Norfolk Public Library Director, Jessica Chamberlain, Updates Rotarians on all the Library has to Offer! 2019-09-03 05:00:00Z 0
Rotarians Jim & Dave Merritt receive Paul Harris Fellowship Award 2019-08-14 05:00:00Z 0
Rotarians, Jim & Dave Merritt, Receive the Prestigious Paul Harris Award 2019-08-14 05:00:00Z 0
Brewmaster, Jeremy Kirby, speaks to Rotary 2019-07-23 05:00:00Z 0
Jefferson Elementary Clothing Drive Sam Drevo 2018-12-18 06:00:00Z 0
Norfolk Rotarians Visit Cardinal Health Sam Drevo 2018-10-30 05:00:00Z 0
Norfolk Rotarians Honor Vets Sherri Prim 2018-09-11 05:00:00Z 0
We welcome new member JoBeth Cox, Executive Director of Elkhorn Valley Museum. President Sherri Prim inducted her June 6, 2018.
New Member 2018-06-05 05:00:00Z 0
The Norfolk Rotary Club planted 137 trees in a little over an hour on May 24, 2018. The trees were planted in the Norfolk City Nursery and will grow there until they are mature enough to be transplanted throughout the City as needed. The varieties include Northern Catalpa, Burr Oak, Hackberry, American Linden, Swamp Oak, American Sycamore, Hazelnut, Nannyberry, Jack Pine, White Fir and White Pine. Participating Rotarians included Randy Dee, Ron McKeever, John Schmitt, Sherri Prim, Sam Drevo, Jim Merritt, Mary Hammond, Rod Johnson, Troy Weyhrich, and Patty Skokan. Others helpers were Hayden Dee, Hunter Dee and Ryan Prim. We are thankful to the NRD for donating the trees.
Tree Planting Sherri Prim 2018-05-24 05:00:00Z 0
Senator Ben Sasse 2017-12-13 06:00:00Z 0

Two trees were recently donated by Norfolk Rotary to honor the memories of Abby Nicole Uecker and Micki Hespe. The trees were planted by the Norfolk Rotary Club at Skyview Lake next to the stage. A dedication of the memorial trees will be held at the first Music In The Park event next summer.

Micki Hespe's generous estate donation helped make the Skyview Stage possible.

Abby Nicole & County Road performed at Music in the Park.

Skyview Lake Memorial Trees 2017-12-13 06:00:00Z 0
The Norfolk Rotary Club hosted Scott Asmus and Meghann Buresh with the Dept. of Labor. They discussed the Registered Apprenticeship Program, a nation-wide training program where an individual can earn wages while learning a skilled profession.
Registered Apprenticeship Program 2017-12-13 06:00:00Z 0
Our October 17th program was presented by The Liberty Centre. Robin Claussen is the Clinical Director and Bev Ferguson is the Director of Organizational Effectiveness. They shared that the Centre's mission is to serve Northeast Nebraskans who are recovering from significant mental illness. In addition to the clubhouse, they have a transitional employment program in which they work with over 30 local businesses. They served over 360 people last year and over 150 are employed. They also have a group home called Park Place. Their community support program has worked with over 250 people throughout the community, helping find jobs and providing other support. They now offer apartment housing in Columbus, NE, as well.
Liberty Centre 2017-10-26 05:00:00Z 0
Mayor Josh Moenning gave us a City of Norfolk update. He discussed: Economic growth - Industrial expansion such as the extension of a natural gas pipeline into Norfolk and having shovel ready sites available. Enhanced quality of life - The importance of having a strong downtown area, riverfront development with public investment, the status of the First Street bridge construction, the extension of the trails system, and tree planting efforts.
Mayor Josh Moenning 2017-10-26 05:00:00Z 0
Jay Daniel with the Norfolk Ministerial Association gave us some very interesting information about churches and the different religions in Norfolk. Rotarian Fr Lloyd Gnirk from Omaha visited our club.
Jay Daniel - Norfolk Ministerial Association 2017-10-26 05:00:00Z 0
Our September 19th program was presented by Lee Klein who is a staff member in Congressman Jeff Fortenberry's Norfolk office. Mr. Klein previously served as a Madison County Commissioner. He discussed the interesting challenges that working in politics involves including working with FEMA, the Social Security Administration, and other agencies. He shared how citizens can affect public policy through their involvement.
Lee Klein 2017-09-25 05:00:00Z 0
Dr. Don Ridder was inducted as a new member of Norfolk Rotary Club. Dr. Ridder is the President of Norfolk Catholic Schools.
Dr. Don Ridder 2017-09-25 05:00:00Z 0

The Norfolk Rotary Club was joined by Rob Latimer – Senior Adviser for Community Relations with TransCanada. The company has been issued a federal permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline; however, they still need to secure route approval through Nebraska. The proposed route, including 273 miles in Nebraska, was chosen as the most environmentally safe route through the avoidance of some water crossings and other sensitive areas. The Nebraska Public Service Commission will conduct a public meeting in Norfolk on Wednesday, June 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Divots Conference Center.

TransCanada - Rob Latimer 2017-06-26 05:00:00Z 0

Nebraska State Senator Jim Scheer joined us for this week’s Rotary meeting. Scheer recounted his experiences serving as Speaker of the Legislature in the latest legislative session. Part of Scheer’s responsibility as Speaker was to allot time to debate each bill in order that it got the proper attention yet kept the session moving along. To accomplish this, he instituted some operational changes to the Legislature. Contentious bills were scheduled in three-hour segments on first reading. At the end of the three hours, senators had to show they had enough votes to advance the bill to get it back on the schedule. The 90-day legislative session, originally scheduled to adjourn on June 2, was adjourned 4 days early.

Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer 2017-06-16 05:00:00Z 0

This week’s Norfolk Rotary guest was Dr. Robert Prince. He is a board-certified pain management specialist with Faith Regional. Prince’s interest and expertise is in the field of interventional pain procedures, specifically implantable devices. These pain-relieving implants use very small wires to send electrical pulses directly to the nerves causing the pain. Dr. Prince came to Norfolk from Indianapolis about a month ago and is working at the FRPS Pain Management Clinic located at 2622 West Norfolk Avenue. To learn more about Dr. Prince click here.

Dr. Robert Prince 2017-06-08 05:00:00Z 0
The Norfolk Rotary Club recognized Ron McKeever for serving as chairman of the scholarship committee for more than 20 years. Thanks for your dedication, Ron!
Scholarship Committee Chairmanship Award 2017-05-22 05:00:00Z 0
Jessica Adams and Rodrigo Cereja spent the weekend of April 7-9 at the 2017 Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) Seminar. The intensive 3-day training program for high schoolers was held at Camp Kitaki near Louisville, NE. RYLA prepares young people to be leaders in their communities by teaching them to think critically about important issues and allows them to share ideas with their peers. Additionally, the students learn how to coordinate and lead community service projects both locally and globally.
Rotary Youth Leadership Award Seminar 2017-05-12 05:00:00Z 0
At this weeks meeting we had Doug Dekker with Simulation In Motion-Nebraska give us a tour and information on the new mobile training simulator for pre-hospital and hospital professionals.  This is a state-of-the-art 44 foot truck that can provide realistic training in an emergency room or ambulance setting.  It has patient simulators that include adults, children, infants, and pregnant mothers that can talk, breathe, bleed, and pulse.  The truck is equipped with audio and video to record each simulation and review later on.  There mobile simulation units will be based in Norfolk, Lincoln, Kearney, and Scottsbluff and will travel to local communities for training.  A big thank you to Rotarian Dan Nelson for setting this program up.
Next week we will have Susie Buss and Teammates join us for Rotary.  Joe Mtika with the Norfolk school in Malawi will also join us and give an update on the school there.
Simulation in Motion - Nebraska 2017-04-21 05:00:00Z 0

Odd Fellows Randy Backhaus and Rick Konopasek were the guest speakers at this week's Norfolk Rotary meeting. Rick recounted the history of The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which was created in 18th Century England before getting its start in the United States in 1819 for the purpose of giving aid to those in need. Randy spoke about the history and presence of the fraternal order in Norfolk as well as some current projects like expanding their local temple and the annual 4th of July Parade. Thank you for joining us and thanks for striving to make the world and this community a better place.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows 2017-04-13 05:00:00Z 0
This week's Norfolk Rotary guests were Paula Pflueger and Mark Zimmerer who are members of the Great American Comedy Fesitival planning committee. The comedy festival will be celebrating it's 10th anniversary this June 14-17 by featuring past headliners including Larry Miller and Caroline Rhea. Saturday evening's gala will be headlined by Martin Short and include the presentation of the Johnny Carson Comedy Legend award to Robert Klein. For ticketing information click here.
Great American Comedy Festival 2017-04-05 05:00:00Z 0
Governor Pete Ricketts visits Norfolk Rotary Club Ian Bingner 2017-03-29 05:00:00Z 0

Dr. Jeff Hoffman, Career Academy Coordinator with the Norfolk Public Schools was the speaker today at Rotary.  The Norfolk Public Schools Career Academies provide students with the opportunity to learn and explore different careers that they have an interest and passion in doing after graduation.  There are several different career cluster areas or "academies" that students can choose from such as agriculture, construction, drafting, and health sciences.  More academies will be added in the future as this program develops and expands to include a wide variety of career choices.  There are elective courses that follow each program of study that include class work as well as hands-on, practical experiences in each field.  Partnering the Career Academy with the business community and local colleges will only add value to the students' future success and the communities that they serve. 

Dr. Jeff Hoffman-Norfolk Career Academy 2016-10-05 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary member Captain R.C. Duskin spoke today about The Salvation
Army's $3 million building expansion plan.  They have raised $2.50
million to date and are asking for the public's help to reach their goal.
Rotary member J. Paul McIntosh is challenging the community to
raise $500,000 by the end of October.  Once that goal is met, he will
give $1 million to the campaign. 
Salvation Army's Building Expansion 2016-09-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 31, 2016
Norfolk Rotary President John Schmitt presents a check for $3,000 to Captain
R.C. Duskin of the Salvation Army as part of Norfolk Rotary's Grant Program.
The funds will be used to purchase a new forklift for their warehouse.
Pictured below are Andy Labenz, Secretary; John Schmitt, President;
Captain R.C. Duskin; Sherri Prim, Vice President, and Stan Christensen, Treasurer.
Rotary Grant Recipient: The Salvation Army 2016-09-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 31, 2016
Today at Rotary we inducted new member Dan Nelson.  Dan
works for the Norfolk Fire Department and Farm Bureau
Financial Services-Brandon Doke Agency.  Congratulations Dan!!!
Left to Right: President John Schmitt; New Member Dan Nelson;
                    and Sponsor Ron McKeever
New Member-Dan Nelson 2016-09-01 00:00:00Z 0
Do you have an interesting story to tell and want the community to know more about what you or your organization does?? Well our noon Rotary meetings are the place to be.
Contact us to see if we can get you on our calendar. Our weekly programs are informative, educational, and keeps our members plugged into the community.
Most of the interesting things that happen in Norfolk and the surrounding area eventually come to our weekly noon meetings to present.
This is a great opportunity to share your message.
Guests and prospective members are always welcome.
Program Opportunities 2016-08-25 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 15, 2016
Rachel Lynn Urbanski, originally from Washington DC came to News Channel Nebraska as a reporter and evening anchor. She gave a very interesting program today on Pokemon Go and social media.
Rotary meets weekly at the Black Cow Fat Pig restaurant where we have interesting guest speakers like Rachel Lynn. Prospective members are welcome. Rotary is a great way to connect with the community.
Music in the Park, one of our club community service projects, is Thursday August 18th and will be the last one this season so please join us.
Rachel Lynn Urbanski, News Channel Nebraska Stan Christensen 2016-08-16 00:00:00Z 0
Fun meeting at the Norfolk Arts Center today for our noon Rotary Club meeting. We toured the 150 exhibit featuring art from artists with connections to Norfolk. Brought back a lot of great memories. A few of us had to hang around after the meeting to reminisce.
Norfolk Arts Center club meeting Stan Christensen 2016-08-03 00:00:00Z 0
Music in the Park for 2016 Stan Christensen 2016-07-13 00:00:00Z 0
Skyview gives up the funk during opening concert
Has sAssets

What has quickly become a Norfolk tradition returned Thursday evening to Skyview Park.

