Weeks of February 2 and 9, 2020

Meeting Reminder


Thursday, February 6, 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM, Local Roots, 817 E 66th St, Richfield, MN 55423

(Order lunch if desired, sign in and network from 11:30 - 11:45 AM; Meeting starts at 11:45 AM)

Thought for the Week, Introduction of Guests and Happy Dollars - Maria Regan Gonzalez

Club Business and Announcements - President Barb Devlin

Program:  Lou Dzierzak - "Meet the Rotarian" Presentation

What do Schwinn bikes, Mustang convertibles, and Asian Carp all have in common?  (Answer:  Lou Dzierzak has written books about all of them!!) Lou, who joined Richfield Rotary in October 2019, will share highlights from his personal history, family and career, and how he became a freelance writer.  He'll tell us about some of his most interesting projects and assignments, including his most recent book about the Asian Carp and its ties to Minnesota and Mississippi River.  He may also mention the novel he's been writing in his spare time!



Meeting Highlights


We had a fantastic meeting with special guest Mark Skipper. Mark shared an inspirational story of scaling the US Bank building in Minneapolis. The story started with a Double Dog Dare fundraiser with The Boy Scouts of America and finished with Mark putting 2 feet firmly back on the ground after conquering a 23-story building and more than a few nerves!

Richfield Rotary Relaunch Continues!  Help Needed From Club Members!

A “Richfield Rotary Relaunch” began in July 2019, with a focus on expanding membership and strengthening connections with the Richfield community.  Our goal is to create what is essentially a new club with a majority of members that live, work and/ or do business in Richfield.  The Relaunch is continuing, with two additional Relaunch Information Meetings scheduled for February 13 and 27, 2020, 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM at Local Roots.  Please share the attached flyer with friends and acquaintances who live, work, and / or do business in Richfield.  Encourage them to attend one of the meetings and, if possible, attend the meeting with them!  

Note:  Both veteran and new members are encouraged to attend one or both meetings, to share why you joined Rotary and why you think it's important that others become part of the Relaunch as well.  In addition to President Barb Devlin, John Devlin and Brandt Krueger have signed up to attend the February 13 Relaunch meeting, and John DeBettignies and Jared Shepherd have signed up to attend the February 27 Relaunch meeting.  Please RSVP your attendance at one or both meetings as well, and let me know if you have invited anyone to attend.  Thank you!

Special Message on Rotary Foundation from DG Russ Michaletz


In a recent letter to club presidents, DG Russ Michaletz wrote, "The Rotary year reached the halfway point at the end of December, and….it’s time to push The Rotary Foundation fundraising into high gear.  What we do this Rotary year will impact our project activity at home and around the world, including specifically what our district Rotarians will have available for matching grants 3 years from now. Last Rotary year, our district Rotarians gave $271 per capita. ..We hope to match or exceed that number this year. "
District 5950 would like EVERY ROTARIAN, EVERY YEAR, to make a contribution to the Rotary Foundation.  The District invites a commitment to TRF of at least $1 per day (or whatever you can afford), and our club invites an additional contribution to the Richfield Rotary Foundation (RRF).
Members are asked to complete and submit the attached 2020 TRF / RRF Combined Pledge Form on or before our March 19 Rotary meeting, when District Governor Rus Michaletz will be our special guest.  It would be great to be able to announce 100% club member response on that date! 
Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Applications Invited for Rotary Peace Scholarships

Promoting peace is one of Rotary’s main causes. The fully funded Rotary Peace Fellowship, which covers tuition and living expenses, increases the capacity of existing leaders to prevent and resolve conflict by offering academic training, field experience, and professional networking. 
Clubs and districts have the power to shape the next generation of peace leaders by recruiting and nominating peace fellows, and keeping them engaged after the fellowship ends.
Districts interview and endorse qualified candidates, which is required before The Rotary Foundation can consider a candidate. Clubs help by recommending and coaching qualified candidates. 
The application process is now open, with a due date of May 31 for applications to be submitted to Rotary Districts. 
Click here for additional details regarding the application process and qualifications. 
If you know someone you think would make a good candidate, please refer them to Rotary International using this online form.  If the person is interested in applying, let me know so we can meet with the individual and decide whether to endorse the application as a club. 
Star Tribune “Remembering” Article on Tommy Thompson


