Club Information

Welcome to the Madison Breakfast Rotary Club

Madison Breakfast

Service Above Self One Profits Most Who Serves Best

No meetings at Vitense at this time. Virtual meetings only. See the speaker schedule below.
Vitense Golfland
5501 Schroeder Road
Madison, WI 53711
United States of America
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On December 21, club members gathered to discuss favorite holiday books, movies, traditions and current activities.
Prizes were given out for the following:
  • Best real background: Heather Dyer, Christmas tree and fire in the fireplace
  • Best virtual background: Andrew Willits, last year’s Christmas tree with gifts
  • Funniest background: Doc Parker’s sweater
  • Most Rotary theme: Judy Levine
On December 9, forty-one club members, friends, and members of Engineers Without Borders enjoyed a carry out dinner of Guatemalan Pepian chicken, or a vegetarian option, with rice, squash, tamales and rum spice cake from the Migrants restaurant in Madison.
Chef Oscar made the Pepian chicken from a recipe of Chef Javier in Guatemala City. The dinners costing $20 each were preordered, asking for a donation to the library. After picking up their dinners, the participants went back home to eat and watch Chef Javier in Guatemala City prepare the “Pepian Guatemalteco chicken”.
On October 5, Judy Levine announced that Kevin Frost has been selected Rotarian of the Year for his work in Guatemala with the UW-Madison Engineers Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. This project brought the club an opportunity to work on a Rotary global grant in Guatemala on the building of a water tank supplying water to homes and a local school. The project gave the club a whole new level of involvement with the Rotary Club in Guatemala, a Rotary club in Milwaukee and other clubs in the area. Kevin and the students and members of EWB, did a lot of the physical work on the water tank and pipes in Guatemala. Kevin said that people in Guatemala gave up their homes for the students to stay in while they worked. Kevin showed slides of the big celebration at the finish of the water tank which was decorated with balloons and flowers.
Celebration of the completed water tower in Los Altos, Guatemala.
Ellen Cook was inducted into Breakfast Rotary on September 21. She retired recently as a senior scientist and formed her company Cajun Cook which sells Cajun Jambalaya and sells “Start Up” kits in all the regional grocery stores. Ellen is on the board of start-up companies Isomark, LLC and AbE, LLC. Both are biotech in nature. Isomark’s patented technology (maintained by WARF) monitors exhaled breath to detect infections caused by a metabolic change in the body from viral, bacterial, and fungal sources within 4-6 hours of onset and prior to onset of symptoms. AbE Discovery has a diverse portfolio of patented technologies focused on supporting animal health and also partners with entrepreneurial scientists to lead their technologies from discovery to impact. The global non-profit is called IndiMark. She said they have partnered with Gary and Books are Power to send books to the 3 villages which are in Kajiado County, Kenya. Ellen came to Wisconsin in 1982 from Louisiana and received a PhD from UW-Madison. Ellen - “I am very excited to become a member of the Breakfast Rotary Club! You should know that I considered other Rotary cubs and this one just fit me in the best way!”
Zapote children when water was first delivered to their school
The village had to temporarily stop the project because of the pandemic but have restarted it and are now about 6 weeks away from providing all the houses with water.

