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Meeting Responsibilities
Club Services
Google Master
Connelly, David
Wickstrom, Jr., George
Sergeant at Arms
Kenney, Mark
Weaverling, Ken
Gliem, Brandon
Program Summary
Gliem, Brandon
Facebook/Social Media
Amundson, Jessica

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Welcome - Join us at our weekly meeting!
Join us at Rotary!

Serve To Change Lives

We meet In Person & Online
Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
Inn at Shattuck- St. Mary's
1000 Shumway Ave.
Faribault, MN 55021
United States of America
Home Page Stories
All Rotarians are invited to be a part of the Fellowship Fun at the June 1st meeting as we honor Greg and Rebecca on their upcoming wedding. They will not be asked to sing or rap but co-host Laura Bock and I are planning an activity for the soon to be newly weds.  You won't want to miss the fun!

All Rotarians plus their guests are invited!

Saturday June 11, 2022 at 2pm at 4th Avenue United Methodist Church.  Reception will follow immediately afterwards in the church fellowship hall.

Charitable Gambling Report

  • Charitable gambling revenue took a step back with total sales of $168K in April compared to $212K in March for a reduction of 20.7%
    • The slowdown was largely driven by weaker demand for paper tabs, totaling $64K in April against $100K one month prior
    • E-tab sales were also down but to a lesser degree at $96K versus $104K, respectively.
    • On the positive side, the gross margin on E-tabs was strong at 19.9% in April compared to 13.9% one month earlier
    • On paper tabs, the gross margin slipped to 18.0% against March’s 20.4%
  • In addition to softer demand in April, the profit-sharing arrangements that are paid in arrears (March’s success paid out in April) resulted in a significant decline in net income for the month, totaling $4K compared to $13K in March.
    • Softer net income in April should be a supportive base for stronger net income in May all else being equal
  • FRYS obtained clearance from the MN Gambling Control Board to sell pull-tabs at the MN Town Ball State Tournament at Bell Field this summer. FRYS will be selling the long Labor Day Weekend of Friday, September 2 through Monday, September 5.
The following expenses were approved:
  • CG Made Easy Administrative Fee = $250
    • Fixed fee every month
  • Inventory = $4,000
    • Paper tab sales slowed in April and Dawn projects weaker demand going forward, so a slight reduction in inventory purchases is anticipated
  • Rotary Gambling Team Compensation = $2,600
  • Bingo Team Compensation = $2,000
    • Bingo is being hosted every Thursday night now, requiring greater compensation
  • Revenue Share with MPeters = $10,000
    • Profit share is 31% of e-tab gaming à Growth in e-tabs have slowed as gamblers turn to paper tabs
  • City of Faribault = $1,500
    • Revenue share with the city is up with stronger sales
  • Revenue Share with Boxers = $6,500
    • Profit-share w/ e-tabs = 15% & paper tabs = 20% à Paper tabs sales were soft in April for what could be a harbinger of slower months to come
  • Misc. Cost = $3,000
    • FRYS is hiring Reece, Winter payroll processing is ~$1k a month
  • Total Expenses = $29,850
    • On a motion by Rod Muller with a second by Kurt Halverson, the FRYS membership approved the expenses for June
The charitable giving committee has recommended the following gits for membership to vote on at today’s meeting:
1: United Way of Rice County “Dolly Parton Imagination Library” $2,500 – Program provides free books each month to children birth to age 5. A total of 375 children in Faribault benefit and they are seeking funds to increase to 425. Funds are to be allocated to Faribault youth only.
2: Somali Community Resettlement Services “Summer Soccer League for Somali Youth in Faribault” $5,080 – Program provides opportunity for Somali youth to be engaged in a youth soccer program specific for Somali youth and to compete in a league against similar teams.
3:  Faribault Soccer Club “ASL Interpreters” $4,000 – Request is to fund ASL interpreting services for two teams. There are 2 youth/families who require ASL interpreters. Having interpreters available will allow the Club to be more inclusive of the deaf/hard of hearing community.
Total Approvals = $11,580
  • On a motion by Dick Huston with a second by Rebecca Freed, the FRYS membership approved the charitable gifts.
On a sunny 18th day of May, Rotarians joined together at the Inn at Shattuck at roughly noon. The meeting opened the week's Virtue Hope and read by Kent Weaverling followed by a prayer by Pastor Greg Ciesluk.
 Club announcements, 
Eric Craig (Treasurer) has your cash raffle ticket if you haven't received them yet. 
David Connelly (Community Service) reminded the club that the upcoming parades are available to attend and volunteer.
Dick Huston shared that the club will be participating in Shark Tank and look to provide $4,000 to other projects from other clubs in the district.
Chad Koepke provided the gambling revenue for the month of April.
Natalie Ginter updated the club on charitable giving supplied to the community from gambling revenue. For more charitable giving Click here.
George Wickstrom directed Fellowship
  • Jamie Bente shared that at the Faribault scholarship event, they will be giving away $200,000 in scholarships to Faribault students. 
  • Kurt Halverson thanked South Central College for his award as an honored Alumni this past week. 
  • Peter van Sluis shared that he has filed for re-election to the city council.

Thank You, Nicholas!

Classification of Mr. Nicholas Sonpon. Nicholas was born and raised in Liberia and was greatly dedicated to his mother and father regarding his upbringing. Nicholas came to the states in 2013; he and his wife are happy parents of 5 kids.

Nicholas's biggest passion is the Rural Evangelism Mission which aims to fund and action in communities. Rural Evangelism Mission is dedicated to bringing the ability for young Liberia girls the option of education over the purchase into marriage at a young age.

For $60 a year, you can fund a young child's education through Nicholas's mission project. 

Following the Pledge of Allegiance and Rotary’s Four-Way Test, George Wickström read a selected virtue. Mark Kenney gave the invocation.
Donn Johnson reported on the Faribault High School scholarship program. Rotary increased its donation this year, allowing for twice as many students to receive scholarships than in the past. Johnson is retiring from his position and asked for a volunteer to lead the program, which includes organizing concerts twice annually. He even offered to help his successor as they get acclimated. “We need to support these kids,” he said. “These kids in the arts need what we can do for them.”
George Wickstrom had lunch with a TCPT employee in the past week, and discovered he, too, is a Rotarian. The conversation got Wickstrom to consider how often we as a club promotes The Four-Way Test.
Laura Bock reminded Rotarians that the Rotary Camp clean-up was planned for the following day.
Keith Kramer received an email saying that Faribault youth soccer is looking for coaches for children K-5. No experience necessary.
Lisa Humfeld-Wilson announced that one of two incoming exchange students has been identified. He is a 17-year-old male from Thailand who enjoys basketball.
Natalie Ginter read a note from Zach Pruitt thanking the club for the $10,000 donation to the Little Falcons program.
• Tickets for the cash raffle are still available and can be obtained from Eric Craig at JOD Limited (2209 Bard Ave. NW).


