The Gimlet
Volume 108 #52

This Week at Rotary
Thursday June 29, 2023
For Those Attending in Person
Buffet Lunch
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
 President Barb Perrella and President Elect Gary Melander
The Annual Club #25 Changing of the Guard
Join us as President Barb Perrella hands the reins over to President Elect Gary Melander, for the 111th time in the storied history of Rotary Club 25. In addition, new Board members will also take an oath as they step into their new roles continuing to uphold the Rotary motto:
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Patra Sevastiades
It was a party for the ages: the President’s Dinner honoring President Barb Perrella for her excellent year of Club leadership. The Great Gatsby theme brought out sultry flapper dresses with splendid beading, patterned stockings, and hair decorations with beads or feathers worthy of a peacock. The men looked dapper, some even donning hats. Everyone was dressed up, making for an elegant and festive evening.
You would be forgiven if you mistook it for a casino night. Along one stretch of the Moorish Room, two gaming tables were set up to fleece the unwary. Elsewhere, women in over-the-elbow gloves, carrying tantalizingly long cigarette holders, might have tricked time travelers from the 1920’s into thinking they were seeing molls—the dangerous female companions of equally dangerous gangsters. But these are Rotarians and their guests that we are talking about, a group known more for dropping twenty-dollar bills in the Golden Can and sharing good news than for dropping cement bags with their hapless victims into the icy waters of Lake Superior.
The beautifully dressed group ate a delicious assortment of hors d’oeuvres and enjoyed beverages at their tables, standing near the bar, or as they moved across the floor in small clusters, displaying wit and prompting laughter.
Eventually, the men were summoned to the back of the room for a photograph. Some lifted a glass, in imitation of Leonardo di Caprio, while others simply wore charming smiles. A final photograph featured President Barb Perrella posing with the group, her face beaming.
Then the men disbanded, and it was the women’s turn, and each found a place to stand and be dazzling. President Barb Perrella again occupied a place of honor, front and center.
Then the program began. President Elect Gary Melander stood at the podium and acknowledged the effective and visionary leadership of President Barb Perrella. “You listened, listened, listened,” he said appreciatively, among many other affirmations of her skill and accomplishments as Club president. He lifted his hat and said to outgoing President Barb Perrella, “Hat’s off to you!”
Then President Barb Perrella went to the podium.
“Club 25 knows how to throw a party!” she began. She graciously acknowledged all the Past Presidents of Club 25 who were present: John Baumgarten, Bob Bennett, Dean Casperson, Sandy Hoff, Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen, Michael Orman, Chana Stocke, and Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom, asking them to stand.
She expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be Club president, adding it was “a year in my life that I will always remember. It has shaped me to hopefully be a better leader, a better friend, and a more active participant in the world around us. This has been my opportunity to give back to the world we love. The world needs love. And that's what this club does in spades.”
Then President Barb Perrella noted that part of that Rotary love was expressed in an amazing year of fundraising, making it possible for Club 25 to support many worthwhile programs in the community, especially those that benefit children:
  • The Rose Sale netted $30,200. 
  • The annual dinner and auction in May netted $14,700 for the Grants Committee to give away in the fall;
    • $10,000 for Polio Plus; and
    • $13,800 for our Club’s CHILD program at the Boys & Girls Club. All in one night!
She thanked those who oversaw these efforts and all who volunteered to help: President Elect Gary Melander, Rose Sale guru, and Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen, leading the charge with the dinner and auction. 
“Rotary fundraisers and activities will allow you to find your moment to become a Serving Rotarian," she noted. Last week at the meeting, Past President Dean Casperson recounted how he experienced his “Serving Rotarian” moment; his during a Rotary International trip to Peru. “Ask yourself,” President Barb Perrella challenged the guests, “have you found that moment yet?”
She thanked her board of directors: Renee Burns, Greg Hansen, Past President/District Governor Elect Elaine Hansen, Rob Hofmann, Traci Marciniak, President Elect Gary Melander, Jay Ott, Jerry Pelofske, Past President Branden Robinson, Past President Chana Stocke, Jerry Thoreson, and Tom Young
She expressed gratitude to Stacy Oltmanns, Rob Hofmann, and Tom Young for their leadership of the Junior Rotarian and Camp RYLA programs. 
