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Meeting Responsibilities
Club Services
Zoom Master
Connelly, David
Peroutka, Brent
Zoom Attendance
Hanson, Murray
Koepke, Chad
Sergeant at Arms
Wilson, Grant
Sergeant at Arms
Humfeld-Wilson, Lisa

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Rotary Opens Opportunities

We meet In Person & Online
Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
Inn at Shattuck- St. Mary's
1000 Shumway Ave.
Faribault, MN 55021
United States of America
Club meetings will be hybrid starting March 3, 2021. President Brenda will conduct our meetings live from Shattuck via Zoom. We will now be able to be on site for our meetings while observing Covid-19 meeting restrictions.
Home Page Stories

Take me out to the Ballgame!

Tickets for first 17 home Twins games to go on sale Thursday | www.WDIO.com
Hello Faribault Rotarians,
It's spring in Minnesota and that means it's Twins baseball season! 
Popcorn! Peanuts! Cracker Jacks! Get your ice cold beer here! I can almost hear the crack of the bat now! 
Our Club is holding a special social outing to a Minnesota Twins game coming up on May 26th... and we want YOU to join us! 
Thanks to the generosity of one of our fellow Faribault Rotarians, transportation is being provided at no additional cost to you AND your ticket price is reduced. WOW!!  We want as many Rotarians to participate as possible and hope that by providing transportation and more affordable tickets will help do that.
More details and the RSVP for tickets are included in the link below. 
Please RSVP no later than April 28th. Payment is expected by our May 5th meeting. 
Please note, tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  The quicker you sign up, the better your chance of getting to hang out with your fellow Rotarians while enjoying a Twins game on a beautiful spring day in Minnesota!!
Thank you,
Just in case, it's here too: https://forms.gle/TmJSSmJFjdNzgesHA 
Volunteers are needed to clean up Crocker's Creek from the A&W to Burger King behind the Chamber office on Saturday April 24th and Thursday April 29th.  It is a big job and will require folks and time.  We will need extra chain saws, loppers and spray bottles with chemicals.  Dick Huston will bring a chain saw, 4 loppers and six spray bottles with chemicals.  The goal is to  cut down all woody plants six inches in diameter and less.  Immediately after cutting the stump, they need to be sprayed.  It works good if one cuts and another sprays.  The spraying should be done right after cutting or some will be missed.  If not treated there will be 2 - 6 shoots coming the next year.
This is a great opportunity to get together to help our city. Our Rotary club first cleaned this area in 2003. Please sign up on the separate email request that has already been sent to each member.

Minnesota Twins Outing

Ryan Heinritz: Leaving for home | Arts | southernminn.com
On April 7 2021, Mr. Ryan Heinritz joined the meeting to discuss the possibility of a Rotary Twins outing.  Mr. Heinritz gave the club a virtual view of Target Field and talked about the home opener scheduled for April 8.  He recommended right field porch seats in Target Field that would allow for social distancing and comfort, but still offer affordable ticket prices ($36).    Section 125 was another recommended seating area because it offered plenty of sun during day games.  Upper deck seats also were mentioned as a possibility.   The Club will discuss this possible event further prior to making any decisions.  
The club raised $50,000 for naming rights on one of the soccer fields by sponsoring a couple of circus fundraisers
The soccer committee that included Dick Cook, Shelli Frana, Lisa Humfeld and Angela Storch presented the second of two $25,000 checks to Troy Temple of the Soccer Association. 
Bulletin editor, Kymn Anderson, sent the weekly bulletin through Constant Contact. 
The club enjoyed the annual picnic at the Rotary Camp.
Rotarian of the Year was Richard Cook.
Our club’s 90th president in 2009-10 was Dr. Lisa Humfeld. Lisa has been a member since April 2002. She married Grant Wilson in February, four months before becoming club president.
Lisa had the following memories of her year as president:
In April 2009, we hosted the GSE Team from India. This team consisted of one Rotarian Krisha Sagar, and four non-Rotarians. I have stayed in touch with three out of the five. Krisha returned to MN with wife and son in 2017. 
In August of 2009, Tim Penny from SMIF (Southern MN Initiative Foundation) joined me at an open house at Jefferson Elementary. Earlier that year, we had applied for some grant money for another book donation.  Kids in 1st-3rd grade at Jefferson Elementary received over $1700 worth of books as part of their Kickstart Program. 
On November 3, 2009, the club sponsored Rachel’s Challenge at the Faribault High School. Rachel Joy Scott was the first person who died in the Columbine High School shooting in April 1999. After her death, many students that Rachel reached out to share stories with her parents about the profound impact her simple acts of kindness had on their lives; even preventing one young man for taking his own life. Her parents realized the transformational effect of Rachel’s story and started Rachel’s Challenge. This program was brought here to help prevent bullying and violence and replace it with acts of kindness. 
In December 2009, we held our first ever Rotary Reindeer 5K Run at Boston’s restaurant and started on the bike path. 
I ended my year with a trip to Montreal to the International Rotary Convention with my husband Grant and Matt and Shelli Frana. Shelli Frana was the new incoming President.
The club enlisted ClubRunner to establish our new website.  We used its programming to help reorganize the club and use the internet for better communication between members.
Publishing of the Weekly Bulletin was started through ClubRunner.
The date of the annual picnic at the Rotary camp was set on the Wednesday after Labor Day reduce summer conflicts and enhance attendance.
Rotarian of the Year 2011 was Angela Storch.
Local students were encouraged to participate in an Ethics Essay contest, which involved writing an essay regarding an understanding ethical behavior and the 4-Way Test.  The four best essays received prizes totaling $1000. 
Thanks to generous contributions and an inspiring story from Richard Maus a polio survivor and the author of The Lucky One, the club raised $2200 for Polio Plus and exceeded its goal of $1500 on the first day of the 2011-12 campaign.
Tim Penney addressed the club regarding the Southern Minnesota initiative.
The club participated in Salvation Army Bell Ringing at Christmas.
The club enjoyed the 72nd annual Christmas Concert at St. Luke’s Church.
Rotarians Lisa Humfeld and Grant Wilson were married on Feb. 9th.
The Annual Honor’s Banquet was held for seniors from BA and Faribault High School.
The Annual Strive Banquet was held with scholarships awarded at the Elks Club.
In April 2009, we hosted the GSE Team from India.
The Club held the annual picnic at the Rotary Camp.
The club sponsored a second circus at the Rice County Fairgrounds as a fundraiser for the soccer fields.
 Over $1700 worth of books were donated to kids in 1st-3rd grade at Jefferson Elementary as part of their Kickstart Program. 
Rotarian of the Year was awarded to Dave Beranek.
The annual Rotary Rose Sale was held in October.
On November 3rd, 2009, Rachel’s Challenge was held at the Faribault High School. Rachel Joy Scott was the first person who died in the Columbine High School shooting in April 1999.
In December 2009, we held our first ever Rotary Reindeer 5K Run. This was held at Boston’s and started on the bike path.
The club enjoyed the 70th annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 89th president in 2008-09 was Pastor Rick Ormsby. 
I received the following from Pastor Ormsby who now lives in Pine Island.
Murray, as per our phone conversation, nothing sticks out in my fading mind about my year as Rotary President.   I know we had good programs, supported ongoing and special causes, etc.  We had just completed our international project--a cassava processing plant for 8 villages near Makeni, Sierra Leone, West Africa.  That was begun during Angela Storch's presidency.
Since then, our Faribault Rotary Club was introduced to Rev. Judith Banya, who has spoken formally and informally about her dreams as a United Methodist Pastor in Sierra Leone.  Since returning to her home country in 2013 (after spending 18 years in the US), she has founded 3 congregations in Baiwalla, center for the chiefdom, and in nearby villages (Dodo and Bomaru)--totaling 200 worshipers, 1/2 children. 
She has also led a ministry which has fed 500 children a noon meal in three schools every school day.  A major donor of food has been Minnesota's own Feed My Starving Children.  She has organized community work projects (like road repairs), adult literacy classes, and conflict mediation. 
The mission pick-up truck provided by the Pine Island United Methodist Church ($17,000) not only provides its intended purpose of moving children, adults, and bags of basic foods from a distant city, but also had the unintended use as an area ambulance.  To date an estimated 12 people are alive because the truck shrinks the time needed to get to the nearest hospital from several days to four hours.  The area is 95% Muslim, who have good relations with the few Christians. One of the Iman's is thankful that our ambulance "rushed" his wife to the hospital for an appendectomy.
Since 2017 the major project is construction of a secondary school (grades 7-11).  I took Minnesota work teams in 2017 and 2018 and was made honorary Paramount Chief for Baiwalla.  I was given a robe and cap by the Paramount Chief, along with the gift of a live goat, which I donated to the food program. 
Since April, 2013, I have worked with churches and individuals in Minnesota, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma to see that Rev. Banya received $2000 monthly to support her work.  In 2017 we raised the monthly stipend to $2500.  One church in North Carolina has contributed $20,000 in support in the last 4 years.  Another large North Carolina church donated 1/2 their Christmas offering--a gift of $10,000.  Fourth Avenue UMC in Faribault provided $6000 from 2013-2015.  While the money (over $200,000) for building the school was donated by a retired General Mills executive in Minneapolis, the Bishop in Sierra Leone called to tell me they were naming the school for me—
Richard Ormsby Methodist High School. 
The school has opened with just four classes, 120 student, and 6 teachers and staff.  With 11 classrooms, 2 labs, an auditorium and library, 4 offices and sets of bathrooms, the school will eventually have 500 students.
As I mentioned in our phone conversation, I believe this project is related to our Rotary project in Sierra Leone in 2006-2008. Recently I received a generous contribution for the school from Dick Cook, who along with Dick Huston worked with me on our Rotary project.

