Rotary Club of Faribault

Meeting Responsibilities
Club Services
Sesker, Todd
van Sluis, Peter
Sergeant At Arms
Bock, Laura
Huston, Dick
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Rotary Foundation
Youth Services Chair
Community Service
Strive Program
Public Relations Chair
Literacy Chair
Past President/Club Services
Program Co-chair
Program Co-chair
International Project
Youth Exchange Officer
Youth Protection Officer

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Rotary Serving Humanity

We meet Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
Inn at Shattuck- St. Mary's
1000 Shumway Ave.
Faribault, MN  55021
United States
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Community Education

     On Wednesday March 7th we heard from our local School District 656 on the Community School Program. We heard from Charles Cooper Community School Coordinator. This program currently takes place at Jefferson Elementary and Faribault Middle School but is intended for all families in the community. The premise for these after school activities are Academic focus, Health initiatives, youth initiatives, and community engagement. The chief goal is higher attendance during the day, and physical, emotional and social benefits for the kids.
     According to Charles this type of programming can benefit all families in Faribault, and he is working to get more kids and families to participate. If you have an idea for any programming please contact him at 507-333-6384.
The Community School program is providing a meal for anyone under 18 FREE of charge Monday through Thursdays at Jefferson and FMS from 4:30 to 5:30. If you would like to join in the cost for a meal is minimal if you are over 18.
     This program is currently funded by a grant. If you have more questions see fellow Rotarians Anne Marie Leland, or Todd Sesker.
 Club President,Troy Dunn and the honorable Rod Mahler with his award and District Governor, Kyle Haugen
The Faribault Rotary Club was established 98 years ago 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. Those early founders of our club established a tradition of record keeping that has now been passed on to me in the form of 6 boxes of records dating back to the first days of our club. My research into Rod’s time in our club revealed the following:
On March 5th, Rod Mahler has been a member for 60 of the 98 years our club has existed. He joined our club on March 5, 1958 at the age of 24. 
On that day Al Burkhartzmeyer did his classification talk.
Rod’s classification talk was on June 7th and his review in the bulletin the next week was as follows:
‘Rod Mahler need not take the back seat when it comes to public speaking. I wonder did the box have a ‘Green Door’ on it?  You did a fine job, and we all enjoyed your classification talk very much”
Rod missed 2 weeks in August of that first year with the mumps and then had 10 years of perfect attendance. I estimate that he has attended over 2700 meetings with over 90% attendance and over 3000 total Rotary events of which he would be happy to discuss any one of them with you.
Notable program speakers his first year were
  • U of M Hockey coach, John Mariucci
  • Congressman and future Governor Al Quie
  • Captain EM Morgan US Navy Pacific Fleet Naval Defenses
  • Mayor P. Kenneth Peterson- about the new Freeway coming
Rod’s 60 years so far give him the longest membership in our club history.
Other notable long-time members
- Palmer Dragsten 1948- 2006 / 58 years
- Al Burkhartzmeyer 1957-2012 / 55 years
- Tom Gerbig 1969- present / 49 years
- George Wickstrom 1974- present / 44 years
- Nuba Pletcher 1921-1965 /44 years (2nd picture)
-Dr. Donald Chathum 1921-1963 /42 years
Rod has those connections back to the first year of our club when the original 35 first year members were added during 1920-21. Nuba Pletcher and Dr. Donald Chathum who joined that first year were still members for 5-7 years after Rod joined in 1958.
When I joined 25 years ago, Rod was one of the first Rotarians to welcome me to the club fleecing me during fellowship just to be sure that I felt welcome.  He has always been welcoming and encouraging to new members over the years and is a true example of a Rotarian who puts service above self.
 He has served this club and Faribault continuously during his 60-year membership even most recently with the donation of our new American flag and sponsoring the membership of our new chamber President, Nort Johnson.
Thank you, Rod for your continued inspiration and  service to our club!

