This week at Rotary
Thursday, May 16, 2024
For Those Attending in Person
Lunch Buffet
11:30 AM START
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
Tomassoni Tour – Cycle for ALS
Potter (Scott) Neustel and Travis Klingeisen
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Learn more about the 2nd Annual Tomassoni Tour – Cycle for ALS, that will be hosted on the Mesabi Trail on September 19-21, 2024.  The tour raises money and awareness of ALS in honor of the late State Senator David Tomassoni who passed away from this disease in 2022.  Harbortown Rotarian Potter Neustel and Club #25 Rotarian Travis Klingeisen will be the presenters.
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Renee Burns
A full room of Rotarians and guests gathered at the Holiday Inn for the weekly meeting and President Gary Melander rang the bell, which it was noted, sounded a bit dull this week, and began the meeting with a warm Rotary welcome.  Past President Branden Robinson gave his usual well-prepared and insightful Reflection.  The Reflection noted the similarities between Chambers of Commerce and Rotary Clubs.  Each was founded by a diverse group of businessmen and each focus on serving their communities in immeasurable ways.  The first Chamber was formed in 1768 in New York and Rotary International was formed by Paul Harris in Chicago in 1905.  Both have made significant differences in the world and their communities as they led the way to promote pathways of commerce, promote health and peace and facilitate communications and global respect.
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Past President Branden Robinson gives an insightful Reflection
President Gary Melander introduced our guests, his mother Hariet Besser, who by the way is quite proud of her son as she shared with those of us at the table, and Mary Boyle from East High School.
President Gary Melander’s mother Hariet Besser was his guest
The Golden Can was quite full with the day’s self-reporting.  Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen is just back from a wonderful trip to learn about his Finish roots and claims the timing had nothing to do with trying to get away from chairing the Auction!  Past President Barb Perrella practically skipped to the podium with her donation to announce today is her LAST DAY of work and on to retirement!  Paul Helstrom announced that Allete going private means even more green investment in the future and Jay Ott kicked the can as the publisher of the Chamber publications, the well-read Duluthian and Chamber Express.  Justin Reid had the happy announcement that his son, who will soon graduate from High School is enlisting in the 148th.
Past President Barb Perrella celebrating her last day of work!
Jena Evans re-introduced Mary Boyle, our East High School Junior Rotarian from November.  Mary read us her excellent Four Way Test essay linking artificial intelligence to the Four Way test.  The essay won Mary $250 that she can use toward college when she goes to the University of Minnesota in the fall.
Mary Boyle reading her excellent Four Way Test essay
Chair of the Day, Renee Burns introduced our speakers (and kicked the Golden Can for her involvement with both organizations) Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Baumgartner and Daniel Fanning, Chamber Vice President of Strategy and Policy and Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation Executive Director.
Matt Baumgartner started by describing the work plan adopted by the Chamber for 2024 as Putting the Action into the Action Plan.  Chamber strategies include Business Conditions, Economic Development and Community Progress and to further the sub-strategies in these categories the Chamber will either lead, collaborate or support the activities.  This plan is reflective of the organizational changes since the transition of leadership at the Chamber in recent years.  Other changes include a reboot of the Military Affairs Committee (MAC), an advocate for the 148th, which cannot lobby for its own improvements and equipment.  The MAC has had recent success securing a $3 million dollar legislative request for planning dollars to build new hangers for the 148th fighter wing, hangers which date to the 1940s.  Matt noted that if we have the best place to raise children then we have the necessary services; childcare, infrastructure, economic growth and education, it all follows.
Daniel Fanning spoke about the Chamber doing much more work in the policy and advocacy realm, areas that have been much requested by members, and they are seeing the results of this effort.  Legislative priorities for Duluth that the Chamber advocated for have been funded, as well as gaining results in policy areas that have spurred downtown development.  Some of this legislative work has included advocating for the Lot D development, a new airport control tower to replace what is one of the oldest in the country(!) and building bipartisan relationships.
The newly established Duluth Chamber Foundation has already seen success with a grant from WBD that will provide workforce development grants to help remove barriers from getting more education, specialized training and building new small businesses. 
The Chamber still performs the activities associated with a Chamber, ribbon cuttings, celebrating business milestones, education and leadership, but the work scope now is much broader and gaining results across a broader range of activities.
Daniel Fanning and Matt Baumgartner educating Rotarians about the expanded mission and scope of the Chamber.
Renee Burns, Chair of the Day, Daniel Fanning, President Gary Melander and Matt Baumgartner
And now, the Rest of the Story...
Congratulations Alen Anway! 
At the end of his presentation on the solar eclipse, Alen Anway announced he is engaged to be married!
Allen Anway left many of us wanting to know more about his exciting announcement at last week’s meeting.  So this Gimlet reporter followed up and has more to relate.
Allen’s romantic eclipse proposal was made to Judy Sage, whom he has known for more than 50 years.  Judy’s husband Lloyd and Allen were classmates at Cloquet and carpooled to UMD together after graduation.  Lloyd and Judy married and moved to Texas, Allen and Dorothy were married about the same time and sadly Dorothy passed away five years ago.  In August 2023 Lloyd died and Judy informed Allen of his passing.  Over the past year they have corresponded, which led to the subsequent proposal and their anticipated marriage sometime this summer, date yet to be set!  Allen tells me that this outcome is similar to that of his mother and her remarriage after the death of Allen’s father.  Two couples married by Walter Mondale’s father who was a Methodist minister, some years later opposite partner’s died, and a year of correspondence led to marriage! 
Club Information

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:00 p.m.
Holiday Center Great Lakes Ballroom
200 W. 1st Street
Duluth, MN 55802
United States of America
Rotary Club of Duluth
Location: 207 W. Superior St.
                  Suite 201
                  Duluth, MN 55802
Office Hours: By appointment                                 only
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