Posted by Jeff Benson on Aug 13, 2019
Our guests today were Bob Rebelein (Dana’s brother in law) and Eric Sabo from Benedictine Health Center.
Nicole Ulrich reminded us that Nanase, our Japanese exchange student, will arrive at the airport this Friday.    Her flight is Delta DL120 arriving at Terminal 1 at 12:39. We hope to have as many Rotarians there as possible to welcome her to the U.S. and to our club.
Mounds View’s “Festival in the Park” will be held on Saturday, August 17th and our help is needed for the Mounds View Police Foundation’s Bingo and kids games fundraisers. 
The Annual Rotary Foundation Dinner will be held at the Delta Hotel in Minneapolis this year.  Let’s have a strong representation from our club this year, as in years past.  Contact Nils Friberg for more information or registration.
We’re invited to Arden Hills/Shoreview Rotary’s “Taste of the Hops” craft beer tasting fundraiser.  Join in the fun from 5:30-8:30PM at Snail Lake Park, 4191 Snail Lake Blvd, Shoreview.  $20 in advance - or $25 at the door.
Dana Rebelein reminded us that Maria Nhambu will speak to the club on August 27th.  She has written 3 books about being raised in an orphanage in East Africa.  Dana and Cheryl Neeley highly recommend Maria’s presentation. 
Maria is just one of many excellent speakers scheduled in the coming months and President Dennis Connolly thanked those responsible for scheduling the speakers.
Geoff Hollimon noted that our E.C.H.O. matching grant is progressing well.   We are in the process of lining up funding partner clubs whose own matching grants align with our benevolent vision.
Jason Miller’s daughter is studying in Quito, Ecuador through December.
Today’s speaker was our own Mary Stewart, offering an update on Community Partners with Youth (CPY).    Mary said that summer 2019 was a challenging time from a staffing perspective.  Despite that challenge, CPY was able to offer 7 weeks of quality summer activities to 77 elementary and 56 middle schoolers.  Summer sessions start at 7:30 and run until 5:30, so it’s a challenge to keep the kids busy but CPY offered a community garden experience sponsored by Mike Johnson and API.  Kids were also able to experience activities like biking at the Velodrome in Blaine and beginner’s golf training at Brightwood Hills.  Student artistic skills were honed at the New Brighton Community Center mural painting and painted rock garden.  The Ramsey County Library sponsored tech sessions in CAD/CAM design and 3D printing as well as laser cutting of self designed vinyl stickers.  As always, community service is stressed for all students at CPY.  Community service activities included Feed My Starving Children, making sandwiches for a homeless shelter, making blankets for an infant shelter, and making cards for armed services men and women.  All students must fulfill a service activity to attend the Valleyfair event at the end of the session.
Mary noted that many CPY students have serious home situation problems that make learning difficult, but CPY's caring and consistent approach to these problems leads to huge improvements over time.  Family financial challenges also have an impact on CPY, but creative sliding scale tuition structures make CPY possible for most families who want to be a part of CPY’s amazing program.  Minnesota has the 4th highest child care costs in the nation, which makes CPY’s tuition and especially good bargain.  CPY also offers scholarships for families who would otherwise be unable to participate.  Mary noted that our club contributed enough for three scholarships this summer. 
CPY’s fall after school program starts up just after Labor Day and will again feature Girls on the Run (running and life skills training) and Girls Expo (girls career option education).  CPY is also looking into possible boy-specific programs.   If you have an idea about a program for boys, I’m sure that Mary would love to discuss it with you.
As always, CPY is looking for volunteers to help as on a daily basis, or just a few hours per week.  You’ll find that this can be some of the most rewarding volunteering you can do.  Give Mary a call if you have any interest in helping out with this vital community program.  Dennis and Mary are pictured below.