Antartica adventures

     On Wednesday February 28th we heard the great tales of the travels of Cate Grinney. Cate set off on her adventure to visit her 7th continent, Antarctica! Cate traveled with her father to check this off their bucket list. Cate shared with us many images and videos from her trip.
     She educated us on Antarctica and some of the surrounding land masses. Antarctica is not the Artic. Antarctica is extremely mountainous and there are no land mammals there. It is the 5th largest continent and it is 98%-99% ice. The continent is protected by the Antarctic Treaty which promotes peach and science. There is no residence of Antarctica only the scientist that come and go and study while they are there.
     Cate is a lover of photography and animals. Her photos and videos she shared included penguins, seals, birds in flight and whales. She also included some amazing shots of icebergs and shorelines.
     Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us. I think most Rotarians were considering the trip of a lifetime after you shared with us! Thank you, Cate!

City Update

     On Wednesday February 21, we heard from Janna Viscomi, and John Rowan, both members of city council. Janna gave a quick update on her building, Bernie's Grill and The Vintage Suites, Rotary's former meeting spot, the ball room is undergoing a remodel that will turn the ball room space into 4 more suites. 3 of which are spoken for by Shattuck families for the fall.
     Janna and John took turns answering questions and weighing in on comments from Faribault Rotary group on Faribault issues. We covered topics that included parks and trails, straight river waterfront development, an expansion project at our airport, and the new city administrator. John Rowan talked about being diverse in technology, and both council members discussed the future of the city and the excitement around the 2040 comprehensive plan.
     We discussed the housing shortage, and John touched on a potential connection of the city of Medford MN to Faribault's sewage treatment facility. Lots of exciting things for them to cover with us. Thank you to Janna and John for spending some time with us, join us again soon.
List of Scholarship Winners for Most Improved GPA    
First NameLast NameSchoolAward Level     
JasonDonkersFHS$3000 GPA Winner - Wesley Bahl Memorial Scholarship     
KatraAbdulahiFHS$2500 GPA Winner - Wesley Bahl Memorial Scholarship     
HannahPlunkettFHS$2500 GPA Winner - Wesley Bahl Memorial Scholarship     
MelaniePaquetteFHS$1000 GPA Winner - Steven Springmeyer Memorial Scholarship     
TufahAbdulahiFHS$1000 GPA Winner - Keith Shaffer Memorial Scholarship     
List of Scholarship Winners Illustrating Rotarian Values and Writing About it in an Essay
First NameLast NameSchoolScholarship Award Level 
Taylore LenwayFHS$2000 Marv Schrader Scholarship Winner 
RachelHansonFHS$2000 Marv Schrader Scholarship Winner 
AlexanderChouFHS$2000 Marv Schrader Scholarship Winner 

Welcome Natalie!

The Faribault Rotary Club inducted Natalie Secraw as a new member.  Natalie is the Director of Community Engagement and Development for Allina Health.  As a Rotarian Natalie has pledged to put service above self as she joins nearly seventy other members who do just that in our community.  Pictured are President Troy Dunn, Natalie and her sponsor Kurt Halverson.

Kajsa Johnson

Kajsa (second from left) celebrates Christmas at school with Mexican exchange student.
Skiing near Finland in December 
Rotary Exchange in Moscow.  There are only 7 Rotary exchange students in Russia.