Music in the Park, a free outdoor concert series sponsored by the Norfolk Rotary Club, debuted Thursday evening for 2105 under sunny skies that matched the mood of the concert-goers.

Competing against the Great American Comedy Festival and several area town festivals, hundreds of people still turned out on the east side of the lake for the performance by Soul Dawg.

They sat in lawn chairs, sipping everything from cold beer to sweet tea while enjoying the sweet music.

Brian Smith of Carroll was among those enjoying the seven-piece group from Lincoln.

Soul Dawg performed a variety of funk and rock, popular with those over 40 who appeared to make up the majority of the crowd.

Smith said he attended all four of the free concerts last year.

“I like blues, but this is all right. I listen to everything,” he said, noting that some of his favorite artists include B.B. King, Blues Travelers and Eric Clapton.

Smith said he enjoys coming to Norfolk for the outdoor concerts as they add to the summer entertainment offerings.

Stan Christensen, past president of the Rotary Club, said he couldn’t have been more pleased with how the weather turned out given how cool and wet it was Thursday morning.

“This is perfect,” he said. “It is God’s blessing that we got this nice today.”

Christensen said Music in the Park has grown each year since it began. This is the fourth year, with concerts generally lasting from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

While there is no admission charge, donations are taken. Many corporate sponsors also contribute or offer in-kind support.

“We get a lot of the bands come to us now,” Christensen said. “They play in Omaha and Lincoln and they might be just another band. They come here and they are like rock stars playing in front of 2,000 to 3,000 people sometimes. I think they enjoy it.”

The idea for the outdoor concerts was borrowed from Omaha, he said.

“Omaha will have something like this just about every night during the summer,” Christensen said. “I wanted something like this in Norfolk. It’s a quality-of-life thing.”

While alcohol usually is prohibited in Norfolk parks, people are allowed to bring wine and beer for the concerts.

Christensen said there never has been any problems.

“People are good,” he said. “They clean up after themselves. Everyone has been very responsible.”

Aaron Otten of Norfolk said he has enjoyed Music in the Park since it began.

“It is something the community needed,” he said. “We talk about quality of life and things we need to attract a quality work force. It is stuff like this that helps support Norfolk and makes Norfolk a great community to live in.”

Otten is vice president of Elkhorn Valley Bank, which is one of the corporate sponsors for the series.

Other bands and the dates they are scheduled to perform are High Heel with Lisa Larsen on July 2, Blue House on July 16, and The Confidentials on Aug. 6.

The first Music in the Park Concert for 2015 2015-06-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on May 04, 2015

A club assembly was held for today’s meeting, so there was not invited speaker.  President Josh Moenning announced that member Dan Spray was recently appointed to the City of Norfolk Planning Commission.  Christine Keller announced that Larissa, our foreign exchange student from Brazil, is finishing her last semester at Norfolk High School and is currently competing on the school’s tennis team.

Local district Rotary grant applications are due by May 31.  It was proposed by John Schmitt that consideration be given to paving a section in front of the Skyview canopy for dancing.  Ron McKeever had been contacted by someone in the community in the past who said her dance studio may be interested in partnering with us to get this accomplished.  City officials would need to be contacted and approve such a project.  Also, Josh Moenning said there are some needs at Central Park that the funds could potentially be used for.

John announced that he contacted the Village Clerk in Pilger about donating $11,000 to their community that was given by an individual as well as a Rotary collection taken last summer at Music in the Park.  The clerk will get back to us after their town board meeting when they will discuss how to use the funds.

Discussion was held on donating $1,000 to TeamMates.  A vote was taken with a motion made by Robb Thomas to give this donation and was seconded by Jan Einspahr.  Motion carried.  John will contact Susie Buss about a time to meet for the presentation of the donation.

Sherri Prim brought Music in the Park posters that were available for everyone to distribute throughout the area.  It is expected that Rotarians will distribute posters to any businesses that were solicited for sponsorships as well as other businesses.

A club member is needed to present an award at the annual honors night at the Norfolk Jr. High on May 18.

Two new members were inducted into the Norfolk Rotary Club today.  Dan Spray of Connecting Point, is sponsored by Josh Moenning and Brian Sterud of Faith Regional Health Services is sponsored by John Schmitt.

NOTICE:  All future Norfolk Rotary Club meetings will take place at the Black Cow, Fat Pig Pub and Steak in downtown Norfolk.  Members may enter the meeting room using the west door facing Norfolk Ave.  Next week, R.C. Duskin of the Salvation Army will present on “Bridges Out of Poverty.”

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary



New member inductions:  Sponsor Josh Moenning, new member Dan Spray, new member Brian Sterud, sponsor John Schmitt

Norfolk Rotary Club Minutes May 5, 2015 John Schmitt 2015-05-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Apr 27, 2015

At today's meeting, guests included Dr. Tom Fennessy, a Norfolk physician, who was introduced by Christine Keller, and Byron Brogan, with the City of Madison, who was introduced by Mike Avok.

Stan Christensen asked all members to continue contacting businesses to solicit for sponsorships for Music in the Park.  If members have any questions about billing a business, they are to contact Stan.

Today's speaker was Paula Pflueger, Chairperson of the Great American Comedy Festival.  Paula shared how this event has grown over the years and mentions that volunteers are stilled needed to help with the event.  The festival will start June 17, with a magic show, and will run through June 20, with the gala event on the last night.   There are still tickets available, so we are encouraged to invite our friends.

John Schmitt read an email from Connie Kube that discussed a possible dinner to be held on May 28.  Rochelle Holm will be in Norfolk on that evening and she would like to present to Rotarians about the work she and her husband are doing in Malawi.  She manages the Mzuzu University Water and Sanitation Center, which is committed to increasing the availability and sustainability of clean water and improved sanitation in northern Malawi.  Clean water is one of Rotary's areas of focus.  Ed and Renee McClymont have offered to host a dinner for 10-11 Rotarians/spouses to hear Rochelle's story.  The time will be decided at a later date, but if anyone is interested, please let Connie know.

The meeting next Tuesday will be a club assembly to discuss ongoing club business.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary




Norfolk Rotary Club Minutes April 28, 2015 John Schmitt 2015-04-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Apr 20, 2015

The meeting was called to order by President Josh Moenning.

Stan Christensen requested that all members go to the Music in the Park Facebook page and invite their friends to the first concert which will be held on Thursday, June 18, with Soul Dawg performing.  The goal is to get 5,000 invitations sent out.

Dave Cox announced that a ham dinner benefit will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Sunday, April 26, from noon until 2pm.  A free will offering will be accepted.  The dinner is to thank the approximately 20 Mennonite workers who have been building homes in Pilger for the tornado victims.

Josh said that Mike Fuehrer of the Norfolk Area Sports Council would be contacting the Rotary Club again to ask about using the Rotary’s insurance policy to cover an all-star game this summer.

Connie Kube introduced Susie Buss, Executive Director of the Teammates mentoring program.  Susie was accompanied by approximately 20 students who are Teammates mentees.  They each shared what they appreciate about Teammates and Susie gave an overview of the program.  She said the goal of the mentors is to meet with their mentees at least 24 weeks per school year.  Scholarships are offered to Teammates participants for college each year.  In addition to meeting after school, they do outside activities such as attending the NU spring football game.  The organization was started in 1991 by Tom and Nancy Osborne.  There are currently 118 TM matches in Norfolk and there is always a need for more mentors.

Next week’s program will be presented by Paula Pflueger, Chairman of The Great American Comedy Festival board.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary


Susie Buss, second from left, with some of the Teammates participants at Tuesday's meeting.

Norfolk Rotary Club Minutes April 21, 2015 John Schmitt 2015-04-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Apr 13, 2015
Mike Fuehrer with the Norfolk Area Sports Council talked about the Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic that will be held on June 13, 2015. The All-Star Classic is asking the Rotary Club to provide proof of insurance for their event in return for an “in-kind” sponsorship. Our club will discuss and make a decision. Coleen Bressler invited and introduced the 5 scholarship recipients, their parents, and guidance counselors for 2015. From Norfolk High School the recipients were Paula Evans, Michaela Heimes, and Ashton Lindsay. From Lutheran High Northeast we had Sora Wolff and from Norfolk Catholic we had Ashley Weyhrich. Paul McIntosh spoke about a letter he wrote to Dr. Desai’s family who passed away this last weekend. Our guest speaker was Dr. Randall Bretz who talked about broadband in Nebraska and the benefits it creates for many communities. He described how businesses can grow and expand by having the availability of broadband. He gave us a website for more information.
Thanks to Andy Labenz for taking these notes in my absence. Our speaker next week will be Susie Buss, to discuss the Teammates of Nebraska program.
Submitted by:
John Schmitt, Secretary
Norfolk Rotary Club Minutes April 14, 2015 John Schmitt 2015-04-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Apr 12, 2015

The Rotary Club met at the Liberty Centre this noon.  A lunch was provided by the Liberty Centre staff to all in attendance.  Testimonials were shared by club members about the impact Liberty Centre has had on their lives and a video was shown. The organization serves about 300 people in 22 counties.  They provide community support services out of their additional space in the former Alco building.  In order to be a member, one must have a severe and persistent mental illness.

At our next meeting on April 14, our speaker will be Dr. Randall Bretz.  Dr. Bretz is a TEDxLincoln Licensee Member and a member of the Lincoln Downtown Rotary Club.  He will speak on “Broadband and the Good Life.”

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

Norfolk Rotary Club Minutes April 7, 2015 John Schmitt 2015-04-13 00:00:00Z 0
New member induction on March 17, 2015 John Schmitt 2015-03-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Jan 05, 2015

At today's meeting, members worked on preparing solicitation letters to mail out for sponsorships for Music in the Park.  Also, Fat Tuesday preparations for the February 17 function are underway.  This event will take place at Time Square Event Center with a cash bar opening at 5:30pm, and a Cajun buffet dinner from 6-8pm, with live music to follow.  MIP sponsors may receive free tickets to Fat Tuesday, depending on what level they sponsor.

Josh McKinley, Area Director for YoungLife, will give a presentation at next Tuesday's meeting.

Submitted by,

John Schmitt, Secretary

Norfolk Rotary Club Minutes January 6, 2015 John Schmitt 2015-01-06 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Dec 27, 2014

This is a reminder that our next meeting will be Tuesday noon, January 6, at Bailey's Bistro.  We will work on planning and sending mailings out for our Fat Tuesday celebration.

