Rotary Club member, Dick Lyons has served as a Election Observer, volunteer for the State Department, serving in Europe and Central Asia. He has completed about 15 Election Observation missions in Europe and Russia.  Leading into his talk, he offered this disclaimer,  "The information shared today is my opinion and does not reflect the opinions of the OSCE”. So who is the OSCE?   Dick explained that this organization acts a bit like a “mini-UN”  The OSCE is a forum for political dialogue on security issues for the joint action to improve the lives of individuals and communities. The OSCE has 57 participating states in Europe, Asia and North America.    Dick guided us through several elements of the election process in countries he served, offering some compare and contrast with US election practices.

Longmont Rotary is raising funds for Polio.  It's time to end this disease!  Dan Gust announced our club challenge; "If our club raises $5,000, a generous club Rotarian will donate $10,000."  Can you help us reach our goal and be a Goal Buster?  
Along with our weekly Polio Change Jars, the club is conducting a Silent Auction on October 19th, (during our club meeting).  All items/event packages support our fundraising goal.  Be a Goal Buster and Turn $5K into $15K      
Program:  From Tragedy Comes Compassion.  Robert J. Walker (Robert started by saying he made a change in the title of his presentation; he now calls it “Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude.)
Robert and Teila Walker live in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and are the parents of now 7-year old Bridger, the middle child of five.  Bridger was a young boy full of life who adored his younger sister and loved rocks.  In July 2020, Bridger and his sister went to a friend’s house and while playing in the backyard, a dog lunged at them. Bridger stepped in front of his sister and was bitten and mauled by the dog.  The damage to his cheek and face was severe and there was a small fracture around his eye.  Bridger was taken to the hospital where two hours of surgery were performed including 92 stitches. While in the hospital, he overheard that the dog was going to be put down and he asked for that not to happen.
Today’s program was presented by one of our own members, Tracey Burnett, who also serves as a Representative in the Colorado State Legislature.  Tracey informed us about the many types of training one goes through after being elected:  Legal processes, rules for legislators, budget, ethics, computer systems, and security at the capitol, to name a few.  She learned a lot in several all-day training sessions.             
Veterans Village – Paul Melroy of Veterans Community Project
The Veterans Community Project is dedicated to case management and connecting veterans to the community. Its goal is to end veteran homelessness everywhere and help every veteran in need. It is privately funded which allows for assistance to a broader range of people.
Coming to 451 S Anderson Street in Longmont is a veteran community with 26 tiny homes and a community center. Of those homes, 21 will be for single veterans and 5 of them will be a bit larger and set up for families. These homes are designed with veterans’ needs in mind, giving them a sense of security and serenity, and are fully furnished. Most of the labor will be completed by volunteers as they partner with Habitat for Humanity.

There’s no doubt that Dr. Don Haddad, Superintendent of schools, is proud of his 33,000 students.  This is Don’s 21st year in the St. Vrain Valley School District and his 37th year in public education. Don stepped into this position when the district was in need of  much repair and attention and now the successes of this district are many.   St. Vrain is among Colorado’s top districts, now 7th largest school district and one of only 16 districts nationwide to win a 2012 Race to the Top grant-a $16.6 million windfall to fund programming in science, technology, engineering and math.   St. Vrain has some the highest competitive graduation requirements (24 credits to graduate with three years of math) and a drop out rate of 0.%.  Dr. Haddad reported he has over a thousand more students than last year, (current total=33K), with a build out plan of 80 thousand students.  Academic programs are available for Pre-K (and FT kindergarten) through 14 (focused college programs). 

Don added that responding to COVID requirements has been challenging. “Our kids are counting on us and we need to keep them in school.  That’s my focus, keeping them in school, advancing their academic growth and allowing them the multifaceted experience of public school life”.



The death toll from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti has risen to more than 1,295, with an estimated 8,000 homes damaged or destroyed and thousands more displaced. The search and rescue to find survivors is the priority right now.   The devastation worsens as Haitians now contend with the Tropical Depression Grace.  



The ShelterBox emergency response team is in Haiti now, assessing the damage and determining how ShelterBox can best serve the needs of communities,  along with the logistics of delivering aid during a pandemic. They are also in active discussions with local partners in Haiti, including Rotary International, Habitat for Humanity, and the IFRC, to understand the shelter needs and how ShelterBox can best respond to help displaced families. 

