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Hats Off To Rotary 2012

Rotar y Club — As important now as it was back in 1922 A message from the club president Service above self. What an ideal to aspire to! That core principle of Rotary International has enriched the lives of millions. Humanitarian efforts around the globe to make a difference not just to the Dave receivers but Effertz to the givers as well. Rotary is a thriving organization with more than 30,000 global clubs for a reason. Their “We can do this!” attitude is infectious. With Rotary, we are all connected and it’s easy to get behind this optimistic, value-driven organization. With such a foundation to build upon, it’s really no surprise that our local club

is set to celebrate its 90th anniversary in a position of strength, ready to continue to serve for many more years. The importance of Rotary is as paramount now as it was back in 1922, when the club was established. We’ve grown as a club in type of services we provide thanks to the template our founders established 90 years ago. And despite economic recession and an influx of many other worthwhile organizations fighting for people’s time and money our membership has remained vibrant. Our theme for our anniversary is Hats Off to Rotary. This clever pun

denotes an admiration of accomplishment but also acknowledges the many types of hats our members wear to make our club a success. In this publication you will read about these hats our members wear. You’ll learn about our club. You’ll learn why I am proud to be a part of it. In closing I would like to be the first to take my hat are off to our club, to current and past members.

The 2011-2012 Owatonna Club Board of Directors and their positions are, from left to right, Dan McIntosh, Youth Protection Officer; Holly Hull, Publicity; Chief Keith Hiller, Community Service; Dave Effertz, President; Renee Lowery, Secretary; Lois Nelson, Social and Communications; Chris Herzog, Rotary Foundation; Doug Parr, Vocational Service. Not pictured are Dr. John Muellerleile, President Elect; Cindy Scheid, Treasurer; Earl Anderson, Membership; Todd Hale, Programs and Newsletter; Dr. Penny Dave Effertz Vizina, Social; Dr. Pat Greenwood, International Service; Jennifer DunnPresident Rotary Club of Owatonna Foster, Youth Exchange Officer; and David Allard, Past President. (Submitted photo)

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Hats Off to Rotary 2012

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Rotar y remains as relevant today as it was in the past A message from the district governor Congratulations to the Owatonna Rotary Club on the occasion of their 90th anniversary of years of service to this community. As the District Governor for Rotary District 5960, I commend the Judith current memFreund bership and leaders for staying true to the mission of Rotary that inspired the group of founders of the Owatonna Club 90 years ago. There are only four clubs in our district that are older than Owatonna — St. Paul Rotary (1910), Stillwater (1919) Austin and Faribault (1920); and Albert Lea shares 1922 as its charter year as well. We can only imagine what motivated the founders to come together as a group of dedicated citizens. One can assume that it was the same inspiration that prompted Paul Harris to start Rotary International in 1905 in Chicago — a desire to network with inspired professionals and a dedication to make a difference in the community through collaborative service project. When Rotarians are asked to characterize their club — be it a large club like Rochester or St. Paul (nearly 200 members each) or small clubs that barely reach 30 — there are three common attributes and they are the same now as in 1905: a desire for service, fellowship, and community involvement. I often am asked, “Is Rotary still relevant?” Indeed, shortly after I joined the Hudson Daybreak Rotary Club in 1999, and article appeared in a newspaper that I read titled, “Lion, Moose, Elk, and other Endangered Species.” It

talked about how service clubs are irrelevant moving into the 21st century being, by and large, social clubs more interested in lunch than service and not very appealing to the traditional “worker bees” in communities — women. And, true, those who remember the ’50s will agree that women were the energy behind the community with church circles and their support roles in a variety of areas — doing the activities that sustained the community. Times have changed. As the role of women has transformed those builders of community, now must come from somewhere else. There need to be difference circles of influence. Those who we draw into our circle are great influencers. They inspire, support, help create, share our wishes and dreams and generally are the folks that share our vision. In the book “The Social Animal,” David Brooks talks about how influential the people that we chose to include in our circle, our “group” can be. Women’s church circles need to be replaced with organizations that can have same influence, network, and dedication that they represented. Today we call “community building” “social capital” and one can argue that it as more important that ever. According to Wikipedia, “Social Capital…refers to connections within and between social networks. The concept of social capital highlights the value of social relations and the role of cooperation and confidence to get collective or economic results.” Social networks have value – particularly in the modern society. Is networking still relevant? Is collaboration still relevant? Are the benefits of fellowship still rel-

2012 1958 - 2010 evant? One can argue that they are ever more so. We are told that one of the benefits of social capital is the trust that builds in working collaboratively with other community members, often of difference professions or walks of life. Trust is at the core of what makes our country what it is. I participated in a project at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls that brought together teachers and high school students from Russia with teachers and high school students from Western Wisconsin for the purpose of exploring the importance of National Parks and Wilderness Areas on democracy as experience in our country. We spent time at River Falls and set out for the Rocky Mountains, arriving at base camp of the Hilgaard Basin west of Yellowstone. When we were ready to depart up the mountain, one of the Russian teachers asked me what we were going to do with the vehicles — three 15-passenger vans and a small U-Haul trailer. I said they would stay in the parking area, unguarded. Kostia looked at me quite shocked, and said, “if this was Russia, when we returned the wheels would be gone, as would the windshield wipers, headlights, doors – anything that could be removed!” But we trust that our follow citizens will obey the laws in our country. Lose that and we lose an awful lot. So, are you relevant, Owatonna? I would say that your founders would be quite proud of the tradition that you have built and are carrying on. Judith Freund District Governor Rotary District 5960

Celebrating 54 52 Years

For the past 54 50 years the Owatonna Foundation has awarded grants totaling over $11 $10 million for projects that touch every aspect of our lives in the following categories:

• Community - people, parks, places • Education - literary, scientific, historic • The Arts - musical, visual, cultural • Recreation - sports, leisure, family fun Make a Tax-Deductible Contribution 54th Anniversary! in Honor of Our 52nd Your contribution to the Owatonna Foundation will allow the Foundation to continue to preserve our history and respond to the changing needs of our community — for the next 50 + years! years! ■

preserving the past

building the present

funding the future

Mail donations to: Owatonna Foundation P.O. Box 642 • Owatonna, MN 55060 For more information or a complete brochure: call: Jim Brunner at 507-451-6641 email: website:

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Hats Off To Rotary 2012

What is Rotar y? Global leaders in ‘Service Above Self’ Rotary International is the world’s first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, and promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

The object of Rotary The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and in particular, to encourage and foster: FIRST: The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service. SECOND: High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society. THIRD: The application of the ideal of ser-

vice in each Rotarian’s personal, business and community life. FOURTH: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

How do I become a member of Rotary?

Publisher and Editor Ron Ensley

sional, proprietary, executive, managerial or community position. • Have demonstrated a commitment to service through personal involvement. • Be able to meet the club’s weekly attendance or community project participation requirements.

If you’re interested in joining the Rotary Club of Owatonna and do not know a • Live or work within the vicinity of the Rotarian, please contact Earl Anderson at club or surrounding area.

What are the qualifications for membership?

What are the responsibilities of membership?

Prospective members must: • Hold (or be retired from) a profes-

Hats off to Rotary

May 24, 2012 A special project of the Owatonna People’s Press 135 W. Pearl St., Owatonna, MN 55060


• Members are expected to attend weekly club meetings.

Tri M Graphics for the cover design created by Brendan Cox, graphic designer Lois Nelson for her work coordinating the stories in this special section

Managing Editor Jeffrey Jackson

All of the Rotary members who wrote articles for this section

• Members are expected to participate in local or international Rotary club activities or projects. • Clubs encourage members to aspire to club or committee leadership roles. Members are expected to promote high ethical standards in our lives, businesses and communities by following

Rotaries Four Way Test: Of the things we think, say or do — Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Congratulations to the Owatonna Rotary Club for 90 Years of Service to the community. Also, thank you to Dewey Polson for his involvement with the club.

Special thanks to the following people and organizations:

Advertising Director Debbie Ensley

• Members pay annual dues that help fund club projects, the Rotary district projects and Rotary International projects.

Dewey Polson General Manager

All advertising contained herein is the responsibility of the advertisers. All rights reserved. Copyright 2012.

The Early Edition Rotary Club


The Owatonna Rotary Club on 90 Years in Owatonna!