John Schmitt, Secretary

Rotary meeting on January 6, 2015 John Schmitt 2014-12-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Dec 15, 2014

Stan Christensen presided over the meeting today in place of Josh Moenning.  J. Paul McIntosh introduced his guest, Jim Heller, past Director of the Nebraska Methodist Foundation.  Also present, was a past foreign exchange student from 3½ years ago, Vitor, of Brazil.  Patty Skokan introduced Norfolk Rotary’s first outbound foreign exchange student, Jessica Adams, who is going to Taiwan.  She was accompanied by her father, Scott Adams.  Our current exchange student from Brazil, Larissa, shared that her current school year is going well and that she is enjoying her time in Nebraska.  Vitor said he is currently studying in Springfield, MA.  He is looking for a summer internship in the U.S. in the engineering field.

Good Neighbors will be delivering groceries to needy families on Thursday, December 18, at 10am.  If any Rotarians are able to help, the group will meet at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Stan Christensen said the revised sponsorship sheet with Norfolk businesses will go out in early January.  We need to contact businesses on the list for sponsorships for Music in the Park.  Sponsors will receive free tickets to the Fat Tuesday event.  Hopefully, we will be generating new members as we contact businesses.

There are still times available for bell ringing later in the day at Hy-Vee West on Saturday.  Contact R.C. Duskin at the Salvation Army office if you can volunteer.

Stan mentioned that we need to be thinking about getting members interested in future leadership positions for Norfolk Rotary, such as President, etc.

Kara Weander-Gaster, Director of the Norfolk Arts Center for the past 10 years, gave a presentation today.  She explained the many needs the Center fills in the area, such as teaching art classes/workshops and doing art education for children age 1½ and older at after school art classes.  The Center also displays and sells artwork.  They sponsor the performing arts throughout Northeast Nebraska for   K-12 students.  They also host “First Fridays” in which they have a live performance at the Center each month.   The Center sponsors “Young At Heart” in which they take artists into assisted living facilities for workshops.  “AFSuccess” is another program in which they provide art instruction to Norfolk High School students who are enrolled in the Alternatives for Success program.  SoupR’Art will be held on January 25.  Kara stated that volunteers are always needed at the Arts Center.

Norfolk Rotary Club will not meet again until Tuesday, January 6.  A community service project will be held during the meeting time on that date.  The project and place will be announced at a later date.

Have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

                             Stan Christensen with Brazilian exchange students Larissa and Vitor.


Norfolk Rotary Club Minutes December 16, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-12-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Oct 06, 2014

The Rotary meeting this evening featured presenter Christa Yoakum, Coordinator of the Nebraska Is Home organization.  Ms. Yoakum works with immigrants in communities across Nebraska.  Segments of the film, “Quilted Conscience”, which was filmed in Grand Island, were played, along with discussion.  This film dealt with Grand Island residents working alongside Sudanese refugees to make quilts.  It illustrated the bond that was developed between the two groups.  Ms. Yoakum commented on what a large impact our club made as we partnered with Columbus and Schuyler in assisting immigrants in helping to fund their naturalization process.

The next  Rotary meeting will take place on October 14 at noon.  The speaker will be Sarah Dittmer of the Norfolk Schools Foundation.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary


Minutes from October 7, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Sep 22, 2014

District Governor Brian Moon gave a very motivational talk to our Rotary club. New members are welcome to share our friendship and have fun doing good in Norfolk and the world. (4 photos)

Norfolk Rotary Club's photo.
Norfolk Rotary Club's photo.
Norfolk Rotary Club's photo.
Norfolk Rotary Club's photo.
40 people reached
Meeting on September 23,2014 John Schmitt 2014-09-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Aug 25, 2014

There was no special presentation/speaker since today was scheduled to be a club assembly.  Steve Busskohl presided today in place of Josh Moenning who was out of town.

The Brazilian foreign exchange student is in town and is attending Norfolk High School.  She is currently living with Christine Keller and her family.

Discussion on the Music in the Park program was led by Stan Christensen. The main goal for future years Music in the Park is to have Rotarians take responsibility for leading key areas including band selection, sponsorship, event marketing, street sign placement, sponsor sign set up, parking and bucket collection etc. More Rotarians are needed to share the workload.

 It was considered to possibly have more than four concerts, but it was also felt that we do not want to over-expose the series.  It was also suggested that we have another concert sometime in August, but the concern is that school is in session by then and it also gets dark earlier.  Publicity was discussed regarding the coordination of sign placements.  Dave Walter was in charge of coordinating the

placement of yard signs and did a great job of making sure all areas were covered.  We need to make sure the signs are not on City or State right-of-way as we had 10 signs picked up by the Department of Roads.


At least 500 brochures were handed out at each concert and the Independence Day Parade and posters were distributed to area businesses.  Stan said the Visitor’s Bureau may be another resource for distributing posters.    We also ran several ads in the Norfolk Daily News Plus to reach outlaying towns

Troy suggested we use Facebook more. Also have drawings to get email addresses so we can create email blasts. Please interact with our Facebook accounts to help Rotary gain exposure.


John Schmitt reported that our club was again awarded an $1800 district grant to be used in the next year to place a bench in Central Park.  The current district grant is being used to fund the installation of steps in front of the band canopy at Skyview Lake Park.  A retaining wall will be constructed as well.  Construction should begin over the next couple weeks.  A concrete dance floor may be added in the future.

Sherri Prim and Kathy Svik have agreed to coordinate the Fat Tuesday party next winter.  The inaugural event last March was considered a big success.  Over 90% of our Music in the Park sponsors committed early as a result of the Fat Tuesday event.

Sherri Prim developed a sheet for members, which was passed out, to turn in their points to claim “Rotary Bucks.”  Each member is responsible for keeping track of and turning in their points at the meetings.  Points can be earned for working at Music in the Park, bringing a prospect to a meeting, signing up a new member, chairing a committee, etc.  These points can be earned retroactive to  April 1, 2014.  It was decided that 50% of Rotary Bucks can be applied to meals and dues billing if members choose to do so.


Discussion was held on how to better promote evening meetings to enhance attendance.  These meetings are excellent opportunities to bring guests/prospects.

Stan reported that we will need to decide how to spend the money ($11,100) that was raised for Pilger tornado relief.  One suggestion was to have a Rotary clock in the village center.


All raffle ticket sales money is due to be turned in by the next meeting on September 2.  The raffle drawing will be held at that meeting.  Several packets of tickets have still not been picked up as of today’s meeting.

The next meeting will be at 5:30pm with Dave Domina presenting a program.  Mr. Domina is the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.  Please attend and bring a guest.

Submitted by:                                                                                                                   John Schmitt, Secretary

Minutes from August 26, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-08-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Aug 11, 2014

The guest speaker at today’s meeting was University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman.  Mr. Perlman indicated that the University cares a great deal about serving the people of Nebraska and that they are working hard to attract and recruit young talent to UNL. Currently, the university has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 24,500. Mr. Perlman says his goal is to boost that figure to 30,000 by 2020.  He feels the school is doing a good job of promoting economic growth in the state through its research activities.

Mr. Perlman discussed the benefits that the University has reaped as the result of joining the Big Ten Conference, particularly in student recruitment and research. He also discussed the ongoing development of the former Nebraska State Fairgrounds in Lincoln which the University is turning into a research and technology park.  ConAgra has a presence there and soon another tenant from Western Nebraska, doing product development, will locate there as well.  Perlman was accompanied by two university staff persons.

Guests at today’s meeting were:  Dan Spray, owner of Connecting Point, hosted by Josh Moenning, as well as Josh’s wife, Jessica, who is with the Pete Ricketts for Governor campaign; Tyler Siegert, a dental intern, hosted by Dave Merritt; Tiffany Schenk, manager of Renegade, hosted by J. Paul McIntosh; Dr. Jami Jo Thompson, Superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools, hosted by Jim Merritt, and Mark Klosterman, President and CEO of Faith Regional Health Services, hosted by John Schmitt.  Mark is a current Rotarian who recently moved from Illinois and will have his membership transferred to Norfolk.  Several other guests came on their own.

The Live Well event at Skyview Lake park, held on August 2, was very well attended.  Thanks to Christine Keller and her husband, Ron McKeever, Chad Roberts, and Michael Avok, for their help at this event.

Music in the Park wrapped up for the year with the last concert on July 31 with approximately 3,000 people in attendance.

Raffle tickets for the scholarship fund (five $500 scholarships) were passed out following the meeting.  Each member is expected to sell their allotment of 48 tickets and will be invoiced for 40 tickets @ $1.00 apiece or six for $5.00.  Coleen Bressler and Ron McKeever are coordinating the raffle.  The raffle drawing is on September 2 for chances at winning 2 tickets to UNL football games (1st prize  includes one night’s lodging in Lincoln, 2nd prize includes $25 cash, and 3rd prize is the tickets only).

The speaker next Tuesday noon will be Maeva Pegliaso, a college student from France.  Please bring a guest.

Submitted by,

John Schmitt, Secretary

Harvey Perlman, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, addresses the Norfolk Rotary Club.




Minutes from August 12, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-08-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Aug 04, 2014

The monthly evening meeting was held with President Josh Moenning presiding. State Senator Amanda McGill, Democratic candidate for Nebraska State Auditor from Lincoln, presented a program. Sen. McGill expressed her thoughts on the state auditor’s position along with discussing the issue of human trafficking. She has been involved in efforts to fight against trafficking.

The next meeting will be held on August 12 at noon. The presenter will be Harvey Perlman, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska.

Submitted by,

John Schmitt, Secretary



Dr. Michael Chipps greets Sen. Amanda McGill.






Minutes from August 5, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-08-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Jul 28, 2014

A club assembly was held for today’s meeting.  Out-going president Stan Christensen presented President Josh Moenning with a gavel.

Discussion today centered on “Live Well”, Saturday’s event at Skyview Lake.  It is designed to get youth more focused on being active.  Rotary will have a booth in which a couple inter-active games will be promoted.  Christine Keller will also be discussing with the youth how to utilize their school backpacks without back injury.  There is still a need for a few more people to work at the Rotary booth; from 9-11am or 11am-1pm.

The last concert at Music in the Park will be held on Thursday night from         6:00-9:30pm, featuring The 402, a band from Omaha.  Help is needed from 3pm on to help put up sponsorship signs.  Also, people are needed to help pass out fliers to people coming into the park from both the north and south sides.  At about 7:30pm all members are needed to help with collecting donations with the buckets.  Members need to pick up all street signs for MIP on Friday where they will be stored in the storage shed until next year.

Ron McKeever is continuing to work on the football raffle prizes.  Proceeds for this fundraiser go towards the scholarship fund.

The next meeting will be held at 5:30pm on August 5.  The speaker will be Sen. Amanda McGill from Omaha.  She is the current Democratic nominee for State Auditor.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

Minutes from July 29, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-07-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Jul 21, 2014

Steve Busskohl presided over the meeting today.  Dr. Bob Bernier, a member of the Omaha Northwest Rotary Club, visited.  Dave Merritt introduced Tyler Siegert as a guest.

Mike Avok was acknowledged for the excellent article he wrote in the Norfolk Daily News about Music in the Park.

Julie Pfeil and three students from The Zone presented the program.  They thanked Rotary for their financial support and shared the importance of having this after school organization for youth.  They also talked about how it has helped to mold them into more responsible people.

Help is needed from Rotarians to help staff our booth at the Live Well activity at Skyview Lake Park on Saturday, August 2.  Members are being asked to work a two hour shift; from 9-11am and 11am-1pm.  Interact games will be provided to the youth in attendance.  Christine Keller will also be sharing with those coming by the booth a safe way to fill their school backpacks without injuring their backs.

