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Guatemala Library Project.....
Nov 02, 2020
with members of Club Rotario Los Altos
Gary Muldoon
Nov 09, 2020
International Committee Report
Ellen Cook
Nov 23, 2020
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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 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.
Cheryl is a UW-Madison alum (BSE Chemistry and Zoology) who parlayed her degrees into a 30 year career developing products and materials for brands like DIXIE, DEPEND, and HUGGIES. She relocated to Madison for her most recent job as an Intellectual Property Administrator. Cheryl is working to turn her passion for painting into a side career and welcomes commissioned pieces! Along with her husband Ted, she enjoys gardening and being parents to their four twenty-something children. Cheryl recently took over the job of the club’s secretary.
Nako arrived in Madison on August 18. She was met at the airport by Amy Kurka, her host mother, Rich Vanden Boogen (the man who helped Nako get through the long overnight stay in the O’Hare airport), Amy Montoya, the club’s Youth Exchange Counselor, Isabel Montoya, Ludovica Malinverni (inbound Italian student whose host mother is Amy Montoya), and Thom Weiss.
Eng and Bill Braun hosted a lovely summer party at their home on August 17, where club and family members, gathered with a pot luck brunch to say goodbye to Fe’ Semira, who is moving to Tennessee. Fe’, a CPA, was our wonderful treasurer for many years, keeping our accounts straight. She participated in many events such as the paint-a-thon, bookpacking , and fundraising and was very generous with her happy bucks, where she shared her family events with us and her Zumba classes where she was an instructor.
Fe’, you are the best and we wish you a happy life in Tennessee.
June Fries, Erin Hastey and Cheryl Mocadlo. June Fries received her red badge and Erin and Cheryl were presented with their blue badges on August 12.
June Fries was born and raised in the Milwaukee area and received a BS in Nursing from Marquette University. Over the span of her career, she has worked in hospitals, done contract work for the government and legal defense work with a law firm. June and her husband Rich, who have been married over 51 years, have lived in Alaska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. They have two sons, Tom and Matt, two granddaughters, Alexa and Avery, three step grandchildren and 1 and 8/9 th step great granddaughters. Her life has been good.
Frances Parker, grew up as an army brat and lived in Germany and Korea. After graduating from Trinity College in Austin, Texas and receiving an MS in Pharmacy, she worked as a pharmacist and then a pharmacy affairs manager. She met her husband Doc in 1996 and they have a daughter Sidney. As a host mother, the hosting experiences shaped their lives and Frances is still in contact with former students. A volunteer with the American Red Cross and a healthy holistic coach, a goal is to be a speaker on healthy habits. Frances and Doc are currently hosting a student from Spain for the month. Frances calls herself a recovering perfectionist.
Rafael & Erin Hastey, Erin’s father, sister, and mother met in Hamburg, Germany for the International Convention in June.
Erin Hastey, club president elect, met up with her family at the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany. Her father is a DG Elect in South Yuba County, CA and her sister is past club president of Sunrise Rotary in Yuba County, CA. Her sister is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Green Hills, Nashville, Tennessee, where she is studying.
Erin showed pictures of the convention, where she attended the plenary and breakout sessions and the flag ceremony. She plans to attend next year’s convention in Honolulu. We look forward to next year’s “President Erin.”
Club members, family, and friends joined the club to paint a one story house on Saturday, August 3. The event was sponsored by Project Home.
Among the August 3 painters were Kevin Frost, Bruce Harville, Thom Weiss, Judy and Vic Levine, Cheryl Mocadlo and Ted Storin, Brenda Weiss and Mike Kafka.
The Perfect Harmony singers, one of the club’s foundation awardees, serenaded the club with “Seasons of Love” and “I’m Yours,” on June 24.
Breakfast Rotary Foundation President Bruce Harville announced a total of $3,950 in awards for 2019.
The organizations receiving awards and their special projects are as follows:
  • Rubin for Kids, support for Madison College for kids of prisoners, Randy Sproule
  • DAIS, gardening and nutrition in shelter, Alexis Cuozzo
  • Madison Outreach Ministry, oral health dental kits, Patricia Eldred
  • ReMitts, purchase fleece, proceeds go to 4 food pantries, Janet Tupy
  • 350 Madison, art project on climate change, Gail Nordheim
  • Food for Thought, emergency food kits for people living in cars and motels, Mary Lou Taylor
  • Books are Power, support for new library in Kenya, Gary Muldoon
  • Perfect Harmony, new rainbow ties and suspenders, Marge Sutinen
  • Luke’s Closet, socks and underwear for foster children. Kirsten Pedersen & Diane Reeber-Lin
  • Odyssey, support for newest literary project in a prison, Emily Auerbach
  • Books for the World, cost of shipping, Thom Weiss
Helen Baldwin, Thom Weiss, Jerry Thain, Doug Nordstrom, Su, and Fe’ Semira among other club members, families and host families who gathered at the Nordstrom home on June 14 to bid farewell to Su, our 2018-19 Rotary exchange student form Turkey.
Emily Auerbach, Betsy Nordstrom and Judy Levine on June 10.
On June 10, Emily Auerbach, Project Director of the Odyssey Project, updated the club on this 6-credit English literature course which uses a family approach to breaking the cycle of generational poverty.
Odyssey was started by Jean Feracca of Wisconsin Public Radio. New this year, starting in the fall, will be Odyssey Beyond Bars for prisoners at Oakhill Correctional Institution. Odyssey has been given funding for this new program for 3 years.
Jocelyn Sansing was inducted into Breakfast Rotary on June 6.  Jocelyn is the Director of the Middleton Public Library and has been working on the Books for the World project.Jocelyn Sansing was inducted into Breakfast Rotary on June 6.  Jocelyn is the Director of the Middleton Public Library and has been working on the Books for the World project.
Daniel Ledin, former exchange student to Denmark, and his sister Emily, the club’s 201920 outbound student to Sweden.
Club members enjoyed a visit on May 20 from Emily and Daniel Ledin. Emily gave a presentation of her life in the U.S. for Rotarians in Sweden. Emily has many interests including the environment and politics. She participates in a mock government class at Middleton High School, where she is a sophomore. She wants to be a political scientist. A Girl Scout since kindergarten, Emily recently earned a high Girl Scout award, after serving 142 hours at a homeless shelter. Emily says she loves to do community service and has been involved in Camp Chosen in Minnesota. The camp was originally for Korean adoptees, but now is open to adoptees from other countries. At the camp, they have fun playing games like capture the flag and do team building.
Emily has three brothers and one sister, all adoptees from South Korea. Three siblings have gone on exchanges, including to Brazil and Denmark and two were yo-yos. They have a family tradition of dyeing Easter eggs and have dinners with Korean friends. Emily plans to add more about the Middleton area for her presentations in Sweden.

