Club Information
New Brighton Mounds View

Our Club Motto: Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
The Exchange Food and Drink
500 5th Ave, NW
New Brighton, MN 55112
United States of America
Club meetings are held via ZOOM Tuesdays at 12:00 - 1:00PM
Social Media Links
Twitter Twitter     YouTube  YouTube
Four-Way Test
Rotary's Four-Way Test
Of the things we think, say and do:
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Home Page Stories
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day:  “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa
President-Elect Charlie Longbella led today’s meeting in President Edeth’s absence.
Check your email for this week’s important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, download them here.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has received an $8,500 grant request from CPY to expand their food program this summer.
Nyle Zikmund introduced Chris Ganzlin and Jennifer Arriola from the Ann Bancroft Foundation (ABF).  The Foundation’s mission is to inspire and encourage girls to imagine something bigger.  ABF strives to build confidence in girls, enabling them to pursue their dreams.  Through grants, mentorship and ongoing development opportunities, the ABF is giving Minnesota girls strength to achieve their full potential.
The ABF was founded by Arctic and Antarctic explorer Ann Bancroft.  A Minnesota native, Ann was the first woman (as the only female member of the Will Steger International Polar Expedition) to cross the ice to the North Pole in 1986.  In 1993, Ann led the American Women’s Expedition to the South Pole, making her the first woman in history to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles.
It’s clear that Ann knows something about dreaming big dreams and then achieving them, but she admits that she would never have had the confidence to accomplish those dreams without the support and mentorship of adults when she was young.  Statistics show that by age eight, girl’s confidence and self-esteem levels begin to drop and that drop continues through the teen years.  The Ann Bancroft Foundation Grants require that a non-parent mentor support the grantee and guide her in appropriate use of the grant.  Although the grants are relatively small ($500 maximum) they have been life changing for over 5,000 Minnesota Girls.  The ABF is very intentional in its efforts to make these grants available to girls all over Minnesota and so far they have been able to make grants in 77 of Minnesota’s 87 counties, with the goal of reaching every county soon.  Grant recipients all reported increases in confidence, pride and self-advocacy as a result of their grant.  Not every application can be accepted, of course, but 97 % of applicants said that the application process helped them to put their dream into words and made the dream seem more possible.
Of course, fundraising is necessary to be able to make these grants, and ABF’s “Watch Me” Celebration is a major part of the fundraising effort.  This year’s event will once again be held virtually and you are invited to join the celebration on June 10th.  Click here for more information.
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day:   “In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance.”  Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Check your email for important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, you can download them here
- Note that we will be meeting in person at the Exchange for the Tuesday noon meeting on May 18th.    -    
- We will also meet in person at the Exchange at noon on Tuesday June 29th to celebrate Edeth’s year as President and welcome Charlie as our new President.
- Members attending these two meetings will each pay for their own lunches.
Nyle Zikmund introduced Gro Anett Pederson, who stayed with the Zimund's as an exchange student from Norway in 1991.  Gro (pronounced Gru) was raised in the northern Norway city of Fauske, but now lives and works in Oslo.  Minnesota’s climate and scenery (especially in northern Minnesota) are similar to Norway so it’s easy to see why 30% of Minnesota’s residents are of Norwegian descent.  Minnesota and Norway each have a population around 5.5 million but Minnesota is only 60% as large as Norway. 
Gro said that  Norway has had a much lower rate of daily new confirmed Covid cases than the U.S., remaining close to 100 new cases per day compared to our rate which has been as high as 750 new cases per day and has seldom been below 100 new cases per day since March of 2020.  This is despite only 20% of Norwegians currently vaccinated vs. 40% of Americans vaccinated.  Gro suggested some reasons for the disparity, including Norway’s low population density, fewer multi-generation living arrangements, high trust in government and health officials and very strict Covid precautions on businesses and workers which are very generously supported by wide ranging government subsidies.  She also said that social distancing is somewhat normal behavior for Norwegians.
Norway became a sovereign state in 1905, and the U.S. was one of the first countries to acknowledge them.  Norway’s constitution was inspired by ours and the U.S. and Norway have close diplomatic ties. Norway is also somewhat dependent on the U.S. (through NATO) for national security.    
Ed noted that Nicole Ulrich will be unable to serve as President following Charlie Longbella’s term so the club’s Past- President’s will meet by zoom at 11:00 AM prior to next week’s regular meeting to nominate a replacement.  All Past Presidents should attend, using the normal Zoom meeting link to join the nominating meeting.
The club is planning to provide hot dogs for the Stockyard Days Parade participants on August 13th.  John Johnson has agreed to organize the food preparation and serving.
For those who missed the End Human Trafficking Forum last week, a recording of the event is available by clicking here.
Next week’s speaker will be Ann Bancroft, speaking to us about the Ann Bancroft Foundation.
President Edeth James' Quote of the Day: “We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” - Mother Teresa
Check your email for a list of important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, you can download them here.
Nyle Zikmund introduced Amanda Seim, executive Director of the Runestone Museum.  The Kensington Runestone has been shrouded in controversy ever since its discovery in 1898 by Olof Ӧhman while clearing trees on his farm near Kensington, MN.  The Runestone is covered with Norse Runic symbols that would be typical for the Middle Ages and the artifact has been dated to 1362, one hundred thirty years before Columbus “discovered” North America.  Perhaps because the Runestone contradicts the traditional historical narrative, researchers from around the world have investigated this discovery to determine whether the Runestone is genuine and, if so, how it came to be in Kensington, Minnesota.  Archaeologists, geologists and linguists have spent the last 120 years disagreeing about the Runestone and the only thing that’s clear is that more research is necessary to authenticate the artifact.
The Runestone was the museum’s only historical artifact when it opened in 1958, but today the museum has much more to offer.  There are now forty Minnesota artifacts from Middle Ages Nordic explorers including a fire starting steel; the only one on display in North America.  The Museum also has a Children’s Discovery Room where kids can learn history through active play.  The Enriching our Scandinavian Heritage Exhibit focuses on Minnesota’s immigrant history and the First Peoples Exhibit has Native American artifacts including a ceremonial tinkle cone dress; one of only four in existence.  The Fort Alexandria exhibit shows what life in forts was like for the first European settlers, with nine buildings including a stagecoach stop and blacksmith shop.  The museum also has a Minnesota Wildlife Exhibit to round out your visit.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition is preparing for the “Keep Moving” Virtual Run/Walk, May 9-16.  Registration details will follow.  Total Coalition grants to date are $150,170. 
Geoff also said that CPY is working on plans to supplement the District’s summer school effort with half day educational support.
Jed Hamoud noted that the Human Trafficking Webinar last Thursday was a big success.  The webinar was very ably hosted by MPR’s Angela Davis and the 198 logins very likely represent a much larger number of participants since a large number of logins had multiple viewers.  Angela Davis will be airing the webinar on her television program soon and we will let you know when it will air.
Dana Rebelein reported that the recipients of our “Service Above Self” scholarships have been selected, and we will announce them soon.
Don't forget about the "R U Hungry" food collection drive.  New Brighton-Mounds View has partnered with the Arden Hills-Shoreview, Roseville and White Bear Lake Rotary Clubs on this food drive to help those who are hungry due to Covid-19.  Download the brochure for more information.  If you’d like to help, download the sign-up sheet.
The Board will meet at 11AM next Tuesday by Zoom.  All members are welcome to observe the meeting.  If you would like to attend, use your link for the regular noon meeting.
We’ll be trying out in-person club meetings on May 18th and June 29th.  Note that these meetings will be indoors at the Exchange (with social distancing, of course).
Edeth reported that, after some negotiation, his daughter secured a full ride scholarship to the University of Minnesota Medical School! 
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day – “We are very, very small, but we are profoundly capable of very, very big things.” - Stephen Hawking
Check your email for Important Rotary Dates or, if you prefer, you can download them here.
Arden Hills- Shoreview Rotarian Stephanie Cosgrove was present to announce the "R U Hungry" food collection drive.  New Brighton-Mounds View partnered with the Arden Hills-Shoreview, Roseville and White Bear Lake Rotary Clubs on this food drive to help those who are hungry due to Covid-19.  Download the brochure for more information.  If you’d like to help, download the sign-up sheet.
Stephanie also reminded us that the Human Trafficking Webinar, co-sponsored by Arden Hills-Shoreview and our club, is this Thursday, April 15th, from 7:00-8:30PM.  Join us for this free, virtual forum for students, parents, teachers, & residents. Learn about human trafficking in our community, how our students are most vulnerable, tips for online safety, and how to spot the signs. Click here to register and you will receive the Zoom invite by email.