John Emery- Islamic Resource Group

    On Wednesday February 14 our Rotary club had a presentation by John Emery of the Islamic Resource Group.
John joked his bio is to give him some "street cred" with law enforcement organizations as that is one of his main focuses during community outreach is to work with law enforcement agencies. John Emery completed intensive study of the Arabic language in the US Army. He served as a translator and interrogator for nine years, including service in the United States, North Africa, the Persian Gulf and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After nine years in the US Army, John completed his B.A. in Global Studies and the University of Minnesota.
     As an American convert, John is concerned with common misconceptions about Muslims and Islam in the United States. John is passionate about dispelling misunderstandings and shedding light on the values shared by believers of all faith traditions. John lives and works in Chaska, MN. When he is not busy with family, John is a beekeeper and bicyclist.
      John shared with us the mission of IRG is to build bridges of understanding across our state. Islamic Resource Group is made up of American Muslims who travel the state to speak on Islamic and Muslim culture to groups large and small. John explained to use the minimum group size is 1. The typical presentation in about an hour in length, with plenty of time for questions and open dialog, so attendees can better understand the Muslim and Islamic culture. Please visit to find out more, or request a speaker for an event.
     Thank you, John for answering our many questions, during your presentation. Please join us again!

Presidential message

Ian H.S. Riseley - Rotary International President-elect 2016-17

Ian H.S. Riseley

President 2017-18

February 2018

One hundred thirteen years ago this month, the four members of Rotary's first club held their first meeting. Although no minutes were kept, it's unlikely anyone talked about service; the club did not begin focusing on the needs of the community for another few years.

The meeting was held not in a hotel or a restaurant, but in a member's office; there were, so far as we know, no agendas or announcements, no committee reports, speakers, or nametags. The meeting would have failed today's usual standards for a productive Rotary meeting most resoundingly. It was, of course, the most productive Rotary meeting ever held.

Today, as in 1905, many of us come to Rotary seeking what Paul Harris sought: friendship, connections, a place to feel at home. But today, Rotary gives us so much more than it could ever have given its earliest members in those earliest days. The Rotary of today, more than 1.2 million members strong, lets us feel at home not only in a small group of our peers, but also in our diverse clubs, across our communities, and indeed throughout the world. Today, Rotary connects us all in a way that Paul Harris could never have dreamed on that February evening so long ago. Not only can we go anywhere in the world there is a Rotary club and feel at home, but we can reach out to anywhere in the world there is a Rotary club and make a difference.

In the 113 years since that first meeting, Rotary has become far larger, and more diverse, than those founding members could have conceived. We have gone from an organization that was all white and all male to one that welcomes women and men of every possible background. We have become an organization whose stated purpose is service, reflected in our motto, Service Above Self. And we have become not only an organization that is capable of changing the world, but one that has already done so, through our work to eradicate polio.

None of us can know what lies ahead for Rotary. It remains for all of us to continue to build on the solid foundations that were laid for us by Paul Harris and his friends: to forge and strengthen the bonds of service and friendship through Rotary: Making a Difference.

Finally, weather cooperates for Elks Lodge Youth Ice Fishing Contest

Ice fishing 18.jpg

(Reprint with permission from the Daily News)

After three long years, Mother Nature was feeling cooperative. And the fish wouldn’t stop biting.

The sun shone brightly, but not too brightly, over French Lake Saturday as local anglers brought their roads and reels to the Faribault Elks Lodge Youth Ice Fishing Contest. Warm conditions wiped out the 2016 and 2017 versions of the contest, and a blizzard shortened the 2015 event, but the 140 people in attendance had no such problems this weekend. 

“That last two years were cancelled due to the weather. It was a real bummer, but safety comes first,” Exalted Ruler of the Faribault Elks Lodge, Peter Van Sluis, said. “Yesterday wasn’t that bad if you could stick in the sun, and there was no wind. Warm is not the right word, but if you had the right clothing on it wasn’t bad at all.”

The first-ever Youth Ice Fishing Contest drew in 90 people, and the contest saw as many as 300 kids participating back in 2015. Attendance was a little down this year, at 140, though Van Sluis speculated that might have been due to the last two events being cancelled.

The Elks Lodge, Faribault Rotary and Faribault Moose Lodge teamed up to host the free event. Van Sluis said grants from Minnesota Elks Association helped pay for the event as well as donations from volunteers from all three organizations and sponsors from around Faribault.

