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We meet In Person & Online
Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
Inn at Shattuck- St. Mary's
1000 Shumway Ave.
Faribault, MN 55021
United States of America
Club meetings will be hybrid starting March 3, 2021. President Brenda will conduct our meetings live from Shattuck via Zoom. We will now be able to be on site for our meetings while observing Covid-19 meeting restrictions.
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The honorable past president Amy Amundson proposes Jessica Amundson, Loan Support Specialist at Reliance Bank, for membership in the Faribault Rotary Club.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact membership Chair, Keith Kramer.

Faribault Rotary celebrates Mahler's Lifetime Achievement in its 101st year

Rod Mahler received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Faribault Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary celebration Wednesday at The Inn at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Pictured, from left, Club Historian Murray Hanson, Mahler, Club President Brenda DeMars and Rotary District Governor Ed Marek. (Misty Schwab/southernminn.com)

Rod Mahler has attended approximately 2,900 Faribault Rotary Club meetings since he joined 63 years ago, making him the club’s longest serving member.

“Sixty-three years of service in a club celebrating 101 years — that is what awesome is,” Rotary District Governor Ed Marek told the Faribault Rotary Club during its meeting Wednesday.

Lifetime Achievement Award winner Rod Mahler poses for a photo with Rotary District Governor Ed Marek after Mahler received a Paul Harris Fellow Award. (Misty Schwab/southernminn.com)

Rotary Club members gathered at The Inn at Shattuck-St. Mary’s at noon Wednesday to not only recognize 100 years of Faribault Rotary but also recognize Mahler as a Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

“This is really memorable to me, and I’ll never forget it,” Mahler said after accepting his award from Club Historian Murray Hanson. “Rotarians, keep working hard. It’s a fantastic experience I’ve had in my life.”

Rod Mahler joined Faribault Rotary 63 years ago and received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the club’s 100th anniversary celebration Wednesday. (Misty Schwab/southernminn.com)

Mahler said he joined Rotary when he was 25, making him, to his knowledge, the youngest member to join the Faribault club. Now, he said, he’s one of its oldest members.

Hanson compiled his research on Mahler’s history in Rotary into a slideshow, which was presented at the meeting, and highlighted many of Mahler’s achievements and acts of service to the community, which began long before he joined Rotary.

Dr. Murray Hanson introduced Lifetime Achievement Award winner Rod Mahler during the Faribault Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary celebration Wednesday. (Misty Schwab/southernminn.com)

In his youth, Mahler worked as a trapper, and as an elementary school student, a paperboy. He held the office of seventh-grade class president, participated in summer Bible camps and drama club, and he sang in the Rotary Christmas concert in the late 1940s. Mahler received the Faribault Senior High Service Award as a high school senior.

After college, Mahler served a tour in the U.S. Army before returning to Faribault to help his father in the hardware business. Years later, Mahler switched to a career in real estate.

Mahler and his wife, Jean, were married 59½ years until her death in 2014. Together they had three children, David, Heidi and Gayle, and nine grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Mahler’s Rotary membership began March 5, 1958, under the sponsorship of NSP sales manager Pete Beck. Apart from being out two weeks with the mumps back in 1958, Mahler had 10 years of perfect attendance within Faribault Rotary. He has participated in over 3,500 Rotary events, and his tenure overlapped with some of the club’s first members.

Murray said Mahler was instrumental in shaping the club’s focus on youth, supporting the local Rotary youth camp on Cedar Lake. Mahler and his family also hosted a Rotary exchange student from Bolivia during the club’s 50th year.

From 1972 to 1973, Mahler served as the Faribault Rotary Club’s 53rd president and helped choose the 51 presidents that followed.

In addition to Rotary, Mahler has belonged to the Elks and the Faribault Country Club and served on the Faribault Chamber of Commerce, all before turning 36. In 1969, the Minnesota Jaycees named him one of Minnesota’s 10 Outstanding Young Men.

As a personal highlight, Mahler appeared on WCCO, national TV and the CBS evening news with Walter Cronkite to do energy conservation interviews in 1979.

“When I joined 28 years ago, Rod was one of the first Rotarians to fleece me during fellowship, just to be sure that I felt welcome,” Hanson said. “He has always been welcoming and encouraging to new members over the years and is a true example of what it means to be a Rotarian.”

A century of service

The Faribault Rotary Club technically celebrated its 100th anniversary at noon May 1, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the club moved the celebration to an online video platform and postponed the in-person celebration a couple of times.

Incidentally, Murray said Faribault Rotary was established during the Spanish flu that lasted from 1918 to 1920. The Faribault Club was founded as Rotary International’s 596th club with 22 charter members. The club’s charter president was Frank W. McKellip, and the 100th president was Amy Amundson, who spoke at the celebration Wednesday.

Faribault Rotary’s 100th president Amy Amundson spoke about the club’s resilience during the coronavirus pandemic and expressed her pride for belonging to the club during the 100th anniversary celebration. (Misty Schwab/southernminn.com)

Until 1987, Rotary was exclusively a men’s organization. After Rotary International allowed women to become Rotarians, Janine Sahagian became Faribault’s first woman to join the local club. She was named president in 1999.

The Faribault Rotary started various traditions in the local community such as a Christmas concert featuring the Faribault High School choir, which ran for over 80 years.

Whether through music, art, or academics, Faribault Rotary has given local students over $350,000 in scholarships. A concert to benefit youth services through Rotary started as a tradition over 55 years ago. Community projects like the development of local soccer fields, buddy benches at school playgrounds, Respect Retreats and Rotary Readers are all designed to benefit Faribault youth.

Internationally, Faribault Rotary has participated in efforts to improve farming processes in Sierra Leone, sent books to schools in Africa and inoculated children against polio in Pakistan and other countries.

Locally, Rotarians have volunteered at blood drives, rang the bells for the Salvation Army during the Christmas season, delivered Meals on Wheels and participated in beautification projects and clothing drives.

“As we look to the future, we will continue to live and promote the ideals of the ‘Four Way Test’ adopted by Rotary International in 1943,” Hanson said. “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? So, today after 100 years, the men and women of the Faribault Rotary Club will continue to honor the legacy of ‘Service Above Self’ to our community and the world for the next 100 years and beyond.”

Reporter Misty Schwab can be reached at 507-333-3135. Follow her on Twitter @APGmisty. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Your Title Here