The next Rotary meeting, a club assembly, will be held on Tuesday noon, July 29, at the Time Square Event Center.  Guests are welcome to attend.

Submitted by:                                                                                                                   John Schmitt, Secretary

Minutes from July 22, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-07-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Jul 14, 2014

President Josh Moenning presided over the meeting today.

Shia, our foreign exchange student from Taiwan, gave an emotional talk on her time in the United States.   She expressed how grateful she was to have had the opportunity to spend a school year in the United States.  Shia was a student at Stanton High School.  She was hosted by John and Kathy Witherspoon as well as Marty and Kevin Kinglsey.  She introduced the Witherspoons and Kinsleys, who were present, along with her “grandmother.”  Shia told about her multi-state tour of the US along with other exchange students.

Ron McKeever introduced guests Deb Copple and Vicki Hvranek.  Vicki explained the upcoming Live Well event on August 2.  John Witherspoon introduced guests Shawn Ralph and Pat Grewe of Lincoln.  Paul Erhenberger from the Schuyler Rotary Club also visited today.   

Past President Stan Christensen presented John Schmitt with a plaque for being selected as the 2013-14 Rotarian of the Year.

The third Music in the Park concert will be held this Thursday evening.  Help is needed for this event from all members.

Norfolk Rotary Club will be hosting a foreign exchange student this coming school year from Brazil.

Norfolk Rotary will have a booth at the Live Well event on Saturday, August 2.  Live Well is designed to encourage healthy lifestyles for our youth.

The next meeting will be held at noon on July 22.  Julie Pfeil and students from The Zone, will be speaking.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

Minutes from July 15, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-07-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on May 19, 2014

Matthew Headley spoke about the office of Public Defender and for his plans to improve the office.  Since he won the primary, he will assume the office for certain, unless someone mounts a write-in campaign in the general election.  Matthew’s plans are to continue to stay involved in the Norfolk community and to maintain a fully staffed office.  The public defender deals with child support issues, criminal and juvenile issues, and city offenses that may end in incarceration.  Those who are at the poverty level qualify for PD services.

Treasurer Sherri Prim presented a check for $1,000 to Philip Herman, Outreach Director at the Victory Road Evangelical Free Church in Norfolk, for his outreach work with youth in Norfolk.  These funds will be used towards outreach to kindergarten through 5th grade youth who are at or below the poverty level. They will have the opportunity to attend the Enrichment Day Camp at the church following summer school.  The t-shirts printed for this camp have the sponsor’s logos on the back, including Norfolk Rotary Club.

No one won the cash pot drawing today, which is now over $100.

Members were encouraged to pick up Music in the Park posters today and get them distributed around the area.  More posters will be available for distribution at next week’s meeting as well.

The next meeting will be on May 27 at noon with a Club Assembly on that day.  The focus will be on getting existing music in the park sponsorships signed up again and also looking for new sponsorships.  We will start our advertising for MIP in early June.  Poster distribution will be discussed.  Rotary Bucks for MIP will be awarded.  The new membership drive will continue.

Submitted by:                                                                                                                                                                                                              John Schmitt, Secretary

Minutes from May 20, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-05-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on May 12, 2014

At today’s noon meeting Jim Bradford, Jr. and Kent Warneke spoke about how to effectively run a volunteer organization.  As a fundraiser for several capital campaigns, Jim shared that for fundraising success, people like to be asked.  If they aren’t asked, they won’t give.  Don’t assume that people will or won’t give until they are asked.  If they don’t give today, they may give tomorrow.  He talked about how the YMCA went from a vision to reality.  Fundraisers need to consider:  Is the goal attainable?  Is it feasible?  Set the goal and decide how many people will be needed to work towards reaching the goal.  Don’t take rejection personally!

Kent is the chairman of the Great American Comedy Festival.  He shared several elements of successfully running a volunteer organization, including, never criticize or take your volunteers for granted.  Don’t complain about the amount of time a volunteer is spending on the project.  A committee has to have a good structure and the chairperson needs to come prepared so as not to waste the volunteers’ time at a drawn out meeting.

Today’s cash drawing was $90 with no winner.  Next week, it will be around $100.

The next Rotary meeting will be on May 20 at noon.  It will feature Sen. Pete Pirsch, who was a candidate for Nebraska Attorney General.

Submitted by:                                                                                                                                                                                                              John Schmitt, Secretary                    


Minutes from May 13, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-05-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on May 05, 2014

The monthly evening Rotary meeting carried a Cinco de Mayo theme. A Mexican buffet was available and music was provided by Viva Jalisco.

Coleen Bressler, chairperson of the scholarship committee, introduced the five recipients of the Rotary Scholarships from the three Norfolk high schools who shared their future plans with the club.  They are Ryan Freudenburg of Lutheran High Northeast, Ashlen Pospisil of Norfolk Catholic High School, and Morgan Heimes, Ramundo Price, and Tayor Uhlir of Norfolk High School.  Criteria for judging the applications was based on academics, community service, and an essay.

Arcadio Zapado spoke about the assistance he received from the Rotary grant that allowed him and 27 other people to receive financial assistance to take the immigration exam.  This grant was a joint effort between the Norfolk Rotary Club, the two Columbus Rotary clubs, and Schuyler Rotary Club.  Kathy Cowen of Stromsburg, NE, spoke about the process for completing the immigration application form.

President Stan Christensen was acknowledged for his recent award received at the annual Rotary District 5650 conference held in Lincoln.  Stan was named as the Outstanding President of the district which is comprised of 46 local clubs throughout Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa.

Submitted by:                                                                                                                                                                                                             John Schmitt, Secretary



May 6, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-05-06 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on May 05, 2014

President Stan Christensen was honored as Outstanding Club President for District 5650 at Rotary’s annual district conference in Lincoln on Saturday.  District Governor Jim Griesen of Lincoln presented the award.  District 5650 is comprised of 46 local clubs throughout Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa.  Christensen was cited for his tireless work with Music in the Park and the Norfolk Rotary Club’s growth over the past year.


Norfolk Rotary President is chosen for district award John Schmitt 2014-05-06 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on May 04, 2014

The monthly district assembly was held at today’s noon meeting.  Discussion centered on providing “Rotary Bucks” to members.  The Rotary Bucks System is designed as an incentive/rewards system for Rotarians to be more active in our club.  As Rotarians earn Rotary Bucks “doing good” for our club and therefore our community, they have the opportunity to “spend” the Bucks on items directly related to Rotary.  A points system was discussed whereas members would be assigned points for the level of their participation in Rotary.  Examples are:



Bring in a new member



Chair a committee




Bring a qualified prospect as a guest



Sign up a Platinum MIP sponsor

Discussion was held on having this system instated for the upcoming Rotary Year starting July 1, however, points earned for MIP sponsorships and work hours at the June event would apply.  There was also discussion on the amount of Rotary Bucks being awarded to renewed Platinum sponsors compared to a new Platinum sponsor and there is concern on how to handle multiple Rotarians engaging sponsors.  Ron McKeever thought this might be a good system to help identify a Rotarian of the Year.  Other questions came up regarding the rollover of points into the next program year and putting a cap on how many can be rolled over.  Sherri Prim said she could track the points on a spread sheet, but each member would be responsible for submitting their points to her.

J. Paul McIntosh recommended that we wait until a future meeting to vote on this system.  It was decided that the Board will clarify the policies regarding the Rotary Bucks system and will then bring it to a Membership vote at the noon meeting on May 13.

It was encouraged that Rotary events need to be “family inclusive,” which will hopefully enhance participation in activities.

The annual Rotary district meeting will be held in Lincoln on May 2-3 at the downtown Holiday Inn.

The meeting next Tuesday evening will have a Cinco de Mayo theme and will feature a Mexican food buffet and Mexican music.  Juan Sandoval will not be able to be present, but he has coordinated with Kathy Cowen of Stromsburg, NE, to give a presentation on the immigration process and a couple recipients of the Rotary immigrant scholarships will give testimonials.  Also, the scholarship recipients from the three high schools will share their future plans.

Submitted by:                                                                                                                                                                                                             John Schmitt, Secretary

April 29, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-05-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on May 04, 2014


Tomorrow evening at 5:30pm we will have "Cinco de Mayo" night.  We will have a Mexican buffet along with live Mexican music.  There will be a couple testimonials given from people who benefited from our scholarships that were funded by a Rotary grant that helped them pay for their citizenship exam process.  In addition, the scholarship winners from the three high schools will share with us what their future plans are.  There will also be a presentation by Kathy Cowen of Stromsburg, NE, on the process of "Getting Legal."

Please attend and invite your spouse and others so we can acknowlege these recipients of our Rotary projects.

May 6 evening meeting 2014-05-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Apr 21, 2014

The TeamMates organization gave a presentation today about their mentoring program.  Program Coordinator Susie Buss introduced two mentees along with their mentors who all shared the many positive influences this program has had on their lives.  Christian and Kayla spoke on how their mentors influenced them to believe more in themselves and to raise their goals in life. 

President Stan Christensen (photo below) presented Susie Buss with a $1,000 donation from the Norfolk Rotary Club.

The Norfolk Rotary Club will be sponsoring a table on April 24 at the annual Salvation Army luncheon.  There are still some chairs available for Rotarians if anyone is interested in attending.

Stan Gerdes, the Youth Rotary Exchange coordinator, talked about the foreign exchange program and encouraged our club to continue its participation in the program.  Although we have not had recent involvement with local students who move to other countries, we continue to host foreign students in Norfolk.

Juan Sandoval reported that there will be an assembly tomorrow at Centro Hispano in Columbus for those wanting assistance on completing their citizenship applications.   

The next meeting, a club assembly, will be held on April 29 at noon.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary



April 22, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-04-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Apr 14, 2014

Our guest speaker today was Bart McLeay, candidate for U.S. Senate.  Mr. McLeay, the father of four children, shared about his family background as a native Nebraskan who was born and raised in Omaha. He expressed what his vision is for Nebraska if he is elected as our next U.S. Senator.  Mr. McLeay graduated from Creighton Prep High School, the University of Arizona with a B.S. B.A. in Accounting, and the University of Virginia Law School.

The next Rotary meeting will be on April 22 at noon.  The TeamMates organization will be present to discuss their mentoring program.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary 

April 15, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-04-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Apr 07, 2014

The meeting this evening included District Governor Jim Griesen, of Lincoln, and his wife, Margaret.  Mr. Griesen, a professor at UNL, spoke on the positive effect Rotary has had on his life and how Rotary International has impacted the effort to eradicate polio.

Other guests included Dan Rose, incoming Assistant District Governor from the Wayne Rotary Club, and Nicki Klein of the Lincoln South Rotary Club.  Nicki spoke about the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) which is held several times a year in eastern Nebraska.  She presented Stan Christensen and Sherri Prim with certificates of completion in RLI.  They recently completed the 21 hour course that provides classes in leadership and the different facets of Rotary.

Mr. Greisen inducted two new members into the Norfolk Rotary Club:  Bo Bierman and Michael Avok.  He also inducted Michele Gill as a transfer member from McCook.  Mr. Greisen also “re-inducted” Andy Labenz and Marty Wolff.

The next meeting of the Norfolk Rotary Club will be held on April 15 at noon.  The guest speaker will be Bart McLeay, candidate for U.S. Senate.

