Rotary Gathering 4/20/16

We had a great meeting on Wednesday.  Rich was responsible for the program today and shared a little about his lovely family; he is a husband of 25 years and a very proud father of his children.  Rich has a passion for being a mentor for children in Polk County, and Kinship has been the vehicle for many years for him to do just that.  He is on the Kinship Board and was proud to introduce Lisa Thanig from Kinship as our speaker for the day.

Kinship HeaderKinship is celebrating 35 years of changing lives (both for children and their mentors).  Kinship of Polk County works to improve the quality of a child’s life by establishing a relationship with a caring volunteer, for the purpose of promoting stability, support, friendship and community.  In the average year, Kinship matches about 317 children with adult volunteers who give their time and heart.  These relationships sometime last well beyond the childhood years and is very rewarding for the mentors.  Here are a few ways you can help Kinship:

  1. Become a volunteer (mentors can be individuals, couples or families)
  2. Serve on the Kinship Board
  3. Donate to them on giveBIG SCV on April 26 (
  4. Participate in the annual Luau in August

For more information or to sign up just call 715-405-3900 or email  The website is also very helpful and can be found at

Other announcements from the gathering included:

  • Community Service Day (Rotary + SCF School Collaboration) May 6
  • Falls Sampler (Chamber Event) May 6
  • Student of the Month Essay Contest this week
  • Rotary District Conference May 12-13
  • SCF/TF Rotary Board Meeting April 27
  • Thank you to all those who completed the membership survey, results information and discussion coming soon

The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that the impossible takes a little longer time.” ~ Lady Aberdeen

Rotary Gathering 4/13/16

Wow!  What a fantastic group we had today!  We had 12 guests today; Strive Students8 STRIVE students (pictured with Mike), two job shadowing students, and Mike Wilson, SCF School Counselor, who has been key in helping the STRIVE program come to life.  Thank you Mike!  Thank you also to Steve Mc. and Kirk A. sharing with our guests what Rotary is and why they are passionate about being a Rotarian themselves.

givescvLet the giving begin!  “giveBIG St. Croix Valley” is now through Tuesday, April 26.  This will help shape our community’s future.  With giveBIG St. Croix Valley you can support the nonprofit of your choice throughout Amery, Osceola and St. Croix Falls.  There are four ways to donate: Online at, in person at drop off sites, by phone 715-294-5727 or by mail, to nonprofits.  Like and share on facebook:

Join a discussion with the St. Croix Valley Connections!  Message from Kirk:

On Thursday, April 14th, the St. Croix Valley Connections networking group will be having our “OPEN HOUSE!”  If you own a business, or have a service or a product you’d like to promote in the St. Croix Valley, we want you to be our special guest!  This is not a sales meeting and there is nothing to buy! We actually want to share our best referrals with you for your business!  Beginning at 8 AM, we will have a hot breakfast and 90 minutes of business networking, education, and fun! Bring 30-40 business cards to pass out, your best elevator pitch about your business, and an expectation to connect a roomful of awesome people! We meet at the Osceola Community Church in their community room.  Please RSVP to let me know you’re coming by calling: 612-598-5758 or email  Find more information about us at:

Our program was introduced by our wonderful new member, Tom Meister.  He shared who he ended up in SCF and why he is proud to be a Rotarian.  Germaine Ross, new Osceola Chamber of Commerce growosceolaDirector, presented a wonderful program elaborating on the work she and others are doing for the Pollinator Project, specifically Grow Osceola (  Their mission is: 1. Improve collaboration among municipal, business, organizational, volunteer and residential sectors so everyone works toward common goals.  2. Plan and implement projects that promote a thriving, vibrant and caring town with well cared-for parks, green spaces, seasonal plantings, and a clean environment. 3. Help spread the message: “Osceola is a great place to live, work, play, and visit.”  4. Enjoy having fun, true community spirit and civic pride that results when everyone pitches in to make visible improvements.

Rotary Gathering 4/6/16

There was a wonderful full house today!  We had a lively ‘Happy Dollars’ go-’round with the dollars pouring in.  Tae-Won announced that he’s going to State for Choir, congratulations Tae-Won!

Some dates to put on your calendar:

  • April 23: North Branch Rotary Casino Night 6 PM Lent Town Hall (
  • May 6: SCF Community Service Day
  • May 21: Stillwater Rotary Wine & Spirits fundraiser ( Victoria Anderberg

The Student of the Month presentation was given by Rebecca Berg who explained the purpose of Rotary to our SCF SOM, Victoria Anderberg, who brought her Art Teacher, Mrs. Suzanne Imhoff.

