Mark Beisswenger opened the meeting with the Pledge and, in honor of Pearl Harbor, a tribute to our men and women in uniform.
Our sole guest today was Marv Sorvala, who returned to the club despite, or perhaps because of, wearing the birthday hat last week.  Marv is here so often, we should really get him a name badge.
President Dana made several announcements of upcoming events, including:
The T.C. North Chamber is hosting a Holiday Charity and Recognition Luncheon this Thursday, December 10th, from 11:00-1:30 at the New Brighton Community Center.  For more details, click here.
Next Tuesday's club meeting will feature a holiday concert and sing-along with the Irondale Choir.  Let Jason Miller know if you will be bringing a guest, so we can be sure to have enough food.
See the list in the left-hand column for future programs.
Our Holiday Party will be at Bev Aplikowski's home on Friday, January 8th.
The District 5960 Mid-Term/Leadership Academy will be held at the Radisson Roseville on January 29 & 30.  This meeting is a great way for Rotarians to learn more about Rotary and polish their leadership skills.  The Mid-Term meeting will never be closer or more convenient than Roseville, so this is your chance to check out this great meeting. More information is available here.
The District Conference this year will be held jointly with District 5950 on May 12th and 13th at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, MN.  Mark your calendars now.
If you are interested in volunteering with 2nd Harvest Heartland Food Shelf, call or email District Governor Elect Jim Hunt. 612-770-2203
Jeff Benson presented John Risdall with a New Member Sponsor Pin.  John received the district award for sponsoring Winie Bradford's membership in the club.  Let's see how many others in our club can sponsor a new member and receive the special pin with blue background.  Jeff, John and Winie are pictured below.
Val Johnson announced her proposal for a Global Grant project to provide clean water to elementary schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  She will present the proposal at the next board meeting.
Mark Beisswenger, substitute finemaster, was up to the task as he deftly removed dollar bills from wallets and purses of everyone present.
Todd Kruse looked dapper as he celebrated his birthday with "The Hat" and an unusually melodic birthday song serenade.  Todd is shown below.
Mark Beisswenger introduced our speaker, Steve Yoch.  Steve is an attorney and partner at Felhaber Larson and serves on the board of trustees of the Mounds View Schools Educational Foundation.  Steve is also an historian and author and his presentation today was about his debut novel, "Becoming George Washington".  Steve's 99% historical novel lays out the little known details of Washington's life, with emphasis on his early failures and how they shaped his development into the icon of leadership that we revere today.  The author's note in the book describes Washington as a "brash, ambitious, passionate and angry young man" who was "transformed by experience".  "His greatness is all the more remarkable when one considers the challenges he overcame.  Success was not an accident; it was the product of experience, intelligence, and (most of all) persistence."  Steve's presentation was intriguing and caused me, and several others, to buy his book.  I can't wait to read it!  Steve and Dana are shown below.