Fast For Hope

On April 7 2021, the Faribault Rotary Club welcomed Mr. Jim Hunt who virtually spoke about Fast for Hope (FFH).  FFH’s vision statement is applying the power of Rotary to end extreme poverty.  FFH wants projects to be sustainable and focused on community self-sufficiency.  Mr. Hunt explained extreme poverty is defined as living on $1.90 per day as articulated by the United Nations.  FFH follows new thinking about global projects to address poverty.  Mr. Hunt commented that aid provided by developed countries to date has not reduced poverty on a sustainable basis and does not address underlying causes of poverty in the developing world. 
Mr. Hunt used FFH’s efforts in Nicaragua as a case study, highlighting the difficulties of operating in Nicaragua over the past year caused by political unrest, hurricanes, and COVID-19.  Mr. Hunt said that among the lessons learned in working on humanitarian projects in Nicaragua is that many relief efforts apply relief instead of development or rehabilitation.  He also commented that many projects focus on doing for rather than working with the host community.  He emphasized the importance of investing in individuals in the target community and working closely with the community to ensure the community identifies the need and solution for any aid projects.  He stressed the need for the community to be the first investor in any aid project.  The targeted community needs to set the pace of any project.  Importantly, projects need to ensure that appropriate technical background/support and training are provided to ensure the project is sustainable.  
FFH partners with Opportunity International. (OI) and an NGO named Kairos in Nicaragua.  OI has a background in micro-finance and has a similar mission as FFH in combating extreme poverty.  All three organizations try to complement efforts in their project work.  Projects include electrification, water purification, and roads. 
Mr. Hunt provided an update on the El Corozo project which has been challenged by leadership issues and COVID.  Kairos has been active in El Corozo focused on social issues (Children program, Women’s group, Healthcare initiative, and a reading program).  New leadership at El Corozo has focused on water to ensure the community has a safe and reliable water supply.  Plans call for installing a bore hole well drill with solar powered mechanical pump and a tank reservoir for water retention and community piping. 
Mr. Hunt stated FFH is well-aligned, focused and growing in ability to achieve positive change and impact in targeted communities.  Partnering with OI and Kairos, FFH is focused on completing the well project by January 2022.  As always, FFH is striving for measurable impact on target communities. 
Mr. Hunt requested Rotarians to get involved by donating money, participating in a cultural delegation, and/or joining FFH steering community.

Faribault Daily News Opinion page

Dick Huston

(Reprinted with permission from the Daily News and Dick Huston)

The Faribault Rotary Club has undertaken a project to supply clean water to some 600 children in rural Cambodia.

Natalie Ginter, David Sauer, Sam Ouk and I are leading the effort with the support of the entire Faribault Rotary and clubs from the surrounding area. The goal is to raise some $30,000 locally. With that accomplished, the District and International Rotary organizations will provide funds to reach the proposed $75,000 goal.

Cambodia was a natural choice for the Faribault club because Rotarian Sam Ouk was born there. He came to the U.S. as a 4-year-old and has many family members still living there. His uncle lives in the area and will help oversee the implementation of the project. It is anticipated Cambodians throughout southern Minnesota will also aid in getting the project funded.

The project is titled a Global Grant. The process is to identify a Rotary Club in the host country that will partner with us. Faribault is very fortunate to collaborate with the Rotary Club of Battambang, Cambodia, as this is the area Sam was born. This is especially fortunate because they have previously partnered with another Rotary club to successfully place a water purification plant at another school.

This project will be at a school where children do not have clean drinking water. The installation will include digging a ditch for water storage. From there it will be piped to the equipment we are purchasing and installing to be filtered and purified. Approximately 600 school children and their families will have potable water to drink for the first time in their lives.

Over 1 billion people in the world do not have access to clean water and every day more than 6,000 children die daily from water-related diseases, according to Unicef.

With Sam leading the way we have been able to connect with the leadership of the Battambang club via phone, email and Zoom. This is especially gratifying as Rotary International has a set of guidelines which must be followed to secure the matching grant. Having this communication and working with a club which has previously completed a project makes the likelihood of success very likely. Working at such a long distance is often difficult and prone to missteps along the way.

Not only is it important to identify a need, but we must assure as much as possible that a project is sustainable. We are confident it will be. Cambodians will be trained to maintain the equipment and the community will be able to sell clean water to provide revenue to keep the project going for the long term.

We are confident we can enhance the lives of the people in village by improving their health and welfare. Working with our club, the Battambang club, neighboring clubs and Rotary International we endeavor to live the Rotary motto of Service above self.

The Annual Honor’s Banquet was held for seniors from BA and Faribault High School.
The Annual Strive Banquet was held with scholarships awarded at the Elks Club.
The Rotary Reader program was started at Jefferson Elementary.
The Club held the annual picnic at the Rotary Camp but discontinued the silent auction.
Led by Rev. Rick Ormsby, the club committed $12,000 to Books for Africa.
Al Burkhartzmeyer was honored for 50 years of perfect attendance.
The annual Rotary Rose Sale was held in October.
The club enjoyed the 68th annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 87th president in 2006-07 was Angela Storch.  She was the Director of United Way in Faribault.
Angela had the following memories:
I joined the Faribault Rotary Club in August of 1996, just a week after my wedding, and was a new college graduate.  Doing so, I became the third female member of our club, joining ranks with Janine Sahagian and Jill Finstuen. My, oh my how the times do change!  My sponsors Dave Balcom and Harry Algyer, encouraged me to become active. The Pastor Gordon Orde echoed that wisdom with his speech "let there be no RHINOS - Rotarians In Name Only."  Following their advice, I became a long-time editor of the club's bulletin, helped to organize Jingle Bell runs, Car Raffles, Parade Floats, Clean Up projects, and brought a circus to town - twice.  
Fast forward to 2006 -2007, my Presidency of the Faribault Rotary.  Personally, it was a year of enormous change:   I had relocated my young family to rural Waterville, and became the Alumni Director at South Central College. Our beloved Keith Shaffer's unexpected passing moved the role of Presidency up a year earlier than anticipated for both Gary Peterson and myself.  In that whirlwind, I vividly remember being supported by our membership. Our leadership worked tirelessly to engage all our members in club activities. The Faribault Rotary Club had 90 students participate in STRIVE.  Via Hy-Vee, we purchased and presented 15 backpacks to local school principals. We received and sent Rotary Exchange Students, delivered meals on wheels, supported the Little Feet Soccer Program, held RESPECT retreats, and awarded four Paul Harris Fellowships. We made repairs and updates to our Rotary Camp and increased efforts to market its availability to the public.  Through Rotary's call to Service Above Self, I fondly recall all the good we accomplished together, and will forever cherish the fellowship had and friendships made, both here in Faribault and around the world. 
Cheers, Angela
The Annual Honor’s Banquet was held for seniors from BA and Faribault High School.
The club participated in a Long-Range Rotary Planning Facilitation.
The Annual Strive Banquet was held with scholarships awarded at the Elks Club.
The Rotary Reader program was continued at Jefferson Elementary.
A video was produced for the Rotary Camp.
Honorary membership was granted to Stu Thibodeau, Layton Hoysler and Al Burkhartzmeyer.
The Club held the annual picnic at the Rotary Camp.
The club sponsored a circus at the Rice County Fairgrounds as a fundraiser for the soccer fields.
Rotarian of the Year was awarded to Gary Peterson.
The annual Rotary Rose Sale was held in October.
The club enjoyed the 69th annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 88th president in 2007-08 was Grant Wilson.  Grant has been a member for 20 years joining the club on Jan. 6, 2000.
Grant had the following memories:
The thing I remember most was being asked. Sheriff Cook and Gary Peterson showed up and asked me to do it. A lawyer and a guy with a gun, how could I say no!  
We carried on the Rotary Readers and it grew. I participated for the next 8 years.  We had a great time with a chili cook off.  We had the Rotary planning session, which would be interesting to review if we still had the notes.  I remember the circus and what a circus that was!  

