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Kramer, Keith
Kenney, Mark
Hanson, Murray
Sergeant at Arms
Connelly, David

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Inn at Shattuck- St. Mary's
1000 Shumway Ave.
Faribault, MN 55021
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Paradise Center of the Arts- The 100 Club
      On Wednesday June 24th we heard from Heidi Nelson, Director of the Paradise Center for the Arts. She provided us an update on what has been going on at PCA. Currently the PCA is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12 – 5 pm. There are 4 galleries inside including the newest gallery – the gift shop has been converted to a fourth gallery. The Carlander gallery, Corey Lynn Creger memorial gallery, and the Veranish board room gallery remain.  
PCA is investing in new technology. Currently there are no auditorium presentations scheduled for the foreseeable future. There will be a lot of live streaming happening once all the new technology is in place. Art classes are happening! Pottery classes, Art in the Park, and the possibility of “Art Boxes” like a subscription box to generate the imagination at home.
      Heidi let us all know that the PCA was able to use a PPP loan. Some of the staff have reduced their hours, and one resigned. Everyone is doing their part to use their talents and help each other out. The facility is getting a deep cleaning and lots of improvements in their free time.
      The PCA has spent a lot of time on a plan for debt reduction. With the help of board member and Rotarian Cate Grinney of Edward Jones there is a push for 100 people, business, or other to donate a one-time donation of $2500.00. This money will be set aside for a debt reduction plan. Perks of being in The 100 Club include a life time membership, a personal invitation to the “burn the mortgage” party, a second private party for The 100 Club members only, name recognition in an artistic fashion, and personal satisfaction for just doing something really, really, great for our community. To learn more about The 100 Club contact Heidi. As of June 24, there are 2 confirmed members and 8 commits. Just  90 more needed!
      Keep Rockin at the PCA Heidi and keep us all updated on your progress!!
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.

An Historic Year!

It was just one year ago when Amy became Faribault Rotary Club's 100th President. This will certainly be a memorable year in our club's history. With the rise of a global Covid-19 pandemic, we were unable to meet in person for 3 1/2 months from the middle of March until the end of June.  Through the technology of Zoom, we were able to celebrate our 100th anniversary as a club and have weekly meetings. We look forward to seeing everyone back tomorrow for the installation of Brenda DeMars as our 101st President.
Due to the Covid-19 crisis and social distancing guidelines set forth by the CDC our in person meetings have been cancelled for the last 14 weeks. 
We are planning to meet again in person to start the new Rotary year on Wednesday July 1st at The Inn at Shattuck.  David Connelly will oversee the details taking into account social distancing guidelines and proper safety measures. Our program will be the Installation of Brenda DeMars as our club's 101st President and swearing in of the incoming Board members.  President Amy will talk about this past year and Brenda will outline her plans for the 2020-21 Rotary year.
See you Wednesday!

Covid-19 Update

Brian Bunkers MD
Dr. Brian Bunkers from Mayo Clinic updated us on the state of COVID-19 globally and locally. As we are aware COVID-19 has reshaped our environments, economy, and our way of living. Some areas of the nation have been hit heavily by the pandemic. Others not much at all. It is clear that the threat of COVID-19 is not going away for any community in the near future. 
Southern Minnesota has fared better than predicted for cases and limited in deaths from COVID-19. Dr. Bunkers expressed confidence our medical systems are able and equipped to handle population caseload and surges that might come. Our local clinics have the proper PPE and treatments such as Remdesivir to treat patients effectively and safely.  
Testing is an important part of opening up our communities safely. There are many different tests that track your exposure to COVID-19. Antibody test availability is becoming more wide-spread. This test can tell you if you have had the virus before or currently by noticed COVID-19 antibodies in your system. 
A vaccine is at least a year away, looking into 2021. Until the vaccine is available it is important to expect more cases and threat. Be mindful of washing your hands, wear a mask in public, and continue to social distance as things open back up. Dr. Bunkers express concern for COVID-19 fatigue for workers and those at risk. Understanding this pandemic is far from over, we need to take care of ourselves not only physically but mentally as well. 
To listen and watch the Zoom presentation use the following link. As always be well and wash your hands. ;)


River Bend Nature Center -- 1000 Rustad Rd, Faribault, MN -- 10 ...
Since the social distancing guideline prevents our normal fellowship, today will be our 13th "online" fellowship.  So, if you would like to respond to this bulletin or next week's email with any news or acts of service you want to share, I will publish them in the bulletin each week. Please let me know by 10 am each Tuesday. 
Well, the lockdown home improvement projects continued this week with the installation of new, quiet, non rusted garage doors.  Kristi and I spent a couple of days tiling and grouting a backsplash in our downstairs over the weekend.  Father's Day was a blessing with my kids and grandkids at our house.  My guess with the picture above is that Dr. Huston is "chugging along" looking to do an updated video for Country singing star, Kenney Chesney.  I hope everything is going well for each of you and your families despite all that is happening in the world.  Please remember to join our Zoom meetings at noon each Wednesday. 
From Dick Huston:
The way to this man’s heart is not through his stomach but his Kabota.  For my wedding present I received my sprayer, on Christmas some new Dewalt tools and my birthday?  A sun shade for my Kabota.  Awesome!!!!
From Anne Marie Leland:
It's been a busy time with all of the community education programming starting up again within the parameters of MDH/CDC guidelines. Swimming lessons, driver education, school, facility use, etc. I would just say that the community education team has gone above and beyond to serve the community during this unique time. There are so many people that have shown true grit to remove barriers to participating in summer activities.
(Are you a doctor now?)
And yes, I am a doctor and can prescribe you an educational program anytime you want. LOL.
From Laura Bock:
There are still opportunities to volunteer at the Red Cross Blood Drive as a drive volunteer or to donate blood.
We are close to full in both categories! Please give me a call or send an email if you can help on July 2nd at The Inn at Shattuck.