Each kid who participated received a prize, but special prizes were awarded to the top three anglers. Brooklyn White took first place, Sam Bauer was second and Tanner Milewski finished third.

“Our motto is really long, but basically (the Elks Lodge purpose) is to do things in the community for youth and veterans,” Van Sluis said. “The Elks started this but now we work together with other organizations.”


Reach Sports Reporter Alex Kerkman at or on Twitter @FDNalexkerkman. 

©Copyright 2018 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.


        Stephen Pribyl was recently honored by the Faribault Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow for contributing $1000 to the Foundation.  The Foundation is a world wide Rotary organization doing work in underdeveloped countries with emphasis on health care, the environment and education.  Pictured with Steve (left) is Foundation chair Rick Miller.

Welcome Pastor Jared!

Jared 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?” 
Emily (Wife)-piano teacher; 3 foster children: 6yr boy in kindergarten and 16-month twin boys
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
Manheim, PA; Homeschool; Northland International University—B.S. Missions; Central Baptist Theological Seminary—Master of Divinity
  1. Your Previous occupations?
Youth Pastor; Medical Product Builder; Construction Worker;
  1. Any Hobbies?
Running; Biking; Hiking; Fishing
  1. Rotary sponsor?
Keith Kramer
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?
I play the guitar and ukulele
  1. Anything else you can think of?        

Supporting Education

The Faribault Rotary Club presented a check to the South Central Foundation in appreciation for letting the club use their facilities to conduct the STRIVE program.  The Foundation will use the funds for scholarships.  STRIVE is a before school program to help students achieve academically and learn life skills.  Each spring a banquet is held to honor students and present $20,000 in scholarships.  Pictured are Kurt Halverson the incoming chair of STRIVE, Stephen Pribyl retiring chair,  Shelley Rockman the director of the SCC Foundation and Rotary president Troy Dunn.

Welcome Nort!

Nort 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?” 
  • Nort Johnson – Faribault Chamber
  • Shelly Bakeberg – ABC Bus Business Office
  • Elizabeth Johnson – Urologist
  • Andrew Johnson – Searcher of Meaning
  • Peter Johnson – Construction
  • Katie Johnson – Surgical Technician
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
  • Faribault
  • Faribault High School
  • Worthington Junior College
  • Mankato State University
  1. Your Previous occupations?
  • Black Hills & Badlands Association - CEO
  • Lyon County Economic Development – Director
  • Schwan Food Company - Management
  • Printing/Publishing/Marketing Management
  • City Councilman
  1. Any Hobbies?
  • Home renovations
  • Fishing, golf, hunting motorcycles, darts,
  1. Rotary sponsor?
  • Rod Mahler
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?
  • Most Blessed Man in the History of the Planet
  1. Anything else you can think of?        
  • “Love your neighbors, all of them, not just the ones you like.”

The need to read!

Little libraries like the one outside the home of Judy Carver at 28 State Ave., across the street from the Allina Clinic, have attracted readers since July 2016. Richard Huston, who adopted the idea of the Faribault Rotary Club’s international outreach program, said he’s please with the circulation the libraries maintain. Carver is the librarian at Lincoln Elementary. When she saw that Rotary was placing the Little Libraries she wanted to become involved and maintain this one. Pictured putting a book in the library is Judy Carver’s granddaughter, Evie Isaacson. (Daily News file photo)Little Library

They look like birdhouses, or maybe mailboxes, but the blue and yellow structures scattered throughout town are actually little libraries the Faribault Rotary Club installed over a year ago. The 2016 international outreach project has served the local community and promoted literacy ever since.

“Literacy was one of the big efforts of our president (Richard Huston) a couple years ago,” said Dick Cook, chair of Faribault Rotary’s International Services Committee. “We took [the little libraries] on because of the demographic in Faribault and the diversity at the schools.”

I’m really big on education, and I think that if you learn to read you can accomplish anything,” said Huston.