Club Visioning

District 5050 Visioning | Rotary District 5050
On March 31st, 2021, Kurt Halverson, David Connelly, and Amy Amundson presented the 2021-2024 club visioning report.
The visioning process asked club participants to look at what would benefit the club and envision what goals would be obtained through the process in success within three years.
The main objectives most important to the club from the vision project focused on 3 main objective concepts.
1) Restarting Exchange Program.
2) Branding club through visible community service.
3) Being engaged in our purpose as members.
The visioning process is still in its infant stages and will adapt and grow as our needs and focus might change due to our control or nonetheless. More information about how to objectively obtain our club goals will be addressed in the coming weeks and months.
Please look forward to being involved in our club's vision success. It will profit those who in need from our service above ourselves and be a blessing to our community. 
Hello Faribault Rotary Club Members!
Just a reminder: our kick off session for the 2021-2022 Strive Program is tomorrow from 7:15 to 7:45 a.m.!  We are continuing to meet over Zoom, and the link to Wednesday's session is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84218346511  This session will also be recorded, and I will share a link to that video with the club when it is available.  If you are interested in learning more about Strive or simply supporting our area students, please join us for tomorrow's session!
Thank you,

Welcome Brian!

Brian gave his classification talk recently.  I asked him six follow up questions to help summarize his presentation for those of us who were present and for our club members who missed the meeting. If you have not had a chance to welcome him to our club, please do so.
  1. Your Family members, occupations (including you) or school level?” 
Brian- Career and Equity Coordinator – Faribault High School
Wife Linda- Customer Relations Specialist- Big Brothers Big sisters of Southern MN
Son-Mason 14-Minnesota Autism Center, Daughter- Jersey 12 -6th grade and Daughter- Harper 9 -4th grade
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
Hometown: Port Huron, Michigan
Port Huron High School,
St. Clair County Community College,
Huron University, Huron, SD.
  1. Your Previous occupations? Career Counselor, Adjunct Professor, Area Manager, Service Learning Coordinator
  1. Any Hobbies? golf, fishing, basketball, reading and watching my kids in activities and grow.
  1. Rotary sponsor? George Wickstrom
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?  I was able to visit Japan and play basketball in college.
Your help is needed! Volunteers are needed.
Please sign up using the email that Laura sent you!
Faribault Food Access Initiative Volunteer Packing
Apr 06, 2021 at 5:30 PM - Apr 06, 2021 at
Laura Bock 507 384-2280
FFAA warehouse
1400 Cannon Circle
Suite 5W
Faribault, MN United States of America

The Challenge: Political Polarization

National Informational Event - Braver Angels
On March 24 2021, Mr. Bruce Morlan and Richard DeBeau addressed the club about “Braver Angels.”   Mr. George Wickstrom introduced the gentlemen to the club.  Braver Angels strives to explore peace and reconciliation in the political realm.
Explaining how Braver Angels was formed, Morlan and DeBeau highlighted the results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election had unexpected and caused the electorate to exam what it meant to be a liberal or a conservative.  The election had further divided the nation along partisan political lines.
Seeking to bridge the divide a group of people gathered for a meeting in Ohio evenly divided along partisan grounds.  The group eventually started calling themselves “Braver Angels” and appeared on various media programs from 2017-2018 transforming Braver Angels into a national movement.    The Braver Angels idea is to form Red/Blue community alliances, teach practical skills for communicating across political divides and make strong public arguments for depolarization.  The goal is not victory but reaching common understanding.  It involves letting go of individuals’ need to be right. 
Braver Angels’ mission is to depolarize and unify a divided nation.  They pledge to remove hatred from political discourse and build working alliances to foster new ways to talk and improve our communities. 
Braver Angels offers workshops throughout the nation.  Over 1000 workshops in almost every state have been held around the country with thousands of participants.  The workshops teach skills for bridging the partisan divide, depolarizing within, and dealing with families.  The workshops are designed to be balanced politically and seek to find common ground.  Workshops also have initiated conversations about race in America.  
Throughout the presentation, Morlan and DeBeau used the principles on which the Rotary has been founded as a basis for the work of the Braver Angels.  Rotarians can help bridge the partisan gap and use its culture of service and selflessness to help bridge differences among communities
The club moved its meetings from the Elks to Bernie’s Vintage Ballroom.
With the Rotary International Theme, “Celebrate Rotary” the club celebrated the 100-year anniversary of Rotary with a special program.
The Annual Honor’s Banquet was held for BA and FHS seniors.
The Annual Strive Banquet was held with scholarships awarded at the Elks Club.
The club’s 3-year pledge drive for Polio Plus ended with collections exceeding the $7500 goal.
The Club held the annual picnic and silent auction at the Rotary Camp.
The club enjoyed the 66th annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 85th president in 2004-05 was Richard Cook. He joined our club in 1997 and has been a member for 23 years.
This was probably Dick’s fondest yet bittersweet memory:
"That has Rotary written all over it", a comment made observing kids playing soccer on our way to a 2004 training session at the Hasting High School.  With me that day were Keith Shaffer, president-elect and Angela Storch. Keith wouldn't be president dying prematurely of a heart attack in 2005.  Keith was one of those guys to get things done.  That comment, that day inspired me. So, we signed a resolution on October 4, 2004 to take a leadership role in creating soccer fields in Faribault by assembling a group of key stakeholders to explore and lead this initiative.  
The money piece, as past president Darlene Meillier noted 2 weeks ago, actually took place after her presidency.  It was a big deal at the time and she is right the camp did come into play as a revenue source. It was subsequently dropped when Rotarian Wes Bahl talked to his son, Tracy.  Wes had cancer at that time and an unknown future. When the Bahl Foundation committed a million dollars other stakeholders, like Faribault Rotary stepped up.  Our club raised $50,000 for naming rights on one of the fields by sponsoring a couple of circus fundraisers. The fields and our commitment came to fruition in 2010 with the dedication of Faribault Soccer Complex and Bahl Field. Neither Keith Shaffer or Wes Bahl, both friends and Rotarians, never lived to see this come to pass yet were key inspirations.   
Our club’s 85th president in 2005-06 was Gary Peterson.
Gary’s memories from the year he was president started on a sad note with the unexpected and sudden death of incoming President Keith Shaffer in March 2005.  He was one of the most respected and productive members of our club. He was missed greatly by everyone.  As President-elect to follow Keith, I then became president a year earlier than anticipated.
Through the Rotary year we celebrated the Strive and Honors banquets recognizing the achievements of local students, the annual picnic at the Rotary Youth Camp, the 67th annual Christmas concert at St. Luke’s Church with the Faribault Senior High Choir, and all of the club’s ongoing activities.
The Club started the Rotary Readers program with the assistance of the first, second and third grade teachers at Jefferson Elementary School. Rotarians volunteered on a weekly basis to meet and read with students selected by the teachers in a one-on-one setting. Teachers reported positive results in student confidence and reading skills. Participating Rotarians contributed many hours of their time in this volunteer activity.  
In addition, Rotarian Pastor Mark Noreen organized, and Capstone Press in Mankato provided, a gift of over 1,000 new library books organized and distributed by our Faribault Rotary members to the Faribault public elementary school libraries.

Soknegn Durski- Angkora Treasures

May be an image of 6 people, people standing, outerwear and text that says 'Angkor Treasures'

On March 17th, 2021, the club was granted great pleasure to hear from Soknegn Durski. A dear childhood friend of our very own Sambath Ouk, Soknegn shared her origins and her objective with her clothing line Angkor Treasures. 

She was born in a suburb of Cambodia's capital, displaced into refugee camps, and eventually located in Rochester, Minnesota, in 1993. Soknegn worked towards her master's degree in Statistics and now practices in the field of computer science. In dedication to Soknegn's homeland of Cambodia and in memory of her father, local Cambodian artisans handcraft each scarf and every pattern tells its own story in Cambodian culture. Scarfs range from $35-60. Soknegn has pledged $3 to each scarf sold to go towards the Faribault clean water project in Cambodia coming in the summer of 2022.

 You can pick up yours and one for each member of your family or office at their websitehttps://www.facebook.com/angkortreasures/.

Holger Knaack - Rotary International President-elect 2019-20

Holger Knaack

President 2020-21

March 2021

As someone who knows firsthand the great leadership potential of Rotaractors, I always look forward to World Rotaract Week, which we are celebrating from 8 to 14 March. Rotaractors are the focus of all three of my presidential conferences this year, and I was proud when, two years ago, the Council on Legislation voted to elevate Rotaract by including Rotaract clubs as members of Rotary International. Before that, the Council had already made dual membership possible, and shortly after, the Board of Directors decided to do away with Rotaract’s age limits.

But we are only just embarking on our journey together. Partnering effectively doesn’t happen by itself. It requires both sides to be open and to understand the value of cross-generational alliances. Louie De Real, a dual member of Rotaract and Rotary, explains.

Joint virtual meetings have helped Rotaractors introduce Rotarians to new ideas and tools, pioneering unique ways for clubs to collaborate. In the case of pandemic and disaster response, Rotaract clubs used social media to coordinate efforts, drive information, and fundraise, while Rotary clubs used their networks and resources to amplify support, provide logistics, and bring the goods and services to communities.

Rotaractors’ innovative virtual engagement and professional development activities inspired Rotarians to support and follow suit. The pandemic made Rotaract clubs realize that we can immediately connect and partner with Rotary clubs through virtual platforms. With constant collaboration, we realize that Rotary and Rotaract indeed complement each other — that we are part of a single organization with shared goals.