River Bend Nature Center -- 1000 Rustad Rd, Faribault, MN -- 10 ...
Since the social distancing guideline prevents our normal fellowship, today will be our 12th "online" fellowship.  So, if you would like to respond to this bulletin or next week's email with any news or acts of service you want to share, I will publish them in the bulletin each week. Please let me know by 10 am each Tuesday. 
This past weekend started with a charity golf tournament at Southern Hills Golf Course in Farmington.  The weather was perfect and it was a great day.  This week I plan to get that long overdue haircut.  I am not sure that people recognize me anymore.  I hope everything is going well for each of you and your families despite all that is happening in the world.  Please remember to join our Zoom meetings at noon each Wednesday. 
From Tony Langerud:
From Brent Peroutka:
No news is good news right.  Sorry I have not had much to add to your weekly updates.  We are pretty boring…work, kids activities are picking up a little bit and selling raffle tickets.

Sell those Tickets! 565 sold so far!

The 2020 Faribault Rotary Cash Raffle is finally underway. Board members have delivered  a  book of 20 tickets to each member to sell at $20 for each ticket.  The funds raised will be used to support our club's youth programs, music scholarships and college scholarships though the STRIVE program.  You are encouraged to buy and/or sell all of these tickets.  The prizes are listed on the ticket with coupons on the back and the drawing will be held on July 15th at the Inn at Shattuck.  If you need more than the 20 tickets to sell, please contact the Board member who delivered them to you or Eric Craig. All proceeds and ticket stubs need to to be turned into Eric by July 13th. He prefers that you turn in the full ticket book of stubs and cash at the same time.  This year we had a shorter time to sell because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Good Luck to everyone!

Race Relations

On Wednesday June 10, 2020 our presentation was former Faribault Rotarian Sam Ouk, presenting an open conversation he called Race Matters – Insights on Current Issues and Where Faribault stands in Relation to Racial Issues. Admittedly Sam only just put this particular presentation together Wednesday morning, but it had no less impact than something that had been planned for days or weeks. Sam lead us in some reflection of the recent events in our state, events involving George Floyd, and events following his death.
Sam encouraged us to really be open, to be honest and to really own our feelings. Rotarians were encouraged to say what was on their minds and express their feelings. Sam defined a few terms we are all hearing – Whiteness, and White Privilege. He talked to us about segregation specifically in the community of Faribault. There is segregation in our schools, neighborhoods, churches, social circles, stores, and even work place. He called for us to recognize it and as Rotarians to DO MORE!


 Heidi 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 when we all meet again at The Inn at Shattuck..
  1. Your Family members, occupations (including you) or school level?” 
I have two grown sons.  My oldest is 31 and works in construction in the twin cities, My youngest will be 30 at the end of June, lives in Minneapolis and he is in the insurance industry.
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
I was born in St. Paul and moved to Faribault when I was 4 yrs. old.  I moved away in 1984 at the age of 17, and back again when I was 37,  but consider Faribault to be my hometown.
  1. Your Previous occupations?
My previous occupations have been many! I have:  owned a decorating business, had my real estate license, worked in banking, had my insurance license, sold cars in a dealership, owned and operated a loft hotel (I still do), worked as a life coach, and led women's trips, (I can't wait to go again!).  My current position as the ED of the Paradise has been easier because of all of these things.
  1. Any Hobbies?
In my free time I like to read or listen to audible books while doing some kind of project.  I absolutely LOVE to travel.
  1. Rotary sponsor? George Wickstrom
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?
    An interesting fact about me is:  Last year from mid-July until the end of August I traveled with my best friend from Atlanta.  She is a Delta flight attendant and I had her companion pass so I traveled with her and stayed with her on her lay-overs.  I saw 7 different European cities, made 10 transatlantic flights, and 2 inter European flights.  I traveled alone in London and Rome when I couldn't get on a flight home, I had the privilege of  flying in a first class pod 6 of the 10 transatlantic flights.  I met some amazing people in airports who I still stay in touch with, and I consider it to be the very best 5 weeks of my life!  It was exhausting, exhilarating, liberating, and confidence building... and more than anything it showed me how similar we all are no matter where we live.  It makes my heart happy just to think about it.
Cancer Research
Christopher Pennell, PhD | Medical School - University of Minnesota
Christopher Pennell PhD. represented the UofM Cancer Center and reported on the developments in cancer research. Dr. Pennell told the story of Emily Whitehead, a young girl from Pennsylvania, who at age five was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. The rate of survival from this type of cancer in 1960 was 10%, now it is 90%. 
Cancer is a wide-ranging term for more than 200 different diseases. It is caused by the code failure of our DNA when making new cells. With 300,000,000 cells made in the body per day, the odds are not in our favor for a mistake to happen, and for cancer to be present. 1:2 males and 1:3 female in Minnesota will die of cancer. Dr. Pennell, explained some new advances they are working to curve that number down through their research and development. 
The Cancer Center at the UofM is a comprehensive center. From services of: preventive treatment, patient care, palliative care, research, and advocacy which drives public health legislation. The fight against cancer has moved to the smallest battleground possible, Genetics. Helping our bodies fight stronger with Immunotherapies which help create a white blood cell system that attacks cancer cells naturally.
Emily Whitehead was losing the battle to cancer with chemotherapy treatments not effective. With advances made by the Cancer Center of the UofM, Emily is now 13 years old and 7 years cancer-free! :) 

For more information about the UofM cancer center, you are welcome to contact our speaker by email. Pennell001@uofm.edu To listen back to this presentation click the following link. UofM_20_0603