Nyle Zikmund introduced Dr. Keith Brewster, Director of Operations & Senior Research Scientist, of the Oklahoma University’s Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS).  CAPS's mission is to develop and demonstrate techniques for the numerical analysis and prediction of high-impact local weather and environmental conditions.  Keith explained that modern weather forecasting is a combination of direct observation, conceptual and computer modeling, interpreting and de-biasing the data and modeling and, finally, communicating the risk to keep people and property safe.
Computer numerical analysis is used to measure the velocity of both vertical and horizontal air movements within the atmosphere using a three dimensional grid.  These air movements, in a simple sense, are the basic determinants of what we experience as “weather”.  Computers analyze this massive amount of data to determine patterns which can help to predict future air movements (i.e. future weather).  Computers are also employed to analyze variables other than air movement which have an impact on weather.  These variables include clouds, precipitation, surface temperature and moisture in the land surface. Although computer analysis is powerful, direct observation and conceptual modeling still play an important role in predicting severe weather.  Weather radar has, in the past, been able to provide a 15-20 minute warning of severe weather.  Computer analysis of radar has improved the severe weather warning time to about 2 hours and further improvements are anticipated.  Computer modeling is also helping to improve warning times for flash flooding.  For all of us weather junkies, Keith suggested some apps to try:
      Tornado! (American Red Cross)
      RadarScope (DTN Weather)
      mPing (Oklahoma U. – N.O.A.H.)
Membership Director Cindy Carlson was honored to induct B-S-M Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Lundquist into the NBMV Rotary Club.  Welcome, Jeff!
We’ll be trying out in-person club meetings on May 18th and June 29th.  Note that these meetings will be indoors at the Exchange (with social distancing, of course).
Dana noted that we are considering five applications for our at-large scholarship. Four applications were received from St Anthony and one from Totino Grace.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has made an additional grant to N.Y.F.S. for $1,000.  The Coalition will continue its mission through December 2021.  Geoff also noted that the CPY Spring Event was a big success and he thanked all those who attended and donated.  You can still donate to CPY by clicking here.
Our meeting today was held in conjunction with the Community Partners With Youth Virtual Spring Event.  CPY executive Director Mary Stewart provided an overview of CPY’s programs and especially focused on the many ways that CPY has adapted to the new normal of Covid-19.  Mary and her staff have truly risen to the pandemic’s challenges with innovative approaches to distance learning support, nutritional support and activities to help students continue to progress academically and socially.  Thanks to financial support from the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition, the Office of Justice Program and, of course, donations from individuals like you and me, CPY continues to be a beacon of hope for educational equity in our community.  You can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking here.  Click here for more information about CPY.
The Honorable Justice Alan Page was the featured speaker at the event and Justice Page shared his wisdom by fielding several question offered by the audience.  He noted that his Page Education Foundation scholarship recipients return to their communities to serve as tutors and role models for elementary and middle school students.  CPY would seem to be a natural place for the Page Scholars to give back to their communities.
Check your email for a list of important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, you can download them here.
Next week’s speaker will be Dr. Keith Brewster.  His Topic: Meteorology – Severe Storms
Don’t forget that the Human Trafficking Webinar presented by the Arden Hills/Shoreview and New Brighton/Mounds View Rotary Clubs will be held on Thursday April 15th from 7-8:30PM.  Register here to receive your Zoom invitation by email.
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day: “I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.” -- Jana Stanfield
Check your email for important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, you can download them here.
Nyle Zikmund introduced Greg Wright, Director of the North House Folk School in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  The educational non-profit was established in 1997 by local artisans who wanted to share their knowledge of traditional crafts.  The first catalog featured 23 classes, but since then the school has grown steadily to over 450 course offerings taught by over 160 instructors.  Prior to Covid-19 over 3,000 students per year, from all over the globe, learned a craft at North House.  While Covid has greatly reduced the number of classes, donors have stepped up to keep the school in excellent financial condition.  Everyone is excited to return to normal as the pandemic wanes.

Although a variety of crafts can be learned, the focus of instruction is on traditional northern crafts.  The goal is to inspire lifelong learning in a positive and non-competitive environment, while also promoting and preserving the knowledge and skills of these crafts for future generations.

North House holds three major public events each year: The Wooden Boat Show, The Winter’s Gathering and The Big Top Music Event.  Any of these would be worthy of a trip to Grand Marais to learn more about the school.  Click here to plan a trip.

Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition is planning their Virtual 3 Mile Walk/Run for the week of May 9-16.  Participants design and run/walk the route on their own and report their accomplishment to the coalition.  Watch for more details, soon.  The Coalition has made a second Covid impact grant to Quincy House.
Don’t forget to register now for next Tuesday’s CPY Virtual Spring Event.  Justice Alan Page will be the featured speaker.  You must register to attend, so do it now by clicking here.
Jed Hamoud said that the Human Trafficking Webinar on April 16th is being promoted on radio and social media.  Register here to receive your Zoom invitation by email.
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day:  “At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done.  We will be judged by; I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.” - Mother Teresa
Check your email for Important Rotary Dates or, if you prefer, you can download them here.
Nyle Zikmund introduced our speakers, Amy Peine from the Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center and Chuck Derry from the Gender Violence Institute.  Amy and Chuck were here to speak about Human Trafficking and the Minnesota Safe Harbor 4 All movement.  Amy began by defining commercial sexual exploitation as the exchange of “something of value” for sex.  “Something of value” in this definition is not just money, however.   Alcohol and drugs, security, and even basic human needs like food clothing and shelter are also common “currencies” of sexual exploitation. This definition broadens the scope of commercial sexual exploitation to include pornography, stripping, internet-based exploitation, escort services and a variety of less obvious forms of exploitation.
Amy presented startling statistics from studies showing extremely high incidence of violence, both physical and emotional, experienced by prostitutes.  The studies also revealed high rates of homelessness, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and other mental illnesses.  Over 90% of prostitutes wanted to escape prostitution but felt unable to get out.
Minnesota’s 2011 Safe Harbor legislation has already decriminalized prostitution for minors, but there is a growing movement to extend this decriminalization to adult victims of trafficking.  The movement supports the continued criminalization of buyers, exploiters, and traffickers and would increase the willingness of victims to escape prostitution and report their exploitation.  This Minnesota movement is called Safe Harbor 4 All (SH4All).  Amy said there are four models for combating sex trafficking: Criminalization has been the common model in the U.S. but it appears to be ineffective in curbing trafficking.  Full Decriminalization and outright Legalization have been shown to actually increase the demand for prostitution as much three times, which defeats the goal of getting women out of prostitution.  Partial decriminalization (as in the Minnesota SH4All plan) has been shown to be effective at getting women out of prostitution and convicting more of their traffickers. 
Amy provided some handouts that can be downloaded by clicking on the links.  Safe Harbor 4 All Handout    Central MN Sexual Assault Center Handout
Amy Peine
Chuck Derry
Cindy Carlson reviewed today’s Board meeting.
- Budget on track despite Covid-19
- Considering District Matching Grant ideas
- Youth Exchange suspended until June of 2022
- Donated $400 to R.I. Virtual Leadership Seminar
- We’ll have 1 in person club meeting in May and an in person club meeting on June 29th for the Presidential transition.
Geoff Hollimon said that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition’s Spring Three Mile Virtual Run/Walk will be held from May 9-16. Expect an email soon for registration information.  The Coalition has made a grant of $2,300 to Seeds of Hope Community Garden to grow food for local food shelves.
Geoff reminded us about the CPY Spring Event with keynote speaker Alan Page on Tuesday, April 6th at noon.  This meeting will serve as our regular club meeting for that week.  You will need to register for the event to attend.. 
Sign up now for the Human Trafficking Forum
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day:  “We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest.” ―Orison Swett Marden
Check your email for important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, you can download them here.  Here are the highlights:
- April 6, 2021 (Tuesday Club Meeting) /CPY LUNCHEON
- April 15, 2021 (7:00 – 8:30 PM) END HUMAN TRAFFICKING A COMMUNITY FORUM FOR ALL LEARN. UNITE. ACT. PREVENT - Human trafficking is not a new problem, but caring about it is. Join us for this free, virtual forum for students, parents, teachers, & residents. Learn about human trafficking in our community, how our students are most vulnerable, online safety, and how to spot the signs.  Sponsored by: Rotary Clubs of Arden Hills-Shoreview and New Brighton-Mounds View.
Ed expressed the desire to meet outdoors for one meeting a month when the weather permits.  Stay tuned.