John Schmitt, Secretary

Photo: left to right - President Stan Christensen, Michael Avok, Bo Bierman, District Gov. Jim Griesen, Michele Gill, Andy Labenz, Marty Wolff


April 8, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-04-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Mar 31, 2014

The speaker at today’s meeting was Jessica Chamberlain, City Librarian.  She spoke on the Chautauqua events that will be going on in Norfolk from June 18-22.  The theme will be “Free Land 1862 and the Shaping of Modern America.” 

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday evening, April 8, at 5:30pm.  District Governor Jim Griesen, along with his wife, will be present. Jim will discuss Rotary issues and will induct three new members into our club.  A new member orientation will also be held.  New members to be inducted are Michele Gill who is transferring from the North Platte Rotary Club, Bo Bierman, and Michael Avok.  Those who have been members for less than two years are especially encouraged to attend to learn more about Rotary.

Please invite a guest and bring a friend or spouse on April 8, to welcome Mr. Greisen to our club!

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

April 1, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-04-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Mar 24, 2014

At the Club Assembly meeting today, discussion was held on membership incentives/reward systems.  It is felt by some of the membership that paying “Rotary Bucks” to members may be an incentive for those members to become more active.  Others feel they are not motivated by money and that “Service Above Self” should be considered as motivation enough to “Do good in our community.” 

Discussion covered whether we should keep the current dues structure with meals being charged separately, or including dues with the meals as a way to incent members to come to meetings more regularly.  A motion was made by Dave Cox to charge members $35 per month to include meals and dues.  This motion was seconded by Paul McIntosh and passed.  Liane Connelly then moved to amend the motion to send the proposal back to the Board for clarification and to present a written proposal to the club.  This amendment was seconded by Robb Thomas and passed.

The next meeting will be held at noon on April 1 with a presentation by City Librarian Jessica Chamberlain.  She will discuss the Chautauqua event in Norfolk this June.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary


March 25, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-03-25 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Mar 17, 2014

 John Witherspoon presided today in the absence of Stan Christensen. 

In place of our regularly scheduled speaker, J. Paul McIntosh spoke on the current events in Ukraine, along with an historical perspective on that country.  He stated that there has been political strife in Ukraine for over 200 years, with millions of political and military deaths along the way. 

The meeting next week on March 25 will be a Club Assembly with discussion on membership and revising the by-laws. 

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

March 18, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-03-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Mar 10, 2014

Josh Moenning presided over the meeting in place of Stan Christensen.  He stated that the Fat Tuesday party last Tuesday evening was a great success. 

Troy Weyhrich  reported that our club is now matched for mentorship with Kayla Robinson in the Philanthropy Council project.

Sherri Prim said that outside ticket sales collected for Fat Tuesday amounted to about $1,700.  The raffle brought in $398. 

Sherri said Judy with the Great American Comedy Festival committee asked if our club would sell 50 tickets for a preliminary round night of the comedy festival in June.  Our club would make $200 if we agree to this project.  Sherri will email more specific information to members about the night of the show, etc.

Juan Sandoval with the Rural Center shared more information about the joint project with the Columbus and Schuyler clubs to assist people in completing their citizenship process.  The grant will offer assistance to legal immigrants to help them become fully naturalized and will pay for 50% of their citizenship fee.  Juan is contacting other local organizations to provide the match for this program.

Mike Andreasen, Principal of Washington Elementary School, and Melissa Werner, 4th grade teacher at Washington, presented a program on the IXL program.  Our club presented them with a $700 check to help fund this individualized computer based math program which is being used by 3rd and 4th graders.  Mr. Andreasen said without our financial assistance, this cutting edge program would not be possible.  They experimented with the IXL program last year and put it into practice the end of the first semester.  Mrs. Werner demonstrated how the program works.  Mr. Andreasen stated that 80% of their students qualify for free and reduced lunch, but they score academically the 3rd highest of the elementary schools in Norfolk.

The next meeting will be held at noon on March 18.  Mary Whealy will give a presentation about the Chautauqua that will take place in Norfolk in June.  Bring a guest.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary    

Rotary Treasurer Sherri Prim presenting check to Washington School staff for IXL program


Minutes from March 11, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-03-11 00:00:00Z 0
Minutes from March 11, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-03-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Mar 07, 2014
The meeting times and program presenters have been changed for part of April.  On April 1, (which would normally be an evening meeting), at NOON, J. Paul McIntosh will present a program on his perspective on South Africa.  The April 8 meeting will be held at 5:30pm and will have District Governor Jim Griesen who will present a new member orientation and share his perspective on Rotary in our district.  Please make note of this change and invite any potential new members and others to the orientation meeting.
MEETING TIMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED on April 1 and 8 John Schmitt 2014-03-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Mar 03, 2014

A Fat Tuesday party was held for our monthly evening meeting at Time Square Event Center.  There were approximately 200 people in attendance.  Drawings were held for prizes donated by various businesses for those in attendance.  A Cajun buffet was served, and Nita and the Pipe Smokin’  Charlies provided the entertainment.  They were joined on-stage by Nick Leland and Bob Hupp.

The next Rotary meeting will be held at noon on March 11.  A representative of Washington Elementary School will discuss their new math program.  All members are encouraged to bring a guest.

 Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

March 4, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-03-04 00:00:00Z 0
Fat Tuesday event on March 4 John Schmitt 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Feb 17, 2014

Shane Osborn, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, was today’s speaker.  He shared his views on foreign and domestic issues.  Mr. Osborn is a native of Norfolk.

Tickets for the Fat Tuesday event on March 4 were handed out.  Each member is being asked to sell eight tickets.  Tickets are being given to any sponsors of Music in the Park.  The number of tickets given to sponsors depends on the level of their sponsorship.  If more tickets are needed, contact Sherri Prim at 404-649-4011.  The deadline for ticket sales is Wed., Feb. 26.

The next Rotary Club meeting will be held on Tuesday noon, February 25.  A club assembly will be held.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary


Rotary Minutes February 18, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-02-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Feb 10, 2014

ImageThe speaker at today’s meeting was Aaron Prokopec of the Columbus Noon Rotary Club.  Aaron discussed how Rotary membership dues go out to help with international projects and a significant amount is returned to the local chapter to help with local projects.  Aaron presented Paul Harris awards to Stan Christensen and former Norfolkan Kris Winter.

Discussion was held on the Fat Tuesday buffet/dance on March 4 at the Time Square Event Center.  Cost is $25 in advance and $30 at the door.  Nita and the Pipe Smokin’ Charlies, a blues/New Orleans style band, will perform.  A Canjun style buffet will be available from 6-8pm with a cash bar open from 5:30-9:30pm.  Each Rotary member will be given a packet of 8 tickets to sell for this event. Members are encouraged to solicit sponsorships for Music in the Park and complimentary tickets will be provided to sponsors.  Wednesday, February 26 is the deadline for ticket sales.   

The next meeting will be held at noon on February 18 with the speaker being Shane Osborn, candidate for U.S. Senate.  Members are encouraged to bring guests to the meeting.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

February 11, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-02-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Feb 03, 2014

Our monthly evening meeting was held with the program being a business leadership panel.  Panelists included Donna Herrick-owner of Divot’s Conference Center and Norfolk Lodge and Suites, Dirk Petersen-Vice President and General Manager of Nucor, and Dan Jones-owner of Bronco Connection.  Each panelist shared what they feel are the keys to being successful in business and discussed their life experiences as they came to own or run a business.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday noon, February 11, at the Time Square Event Center.  Aaron Prokopec of the Columbus Rotary Club will present grant funds to the Norfolk Club for building the stage at Skyview Lake, as well as for the Hispanic multi-club grant.  He will also discuss the Rotary International Foundation and present Paul Harris awards to members.  Please bring a guest.

Submitted by,

John Schmitt, Secretary




Minutes from February 4, 2014 John Schmitt 2014-02-04 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Jan 27, 2014

A club assembly was held today with John Witherspoon presiding. 

Our club will sponsor a “Success in Business” panel for our evening meeting next Tuesday, February 4.  Panelists will be Dirk Petersen-Vice President/General Manager of Nucor, Donna Herrick-Founder/Owner of Divots Conference Center and Norfolk Lodge and Suites, and Dan Jones-Founder/Owner of Bronco Connection.  It is hoped that our membership will invite guests to this event; especially young business persons.

Troy Weyhrich offered to be the Rotary representative for the Philanthropy Council mentoring event next Saturday from 4-6pm at the Lifelong Learning Center.

It was decided that we will donate $700 this year to Washington Elementary School.  In the future we may give to more than one school, but with a $500 limit.

A scholarship committee was put together consisting of Coleen Bressler, David Cox, Liane Connelly, Ron McKeever, Del Fuelberth, and Andy Labenz.  A chairman for this group will be selected at their meeting.  It was decided that we will offer the 5 scholarships to students who plan to attend colleges in Nebraska.  The committee will decide on the breakdown of where the scholarships will be honored (for example:  2 scholarships to Northeast and 3 to other colleges in Nebraska, etc). 

Robb Thomas will have a new list of Chamber members available next month for our membership to go over with the purpose of recruiting new Rotary members.

Robb will be sending a letter to past sponsors of Music in the Park to thank them for their involvement and to have them consider being sponsors again this year.  Our membership is encouraged to again contact those businesses that we did last year for sponsorships.

Troy Weyhrich’s business, Renegade, is hosting Business After Hours on Wed., February 19, from 5:30-7pm at the Sunset Plaza Mall.  Troy offered to let us share about Rotary during the presentation time.

Our evening meeting on Tuesday, February 4, will start at the usual time at 5:30pm with the presentation/meeting at 6:00pm.  Appetizers and a cash bar will be available.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

January 28, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-01-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Jan 20, 2014

John Witherspoon presided over the meeting today in place of Stan Christensen. 

The speaker today was Tammy Day who spoke about the Norfolk Community Foundation Fund.  She shared that the Foundation Fund is currently undergoing an effort to raise $500,000 for an unrestricted endowment in Norfolk.  This fund will be matched up to $250,000 by the Sherwood Foundation, so for every 2 dollars received, the Foundation will grant 1 dollar.  The goal is to raise these funds by December 31, 2015.  The Fund has given away $30,000 to six different local non-profit organizations in the past year.

Robb Thomas is asking for volunteers to help remove the Nativity scene from     1st Baptist Church, across from the YMCA, on Friday, January 24, at 3:00pm.  This project should take less than one hour.  The scene will be renovated in the coming months by the Northeast Community College building construction class.

Connie Kube announced that the annual Soup’R Art event will be held on Sunday, January 26, from 11:00-4:00 at the Life Long Learning Center.  Tickets can be purchased from Connie or at the Norfolk Arts Center.

Robb encouraged those who committed to contacting businesses about Rotary membership with their employees to make their contacts by the end of the month.  A short list will be provided to our membership each month to pursue getting new members.      

The next Rotary Club meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 28, at noon.  A club assembly will be held at that time with discussion focused on sponsorships for Music in the Park and the Rotary Scholarship program.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

January 21, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-01-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Jan 06, 2014

ImageAt the meeting this evening, representatives of the City of Norfolk presented a program about recreation projects that are on-going or are being considered within the City.  Mayor Sue Fuchtman, City Administrator Shane Weidner, and Diane Becker shared about the plans for the permanent stage at Skyview Lake that will be erected this spring.  It will be used for Music In The Park, Christian Cross Festival, and other events throughout the summer.  Also, discussion was held on plans for extending the trails system around the City.