River Bend Nature Center -- 1000 Rustad Rd, Faribault, MN -- 10 ...
Since the social distancing guideline prevents our normal fellowship, today will be our second "online" fellowship.  So, if you would like to respond to this bulletin or next week's email with any news or acts of service you want to share, I will publish them in the bulletin each week. Please let me know by 10 am each Wednesday. 
This past weekend started with 18 holes at the Legacy on Friday and I did smoke the 11 lb brisket on Saturday starting at 4 am.  Thought maybe I would see Brent coming down the street but no luck.  I hope everything is going well for each of you and your families despite all that is happening in the world.  Please remember to join our Zoom meetings at noon each Wednesday. 
From Brian Daniels:
Things on my end are good, just returned from Florida a couple of weeks ago to see our grandson graduate, great time. Now special session on this Friday, hope we can come to an agreement on bonding bill. 
Hope you are all doing well.  God bless and stay healthy, wealthy and wise. 
From Breanna Wheeler:
Things have been very busy at RBNC as we adapt to the new realities. We have modified summer camp https://rbnc.org/summer-camp and are developing many different options for education programs https://rbnc.org/upcoming-programs going forward. There has been a great deal of natural resource restoration work done with removing invasive species  which will continue through the summer and be ongoing- interested in more RBNC updates? Visit https://www.facebook.com/RiverBendMN for all the latest.
As people look to relieve stress and enjoy an excursion during the pandemic, the trails have been busier than ever and we are so grateful to the members, donors, volunteers, and community partners that have made this resource available through their commitment to RBNC these past four decades. Your involvement makes this treasure possible now and into the future. Thank you!
From Cate Grinney:
I've had quite a few conference calls over the Rotary meeting time and haven't been able to attend.  Work is quite busy due to the SECURE Act from the end of last years and the CARES Act this year--lots of tax changes that provides a lot of opportunities.  We are not client-facing yet, but doing a lot of phone calls, WebEx or Zoom to communicate. Hope all is well with everyone! 

Hello Everyone!
I am excited to be starting our first virtual  Strive program for the 2020-2021 school year!  We will be holding sessions the second Wednesday of the month at 9:00 a.m. June, July, and August.  We will go to a 7:15 a.m. time for the meetings this fall if school is being held in person; if it is online we may look to keep the meetings at 9:00 a.m.  
For our first session, we will be hearing from fellow Faribaultarian Dr. Narren Brown, Vice President of Research & Institutional Effectiveness.  In addition, I will cover an overview of the strive program for the students.  The meeting should last about a half an hour.  Please join us if it works for your schedule!
Kurt Halverson is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Strive Introductory Meeting
Time: Jun 10, 2020 09:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 831 3167 3159
Password: 454574

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Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcvxyoqhsT
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to get more involved!
      On Wednesday May 27, 2020 Faribault Rotary was treated to a virtual presentation through Zoom by our very own Dr. Richard Huston. In November of 2019 Dr. Huston visited Pakistan to see first-hand the work being done to eradicate polio. Spending his time in the capital city of Karachi, he attended multiple Rotary Club meetings, and was quickly identified as being the featured speaker at most of them! He spent 8 days in Pakistan traveling to 5 different sites to vaccinate children for polio. Dr. Huston touched on the other initiatives PolioPlus is working on and those include disease prevention, clean water, improving health care and creating jobs.
      Dr. Huston has been and will continue to travel around to area organizations to present this program on his time in Pakistan, and Rotary. This week he will be making presentations to Owatonna Rotary and The Rotary Club of St. Charles with our good friend President Dan Hedge.

Presidential message

2019-20 RI President Mark Daniel Maloney

Mark Daniel Maloney

President 2019-20

June 2020

My Rotary journey began 40 years ago when I joined the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, at the age of 25, and it has brought my family and me many unforgettable moments. But nothing could have prepared me for connecting with the world as president of Rotary International. My individual Rotary journey has become a shared Rotary journey with each of you.

All of the incredible people Gay and I met this year — Rotarians, Rotaractors, and the extended family of Rotary — will be an inspiration for the rest of our lives. We visited clubs and projects from Uruguay to Ukraine, from Nigeria to New Zealand, and beyond. We were privileged to crisscross the globe, circumnavigating it twice and moving back and forth between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Each country and each stop held its own Rotary magic. While in Zimbabwe in March, we participated in a medical vocational training team mission with Rotarians from India, providing health, hope, and life itself to the thousands who came for treatment. We also felt the energy of more than 300 young people at a Rotary Youth Symposium in Harare. What a thrill it was to be with these young people!

This year Rotary launched our new Action Plan, and I trust each club is putting that plan to use. And I have been energized by the efforts to embrace the priorities I set for this Rotary year: engaging families, providing leadership opportunities for all ages, celebrating our history with the United Nations in its 75th year, and, most significantly, growing Rotary.

As COVID-19 reached around the globe, we found ourselves in a world transformed. We have been forced to connect in ways we could never have imagined, testing our ability to adapt. We have made tough decisions, including canceling club meetings, district conferences, presidential conferences, and, much to our regret, the 2020 Rotary International Convention in Honolulu. Together everyone is placing the public good and welfare first, despite the loss of meetings, events, and experiences that had been planned for years.

As we looked forward to the Rotary Convention in Honolulu, we learned about the aloha spirit. Our Rotary friends in Hawaii showed us that "aloha" means mutual regard and affection. It extends warmth and caring with no expectation of anything in return. The spirit of aloha applies wherever in the world we may live. As Rotarians, Rotaractors, and members of the family of Rotary, we are connected, and as aloha has been defined to me: Our connection to one another is based upon mutual respect for our differences as well as our appreciation for what we have in common. Community is the sum of individuals — individuals who have concern for one another, who care, share, and take responsibility.

As I have witnessed the members of the Rotary community act to care for humanity amid the coronavirus pandemic, I have seen the aloha of Rotary. We are indeed people of action. Every day, but particularly during this pandemic, the Rotary community has demonstrated its aloha spirit. It is a gift to be shared, and we are each a steward of this gift of Rotary. Gay and I have been amazed, inspired, and humbled by all of you within the family of Rotary.

Indeed, I would say that the last part of our shared Rotary year was transformational. We found new ways to make the lives of others better, new ways to move forward together. And, together, we will continue to grow Rotary so that we may increase our gift of Rotary to our local and global communities.

Gay and I will always remember and treasure our year with you, our shared journey, as Rotary Connects the World!