Daniel has finished his first year at UWMadison, majoring in Political Science, and he has an internship at the state Capitol.

Our best wishes to Daniel and Emily as they go off to great adventures.
Bruce Harville, Program Chair, Betsy Nordstrom, President, with May 6 speaker Phil Hands, Editorial Cartoonist for the Wisconsin State Journal.
Phil Hands delighted the club with examples of his cartoons on May 6. Hands, who calls himself an opinion columnist who draws cartoons, has been on the editorial board of the Wisconsin State Journal since 2005. In addition to drawing the cartoons, he writes editorials and edits the letters to the editor.
Among the cartoons he showed were: The Edgewood Stadium as the most controversial issue in Madison; Tony Evers and the lame duck issue; the Badger Hollow Solar Farms destroying the environment; If we allowed gerrymandering in sports; Trump and Putin. Not all cartoons are satirical. A cartoon on May 6 showed Chewbacca with tears in his eyes at the news of the death of Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca. Six cartoons are rejected a day because it is not funny or that’s not true. Hands draws the cartoons visually on paper with ink. Hands, a golfer, has a degree in Political Science from UWMadison.
Our thanks to Phil Hands for his wonderful, creative work and for his presentation to the club.
Jim Zirbel, Beau Thomson, Jocelyn Sansing, Dir.Middleton Library, Thom Weiss, Carol & Bob Dombroski and Gary Muldoon, loyal workers and supporters for Books for the World, at the April 22 club meeting.
On April 22, Thom Weiss, manager of the club’s Books for the World, outlined the history and current status of the project.  The project began as a Texas – South Africa partnership between 2 District Governors in 2000. There are now 3 major collection sites in the U.S. The Wisconsin operation, the 2nd largest, began in 2005 when Carol and Bob Dombroski started collecting books from the public schools in their McFarland home basement. The project was taken over by the club and moved to several locations in Madison. Thom Weiss took over from the Dombroskis in 2014 and 12 truck loads of books were sent to Houston in 2015. Because of the trucking costs, a decision was made to back off and only accept books from schools and not libraries. Now they do accept books from the Middleton Library friends group and the Lakeview library that know exactly what we need and pack them.
Another successful fundraiser is in the rear view mirror and I am sighing a happy sigh! On April 10 with snowflakes threatening to pile up, I lowered my expectations. I reasoned with myself that if half the people who registered showed up, even if we had to pay for twice as many, it would still be a success. None of my worst fears were realized. We had a nice turnout and raised almost as much as last year’s event which was held on a lovely spring day with 20 more attendees.
Project Home, in its 41st year, has its 31st annual Paint-a-Thon coming up. In addition to painting houses, they do repairs, maintenance, and upgrades to houses all year long. Flood prevention is a specialty of Project Home. They work with a water and mold expert.

