Posts Tagged ‘Rotary Club’

A Rotary Moment for Reflection by Bruce Brooks

May 9, 2012
by: Bruce Brooks
Theme: Networking

Pastor Bruce BrooksOur Rotary emblem is a wheel in the shape of a gear with cogs on the outside.These cogs can only function purposefully when engaged with the cogs of another geared wheel.

In which way will the cogs turn?

Our Rotary Motto gives us the direction: “Service Above Self!”

When we devote ourselves only to the forward movement of our own geared lives, we do so at the detriment of others whose cogged-wheeled lives are consequently turned backward.

But when, through Rotary, we seek the benefit of others, encouraging their accomplishment, and sharing pride in their advancement, we often selflessly gear and direct our lives in such a way that their life may improve forward.

Pastor Bruce BrooksUnable to find two cogged wheels for this Moment of Reflection, I did find a similar illustration in this children’s toy. Its shape, and many colors, and intricate interconnections, remind me of our local Rotary Club.

  • We do care for each other!
  • We do encourage each other!
  • We do serve side by side!

But our Rotary Call is so much larger than our local Rotary club!

Like this expanding interconnected sphere, through Rotary we are expanded………….. We are challenged!!! , and We-are-connected-to-a-world-of- those-for-whom-we-selflessly-live-out: “Service Above Self.”

Dear Lord,

Thank-you for the incredible folks in this room who have cared for, encouraged, and challenged us in dark times and bright. Continue to expand our world and our call, through Rotary, to others with whom we choose to be selflessly bound and connected in “Service Above Self”.

Hear us by whatever Name we call upon you. I pray in Jesus’ name.  ~Amen.

St. Croix Falls Rotary Club – International Night with the GSE Team from Brazil

Rotary InternationalThe St. Croix Falls Rotary Club will be hosting their annual International Night on Monday, April 2, 2012 at the Chateau St. Croix in St. Croix Falls, WI.  This has traditionally been an opportunity for Rotarians from our area to meet and greet the GSE team visiting the district, as well as an opportunity for the community to experience the international side of Rotary.  Anyone is welcome to join us at the International Night and we encourage everyone to attend.

Rotarians and guests will enjoy:

  • Appetizer Buffet
  • GSE Team Presentation
  • Dance performed by Lydia Gusman, Exchange Student
  • Live Auction*

*Funds raised at auction will help support International Club Projects


Monday April 2, 2012
6:30 PM Appetizer Buffet and Cash Bar
$15 per person


Chateau St. Croix Winery
1998A State Road 87
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024


RSVP by March 26, 2012 with names of attendees to: or call (715) 483-1864 and leave message.

The St. Croix Falls Rotary Club Helped Send 20,000 Books to Kosovo

The St. Croix Falls Rotary Club, with the help of 16 volunteers on Saturday, October 1, 2011, packed 458 boxes of English language books to be sent to the country of Kosovo.  The container filed with more than 20,000 books will be trucked to New York and shipped by boat to Thessaloniki, Greece where it will then be trucked to City of Prishtina in Kosovo for unpacking and distribution by Rotary volunteers.

The goal of this literacy project is to distribute the books to school and community libraries around Prishtina via a non-governmental organization known as Biblioteca.   This project was initiated by former Chisago Lakes Rotarian and retired district court Judge Linn Slattengren who has been living and serving in various roles for the past 8 years in Kosovo.  The books being sent have been collected by several Rotary Clubs in Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota from schools, colleges, libraries and homes over the past 3 years with volunteer time.

Prior to last Saturday’s packing, the books were stored at the former Franconia farmstead of Slattengren (now owned by Bob & Rita Pavey).  The St. Croix Falls Rotary Club donated a total of $500 to the project, which was spearheaded by the Chisago Lakes Rotary, who was awarded a Rotary District Grant totaling $7,000 to accomplish this literacy initiative.  This project was made possible with additional financial support from the Rotary Clubs of North Branch & Siren/Webster along with a local donation of $1,900 from the Chisago Lakes Rotary Club and matching donations of the Rotary of Prishtina International, Kosovo.

The St. Croix Falls Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at Noon at the Dalles House in St. Croix Falls.  For more information about this service club and how to get involved in your community, visit

Kirk Anderson
PR Chairman for the St. Croix Falls Rotary Club
PO Box 291
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024

The Rotary Club of St. Croix Falls/Taylors Falls Celebrates 25 Years of Service

The Rotary Club of St. Croix Falls/Taylors Falls celebrated its 25th Anniversary on June 26th, 2011.  In celebration, the Rotary Club will be having an Anniversary party in conjunction with the annual installation of new officers.  This memorable event will take place on June 30 at the Chateau St. Croix Winery in St. Croix Falls, WI.