Your Digital Well Being

Todd Sesker introduced Maree Hampton, director of health promotion and strategy at LiveMore ScreenLess, a non-profit dedicated to digital wellness. The organization was born after the Minnesota Legislature passed the first in the nation law supporting digital wellness.
LiveMore’s Amy Webster has worked with FHS English instructor Isaac Heins to launch a student group at the school that understands and practices digital wellness. Six of the ten students Heins recruited spoke about the negative and positive impacts of screens and social media on teens, and why people of all ages need to be involved in the group’s mission.
Some use of technology is avoidable, the students reported, saying that a great deal of classwork includes screen time and that teachers use technology to post lessons and assignments.
Students, who have met twice weekly for the last three months, are becoming leaders at FHS, said Heins, who added that they’re “moving out of the phase of learning and getting into action.”
The group, he said, will design a project for FHS “to make our school a better place to be and a better place to learn.”
Learn more about the organization at livemorescreenless.org.
It is time for the annual spring clean up at the Rotary Camp. This Thursday we need a crew of Rotarians to help clean in and around the building and help put in the dock. The sign up sheet will be passed around again at the meeting tomorrow or you may email Dave Beranek directly at   davidberanek@charter.net 

Each One, Bring One initiative

Shekhar Mehta

Shekhar Mehta

President 2021-22

May 2022

Due to your positive response to the Each One, Bring One initiative, I am so happy to see that the membership trends in Rotary are looking up. Let us not lose this momentum — keep inviting new members, and also work hard to retain every member we attract. I look forward to seeing you next month in Houston at the 2022 Rotary International Convention, which I assure you will be a great event.

Also in Houston this June, we will be hosting my final presidential conference. We have devoted this year to conferences built around Rotary’s areas of focus. They have been a tremendous success, both in terms of attendance and in the ideas that were generated.

Last fall, our conference in the Philippines, which focused on protecting the environment and growing local economies, attracted 2,200 people online. In Brazil, our meeting centered around water, sanitation, and hygiene and how it relates to disease prevention and treatment; more than 600 people attended. That was followed by an event about the environment, economy, and peace in Maputo, Mozambique, which attracted around 400 in-person attendees and another 700 virtually. Our conference about keeping the economy and environment in harmony, held in Venice, Italy, had more than 600 in attendance.

Through these conferences and my world travels, numerous leaders have met with me and agreed to collaborate with Rotary. They include the prime minister of Mauritius, the president of Seychelles, the deputy prime minister of Bahrain, and the presidents of Albania and Kosovo. Clearly, Rotary is making an impact, and the world is eager for our leadership.

In Houston, the final presidential conference, Serve to Bring Peace, will focus on an area in which Rotary has long provided leadership. Everything we do in Rotary helps create the conditions that foster peace in communities, nations, and ourselves.

In March, I was able to see firsthand the tremendous difference Rotary is making in Ukraine, as refugees continue to pour into Poland. Donors have contributed millions of dollars to this effort; our projects are making a tremendous difference, and there is enormous gratitude for your continued generosity and support.

It is heartbreaking to see up close all the lives that have been uprooted, and the Ukrainian people are not alone. A devastating civil war in Yemen continues. The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is deepening. Armed conflicts affect nations across Africa, including Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, northern Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Cameroon. And major refugee crises continue in Syria and Venezuela.

Rotary will always be on the side of the peaceful resolution of conflict and providing aid and comfort to people in need. Rotary was there at the end of World War II, promoting the creation of the United Nations and standing up for the cause of peacebuilding worldwide. It is time to renew our mission and perform our role as one of the world’s great promoters of peace.

There is no better way to Serve to Change Lives than to serve the cause of peace.

The start of the Cash Raffle 2022 was last Wednesday (May 4th) with the distribution of tickets to club members. Please sell your book of 10 tickets and consider asking Eric for another 10 or more to sell.
The proceeds from this fundraiser help to financially support the STRIVE and music scholarships and other youth programs sponsored by our club.  Last year we sold all 900 tickets and with a solid concentrated effort.  This year with our increased membership the goal will be to sell 1000 tickets at $20 each.  There will be $5000  awarded in the prize drawings at our club meeting on June 29th. 
Thank you to all club members for continuing the Faribault Rotary Club's mission to serve, promote and encourage the youth in our community.

Thank you, Laura!

Led by Laura Bock,  all Rotarians were provided updates about the committees and club service opportunities
  • Service Opportunities
    • Rotary Board meets once a month
  • Youth Investment-Chad
    • Spoke about Faribault Rotary Youth Investment
    • Looking for additional members
  • Membership-Keith
    • New members have to take attendance, complete classification speech and join a committee to receive their permanent badge
    • Warm our Community update
      • Run short every year on items
      • Hope to have a larger supply of clothes and footwear
      • Possible to include non-school age children if funding in them
  • Public Relations-Dr. Huston 
    • Wear your rotary pin, display your flag (flag is cool)
    • Suzanne Rook is doing a large article in FDN
  • Cindy
    • Helps organize the different assignments of members for weekly meetings
    • Greeter/Attendance, Fellowship, Sergeant at Arms
  • Rotary foundation-Brent
    • Looking for assistance, donations are down from expectations
  • Community Projects
    • Asked about selling food to an event at Central Park-group said no as we need more notice
  • Youth Exchange-Lisa
    • Has worked in this role for about 10 years
    • Looks for host families for in bound and assists outbound students
  • Strive-Greg
    • Works with students in FPS for college applications/scholarships and assists students with job placements
  • Webmaster-Dr. Hanson
    • Updates website, adds notes from meetings (like these)
    • Make sure to use the ClubRunner App on your smart phone, a great tool for members
  • Programs-Cindy
    • Sets up classification speeches and programs for weekly meetings
  • Diversity Committee-Dr. Huston 
    • Setting up community garden
    • Cambodia project
    • EID
  • Youth Protection-David
    • Completes background checks for youth related activities
    • Human Trafficking-Erika Human Trafficking presentation was last week
Dr. Hanson led everyone in President Sesker’s absence
Patriotic Song & Pledge of Allegiance!
Cash Raffle Tickets were handed out. We plan to sell all 1000 tickets with the drawing on June 29th
  • Reminder that if you don’t sell your tickets, they need to be returned!
  • Jessica is happy because she is just wrapping up her college finals!
  • Brent talked about FHS fast pitch winning their first game!
  • Lisa provided info about an online get together that sells items to prevent sex trafficking
  • Greg sold his house, Cindy helped him
  • Brenda’s grandson had a procedure at Children’s, giving her our best wishes
Rotary Camp Cleanup is next week on May 12 from 6p-8p

Human Trafficking

Speakers -Erika Staab, Carri Ann Pollard and Suzanne Fox
Human Trafficking Presentation
Four main types of trafficking
  • Pimp controlled, Gang Controlled, Familial Trafficking (most common in Rice County), Buyer perpetuated
Risk Factors
  • 80% of kids were kicked out of their homes because of sexual identity issues
  • Immigration status, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, substance abuse are also all factors
Audience watched 3-minute video from survivors
Local story about a girl named “Ella”
  • Homeless and received housing assistance at Ruth’s house
  • Was in relationship with older guy
  • Male was super controlling and started to pimp her out to his friends
Incarceration and Criminal Statutes for Traffickers
  • Brandon Gliem discussed the criminal statutes for traffickers and the need for State law enforcement resources to address the problem
Never Look away from People's pain.