She thanked Past Presidents Michele Buria and Past President Dean Casperson and the Duluth Rotary Club Foundation for leading the charge on fundraising for the Mental Health Program at the Boys and Girls Club. “It was one of my missions this year to continue funding this program, which provides valuable mental health services for youth,” President Barb Perrella said.
She also thanked Renee Burns and Stacy Oltmanns for the incredible weekly programs they arranged this year; the Gimlet writers for compelling articles about our meetings; Jerry Thoreson for ably managing the Club’s social media; Past President/District Governor Elect Elaine Hansen for keeping us on the straight and narrow from the office, and Brian Fulda for his amazing IT skills and willingness to help out at each and every meeting.
“It's because of you all participating in so many ways that we will continue the legacy of Club 25 and the very important support we provide to our community,” she said and thanked people for being Serving Rotarians. “Your time is well spent providing Service Above Self.”
When she finished, she received a standing ovation.
President Elect Gary Melander presented President Barb Perrella with a beautiful award to recognize her year of service.
Overheard before the President’s Dinner, while trying to set up the computer: President-Elect Gary Melander, Past President Dean Casperson, and Mary Niemeyer each uttered the mortifying phrase, “I don’t remember my password!”
Mary Niemeyer and Past President Dean Casperson work together to get set up the computer before the President’s Dinner begins
President Barb Perrella and the wonderful women at the President’s Dinner
The men of the President’s Dinner imitate Leonardo di Caprio—or simply look charming
Past President Chana Stocke, Party Planner Mary Niemeyer, Rob Hofmann and Elizabeth Simonson “Glam It Up”
Miles of Smile in the Moorish Room
Babs Strom with Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom      
Zack Walters with his lovely guest
Although no money was at risk, Rotarians were competing for “valuable prizes”!

Guests taking their chances
Renee Burns, Elizabeth Simonson, and Past President Chana Stocke in a sizzling celebration of The Roaring 20s.
Sheryl Homan, Past President Chana Stocke, and Tom Homan together in the foreground with President Elect Gary Melander and Rob Hofmann in the background.
Rob Hofmann and President Elect Gary Melander survey the wildly successful event.
Elizabeth Simonson and Carla Melander (who took many of the photos for this Gimlet) sparkle before the camera.
This Week's Meeting
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Inn Great Lakes Ballroom
200 W. 1st Street
Duluth, MN 55802
United States of America
Venue Map
Venue Map
Jun 29, 2023
Not sure if there is a program need
Jul 06, 2023
Gary's First Meeting
Jul 13, 2023
Jul 20, 2023
Jul 27, 2023
Aug 03, 2023
Bentleyville Tour of Lights Presentation
Aug 10, 2023
An evening of fellowship and food
Aug 17, 2023
Lester River Rendezvous
Aug 24, 2023
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Jul 19, 2023 4:00 PM
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Aug 16, 2023 4:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Robin Pestalozzi
June 7
Mike Lalich
June 16
Phil Strom
June 25
Join Date
Dean Casperson
June 3, 2004
19 years
Jerry Pelofske
June 6, 1991
32 years
Roxanna Esguerra
June 7, 2021
2 years
Jeffrey Fifield
June 9, 1983
40 years
Tom Homan
June 14, 2001
22 years
Patra Sevastiades
June 16, 2021
2 years
Jon Ohman
June 18, 1998
25 years
Dan Dock
June 21, 1984
39 years
Gary Melander
June 30, 1998
25 years
Official Publication of
Rotary Club of Duluth
207 W. Superior St.
Suite 201
Duluth Minnesota 55802
Rob Hofmann
Darlene Anderson
Rob Hofmann
Al Makynen
Traci Marciniak
Phil Strom
Steve Yorde
Jerry Thoreson
Rotary Office Hours:
By Appointment Only
Until Further Notice