The next meeting will be held Tuesday noon at the Time Square Event Center.  The speaker will be Philip Herman, the Director of Outreach at the Victory Road Evangelical Free Church in Norfolk.  He will give a presentation entitled “Helping Hurting People All Around Us.”  Mr. Herman will talk briefly about some of his work with gangs, after-school tutoring/mentoring work, and summer programming work in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He will also share about his efforts in Norfolk as the result of his past work.

January 7, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 2014-01-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Dec 30, 2013

The monthly club assembly was held today in which we focused on new member contacts.  A partial list of the Chamber of Commerce membership was passed out and members present committed to contacting people at various businesses this month to recruit new Rotary members.  A different list of businesses will be sent out each month for our members to contact. Any new members at this time will have their 1st quarter meals and dues paid up until April 1, 2014. 

At our Fat Tuesday party on March 4th, sponsors of Music in the Park will be admitted free and will be acknowledged at the event.  This will be a fundraiser for the cause to be decided.  Anyone interested in being involved with the planning of this event is asked to contact Sherri Prim. 

Dr. David Cox, pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church, was inducted into our membership today. (Photo below; Dave with Jim Merritt and Robb Thomas)

At our evening meeting next week, January 7, representatives from the City will be present to discuss progress on the Skyview Lake stage which is being built in partnership with the City of Norfolk, Vulcraft Corp., and Norfolk Rotary Club.  The meeting will be held at 5:30pm with appetizers and a cash bar available.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

December 31, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-12-31 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Dec 16, 2013

Brochures promoting the Norfolk Rotary Club were made available today and will be distributed  throughout the community by Rotary members.  The brochure was developed by Robb Thomas. 

Captain Duskin of the Salvation Army, passed out a sign-up sheet for staffing the red kettle in 1 hour increments at Hy-Vee West on Saturday, December 21.

J.Paul McIntosh, Stan Christensen, Sherri Prim, Jim Merritt, and Ron McKeever were given awards for inviting guest to meetings during our recruitment effort.  Our goal is to recruit 20 new members by June 30, 2014.

The nativity scene was put up recently at the 1st Baptist Church by Robb Thomas, Keith Johnson, Ron McKeever, Dave Walter, and Stan Christensen.

Rotary will be putting on a Fat Tuesday celebration for our evening meeting on March 4, 2014.  The public will be invited.  Live music and a meal will be provided.  This is a community wide event, so members are encouraged to invite guests.  Sherri Prim asked for names of people who would like to be on the Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) planning committee with her.  Stan Christensen and John Schmitt are working on getting live music booked for this event.  Others who offered to help with this event are Liane Connelly, Christine Mimick-Keller, Chad Roberts, Terry Jensen, and Kathy Svik.

Kath Svik was inducted as a new member today.

A donation from membership was taken and given to the staff of the Time Square Event Center as a thank you for their wonderful service as our meeting hosts throughout the year.

Angie Hausmann, with the Norfolk Philanthropy Council, gave a presentation on how we can invest in our community.  We had previously given them a $500 donation for their organization.

There will not be a Rotary meeting on December 24.  There will be a club assembly meeting at noon on December 31 at which we will have a kick off for the Music in the Park sponsorship effort.

Submitted by:                                                                                                                                                                                John Schmitt, Secretary

December 17, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-12-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Dec 09, 2013

ImageAt today’s meeting, Tim Brundgardt of Heritage Financial Services gave a presentation on the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).  He discussed the consequences of the revamped health insurance program and the key elements within the program.

Our meeting next Tuesday noon will have a program presented by Angie Hausmann and Jenni Canham of the Norfolk Philanthropy Council.

Members are encouraged to bring guests as we are in the midst of a membership campaign.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

December 10, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-12-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Dec 02, 2013

ImageShia, our Rotary sponsored foreign exchange student from Taiwan, gave a presentation at our monthly evening meeting.  She talked about different facets of life in Taiwan and contrasted her academic experiences in Taiwan with those in the United States.  She is currently a student at Stanton High School and is being hosted by John and Kathy Witherspoon.  Exchange students from Norfolk schools, along with their host families, were also in attendance.

The next Rotary meeting will be held Tuesday noon, December 10.  The speaker will be Tim Brundgardt, financial advisor with Heritage Financial Services in Norfolk.  He will discuss “the do’s and don’ts of ObamaCare.”

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

December 3, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-12-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Nov 25, 2013

photoA presentation was given today by Angela Korth, Administrator, and Joan Sun, Activities Director, of the Madison House, an assisted living facility in Norfolk.  They discussed what their facility provides with different levels of service and shared what volunteer opportunities are available.

New member inductions were held for Marty Wolff and Steve Sunderman today.  They are both sponsored by Ron McKeever.  Welcome to Norfolk Rotary!

The next meeting will be held Tuesday, December 3 at 5:30pm. Our club sponsored foreign exchange student from Tiawan, Shia, will share about her home country as well as her experiences while attending Stanton High School this year.  Foreign exchange students and their host families from the Norfolk schools will be invited as well. Members are encouraged to invite guests to this event.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

November 26, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-11-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Nov 18, 2013

Norfolk Rotary Club         November 19, 2013

At today’s meeting, Dr. Howard Liu, a child psychiatrist with the UNMC Medical Center in Omaha, gave a presentation on the needs of psychiatric care in rural Nebraska.  He discussed the strategies that are being used to deal with these needs.  Dr. Liu was accompanied by two other UNMC staff members.

Grant funding for Music in the Park and the multi-cultural program will be given to the Norfolk Rotary Club.  The multi-cultural grant involves a partnership between the Norfolk, Columbus, Schuyler, and Lincoln Rotary Clubs to assist Hispanics in the area.  Members are being sought out to assist with this project.  The presentation of the funds for these two grants will be made at a later date.

Several members who have invited guests to Rotary meetings since the membership drive started were acknowledged.  Stan Christensen invited the most members followed by Ron McKeever.

The next meeting will be held on November 26 at noon.  The speaker will be Angela Korth of Madison House, an assisted living facility in Norfolk. 

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

November 19, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-11-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Nov 11, 2013

At today’s meeting,  Randy Gates (in photo), Finance Officer with the City of Norfolk, gave a presentation on the current City budget. 


Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November  19 .  A presentation will be given by Dr. Howard Liu from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  He will be discussing mental health needs in rural Nebraska.  Also, new members will be inducted.  Please invite a guest.


Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

Norfolk Rotary Club




November 12, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-11-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Nov 04, 2013

The Norfolk Rotary Club met for their evening meeting tonight to hear a presentation by Dr. Ben Sasse, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.  Dr. Sasse is currently the President of Midland University in Fremont, NE. 

Ron McKeever won the drawing for $50 that will be applied toward the Rotary Foundation. 

The next meeting will be at on November 12 at noon at the Time Square Event Center.  The program will be given by Randy Gates, Finance Officer with the City of Norfolk.  He will discuss the City budget.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

November 5, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-11-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Sep 30, 2013
The monthly evening meeting was held with Pete Ricketts giving a presentation.  Mr. Ricketts, part owner of the Chicago Cubs and past officer of T.D. AmeriTrade, is currently running for Governor of Nebraska.  He shared his views on a variety of issues and answered questions from attendees.

An induction ceremony into the Norfolk Rotary Club was held for four new members.  They are Lora Leathers, Andy Labenz, Matthew Headley, and Josh Moenning.  (See photo below.)

A drawing, with Rotary members eligible, was held with Christine Mimick-Keller winning $50 which will be applied toward the Rotary Foundation. 

The next meeting will be held next Tuesday, October 8 at noon at the Time Square Event Center.  A presentation will be given by representatives of Arahus College from Denmark. They will speak about their institution, as well as life in Denmark and what they’ve been doing during their visit to Norfolk.         

A cash drawing will be held with present members eligible to win between $10 and $30. 

Submitted by,

John Schmitt, Secretary






October 1, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-10-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Sep 23, 2013

Michael Andreasen, Principal of Washington Elementary School, gave a presentation about how the donated funds by Norfolk Rotary were used to purchase books for the school’s early reader program. He also discussed how the school is meeting the challenges of meeting the needs of minority and poverty level students. 

Two new members, Lora Leathers, and Andy Labenz, will be inducted as new members at the evening meeting next Tuesday, October 1, at 5:30pm.  Pete Ricketts of Omaha will give a presentation starting at around 6:15pm.  Mr. Ricketts is a former COO of TD AmeriTrade, part owner of the Chicago Cubs, and candidate for Governor of Nebraska.  Appetizers and a cash bar will be available.  Members are encouraged to bring guests.

Submitted by,

John Schmitt, Secretary

September 24, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-09-24 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Sep 16, 2013

Jim Merritt reported that he had developed an incentive plan for increasing club membership.  We are encouraged to continue to invite potential members to meetings.

Notes were read that were sent from people who had attended the Music in the Park series.  The overall sentiment is that this event is highly popular and very much appreciated by the people of Norfolk as well as those from surrounding communities.

Jay Connelly, Associate Dean of Applied Technology at Northeast Community College, spoke about green energy and its impact on the environment. 

The next Rotary Club meeting will be next Tuesday noon, September 24.  The speaker will be Michael Andreasen, Principal at Washington Elementary School.  He will discuss the impact of the Helping Hands grant in which the Norfolk Rotary Club purchased some “early reader” books for the school.

Please keep your calendars open for the next EVENING meeting on October 1 at Times Square Event Center.  The speaker will be Pete Ricketts, former COO of AmeriTrade, part owner of the Chicago Cubs, and candidate for governor.  Drinks and appetizers will be available at 5:30pm with the speaker to present at 6:15pm.  There is a $7.00 charge.  All members are encouraged to bring guests.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary


Sept. 17, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-09-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Sep 09, 2013

Norfolk Rotary Club                            September 10, 2011

President Stan Christensen reported that $40,000 was received in sponsorships and collections for Music in the Park this past summer and $21,000 was spent on expenses.

Renee Fry, Executive Director of the Open Sky Policy Institute in Lincoln, discussed tax policy in Nebraska.  Open Sky analyzes and researches state fiscal policy.  She reported that a tax study public hearing will be held at Northeast Community College on September 26 from 1:30-4:30pm.

The next meeting will be at noon on September 17 at Time Square Event Center.    The speaker will be Jay Connelly from Northeast Community College who will speak about green energy.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

Sept. 10, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-09-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Sep 02, 2013

Norfolk Rotary Club                September 3, 2003

The Rotary Club met at 5:30pm today at the Times Square Event Center.  Dr. Michael Chipps, President of Northeast Community College, gave a presentation on the growth of the college over the past 40 years.  He was accompanied by Jim Curry, Director of Public Relations at Northeast.  Booklets on the history of Northeast were provided to those in attendance.  Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar were available for the evening.

The next meeting will be Tuesday noon, September 10.  A presentation will be given by Renee Fry, Executive Director of the OpenSky Policy Institute, a Lincoln think tank that analyzes and researches state fiscal policy.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

Sept. 3, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-09-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Aug 26, 2013

Norfolk Rotary Club              August 27, 2013

Eric Johnson, Assistant Vice President for Enterprise at Northeast Community College, gave a presentation on how Northeast meets the needs of industry in Northeast Nebraska through the development of specialized programs.  They also offer an economic survival series that teaches the essentials of entrepreneurship. 