Rod Mahler
Service above self-means we leave our egos at the door and do what is best for the people we are serving.  The True Rotarian is a person whose activities are a result of his/her personal goodwill and a sense that the world will be a better place because of his/her work and effort in Rotary.
 Today we are honoring Rod Mahler who has been a member of the Faribault Rotary Club for 63 of the 101 years our club has existed.
The early founders of our club established a tradition of record keeping that has now been passed on to me in the form of 8 boxes of records dating back to the first days of our club. My research into Rod’s membership in our club has revealed a lifetime of service not only to Rotary but also to this community.
Rod attended Garfield and Washington Grade Schools and during this time he started his business as a trapper and a paperboy. In junior high he was 7th grade class president and was active in Sunday school, summer Bible camps, musical training, and choir. He even sang in the Rotary Christmas concert in the late 1940’s.
He was in the “F” Club, Dramatics Club, and student council.  As a senior, he received the Faribault Senior High Service Award. In college, Rod was vice president of his freshman and senior class.
After college, he served a tour in the Army before returning to Faribault and joining his father in the hardware business. At that time, he was active in the State Hardware Association. 
In his early 20’s he married Jean and they had three kids, David, Heidi, and Gayle, which led to 9 grandkids and 10 great grandkids. Jean was the love of his life and they had 59 ½ years together before she passed away in 2014. (Slide 4)
Pete Beck, Sales Manager at NSP sponsored Rod for membership in the Faribault Rotary Club on March 5, 1958, at the age of 24.  His classification was Hardware Sales.  He has been a member of the Elk’s, the Country Club and found time to serve in the Chamber of Commerce, the Industrial Corp, the United Fund, and his Church. He was a Gold Key Award winner.  This is just a partial list of his accomplishments before he was even 36 years old. 
In 1969, the Minnesota Jaycees named him as one of Minnesota’s 10 Outstanding Young Men. (In middle to right of guy in white tux)
Over the next 50 years, he has continued with “Service above Self” in this community and our club including a Rotary Merit Award. 
In his first year of Rotary in 1958, he missed 2 weeks in August with the mumps and then had 10 years of perfect attendance. I estimate that he has attended over 2900 meetings with over 90% attendance and over 3500 total Rotary events of which he would be happy to discuss any one of them with you.
As I have shared with you the 100-year history of our club over the last several years, I have further discovered Rod’s significant role in our club.
Rod has connections all the way back to the first year of our club when the original 35 first year members joined during 1920-21. Nuba Pletcher and Dr. Donald Chathum who became members that first year were still members for 5-7 years after Rod joined in 1958.      Just recently, I asked David Sauer to interview Rod to chronicle his stories and memories of many of our past presidents and other significant events in our club history. The following are a few highlights of his membership in the Faribault Rotary Club.
In the early 1960’s the Rotary Camp was a controversial decision within the Faribault Rotary club.  Prior to supporting the camp, the club was mostly a knife and fork club, which meant having lunch and a program.  There was no consistent service component to the club.  Layton Hoysler and Arnold Madow were important club members in securing club support for the camp. 
Rod played an important role as the club decided to focus more on the youth of Faribault with the dedication of the camp.  This focus on service to the community then began to grow and bring us to where we are today 60 years later celebrating our 100th anniversary.
 In our club’s 50- year anniversary year in 1970, He and Jean were hosts to Rotary exchange student from Bolivia.
 He donated a brand-new American flag in 1971 and then replaced it in 2017.
--He was our club’s 53rd president in 1972-73.
He once presented a program on his “Big Game Hunting” expedition in Alaska complete with slides and movies of trophy bags of brown bear, moose, and caribou.
-In 1979 Rod was on WCCO TV on Tuesday July 17 doing an energy conservation interview and the following Wednesday morning on national TV and then on the CBS evening news with Walter Cronkite.
-He has played a key role in choosing the next 51 presidents that followed him.
Rod eventually left the hardware business moving to another vocation of service to the community- Real Estate.  He and Jean took great pride in helping families find their dream home. He was even known to stand in for Santa Claus when needed. 
When I joined 28 years ago, Rod was one of the first Rotarians to fleece 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 what it means to be a Rotarian.
 He has served this club and Faribault continuously during his 63-years sponsoring dozens of new members, participating and leading many club activities, and keeping us updated on sports with the U of M and Notre Dame.
Just 3 years ago we honored Rod for 60 years of service and we will continue to do so at 64-65-66-67-and on.
Rod’s life is reflected in the 4-Way test we not only recite every week as Rotarians but demonstrate to others through our actions and treatment of others. 
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
By honoring these ideals in his personal and professional life he has set the bar high in this club and demonstrated what it is to be a true Rotarian.
Rod has discovered that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
He has felt privileged to be a member of this club as it has given him the opportunity to meet fantastic people and make a difference in our community. 
Rod, today this club honors you for your service above self to Rotary, our community, and our nation. You have our highest respect and our deepest congratulations.
Now, I ask President Brenda DeMars, District Governor Ed Marek and Rod Mahler to come forward for a few comments and the presentation.
On behalf of the Rotarian of the Year Committee and the Faribault Rotary Club, we present you with our first Lifetime Achievement Award.
May 1, 1920- May 1, 2020
The Faribault Rotary Club
In the last 100 years the Faribault Rotary Club has celebrated 40th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries. Today we celebrate our 100th.
The Faribault Rotary Club was officially charted 101 years ago at noon on May 1, 1920 as Rotary's 596th club with 22 charter members and by the end of the first-year membership had reached a total of 35.   
E.B. Johnson, representing the district governor of the International Rotary Clubs, and three other members of the Minneapolis Rotary Club met with our charter members on Thursday April 29, 1920 to draw up the charter documents.  The first President of the Faribault Rotary Club was Frank W. McKellip.
Meetings were held at noon on the first and third Monday of each month and on the evening of the fourth Monday. By 1927 the weekly meeting time was moved to noon on Wednesdays and remains there to this day. Over the years the club has held its meetings at Episcopal Guild House, the Elks Club, Harvey Hotel, Bluebird Inn, Hotel Faribault, Evergreen Knoll, Faribault Country Club, the Lavender Inn, Bernie’s Vintage Ballroom and now and currently at the Inn at Shattuck.
On this 100th anniversary, our club has had approximately 5000 weekly meetings with our longest serving 63-year member, Rod Mahler, attending over 2900 of those meetings.  Rod was our 53rd president in 1972-73 and has connections back to the first year of our club when the original 35 first year members were added during 1920-21.      Nuba Pletcher, our 4th president and Dr. Donald Chathum our 22nd president joined that first year and were still members after Rod joined in 1958.
Faribault Rotary has sponsored four other clubs: Owatonna in 1922, Northfield in 1925, Cannon Falls in 1954 and the Rotaract club at South Central College in 2019.
Youth service whether local or international has been one of our objectives over the last 100 years. Some examples include:
  • A picnic for 290 boys at Roberds Lake in 1924.
  • The Youth Camp on Cedar Lake was dedicated in 1963 and has stayed an important part of our club legacy providing service and enjoyment for youth organizations, families and other groups to this day.
  • The club sponsored a shelter for the street children of Santarem, Brazil which provided a place for them to meet in groups and participate in life improvement activities in 1994.
  • We sponsored the Rotary youth soccer fields at the Faribault Soccer Complex in 2010 and continue to provide shirts every year through the “Little Feat” program.
  • The Faribault Club has hosted many exchange students here and sent local students abroad to increase unity and understanding.
  • Rotary’s focus on youth has also resulted in programs like STRIVE, STAY, Rotary Readers, the school buddy benches, youth Respect Retreats, aquatic wheelchairs for disabled children and many more programs benefiting local youth.
  • Over $350,000 have been given to local students by Rotary through music, arts and academic scholarships.
The Faribault Rotary Club has been part of international programs to improve farming processes in Sierra Leone, sending books to schools in Africa, and inoculating children against polio around the world, most recently in Pakistan.
In 2016 we were instrumental in the renovation of an historic clock downtown long in disrepair, and the placement of a mural honoring that clock in downtown Faribault.
We honor the motto of “Service Above Self” by sponsoring blood drives, ringing Salvation Army Bells, delivering meals on wheels, participating in clothing drives, community beautification projects, selling roses and conducting raffles to fund youth programing.
We have established a number of traditions that are still an important part of the Faribault Rotary Club.  In 1939 the Faribault High School Choir started an annual Christmas Concert.  This December will be the 81st Rotary Concert.
In 1965, the Faribault Senior High Band, Choir and Orchestra performed with all proceeds used to benefit Faribault Youth Services Inc. and the Rotary Camp which continues to this day.
During Rotary luncheon programs we have had Governor’s, Senators, congressman, state and local politicians express their views. Programs over the years included topics such as:
- Does Faribault need an airport? (1941)
- A program on Direct Dialing telephones and the new Highway 35 progress. (1961)
- Over the last 10 years we have had historically informational and international adventure programs from our own Rotarians George Wickstrom and Dick Huston.
-We award multiple Paul Harris Fellows every year.
  • As a club we started a new tradition 5 years ago of honoring past presidents who are no longer members by inviting them every year at the end of June to join us for the installation of our next president.
Six district governors have come from the Faribault Rotary Club. The last one, Layton Hoysler, served in 1974.
Rotary was a men’s organization until 1987 when Rotary International authorized the induction of women as Rotarians. 
Janine Sahagian was the first women to join the Faribault club and served as the first female president in 1999-2000 and in our 100th year, Amy Amundson became our 100th President.
Just 26 years ago I was fortunate enough to be part of the 75-year anniversary celebration.  As I look back at my picture at the far left I realize that my necktie has always been better than Dick Huston’s.
With the current Covid-19 pandemic crisis and the government stay at home order along with the cancellation of all group meetings and events, we were unable to hold our 100-year celebration banquet on May 2, 2020. Ironically our club’s founders started this club 100 years ago during the Spanish flu pandemic. Hopefully this will not be the case on our 200-year anniversary.
As we look to the future, we will continue to live and promote the ideals of the “Four Way Test” adopted by Rotary International in 1943:
  1. Is it the Truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
So, today after 100-years, the men and women of the Faribault Rotary Club will continue to honor the legacy of “Service Above Self” to our community and the world for the next 100 years and beyond.