Cook and Huston both built the little libraries, which they distributed throughout the community in 2016. Cook said eight or nine of them are now installed outside schools, churches, businesses and private residences throughout Faribault. However, Cook said not all little libraries in town are part of the Faribault Rotary program; some homeowners set them up before the Rotary Club adopted the project.

Seeing little libraries set up in the Twin Cities inspired Huston’s idea to adopt the program in Faribault as the Rotary International’s outreach program in 2016.

“I went to the Twin Cities and photographed eight to 10 I saw there, and they weren’t all the same, so I created my own ideas and dimensions based on what I saw,” said Houston.

Little libraries painted yellow and blue signify their connection with the Rotary, but Huston said he’s painted flowers and other decorations on the house-like boxes. Maggie Chen, an exchange student from Taiwan who Huston and his wife hosted at the time of the project’s conception, painted the one outside Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.

The installation of the little library outside Our Savior’s Church kicked off the Faribault Rotary’s project in July 2016. Cook said that installation inspired a couple requests from Faribault residents to monitor little libraries on their own properties. The Rotary approved those requests after evaluating the suggested locations.

Any resident with a little library installed on his or her property is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the library, and volunteers monitor little libraries outside churches, schools and businesses. However, Cook said patrons generally follow the concept of taking a book and leaving another without much guidance.

Huston monitors the little library at Our Savior’s Church, where he attends services. He tends to add children’s books to the selection while others give away books for adults. If possible, he tries to collect books pertaining to the season. On the rare occasion when the little library needs more books, he informs the congregation of the need.

“There’s a pretty good turnover,” said Huston. “People are not only taking books, but putting books in there. I see quite a bit of variety.”

Jefferson and Lincoln Elementary Schools have taken on little libraries. Cook and Huston both noted ones located outside Congregational Church, kitty-corner from the former Divine Mercy Church building, and at the State Avenue home of Lincoln Elementary librarian Judy Carver.

“If people want them, I would certainly make sure we got it done,” said Huston. “I would build it or someone else would build it.”

After a couple years in the works, Huston said the little libraries still attract patrons and maintain circulation.

“It’s pretty interesting and gratifying to see people are using them to the extent they are,” said Huston.


Reporter Misty Schwab can be reached at 507-744-2551. Follow her on Twitter @APGmisty.

©Copyright 2017 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.


78th Annual Rotary Christmas Concert

The Faribault High School choir under the direction of Jonah Heinen treated Rotarians and their guests to an excellent Christmas concert again this year. Thank you to Donn Johnson for another great job as our host!
Buddy Bench

In order to place eight Buddy Benches at Faribault’s seven elementary schools, the Faribault Rotary worked to raise $10,000. But now that the benches are in place, the real work of educating teachers and students has begun.

The eight benches were installed across the Faribault area from Lincoln Elementary to Nerstrand Elementary in October in an effort to encourage inclusiveness among area kids. Two benches were installed at Jefferson Elementary, which has two playgrounds.

The idea of a Buddy Bench is to provide kids a visible place to sit at their playground if they are feeling alone, sad or left out while other students are at play. The goal of the bench is to attract those kids to the bench and to who’s sitting there so they can include that child.

While the aim of the bench seems simple, the Rotary members who embarked on the mission to put Buddy Benches at each school are working to make sure the benches aren’t just benches.

“Number one, it’s not just a bench,” said Jake Cook, the former Rotary president who made Buddy Benches his presidential project. “It’s to help students engage other students that aren’t feeling involved that day or are having a bad day.”

While he has not seen the benches in action yet, Cook said his children, who attend Nerstrand Elementary, have seen it work, and included kids who are sitting on the bench and taken a seat there themselves during a bad day.

“It’s great to see the finished project and hear stories from teachers and staff and my own children who have used them,” Cook said. “From my understanding, the benches are doing what I’d hoped they’d accomplish.”