Both sides add value. Rotarians can be mentors and service partners to Rotaractors, while Rotaractors can demonstrate to Rotarians that difficult jobs can be simplified and limitations can be surpassed through digital approaches. This synergy motivates Rotaractors to become future Rotarians: I joined Rotary because Rotarians gave me memorable membership experiences through inspirational moments of collaboration. I needed to be a Rotarian to inspire Rotaractors the same way, now and in the future.

That same synergy leads Rotarians to realize that while Rotaractors may have a different culture, we all share a common vision of uniting people to take action. Rotaract’s unique ways of doing things serve as inspiration for innovation, helping Rotary increase its ability to adapt to future challenges. Rotarians and Rotaractors will build the future together, so let’s start today.

I see no difference between a Rotary club and a Rotaract club, except perhaps for the average age!

Many Rotarians still view Rotaract as our youth organization, but I see it differently. For me, they are part of us, and they are like us. To be successful together, we need to have mutual respect — to see each other as equals. Let’s see Rotaractors for who they really are: students and young leaders, but also successful managers and entrepreneurs who are capable of planning, organizing, and managing a Rotary institute — including breakout sessions in five languages — as they did in Berlin in 2014.

As we take this journey together, let’s remember the strengths of Rotary and Rotaract. And, as Louie says, let’s get started right away in building the future together. In doing so, we open endless opportunities for our organization.

Minnesota House Representative Lynda Boudreau gave a presentation on “The Minnesota Personal Protection Act of 2003.”
The Annual Honor’s Banquet was held for seniors from BA and Faribault High School.
The Annual Strive Banquet was held with scholarships awarded at the Lavender Inn.
The Lavender Inn closed and the club moved its meetings to the Trucker’s Inn for a short time and then eventually to the Elks Club.
There was serious discussion about the future of the Rotary Camp at Cedar Lake. The club considered selling the land to fund the new soccer fields. The Bahl Foundation stepped in so the club discussion ended.
The club started a 3-year $7500 pledge drive for Polio Plus. This amount ensured that 90,000 children will receive the vaccination.
The Club held the annual picnic and silent auction at the Rotary Camp.
The club enjoyed the 64th annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 83rd president in 2002-03 was Darlene Meillier. 
Darlene had the following memory from her year as president: She greatly enjoyed attending the Rotary International Meeting in Barcelona Spain.
The Annual Honor’s Banquet was held for seniors from BA and Faribault High School.
The Annual Strive Banquet was held with scholarships awarded at the Elks Club.
The club was in the second year of the 3-year $7500 pledge drive for Polio Plus. $5626 had been collected to date.
The Club held the annual picnic and silent auction at the Rotary Camp.
The club enjoyed the 65th annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 84th president in 2003-04 was James Wolf. He was the CEO of District One Hospital.
James had the following memories from his year as president:
- I recall the hallmark of my year as President was the participation in the Beautification project. I believe the Chamber had engaged the U of MN extension service and efforts to undertake beautification projects was an outcome of that survey. 
Specifically, I remember doing plantings near El Tequila and near the west side Kwik Trip. We tried to make the triangle park just east of Buckham into a manicured landscape. We painted a building on Central Avenue that the owner was allowing to be a real eyesore. And the final project I remember was working on cleaning up Crocker’s Creek in front of the Chamber.
One other action of my term was we printed attendance on a quarterly basis. I had some excellent pictures of the Rotary crew working on these projects but the process of decluttering for the move probably claimed them

Charlie Cogan

Faribault Rotary Club members honored by Polio Plus team

Charlie Cogan, co-chair of Rotary District 5960 Polio Plus team, recently attended the Faribault Rotary Club to honor members Dick Huston, George Wickstrom, Marv Schrader, Troy Dunn, Dave Green, Rod Mahler and Brenda DeMars for their recent contributions to help eliminate polio in the world. The Faribault club ranks as one of the top 10 Rotary clubs in the district.

When Rotary International took on the task of eliminating polio in the world, there were 350,000 case in 125 countries. After leading the effort to vaccinate billions of young children across every continent there are now less than 150 cases in two countries. In addition, the mechanism and training put in place to fight polio has since been used to fight Ebola and now COVID-19.

Keith Badger Faribault High School Activities Director

Faribault names new activities director | Sports | southernminn.com
On March 10, 2021, Faribault High School (FHS) Activities Director Keith Badger presented FHS’ Student Athlete Leadership program.   At the outset, Keith outlined his discussion providing a brief history of the leadership class, what FHS is doing currently with the class and what the school plans to do in the future as well as what students who participate in the class will learn. 
Keith described graduating from University of Saint Thomas and then eventually working at a high school in New Richland, Wisconsin where he taught Physical Education and coached football in New Richland, he started teaching leadership.
Keith stressed leadership was the foundation of any successful organization.  Knowing how valuable effective leadership is, he said that a leadership program had to be part of any organizations he belonged to.  He observed aloud teams have losing years.   Often the description of an unsuccessful team was that the team did not have any leaders.  However, teams could have down years, but a team with strong leadership would sustain the organization through difficult seasons.   Using the “no leaders” excuse ultimately did not reflect who was accountable for not having developed leaders.  The school must develop leaders as it develops all students in the school.
Sports do not inherently teach character and leadership but coaches and participants in activities can develop leadership in others.  Keith recalled when he first started the New Richland program only 6 kids showed up for the class.  As he was teaching the leadership program, he discovered that his personal standard of behavior was lower than what he expected leaders in the program to be.  As a result, he strived to raise his own behavior to match the expectations he was setting in his class. 
 Keith stated students want to be challenged to become better.  In this vein, he would ask his leadership students what they wanted to change and then empower them to try to make change.  When he left New Richland to come to Faribault to be the Activities Director, Keith already knew that effective leadership among a school community can change the culture of a school. 
Keith noted that as the Activities Director he sits in his office and mostly interacts with adults all day rather than students.  For this reason, he challenged the FHS coaches to embrace leadership education.  Each week he wanted a new coach to stand before the students involved in leadership education to discuss their views on leadership.  He felt it is important for different coaches to impart their wisdom and experience to the student athletes that they might not normally have the opportunity to engage.
Keith emphasized his view that to change a culture the students needed to be challenged to be better and empowered.  In Faribault, he said FHS holds an initial “icebreaker” meeting at 7:00 AM.  Even though FHS should be thought of as a middle-sized school, he quickly discovered most kids do not know each other.  Having met and talked with each other broke down barriers and eased discussion.  Usually the class would watch a “Growing Leaders” video, break out into small groups to discuss and then rejoin their classmates to talk about what they had learned.    
Keith also highlighted that he expected participants in the leadership class to treat FHS as their home and invite their fellow students into the building as if they were their guests.  As an example, he has had the group wear clothing that identifies them as FHS student athletes and then had them hold the doors open for their fellow FHS students to make them feel welcome.   Using the example of a thermostat or a thermometer, Keith highlighted he wanted all the students to be thermostats setting the culture and energy in the school.  All the students have great potential and can do anything they want to achieve.  He noted that with a strong attitude plus great effort people can achieve great things. 
With the advent of the 7-period school day at FHS, Keith commented it was a great opportunity to get leadership training into the classroom (i.e., not starting at 7 AM before the official start of school).  In the coming year, leadership classes – Leadership class 1 and 2 – will be taught throughout the school year.
Rotarians asked questions about how to get these valuable leadership lessons and teachings to younger students.  Keith said he hoped to impart FHS’s leadership ethos to youth coaches and he agreed that using older student athletes to mentor younger ones was a good idea. 
The Annual Honor’s Banquet was held for seniors from BA and Faribault High School.
The Annual Strive Banquet was held with scholarships awarded. The program was doing well in its third year with Marv Schrader as chair.
The Club held the annual picnic and silent auction at the Rotary Camp.
The club enjoyed the 62 annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 81st president in 2000-01 was David Balcom.  He was the managing editor of The Faribault Daily News.
Rod Mahler noted the following:
“I remember Dave was a big Michigan fan (graduate there) and we always got on each other when the football, hockey, and basketball games were played.  I sold his house when he moved out west.”
Chamber President, Kymn Anderson addressed the club regarding the Blandin Foundation and other Chamber initiatives.
Medical Specialist Kristin Auge gave a program about her tour with Minnesota National Guard.
Our club sponsored and attended a special program for all middle school and high school students. Mr. Henry Oertelt, a Jewish holocaust survivor, detailed his life in Germany and surviving both the Theresienstadt and Auschwitz concentration camps.
The Annual Honor’s Banquet was held for 58 seniors from BA and Faribault High School.
The Annual Strive Banquet was held with scholarships awarded at the Lavender Inn with 110 in attendance.
The Club held the annual picnic and silent auction at the Rotary Camp.
The club enjoyed the 63 annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 82nd president in 2001-02 was Mike Gramse.  He joined our club in 1985 and has been a member for 35 years.
Mike had the following memory from his year as president:
 “One thing that I did that year was I would ask a member of the club to get up at the beginning of the meeting a give a 60 second story about themselves and then as they rambled on, I would cut them off at 60 seconds. I thought it was pretty interesting to hear them talk about themselves and then fun to cut them off. We learned a lot about each other that year. We had a very prestigious membership, very interesting people.”