Fun Day!

The Faribault Rotary club had an amazing time participating in the Faribault Heritage Day Parade. It was great fun celebrating with the Faribault community.

Becky Ford

PROFILE: When it comes to developing local youth, Becky Ford takes the  mantle | News | southernminn.com
On June 16 2022, the Faribault Rotary Club had the pleasure of hosting Ms. Becky Ford of the Faribault Youth Investment who spoke to the club about the Healthy Community Initiative (HCI).  As part of Ms. Ford’s introduction, it was highlighted she has been named the Faribault Citizen of the Year.
HCI is a non-profit organization that supports - behind the scenes - a variety of programs throughout Rice County.  Their mission is to is to cultivate a collaborative community that supports, values and empowers youth.
Ms. Ford showed a video highlighting HCI’s engagement and support of some of their programs from the over twenty that HCI backs in Rice County.  Highlighted programs included Faribault Senior High’s Realizing Individual Student Excellence (RISE), 100% Connected which seeks to ensure all students have internet access; Northfield High School’s Tackling Obstacles and Realizing College Hopes (TORCH); and Growing up Healthy located at Northfield’s Greenvale Elementary School, which provides programming for over 800 students and families.
Ms. Ford noted HCI has a website detailing the rich programming that they support and commented on ongoing fund raising efforts.  Club members appreciated the opportunity to hear Ms. Ford’s presentation and the good work of HCI.


Several weekly meetings were cancelled due to winter storms.
The club was encouraged to add the ClubRunner Smartphone app to their phones.
We partnered with the Elks Club for the annual youth fishing contest on French Lake. 
The club toured the newly expanded Buckham West Senior Center.
Over $20,000 in scholarships were awarded to STRIVE students.
61-year member, Rod Mahler, donated a new US flag and stand to replace the one he originally donated in 1971.
A small group of us volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and spent the day painting.
We had a 99th anniversary get together at the inn which was attended by past presidents, district representatives and many Rotarians & families.
The club held its third annual cash raffle to raise funds for Youth Services and scholarships.
The city gives the Lifetime Achievement Award to George Wickstrom.
Dick Huston is recognized as a Paul Harris Society member.
Todd Rost and Rotarian/Chamber President Nort Johnson in two separate programs told the story of Todd’s grandfather’s service in the 163rd infantry in WWI and his role in the liberation of Podensac France in 1918. The citizens of Podensac honored a group from Faribault on the 100th anniversary of that liberation.
Repairs at the Rotary Camp included replacing the roof, replacing the culvert under the road leading into the camp and fixing the deck after tornadoes swept through Rice County in the fall of 2018. As a result, the club was able to have the annual picnic.
The Rotarian of the Year 2019 was awarded to Jake Cook.
Jake Langslag from Goat Dispatch told the club about how goats are an alternative solution to eliminating buckthorn, raspberries, and other pesky vegetation.
The club held the second annual warm our community event providing outerwear for many local youths.
Our club’s 99th president in2018-19 was Keith Kramer.
The Global Grant team for the Faribault Rotary Club just received good news. As of last week, the team will be receiving $23,500 from The District Rotary Foundation. This puts us in a very good spot to reach our goal of $75,000 for our water project in Ta Meun Province. The entire project will focus on four activities: water purification, pond expansion to trap more water, a community garden, and entrepreneurial training for the school committee at Ta Meun to ensure sustainability of the project.
Interesting Fact About Cambodia:
The Khmers of Cambodia were actually masters of controlling and directing water. The kingdom and its succeeding Khmer Empires came to prominence because of their abilities to create resevoirs to store water and redirect river flows to move building materials. Part of our project with Ta Meun will be to expand a pond so that enough water can be collected for the village. This thinking will be similar to that of what the Khmers had during the Angkor Period.
The honorable past president Amy Amundson propose Sarah Rojas, office administrator for Rojas All Pros Companies, for membership and reinstatement in the Faribault Rotary Club.  Sarah is a pasty member who is now able to rejoin the club.  If you have any questions, please contact membership chair, Keith Kramer.

The Legacy of Thomas Buckham

Susan Hvistendahl, Northfield historian and author, gave a presentation on “Judge Buckham’s Legacy: Faribault’s Library,” for the Faribault Rotary Club via Zoom on June 9. It was based on a column she wrote for the Entertainment Guide of Southern Minnesota in July of 2013. She spoke of the background of Thomas Scott Buckham who came from Vermont to Minnesota in 1856 and established himself as an attorney in Faribault, becoming Faribault’s second mayor, a senator in the state legislature and judge of the fifth district, among other positions.
He had an unusual marriage to Anna Mallory Buckham of Brooklyn, N.Y., who returned often to the East coast and they spent their last 20 years apart before his death in 1928. She inherited his wealth of more than three million dollars and stayed on, planning the Modern/Art Deco Thomas Scott Buckham Memorial Library which was presented to the city on July 20, 1930, at a cost of $239,000. Hvistendahl also gave information about the architect (Buckham’s nephew Charles Buckham), the stained glass window of renowned Boston artist Charles Connick and four Grecian murals painted by Carleton art professor Alfred Hyslop.