The drawing of names for the annual raffle of Nebraska football tickets took place with Norfolk Iron and Metal winning 1st Place, Ron Stauffer winning 2nd Place, and Christi Johnson, 3rd Place. All proceeds of the raffle go to the annual scholarship fund, with Norfolk High students receiving 3 scholarships, and Norfolk Catholic and Lutheran High Northeast receiving one each.  This project is chaired by Ron McKeever.  

The next meeting will be at 5:30pm on September 3 at the Times Square Event Center.  Dr. Michael Chipps, President of Northeast Community College will give a presentation on the college’s 40th anniversary and discuss the growth the college has experienced over the years.  Cost is $7.00 and a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres will be available. 

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

August 27, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-08-27 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt on Aug 19, 2013

Norfolk Rotary Club                  August 20, 2013

Kim Kwapnioski, Visitor’s Bureau Director with the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, gave a presentation about the importance of drawing activities to Norfolk and the impact this has on money being spent in the community.

It was reported that the Music in the Park series was a huge success.  Plans will start again soon for next year with brainstorming as to how to improve on things for next year as well as seeking out new bands.

Submitted by,

John Schmitt, Secretary

August 20, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 2013-08-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Stan Christensen on Aug 12, 2013

 Jim was introduced by Assistant DG John Fuelberth.  Jim gave a very inspirational speech about the Goals of Rotary and what Rotary means to him.

He was also very impressed with our club, especially our Music in the Park events.

District Governor Jim Griesen Addresses Norfolk Rotary Club Stan Christensen 2013-08-13 00:00:00Z 0
Josh Hoyer and The Shadowboxers to light up the night Stan Christensen 2013-08-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Stan Christensen on Aug 12, 2013
1 image


STATE AUDITOR Mike Foley (right) visits with state Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk during a Norfolk Rotary Club gathering Tuesday evening at the Time Square Event Center in Norfolk. Foley is considering whether to run for governor.

State auditor discusses run for governor Stan Christensen 2013-08-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Sherri Prim on Jul 29, 2013

Aug. 2 - Chamber Golf Day
Norfolk Rotary will sponsor hole #7

Aug. 6 - Mike Foley, Nebraska State Auditor
Social hour will begin at 5:30 pm, with cash bar and hors-d’oeuvres. 
Mike Foley will speak around 6:30 pm
please bring a guest

Aug. 13 - District Governor visit

Aug. 15 - Music in the Park
Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers with Emily Bass

Aug. 17 - Foundation Seminar
Quarry Oaks Golf Course

Aug. 20 - Kim Kwapnioski from the Norfolk Area Visitors Bureau

Aug. 27 - Eric Johnson with the Center for Enterprise

August Speakers/Events Sherri Prim 2013-07-30 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Sherri Prim on Jul 15, 2013

Norfolk Rotary Club                     July 23, 2013

At today’s meeting, Josh Moening, assistant to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, was the guest of Stan Christensen.  Josh has tentatively set up for State Auditor Mike Foley to be our special guest at the evening meeting on August 6.  All Rotary members are encouraged to invite spouses and other guests to this meeting.  It will begin with a 5:30pm social time and dinner at 6:00pm.

Kris Winter reported that the Nigeria project will send Braille books to a school in the capital city of Abuja.  Our club is partnering with the Jabi Lakeside Rotary Club.  John Schmitt is collecting the books and will package and send them with free shipping.

Connie Kube introduced her guests including today’s presenter, Alex Armand, a 2009-2010 foreign exchange student from France who was sponsored by the Norfolk Rotary Club.  She is visiting the Norfolk area this summer.  As a present college student, Alex shared insights that she gained as an exchange student while in high school. 

Stan asked the membership to sign up to help with the August 2 Chamber of Commerce golf tournament at El Dorado Hills for an hour or two.  We can use this as an opportunity to encourage memberships and sponsorships.  Our club is sponsoring a hole.   

 Respectfully submitted by                                                                                             John Schmitt
Alex (French Foreign Exchange Student) and Nigeria Braille Book Project, etc. Sherri Prim 2013-07-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Sherri Prim on Apr 08, 2013

  Recipients of the 2013 Norfolk Rotary Scholarships were introduced at Tuesday’s Noon Rotary Meeting. Recipients, shown from left to right are Britanny Albin, daughter of Drs. James and Renee Albin; Amy Miller, daughter of Dr. Steve and Janell Miller; Arrin Rathke, son of Greg and Leanne Rathke; Stacie Skaff, daughter of Thomas and Toni Skaff; and Madeline Hannappel, daughter of Drs. Mark and Pam Hannappel.

  The Recipients each gave a short address as to where they plan to attend college and what they wish to study. They also shared some of their many accomplishments in life so far and what they aspire to accomplish in the future.

  The Rotary Scholars are chosen based upon four areas: Community Service, Academics, Extracurricular Activities and an Essay. Award presentation will be made at the May School Honors and Awards Ceremony. Winners will also be invited to ride on the Rotary Fourth of July Parade float and will be introduced during Music in the Park the evening of July Fourth.

  The next Rotary Meeting will be Tuesday April 16, and will feature Pam Saalfeld from Northeast Community College with the International Students from England.

2013 Scholarship Recipients Sherri Prim 2013-04-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Schmitt

At today’s meeting, President Josh Moenning thanked those who helped set up the manger scene at First Baptist Church last Tuesday afternoon.

J. Paul McIntosh was recognized for his recent birthday.  Noted for having December Rotary membership anniversaries were David Cox; 1 year, Kathryn Svik; 1 year, and Christine Mimick-Keller; 6 years.

Lou Siefker, a detective with the Norfolk Police Dept., gave a program discussing his responsibilities.  He is one of four detectives on the Norfolk force.  Mr. Siefker started out with an interest in broadcasting, eventually turning to law enforcement.  On a part time basis, he does sports broadcasting at a local radio station and has also competed in the Great American Comedy Festival amateur competition.

Lou talked about several cases that he has worked on over the years, relating some of the more difficult cases that involved youth.  He brought and showed a bag of investigative tools that he uses when going on an investigation.

Detective Siefker was accompanied by Diane Becker, the City of Norfolk Communications Director.

Stan Christensen asked members to get involved and help with the preparation of the Fat Tuesday celebration as they had done last year.  The upcoming event will take place on February 17.

A sign-up sheet was available again today as more volunteers are needed for bell ringing on Sat., December 20.

The speaker at next Tuesday’s meeting will be Kara Weander-Gaster of the Norfolk Arts Center.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary


Norfolk Rotary Club Minutes December 9, 2014 John Schmitt 0
Posted by John Schmitt

At today’s meeting, Steve Busskohl brought a guest, Bob Tamasy, a writer from  Chatanooga, TN, who is documenting the history of Arrow Stage Lines.

President Josh Moenning led a discussion on having off-site meetings once a month in order to do a community service project.  These projects will start in January and we may have box lunches during these times.  Robb Thomas proposed that we do a service project on the first Tuesday of the month.  Or we could eat and then take a tour of a member’s business.   A motion was made by Josh Moenning that the committee will gather ideas for service projects and that the projects will start in January, 2015.  Seconded by Robb Thomas.  Motion carried.

Christine Keller said there is a need for transportation for Larissa, our foreign exchange student.  She will need a ride on Sunday morning  from either Schuyler or Columbus to return to Norfolk.  If this need is not filled by tomorrow, a notice will be put out to the membership.

John Witherspoon gave a program on the Rotary Polio Plus program.  He shared that Rotary’s six areas of focus are promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.  Rotary International has raised $1.4 billion for the effort to eradicate Polio.  Three countries remain with polio; Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.  It is hopeful that polio will be eradicated in Nigeria by next year.  It is Rotary’s goal that each member give $35 per year to Polio Plus.  90% of the funds raised go directly into the program.  Rotary gives local and global grants to local chapters.

The Fat Tuesday committee met following the general meeting today to plan for the February event.

The meeting next Tuesday noon at Bailey’s Bistro will feature Mace Hack of the Nature Conservancy.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

Minutes from November 11, 2014 John Schmitt 0
Posted by John Schmitt
Dear Rotarians,
Please consider attending this very worthwhile training in Omaha.  I have completed the first two parts and really enjoyed it!
To: All clubs in Rotary District 5650
We are looking for a few more new participants. The more we have in Part I, the better the session!
Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) is a great way to educate club members and get them engaged. It will benefit your individual members and make your Clubs stronger.
A recent quote from a graduate of RLI: "I know so much more about The Rotary Foundation and all of the aspects of Rotary because of my participation in RLI. I am enjoying Rotary more because of my RLI experience."
The next session of the Rotary Leadership Institute - Heartland USA Division - is October 18, 2014 in Omaha.
We are offering all three parts - so new participants can start RLI and those that have already started can continue and maybe graduate.
Go to the home page of the Rotary District website to see the story about the last session or click here.
For details about RLI and to register, visit or click here.


Rotary Leadership Institute Inspires Rotarians

The Rotary Leadership Institute session held on July 12, 2014 delivered what it promised - education, inspiration and FUN!
Congratulations to Kathleen, Chris, Zac, Steve, Bonnie and Susan - graduates from Clarinda, Council Bluffs Centennial, Lincoln #14, Council Bluffs Noon, and Omaha West.
Rotary Leadership Institute is a 3-part program with topics such as Engaging Members, The Rotary Foundation, Service Projects, Ethics, Public Image and Rotary Opportunities. Part I lays the foundation, Part II builds on that, and Part III helps bring the finishing touches to the program information.
Rotary Leadership Institute is a facilitated, activity based program that allows the participants to work together discussing issues and to solve problems facing Rotarians, Rotary Clubs and Rotary worldwide. The RLI staff, who are graduates of RLI and facilicators "by trade", are individuals that are dedicated to providing the most effective program possible.
For answers to your questions or to register, visit
Join us at an upcoming event to see what all of the excitement is about!
Upcoming sessions:
October 18, 2014 - Omaha
March 21, 2015 - Lincoln
July 11, 2015
October 17, 2015
Nicolette "Nicki" Klein
Rotary Leadership Institute - Heartland U.S.A. Division - Chair

- See more at:

Rotary Leadership Institute coming up John Schmitt 0
Posted by John Schmitt

A club assembly was held at today’s noon meeting.  Discussion was held on how we want to continue conducting our meetings.  The general consensus is that it would be good if a different member each week spent a few minutes during lunch telling a little about themselves.  They would have at least one week’s notice when they will share.  Members would like to keep the traditions of the prayer, song, Pledge, and 4-Way Test.  We also want to keep the evening meeting in place once a month.