Nyle Zikmund introduced the Executive Director of the Community Support Center, Karen Meyer.  The mission of the Community Support Center (CSC) is to prevent homelessness.   CSC accomplishes this through carefully administered emergency financial assistance to prevent evictions and electrical service shutoffs.  CSC continues to work with their client families over time to help them achieve financial stability.  For a family to receive financial support, they must: 
- Live in New Brighton, Mounds View, North Oaks, Shoreview or Arden Hills
- Have applied for County services
- Show evidence of interest in working with CSC long-term
- Be financially sustainable
CSC receives referrals from Ramsey County, United Way, Churches, Ralph Reeder Food Shelf and others including landlords, schools, police, landlords and the CSC website.  Once families are accepted into the program, CSC partners with a variety of social service organizations (including Ramsey County, St. Paul Foundation, Community Action Partnership, St, Vincent DePaul Society, Salvation Army, Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition and local faith communities) to help families avoid eviction.   Once eviction has been avoided, CSC begins the long-term work needed to prevent financial difficulty in the future.  This involves meetings every few weeks to work on goal setting, resource utilization, red tape negotiation, budgeting, etc.
CSC is supported by contributions from eleven founding faith communities and four founding community organizations.  NBMV Rotary is one of the founding organizations and John Johnson represents us on the CSC Board.  CSC also gets support from individuals in the community who recognize CSC’s value to the community.  Karen specifically thanked the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition for their recent grant of $5,000.
Covid-19 has necessitated changes in the way that CSC staff interact with clients (mostly Zoom now) but there have also been changes in levels of financial need and how those needs are being addressed.  Clients are seeking help with CSC for much higher debt but Covid relief money is available and relatively easy to access, so far.  Karen also noted a sharp increase in mental health issues affecting families financially.  Covid-19 has forced the cancellation of the CSC Spring Luncheon, but the “Walk a Thousand Miles for Your Neighbor” fundraiser is planned for July 25th from 10AM-2PM at Silverview Park in Mounds View.  Karen can be reached at 651-387-8050 or
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Week:  “The Rotary way is to light a candle.  I light one, you light one, 1.2 million Rotarians light one.  Together we light up the world.” - RI President-Elect Gary C.K. Huang.
Check your email for important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, you can download them here.
- April 6, 2021 (Tuesday Club Meeting) Club Meeting/CPY LUNCHEON
- April 15, 2021 (7:00 – 8:30 PM) END HUMAN TRAFFICKING A COMMUNITY FORUM FOR ALL LEARN. UNITE. ACT. PREVENT - Human trafficking is not a new problem, but caring about it is. Join us for    this free, virtual forum for students, parents, teachers, & residents. Learn about human trafficking in our community, how our students are most vulnerable, online safety, and how to spot the signs.
  Sponsored by: Rotary Clubs of Arden Hills-Shoreview and New Brighton-Mounds View.
Nyle Zikmund introduced our speaker, District 621 Superintendant Chris Lennox.  Chris grew up in Fridley and Columbia Heights and graduated from Spring Lake Park HS.  After multiple administrative roles in Bloomington and Stillwater schools, Chris was hired as the Superintendant of the Mounds View Public Schools.  Chris presented a timeline of events during this past year’s Covid 19 pandemic.
Almost exactly one year ago the Governor’s executive order closed our schools to help curb the rapid spread of the Corona Virus.  District 621, like other districts around the state, was not set up for distance learning and didn’t have a 1 to 1 student/tablet computer system in place.  Our district was fortunate to have a high percentage of students with internet availability but there were still many students who had either slow or no internet at home.  Chris praised the Mounds View Education Foundation for their help in getting kids connected for distance learning.  Chris said that there were still challenges due to varying abilities of students to work digitally and independently; but teachers, parents and students worked together to solve many of these problems.  The District also stepped up to provide childcare for children of front-line workers and lunch and breakfast for children of free and reduced lunch program families.  Chris noted that one benefit of the Covid crisis has been increased communication between Superintendants and the commissioner of Education due to weekly meetings.
Mounds View schools reopened in the fall with a blended model but an exponential rise in Covid cases led to closing schools again in November.  The new year brought the elementary grades back to in-person learning and secondary grades should be back to full in-person learning by the end of March.  Still in doubt are end of year events like graduation, but plans are in place for full in-person learning for all students who want it by fall.  Chris said that Covid has been extremely stressful for teachers and staff, but he has not seen a significant rise in retirements so far.  He thinks that many teachers are waiting to see how the return to in person learning goes this fall.  He said that the vaccination plan for teachers is much improved after a rocky start and that all teachers should have an opportunity for vaccination soon.  Teachers report that Zoom meetings with parents are being well accepted and that they will probably remain popular even after the pandemic is over.  Plans are also in place for summer programs to help those students who have fallen behind due pandemic challenges.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has recently made grants of $5,000 to Keystone and Every Meal and $3,000 to Abiding Savior Lutheran’s food program.  Watch this space for information about the upcoming Spring Virtual Run/Walk fundraiser.  A thank you note for our club's Coalition contribution is shown below.
Geoff also reminded us of the CPY Virtual Spring Luncheon on Tuesday, April 6th at noon.  Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page will be the keynote speaker! The luncheon will feature a virtual silent auction and speakers.  The meeting will be held via the District 5960 Zoom account, which can accommodate up to 500 participants.  Pre-registration will be necessary and you may invite any interested parties to join us.  Stay tuned for more information.  This meeting will serve as the Rotary club meeting for that week.
President Edeth reported that our Harvest Pack donation will be divided between CPY and Ralph Reeder Food Shelf.
Jed Hamoud provided a report on the Beirut relief effort which is shown below.
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day:  “In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance.”  - Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Our guests today were Ramsey County Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire and Peter Grafstrom from the Metropolitan Council.
See your email for important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, you can download it here.  Here are some highlights:
  - April 6, 2021 (Tuesday Club Meeting) Club Meeting/CPY LUNCHEON
  - April 15, 2021 (7:00 – 8:30 PM) END HUMAN TRAFFICKING A COMMUNITY FORUM FOR ALL LEARN. UNITE. ACT. PREVENT - Human trafficking is not a new problem, but caring about it is - Join us for this                   free, virtual forum for students, parents, teachers, & residents. Learn about human trafficking in our community, how our students are most vulnerable, online safety, and how to spot the signs.
Sponsored by: Rotary Clubs of Arden Hills-Shoreview and New Brighton-Mounds View
The District’s “Share The Love” fundraising effort has been extended until March 6th.  Please get your checks to John Ordway now (made out to the Rotary Foundation) to take advantage of matching Paul Harris recognition points.  If you donate online, please let John Ordway know so he can update the club records.
Our presenter today was Peter Lindstrom, our District 10 representative to the Metropolitan Council.  Peter is a former mayor of Falcon Heights and at his day job he works on clean energy issues at the University of Minnesota.  The Metropolitan Council is the regional policy-making body, planning agency, and provider of essential services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region. Their mission is to foster efficient and strategic economic growth for the metro area.  The Council is composed of a chairperson and one representative from each of the 16 districts in the region.  Thrive MSP 2040, the Council’s long-term vision for the Metro region, was developed with the input of more than 2,000 residents, local officials, business owners and community advocates.   The document lays out specific development plans for transportation, water resources, regional parks and housing.  The population of the metro region is expected to increase by 800,000 by the year 2040, so this long-term planning is vital to maintain the quality of life for metro residents.  Peter can be reached at   651-324-4831
Cindy Carlson updated us on the Remember Niger students we have sponsored for many years.  We continue to sponsor Maman Bachar but Charifa has graduated and we are now sponsoring Halimatou Saadia Abdou, a first grader at the same school as Charifa and Maman.  You can download the letter from sponsorship director Karen Pepin, which includes cards from Maman and Halimatou, by clicking here.
Jed Hamoud noted that the End Human Trafficking Virtual Forum is scheduled for Thursday, April 15th from 7:00-8:30PM.
Geoff Hollimon said that our contribution to the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition’s Virtual Walk/Run event was accepted with great appreciation. Grant applications are being received and $35,295 is available for grants. 
Geoff also said that the CPY Spring Luncheon will be virtual this year.  It will be held at noon on April 6th, and it will serve as our club meeting for that day.  The luncheon will feature a virtual silent auction and speakers.  Geoff deferred to President Ed who announced that the Keynote speaker will be Alan Page!  The meeting will be held via the District 5960 Zoom account, which can accommodate up to 500 participants.  Pre-registration will be necessary and you may invite any interested parties to join us.  Stay tuned for more information.
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day: “I learned to give not because I have much, but because I know exactly how it feels to have nothing” – Anonymous
Check your email for a list of important dates or, if you prefer, you can download it here.
Nyle Zikmund introduced Sarah Curtis to speak to us about The Works Museum.  The Works Museum is committed to providing all children with access to STEM educational opportunities that will help them to reach their full potential.  The Works’ mission is to encourage the next generation of innovators, engineers and creative problem solvers to consider STEM career paths. Sarah noted that elementary school children are natural engineers, constantly finding creative ways to deal with the challenges that life presents.  But many kids, as they get to middle school and high school, lose their enthusiasm for STEM classes.  The Works provides hands-on experiences for K-6 students that help to maintain their passion for STEM.