Types of Trafficking


Rotarians Juanita Picazo, Carri Pollard and Dick Huston were joined by 3 members of the Rise Room to distribute treats to the children at Eid this morning.  We handed out 350 candy bars, 75 cotton candy and 60 bowls of popcorn.  It was great fun and so very, very much appreciated by the Muslim community.
Virtue Reading
  • Cheerfulness
  • Self-reflection time
Special Guests
  • Gordy Kosfeld from KDHL radio
    • Honored by Dr. Huston for service to the Faribault community
  • Greg Spit (spelling?)
Cash Raffle
  • Delay in printing for cash raffle tickets, should be available next week
Youth Exchange
  • Looking for a host family for 3-4 months for German exchange student
  • Jessica’s offer for a house was accepted!
  • Kurt spoke about haunted houses………
Community Events
  • Veterans memorial dedication Saturday May 7th at the court house memorial
  • The 17th annual international festival will be held in Central Park in July
    • Get there early so you don’t miss anything
  • CLUE will be at the Paradise theater this weekend….
  • Community Garden has been plowed by Dr. Huston and is being prepared in its new location just north of the waterpark at Alexander Park

Congratulations Gordy!

Rotarian Dr. Dick Huston (left) used his $1000 Paul Harris donation to the International Rotary Foundation to honor Gordy Kosfeld for his contributions to the community.

Welcome Jayne!

Jayne Bongers owner of Advantage Care Hearing Center has joined the Faribault Rotary Club.  Pictured with Jayne is Keith Kramer chair of the membership team (left) and her sponsor Dr. Dick Huston.  Gail Kaderlik is her mentor.

Thanks Ron!

Ron Dweik, an enrollment advisor at South Central College, gave his classification speech.
Ron began his address by discussing his unique heritage. He was born in Jerusalem, but grew up in upstate New York, near Syracuse. Though his mother is Jewish, he has many family members on his father’s side who live in a refugee camp in Palestine.
He has traveled extensively and spent a year in Amman, Jordan, learning Arabic. “it opened my eyes to see the world is so much bigger,” he said of traveling outside the U.S.  He graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo and spent time in Belize working on service project.
He has spent much of his life volunteering in the communities in which he lived. While living in Virginia, he volunteered with the local Big Brothers Big Sisters and since moving to southern Minnesota, he has been involved with the Community Action Center Faribault.
Ron has two unique hobbies: he’s working on getting his pilot’s license and while studying abroad became interested in falconry.
Wednesday, April 18, 2022
Secretary: Suzy Rook
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and Rotary’s Four-Way Test, Briana Maland read a selected virtue. Greg Ciesluk gave the invocation.
George Wickstrom made an addendum to his presentation from the prior week, listing a number of facts to support his belief that ethanol is “not a clean fuel.” It’s more costly to make ethanol, he said, uses a three gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol and provides fewer miles per gallon than regular gasoline.
Ethanol, he said, “is very bad for the economy.”
Laura Bock reminded Rotarians about several opportunities to support club projects, including Meals on Wheels from May 31-June 3 and Adopt-a-Highway May 21. She also polled members and determined there is enough support for a float in the Memorial and Heritage Day parades. More information to come. She also reminded the membership that if no one takes over the Rotary Readers program for next year that she and David Connelly will take it on.
Todd Sesker issued a reminder that six families are needed to host two international students for portions of the 2022-23 school year.
Brent Peroutka announced Paul Harris fellow: Roger Koopmans, who previously received the award, and Brenda DeMars, Amy Amundson and Rebekah Freed.
Chad Koepke announced a 12% increase in pull tabs sales in March. Since Rotary took on pull tabs in November 2021, it has had $873,000 in sales with a profit of $70,000 (an 8% profit margin).
Koepke also listed the proposed contributions the club would like to make:
• $10,000 for the Little Falcons program which provides scholarships so youth can participate in sports and extracurriculars.
• $7,000 for the Rotary Youth Scholarship program
• $800 for American Legion Safety Camp scholarships
• $500 for Faribault Parks & Recreation
• $300 to sponsor an Eid celebration
The motion was unanimously approved.

Congratulations on another Award!

Edward Jones financial advisor Cate Grinney of Faribault was named among the 2022 Best-in-State Wealth Advisors in Minnesota by Forbes and SHOOK Research.

This Best-in-State Wealth Advisors recognition is in addition to Grinney's ranking on the recent Best-in-State Women Wealth Advisors, also from Forbes and announced in February 2022.

Grinney is one of 117 Edward Jones financial advisors to be named to the 2022 Forbes SHOOK Best-in-State Wealth Advisors ranking, which was announced in April 2022 and published in the 2022 April/May issue. To see the full list of Edward Jones financial advisors who ranked among the top in their state, visit edwardjones.com and enter "Best in State Wealth Advisors" into the search box.



In 1917 Rotary International created the Paul Harris foundation for assist clubs in doing projects around the world.  Rotarians who give $1000 accumulatively or at one time receive a Paul Harris award.  Each time a member gives another $1000 they are recognized by a (+).  Faribault Rotarians Amy Amundson +2, Benda DeMars +1 and Rebekah Freed +1 have been so honored.  Pictured are Rotary president Todd Sesker,  Amy Amundson,  Brenda DeMars and Rebekah Freed.

Another record setting month in sales!

  • A new record performance in monthly revenue with $212k in sales for an increase of 12% from the previous record month’s sales of $190k
    •  Sales of paper tabs drove the record revenue as paper tab sales were $100k while e-tabs were $103K.
      • The paper tab / e-tab sales ratio of 97% is the highest on record; to put the 97% into perspective, in December 2021, the paper tab / e-tabs sales ratio was 38%.
    • Gross profit on paper tab sales also established a new high at $20k driven by a solid gross profit margin of 20.4% in March 2022.
    • Net income for the month was a healthy $13k
  • Through 6 months (October 21 – March 22) total sales, which have been increasing consistently month-over-month are $873k with net profit of $68k for a net profit margin of 7.78%.
    • Monthly gross profit on e-tabs has averaged ~$13k with a gross profit margin (sales – prizes) of 14%.
    • For paper tabs, which have been more volatile, average gross profit is $10k with a margin of 18.4%.
  • In other gambling news, Dawn has inquired if FRYS would be willing to sponsor/purchase a new video horse racing game to be played at Boxers, costing ~$1,500 for the system
    • Assuming all the tickets are sold, gross profit per game is guaranteed at $92 per game ($308 purse); however, costs to purchase the paper cards and profit-sharing with Boxers are taken out of the $92 gross profit for a net income per game likely around the $50 mark, requiring ~30 games be played to break-even on the investment
    • The “shelf-life” of the computer system is many years, so FRYS will turn profits for years to come once the break-even point is reached
      • On a motion by Jake Cook with a second by Dr. Huston, FRYS membership approved the purchase of horse racing system
  • With regards to monthly expense approval, the following sought membership approval:
    • CG Made Easy Administrative Fee = $250
      • Fixed fee every month
    • Inventory = $6,000
      • Paper tab sales set a record high in March 2022, meaning inventory might need to be higher going forward with the positive momentum at Boxers
    • Rotary Gambling Team Compensation = $2,600
    • Bingo Team Compensation = $2,000
      • Bingo is being hosted every Thursday night now, requiring greater compensation
    • Revenue Share with MPeters = $10,000
      • Profit share is 31% of e-tab gaming à Growth in e-tabs have slowed as gamblers turn to paper tabs
    • City of Faribault = $1,500
      • Revenue share with the city is up with stronger sales
    • Revenue Share with Boxers = $8,500
      • Profit-share w/ e-tabs = 15% & paper tabs = 20% à Paper tabs set record highs in March and that means higher revenue share with Boxers given the 20% share
    • Misc. Cost = $5,000
      • FRYS is hiring Reece, Winter payroll processing is ~$1k a month
      • A specialty “purse” bingo is coming in May with purse prizes of $1,100
    • Total Expenses = $32,250
      • On a motion by George Wickstrom with a second by Natalie Ginter, FRYS membership approved the May expenses
  • Turning to the most exciting news of the monthly membership meeting, today’s membership meeting marked the first membership vote on approval of charitable donations from FRYS’ gambling profits
    1. $10,000:  Healthy Community Initiative “Little Falcons” – Program’s purpose is to increase participation of elementary aged youth in Faribault in extracurricular activities and athletics
    2. $800: Faribault American Legion “Legionville Safety Camp” – Two scholarships for Faribault students to attend
    3. $500: Faribault Parks and Recreation “Safety Camp” – Sponsorship of the camp which benefits Faribault youth ages 8-10 years old
    4. $7,000: Annual Rotary music, theater and arts scholarships program to be held in mid-May
    5. $300: Candy for kids at the Eid celebration
      1. Note, the Eid approval was not noted on the monthly membership memo as the request came last minute
  • Total Donations = $18,600
    • On a motion by Rod Muller with a second by Rebecca Freed, FRYS membership approved the first charitable contributions