Mark Burandt introduced Shawn Gudmunsen, Vocal Music Teacher, who just got back from Puerto Rico with the choir.  Many of ShawnGudmunsentheir students, like Tae-Won, as well as Gary and Jon’s sons, are going to state for choir.  These are busy times for this branch of the school, just after returning from Puerto Rico, the John Lennon bus comes today until Friday, and then a concert on Saturday with “Bowls for Hope” to raise money for the Backpack Program.  Don’t miss these fun events!

The Lennon Bus Tour Community Block Party will take place from 3:30 to 6:00 PM on Friday, April 8 in the high school parking lot.  The entire community is invited for this once-in-a-life-time event.  For more information, click on this link to The Sun:

Rotary Gathering 3/9/16

It was a beautiful day to share in fellowship.  The announcements included:

  • Mark your calendars for May 6 – Community Service Day
  • Kirk Anderson is presenting at the Osceola Chamber soon on how to get video on their business websites, only a $10 fee to attend and the invitation can be found HERE
  • Siren/Webster Rotary Sporting Clay Shoot Fundraiser at Coyland Creek, Saturday, May 14, 2016 10AM-1PM, 715-653-4273

Terry Hawkins coordinated the program this week and shared some details about her life and her journey Scott Hansonin Rotary.  The program was presented by Scott Hanson, Manager of Big Rock Creek Retreat.  This is a piece of heaven in our back yard.  They are open to host weddings and other large events.  They also have biking and skiing trails.  It is for sale, hoping that new owners would keep it the heaven it is today.  All the information is at:


Rotary Gathering 3/2/16

We had a wonderful meeting!  Students of the Month joined us with their selected teacher.  Steven Lattin,Steven Lattin St. Croix Falls High School, was the first to be honored, pictured with his teacher, Kate Lehny and Matt Fisk, presenting Rotarian.  Second was Logan Miller, Osceola High School, pictured with teacher Pam Brunclik and Rotarian Matt Fisk.  Congratulations to them, and thank you for being a role model in your schools by following the Rotary 4-Way Test of the things we think say and do.

1. Is it the TRUTH?Logan Miller
2. Is it FAIR to All Concerned?
3. Will it Build GOODWILL and Better Friendships?
4. Will it Be BENEFICIAL to All Concerned?

We also had a great presentation on the Pollinator Project.  Dawn shared a video and Warren also gave some helpful information to ensure these plants survive through weeds, drought and DawnPollinatorno sun.  There are two very helpful sites:

Additional resources include: National Park Service (, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (, and U.S. Forest Service (

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Rotary Gathering 2/3/16

We have some very talented youth in our communities and Rotary would like to show them Mackinzieoff!  Our students of the month are Mackenzie Gearin and Dalton Langer, from Osceola High School and St. Croix Falls High School respectively.  Those two have not only been a role model to their peers through successful extracurricular activities, but also in the way they make decisions.  The Rotary uses the Four Way Test of the things we think, say or do, and Mackenzie and Dalton have also Daltonmastered this: 1) Is it the TRUTH? 2) Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3) Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?  Thanks you to Mackenzie and Dalton for their wonderful example in our communities!

Dawn shared with us ways to ensure wellness even when we sit all day.  The link to the information is:  Try these stretching exercises at your desk — or anywhere else — to ease back pain and boost energy!

Rotary Gathering 1/6/16

A message from our president, Dr. Steve McCormack:

Greetings, Everyone ready for a new year?   Time to re-engage with Rotary.
• NO MEETING the 13th …. Dalles House will be closed.
• STRIVE mini-job fair at St. Croix Regional Medical Center
• We need to submit officers for the 2016-2017 year. We will need volunteers for the President elect and Secretary positions ASAP.
• January 29th and 30th Midterm in Roseville. see the link
• Final host family needed for Tae-won
• New member orientation and meet-n-greet event to be scheduled
• Board Meeting the 12th … 7 AM at SCRMC
Thanks all.  Steve Mc

In case you missed our gathering today, it was filled with fun.  Tae-Won shared how he went skiing for the first time and did the splits five times.  The wonderful students of the month from both Osceola High photo 2photo 1School and St. Croix Falls High School blessed us with their presence.  Cassandra Sajna brought Mrs. Brunclik and Sophie Klein brought Mrs. Marks.

photo 3

Cory Coone

Gary L., who owns Dallas Auto, had the program today.  He has been married for 20 wonderful years to love, Cindy.  They have two boys who makes them proud.  Gary has been a Rotarian for over 6 years and has been the Vocational Chair for about 4 of those years.  He enjoys working with the kids and helping them reach their dreams.  Gary introduced the student our Rotary club sponsored to go to Camp Enterprise, Cory Coone.  Cory is a senior at Osceola High School and shared his experience at the camp, which has enriched his understanding of entrepreneurship.  He also thanked Rotary for this awesome opportunity so that he can use it to reach his dreams of attending college and becoming a CPA.

