Elmbrook Rotary Club News
Holger Knaack, member of the Rotary Club of Herzogtum-Lauenburg-Möln, Germany, is Rotary International President for 2020-2021.
A Rotary member since 1992, Knaack has served Rotary as treasurer, director, moderator, member and chair of several committees, representative for the Council on Legislation, zone coordinator, training leader, and district governor. He is an endowment/major gifts adviser and was co-chair of the Host Organization Committee for the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg. Knaack and his wife, Susanne, are Major Donors to The Rotary Foundation and members of the Bequest Society.
Rotary Opens Opportunities is the theme chosen by President Knaack for 2020-2021. At the International Assembly in San Diego in January 2020, he had the following to say about his theme: "So as you can see, Rotary is not just a club that you join. It is an invitation to endless opportunities. It opens opportunities to serve in a project as big and historic as End Polio Now and also in a small community project, where you just plant a tree. And it opens opportunities for you to live a richer, more meaningful life, with friends around the world, based on our core valuesAs Rotarians, we are very blessed to take on leadership roles at this wonderful moment for our organization. Everything we do opens another opportunity for someone, somewhere. Therefore, the theme for our year is: Rotary Opens Opportunities."
  • Rotary Creates Opportunities is the Rotary International theme for this year. RI President Holger Knaack recently said: “Don’t be afraid of change; continue to use new tools and adapt to change.”
    I look forward to serving as President of the Elmbrook Rotary Club for the coming year. Our meetings will continue to be on Friday mornings at 7:00 a.m. via Zoom technology until it is appropriate to resume in-person meetings. Then, those meetings will likely be in a hybrid format with the option of attending via Zoom. Rotary International does not want members to feel compelled to attend any meeting or activities where they do not feel safe and comfortable. It will be our challenge to be open to opportunities to adapt to change while maintaining the traditions of fellowship and service that are the fabric of our club.
    To help guide us, a survey will go out soon to learn of each member’s comfort levels. I am confident that, as a club, we will embrace the challenges ahead in this uncertain period as we find new ways to continue our mission.
In its Zoom-enabled virtual meeting on Friday, June 26, Elmbrook Rotary Club & Foundation installed its 2020-2021 Officers and Directors.
The names and positions are listed in the following JPEG images.
In addition, the entire Zoom session was recorded. Click on either JPEG image to view the 50-minute ERC meeting.
The club's sincere gratitude is offered to outgoing President Mike Schmeling and his fellow Officers/Directors for their faithful service during a most challenging year! And, best wishes go to incoming President Tom Hochuli and his administration for this next Rotary Year, which begins on July 1.
ERC member Linda Wickstrom has discontinued her "Hat Challenge" for ERC's weekly Zoom meetings and has issued a new challenge for finding and using the best Zoom Virtual Background.
To make use of the Virtual Background function in Zoom, one must have a computer or mobile phone that supports this function. Read a full-length "Zoom Support" article that discusses the required settings and the applicable settings within Zoom itself.
In addition, there is a big difference between using the Virtual Background function with or without  a "green screen." And, one needs to scour the Internet to find the best still images and/or videos for incorporating into the Zoom meeting experience.
View the following YouTube videos for step-by-step instructions:
[If accessing via the weekly eBulletin,
[If accessing via the weekly eBulletin,
Happy hunting, learning, and experimenting! [If you need personal assistance, contact ERC member Larry Myers or ERC member Jackie Radomski.]
The Elmbrook Rotary Club's "Straight Shooters" observed "June Is Rotary Fellowships Month" with an outing.
Harry Farchmin, the "Straight Shooters" coordinator, provides the following report:  "The Rotary Straight Shooters (our local fellowship group of International Shooting Sports Rotarians) enjoyed a Sporting Clays outing at the Waukesha Gun Club on June 18, 2020. We had 13 Rotarians and guests join together to enjoy shooting on wonderful summer evening. Our group included five new shooters who all did very well and enjoyed the outing. The Rotary Straight Shooters have regular outings on the third Thursday of every month.  Outings and registration information are posted on the Elm Brook Rotary Club and D-6270 Calendars."
Also, visit the RI Fellowships web page to learn more about the many opportunities for worldwide fellowships. Chances are that at least one group exists that will match your personal interests.
Ciara McHugh was the District 6270 Global Grant Scholar for 2018-2019. She is approaching her third year of a Ph.D. research program and has been instrumental in establishing a new Rotaract Club at her graduate school, Queen’s University Belfast. Following is her report.

" Early in the year, a group came together with the intention of creating a Rotaract chapter in Belfast, Northern Ireland. We were from a variety of disciplines, a range of countries, and each were introduced to Rotary in different ways. After a number of late-night brainstorming sessions at QUB's [Queen’s University Belfast’s] cafe (pre-lockdown, of course), we allocated board positions and made plans to get a Queen's University Belfast Rotaract Club off the ground.

"Theo, a Belfast native and active Interactor, was chosen as president; Veja, who is from Slovakia, volunteered her experiences from her Scottish Rotaract days as Outreach chair; Anna, a Global Grant scholar from Wisconsin, became secretary; and I volunteered as treasurer.

"Over the last few months, we've had to adjust our approaches and strategies to adapt to pandemic conditions. But, with ongoing support from the Belfast Rotary Club, our bi-weekly Zoom calls are full of the same energy and enthusiasm as those first brainstorming sessions. I'm pleased to say that our members have kept busy: with social distanced volunteering at Age-NI, donating energy bars to frontline and hospital workers, engaging with local racial-justice organizations, and organizing an online charity quiz to raise money for local pandemic efforts.

"I'm honored to be a part of such an encouraging and engaged group of Rotaractors, and I look forward to expanding our outreach in the years to come."