One Man's Inspiring Story

The Donut King (dvd)(2020) : Target
#faribaultglobalproject #tameunwaterproject 
The Faribault Rotary Club's Global Project Team has been busy doing presentations to other Rotary and service clubs throughout Minnesota. We've presented to Owatonna's Sunrise Rotary club and Lions Club. The Global Project Team also received $4,500 from Rotary Shark tank and on Friday presented our grant submission to the Rotary Foundation. So far we've raised close to $15,000 from pledge support, and small donations. Our goal is to raise $30,000 on top of grant awards. Thank you so much for everyone's support. If you would like to hear of our project in Cambodia, please message us on Facebook or email one of our team members, Natalie Ginter, David Sauer, Dr. Dick Huston or Sam Ouk. You can reach Sam at samouk01@gmail.com.
Interesting Fact about Cambodia:
After the "Khmer Rouge" communist guerrilla army won the Cambodian Civil War in 1975, a period known as The Killing Fields took over Cambodia. For 4 years, between 1.7 to 2.5 million Cambodians were systematically killed off through hard labor and targeted murders of the most educated people in the country.
As terrible as this nightmare was, the theme of hope, heroism, and the power of the human spirit did not burn out of those who survived the Killing Field as the the Khmer rouge intended. In fact, the opposite thing happened and the world got to witness the amazing resilience and courage of the Cambodian people. The documentary below tells of one man's journey from escaping genocide in Cambodia to becoming the Donut King of California. 
The club moved its meetings to the Inn at Shattuck when Bernie’s Vintage Ballroom closed.
The club participates in the “Who are We” segments each week that highlights each member’s personal history.
The “Little Libraries” sponsored by Faribault Rotary received publicity in the Daily News.
The Faribault Rotary Club was a sponsor of the Faribault Elks Lodge Youth Ice Fishing Contest on Roberds Lake.
The STRIVE Program awarded over $20,000 in scholarships to local students.
Rod Mahler was recognized for 60 years of membership in Rotary with a special presentation and recognition by District Governor, Scott Haugen.
The club held a cash raffle to support Youth Services.
Rotarian Dr.  Richard Huston shared with us his experiences of his veterinarian mission trip to Samburu Kenya Africa in 2017.
 Dick Huston rallied Jefferson Elementary School’s third graders, getting them to help him plant 93 trees, one for every third grader in the school.
The Club donated 2 wheelchairs to the Faribault Aquatic Center.
George Wickstrom gave the club a history lesson on the Revolutionary War.
Rotary Readers starts its 13th year. 
Rotarian of the Year 2018 was awarded to George Wickstrom.
The sponsors the Warm our Community clothing Drive.
The club celebrates the holidays with a gathering for “A night to Rejoice as Rotarians” with dinner and a concert at Shattuck.
The club sponsors the new Faribault Rotaract Club at South Central College.
The club sponsors the annual Red Cross Blood Drive.
The club participates in the annual Salvation Army Bell Ringing.
The club enjoys the 79th annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 98th president in 2017-18 was Sheriff Troy Dunn.
Troy had the following memories of his year as president:
Donating the handicap wheelchair to the Faribault Aquatic Center, planting trees with the students at Jefferson School and a great Rotary Picnic out at the Rotary camp with horses, jump tents and great fellowship with friends.

Pull Tabs Update 6/15/2021

pull tabs minnesota Cheaper Than Retail Price> Buy Clothing, Accessories  and lifestyle products for women & men -
Just a little update on the pull tab process that is coming along fairly well.  The pull tabs will be housed at Boxers on Central Avenue.  Dawn, the owner is in the processing of building a new area within the bar for the pull tabs which will have 8-10 boxes in play at all times.  This is a huge opportunity for our club to earn funds to help us give back to the youth in our community as well as many other great causes. 
I have passed the exam, the required checking account has been opened.  The premises permit has been approved  by the Faribault Gambling board  and presented to the Faribault City Council on Tuesday, June 8th.  The council has also given its approval and we have sent in all of the documents to the state for final approval.    The Security bond required for pull tabs has been purchased through Jake Cook’s office    Thank you Dave Beranek for all the help of completing the documents needed through the application process.  I have been talking with Diana at the State gambling office, and she said that they have many applications that they are working through, so our hope is to start July 1, but just don’t know what that time line looks like for sure.   
Thank you.

Rotarian Road Trip

This noble band of Faribault Rotarians and special guests enjoyed a beautiful day of sunshine, fellowship and watching the Minnesota Twins beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 on May 26, 2021. The group took a coach bus from South Central College and had "socially distanced" seating in the right field porch section of Target Field. Rotarian Mark Kenney brought his glove and was ready for a home run ball the entire game but the closest anyone came to getting a ball was Rod Mahler when a foul ball came within just a few feet from his seat!

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Tonle Sap Lake

#tameunwaterproject #faribaultglobalproject 
Last Tuesday, The Faribault Rotary Club Participated in the 2nd annual Rotary Shark Tank event. Clubs from Barron County, Lakeville, Prior Lake, and Stillwater Sunrise participated in the events as sharks. They combined to donate over $10,000 to support various events being done by different Rotary Clubs across the state. Our club was able to walk away with the support of $4,500 towards our water purification project in Cambodia. This along with individual donations from club members and community members saw us raise close to $10,000 towards the project. If you would like to donate money to help bring clean water to Cambodian children in Ta Meun village, you can use the Venmo QR code below. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Interesting Fact about Cambodia:
Cambodia is home to the largest lake in Southeast Asia. The Tonle Sap Lake covers an area of 1,042 sq. miles which makes it a little bit smaller than the Great Salt Lake in the US. The Tonle Sap is home to fresh water dolphins, plenty of fish and even a huge floating village complete with stores, schools and a shopping area.


In February, Rotary District 5960 conducted a “Share the Love” campaign to raise money for the Rotary Foundation. Rotarians who donated $1,000 could designate another Rotarian to be a Paul Harris Fellow. Dr. Dick Huston donated $2,000 and chose to honor Hanan Mohamud and Juanita Picazo. Pictured with Hanan (right) and Juanita is Brent Peroutka, Faribault Rotary Foundation Chair. (Photo courtesy of Faribault Rotary Club)

Welcome Jacob!

The Faribault Rotary club has inducted Jake Kohl as a member.  Jake was born and raised in Faribault.  He has joined his father and uncle as an associate in the Parker Kohl Funeral Home.  Jake was sponsored by Dr. Dick Huston and will be mentored by David Sauer.  Pictured with Jake is  (left) membership team chair Keith Kramer (left).
You are invited for an encore presentation of our 100 year anniversary program on June 23rd at our weekly meeting.  This program was originally presented on Zoom May 1, 2020.  The start time for the program will be at noon so we ask everyone to come at 11:30 am if possible to allow time for check in, lunch and seating.
As part of our 100-year anniversary celebration we will also award multiple Paul Harris Fellows and our club will have the distinct honor of presenting the Life Time Achievement Award to Rod Mahler. He has lived the 4-Way Test and has demonstrated Service Above Self not only in the Faribault Rotary Club for over 63 years but as an active member of this community and in service to our country.
Please plan to attend and be a part this historic celebration of our past 100 years as we move forward out of the shadow of the pandemic and start the next 100 years of Service Above Self.

Sissy Yang

Sissy Yang D.N.P. - Mayo Clinic Health System
On May 19 2021, Faribault Rotary Club hosted two guest speakers.  Mr. Bashir Omor (picture unavailable) of the Faribault Public Schools gave a presentation about the Eid celebration and the Islamic faith.  Following Mr. Omor, Ms. Sissy Yang of the Mayo Health System provided the Club with a briefing on Covid-19.
Mr. Omor thanked the Club for supporting the May 12 Eid celebration at the Faribault Soccer complex.  He explained the holiday, noting there are two Eid holidays.  The one just completed follows Ramadan in which Muslims fast during the daytime.  At the end of the 30 days of Ramadan, the fast is broken and there is a celebration marked by food and special treats for children.  The second Eid holiday will be July 19 this year and marks the occasion in which Ibrahim is told to sacrifice his son for God, but God recognizing Ibrahim’s is belief in God switches the son for a ram.  This holiday is marked in many Muslim countries with feasts.
Mr. Omor also explained the five pillars of Islam.  He said the first pillar is to believe in one God.  The second pillar is to participate in prayer five times daily every day.  The third pillar is to give alms to the needy.  The fourth is the need for fasting and finally, the fifth pillar is going on the Hajj to Mecca.  Mr. Omor stressed Muslims believe in the prophets, highlighting he knows the teachings of Jesus Christ, but believes Mohammed is the most important prophet. 
Ms. Yang told the Club about the Mayo Clinic’s presence in Faribault and its efforts to assist with early childhood literacy and childhood oral health.  She described the different COVID-19 vaccines (mRNA for Pfizer and Moderna and vector for Johnson and Johnson) and discussed some of the factors that may delay a vaccination such as waiting 90 days for a vaccination if the patient had COVID previously or had received COVID antibody therapy. 
Ms. Yang noted that Mayo is now offering walk up appointments for vaccinations in Owatonna, Red Wing, Austin, and Albert Lea.  In Rice County, as of mid-May data, 32,005 people had received one dose of a vaccine and 26, 345 people had completed the series of vaccinations.   
Now that our application was submitted. The Faribault Rotary Club will be scheduling presentations to different Rotary and service clubs throughout the state. Below are pictures of our presentation to the Rotary Breakfast club. We are scheduled to present at Rotary Shark Tank this Tuesday and the Lions Club in Owatonna on June 1st. Our goal is to inform people of the importance of our water purification project in Cambodia and seek support for the project. The Faribault Rotary Club will need to raise around $40,000 outside of grant awards to make this project work. Please donate if you can. You can use the Venmo QR Code below to donate directly to this project.
Interesting Fact about Cambodia:
As of 2019 30% of Cambodia's population does not have access to clean water. Polluted rivers and lakes leave rain water as the only safe option for much of rural Cambodia. As so many illnesses are derived from the lack of access to clean drinking water, Rotary's water purification efforts around the world becomes vitally important.