Welcome Suzanne!

The Faribault Rotary Club has welcomed Suzzanne Fox as the newest member. Fox is Executive Director of Ruth's House of Hope and brings a history of leadership to the club. Pictured with Fox is her sponsor Greg Ciesluk

Faribault Food Access Initiative

Rotarians packing food Tuesday March 2, 2021 for Faribault Food Access Initiative.

Minnesota Land Trust

Alex Tsatsolis visited the Faribault Rotary Club virtually, to share the efforts and mission of The Minnesota Land Trust to our state's natural lands. The Minnesota Land Trust protects and restores Minnesota’s most vital natural lands in order to provide wildlife habitat, clean water, outdoor experiences, and scenic beauty for generations to come.
As a public charity, the Minnesota Land Trust has been working with landowners and local communities since 1991 to protect and enhance Minnesota’s increasingly threatened lands and waters.
To complete their mission the Minnesota Land Trust looks to:
PROTECT: Permanently protecting land through conservation easements and effective land management.
RESTORE: Building upon our current pioneering work in the St. Louis River Estuary, we are adding more projects to restore land and waters that have been degraded.
ENGAGE: Helping to foster a culture of conservation, to support enhanced conservation legislation and funding, and to ensure the state has highly-skilled professionals. We’re currently working closely with the City of Duluth to develop world-class trails and recreational experiences. We expect this project to inspire more cities in reaching their outdoor livability goals.
If you are interested in more information about the Minnesota Land Trust, please see their website at https://mnland.org/

Hanan Mohamud

Hanan gave her classification talk recently.  I asked her seven follow up questions to help summarize her presentation for those of us who were present and for our club members who missed the meeting. If you have not had a chance to welcome her to our club, please do so.
  1. Your Family members, occupations (including you) or school level?” 
                   My mom takes care of the home, my dad works at a mirror factory. Both of them have a high school education. I work as a RISE coordinator at the high school. I have a BA in psychology.
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
         I am from Faribault, MN. I went to the Faribault schools and attended Gustavus Adolphus College.
  1. Your Previous occupations?
   Behavioral Therapist, and Personal Care Assistant.
  1. Any Hobbies?
   I love reading, training for a marathon, playing basketball, and hanging out with my baby.
  1. Rotary sponsor?
             Richard Huston
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?
  I was born in Saudi Arabia.
  1. Anything else you can think of?        
       Not really, if you have any questions please let me know.
An anonymous Rotarian donated $500 and asked for matching donations for the Special Olympics.
The club delivered 406 meals during its two weeks turn with Meals on Wheels in January.
Local Golf Pro, Ken Gorg, spoke to the club about the developments of golf in general and how golf came to Faribault in 1910.
The club did an exceptional performance of Row, Row, Row your Boat during fellowship.
A group of Rotarians from Mongolia presented a program about their country.
The club presented the annual Honors Banquet and he second annual STRIVE Banquet two weeks apart in May.
The annual picnic and auction were held at the Rotary Camp.
Former Governor Al Quie spoke to the club.
Don Lucia, the new head coach of the Minnesota Gophers Hockey team and Rod Mahler’s nephew, spoke to the club about his goals and plans for the team.
Jeanine Sahagian sold 200 dozen roses during the annual sale.
The 60th Annual Christmas Concert was held at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
Our club’s 79th president in 1998-99 was Pastor Gordon Orde.
The end of the millennium/century/decade/year was acknowledged by reflections from Rod Mahler, Tom Gagnon (Gawn-yun) and Harley Pettipiece during the first program.
State Senator Tom Neuville outlined the big issues facing the 2000 legislative season.
Major General Eugene Andreotti of the Minnesota Air and Army National Guard addressed the club before leaving for Kosovo that week.
Faribault Futures leadership Program for 2000 told the club about their organization.
The annual STRIVE Banquet was held at the Lavender Inn.
The annual club picnic and silent auction were held at the Rotary Camp.
The annual Youth benefit concert was held at Faribault High School.
The club enjoyed the 61st annual Christmas concert.
Our club’s 80th president in 1999-2000 was Janine Sahagian. She was the first woman to join our club and the first woman president.


What are the Key Facts of Cambodia? | Cambodia Facts - Answers
Sambath Ouk spoke to the club about a Global Grant in Cambodia.  Dick Huston, Sam Ouk, and Natalie Ginter have been working on a Global Grant program to assist a village near Battambang, Cambodia acquire a Water Purification system for a 558 student,  grade 1-6 elementary school.  The school is located some 20 kilometers from Battambang and was built in 1997.  In 2014, the school had a biosand water purification system installed but it has fallen in disrepair due maintenance issues. 
In order to move forward with the project, money needs to be raised with an estimated goal of around $40,000.  Fund raising efforts with surrounding clubs, a Minnesota based Buddhist temple, and tying in fund raising efforts with the Khmer New Year were discussed.  Sambath and Dick Huston spoke of trying to organize a trip to Cambodia in February and March 2022 .   Sambath spoke about having the local Battambang Rotary club help figure out the actual cost for the system and then move forward with the project. Several members who have visited Cambodia
Rotarian Dr. Roy Anderson gave a presentation on his book called “The not so Straight River.”
Jerry Bell, President of the Minnesota Twins, gave a presentation to the club about what makes a successful sports franchise and the proposal for the new Twins stadium.
Palmer Dragsten was honored for 50 years of service and Al Burkhartzmeyer was honored for 40 years of service in Rotary.
The annual Honors Banquet was cancelled due to school construction.
Rotarian Marv Schrader presented the goals for Vocational Services which included the plans for the STRIVE program.
Nate Gagnon, son of Rotarian Tom and Linda Gagnon returned from being a Rotary Exchange and presented a very interesting program to the club.
Rotarian past president Kevin Mahoney spoke to the club about his trip to Israel organized by the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce.
The 58th Annual Christmas Concert was held at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Our club’s 77th president in 1996-97 was Don Olson.
Donn Johnson led a program entitled “A Look into the Crystal Ball at Faribault’s Future.”
In the first year of the STRIVE Program, the club awarded $3000 In scholarships to students.
Dr. Michael Richie presented a program on the advances in Refractive surgery.
The Annual Honors Banquet was held at South Central College and Brent Peroutka was one of the seniors being honored.
Club dues were set at $150 for the year.
There were programs discussing the economic importance of the Faribault Airport and the festivities involving the Hot Air Balloon Rally and the Tree Frog Music Festival.
Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Silkey presented a talk on Rice County Gang Suppression.
Rotarian Harley Pettipiece gave a program on his family’s past and how his family farm is now the site of Perkins Restaurant.
The 59th Annual Rotary Christmas Concert was held at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
Our club’s 78th president in 1997-98 was Wade Karli.

Welcome Mary Ellen!

Mary Ellen gave her classification talk recently.  I asked her six follow up questions to help summarize her presentation for those of us who were present and for our club members who missed the meeting. If you have not had a chance to welcome her to our club, please do so.
  1. Your Family members, occupations (including you) or school level?” 
Paul Bondhus (husband) BA from Mankato State University
Vice President of The Sheeter Group
Sam Bondhus (son) Junior College Student College of St. Scholastica
Will Bondhus (son) Sophomore College Student Rochester Institute of Technology, Forklift Driver Lowe’s Owatonna
Mary Ellen BS from University of Georgia
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
            Marietta, Georgia North Cobb High School 1986
            University of Georgia Publica Relations & Speech Communications
  1. Your Previous occupations?
MN Hands & Voices Parent Guide-
Helped families with Deaf & Hard of Hearing Children find resources.
Georgia Eye Bank- Trained Physicians and Nurses on Eye, Organ & Tissue Donation
  1. Any Hobbies?
           Camping, Drawing, Reading, Dogs
     5.  Rotary sponsor?
            Brenda DeMars
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?
            I was born Blind.

Congratulations Scholarship Winners!

The 2021 Strive Banquet was held virtually this year over Zoom.  President Brenda DeMars started the event off in typically Rotary meeting fashion, and Kymn Anderson shared with us the virtue of purposefulness.  Brenda then shared an overview of Rotary and highlighted a portion of the work that we do locally and globally.  Then Strive Committee Chair Kurt Halverson provided and overview of Strive.  After that, all of the students who participated in Strive were recognized, and then all scholarship recipients were recognized.  Kurt then thanked all those that help to make Strive possible, including those that contribute to the scholarship fund. 
A 21 minute recorded version of the banquet can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/0bH2YEZW8RA

Welcome Cindy!