Over the past 25 years, over 75,000 people have visited the museum, participating in the kinetic ball structure, racer ramp, sensor maze, light harp, giant kaleidoscope and lego wall activities.  But that’s just on the main floor.  The upstairs classrooms are where the real learning begins, providing a wide variety of creative learning opportunities.  The Works also goes out into the community; providing school programs, family engineering nights, and several different workshops.  Of course, these opportunities are all virtual during the pandemic but they hope to be open to the public again this June, when  we are all invited to bring our kids and grandkids to see how “cool” STEM is.  Admission is $9 and family memberships are $75.  Summer programs and classes are booking now.  Volunteer opportunities are also available.  For more information, contact Sarah:  Website:
Cindy Carlson summarized today’s board meeting:
•    The treasurer’s report showed that, with adjustments to reflect pandemic changes, we are in good shape financially and we should be right on budget for this Rotary year.
•    The club will provide financial support for the upcoming Human Trafficking Forum.
•    The chocolate bunnies intended for the cancelled Egg Hunt will go to CPY and Ralph Reeder Food Shelf.
Ed reminded us that February is Rotary’s “Share The Love” month. The matching points that are being offered by the program are a great way to accelerate your progress toward your first, or your next, Paul Harris Fellowship recognition.  Get your checks in to John Ordway or, if you donate online, notify John of your contribution.
Geoff Hollimon noted that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition is finalizing plans for the “Keep Moving” Virtual Run/Walk fundraiser.  The Coalition is also appreciative of direct contributions.  Make your checks payable to  Suburban Ramsey Covid 19 Relief Fund.  
President Edeth James’  Quote of the Day:  “You have two hands.  One to help yourself and the second to help others.” – Audrey Hepburn
Nyle Zikmund introduced our presenter, Dave Bartholomay, Program Coordinator for the Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution at the Minnesota Department of Administration.  Dave is also the Mayor of Circle Pines.  Dave’s presentation today was “Bridging Divides” Dave’s topic was timely considering the current political climate.  He began by describing the progressive polarization of political identity over the last 20 years and attributed it to several factors, including:
- Rapid demographic changes in the U.S.
- Globalization
- Distrust of government
- Rapid disruption and polarization of the news and opinion media.
- The Pandemic
He added that, although individuals have several identities, political identity has become primary for many.  He also noted that once valued social norms for interaction have deteriorated significantly and especially so in political interaction.
Dave offered several suggestions to improve communication, promote understanding and hopefully reach consensus on shared values.  He recommended a book entitled “Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt” by Arthur Brooks.  Dave outlined the five ways that the author recommends to improve communication:
- Stand up to the man – Don’t blindly accept the rhetoric on either side of an issue.
- Escape the bubble of common opinion.
- Say no to contempt – Treat others with love and respect.
- Disagree better – Embrace healthy competition of ideas.
- Tune out – Disconnect from unproductive debate.
Each of these strategies depends on LISTENING to those whom we disagree with.  Dave said we should listen to learn, not just to respond.  A great way to learn the other perspective is to ask, “tell me more”.  Learning the other perspective doesn’t mean you have to agree, but it may reveal values that can be agreed upon.
Check your email for important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, download it here.
Jed Hamoud updated us on the Human Trafficking Webinar being produced by the Arden Hills Shoreview Rotary Club.  The ZOOM presentation is set for April 15th at 7:00PM. Several great speakers are lined up for the program and you can register by clicking here.  If you’re interested in helping out with the webinar, contact Jed.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has awarded an additional $5,000 grant to Every Meal.  Plans are underway for the “Keep Moving” Virtual Run/Walk tentatively scheduled for the end of April.  We are one of the sponsors of the event.
CPY is adjusting their distance learning support program as schools are transitioning to hybrid and fully in-person learning.  Summer support programs are being planned as well.  The annual Spring Luncheon will be virtual again this year.
The Board will meet at 11AM next Tuesday.
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day: There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” ― John Holmes.”
Ed was out of town today so Jeff Benson had his first taste of running a Zoom meeting.  He quickly learned that there are a lot of moving parts to manage in an online meeting.  He thanks the attendees for their patience.
We welcomed former member and Honorary Rotarian Gerry Tietz to the meeting.  We hope that Gerry will be able join us for future meetings.  It was also great that John Johnson was able to join us today.  His real estate meetings have been conflicting with our meetings but John hopes to be able to join us more often in the future.
Check your email for a list of important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, you can download the list here.
Nyle Zikmund introduced Lynn Noren, President and CEO of RISE Inc.  Incorporated in 1971, Rise is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization which supports people who have disabilities and other barriers.
Their programs are intended to assist the people they serve in finding employment opportunities that fit their career objectives and skills. They also have life enrichment programs and mental health support services, as well as programs assisting people in finding safe, affordable housing in some Central Minnesota counties. Rise strives to support the people they serve such that each individual can achieve their personal measure of vocational achievement, self-sufficiency, and belonging in their communities.
Because of my preoccupation with running the meeting, my note taking was incomplete, so Lynn graciously agreed to provide me with her PowerPoint presentation, which you can download here.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition currently has a balance of $40,946 available for grants to non-profit providers of food, housing and mental health/wellness services to address the impacts of COVID.   Geoff said that the Coalition urgently needs your help in recruiting a Volunteer Services Coordinator for the Roseville Family Table meals program. This is the grant initiative the Coalition funded through Second Harvest Heartland in which meals are prepared in commercial kitchens staffed by formerly unemployed restaurant employees. Between February 15th – April 13th, about 800 meals per week will be distributed to people identified in need on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4-6pm from Roseville High School. It's expected that the Coordinator will be able to perform all duties from home. Duties will involve receiving volunteer needs information from Roseville Nutrition Services staff and using an electronic scheduling platform to fill available spots. Click here to download a complete description of the position.   
Geoff also noted that planning has started for the spring Virtual Walk/Run event with the brand name "Keep Moving".  The virtual event will take place from May 9-16.  Coupons from local restaurants and businesses will be used to incentivize registration.  Sponsors will be sought beginning at the end of February.
Geoff said that New Brighton Mayor Kari Niedfeldt-Thomas visited CPY recently and that she was very impressed with their distance learning support program.
I failed to promote the District’s “Share the Love” campaign during the meeting, so I’ve included it here.
Next week’s speaker will be Sara Curtis from The Works Museum – The museum’s mission is to inspire the next generation of innovators, engineers, and creative problem solvers.  Their exhibits, programs and design challenges are designed to engage kids in science, technology and engineering and make learning about technology memorable and fun.  Don’t miss it!
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day: “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.”  – Native American Proverb
Check your email for important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, you can download them here.
Ed thanked the many NBMV Rotarians who attended the District Happy Hour last night to celebrate contributions to the Rotary Foundation.  Ed displayed the certificates and banners we received for our generous contributions.  Rotary’s “Share the Love” campaign for the Foundation’s Annual Fund was also kicked off at the Happy Hour.  Details are shown below in a message from District Rotary Foundation Team Leader, PDG Kyle Haugen.
Contributions to the Annual Fund-SHARE are the funds that come back to our District to use for grants that positively impact people in our communities and around the world.  So…the more we all give, the more impact we can make! 
Please SHARE the LOVE this month and give to the Annual Fund-SHARE!
Any amount helps make an impact, but we want to encourage you to be generous…so we are bringing back some special recognition opportunities!  We have many donors in our District that have made The Rotary Foundation one of their “charities of choice” and have become our “Foundation Champions”.  They want to help create the next generation of Foundation Champions and have allowed us to use their Foundation Recognition Points.  We all get recognition points when we give to TRF, and these points can be used to recognize others for their actions or incent people to give to The Rotary Foundation.
We will reward and recognize people who give at THREE levels:
 $100+: Give at least $100 to the Annual Fund-SHARE during February and your donation will be matched 2:1 with Recognition Points!
$365+: Give at least $365 (equivalent of $1/day) to the Annual Fund-SHARE during February and we will use Recognition Points to make you a Paul Harris Fellow!
$1,000+: Give at least $1,000* to the Annual Fund during February and you will receive:
- Special recognition on our District website,
- Your choice of several limited edition SHARE the LOVE clothing items,
- Invitation to a special “Significant Donor” event this spring,
- “SHARE a PHF” with someone of your choosing!
*for Rotarians that are already Paul Harris Society members through monthly Rotary Direct giving, this level requires an extra $500 contribution during February
As a bonus, anyone that chooses to SHARE THE LOVE during February can purchase any of the limited edition SHARE THE LOVE clothing items as well!
