The Gimlet
Volume 108 #2
This Week at Rotary
We Meet at Noon on Thursday
July 14, 2022
For Those Attending in Person
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
Rachel Lonsdale
Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Promise of a Polio-Free World
Rachel Lonsdale is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and we're fortunate to have her with us via ZOOM to present a program.  Our virtual meeting component allows us to have speakers we would have never been able to hear from before.
Wild polio cases have plummeted from 350,000 a year in 1988 to just 6 in 2021. But these final cases are the most challenging in some of the most challenging places on earth. And we are also facing outbreaks of a variant poliovirus (cVDPV2) in several countries in Africa. These challenges emphasize why it is essential to capitalize on the historic opportunity to end polio to ensure no child will ever again be paralyzed by this preventable disease.
The Gates Foundation and Rotary’s partnership is critical in the final push to end polio, but together with the other partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we will eradicate polio.
Chair of the day: Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom
Highlights from Last Week’s Picnic Meeting
By Patra Sevastiades
“Leave the road, take the trails,” wrote philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras. Some 2,700 years later, Rotary Club 25 followed his advice: box lunches were prepared, sunscreen applied, and a happy expectation filled the hearts of dozens of Rotarians as they left their cars in a parking lot and stepped onto the sun-dappled trails at Enger Park with folding chairs in hand. Scores of flowering plants lined the pathways, brushing gently against sandaled feet.
As people arrived in ones and twos, the grassy, shaded gathering spot and cloudless blue skies elevated the pleasure of seeing familiar faces and selecting a sandwich— Turkey? Ham? Vegetarian option?—into an occasion for gratitude. Bursts of laughter were heard as Club #25 members created a loose circle of chairs and picnic tables. It was 75 degrees, perfect.
In this way the 3rd Annual Rotary Picnic at Enger Park, a tradition started three years ago under the leadership of Past President Dean Casperson.
President Barb Perrella
Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom
President Barb Perrella welcomed all, acknowledging special guests District Governor Kay Biga and her husband, Pat Spott. President Barb Perrella led us in reciting the 4-Way Test, then introduced Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom, who—with some Club #25 pride—related the history of the very park in which we now sat.
Hagbert “Bert” J. Enger
Who knew that the production of furniture and caskets would result in a public treasure, Duluth’s Enger Park? Evidently, Bert Enger did. The Norwegian immigrant found a place to thrive here in Duluth, producing furniture for the living and the dead, and with no spouse or heir in sight, he decided to bless the city that had afforded him such prosperity. Upon his passing in 1931, he donated $50,000 (= $1.6 million today) to the city, with a public-minded demand: that the city purchase what was known as Grand Mountain, build a lookout tower at its highest point, and develop a public park. He rightly guessed that he would not be forgotten.
Between 1933 and 1939, work on the park including the addition of a comfort station, water, sewer, and electricity, picnic tables, stone benches, pathways, and steps, campfire sites, outdoor ovens, and finally, Enger Tower itself.
Enger Tower
Jump ahead to 2011, our Rotary Club 25’s centennial year. We celebrated by coordinating efforts with Mayor Don Ness and gave the city of Duluth $100,000 to illuminate Enger Tower with specialty LED lights. This gift motivated a marshaling of significant funds by the city to restore the dilapidated tower. The tower and park were given a facelift. By the time Norwegian King Harald landed in Duluth in 2014 to rededicate Enger Tower on the tower’s 75th anniversary, the park had been rejuvenated, the tower illuminated.
International Rotary Peace Plaza at Enger Park
The Rotary Wheel mosaic with Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom
Simultaneously, our Club partnered with the Skyline and Harbortown clubs to create the International Rotary Peace Plaza at Enger Park. The mosaic, 12 feet in diameter, is the largest iteration of the Rotary emblem in the world.
Renee Mattson recommended that someone capture this inspiring story and share it with Rotarians far and wide via The Rotarian or the Rotary International website. Rob Hofmann was singled out by Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom and asked to do this task. As Rotarians always say YES, Rob Hofmann agreed.
Jack Seiler invited all to volunteer at the Tall Ships event (August 4-7, 2022) in Two Harbors to help direct people parking their cars. Duluth volunteers will be bussed to Two Harbors and will receive two passes for the weekend and a stylish event shirt. The Club will receive $3,000 in appreciation if we can provide enough volunteers. See or contact Jack for more information.
Jack Seiler demonstrates “directions” required for Tall Ships
President Barb Perrella thanked members for the strong response to participate in committees for the coming year. She reminded all of next week’s meeting at the Holiday Inn with speaker Rachel Lonsdale of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Past President Chana Stocke said she is accepting order requests for sleek Rotary caps for a cool $15/cap. Let her know if you are interested!
President Barb Perrella adjourned the merry meeting.
District 5580 Governor Kay Biga, Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen, Past President Branden Robinson
Heard after the meeting: Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen, who was Club #25 President at the time of the very demanding Enger Tower illumination project, recalled, but with a smile, “It almost killed me.”
Jerry Thoreson with Past President Branden Robinson
Dave Fulda with Brain Fulda
Dan Dock with Karen Dock
Past President Dean Casperson with Patra Sevastiades
Happy Rotarians enjoying a perfect Duluth afternoon
This Week's Meeting
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Center Great Lakes Ballroom
200 W. Superior St
Duluth, MN
United States of America
Venue Map
Venue Map
Jul 14, 2022
The Promise of a Polio-Free World
Jul 21, 2022
Better DTA
Jul 28, 2022
Rotary Fellowship
Aug 04, 2022
The Truth About the Captive Wildlife Crisis
Aug 11, 2022
Zone Institute
Aug 18, 2022
Duluth's Grand Old Architecture
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rotary Board of Directors
Jul 19, 2022 3:30 PM
Festival of Sail Lake Superior - Volunteer
Aug 04, 2022 – Aug 07, 2022
Rotary Board of Directors
Aug 16, 2022 3:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Bill Sozansky
July 5
Jon Helstrom
July 7
Traci Marciniak
July 11
Eric Dott
July 12
Skeeter Moore
July 16
Jenny Peterson
July 23
Join Date
Dick Swenson
July 1, 1996
26 years
Jay Ott
July 1, 1998
24 years
Craig Fellman
July 6, 2006
16 years
Eric Dott
July 6, 2017
5 years
Robin Pestalozzi
July 9, 2015
7 years
Jim Monge
July 17, 1965
57 years
Bill Gravelle
July 24, 1986
36 years
Pat Holliday
July 28, 1988
34 years
Brian Fulda
July 30, 2020
2 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