Our guests today were: Mary Jo McGuire and Dana’s granddaughter, Hannah Brandt.
President Ed James’ quote of the day is “The only true gift is a portion of yourself” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Important dates for the near future can be found in your email or by clicking here.
Don’t forget that next week’s meeting (October 13th) will be at Silver View Park on County Rd. I, just east of Silver Lake Rd.  The meeting will also be available on ZOOM.
John Ordway and Cindy Carlson noted that the application for a $5,000 grant from State Farm Insurance should be completed by the end of the week.
Jed Hamoud reported that he has been in email communication with the Beirut Rotary Club and that the L.A. Area Rotary Club (which has significant Lebanese membership) will serve as a conduit for transferring funds to Beirut to minimize transfer costs.  Watch your email for a short video from the Beirut Rotary Club.
Geoff Hollimon said that five organizations have initiated grant proposals with the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition following the addition of mental health and youth issues to its Covid-19 grant criteria.  He also noted that the ’73 Mustang Convertible Raffle tickets are selling well and several more car showings are scheduled in the coming weeks.  Only 1,000 tickets will be sold, but tickets are still available and you can get yours from Geoff Hollimon by mailing your check for $25 (made out to Climb Theatre) to:
Mustang Raffle
c/o Geoff Hollimon
2749 13th Terrace NW
New Brighton, MN 55112
The Coalition invites you to take part in a biking/walking/driving tour of twenty examples of rose art in the Roseville in Bloom art exhibit.  Bike routes of 9.7 and 7.6 miles are suggested, or you can visit them in your car.  Register here for a chance to win a prize and, hopefully, make a donation to the coalition to support its work to provide food and housing support for those with greatest need resulting from Covid-19.
Dana Rebelein reported that Camp Enterprise is cancelled this year due to Covid-19, but the event’s entrepreneurship, leadership and ethics training will be front and center in the new one day online Camp Enterprise Junior program for middle school youth.  Attendees will be invited to the high school version of Camp Enterprise in the future.
Nyle Zikmund introduced Commander Ryan O’Neill, Commander of the Ramsey County Sherriff’s Department Violent Crime Enforcement Team (VCET).  The website describes The Violent Crime Enforcement Team (VCET) as an East Metro multi-agency law enforcement task force comprised of deputies from the Sheriff's Office along with officers from the Saint Paul, Roseville, Mounds View, Maplewood, White Bear Lake, and New Brighton Police Departments and agents from the United Stated Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). Additional partners include the Ramsey County Attorney's Office and the Minnesota National Guard Counter-Drug Task Force.
VCET targets enforcement efforts on narcotics distributors, violent offenders, gang members, and career criminals to stop the flow of narcotics and weapons to our region. VCET also provides assistance to other agencies and offers public education and awareness to our communities on drugs, gangs, and violent offenders. 
Commander O’Neill’s presentation focused on drug trafficking and abuse as the root cause of much of the violence and weapons problems in Ramsey County.  He explained that the VCET has seen rising levels in all categories of drug abuse and that younger and younger children are becoming drug abusers.  The trend toward younger users is most clearly seen with marijuana use, where higher concentrations of THC and increasing use of vaping pens have increased the potential for abuse.  Of course, these factors have made marijuana use among adults easier than ever and increased the potential for psychological dependence.  Other drugs on the rise are methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) and, of course opioids.  Prescription opioid abuse is more common in the U.S. than other countries because the U.S. prescribes 80% of the worlds opioid painkillers. Seventy percent of opioids on the black market have been stolen from family and friends.  The most potent of the opioids, fentanyl, is especially dangerous because the risk of deadly overdose is great and fentanyl is often added to other drugs to increase their effect and addiction potential.   Drug treatment admissions and drug overdose deaths are up for all drugs, and especially for methamphetamine.  Over 125 Americans die each day from drug overdoses.
The VCET is here to increase community safety by increasing community awareness and involvement as well as to increase support from elected officials in the battle to reduce the far reaching effects of illegal drugs on the health and safety of Ramsey County residents.  Commander O’Neill can be reached at: ryan.oneill@co.ramsey.mn.us