Since the social distancing guideline prevents our normal fellowship, today will be our second "online" fellowship.  So, if you would like to respond to this bulletin or next week's email with any news or acts of service you want to share, I will publish them in the bulletin each week. Please let me know by 10 am each Wednesday. 
It is done! the last 30 pages of the 100 page instruction assembly book  for the backyard play set have been conquered and my granddaughters are quite happy. This weekend starts with 18 holes at the Legacy on Friday and I will be smoking an 11 lb brisket on Saturday.  So, if you happen to be driving by at 4 am when I am setting up, please say hi!  I hope everything is going well for each of you and your families despite all that is happening in the world.  Please remember to join our Zoom meetings at noon each Wednesday. 
From Laura Bock: 
We need to fill two spots for Meals on Wheels.
Wednesday June 17th and Friday June 19th. Please let me know if you can help.
From Keith Kramer:
One of our family goals the past few months has been to get our kids outside and enjoy God’s creation. We bought some inflatable kayaks and pictured is my son and his cousin having fun on the Straight river this past weekend (see picture above.)​
From Dick Huston:
So I am really enjoying summer but also always looking ahead.  I just purchase new snow skis and can't wait to use them.

Thank you, Heidi!

Heidi Nelson gave us a look into her life and many skill sets gained through her journey so far. Mrs. Nelson was born and raised in Faribault, her parents were very involved in the community. Heidi expressed this helped shape her compassion for community. After graduating Heidi and family moved to South Dakota, where she met her husband and started her family. Heidi’s three boys are now in the early thirties. Heidi moved back to her home town of Faribault were she has thrived helping her community in many fields from real estate, banking, hotelier and now the executive director of the Paradise Center for the Arts. Heidi feels although her current role sees many challenges, she was made for this role. With Heidi’s compassion for community fueled by here moto “Together we thrive!” the Paradise and our Faribault community are blessed by her abilities to bring people together with a smile.


Backyard Discovery Thunder Ridge Cedar Swing Set/Play Set
Since the social distancing guideline prevents our normal fellowship, today will be our second "online" fellowship.  So, if you would like to respond to this bulletin or next week's email with any news or acts of service you want to share, I will publish them in the bulletin each week. Please let me know by 10 am each Wednesday. 
For this his week's project my son Jackson and I are 70 pages into an 100 page instruction assembly book for the play set (see picture) we are building in his backyard for my granddaughters. We should finish this weekend.  It is also time to clean off the deck  get out the deck  furniture.  Last Thursday, I was able to attend a Zoom meeting with the Rotary Club of St. Charles with Dan Hedge as President. I did learn a few things from that visit. First, they are "thrilled" that we gave them such a devoted Packer fan and second, it seems that every club has a "George." I hope all is going well for all of you.  Please remember to join our Zoom meetings at noon each Wednesday. 
From Anne Marie:
There have been so many acts of kindness for our child care workers. Masks and sanitizer have been donated and I've been treating staff to Caribou and donuts. We can't do enough for this team!
From Donn Johnson:
Rotary music scholars
 I believe it is appropriate to continue the music scholarships, theater scholarships, and art scholarships for our high school graduates and returning musicians.  Here are the names of the music scholarship winners:.
Band-- Caleb Dewberry and Sebastian Malkavage
Choir-- Delia Denis and Erik Hagre
Orchestra-- Sarah Engbrecht and Sarah McColley
All-around--  Kylie Petricka
The Senior Arts recipients have received their notifications but I can't recall their names.  Will let you know when my mind kicks in.  Thanks.  I am also waiting for Paul Johnson to get back to me for theater.  He is looking for good camps that don't cost an arm and a leg.  Appreciate it.
From Eric Craig:


Community Education - Faribault Public Schools ISD #656
Anne Marie Leland spoke about her dissertation of a full-service learning program. Anne Marie expressed her work in the Faribault community and through rotary shaped her positionality in the world when it comes to “equity and social justice” which is a big reason why she chose to enroll in the educational doctoral program.
Anne Marie’s dissertation on which was a case study of Somali parents who engagement with any rule Midwestern school district and I had to choose a couple of theoretical frameworks. The full-service model looked at providing parent education on school systems, dental/health wellness (through HealthFinders), and administrative support throughout the process.  
Anne Marie stated “Our district Faribault Public Schools we do a lot around the social-emotional learning piece as well and partnering with the virtues project, for example, partnering with our community-based partners that we understand the way in which to affect the most holistically is through that family system of support so well educators are known for just focusing on academics we are at the district at that focuses on the whole family and so my research really fit in nicely within my job as director of Community Education.
Participants were 8 female parents, 4 male parents. They ranged in ages of 24 to 68, they were all refugees representing 55 children. They all self-reported that they had no higher education from non-US or US colleges. They all expressed in the post-interview: The training was appreciated and the Hands-On help was very useful to their child’s education understanding. 
This case study worked well in our small community, It is a bright look at the future of education in a holistic frame. Further study and understanding of other communities big and small are needed to her advancement of like work. 
If you are interested in learning more please reach out to Anne Marie Leland, she will be delighted to share her experiences. 

Congratulations Mike!

Michael Gramse

(Reprinted with permission from the Daily News Michael Gramse is the last of the six 2020 Faribault High School distinguished Alumni Award winners to be featured in the Daily News.)

A visitor’s first impression of Michael Gramse’s company, MRG Tool and Die, is formed by words printed in bold letters on a wall facing a vast factory floor: “INTEGRITY – Show it. Live it. Feel it. COLLABORATION – Together we are successful. INNOVATION – We create solutions.” These are his company’s core values, and they describe all one needs to know about Michael Gramse.

According to Mary Utpadel, Office Manager/Customer Service employee for 32 years, Gramse lives his values. When asked by a Minnesota Business Magazine interviewer to cite his strongest characteristic, Gramse answered, “I think being honest, being straightforward, not trying to whitewash things.” Utpadel agrees: “He definitely believes in honesty and forthrightness in his relationships with employees and customers. His integrity is a major reason employees and customers are devoted to the company.”

Gramse realized his talent for working with machines when he enrolled in a machine shop class as a junior at Faribault Senior High. During his senior year, he enrolled in a three-hour vocational machine course taught by Forest Knoss. After graduation, he attended the Faribault Area Vocational and Technical Institute where he completed the Tool and Die program in 1968 under the tutelage of Page Lawson.

He returned to Faribault after a stint in the Navy, newly married to Eva Froman, and began working for companies where he learned to build progressive dies and special machines. He left Master Tool, an Eagan company, several years later and formed Duo Tool and Die in 1979 with a partner he met at the company. After a friendly separation, Gramse kept the shop, its two employees, and renamed the company MRG Tool and Die. Over the years, MRG has grown to include 73 employees, a 66,000 square foot facility and a diverse customer base, including nearly all Faribault’s industries.

