Volume 105 #23
This Week at Rotary
By: Special Events Committee 
We meet at noon
Thursday, December 19, 2019 at
Lyric Conference Center
Annual Holiday Party
Plan to join your fellow Rotarians for our annual Holiday Celebration.  The Rotary Singers will be there with the sounds of the season. The staff of the Holiday Inn have a special lunch planned.  Seating arrangements will be explained upon arrival. A Mitten Tree will be up for those who wish to bring gloves, mittens, or cash donations. And there will be door prizes to add to the festivities!.
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Marc Seigar
On a snowy day in early December, Rotarians gathered in the Great Lakes Ballroom in the Holiday Center.  President Michelle Buria called the meeting to order, and gave her own personal reflection of the day by reading the poem “Oh, how i’d like to travel” by Jodi Right. 
Before introducing the fellowship reporter, President Michelle informed members and guests  that Past District Governor Earl Rogers had recently suffered a stroke.  He is recovering well and is welcoming visitors at St. Mary’s Medical Center.
Fellowship Reporter Jon Ohman then introduced this week’s guests which included Chris Casperson, brother of President-Elect Dean Casperson, Kathy Bouchor, friend of our speaker and Judy Rogers, wife of Earl Rogers.  Self-reports included Jeff Fifield who informed us that the Second Harvest Food Bank is in need of more volunteers.  Steve Burgess reported that the merger of National Bank of Commerce and Republic Bank is now complete; he kicked the Golden Can with a work-zone fine and in recognition of his family’s maple syrup company.  Mark Peterson also kicked the can on behalf of the National Bank of Commerce merger.
Renee Mattson and Past President Steve Yorde lead the way through last Thursday’s lunch line.
President Michelle started the rest of the meeting with a fun game:  GUESS WHO WERE ROTARIANS on the following list?  Colonel Sanders, Neil Armstrong, Orville Wright, Prince Charles, John F. Kennedy, Walt Disney, Pope Francis, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Edison and Dr. Charles Mayo.  The ANSWER?  All were Rotarians!  Secretary-Elect Eric Dott read three thank you notes.  Life House thanked us for our donation to its Harvest Feast.  Duluth Public Schools thanked us for our donation to the Youth Robotics Program, and Damiano Center thanked us for giving to its Kids Kitchen Program.  Scott Frankovich informed the Club that there will be a mitten tree at the Christmas Party on December 19 and that we should bring mittens, gloves, and scarves that can be donated to the Salvation Army. Dan Maki is looking for fellow Rotarians to “start tattling” on each other for the Fellowship Report!  He is also in need of volunteers to do the Reflection (it could just be a one-off reflection).  Past President Steve Yorde reminded us that nominations for the Club’s prestigious Service Above Self award are due on February 15.  Nomination forms were on the tables and are available in the office.  This year, for the first time, we will be honoring a non-Rotarian (individual or business) in addition to a fellow member.
From left to right, President Michelle Buria, speaker Bernie Strack, and Past Assistant District Governor Phil Strom, our chair of the day.
Past Assistant District Governor Phil Strom introduced our speaker, Bernie Strack, who was our Club’s Youth Exchange student in 2009-10.  He has since visited the Club several times. Today, Bernie was here to tell us about his Youth Exchange experience and its impact on his life.  Bernie was born in the US to German parents; he has dual citizenship.  He grew up in a small town just outside of Stuttgart, Germany and studied Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration in college. He now works for Boston Consulting Group and is based in its Stuttgart office.  He was here to talk about the four lessons he learned as part of Rotary Youth Exchange and the impact it had on his life.  Lesson 1: Be brave and step out of your comfort zone.  In 2010, Bernie played rugby here for the North Shore Rugby team.  He managed to survive despite being significantly smaller than many of the other rugby players.  Later in life, he and his brother ran through a mud competition event wearing kilts!  Bernie’s message?  Do things we find uncomfortable, something he has taken to heart in his professional life.  Lesson 2: Be thankful.  Bernie is particularly thankful for Judy Rogers’ delicious cookies; he gained 6 or 7 lbs. during his youth exchange year here.  But Bernie is particularly thankful for the small things in life as these help him through his typical 65-hour work week.  Lesson 3: Be generous without expecting anything in return. Bernie realized that when he was an exchange student here, his was another mouth to feed for his host families, essentially another line on the grocery bill or another pizza at Sammy’s!  But he was thankful that families were willing to look after him while he was here.  Now, Bernie reaches out to school-aged children and helps them with personal finances or business plans.  Lesson 4: Be open to trying new things. Challenge yourself and allow yourself to be challenged.  Expand your horizons.  Be aware of cultural differences and understand that you have not seen it all.  Bernie left us with three take-away messages:  As Rotarians, we have an impact on people’s lives.  There is always a lesson to be learned.  And finally, Rotary really does connect the world.
President Michelle wrapped up the meeting with a motivational moment: “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito!”
Mitten Tree
     Mitten Tree
Feel free to bring mittens to donate for our mitten tree!
If you have any questions contact Dan Maki.
This Week's Meeting
We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Inn: Lyric Conference Center
200 W 1st st
Duluth, MN 55802
United States of America
VenueMap Venue Map
Upcoming Events
December Board Meeting
St Luke's Foundation Office
Dec 17, 2019
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Holiday Party
Dec 19, 2019
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
No Rotary Meeting
Dec 26, 2019
Family Holiday Bowling Party
Jan 02, 2020
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Volunteer Opportunity: Community Food Distribution
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank
Jan 08, 2020
4:15 PM – 5:30 PM
January Board Meeting
St Luke's Foundation Office
Jan 21, 2020
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Rotary Breakfast
Valentini's Restaurant
Jan 31, 2020
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Volunteer Opportunity: Community Food Distribution
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank
Feb 12, 2020
4:15 PM – 5:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Elizabeth Simonson
December 2
Elaine Hansen
December 14
Holly Sampson
December 14
Suzanne Anderson
December 15
Harvey Smith
December 18
Dave Holappa
December 21
Tom McCabe
December 24
Paul Helstrom
December 27
John Foucault
December 30
Tom Young
December 31
Join Date
Michelle Buria
December 1, 2005
14 years
Betty George
December 2, 1993
26 years
Mark Peterson
December 4, 2008
11 years
David Fulda
December 17, 1998
21 years
Elizabeth Simonson
December 18, 2018
1 year
Office Hours:
Monday: 9-3
Wed. & Thurs.: 9-4
Salvation Army bell ringing in the Skywalks: Wednesday December 11. 
Bell ringers should be at the Rotary office at
11:30 to pick up bells and cans. 
Bell ringing is from 11:45 to 1:00 followed by lunch at the Lyric.