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Hats Off to Rotary 2012

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Big news of Spring 1922: Rotary Club comes to Owatonna

Report: Charter banquet filled with ‘pep, ‘gaiety’ and ‘carefree mirth’ By JEFFREY JACKSON

years ago, when the club was celebrating its 50th anniversary, the following short account of the club’s beginnings On the front of the Owatonna Daily People’s Press on was penned: the morning of Tuesday, May 23, 1922, were several arti“The Owatonna Rotary was begun on April 10, 1922, cles, including a story about a bigamy hearing scheduled by fourteen men, and has grown to a membership of 82. 1 column x 6 inches for silent movie star Rudolf Valentino, a short story about The original founders (Charter Members) are Del Mitcha Holiness preacher in Georgia being flogged by a couple ell, the club’s first president, Mike Leary, ‘Judy’ Dahne, of men and an even shorter notice about a 73-year-old Dr. Merrill (who was the first superintendent at the State former middleweight champ coming to Owatonna High School), Padre Clemans, Guy Bennett, Al Sperry, Carl School that night to put on a strength demonstration. Timer, Rudi Gehericke, Otto Zeiger, Guy Doolittle, Tom Conspicuously absent from the front page that morning Kelly, Mark Alexander and Sid Kinyou. These last two was perhaps the biggest news for Owatonna that day and men are the only Charter Members living who have for years — decades, really — to come. remained in the Owatonna area.” Not that news wasn’t there. It was. But it was tucked on The membership today, by the way, is 120. the bottom of page 5 of the six-page newspaper between The history of Rotary itself was a scant score and two two comic strips — Outbursts of Everett True and The years older than the Owatonna club, beginning on a day Old Home Town. in 1900 when Paul Harris, a practicing attorney with a The article’s headline and two subheads said it all. lawyer friend in Rogers Park, a suburb of Chicago. your stock,to the bond or Harris other was impressed when, “ROTARY WHEEL BECOMES PART OF OWATON- Are According story, ther in a safety NA,” certificates read the headline. after dinner, he and his friend took a walk and the friend certificates in a deposit box, “One hundred visitors aid in presentation of charter,” kept stopping to introduce him to owners of stores along loset…or aresessions you not sure banquet at and “Rousing follows at hotel here,” the way of their And there the idea began to fordesk drawer or walk. closet…or said the subheads. mulate in Harris’ mind — an idea in which business and What followed was the account of the banquet in whichare professional men — and it was just men for many years you not sure? Rotarians, 100 strong, from around the region — Albert — would come together for friendship and fellowship. Lea, Austin, Faribault and even as far north as St. Paul Harris continued to formulate the idea for the club over to Owatonna to present the young club with its A the five years until Feb. 23, 1905, when the club’s te— came can mean inconvenience lostnext or destroyed certificate charter, officially establishing it as a member of Rotary. first meeting took place. The club was given the name your heirs. Let Edward Joneswas one filled with can And by that account, the evening “Rotary,” is said “because the members met in rotation mean itinconvenience “pep,” “gaiety” and “carefree mirth.” in their various places of business.” etain ownership make all table over the age andItlost “There wasn’t a and man at the banquet wasn’t until 1908 second Rotary Club was money for that youtheand of 21, if their antics indicated their age,” the newspaper founded, this one in San Francisco. By 1910, there were 16 ndle the“and paperwork. heirs. Let time Edward storyall says, not a man in the crowd had a sign of a your clubs, and which the clubs decided to be united into an trouble to keep him sad. Happiness that southern Minorganization that would extend the movement to other cities. hold them you. Association of Rotary Clubs nesota is now united in Rotary, with the four cities of this Jones That August, thefor National vidend interestwith payments, section and represented clubs, was the guiding spirit of was organized. The name was changed in 1912 to the Instill retain ownership the evening, with St. Paul to add dignity to the occasion. You ternational Association of Rotary Clubs after clubs were rEverything maturitieswasand more. there but theEven dignity.” established in Canada and — Great Britain. And in 1922 — and make the decisions The newspaper can be forgiven if the account of the the same year that the Owatonna Rotary Club was estabdated statement andpages that day. Part of it while banquetaccount was tucked in the back lishedwe — handle the nameall wasthe shortened to Rotary International, had to do with how newspapers were assembled back in what it remains to this day. the early 1920s, and part of it had to do with the fact that, paperwork. As for the stories in that newspaper back in May of though the charter banquet was a big deal, the club actu- 1922, long after the stories of the 73-year-old weight ally had been in existence for about a month and a half by lifter, the flogged preacher and the silent movie star have ife. Callthe today. the time banquet was held. from the consciousness Wefaded automatically process of most folks, the contriBy accounts from the Owatonna Rotary Club itself, the butions of the Owatonna Rotary Club continue on in the local club actually began in April of that same year. Forty dividend community. and interest






A story in the Owatonna People’s Press, dated May 23, 1922, tells of the banquet held the night before to present the charter to the newly organized Owatonna Rotary Club. (Press file photo)

payments, mergers, splits Congratulations to the Owatonna Rotary Club and more. Even better, you for 90 wonderful years of service to the get a consolidated account community. Happy Anniversary! statement and one form Let Kim Cosens Help You On The Road To Retirement Greg Krueger, Rotary Member since 1985 at tax time.

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Hats Off To Rotary 2012

Strong leaders make the Owatonna Rotar y Club strong List of club’s past presidents show a wide, diverse group of individuals OWATONNA ROTARY CLUB PAST PRESIDENTS 1922 Delbert M. Mitchell

1952-1953 Eldon J. Springmeyer 1983-1984 David Miller

1922-1923 George Beaty

1953-1954 C.M. Henderson

1984-1985 Bruce Mikeworth

1923-1924 B.A. Merrill

1954-1955 Dr. A. J. Olson

1985-1986 Clifford Schroeder

1924-1925 G.B. Bennett

1955-1956 Dr. John N. Schoen

1986-1987 Donald B. Larson

1925-1926 Albert Sperry

1956-1957 C.J. LaRoue

1926-1927 Otto Ziegler

1957-1958 A.B. Wolesky

1927-1928 C.E. Twitchell

1958-1959 Pat Casey

1928-1929 F.E. Church

1959-1960 Asa Carpenter

1929-1930 Dr. A. B. Stewart

1960-1961 Tom Edwards

1930-1931 W.C. Eder

1961-1962 Richard Johnson

1931-1932 The Rev. A.C. Smith

1962-1963 E.S. Gandrud

1932-1933 Ambrose Lynard

1963-1964 John Alexander

1933-1934 J.J. Skinner

1964-1965 L.A. Humes

1994-1995 Ed Wegener

1934-1935 D.M. Mitchell

1965-1966 R.W. “Buzz” Kaplan

1995-1996 Richard Slieter

1935-1936 Joe Haberman

1966-1967 Kenneth Austin

1996-1997 Dave Thomas

1936-1937 A.A. Kaplan

1967-1968 Henry Speck

1997-1998 Barry Gillespie

1937-1938 A.H. Mennes

1968-1969 Dave Landswerk

1998-1999 Jonathan Zierdt

1938-1939 Dave Sperry

1969-1970 Robert Schuster

1999-2000 Betsy Lindgren

1939-1940 Willis Bureau

1970-1971 Ty Sincock

2000-2001 Dianne Nesvig

1940-1941 Robert Barnard

1971-1972 William Kottke

1941-1942 Ray Rowland

1972-1973 Ray Roetman

1942-1943 C.E. Srsen

1973-1974 Howard Place

1943-1944 Mike Cashman

1974-1975 Mel Dove

1944-1945 Sid Kinyon

1975-1976 Frank Larsen

1945-1946 O.F. DeGroat

1976-1977 Dale A. Johnson

1946-1947 J.F. Schaefer

1977-1978 Byron Casey

1947-1948 Harold Nelson

1978-1979 Donald Honath

1948-1949 William Whiting

1979-1980 Duane Noerenberg

2008-2009 Ray Brueggemeier

1949-1950 C. Vinton Burt

1980-1981 Gerald Boos

2009-2010 Lois Nelson

1950-1951 Howard L. McKee

1981-1982 Dale Gandrud

2010-2011 David Allard

1951-1952 Leslie J. Gustafson

1982-1983 Lud Gillespie

2011-2012 Dave Effertz

1987-1988 Mike Ellingsen 1988-1989 Richard Strunc 1989-1990 Douglas Ruth 1990-1991 Tom Effertz 1991-1992 Paul Swenson 1992-1993 Sharon West 1993-1994 Sabra Otteson

Family picnics were a regular part of the club’s social activity in the 1940s. This photo taken in 1948 at Mineral Springs Park includes a little fellow, Ralph Carpenter. Ralph was a long-time executive secretary for the club, retiring from that capacity in 2010. His father, Asa, also served in this same office during the 1940s. (Submitted photo)

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2001-2002 Jim Bauck 2002-2003 Dave Ramsey 2003-2004 Greg Draeger

Congratulations on 90 Years of serving the Owatonna Community!