MRG Tool and Die enjoys a reputation among domestic and international corporations for its outstanding, high-quality workmanship, on-time delivery and customer service.

Gramse says he’s reminded of his company’s reputation when “a customer of ours retires – usually it’s an engineer we have been working with for a long time – then tells us we have been their best supplier. Several times over the years, we have had the honor of being told we are the best shop they work with, and that makes me feel we have been successful.”

Gramse takes pride in hiring local people, many of whom have been with his company for decades. Employees are loyal to the company because, as Utpadel says, “We are treated like family.”

Employees also feel appreciated. Machinist, Thad Sunsdahl, explains, “We work in teams. We’re encouraged to be collaborative and to learn from one another. Our projects are interesting, challenging, and require us to be problem-solvers and innovators.”

Gramse is a tenacious advocate for vocational education — especially manufacturing — having served as chairman of South Central College Foundation Board, as well as being a significant scholarship donor. He is a recipient of the SCC Outstanding Alumni Award (2015), Manufacturing Life Time Achievement Award (2015), and Small Manufacturer of the Year (2012). His civic activities include Peace Lutheran Church president, Faribault Rotary president, supporter of Basic Blessings Backpack Program, and a member of the Faribault Chamber of Commerce and Faribault Industrial Corporation. He is particularly devoted to philanthropy supporting children and families.

Michael Gramse’s legacy continues through his children. His oldest son, Rod, has been promoted to company president. He expresses a desire to continue the family’s value-centered approach to running a thriving business and caring for people begun by his father.

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 Faribault Rotary Club welcomes Heidi Nelson, the interim Director of the Paradise Theater, as a new member. Pictured here are past president and membership chair, Keith Kramer, Heidi, her sponsor, George Wickstrom and President Amy Amundson.

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.

Bethlehem Academy ninth graders

BA Retreat

 spent Wednesday engaged with their peers in a day-long Youth Frontiers Respect Retreat, sponsored by the Faribault Rotary Club.

      Youth Frontiers’ mission is to provide schools with experiences that inspire character, civility, and community. The Faribault Rotary Club-sponsored ninth-grade retreat focused on respect, with Youth Frontiers leaders Genevieve Kalland and Preston Gunderson leading students in activities and serious discussions designed to empower students to respect themselves and others more and engage bystanders to stand up for respect.

      Aided by Bethlehem Academy student leaders, including seniors Grace Ashley, Ben Cohen and Jack Jandro along with juniors Ella Haaland, Kade Robb, Ashley Rost, and Jason Shuda, Kalland and Gunderson led students in ice breaker games, fun contests, singing and dancing. The games, designed to get students comfortable enough with each other enough to step out of what might be their comfort zone, included screaming and burping competitions, a scavenger hunt, and a giant human chair.

      Kalland and Gunderson incorporated life talks into the retreat, using personal stories to help students learn to respect themselves and others as they develop their own identities. The goal was to challenge students to take a look at how they view themselves and others and how to show more respect and love to both.

      Students wrapped up the day by turning to more serious discussion. Through a Respect Card activity, they were challenged to commit to choosing one of three choices for the remainder of the year: Respect yourself, Respect others, Stand up (for others). Students were encouraged to share their choices; several did, including:

• “Others. I sometimes forget to forgive and not think of others,” Bethlehem Academy student.

“I choose to stand up. Seeing others doing things you know aren’t right and staying silent is just as bad as doing it yourself,” Bethlehem Academy junior student leader.

• “Self. I sometimes need courage. Thank you for helping me with that,” freshmen girl.

Reprinted with permission from The Faribault Daily News.

Congratulations David Mesta on your Rotary Scholarship Award at South Central College!  David is pictured here with Faribault Rotary Club President Amy Amundson.

(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.”


Image result for red cross blood drive
(Laura received the following email regarding the Blood Drive last Monday 11/25/19)
Thank you very much Laura and the Faribault Rotary for hosting the blood drive yesterday!  Here are some of the numbers from the day:
34 people made appointments
13 walk-ins
8 no-shows
39 people registered at the blood drive
4 deferrals
1 quantity not sufficient
6 power red donors (that’s great!)
40 units of blood collected
That is amazing! 40 units is by far the most we’ve collected at a Faribault Rotary blood drive. That was 15 units over our goal. The blood you collected yesterday has the potential to save up to 120 lives. A lot of families are going to be thankful for that this Thanksgiving.
Thanks again for all your help!
Caroline Olstad │ Account Manager
American Red Cross
100 S. Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55107

Thank you to the following Rotarians for volunteering your time to make this a success!  
Nort Johnson ,Jake Cook, Brian Daniels, Mary Reese, Greg Cielsuk, David Connelly, Todd Sesker, Franz Boelter, Brenda Demars, Rod Mahler, Kurt Halverson and Laura Bock.

Service Above Self


Dr. Huston received a warm welcome from the Rotary Club of  Karachi Nexus.


Giving a well appreciated polio vaccine.


These are gifts of appreciation giving to Dr. Huston by his friends in Pakistan.


This is the honorary plague given by the Rotary Club of Karachi Nexus.

Twas a week before Christmas, when all through downtown,
Not a Rotarian was stirring, no one to be found;
The invites were made by Donn Johnson with care,
In hopes that everyone would soon be there;
The Rotarians were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of Christmas concerts danced in their heads;
They knew in a moment the time had drawn near,
To sign-up with Donn and tell him no fear;
For we will be coming, even bringing a guest;
Looking forward to lunch and the choir's singing best;
More rapid than eagles the Faribault Rotarians came,
And Donn whistled and shouted and called them by name:
Now, Ciesluk! Now, Kenney! Now, Sanchez and Kramer!
On, Daniels! On, Wheeler! On, Elwood and Ginter!
To the seat of your cars! To the end of the street!
Now dash away! Dash away! And soon we will meet!
Then we heard Donn exclaim, as he walked out of sight;
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
All Rotarians, Rotaract members, their families, and guests are invited to the 80th annual Faribault Rotary Christmas Concert to be held on Wednesday December 18th (11:45 am- 1:15 pm) at Our Savior's Lutheran Church. The joyful sounds of the holiday season will be brought to us by the Faribault High School Choir. Our host for over 30 years, Donn Johnson asks that you use the online sign up via email if you will be coming and bringing one or more guests.  The cost of the meal is $11 unless you are on the meal plan.