Discussion was held on the past year’s involvement/accomplishments:

Marched in Parade to promote Music in the Park & Support Scholarship Winners
Does the club want to do march in the parade again this year?
Changed first meeting of the month to evenings, does the club want to continue this?
Registered to market our club
Assigned new web address to Clubrunner to allow easier access to public and members
Started using Clubrunner more to keep members informed of goals, committees etc. (we still need to do more with this)
Used Facebook for Norfolk Rotary, Music in the Park for both group and Like page (all members should actively use these pages)
With the help of Cindy and Sherri we got the member billing fairly straightened out after several years of on and off treasurers
Had a banner made to promote our club at activities
Sponsored Chamber golf tournament to market memberships and inform golfers about our club.  Does the club want to sponsor Chamber golf tournament and participate again this year?
Purchased inflatable Rotary wheel to gain exposure at public events                                                  Promoted Mike Foley as the first evening speaker
Had several highly visible speakers including Pete Ricketts, Ben Sasse, Shane Osborne, Beau McCoy etc.
Had District Governor Jim Griesen at a special evening meeting to induct several new members
Created Fat Tuesday event to solicit sponsors and have some winter fun
Had successful speakers, Dirk Peterson etc. and invited the Young Professionals to gain exposure to Rotary
Played a part in getting new stage built
Got a Rotary International grant to build front steps to the stage and landscaping to be done this fall
Participated with Columbus and Schuyler clubs to award Scholarships to help immigrants become citizens
Celebrated these scholarships winners at Cinco de Mayo evening event
Applied for 2014-2015 grant for park or trail benches

Community donations made:
Sponsored Norfolk Philanthropy $500
Gave 5 $500 scholarships $2500
It was suggested to consider giving  these to Students going to Northeast or students of more need
Sponsored Kids camp with Victory Rd Evangelical Free Church $1000
Donated for large print books to the Norfolk Public Library $100
Approved donation to Smile program $255
Washington School PTO $700
Teammates $1000
The Zone afterschool program $350
Sponsored foreign student Shia $1300

Was mentioned in the media several times for our programs, MIP, donations made etc.
Went to reduced flat billing to encourage attendance
Started Rotary Bucks to reward members activity                                                                                              Had 1,000 new recruiting brochures printed to solicit new members
Updated Bylaws
Had a successful concert series in 2013 and the first concert in 2014 with Peace Love Etc. was off to a good start
We bring in approximately $45,000 to $50,000 for MIP and spend around $30,000 so we have extra money to support the club
Received a Pilger Tornado relief donation from Rotarian Duane Dye from California for $10,000
Donated half of MIP collections to Pilger Tornado Relief efforts. $1072.50
Voted to give the business of the year award to Vulcraft-Nucor

Things to consider for the future:
Do we want to sing, say the pledge, pray and do the 4 way test or
Should we have a new members and existing members give a brief update about their lives or career so we get to know them better?
What can we do to encourage every Rotarian to bring in a new member annually?
What interesting and educational programs can we solicit?
What activities do we want to participate in the community and how can we involve our families?
Every member have a goal to raise $1,000 per year in sponsorships from your company or other businesses                                                                                                                                                                What committees do you want to serve on?  What do you want to be involved in?
How can our club best use your time and talents?
More new Rotarians should attend Leadership training
How can we get more members to serve on boards and take leadership roles?

The next meeting will be held on July 1 at 5:30pm, with a presentation given by Jessica and Josh Moenning on what it takes to run a state wide political campaign. Jessica is a campaign advisor the Pete Ricketts campaign and owner of Bright Strategies, a public affairs consulting company.  Josh is the Policy and Communications Director for Ricketts and he also serves on the Norfolk City Council.  This meeting is being held to take the place of the one on June 3 that was postponed due to a power outage during the hail storm. The public is encouraged to attend. Please invite a guest or two.  Appetizers and a cash bar will be available.

John Schmitt, Secretary


Minutes from June 24, 2014 John Schmitt 0
Posted by John Schmitt

A club assembly was held at today’s meeting.  Sherri Prim handed out sheets with names of businesses so Rotary members could solicit Music in the Park sponsorships.  Free tickets for the Fat Tuesday party on March 4 will be given to sponsors, depending on the level of sponsorship.  Members volunteered to contact businesses who were past sponsors of MIP.  Members were asked to email Stan by Friday noon how many tickets they have sold for Fat Tuesday.

A chef at Time Square Event Center shared with membership what will be on the menu for the Fat Tuesday event.  It will center on Cajun food, including Shrimp Etouffee, Cajun rice, gumbo, and hurricanes to drink. 

Juan Sandoval, Director of the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) gave a presentation on the Rotary Club Initiative “diversity grant.”  He will be working with the Rotary Clubs of Norfolk, Columbus, and Schuyler, to help administer this grant.  The purpose is to assist immigrants who have legal status to become U.S. citizens.  The grant will pay 50% of the application cost to become a citizen.  We are partnering with El Centro Hispano, a non-profit organization in Columbus which helps with immigration issues.  They will assist with screening candidates.  Recipients of this assistance must have a permanent resident card.  Posters and brochures will be coming within two weeks to promote this program.  The funds for this grant need to be spent by May.

Our next meeting, the Fat Tuesday celebration, will be next Tuesday evening, March 4, from 5:30-9:30pm.  A Cajun style buffet will be available from 6-8pm with music provided by Nita and the Pipe Smokin’ Charlies.  A cash bar will also be available.  Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.  The public is encouraged to attend.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary      

Februaury 25, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 0
Posted by John Schmitt

Past President John Witherspoon presided over the meeting today in place of Stan Christensen. 

The speaker today was Philip Herman, the Director of Outreach at the Victory Road Evangelical Free Church in Norfolk.  He gave a presentation entitled “Helping Hurting People All Around Us.”  Mr. Herman talked about some of his work with gangs and summer programming work in the suburbs of Chicago.  He also shared about his efforts in Norfolk as the result of his past work.

Matthew Headley invited the membership to his office as he hosts Business After Hours, sponsored by the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.  BAH will be held tomorrow, January 15, at 5:15pm, at Headley Law Office, 125 S. 4th St., Ste. 306.

The next meeting of the Norfolk Rotary Club will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at noon.  Tammy Day and Betty Froehlich from the Norfolk Community Foundation will discuss activities within their organization.  As always, members are encouraged to invite a guest.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary

January 14, 2014 Minutes John Schmitt 0
Posted by John Schmitt

Norfolk Rotary Club                     October 29, 2013

Beau McCoy, candidate for Nebraska’s next governor, gave a presentation on the concerns Nebraskans have and answered questions on where he stands on issues. 

At last week’s meeting, Norfolk Rotary started a weekly drawing as an incentive for attendance.  The drawing is for $10-30 with the amount drawn being placed into the Rotary International Foundation in the winner’s name.  The person must be present to win.  Scott Zaruba’s name was drawn today and Christ Alt’s name was drawn on October 22, with neither present.   

Keith Johnson won $19 in today's card drawing.   

Our next meeting will be held next Tuesday evening, November 5, starting at 5:30 at the Time Square Event Center.  Ben Sasse, candidate for U.S. Senate, will give a presentation around 6:15pm.  Appetizers and a cash bar will be provided.

Submitted by:

John Schmitt, Secretary 

October 29, 2013 Minutes John Schmitt 0
Posted by John Schmitt

October 8, 2013                                 

At our meeting today, faculty members from Aarhus Business College in Denmark, Palle Rosenkilde, Andre Krogh, Soren Nielsen (in photo below), gave a presentation on life in Denmark and compared their lifestyles with those in the United States. They were introduced by Mary Meyer, Executive Director of Business Services at Northeast Community College.  The group is here on a faculty exchange program with Northeast.

Rotary is currently involved in a membership drive, so members are encouraged to bring guests to future meetings.

The next meeting will be on October 15 at noon.  Dave Busskohl of Norfolk, and Nathan Zapoula, a student at Northeast Community College, will speak about their recent trip to Burkina Faso, Africa.                         

Submitted by John Schmitt, Secretary

October 8, 2013 minutes John Schmitt 0
Posted by Sherri Prim

Sept. 3 - Dr. Michael Chipps

Northeast Community College's 40th Anniversary.

5:30pm drinks and hors d'oeurves

September 10 - Renee Fry, Executive Director from OpenSky Policy Institute will be presenting onNebraska's state's ongoing tax reform.

September Speakers and Events Sherri Prim 0
Posted by John Schmitt

Norfolk Rotary Club                                                                                                                                                   July 30, 2013


Connie Kube introduced Bev Ferguson and Derrick Sonnenfelt of the Liberty Center staff who gave a presentation about the Center.  They also discussed the 5K Color Run/Walk to be held on September 7.

Sherri Prim gave an orientation on Club Runner which is a club management tool that is used on smart phones and PCs.  To access the Norfolk Rotary Club Runner page, go to:  For the app, use your first name, dot, last name, dot, 6101.  Password is:  6101 

Our club is sponsoring a golf hole for the 25th Annual Chamber Golf Outing to be held on Friday, August 2 at Eldorado Hills.  A sheet was passed around asking members to spend time at the #7 tee box between 11:30am and 5:30pm on Friday.  This will be a good way to recruit members and socialize with golfers.  A bean bag game will be set up with free drinks given to golfers as they play the game.      

The next meeting will be the monthly evening event on Tuesday, August 6.  Social hour will begin at 5:30 with a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres.  Featured guest Nebraska State Auditor Mike Foley will give a presentation at 6:15pm.  Members are encourage to invite potential new members, as well as “key” community people , spouses, and other guests.  Randy Dee will be taking reservations for the event.

Submitted by

John Schmitt, Secretary

Minutes from July 30, 2013 John Schmitt 0
Posted by Sherri Prim

June 11 - Paula Pflueger will talk about The Great American Comedy Festival

June 18 - Project Share

June 25 Julie Pfeil will talk about The Zone

June Speakers Sherri Prim 0
New Website Content Joyce Kirschner 0
See You Tuesday, 1/25/11 Joyce Kirschner 0
Platte Institute for Economic Research Joyce Kirschner 0
Kris Winter on Nigeria Polio Team Joyce Kirschner 0
Brandon Davis-Ambassadorial Scholar Joyce Kirschner 0
Roger Carrell Discusses Rotary Joyce Kirschner 0
Kris Winter Is Leadership Institute Grad Joyce Kirschner 0
Posted by Joyce Kirschner
Rotary Committees are now complete. Those who were not able to add their names to a committee have been now assigned. Please look for your name on the committee lists below.
Rotary Committee Work Joyce Kirschner 0
Posted by Joyce Kirschner
NORFOLK — Services for Robert E. Thomas, retired general manager of WJAG Radio in Norfolk, were held Saturday at First Baptist Church. Age 92, he died Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010, at Heritage of Bel Air. The Rev. Robin Stoops officiated, providing a compassionate and warm history of "Bumpy's" life. J. Paul McIntosh's address served to illuminate Bob's contributions to Norfolk and also reminded us all of the contributions of the "Greatest Generation" to the lives of all Americans today. Bob Thomas was a man of great compassion for our community, for his family, and for the Norfolk Rotary Club.
In Memory of Robert E. Thomas, Sr. Joyce Kirschner 0
Posted by Joyce Kirschner
Bob Collins, of Council Bluffs Centennial Club, joined us last Tuesday to discuss the work of the Rotary Foundation and to present a check for the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen.
Rotary Foundation Presentation Joyce Kirschner 0
Posted by Joyce Kirschner
Pastor Mark Rose will present a follow-up of the Brush Up Norfolk Service Event with photos of the 7 houses repainted by community volunteers.
Oct. 12 Program--Brush Up Norfolk Recap Joyce Kirschner 0
City Website Offers Much Joyce Kirschner 0
Fit2WRK offered by Spracklen Physical Therapy Joyce Kirschner 0
Fabulous Food & Fellowship Joyce Kirschner 0
Committee Sign-Up Underway Joyce Kirschner 0
2007 Rotary International Pres. to Speak Oct. 15 Joyce Kirschner 0
Welcome Vitor! Joyce Kirschner 0
Rotarian of the Year Joyce Kirschner 0
NPPD Build 21st Century Ops Center Joyce Kirschner 0
Posted by Robert Thomas
Members have been updating their membership profiles on the new website. Keep up the good work. We owe it to our fellow Rotarians to keep our information as current as possible.
Member Profiles Robert Thomas 0