Volume 105 #31
This Week at Rotary
By Eric Dott– Chair of the Day
We Meet at Noon
Thursday, February 13, 2020
The Lyric Conference Room
MnDot Twin Ports Interchange Project
Pippi Mayfield
Pippi Mayfield of the MnDOT District Office will present the latest design and information on the Twin Ports Interchange Project.  This road and bridge construction project will affect traffic patterns in Duluth for years – and not just during construction!  This is your chance to hear the latest details and to ask questions.
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Rob Hofmann
As our program tells the story of Duluth’s (ne Esko’s) Christmas Light phenomenon Bentleyville, your humble Gimlet Reporter climbed the heights of Spirit Mountain to seek the sage knowledge of the all-knowing Wikipedia to learn the history of holiday decorative lights. According to Wikipedia, the idea of the outdoor decorative lights we see in our neighborhoods strung upon houses, trees, and assorted exotic mechanical contraptions and inflatables is a recent occurrence.  Although candles on trees and in windows were followed by incandescent lights on trees, hanging such light strings upon houses began in the suburban tract houses of the 1960s. Perhaps our Greatest Generation Rotarians can clarify this history.
President Michelle Buria called us to order and we began with Rotary’s Four-Way Test followed by Past President Bob Bennett providing the Rotary Reflection which helped to draw our focus on what one inspired individual can do to brighten our lives. Quoting the late great Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi: “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have”.  
Dave Holappa offered up the Rotary Fellowship Report. From the floor we recognized our newest member Jerry Thoreson, who will be formally introduced soon.  We also had a guest, Chris McMahon, who just before the meeting submitted his application for membership!  Mike Orman was pleased to host a member of his newly merged law firm welcoming Paul Wojciak. President Elect Dean Casperson brought prospective member Katrina Pierson to today’s gathering.  Allen Amway deposited three fines in the Golden Can, the first two in recognition of January Junior Rotarian from Denfeld Emma Natale’s decision to attend his Alma Mater the University of Chicago and the third fine was in honor of the absent Dr. Jim Monge also a graduate of the University of Chicago who has an 18th century ancestor who developed a concept for differential geometry: Monge’s Theorem”.  Bill Gronseth also honored Emma with his own tip ‘o the can for Emma’s service to the Duluth District as the student representative to the school board! Congratulations Emma Natale – you are a great example of a superb Junior Rotarian! Paul Helstrom self-reported on his airtime during a demonstration of a new electric school bus. Jon Ohman honored two grandsons who continue to do well as wrestlers in Arkansas.
New Generations Chair Eric Dott took the podium to call up our out-going January Junior Rotarians and our incoming February cohort.
Junior Rotarians Thanking Club #25
February Junior Rotarians
Back: Eric Dott, Logan Berquist, Megan Bechthold
Front: Matt Schiber, Elena Davidson, Anna Huber
Club Secretary Jeff Bradt shared a powerful letter of gratitude from Shaye Morris, Executive Director of Second Harvest Food Bank, in which Club #25 was thanked for providing 135 hours of volunteering that resulted in a record 5.1 million meals for families, children and seniors! A shining example of Rotary at work!  RYLA co-chair Rob Hofmann encouraged the Junior Rotarians present to start applying for Camp RYLA – a life changing week for our next generation of leaders!   Our own Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation provides seven full scholarships to Camp RYLA. Please let all high school juniors and sophomores know they may apply online at and, tell them to select Duluth 25 as their sponsoring Rotary Club.
Chair of the Day President Elect Dean Casperson provided a bit of background on our speaker, Nathan Bentley. A native of Hibbing, MN, Nathan has been married to his wife Tricia for 29 years. When he was 18 years old he started Advantage Emblem, a great community partner which provides, among many items, the merit badges worn by our local Boy and Girl Scouts. What Nathan Bentley started in Esko, MN in 2003 as a response to neighborhood holiday tradition – shall we say competition? – became what Mr. Bentley describes as “A hobby that got out of control!”  Year by year his light-filled menagerie grew well beyond what his neighbors could endure. Then came an invitation from former Duluth Mayor Don Ness to move Bentleyville, so named in jest by one of his employees, to Bayfront Park. To manage this new opportunity, Mr. Bentley established a nonprofit entity and built a board of directors who oversee, along with two paid staff, the fundraising required to grow Bentleyville into what is now a nationally recognized holiday attraction. $750,000 is needed each year to produce the event that runs from November to Christmas.  Funds come from a number of creative sources including candy bar sales, online merchandise, sponsorships, and donations. The electric bill of $10,000 is paid by tourism tax dollars. Each year between 250,000 and 350,000 people enjoy what Mr. Bentley has built. He cautions locals to come early in the week for best viewing and to avoid the weekend crowds. A call for volunteers was made to all Rotarians with the knowledge that a promise has been made – a promise to keep Bentleyville FREE!
Nathan Bentley, Dean Casperson, Michelle Buria
Nominations for 2021 Rotary Peace Fellowships
Nominations for 2021 Rotary Peace Fellowships
The 2021 Rotary Peace Fellowship application is now available for the next cohort of global peace and development leaders.

Members are encouraged to use their professional and social contacts to find potential candidates.   These resources are available to help you recruit candidates:
Candidates have until 31 May 2020 to submit applications to District 5580. The District has until 1 July to submit endorsed applications to The Rotary Foundation.

Send any questions to
This Week's Meeting
We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Center
207 W. Superior St
Lyric Conference Room
Duluth, MN 55802
United States of America
VenueMap Venue Map
Feb 20, 2020 12:00 PM
(Allen Aircraft Radio)
Feb 27, 2020
Hyperbaric Medicine in Radiation Treatment
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation Board Meeting
Raymond James
Feb 11, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Volunteer Opportunity: Community Food Distribution
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank
Feb 12, 2020
4:15 PM – 5:30 PM
Feb 13, 2020
February Board Meeting
St Luke's Foundation Office
Feb 18, 2020
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Feb 20, 2020
Grants Committee
St. Luke's Foundation Conference Room
Feb 25, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Feb 27, 2020
Rotary Fellowship Breakfast
Valentini's Restaurant
Feb 28, 2020
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation Board Meeting
Raymond James
Mar 10, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Volunteer Opportunity: Community Food Distribution
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank
Mar 11, 2020
4:15 PM – 5:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Zach Walters
February 4
Renee Mattson
February 7
Geiger Yount
February 8
Justin Terch
February 12
Sheryl Homan
February 12
Stephen Hadley
February 16
Mike Murray
February 23
Join Date
Robert Kase
February 1, 2008
12 years
Elaine Hansen
February 3, 2000
20 years
Douglas Erickson
February 4, 1999
21 years
Zach Walters
February 4, 2019
1 year
Al Makynen
February 9, 1989
31 years
Branden Robinson
February 14, 2008
12 years
Dale Johnson
February 14, 1974
46 years
Jon Helstrom
February 16, 1984
36 years
Gary Bubalo
February 17, 2000
20 years
Kjell Knudsen
February 18, 1999
21 years
Darlene Anderson
February 21, 2008
12 years
Mary Niemeyer
February 22, 2018
2 years
Stacy Oltmanns
February 25, 2019
1 year
Dennis Cummings
February 26, 2015
5 years
Jim Schwartz
February 26, 2004
16 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
Boys and Girls Club Spring Carnival will be in May
These are great events 
March 26.  Thursday.  3-5:30