This Week at Rotary
We Meet at Noon on Thursday
January 27, 2022
Historic Depot
Lake Superior Railroad Museum
Ken Buehler
Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee Northern Lights Express Project
Build it Now!
Northern Lights Express Train from Duluth/Superior to Minneapolis
Passage of the bi-partisan Infrastructure Law has a provision to spend up to $18 billion dollars to build expanded passenger rail service across the country. Of all the thirty possible pair cities identified by Amtrak as being fundable, only one project has a Finding of No Significant Impact by the Federal Railroad Administration, which means it is shovel ready. That's Northern Lights Express!  What's the next step and what can you do to have a train between Duluth/Superior and Minneapolis. A train that will change everything!
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Steve Yorde
President Chana Stocke opened the meeting by leading us in the “Star Spangled Banner” and the 4-Way Test, then introduced Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen for today’s Rotary Reflection.  Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen asked “why’d you join Rotary, but more importantly, why are you still a Rotarian?  He spoke about serving, working to improve lives here and around the world.  He declared each of us “servant leaders.” Visiting Rotarians and guests were introduced including Jeannie Padley of North Shore Bank, Phillip Greer of Cloquet Rotary, Park Rapids Rotarian Katy Freitag and her daughter Paula Bloomquist, a prosecuting attorney in Duluth.
Self-reports/announcements began with Jeff Fifield announcing a new grandson born yesterday!  Steve Hadley’s veterinarian daughter in the Twin Cities performed surgery twice on the sled dog injured in last week’s collision with a snowmobiler.  Past President Bill Gravelle introduced his daughter Amy Davis, a friend of today’s speaker.  Jerry Pelofske reported that volunteers are needed for the Regional Science Fair via Zoom or in person at UMD’s Kirby Student Center on Saturday morning February 5.  And finally, President Chana Stocke called to order the annual meeting to elect Rotarians for 2022-23 leadership positions: President-elect Gary Melander; Secretary-elect Traci Marciniak; Board members Jay Ott, Greg Hansen, and Rob Hofmann.  All were elected unanimously.  Congratulations!  And thanks for your service.
Grants Committee chair Jim Schwartz presented $1,000 checks to the following individuals and the organizations they represent: Dr. Sue McClernon, Star of the North Maternity; Leann Weber, Northern Expressions Arts Collective; Natasha Lancour, YWCA’s Girl Power.  Dave Fulda made a surprise presentation of a Paul Harris Fellowship to his nephew and fellow Rotarian Brian Fulda.  Brian’s expertise ensures the smooth functioning of Zoom, PowerPoint and other technologies at our weekly meetings.  Thank you, both!      
L to R Jim Schwartz, Natasha Lancour, President Chana Stocke
L to R Jim Schwartz, Dr. Sue McClernon, President Chana Stocke
Past President Bill Gravelle (via Zoom)
Speaker Jennifer Fernjack (in-person)
And speaking of technology, Past President Bill Gravelle (via Zoom) introduced today’s (in-person) speaker Jennifer Fernjack, a friend of Bill’s daughter Amy Davis, and graduate of Cloquet High School and UMD with a Master’s degree from St. Thomas.  Her inspirational message emanated from her unexpected diagnosis of a brain tumor during a routine optometrist appointment.  Things got serious immediately, particularly when the golf ball-sized tumor (non-cancerous) was located near her carotid artery.  She discovered optimistic ways to deal with the stress of such a diagnosis by developing a list of “positives of having a brain tumor” which she applied to develop a tough, yet compassionate approach to life, e.g. being a good example to others, developing a mind-set on getting ready for brain surgery, noticing the little things in life more frequently; making every single day “count.”  Her book takes a deep dive into the strength of “emotional grit,” developing an “attitude of gratitude,” and thoughtfully allowing the power of laughter, kids and pets, and kindness to overtake our lives.  She concluded, “The only thing worse than being blind…is having sight, but no vision.     
Today’s speaker Jennifer Fernjack shows her incision
President Chana Stocke concluded the meeting with the 50-50 drawing.  The winning ticket was claimed by guest Paula Bloomquist on a ticket given to her by Tom Young!  Next week’s lunch meeting will be at the Depot where Ken Buehler will be our speaker.