Once you’ve decided how much you are comfortable giving, it’s easy to give to the Annual Fund-SHARE: You can give a check (made payable to The Rotary Foundation with “AF-SHARE” in the memo line) to your Club President or Foundation Chair, or you can make a payment online at  One note: you do need a My Rotary account to give through Rotary Direct: CLICK HERE for easy set-up instructions. 
Thank you for all that you do as Rotarians and for your contributions to The Rotary Foundation.  Remember, it’s not just about the money or recognition, but it’s the impact we’re making with the funds.  We are changing lives when we donate to The Rotary Foundation, and that’s why we ask you to SHARE the LOVE!
Kyle Haugen & Ed Marek
PS: Charity Navigator has given The Rotary Foundation its highest rating for 13 straight years, so you know the funds will be maximized to provide the greatest impact possible!
Nyle Zikmund introduced Spencer Peter, Biologist and Intern Mentor from the North American Bear Center (NABC).  Located in Ely, Minnesota, the 501(c)(3) non-profit is dedicated to debunking old myths about black bear behavior and replacing them with accurate ideas about black bears and their interactions with humans.  The NABC was founded in 1995 by renowned biologist Dr. Lynn Rogers.  Dr. Rogers has studied black bears for over 50 years and is the pre-eminent black bear researcher worldwide.  He blended modern technology with Dr. Jane Goodall’s trust-based techniques and eventually was able to study wild black bears at arm’s length. Dr. Rogers has even crawled into a hibernating bear’s den to study newly born bear cubs.  His research has shown that black bears always prefer to flee when encountering humans and that frequent contact with humans makes them less, rather than more, likely to be aggressive toward humans.  According to Spencer, black bear attacks on humans are extremely rare.  Spencer also said that getting between a black bear cub and its mother is extremely unlikely to cause an aggressive response by the mother.  He was quick to point out that grizzly bears are the dangerous bears. 
The Bear Center features videos on all aspects of a bear’s life including foraging, mating, hibernation, communication, birthing, nursing, playing and fighting.  Displays include mounted specimens of Polar, Grizzly and Black bears.  Four black bears freely roam a 2.5 acre natural habitat exhibit area where every aspect of bear behavior can be seen from an observation platform.  It doesn’t take long for observers to see that black bears aren’t so frightening after all.
President Ed James’ quote of the day: “One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” ― Shannon L. Alder
See your email for important dates for this week or, if you prefer, you can download them here.
President Ed urged us to think about friends and business associates that would be good Rotarians.  Contact Membership Director Cindy Carlson with your suggestions and she will do the rest.
The Board is working on ideas for a fundraiser for this year.  Your suggestions are welcome as we consider options.
Ed asked all of us to consider Past District Governor Kyle Haugen’s invitation (below) to the Rotary Foundation Virtual Happy Hour.  Our club will receive several awards and we would like to be well represented at the virtual event
Fellow Rotarians and Friends,
"You may have seen in the TRF Update email that was sent earlier this week, we're going to be having a "Rotary Foundation Virtual Happy Hour" on Monday, February 1 from 4:30-5:30.  During this happy hour, we're going to do three things:
1.  Recognize clubs for the 2019-20 TRF giving.
2. Have short interviews with some of the best 2019-20 clubs to get tips they've used
3.  Kick off our "Share The Love" campaign for February.
Your club will be recognized several times, so I would encourage you to let your members know about this fun event!  Additionally, since your club was one of the clubs that achieved 100% Giving/EREY status, I would like one of you or someone in your club (a Champion or coordinator?) to take part in a brief Q&A segment about how your club was able to engage members to participate?  This will be brief, and you'll get the question(s) ahead of time, so it shouldn't be too difficult!
Let me know if either of you, or someone else, can attend and we can work more on content early in the week.
To register, click HERE
I hope you can join us...and please let me know if you have any questions.
Kyle Haugen
Rotary Club of Prior Lake, MN
District Governor 2017-18, Rotary District 5960
Geoff Hollimon noted that the Coalition will continue its Covid-19 pandemic relief effort into 2021 and beyond, if necessary.  They enter 2021 with $55,395 in available grant money and will need to raise another $100,000 this year to continue to help our neighbors most affected by the pandemic. The Coalition is currently working on partnering with local faith communities to expand its impact.  A virtual Walk/Run Event will also be held this spring.  President Ed urged us to consider a donation to the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition.  He asked that we forward our individual contributions to John Ordway, who will bundle them for presentation to the Coalition.  Make your checks payable to Suburban Ramsey COVID-19 Response Fund and mail to: 
NBMV Rotary
c/o John Ordway
3555 Willow Lake Blvd.  Suite 200
Vadnais Hgts, MN 55110
If you prefer to send your contribution separately, mail it to:
Shoreview Community Foundation
c/o Carol Mills
5845 St. Albans Court
Shoreview, MN 55126
Jed Hamoud reported that he and Nils Friberg recently met with New Brighton Public Safety Director Tony Paetznick to see how we might partner with the city to fight human trafficking.  Jed and Nils will keep us updated.  Jed also noted that Arden Hills/Shoreview Rotary will hold a Human Trafficking Awareness Webinar on April 15th.  They are looking for help with webinar management and funding.
Jed also called our attention to an article in the current (February) issue of Rotary magazine about Lebanese Rotary clubs response to the August 4th explosion in Beirut. 
Nyle Zikmund introduced our speaker, CPY’s Executive Director, Mary Stewart.  Mary began by telling how CPY’s students were adversely affected by the Covid-19 shutdown in March of 2020.  Until the pandemic hit, CPY had provided meals, educational support and a safe place for kids while not at school.  With the balance of CPY’s school year program cancelled and the all-important summer program in jeopardy, they began to plan an alternative to the in-person summer program.  Many families depend on CPY’s summer enrichment activities and meal program, so the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition provided a grant so that Mary and her staff could develop activity packets which could be delivered, along with food provided by Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, to needy CPY families.  The “CPY at Home” summer program served 350 families and delivered over 4,000 meals! 
In the fall, distance learning presented new challenges for CPY.  Mary and her staff knew that, without academic and nutritional support, many CPY students would be unable to manage distance learning.  With grant support, CPY was able to provide internet access, meals, academic support, mentorship and stability for 105 youth, all of whom are on free and reduced lunch.  This program decreased missing assignments by 80%, provided daily teacher engagement, one-on-one tutoring, meals and snacks, transportation, ELL support and allowed parents to return to work.
All these accomplishments would not have been possible without the continuing support of District 621 teachers, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition, New Brighton Mounds View Rotary, New Brighton Lions, Kiwanis Club, and Bell Lumber and Pole Co.
For more info on CPY, click here.
Our guests today were Sofia Valdez and Climate Generation’s Director of Community Engagement, Jothsna Harris.
President Edeth James’ Quote of the Day: “It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”   – Mahatma Gandhi
Check your email for important Rotary dates or, if you prefer, you can download them here.
Note that the Board meets at 11AM on Tuesday, January 25th.
Our presenter for today is Jothsna Harris, Director of Community Engagement for Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy.  Climate Generation empowers individuals and their communities to engage in solutions to climate change.  Founded by polar explorer Will Steger in 2006 as the Will Steger Foundation, the non-profit changed its name in 2015 to better reflect this mission.  Climate Generation believes that individuals and communities must develop their climate change knowledge and appreciate their personal connections to climate change in order for meaningful and sustainable change to take place.  Their approach involves collaboration and partnership with youth, educators and the public, and focuses on personal stories and eyewitness accounts in addition to conventional scientific reasoning.  Climate Generation has several programs designed to educate and activate people interested in climate change.
- The Climate Change Education Program provides educators with curriculum and professional development opportunities.
- The Community Engagement Program provides a model for public meetings about climate change.
- The Youth Environmental Activists (YEA!) Program for high school students provides mentorship, education and support for individuals and the entire club.
- The Storytelling Program provides an opportunity to share your personal climate change stories.
- The U.N. Climate Delegation Program sends delegates to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s annual Conference of the Parties (COP).
- The Trainings Program offers public workshops to give individuals climate change solutions that they can incorporate into their daily workflow and life.
Jothsna mentioned several climate change events in the near future.  Information on each of them is available here.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has received three preliminary grant requests.  The Coalition will be holding a Virtual Run/Walk fundraiser this spring.  Donations are needed to continue the important work of the Coalition.  You can contribute here.
Next week’s meeting will feature CPY’s Executive Director, Mary Stewart, as our presenter.
Our guest today was District Governor Ed Marek.