2004-2005 Tom Kuntz 2005-2006 Mike Jensen 2006-2007 Kim Cosens 2007-2008 Patrick Segler

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Hats Off to Rotary 2012

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Highlights of activities since last anniversar y celebration Owatonna Rotary Club remains incredibly active in the past 15 years By KERRI KUHN and TANYA PALEY • Noted in the Monday, October 11th, 1999 O-Pinion: Rotarian Buzz Kaplan and his wife Betty are planning an airborne adventure that will take them nearly 10,000 miles in six weeks. The Kaplans, along with Jim and Maryalice Hanson, will fly Buzz’s Caravan through the Caribbean, Central and South America, with a stop in the Antarctic. The trip will be chronicled on an interactive website sponsored by the MN Dept of Transportation, Office of Aeronautics and the Heritage Halls Museum • On Monday, November 8th, 1999, President Betsy Lindgren announced that Rotarians may put up a dollar at meetings to highlight achievements and recognize accomplishments of their own or of someone they know. Rotarians are still offering “bragger bucks” today! • On Monday, February 21st, 2000, Rotary welcomed Pastor Scott Englehart, who spoke about the Steele County Transitional Housing Program. • A second Rotary club, The Early Edition, was organized in Owatonna and had its first meeting on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2000. They met at 7 a.m. at the Ramada Inn and today meet at the Owatonna Fire Hall. • Noted in the Monday, June 11th, 2001 O-Pinion: The late Harry Wenger, former Rotarian, was inducted Saturday, June 9th to the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame. He is the fourth Owatonna inventor to enter the Hall of Fame, the others being former Rotarians E.S. Gandrud, founder of the Gandy Company, Reuben A. Kaplan, founder of Owatonna Tool Company, and Harold “Steve” Stavenau, chief engineer at Truth Tool Company.

• On Monday, June 18th, 2001 Representative Connie Ruth spoke about her freshman year as a State Legislator. • In December of 2004, Rotarian Diane Nesvig travelled to Africa with fellow Rotarians from Rotary Districts #5950 and #5960 to assist in the polio immunization effort. Today, just three countries: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan have reported cases of the live polio virus. Rotary in collaboration with the World Health Organization and UNICEF have inoculated millions of children and raised over one billion dollars to eradicate the disease from the world. • On Monday, February 21st, 2005, the 100th birthday of Rotary was celebrated. (The exact date of the founding was February 23rd.) Paul Harris, a businessman, in Chicago met with four friends on a weekly basis committing to service and the needs of their community. Today, over one million members in over 34,000 clubs around the world continue to build on the motto Service Above Self. • On Monday, May 23rd, 2005 Rotary welcomed OHS graduate Karyn Stordahl, who was crowned “Miss Heart of the Lakes,” and is candidate for the Miss Minnesota pageant. Her platform was on the effort to deal with childhood obesity. • Rotary congratulated Rotarian Dennis Von Ruden who was among four adult Scouting leaders to receive the Silver Beaver Award on Monday, March 2 Monday, April 3, 2006 • On Monday, April 3rd, 2006, Rotary welcomed Major Paul Gates of Faribault who gave us a keen perspective on what’s happening in Iraq. • On Monday, September 11th, 2006, there

was a special welcome to candidates for the Minnesota State Legislature. Candidates included House candidates Connie Ruth and Kathy Muellerleile (26A), Patti Fritz . and Otto Luknic (26B), and Senate Candidates Dick Day and Jeremy Eller (District 26). As is common in election years, Rotary also welcomed First District Congressional Candidates, Gil Gutknecht and Tim Walz on Monday, October 2nd. On the 16th, candidates for Sheriff, Gary Ringhofer and Troy Matejcek, and County Commissioner candidates Mark Schutz, John Cashman, Tom Shea and Roger Noble spoke to the noon Rotary club. Rotary is not a religious or political organization but has a tradition of co-sponsoring with the Owatonna Chamber of Commerce, the Early Edition Rotary Club and the Owatonna People’s Press to invite candidates seeking local, state or national office. These forums are open to the public. • Rotary welcomed Bryan Moon of Randolph on Monday, November 27th, 2006. Bryan heads up “MIA Hunters”. Just having completed nineteen search missions with nearly sixty MIA discoveries all over the world, he is now planning for 2007 five jungle missions in Papua, New Guinea which may lead to the biggest discovery of US MIA’s since WW II. Bryan is British born and a retired VP of Northwest Airlines. He was the first to locate some of the lost Doolittle B-25 bombers which took part in the historic first raid on Japan in WW II. When he brought together Doolittle airmen and the Chinese veterans who had come to their rescue, he was a guest at the White House at the invitation of President Bush. Bryan served in the Royal Air Force and was a pilot, until

recently, of his own RAF aerobatic aircraft. • On Monday, January 15th, 2007, the noon Rotary group welcomed to Jerry Hudrlik and Dan Branstad of Steele County Habitat for Humanity. Heather Larson whose family is the recipient of a Habitat home was also in attendance. A collaboration with the local affiliate continued with fundraising and members building a home for the Spitzack family during this decade. • The Ecuadorian Group Study Exchange (GSE) team visited Owatonna and the club sent members on an Outbound Friendship Exchange to Australia. The club has hosted numerous GSE teams from around the world. The teams are composed of one Rotarian and four non-Rotarian professionals. They visit

businesses related to their profession traveling throughout the district during an average three-week stay. Often accommodated in Rotarian homes, this is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen friendships and has identified projects the club can become involved with at a future date. • The Club had a visioning process in July 2008 facilitated by District #5960 leadership identifying continuity and consistency in activities and programs for at least the next three years. • In February, 2009, the Owatonna Rotary Club moved its meetings to the Owatonna County Club. Rotary members sang the National Anthem at the Owatonna Express game which coincided with a social for their families. This singing was done a couple

times while the team was based in Owatonna. • The club sponsored a paper Shredding Day in May. Donations are accepted for assistance in funding many of the youth sponsored activities of the club, particularly the STRIVE students. The club just sponsored this event on May 19 of this year. It is an excellent way to safely have your important papers, bank records etc shredded and contribute to the youth in this community. • Early in 2010, the Club raised funds for two Shelter Boxes for victims of Haiti’s earthquake. Each box includes a tent and provisions for a group of ten people. These green or blue boxes are distributed around the world at the time of a catastrophe and often are the first to arrive on site.

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Hats Off To Rotary 2012

The members are the ones who make the difference Remembering two Rotarians who made a difference and added humor By LOIS NELSON with recollections from DR. JOHN SCHOEN

Dr. Schoen at 22. These two men have been continuous members of the club since then as shared in another article in this publication. hen compiling When Father Cody joined the 90 years of hisclub, he gave the customary speech about his vocation and highlights of tory, conversathat journey. It was a hit. Laced with tions certainly came up that his Irish wit and humor, the club included many names of asked him to continue his introductory speech in lieu of the following past Rotarians who both week’s program. made a difference to the During his tenure with the club, club and community and he and Pastor Dave Miller alternated in asking blessing with each meal. added humor to the meetPastor Dave delivered thoughtings and events of the club. ful, but somber invocations. Father Two people that have been Cody’s blessings often included fun and humor. An example: One time identified frequently are he reminded club members that we Mark Alexander and the should be thankful for the farmers that raised food that fed them; for the Rev. John Cody. various businesses that helped the farmers — Owatonna ManufacturThanks to Dr. John Schoen for added historical insights on these two The Rev. John Cody, a member ing that made the equipment for the of the Owatonna Rotary Club fields; the Owatonna Tool Company past members. while he pastored in the commu- who made the tools for maintaining Mark Alexander was the owner of nity, was known for his Irish wit their equipment and the Owatonna Alexander Lumber Company and a and humor. During his tenure Canning Company which provided a charter member of the club in 1922 with the club, Father Cody often market for their products. serving as club treasurer for many delivered invocations that were At the end of this prayerful insight, years. Later his son, John, joined as laced with his Irish wit. (Press Ken Austin’s voice rang out “Faa member of the club and became file photo) ther, you haven’t blessed Joe Shea’s president in 1963-1964. outfit.” Mark was credited with organizal magician, Gordian, who mystified In those days, this was Shea Dising and arranging the supper at the all in attendance. He asked that C.I. tributing Company. then Minnesota State Orphanage at “They buy lots of our farm prodChristmastime. Each member brought Buxton lend him a $10 bill which he promptly tore to bits. After that, ucts,” Austin continued. one or two presents for each of the “Yes”, Father promptly responded, “State School Kids.” It was affirmed no one in the audience gave him any money. Later in the show, the bill was “but Joe Shea doesn’t put any money by many of these young people that pulled from an orange on the table. It in my collection basket.” these were the only presents they was C.I.’s bill as verified by the serial Today, the club continues to host received. number. social events at least, semi-annually, He also conceived the idea of a Mark was insistent on bringing and if you visit with any Rotarian, spouse’s party during the year. For colorful stories of today’s club memone party, he brought in a profession- in young businessmen to the club, including Bill Whiting at age 21 and bers are sure to be shared.


Congratulations Owatonna Rotary on 90 Years!

