This Week's Meeting
We Meet at noon on Thursday, January 17, 2019,
in the Great Lakes Ballroom - Holiday Inn
Gabriella van Rij
The Kindness Expert
Notes from the Meeting January 10, 2019
by Rob Hofmann
On a rather gray and chilly January Thursday, Rotarians and guests returned to the Great Lakes Ballroom of the Holiday Inn Downtown for fellowship and the warmth it brings. Today’s lunch harkened back to a warm
summer’s picnic as grilled hamburgers and all the fixings were on the menu. President-elect Michelle Buria rang the Rotary Bell calling us to order, followed by Rotarians singing America the Beautiful accompanied by Past
President John Baumgarten. Greg Hansen led our
Reflection with a parent’s view of the opioid crisis, which was the topic of our guest speaker.
Past President Phil Strom, a last minute substitution for a busy Darlene Anderson, provided today’s Fellowship Report. Phil began by asking Rotarians to sign a sympathy card for Sue Kerry on the passing of her mother. We had two visiting Rotarians from Harbortown Rotary: Scott Soderberg who invited fellow Rotarians to visit with him for Harbortown Rotary Coffee orders, while Brad Jenson prompted the next American Heritage Book Group’s
fellowship gathering discussing the book Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation scheduled for Tuesday, February 26, at the Kitch. Club 25 played host to a number of guests this week: Jen Smith brought Cindy Olson, Executive Director of the Arrowhead Regional Computing Consortium; Geiger Yount hosted retired UMD Library Director Bill Sozansky; Greg Hansen was joined by work colleague Collin Zimmerman; Dean Casperson brought Zack Walters of Great Lakes Insurance Agency; and we were pleased to be joined by Louise Hawley, escorted by her husband John Hawley! With the exception of Tom Wheeler’s self-imposed fine for another DNT
op-ed piece, A RepubliCrat Party, Geiger Yount’s self-imposed fine honoring National Football Champs Clemson Tigers, and a stretch to fine Skeeter Moore of a printed piece from 1984 that had his youthful pic, the Golden Can was hardly touched.
President-elect Michelle Buria shared news of Past
President Dick Palmer’s passing and arrangements planned for noon on Saturday, January 19, at Grace
Lutheran Church, 5454 Miller Trunk Highway. She also announced that the new Club 25 Corporate Membership Program will roll out soon, and that we should stay tuned as to how we can help in this new strategy. Two new January Junior Rotarians were introduced: Claire Boettcher of Hermantown High School and Greta Volkman from Harbor City International. Jerry Pelofski placed a call for volunteer judges to assist him in the annual Science Fair at UMD’s Kirby Plaza, an event
Rotarians traditionally help with in judging science
projects prepared by local middle school and high school students. The fair is February 9, and all interested should contact Jerry.
Chair of the Day Dick Pelinka introduced Saint Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin to speak to us on The
Current Opioid Crisis. Before Mr. Rubin began his
observations, he reminded us that he, too, was a Junior Rotarian of Club 25 back in 1971 as a Morgan Park High School student. In order to prepare us to hear of the daunting work Mr. Rubin undertakes to
address the opioid crisis in our region, he read the poem A Future Not Our Own, written in memory of the Columbian Cartel-martyred Saint Oscar Romero. The essence of this poem, and Mr. Rubin’s theme for today’s discussion was, “There’s no ONE answer, it takes all of us.” Mr. Rubin confirmed that Saint Louis County is joining numerous municipalities in a major lawsuit against Big Pharma and makers/distributors of synthetic opioids. The case will argue that Big Phrama deceivingly influenced physicians to over prescribing opioids by using unscrupulous
marketing efforts that held false claims of
minimal adversity to patients. The results of years of over prescribing has led to catastrophic outcomes for people throughout the nation. The lawsuit reveals some disturbing points that hit most every home in America: opioid addiction is a cross-gender problem with more women
becoming victims; disturbing trends in neo-natal additions where babies are born already hooked on opioids; law enforcement agencies stretched to the breaking point; child protection
professionals who work with the problem are abandoning their careers as they experience burnout, seeing no hope for the future; and
Prosecutor’s caseloads becoming
unmanageable. As bleak as things may seem, there is hope. There are efforts to mediate the crisis with hopes to address some portion of the damage inflicted on society. In addition to
doctors and orthodontists reviewing their opioid prescription practices, training is occurring right now in Saint Louis County that will enable
practitioners, including parents and teachers, to assess traits in elementary and middle schools. These types of training are “upstream” solutions that Mr. Rubin funds through confiscated drug monies. Mr. Rubin closed by citing a quote from American Revolutionary patriot Thomas Paine: “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day so my children will have peace in their day.”