Presentation by Sam and Dick


The club awarded over $20,000 in STRIVE, Ethics Essays and Music scholarships.
Rotarian Dr. Lisa Humfeld gave a talk on the “Toxic Effects of Sugar.” No one ate desert that day.
The club had a raffle to raise money for Youth Services.
The Rotary Foundation honored Marv Schrader as a Major Donor with his Paul Harris +10 award.
The club assists the Northfield Rotary Club with their annual Jesse James Bike Tour.
Pony rides for the kids were the highlight at the annual picnic at the Rotary Camp.
The District held “One Rotary Summit” at Buckham Library.
The club held the 52nd Annual Rotary Band/Choir/Orchestra concert.  The event had great attendance and everyone enjoyed the performance!
Dr. Richard Huston received the Rotarian of the Year 2017.
Rotarian Kurt Halvorson gave an energetic presentation on “Model Railroads.”
The Annual Faribault Rotary Red Cross blood drive was a success.
The club enjoyed the 78th annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 97th president in 2016-17 was Jake Cook.
The recording for the May STRIVE session featuring the Health Partners MESA program can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/-JYkPvrvDKI  
Please let me know if you would like to impact the lives of local youth by volunteering for our amazing STRIVE program!
The Cash Raffle 2021 is underway 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 over the next 5 weeks we can do it again.
Thank you for your help in continuing the Faribault Rotary Club's mission to serve, promote and encourage the youth in our community.
The Faribault Rotary Club WILL NOT be meeting this week due to the Minnesota Twins game club outing.  All in attendance will receive credit for a make up since there will be no formal meeting.

Eid Al Fitr

The Faribault Rotary Club's Diversity Committee celebrated Eid Al Fitr today with the city's Muslim community by teaming up with Rice County to provide Covid-19 Vaccines to interested people and popcorn, cotton candy, and Ice Cream to kids. It was such a fun day. Eid Mubarak!

Faribault Tourism

Info - Faribault, MN Tourism
Kelly Nygaard from the Faribault Chamber of Commerce visited our club to share the state of tourism for Faribault. The Chamber as the area tourism bureau collects a 3% tax on all overnight stays in the city. These funds are then focused back at potential travelers to visit our community. 
Kelly explained the many ways the Chamber uses the funds from billboards on Interstate 35, travel guides, geo fencing mobile ads, trade shows and social media post. One of the most successful campaigns has been using social influencers on Instagram to visit Faribault and run a story on their pages and blogs.
Covid-19 took a big dip into the travel industry but Kelly feels the future is bright for tourism in Faribault due to many of our local outdoor activities and historical buildings.
For more information or to see all the fun things happening in Faribault follow "visit Faribault” on Instagram or Facebook.

Mural Dedication

Rotarians Police Chief Andy Bohlen and Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn gave a great presentation about our local K9 police dogs. 
The weekly Faribaultarian newsletter began publishing new member profiles.
The club awarded over $20,000 in STRIVE scholarships.
Former Rotarian and past president (1973-74) Dr. Roy Anderson returned in full costume and historical knowledge as our city’s founder, Alexander Faribault.
The club held a Beer, BBQ and Bacon spring fundraiser at the F-Town Brewery for the new Rotary mural.
The club held its first cash raffle to raise funds for youth services.
The club sponsored the Courage Retreat for Faribault 7th graders.
The tradition of inviting retired past presidents to installation ceremonies for the new president was started.
A dedication ceremony for Faribault's newest mural was spear headed by Dick Huston, who made a short presentation to Rotarians and guests in the lot next to the Chavis building.
2016 Rotarian of the year was Kymn Anderson.
The Club partnered with the United Way and Unity Students to build the first of six Little Libraries in Faribault.
There was a great presentation from Shoreview Rotarian, John Suzukida, who spoke of his parent’s internment in Japanese- American relocation camps during WWII.  
The club enjoyed the 77th annual Christmas Concert.
Our club’s 96th president in 2015-16 was Dr. Richard Huston.
Dr. Huston had the following memories:
-Hosting exchange student Maggie in the spring and enjoying all the events and friends she had.
-Planning for, procuring financing and seeing the mural project completed to let the people of Faribault know the value of Rotary
-Presidents Event at F-Town planned by our very own Dan Hedge
-Working with Dan Hedge to develop promotional brochure, Exchange brochure and "Ways to Serve.”
-Displaying the flags on banners.
-Doing orientation with a meal to really get to know the incoming members and letting them know Rotary is Service above Self
Murray had the best ties that year and frankly every year since.

Ta Meun Village

#TaMeunWaterProject #FaribaultGlobalProject
The Rotary Club of Faribault is putting things into place to to provide clean drinking water and create a sufficient source of water for Ta Meun Village, a small rural village in Northwest Cambodia. The project will also include the establishment of a community garden. Overall, this venture will help to improve the health of the community by providing safe drinking water and fresh produce to people. The total cost of the project is estimated at around $75,000. 
Interesting fact about Cambodia:
The Angkor Wat, a Hindu temple, is one of the largest religious monument in the world and it is the largest in the world if you consider the total land area and structure that makes up the entire temple complex. However, Angkor was not just a temple. In fact it was an entire city. At it's height, there were roughly 700,000 to 900,000 people there. This estimate could possibly make Angkor the largest city in the world in that time period.
The temple is the national symbol of the country and can be seen in Cambodian communities across the globe. It is also the logo of one of our project sponsors, ChheamKounKhmer Clothing.

ChheamKounKhmer Clothing

Honoring Al Burkhartzmeyer

There was an annual Strive Awards banquet at the Elks Club.  The Club honored students from Faribault High School and Bethlehem Academy with college scholarships totaling $21,000.
To honor the late Al Burkhartzmeyer’s dedication as a Rotarian with 55 years of perfect attendance, who served in many capacities in his years as a Rotarian and always honored the message of integrity and service espoused by Rotary, the club raised $27,000 to restore the Security Bank Clock on Central Ave.
The club held a spring social fundraising event for the clock project.
The club hosted exchange students from India and Taiwan.
Outbound Exchange Student, Theresa Wilder, sent monthly reports to the club from Poland.
The annual picnic was held at the Rotary Camp.
The 2015 Rotarian of the Year was Dr. Murray Hanson.
The club welcomed a GSE group from Brazil.
The club enjoyed the 76th annual FHS Christmas Concert at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.
Our club’s 95th president in 2014-15 was Tony Langerud. He has been a member since November 2006.

Jenny Teletor

Hello Everyone,
Our next STRIVE session is at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, May 12th.  This month we will be joined by Jenny Teletor, Community Health Worker with HealthFinders.  Jenny is going to tell us about their MESA wellness program.  Here is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81006854677
As always, a link to a recorded version of the presentation will be sent out later that day if you are not able to attend the session.  Please let me know if you would like to learn more about how you can help shape the future of our youth through STRIVE!
Thank you,
Kurt Halverson
Faribault Rotary Strive Chair

Warm Our Community

Faribault Rotarians receiving the Pride Grant from Foundation Board Members (Left to Right) Pat Rice, Christine Shaffer-Brown, Pat Gustafson, with Rotarians, Keith Kramer - Warm our Community Chair, Brenda DeMars - Rotary President, Laura Bock- Rotary Community Service Organizer.

The Faribault Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2021 Community Pride Grants.

Warm Our Community is a project that assists families in need by providing winter weather gear at no charge. Good condition used coats and snow pants and boots are accepted, and monetary donations fund the purchase of new items to supplement the donations. The Faribault Rotary Club leads this effort and used many local volunteers. The Foundation is awarding $300.00 to this effort.

Selection was made based on impact, need and alignment with the mission of the Faribault Foundation. The Mission of the Faribault Foundation is to promote philanthropy to enhance the quality of life in Faribault.

Key values of the Faribault Foundation:

Community Betterment

The Foundation seeks initiatives that look to the future by helping develop assets for the community by capacity building and by supporting beautification and recreation projects.

Youth & Families

The Foundation seeks to support programs that help youth and families grow, learn, and become better citizens by targeting needs in areas such as: hunger, housing, poverty, education, recreation, art and culture, healthy lifestyles, and civic engagement.

Cultural Diversity

The Foundation seeks initiatives that will foster equal opportunity, open dialogue, mutual respect, and cross-cultural collaboration in our community.

Sarah McGuire, Director of the Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative,

"Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning, but capable of succeeding."

–Robert John Meehan

On 5 May 2021, Sarah McGuire, Director of the Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative, spoke to the Rotary Club about the Cooperative.  Ms. McGuire highlighted the Cooperative’s mission, which is to prepare every special needs student to learn and succeed in our communities.  She explained the Faribault, Medford, Owatonna, and Northfield public school districts make up the Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative and it was established in 2016. She went on to say that school districts are required to have special education in place to meet the needs of all students.  Thus, the Cooperative serves those students from the four communities whose needs are specific and often represent the most vulnerable. Ms. McGuire also mentioned the economic and programming advantage of cooperating with the four other school districts to meet the special education needs in our communities. 
Explaining how the Cooperative works, Ms. McGuire commented that there are three different programs serving specific students.  The first program, the Sun program, meets the needs of students who have communication or hearing devices and strives to enable the students to gain academic, social and emotional development. Students can stay in the Sun program until they are 21. 
The second program is housed in the Alexander Learning Academy and serves the area’s most vulnerable students.  Students at the academy have intense social, emotional, and behavioral needs.  Students come to the Academy and then transition back to their home districts once it is judged they are ready to return to their home school. Ms. McGuire said starting next year, the Alexander Learning Academy will be building in a significant mental health component.  She added the students attending the Academy need a lot of care and direction during the day. 
The third program is the Step program.   This program is for students ages 18-21 and most of these students have completed and graduated from high school.  The Step program gives the students the opportunity to continue their education in order to nurture the students to live independently. Ms. McGuire noted that a work component is an integral part of the Step program.  The students have job coaches to assist the students in transitioning to the workplace.  Ms. McGuire added that the cooperative is always looking for additional partners to work with the students. 
Ms. McGuire ended her presentation by highlighting the Cooperative will be moving into a large space at the Faribo West Mall.  She commented that this will be the first time the cooperative will be located under one roof, which should help with programming and efficiencies.  She expects to take possession of the site on 1 June and to be fully operational by mid-June 2021. 

Angkor Treasures

The Faribault Rotary Club will be applying for a Global Grant to do a water purification project  for Ta Moeurn Village in Battambang, Cambodia. The work has just started and we've already received great support from Minnesota's Cambodian community. Thank you to Angkor Treasures, ChheamKonKhmer Clothing and Wat Munisotaram for supporting our fundraising efforts and personally contributing to our cause.
As part of Asian Heritage Month (May), we will send a post each week with interesting facts about the country of Cambodia and update you on the progress of our work in Ta Moeurn Village. More information will come out soon on how you can support or donate to this project. Please stay tuned!
#TaMoeurnWaterProject #FaribaultRotaryGlobalProject

ChheamKonKhmer Clothing

Wat Munisotaram

Rotary Opens Opportunities

Holger Knaack - Rotary International President-elect 2019-20

Holger Knaack

President 2020-21

May 2021

For years, Susanne and I hosted many Rotary Youth Exchange students in our home. This program was an entry point to Rotary for me, and my heart is truly in it. When Rotary’s exchange programs were suspended because of COVID-19 to keep students and families safe, we felt sorry, especially for the participants, because those years cannot be repeated.

Because of the many uncertainties of the pandemic, the Rotary Board has decided to suspend in-person exchanges through June 2022. As we look ahead with hope, we thank Youth Exchange officers, host families, and volunteers for their contributions in years past, and we encourage districts to offer virtual exchanges as a way of connecting students around the world with each other and with our communities.

For those who are not able to participate in Rotary Youth Exchange, Rotary offers other opportunities. New Generations Service Exchange (NGSE) is a Rotary program that deserves wider recognition: It is an excellent opportunity for young people ages 18 to 30 to participate in community service as individuals or in a group and to gain internship experience. Simukai Matshalaga, a Rotaractor from Zimbabwe, stayed with us in Ratzeburg during her NGSE experience three years ago.

When I applied for the New Generations Service Exchange program, I did not realize that I was signing up for a life-changing experience. This program gave me that opportunity and much more. It taught me about the importance of failing fast, learning quicker, and being myself.

Some of my greatest experiences happened at the dinner table. The warmth and kindness of every home I lived in still resonate with me today. It took me weeks to understand how a stranger could care for me as deeply as these members of the Rotary family did. I am inspired by the lessons of humility I learned from all the amazing people I met. I came to understand a new culture and realized that the only things that separate us as people are our experiences and, at times, our false assumptions.

Professionally, it gave me confidence in my own abilities as an engineer. Seeing how other organizations handled problems made me aware that the best person to solve the challenges in my country was me. Returning home from northern Germany, I declined a promotion, quit my job, and began building a family business — a decision that previously I would have never made, out of fear.

I am indebted to the Rotary family. I am not sure whether the friends, mentors, and families I left behind knew that they changed my life permanently. I hope they now do.

New Generations Service Exchange changed Simukai’s life. It can change yours, too. All Rotary members can experience something similar at any time: I encourage everyone to take a virtual journey this month and visit meetings of other clubs online. You will see how different Rotary is around the world as you meet great people and make new friends.

Let us build upon these connections forged online — and later, when the time is right, enjoy in-person exchanges through Rotary Friendship Exchange, another excellent program for Rotary members of all ages.

Our ability to meet in person is limited now, but we know that Rotary Opens Opportunities, always. Now is the time to get ready, so that when the pandemic is behind us, Rotary’s exchange programs will come back stronger than before, serving a world that is yearning to reconnect.