Women join Rotary: A personal recollection By BARB JACOBSON My late husband, Judd Jacobson, had been a member of Rotary for many years, as had my brother in law, Pat Casey. So, in 1987, when changes were made so that women could participate in the organization, both these gentlemen encouraged me to join. In fact, they made a deal. Judd would sponsor his niece, Patricia Casey Groesbeck and Pat would sponsor me. In addition, Patricia’s husband, Jim Groesbeck, was already a Rotary member, so we ended up having five family members in the Club. Attending the meetings every Monday at noon gave me new insight into the Owatonna community and also afforded me wonderful networking opportunities. Where else could I mingle with the likes of Buzz Kaplan, Chuck Buxton and other local luminaries? In addition, the programs offered by Rotary are cutting edge and keep members up-todate on new businesses coming to town and changes within the existing framework of the city. You usually hear it “first” at Rotary. I think adding ladies to the mix of the membership actually enhanced the club’s diversity, although it maybe did limit the telling of jokes. In 1987, throughout the United States, it appeared to be a difficult adjustment for many male members. Now, 25 years later in 2012, we have many female members and they perform a vital service to the club, and contribute in a variety of ways. Go for it, ladies !

Congratulations on your 90th Year Owatonna Rotary Club

Ann Vargason Proud to be a Fellow Rotarian

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Hats Off to Rotary 2012

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Rotarians provide grants for various humanitarian causes Foundation works to realize the Rotary International’s mission throughout the world By LOIS NELSON

and Peru in recent years. A Rotarian The Rotary Foundaaccompanies tion is the charitable arm a group of of Rotary International five selected and is supported solely by professionvoluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends als to visit of the foundation. Through companies or organizafoundation grants, Rotartions with similar career ians are able to advance world understanding, good backgrounds in a host will, and peace through the Rotary District. This is for improvement of health, the approximately three weeks time where the group visits support of education, and points of interest, local the alleviation of poverty. Through foundation grants clubs and enjoy the hospitality of individual memand programs, Rotarians bers for overnight stays and other contributors can enhancing their own career help change the world. during the visit. They can finance a well The Humanitarian Grants for a village that lacks Program provides grants to clean water, improve the Rotary clubs and districts environment, or provide scholarships to educate the to implement humanitarnext generation. The grants ian projects. There are a variety of grant programs and programs available to that often provide matching Rotarians allow them to realize Rotary’s humanitar- dollars to a given project. ian mission throughout the The local club co-sponsors a project with another Roworld, including its top tary club located near the goal of eradicating polio. The Rotary Foundation has project site. The first grant project for the Owatonna three main program areas: Educational Programs, Hu- Rotary club in 1992 was manitarian Grants Program providing a medical van in Madagascar. Since, a and PolioPlus. Through Education Pro- playground was installed grams, the Rotary Founda- in Costa Rica. In 2010, the Tanzania Well Project was tion furthers international understanding by providing initiated and described in another article included in opportunities for students, this commemorative insert. educators and business PolioPlus is the most professionals to experience another culture and develop ambitious program in Rotary’s history and is suplong-lasting relationships ported in collaboration with with peers in other countries. These programs help UNICEF and the World Health Organization. For participants learn about the needs of their local and more than 25 years, Rotary has led the private sector world communities and the opportunities available in the global effort to rid the world of this crippling through Rotary to address those needs. The programs disease. Today, PolioPlus and its role in the initiative include Ambassadorial Scholarships, Group Study is recognized worldwide as a model of public-private Exchange (GSE), and Rotary Centers for Interna- cooperation in pursuit of a humanitarian goal. tional Studies. Rotary’s financial contriLocally Dr. Pat Greenbutions to the global polio wood, as a young profeseradication effort will reach sional, participated in a nearly US$1.2 billion by GSE team to Brazil. The the time the world is certiclub has hosted teams from Turkey, Brazil, India fied polio-free. Recently,

Grants from the Rotary Foundation have fought polio and helped build wells and playgrounds, among other things. (Submitted photos)

the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed more the $400 million to the efforts of riding polio in the last countries in the world with this crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thousands of Rotarians around the world have volunteered during National Immunization Days to immunize children. Former Owatonna Rotarian Dianne Nesvig did accompany a team for immunization of thousands of children in Africa. The PolioPlus program helps Rotary fund operational costs, such as transportation, vaccine delivery, social mobilization, and training of health workers, and support surveillance activities. Local Rotarians support annually the Rotary Foundation. The goal is that every Rotarian around the world will contribute financially annually to “Do Good in the World” the central theme of the Rotary Foundation.

Congratulations to the Owatonna Rotary Club for 90 years of service to the community!

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Hats Off To Rotary 2012

Early Edition Rotary spawned 12 years ago Club born with the same mission but with ‘a different approach’ By BRAD MEIER

Why create another Rotary Club in Owatonna? More than a decade ago, leaders of the Rotary Club found the noon meetings difficult to attend and wanted to create another option for people to attend Rotary. The Early Edition was born with the same mission, but a different approach. From the start, the Early Edition has been a “hands-on” club that chose projects that the members could put their time and energy into. Projects like the “Rain Garden” on Hoffman Drive, the Highway Clean up on Interstate 35, the Fourth of July Fireworks display (titled “Patriot Skies”), the corn feed, kindergarten books, student scholarships, and rose sale were created to serve the community and raise funds for local and international projects.

Why fireworks? The Fourth of July fireworks show was being dropped by a service club and the future of a display in Owatonna was uncertain. The young Early Edition club, determined to make a mark in the community, stepped up and took on the challenge of raising funds, planning the event and marketing the celebration to the community. Since that time, the display has grown due to much more aggressive fundraising and a broader community awareness.

What does corn have to do with Rotary? Nothing really, except for a once per year major event that is looked forward to by hundreds of people in the Owatonna area. The corn feed held in August features locally grown Lakeside Foods corn and raises money for the fireworks display, downtown flower basket program and a third cause picked by the club each year. Unique to this event, the Rotary members deliver meals to businesses and because of this have been able to grow sales and fundraising each year.

How does a rose sale put Service Above Self? The annual rose sale has many benefits, the least of those is an opportunity to get a dozen great roses for your loved ones. The side benefit is that the money raised by the club goes to fund an international project. The Early Edition has purchased a “Shelter Box” for victims of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti, contributed to well water projects and much more.

Does Rotary provide books for all Owatonna kindergartners? The short answer is yes. Each year in our effort to focus on supporting kids in their early stages of development, the Early Edition club hand delivers books just before summer break to all kindergartners in Owatonna. This includes private schools as well as public. More than 450 books are distributed on behalf of the Rotary Club to the kids.


Teenagers and Early Edition The Earlypeople, Edition club is also involved about at the high school level working with ot things. the Alternative Learning Center inviting students our meetings and providing bout tosecurity. annual college scholarships. The two Rotary clubs also partner to provide out confidence. mentoring to students at Owatonna High School through the STRIVE program ut relationships. as well as provide opportunities for students to attend leadership camps and about trust. participate in the Ethics Essay. abouttheyou! Though club no longer works on the rain garden or the highway clean up, the projects on the docket for the club are ambitious and meet the strategic vision set for the club. They meet every Tuesday at 7 a.m. at the third floor of the fire hall and welcome guests. The decision to provide another Rotary option to the Owatonna community 12 years ago has proven a huge success. The programming has expanded and the number of people who can now participate in Rotary has grown. If you’re interested in participating with the Early Edition Rotary Club, contact John Thompson at

Early Edition Rotary Club members prepare for the annual corn feed. Held each year in August, the corn feed raises funds for the fireworks display, the downtown flower basket program and a third cause picked by the club each year. (Press file photo)

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Rotary honors long-time members for lifetime contributions Honorary Members recall highlights of club’s history By LOIS NELSON “Honorary Member” status is a special Owatonna Rotary Club recognition that has been given to five long-time members who have been Rotarians for 40 or more years: Bill Whiting, Dr. John Schoen, Pat Casey, Charlie Hermann and Bill Kottke. Bill Whiting is also a second generation Rotarian. His father, E. K. Whiting was one of the original charter members of the club. (E.K. was a leader in organizing and the club’s sponsorship of the Rochester Rotary Club in May 1925.) Bill has the distinction of enjoying the longest tenure in the club joining 71 Bill and Annette Whiting years ago. Bill recalls a neighbor and good friend of his dad’s, Dr. A. B. Stewart, reciting the Rotary charge without notes and always put forth the principles of Rotary in a positive manner. Bill was president of the club 1948-1949. Then, as it is today, Bill comments that what is inspiring about the club is the “…great leadership resulting in good meetings, community projects and international focus.” He and his wife, Annette, celebrated 70 years together on Dec. 27, 2011. Their daughter, Sabra Otteson, a third generation Rotarian, accompanied them to a meeting where everyone extended their congratulations. The club all felt Annette’s loss in April of this year. Dr. John Schoen is the club’s oldest member though Bill Whiting has just a few more months of tenure in Rotary than he does. Dr. John is also the club’s unofficial Dr. John Schoen historian recalling

