Posted by Jeff Benson on Mar 20, 2018
Recently, President Gerry Tietz was interviewed on CTV15’s New Brighton Now about Rotary’s role in the community and the world.  Gerry represented us extremely well!  Check it out by clicking here.


Geoff Hollimon opened the meeting with the Pledge and MaryAnn Bawden offered the invocation.


Our guests today were Jed Hamoud and Mike Busch from Kids Alive International.  Mike thanked us for our support for the Kids Alive Syrian refugee program in Lebanon and made us aware of their Oasis Home and foster care programs for girls who are victims of sexual assault.


Also visiting us today was Don Craighead, long time Rotarian who made us aware of the Rotary e-club 5960.   This unique approach to Rotary membership is entirely online, offering those with limited mobility a way to be involved with Rotary.


Chris Ledbeter, from our “Flex Group”, reported on the Financial Literacy Program which will be rolled out soon with CPY fourth graders.  The program will teach the basic financial skills like saving, spending and giving.  They will need volunteers to teach these skills to classes of 5-8 kids.  Contact Chris if you’d like to be part of this program.


Chris also reminded us that we are always welcome at their 4:01PM social hours on alternating Thursdays.  This week’s gathering is at Adagio, 2052 Silver Lake Rd, New Brighton.


David Hoel, Egg Hunt Czar, reminded us that the egg-stuffing will take place at The Exchange on Sunday, March 25th at 11:30AM.   The actual egg hunt will be on Saturday, March 31st, 10:30AM at Driftwood Park.  All NBMV Rotarians are asked to help with these events.


Ed James reported that we will once again celebrate Arbor Day by distributing tree saplings in our 4th Grade Foresters tree give-away this year.  So far, April 27th has been reserved for Valentine Hills and information on the 3 other elementary schools is forthcoming.


John Marg-Patton announced a tie in the weekly Gold Plate Dinner ticket sales contest.  Beverly Aplikowski and Ed James each chose a bottle of wine as their prize.  Who will win next week’s contest?  Remember, you can’t win a prize if you don’t report your ticket sale commitments to your team captain.


Beverly Aplikowski followed up by reminding us to turn in our own ticket stubs (with dinner choice indicated) by next week’s meeting and to get the stubs and payment for any other tickets sold to Beverly as soon as possible.


Geoff and Debra Hollimon are celebrating their 38th anniversary this week…Congratulations!


Mary Ann Bawden said that a revamped membership directory will be available in print and online versions in July.


Paul Fournier introduced our speakers, Iris McGinnis and Karen Meyer, from the Community Support Center.  On behalf of the club, Paul Fournier presented them with a check for $1,000 to support CSC’s mission.  Karen Meyer started the presentation by explaining that CSC’s mission is to prevent homelessness by providing referrals to the appropriate agencies and, when necessary, short-term financial assistance to prevent evictions or electric shut-offs.  CSC’s financial counseling helps families achieve financial stability in the following ways:

  - Taking the time to listen and really know the clients

  - Setting goals

  - Directing clients to appropriate services

  - unraveling the bureaucracy and red tape

  - Celebrating their successes

  - Continued long-term financial counseling

CSC partners with Ramsey County Social Services, Community Action Partnership, St Vincent de Paul Society as well as local churches and service organizations like our Rotary Club.  In fact, NBMV Rotary is a founding organization of CSC and Paul Fournier serves on its Board of Directors.


At any given time, 16-20 families are being served by CSC.  Karen is the sole paid staff person and CSC relies heavily on the volunteer services of 6 “active listeners” who decide where to refer clients and whether financial assistance is warranted.  CSC spends between $400-700 per family.  Ramsey County currently has 29 families on the homeless shelter waiting list and if they finally are admitted to a shelter, it costs the county $3,000/month to house a family of four.  It’s easy to see that CSC’s strategy of preventing homelessness makes much more sense than relying on homeless shelters.  But because of a tight housing market and sharply increasing rents, the risk of eviction is increasing and CSC will likely experience an increase in need for its services.


Iris McGinnis took the floor at this point to ask us to actively participate in their upcoming fund-raiser luncheon on April 27th from 11:30-1:00 at Christ the King Lutheran Church.  CSC is looking for as many Rotarians as possible to attend the luncheon and four to five Rotarians to greet attendees as they arrive.  NBMV Rotary will receive special recognition in the program and Iris would like someone from Rotary to present the fund-raising “ask” at the close of the program.  If you might be able to fill this role please contact Paul Fournier or MaryAnn Bawden.  You can RSVP for the luncheon at:  Paul is shown presenting our check to Karen and Iris, below.