Elmbrook Rotary Club News

20 Reasons to Join Rotary

  1. Friendship: In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs: the need for friendship and fellowship. It is one of two reasons why Rotary began in 1905.

  2. Business Development: The second original reason for Rotary's beginning is business development. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross section of every business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help each other and collectively help others.

  3. Personal Growth and Development: Membership in Rotary continues one's growth and education in human relations and personal development.

  4. Leadership Development: Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is like a college education. Leadership: - learning how to motivate, influence and lead leaders.

  5. Citizenship in the Community: Membership in a Rotary club makes one a better community citizen. The average Rotary club consists of the most active citizens of any community.

  6. Continuing Education: Each week at Rotary there is a program designed to keep one informed about what is going on in the community, nation, and world. Each meeting provides an opportunity to listen to different speakers and a variety of timely topics.

  7. Fun: Rotary is fun, a lot of fun. Each meeting is fun. The club projects are fun. Social activities are fun. Serving others is fun.

  8. Public Speaking Skills: Many individuals who joined Rotary were afraid to speak in public. Rotary develops confidence and skill in public communication and the opportunity to practice and perfect these skills.

  9. Citizenship in the World: Every Rotarian wears a pin that says "Rotary International." There are few places on the globe that do not have a Rotary club. Every Rotarian is welcome - even encouraged - to attend any of the 33,000 clubs in over 200 nations and geographical regions. This means instant friends in both one's own community and in the world community.

  10. Assistance when Traveling: Because there are Rotary clubs everywhere, many a Rotarian in need of a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, advice, etc., while traveling has found assistance through Rotary.

  11. Entertainment: Every Rotary club and district has parties and activities that provide diversion in one's business life. Rotary holds conferences, conventions, assemblies, and institutes that provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education, and service.

  12. The Development of Social Skills: Every week and at various events and functions, Rotary develops one's personality, social skills and people skills. Rotary is for people who like people.

  13. Family Programs: Rotary provides one of the world's largest youth exchange programs; high school and college clubs for future Rotarians; opportunities for spouse involvement; and a host of activities designed to help family members in growth and the development of family values.

  14. Vocational Skills: Every Rotarian is expected to take part in the growth and development of his or her own profession or vocation; to serve on committees and to teach youth about one's job or vocation. Rotary helps to make one a better doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.

  15. The Development of Ethics: Rotarians practice the 4-Way Test that governs one's ethical standards. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and person relationships.

  16. Cultural Awareness: Around the world, practically every religion, country, culture, race, creed, political persuasion, language, color, and ethnic identity is found in Rotary. It is a cross section of the world's most prominent citizens from every background. Rotarians become aware of their cultures and learn to love and work with people everywhere. They become better citizens of their countries in the process.

  17. Prestige: Rotary members are prominent people: leaders of business, the professions, art, government, sports, military, religion, and all disciplines. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its ranks include executives, managers, professionals - people who make decisions and influence policy.

  18. Nice People: Rotarians above all are nice people - the nicest people on the face of the earth. They are important people who follow the policy of "it is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice."

  19. The Absence of an” Official Creed": Rotary has no secret handshake, no secret policy, no official creed, no secret meetings or rituals. It is an open society of men and women who simply believe in helping others.

  20. The Opportunity to Serve: Rotary is a service club. Its product is serving. Rotarians provide community service to both local and international communities. This is perhaps the best reason for becoming a Rotarian: the chance to do something for somebody else and to sense the self-fulfillment that comes in the process and return of that satisfaction to one's own life. It is richly rewarding.

    [List "borrowed" from the Rotary Club of Champaign, IL (https://www.champaignrotary.org/index.php?s=20reasons).]
The August edition of the Elm Grove News - Independent carries a Rotary article on The Women's Center by ERC member Mike Hogan.
You'll find the article on p. 6, an ERC ad in the "Business Directory" on p. 3, and the ERC Friday meetings information on p. 5.
Click here to access and read. Copies are also available for pick up at the Elm Grove and Brookfield libraries, Sendik's, Ace Hardware, etc.
On Friday, July 30, Sara Eskrich, Executive Director of Democracy Found, provided a thought-stimulating and question-provoking overview of the concept of "Final Five Voting."

Democracy Found is a Wisconsin-based initiative committed to revitalizing democracy. The organization argues that implementing Final-Five Voting (a system wherein the top five candidates are selected from the primary ballot and instant runoff voting is used in the general election) will ensure that politicians are held accountable for delivering results. A bill on Final-Five Voting is currently being considered in the Wisconsin legislative chambers.

The concept of Final-Five Voting is explored and explained in The Politics Industry (available on Amazon), a book by path-breaking political innovator Katherine Gehl and business strategist Michael Porter. They apply the tools of business analysis—and Porter's distinctive Five Forces framework—to show how the political system functions just as every other competitive industry does, and how the duopoly has led to the outcomes we see today.