the days when both he and Bill Whiting were a part of the Owatonna High School orchestra. Both went in different directions pursuing their college education and found themselves back in Owatonna involved in their own family businesses. Dr. John served as the club president during 19551956. Years ago, some of the community events sponsored by the club included: Dr. Joe Schaefer’s encouraging the X-raying of nearly every Steele County citizen for tuberculosis and finding eight or nine unexpected cases; during Mike Cashman’s presidency a city-wide education program of proper tree trimming was sponsored by the club so today we can appreciate the healthiness of so many trees throughout the city. Eyes for the Needy program had Rotarians collecting used eye glasses and the Owatonna Tool Co. covered the transportation costs to India. The opportunities to meet and hear from community leaders and to listen to programs pertaining to our community and civic life have always been an enjoyable part of belonging to Rotary. Dr. John shares: “The caliber of the members is exemplary with a total absence of obnoxious disputes, airing contrary political programs, etc.” Pat Casey now resides in Escondido, Calif., returning in the summer time to catch up with sister-in-law, Barbara Jacobson, and visit the club where he has been a member for more than 40 years. His wife, Sharon, and Barbara were the first female Rotarians in 1987. He recalls it was Dr. A.J. Pat Casey Olson who initiated the tradition of cutting off the tie of the incoming president — much to that person’s surprise. Pat served the club as President from 1958 to 1959. Pat appreciates the willingness of Rotarians to work for so many goals and their interest in the club. He admires the great wit, tremendous vocabulary, and dynamic speaking voice of Charlie Hermann — another Honorary Member. Charlie and his bride, Emily, of 60-plus years enjoy Florida a few months of the year, but when in Owatonna, Char-

lie is at the weekly meetings. The club always looks forward to Charlie’s latest humorous perspective on a host of topics. For many years, Charlie was the emcee for the annual National Honor Society student luncheon held in May sharing stories and experiences while encouraging the young Charlie Hermann people to further their education and expand their world. Bill Kottke was encouraged to join Rotary about 46 years ago by his father, Carl, who was a charter member of the local Lions Club. His connection to the Owatonna Rotary Club started in 1950, when Bill was recognized as a Junior Rotarian. (Today,

these students are the club’s Students of the Month.) This high school experience led to his joining the organization a number of years later. He served as club president in 19711972. Bill and his wife, Faye, are familiar faces at their jewelry store and at community events. They are often the source Bill Kottke for tickets for anything going on in the community and are true supporters of Owatonna. He appreciates that the club is a great group of male and female members with a wide variety of vocations. Today’s club may be more active than in earlier years with the STRIVE Run and students, Youth Exchange,

Congratulations to the Owatonna Rotary Club for celebrating 90 years! Also, congratulations to Todd Hale for his dedication to the Owatonna Rotary Club and to the community.

Aug. 14th–Aug. 19th, 2012

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Hats Off To Rotary 2012

Todd Hale being awarded Honorary Club Member status ‘Mr. Owatonna’ edits the local Rotary’s weekly newsletter, schedules its programs By LOIS NELSON

ter editor and consistently has provided members he Owatonna with club and community Rotary Club is events, birthdays, district recognizing Todd and international news and Hale during its anniversary when there is room, adds celebration for his years jokes and stories. These with the club and his comnewsletters are available at mitment to writing The each meeting and on line O-pinion, the club weekly at www.owatonnarotary. newsletter, and for securorg and certainly keep the ing the speakers for each members informed wherweek’s program. Todd has ever they may be traveling. been awarded Honorary About this same time, Club Member status. Todd assumed the responTodd joined the Owasibility of scheduling the tonna Rotary Club on July weekly programs. Prior to 1, 1976, the year of our that members were assigned country’s bicentennial. the programs for each week. He doesn’t recall that the Todd shared “It was not a club was working on any fail safe plan … Sometimes special projects relating members didn’t get a proto the bicentennial but Todd Hale pauses from his busy schedule for a photograph at the Steele gram or forgot.” With his the club’s music interest connections and knowledge County Free Fair offices. (Press file photo) did get his attention. The of interesting speakers and club, even back then, was topics, the club has enjoyed a singing club with pianist eagerly anticipated from national and is protected in July of 1988, Todd quality programs for all week to week as members’ throughout the world by the Hale, became the newslet- these years. Chuck Hoogland who had succeeded Arnold Krueger. transition from the day’s international association. Dr. A.J. Olson was also the history to something that is During the 1970s and in the song book. song leader. When a song early 1980s newsletter The O-pinion has roots didn’t go well, Todd recalls, editors included: John in the club’s early history. Dr. Olson would have a Case, Dave Von, Scott spare page in the song book The name was derived from Hanks, John Doyle, Steve Owatonna and pinion, deand pretend to rip it out, Rohlik, Al Struss, Jim fined as a gear with a small Hankes “with help from wad it up and throw it at the closest Rotarian. Today, number of teeth designed to Byron Casey,” Art Ruder, mesh with a larger wheel or Lud Gillespie, Jerry Boos, the club’s pianist is Kim Cosens and Dr. John Muel- rack. The pinion is related Steve Smith, Ralph Carlerleile is the song leader. to the Rotary International penter, Phil Whiteside, This tradition of singing gear emblem, a trademark Greg Olson, Stan Groff has been a long one and is owned by Rotary Interand Ted Ringhofer. Then,


Owatonna Rotary Club President Dave Effertz shares these additional thoughts: “Growing up in Owatonna everyone knew who Todd Hale was. He simply was and still is Mr. Owatonna. While a Rotarian, I got to know Todd personally. He truly is a great guy, wonderful personality with a wealth of knowledge. Talking with other Rotary Clubs, they envy the quality of our programs and complain how difficult it is to get speakers, let alone one of quality. Not ours, thanks to Todd! Our club is great because of people like Todd Hale and he embodies the principles of Rotary.” Congratulations, Todd, on this honorary member status and thank you for your many years of commitment from Owatonna Rotary!

Congratulations Rotary on 90 Years!

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Todd Hale: Club has ‘its community at heart’ and its members are local leaders I have always enjoyed my time at Rotary. I am honored to be a Rotarian. The Owatonna Club has always consisted of community leaders with whom I always enjoyed my association. I am especially proud of what our club does for youth in the community and I know that many remember their days spent as Students of the Month at the club for many years down the road after high school. Rotary also has its community at heart and our membership continues to reflect community leaders that make Owatonna one of a kind in the state.

Todd Hale

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Page 13

Vern White recognized for his contributions to the city Long-time Owatonna booster honored as a Paul Harris Fellow By JEFFREY JACKSON


hen Vern White stepped to the podium on Aug. 23, 2009, to accept the Paul Harris Fellowship awarded to him by the Owatonna Rotary Club, he apologized for the hat he was wearing. “Excuse the bonnet,” White said. To those who didn’t know White or the reason he was wearing the hat — though most seemed to know — he explained that eight months before he had been diagnosed with brain cancer, but after an aggressive treatment of both chemotherapy and radiation, plus an operation, he was, he said, getting better. “And I’m starting to grow hair,” he said. “I’m getting better each day.” It was the last time he would speak to the crowd about himself or his accomplishments personally, professionally or on behalf of the Owatonna community. Instead, in what can best be described as vintage Vern White style, he turned the focus back on the city itself. “It’s a unique community,” White said, “a community of people who want to give back of their talent, their time and their financial resources.” The Paul Harris Fellow recognition, was created in memory of Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, as a way to show appreciation for contributions to the Rotary Foundation’s charitable and educational program. The recognition identifies the recipient as an advocate of the Foundation’s goals of world peace and international understanding. Although typically the recognition goes to members of the Rotary Club, it can be awarded — as

“Vern is one of the most honest men I’ve ever met — in his personal life, in his professional life, and honesty in the time and energy he puts into the community. You don’t reach the positions of leadership that he has achieved without people trusting you.” — BETSY LINDGREN

it was to White, who was not a member of the Rotary Club — to any individual whose life and work reflects the foundation’s goal. In presenting the recognition to White, Betsy Lindgren of Express Employment Professionals, noted White’s “lifetime commitment, not only to his wife and family, but our community,” adding that that commitment “follows the spirit of Rotary’s motto, ‘Service Above Self.’” Lindgren also noted that White exemplified the Rotary Four-Way Test: “Is it the Truth? Is it fair? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned.” “Vern is one of the most honest men I’ve ever met — in his personal life, in his professionnal life, and honesty in the time and energy he puts into the community,” she said. “You don’t reach the positions of leadership that he has achieved without people trusting you.” White, who was born in Owatonna in 1937, worked for Boeing in Philadelphia, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace in St. Louis and Rosemount Engineering in Los Angeles before returning to Owatonna to become senior vice president of marketing and sales for Wenger

Corporation — the position from which he retired. In his adult years in Owatonna, he served as president of the Owatonna Jaycees, during which time the club was recognized as one of the top chapters in the nation, and was active in the development of Jaycee Park. He also was elected president of the Minnesota Jaycees and served in 1971 on the U.S. Jaycees Board of Directors. He was co-founder and president of the Owatonna Business Incubator, former president of the Owatonna Arts Center, a board member of the Homestead Hospice in Owatonna, and a trustee and executive member of the Owatonna Foundation. He also was active in fund-raising on Betsy Lindgren, right, presents the Paul Harris Fellow certificate to Vern numerous projects, includ- White on Aug. 23, 2009. (Press file photo) ing the aquatic center. In 2004, White cochaired the Owatonna sesquicentennial celebration, during which time the group raised $500,000 in private funds to support the project, including the building of the community band  Computer Training  Flexible Staffing shell in Owatonna’s Central  Contract Staffing  Direct Hire Park. He also penned a 150th anniversary book  Payroll  Extensive Benefits about Owatonna, one of four books he wrote. Our Mission “To those of you who are lucky enough to call To help as many people as possible find good jobs by him friend,” Lindgren said, helping as many clients as possible find good people. “you know his persona is all about building goodwill and friendship.” But even after the noon luncheon at the Owatonna Country Club had concluded, White shifted the focus away from himself and back on both the Rotary Club and his hometown. “This is a group with good ideals,” White said. “To be nominated or even considered for (a Paul Harris Fellowship) is very much appreciated. I have a great admiration for this community and its citizens.” White died on Oct. 9, 2010. He was 73.