The work continues

Last year, when the Buddy Bench project was being concocted, Cook teamed up with Kelly Velander, another Rotary member, who he credits with actually bringing the idea to Faribault after seeing a news report about them working in other communities.

Each year, the Rotary Club president devotes their term to a project like a downtown mural or the Security State Bank clock restoration. Last year, Cook took on Buddy Benches, raising the $10,000 and working with each of the elementary schools to implement them.

Up until the benches were unveiled in October, Cook and Velander took their efforts inside each of the seven schools, working with educators and the students themselves to maximize the effect of the benches on playgrounds.

“We actually had a meeting with staff members from each of the schools,” Cook said. “We wanted to maintain continuity among staff members, so we provided them with PowerPoints and materials developed by Kelly Velander.”

After those meetings, which took place in the first few weeks of the school year, Cook and Velander then asked the teachers to find time to talk with their students about how the Buddy Bench works.

After the conversations took place, Velander said the education appears “seamless,” among the faculty, staff and students across Faribault.

“Staff are saying that students are out there using it and students are dropping everything to go help students on the bench,” Velander said.

One of the educators who participated in the training was Jim Huberty, a behavior interventionist at Jefferson Elementary School. Huberty has noticed students using the benches at Jefferson and appreciated the training he received, pointing specifically to a video emphasizing the importance of using the bench to build longterm relationships.

Most important to Huberty, however, is the impact the benches could have within the walls of Jefferson Elementary.

“The need to fit in and that need to have social interaction is huge and I’m sure that it does transfer over into the academics,” he said. “If a kid is emotionally ready to be with a group of people, they are more ready to learn.”

In the training, teachers and students are taught that the bench should not be a place to sit and socialize, but rather, to promote socialization on the playground. Also, Cook emphasized that a student seated on the bench should play with the first person that offers, and not pick and choose the friends that ask them to play.

“I am proud that we have this in Faribault and I think we have had great support from the community on getting it going,” she said. “Being accepted by peers is a huge issue for students, so I’m hoping that this creates an empathetic group of people growing up in Faribault.”

Reach Reporter Gunnar Olson at 507-333-3128 or follow him on Twitter @fdnGunnar.

Breanna 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?” 
Breanna – Executive Director at River Bend Nature Center
Owen – 8th grade at Northfield Middle School
Everett – 6th grade at Arcadia Charter School
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
Grew up in Hope, MN.  Graduated from Owatonna High School.  BS in Environmental Science and Sociology from MN State University, Mankato and Master of Public Affairs from University of Minnesota
  1. Your Previous occupations?
Quality of Life Consultant, Dementia Friendly America
Group Exercise Instructor, Keystone Community Services and Northfield Area YMCA
Activity Director, Northfield Hospital Long Term Care Center and St. Lucas Care Center
  1. Any Hobbies?
Volunteer naturalist – MN Master Naturalist program
Spending time outside – hiking, running, camping
Having fun with my family
Learning new things, Traveling
  1. Rotary sponsor?
Dick Huston
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?
I used to be a pretty good pool player.


     The Faribault Rotary Club has inducted Brian Daniels and David Connelly as new members.  Brian is our area's elected official in the State House of Representatives.  David is the general manager and director of events of the Inn at Shattuck St. Mary's.  Pictured left to right is Keith Kramer who sponsored Brian and David who was sponsored by Dr. Dick Huston.

Karen 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?” 
My husband’s name is Jerry and I have one daughter, Jennifer who lives with her husband Mark in Chanhassen, MN.  Grandchildren Ellie, 7 and Charlie, 4.
Occupation: Practice Manager of the Mayo Clinic Health System- Faribault clinic and an Operations Manager for Mayo Clinic Health System - Owatonna clinic.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with minors in mathematics and electrical engineering technology. In addition, I hold a Masters of Business Administration and I am a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
Home town – Pequot Lakes, MN
College – MN State University, Mankato and Southwest MN State University, Marshall
  1. Your Previous occupations?
Network Administrator – 24/7 manufacturing environments
Project Management – Technical and Operational
  1. Any Hobbies? Water color painting and make outstanding pizzas
  1. Rotary sponsor? Kymn Anderson
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?
I took four years of adult tap dancing classes.

