Posted by Jeff Benson on May 22, 2018

Cindy Carlson opened the meeting with the Pledge and Nile Zikmund offered an invocation.


Nyle Zikmund admitted to six decades on the planet and was rewarded for his perseverance with the honor of wearing the birthday hat (see photo below).


You will remember that last week’s speaker, Jilla Nadimi, works with the American Refugee Committee (ARC) to provide relief in refugee settlements around the world.  One such settlement is the Nakivale Refugee settlement in Kampala, Uganda.  The ARC, in partnership with Rotarians from Minnesota and Uganda, have encouraged youth in the refugee settlement to start a Rotaract Club.  The New Rotaract Club hit the ground running and now has 39 members working to improve life for their fellow refugees.  Cindy Carlson said that our board has responded with a check for $500 to support the mission of this remarkable group of Rotaractors.


Cindy also noted that our Gold Plate Dinner raised funds to buy several beds for the new residents at Life Prep Academy.  Contact Cindy if you would like to participate in the presentation of the beds.  Life Prep is also holding their Annual Yard Sale Fundraiser on June 7-10 at 1628 County Highway 10, in Spring Lake Park.  Donated items would be greatly appreciated.  Please drop items off from 9-4 M-F.  All items should be dropped off by June 6th.


Michelle Caron reported on the Financial Literacy Course recently presented to CPY 4th grade students by herself and Chris Ledbeter (see below).  Michelle said that the program was well received and there are plans to present the class again on May 30th.  Training is planned for club members who would like to help present a follow-up class.  Contact Chris Ledbeter or Michelle Caron if you’d like to help. 


Jason Slama reported that Ed James presented $1,500 scholarships to two deserving Irondale seniors.  The recipients were Devina Srey and Taylor Seim (shown with Ed James, below)..  Our $1,500 at-large scholarship will be presented to a St. Anthony senior next Tuesday.


After countless years as the Stockyard Days Parade Hot Dog King, George Winiecki is stepping down, so we will need a new Hot Dog King or Queen.  George has all the steps neatly laid out for his replacement.  Contact Cindy Carlson or John Marg-Patton if you are willing to take over this important responsibility.


President Gerry announced that next week’s meeting will be a club assembly to chart our course for the coming Rotary year.  The following two meetings will be off-site. On June 5th we will meet at Ed James’ apartment (1300 Northwest Parkway, New Brighton) for a Nigerian Meal.  On June 12th we will meet at Benedictine Health Center (1101 Black Oak Dr, New Brighton).


Be sure to be at the meeting on June 26th when Gerry will pass the Rotary gavel to Cindy and John Marg-Patton.


Due to the Independence Day holiday, the will be no meetings on July 3rd or 5th.

101 Black Oak Drive,

Cor Wilson announced that her mother passed away this morning.  Cor will also be retiring from CTV North Suburbs on June 8th.


Our speaker today was our own Nyle Zikmund.  Nyle took us back to the Mounds View pipeline explosion on July 7, 1986.  Nearly 32 years ago, a ruptured seam in a Williams pipeline near the intersection of Long Lake Road and Woodcrest released gasoline which pooled in the street and was eventually ignited by a newspaper delivery person’s car.  The driver suffered serious burns, but survived.  Beverly Spano and her 6 year old daughter, Jennifer, were not so fortunate.  Just as they exited their home, the gas vapor cloud ignited, causing 3rd degree burns over their entire bodies, eventually leading to their deaths.  Beverly’s Husband Don and her other daughter, Allison exited the house through another door and survived the fireball.  One hundred fire fighters (Nyle was one of them) from seven fire departments fought the ensuing fire, which reached 30 feet high and could only be contained until the remaining gasoline in the pipeline drained out and burned.  In all, 90,000 gallons of gasoline leaked out of the pipeline, much of it burning, but some also leaking into the adjacent pond/lake and into the aquifer.  As a result of this tragedy, National and State Offices of Pipeline Safety were created to help prevent future pipeline disasters.  Cindy and Nyle are shown below.