This Week at Rotary
 
We Meet at Noon on Thursday
February 25, 2021
IN PERSON & ZOOM
For Those Attending in Person
Plated Meal
Count Needed
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
 
Mark Phillips
Commissioner, Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation
 
Looking Forward
 
Come and participate in a conversation about the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation and its impact on the business community and workforce development in Northeastern Minnesota.
 
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Rob Hofmann
 
On the heels of some of the most bitterly cold days so far this winter season, 30 Rotarians gathered at the Holiday Inn to enjoy warm fellowship and hot food. Meanwhile in ZOOMland, 23 Rotarians discussed how nice it is to be able to wear shorts outside again (?!)  A few Rotarians spoke of finally securing their COVID vaccinations – even their second shot!  A new State of Minnesota COVID vaccine registry was announced today and a number of Club #25 members have already registered on the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector.
At 12:12 PM, President Dean Casperson rang the bell to bring us to order and led all Rotarians and guests in the Pledge of Allegiance and the recitation of Rotary’s 4-Way Test. We had one guest at the Holiday Inn - Jessica Betls, a work colleague of Tom Young.
 
Our Rotary Reflection this day was provided by Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom who cited our program speaker’s theme of philanthropy. Philanthropy, by its root means literally "love of mankind". Thus, philanthropy is giving money or volunteering time for a purpose or cause benefiting people who you don't personally know.  Americans are by far the most generous nation! The annual private philanthropy in the United States represents nearly 1.5% of the country’s GDP. This is almost twice as high as the 0.77% recorded in Canada, the next highest nation.  As Phil Strom reminds us: “To whom much is given, much will be required.”
 
Fellowship had a few self-reports: Past President Al Makynen placed  $200 into the Golden Can for he and his wife both having received their second COVID-19 vaccinations and ending  No-Haircut Pledge.  Jim Landwehr made a generous gift of $725 ($100 per pound!) in celebration of his grandson’s birth.
 
Jerry Pelofske made another appeal for members to serve in the virtual science fair being held on Saturday February 27. Online service would be required from about 8:30 until Noon. Please email him at pelof@aol.com if you can help. The always philanthropic and benevolent Allen Anway was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship Major Donor Diamond Pin by Phil Strom for his three recent Paul Harris Fellowships that honor a granddaughter and two other family members. Following this award, Dean Casperson reminded us just how easy it is for a Rotarian to become a Paul Harris Fellow: Club #25 will provide the first $100 toward a new $1,000 fellowship then provide the last $100 so that any member can join the ranks with the contribution of $800 paid in as little as $25 quarterly payments.
 
Chair of the Day Elaine Hansen introducing our speaker on Zoom
 
Chair of the Day, Past President Elaine Hansen, introduced our guest speaker via ZOOM - Tony Sertich President, Northland Foundation. The Northland Foundation is a publicly supported foundation serving seven northeastern Minnesota counties and all or parts of five Tribal Nations within the same geographic boundaries.
 
Overarching the Foundation’s programs and initiatives are three intersecting Strategic Focus Areas: Children & Youth, Individual & Community Wellbeing, and Economy & Jobs. For the past 11 months Tony and his team have had to work remotely. However, this did not disconnect them from those they serve! Even now COVID is causing enormous stress and exacerbating vulnerabilities among the population Northland Foundation serves. Yet, against all odds they worked as true champions serving as intermediary between other large foundations, state and federal agencies to raise $6 million in 11 months (compared to $1.5 million in a normal year) that was distributed to 1,049 clients/business. Funding went to support the hungry, providing support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and to agencies such as the United Way and Tribal Nations who provide essential support systems. Aid for smaller business was also provided, among them independent Child Care Providers who experienced significant loss of business, but provide a very essential services to workers and employers alike. Tony shared that there are more 4,000 child care spots that cannot be filled because there are not enough providers. This lack of child care equates to a LOSS of $8.1 million in potential household income – income that families would enjoy if more child care was available. To help remedy this, Northland Foundation targets grants in this sector and helps to provide the mandatory training required for Child Care Providers. We are fortunate to have an advocate and resource such as the Northland Foundation serving our region.
 
Rotary Speaker Tony Sertich
 
Northland Foundation Impact on Economy
 
Our Local Foundation Receives Gift
By Jerry Ostroski
 
The Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation, your Club’s local Foundation, recently received a sizeable gift from Phil and Babs Strom Charitable Trust.  Their $5,000 gift was directed to the Westmoreland Endowment Fund whose earnings are to be used for impactful community betterment projects.  On behalf of the Foundation Board of Directors and the members of our Rotary Club, we ask Babs and Phil to accept our heartful thanks for their generosity.  Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom was presented a Westmoreland Crest at the February 11th Club meeting in recognition of his continued generosity to the Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation.  Westmoreland Crests are awarded to donors who have given a total of $1,000 or more to the Endowment Fund.