The students and community workers in Guatemala.
Kevin Frost spent several weeks in January 2020 working on the Guatemala water project funded with a grant from Rotary District 6250. He reported that the community almost completed the large community water tank and they walked all the water lines and staked out the locations of major equipment. The EWB students and community grew together as they worked together. It was a truly life giving trip, he said. Kevin Frost also went with several students to meet Rotario Los Altos, our counterpart in Quatqetzeltanago, Guatemala. They were very welcoming and had a great interest in the project and would like to work with both our club and engineers without borders in the future.
On June 20, Mike Kafka and Betsy Nordstrom presented the $711 grant money plus the $1365 final payment from the money Betsy raised making masks to Meals-on-Wheels. The combined total with the $2200 from previous mask donations, is a donation of $4276 to Meals-on-Wheels. With this donation, we have made it possible for about 500 meals to people who would have had some tough choices to make because they couldn’t afford meals and other necessities. It is a wonderful thing we do in delivering meals and knowing that more seniors are able to get them during this time. Because the club was initially turned down for the grant, it inspired more giving.
Gary Muldoon has submitted a District Grant request for Kongoni Community Library in Kenya. If approved for funding, the project will help build and open the library in its new location after the library’s board was given notice to vacate the government building it was housed in. The project is located in Kakagega County, Western Kenya, one of the most poverty-stricken areas in the country. The library was averaging 150 uses a day and housed in a county building until government authorities gave notice to vacate by July 31, 2019. Designs for a new library have been approved by the library board, land has been purchased and the ground floor has been roughed in. While there are other components to the library, this project is focused specifically on providing doors, windows, plumbing, electrical wiring and fixtures, allowing the library to open when completed. Once opened in its new location, the library/community center will serve over 5,000 people who live in the area.
Five District 6250 clubs, Madison East-Monona, Madison South, Stoughton, Waunakee and Madison Horizons have signed on as Contributing Clubs pledging a total of $3,250. Madison Breakfast has pledged $500 and Books Are Power, a non-profit that sets up libraries in Africa, has pledged $3,000. The remaining $500 will come from individual contributions. If you would like to pledge money toward the project please contact Gary.
In the first quarter of the year, it came to the attention of one of our delivery teams, Betsy and Doug Nordstrom that the route they delivered with their Rotary Club was shorter than usual. This was due in part to a loss of funding from United Way of Dane County. 
With the arrival of COVID-19 more seniors than ever were requesting meals. Rotary International made some funds available to districts for immediate relief for communities. Preference was given to projects that involved Rotarians. Betsy applied for the grant, but the money was gone. As Madison Breakfast Rotarians waited to hear if the grant was coming through, most quickly wrote checks or donated through the Rotary website. 
At the same time, Betsy started to make cloth masks for family, friends and friends of friends…. Somewhere in the process of making and distributing about 80 masks, people started to offer to pay. She requested that $5/mask donations could be made to Meals on Wheels through the Madison Breakfast Rotary website. The outpouring has been very generous, way more than $5/mask!  
Meals on Wheels employs people to make meals. Volunteers deliver hot, nutritious meals to home bound senior citizens and disabled adults. Every recipient gets a daily check in with their meal. Even now, when we have to practice social distancing, volunteers ring the doorbell of a house or apartment and wait for the appreciative recipient to pick up the meal. If the person doesn’t come to the door, there is a contact person to call and finally, Independent Living is contacted if that doesn’t work. Knowing that this is often the only human contact in a person’s day makes this moment of contact as important as serving a hot nutritious meal to a homebound senior. 
It is still possible to donate and yes, Betsy is still making masks. Please email for masks and go to to donate. 

Club president Betsy Nordstrom, February 5 speaker Dr. Corey Pompey, and Rhea Myers.
Dr. Corey Pompey addressed the club on February 3. In the introduction, Rhea Myers mentioned that Dr. Pompey went to the University of Alabama and played in the band and that his favorite instrument is the saxophone. Dr. Pompey had been the assistant band director at Pennsylvania, but most recently was at University of Nevada-Reno. Advice he received from Mike Lakrone was “Do what you know how to do.” Dave Olson, the assistant band director who has good connection with the students, has been very helpful in navigating the first season.
A part of the band director’s job is to get permission to use music and the rights to the music cost money. For example, the band cannot obtain a John Williams arrangement. A customized arrangement, when procured and paid for, can played for 1 to 3 years. In August, band members go to leadership camp to learn to play and march. The first week is learning how to march. The band works hard and it is a very athletic activity. Varsity band is a class and members are required to play at a certain number of sporting events.
Our thanks to Dr. Corey Pompey for his visit to the club and for his presentation.

