Several Rotarians were present last night as George Winiecki received Mounds View’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award. We’re proud of you, George!
Nils Friberg introduced today’s speaker, Jerome Brown.  Jerome was the social worker for Nils’ wife Peg while she was in hospice care.  Jerome was raised in what he described as a “bad neighborhood” on the South side of Chicago and, like many kids there, got involved in some illegal activities.  But Jerome also excelled in basketball and in track as a sprinter.  Jerome’s parents were heroin addicts, so Jerome was living with his aunt when recruiters from the University of Dubuque football team came knocking at his door.  For Jerome, two white men at the door could only mean that his criminal activities had finally caught up with him, so he was reluctant to answer the door.  His aunt forced him to go to the door and it changed his life forever.  He went to Iowa to play football and left his Chicago past behind him.  He got his B.A. at Dubuque and his M.A. from St. Ambrose University.  Since answering that knock on the door he has become a social worker, motivational speaker, consultant and author (“From Stone to Bread”).
Jerome’s social work began in child protection but soon shifted to mental health and eventually focused on hospice care.  Jerome defined hospice as care for someone who has been diagnosed by a Physician as having less than 6 months to live and showing progressive decline in physical condition.  He also said that it is not uncommon for patients to be in hospice care for longer than 6 months and that some patients actually graduate from hospice care if their health improves.  Jerome admits that his job can take an emotional toll but he credits his faith and education for the strength to carry on.  He said that 50% of those in hospice say they have regrets about their lives and that many of those regrets revolve around failing to finish, or even start, important life goals.  Jerome’s process for avoiding these regrets is:
  • Decide (commit to the goal)
  • Discipline (plan and follow up)
  • Destroy (complete the goal)
Jerome left us with these words:  Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying
Dana Rebelein reported that two Irondale Students, Bella Woo and Kaden Li, have been selected to be our representatives at Camp Enterprise.  The decision to hold the event or cancel it due to Covid should be made soon.
Geoff Hollimon said that he spoke to MaryAnn Bawden recently and that she is doing well and she misses us.
George Winiecki and Dave Hoel noted that long time friend of the club, Gerry Bensing, passed away recently.
Nils Friberg announced that he will be moving next month to Eagle Crest.
The Board will meet at 11AM next Tuesday.
Next week’s meeting will feature Julie Mitchell, speaking on Civility in Society.