President Ed James’ Quote of the Day:  “Don’t feel bad if people remember you only when they need you. Feel privileged that you are like a candle that comes to their mind when there is darkness.” – Anonymous
DG Ed Marek thanked our club for our financial support for End Polio Now.  Our giving, along with other clubs in the District, helped to meet the District’s End Polio goal for 2019-2020. DG Ed commended us for our $2,100 contribution, making us #1 in giving for medium sized clubs [some of which have nearly twice our membership]. DG Ed further noted that were one of only 3,400 clubs worldwide to be an EREY Club (Every Rotarian Every Year).  EREY status requires contributions to the Annual Fund averaging over $100 per member with every dues paying member contributing at least $25/year.  We were also one of only 4,000 clubs worldwide to be a 100% Foundation Giving Club!  DG Ed recognized John Ordway, David Hoel, Nyle Zikmund, Dana Rebelein and Cyndi Carlson for their $100 contributions to the Strike Out Polio Campaign.  Jason Miller, Geoff Hollimon, Dennis Connolly, Jeff Benson, Mike Neeley and Edeth James were each recognized for their contributions of $365 to the extremely successful campaign.  With the help of a 2 to 1 matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, $190,000 was raised in the fight to eradicate polio from the face of the earth.
The District 5960 Mid-Term Event for 2021 will be online. 
-On Monday, January 25th, at 6:30 p.m. we will feature a panel of representatives from three clubs that are doing some amazing work.
  • Jon Stagman, President of the Waseca Club on “Reimagining the Club”
  • Kevin Donovan, Team Leader for White Bear Lake’s DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Team
  • Kent Peterson, from the Arden Hills-Shoreview Club who has founded and chaired the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition
  • CLICK HERE for Registration
On Thursday, January 28th at 4:30 p.m. we will be offering a virtual Workshop on Rotary’s Innovative Club Models.  Kathy Fahy will reprise her role as facilitator from NCPETS last year in Rochester leading this training. 
CLICK HERE for Registration!
You should have received a list of important dates by email.  If you prefer, you may download them here.
Treasurer John Ordway will be sending out January-March statements soon.  If you have not already paid your October-December, 2020 dues; please do so.  John also said he is expecting to receive the Bell Pole matching grant for our No-Plate Dinner Fundraiser soon.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition received donations in 2020 totaling over $163,000 and the Coalition approved grants for over $110,000, leaving a balance of $53,013.  Much of the impact of the Pandemic is yet to be felt, so the Coalition will continue fundraising and making grants to continue its Covid-19 pandemic relief efforts into 2021.  The Coalition will begin to survey local faith groups to see how the Coalition might work cooperatively with them to ease the Pandemic’s effects on our most vulnerable neighbors.
Geoff also noted that CPY is continuing its distance learning support program and is working on the transition to in-person learning for the elementary students.
Jed Hamoud reported that the Arden Hills/Shoreview Rotary Club will be holding a Human Trafficking Awareness Event in mid-April.  The event will either be wholly online or possibly an online/live hybrid.  A.H./Shoreview will need volunteers to help with marketing efforts as well as help with fielding chat room comments/questions during the event.  If you can help with either of these, or if you would like to be involved in some other way, please contact Jed.
Our guest today was Mike Neeley’s wife Cheryl.  She joined us from the car as she and Mike were driving through Wisconsin Dells on their way to Florida.
President Ed James’ Quote of the Day: "We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day"
―Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Important Dates for January 5th, 2021:
     January 12, 2021– Peter Spencer - North American Bear Center
January 19, 2021(Tuesday Club Meeting) – Jothsna Harris - Climate Generation - A Will Steger Legacy - Climate Generation helps empower individuals and communities on how to engage in solutions to climate change.
Our presenter today was Samantha (Sammy) Brown, a children’s book publicist in New York City.  Sammy was a close friend of Zach Sobiech, the Stillwater H.S. student whose battle with bone cancer ended with his passing in 2013 at the age of 18.  Zach was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at age 14 and, despite several surgeries and months of chemotherapy, the cancer spread and he was told in 2012 that he had only months to live.  Zach had always had a positive and uplifting effect on those around him and his diagnosis did nothing to diminish that.  Sammy described him as always present and engaging with others and always having a smile on his face.  Zach chose to embrace every day with hope and joy.  One of the ways that Zach embraced life was through music.  Zach and Sammy, along with Reed Redmond, formed a band called A Firm Handshake.  The band dissolved after Zach’s passing but Sammy still writes and performs.  
In 2012, KS95 Radio invited Zach to appear in their KS95 for Kids Radiothon. Zach partnered with KS95 to record “Clouds” with professional musicians. People magazine picked up the story and the song went viral with more than 2 million views on YouTube, eventually topping the Billboard charts!  Every year since 2013, the song has been featured in a Clouds Choir sing-along at the annual Radiothon event, with as many as 5,000 people joining voices at the Mall of America, helping to raise millions for childhood cancer and other childhood illnesses.
 Zach’s family also started the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, now called Zach’s Movement, which has raised nearly 2.5 million dollars, 100% of which goes to osteosarcoma research.  Laura Sobiech has also published a book about her son’s life entitled Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer.
Captivated by Zach’s story, filmmaker Justin Baldoni made a documentary titled My Last Days.  Baldoni’s dream was eventually to do a feature film about Zach’s story.  In October of 2020, the dream became reality when “Clouds” was released by Disney.  It’s available for streaming on Disney+.  Zach and Sammy are pictured below.
President Ed James composed a beautiful invocation (read by Dana Rebelein) which I’ve included in its entirety here:
It has been a year like no other. A year filled with many challenges, dashed hopes and promises.  It has been a successful Rotary year though from all indicators. More money was raised this year than any other year for Polio plus in our district.
Christmas is a season of hope and a time of giving. Millions of gifts will exchange hands in the next few days. Christmas happens once in a year but Rotary brings hope and gifts to millions every day of the year. During Christmas, people give gifts to families and friends and relatives. All year long, Rotarians give gifts to strangers and people they do not know and people they will never meet in every corner of the universe.
At Christmas, gifts are exchanged. Children receive gifts from their parents and they in turn give back to their parents and grandparents. School age children exchange gifts before the end of the year.  Spouses try to outdo each other by buying the most unique gifts for each other. Rotarians do not exchange gifts. Rotarians give without expecting anything in return. Rotarians send gifts to build houses they will never even know the location. They plant trees under whose shade they will never expect to sit according to Nelson Henderson.  They work so hard through ECHO to develop seeds that will be sent to other nations of the world for better yields and high turnover to farmers they do not know.
At Christmas, people give toys, electronics, gift cards, clothes and so on. All year round, Rotarians give goats, food, shelter, latrines and toilets, wash hand basins, education and medical supplies to millions of people all over the world. I have seen Rotarians in action locally in this community, around the country and around the world.
From that humble beginning in an office building in Chicago in 1905, Rotary has brought smiles to millions of faces around the world. It has brought hope to many areas of the world where hopelessness is the order of the day. Gifting is natural to Rotary. Rotarians give of themselves and their resources daily to make this world a better place and to promote peace across the globe.
As we end this year 2020, may I submit that as Rotarians, we make everyday a Christmas day not by words but by our actions. Merry Christmas to you all. Thanks for all you do in this corner of New Brighton and Mounds View. Your impacts are felt all around the world. Happy New Year and take care of yourself and each other as we wrap up this year 2020.
Let's do this again next year. God bless you all.
Edeth James
President 2020-2021
You’ll find the important Rotary dates for Dec 22 in your email, or you can download them here.
Note that there is no meeting on December 29th
President Ed James’ quote of the day: “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
― Calvin Coolidge
Our guests today were Ramsey County Government Affairs Specialist Melissa Finnegan and Ramsey County Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire.
John Ordway reported the following financial decisions from today’s Board meeting:  Donations will be made to Community Support Center (CSC), Community Partners with Youth (CPY), Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, Irondale Choir, Harvest Pack and Remember Niger.  John also noted that we have decided to re-structure our scholarship amounts to allow some of them to be used at 2 year colleges.  The Irondale specific scholarships will now be: One at $1,500 and two at $1,000.  The at-large $1,500 scholarship wasn’t mentioned but I assume it will remain the same.
John also asked that unpaid dues for this quarter be paid before the New Year.
The board recommended and members present approved the following changes:
 - Geoff Hollimon will assume the Community Service Directorship
 - Cindy Carlson will assume the International Service Directorship in addition to her existing Membership Director role.
The Board has accepted the resignations of Maddison Zikmund (joining Fridley club) and Chris Ledbeter (job transfer).
Geoff Hollimon said that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition made 20 grants in 2020, totaling $107,000.  The Coalition will need to raise about $100,000 in 2021 to continue its mission to minimize the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on our community’s most vulnerable citizens.
Geoff also noted that CPY has had to shut down 3 of 5 distance learning pods due to a very small outbreak of Covid-19.  Quarantine will be completed in time for full reopening after New Years.
President Ed noted that remote Tuesday noon meetings will continue until April 2021, when we will re-evaluate the safety of in person meetings.