Chair of the Day Dick Pelinka and this week’s speaker County Attorney Mark Rubin
Thank You
We are Rotary,
We are Community.
Thanks to our 2018 Volunteers, our Local Service Committee, and the following project leaders:
         Dan and Karen Dock      Craig Fellman
         Dick Fischer                     Jena Evans
         Jeff Fifield                         Skeeter Moore
         Jerry Pelofske                   Jenny Peterson
         Jim Schwartz                    Phil Strom
         Dick Swenson                  Geiger Yount
    Just this past year ...
12 Social Events for hundreds of at-risk youth
30+ Projects across our city
259 Volunteers working together
751 Hours of service and engagement
Member Spotlight
Katherine LaFleur
Member Since 2018
I am a born and raised Duluthian, and feel like I have the unique experience of having attended a broad mix of Duluth area schools beginning with Holy Rosary, and moving on through the Edison charter system before heading to Duluth Central for High School and graduating from Duluth East. I graduated as a Webster Scholar from the College of St.
Scholastica in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Global, Culture, and Language Studies with
concentrations in Business Management and Spanish Language. 
Living just a few blocks from the Superior Hiking Trail my partner, Nic, and I really love to utilize the trail systems and plenitude of parks for exercise. We walk our two furbabies, Odie and Dixie, nearly every day and our first date was actually a hike on the Split Rock River loop trail. It's actually a pretty entertaining story, as I was woefully ill-prepared for a 5-mile hike as a novice. 
Nic works at Northern Waters Smokehouse as an all-around food innovator and people person managing their prep department. Like any good Millennial couple, we enjoy eating and drinking our way through new places, playing cribbage, and hosting friends and family in our home. We bought a house just down the street from our last apartment on Nic's birthday in 2017 and have been dutifully working on it ever since.  We'll be heading to the Bahamas with close friends this February, and I think both of us are very excited to experience some warmth this winter. 
We have accepted the fact that our dogs are basically children, as having a puppy is something akin to having a forever-toddler. Odie is a three-year-old rescue from South Dakota's Rosebud Reservation; we got him at 8 weeks as a test of our patience and love for one another (ha!); and Dixie, also a rescue and (we think) around
3 years old, joined us just over a year ago when we picked her up from her shelter foster family in Chisholm. Dixie loves going hunting with Nic or showing off how easily she can jump our backyard fence to eat bunny poo. Odie is happiest running through snow banks and open fields or fishing sticks out of Lake Superior. They
are both high-energy pups that keep us honest when it comes to getting outside and exercising year-round. 
I speak Spanish, and a little bit of French, Haitian Creole, and Catalan. Spanish and French I've studied in school, while Creole and Catalan come from personal interest and independent study. 
I love being a new member and meeting new people each week. Having worked as a bartender for so long, I have a genuine interest in people and connections, and I feel that Duluth, and Duluth Rotary Club especially, is a great example of the good that comes from a heavily interconnected community.
This Week's Meeting
We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Inn
200 W. Superior St.
Duluth, MN  55802
United States
VenueMap Venue Map
Upcoming Events
January Board Meeting (McGiffert Room)
Kitchi Gammi Club- McGiffert Room
Jan 15, 2019
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Local Service Committee Meeting
GB Schneiders
Jan 15, 2019
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
International Committee
Lyric Kitchen
Jan 16, 2019
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Annual Dinner and Auction Committee Meeting
Valentins Restaurant
Jan 22, 2019
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Fellowship Breakfast
Jan 25, 2019
7:30 AM – 9:07 AM
Volunteer Opportunity: Project Joy Backpack Program
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank
Feb 01, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Volunteer Opportunity: Community Food Distribution
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank
Feb 13, 2019
4:15 PM – 5:30 PM
February Board Meeting (McGiffert Room)
Kitchi Gammi Club- McGiffert Room
Feb 19, 2019
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Dick Swenson
January 4
Jim Schwartz
January 7
Bill Gronseth
January 12
Daniel Maki
January 13
Gary Turner
January 15
David Gaddie
January 17
Gerald Ostroski
January 18
Greg Hansen
January 21
Bill Abalan
January 24
Jim Lewis
January 24
Bob Reichert
January 26
Dave McLean
January 26
David Fulda
January 26
Michelle Buria
January 31
Geiger Yount
February 8
Justin Terch
February 12
Sheryl Homan
February 12
Stephen Hadley
February 16
Deanna Benson
February 21
Mike Murray
February 23
Jack Schilling
February 24