Rod Mahler- Bob Bjorgum

With the recent sale of the Mason's Building there was a discovery of folder with some letters, pictures and Daily News clippings.  The folder had the name Francis Lockwood- Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. Mr. Lockwood was a longtime member and our 47th president in 1967-68.  His most notable club legacy was sponsoring membership for a young upstart life insurance salesman by the name of George Wickstrom who has now been a member for 45 years. (Yes, George this is a fleeceable event!)
Pictured here are our two longest serving Rotarians, (at left)Rod Mahler 61+ years and the late Bob Bjorgum 59 years!  Rod will have to tell us who got the pie in the face!

Congratulations Jake!

There are many deserving candidates for the Rotarian of the Year every year.  However, the committee and club would like to congratulate, and honor Jake Cook as the 2019 Rotarian of the Year.
Jake joined the Faribault Rotary club in March of 2007 and lives the Rotary motto of service above self on a daily basis.  Jake currently serves on the board of directors, as well as serves as the Rotary Youth Services President.  He has held a variety of leadership roles and positions throughout his years in Rotary, and here are a few highlights as mentioned in his nominations:
  • Jake chaired the community services committee and led our efforts with the Rotary Blood Drive, meals-on-wheels, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Basic Blessings Backpack Program events., and more.  You could also find Jake and his family volunteering during these events.
  • Jake volunteered and served on the International Services committee traveling with the team to Sierra Leone in our club’s effort to establish a sustainable cassava farming and processing project in remote areas of Africa.  He was also involved with the district and international grant process and helped raise the necessary funds for the project.
  • As a believer in service above self, Jake became our Club President in 2016-2017.  He really stepped up to the plate and filled this role a year earlier than planned, as our Badger/Packer friend Dan Hedge moved to his new home in Illinois the year he was supposed to fill this role.
  • During his year as Club President Jake had many accomplishments.  Most notable was the “Buddy Bench” project.  Again, he helped raise the necessary funds and partner with other agencies within the community to make this project a success.   Jake also led the efforts to partner with the Elks Ice Fishing contest and help get kids exposed to the great outdoors!!!
  • As president of the Rotary Youth Services board, Jake has done an outstanding job with all areas of this great nonprofit entity.  His office manages the camp schedule and Jake has spent countless hours helping preserve this great asset.  Most notably this year with helping roof the camp, as well as getting the camp back into working order after the tornado last fall.  Jake has also led or helped on the Picnic committee for several years…an event many look forward to every year.
  • Jake has served on the raffle committee and is usually one of the top salespersons with this raffle, as well as our annual Rotary Rose Sale.  The CWS offices look amazing this week as he typically delivers 75-100 roses each year.
  • Jakes leadership abilities crossover to other community and family activities as well, with involvement in numerous board and other activities.  He has been a chamber ambassador, served on the Ducks Unlimited Board, served on the Football Association Board and is the current president and a coach with the Faribault Fastpitch Association.  You will also find him helping with the March of Dimes and Cancer Stroll fundraising efforts.  I’m sure we have missed a few as well…but we thank Jake for his “Service Above Self” in the Faribault Community.
Jake, thank you for everything you have done for our club and will continue to do in the future.   IF you want a project done and completed in a successful manner, Jake Cook will be there to lead or help in any way possible.  The saying goes “the only thing that is equal in life is that we all get 24 hours each day, or 86,400 seconds to make a difference”.  Although this will cost you a dollar, you are able to balance your work and clients at Comprehensive Wealth Solutions/Faribo Insurance, family time and community activities.  Please help me congratulate Jake Cook, 2019 Rotarian of the Year.

Local clubs share the warmth with neighbors in need

     Hundreds of local residents received needed winter apparel on Saturday during the Faribault Rotary Club’s annual distribution.
Coats, boots, hats, mittens, gloves and scarves and other winter clothing were available to the hundreds who came to the Washington Rec Center. The event was a partnership between the Elks, Rotary Club and Allina Club.
     “It feels not only good to help people, but it feels good to collaborate with organizations, too, who see the need,” said Keith Kramer, past president of the Faribault Rotary Club. “It’s right when it’s starting to get below freezing.”
      Kramer estimated 70 families attended, most with at least five children. He noted organizers had selection sites and advertised, receiving $3,500 in donations that enabled them to purchase clothing. He estimated they had 30 volunteers Saturday, including people who spoke Spanish and Somali.
     “It’s good to see people of all backgrounds coming to help people in need,” Kramer said.
“Especially in Faribault, there is a big need in our community for kids to have warm clothing, and this is a good time of the year to do it.”
Abdinisr Ahmed volunteered at the event. He said he enjoys helping people and the cold weather motivated him to help those in need.
“It’s so good today to be here and help the community,” he said.

Thanks to Rotary Club scholarships,

seven Faribault High School students spent part of their summers growing as vocalists and musicians, whether that meant attending camps or enrolling in vocal lessons.

     The Faribault Rotary Club offers scholarships to students involved in music electives each spring, using the proceeds collected from the Rotary scholarship concert held at FHS the fall prior. This year’s 54th annual concert is 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28 in the FHS auditorium.

     Kayla Kenow, a junior euphonium player in the FHS band, used her $400 scholarship to help pay for the Minnesota All-State camp over the summer. Kenow was the only student in the FHS band to receive the All-State honor last school year as well as the Rotary Club scholarship.

“I definitely learned how to be a better musician [at All-State camp],” said Kenow. “I made a lot of good friends I still have today.”

     Joe Timmer, band director at FHS, said it always takes a couple weeks to decide who to nominate for the honor because so many students deserve the recognition. In most cases, all three FHS directors select students who already received All-State honors so they can use the scholarship money to attend the All-State camps offered over the summer.