Ryan Guenther

Ryan Guenther provided our week's program about the Faribault Summer Strength and Conditioning program. Faribault Public Schools built the strength training program in 2014 to increase diversity and athletic participation in Faribault public schools while increasing each athlete's skills in all sports.
The program looks to foster good mechanics and a healthy, safe environment for 6th to 12th-grade students. The program has grown from roughly 50 students in 2014 to 100 students in 2019 to 240 students in 2021. Some of the program's success of growth is due to access to the program free of enrollment fees as they were free in 2021 & upcoming in 2022 from government funding through the STEAM grants.
 Ryan stressed the return of strength training in all sports across the board regarding winning and success "It makes our athletes stronger, faster, more confident earlier." Ryan expressed. The program prides itself on looking like the community and embraces diversity through a positive atmosphere. Challenging students to better themselves through teamwork. If you are a student in need of a good summer program this year, please get in touch with Ryan.  
On a yet again cold Wednesday in April, Rotarians joined together at the Inn at Shattuck at roughly noon. In club announcements,
Dr. Murray Hanson announced the Annual Cash Raffle would be starting in two weeks on April 27th, and each Rotarian would be given a minimum of ten tickets to sell. As a club, we aimed to sell 1000 tickets.  

George Wickstrom read the Virtue of Faithfulness, and Pastor Ciesluk gave our Passover week prayer.

Fellowship was conducted by Jessica Amundson with the theme of "best spring break memories" to share.
Dr. Huston shared that the city council approved a new community garden location.
Sara Rojas updated the club on her going back to Help Me Grow.
Katy Anderegg updated the club on the wind damage at River Bend in this week's wind storms. Many trees are down and causing hazardous conditions for the trails. Volunteers are very welcome, and don't hesitate to contact Riverbend to help out.  
Shekhar Mehta

Shekhar Mehta

President 2021-22

April 2022

Friends, one of my mantras in Rotary has been do more, grow more. I am sure you are adopting this mantra. Do more, as in bigger and impactful service projects, and grow more, as in increasing our membership.

There is so much excitement across the Rotary world about our Each One, Bring One effort. Everywhere I travel, club presidents, district governors, and Rotary members — both veteran and new — express appreciation that their membership efforts are inspiring the Rotary world.

We are growing more, and I cannot wait to celebrate all of this success with you at the Rotary International Convention in Houston in June. There is still time to register and make your plans to join us. We are looking forward to a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will unite our members after far too much time apart.

As we grow more, we will have so much more opportunity to do more. April is Maternal and Child Health Month, a great opportunity for your clubs to consider what you are doing to support the health of mothers and young children. Improving access to care and the quality of care for women and children worldwide is an important focus for us and it also ties in very well with our Empowering Girls initiative. I appreciate the work being done by various clubs in this area of focus, and I would encourage you to think of ways to do more.

It has been so exciting to see Rotary members come together at the presidential conferences to share ideas about using our areas of focus to bring about big, lasting change in the world. The past and upcoming presidential conferences are looking at our new area of focus — the environment — and how our work to protect our planet must support our efforts to grow local economies, especially in places with the greatest poverty. I also had the honor to speak at the 26th United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, known as COP26. This important meeting brought together nearly 100 heads of state and government over a two-week period to set new targets for fossil fuel emission. My call to action was to restore mangroves, a crucial ecosystem that can mitigate the effects of climate change in coastal areas. Already, countries across the world are showing great enthusiasm for this plan.

Our survival is at stake — the damage of environmental catastrophe is already upon us — and so, too, is our ability to lift the world’s most needy out of poverty and offer them hope. We must find ways to protect our planet while sustaining the economic growth necessary to achieve our highest humanitarian goals.

This is a very exciting time in Rotary, a time when the world needs us most. As we Serve to Change Lives, remember that we are also changing ourselves. We are becoming the world’s great change-makers and peacebuilders.

The world is ready for us. It’s time to rise to that call.

The start of the Cash Raffle 2022 was postponed last week and will start this week (May 4th)with the distribution of tickets to club members. The proceeds from this fundraiser help to financially support the STRIVE and music scholarships and other youth programs sponsored by our club.  Last year we sold all 900 tickets and with a solid concentrated effort.  This year with our increased membership the goal will be to sell 1000 tickets at $20 each.  There will be $5000  awarded in the prize drawings at our club meeting on June 29th. 
Thank you to all club members for continuing the Faribault Rotary Club's mission to serve, promote and encourage the youth in our community.

Welcome Ron!

 Faribault Rotary Club has inducted Ron Dweik as its newest member. Ron is an enrollment advisor at Faribault's South Central College Campus.  He is willing to put Service Above Self working with area youth.  Pictured is his sponsor Greg Ciesluk (left) Ron and Membership team leader Keith Kramer.