Congratulations Dick Huston!

Dr. Dick Huston has been awarded the 2017 Rotarian of the Year.   Dick joined Rotary Club in 2011 and quickly became a very active member of the club.
Here are just a few of the things that he has accomplished:
*             He is a Past President of Faribault Rotary and current Membership Chair
*             Worked on the Little Libraries project including building some and finding homes throughout the community
*             Involvement in International Projects including a trip to Sierra Leone
*             Involved with the Rotary Exchange program as a host as well as assisting with the host family interviews
*             Participated in the Friendship Exchange and hosted a Friendship Exchange with Rotarians from Taiwan.
*             Paul Harris Society member which means he makes contributions annually to the Rotary Foundation
*             Headed the Rotary Mural project and assisted with the Security Clock project
*             When traveling around the states and world, he attends Rotary meetings
*             In the community, he is active with the South Central College foundation and board, as well as BBBS of Southern MN and the Riverbend Nature Center
*             He promotes and practices conservation of our natural resources
*             Tireless recruiter of new members
*             He occasionally wears a top notch tie!
Dick Huston is an exemplary Rotarian who lives every day by the Rotary Motto "Service above

Great Fun at the Rotary Camp!


The kids loved the pony rides!


Having fun outside!


Even the big kids had fun.! Right Lisa?


Enjoying fellowship and a great meal!

Tery Hurst

Tery Hurst from the Rotary Club Jimboomba, Queensland, Australia was here visiting our Faribault Rotary club last Wednesday.  His club is currently hosting our exchange student, Annika and was previously named "The best small club in Rotary (worldwide) in 2012 . We had a little fun with him. He is pictured here with President Troy Dunn (Sheriff) and Police Chief Andy Bohlen.
Passport map

Students reflect on cultures, insights from studying abroad

     Three students who went abroad during high school for different lengths of time, at different times in the year and for different reasons.       Some studied for an entire school year, others visited for just a month, but through their adventures, they agreed that they missed some parts of home, but also made unforgettable memories and friendships.
Run through Northstar Youth Exchange, students 15 to 19 can participate in an exchange. The Faribault Rotary Club is accepting applications for interested students through Oct. 7. If interested, contact Lisa Humfeld-Wilson at 507-330-0108 to learn more. Applications can be submitted through
From the salty Mediterranean Sea to Southeast Asia, these three Faribault students shared their experiences of living and learning a long way from Faribault.
Teresa Wilder – Poland
Wilder is currently a sophomore at University of St. Thomas. She studied abroad in 2015/2016, her senior year in High School, on the Baltic Coast of Poland in a city called Sopot.
What did you study?
I mostly studied Polish. I attended a Polish school. When I arrived, I didn’t know much, so I couldn’t keep up with the subjects, so I went to Polish lessons. While everyone else was studying geography, I was studying Polish. The first word I learned was “squared” which I picked up from math class.
What was the highlight of your trip?
I loved my host family. I stayed with the same family for nine months, which is unusual. They were a couple in their early 60s and they were the sweetest couple ever. They had a daughter on exchange that year, so they understood what I was going through. They taught me a lot of Polish as well because the dad did not speak any English.
What will you miss most about Poland?
I miss the language a lot. I fell in love with it because it’s very, very complicated, but it always follows the rules. If you know the rules, you know the language, unlike English where if you know the rules you don’t know anything.
What did you miss most about home while you were gone?
My siblings. I’m very close with them, so I had some issues with home sickness early on. It was rough for me the first month, but I made a really close friend and she loved speaking English with me.
What was your biggest takeaway from the experience?
I definitely learned that you should try everything … within reason of course. Even things that scare you. Worst comes to worst, you won’t like it, but you might learn something new or have a blast.