Long-time Richfield Rotarian Thomas A. “Tommy” Thompson was recognized in a Star Tribune “Remembering” article as a “master builder” whose legacy is still evident in Minneapolis.  Thompson, who died January 2, served as Minneapolis’ first city coordinator.   The article noted that, although he retired in 1983 due to heart problems, “Thompson remained involved in many groups including Rotary International.” 
Click here to read the full article, which paints a picture of a man who truly believed in Service Above Self. 





“Thanks” from PPL’s Cabrini Program

Katherine Pollock, Director of Supportive Housing for Single Adults for Project for Pride in Living, sent a note of appreciation for our donation of socks for distribution to its clients in the Cabrini Program in December.  Katherine wrote in part:
PPL’s Cabrini Program is deeply grateful for your continued partnership and support of the persons we serve, especially during the holiday season.  Our participants live with mental health and chemical health challenges, long histories of homelessness, and little or no income.  We cannot express our gratitude enough – without you all, we could not provide these essential items for our participants.  Thank you again and we are looking forward to future collaborations!

Dictionary Project

The District 5950 Local Grants Committee gave their unanimous support for a Richfield Rotary grant proposal for funds to support the purchase of Spanish-English visual dictionaries for elementary students, and culturally relevant library books, including books in Spanish or in English with Latino main characters.  The club’s commitment of $600 to the project was matched by a $3200 District grant, for a total of $3800 to spend on this effort! 
Thanks to Marta Shahsavand and Steven Unowsky for working with President Barb Devlin on the project proposal.  Thanks also to Lynne Alexander for designing and ordering the Rotary donation stickers in English and Spanish.  Once the books are received, we’ll call on club members to help insert the donation stickers in each dictionary and library book!


The Bread of Hope initiative provides unsold bread from Lakewinds Cooperative to Hope Presbyterian Church for the Loaves and Fishes evening meal.  The Rotary, Optimists and Lions Clubs along with Headway Family Services each deliver bread one day per week, with Rotary delivering on Thursday mornings.  (Note:  When our meetings switch to mid-day in October, volunteers are encouraged to pick up and deliver bread prior to the meeting.)

Listed below are volunteer opportunities through February 2020.  Thanks to all for volunteering!

February 6 - John DeBettignies
February 13 - John and Barb Devlin
February 20 - Jared Shepherd
February 27 - John and Barb Devlin
Click here to review the recently updated Bread of Hope procedures. 


The VEAP Student Hunger Project brings together Rotarians from several area clubs on Thursday evenings throughout the school year to pack food bags at VEAP for local school children who go without food over the  weekends.   The photo is from last year, and includes John and Barb Devlin and Deanna Groth (Chip's wife).  Richfield Rotarians who have volunteered to help out in 2019-2020 are listed below.  Thank you!
Student Hunger Volunteers - Richfield Rotary
Last Name
First Name
Oct 10, Apr 9
Nov 7, Apr 9
No Oct-Nov 8
Sep 19, Feb 20
No Oct-Nov 8
Sep 19, Feb 20
No Jan-Apr
Oct 10, Apr 30



Upcoming Meetings 

February 19, 2020 - Jared Shepherd - "Career in Law, including Pro Bono Work with Immigrants and Refugees" (New Member Presentation)
March 5, 2020 - Amy Markle, Recreation Services Director with the City of Richfield
March 19, 2020 - District Governor Russ Michaletz - "Rotary 101"
April 2, 2020 - TBD
April 16, 2020 – Lew Anderson, MN Director of Advancement, Destiny Rescue, an international organization which rescues children from human trafficking
Thanks to Ella Lingat for her assistance in lining up excellent speakers!  Please make every effort to attend meetings so program presenters have a good audience!

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Barb Devlin

Club Information
Welcome to our Club!
Service Above Self
1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month, 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Local Roots
817 E. 66th Street
Richfield, MN  55423
United States of America
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