Presentation Economic Thoughts by George Wickstrom and Chad Koepke
  • GDP
    • USA is 4% of world population but made 85-90% of products for world in 1946
    • Current debt is 125-170% of GDP
  • Social Security
    • Has not adjusted to life expectancy which has increased drastically
  • Values
    • Athletes and performers now make more than professionals
  • COVID 19 response paid for by Quantitative Easing (Fed buys govt. debt)
  • Actual Inflation is much larger than the stated inflation (believed to be almost twice as much)
  • Paul Volcker rose interest rates 20%+to break demand in 1980’s
    • It is widely anticipated the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates in 2022 to battle inflation
  • Members Laura and Steve Bock, Aubrey Nicholson, David Connelly and President Sesker attended Owatonna’s 100th anniversary on Saturday April 2nd.
  • Meals on Wheels 05/31-06/03
  • Adopt a Highway Day 05/21
  • Thursday, 4/14 is a scholarship event called National Signing Day. Its for graduating Seniors seeking a tech related career. $2500 yearly scholarships for numerous technology and heath care related careers. Details can be found at https://southcentral.edu/Admissions/signing-day.html. Please refer any questions or interested parties to Ron Dweik directly.  On April 13 the College is hosting Big Brothers Big Sisters for a career exploration night exclusive for their mentees ranging from 12- 17 years old) and their corresponding mentors.
  • Community Good Friday service led by area pastors will be held on Friday, April 15 at 12 noon at Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church, 219 4th Avenue NW.   The service will include congregational and choir music, the reading of the Passion from John’s Gospel by lay ministry leaders, community servants, and business leaders, including current and former Rotarians Keith Kramer, Tony Langerud, and Brian Daniels, and a message preached by Father Henry Doyle.  The offering will support Jesus Food and its vision to pack and deliver 1,000,000 meals for the Ukrainian people displaced by the current war with Russia.      
  • Ron Dweik is officially inducted into our Rotary Club!
Fellowship w/ Jessica
  • Friends who visited today, David, Todd Markman, Jim Purfeerst, Sam Dailey and K9 Taffy
Get Well Soon
  • Dr Huston’s wife broke her wrist and is recovering from surgery
"Service above Self" Essay
Over the years I have done a variety of volunteer work in my community. It has taught me to give back to the community that I live in. I have been doing community service more and more as I get older and it really makes me realize how much of an impact I can make on my community and how much others appreciate it. There are so many reasons why volunteering is so important. I have learned that volunteering can be just as rewarding for me as for those I am helping. Volunteering has made me a better person. It has broadened my views on how others have struggles that I don't see in my daily life and how I can make a difference for others.
Between March of 2020 and January of 2021 was a busy time of volunteering for me. Despite the times of Covid and volunteers being limited, there was still so much that could be done. With these times being so uncertain I really felt the need to give back to my community. I am involved in 4-H which has a ton of volunteer opportunities. My 4-H ambassador group organizes an annual county wide Easter egg hunt and because of Covid in April of 2020 we were unable to have one. Instead of having an Easter egg hunt, I stuffed eggs and put them in bags and donated them to grocery stores for parents to come and pick up so they could have an Easter egg hunt at home. Also due to Covid, residents in nursing homes were very lonely due to restrictions of visitors. Because of that I knew I needed to do something to try and make them feel like they were not forgotten.
A few of the things I did include visiting residents through their windows, making ornaments and homemade thanksgiving and Christmas cards. Specifically at the Faribault Senior living my 4-H club bought pajamas and lotion for the residents in the memory care unit. I was informed that many of them did not have pajamas or good lotion, so I felt it was necessary to provide them with items they needed. I believe that it is our responsibility as a community to protect the environment. Therefore, my 4-H club has adopted a highway that we clean up every fall and spring. During the Christmas season there are always families that are in extra need for things. Because of that I volunteered to bell ring for the Salvation Army to help raise money for those families in need. Finally, I like to volunteer at the food shelf. The food shelf is always in need of help making sure the community has a place to go when they can't afford food for their families.
With these volunteer opportunities I have worked with a variety of cultures which has made me a more well-rounded person and the fact that I feel good knowing that I am helping my community. I have found that if I were to put myself in some of these situations, I would appreciate the work volunteers do to try and help. Volunteers are so imp01iant and without them a lot of resources would not be available for people to use because some organizations are run solely on volunteers.
The honorable Dr. Dick Huston proposes Jayne Bongers, Owner of Advantage Care Hearing Center, for membership in the Faribault Rotary Club.  If you have any questions, pleas contact membership chair, Keith Kramer.

Cambodia Project

Following fellowship, Dr. Huston, Ms. Nygaard, and Ms. Bolt Simons discussed their trip to the Battambang region of Cambodia to inaugurate the Faribault Club sponsored Water purification project.  This project is located in a rural village at the village’s school.  Former Faribault Rotary member Sam Ouk who was instrumental in getting the project approved and funded also traveled to Cambodia.  Mr. Ouk and his relatives in Cambodia helped to host the Faribault delegation.  
While presenting pictures of their journey, Dr. Huston stressed how the water purification project was in good hands with our partner club in Cambodia.  Huston explained our partner club was very experienced in managing global grants.  He also highlighted the water purification project had garden and entrepreneurial aspects.  Not only will the children receive clean water, but also the garden associated with the water purification project will allow the children and villagers to grow and consume nutritious food.  The water also will be sold to the villagers and the funds will help make the project more sustainable.
Dr. Huston said the group arrived at the project school on National Women’s Day, a national holiday in Cambodia.  Despite the school being closed for the holiday, some 100 students came to the ceremony to show appreciation for the water project.  One of the students, a young girl, collapsed during the ceremony.  Huston helped tend to her and seeing her, dehydrated and malnourished, it really reinforced to him the value of the water purification and garden project for the Cambodians living in this village.  
Ms. Nygaard discussed some of the tourist sites the delegation saw in Phnom Penh to include the National Museum of Cambodia, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (aka S-21, the Khmer Rouge torture center), and Buddhist temples.  The group also traveled to Siem Reap and visited the magnificent temple complex of Angkor Wat.  
Ms. Bolt Simons spoke of trying to see more of real Cambodia by trying to get away from normal tourist activities.  Traveling with Sam Ouk’s relatives helped in this regard.  She stressed that as a former educator seeing the school, the water project and the students really hit home for her about the importance of the project in providing clean water and food to this impoverished community.
Dr. Huston concluded the briefing by reiterating that our partner club was very strong and capable.  He stressed Faribault Rotarians should be very proud of raising the funds for this global grant project which will make a difference in these children’s lives.  He added that perhaps more global programs can be initiated building on the success of this important project.
On March 30, the Faribault Rotary Club convened its regular meeting at the Inn at Shattuck.  The inductions of Nicholas Sonpon and Carri Ann Pollard into the Club highlighted the meeting. 
 Rotarian Dr. Richard Huston, Faribault Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director Kelly Nygaard, and Author Lisa Bolt Simons provided the Club with a briefing on their trip to the Battambang region of Cambodia to visit the water purification project that the Faribault Rotary Club had initiated.  Salient details of the meeting follow.
Former Club President Brenda DeMars filled in for President Todd Sesker who was not able to join the meeting.  She and David Connelly presided over the induction of both Mr. Sonpon and Ms. Pollard.  The assembled Rotarians warmly welcomed the new members.
Natalie Ginter, in support of incoming President Kurt Halverson, passed out a survey asking Rotarians to fill out the form listing activities/programs that the Club should continue to do, ideas for new programs, and raising programs/activities that should be considered for elimination.  Natalie also subsequently emailed the Club with this request.  Please provide this requested information to better inform Mr. Halverson as he prepares to assume his new Rotarian duties.

Welcome Carri!

The Faribault Rotary Club has inducted Cari Ann Pollard as it newest member. She is pictured with her sponsor, Rev. Mark Kenny. Pollard is a Realtor with Pollard Tribe Realty by eXp. She is serving on the diversity and trafficking committees.

Welcome Nicholas!