Experience the difference.

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Hats Off To Rotary 2012

Owatonna Rotary Club’s service projects:

Rotar y provides students with adventures of a lifetime Outbound/Inbound Rotary Student Exchange Program By JEN DUNN-FOSTER


armon Squires (OHS ’11) and Christian Russell (OHS ’11) are nearing the end of their adventures of a lifetime, returning home from India and Brazil in May. Harmon has been residing in Pune, a city that has existed since 937 AD and is the eighth largest city in India. Harmon has learned to play the dhol (a kind of drum), and has enjoyed a more relaxed schooling atmosphere, where cutting class is the norm. Harmon, of course, is teased for insisting to go to class daily. Harmon has adusted to taking a rickshaw

to school and to seeing elephants and cows in the street. He thought he’d learn to speak Hindi, but is actually learning Marathi. He’s had the opportunity to travel throughout India, not just to the well-known places, but also to the beach and northern India. Christian has been residing in the other up-and-coming nation of Brazil, living in Dourados, close to the border of Paraguay, and a small city of about 200,000. Christian was fortunate to have an English teacher as his first host mother, which really sped up his ability to speak Portugese. His second host family took him to the beach for Christmas, and he spent Carnivale in Rio with friends. Christian is happy in this land of coffee, but still misses Starbucks back here. Christian has made many friends, including other exchange students in his city, and has been so busy that he hasn’t blogged since he left the USA.

Harmon Squires

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Johan Frandsen (Odense, Denmark) and Carla de Oliviera Silva (Recife, Brazil) are the Inbound exchange students for this year. Johan has gotten into the “swing” of things quickly, making friends with the high school golf coach with his experience playing on the Danish junior national golf team. He has learned to be a big brother, and has enjoyed a lot of travel with his host families so far — Californa, Arizona and Florida, which have made our golfless winters seem more bearable to him. He escorted the homecoming queen to the dance, and has seen the Vikings play, and gone fishing. His biggest discovery was Dairy Queen, where he learned that a daily blizzard did have an effect on his waistline.

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Carla has Zumba’d her way through the supposedly warm winter, and was even seen at (American) football games this fall, bundled in her winter coat. She enjoyed her first snowfall ever in November. She’s done extraordinarily well considering her city is a well-known beach destination. She has learned to scrapbook with her first host mother, shivered through hockey with her second, and is shopping up a storm with her third — prom is a wonderful memory, after all. She’s looking forward to the Rotary student East Coast Trip, to see Chicago, New York, Washington and DisneyWorld. This summer, Quentin Smith will begin his adventure in Indonesia, and Mick Ditlevson will have a friend already waiting for him in Denmark.

Carla de Oliviera Silva

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Hats Off To Rotary 2012

Starting with the local Rotar y, a good thing happened Owatonna Rotary Club helps build a playground for sister city in Costa Rica By LONNA LYSNE

also assist with the completion of the project and a presentation given to the World aving joined the world’s largest Community Service Committee in St. Paul service organization with 1.2 to receive approval to get matching funds million members in 1998 I was from the Rotary District 5960 and addieager to learn through my Owatonna Rotional funds from Rotary International. tary Club what it was all about and what it Upon successfully completing all the recould do. quired tasks to secure the money and build With projects being completed within the playground, which was a 3-year projthe community the new club President, ect, a beautiful playground was dedicated Diane Nesvig challenged me to complete to Barrio Los Angeles on Feb. 1, 2003. an international project with our FriendWith this playground built adjacent to an ship Sister City; Liberia, Costa Rica. elementary school as well as the center of Having hosted guests from Liberia when one of the city associations it was used and they came to visit us in Owatonna I obappreciated by many. served that they were in awe of our many It became far more popular than the school playgrounds and wished for such citizens of Liberia had ever imagined so in their city. So it made sense that I find a all the efforts involved to make a dream way to get a playground built in Liberia. become a reality was most appreciated and Thus, the matching grant writing began very rewarding to make happen. in 2000 with Rotary International with Hats off to Owatonna Rotary for making “seed” money of $1,000 being collected a difference in the name of friendship and from Owatonna Rotary, an agreement good will with Sister City, Liberia, Costa reached with the Rotary Club of Liberia to Rica.


Why I am a Rotarian

Lonna Lysne attends the dedication ceremonies for a playground in Liberia, Costa Rica, Owatonna’s sister city. The playground was made possible in part through the efforts of the Owatonna Rotary Club.

Lonna Lysne: Make a difference so our tomorrows can be better “Lead the Way,” “Make Dreams Real,” The Future of Rotary is in your Hands,” “Building Communities-Bridging Continents,” and “Reach within to Embrace Humanity” are some of the Rotary International Annual Themes I have lived with as a member of Owatonna Rotary Club. It is the challenge of every Rotary International President to provide words to “live by” during his/her yearly term and I find these themes to be relevant and truisms for the changing world we live in and guidance for we Rotarians to make a difference in our communities and world so that our “tomorrows” can be better. Our Rotarian efforts individually and collectively can create changes for the positive! I am proud to be a Rotarian! Lonna Lysne District 5960 Rotary Friendship Exchange Chair 2008-2012

District governors The Owatonna Rotary Club has had two district governors. Mendus Vevle served during the 1940s in District 595 which included clubs in southern Minnesota and along the western Wisconsin border. Due to continued organization of new clubs, District 5960 was organized in 1982-1983 and included clubs south of the Minnesota River and the western Wisconsin region. Frequent club visitor, Dr. Ed Frederick, from Waseca was the new district’s district governor. Dianne Nesvig, Owatonna Rotarian, served as District Governor in 20062007. At that time, the district consisted of 65 clubs.

Congratulations to the Owatonna Rotary Club for 90 Years of Service to the Owatonna Community. 135 W Pearl St | Owatonna | MN | 507.451-2840

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Page 17

Rotary reaches out to high school students STRIVE program matches youth with adults for mentoring, coaching By DAVE OLSON

club to club. The Owatonna STRIVE program began STRIVE is an acronym in 2004 as a collaboration that stands for, “Students between the Owatonna Taking Renewed Interest Rotary Club, the Owatonna in the Value of Education.” Early Edition Rotary Club, Through the STRIVE pro- the Owatonna High School gram Rotarians work with and the Steele County Free local high schools to iden- Fair. Each year the local tify and mentor “at risk” clubs sponsor a 4 mile race students for the purpose of is held during the Steele motivating them to improve County Free Fair. The their school performance race has grown from 130 during their senior year. runners in 2004 to nearly Rotarian Don Mooney 350 runners in 2011. The developed the first STRIVE proceeds from the race are program in White Bear used to fund scholarships Lake, Minn., in 1993. Don for the STRIVE program. was driven by the desire to Each year, the Owatonna do something to assist in High School advisors and the development of the high administrators identify and school youth in his commu- recruit an average of 15 stunity and he saw the program dents who may need a little as a way to share with the extra direction and advice students what he had learned as they plan for the future, through his own successes whether it be right into the and failures as a student and workforce, enlisting in the as a businessman. military, or heading off to Many Rotary clubs now a two-year or four-year have STRIVE programs, college. Once enrolled in which vary somewhat from the STRIVE program, the

students are encouraged to reach their potential by improving their attendance, attitude, grades and participation. Over the past 8 years more than 100 students have participated in the program. Rotarians from both local Rotary clubs volunteer their time to encourage and work with students on a one-to-one basis, providing mentoring and coaching as it may be needed. These Rotarians bring a wealth of real-world experience, as well as simply being another adult role model. Meetings run from September to April — one per month. Each of the sessions will have an informational or motivational presentation by a community leader along the theme of “Dream, Believe, Achieve.” Following the presentation the mentor and student pairs have time to discuss their individual experiences and

provide support, encouragement and guidance or even just a listening ear. In April of each year the STRIVE students and mentors are recognized at a banquet. The students that have made meaningful improvements in attendance, academics, and attitude become eligible for $500 STRIVE scholarships, which are funded by an annual 4-mile fun run co-sponsored by the Steele County Free Fair. The number of scholarships available depends on the net proceeds from the most recent STRIVE run. In 2010/2011 STRIVE year we awarded four $500 scholarships. Each year there are several success stories and the program has received positive feedback from both mentors and students.