Cindy gave her classification talk recently.  I asked her seven follow up questions to help summarize her presentation for those of us who were present and for our club members who missed the meeting. If you have not had a chance to welcome her to our club, please do so.
  1. Your Family members, occupations (including you) or school level?” 
Scott (Husband)– GM of United Prairie Insurance
Cindy Yerington – Realtor with Edina Realty
Corey Johnston (son)- Retired Green Beret, now doing contract work for the State of Washington
Dan Johnston (son) -VP of Regional Sales with ClickSwitch -Owego, NY
Jason Johnston (son) – Medical Litigation Attorney/Partner with Zimmerman and Reed in Minneapolis
Cale Johnston (son)- Owner, CEO of ClickSwitch
Emery Yerington (Daughter) – Accountant for Scrap-It in Dallas, TX and is actively getting her masters in Accounting to study for her CPA.
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
 lived in Kearney, MO until 1970. We moved to West Liberty, IA and made that our home for 36 years before Moving to MN. We have lived in MN since 2006.
I graduated from Scott Community College with Associates Degree in Nursing.
  1. Your Previous occupations?
I did childcare in my home when my 4 boys were small. I can proudly say I did that for 10 years!
Then I went to college to get my nursing degree. After taking my Nursing Exam and obtaining my license, I worked as an ICU nurse in Muscatine, IA. I was in that position for 3 years and then I went to work
as an office nurse in a Pediatric Office in Iowa City.
When we moved to Minnesota I start working at Regions Hospital in St. Paul as a Pre-op/Post-op/PACU nurse until fall of 2018.
  1. Any Hobbies?
We love to boat. Before moving to MN our summers were spent at the Lake of the Ozarks in MO, And Boating on the reservoir’s in Iowa and Mississippi River - That is why we chose to live on Roberds Lake!I love to Read, spend time with my grandchildren and travel to see all of our children. When we are not traveling to see our family, our next favorite destinations are beaches for a little R&R.
  1. Rotary sponsor?
Brenda DeMars
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?
I’m a New Year’s baby and that allows me to always spend my birthday with friends and family since it is a holiday!
WE have 5 children, and soon to be 8 grandchildren, the twins are due 2/14/2021 that will equal 4 grandsons and 4 granddaughters!
I moved my parents from Iowa in 2016 and they are residents at the Faribault Senior Living.
  1. Anything else you can think of?        
I look forward to meeting everyone soon and being an active member of Rotary.
This year the Faribault Rotary Club will be hosting a virtual recognition event in lieu of our usually Strive banquet.  We would be delighted to have you join us if it works for your schedule! 
In appreciation of your support
of the
Faribault Rotary Club STRIVE Program
You are invited
as an honored guest
to this year’s virtual program
Sunday, February 21st
7:00 pm
For Questions, please contact Kurt at:
Hello Faribault Rotarians!
Students in our community can thrive in life after high school when they have the opportunity to hear from members of the community about valuable life information.  Make a difference in the lives of Faribault-area youth by joining the Strive committee! The Faribault Rotary Strive program has over two decades of helping high school seniors prepare for what's next in life. We are in the process or wrapping up our 2020-2021 Strive year,  and about to start planning for 2021-2022.  We would love to have you be a part of it!  Just send me an email or give me a call to hear more about this amazing program and how you can help!
Thank you,
Kurt Halverson
Strive Committee Chair

Welcome Chad!

Chad gave his classification talk recently.  I asked him follow up questions to help summarize his presentation for those of us who were present and for our club members who missed the meeting. If you have not had a chance to welcome him to our club, please do so.
Chad Koepke
  • Your Family members, occupations (including you) or school level?” 
  • Father: Steve Koepke – Banker @ Wells Fargo
  • Mother: Kim Koepke – Banker @ State Bank of Faribault
  • Sister: Lauren Koepke – Banker @ State Bank of Faribault
  • Your Hometown/School/College
  • Hometown: Blaine, MN
  • High School: Concordia Academy, Roseville
  • Undergraduate Degree: Labovitz School of Business & Economics @ University of Minnesota Duluth (B.B.A – Finance)
  • Graduate Degree: Carlson School of Management @ University of Minnesota (M.B.A – Finance)
  • Your Previous occupations?
    • Financial Institutions Group (Portfolio Manager) @ Wells Fargo
  • Any Hobbies?
    • Music (guitar & producing)
    • Athletics & Fitness
    • Reading (non-fiction)
  • Rotary sponsor?
    • Dr. Huston
  • Interesting fact about you or your life?
    • Owner of a Quaker parrot (Bird) that is 18 years young
  • Anything else you can think of?        
    • Recently proposed to the love of my life, Courtney, on Christmas Day 2020

2020 Faribault Rotarian of the Year winner enjoys giving back

Faribault Rotarian Eric Craig was named the 2020 Faribault Rotarian of the Year Dec. 16 via online streaming. Craig grew up in Faribault and joined the local club in September 2015. He had previously been recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Reprinted with permission from the Daily News
“Eric Craig is a ‘do everything’ kind of Rotarian,” according to Dick Huston. In just over five years of involvement with the Faribault club, Craig has shown that he, as fellow Rotarian Huston said, “definitely lives the ‘service above self’ model of Rotary.”
“From selling the most roses for fundraisers to helping with the clothing drive in the winter time, from helping at blood drives to working at the camp, Eric is first and foremost ready to go,” Huston said. Just before the Faribault Rotary’s virtual Christmas concert, the club recognized Craig as the 2020 Faribault Rotarian of the Year in a Dec. 16 online meeting. “I was extremely honored, extremely surprised and humbled,” Craig said. “You have a group of 60 Rotarians, and they give their time, and their families give time, and any one of them would be deserving. I was extremely honored and humbled to be recognized by my peers.”
Craig grew up in Faribault, and after living in St. Paul for about a decade, returned to his hometown about 10 years ago. He joined the Faribault Rotary Club in September 2015, making him a relatively new member.
His involvement with the Faribault Rotary Club started with his employer at JOD Limited, where he’s worked for the past 11 years. His business partner at the time, Gary Demro, had been a 40-year member of the Faribault Rotary and said to Craig, “My time is up, and I want you to join.” Craig said he plans to be a lifelong member of Rotary. “The most important thing, the thing that influences me the most, is the people, who give back through service or monetary, in most cases it’s both,” Craig said. “It’s just really humbling to be a part of a bigger cause.”
In the past five years, Craig has participated in Rotary volunteerism and project fundraising in a number of capacities. He has volunteered with Red Cross blood drives, a winter clothing drive called Warm Our Community, Meals on Wheels, and Salvation Army bell ringing for the Red Kettle Campaign. Next year, he said the Faribault Rotary Club plans to participate in the Adopt a Highway program. In Craig’s first year in the club, the Rotary held a fundraiser for a community project, “buddy benches,” which gives children a place to make friends if they feel alone at recess. He also helped the club raise funds for the Rotary mural on the Vacuum and Sewing Center downtown.
Even while traveling abroad, Craig can’t get enough of Rotary. Since there are clubs in around 220 countries, and members are welcome to join meetings held around the globe, Craig has taken full advantage of those opportunities when possible. He and his wife, Sara, attended a Rotary meeting in London, England, while on their honeymoon. They also attended a meeting in Dublin, Ireland, where Rotary’s first club outside the U.S. was established. Although he hasn’t volunteered abroad as a Rotarian, Craig’s monetary donations as a Paul Harris Fellow have served people around the world. In Rotary, anyone who gives $1,000 in a year is considered a Paul Harris Fellow. Craig has taken it a step further by belonging to the Paul Harris Society, committing to giving $1,000 every year.
There are still more ways Craig wants to give back through Rotary. A big goal for the future, he says is to become involved with the club’s international projects. The Faribault Rotary Club has contributed to efforts abroad like improving farming processes in Sierra Leone in west Africa, sending books to schools in Africa, and providing polio vaccines to children in Pakistan.
Craig also plans to continue serving as club treasurer, a role he began four years ago. While committing much of his time to Rotary, Craig has extended his outreach to another local volunteer opportunity. Being involved in Rotary led Craig to join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota, which Huston recommended. Through the program, which matches children and teens with adult mentors, Craig and wife, Sara, mentor a “Little” close in age to their son, Finley, 6.
Throughout his involvement with Rotary, Craig is especially appreciative of Sara and Finley for not only being accommodating of his involvement with Rotary but also being involved themselves. At Christmastime they join him in ringing the bells for the Salvation Army.
He also appreciates his business partners and colleagues at JOD Limited, who allow him the flexibility he needs to give as much of his time as he can to Rotary.
This community has given me so much in my life,” Craig said. “I enjoy being able to give back.”
Reporter Misty Schwab can be reached at 507-333-3135. Follow her on Twitter @APGmisty. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Welcome Cindy!

The Faribault Rotary Club has inducted Mary Ellen Bondus and Cindy Yerrington as new members. Both are both realtors with Edina Realty. Bondus has a history of volunteering and Yerrington has family history in Rotary.

Welcome David!