Rotary Gathering 12/2/15

What a wonderful turnout today!  We had a lot of guests with our Student of the Laurel HannahMonth presentation.  We honored Hannah Peltier from St. Croix Falls High School and Laurel Wright from Osceola High School.  They brought their parents, who we truly enjoyed meeting.  Both of these young ladies follow the Four Way Test of the Things We Think, Say and Do; they are role models both in their school and in the community.  We wish them well in their future path of serving others and we look forward to seeing what they write for the Ethics Essay in June.  Great job ladies!

Narud Duran Obando will be leaving next Monday for an early AM flight back to Costa Rica. He was here from Don Bosco School in San Jose, Costa Rica for a videography internship to finish off his technical high school certificate. He is the 2nd intern here following Melissa Garcia who also stayed with the Bergs last year. We are hoping to be able to continue or grow that exchange relationship moving forward. It is fun to have kids that are chosen by their teachers to represent their school in this special opportunity. He was here for just a 2-month internship. The program was organized by Fred Treiber of the White Bear Lake Rotary Club in conjunction with the Sisters Park Program between the National Park Service here and some National Parks in Costa Rica what our club helped to make happen along with past Rotarian Chris Stein.  A big THANK YOU to Jon Cermin for agreeing to serve as a mentor to Narud and his counterpart at Northwest Passage, Andres.  PARK SERVICE INVITE: Please join Narud and Andres in the St. Croix River Visitor Center auditorium on Monday December 7th at 4:00 PM to view their work and say goodbye… there will be a gathering at Loggers after that (around 6:30) for a goodbye dinner as well.  Hope to see you all there!

AlbertaNiki was in charge of the program and shared a little bit about herself and “Aunt Niki Time.”  The speaker was Alberta Olson who coordinates Operation Christmas for all of Polk County.  She gathers donations and ensures gifts are given to those who cannot afford it during the holidays.  Each family receives a gift card for food, blanket, hats, mittens, socks, stocking stuffers, and 100 “points” to pick from shelves of toys for the children.  She serves approximately 28 families a day for several weeks during the Christmas season.  Thank you to Alberta for being our home-town Mrs. Clause!

Rotary Gathering 11/18/15

NO ROTARY GATHERING NEXT WEEK, 11/25/15!  Happy Thanksgiving.

Save the Date: The SCF/TF Rotary Holiday Party will be on December 15 at 6 PM.  Contact Cheryl Johnson with questions.

Lee had the program and discussed the food shelf stats and needs before he introduced Joel Peck, City Joel PeckAdministrator and guest speaker for the day (even though his wife’s due date is today!).  Joel started off by thanking our Rotary club for the wonderful community service work completed last month at the skate park and the park area down town, painting and cleaning.  He discussed several topics of interest including the historic civic theater (Festival Theatre) with its plans for restoration and expansion, street improvements, budget/spending (there is a hearing on Monday at 6 PM, all are welcome to attend), proposed levy, and finally his announcement that he has submitted his resignation to move on in his career.  His last day will be December 15, and he gave a sincere ‘Thank You’ for the opportunity to serve as our City Administrator for the last 4.5 years.  Thank YOU Joel, you have been truly wonderful and we will miss you!

Rotary Gathering 11/11/15

Don Burkman

Don Burkman

Happy Veterans’ Day!  We started off the meeting paying tribute to our group’s veterans by hearing their stories, including Jerry, Dave, Cedric and Warren.  Thank you for your service!  We also listened to the Gettysburg Address honoring the Union Soldiers but giving us insight to what made our nation great in the first place–the courageous people.  “This nation will remain the land of the free only as long as it is the home of the brave.” ~ Elmer Davis

Eric introduced our speaker, Don Burkman who presented: A look at Cultures of Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  He has traveled to these countries for his work hundreds of times, and was able to give us information that you won’t find in any book on what the cultures are truly like.  Thank you, Don, for this interesting presentation!


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The Rotary Club of St. Croix Falls meets every Wednesday at 12:00 PM in the Riverbend Conference Center at the St. Croix Regional Medical Center.
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