Anna DeWitt (the 2019-2020 GG Scholar from RI District 6220) is from Appleton, WI, and is shown in the photo holding the Appleton Rotary Club banner (mirror image on their Zoom meeting). Ciara McHugh, for whom Elmbrook Rotary served as local Rotary liaison during her 2018-2019 GG Scholarship, is holding a Whitnall Park Rotary Club banner. Clearly, the RI Global Grant Scholarship program, the Interact clubs, and Rotary clubs throughout the world are having an impact in these days of COVID-19 (and beyond).

Interestingly, Ciara's Ph.D. research is focusing on "how to ameliorate strained relationships between police and minority communities, specifically through visual technologies, and the ways in which gender paradigms can help overcome barriers between the two groups."

Congratulations, Ciara, on your continued involvement in Rotary! Keep on keeping on!

Michael Gosman, President & Chief Executive Officer of Acts Housing, was the featured speaker at Elmbrook Rotary Club's "virtual meeting" (via Zoom) on Friday, June 12.
Acts Housing provides one-on-one and online, HUD-approved homebuyer and financial counseling for individuals and families to help them become ready to buy.

As a real estate brokerage, Acts represents families in the purchase of homes, for owner occupancy, in Milwaukee and Beloit. Acts then helps families plan and execute home rehabilitation, with a focus on reclaiming vacant foreclosures. Their affiliated nonprofit partner, Acts Lending, Inc., provides mortgage loans for rehabilitation projects.

Acts serves diverse families throughout Milwaukee and Beloit. Many families purchase formerly vacant, vandalized foreclosures. Usually, rehab costs are less than demolition, and new owners save hundreds on their monthly housing costs.

June is "Rotary Fellowships Month."
Elmbrook Rotary has quite a few members who participate in "Straight Shooters," the local gathering of the Rotary "Shooting sport" Fellowship. Other ERC members belong to the "Beer" Rotary Fellowship.
ERC member and Club Treasurer Mark Zalewsky writes the following about his involvement in two Rotary Fellowships:
"If you haven't seen it yet, this month's [June edition of The] Rotarian has a small piece on Rotary Fellowships [p. 60].   Fellowships can be a way to extend the Rotarian spirit beyond just the Club level to the World beyond - through common interests or professional affiliations. Many of the Fellowships organize events that coincide with the International and Regional conferences.  And, many events support Rotary causes while being fun in their own right.      
"I am a member of the Cycling Fellowship (Cycling2Serve) and the Surfing Fellowship (long story).  I've participated with over 200 Rotarians from all over the world - including RI Executive Secretary John Hewko and the RI staff - in the annual El Tour de Tucson and helped raise in excess of $7 million for End Polio Now.  And, before COVID derailed the RI convention, the Surfing Fellowship had planned to have 500 surfers "Hang Ten" at Waikiki. Also, through social media we can stay connected with each other's activities.  
"Take a look at the list of Rotary Fellowships - there is one for almost any interest.   And it just one more way Rotary opens doors to the World."

Bill Tobin, Rotary Relations Manager and ShelterBox Ambassador for ShelterBoxUSA, provided an update briefing to Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) on Friday, May 29. You can view his entire slide show briefing by clicking here. As a result of his briefing, ERC member Doug Jacobson began a donation challenge that has produced more than $2,000 for ShelterBox USA.

Right now, more than 88 million people around the world have been made homeless by natural disaster and conflict. ShelterBox is working to change this. View this video that traces 20 years of ShelterBox impact.

[If unable to view the embedded media, access
By providing emergency shelter and tools for families robbed of their homes by disaster, Shelter Box is transforming despair into hope. ShelterBox teams work with disaster-hit families  around the world, offering emergency shelter and other essential items to support them in rebuilding their lives.

Every disaster is different and so is every community; so ShelterBox spends time with those affected to make sure they can offer the right support at the right time to help them recover.

See the following resources for learning more about, and following, the efforts of ShelterBox:

An RI District 6270 member has been awarded with Rotary International's "Service Above Self" award! Nancy Rhodes of the West Allis Rotary Club is the honored recipient.
Rotary’s highest honor recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self, by volunteering their time and talents to help others. The award is internationally competitive and is granted to no more than 150 Rotarians worldwide, and no more than one from each district, each year.

Nancy Rhodes is a DYNAMO! She is a strong, determined, compassionate, tireless, & effective leader, in & out of Rotary. Since joining Rotary in 1988 -just one year after the Supreme Court ruled Rotary clubs may not exclude women based on gender- Nancy has held leadership positions at all levels of Rotary - from Club to International.  Her husband, Don Drecktrah, is also a Rotarian.
Nancy personifies what the Service Above Self award is all about. She is extremely dedicated to Rotary, and particularly to The Rotary Foundation, where she works diligently to identify prospective donors. As one member/donor put it, “She may be little, but Nancy can pick you up and shake you until every last nickel falls out of your pockets. And… she does it with a smile.”  

She is generous with her time, talents, & knowledge; her calendar is always full of Rotary meetings, events, & projects. Nancy never expects from others what she herself does not give, often many times over. What many aren’t aware of is her accomplishments behind the scenes:  advocating & promoting support of people, ideas, & projects; quietly inspiring others to give money for causes; identifying people’s talents/capabilities & getting them involved in areas where they can make an impact. It is work with many hours of organizing, directing & being on one’s feet, the results of which many take for granted.

Nancy was one of the first women to join a Rotary club. After decades of service at the local, district, zone, and international levels, she is now duly recognized. Congratulations, Nancy!