Jed Hamoud has received the December report from the Rotary Club Beirut Cedars about the relief efforts after the explosion that rocked Beirut.  You can download the report by clicking here.
Nyle Zikmund introduced Ramsey County Government Affairs Specialist Melissa Finnegan, here to present “Legislative Engagement 101”.  Melissa said that Minnesota’s legislature has 201 legislators, 134 in the House and 67 in the Senate.  The Legislative structure is biennial, the first year focused on budgeting and the second year spent on funding building projects.  The actual sessions extend from January or February through May.
When a bill is introduced by a legislator, it is sent to the relevant committees(s) for discussion and the committee chairs decide which bills get a hearing in their respective committees.  If the bill is heard in committee, the author of the bill explains it and there is debate and a vote.  If the bill passes the committee it is returned to the full body (House or Senate) where amendments can be offered.  If the bill is voted up by the full body, it is sent to the other body, where additional amendments can be offered and a vote taken.  If the bill passes both bodies, a conference committee may be needed to reconcile differences in the two versions.  If there are no differences or if the differences can be reconciled, the bill is voted on by the full bodies.  If passed the bill goes to the Governor to be signed or vetoed.  If vetoed, a 2/3 majority in both houses is required to override the veto.
The legislative process is very important to county government because the county often has no control of the funding for programs mandated by the state.  The Ramsey County Platform is the set of legislative priorities for the upcoming state legislative session.  The platform begins to take shape in the summer before the upcoming legislative session and is finalized in December.  The County’s Government Affairs Division uses this platform to develop bills and support or oppose bills depending on their alignment with the platform.  The 2021 platform priorities are:
 - Covid Response
 - Housing Stability
 - Racial Disparities
 - Transportation
 - Mental illness and behavioral support
You can participate in the legislative process by reaching out to your County Commissioners and State Legislators.  You should have a plan and be prepared to be brief.  It’s best to have a combination of documentation and human stories if you expect to make a lasting impression on these very busy public servants.  It seems obvious, but be nice to staffers…it can make a big difference.  Use the link below to find your county commissioner.
Our guests today were DG Ed Marek, New Brighton Mayor-Elect Kari Niedfeldt-Thomas and Rotarian Ray Panczyk from Maryland.
President Ed’s Quote of the Day: “Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.”― Roy T. Bennett
Check your email for important Rotary dates and events.  You can also download them here, if you prefer.
Don’t forget the Board meeting next Tuesday at 11AM.
If you have not yet paid your October – December dues, please take a moment now to write and mail the check.  You’ll be helping to reduce the bookkeeping burden on our Treasurer.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition is considering 2 more grant applications to add to the 16 that have already awarded.  Originally organized to be active until the end of 2020, the Coalition has extended its mission through 2021 to continue to help those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Geoff was also pleased to announce that CPY was able to take full advantage of the $65,000 matching grant offered by Bell Lumber and Pole by raising $75,000 on their own.  Congratulations to CPY and thank you to Bell Pole and the many others whose generosity will allow CPY to continue to provide quality distance learning support to community students.
Cindy Carlson noted that we received a grant of nearly $5,000 from State Farm Insurance to support our No-Plate Dinner Fundraiser. This grant will help us to maintain our charitable giving in the coming year.
Cindy also said that Charlie Hall is now living at Scandia Shores and he would like to set up a DVD library for residents to use.  He’s hoping to collect DVD’s that are gathering dust on your bookshelves to get the library started.  You can mail DVD’s to Charlie at: 418 Hwy.96 West, Apt. 307, Shoreview, MN. 55126.  You can download Charlie’s entire letter here.
New Brighton Mayor-Elect Kari Niedfeldt-Thomas was present at today’s meeting and took the opportunity to lay out her priorities: 
- Affordable Housing
- Pandemic Data Communication
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Mayor-Elect has been invited to elaborate at an upcoming meeting.
Cindy Carlson introduced Kara VanderKamp, with Remember Niger, for an update. Kara was zooming in to us from Niger! Kara introduced us to her associate in Niger, Mary Shannon. We had some issues with the recorded PowerPoint presentation on Ed’s computer, so Kara managed to play it from her computer in Niger!  Remember Niger Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to unifying people and mobilizing resources to expand quality educational opportunities in Niger, Africa.  Niger is the least developed and least educated country in the world.  Only fifty percent of children attend elementary school, 20% attend middle school and only 5% attend high school.  With little educational infrastructure and wariness about the quality and safety of existing schools, Remember Niger faces many challenges to its goal to offer quality education.  They address the challenges by engaging local parents, businesses and Rotary clubs to help plan and operate their own schools. Remember Niger gets new schools rolling by offering sponsorships to 50 students as a school first opens, building trust and motivating parents to continue to send their children.  Remember Niger also helps with infrastructure, building classrooms, latrines and security walls to relieve parental concerns.  Solar power is also set up to provide reliable and inexpensive power for lighting and laptop charging.  These initiatives have increased the student population to 2,800 in 13 schools.
Rotary has been an important part of  Remember Niger’s mission.  A global grant, district grant and 13 club grants have been instrumental in providing the above mentioned sponsorships and infrastructure, as well as teacher training.  Our club has helped with funding for latrines, security walls, sponsorships, teacher training, water and electric.  We have also helped support the Hamsa Girls Education Center for middle school girls.
Priorities for 2021 include the Niamey School for the Deaf and more use of solar power.  Covid-19 is also poised to create problems for education in Niger.  It’s good to know that Remember Niger is on the ground to make education a priority in Niger.  
Our guests today were Roseville Rotary Club President Deb Nygard and Arden Hills Shoreview Rotarian Ken Hola.
President Ed James’ Quote of the Day – “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson
You should have received this week’s important dates by email but you can download it here, if you would prefer.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has made two new grants to help those affected by the Covid -19 pandemic.  A $3,000 grant was made to the Abiding Savior Lutheran Church’s meal program to help with the cost of providing meals from Jan – May of 2020.  A $2,170 grant was made to the Mounds View School District Meals on Wheels for a new refrigerator to handle the increase in food deliveries during the pandemic.
Geoff also reported that CPY’s online auction raised $8,125 of their $30,000 goal.  Donation are still coming in, however, and you can still help them get closer to their goal by visiting their donation page.
Jed Hamoud updated us on the Beirut Collabortion.  He expects monthly updates as Beirut recovers from the explosion that devastated a large portion of the city.
Roseville Rotary President Deb Nygaard invited us to participate in their “Taste of Rosefest – Winter Version” online silent auction fundraiser, December 10th and 11th.  Click here for more details.
Arden Hills Shoreview Rotarian Ken Hola was here to promote his club’s Online Cooking Class by renowned chef Ken Galloway. The class will be held on December 16th from 6:30 to 8:00PM and the cost is $25.  Download the flyer here for more information.
Nyle introduced Ann Merriman and Christopher Olson from “Maritime Heritage Minnesota (MHM).  "MHM is dedicated to the identification, documentation, preservation, conservation, and when necessary, the excavation of Minnesota's finite submerged cultural resources - wrecks and other maritime sites - within a not-for-profit paradigm."  Ann and Christopher founded the MHM 16 years ago, and today MHM has a staff of 12 volunteers.  MHM searches Minnesota’s lakes and large rivers for submerged artifacts using sonar imaging and follows up on potential finds by diving to photograph them.  They emphasized that this is a very time consuming process but it was obvious that they love what they do.  For these underwater archaeologists every find, from a 10,000 year old dugout canoe to a recently submerged Alumacraft fishing boat, contributes an interesting piece of marine history worthy of study. 
Cindy Carlson reminded us that our December 15th speaker will be Kara VanderKamp.  Her topic will be Improving lives through education in Niger, Africa:  How solar power helps.
President Ed James Quote of the Day - “I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale.
Check your email for a list of upcoming events or, if you prefer, you can download it here.
Note that we will have a noon meeting on December 22nd (preceded by a Board meeting) but we will NOT have a meeting on December 29th.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has received a grant request from Abiding Savior Lutheran Church for their Community Food Project.
Geoff also reported that CPY is continuing its Distance Learning Support Program as the District has transitioned to full distance learning.  CPY’s Fall Gala this year will take the form of a virtual silent auction.  The Auction will be held from December 3-5 but you can PREVIEW the items now by clicking here.  The silent auction is an important part of CPY’s fundraising effort each year.  Please consider participating in this virtual auction to help support the wonderful work that CPY does in our community.
Jed Hamoud reported that our contribution to the Beirut Collaboration has been received.  Help is still needed in Beirut because the seaport is still closed and there are widespread shortages of basic needs.
President Ed said that Harvest Pack is remaining active during the Pandemic by making its warehouse available to groups who are interested in packing food for their favorite charitable purpose.