Ninety six percent of water in basements, Jason Hafeman told the club, is caused by poor control of roof and surface runoff, all of which is preventable. Clogged gutters, clogged or detached downspouts and or negative grade around foundations are normally the cause. A solution is to build up around the foundation with shredded top soil, with a visible slope away from the house. Downspout extensions should be 4 to 6 feet from the house. Steel gutter screens are also helpful.

Project Home, which does home energy audits, insulation and air sealing, home repairs and accessibility modifications, offers classes on home maintenance open to the public. Customer financing for Project Home repairs is offered by the Dane County Credit Union.

Our thanks to Jason Hafeman, Outreach Manager for Project Home for this important work in the community and for his presentation.
Sixty eight million people have fled their homes world wide and one half are kids, Susan Kierman told Breakfast Rotary on February 4. In FY 2018, the US admitted 21,000 refugees and 52 arrived in Madison, which is half of the year before. Their mission is to make a home in Madison. Open Doors for Refugees was founded in 2016. They currently have 350 plus volunteers. They are not associated with any faith based group, but work with Jewish Social Services and Lutheran Social Services.

Open Doors for Refugees supports their initial settlement by gathering donations of household items, setting up apartments, assisting with everyday tasks, helping with employment, offering cultural orientation and providing language assistance.
They also provide long term support so that refugees can succeed and integrate fully into the community. Public events are held to promote connections and cultural awareness, inclusion and to raise public awareness about the importance of refugees in increasing the richness and cultural diversity of our community.

ODFR is a non profit organization funded by individual contributions, grants, corporate gifts and fundraising events.

Our thanks to Susan Kierman for her wonderful work in our global community in the spirit of Rotary and for her presentation.

Leslie Sager, January 21 speaker, in front of pictures of women in Kenya.

Leslie Sager, a professor at the School of Human Ecology, and a part time interior designer, has started and supported a number of ongoing projects in Tharaka Nithi, Kenya along with her students.  The Nyumbani Village, built 12 years ago, is Kenya’s sustainable HIV/AIDS community where children live in little houses with a grandmother.  Structures are made of interlocking blocks of soil and concrete. The Green Belt Movement empowers women to conserve the environment by planting trees and improve their livelihoods 

The Success One project, the Kiondo Project: Women have historically made their kiondo baskets with yarn and sisal.    Leslie helps sell their baskets and plans to put gutters and tanks on their roofs with the proceeds.

The Success Two project:  Leslie’s students came up with a plan to illuminate home for $2 each with LED solar batteries, so the women could farm during the day and read and create baskets at night and crochet.  

The Success Three project:  The students designed a double sided water vest for the women to transport water.

Our thanks to Leslie Sager for her work in Kenya in the spirit of Rotary and for her presentation.

The Dyer’s daughter, Christopher and Heather Dyer (past president), Mike Kafka, and Fe’ Semira at the Holiday party.


Steve Rosenblum with Breakfast Rotary’s new secretary Stephenie Stetson at the Holiday party.


Rafael and Erin Hastey at the Holiday party.

Membership chair Judy Levine with Bruce Harville, presenting new member Stefanie Freyberger with her badge on January 14.

Stefanie Freyberger, who was sponsored by Bruce Harville, works in the UW-Madison Office of Strategic Consulting. She is married to Joachim Freyberger and they have two children. Stefanie is interested in international service community service and Rotary Books for the World.
Many thanks to Eng and Bill Braun for once again hosting a Madison Breakfast Rotary Holiday Party. Club members were joined by old friends, the Dombroskis and Daniel, our former exchange student from Denmark, with his mother and sister and host families.

On January 7, club members enjoyed an interesting and informative presentation from Steve Carpenter, retired Professor and retired Director of the UW-Madison Center for Limnology.  

If anyone wants to read the stories or see the videos and art from Yahara2070, they can find it all on the website:  The center’s blog has new stories each week about Wisconsin lakes, and a searchable archive of past stories:

Marje Murray, December 10 speaker from All of Us Wisconsin.
All of Us Wisconsin, launched in 2015, is an NIH Precision Medicine Initiative. Its mission is to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs enabling individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all. It is an approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variables in lifestyle and environment. The plan is to deliver the largest biomedical data set ever that is easy, safe and free to access.

It attempts to change the faces of medical research. Up to now, most studies are done on white men. Now we must include underrepresented peoples, with at least 40% from underserved groups. The program will reflect the rich diversity of America. The approved protocol is to survey people, getting their physical measurements, blood pressure, BMI, heart rate, blood and urine samples.

This is an opportunity to fight disease, especially for the health of future generations and ensure that your own community is included in the studies.

