This Week at Rotary
We Meet at Noon
(Link Sent Wednesday Morning)
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Mike Sundberg
President – Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth
68th Annual Thanksgiving Joint Meeting
The Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth
Some traditions continue even in the face of a global pandemic. Our two clubs meet jointly twice a year at Thanksgiving and at Easter.  This week we join Kiwanis at their meeting on Wednesday to hear Will Steger speak about his life journey.
Will Steger
Polar Explorer, Writer, and Photographer
Will Steger is a formidable voice calling for understanding and the preservation of the Arctic. Best known for his legendary polar exploration, Steger has traveled tens of thousands of miles by kayak and dogsled, leading teams on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history.
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Darlene Anderson
As Rotarians joined via Zoom they greeted one another and participated in ongoing conversation and fellowship. Barb Perrella shared that the Rose Sale numbers are still being crunched but approximately $40,000 has been raised.  Calling the meeting to order, President Dean Casperson welcomed Rotarians and guests asking all to join him in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Rotary Four-Way Test. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the city of Duluth and Past-President Dan Bergeland reflected how he is always thankful as he travels over the crest of Thompson Hill and sees the city of Duluth and Lake Superior. He also gives thanks for the benefactors who gave us this beautiful city and realizes it is now our duty to care for it.
One of today's guests was Eric Swiggum, Youth Development Manager at The Hills. Jenny Peterson virtually awarded a $500 check to The Hills. Eric shared that the funds will be used this winter for a cross country skiing program for the youth. This is an activity that most have never experienced. He thanked Rotary Club 25, for helping to make the program possible.
Coming in December (Wednesday the 9th and 16th) is Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army. Chief Ringer Jerry Pelofske announced that the location has changed from the Skywalk to the 5 Super One store locations in Duluth. There will be two shifts on each Wednesday: one from 10:00-Noon and another from Noon-2:00. Please let Jerry know which day, shift and store you are able to “Ring the Bell”.
Without further ado and needing little introduction President Dean Casperson turned the meeting over to Tony Dierckins, author and publisher of 12 books including the most recently published “Duluth: An Urban Biography”. Tony focused on the years 1856-1870 or stated another way: “From a Pile of Rocks to a City”. It was in 1856 that what had been an area of Indian settlements at the head of Lake Superior became the center of a land grab for copper.  Copper had been discovered in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and many thought copper would be found at the Head of the Lakes and so 12 communities or North Shore “copper towns” were plated in 1856. But no copper was found. Then came the Panic of 1857 followed by the Civil War and the population of the area declined from 1,560 to just 14 remaining families. It wasn't until 1867 when financier Jay Cooke took an interest in the area looking to build the LS&M railroad that things began to improve.   Cooke chose Duluth as the terminus for his railway and in 1869 his agents arrived in Duluth not with a magic wand but rather fistfuls of cash. And other capitalists and entrepreneurs, known as “The 69ers”, arrived and began building the infrastructure of the city. It was May 4, 1869 that the newly arrived immigrant work force began the construction of the LS&M railroad. And then on March 6, 1870 the City of Duluth was chartered and “The Pile of Rocks became a City.” To learn more of the history of the “Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas” you can order a signed copy of Tony's latest book at Thank you, Tony, for another great and enjoyable presentation.
Foundation Giving Report
By Jerry Ostroski
Donations by individuals to the Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation so far this year have ranged from $20 to $2,140.  Through October the Westmoreland Endowment Fund has received $6,870 from Club Members and an additional $5,640 from Friends of Rotary.  Total contributions, year to date, including the Westmoreland Community Fund (Rose Sale, Child Mental Health, Food Drive) exceed $35,000.  Any amount donated to any of the Foundation’s funds is appreciated.  Your continued financial support, and those from the Friends of Rotary, allow your Foundation to support the community projects of your Club.  For those of you who are sustainers, thank you.  For those who have made a gift, thank you.  As we approach year end, please consider including the Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation in your giving plan.