Runners participate in the STRIVE run. The annual 4-mile race, which was inaugurated in 2004, is held in conjunction with the Steele County Free Fair and has grown from 130 runners in that first year to nearly 350 runners in 2011. Funds from the run benefit the STRIVE scholarship program. (Press file photo)

Congratulations Rotary on your 90 years of service!

Students of the Month

A long-time part of Owatonna Rotary Club Owatonna High School students have been attending Rotary lunches almost from the first days of the club. The members have a genuine interest in what young people are doing in school and how they are preparing for their futures. The students enjoy meeting many community leaders whose names they recognize as connected to employers or organizations in the area. Bill Kottke was one of these students in 1950, and in a letter following his visit to the club, he wrote: “I never really knew what Rotary was other than an organization. I was quite impressed with your selection of programs. I want to thank you for inviting me as your December guest.” Today’s seniors feel very similar. The students are selected in May of each year by faculty and counselors at the high school and assigned a particular month for attending the weekly club meeting. Academics, extra curricular activities, involvement in the community and employment all weigh in the selection of the students. For many years, two students were recognized monthly. In 2011 the club invited four students to attend each weekly meeting during the month with a new group of students coming each month

— September through April. Rotarians also volunteer to pick up the young people at the high school and drive them to the meeting site. This is another opportunity for both the club member and the students to share experiences, stories and network. This past year, these students have been recognized as Rotary Students of the Month: September: Tess Starman, Emily Moothart, Laura Meyer, and Zach Miller October: Rebecca Farrier, Quentin Smith, Megan Grubish and Lindsey Price November: Lauren Numedahl, Claire Konold, Lauren Hoen and Anna Christensen December: Jeff Dufrene, David Kraus, Leah Filzen and Anna Leuning January: Alec Anderson, Rachel Wiebke, Jacob Forster and Connor Cordell February: Emily Kasper, Anna Bastyr, Savannah Wunderlich and Ty Haley March: Alyssa Holcomb, Kayla Docken, Audrey Sexter and Brianne Bernard April: Larissa Voss, Sydney Jourdan, Mariah Howe and Allison VanPutten. Rotarians congratulate each of these seniors on their high school careers and their futures.


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Hats Off To Rotary 2012

Youth learn about free enterprise, leadership at camps Owatonna Rotary Club sponsors youth for Camp Enterprise and Camp RYLA By KIM WESTPHAL The Rotary Club of Owatonna has sponsored high school students to attend youth enrichment camps since 2005. Representatives from the club work with the Owatonna High School counselors to select students to attend two camps each year. Students interested in attending the camps gain valuable interviewing experience as they meet with a panel of Rotarians as part of the selection process. A minimum of two students are selected to represent the Owatonna noon and morning Rotary clubs at the camps. In the fall, Camp Enterprise is provided as an opportunity for high school students to immerse themselves for three days in understanding the free enterprise system. Presentations are made by business executives and entrepreneurs who share their experiences and answer questions on a variety of fields and interests. Each participant has a chance at a $5,000 scholarship. Camp Enterprise is held at YMCA Camp Ihduhapi in Loretto, Minn., and is attended by about 100 students from more than 60 high schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In 2012 Rebecca Farrier and Robert Deetz from Owatonna High School attended Camp Enterprise. Each spring students are provided with the opportunity to attend Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards). One of the goals of Rotary is to help young people develop their leadership abilities

LEFT: Youth from Minnesota and Wisconsin celebrate their experience at Rotary’s Camp Enterprise, a threeday event that allows the youth an opportunity to learn more about the free enterprise system. A minimum of two students are selected each year to represent Owatonna at the camp.


p g s

k a t f O i BELOW: Jamie Keifer, E second from the left, and w her father are greeted by o Owatonna Rotary Club president Dave Effertz b and Kim Westpahl. Jamie N attended Camp RYLA, a five- a day camp which strengthens p leadership skills and R capabilities of high school v students, in April. o (Submitted photos) o and self-confidence to the fullest. To accomplish that goal, Rotary clubs around the world prepare thousands of young leaders through RYLA programs each year. Camp RYLA is a five-day camp which strengthens leadership skills and capabilities of high school students through physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual challenges. There is an emphasis on problem solving, teamwork, and interaction with other outstanding students and volunteer counselors and presenters. The conference is held at YMCA Camp St. Croix near Hudson Wis., and is attended by about 100 high school students from southern Minnesota and

western Wisconsin. Jamie Kiefer and Sara Jones of Owatonna High School attended Camp RYLA this April. After attending one of these camps, the students and their parents are welcomed at one of the Rotary Club’s weekly meetings to learn more about Rotary, and the student provides a presentation to the Club regarding their camp experience. The students always have great things to say about the experience, what they learned, and the people they met at camp. One student said the camp was the highlight of her high school career. She actually went back to the camp the following year as a camp youth counselor.

Happy 90th Anniversary to the Owatonna Rotary Club “I am Proud to be a Rotarian for 46 Years”

Bill Kottke

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Congratulations to the Owatonna Rotary for 90 Outstanding Years! 1301 South Oak Avenue Owatonna, MN 55060 507.455.2338

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Page 19

Friendship Exchange program builds world friendships Rotary seeks ‘to advance international understanding and peace through visits across borders By LONNA LYSNE District 5960 RFE Chair

styles and activities of their communities. Our district has created What is the best way to reciprocal exchanges with promote understanding, Sweden/Denmark, Ausgood will, peace and friend- tralia, Brazil, The Philipships? pines, Taiwan, and South One of the best ways I Africa. Coming up the end know is to live with people of May a RFE team of 10 is and do what they do in traveling to Turkey for 12 their communities, their days with their RFE team families and their country. coming to Minnesota/WisOne such Rotary program consin July 5 to 15. Four is The Rotary Friendship of the team members going Exchange program (RFE), to Turkey are from Owawhich was introduced to tonna Rotary: Besty Rossi, our District 5960 in 2006 Steve and Rikki Olsen and by Past District Governor me. During the Turkish Newell Krogmann. This is visit to District 5960, the an international exchange Owatonna Rotary Club will program for Rotarians and host members of the RFE Rotary couples that proTeam for 3 to 4 days. I have vides participants with the served as chair for this proopportunity to experience gram since 2008 and what other cultures by staying an honor it has been. in the homes of Rotarians, The resulting benefits visiting their clubs, and from this program are many. participating in the lifeMeeting active Rotarians

“making a difference” in each of their respective districts with a “Service above Self’ mindset inspires me to alter my ways when back home which leads me to greater empathy for people in other lands with a much greater understanding of their respective challenges and customs having lived with them. I feel enriched and connected both abroad and locally and find my life lives larger, richer, broader and wiser from the many lessons learned after a RFE exchange. I do believe that the Rotary Friendship Exchange program does make a difference in the people’s lives that join it. It is a wonderful catalyst for creating world peace through the advancement of international under- Guests from District 2390 Sweden and Owatonna Rotarians enjoy an informal standing, goodwill and evening. (Submitted photo) friendships.

Congratulations Owatonna Rotary on 90 Years

Congratulations on 90 years of service!

Barbara Jacobson Rotary Member Since 1987

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Park has it ‘made in the shade’ thanks to contribution Owatonna Rotary Club provides funds for canvas cover at local skate park By BETSY LINDGREN A bike and skateboard park that was the “master plan” of two teens — Brian Roecker and Brent Grunklee, who voiced their desire for such a venue — became a reality in the summer of 2004. Brian Roecker, president of the skate park board, said that the idea for the project started after the dirt track near Cashman Park on 26th Street that he and other BMX bikers used was leveled by the city. “One day while we were at school, the city came through, and when we came back, it was all flat,” said Roecker. Creating a park that was more than just a place for bikers was important to Roecker, however, as he “wanted to get something so everyone could like it, not just us bikers,” he said. Meetings with the city followed and then donors and the companies who made the ramps stepped in as well. The park’s heaviest use would be in the peak summer months, and the need for shade so that the participants could get out of the hot sun became obvious. Identifying the need and the lack of funds in the project budget was brought to the attention of then Owatonna Rotary Club President Gregg Draeger. In March

Members of the Owatonna Rotary Club attend the dedication of the Owatonna Skate Park on July 22, 2004. In attendance were, from left to right, Otto Nelson, Glen Meger, Betsy Lindgren, Tom Kuntz, Connie Ruth, Mike Jensen and Diane Nesvig. (Submitted photo)

of 2004, a committee was formed under the World Community area of service. Chair Diane Nesvig appointed Otto Nelson to the task of applying for a grant through the Rotary District Simplified Grants program (DSG) to supply the project with a 10-foot-by-10-footby-8-foot canvas cover that carried a cost of $4,158.83. District 5960 approved and provided a grant for $1,142 toward the project. Gregg Draeger and Tom Kuntz received the board

approval for the balance of the funds necessary for the project and a check was written to the Owatonna Parks and Recreation for $4,158.83. Both Grunklee and Roecker appreciated everyone’s efforts in making this project a reality. “It means a lot,” said Grunklee, who goes to the park every day. “It was a lot of hard work, and I’m glad to see it finally come together.” The Owatonna Skate Park celebrated its dedication


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ceremony Thursday, July 22, 2004. The park is more than 40,000 square feet and one of the larger skate parks in the state. Besides the BMX track, made of clay and dirt mounds, the skate park also includes an asphalt pad, grinds, boxes and fabricated street pieces such as stairs and rails. The total cost of the project was $173,000, which was covered mostly by the donations with the city providing in-kind services to help build the park.

