Mark Beisswenger led us in the Pledge and gave the invocation.
Jeff Benson introduced his guest, Jason Slama.  Jason is a prospective member who found us via our website. Yeah!

There was no speaker because today's meeting was a Club Assembly.
Bev passed out invitations to the club's Winter Party, to be held on Friday, January 8th at 6PM.  Famous Dave's will be catering.  Alcohol and mixes will be provided but you are welcome to bring your own if you have a special preference.  Don't forget your white elephant gift!  RSVP to Bev at 651-633-1264 or
Dana initiated discussion about some possible changes to our Gold Plate Dinner format.  A comedian challenge and raffle changes are among the suggested changes.  Check your recent emails for one from Paul Fournier requesting feedback and suggested changes to our Gold Plate fundraiser.  A club meeting to evaluate possible changes will be coming soon.
Amy Wakem outlined the Community Service Committee's plans for next year.  We will continue to support Adopt-a-Park, 4th Grade Foresters, Ralph Reeder Food Shelf Holiday Food Drive, Camp RYLA and Camp Enterprise.  We are also looking at starting a Pollinator Project.
Cindy Carlson reported on the successful completion of our Niger Global Grant and said that our District Matching Grant Sanitation Project in Niger is underway.  There may also be an opportunity to participate in proposed Global Grants in South Africa and Ethiopia.  Geoff Hollimon updated us on our support for ECHO.  Our District Matching Grant, scheduled for next year, was moved up to this year.  Geoff also explained that District matching funds are limited to $3,000 per club per grant.  This promotes teamwork among clubs, pooling their contributions, with each participating club contributing up to the $3,000 limit.  This ensures the maximum possible district match for each project.
John and Marla Ordway will be hosting a fundraiser at their home this summer.  Chef George Serra will donate the food and his considerable culinary skills.  Stay tuned for more details.
Jeff Benson reminded us of the goal of 55 members that we set at our visioning event in 2013.  Working toward that goal, the Membership Committee will continue to work with the Tech Committee to keep the website fresh and attractive to prospective members.  They will also continue to work with the P.R. Committee to get the word out about our club.  They are considering alternative membership options that may make Rotary possible for more people.  Jeff stressed that these efforts only set the stage for membership growth. Real progress toward the goal of 55 members still depends on individual club members inviting others to visit the club, to see what Rotary is all about.  This is every Rotarian's responsibility.
Gerry reported that we exceeded our goal of $1,000 in member contributions to Polio Plus in November and December.  He also reported that our club was one of only two clubs in the District that contributed an average of more than $100 per member to the Foundation last year.  Wow!  Gerry also challenged us to see if those, who haven't already done so, could increase our mandatory $10 quarterly Foundation contribution to $25 per quarter, thereby making us an EREY (Every Rotarian Every Year) Club.
Mark Lampman reported on Youth Service/Youth Exchange.  Mark feels that to continue our inbound exchange program participation we need to have a committee of at least 3 people.  He said that finding host families is a big problem.  Jeff suggested that we devote some time at a club meeting to figure out what our involvement in the exchange program will look like in the future.
Gerry Tietz reported that the Tech committee continues to work on making the website better.  Gerry has successfully linked the site to FaceBook , LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, and has made almost any information about our club that you might need available in the member section.  Please help Gerry feel that the effort is worthwhile by checking out the website and especially the member section.