It will be a special evening of terrific food, lasting memories, and official events, including the installation of this year’s new Rotary President LeeAnn Vitalis.  The Rotary Club is part of Rotary District 5960 under the leadership of Governor Judy Freund.

Over the years, the local Rotary Club has made significant contributions to the community.  Whether by supporting battered women’s shelters, local food shelves, hiking trails, skate parks and recreation, literacy programs, education , disaster relief, or eradicating Polio around the world – Rotary Club members are volunteers who choose to server other daily.  ‘Service Above Self’ is Rotary’s motto.

Rotary Clubs work collaboratively and by collaborating with other individuals and organizations, the St. Croix Falls/Taylors Falls Rotary Club has been able to amplify its service far beyond what any single person could do alone!  That sets Rotary apart and explains why we see consistent growth and participation in our club.

On June 26, 1986, a small group of businessmen chartered the St. Croix Falls/Taylors Falls Rotary Club for fellowship and opportunities to server others.  Of those founding members, our club is honored to still have four of those Rotarians at our weekly meetings. We wish to congratulate the charter member Rotarians Jerry Wyatt, Steve Swenson, Tom Engel and John Edling for 25 years of service in our community.

The Rotary Club of St. Croix Falls/Taylors Falls is a Chapter of Rotary International, a worldwide organization of business leaders dedicated to humanitarian service, high ethical standards and goodwill.

“Our members take great pride in the service we perform for our community and are thrilled when we can positively affect the lives of those who are less fortunate than ourselves.  We’ve found that we ‘re truly able to have fun making a difference!” said former President, Rebecca Berg.

For more information on Rotary, please contact Kirk Anderson at

St. Croix Falls Rotary Club Hosts International Guests

From: The Osceola Sun Newspaper
September 29, 2010
Osceola, WI

One is from Japan, the other from Brazil.

One of this year’s Rotary Club Youth Exchange program students attends St. Croix Falls High School, the other Osceola High School.

Chisato Toda and Guilherme “Mol” Lobo seem to have a lot in common, though. Both of the 16-year-old high school juniors appear intent on pursuing a well-rounded American experience during their 11-month stays with host families in the United States.

Mol has quickly become a key member of Osceola’s varsity soccer team and Chisato has joined the cross country running team at St. Croix Falls. Mol also plans to be a part of the high school swimming and track teams and try a winter snow sport such as skiing.

“I know I will not be very good, but I want to try,” he says about skiing.

One of his hosts, Kirk Otto, calls Mol “a force to be reckoned with” in soccer, which Mol has played all his life. “He may not be intimidating in size, but he is fast. And it’s interesting to watch him control the ball. He’s one of the best ball control kids on the team.”

Otto says “it’s really been helpful for Mol to have these soccer skills.”

Chisato is a member of the yearbook club and plans to join the performance dance line team.

“As a group, they’re very outgoing,” Otto says about Rotary exchange students.

Otto and his wife, Carol, have hosted six exchange students—three from Finland, two from Australia, and now Mol, from Fabricano, Brazil. Otto heads up the exchange student program for the Rotary Club of St. Croix Falls-Taylors Falls, which includes members from Osceola.

LeeAnn Vitalis, director of employee services and human resources at the St. Croix Regional Medical Center in St. Croix Falls, joined the local Rotary club about two years ago.

Chisato, whose home is in Osaka, Japan, is the first exchange student she and her husband, Kris, have hosted.

“I’m getting a lot more out of this than I can ever imagine giving,” Vitalis says. “Being a host mom, I am just delighted to have Chisato. I feel like I’m really blessed.”

With two sons, who soon will turn seven and nine, Vitalis wanted to host a girl.

“I think what’s important is that they have a well-rounded experience,” Vitalis says of the foreign students.

Rotary clubs try to engender that by having the students stay with two or three different host families during their 11 or 12 months away from home.

“It’s much easier to be a host family when it’s just for three or four months,” Otto notes.

There is, of course, a careful selection process for host families.

“Mol’s spent a lot of time with all three of my [adult-age] kids, and their kids—my grandkids,” Otto says. “So they all know him and like him. It’s great. He’s just become part of the family. . . . They’re here to learn what our culture’s all about, so we just make them part of everyday life.”

Otto took Mol and Chisato to the Minnesota State Fair. Vitalis took the pair to the annual Renaissance Festival at Shakopee, MN. It’s fair to say that both events were something of a culture shock to the visitors.

Chisato had her first tent camping experience with the Vitalis family.

Mol has been to the Mall of America, and Chisato to the local Wal-Mart at least a dozen times.

Chisato and Mol both say American food is sweeter than the food they are used to eating back home. Mol found that both pickles and beer jerky are not to his liking.

“The ultimate purpose of this whole thing is just international understanding,” Otto says. “You get to know people from these other countries and other cultures and you’re going to look at the world differently.”

Rotary International’s student exchange program is the largest such program in the world.