On Friday, May 22, ERC member and TRF (The Rotary Foundation) rep for the club, Tom Curl, provided a motivational report to Elmbrook Rotary Club that encouraged support of TRF.
Usually, when "Foundation" is mentioned, ERC members think of the Elmbrook Rotary Club Foundation, which annually provides approximately $70,000 to charitable organizations both nationally and internationally.  Click here or on the image below to read about the ERC Foundation work during the 2018-2019 Rotary Year.
However, Tom's emphasis was on The Rotary Foundation globally and how to donate. A handful of other ERC members provided testimonies of how they have made commitments to TRF through personal wills, family estate trusts, IRA distributions, and outright gifts. Emphasis was also given to the "Million Dollar Journey" of RI District 6270. Joining the meeting was Nancy Rhodes, a Past District Governor of District 6270 and current Endowment/Major Gifts Advisor for Zone 29.
ERC members who shared their stories nearly unanimously made mention of ERC's own international efforts at the Common Hope school in Guatemala and credited that involvement as an incentive for their own commitments to The Rotary Foundation.

Dr. Jeffrey Reed was the featured speaker at Elmbrook Rotary Club's "virtual meeting" on Friday, May 15. Jeff is a Past District Governor of RI District 6270 and has made numerous trips to India in support of club projects and polio immunization efforts in that country. He provided an excellent overview of Polio Eradication efforts in India as well as examples of "Indian Rotary Clubs' Commitment to Service Above Self."

Prior to his current role as Dean of the School of Business at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Dr. Reed served as Director of the Management Program, Director of the Honors Program, Interim Director of Institutional Research, Faculty Senate President, and Co-Executive Director of the Center for Spirituality and Leadership. He received the Underkofler Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, and he was a visiting professor at Harlaxton College in 2006.

Elmbrook Rotary Club "virtual meetings" continued on Friday, May 8, at 7:00 a.m. (via Zoom) with special guests from Serenity Inns:  Ellen Blathers and Virginia Zignego.
Serenity Inns works with men who are the fringes of society – men who are estranged from friends and family, homeless, recently released from prison, addicted to drugs or alcohol – and engages them in a structured, long-term rehab program, which includes housing for alumni.  Serenity Inns recently was awarded “Best in Milwaukee” by the Shepherd Express in the Alcohol & Drug Rehab Center category. Ellen Blathers is the co-founder and Executive Director of Serenity Inns. Ms. Blathers received a Black Excellence Award from the Milwaukee Times in 2019; she was also runner-up for the Nonprofit Executive of the Year Award in 2017. Virginia Zignego is the Director of Development & Administration.
After two unsuccessful Friday morning connections with Dr. Jane Baker Koons in India, several members of Elmbrook Rotary Club were able to effect and record a Zoom video conference with her.
Dr. Jane Baker Koons has been an Educational Consultant to Schools in India since 2007. She was instrumental in an Elmbrook Rotary Club TRF Global Grant several years ago.
View her 29-minute update by clicking here or on the image below.
You can access more information about Dr. Koons and her work by clicking here.
Due to the increasing severity of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the State of Wisconsin has issued "Emergency Order #12 Safer at Home Order." This order became effective at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and will remain in effect until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued.
Therefore, the Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) will NOT MEET in person until further notice.   ERC members are encouraged to stay in touch via the "Elmbrook Rotary Club" group chat room that has been established on WhatsApp.  In addition, the ERC leadership has arranged for "virtual meetings." The Zoom application will be used for these "virtual meetings."  Notification and instructions for each "virtual meeting" are sent to club membership.
Stay safe!
Like many Rotary Clubs in the United States, the Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) has a tradition of opening our meetings with “Happy Fines ($).” The “Happy Fine” has a storied place in Rotary history and in our local club as a way to get members talking beyond their immediate table about what’s new in their lives, family, jobs, and the community. Members typically contribute a dollar or several dollars for their “happiness/news,” and all of us enjoy hearing about what’s going on in one another’s lives.

Since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve suspended in-person meetings and now have virtual meetings via Zoom. This past Friday’s meeting ran long due to our speaker and an update on coronavirus stats & responses in Waukesha County. We had to cut short our day-in-review, the joke of the day, and our “Happy” discussion. Not to be deterred, a number of ERC members turned to the ERC WhatsApp group to share their “Happy” news and to offer contributions in support of COVID-19 relief. Bill Severson kicked it off with a contribution, a match, and a poker challenge. Then we were off and running. Several members responded to the challenge. We had commitments for several hundred dollars when Kathy Becker “upped the ante,” and commitments really took off. We crossed the $1,000 mark, and the momentum continued. After a few hours, we surpassed our self-made $2,000 goal with contributions from 20 members. The ERC Foundation Board of Directors will determine the specific organizations to which the funds will be sent.

Special thanks and shout-outs to:  Jeanne Allen, John Allen, Pati Allen-Brickman, Kathy Becker, Bonnie Bertram, Phyllis Blodgett, Sue Cerletty, Tom Curl, Linda Edelstein, Harry Farchmin, Ralph Gould, Tom Hochuli, Doug Jacobson, Andy McCully, Larry Myers, Kevin Roche, Chris Salani, Bill Severson, Noaman Sharief, & Mark Thurner. Way to go, ERC!!!
NEWS FLASH:  The ERC Foundation has offered a matching grant, U.S. $1 per $1, up to $12,000 (which includes the $2,150 already raised) for COVID-19 support to three local organizations. More details will be forthcoming.
Wisconsin State Senator Dale Kooyenga was the featured speaker at the "virtual meeting" of  the Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) on Friday, April 17.  Attendance totaled some 60 ERC members and guests, continuing to outpace the average attendance at in-person meetings.
Senator Kooyenga addressed the impact of COVID-19 on the State of Wisconsin and the state's response to it. He also fielded many questions from ERC membership, provoking much discussion.
ERC virtual meetings continue to provide top-quality topics and speakers.  Don't miss them - every Friday online at 7:00 a.m. via the Zoom application.

