Volume 106 #25
A Message from the President
By Dean Casperson
This has been a unique year for The Rotary Club of Duluth. We started our Rotary year with a wonderful summer day at the Enger Park Peace Plaza with a boxed lunch and fellowship. Our gatherings at the Holiday Inn Banquet Center included a Zoom component for those not able to meet in person.  Then we were all told “you cannot meet indoors”; “you cannot attend outdoor activities”; and “you cannot get within six feet of a fellow Rotarian”!
We reinvented our Duck Pluck to create an online “Children’s Mental Health Initiative Lifts Duluth” (CHILD) project funded by a tool designed by David Nolle.  We surpassed our goal to support the Boy’s and Girl’s Club Mental Health Access Program.  The Annual Rose Sale was held under the leadership of Barb Perrella.  Our Grants Committee continued their work and the Club continues to support worthy community initiatives.  We delivered great programs week after week and even managed our 68th Annual Joint Meeting with the Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth.  And even though we are now meeting only online we continue to add new members and so far this year we have added six exceptional new Rotarians.
For all those who have made a difference through fun and rewarding activities.
Save the Date & Time - Wednesday December 30 @ 6:00
The Rotary Club of Duluth will be hosting a ZOOM Holiday Gathering on December 30th at 6:00.  No program, just fellowship and the sharing of your favorite libation in the comfort of your own home (or, for you workaholics - office).  Please set aside 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 30 to spend a few moments online with your fellow Rotarians. 
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Darlene Anderson
Zoom was the medium for Rotarians to meet, greet and enjoy each other’s smiles and welcomes. When the rapid exchange settled, President Dean Casperson rang the Rotary bell, extended a warm welcome to members and guests and asked all to join him in the Pledge of Allegiance and Rotary Four-Way Test. The Reflection for the day was shared by President-Elect Chana Stocke. This past year has been challenging for businesses, community and individuals. We have all experienced unforeseen changes and that includes our Duluth Chamber of Commerce and today's speaker, David Ross. Now as we approach 2021, we extend best wishes to our families and friends for health and happiness.
Grant Chair Jenny Peterson presented a virtual $600 check to Jungle Boy Boxing Gym. “Jungle Boy” Zach Walters who began his gym 11 years ago with a couple of kids teaching them boxing and, even more importantly, life skills and values. The funds will go toward a floor ring.  When asked how they will raise the remainder, he stated: “Rotarians Always Find A Way”.  Several folks listening including Chana Stocke suggested the words could be a new motto for Rotary International!  President Dean Casperson will be submitting the paperwork.
Young Athletes in Action at Jungle Boy Gym
Barb Perella introduced our newest member, Paul Wojciak, who is an attorney with Beaumier, Trogdon, Orman, Hurd & Viegas.  In his remarks he filled us in on some of his background.  He grew up on the Iron Range, moved to Two Harbors in 1998 and then to Duluth in 2000. He enjoys curling and pizza. Hmm, something in common with Barb Perella? Welcome to Rotary.
Our Newest Member - Paul Wojciak
Life House will be having an outdoor Christmas hot chocolate and cookie party on Monday, December 21. Paul Helstrom thanked the Rotarians who have provided the requested hot chocolate, cookies and gift cards.
Chair of the Day Past-President Al Makynen did not need a long introduction for today's speaker, past Rotarian and President and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce David Ross. David shared some of his own story: born in 1956 at St Mary's Hospital, and growing up in a small second floor apartment in the Central Hillside with his parents and five siblings. His father was a bricklayer and so unemployed during the winter months. He remembers these were hard times not only for his family but also Duluth.  However, there was also optimism. For in 1960 Duluth's population was 106,884 and it was thought Duluth soon would be the next Pittsburgh or Chicago. But by 1980 the population had dropped to 92,811 and the unemployment rate was 16%. Today the challenges continue. Duluth's public schools have seen their enrollment drop by 60% from the 1960's 21,402 students to 8,086 in 2019. This change has also been reflected in the reduced number of businesses. Today. even with the increasing challenges, the Duluth Chamber of Commerce, Duluth Businesses, and our Rotary Club have a “Shared Path Forward” with key initiatives to lift up our community. The initiatives include child care for working families, affordable housing, and fortifying existing businesses. As we work together, we look forward to the future with renewed vision and hope.
David Ross, Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce
Office Preparedness Plan
This Week's Meeting
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Meeting Via Zoom
207 W. Superior St. Suite 201
Duluth, MN 55802
United States of America
Venue Map
Dec 24, 2020
Merry Christmas
Dec 30, 2020 6:00 PM
Gathering on Zoom
Jan 07, 2021
Global Health Politics
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Volunteer Opportunity: Community Food Distribution
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank
Jan 13, 2021
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM
Volunteer Opportunity: Community Food Distribution
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank
Feb 10, 2021
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Elizabeth Simonson
December 2
Elaine Hansen
December 14
Holly Sampson
December 14
Suzanne Anderson
December 15
Harvey Smith
December 18
Dave Holappa
December 21
Paul Helstrom
December 27
David Clark
December 28
Tom Young
December 31
Join Date
Michelle Buria
December 1, 2005
15 years
Betty George
December 2, 1993
27 years
Mark Peterson
December 4, 2008
12 years
David Fulda
December 17, 1998
22 years
Elizabeth Simonson
December 18, 2018
2 years
Official Publication of Rotary Club of Duluth 
207 W. Superior St.
Suite 201
Phone: 218-722-0451
Duluth, Minnesota 55802
Editor:  Al Makynen
Rotary Office Hours
Monday 9 – 3
Wed. & Thur. 9 – 4
See Rotary's response to COVID-19