Our speakers today were Spring Lake Park/Blaine/Mounds View firefighters Tony Scavo and Derek Authier.  They were here to tell us about their volunteer mission to provide relief and support for overworked firefighters in Louisiana after Category 5 Hurricane Ida left a statewide swath of destruction.  Tony and Derek were part of a 22 man delegation from nine fire departments around Minnesota. The group shipped out on September 7th, 2021, joining other firefighters from all over the U.S. for an 18 day stay in one of the hardest hit areas of Louisiana.  While there, all 22 bunked in a relatively small tent at a military base camp. For the first week, they focused on water deliveries, tree removal, general cleanup and door to door needs assessment for residents.  They were humbled by the overwhelming southern hospitality and gratitude that they experienced while helping the homeowners.  They felt as though these people who had lost almost everything were more concerned with the firefighters comfort than their own.  During their stay the firefighters got a small taste of the power of a hurricane when Hurricane Nicholas (Category 1) came through and inundated their tent.  The remainder of their stay involved assessing the damage to existing fire stations for the State Fire Marshall.  Many fire stations and much of the firefighting equipment were partially or completely destroyed by Ida.  The heat and humidity were oppressive, especially for Minnesotans unused to subtropical conditions.  Displaced residents almost unanimously were choosing to rebuild rather than relocate, and the close-knit communities banded together to protect what little possessions they could salvage after the storm.  Tony and Derek agreed that this volunteer mission was very gratifying and they would do it again if the opportunity arises. Tony, Derek and President Charlie Longbella are shown below.
Don’t forget about the One Rotary Summit, Saturday October 23, 9-11:30AM at FamilyMeans, 1875 Northwestern Ave S. Stillwater, MN 55082. 
  • You will participate in focused discussions about Membership, Public Image, and The Rotary Foundation and how the three work together in Rotary.
  • You will share how service is important for all of us as Rotarians and Rotaractors.
  • You will gain insights about how your club can expand its reach, increase its impact, enhance its engagement, and increase its ability to adapt.
Mike Neeley announced nominations are open for a 2021 Rotarian of the Year.  Nomination forms were passed out today and will be available next week as well.  After that, nomination forms will be made available by email.
Edeth James displayed photos of the 4-Way Test sign that has been erected in his honor at his alma mater, Polytechnic Ibadan, in Nigeria.  Edeth thanked all those who contributed toward the sign. 
Camp Enterprise has been cancelled this year.
Next week’s speaker will be Mindy Handberg, speaking about ISD 621 Workforce Training.
We expect to return to the Exchange soon, perhaps by Oct. 26th.