David gave his classification talk recently.  I asked him seven follow up questions to help summarize his presentation for those of us who were present and for our club members who missed the meeting. If you have not had a chance to welcome him to our club, please do so.
  1. Your Family members, occupations (including you) or school level?”
David Sauer – Presently retired.
Kris Sauer – spouse – Director of Admissions Bethlehem Academy
Elizabeth Sauer – Junior University of Wisconsin Madison
Caroline Sauer, Senior, Bethlehem Academy
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
Faribault, Minnesota/ Faribault Senior High Class of 1984, BA Chemistry Gustavus Adolphus College 1988, MA National Security Policy the George Washington University 1991
  1. Your Previous occupations?  Central Intelligence Agency
  1. Any Hobbies?  Exercise, Duck Hunting, Collecting old things, History
  1. Rotary sponsor?  Rod Mahler
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?  I have met the then President of China, the King of Cambodia, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, the President of Taiwan, former President George H.W. Bush, and former President Barack Obama.   
  1. Anything else of interest?  Proposed to my wife in a Senator’s office in the Senate Russell Office Building

Warm Our Community

Faribault Youth Investment's Becky Ford (left) and volunteer Emma Mentz hand out food boxes at the annual Warm our Community event.(Andrew Deziel/ SouthernMinn.com)

This article was reprinted with permission from the Daily News

Amid unprecedented need, more than 100 area residents crowded into the Faribo West Mall Saturday for the Faribault Rotary Club’s annual Warm our Community Event. Event organizer and Faribault Rotary Club member Keith Kramer noted that just 45 minutes into the event organizers had already handed out 100 “tickets,” enabling families to get some much needed warm winter outerwear. That was well in excess of the roughly 70 families that showed up at last year’s Warm our Community Event. Thanks to generous contributions from the community and a long list of local businesses and organizations, there were more coats, mittens and hats than before.

That was a huge help for families who have struggled with low wages or job loss over the last few months. Local refugee Star Aye, a Montgomery resident who is part of the region’s growing Karen refugee community, and her husband Thein Shwe were among them. Aye has lived in Minnesota for a decade, but it was her first time at Warm our Community. She said that for her family, the opportunity to get the winter clothes her family needs without having to spend big bucks at a department store was a big help.

Boots, coats and snow pants for children were the first to go, but larger sizes were in demand too. In addition to outerwear, the Warm Our Community event expanded this year to provide food boxes and flu shots for those in need.  Food boxes were provided by a coalition of local nonprofits including Faribault Youth Investment and Growing Up Healthy, which have joined together in recent months to fill the need left behind by the abrupt closure of the Faribault Area Food Shelf.

It was the first time the event has been held at the Faribo West Mall, along with the first time it was held on Halloween. While the setting provided much welcome additional space, minimizing the spread of COVID-19 was still a challenge given the large crowd. For Natalie Ginter, a local Rotarian, this was her third year helping out with the event. She said that every year, she’s seen the event grow and become more organized, and this year was no exception. “This location is really great,” she said. “There’s a lot of room to spread out.”  For Ginter, the event was about ensuring that the dignity of every person. That’s also what has motivated numerous volunteers from the River Valley Church to help organize the event for the last several years, including Misty Zacharaias.  Though Zacharias had previously heard about the event, it was her first time participating. She said that she was thankful to be able to help and hoped that the yearly tradition will continue well into the future.  “This event is a great blessing for the community,” said Zacharias. “I just wish we had more to give to everybody.”

Rotarian Kurt Halverson also expressed disappointment that there weren’t enough winter clothes to go around. Still, he expressed gratitude for the commitment of so many area residents to helping the less fortunate. “It’s amazing to see all of the support that’s available here in Faribault,” he said. “It really warms your heart.”  In addition to River Valley Church and the Rotary Club, several participants were new this year. With hunger concerns rising as the pandemic drags on into winter and federal assistance begins to run out, food boxes with a “breakfast” theme were also available.

FYI Executive Director Becky Ford was at Saturday’s event to distribute the boxes, and said that she would stay until all 150 she had brought were gone. Although demand wasn’t quite as high for food as for the winter wear, Ford said that about a third of the boxes were gone an hour into the event.  Demand was notably lower for flu shots provided by Rice County Public Health. Supervisor Laura Burkhartzmeyer stressed the importance of getting a flu shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but expressed disappointment at the lack of interest.  “A lot of people have already gotten it or they just don’t believe in it,” she said.

Reach Reporter Andrew Deziel at 507-333-3129 or follow him on Twitter @FDNandrew. © Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Welcome Gail!

Gail gave her classification talk recently.  I asked her seven follow up questions to help summarize her presentation for those of us who were present and for our club members who missed the meeting. If you have not had a chance to welcome her to our club, please do so.
  1. Your Family members, occupations (including you) or school level?” 
Husband Bruce Kaderlik-Dairy Manager, Fareway Foods
Gail Kaderlik -Executive Director SCC Faribault Campus Foundation
Daughter Katie Prinsen-Sr. Analyst for Optum
Son-Josh Kaderlik- Head Brewer at Montgomery Brewing
       Son in law-Trevor Prinsen-Business Analyst at Carlson Wagonlit Travel
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
Kenyon/ Kenyon High school/ Augsburg College
3.Your Previous occupations?
Radio Sales-Power 96
Optical Manager
Clinic Administrator
Eyewear Sales Rep/consultant
  1. Any Hobbies?
Theater, Traveling, and Reading
  1. Rotary sponsor?
Dick Huston
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?
I sing and do great voice imitations.
  1. Anything else you can think of?        
I won the Rotary Car Raffle in September 2012

A job well done!

Faribault Rotary Club recently presented a plaque to Amy Amundson
With social distancing and sterilization protocols in place during this Covid-19 pandemic, our masked past president (100th) Amy Amundson (left) received her plastic wrapped presidential plaque for her service to our club this past year from current masked  president (101st), Brenda DeMars (right.) Amy led our club through some unusual and difficult times and she did it exceptionally well. She set a really good example of the Rotary motto “Service above Self”. Thank you Amy for your leadership during our 100-year anniversary year!
The following article was published in the District 5960 newsletter in April 2020 and now in the Pakistan National Polio Plus newsletter.  I will send a separate email with this article for you to read if this print is too small.

A Century of Service

Faribault Rotary Club Founders 1920
Thank you everyone for being here today for the Faribault Rotary Club’s 100-year anniversary. We had only decided 9 days ago during our weekly meeting through Zoom to move this week’s meeting from Wednesday to today to coincide with the 100-Year anniversary of our club.
For me the countdown to 100 years started with the retirement of Darlene Meillier around 5 years ago.  She told me that she had a number of boxes stored in the basement at the State Bank that covered our club’s history dating back to 1920. There were actually eight boxes and she had them delivered to my office.  The first order of business was to get new boxes.
Since then, I have been reading through all that information along with collecting our club’s history from around town. Lisa had records in a file cabinet in her office and someone actually dropped off the original signed Constitution and Bylaws of our club from May 1, 1920.  When the Mason’s sold there building, I received a huge file that highlighted everything that happened in the club in 1967, the year that Francis Lockwood was president.
This detailed file was just one of 100 examples over the last 100 years of the impact the Faribault Rotary Club has had in each of those years in our community and around the world.  For today’s presentation I would like to thank Kymn Anderson and Lisa Humfeld- Wilson for all their work in making this possible through Zoom.
May 1, 1920- May 1, 2020
The Faribault Rotary Club was officially charted 100 years ago today at noon on May 1, 1920 as Rotary's 596th club with 22 charter members and by the end of the first-year membership had reached a total of 35.   
E.B. Johnson, representing the district governor of the International Rotary Clubs, and three other members of the Minneapolis Rotary Club met with our charter members on Thursday April 29, 1920 to draw up the charter documents.  The first President of the Faribault Rotary Club was Frank W. McKellip.
Meetings were held at noon on the first and third Monday of each month and on the evening of the fourth Monday. By 1927 the weekly meeting time was moved to noon on Wednesdays and remains there to this day. Over the years the club has held its meetings at Episcopal Guild House, the Elks Club, Harvey Hotel, Bluebird Inn, Hotel Faribault, Evergreen Knoll, Faribault Country Club, the Lavender Inn, Bernie’s Vintage Ballroom and now and currently at the Inn at Shattuck.
On this 100th anniversary, our club has had approximately 5000 weekly meetings with our longest serving 62-year member, Rod Mahler, attending over 2800 of those meetings.  Rod was our 53rd president in 1972-73 and has connections back to the first year of our club when the original 35 first year members were added during 1920-21. Nuba Pletcher, our 4th president and Dr. Donald Chathum our 22nd president joined that first year and were still members after Rod joined in 1958.
Faribault Rotary has sponsored four other clubs: Owatonna in 1922, Northfield in 1925, Cannon Falls in 1954 and the new Rotaract club at South Central College in 2019.
Youth service whether local or international has been one of our objectives over the last 100 years. Some examples include:
  • A picnic for 290 boys at Roberds Lake in 1924.
  • The Youth Camp on Cedar Lake was dedicated in 1963 and has stayed an important part of our club legacy providing service and enjoyment for youth organizations, families and other groups to this day.
  • The club sponsored a shelter for the street children of Santarem, Brazil which provided a place for them to meet in groups and participate in life improvement activities in 1994.
  • We sponsored the Rotary youth soccer fields at Bahl Fields at the Faribault Soccer Complex in 2010 and continue to provide shirts every year through the “Little Feat” program.
  • The Faribault Club has hosted many exchange students here and sent local students abroad to increase unity and understanding.
  • Rotary’s focus on youth has also resulted in programs like STRIVE, STAY, Rotary Readers, the school buddy benches, youth Respect Retreats and many more programs benefiting local youth.
  • Over $350,000 have been given to local students by Rotary through music, arts and academic scholarships.
The Faribault Rotary Club has been part of international programs to improve farming processes in Sierra Leone, sending books to schools in Africa, and inoculating children against polio around the world, most recently in Pakistan.
In 2016 we were instrumental in the renovation of an historic clock downtown long in disrepair, and the placement of a mural honoring that clock in downtown Faribault.
We honor the motto of “Service Above Self” by sponsoring blood drives, ringing Salvation Army Bells, delivering meals on wheels, participating in clothing drives, community beautification projects and selling roses to fund youth programing.
We have established a number of traditions that are still an important part of the Faribault Rotary Club.  In 1939 the Faribault High School Choir started an annual Christmas Concert.  This December will be the 81st Rotary Concert.
In 1965, the Faribault Senior High Band, Choir and Orchestra performed with all proceeds used to benefit Faribault Youth Services Inc. and the Rotary Camp which continues to this day.
During Rotary luncheon programs we have had Governor’s, Senators, congressman, state and local politicians express their views. Programs over the years included topics such as:
- Does Faribault need an airport? (1941)
- A program on Direct Dialing telephones and the new Highway 35 progress. (1961)
- Over the last 10 years we have had historically informational and international adventure programs from our own Rotarians George Wickstrom and Dick Huston.
Six district governors have come from the Faribault Rotary Club. The last one, Layton Hoysler, served in 1974.
Rotary was a men’s organization until 1987 when Rotary International authorized the induction of women as Rotarians. 
Janine Sahagian was the first women to join the Faribault club and served as the first female president in 1999-2000.
With the current Covid-19 pandemic crisis and the government stay at home order along with the cancellation of all group meetings and events, we were unable to hold our 100-year celebration banquet on May 2, 2020. Ironically our club’s founders started this club 100 years ago during the Spanish flu pandemic. Hopefully this will not be the case on our 200-year anniversary.
As we look to the future, we will continue to live and promote the ideals of the “Four Way Test” adopted by Rotary International in 1943:
  1. Is it the Truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
So, today after 100-years, the men and women of the Faribault Rotary Club will continue to honor the legacy of “Service Above Self” to our community and the world for the next 100 years and beyond.