Thank you for your support !


OJ Pratt grew up in the auction business, declaring in his youth that he would not go into the family business. Of course that was want eventually happened.  In 1980 OJ moved to Longmont, worked for 3 years at the Longmont Police Department and in 1984 he purchased Pacific Auction.  OJ recounts the many hours spent practicing his chant as he and his father drove down the highway on the way to their next auction. 
OJ offered us some guidance in the art of auctioneer speak, drawing more laughter than anything.  OJ also brought with him a few collected artifacts, also recounting the varied items he has sold over the years.  He reminded us that a good auctioneer needs to connect with his/her audience, using charisma and personality to create excitement to drive bidding and command attention of the crowd.    
Andy McClure calls his sports announcing a hobby, but its something he does about 300 times a year.  Having an education in both broadcasting and ministry, he has worked this "hobby job" in Colorado for two decades.  Andy has a long resume of public address announcing work.   The opportunity to be a sports announcer for the Tokyo Olympics kind of fell together naturally and he was thrilled to learn he would be working with women's volleyball.  The pandemic made the 2020 Olympics rather surreal- No fans or family members were allowed to attend and of course McClure had to undergo quarantine. He could only go to the venue and his hotel, as well as get takeout or convenience store food.  Security was also very rigorous. In spite of the challenges, the work was amazing and the experience, "unbelievable".  
When asked what was his favorite part of this experience, he shared that is deceased daughter always loved sports and her dream was to attend the Olympics.  Andy felt like he was sharing this experience with her.  "The raising of the US Flag when the US Women's Volleyball won the gold was something I will never forget".  Andy had another special treat on his return flight home-he flew back with the US Women's Volleyball team!  

Alec Garnett is a member of the Colorado House of Representatives, representing District 2 (Denver).  He assumed office in 2015 and his second term ends in 2023. Garnett began serving as House majority leader in 2019 and became the state’s youngest Speaker of the House in January 2021. 

Alec grew up in Boulder and some of his family were farmers and others, miners. He studied history in college in Ohio and earned his Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Colorado – Denver.  Alec wanted to serve in the public sector because he believes you can have such an impact. As a result of redistricting in 2010, he lived in one of the youngest districts in the state and made the decision to seek election to the House. Key interests for Alec are affordable housing, jobs, education, violence prevention, opportunity for all, to name a few. 

Garnett believes Colorado has one of the best systems in the country resulting in one of the most bipartisan. 90% of what the legislature does is bipartisan. As Speaker of the House, he believes he is speaker for ALL of the House. He gave examples of legislation that was accomplished by bipartisanship including balancing the budget. Every member of the House gets to introduce fivebills each session whether they are a democrat or a republican. A new process is being put into place for redrawing the maps in the most non-partisan way; the old process gave the speaker most of the authority but the new process outlined in detail by Garnett will help ensure non-partisanship.

Alec responded to a number of questions regarding voting rights, relieving overhead costs for small businesses, raising caps on personal property taxes, water rights, and campaign finance.


Jackie List, Executive Director, provided a history and complete update on services provided by Safe Shelter of the St. Vrain Valley.  For 43 years, they have been helping victims of domestic violence, including verbal, psychological, and physical attacks.  Started as a crisis hotline, it soon became apparent that this organization needed space, both for face-to-face interaction and for protection of victims. They have outgrown several facilities over the years, and have been in their present shelter facility since 2004.

    Safe Shelter services are free, confidential, available in Spanish and English, and accessible 24/7.  They serve all who are facing a pattern of intentional abuse in their relationships.  Their programs include:  Outreach (safety planning & counseling), Children and Youth (in conjunction with St. Vrain Valley Schools), Legal Services and representation, and Collaborative and Transitional Housing, in cooperation with The Inn Between and Boulder County Housing Solutions. They now have a grant for Emergency Housing solutions.​

