The Gimlet
Volume 109 #4

This week at Rotary
Thursday, June 6, 2024
For Those Attending in Person
Lunch Buffet
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
Speaker to be announced, stay tuned for more information.
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Renee Burns
A full room of Rotarians and a guest gathered at the Holiday Inn for the weekly meeting. President Gary Melander rang the bell, which it was noted, sounded a bit dull again this week, and began the meeting with a warm Rotary welcome, as well as his familiar “how lucky are we?” Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen was a bit surprised to discover he was giving the Reflection and said maybe he should have checked his emails, but he definitely rose to the occasion while developing a Reflection on the fly.  It was noted that peace comes through a better understanding of different people and cultures.  Also, if you don’t have a passport, get one and use it once you get it!  A short but relevant Reflection that tied to the day’s program perfectly.
President Gary Melander introduced our guest Eric Kaiser who received a warm Rotary welcome.
Jerry Thoreson was first to Kick the Golden Can with an announcement that he has been making the rounds of area Rotary Clubs with programs about Destination Duluth, a program much enjoyed by Club #25 recently.  As well, he noted that it was mentioned to him at the recent Superior Rotary Club meeting that Club #25 had previously fielded a team for Lake Superior Dragon Boats Festival.  He encouraged the club to consider getting a group of paddlers for the festival and for Club 25 Rotarians to volunteer. 
Paul Helstrom donated to the can to report that he is hosting a fundraiser on June 15 for Stepping On Up (, a 10-agency collaborative plan to address homelessness in our area. The fundraiser will be held at his home, 415 North Hawthorne Road, from 3 to 9 p.m.
Jay Ott reported that while at a seminar in Virginia recently Bill Burns, spouse of Renee Burns, presented and… “could use a little microphone coaching”.
Jay Ott self-reporting on a microphone issue, which was not his!
President-Elect Elizabeth Simonson reminded everyone to sign up for President Gary Melander’s Presidents Night Celebration aboard the Vista Star on June 20.  There will NOT be a meeting that day, so plan to set sail from the Vista Fleet dock at 5:30pm for a fun-filled night.  President-Elect Elizabeth Simonson also asked for someone with a little technical knowledge to take over the duties that Brian Fulda has been shouldering for the past three (or more) years.  A volunteer or two would be welcome!  Thank you, Brian Fulda, for all you have done!
President-Elect Elizabeth Simonson is reminding us that June 20 aboard the Vista Star will be an excellent party for President Gary Melander!  Sign up today!!
Chair of the Grants Committee, Jack Seiler stepped to the podium to make two grant awards.  The first to our guest Eric Kaiser, and award of $500 for the St. Louis River Experience.  The St. Louis River Experience takes veterans and residents of senior housing facilities on excursions of the St. Louis River.  There is no cost for the trip and with 50 scheduled trips of 15 passengers each time, they provide a marvelous experience to hundreds each summer.  The grant will be used to purchase safety equipment for the boat.
Grant Committee Chair Jack Seiler presenting Eric Kaiser with a grant for the St. Louis River Experience
Next up was a grant of $200 for the Lake Superior Tall Ships, with Rob Hofmann accepting the check on behalf of the organization.  The grant will be used for day sailing adventures for kids from the Duluth Boys and Girls Club in July and August.  Rob Hofmann also made mention that a bus chaperone for the trip to and from Crookston for Camp RYLA is needed.  The bus departs Duluth bright and early at 5:30am on July 14 and returns on July 20.  This is a full day commitment, but a very rewarding experience.  The board decided to offer a stipend of $125 per trip for the chaperone.  Please contact Rob Hofmann or Tom Young if you are interested in helping. 
Rob Hofmann accepting a grant for the Lake Superior Tall Ships and making a pitch for a bus chaperone for Camp RYLA
Chair of the Day, President Gary Melander introduced the speaker, Frank Bures, author of The Geography of Madness, which Newsweek called one of the best travel books of the decade.  Frank just completed an audio walking tour of Canal Park and has authored more than 200 articles about culture and travel in the Rotary International magazine.  For the program, he shared three of those articles with us which provided a flavor of the perspective his world travels have given him.
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May 30 speaker Frank Bures
The first article, Hope is not Enough, considered what it takes to have the courage to “hope” to have a better life, to struggle with failure and difficulties.  Hope equals the confidence to do what you set out to do, whether it be immigrating for a better life or falling down and getting back up.  Hope is not something you have; hope is something you do. 
The second article was about the Value of Experiences vs. Things.  A particularly challenging travel experience to Cambodia with his wife may not have been the easiest route to getting to their destination of Angkor, but in retrospect it provided the richest experience.  Their love of travel has provided countless memories that expenditures for things cannot provide.  Some travel was not easy, but while the trip may have had bumps in the road, the memories provide sweet contentment.
The final article Frank shared was titled Gandhi, a Girl and a Good Enough Life.  Frank and his now wife met in a college class about Gandhi, studying his non-violent approach to change and his charge to do no harm, do the right thing.  Gandhi lived by his principles and so too did the college Frank want to model those beliefs.  But he noted, selflessness can actually become a form of selfishness.  One must strike a balance between the causes you believe in and the people you love.  Such was that realization one day that the balance he sought was the love of his now wife and the commitment to her.  Their life together might not be perfect, but it is certainly good enough.
Rousing applause followed the reading of the articles which were certainly thought provoking.
Annual Highway Clean Up
Following the meeting, Rotarians met for our annual Highway cleanup on Scenic Highway 61.  It was a beautiful day for a walk along the roadside with a bright yellow plastic trash bag.
Vinod Gupta, President-Elect Elizabeth Simonson, Dan Maki, Jack Seiler and Renee Burns
Not pictured but part of the cleanup crew, Megan Maki (photographer) and Allison Hanig-Landrus, who had to leave before the photo.
This Week's Meeting
Thursdays at 12:00 p.m.
Holiday Center Great Lakes Ballroom
200 W. 1st Street
Duluth, MN 55802
United States of America
Venue Map
Venue Map
Jun 20, 2024 12:00 PM
Jun 27, 2024 12:00 PM
Jul 04, 2024 12:00 PM
Jul 11, 2024 12:00 PM
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Jun. 19, 2024 4:00 p.m.
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Jul. 17, 2024 4:00 p.m.
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Robin Pestalozzi
June 7
Mike Lalich
June 16
Phil Strom
June 25
Join Date
Dean Casperson
June 3, 2004
20 years
Jerry Pelofske
June 6, 1991
33 years
Roxanna Esguerra
June 7, 2021
3 years
Jeffrey Fifield
June 9, 1983
41 years
Tom Homan
June 14, 2001
23 years
Patra Sevastiades
June 16, 2021
3 years
Jon Ohman
June 18, 1998
26 years
Dan Dock
June 21, 1984
40 years
Gary Melander
June 30, 1998
26 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
Patra Sevastiades
Renee Burns
Captain Anthony Noran
Jerry Thoreson
Rotary Office Hours:
By Appointment Only
Call Elaine Hansen: