Fellow Rotarian - Mark Beisswenger - opened our meeting with a nautical bell ringing performance and then offered the Invocation.  Amen!
Guests at today's meeting included - 
  • Marvin Sorvala -  Roseville Rotarian who should just join our club instead! 
  • Deb Nygaard -  Roseville Rotarian who promoted the Rotary Educator Exchange Program (REEP) with Sri Lanka priced at $2500 per educator to enable our local teachers to gain insights on ESL programs
  • Dr. Karen Gulliver - from Argosy University who is interested in a potential project for the Mekong River in Vietnam
President's Announcements - 
  • Future speakers at club meetings were reviewed (see the list at - www.nbmvrotary.org) 
  • December 10 Holiday Lunch for Ralph Reeder Food Shelf was promoted with a request for Rotarians to staff the club's information table for recruiting new Rotarians.    The club is donating a $500 challenge grant for this event. 
  • January 29 to 30, 2016 Rotary's District Mid-term Conference will be held in Roseville, Minnesota
Other Announcements - 
  • Gerry Tietz noted Char Samuelson's health status which drove her relocation to the Fargo area.   Gerry discussed the possibility of organizing a tribute to Char's history of civic engagement which was agree could be a nice addition to our April 1, 2016 Gold Plate Dinner.
  • Mary Stewart noted that Bev Aplikowski will again be hosting our club's holiday party set for January 8, 2016
Birthdays Celebrated - 
Marvin Sorvala and Mark Beisswenger both celebrated their birthdays today by wearing the hats of honor!
Rotary Foundation Report - 
Nils Friberg presented a Paul Harris Fellow (+2) award to Gerry Tietz.  Fortunately Glenna took the photo instead of the "selfie" Gerry wanted to take of the ceremony.
The self-described "Director of Happiness" (Mark Lampkin aka Finemaster) then assumed the floor to suggest that in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday everyone in the room had many things for which to be thankful thus they should each contribute $1 happy buck.   Sadly this week's substitute Bulletin Editor (Todd Kruse) did not record all of the thanksgiving messages but rest assured life is good for Rotarians!
The happy dollar fines wrapped up with the Right Reverend Nils Friberg posing the eternal question asked at every home during Thanksgiving -  "How many cooks does it take to stuff a turkey?    Answer - only one cook but  you really have to push to get him in there................"     
A wide collection of groans and smiles followed Nils' observation of the laws of physics.    
Guest Speaker -  
Today's guest speaker, Cheryl Thomas of the Global Rights for Women (www.globalrightsforwomen.org) GRFW  project, based in in Minneapolis opened her presentation by sharing a 3 minute video overview of their organization's work.   This video is located on their website and is definitely worth spending 3 minutes of your life to better understand the challenges in our world.  
GRFW got its start in the former republics of the Soviet Union and the Baltics.  GRFW only works in  countries where a local group invites them to be involved so they are working with a local resource and ally in any given country. 
Ms. Thomas noted that Minnesota has been a historic leader in legal reform to combat violence against women with a 1979 law versus Austria's passage of a similar law in 1997 which was the first European nation to enact such a law.  
GRFW relies on volunteer judges and police officers from the USA to help with local/in-country training programs.   
President Dana presented Ms. Thomas with a coffee mug and Rotary light/pen as a token of our club's appreciation for her presentation.   Clearly there is much work for groups like GRFW to make our world a place which is "Fair to All Concerned".
President Dana (with Mark Lampkin leading the charge!) closed our meeting with all attendees rising to recite Rotary's Four-Way Test
Submitted by - Todd A. Kruse, Club Secretary, on behalf of Bulletin Editor, Dr. Jeff Benson,  WT   (World Traveler)