Longmont Power and Communications: Energy Benchmarking & Efficiency Works Business
Commercial energy benchmarking is an excellent way to learn how to save on utility costs and possibly prevent/find any issues in our local businesses. Debbie Seidman of Longmont Power and Communications shared on Tuesday about the process and benefits of completing an energy benchmarking plan for anyone who runs or owns a business.
Another great way to learn about your business’s or home’s energy use is through Efficiency Works at There are so many excellent tools available such as building tune-ups, rebates, and free energy assessments. This year only there is a 50% rebate bonus for items like food and grocery, office and appliance, cooling, building envelope, VFDs and water retrofits. You can schedule free advisements and assessments to see how you and your tenants may save on utilities. Longmont Power and Communications also offers a nonprofit Community Efficiency Grant for projects.
The Longmont Rotary Charity Fund awarded a $2,000 grant to the Recovery Café.   Club member, Andy Lee will be the Project Manager for this grant. Andy shared a beautiful moment with us about his passion behind helping those who struggle with addictions. This grant will provide two computer stations at the Café so that visitors may search for jobs, work on their resumes, and connect with family.
Grace Munro of the Amarok Society spoke with the Club about the inefficiencies of education in rural areas such as Bangladesh. While school is free, there are many costs associated with it, leaving many children unable to attend. Oftentimes there are 60 students to one very underpaid, under educated teacher. When parents find their children aren’t learning enough, they pull their children out of school in order to work and help provide for the family.
    Chris Wiorek of the Niwot Rotary Club provided an update on the WASH program of Rotary District 5450. "Clean water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) are the basic necessities for a healthy environment and a productive life." Chris reminded us that half of the schools in our world do not have hand washing facilities.  Some may have toilets, but no where to wash your hands.  And many health care facilities in our world do not have access to clean water.  Can you imagine your doctor not being able to wash his/her hands after each patient? 
    Chris reviewed three district projects:
    Longmont Rotary recognized our newest club members:  (from left),  Andy Lee, Brandi Ruff, Marika Baris and Debbie Platts
    Scott Cook, CEO of the Longmont Chamber of Commerce recently spoke to our club.  Scott shared the many accomplishments that happened even during the challenging periods of  COVID.  Some of those elements included the PPP Education Sessions, Strongmont and Boost Longmont Grant Communications, Weekly Social Media Business Interviews, the Restaurant Voucher Program, the Jubilee Longmont Boxes, Longmont Restaurant Week, Unity Funds the Community and the COVID-19 Resource Page.  Educational training videos were developed to address employer issues, which are available to the public on the Chamber website.  
    Upcoming Longmont Chamber events include:  Alliday (a celebration of all the holidays we missed) on July 26th, Longmont Restaurant Week 2021 on October 8-17th and the Jubilee on December 9th.  For more details on this events and other chamber news CLICK HERE 

    Michelle Bailey presented their club project to bring much needed wheelchairs to the people of Tanzania.  The Build-A-Chair project is sponsored by the club: Keystone Rotary International E-Club of District #7280.  The Keystone E-Club, along with their Tanzania Rotarian partner, Shedraack Domingo,  discussed phase one and phase two of this project. Phase 1, which began is 2020 is now completed and provided 42 locally made wheelchairs to children and adults.  Phase 2 will address the continued need to provide individuals with mobility, building another 50 wheelchairs.  This phase is also focusing on education and employment opportunities which is facilitated by mobility access.  

    A sponsorship of $260.00 will provide a custom made wheelchair.  The wheelchairs, built locally by people who understand the terrain of the area, also provide any needed repairs, promoting an important sustainability component. For more information follow this link 


    Andy Schwartz, Street Outreach Coordinator and Heather Surovik, Volunteer Manager from HOPE (Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement) spoke to our club about this non-profit organization.
    HOPE provides a year-round overnight center for the homeless, located at 804 S. Lincoln Street.   HOPE meets people where they are. Every night of the year, street outreach teams provide basic needs support for people experiencing homelessness in Longmont. Engaging with clients from a standpoint of compassion and dignity, we build trust within the community. Because we go directly to those in need, HOPE is often the first point of contact for people living on the margin, supporting those who are falling through the cracks or are not eligible for services at other agencies. Our mission is to provide life-sustaining and supportive services for homeless and at-risk individuals to encourage stability and self-sufficiency. 
    Congratulations to the Rotary Clubs of Longmont (Twin Peaks and Longmont Rotary) and the Niwot Rotary club for hosting a community Personal Care Products collection drive to support the needs of 4 local non-profits.  Collection bins were set up in the communities of Longmont and Niwot for 4 weeks.     
    Longmont Rotary

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    All our meetings are in-person and a buffet meal is provided. Lunch is served at 12pm. The actual meeting starts at 12:30 and ends at 1:30 pm.
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    Oct 26, 2021
    Polio: Present and Future
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    Jan 04, 2022
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