The Faribault Rotary Club inducted Nicholas Sonpon, center, as a new member. He is pictured with sponsor Dick Huston (left) and membership team member Greg Ciesluk. Sonpon is employed at Daikin as a technician. He is a native of Liberia and returns there to volunteer promoting education.
"Four Way Test" Essay
  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
I play hockey and I am on the varsity team for Faribault and I'm a senior. I have been playing hockey since I was four years old and I love the game. I love going to watch hockey games from the Minnesota Wild to the Gophers to kids playing association hockey. Even though I love hockey and it is a important part of my life, I have been struggling lately and not having much fun. I don't get to play as much in games like I thought I would for my senior year and I'm on the last line for, our team. This has affected my confidence and how much I enjoy the games and my teammates.
I recently talked to my coach about this and he told me things would get better and he would be changing my line. We have played two times since then and nothing has really changed for me but more for other players around me. After reading the Four way test I have been trying to think about my feelings and this situation on my team using these questions. I think it is helping me look at things differently and not have such a negative mindset.
Is it the truth?
Sometimes it is hard to figure out what is the truth. I have been telling myself that I should be starting because I am a senior and because I am just as good as anyone else. have more experience and hockey knowledge that isn't being used. I have been feeling bad about myself for not starting and find myself having some negative thoughts that aren't the truth. I started to think that I wasn't good enough. That isn't the truth because I know I am good enough and I can play on any line and that doesn't change my value to the team. Our third line needs someone who can be a leader and score and pass and I am that player. I could do that on any line but maybe the younger players wouldn't be able to handle that kind of pressure of lifting up other players like I can.
Is it Fair to all concerned?
For me to feel like I have more value than anyone else is not fair to the others and all that they bring to the team. Hockey is not an individual sport and we all have a role to play. No one is more valuable than the other and if we win it is not because of me and if we lose it is also not because of me or anyone else.
Will it build Goodwill and better friendships?
When we are working hard together and bring out the best in each other then we build friendships and have fun and make memories. I try to build friendships with the guys by inviting them to do stuff outside of practice and that helps the team when we can be friends off the ice too.
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Not having fun or being down about playing time or what line I'm on isn't beneficial to anyone especially me. When someone is down, we all feel it and I don't want to be the one dragging others down. I want to do my best to help lift up others and you can only do that if you stay positive and work hard and be a leader for all concerned not just yourself.

The Virtues Project

Kymn Anderson and George Wickstrom shared information about a project they are both involved in, The Virtues Project-Faribault. The project began as an idea of Faribault’s Cindy Diessner during her participation in the Chamber’s Faribault’s Future class.
The project is part of The Virtues Project, a global initiative that began 30 years ago. It is meant to inspire the inclusion of the virtues in everyday life. People in 135 countries have been involved in The Virtues Project, which are available online, in physical cards and an app. The virtues are found in every culture, religion and ideology. The project employs Five Strategies, resources that create a culture of caring, Anderson said, noting that every person is born with the virtues, but that they need to be developed.  They favor no agenda, ideology or religion. Cards designed for adults use quotes, some from religious texts. Those intended for children do not include religious quotes/verbiage.
Wickstrom shared personal experiences, one about his Aunt Marion, a teacher who was a mentor and guide during his childhood. Marion, he said, displayed the virtues in her everyday life, and was able to make an impact on a great number of her students by maintaining a correspondence with them.  He also shared a favorite story about founding father Benjamin Franklin, and the 13 Virtues list he created. The virtues, if mastered, Franklin believed, would help him become a better person and correct behavior he found undesirable in himself.
Anderson explained that The Virtues Project – Faribault has been part of several initiatives since its inception. They include the Virtues Trail, Virtue of the Week in the Faribault Daily News and a two-day class in 2016 that trained 68 area residents to be facilitators.  “It has become a real passion for some of us in the community,” said Anderson. “We believe we can change the world.”
Wickstrom gifted each club member a code so they could download the Virtues Project app free.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and Rotary’s Four-Way Test, Jess Amundson read a selected virtue, Faith. Mindy Reeder gave the invocation.
Membership Chair Keith Kramer inducted two new members, Dr. Robert Speckhals and Faribault Police sergeant Brandon Gliem. Both were warmly welcomed into the club.
Mark Kenny introduced his guest, his son Sam.
Cate Grinney was named to Forbes' National List of America's Top Women Wealth Advisors for 2022. (See the separate article below.)  Congratulations Cate!

Congratulations Cate!

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Cate Grinney of Faribault was named to the annual list of America's Top Women Wealth Advisors for 2022 by Forbes and SHOOK Research. This is her first time being named to this prestigious list. Rankings were announced in February 2022.
Grinney ranked No. 12 among Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-in-State in Minnesota. She has served area investors for the nearly 23 years.  "My branch team and I are dedicated to living our purpose, which is embedded in the culture of our firm. We choose to partner for positive impact to improve the wellbeing of our clients and colleagues, and together better our communities and society," Grinney said. "This recognition from Forbes and SHOOK is an honor and a testament to the quality of our partnerships and the mutual trust we are able to develop."
To compile the 2022 list of 1,377 women, SHOOK Research analysts conducted more than 16,000 interviews with nominees. Criteria included client service, compliance records, community involvement, the investment process, assets under care and tenure in the industry. Based on the full nationwide list, best-in-state rankings were determined.  Grinney is one of 36 Edward Jones financial advisors to be named to the 2022 Forbes list of America's Top Women Wealth Advisors and subsequently the Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-in-State, which is published in the Feb/March issue of Forbes. 

Welcome Bob!

Dr. Bob Speckhals was inducted as an Honorary Member in the Faribault Rotary Club.  Bob is pictured here with sponsor, Rod Mahler (left) and membership chair, Keith Kramer (right.)

Welcome Brandon!

Brandon Gliem (left) recently was inducted as a new Faribault Rotary club member. Gliem was sponsored by Keith Kramer (right). Gliem is a Faribault police sergeant and will serve on the Rotary’s diversity committee.

Locals bring access to clean water to children in Cambodia

Students in Battambang, Cambodia are gaining access to clean water for the first time in their lives thanks to the Faribault Rotary Club and other Rotary members. (Photo courtesy of Dick Huston)
Reprinted with permission from the Daily News
The Faribault Rotary Club is dedicated to making an impact — oftentimes locally and other times far from home. The Faribault Rotary Club raised $30,000 locally. Rotary International also contributed funds to the project in Battambang, a city in northwestern Cambodia.
“The project was about $75,000 — money well spent that will provide clean water and nutrition for this community for years and years,” Huston said.  He explained the beginning of the process on the Rotary’s end.  “Rotary does these kinds of events all over the world. We saw the need, and we went about it over a long period and got a grant written, raising the money, and getting the project started.”
The Faribault Rotary could not have accomplished the project without the assistance of the Battambang Rotary Club or Rotary International.
“In order for the Rotary to do an international project like this, we need to be sponsored by a local rotary,” Huston said.
Purifier building
This building will soon hold the water purification machine for the school. The building is now complete, but it will be several months before the purifier is up and running. (Photo courtesy of Dick Huston)
Huston and the rest of the Faribault locals who went on the trip were impressed by how much help the Battambang Rotary members provided.
“One thing important to Rotary International is sustainability,” Huston said. The members from the Battambang Rotary Club are great. The children are first and foremost in our goals.”
Huston and the other Rotarians set out on this trip to help the people of Battambang after Rotarian Sam Ouk pointed out the need. Ouk was born in Cambodia but came to America when he was young. Because he has family that still lives in Cambodia, he had contacts there to help arrange the trip and project.
Holding Pond
The project involved creating a holding pond. This allows the school to store enough water to safely get through the dry periods each year. (Photo courtesy of Dick Huston)
When Faribault’s Rotarians made it to Cambodia, they got to see firsthand why this project was so important.   “These kids are going to a school with no electricity, meaning no AC, no fans,” Huston said. “Every day we were there was at least in the 90s. We established a garden so that they could have better school lunches. The goal is to have extra from the garden and purifier to be able to sell some of each.”
When they arrived in Cambodia, the Rotarians were given some additional funding from donors. They decided to use this funding to bring some joy to the kids there. This is when the group got a real understanding of the urgency of their project.
“We used that money to buy pencils, books, candy, and gave these things to the school children,” Huston said. “One of the little girls collapsed in line to get her book. It came to our attention that that girl was dehydrated and malnourished. She’s going to be OK now. They need not only water, but also nutrition. The importance of the project was brought forth in that one incident.”
Lo Chay and Dick
Dick Huston (right) stands with Battambang Rotary’s president Lo Chay (left). (Photo courtesy of Dick Huston)
Reach reporter Spencer Beissel at 507-333-3129. © Copyright 2022 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Monthly Meeting