The Nest

Leap of Kindness movement

As part of its ‘Leap of Kindness’ movement, the Rotary Club of Faribault donated $635 dollars and two containers of clothing and supplies to ‘The Nest’ at Faribault High School Friday. ‘The Nest’ provides clothing and supplies to FHS students free of charge. Pictured, from left, Rotary Club President Amy Amundson, Rotarian Laura Bock, Junior Falcon Project member Arlette Lazaro, Assistant Principal Joe Sage and  Rotarian and Superintendent Todd Sesker. (Photo courtesy of Matt Steichen)

Congratulations Scholarship Award Winners!

The 2020 Faribault Rotary Strive Banquet was held in conjunction with the weekly club meeting on Wednesday, February 26th at 6:00pm at the Inn at Shattuck St. Mary’s.  The meeting was called to order by Club President Amy Amundson.  After reciting the Four Way Test and signing a patriotic song, a virtue was read by club member Kymn Anderson.  President Amundson then provided our guests with an overview of Rotary on a global and local lever.  Following this, Strive Chair Kurt Halverson provided an overview of the Strive program.  Strive Scholars (students who attended 6 out of 8 sessions) and scholarship winners were recognized. (All photos were taken by Natalie Ginter.)
Scholarship Recipients were as follows:
First Name
Last Name
Award Level
Camarillo Zazquez

STRIVE Students

Pictured here are STRIVE students with STRIVE Chair, Kurt Halvorson (Waldo!)

Thank you to our scholarship sponsors!

Pictured here from left to right are, Christine Shaffer-Brown, Marion Bahl and Carol Springmeyer.

(reprinted with permission from the Faribault Daily News)

Faribault Rotarian Richard “Dick” Huston has traveled around the globe, but he called his most recent trip to Pakistan the most challenging of his life — both physically and emotionally.

After spending the week of Nov. 11-17 in Karachi, Pakistan, which has a population twice the size of New York City, Huston returned to Faribault eager to share his experience. In fact, Pakistani campaigners declared spreading awareness one of Huston’s primary roles for their cause.

“I hadn’t been there, and I just think we need to help people,” said Huston on his reasons for taking the trip. “I want to tell their story and encourage others to help them, also.”

As part of Rotary PolioPlus services, Huston expected representatives of other Rotary clubs to join his effort to learn about the endemic in Pakistan. He previously took a trip to Sierra Leone with a group of six Rotarians, but much to his surprise, Huston was the lone American to join the Karachi, Pakistan, polio campaign.

Huston admitted being the only American “felt a little weird” at first, but after a while he joked that being the only guest “felt pretty darn good.”

“Everywhere we went, people were so nice and gracious,” said Huston.

          Eradicating polio

PolioPlus is a four-pronged worldwide effort to eliminate polio with vaccinations. Huston explained the four purposes of the cause include preventing the disease, providing clean water, creating jobs and improving healthcare.

Polio once impacted 125 countries, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the vaccination of millions of children since the 1980s has reduced the number of impacted countries down to three: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. In the 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio reported worldwide.

Houston said eradicating polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan is more difficult because people travel back and forth across the bordering countries often. According to UNICEF, polio cases in Pakistan have decreased from 20,000 per year in the early 1990s to just eight in 2018 since Pakistan’s Polio Eradication Programme launched in 1994.

Primarily a disease of children, Huston explained the symptoms of leg and/or arm paralysis indicate the first symptoms of polio. If the lungs experience paralysis, the disease can be fatal.

While overseas, Huston visited five sites where nurses vaccinated children for polio. The process, he said, was a matter of putting two drops of liquid vaccine on the tongue. But in the city of Karachi, which has approximately 15.4 million people, identifying all children under 5 who need vaccinations is a tremendous undertaking for nurses and aid workers.

Huston explained that a lot of negative propaganda makes mothers wary about exposing their children to vaccines. But nurses trained in psychology assure mothers their babies and children will be healthier with the vaccine. Huston witnessed mothers looking “like a deer in the headlights” at first, but he saw their eyes soften as they listened to the nurses.

“There’s no bullying at all,” he said.

Nurses also go to railway stations and go through the trains at their stops to identify children under 5 who need to be vaccinated. At a bus stop located along Karachi’s main highway, near the southern border of Pakistan, Huston said nurses vaccinate around 3,000 children per day. He shadowed a couple nurses on the job and marveled at their effort.

While visiting Pakistan, Huston saw nurses being trained to give vaccine injections for a new project. In certain past cases, Huston explained the virus sampling, used in vaccines to create an immunity to polio, backfired by mutating into a disease. Viruses used in the injection, however, are first killed so they can’t mutate into disease-causing organisms. Children between 5 and 13 may receive the injection, said Huston.

Other efforts have been made to prevent polio from spreading. Since polio is spread by water and food, Huston said 17 water filtration camps were installed in the area he visited. Open two hours a day, residents can come fill their jugs with clean water.

       Making connections

More was expected of Huston on his trip, being the only guest, but after his return he said he experienced “a good feeling of being worn out.”

While his trip was taxing in the sense that he was constantly busy, Huston was pleased with the hospitality of his host family and impressed with the Pakistani Rotarians’ generosity. Although residents of Karachi had all levels of income in an area with some of the worst slums Huston has seen, he said people with money share it.

“It was really an eye-opening trip,” said Huston. “The effort the ‘haves’ are making to help the ‘have-nots’ is truly remarkable in my mind.”

The appreciation was mutual. In the November issue of the Pakistan National PolioPlus Newsletter, Chief Editor Alina A. Visram wrote about Huston’s participation in the Karachi polio campaign.

“This was his first visit to Karachi, Pakistan, and he was a keen visitor,” wrote Visram. “… It was certainly a privilege and honour to have Dr. Richard Huston with us in Karachi and we thank him for making this trip.”

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April 2021
Upcoming Events
Heidi Nelson
Apr 21, 2021
Paradise Theater
Sarah McGuire
May 05, 2021
Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative Director
Kelly Nygaard
May 12, 2021
Faribault Tourism
Stephanie Olson
May 19, 2021
Mayo Health System - Faribault and Owatonna
Susan Hvistendahl
Jun 09, 2021
Thomas Buckham
Murray Hanson
Jun 23, 2021
100 + 1 Faribault Rotary Club Anniversary Celebration
Brenda DeMars and Todd Sesker
Jun 30, 2021
Outgoing and Incoming President