A stunt cyclist provides an exhibition during dedication ceremonies at the Owatonna Skate Park on July 22, 2004. A canvas covering that provides shade for those at the park may be seen in the background. The covering was purchased through funds given to the city by the Owatonna Rotary Club. The cost of the covering was $4,158.83. (Press file photo)

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Page 21

Rotar y helps assure availability of clean drinking water Local club raises funds to install seven wells in remote parts of Tanzania By MIKE JENSEN Clean drinking water is something that many of us take for granted. We turn on the faucet and the clean water comes out of the tap for us to drink. This is not the case in other parts of the world. The Owatonna Rotary club learned about the struggles in Tanzania from a guest speaker — Mark Jensen, uncle to Owatonna Rotarian Mike Jensen. Mark Jensen was the director of Tumani University Institute for Agriculture in Tanzania Africa. This organization operates much like an Extension Office at the University of Minnesota. They have demonstration plots around the country of Tanzania teaching sustainable agriculture. Their goal is help the citizens of Tanzania get to a 120 percent-plus level of production — whereby they will be able to not only feed their families, but market their product as well. They work with what is available — no outside equipment; seeds, etc. are brought in. They just work with best farming practices for the environment that they are in. They have had some great success with this program — there has been a noticeable change. The Owatonna Rotary club learned of the difficult situation at one of the remote demonstration plots in Mpanga Tanzania. The citizens of that region had to travel quite a distance for water. Unfortunately the water that they got from the Mpanga River was contaminated. The other thing that the club learned was that the Mpanga

then identify the site location, they would conduct training on sustainability of community water programs – we want the wells to continue to provide clean water for years to come. In this first phase we worked with the village leaders to help them build capacity by sharing the importance of establishing a village water bank account system which will be used for repairing and maintenance going forward. Phase two is the actual drilling process. Phase three includes the installation, water test and bore yield measurements. The final phase four is the process of handing the well over to the village water committee. This includes the capacity building, water hygiene and sanitation for health education. Each of these phases was completed for all seven wells that the Owatonna Rotary Club helped to install. The Owatonna Rotary Club is pleased to say that after the accomplishment of this project The Owatonna Rotary Club raised more than $7,000 and helped secure additional funding in the best way possible it will through the International Rotary Foundation to help build wells in Tanzania. (Submitted photo) help to assure availability of safe and clean drinking water for the River had crocodiles. Mark Jensen club” for the project as well as St. $7,000 to go toward this project. Mpanga people of Tanzania. shared about one bend in the river Paul Partners “Gift of Water–Gift The club was also able to secure In the end the availability where they have bamboo shoots in of Life” to help install the wells. some International Rotary Foun- of adequate water supply that the river a little way out. This was Bryce Wahl, Owatonna Rotarian, dation Matching dollars raising is of good quality will help to to help the children secure water played an instrumental role in the impact to more than $20,000 reduce the time spent fetching without being attacked by waiting this project, helping to keep the when it was all said and done. In water, increase health standards, crocodiles. channels of communication open the end we were able to install ensure favorable environment This news was more than the with each of our partners on the seven wells in this remote part of for increased children’s school Owatonna Rotary Club could project as well as Rotary Interna- Tanzania. attendance and safeguard against take. Something had to be done. tional. Each well involved a four the problem of being attacked by The Owatonna Club sought The easy part of the project was phase process. crocodiles while getting water. out the help of a few partners in to raise the funds. The Owatonna Phase one: Meet with the vilThe Owatonna Rotary Club was this project — the Rotary Club Rotary Club was more than gen- lage leaders and water village so pleased to play a small part in of Iringa Tanzania to be the “host erous helping to raise in excess of committees. This group would this overall project.

Congratulations Owatonna Rotary Club for 90 years of service to the community. T A N N I N G 507.214.3071

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Rotar y International’s 25-year battle to combat polio Organization raises more than $202 million to meet Gates Foundation challenge By LONNA LYSNE Nowhere is Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” more evident than its 25 year battle to eradicate polio from the planet. Since 1988, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99 percent, from about 350,000 cases annually to fewer than 650 cases reported in 2011. The wild polio virus is now endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan PolioPlus, the most ambitious program in Rotary’s history, is the volunteer arm of the global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio. In 1988, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention joined Rotary as spearheading partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. More recently, the Gates Foundation has become a major supporter. In 2007, the Gates Foundation gave Rotary a $100 million challenge grant for

polio eradication, increasing it to $355 million in 2009. Rotary agreed to raise $200 million in matching funds by June, 30 2012. It has been announced that Rotary International has succeeded in meeting the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s $200 million match in funding for Polio eradications, raising more than $202.6 million as of Jan. 17, 2012. Rotary has led the world to eradicate po-

lio and as a Rotarian — I, Lonna Lysne could not be prouder of such an accomplishment. Having grown up with my sister, Linda Christianson, being a polio victim, our family and especially Linda are grateful such an organization like Rotary

accepted the challenge to cease the risk for polio cases around the world. The polio vaccine was created and needed to find a means to be delivered to children around the world and Rotary found multiple ways to end Polio now. HATS OFF TO ROTARY and Thank You!

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John Muellerleile: More than a local ser vice club, it’s a world-wide network I joined Rotary in 1995 at the invitation of a friend. I expected weekly meetings that would provide fellowship and interesting programs …and I was not disappointed. But I soon found that Rotary was so much more than a local service club. Rotary International is a worldwide network of local Rotary clubs with the common purpose of promoting “Service above self.” There are many avenues of service in Rotary. Some are local, some regional or statewide and some are worldwide. Through the joint immunization efforts by Rotary clubs throughout the world, polio has nearly been eradicated. Currently, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only countries in the world with new cases of polio in the last year. So whether the men and women of Rotary clubs are enjoying their weekly meal, mentoring students in local schools, providing dictionaries to all area third grade students, building a school in Central America, or helping dig a well in Africa, Rotary strives to make life better through service. Knowing that I am part of an organization that continues to make a difference in the world is very gratifying and I invite you check us out by contacting any Rotarian. John Muellerleile, President Elect Owatonna Rotary Club

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Owatonna Rotar y goes ‘green’ with WELCOME hedge Club also works with Steele County Historical Society to preserve county’s history By LOIS NELSON and OTTO NELSON

Through the generous contributions from local Rotarians, members Rotary International as an organizaof the Steele County Historical Society tion celebrated its Centennial Year in and numerous local citizens, a com2005. That year, puter, scanner, printer, clubs around the camera, software, world were encournetwork upgrades and aged to identify a archiving materials special project to were purchased. The commemorate this collection has been milestone. Owautilized by all kinds of tonna Rotary’s researchers-historians, centennial project genealogists and other was to initiate a family researchers collaboration with and students doing the Steele County projects. Historical Society in This collaboration preserving, restorhas grown over the ing, identifying, and years with Rotarmaking accessible ians volunteering to the society’s large work the food stand and unique collecduring SCHS antion of historical nual Extravaganza in photographs. mid-July. For the past Rotarian Otto Nelthree years, grilling son challenged the equipment and accesclub with the undertaking of funding and sories have been borrowed from SCHS worked with SCHS in recovering nearly for the Rotarian Food Stand at the Harry 150 years of photographs. Wenger Marching Band Festival in June.

In July of 1992, the “WELCOME” hedge was planted at the intersection of Interstate 35 southbound exit at Highway 14 West. The hedge project started when Tom Effertz was president of the club in 1990 and the club wanted to do a “green” project for Owatonna. This project finally became a reality when Sharon West was president in 1992. The city planted up to 150 individual shrubs and the message is approximately 25 by 100 feet. The Owatonna Noon Rotary Club funded the “WELCOME” living billboard and the Owatonna Park and Recreation Department maintains the shrubs. (Photo by Stacie Rions/People’s Press)

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Hats Off to the Owatonna Rotary On 90 Years! ES (Gandy) Gandrud was Rotary President 1962-63 and a member from 1950’s to 1988. Dale E. Gandrud was President 1981-82 and has been a member since 1974.

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