Falcon Education Enrichment Program

Faribault Public Schools - YouTube
Mitch Anderson spoke to us about the FEEP program in the Faribault Public School.  The Falcon Education Enrichment Program (FEEP) was founded in 2018 under the FAPSETA Trust created in 1986. FEEPS mission is to support specific classroom and learning opportunities beyond typical classroom financial support.
Since December 2018, FEEP has approved over $30,000 in grants that improve the educational opportunities in all of the schools in the district. The average grant is around $1,100. Grants support areas of need such as Literacy, Science, Technology, Engineering, Cultural Awareness. Here is a great video of the value of the FEEP program. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d9CRtLfreqPiCYubBt4NssaHF1n64XL-/view?usp=sharing
The Falcon Education Enrichment Program is always looking for positive donations and energized people to be on their board. You can receive more information from the Faribault District office.
In 1986, Faribault Area Public School Education Trust Association (FAPSETA), a tax-exempt entity that provides scholarship opportunities to Faribault Public School students, was created.
What started with a fundraising goal of $50,000 has grown to $1,175,000
FAPSETA has awarded over $1.4 million in scholarships to more than 1,200 Faribault students since 1988.
The Board consists of business, community, and education members
In 2018, FAPSETA created the Falcon Education Enrichment Program (FEEP) to complement their mission by securing funding to support specific classroom and learning opportunities beyond typical classroom financial support.
The global grant application for funding for GG14-11947 "UDDAO Cassava Processing Plant," submitted by host sponsor Rotary Club of Faribault (part of District 5960) and international sponsor Rotary Club Makeni (part of District 9101), was approved by The Rotary Foundation. The award is $54,000.
Janel Klein, NBC News Correspondent/Kare 11 and an FHS graduate and spoke to the club about her career in the TV industry.
Tami Schluter talked to the club about a project with Rick's Restoration (Cable TV show) and the Tilt-A-Whirl restoration for display on Central Ave.
There was a Rotary Honors banquet at the KC Hall.
The 2014 Rotarian of the Year was Brent Peroutka.
There was a President’s Event that included wine tasting and Rotary social in the ballroom above the new Alexander's Supper Club.  
The club conducted its second car raffle to raise funds for Youth Services.
2013-14 Rotary District Governor Gary Campbell awarded the Faribault Rotary Club with three awards.
2013-14 Rotary Club Central Award- for setting strategic goals to Engage Rotary and Change Lives.
2013-14 Presidential Citation- for actively working to Engage Rotary and Change Lives.
2013-2014 Zone Literacy and Education Award- for promoting literacy and education that strengthens individual dignity and self-worth of people, thereby strengthening the foundation of international goodwill, understanding and peace.
Our club’s 94th president in 2013-14 was Brent Peroutka. He has been a member since January 2004.
Brent has the following memories from his year:
  1. Since I value history, I had Murray Hanson provide a brief “history minute” during each Rotary meeting.
  2. We recognized members each week that performed service above self with a “Service Above Self” trophy.  This was a great way to recognize members in our club for their work in Rotary as well as in the community.
  3. We continued the fundraising efforts for the Rotary Clock Project that originally started with the Al Burkhartzmeyer memorial.  We raised over $7,000 towards the project and started working on the proper legal documents with the city and building owner.  The project finished the following year with a beautiful memorial and clock downtown Faribault.
  4. We held several meetings at the Rotary Camp as I wanted to highlight this great asset, and we made several improvements to the camp during the year.
  5. We held a “President’s Event” in order to raise funds for other projects, build relationships outside of Rotary, as well as recruit new members.  This year we hosed a wine tasting and social.  Rotarian George Wickstrom had donated some of the wine.
  6. Our club completed its first international project in several years, a cassava processing plant in Sierra Leone Africa.  This process started prior to my term as Rotary president, and I was so grateful for everyone hard work putting this together and raising the necessary funds to make this project a success.  We had a contingent of Rotarians travel to Sierra Leone Africa to work on the project first hand.  Jake Cook, Richard Cook, Richard Ormsby, Dr. Richard Huston, Pat Gustafson (and I believe her granddaughter) all traveled to Africa to help with the project.  This helped to build a sustainable cassava processing plat where local residents could produce, store and sell this local produce.
  7. Our club received the Presidential Citation Award as well as a Literacy Award from the district with awards at the District 5960 Conference.
  8. As club president, I had 100% attendance and led every meeting during the year!
It has been announced by the District that the Faribault Rotaract Club at South Central College has been disassembled as of 3/31/2021.  The club was unable to name a new president when David Mesta resigned. With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing most learning online the initial enthusiastic interest in the newly formed club (2019) suffered. We hope there will be an opportunity to reform the club in the future.
General 3.jpg
A restoration project in 2004 gathered a community of volunteers at Crockers Creek. Seventeen years later, the Faribault Rotary Club hopes the community will step up in a big way again for a new restoration project in the same area. (Photo courtesy of Kymn Anderson)

In 2004, Faribault residents came together to restore 39,000-square feet of shoreland along Crockers Creek, located along Hwy. 21.

Seventeen years later, the Faribault Rotary Club has selected this same area for a beautification project. And just like last time, it will take plenty of helping hands to bring back the native species along the waterway.

Since Rotary International decided to add a seventh area of focus, the environment, the district leaders have encouraged clubs to do a project by April or May of this year. The Faribault club selected Crockers Creek, which Rotarian Dick Huston began cleaning up on his own several years ago.


Crockers Creek.jpg

Located along Hwy. 21, Crockers Creek is the area the Faribault Rotary Club has selected as its beautification project. Rotarian Dick Huston has cleaned up the area outside the Chamber of Commerce the past several years, but there’s still much more work to do. (Misty Schwab/southernminn.com)


The restoration of Crockers Creek, which spans from the A&W on Hwy. 21 to the Burger King at the Seventh Street intersection, kicks off 1 p.m. Saturday and continues 5 p.m. Thursday, April 29. Volunteers can simply show up outside the Faribault Chamber of Commerce office and bring loppers and chainsaws they own.

“Depending on how many people show up, it’s going to take some time,” Huston said. “It’s a big, big job but it will have major benefits.”

Invasive species are prevalent at the creek, but understanding how prairies work on his own farm, Huston said the native plants can return in the proper environment. Any woody plants that grow need to be cut down, he said, and the stump needs to be treated, or shoots will grow back in a year or two.

Beautification aside, Huston pointed out another benefit to bringing back the restoration project. The roots of the current plants go down as far as 15 feet, he said, and that means they filter the contaminants of the runoff from both the road and parking lot. The plants start the filtering process, which means the chemicals don’t end up in the water.

“To me it’s a big deal, and it can be for the city too, to make it look way way better than it is,” Huston said.

A community project

Kymn Anderson, specials project manager of the Faribault Chamber of Commerce, said the Crockers Creek restoration project dates back to 2002. Throughout a two-year Business Retention and Expansion program within the Chamber, members gathered input from hundreds of businesses about what they viewed as important for the local community to thrive. A number of different initiatives were born from that interview process, including Gateway Beautification.

Anderson recalled Master Gardeners, city staff, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, high school groups and more working on different aspects of the community throughout 2003 and 2004. These volunteers pulled weeds, and planted flower gardens and trees as part of the beautification projects. One of the major projects in spring and summer 2004 focused specifically on Crockers Creek.

“It was a mess,” Anderson said of Crockers Creek at that time. “Just a pile of weeds and a place where garbage gets collected a lot. We were able to get a grant from the Department of Natural Resources for $13,000, and we began the restoration of that area.”

With the grant, the community volunteers planted 17,000 native plants on both sides of the waterway. Following the big, sweeping effort of planting in 2004, Anderson said keeping up with the process has become an effort of the Chamber of Commerce. But Huston on his own has also made sure Crockers Creek is cared for properly.

Huston began cleaning up the Crockers Creek area in front of the Chamber several years ago, ridding the shore of invasive species. Last summer, Huston spotted 12 prairie flowers blooming.

He’s also invited the Faribault Fire Department to conduct controlled burns on the land regularly to rid the area of non-native plants and allow it to repopulated with native ones.

“[Fire Chief] Dusty Dienst is awesome in getting that burned, and that’s important for reviving the prairie plants,” Huston said. “Fire is one of the things that stimulates their growth.”

Added Anderson: “Every few years when it gets burned down, that helps those native plants become stronger, and it kills the invasive plants we want to get rid of. It’s a big project. It’s not perfect yet, but the idea is that every step of the way makes it easier for the native species to return rather than some of the weeds that had grown up along the way.”