Nyle Zikmund introduced Bob Johnson, board member and spokesperson for the 50 year old Minnesota Genealogical Society (MNGS).   As an all-volunteer a 501c3 nonprofit, MNGS works to:
 - Foster and increase interest in genealogy by providing an association for those interested in family, state, and local history.
 - Collect, preserve, and publish genealogical and historical records and information.
 - Hold meetings, classes, and workshops to educate members on current genealogy-related topics.
For an annual subscription fee of just $40, its 1,100 members have access to a wide range of genealogical resources including the Hoffman Research Library, the largest genealogical library in the state.  Members also receive a monthly digital newsletter and the monthly journal, “Minnesota Genealogist”. 
Bob said that DNA testing has increased interest in, and created new avenues for, genealogical research.   He listed several motivations for genealogical research:
 - Finding out about ancestors
 - Being a family historian
 - Creating a legacy for your family
 - Medical history research
 - Finding remote relatives
 - Finding your birth family
Bob offered one caveat for those who use DNA testing to determine their ethnicity.  Each DNA testing service apparently uses their own reference population, so results vary between testing services.  He suggested taking the ethnicity results with a grain of salt.  He offered the following DNA Testing Service recommendations for certain purposes:
 - European Heritage Discovery – My Heritage & Family Tree DNA
 - 23 and Me for health history information
Bob noted that if you are interested in DNA testing, now is the time to buy because they are all on sale now.
Bob gave us a brief genealogical math lesson that revealed the exponential effect of the generations on the number of grandparents you have.  If you go back just 10 generations to 1795 you would have 518 grand and great-grandparents and if you go back just 25 generations to the 1400’s you would have 16,777,216 great-grandparents!!!  
Our guests today were newly elected New Brighton City Council Person Abdullahi Abdulle and New Brighton Public Safety Department Director Tony Paetznick.
President Ed James’ Quote of the Day: “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” -  Albert Pike
Check your email for this week’s Important Rotary Dates or you can download it here.
President Ed mentioned White Bear Lake Rotary’s Jingle Bear Online Auction.  You can sign up to participate by clicking here.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has received a third donation from the New Brighton Lions Club for a total contribution of $15,000.  The Coalition recently approved a $2,500 grant to the Roseville School District’s Meals on Wheels program as it works to bring needed food to disabled and elderly residents impacted by the pandemic.  Geoff reminded us that the Mustang Raffle will be held at 8PM, Thursday November 19th at the Mermaid.  In observance of pandemic guidelines, the raffle will be live-streamed on the Coalition’s website.  Geoff said that a small number of tickets are still available and can be purchased at Adagio or the Mermaid.
Geoff also noted that CPY will be continuing its Distance Learning Support Program as the District transitions to total distance learning mode.  He said that CPY’s Fall Gala will be replaced this year with a virtual silent auction, featuring many of the same items which you have bid on at previous Fall Galas.  Stay tuned for more info on this.
Jed Hamoud and John Ordway reported that our donation to the Beirut explosion relief effort has been received by the L.A. Cedars Rotary Club and we have received a thank you.  Jed will update us as new information is available.
Newly elected New Brighton City Council Person Abdullahi Abdulle was present today to meet the club.  The thanked us for our commitment to community service and said that service was the primary objective of his candidacy.  He is employed by the City of Minneapolis as an associate Transportation Planner and served in the Army National Guard for 6 years.  He is married and has a 20 month old son.
New Brighton Public Safety Director Tony Paetznick offered us a public safety summary.  Tony said that the primary mission of the Public Safety Department has been, and will continue to be, prevention and preparedness, and that mission has been especially important this year.  Trying to stay ahead of Covid-19 has been a challenge, with 1,000 positive cases reported and 46 Covid-19 related deaths so far in New Brighton.  An uptick in reported minor crimes has also been noted.  Possible political unrest and the potential for polling place conflicts were, thankfully, not an issue for New Brighton and, according to Tony, 90% of registered voters cast their ballots this year!  As always, Tony is available to discuss your public safety concerns and suggestions.
Nyle Zikmund introduced our speaker, Mounds View Arborist/Forester Daniel Watenhofer.  Dan suggested several reasons why we care, or at least should care, about trees.  Some reasons are:
- Trees lower heating and cooling costs
- Trees increase property values
- Trees reduce stress
- Trees filter the air of pollutants
- Trees are a tool for climate change management
- Trees help manage storm water runoff.
We sometimes think of trees as having a very long lifespan, but in a city setting trees have an average lifespan of just 19 years. We’ve all seen the demise of the Elm trees and now the Ash trees and the reason they are gone is mostly because we planted the same trees side by side.  Current wisdom is to plant a variety of trees to prevent insects and disease from spreading easily from tree to tree.  Other challenges to trees surviving the first few years are improper planting and post planting maintenance. 
Proper mulching, watering and pruning would improve the lifespan of city trees dramatically. 
Our Guests today were District Foundation Chair & PDG Kyle Haugen and Mary Jo McGuire.
President Ed James reminded us that tomorrow is Veterans Day.  Veteran’s were the topic of Ed’s quote of the day:  “As we celebrate this year’s Veteran’s Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” – Dan Lipinski
Important Rotary dates can be found in your email or downloaded by clicking here.
Thanksgiving week meeting: We will meet by Zoom at the regular time on Tuesday November 24th.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has made a grant of $5,000 to Midwest Special Services and Roseville Meals on wheels has applied for a $2,400 grant.  The ‘73 Mustang raffle is going very well, with fewer than 100 tickets remaining to be sold.  The raffle will be held at 8PM on November 19th at the Mermaid.
Jed Hamoud will follow up on our contribution to the Lebanon Collaboration to aid those affected by the explosion in Beirut.  Donations are being used to help with hunger, home renovation, health and hospital equipment and IT needs for schools.  The Collaboration’s report can be downloaded here
District 5960 Rotary Foundation Chair Kyle Haugen reviewed the Foundation’s charitable world mission and thanked us for our contributions.  Kyle suggested that the concept of “Positive Peace” aptly describes the mission of the Foundation.  He emphasized that our contributions fund international charitable programs like Polio eradication, but eventually come back to the District to fund District matching grants, which we have so often led or participated in.  Kyle recognized three NBMV Rotarians for their Foundation contributions.  Immediate Past President Dennis Connolly has received Paul Harris Fellow recognition. Geoff Hollimon and Dana Rebelein have reached the PHF+6 and PHF+7 recognition levels, respectively.  Kyle also recognized our club for being one of only six clubs in the district to be an EREY club.  EREY stands for Every Rotarian Every Year and means that every Rotarian in a club contributes at least $25/year to the Foundation.  Congratulations, all!
Nyle Zikmund introduced Kristin Mroz, Co-director of Minnesota Green Step Cities.  Founded just 10 years ago, Green Step Cities provides assistance and recognition for cities to achieve sustainability and quality of life goals.  This free program provides voluntary actions (best practices) that can be implemented by cities as part of a continuous improvement program.  These actions focus on cost savings and energy use reduction.  Categories of best practices are: Buildings and Lighting, Land Use, Transportation, Environmental Management and Resilient Economic and Community Development.  Currently, there are 141 Minnesota communities, large and small, and four Tribal Nations participating in the program.  Sixteen percent of Minnesota cities are participating and these communities represent 49% of the state’s population.  The organization began ten years ago by working to limit greenhouse gas emissions but has evolved over time to focus on sustainability as well.
MN Green Step Cities is made up of partner organizations that meet monthly as a steering committee and provide funding for the program. The partner organizations are: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Clean Energy Resource Teams, League of Minnesota Cities, Minnesota Division of Commerce, Minnesota Environmental Quality Board, Great Plains Institute, Urban Land Institute, Izaak Walton League and Rethos: Places Reimagined.  The Minnesota program is also part of the Sustainable States Network.  This national network is composed of 13 state programs representing 65.6 million people in 2,203 communities.
For a video summary of MN Green Step Cities’ first ten years, click here.
Club Information
New Brighton Mounds View

Our Club Motto: Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
The Exchange Food and Drink
500 5th Ave, NW
New Brighton, MN 55112
United States of America
Club meetings are held via ZOOM Tuesdays at 12:00 - 1:00PM
May 2021
President Elect Charlie
May 11, 2021
Living with MS
Ellen Schreder
May 18, 2021
Efforts in Haiti
Picnic in the Park
May 25, 2021
Reuniting and Visiting - Us Celebrating Getting Together
Steve Schmidt
Jun 08, 2021
Benedictine Update
James DNR
Jun 22, 2021
Lake Vermilion - Soudan Underground Mine
Interested in Joining?
Contact Membership Director:
Cindy Carlson
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Youth Service/Youth Exchange
President Elect
Club Admin/Club Service
Public Image/Communications
International Service
Bulletin Editor