The Gimlet
Volume 107 #14
This Week at Rotary
We Meet at Noon on Thursday
October 7, 2021
(Also Via Zoom)
Plated Meal Served
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
Matt Baumgartner
Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce
A Change in Leadership
The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce
Duluth has both challenges and opportunities.  We are faced with a shortage of workforce, housing, and childcare services. Supply chain issues have resulted in inflation. Mental health and homelessness need more attention. Property taxes are on the rise. These are complex challenges.  We also have opportunities. The diversity of our economy is to be celebrated. We have increased economic development with businesses experiencing strong demand. There is palpable energy with new leaders and new entrepreneurs within our city. So, how can we leverage our opportunities to address the challenges?
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Rob Hofmann
A FULL HOUSE! Rotarians and guests found themselves in a more intimate setting within the Grand Ballroom than what we are accustomed to. Rotarians are a resilient lot, and when our friends at the Holiday Inn asked if we could accommodate their need for extra room for another meeting – Rotary Club #25 said YES!
President Chana Stocke rang the bell to bring us to order and led Rotarians and our guests in the Pledge of Allegiance and Rotary Four-Way Test. Your humble Gimlet reporter Rob Hofmann was host to Jessica Petersen, Development Director for the Depot Foundation - who was a Club #25 Denfeld Junior Rotarian.  Welcome back, Jessica! Our guest speaker was a visiting Rotarian from the Duluth Superior Eco Rotary Club - Brandon VanWaeyenberghe.
President Chana Stocke, Past President Branden Robinson, Visiting Rotarian and Speaker Brandon VanWaeyenberghe and Past President Bob Bennett
Our Reflection this day was provided by Assistant District Governor Tricia Bunten who spoke on Rotary International’s October theme – Economic and Community Development. 1.4 billion employed people live on less than $1.25 a day, or $460 a year! 1.4 billion is the equivalent to the entire population of India or the entire USA multiplied 4 times.  In our hometown of Duluth, 18.2% of our population falls below the poverty rate – that is a family of four living on less than $24,000 a year. Of course, the work we do as Rotarians in raising funds to help the Salvation Army feed families, grant-making to help strengthen the local community, and our support of programs that target the most vulnerable does make a difference. Yet, we as members of Rotary Club #25, can accomplish more when we focus our minds, hearts, and souls!
Fellowship Reports are always a delightful way to learn what fellow Rotarians are accomplishing in their lives… And a way to raise a little bit of cash.  Allen Anway was proud to announce that he received his booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine. Dave “Iron Man” Fulda (and his nephew Brian Fulda) completed the Duluth Traverse - a 42.49-mile mountain bike ride that burned an average of 3,000 calories a day for two days while they enjoyed spectacular fall colors.
President Chana Stocke listens intently to Dave (Iron Man) Fulda as he explains where “burned calories” go!
Zach Walters let it be known that when anyone purchases Bzzy Coffee from Yellow Bike Coffee of Hermantown, proceeds go to support his boxing program! Rob Hofmann added $2.00 to the golden can announcing a new addition to the Hofmann family – no, not a newborn – but a new first cousin through the genealogical research performed by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann.  President-Elect Barb Perrella reminded us that the Rotary Rose Sale is winding down. Sold tickets and money will need to be turned in at our next meeting. Those Rotarians who are unable to sell roses can still support the sale by giving a donation.  For every $10.00 donated the Rotarian will be credited for a dozen roses sold.  Jon Ohman let it be known that more volunteers are needed for fun-filled fellowship shifts during Rose Distribution Day – Friday, October 15 and Saturday, October 16th
Zach Walters holding an invisible bag of BZZY Coffee 
President Elect Barb Perrella talking Roses
Patra Sevastiades provided well-earned recognition to the many businesses and nonprofits who support the Rotary Rose Coupon Book.!  A call also went out for program ideas for our 3rd Quarter   All are encouraged to email program co-chairs Renee Mattson and Al Makynen with recommendations.  Just what the heck is “Duckpin Bowling” anyway?!  Find out by emailing Mary Niemeyer to RSVP and join fellow Rotarians on Wednesday, October 13th 4pm -6pm at Skyline Social & Games!