“We’ve got kids everywhere,” Otto says.

Mol’s family has hosted several foreign exchange students. In fact, a student from Taiwan is staying at his Brazilian home now.

Chisato’s grandparents currently have a girl from North St. Paul at their house.

A student from here is spending this school year in Switzerland.

“It seems typical of the program for other countries to require that back and forth,” Otto says. “We’re a little bit more random here, whereas overseas, from what I hear, it’s much more ‘you send, you get.’ We typically have plenty of families that want to do it [host students], so it’s not that big a deal.”

Vitalis believes spending time in another country as a months-long resident rather than a short-time tourist makes a big impact on someone’s life.

“I wasn’t a Rotary exchange student,” Vitalis says, “but in college I studied abroad in Australia, and I think that’s one of the best things. The world gets a little bit smaller, and you start to understand people and cultures better. And you can’t go wrong with that.”

Chisato attends the St. Croix Falls High School even though the Vitalis family lives in Taylors Falls.

“The school has been wonderful,” Vitalis says. “The counselor there, Mr. Wilson, is really good.”

Both Chisato and Mol changed their class schedules after the school term began to drop difficult classes and accommodate extracurricular activities.

As Vitalis notes, learning a new subject—United States government, for example—in a new language is difficult.

“It takes a couple of months before their English skills really get up to speed,” Otto says. “But people this age learn really fast. They had a good foundation before they got here, and there’s already a significant difference.”

In Japan students start learning English at the middle school level.

“We don’t learn conversation so much, but we learn writing and reading,” Chisato says.

Otto has had the opportunity to travel to Finland to visit former exchange students he hosted.

“I just love the hospitality we receive when we go visit foreign exchange students back in their home countries,” he says. “It’s a real experience.”

In the role of host, he says, “The first week or so you have your party manners on, then they’re just one of the kids.”

Shelter Box Update | Pakistan Floods

September 27, 2010
St. Croix Falls, WI

ShelterBoxes for Haiti being packed by the team of volunteers

The St. Croix Falls Rotary Club would like to thank everyone who participated in the fundraising efforts to purchase a shelter box for Haiti.  We have all witnessed the devastation around the world as natural disasters continue to wreak havoc in nations that are far from us by distance, but close in our hearts and minds.

Rotary has been supporting the efforts of disaster relief through the local clubs and our club has been able to fund 4 boxes so far – through personal donations and individual donors.

As with any shelter box, we are given a number that allows us to track the boxes location/deployment and find out who we were able to help.  This latest box was sent to Pakistan, to help with the flooding in that country.

Shelter Box #13843

To track this box, go to:

For more information our Rotary or if you would like to visit our club, please contact us today! We’d love to have you be our guest at our next meeting!

011 Rotary Club Radio – Greg Hill ~ Topeka, KS ~ Marketing & Technology

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Rotary Club Radio Episode 011

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007 Rotary Club Radio – Future Episodes Update

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Rotary Club Radio Episode 007

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Student of the Month – February 2010

The St. Croix Falls Rotary Club is pleased to announce the February 2010 Rotary Club Students of the Month from St. Croix Falls and Osceola, WI.

  • Gabby Nuckles, St. Croix Falls High School
  • Avery Bundgaard, Osceola School High School

Gabby Nuckles, Student of the Month; Mrs. Sue Imoff, Most Influential Teacher
and Terry Hawkins, Rotary President

Avery Bundgaard, Student of the Month; Mr. Kelly Stephens, Most Influential Teacher
and Terry Hawkins, Rotary President

Rotarian Pat Struve, of the St. Croix Falls Club, receives his 6th Paul Harris Award

Pat Struve, Paul Harris Fellow and Club President Terry Hawkins

January 20, 2010

Rotarian Pat Struve, of the St. Croix Falls Rotary Club, was presented with his +6th Paul Harris Award by Club President, Terry Hawkins.

A Paul Harris Fellow is an individual who donates $1,000 or more to the Annual Programs Fund, PolioPlus, or the Humanitarian Grants Program, or people who have that amount contributed in their name, can be recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. Each new Paul Harris Fellow receives a commemorative certificate and a pin.  Individuals who donate multiple $1,000 dollars become Paul Harris + members.

Upon receiving his Paul Harris Pin, Pat recalled life as a boy in the midst of the Polio crisis in America. He remembered vividly, not being able to play with other kids because of the Polio outbreak and seeing friends and family members die or disabled as a result of the virus.  According to Pat, “when Rotary began it’s Polio Vaccination project, I saw it as an opportunity to end polio in my generation ~ and Rotary has almost done it.”

Congratulations to Rotarian Pat Struve for his years of service in Rotary and his generous gift to Rotary International to End Polio Now.

You can more information about Rotary and Paul Harris at:

Weekly Meetings
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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