This Week at Rotary
 
We meet at Noon on Thursday
June 24, 2021
HOLIDAY CENTER BALLROOM
(Also Via Zoom)
Plated Meal Served
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
 
President (2020-21) Dean Casperson - President (2021-22) Chana Stocke
 
Changing of the Guard
This event is an annual Club celebration rich in history and sometimes drama.  There was some talk of a dunk tank being brought to the Lyric level.  Just a rumor.  Be present to celebrate our past year with President Dean Casperson, and catch a glimpse of a new year with President Chana Stocke.
 
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Rob Hofmann
 
Every week a growing number of Rotarians are attending our meeting at the Holiday Inn. This week 33 Rotarians enjoyed a platted meal of BBQ beef and salad, while 15 Rotarians looked on via ZOOM.  President Dean Casperson rang the Rotary Bell at 12:11 PM and invited all to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the Rotary Four-Way Test. 
 
Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom
 
Today’s Rotary Refection was offered by Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom who provided a heartfelt talk on the true meaning of Community. Connecting the focus of our program speaker’s topic, Phil Strom shared his deep appreciation for the meaning and demonstration of true community. As he reflected on his profound sadness due to the recent announcement of the financially enforced closing of an institution he has passionately supported and served, he was profoundly moved, and his spirits lifted, by friends representing various shared communities including church, 12-step, and Rotary. As he stated: These gestures of love and community inspire me to be that kind of friend, and will always hold a special place in my heart.
 
Fellowship with new member Patra Sevastiades, Speaker Jodi Slick, and Paul Helstrom
 
This Gimlet Reporter noted that former Club #25 member Neale Roth was attending in person while visiting from his new permanent home in Florida. Our newest Rotarian Roxanne Esguerra returned for her second meeting with her membership sponsor Doug Erickson. Keep up the 100% attendance, Roxanne Esguerra!
 
As President Dean Casperson welcomed Membership Committee Chair Zack Walters to the podium to introduce yet another new member, President Dean Casperson announced that Club #25 has added 10 new members this year for NET GROWTH of 3 – a first in many years! Congratulations and well done, Membership Committee!  Zack Walters then introduced our newest member – someone who is familiar to many of us - Patra Sevastiades. Seemingly a veteran member of Rotary and Club #25 through volunteer activities assisting her husband, President Dean Casperson, Patra Sevastiades is excited to make her own mark on club activities.
 
Membership Committee Chair Zack Walters with Patra Sevastiades
 
Chair of the Day Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen introduced our speaker, Jodi Slick, Founder and CEO of Ecolibrium3 (Eco3) and her program LNPK 156 Community Revitalization in Challenging Times. Lincoln Park 156 refers to the Lincoln Park Census Tract 156 in which Eco3 resides. This neighborhood of residences and businesses is one of the most economically challenged area in our region. A population of 2,630 in a 2-square mile area - that some unnamed realtors called “Lower Piedmont” - has a median household income of $28,061 with life expectancies far shorter than other areas of Duluth. In order to provide a snapshot of how Eco3 is revitalizing their neighborhood, Ms. Slick highlighted a sample of three program areas in which Eco3 serves this community: AmeriCorps – VISTA, Making homes energy efficient, and “all things Main Street Lincoln Park.  To Eco3’s credit, what started as a rebranding effort for the Lincoln Park area has resulted in recognition as an accredited Minnesota Urban Main Street Program. Ms. Slick pointed out many opportunities exist for the revitalization of Lincoln Park, with many challenges yet to be faced.  She said Lincoln Park is “hosting” over the next ten years $2 Billion in major transportation infrastructure projects as represented by the “Can of Worms” and Blatnik Bridge projects. Eco3 advocates and remains diligent that these projects will benefit Lincoln Park through leveraging support to improve an aging street lighting scheme and redesign of a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 35 that now “looks as if it leads to a prison yard!”  Ms. Slick is working to have the Lincoln Park Craft District connected to the Downtown and Canal Park through the DTA and Trolley system which will also provide transportation for residents who do not drive or own a car. So far more than $82 million has been committed to Lincoln Park by private investment. As Jodi Slick promised at the beginning of her presentation, Lincoln Park Census Tract 156 is a microcosm of our national conversation and collective future.