  • Brenda DeMars led the membership meeting as Chad Koepke was out of the state on the day of the meeting
  • Total revenue surged to an FRYS record of $190K
    • Paper tab sales set a new record at $86K
      • Prior to February’s $86K in paper tab sales, the prior record was $46K in November 2021
      • The gross margin on paper tabs was the strongest on record as well at 21.6% for a gross profit of $19K
  • Electronic tabs rebounded as well with sales of $96K with gross profit of $11K for a gross margin of 11.8%
  • Also contributing to February’s record high revenue was the new addition of non-linked Bingo (“regular” Bingo) to the FRYS CG operation with sales of $7K in February and gross profit of $2K
  • Turning to other developments, the charitable gambling operation had a surprise audit in the first week of March from Isaac Mixon, Field Audit Specialist for the MN Gambling Control Board. The audit revealed one area of attention, which was that paper tab sellers should be wearing nametags or posted somewhere visible
  • FRYS received formal approval to repay the $10K startup loan that the main FRYS bank account funded to the gambling account to purchase inventory, processing systems, etc…
  • Natalie Ginter has been putting in the structure and rules in place to assist with the charitable donations from the gambling profits
    • Of note, FRYS received confirmation that charitable gambling profits can be donated back to the main FRYS bank account and avoid any unrelated business income taxes as FRYS is a 501 C3 organization. Charitable giving still needs to comply with FRYS’ non-profit objectives to help improve the lives of the youth in Faribault
  • The following expenses were approved:
    • CG Made Easy Administrative Fee = $250
      • Fixed fee every month
    • Inventory = $4,500
      • Paper tab sales set a record high in February 2022, which means inventory might need to be higher going forward with the positive momentum and warmer weather on the horizon
    • Rotary Gambling Team Compensation = $2,600
    • Bingo Team Compensation = $1,000
      • Bingo
    • Revenue Share with MPeters = $10,000
      • Profit share is 31% of e-tab gaming  à Activity rebounded to more normal levels in  February and could be in line for stronger numbers as the warmer climate approaches
    • City of Faribault = $1,500
      • Revenue share with the city is going to be higher going forward with greater activities
    • Revenue Share with Boxers = $8,500
      • Profit-share w/ e-tabs = 15% & paper tabs = 20% à Paper tabs set record highs in February and that means higher revenue share with Boxers given the 20% share
    • Misc. Cost = $5,000
      • FRYS is hiring Reece, Winter for payroll processing à first invoice is still on the way
      • Dawn is potentially interested in FRYS buying a horse racing game for Boxers à costs on such a game are not known, so over allocate if purchase takes place in April
      • FRYS’ paper tab weighing scale broke, so a new one is needed for purchase at $535
    • Total Expenses Approved: $33,350
      • On a motion by Todd Sesker with a second by Jake Kohl, the expenses for the month of April were approved
Exciting results from the Red Cross Blood drive that was held Monday March 14th 2022! Faribault Rotary exceeded our unit goal of 47 by collecting 56 units! The Red Cross reached out to congratulate us on such a large overage! As you know the national blood supply is critically low and every drive makes a difference. Thank you to all the Rotarians who took time from their day to volunteer to staff the drive: David Sauer, Keith Kramer, Cindy Yerington, Mary Ellen Bondhus, Kymn Anderson Kay Hoaglin, Greg Ciesluk, Aubrey Nicholson and her daughter Scout. Many Rotarians participated in the blood drive by donating too! You helped us blow past our goal – Thank you!!
A special Thank you to 4th Avenue United Methodist Church for allowing us to host in their fellowship hall – we appreciate your support very much!  Our Next Red Cross Blood Drive will be hosted on Friday July 8th from 10 am to 4 pm at 4th Avenue United Methodist Church, and volunteer opportunities are available.

Thanks Sue!

Susan Garwood, Executive Director Rice County Historical Society, highlighted the meeting with her classification speech.  She stressed the importance of family, showing several photographs of her immediate family, her son, and even her as a very young child.  She pointed out a picture of her on a tricycle with bare feet to stress she had an idyllic childhood.  She credits her parents for instilling in her a love of history, saying although her father worked in advertising, he was a historian at heart.  In fact, she showed several photos of her extended family and showed an illustration of her family tree.  
Sue attended Saint Cloud State University earning a degree in American Studies as well as later earning a Degree in Library and Information Science.  She started working at the Northfield Historical Society in 1988 and through a confluence of events became the Director of the office when she was 23 years old.  She later worked at Carleton College until 2003 when she was invited to apply for the Executive Director position for the Rice County Historical Society. Sue was hired and has been at the Rice County Historical Society ever since.  After being engaged in the study of Rice County history for 35 years, Sue said she knows that she does not know everything about Rice County, but she does know who to ask to get more information.
Sue said her hobbies and interests include a passion for early photography, all things related to New Zealand, Rugby, Sled dog racing, quilting, gingerbread houses, agates, and gardening in small doses.   Highlighting her passion for early photography, she has her own website - sgarwood.com - devoted to early photography.  The Club enjoyed her presentation and gave her a warm round of applause.

Certificate of Appreciation

On March 16, 2022, the Faribault Rotary Club met at the Inn at Shattuck on a beautiful spring like day.  The highlight of the meeting was Susan Garwood’s classification speech, which was preceded by several announcements and warm fellowship.  Salient details of the meeting follow.  
President Todd Sesker warmed up the assembled Rotarians by proudly, albeit briefly, showing video highlights of the University of Iowa’s Men’s basketball team’s Big Ten Championship.  This must have jinxed the Hawkeyes as they were promptly eliminated in the NCAA basketball tournament in the first round.  All University of Minnesota fans wish Iowa better luck next year. (Not really  😊)
In club announcements, Rotarian of the Year, Laura Bock thanked all the Rotarians who volunteered for the Red Cross blood drive.  She stated the Red Cross was pleased with the results of the blood donations obtaining about 20 percent more than anticipated.  She also advised that Rotarians will be delivering “Meals on Wheels” at the end of the month and promised to remind the volunteers of their duties.  Laura also called on the club to restart the Rotary Readers program, saying a chairperson was needed to get the program reinitiated.   The Owatonna Rotary Club is hosting a celebration to commemorate their 100th anniversary, Laura and her husband Steve are planning to attend and welcome anyone who cared to join them.
STRIVE Chairman Greg Ciesluk read a thank you note from Keaton Ginter who earned a STRIVE scholarship.
Natalie Ginter highlighted that Rotarians can help Ukraine by supporting the Rotary disaster relief grant.
President Sesker said the Club had received thanks from both the Faribault Middle and High School for donations to the NEST programs.
 Dr. Richard Huston briefed on the results of the Cambodia trip.  Dr. Huston praised our partner club in Battambang, Cambodia as being very experienced and an excellent partner for the clean water project.  He also praised Natalie Ginter and former club member Sam Ouk for their stellar work in making the project happen.  Dr. Huston also showed a plaque our Cambodian partners gave us to recognize the Faribault Club’s contributions.
Brenda DeMars gave a report on charitable gambling - please see Chad Koepke’s separate email for the great results.

