what we know is that the race will take place at the Estes Valley Community Center and utilize the Lazy River for the little yellow paddlers. Because no one can predict what state and county guidelines will be in place on May 1, the Rotary Duck Race Festival will be live-streamed and available on several platforms so that families can safely gather at home in front of their TV or computer screens to celebrate the annual progress toward the finish line.

The 33rd Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival will benefit 64 Participating Organizations. They will begin to sell Duck Adoptions in early March. The organizations are busy plotting online sales strategy, as all Duck Adoptions will be handled online.

“Sixty-four local Participating Organization are ready and excited to launch the adoption season stating in early March,” said Larry Williams, Rotary Duck Race Festival organizations committee chairman. “This is a great way to support your favorite nonprofit and have fun watching the ducks in the Lazy River on May 1."   

By holding the event indoors without crowds and eliminating paper adoption sales and handling, the volunteers who power the race will be kept as safe as possible, according to Big Duck ‘21 Bill Solms. Fewer Rotarians and town employees and will be needed to support the race this year, so that health and safety can be enhanced until the full scope of activities can return, hopefully in 2022. 
This week's program:
Fire fire management officer to present 
This week's program will feature Mike Lewelling, fire management officer with the National Park Service, Rocky Mountain National Park. HIs program is titled, "Fire Management and the East Troublesome fire at Rocky mountain National Park" To join the meeting on Zoom, click on this link before noon: Meeting host Scott Thompson will provide access to Rotarians and visitors.
Mike Lewelling
Lewelling has been the Fire Management Officer at Rocky Mountain National Park for almost 15 years. He started his federal career in 1990 at Zion National Park where he had a summer job as a fee collector and was also collateral duty firefighter. He stayed at Zion for five years working as a backcountry ranger and firefighter. Then in the summers of 1996 and 1997 he moved to the Grand Canyon to work as a firefighter. In the summer of 1998, he started the year at Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks as an engine captain, then got his first permanent job back at Zion as a station captain, supervising two engine crews and the fuels crew. In 2000, Mike was promoted to prescribed fire specialist at Zion. In 2001, Mike  moved to Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California where he became the fire management officer (FMO). In 2006, Mike accepted the FMO position at RMNP and has been here ever since. 
Mike stays active in the local community as the president of the Estes Park Cycling Coalition and helps coach the high school mountain bike team. He is also a CrossFit Coach at CrossFit Estes Park.
Lewelling received his Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education from Western Oregon State College in 1990, and also graduated from the two-year technical fire management program in 2006. He has lived in Estes Park for 15 years with his wife and two high school age daughters.  
Inspiring, sustaining recovery at Harmony
Our speaker this week is Jim Geckler, CEO of Harmony Foundation since July 2017. The mission of Harmony in Estes Park is to provide the foundation for sustained recovery from the diseases of drug and alcohol addiction. To join the meeting on Zoom click on this link before noon:
Jim Geckler
Geckler is a native of Buffalo, NY who has served the recovery community in a professional capacity for almost 20 years. Jim has constantly sought to open the path to treatment for families and individuals. His experience has touched all phases of the continuum of care, from establishing the first LGBT recovery residence in Minneapolis, leading families through the process of intervention as Chief Operating Officer of Addiction Intervention Resources, to multiple leadership roles at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. As Chief Executive Officer at the Harmony Foundation, Colorado's oldest residential treatment program, Geckler has worked to expand access to services for all people seeking recovery and to guide the next phases of Harmony’s development. His greatest honor is in helping people find new ways to manage life.
Work at Harmony brought Jim and his family to Colorado, where they have set down roots in Allenspark. His passion for community engagement led him to a position on the Estes Park Restorative Justice board, supporting alternate opportunities for people to make amends to their community. Jim and his husband Peter are pleased to be apart of the Estes Valley and excited to be new Coloradans.
Jan. 7 program-
Crossroads' Brian Schaffer to present
Brian Schaffer has served as the executive director of Crossroads Ministry since May 2018. In addition he is the chaplain for the Estes Valley Fire Protection District and a member of Sunrise Rotary.

Brian Schaffer

Join the program by clicking on this Zoom link before noon:

Before joining Crossroads, Schaffer served in Alaska with Catholic Social Services providing system support and collaborative leadership for agencies working with homeless families in the HUD coordinated entry system and rapid rehousing program. He was also an outreach pastor at the largest church in the state and led New Hope on the Last Frontier as their executive director where he launched a recovery services program, job training center, life coaching and peer mentoring to augment the already existing food and clothing distribution.

