President Ed James opened the meeting with the Quote of the Day:
“If you want to touch the past, touch a rock.  If you want to touch the present, touch a flower.  If you want to touch the future, touch a life.”
Author Unknown.
Our guests today were: Ed James’ sister Morenekeji and her friend Dr. Oni, Assistant District Governor Julie Gotham, and our guest of honor, District Governor Ed Marek.
Check your email for a list of important Rotary dates.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has received an $11,000 donation from the Golden K Kiwanis club.  This donation brings the total donations to the coalition up to $145,000.  Their original donations goal was $150,000 by the end of 2020 but, with the ongoing pandemic, the Coalition intends to continue its mission into 2021.
Cindy Carlson introduced her friend of over 25 years, Julie Gotham.  Cindy and Julie first met through the Twin Cities North Chamber.  Julie has been a Blaine Ham Lake Rotarian for over 20 years and, as mentioned earlier she is the new Assistant District Governor for our area.
Julie, in turn, introduced our District Governor, Ed Marek.  DG Ed has been a member of the Shakopee and Eden Prairie Clubs and, for the past 19 years, the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club.  You may remember that DG Marek has spoken to our club about the Rotary Fast for Hope initiative in Nicaragua.
Ed would have preferred to speak to us in person but these Covid times have made Zoom meetings necessary.  Rotary is taking the pandemic very seriously and has chosen to hold District and International meetings virtually until at least March of 2021. 
DG Marek began by reminding us of RI President Holger Knaack’s Vision Statement: “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”  He indicated that our club is living out this vision in our many activities and singled out the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition as one example.  RI President Knaack’s theme for his term is “Rotary Opens Opportunities” and he emphasizes four goals that clubs can adopt to live into the theme.
   - Investigate innovative club models and procedures.
   - Have a five year vision for the club.
   - Select new members carefully.
   - Support the Rotary Foundation.
Ed elaborated on the Rotary Foundation as a way for clubs to expand their reach internationally.  The Rotary Foundation has had a 4 star rating at Charity Navigator for 12 consecutive years, so you know your donations will get to the places where they are needed.  You can also direct your donation by designating one of four purposes for your contribution.  As a contributor to the foundation you normally receive one recognition point for each dollar contributed, but during this month the District has arranged it so that your $100 contribution will earn you double points and a $365 contribution will earn you and additional 635 points for a total of 1,000 points, which qualifies you for your Paul Harris Fellowship or perhaps even higher levels of recognition.  You must get your contribution (by check made out to The Rotary Foundation) to John Ordway before October 31st or donate online at and specify the Polio Fund.  If you donate online, please let John Ordway know so he can update club records.  DG Marek recognized Jeff Benson for reaching the Paul Harris+8 recognition level, indicating total contributions of over $9,000 to the Foundation.
Ed elaborated on other areas of focus, including Rotary support for the “Positive Peace” concept, Mentoring, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Youth Exchange and Battling Human Trafficking.