Our thanks to Marje Murray for her work on the future of healthcare and for her presentation.

Tabatha Davis and Rebecca Alcock, November 26 speakers from UW Engineers Without Borders

Tabatha Davis and Rebecca Alcock have been involved with the Zapote Water project for four years.  They have been in Guatemala 5 times and recently spent 3 months there.  The first phase of the project has been completed.  It brought water from springs in the mountains to the community.  Previously the San Martin Water System was unreliable and overpriced.  The average wait for water was 2.8 days.  The second phase of the project, costing $51,885 would bring piping and taps to 100 families, a church and the school.  The Los Altos Rotary Club in Guatemala, which is 4 hours away, will handle the grant.  They will need $10,000 to get matching grants to get started.
Our thanks to Tabatha and Rebecca for their wonderful work in the world in the spirit of Rotary and for their presentation.

November 19 speaker Jason Ilstrup, President, Downtown Madison and Bruce Harville, Program chair.

Jason Ilstrup, President of Downtown Madison, Inc. , has a law degree from Minnesota,  and is the former general manager of Hotel Red.  Downtown Madison, Inc.  (DMI) is a not-for-profit, membership organization and the voice of the central city.  Formed more than 45 years ago, DMI advocates for the health and vitality of downtown Madison and exists because of and for its members.  Businesses, residents, non-profit organizations and local government agencies provide their expertise to help accomplish DMI’s mission and work on projects, initiatives and membership programs.
Downtown Madison extends from the Yahara River to Hotel Red.  The Central Business District Improvement is a sister organization.  More people are moving downtown, Jason said and retail space and the number of hotel rooms are growing.  Among the challenges are transportation, especially for the service sector, affordable housing, and the quality of life and safety.  The parking ramps are never full, he said.  DMI has seven standing committees working on these and other problems.   They look to other models in similar cities, such as Grand Rapids, Greenville, North Carolina, Austin, Texas, Pittsburgh, and Minneapolis.
Our thanks to Jason Ilstrup for his work caring for our central city and for his presentation.
Nov. 12 speakers Gail Nordheim and Stephanie Robinson, with Stephanie Stetson
350 Madison mobilizes people in our community to fight climate change. 350 Madison is dedicated to reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to below the safe level of 350 parts per million (currently over 400). The group focuses on tar sands oil. They work to block the extraction, transport, and processing of dirty tar sands oil focusing on Wisconsin pipelines built by Enbridge, a Canadian corporation. They played a role in delaying Enbridge’s expansion of Line 61 in Wisconsin and are organizing landowners ahead of the anticipated effort to build a new Line 66 through Wisconsin.

Our thanks to Gail Nordheim and Stephanie Robinson for their environmental work and for their presentation.
Joan Tillett receiving her membership badge from Judy Levine on November 5. Joan has been a host mother to the club’s exchange students and a long time friend of the club.
Many thanks to Betsy and Doug Nordstrom, the hosts of the club’s fall fundraiser on October 26. Thanks also to the following club members and friends who worked at the event: Eng Braun, Fe’ Semira, Judy Levine, Bailey Lagman, Heather Dyer, Joan Tillett, Kevin Frost, Monica Tutte and Mike Kafka. Betsy and Doug opened their home for the café and the five vendors: Surroundings, Remitts, Totally Wired, Embellishments, and Norwex.

Betsy and Doug Nordstrom, hosts of the October club event.


Doug Nordstrom, Eng Braun, Monica Tutte, and Bailey Lagman in the kitchen preparing and serving lunch for the café.


The tasty and enticing bake sale table.


A shopper checking out the whimsical items for the home on the Totally Wired display.


Club members enjoyed a visit from Ed Futa on October 22.  Ed was the past General Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.  Ed gave an inspiring talk that included Polio Plus, the energy in the local clubs, and the need to celebrate youth in Rotary.  Pictured above are Bailey Lagman, club president; Ed Futa; Su, exchange student from Turkey; and Bruce Harville, President of the Madison Breakfast Rotary Foundation

Martin Rouse, Autumn Sanchez, and Ace Hillard, October 22 speakers

Education is one true pathway toward a better life, and UW-Madison has plenty of help for returning  students, Martin Rouse, Dean and Director of Adult Career and Special Students told Breakfast Rotary on October 22.  He was accompanied by two advisors, Autumn Sanchez and Ace Hillard.   They support returning adult students with workshops, scholarships and advising.  They help special students with admissions and sponsor the senior guest auditors program. They also have a career advising center for career changes.  The Odyssey Program, in which students without any college experience, earn 6 credits of education, is part of this Division. 

There are two pathways to admission:  freshmen take the ACT or a transfer pathway. A student not admitted to UW-Madison who takes college elsewhere and gets a B average, can reapply.   Under the Badger Ready program, a student who takes 12 credits as a special student and gets a B average, will be guaranteed admission.

