Posts Tagged ‘St. Croix Falls’

Community Service Day

We had a very good day for our 1st community service day.  Thanks to the 4 women from the Butterfly House who were a BIG help, and Taewon, LeeAnn and son Adam, Jeff, Sleepy Dawn, and myself.

We accomplished:CS Day

  • The skate park painted, cleaned  and brushed out, and the retaining wall rebuilt a bit
  • Cleaned up the ladder tank trail access by DQ
  • Painted, trimmed bushes and removed leaves and litter from the pocket park next to Cyclova XC

It’s amazing what a few hands can do in about 2 hours.  I’m thinking we do it up bigger next spring.  I think the Butterfly women really enjoyed and appreciated the outing.  Dawn has a few other photos too.

Thanks All.

Steve Mc

Students of the Month – November 2013

The St. Croix Falls Rotary Club is pleased to announce the November 2013 Rotary Club Students of the Month from St. Croix Falls and Osceola, WI.

  • Brendon Gearhart, St. Croix Falls High School
  • Kathryn McMartin, Osceola School High School

Brendon Gearhart

Brendon Gearhart, Student of the Month with most influential teacher Mark Sirinek & Rotarian Rebecca Berg.

Kathryn McMartin

Kathryn McMartin, Student of the Month with most influential teacher Matt Zurbriggen & Rotarian Rebecca Berg.



2013 Ethics Essay Contest Winner – St. Croix Falls, WI

Essay Contest Winner

Samantha O’Brien, the May 2013 Student of the Month, was the winner of the 2013 Rotary 4 Way Test Ethics Essay Contest.  Her prize was a scholarship for $500.

2013 Students of the Month St. Croix Falls, WI

2013 Students of the Month St. Croix Falls, WI

  • Sydney Geisness – October 2012
  • Natalie Sempf – November 2012
  • Taylor Orton – December 2012
  • Samantha O’Brien – January 2013
  • Noah Casterton – February 2013
  • Dylan Lynch – March 2013
  • Jordy Johnson – April 2013
  • Taylor Woller – May 2013

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.

SCF Rotarians Take the Plunge

On Saturday, February 4th, 2012 – members of the St. Croix Falls Rotary and and exchange student from Indonesia, took the plunge to raise money for Rotary projects!

SCF Plungers:

  • Lydia – Exchange Student from Indonesia
  • Steve McCormack – St. Croix Falls, WI
  • Jagath ‘Jug’ Karun – Osceola, WI

Video starts at SCF’s plunge.  Feel free to watch the whole video by rewinding!

The event was sponsored by the North Branch Rotary Club of MN was a great success!

If you would still like to sponsor a jumper with a donation, please use the button below!

Donations will be used in community projects that Rotary sponsors! Thank you for supporting the Rotary Club of St. Croix Falls!

Rotary Donates $1,200 to the SCF Back Pack Program

The Rotary Club of St. Croix Falls made a $1,200 donation to the St. Croix Falls Back Pack Program.  The funds will be used to buy milk vouchers that are redeemable at local grocery stores.  Every week, participants get a milk voucher in their backpack.

Rotary Back Pack Donation $1,200

Rotary President LeeAnn Vitalis presents a $1,200 check to the Back Pack Program

The Rotary Club of St. Croix Falls is raising money to provide milk, a much needed item, to the program.  You can donate by clicking the image above (all proceeds will go towards milk coupons) or to receive a Tax Deduction for your Donation, please send a check payable to the Salvation Army & write “SCF Backpack Project” on the memo line.

Financial donations can be sent to:

St. Croix Falls Middle School
c/o Denise Sinclear Todd
740 Maple Drive
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024

Would your company do a matching gift?  This would be a great way to increase your donation!

If you have any questions, call Denise Sinclear Todd at 715-483-2507 (ext. 1204) or Maria Gjovig at ext. 1172.

Members of the St. Croix Falls Rotary will Take the Plunge!

On Saturday, February 4th, 2012 – some brave members of the St. Croix Falls Rotary Club will participate in the 3rd Annual Polar Plunge in Harris, MN.  The event, sponsored by the North Branch Rotary Club, is held at the Fish Lake County Park.

Registration starts at 11:00 AM and Plunging starts at 12:00 PM
Everyone is welcome to come and watch or even sign up to jump in!!!  The more the merrier!

Click for Directions

If you would like to sponsor a jumper with a donation, please use the button below!

Donations will be used in community projects that Rotary sponsors!  Thank you for supporting the Rotary Club of St. Croix Falls!

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.”

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.
Follow Us
Rotary TV
Rotary Videos