Jun 20, 2019
Highlights from the Rotary International Convention in Germany
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This Week's Meeting
We meet at Noon on Thursday, June 20, 2019
Great Lakes Ball Room, Holiday Inn 
Changing of the Guard

By Al Makynen
Curious how the simple ring of a bell by President Steve Yorde can bring order to a Great Hall filled with high energy Rotarians. You could see the gleam in the eyes of Past President John Baumgarten as he sat down to a real piano (not an electronic keyboard) to play the Star Spangled Banner.  Past President Dick Carlson reminded us with his invocation of the opportunity we all have to be of service to others when we say yes.
There were a number of guests present which is always encouraging and an opportunity to showcase what we do as a Club.  We also had a visiting Rotarian from Washington State who just five days ago moved to Duluth. There was mention of a membership application to make sure she felt welcome!
One of the benefits of being a Rotarian is sharing with your fellow members personal, professional, and milestone events. In the absence of a structured fellowship report, members were clearly eager to share their good news.  Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom announced that his wife Babs has returned home from an extended stay for physical rehabilitation at Ecumen following a fall.   Jeff Iisakka was pleased to see the success of robotics programs as he is one of the judges at the competition.  Past President, Bill Zimbinski,  also is pleased with robotics having three grandsons participate.  Paul Helstrom announced an opportunity for us to show the international nature of Rotary by being a part of the Sister City celebration to welcome a delegation from Japan at 9:30 a.m. on June 29th at Hoop’s Brewery.  In June Jim Schwartz and Barbara will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  John Baumgarten was thankful for the quality medical services in Duluth for reversing the effects of a stroke he suffered just over a week ago.
Chana Stocke updated us on the current needs of the Rotary Duck Pluck fundraiser scheduled for August 15th.   The need for more sponsors – we are at one third of our goal.  The need for more volunteers – many have already signed up, but we need more to ensure fellowship.  The need for Rotarians to adopt ducks – Rotarians first – then the rest of the world (Duluth and beyond)!
Doing good work in the community, the nation, and the world is what Rotary does. Catherine Carter Huber, Chair of the Grants Committee, demonstrated our success in fundraising by making a grant presentation in the amount of $1,120 to Brian Resch, Vice President of the St. Louis River Experience.  With our grant we assist them in educating young people (1,400 youth served in 2018) about the St. Louis River estuary, the largest estuary in North America.
Our ability to do good in the world is through the service and efforts of our members.  Geiger Yount introduced to us a new member, Bill Sozansky under the classification Universities – Libraries.  Bill was born in Chicago, is married to Martha (Marty) and is a Vietnam Era Air Force veteran.  Bill worked as the Library Director for the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis and Duluth) for 38 years, retiring in 2012.  He and his wife are active travelers, having visited 25 nations and 49 states.  Bill’s stated reason for joining Rotary is to make a difference.
It would seem June is a big month for change.  We have the changing of the guard at our meeting of June 20th.  We have the President’s Night celebration at Valentini’s Restaurant on the evening of June 27th, replacing our regular meeting.  And at today’s gathering we had the bittersweet occasion of saying goodbye to Diana Armstrong and welcoming Felicia Forrest as our Administrative Assistant.  Felicia is originally from California, an Army veteran, with extensive experience in the role of an administrative assistant.  Stay tuned for an expanded introduction.
“Service above Self” is the hallmark of Rotary and each of its Clubs.  On an annual basis our club provides a “Service Above Self” award based upon nominations by members submitted to the Past Presidents’ Advisory Committee with final approval by the Rotary Club Board of Directors.  The recipient receives a plaque and a donation is make in their honor to the Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation.   The Rotarian selected is one who has clearly demonstrated service and for making a difference.  This year’s recipient was Jim Schwartz.   There was no doubt in the room, confirmed by a standing ovation, as to the validity of his work in making a difference.  His service to youth is legendary with multiple programs including food backpacks, school picnics, and taking kids fishing.  Any event serving youth, Jim is there. 
Chair of the Day, Past President Bill Gravelle carried on with the theme of youth with the introduction of several members of the Devildogs robotics team from Ordean East Middle School.   Students Noah Mason (programming) and Luke Hilliard (mechanical systems) along with their coach Mike Keller and parent Greg Hilliard were present.  The typical robotics team is composed of 15 students with financial support from the community.  The School District provides space – usually a classroom for meetings and workspace. The type of robotics team varies depending upon if it is at the elementary, middle school, or senior high school level.  Minnesota has a strong robotics program with over 1,300 teams.  There are 5 teams in Duluth.  The robots are to be built within parameters including size and weight and need to perform a defined task specified for the competition. The centerpiece of the meeting’s program was a demonstration of a robot built by the 8th graders to autonomously drop from a lander, move to a location, collect rock samples, and return and deposit the samples.  One of the objectives of the program is for students to learn to work as a team to execute sound mechanical design and remotely executed programming.  Without both the robot fails.
Service Above Self Award recipient Jim Schwartz with presenter Phil Strom
Student Programmer Noah Mason, Mechanical Designer Luke Hilliard, Parent Greg Hilliard with Robotics Team Coach Mike Keller

Felicia Forrest and Diana Armstrong
This Week's Meeting
We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Kitchi Gammi Club
831 East Superior Street
Duluth, MN  55802
United States of America
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Rotary Facebook Meeting
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Jun 11, 2019
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Rich Roxbury
June 7
Robin Pestalozzi
June 7
Seth Oliver
June 9
Brett Kinney
June 15
John Moir
June 15
Mike Lalich
June 16
Phil Strom
June 25
Jeff Iisakka
June 27
Bill Sozansky
July 5
Jon Helstrom
July 7
David Allison
July 11
Traci Marciniak
July 11
Eric Dott
July 12
Skeeter Moore
July 16
Todd Fedora
July 16
John Hawley
July 17
Bruce Anderson
July 18
Dick Carlson
July 21
Dennis Cummings
July 22
Jenny Peterson
July 23
Wally Holt
July 27