Reprinted with permission from the Daily News

Conga line

Students form a conga line in Bethlehem Academy’s gymnasium Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Cassie Kratt)

Respect is a seven-lettered word with a whole lot of meaning behind it.  Bethlehem Academy’s ninth graders participated in a day-long Youth Frontiers Respect Retreat Tuesday sponsored by the Rotary Club of Faribault.  BA Mission Integration Coordinator Cassie Kratt said students spent the day engaged with their peers. Youth Frontiers’ mission is to provide schools with experiences that inspire character, civility and community, Kratt said.  The Rotary Club of Faribault sponsored the retreat. Youth Frontiers leaders 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, according to Kratt.

 Youth Frontiers leaders were aided by BA student leaders: seniors Aiden Tobin, Katie Seidel, Henry Schoolmeesters and Madelyn Bauer, along with juniors Karlie DeGrood and Charlie King.  Leaders led students in ice-breaker games, contests, singing and dancing. The games were designed to get students comfortable enough with each other to step out of what might be their comfort zone.

Burping contest

Bethlehem Academy ninth grade student Will Parrish competes in a burping contest. The games were designed to get students comfortable enough with each other and to step out of their comfort zone. (Photo courtesy of Cassie Kratt)

Life talks were also incorporated in the retreat. They used personal stories, Kratt said, 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,” Kratt said.  The retreat wrapped up with a Respect Card activity. Students were challenged to commit to choosing one of three respect choices for the remainder of the year: Respect yourself, Respect others, Stand up (for others).

Holding retreats at BA is something that’s become a tradition, as Kratt said every grade goes on at some point in the year.  “One of the pillars of our school is community, this retreat focuses on that pillar,” Kratt said. “Or that topic, it’s just an opportunity for the class to bond and learn and form a community for after their retreat.”  Of the benefits that come along with students participating in these types of retreats, Kratt said one main benefit is how students learn about building character and community.  “They take what they learned in the retreat, and apply it to school and life beyond once the retreat wraps up,” Kratt said.

Group photo of four ninth graders

Bethlehem Academy ninth graders, pictured from left, Anna Cohen, Genevieve Donahue, Anna Tobin and Anna DeMars, participated in the Respect Retreat with their fellow classmates. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

A refresher on respect

While learning about respect wasn’t a new concept for the ninth-grade class, students Anna DeMars, Genevieve Donahue, Anna Tobin and Anna Cohen agreed it was a nice refresher, and leaders did a good job explaining different ways to show respect.

” It gave us a deeper look into what respect is,” DeMars said. “And the three ways you can show it by respecting yourself, others, and standing up for respect. [Youth Frontiers’ leaders] did a good job not only relating it to our lives, but also making it fun.”  Tobin said the retreat was beneficial in many ways, especially because it helped the ninth-grade class bond.  ” We grew up with these people, and now once we get to high school it will get harder as we go,” Tobin said. “It’s good to have others by your side, and get to know your classmates better. It doesn’t matter if you’re best friends or not.”

It was imperative students come to the retreat in the morning with an open mind, because Tobin said if students went in with a negative mindset, they likely wouldn’t enjoy it. She saw it as an opportunity to spend the day with her classmates, where they learned how to be better people.  Cohen added the leaders intertwined fun activities with lessons, so students were able to stay engaged throughout the whole day.

Student leaders

Youth Frontiers leaders were aided by BA student leaders: seniors Aiden Tobin, Katie Seidel, Henry Schoolmeesters and Madelyn Bauer, along with juniors Karlie DeGrood and Charlie King. Pictured, DeGrood waves her hand up in the air. (Photo courtesy of Bethlehem Academy)

Of the day’s activities, lessons and games, DeMars said one activity towards the end of the retreat was her favorite. She said they had time to sit in a circle and write one goal, and a place to improve, on a note card. Some students also stood up and shared their goals with others.  ”It was nice to hear what others had to say,” DeMars said. “You were able to make connections with others, which brings us closer together as a class.”

Donahue liked the portion of the day where they sang together, and Tobin enjoyed the one-on-one time with small groups the most. Cohen said her favorite part was when they performed skits with small groups, where some students sang, and others rapped. Of the skits, Tobin said it brought out other people’s talents they normally wouldn’t see.

Thumb war

Bethlehem Academy ninth graders played a game of thumb war during the Youth Frontiers Respect Retreat sponsored by the Faribault Rotary Club. (Photo courtesy of Bethlehem Academy)

Reach reporter Michelle Vlasak at 507-333-3128. ©Copyright 2022 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.



Recipients of scholarships from the 24th annual Strive banquet included seven students. Pictured from left, Pastor Greg Ciesluk, Halimo Ahmed, Kendra Albers, Madelyn Gersemehl, Justin Delesha, Keaton Ginter and Angie Ramirez. (Photo courtesy of Kurt Halverson)
Reprinted with permission from the Daily News


The Faribault Rotary Club was established just over 100 years ago as Rotary’s 596th club. With 22 charter members, that soon grew to 35 by the end of the first year, members act under the motto “Service Above Self.”

Volunteers work locally, regionally and internationally to “combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training and promote peace.” Of the many hats Rotarians wear, is more of a mentorship role through the Strive program.

Strive Chair Kurt Halverson said he works with the program through the Faribault Rotary Club.

“Strive connects area high school students with community members to learn about life skills such as time management, The Virtues Program, the value of higher education, making healthy choices, and personal finance best practices,” Halverson said.

Standing for, “Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education,” the program was created in District 5960 by Rotarian Don Mooney for the White Bear Rotary Club. According to its site, Rotary District 5960 includes: White Bear Lake Rotary Club, The Rochester Rotary Clubs, Lakeville Rotary Club, Chain of Lakes Rotary Club, Faribault Rotary Club and Stillwater Sunrise Rotary Club.

Halverson said there are eight sessions that start when the participants are juniors and it ends when the students are seniors. If the students attend at least six of the eight sessions, Halverson said they qualify to apply for a scholarship.

Scholarships were awarded at the annual Strive banquet, which was held Feb. 20 at the Inn at Shattuck.

Several students and their families were joined by members of the Rotary Club, local high school administrators and community supporters. Halverson said a grand total of $16,000 was awarded in scholarships this year and the following seven students from the Strive program were recipients: Justin Delesha, Madelyn Gersemehl, Abigail Kugler, Sophy Smith, Keaton Ginter, Kendra Albers, and Halimo Ahmed.

Halverson commended the Strive Team of Angie Ramirez, Edel Fernandez, Pastor Greg Ciesluk and Rebekah Freed for their work.

Freed put her event-planning talents to good use by coordinating the banquet and emceeing the event. Each banquet typically has a theme, and this year’s theme was called, “The Next Chapter.” To highlight this theme, Freed decorated each table based on a classic book, like “The Wizard of Oz” and “Harry Potter.”

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May 2022
Upcoming Events
Jamie Bente
Jun 01, 2022
Classification Speech
Brandon Gliem
Jun 08, 2022
Classification Speech
Jacob Froyum
Jun 15, 2022
DNR-Forest and tree issues
Ken Weaverling
Jun 22, 2022
Classification Speech
Todd Sesker
Jun 29, 2022 12:00 PM
Installation of Kurt Halvorson as 103rd Faribault Rotary Club President
Peter van Sluis
Jul 06, 2022
Faribault City Council
Annual Picnic
Sep 07, 2022
no meeting
Nov 23, 2022