     Two violinists in the FHS Philharmonic Orchestra, Maddie Klecker and Avery Rein, received $200 Rotary Scholarships each.

Klecker began playing the violin 11 years ago and was named a Minnesota All-State alternate for 2018-19.

“When I was younger, I just liked [the violin] for the sound, but now I realize it’s a lot more than that,” said Klecker. “It can be used for a lot of different things — I play at church and at weddings. It’s nice to see what joy an instrument can bring.”

Said Michael Sloane, director of the FHS Philharmonic Orchestra: “Maddie Klecker is very diligent on making sure things are done right, and she’s not afraid to speak up when things aren’t right.”

     While most Rotary scholarship winners had previously earned All-State honors, violinist Avery Rein is the exception. She used her scholarship to attend an orchestra camp in Northfield, which challenged each instrumentalist according to their skill level. At the end of the camp, the orchestra performed in a concert.

When Sloane began teaching orchestra at Faribault Middle School, he said Rein was one of his first students. He’s pleased to see her continue playing violin with the FHS Philharmonic Orchestra and lead her peers in the schools’ orchestra council.

“Avery is a very bright girl who knows what she wants,” said Sloane. “She’s a very artistic person … a very good violinist.”

     Four FHS choir students each received $200 Rotary scholarships as well — senior alto Nya Anter, senior soprano Abby Engbrecht, junior bass Tanner Longshore and junior soprano Lizzie Cooper. Anter, Engbrecht and Longshore, all Minnesota All-State students named in May, used their scholarships to attend the weeklong All-State choir camp at St. Olaf College. Their All-State group reunites in February, 2020 at the Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis for its All-State concert.

“It’s been really good,” said Longshore of his choir experience. “Obviously there are ups and downs, but it’s helping me express myself more.”

Added Anter, who has taken choir for 11 years with elementary school included: “I’ve always loved singing and performing.”

Cooper, an All-State alternate, took voice lessons with her scholarship money. She’s been in choir since fourth grade.

“It’s made me have more of a reason to be in school,” said Cooper. “It’s given me a passion I can enjoy.”

Published with permission from the Faribault Daily News



Past President Keith Kramer was all smiles when he accepted his plaque for recognition of his excellent year of service as the Faribault Rotary Club's 99th president. He is pictured here with current president, Amy Amundson.

Dick Huston

Dick Huston returned from a Rotary Exchange trip to Germany last month. He was able to exchange flags with 7 other Rotary clubs. He was able to sew the flags onto one of our banners and they are now on display at each meeting.  If you get a chance to visit with him about the trip, please do so. Thank you Dick for representing our club!

Passing the gavel: Faribault Rotary inducts its 100th president

Reprinted with permission from the Faribault Daily News

Hand to hand, a gavel passed through 31 past presidents of the Faribault Rotary Club until it reached Amy Amundson — the 100th president.

The passing of the gavel signifies the effort and dedication of each president, those in attendance and those unable to attend, to bring the club through its first 100 years, practicing the Rotary tradition of “Service above Self” and showing full support for Amundson and her year of service focused projects.

Amundson was sworn in as president Wednesday by her predecessor, Keith Kramer.

Each year, Rotary Presidents help oversee and administer service-oriented projects to benefit the community as well as expand the reach of the club.

In Kramer’s year, the Faribault Rotary Club ran the Warm Our Community event for the first year and added a Habitat for Humanity workday where volunteers helped paint a house on the north side of town.

Warm Our Community is a clothing drive in November to collective gently used outerwear — gloves, coats, boots — so area kids can keep warm during the notoriously frigid Minnesota winters. After the drive, people in the community are invited to stop by and pick out as many items as they need.

Kramer also continued the sponsorship of the Faribault Rotaract Club — a service minded organization in which South Central College students organize themselves and complete projects in the community.

One of the Rotaract Club projects this year was volunteering at Believet Canine Service Partners, which trains dogs and provides them to veterans free of charge.

“Veterans who suffer from PTSD or a visible disability who can’t get around as easily anymore without interruptions tend to confine themselves to their homes,” Rotaract President Piper Nelson said. “It’s debilitating, but with the help of these service dogs, veterans can get back to enjoying life and completing basic everyday activities.”

Though the students were not qualified to help with the training, they did care for the dogs and took them on walks. They also had the opportunity to learn from watching a veteran work with a service dog.

“For us, this is a huge deal,” Nelson said. “It’s not just picking up garbage in a park, which also makes an impact, but this is something that directly impacts not only each of us Rotaractors, but also the dogs and the vets. It’s more than doing something to gain something in return; it’s doing something hoping to help another in the best way possible.”

“This year has been a big success,” Kramer said. “We do things once and learn what we can do better next time… It’s an opportunity to get involved in one or more areas you’re passionate about. It’s awesome people, doing awesome things.”

Volunteering since 1920, Rotary members are continuing to better the community into their 100th year as well.

Rotary clubs can be found throughout the world. Just last week, Rotary member Richard Huston added 10 flags from three different continents — Australia, Germany and the United States — to the 80 flags representing locations where Faribault Rotarians have visited other Rotary Clubs.

This year’s universal mission of Rotary Clubs is to connect the world.

“We want to bring about world peace by connecting people around the world,” Amundson said. “When you have friends in a different place, you care more about that place.”

The mission of connecting people also impacts people on a local level.

“The vast majority of the club is youth focused,” Amundson said. “Youth are important because they are our future in the community.”

Amundson said club members are involved, volunteering to read one-on-one with students as Rotary Readers; inspire kids and teach them about virtues at Respect and Courage Retreats; and help them increase their GPA as part of Faribault Schools’ STRIVE program. And that’s only a partial list, she said.

Faribault’s 59 Rotary members are always ready to lend a hand. For the 100th year, Amundson asked the members to keep track of every bit of service they provide in the hopes of achieving 5,900 acts of service i— 100 hours per person — n the community by next year.

“It’s surprising how many are doing this already,” Amundson said. “We’re always looking for more members to expand our impact. The more members we have the more good we can do in our community.”

Reporter Renata Erickson can be reached at 507-333-3129. Follow her on Twitter @FDNrenata.