Our thanks to Martin Rouse, Autumn Sanchez, and Ace Hillard for their presentation and visit to the club.

Thom Weiss, October 8 speaker Ellsworth Brown, and club president Bailey Lagman
Ellsworth Brown, retired Director of the historical Society, and past president of Downtown Rotary, was the guest speaker on October 8. Without a heritage, every generation starts over, Ellsworth said. History makes us laugh and cry. What we learn from history is America has always been in war with itself. We have always been a nation in rebellion. Adam Burr shot the Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton. In he Civil War, 620,000 died, In the 1800’s partisanship was at an all time high and the newspapers called themselves outwardly Democratic or Republican. The U.S. has had its problems in the past and we will get through the current times.
Our thanks to Ellsworth Brown for his visit and thoughtful presentation. He is a member of the National Board of American History of the Smithsonian. George Smithson donated the land for the Smithsonian which has warehouses all over the country.
Su with her first host sister Aberdeen

Life in history rich Turkey is full of family celebrations with music and folk dancing, Su told Breakfast Rotary on September 24.  Su comes from Izmir, the 3rd largest city of Turkey, on the west coast near the Greek islands.  The Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 after winning independence in the war against the Allies.  The Turkish alphabet has 29 letters some of which are marked for the Turkish language.

Su went to an American School for all 12 grades in the same classes.  They celebrate Halloween in her school but the rest of the country does not.  Su’s father is an architect, her mother is an archeologist and she has one sister age 10.  Su has participated in a model United Nations starting in the 5th grade.  Each student represents a country and supports that country.  She also participated in a summer camp at Brown University, and visited New York, Chicago, and Nashville. Su wants to be an architect like her father.

The club enjoyed slides of historical Turkey as well as the wedding celebrations and dancing and was treated to Turkish candy.

Club members were inspired by Tauri Robinson’s description on Oct. 1 of the programs at the Meadowood Community Center for youth and adults and the partnerships in events.  For adults; a food pantry, fitness classes, a job shop, and an open computer lab.  The youth programs serve K-12, including an after school program at Orchard Ridge for middle and high students with a recording studio “Meadowood Records.”  Among the Center’s partnerships is a MMSD Play and Learn program on Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to 12 Noon.  Other partnerships are First Tee, Common Wealth Recreation, and Read Your Heart Out where volunteers read once a month to 4 to 6 kids.  They use books provided in advance from the library, which is located next door to the Meadowood Center.  In the summer, they have a program for K-5 which is free.  Tauri Robinson is a Madison native with a degree in Political Science from UW-Madison.  

Our thanks to Tauri for his wonderful work in the community and for his presentation.

Fe Cruz Semira received the Rotarian of the Year award at the September 18th reception at Craftsman Table & Tap.
Heather Dyer, 2017 recipient of the award, presented Fe with the award and a Paul Harris fellowship for her continuing work since 2005 as Treasurer of the club. 
Fe had previously been Rotarian of the Year in 2002.

In addition, club president Bailey Lagman thanked Eng Braun, the outgoing club secretary, for her many years of service.  Stephanie Stetson was welcomed as the incoming secretary, Erin Hastey to the Board of Directors. and Doug Nordstrom as the President Elect.  Club members enjoyed getting acquainted with our new incoming exchange student Su from Turkey 🇹🇷  


Visitor Sue Halambeck with August 27 speaker Emily Tucker and Judy Levine.

The club enjoyed a visit from Emily Tucker, RI Regional Membership Officer for Membership Development.  She was accompanied by Sue Halambeck District Governor Elect Nominee.  Emily discussed strategies and resources for attracting prospective members.  The club must define what is our value and how are we different.  Also are we flexible and affordable and do we have a balance between business and fun and have a chance to socialize? 

For tips on membership, contact or contact

Club president Bailey Ebben with Ida Sobolik, Troy Kids’ Garden Manager, and Jill Carlson Groendyk, Farm to Early Care & Education Trainer, speakers on August 20.
Community GroundWorks is a nonprofit organization that connects people to nature and local food. Through hands-on-education, children and adults learn gardening, urban farming, healthful eating and to care for natural areas. Through environmental youth programs, a CSA farm, community gardens, public food forests, a statewide school gardens network, and more, Community GroundWorks serves diverse communities and schools across the region.
Project Home Paint-a-Thon team including members of Madison Breakfast Rotary, NBA, Zendesk, and JP Cullen.
Madison Breakfast team members included Judy and Vic Levine, Bruce Harville, Mike Kafka, Stephanie Stetson and Steve Rosenblum, Bailey and Patrick Lagman.
At the July 16th meeting we had the pleasure of getting to know more about Erin Hastey & Stephanie Stetson.