Using this competition lens, Gehl and Porter identify the most powerful lever for change—a strategy comprised of a clear set of choices in two key areas: how our elections work and how we make our laws. The Politics Industry hopes to open eyes to the true dynamics and profound challenges of the American political system and provide real solutions for reshaping the system for the benefit of all.

NFL training camps are starting this week, Aaron Rodgers is back, and Elmbrook Rotary is kicking off our 6th Annual Green Bay Packers Ticket Raffle Fundraiser at this Friday's club meeting on July 30!
Beginning with the Friday meeting on August 6, and continuing through Saturday, September 4, volunteers are needed to help sell and hand out tickets before club meetings and at the Brookfield Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Sign up sheets will be available to solicit volunteers.
Raffle winners will be drawn at the ERC meeting on September 10. Each winner receives two tickets to one of eight Packer home games.
Preseason tickets for the August 21 game against the New York Jets are also available to members at cost or best offer. If interested, please contact Steve Stocker, chair of the raffle fundraiser. The face value of the two tickets is $148.
This is a great way to promote our club, build awareness for the causes we support, and raise funds in the process. GO PACK!!
[Printing donations by National Sign & Design - New Berlin, WI and Special Editions - Sussex, WI]

Rotary Million Dollar Journey Reached its Goal . . . and More . . . and More!

A joint effort between the Wisconsin & Michigan Rotarians of Districts 6220 and 6270 to raise $1,000,000 for The Rotary Foundation (TRF) by October 2020 reached its goal four months early in July 2020. With that success, and with even greater need, the districts continued the journey by raising more funds. The campaign ended on June 30, 2021.

Tom Curl, our Elmbrook Rotary Club's TRF representative, reports that the final tally was USD $2,797,153!

In these unprecedented times of pandemic and economic uncertainty, this result once again demonstrates the "giving gene" that Rotarians possess. 

With CoViD-19 lockdowns hopefully behind us, the Elmbrook Rotary Club is back to socializing and having fun.   Our monthly socials are one of the ways that our members  “build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS,” the third tenet of the Four-Way Test of "the things we think, say, or do."  Mark your calendars now for the following socials.

August 13 — Pabst Mansion Mini-Tour & Beer Garden.  Our August social is going to be a special one . . . a private mini-tour of the Pabst Mansion & Beer Garden.  We'll start gathering at 4:30 p.m. with the mini-tour starting at 5:00 p.m. 

September 18 — Elm Grove Oktoberfest.  It's the best beer time of the year, and we're going to celebrate all the special seasonal brews at the Elm Grove Oktoberfest.  This social is a club favorite and supports the Elm Grove Community Foundation.  Hope to see you and your family there!  Look for our starting at 4:00 p.m. in the beer tent.

October 9 — Progressive Dinner.   We’re going to do things a bit differently this year (for health safety reasons). Instead of having dinner at members' homes, small groups will meet for dinner at various restaurants (TBD).  After dinner, we’ll all progress to Steve and Mary Ponto’s home for dessert.

The Elmbrook Rotary Club is special because of the camaraderie shared among all our fellow Rotarians.  We hope you will join us at some/all of these great social events.  Spouses, guests, and prospective members are always welcome. 

Ron Jones has been a Rotarian for 35+ years. He has announced to Elmbrook Rotary Club that he and his wife Barbara have sold their home here in Wisconsin and are retiring permanently to Florida. ERC members hope that this dedicated, faithful Rotarian will find another club in Florida OR even continue as an ERC member. The latter is possible because of how the CoViD-19 global pandemic has created opportunities for Rotary virtual membership in any club in the world.
Ron shares the following about his Rotary journey:
"My history with Rotary began (35 years ago) in April 1986.  I was VP of Patient Care Services at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital.  Dr. Sridhar Vasudevan, M.D., was assigned to launch a new evening Rotary Club in Brookfield by the Brookfield Rotary Club Board of Directors.  Dr. Vasudevan came to me, at Elmbrook Hospital, to garner interest in me and others to join Rotary.  We were designated a provisional club status on May 6, 1986. 

"On October 22, 1986, the club received its official charter at a large gathering hosted by the Brookfield Rotary Club.  The new Brookfield  Sunset Rotary Club began with 25 new members.  Jim Dunn and I were charter members on that night. 

"I was President-Elect, and Jim Dunn was on the Board and also chair of the Club Service Committee.  I had perfect attendance for my first 32 years. 

"After 23 years of Nursing and Administrative work at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital, I was recruited to be President of the Siebert Lutheran Foundation in June 1993.  In January 2014, I retired from Siebert Foundation."  

On Friday, July 16, Ron was "mugged" by ERC President Dr. Thom Arndt with a small farewell gift. Thanks, Ron, and richest blessings to you and Barbara as you make another "transition" in life.

The 11th trip to Antigua, Guatemala—in partnership with Common Hope—now has the  travel dates of February 7 and 13, 2022.