©Copyright 2019 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Past Presidents


Past Faribault Rotary Presidents attending Wednesday's gavel passing were pictured from left to right:

1972-73: Rod Mahler 53rd

1973-74: Dr. Roy Anderson 54th

1989-90: Jim Nielson 70th

1991-92 Donn Johnson 72nd

1996-97: Don Olson, 77th

1997-98: Wade Karli, 78th

1998-99: Pastor Gordon Orde, 79th

2002-03: Darlene Meillier, 83rd

2004-05: Richard Cook, 85th

2007-08: Grant Wilson, 88th

2009-10: Dr. Lisa Humfeld-Wilson, 90th

2011-12: Dr. Murray Hanson, 92nd

2012-13: Kymn Anderson, 93rd

2013-14: Brent Peroutka, 94th

2014-15: Tony Langerud, 95th

2015-16: Dr. Richard Huston, 96th

2016-17: Jake Cook, 97th

2017-18: Troy Dunn, 98th

2018-19: Keith Kramer, 99th

2019-20 Next president, Amy Amundson, 100th


President Keith exchanges flags with Marina who represents the Rotary Club of Marillia Brazil in Rotary District 4510. Her father has been a Rotary member since 1994.

Congratulations Dick!

Dick Huston and his wife, Nancie Huston, not pictured, were recognized last week as Rotary Foundation major donors by Rotary District Governor Mike Becker and next year's district governor, Paul Perez. Major donor honors are given when an individual(s) gives a total of $10,000 to the Rotary Foundation. Huston, second from right, is also a member of the Paul Harris Society, a recognition given to those who donate $1,000 in a year to the foundation. Only one other member of the Faribault Rotary Club — Marv Schrader — has been given this honor. The Rotary Foundation has six areas of focus: basic education & literacy, maternal & child health, water & sanitation, disease prevention & treatment, peace & conflict resolution, and economic & community development. Also pictured is Faribault Rotary Club President Keith Kramer, left.

Making a difference!

     Thank you to Keith, Laura and Natalie for painting and George & Brenda for providing food. There was some soreness reported by our distinguished president  in the days after. They are hopeful  that we can do another project for Habitat next year as it was a very rewarding experience.

Faribault Rotary Club

Last Wednesday, we celebrated our 99th anniversary to kickoff the countdown to 100 years on May 1, 2020. Over 60 people attended including Rotarians past and present, the next two district governors, family and friends. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a success.  The following speech was given by President Keith:
May 1, 1920- May 1 2019
 The Faribault Rotary Club was established 99 years ago today 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.  The first President of the Faribault Rotary Club was Frank W. McKellip.
Meetings were held 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 remained there to this day. Over the years the club has held its meetings at the Elks Club, Harvey Hotel, Bluebird Inn, Hotel Faribault, Evergreen Knoll, Faribault Country Club, the Elks Club (again,) Bernie’s Vintage Ballroom and now and possibly for the next 99 years ------The Inn at Shattuck.
By next year at our 100th anniversary, our club will have had approximately 5000 weekly meetings with our 61-year member, Rod Mahler attending over 2800 of those meetings.  
Our club has sponsored four other clubs: 1) Owatonna- 1922 2) Northfield- 1925 3) Cannon Falls- 1954 and 4) The new Rotaract club at South Central College this year.
Youth service whether local or international has been one of our objectives over the last 99 years. Some examples include the following:
  • In 1924 the club held a picnic for 290 boys at Roberds Lake.
  • The Youth Camp on Cedar Lake was dedicated in 1963 and is stayed an important part of our club to this day.
  • In 1994, our 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 2010, we sponsored the Rotary youth soccer fields area at Bahl fields in the Faribault Soccer Complex and provide shirts every year through the “Little Feat” program.
  • In 2017, we were involved with the Buddy Benches that were installed at local elementary schools.
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 a Christmas Concert tradition which will celebrate 80 years this December.
In 1965, the Faribault Senior High Band, Choir and Orchestra performed with the proceeds used for the benefit of the Faribault Youth Services Inc. This October will be the 54th year.
Rotary luncheon programs are varied and interesting. We have had Senators, congressman, state and local politicians come to report their views. Programs over the years included topics such as:
-The question in 1941 was “Does Faribault need an airport?
- “A program on Direct Dialing telephones and the new Highway 35 progress were highlights in 1961.
- In the last 10 years we had historically informational and international adventure programs from our own Rotarians George Wickstrom and Dick Huston.
Our program chairmen and members over the years have provided excellent programs
Our club has had six district governors and the last one, Layton Hoysler, was in 1974. We look forward to the next club member who fills that role in the future.
Women were able to join Rotary starting in 1988 with Janine Sahagian as the first to join our club and was president in 1999-00. This year we celebrate the installation of Amy Amundson as our 100th president for the 2019-2020 Rotary year on June 26th.  On May 1, 2020, one year from today, the Faribault Rotary club will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a pledge to continue service above self for the next 100 years and beyond!

May 1, 1920

The Faribault Rotary Club was established 99 years ago today 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.  Please come to our celebration of 99 years at 5pm tomorrow and President Kramer will  tell us the "Rest of the Story!"


Last Wednesday, we handed out 4 STRIVE (Student Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education) scholarships totaling $9000. Lauren Steinberg & Kevin Tovar each received a $2500 scholarship for the most improved GPA. Brook Flicek & Evelyn Nigon each received a $2000 for illustrating Rotarian values. 

New Club at South Central College

     The Faribault Rotaract Club recently received their charter at a Faribault Rotary Club meeting. The club is comprised of 28 students from South Central College and is open to all young adults who wish to provide service to the community. One of the group's service projects is to volunteer at Believet Canine Service Partners, which trains service dogs for veterans.
     The Rotaracts will host dogs in their homes on weekends, as well as feed, groom, walk and perform other care tasks. In addition, the group is working on creating a volunteer program at St. Lucas Care Center. For more information about the club, visit rotary5960.org/clubInfo/scc-rotaract.

Reprinted with permission from the Faribault Daily News


To some, he's a dedicated veterinarian. To some, a world traveler. To some, a proud Rotarian.

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