He was active on advisory boards for the Salvation Army and Anchorage Cops for Community and served as a volunteer prison chaplain. The last two years in Alaska he helped establish Acts 247 Recovery Church to reach people in recovery from addiction, homelessness and incarceration. In each of these assignments he worked collaboratively with churches, government agencies, businesses, and volunteers.. 

Before this he served in pastoral assignments with the Church of the Nazarene in Texas. While living in Houston he founded and served as the executive director of Urban Link, a Christian community development organization. Preceding his time in Texas and Alaska, he served as a missionary in Central America and the Caribbean, worked at a small oil company in Kansas and Oklahoma as well as taught in both public and private schools.

Schaffer believes that his life’s mission is centered in mobilizing communities to love their neighbors through acts of compassion and words of life. This calling has been translated into a career that is uniquely suited him as a spiritual, cultural, and civic leader.

He received a bachelor’s degree in education from MidAmerica Nazarene University and a master’s degree in ministerial leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Growing up in the flatlands of Wichita, Kansas he always dreamed of living a life filled with adventure. After graduating from MNU where he met his wife, Deborah, they began their missionary journey together. And 31 years later, they have three grown sons and one daughter-in-law in Texas and Tennessee.

 “I’m amazed at all the ways that Crossroads has been involved in the lives of people in need, from tragic events such as the floods and fires to providing occasional assistance with rent, utilities, medical costs, repairs, fuel, or whatever else that has brought their life to a screeching halt," he said. "Restoring hope in a loving manner has been a trademark of this exceptional organization and I am grateful to the board of directors for the opportunity to be their Executive Director." 

Adapted from an article that appeared in the June 2018 Trail-Gazette

This week's program
Special guest: Olga Ortega

Our speaker this week will be Olga Ortega, a well-known restaurant owner whose support of the Hispanic community in the Estes Valley is inspirational. She will present a short program and then answer our questions.

This description of Olga comes from Sybil Barnes as part of the 100 Years - A Celebration of Women series:

The guiding principle of Olga Ortega’s life is that all good stories never come without painful stories. She came to Estes in 1992 as one of the second Latino families to stay year-round. Olga has dealt with painful circumstances including family mental health issues resulting in the suicide of one of her siblings.

Olga is grateful for the community she found here. Initial support was provided by Barb Wahl, the public health nurse, who advised her through pregnancy and the birth of her son. Five years later, the family was joined by a beautiful daughter. Both are EPHS graduates and successful in college. They also help in the family business – Mountain Home Café – which Olga and her husband, Enrique, have owned for 13 years.

Olga is always willing to make a difference for those in need. Mentors made an impact on her family to pay it forward by staying strong. She says “We embrace our community with a commitment to service.” She has sponsored an annual Cinco de Mayo feast which is free to all. During the recent pandemic, she partnered with Crossroads to provide free meals and fabric masks to hundreds.

For a smiling face, excellent food, and interesting conversation, stop by and see Olga.

This week's program:
Jonathan Shibley on Making a Lasting Impact
Join your club this Thursday on Zoom to hear our program on Global Advance. Our speaker will be Jonathan Shibley, Global Advance President, who will join us on Zoom and be introduced by Doug Mann.
Jonathan Shibley
Since 2000, Shibley has helped shape the organization’s growth and international impact. Global Advance has provided leadership training for more than 836,700 pastors, business persons, and women leaders in 104 nations. He founded the Marketplace Missions initiatives of Global Advance, which focus on equipping thousands of Christian entrepreneurs and business professionals around the world with vision and acumen to become catalysts for fulfilling the Great Commission.
According to the organization's website, "Global Advance was founded in 1990 by Dr. David Shibley. In the 1980s, God put a vision and burden in his heart to provide encouragement, resources, and training for frontline pastors in destitute nations of the world." 
Jonathan Shibley holds a Business Degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He and his wife, Sarah, have three children. 
Scott Thompson will be our Zoom Host. Join the program by clicking on the Zoom link before noon:
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.

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Gordon Slack and Bill Howell
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Red Cross and Salvation Army
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Club Assembly, Committee Work