Thank you, Rod!

Rod Mahler presents our Faribault Rotary Club president, Troy Dunn with a new U.S. flag to replace the one that was present for 45 years and first saw use during Rod's year as club president in 1972-73.




Seven past Presidents accepted our invitation to attend the installation ceremony this year. They from left to right, Wade Karli, Roy Anderson, Gorden Orde, James Nielson, Donn Olson, Darlene Mellier, and Janine Sahagian (behind Darlene.) They were thanked for their contributions to our club and helping to bring us to where we are today.
     Pastor Orde also presented our club with a hand made 4-Way test that was part of our club history.

Making club history

     Past (Dick Cook, present(Jake Cook) and future(Olive Cook) Faribault Rotary Club Presidents!
President Cook (97) with President-Elect Kramer (99)
President Dunn giving his installation speech and introducing the Rotary theme for 2017-18 of "Rotary Making a Difference."
President Cook installs the 2017-18 Faribault Rotary Club Board.

Passing the gavel

The Faribault Rotary Club has installed a new slate of officers for the 2017-18 term.  Troy Dunn has become the 98th president of the Faribault club and Keith Kramer president elect.  Pictured in past president Jake Cook handing the gavel to incoming president Troy Dunn.
The dedication ceremony for Faribault's newest mural was held last Saturday.  The project was spear headed by past president, Dick Huston, who made a short presentation to Rotarians and guests in the lot next to the Chavis building.   Jeremy Chavis was also present and spoke briefly to crowd stating he was honored to display the mural on his building. Pictured below are the Rotarians who attended the dedication.
Liberian nurse fights for peace

A nurse fights for peaceIn a nation once wracked by civil war, Liberian Rotarian Elizabeth Sele Mulbah has spent much of her life leading efforts for peace and reconciliation.A past president (2011-12) of the Rotary Club of Sinkor, Mulbah has a remarkable

Rotaract: 50 years of changing lives

50 years ago, the first Rotaract club was formed to give young adults a place to connect and take action for good. Rotaract members from each decade share what the program was like and how it shaped their

Rotary women celebrated for changing lives

World Bank and Rotary International celebrate International Women’s

Nowhere to turn

As thousands of refugees streamed into Berlin, they strained the health care system. Rotarian and physician Pia Skarabis-Querfeld spent the last three years building a network of volunteer doctors to help those in

5 things you might not know about ending polio

The road to eradicating polio has been a long and difficult one, with Rotary leading the fight since 1985. Going from nearly 350,000 cases in 1988 to just 10 so far this year has required time, money, dedication, and innovation from thousands of people who are working to end the

March 2018
Upcoming Events
  • Strive Meeting
    South Central College
    Apr 11, 2018
    7:15 AM – 8:00 AM
  • Board Meeting
    Inn at Shattuck
    Apr 11, 2018
    10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
  • Cash Raffle
    Inn at Shattuck
    Apr 25, 2018 12:15 PM –
    Jun 27, 2018 12:15 PM
  • Board Meeting
    South Central College
    May 09, 2018
    10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Julie and Kathy Donahue
Mar 21, 2018
History of Donahue's Greenhouse
Dennis and Karen Vinar
Mar 28, 2018
Authors of the Book - How did they find me.....
Erik Therwanger
Apr 04, 2018
Nationally Known Speaker/Did a Ted Talk
John Schoenberg/Patrick Kincade
Apr 11, 2018
Stonebridge Capital Advisors - Economic Outlook
Dick Huston
Apr 18, 2018
Africa Trip
Darci Stanford
Apr 25, 2018
Brain Training/Learning RX
Dr. Brian Bunkers
Jun 20, 2018
The State of Healthcare
Troy Dunn and Keith Kramer
Jun 27, 2018
Installation of Keith Kramer - 99th President