The Gimlet
Volume 109 #10

September 21, 2023
For Those Attending in Person
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
Zak Williams
National mental health advocate
Son of actor Robin Williams
“Service Is My Path to Happiness”
Zak Williams experienced the pain of losing his father, actor and comedian, Robin Williams, who died by suicide in 2014. “After my dad died by suicide, I was diagnosed with complex PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and was doing super unhealthy things like self-medicating, using alcohol,” he said. “I realized something had to change.”  After managing his own symptoms with amino acid therapy, mindfulness, breath-work, and self-care practices, Williams began to focus on mental health advocacy. Williams felt compelled to share his own healing process with others at a time when anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses are on the rise. “I realized I could actually start healing my trauma through service, and I discovered that service is my path to happiness.”  Zak will join us to share his story.
Chair of the Day: Traci Marciniak
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Darlene Anderson
Standing in the Great Hall of of the Kitchi Gammi Club, with a sparkling Lake Superior visible through the windows behind him, President Gary Melander is leading Club #25 in the Pledge of Allegiance. He looked out at an audience where every table was full.
Al Makynen delivered the Reflection and reminded us that Rotary Club 25 was established in 1911 to put the needs of others first. Each day, then, let’s be mindful of serving the needs of others.
Past Assistant District Governor Al Makynen encourages service above self.
President Gary Melander welcomed our guests: Will Holtz of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services (who has submitted a Club membership application!), guest of Zach Walters; Vang Thao, guest of Jerry Pelofske; Beth Burt and Dr. Sue McClernon, both guests of Jack Seiler; and Allie Melander, President Gary Melander’s daughter, with two companions.
Past President Barb Perrella reminded members that we are in the middle of our annual Rose Sale, raising money to support important causes in our community! How can you help? Easy!
1. Sell. Sell your Rose Sale tickets to friends and family, or purchase them yourself.
2. Share. Have friends and family go to to place an order for roses.
3. Give. Is selling roses too hard? You can STILL help! How? Make out a check to the Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation! For every $10 you give, you will be credited with selling a dozen roses. The coupon books accompanying each bouquet include discounts at Sammy’s Pizza, Valentini’s, and other great local businesses! Remember: Last day to order is September 25!
Past President Barb Perrella urges us to SELL THOSE ROSES!
Geiger Yount thanked the Rotarians who volunteered to greet people at the Sustainable Farming Association’s annual Harvest Festival at Bayfront. Darlene Anderson, Vinod Gupta, Jon Ohman, Jerry Pelofske, Bob Reichert, Jack Seiler, Past President Chana Stocke, and Ruth Westra raised $5,377 in donations. “The farmers are beyond thankful!” Geiger said.
Geiger Yount thanks volunteers.
Jerry Pelofske, secretary of the Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation, introduced Vang Thao, a nursing student at Lake Superior College who received a scholarship from the Foundation. Vang expressed his gratitude.
Jerry Pelofske introduces Club #25 Foundation scholarship recipient Vang Thao.
Jack Seiler, chair of the Grants Committee, introduced two grant recipients. Beth Burt, Executive Director of the YWCA of Duluth, thanked the Club for supporting the Young Mothers Housing Program, which provides young mothers ages 16-21 a safe place to live and supportive services for approximately 12 to 16 months, to stabilize young moms and put them on the path to self-sufficiency. Dr. Sue McClernon, Executive Director of Star of the North Maternity Home, thanked the Club. Their program houses pregnant women (over age 21) for up to 12-18 months and assists mothers toward independence by focusing on parenting skills, education, and finding transitional housing.
Jack Seiler presents two grantees, Sue McClernon and Beth Burt.
Mark Leutgeb, District Membership Chair, gave Club 25 member candidate Will Holtz a Rotary polo shirt—a fresh element in welcoming new members in our District.
Mark Leutgeb presents Will Holtz with a Rotary polo shirt.
President Gary Melander, who was chair of the day, welcomed our speaker, District Governor Dave Long. Dave gave a pithy summary of how District 5580 supports the 63 clubs it serves. He related his own “Ah-ha!” moment when he became a Rotarian: when he discovered that even a 10-year-old girl can change the world. He encouraged all to attend district and international Rotary conferences so that Rotarians can support one another in making the world a better, more peaceful place. His goals for the year are mental health, the environment, and collaboration. He received warm applause.
District Governor Dave Long shares his vision for the district.
President Gary Melander won the 50/50 drawing (again!).
Overheard after the meeting: “This was the largest turnout for a District Governor luncheon in recent memory!” said many in attendance.
District Governor Lunch at the Kitchi Gammi Club.
District Governor Dave Long
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
Sep 21, 2023 12:00 PM
The importance of mental health and wellness
Sep 28, 2023 12:00 PM
The Port of Duluth-Superior
Oct 05, 2023 12:00 PM
Fitness As We Age
Oct 12, 2023 12:00 PM
Love Your Work, Live Your Dream
Oct 19, 2023 12:00 PM
Tour the historic Armory Building
Oct 26, 2023 12:00 PM
2023 Iditarod Dogsled Race champion
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Sep 20, 2023 4:00 PM
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Oct 18, 2023 4:00 PM
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Nov 15, 2023 4:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Betty George
September 2
Dale Johnson
September 2
Roxanna Esguerra
September 15
Craig Fellman
September 22
Jay Ott
September 23
Join Date
Bonita Nelson
September 1, 1987
36 years
Deb Ellingsen
September 2, 2021
2 years
Steve Hadley
September 16, 1999
24 years
Mike Lalich
September 19, 1996
27 years
Jack Seiler
September 21, 2020
3 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