ERC's second virtual meeting occurred on Friday, April 10, with 53 members and guests in attendance. Brett R. Bennett of the SKYGEN USA organization was the featured speaker. Brett has been on three separate humanitarian missions to Tanzania, Africa, as part of a team to establish mobile vision clinics, train local staff, and provide much needed vision testing and eyeglasses to tens of thousands of local Tanzanians in need. In addition to his briefing, he spoke of an RI Global Grant that is being written in order to benefit those whom SKYGEN assists.

More information can be accessed at:  https://skygenfoundation.org/Foundation.htm

Elmbrook Rotary Club's first "virtual meeting" occurred on Friday, April 3. It was a rip-roaring success with 63 participants!
ERC's own, Dr. Mark Bruce, was the featured speaker. He again related his personal story and personal communications with Jackie Kennedy when she was the nation's First Lady. Dr. Bruce's story appears in his book entitled, Jackie, a Boy, and a Dog: A Warm Cold War Story (now in its second printing). His web site (www.JackieBoyDog.com) contains a composite of his meaningful and motivational personal story, including video clips and how to purchase the book. His 39-minute ERC presentation can be accessed by clicking here or on the image below.
Dr. Bruce, an emergency medicine physician who has led multiple international medical mercy trips, also used the occasion to speak about COVID-19 and his own personal involvement here in the State of Wisconsin. He insisted that God provides skills and grace to each individual and that the current global pandemic is an opportunity to put those skills and grace to good use for the sake of our neighbor.
Elmbrook Rotary Club intends to schedule regular online "virtual meetings." ERC leadership will provide notices and instructions concerning when, what, and how to participate.
Linda Wickstrom, a member of Elmbrook Rotary Club, is the Public Information Officer for the Waukesha County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). She offers the following report:
"We are living in a time that none of us could have anticipated. And though our public health professionals in Waukesha County have been tracking the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for months, its far-reaching impact is unprecedented. I can assure you that Waukesha County has mounted an organized, proactive, coordinated response to this pandemic. 
"As of March 18, the Waukesha County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) fully activated to its highest level. I was deployed as Public Information Officer, a role that I’ve been training for through Homeland Security and FEMA for three years. The EOC is the County’s coordinated center of emergency management for Waukesha County municipalities, hospitals, EMS, law enforcement, and other agencies to actively work together to share resources and make decisions quickly as this situation develops. 
"While almost all of the County’s non-essential employees are working virtually, we remain open for business, though how services are provided has changed to ensure the safety of residents and employees.  
"There are a couple ways you can stay well informed about the County’s response:
"Feel free to contact me anytime with questions, rumors, ideas, concerns: lwickstrom@waukeshacounty.gov
"Thank you for following the guidelines to wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay at home when you can. Stay safe. Slow the spread. Flatten the curve."

Rotary International's new monthly theme for April is Maternal and Child Health!

Every day mothers risk their lives giving birth, and millions of children die each year from treatable, preventable causes. At least 7 million children under the age of five die each year due to malnutrition, poor health care, and inadequate sanitation. To help reduce this rate, Rotary provides immunizations and antibiotics to babies, improves access to essential medical services, and supports trained health care providers for mothers and their children. Rotary’s projects ensure sustainability by empowering the local community to take ownership of health care training programs.

Maternal and Child Health Care is also recognized as one of Rotary’s Six Areas of Focus.

To get more information and read news about Rotary's work to promote maternal and child health can be found at the link below:


Because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, both the District 6270 "Celebrate 2020" Conference (scheduled for May 1-2 in Oshkosh, WI) and the Rotary International Convention (scheduled for June 6-10 in Honolulu, Oahu, HI) have been canceled.
Hotel reservations in Oshkosh have been automatically canceled, and District Conference registrants will be contacted for a full refund. Likewise, the RI committee is working diligently to inform convention registrants and to issue refunds for the International Convention. Detailed information regarding the RI Convention can be accessed here.
Sunagawa Fuka ("Fuka") is the ERC's Rotary Youth Exchange student for 2019-2020. She attends Brookfield Central High School. Hailing from Japan (southwest of Tokyo), she had the opportunity to share the highlights of her year with Elmbrook Rotary at its breakfast meeting on Friday, March 6. Her presentation was enthusiastically received by all in attendance, including her two host families for this academic year who joined the club for breakfast.
ERC learned from Fuka that she shares the birthday of our nation (July 4). Club members in attendance also learned much about her family in Japan, various Japanese cultural traditions, and her own school and extracurricular activities in Japan.
ERC is exceedingly proud of this "brave" young lady and looked forward to her remaining months in our midst. Unfortunately, COVID-19 removed those remaining months. Fuka left Wisconsin early on the morning of Tuesday, March 24. Online schooling prevented the cultural and language learning of the student exchange program, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe mandated a two-week quarantine for anyone (citizen & non-citizen) arriving in Japan after midnight on Wednesday, March 25. Therefore, Fuka avoided the 14-day quarantine by traveling to her home before the mandate took effect. We will miss her!

It has been a month since our team returned from a week in Guatemala. These were not beach-goers but rather workers partnering with Common Hope, an NGO based in St. Paul, MN. In the colonial city of Antigua, at 5,000 feet in the highlands, they had brisk mornings followed by temperatures in the high 70s during the day, and unfailing sunshine.

This year’s team was the 10th we have sent since our first full team traveled in 2012. It was unique in that this time we had Rotarians and spouses from four neighboring Rotary clubs: Mukwonago, Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise, Mitchell Field, and Oconomowoc. There was an amazing vibe as the 11 people got to know each other well very early in the week, working side by side on the house construction project, and all the other activities that typify the week of service way above self. Team Leader Wally Smanski wrote the following, describing the activity of implementating the District Grant which we received for the purchase of medical supplies and prescription drugs for the health center:

Our Vision team visit to Common Hope in Guatemala included the following activities in support of our District Grant.  Our initial task included counting and sorting pills for the pharmacy at the clinic. Availability of basic meds is critical to healthy families. We then participated in eyeglass distribution to 35 children who had eye exams and required corrective lens. The process was a celebration event for the children and their parents. An ice-breaker activity reinforced the value of good eyesight in everyday life. In a classroom setting, proper eyecare and eyeglass care were explained during a presentation by a clinic nurse.  The actual eyeglass distribution ceremony was amazing. The doctor read  each child's name, and our team members presented them with their eyeglasses and took a photo to remember this special event. Sandwiches and juice completed a wonderful experience.”