Reporter Misty Schwab can be reached at 507-333-3135. Follow her on Twitter @APGmisty. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved. 


Paradise Center of the Arts

Center for the Arts | Art | Theater | Exhibit | Perform | Faribault
On April 21, 2021 Rotarian and Executive Director of the Paradise Center of the Arts (PCA), Ms. Heidi Nelson briefed the club on the Paradise and its upcoming programs and activities.   Since the pandemic, Ms. Nelson highlighted the PCA had its first in-person program in the auditorium on April 16.  The PCA’s Gallery also had an opening and both programs were done safely following COVID-19 safety protocols.  On May 21, there will be another gallery opening and a visual artist will be performing.  Ms. Nelson stated that she expects Community Theater will be performing Frozen Junior opening in June. 
Ms. Nelson said that since June 2020 the PCA’s gallery has averaged a new gallery opening every five to six weeks.  These are generally broadcast over Facebook Live which allows for interactions from viewers including questions of, and answers from, the artists.  Ms. Nelson added that if there are questions on future events that people may call the PCA’s box office at 507- 332-7372. 
Commenting on the age of the building, Ms. Nelson said funds earmarked by the City of Faribault for the PCA will be used to renovate two HVAC systems.  She went on to explain the PCA’s current financial situation, stressing the desire to pay off the PCA’s line of credit and the existing mortgage for the building.  She expects to reduce the existing mortgage by approximately $100,000 prior to asking the City to pay off the remainder of the mortgage’s balance.
Speaking of the PCA’s future, Ms. Nelson spoke of recent fund-raising successes and of the 100 Club, which by donating $2500 will make the donator a lifetime PCA member.  By becoming debt free, Ms. Nelson stressed the PCA will be able to become self-sustainable and provide a wide range of programming.  She plans on establishing a programming sponsorship effort.  Sponsors who donate $10,000 will receive special benefits including the ability to invite staff to events as well as be recognized throughout the year for contributing to the PCA.   Ms. Nelson’s goals is to have sufficient resources to be able to schedule programs two and a half years out.   
Ms. Nelson reiterated that for the PCA step one is to improve the PCA’s financial situation while step two is to work on long-term programming.  Step three is developing an endowment for PCA to make it sustainable for the future.   She expressed thanks for the strong community support for the PCA and noted the contributions made by PCA board members and donors.  She also praised the staff of the PCA for their dedication and hard work.  Finally, Ms. Nelson commented that there are many volunteer opportunities to serve on PCA committees and sub-committees. 

Wat Munisutaram Temple is the largest Buddhist Temple in North America


On April 17th, Two members of the Cambodian Global Grants Project Team and two other Rotary members visited the Cambodian Buddhist Temple in Hampton MN (pictured above) to take part in the Minnesota Cambodian community’s annual New Year celebration. The Rotary members were Dick Huston, Sam Ouk, George Wickstrom and Rebekah Freed. The team hoped to learn as much as they can about the Cambodian culture and people through talking and sharing a meal with the Cambodian community members at the temple. The pictures below show the ceremonial activities Rotary members were able to take part in at the temple. The team also had an opportunity to talk to the Abbot (head monk) of the Buddhist temple about our water purification project for Ta Moeung Village in Battambang, Cambodia. The project will provide clean water for over 500 students and hundreds more villagers. At the end of the conversation, the monks blessed a string bracelet and handed it to the team as a gift of friendship.

The Rotary Team was also joined by Tracy Corcoran of Faribault Public Schools.

Take me out to the Ballgame!

Tickets for first 17 home Twins games to go on sale Thursday | www.WDIO.com
Hello Faribault Rotarians,
It's spring in Minnesota and that means it's Twins baseball season! 
Popcorn! Peanuts! Cracker Jacks! Get your ice cold beer here! I can almost hear the crack of the bat now! 
Our Club is holding a special social outing to a Minnesota Twins game coming up on May 26th... and we want YOU to join us! 
Thanks to the generosity of one of our fellow Faribault Rotarians, transportation is being provided at no additional cost to you AND your ticket price is reduced. WOW!!  We want as many Rotarians to participate as possible and hope that by providing transportation and more affordable tickets will help do that.
More details and the RSVP for tickets are included in the link below. 
Please RSVP no later than April 28th. Payment is expected by our May 5th meeting. 
Please note, tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  The quicker you sign up, the better your chance of getting to hang out with your fellow Rotarians while enjoying a Twins game on a beautiful spring day in Minnesota!!
Thank you,
Just in case, it's here too: https://forms.gle/TmJSSmJFjdNzgesHA 

Welcome Rebekah!

The Faribault Rotary Club's newest member is Rebekah Freed.  She is the Senior Environmental Health & Safety Manager for Daiken Applied in Faribault. Her sponsor is Amy Amundson.

Minnesota Twins Outing

Ryan Heinritz: Leaving for home | Arts | southernminn.com
On April 7 2021, Mr. Ryan Heinritz joined the meeting to discuss the possibility of a Rotary Twins outing.  Mr. Heinritz gave the club a virtual view of Target Field and talked about the home opener scheduled for April 8.  He recommended right field porch seats in Target Field that would allow for social distancing and comfort, but still offer affordable ticket prices ($36).    Section 125 was another recommended seating area because it offered plenty of sun during day games.  Upper deck seats also were mentioned as a possibility.   The Club will discuss this possible event further prior to making any decisions.  

Welcome Brian!

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

Charlie Cogan

Faribault Rotary Club members honored by Polio Plus team

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

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

Welcome Suzanne!

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

Faribault Food Access Initiative

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

Hanan Mohamud

Hanan gave her classification talk recently.  I asked her seven follow up questions to help summarize her presentation for those of us who were present and for our club members who missed the meeting. If you have not had a chance to welcome her to our club, please do so.
  1. Your Family members, occupations (including you) or school level?” 
                   My mom takes care of the home, my dad works at a mirror factory. Both of them have a high school education. I work as a RISE coordinator at the high school. I have a BA in psychology.
  1. Your Hometown/School/College
         I am from Faribault, MN. I went to the Faribault schools and attended Gustavus Adolphus College.
  1. Your Previous occupations?
   Behavioral Therapist, and Personal Care Assistant.
  1. Any Hobbies?
   I love reading, training for a marathon, playing basketball, and hanging out with my baby.
  1. Rotary sponsor?
             Richard Huston
  1. Interesting fact about you or your life?
  I was born in Saudi Arabia.
  1. Anything else you can think of?        
       Not really, if you have any questions please let me know.
Rotary’s second virtual convention highlights accomplishment in polio, progress toward ending COVID-19

Rotary’s second virtual convention highlights accomplishment in polio, progress toward ending COVID-19

Rotarians Address Mental Health Issues Head On

Rotary has a remarkable record when it comes to health initiatives. Now the global pandemic has brought attention to another aspect of health that is often overlooked: mental health.

Swiss Rotary clubs help young refugees start new lives

The program matches refugees with training to get them settled and fill a need for skilled workers.

Common Ground: Rotary Magazine 2021 Photo Awards

Common Ground: Rotary Magazine 2021 Photo Awards. In a time of separation, our winning photographers used their cameras to make connections.

Rotary members lead effort to transform childbirth care in Mongolia

Julie Dockrill, recipient of Rotary’s People of Action: Champions of Health, led a team of midwives in training health care professionals as part of a comprehensive well-being program that’s saving mothers and babies.

June 2021
Upcoming Events
Brenda DeMars and Todd Sesker
Jun 30, 2021
Outgoing and Incoming President
Rebekah Freed
Jul 07, 2021
Classification Speech
Susan Hvistendahl
Nov 03, 2021
Bruce Smith
David Sauer
Nov 10, 2021
Faribault Soldiers Stories