Membership chair Judy Levine giving new member Andrew Willits his red badge on January 27. Andrew is a real estate broker with At Home Madison Keller Williams.
Andrew Willits, January 13 speaker Brian Juchems and Bruce Harville. Brian Juchems, Co-director of GSAFE Wisconsin, spoke very eloquently on Creating Just Schools for LGBTQ+Youth.
Many thanks to Eng and Bill Braun for the elegant holiday party at their home. Club members, family, friends, host families and our exchange student Nako from Japan, enjoyed getting together around a table of lovely treats. Among the foods were hors d’oeuvres provided by the guests, many dishes prepared by Eng including her warm shrimp dish and famous chocolate dessert, and Helen Baldwin’s stuffed mushrooms. Eng and Bill were so gracious to change the event from Friday to Saturday night because of the weather.
Under the direction of dynamic club member Thom Weiss, books are collected from schools and libraries around Wisconsin. They are assorted and packaged by grade level and subject matter and shipped through the Second Wind Foundation in LaPorte, TX to developing countries where they are needed in local schools and libraries.
During 2019, Wisconsin Books for the World shipped 5 truckloads of books. representing 135 pallets (approximately 4,860 boxes or 200,000 pounds).
Special thanks go to Ad Press, Allen Lund Company, J.H. Findorff & son, Future Foam, Hallman Lindsay Paints, Madison College warehouse space, Pelliterri Waste Systems, Schneider Trucking, Steller Services, The Second Wind Foundation and Webcrafters for their support and all those who sorted and packed the books.
Club president Betsy Nordstrom, program chair, Bruce Harville and Dr. Ken Loving
Dr. Ken Loving, Chief Executive Officer of Access Community Health Centers, addressed Breakfast Rotary on January 6. Dr. Loving has been in his position for 10 years, starting when the main clinic was housed in the little Red House on Park Street with just one full time physician. Access became a federal funded health care center in 2002 when it provided dental and mental health services. They are now located on Park Street by the Urban League Building. Access serves people who have barriers to health care and the patients pay on a sliding scale based on their household income. 20% are uninsured and the rest are on Badger Care/Medicaid. The model of care is integrated care including psychological, behavioral/mental care, dental and pharmacy care. The Celebrate Smiles Dental Care is now in all elementary schools. Dental problems are the number one reason kids miss school. In the future, they would like to take care to the people who need care, especially dental. Now they need dental and medical assistants. The people they serve speak 38 different languages.

Our thanks to Dr. Loving for his work in the community in the spirit of Rotary and for his presentation
December 9 speaker Jeremy Kautza, a 30-year, 3sport official with program chair Bruce Harville. Among his remarks, Mr. Kautza spoke about the perils of refereeing.
Amy Montoya and Betsy Nordstrom holding fans with their names drawn by Nako in calligraphy on October 7.
Nako, the club’s exchange student from Japan, told the club about her life in Japan and demonstrated her calligraphy. Nako, from Konto, which is near Tokyo, has a sister on an exchange in Canada and a brother who is a university student studying web design. Her father designs machines used by doctors and her mother works in personnel in a paint company. They have three dogs, a Beagle, a Chihuahua , and a Dachshund. Nako shared a video taken by her parents of her high school calligraphy performance dance where Nako and the students wrote calligraphy while on the dance floor.
Nako plays the trumpet in the high school marching band. Her favorite Japanese foods are Sushi, Udon noodles and Tempura and she told the group how to make Nabe. You put all your favorite food in a pot and boil it up.
Nako loves plays, karaoke, and dance and music performances as well as fishing, nature, and fruit picking. She had never been to the U.S. before. She wants to use English more and visit Chicago. Welcome to Nako. We are delighted you are here. Nako’s first host family is the Kurka family.
Helen Baldwin‘s interest in Rotary travel began when she and husband Gordon arrived in Sri Lanka where Gordon visited a club in Colombo at the time of the Tieneman Square incident. Gordon came back with much international information. It was a great stimulus to say yes when Helen was asked to join Madison Breakfast Rotary.
Bill and Eng Braun took Nako, from Japan and Ludovica, from Italy, apple picking at Eplegaarden Orchards. And with Eng, the girls made apple pies in Eng’s kitchen. Eng has arranged this cultural cooking experience with the new students for many years.
President Betsy Nordstrom presented Priscilla Thain with a Paul Harris pin for her many years of service with Breakfast Rotary, especially doing the newsletter for 15 years.
Club members, host families, exchange students, and friends gathered at the Craftsman Table and Tap on September 18 to welcome the District Governor and Nako, from Japan, announce the Rotarian of the year, and celebrate Heather Dyer’s special birthday. DG Bos wants to make Rotary more engaging by involving family and friends, and more user friendly, by keeping things simple. He urges support of the October 24 Pints for Polio event, as the benefit dollars will be matched by Bill Gates. DG Bos is from Fort Atkinson where the next District Conference will be held. He and his family are currently hosting an exchange student from Napal.
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