Part of our support of Common Hope is the sponsoring of Guatemalan children to enable them to remain in school. The “model” adopted is to expose our team members to families and children, and that has automagically led to more than 35 sponsorships over the years. This time, Matt and Lynn Zach of the Oconomowoc Rotary Club “adopted” a little girl, and the heartwarming photos below provide a sense of the joy on both sides. It is not necessary to travel to Guatemala to become a sponsor, and we can help arrange a match for anyone who is interested.


Beyond that, there are plans for trip #11 in February of 2021, and Elmbrook Rotarians new and old are encouraged to inquire about it. We will need to have a strong level of interest by May 31 in order to be able to proceed with making the arrangements. It is first come, first served, with a few spots reserved for “first timers.” In early 2011, an intrepid ERC foursome traveled to several places in Guatemala, at their own expense, to research possibilities for “boots on the ground” participation in an international project (a major charge to the International Committee by ERC President Charley Shirley). Since then, we have had 23 additional Elmbrook Rotarians, 10 guest Rotarians representing 8 other clubs, 16 spouses, 12 family members, and 12 friends make the trip, almost half of them multiple times. Team sizes have ranged from 10 to 17, each having a slightly different dynamic, and as in many things, the more the merrier.

So consider joining us. It is a “life changing” experience as anyone who has been part of a team will tell you. Not one person has come back without being an enthusiastic supporter of the program and the fundamental concept of helping create an environment where literacy and education can take the place of agricultural child labor. Activities in health, housing, and family development are all components of reaching that goal.

You can view the team's entire photo album on the ERC web site by clicking here.
Pres. Michael Schmeling, on behalf of Elmbrook Rotary Club, inducted and welcomed its newest member, Carol Stearns, on Friday, March 13. John Allen, ERC Membership Chair, serves as Carol's sponsor.
Carol is a Family Risk Advisor for Mil-Town Associates American Family Insurance, with offices in Elm Grove. Carol’s role as a Family Risk Advisor II allows her to help her clients protect what matters most to them and help them realize their dreams. Carol has resided in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, since 1996. Her husband John is a Senior Mortgage Loan Originator for American Fidelity Mortgage Services, Inc. Grown sons, Christian and Evan, are currently studying to become a pastor and a teacher, respectively. The family enjoys ping pong, concerts, time spent in a small log cabin in the north woods, as well as traveling to other new and familiar places. Carol is an avid runner and serves on the Altar Guild at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
Dr. Mark Hansen, Superintendent of the Elmbrook School District since 2012, was welcomed at Elmbrook Rotary Club on Friday, March 13.
He presented a most informative update on the school district, including impending actions in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19. Elmbrook School District continues to excel in every aspect under his leadership, embracing the motto, "Every Student, Every Time, All the Time." The marks of excellence are everywhere, from the restraints on property taxation and referendums to the achievements of students.
Elmbrook Rotary was among the first to learn of the move of the school district to online virtual learning on March 16. Dr. Hanson's presentation is a great example of the benefits of membership at Elmbrook Rotary Club. Join us on Friday mornings, 7:00 a.m., at the Western Racket Club in Elm Grove. PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS NO MEETING ON MARCH 20 & MARCH 27! We too are sensitive to defeating the menace of the coronavirus.
Tom Hochuli, President Elect of Elmbrook Rotary Club, participated in the 2020 Midwest PETS in Itaska, IL, during the weekend of March 6-8 and was commissioned for his year of service that begins on July 1. This year's training seminar was privileged to welcome Holger Knaack, RI President 2020-2021, who is from the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln, Germany.

Tom Hochuli, President of ERC for 2020-2021,
is commissioned for his year of service.
The Rotary Midwest President-Elect Training Seminar (PETS) is one of the largest multi-district PETS in the United States.  It was formed in 2012 with a view to becoming a premier training event with the atmosphere of a mini Rotary International Convention by leveraging the expertise and buying power of seven Rotary Districts from Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin: Districts 6220, 6250, 6270, 6420, 6440, 6450, & 6460.  Larry Myers, ERC member and an Assistant Governor (Area E) for RI District 6270, also attended the 2020 PETS.

Holger Knaack, RI President for 2020-2021,
addresses the 2020 Midwest PETS

With the ability to host exceptional speakers, informative workshops, detailed district training sessions, fellowship and networking, the basic purpose of the Midwest PETS is to motivate the 500+ attendees—including club presidents-elect, presidents-elect nominees, and assistant governors—to ensure they are extremely well prepared for their year of service.

LAUNCH is a program within the Elmbrook School District that is supported by Elmbrook Rotary Club. Instructors develop real-world, project-based learning strategies through collaborations with business and community partners. These interactions enhance the learning experience, preparing students for college and career. Many ERC members have assisted in this effort.
The March 2020 newsletter of LAUNCH is available for your reading and interest. Simply click on the image below.
The Rotary Foundation spends charitable contributions on multiple programs - from the eradication of polio, to scholarships, vocational training teams, Rotary Peace Centers, and humanitarian projects. The funds are used for programs and projects Rotarians feel passionate about. With a four-star rating by Charity Navigator for ten years in a row and over 1.2 million Rotarians overseeing the funds at a grassroots level, you have all the confidence in the world that your funds through Rotary are in amazing hands doing amazing work here and abroad.
You can read stories and see the details
of The Rotary Foundation’s financials
in the most recent Annual Report on rotary.org
The Rotary Foundation (TRF) has received the highest rating - four stars - from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S. More Rotarians, and others, see the wonderful results of our projects and scholarships worldwide, and they are using TRF as their “Charity of Choice” in their annual giving and their estate plans. 
So, in cooperation with District 6220 to our North, District 6270 has decided to have a little fun and, together, we have set out on a Million Dollar Journey.  The goal for our two districts together is to find and recognize NEW Major gifts to the Foundation.
R.J. Hottovy, CFA, is a director of equity analysis with Morningstar. On Friday, February 28, he provided a most interesting presentation to Elmbrook Rotary Club that contained his reasons for why Amazon is a great investment, both now and especially in the future.
Mr. Hottovy makes the following observations:  "Our analysis suggests that Amazon Web Services and Amazon Advertising are not receiving the credit they deserve from the market, and we still identify multiple paths to margin expansion for the company's online and physical retail segments in the years to come, even against an uncertain global economic backdrop."
Do visit Elmbrook Rotary on any Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. for breakfast and for other thought-challenging presentations.
Elmbrook Rotary was treated to a thorough briefing about the structure and activities of WI's Department of Natural Resources on Friday, February 21, by Joseph Liebau, Jr.
Joe Liebau has worked with the WI DNR for many years and has served in multiple positions during his career. He was named southeast secretary's director in September 2016. Before coming to the DNR, Joe worked for WasteCap Resource Solutions for eight years. Previous to that Joe worked for Brown County in their Hazardous Waste Department.
DNR's secretary's directors serve as the department's eyes, ears, and voice throughout the state, ensuring prompt attention to local issues and improved responsiveness to opportunities. The secretary's five directors act with the full authority of DNR  Secretary Preston D. Cole to build relationships, resolve challenges for DNR customers, and integrate citizen feedback to improve service. The secretary's directors have offices in northern, northeastern, west central, south central, and southeastern Wisconsin.
This presentation is just one of many excellent learning opportunities provided by Elmbrook Rotary every Friday morning (7:00 a.m.) at the Western Racket Club in Elm Grove. Join us some Friday for breakfast and, at the same time, increase your knowledge about the community and about the worldwide work of Rotary.
Chosen, a Christian-based foster-care and adoption support non-profit organization, exists to Foster Forever Families so that all children can experience a safe and loving home.
Amalie Bowling, Co-Founder (with husband Jason) and Executive Director, explained the mission and activities of Chosen to Elmbrook Rotary Club on Friday, February 14.
"Equip, Encourage, Engage" aspires to help with items or experiences that can directly benefit foster children with special needs. "Community Outreach" wishes to educate and inform the wider community about foster care, adoption topics, and the unique needs of foster and adoptive families. "The Family Closet" utilizes community donations to help foster and adoptive families to shop for clothing, baby items, school supplies, toys, and other new items needed for children in out-of-home care. "Boxes of Blessing" is a program that give churches and other organizations a chance to sponsor a donation box to collect "new" items for "The Family Closet."
More information on Chosen can be accessed on their web site (www.choseninlove.org) or their Facebook page (@ourchosenfamily).
Drew Burgoyne of Channel 58 Ready Weather provided a most informative and interesting briefing to Elmbrook Rotary on Friday, February 7.
Primary topic was severe weather in the United States and especially in Wisconsin. He engaged the ERC membership actively in understanding the risks and preparatory actions in dealing with severe weather situations. Wisconsin averages more than 20 tornadoes each year, but in 2005 there were more than 60 tornadoes in our state. He highly recommended that each family own, and use, a weather radio in their home.
This presentation is one of many highly interesting topics that are covered weekly at Elmbrook Rotary Club. We meet at 07:00 a.m. at the Western Racket Club in Elm Grove, WI, and would be pleased to have you join us, not only to enjoy the breakfast and speaker but also to learn about the work of Rotary throughout the world.
Elmbrook Rotary Club welcomed back a twice-former member and long-time Rotarian, Dr. Sridhar Vasudevan, on Friday, January 31.
Dr. Vasudevan addressed the membership on the topic of "pain." He has done much research and writing on the topic of pain management, having remained a practitioner in the field to this very day. One of his publications is entitled Multidisciplinary Management of Chronic Pain. The monograph can be purchased and downloaded as an eBook by clicking here. Dr. Vasudevan briefed the club membership on two of the prominent theories of pain and how to manage it.
This presentation is a great example of what ERC members profit from each week at the Western Racket Club in Elm Grove, WI. Join us any Friday for breakfast at 07:00 a.m. and enjoy both the fellowship and the presentations.
Stacie Estrada, a Wisconsin artist currently living in Menomonee Falls,WI, provided a presentation to Elmbrook Rotary on Friday, January 17, concerning the values of art in the world.
Self-taught with high school and WCTC classes behind her, she insists that it's the experience and working with other artists that has helped her grow. Her works include more than 30 murals and 50+ paintings. She has sold and customized over 40 commissioned pieces locally in parade of homes, businesses, and homes. It's seeing the customers' reactions she loves the best.
Her latest custom art business is a joint effort with her daughter and husband. Called "Believe Custom Art and Design," they offer live wedding paintings as well as custom pieces for individuals. You can view their work and business offerings at:  www.believecustomart.com
She has also owned Uptown Art studio in Sussex since 2013. She prides herself on helping others explore the art world and helping kids and adults value and admire art through the studio.
ERC members enjoy presentations like this every week on Fridays (7:00 a.m.) at the Western Racket Club in Elm Grove. Drop by for breakfast, enjoy the speaker, and consider joining the world of Rotary.
Guest speaker at ERC on Friday, January 3, was Susan K. Wehrley, founder and owner of BIZremedies. Her focus is to ALIGN individuals and companies to their best selves as they reach their vision, values, and goals. She accomplishes this through the ALIGN program, which is an accumulation of the best practices from Susan’s Leadership, Teamwork, and Customer Service programs. In addition to the more traditional development practices, the ALIGN program also increases mindfulness and effective decision-making by increasing Gut Intelligence.
During her presentation, Susan taught ERC members the S.T.O.P Technique in order to Slow down, Tune in within, Observe what is happening around oneself and within oneself, and to Perceive the best possibility. The hoped-for result is the making of decisions from a clear, calm, and confident self in the new year!
Approximately 25 ERC Rotarians and family members gathered at the new Outback Steakhouse facility in Brookfield on New Year's Day to cheer on the UW-Madison Badgers football team in the Rose Bowl. It was also a chance to celebrate the New Year's Day birthday of Evonne Zalewski, spouse of ERC Treasurer, Mark Zalewski.
Unfortunately, the Badgers fell one point short of Oregon in this 108th Rose Bowl. This was the 10th appearance of the Badgers in a Rose Bowl. They have won three times (having lost to Oregon twice). The loss did not dampen the enthusiasm of the ERC cheerleaders. 
ERC Rotarian Tom Curl and spouse Lynda had the unique opportunity to assist in preparing flowers for the floats in the 2020 Rose Bowl Parade. Tom shares the following:
"We are part of a tour group. Worked one day preparing roses to be put on floats. We did thousands of pink roses and younger, more nimble volunteers scrambled over the scaffolding and planks to put the roses on the surfaces. Today, we had close-up bleacher seats for the parade. The floral displays were amazing!"
The Rotary International float won the "Tournament Volunteer Trophy." Congrats to all Rotarians worldwide!
On Friday, December 20, members of Elmbrook Rotary Club (under the direction of Gary Gilmore) participated in its Annual Holiday Program.
Skits, musical performances, games, & sing-a-long's highlighted the festive and joyous occasion. Thanks, and blessings, to all!
Rachel Greenhow, Major Gifts Coordinator for The Rotary Foundation (TRF), briefed the ERC on Friday, December 13, regarding the various ways to support the worldwide work of Rotary through providing major gifts to TRF.
Ms. Greenhow centered her presentation on explaining the following categories of gifts:  Rotary Foundation Sustaining Member, Paul Harris Fellow, Paul Harris Society, Bequest Society, and Major Donor. Details of these various recognitions, including the Arch Klumph Society and the Legacy Society, can be examined in detail at:  https://www.rotary.org/en/donate/recognition
Tom Curl, ERC representative for TRF, also briefly explained "The Million Dollar Journey," a recently launched combined effort of RI Districts 6270 & 6220. Details of this effort can be read by clicking here.
On Saint Lucy's Day (December 13), two ERC Rotarians were presented with Paul Harris Fellow recognition.
Tom Curl was recognized with his 9th Paul Harris Fellow award, and Kate Bloomberg presented Paul Harris Fellow recognition to Scott Dryburgh.
The Paul Harris Fellow recognition is achieved when you give $1,000 or more to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus, or an approved Foundation grant. To recognize someone else as a Paul Harris Fellow, you can give that amount in their name. Learn more about Paul Harris Fellow recognition.
Elmbrook Rotary Club was a major sponsor for the Brookfield German Holiday Market on Saturday, December 7, 2019, by providing the hayride and by assisting with other events in addition.
Members of the ERC-sponsored Brookfield Central and Brookfield East Interact Clubs also assisted with a raffle that garnered approximately $600 for the Elmbrook Rotary Foundation.
Thanks to all ERC and Interact members who helped make the afternoon a most enjoyable experience for all who came!
Elmbrook Rotary Club has been awarded a 2018-2019 Rotary Citation with Presidential Distinction. Award of the basic citation required meeting at least nine (9) goals established by Rotary International. However, ERC went above and beyond by accomplishing 2/3 goals established by the 2018-2019 RI President. This resulted in a "Gold Distinction" in addition to the basic citation. Congratulations to all!
RI District 6270 Assistant Governor Larry Myers
presents a "2018-2019 Rotary Citation with Gold Distinction"
to ERC Immediate Past President Kevin Roche
and current President Michael Schmeling
ERC Rotarians Mark Zalewski (& spouse Evonne) and Larry Winkelhake (& spouse Jean Guzetta) proudly represented the club at the November graduation ceremonies of Common Hope's New Hope School in Antigua, Guatemala. They report that there were 155 graduates. Some 80 financial sponsors were also present, including the Winkelhake's & Zalewski's.
The Zalewski's were privileged to celebrate with their sponsored graduate, Monica Esquival Rivera, whom they supported for six years. Pictured with Monica, in addition to Mark & Evonne Zalewski, are her proud mother and sister. Larry Winkelhake and his spouse Jean were also able to celebrate with their sponsored graduate, Carlos de Leon.
In addition to celebrating graduation with the students whom they have financially sponsored, the ERC Rotarians also report that they had a great visit with Sergio Cuc, the student being financially sponsored by ERC itself.  Sergio has successfully passed his exams and is on to his senior year in school.  His major is automotive technology, and he therefore greatly appreciated the gift of a Harley-Davidson T-shirt from the club.  The Zalewski's and Winkelhake's were joined by Sergio's mother, father, and abuela (grandmother).  Sergio is one of her 45 grandchildren.
On Friday, August 30, Dr. Robert Hall provided an overview of the LAUNCH program in the Elmbrook School District. He is the Executive Director of this program opportunity that began in September 2017 for Elmbrook junior and senior high school students. The Wauwatosa School District high schools will also join the program in the current academic year. LAUNCH seeks to connect rigorous learning with real-world, hands-on projects provided by area business and industry. LAUNCH is built on the principles of profession-based learning, professional skills development, self-discovery and exploration, entrepreneurial mindsets, and responsiveness to the needs of students and businesses. The program now includes 400+ students and multiple strands. LAUNCH needs assistance from the business community for:  (1) sharing professional stories & experience; (2) providing project feedback for 75+ projects; and (3) offering mentorship to students. An appeal to ERC members will be forthcoming.

The ClubRunner Mobile App is your key to connect to your club on the go!

Completely free to download and use, this app will let you access the key info you need while you're on the go. Password protected just like the ERC website, the ClubRunner Mobile app allows you to to view the ERC member directory, contact your members and executives, read the latest articles posted to the ERC website, learn more about ERC upcoming events and speakers, view ERC meeting details, and track your attendance statistics—right from your smartphone or tablet! Download the ClubRunner Mobile App either from the App Store (for Apple products) or from Google Play (for Android devices).
Members of the 2019 Guatemala Vision Team stand in front of the house they built in February along with the Ventura family who will be living there!
Our Meeting Location
Whether you're a visiting Rotarian or someone interested in finding out what Rotary's all about, please feel free to join us on Friday Mornings. You'll receive a hearty welcome - plus a whole lot more! Our meetings are held at The Western Racquet Club in Elm Grove.

ImageWHEN: Elmbrook Rotary Club is a breakfast club that meets every Friday from 7:00-8:00 AM
WHERE:  Western Racquet Club in Elm Grove, WI. 1800 Highland Road
COST: $16 Breakfast
Venue Map          District Site           How to Join
About Elmbrook Rotary
Elmbrook Rotary Club was founded by 26 Brookfield and Elm Grove, Wisconsin, USA business leaders to promote fellowship as a foundation for community service, ethical ideals and the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace. Elmbrook Rotary Club is also proud to sponsor The Brookfield East High School Interact Club, a service oriented group of high school students. Our mailing address is: Elmbrook Rotary, P.O. Box 1014, Brookfield WI 53008-1014.
ERC Peace Initiative
Elmbrook Rotary Club has embarked upon a "Peace Building Project."
Announced and previewed on Friday, October 18, the project will stretch over multiple years as the club and its membership engage in peace building in Milwaukee.
View the embedded video from the Rotary Action Group for Peace. If not viewable, follow the URL linked to "Rotary: Peace Is . . ."
For a detailed look at ERC's peace initiative, view the PDF entitled "ERC Peace Building Project." Above all, stay tuned and become involved as the project unfolds.
2019 Business Person of the Year Award

The Elmbrook Rotary Club announced on October 25 that its 2019 Business Person of the Year award recipient is Jamie O’Donoghue, owner of O’Donoghue’s Irish Pub in Elm Grove. The Rotary Award honors a strong local leader who has entrepreneurial skills and strategic vision.

Jamie O'Donoghue (center) is presented with the Elmbrook Rotary Club's 2019 Business Person of the Year Award from Selection Committee member Tom Michalski, Elm Grove Village Board Trustee, (L), and Ralph Gould, Award Program Chair and Elmbrook Rotarian (R)

“Jamie joins an impressive group of past Business Person of the Year award recipients:  Mark Mirsberger, CEO of Dana Investment Advisors, in 2018; and Lisabeth Passalis-Bain, Publisher of the Elm Grove News-Independent, in 2017,” said Award Program Chair Ralph Gould. “This annual award helps the Elmbrook Rotary Club recognize a successful business owner/operator in Brookfield or Elm Grove who demonstrates community responsibility.”

O’Donoghue has shown service-mindedness and significant community involvement through local sponsorships by O’Donoghue’s Irish Pub of the annual Elm Grove Memorial Day celebration with proceeds benefiting the American Legion’s Post 449, the Elm Grove Village Farmer’s Market, Elm Grove Oktoberfest, Children’s Hospital Toys for Christmas program, Irish Fest, Elm Grove Citizens’ Police Academy, Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS), and several area golf outings.

A committee of Elmbrook Rotarians and local government officials selected the award recipient.

Holly McCoy, Executive Director
Jul 10, 2020 7:00 AM
Literacy Services of Wisconsin
Otto Mattila
Jul 17, 2020
Otto...our Exchange student in Rotary year 2014 to 2015 will speak to club about his experiences.
Roslyn Franken - Author and motivational speaker
Jul 24, 2020 7:00 AM
Author of Meant to Be and motivational speaker
Rotary District Governor Craig Burnett
Aug 28, 2020
Rotary District 6270 update
Rotary 2020-2021 Theme
ERC Calendar
July 2020
Rotary Four-Way Test
Of the things we think, say or do:
  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Service Above Self
- Learn more about our guiding principles
Rotary's Four Way Test

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Service Above Self

- See more at: http://portal.clubrunner.ca/5700/#sthash.YgEI863i.dpuf

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Service Above Self

- See more at: http://portal.clubrunner.ca/5700/#sthash.YgEI863i.dpuf

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Service Above Self

- See more at: http://portal.clubrunner.ca/5700/#sthash.YgEI863i.dpuf

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Support the Foundation of the Elmbrook Rotary Club
Rotary’s first virtual convention inspires members to innovate and stay connected

Rotary’s first-ever virtual convention attracted more than 60,000 registrants and 175,000 viewers during its weeklong program.

3D printers to the rescue

Rotary members join 3D print enthusiasts to make personal protective equipment in short supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Young at heart

Holger Knaack has a fresh vision for the Rotary of the future. With a little help from his friends, things should go swimmingly.

Supporting the environment becomes a new area of focus

The Rotary Foundation Trustees and RI Board of Directors have added a new area of focus: supporting the environment.

Club Officers
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Director (Past President)
The Rotary Foundation
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