We have a new president. Thanks for a great year, Heather. We know you will be great, Bailey.

On June 27, Bruce Harville presented the Madison Breakfast Rotary Foundation awards for 2018 to seven worthy groups.
Judy Levine (subbing for Thom Weiss for Books for the World), Patricia Eldred, (Madison Outreach Ministry), Kathy Rothering (ReMitts), Randy Sproule (Rubin for Kids), Sheila Muehlenbruch (UW Health Pediatric Early Literacy Project), Gary Muldoon (Books Are Power), Emily Auerbach (Odyssey Junior), Bruce Harville, President of Breakfast Rotary Foundation at the awards ceremony on June 27.

Mike Kafka, Ericka Braatz, Betsy Nordstrom and friend Darcy and the crew at the shot put event of the Special Olympics on May 4 at Oregon High School field.

Many thanks to Betsy Nordstrom who quickly arranged a fantastic evening at Craftsman Table and Tap after Sprecher’s suddenly closed.  Thanks also to the sponsors and donors of the raffle gifts and to all the club members who arranged for the raffle gifts and certificates and worked at the event.


On February 19, Bea delighted the club with pictures of her family and the beautiful country of Brazil. Bea lives with her mother and stepfather and younger brother. Bea’s older brother is 16 and lives with her Dad. Bea, who is interested in theater and ballet, particiated in a performance of the Nutcracker.
Brazil, the largest country in South America, is divided into seven counties, and Portuguese is spoken in all. The Brazilian money has coins, on which the blind can tell the value by the feel. Among the favorite foods are black beans with pork, Brazilian barbecue, and cheese bread.
The North County is the biggest region in Brazil and has a well known Festival. The North East is the birthplace of Brazil. The South East has the highest population including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The South is the major tourist attraction and has the highest standard of living, but is the coldest. Mato Grosso is the Midwest region. 63% of this area is preserved. Agribusiness is big, especially soybeans and corn, also fresh water fish, and beef, also diamonds. 59 indigenous tribes live in this state.
Bea’s family lives in Mato Grosso. She enjoys taking part in the dances in the city. A favorite candy is brigadeiros, which Bea passed around to club members.
Our thanks to Bea for her presentation and for spending her year with us in Wisconsin.
Please plan to see our Rotary Youth Exchange student Bea in the Madison-area premiere of “Girls Like That”. The play starts at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday through Saturday at the Middleton Performing Arts Center.
Due to strong language and mature themes, the show is recommended for youth ages 13 and above and their parents.
See the article below from today's Wisconsin State Journal for more info.
Aaron Bird Bear, September 18 speaker
On whose lands do we live?, Aaron Bird Bear, Assistant Dean for Diversity Programs at the UW-Madison School of Education, and the guest speaker on September 18 asked. Picnic Point was an oak savannah and marshland, when the Indians inhabited the area. Village sites dotted the lakeshore, now the lakeshore nature preserve.  Waaksikhomek, the word for the Indian Mounds,  means “Where the Man Lies.” Teejop means Four Lakes.  The Betling Goose figure can be seen on earth works on the campus near the Dejope residential hall. The hall features 11 of the American Indian Nations of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin and UW-Madison are 1.4% of the human story and 98.6% of our story occurred before US citizens occupied the land. The Menominee have been in Wisconsin forever, the HoChunk moved here. Aaron Bird works with Native American students on graduate retention.  Less than 400 native Indians study on campus.
Our thanks to Aaron Bird Bear for his fascinating presentation and for his wonderful work on the UW-Madison campus.
Heather Dyer received the Rotarian of the Year award at the September 11 reception at Sprecher’s. Doug Nordstrom and Thom Weiss, past recipients of the award, presented Heather with the award and a Paul Harris fellowship for her incredible organizational skills as club president.
Club members gathered at Sprecher’s on September 11 for the Rotarian of the Year award, and to introduce Bea, the club’s 2017-18 exchange student from Brazil, and the newest members of the club Erin Hastey and Kevin Frost. The event was organized by Betsy Nordstrom with her fantastic arrangement skills.
Fe’ Semira, Eng Braun, Bea from Brazil, Stephanie Stetson, and Bruce Harville at Sprecher’s on September 11.
Bruce Harville, Betsy and Doug Nordstrom, Stephanie Stetson, and Steve Schwerbel.
Zoe and Joan Tillett, Bea’s host family, Erin & Rafeal Hastey, Jerry Thain and Eng Braun.
Scholarship, truth, and cheese – the Wisconsin Idea is the intersection of the university and government using each to build up and support the other for the greater good. It sounds a lot like the four-way test. Thanks to Gwen Drury, the UW-Madison Speakers Bureau Coordinator for her talk on August 21.