Although one could not call today’s program Brandon2, Chair of the Day Branden (that’s with an e) Robinson introduced our esteemed guest speaker Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra (DSSO) Executive Director Brandon (that’s with an o) VanWaeyenberghe who shared his tall tale of a true “comeback-kid story”.  The DSSO has been a Twin Ports feature since 1932 and currently has 70 musicians, two-thirds of whom are area residents. In September of 2019 Mr. VanWaeyenberghe, a sometimes rodeo cowboy, rode into town to take the reins of a wily and hungry steed!  The DSSO had a deficit of $374,000, a maxed-out line of credit, and numerous unpaid vendor bills. Undeterred, Mr. VanWaeyenberghe was able to tame the beast to the point whereby December 2019 greener grazing seemed just ahead.  Until – that dastardly, no good, thieving varmint COVID-19 rode into to town! Well, the DSSO had to shutter up while – canceling the remainder of the 2019/2020 season. Yet, just over the horizon came a glimmer of hope. The cavalry came with PPP forgivable loans, and an SBA loan of $150,000, plus $15,000 in donations and 400 new donors!  A new pardner (WDSE) came-a-riding to the rescue with live broadcast capabilities of DSSO concerts that reached people in 35 states and a few foreign lands. All of which helped to keep musicians employed, pay off the line of credit, and end the 2020 fiscal year near breakeven.  That villain COVID has a new name, Delta, but our new sheriff in town along with his posse of friends has what it takes to keep making beautiful music.  No slow ride into the sunset for the DSSO. Giddy up!
Brandon VanWaeyenberghe illustrates the “social distancing” of musicians
This Week's Meeting
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Center Great Lakes Ballroom
207 W. Superior St.
Duluth, MN
United States of America
Venue Map
Oct 07, 2021
Change Leadership for The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce
Oct 13, 2021
Duckpin Bowing at Skyline Lanes
Oct 14, 2021
The Depot Foundation and The Depot - A Legacy of Support. A Future of Possibility
Oct 21, 2021
Oct 28, 2021
Nov 18, 2021
Live Theatre is Back!
Nov 25, 2021
Happy Thanksgiving!!
Dec 02, 2021
Writing a Novel, a Personal Journey
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteering 9-11 am
Second Harvest Food Bank
Oct 08, 2021
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Boys and Girls Club - Haunted Reception Room
Oct 12, 2021
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteering 9-11 am
Second Harvest Food Bank
Oct 15, 2021
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Rotary Board of Directors
Oct 19, 2021 3:30 PM
Bentleyville Volunteer - Event Setup
Bayfront Festival Park, 700 Railroad St
Oct 20, 2021
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteering 9-11 am
Second Harvest Food Bank
Oct 22, 2021
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteering 9-11 am
Second Harvest Food Bank
Oct 29, 2021
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteering 9-11 am
Second Harvest Food Bank
Nov 05, 2021
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteering 9-11 am
Second Harvest Food Bank
Nov 12, 2021
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Rotary Board of Directors
Nov 16, 2021 3:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Jim Grant
October 3
Dan Dock
October 4
Ryan Johnson
October 7
Gary Melander
October 8
Dean Casperson
October 10
Mark Peterson
October 10
Kevin Jones
October 14
Branden Robinson
October 15
Jim Monge
October 15
Bonita Nelson
October 16
Jerry Pelofske
October 24
Jena Evans
October 27
Jon Ohman
October 30
Mary Niemeyer
October 31
Join Date
Jena Evans
October 4, 2012
9 years
Dick Carlson
October 5, 1972
49 years
Gerald Ostroski
October 6, 1983
38 years
Renee Mattson
October 6, 2005
16 years
Noah Holland
October 7, 2020
1 year
Bob Bennett
October 13, 1977
44 years
Karol Sowers
October 18, 2012
9 years
Steve LaFlamme
October 20, 1983
38 years
David Clark
October 22, 2020
1 year
Jeramy Mercil
October 24, 2019
2 years
Official Publication of
Rotary Club of Duluth
207 W. Superior St.
Suite 201
Duluth Minnesota 55802
Al Makynen
Darlene Anderson
Rob Hofmann
Al Makynen
Traci Marciniak
Phil Strom
Steve Yorde
Jerry Thoreson
Rotary Office Hours:
By Appointment Only
Until Further Notice