Bruce Harville, August 21 speaker Gwen Drury, and Will Clifton.

Speaker Gwen Drury
On August 14, club members enjoyed a visit to the club of Stephan Elkins of Wisconsin Public Radio. She was accompanied by her husband, Roy Elkins.
Wisconsin invented public radio, Stephanie told the group.  Wisconsin in the 1920’s was agrarian and the first broadcast started with weather and prices for farming. In 1954, TV was born and WPT began to broadcast.  Classical music was the popular music of the day.
In 1967, the Public Broadcasting Act was passed.  It set aside money for public broadcasting, regulated by the government, for free, independent and accessible programming.
Today, WPR has 36 stations, 500,000 listeners per week and 52,000 members.  Today, Stephanie hosts “Morning Classics” on WPR from 9 to 11 am and has previously hosted “Simply Folk” and “The Midday.”  Chapter a Day is the longest running book reading program on air and Sesame Street is the most popular program.  WPR has a library of 35,000 CDs.  Wisconsin Public Radio was the start of the Wisconsin Idea.
Our thanks to Stephanie Elkins for her presentation and her wonderful voice and programming on WPR.
District Governor Joe Ruskey urged club members on August 7, to tell the story of Rotary, which has 1.2 million members in over 200 countries.  The Rotary Foundation is one of 5 foundations in the world where 95 cents on the dollar goes to programs.  In 1985, when the polio eradication effort was started, there were 350,000 cases of polio annually.  So far in 2017 we are down to only 8 cases.  Rotary has a masters program at the 6 top universities in the world, where peace and conflict resolution are taught.
Joe owned an IT firm in Chicago and joined Rotary when he moved to Prairie du Chien.  He met leaders of the community and became President of the Prairie du Chien Rotary club.  He then became Foundation Chair and then Assistant District Governor. He urged club members to attend the Tri-Conference at the Wilderness Resort on May 4-6 in 2018.
Pictured below are District Governor Joe Ruskey and his wife Tina along with Assistant District Governor John Locke and MBR Club President Heather Dyer.
Project Home Paint-a-Thon team including members of Madison Breakfast Rotary and Madison Horizons Rotary.
Madison Breakfast team members included Doug and Betsy Nordstrom, Bruce Harville, Stephanie and Steve Stetson, Judy and Vic Levine, and Steve Schwerbel.
On June 27, Bruce Harville, President of the MBR Foundation, announced this year’s awards. They are as follows:
Remitts: Janet Tupy. Remitts benefits local food pantries. Started in 2008, they make mittens from old sweaters, boiled to felt-like material. They raised $3900 the first year and $50,000 last year.
Rubin for Kids: Randy Sproule from Madison South Rotary. Rubin for Kids provides funds for scholarships for students with significant needs. The scholarships are for MATC programs, either general studies or technical programs. Students receive $1,000 each year for two years. All recipients are the first in their family to attend college.
Box of Balloons: Sarah Wells. Groups pack a birthday party box with cupcakes, gifts, and balloons to deliver to homes for parents to create a party. They plan to give 250 empty boxes this year for companies and individuals to fill.
Middleton Outreach Ministry: Patricia Eldres. They serve Middleton, Madison, and the Cross Plains area with food and provide small grants to help prevent evictions. The award will be used for a new, oral health project providing kids with an electric toothbrush, paste, and instruction. A dentist will give free exams.
Madison Ice Arena: Andrea Chafee. The organization owns and operates two ice arenas. One has been modified to meet requirements for adaptive skating. The funds will be used for replacement ice skates for the adaptive programs. Kids will be able to take the Learn to Skate program, Sled Hockey program or Special Hockey programs.
Boys and Girls Club of Dane County: Karen Gallagher. Founded in 1999, they serve 6,000 children in afterschool programs, including tutoring, recreation, and incentives and training to encourage college with the TOPS program. The awarded funds will go toward the summer program.
Books for the World: Thom Weiss. This year, four semi-loads of books were sent to Houston and more will be sent before the year’s end. Twenty Rotary clubs participated in various ways. They are happy to contribute books to local groups as they do now with MOM.
Rotary Club of Waunakee donates $700 to the Wisconsin Books for the World Project.  Bob Pulvermacher presents check to Thom Weiss.  Thank you Rotary Club of Waunakee!

With your help, the story of thousands of books doesn’t have to end in a landfill. We’re aiming to give textbooks and library books a second life by sending them to kids overseas.

Wisconsin Books for the World supports global literacy and education by collecting used school and library books throughout the state and sending them to developing countries. Books for the World is coordinated by the Madison Breakfast Rotary Club.

This is the final week in our month-long campaign to raise $5,000, enough to ship two truckloads of books and give them a new home. We need your help to get across the finish line!

A $15 contribution is enough to ship 5 boxes of books, so each dollar counts. Please click below to donate!


The Books for the World project provides Rotarians & the community an opportunity to connect for a cause.

Wisconsin Books for the World supports global literacy and education by collecting used school and library books throughout the state and sending them to developing countries. Books for the World is coordinated by the Madison Breakfast Rotary Club.

Since Books for the World began in 2000, Rotary clubs from across the country have shipped thousands of tons of used textbooks that would have otherwise been discarded to 25 countries in southern Africa, Central and South America, India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Now, we need your help. We’re so lucky to have local schools that have generously donated books and volunteers willing to prepare them to be shipped, but getting the books overseas is an expensive endeavor.

We are half way into our campaign to raise enough money to ship two truck-loads of books. We need your help to meet our goal of $5000.

A $15 contribution is enough to ship 5 boxes of books, so each dollar counts. Please click below to donate!


Share your love of reading with budding book-lovers across the globe!

Wisconsin Books for the World supports global literacy and education by collecting used school and library books throughout the state and sending them to developing countries. Books for the World is coordinated by the Madison Breakfast Rotary Club.

If you have already donated, thank you very much. If you have not, please consider donating what you can.

Our goal is to reach $5000 so we can send two truck loads of books.

Click below to donate! A $15 contribution is enough to ship 5 boxes of books, so each dollar counts.


Not all kids go to schools that are able to provide the books they need to learn. Teachers in some areas don’t have the resources they need for their students, but thanks to the generosity of local educators who donate books, we have the power to help.
Wisconsin Books for the World supports global literacy and education by collecting used school and library books throughout the state and sending them to developing countries. Books for the World is coordinated by the Madison Breakfast Rotary Club.
Over the next 4 weeks, we have a goal to raise $5,000, the cost of shipping two truckloads of textbooks. Please click below to donate. Send a student the tools they need to promote the love of learning!
On February 20, Madison Breakfast Rotary held a Rotary Informational Party at 5:30 pm at Vitense Golfland.  Members, perspective members, and friends enjoyed a lively meeting.  President Thom Weiss, who is also the coordinator of the club’s Rotary Books for the World project, gave an inspiring talk about the many facets of Rotary.
Franci, from Italy, Sari from Finland, and Daniel, 2017-18 outbound exchange student to Denmark.


The club enjoyed a visit on January 9 from Sari, our 2014-15 exchange student from Finland, Franci, our current exchange student from Italy, and Daniel, our 2017-18 outbound change student going to Denmark.

Sari, from Finland

Sari graduated from high school last spring and has started at the University of Helsinki, majoring in psychology.  Right after high school, she traveled to nine countries.  She currently lives with a friend from high school.

Franci from Italy

Franci went to Ohio with his host family Brenda and Thom Weiss for Christmas.  He practices basketball every day and has games three times a week.  He calls his family every Sunday morning.

Franci went on the hockey weekend with the exchange students.  It was the first time he had seen hockey.

Daniel, 20017-18 Outbound to Denmark

Daniel, an Eagle Scout and a member of the National Honor Society plays soccer.  As a senior in high school, he has been applying to colleges.  His older brother and sister each went on two exchanges.  He recently met a kid from Denmark and practices his Danish.  For his Eagle Scout project, he created a gravel pathway and garden in an Elementary School.

On January 16, the club will vote on the following slate of officers being put forth by the Board of Directors:
President             Heather Dyer
President Elect    Bailey Ebben
Past President     Thom Weiss
Secretary            Eng Braun
Treasurer            Fe’ Semira
At Large            Bruce Harville
At Large            Mike Kafka
At Large            Sarah Flanagan
At Large            Betsy Nordstrom
Thank you to Betsy and Doug Nordstrom for opening their house for the Think Rotary Shop Locally fundraiser for our youth and literacy programs on December 2.  It was an elegant affair with the café lunch, and an incredible display of holiday goodies for sale.  Vendors  displayed jewelry, table ware, art work, and clothes throughout the house. Club members and friends helping out included Fe’ Semira, Eng Braun, Krissa Hinzman, Judy Levine, Thom Weiss, Monica Tuite, and many others.
Project Home Paint-a-Thon team including members of Madison Breakfast Rotary, Madison Rotary After Hours, and the Do Gooders.
Madison Breakfast team members included Doug and Betsy Nordstrom, Bruce Harville, Mike Kafka, AJ Ernst, and Fé Cruz Semira.
Club Executives & Directors
First Year of 2-Year Term
Second Year of 2-Year Term
Second Year of 2-Year Term
Second Year of 2-Year Term
Past President
Membership Chair
Webmaster/Social Media
Rotary Foundation Chair
Youth Exchange Officer
Youth Protection Officer
Youth Exchange Counselor
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