There is a core group of members/spouses planning to go. As was true in the past, the larger the team the better the experience.  As of this moment there are 10 persons who are planning to make the trip, and all have participated in prior years.  Newer members are most welcome, and encouraged, to join the group.  This is handled on a "first come first serve" basis, and the team can fill at the last minute.  At the moment there are around eight (8) slots open.

Please call  or write for further information.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Erik Moeser,  an International Committee member, or any previously involved ERC member.

Joe Addis, a Certified Arborist, visited Elmbrook Rotary on Friday, July 16. He is a Certified Arborist and a Certified Treecare Safety Professional with an associates degree and bachelor's degree in Urban Forestry. He can provide a comprehensive plant health care program, pruning recommendations, evaluation of the health and structure of trees, and a long term plan for maintaining landscapes. He works closely with residential and commercial property owners in caring for their trees and shrubs.
The information on "Tree and Plant Disease," which he provided to ERC, was much appreciated. One member commented:  "I wish that I had learned this years ago!"
Rotary International is a world-wide organization of about 1.2 million business people and professionals in 35,000 clubs dedicated to serving others. 
With about 80 members, the Elmbrook Rotary Club is part of Rotary International District 6270, whose geographic area covers southeastern Wisconsin.  There are 54 local clubs in D-6270 as well as numerous Interact Clubs and Rotaract Clubs.
Over the past three years, Rotarians in this district have contributed or raised more than $1.3 million for projects. These ranged from local needs to international activities in Guatemala, Haiti, India, and Ecuador.

In addition, some $35,000 was designated for CoViD-19 relief in Wisconsin communities and around the world.
D-6270 Rotarians also contributed $70,000 toward eliminating the few remaining pockets of polio in South Asia. This was matched by the Rotary International Foundation's Polio Plus Fund and the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation for a total of $420,000.
Does Rotary make a difference? You be the judge.
The 4th of July Parade returned to Brookfield on July 3, and members of Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) were present!
ERC tradition has been to participate in both the annual Elm Grove Memorial Day Parade and the annual Brookfield 4th of July Parade. Unfortunately, COVID-19 spoiled both events in 2020 and the Elm Grove Memorial Day Parade in 2021. However, the Brookfield Independence Day celebration was back in full swing this year!
ERC participants who walked the parade route, and handed out lots of candy, were:  Thom Arndt (2021-2022 ERC President), Kevin (convertible driver) and Sue Roche, Christine Spresser & Linda Edelstein (banner bearers), Bill Petterson, and Tom Hochuli.
Thanks to our six ERC members and one family member who well represented our club!
"You'll be back!" We've been saying that for many months now, but now we can say for certain, "We're  Back!" In July it's finally coming true for the Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC)!
In-person meetings resumed on Friday, July 9.  It was a terrific start to post-COVID meetings with a great program speaker (Annemarie Sawkins, "A Creative Place—The History of Wisconsin Art") and a visit from the RI D-6270 Global Grant Scholarship winner (Alaina Eckert, "Environment" Area of Focus) and her parents. Attendance included 58 in person and 4-5 via Zoom online.
Don't miss the opportunity! Each week a full breakfast will be available at the Western Racquet Club in Elm Grove. The buffet line will begin at approximately 06:45 a.m., and the meeting will begin shortly after the top of the hour.
Meetings  will also be available via Zoom. ERC is investigating technology that will provide optimum video and audio performance for those attending via Zoom. The desire is to have the majority of members attending in person, although Zoom will be available for those who require it and for remote program speakers when appropriate. The Board will evaluate the success of this arrangement in January 2022.
The Rotary International President for 2021-2022 is Shekhar Mehta, member (since 1985) of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, Calcutta, India. He and spouse Rashi look forward to meeting as many Rotarians as possible during this new Rotary year.
Shekhar has chosen "Serve to Change Lives" as the theme for 2021-2022. He states the following about the theme:  "Imagine the change we, as Rotary members, can make when there are so many more of us! More people to care for others, more people to Serve to Change Lives. Think of the impact we can have through grow more, do more. More members will enable us to embark on bigger and bolder service projects. And each of us can also continue to serve in our own personal ways, responding to needs in our communities."
To read what family and colleagues have to say about him, click here
Nearly 100 Elmbrook Rotary members and guests gathered on Wednesday, June 30, for a perfect evening at the Mitchell Park pavilion in Brookfield. The event was the 2021 "Changing of the Guard." Spirits were bright (in a post-COVID outdoor venue), hugs were plentiful, and both food and drink were greatly enjoyed.
The meal was catered by Bunzel's, and the after-dinner program featured brief presentations for various purposes. These included remarks by outgoing President Tom Hochuli, updates on the "Million Dollar Journey" by Tom Curl and the Elmbrook Rotary Foundation by Michael Schmeling, announcement of an abundance of Paul Harris Fellow recognitions (see separate article), a report on "Spikes for Tykes" results by Mike Hogan, and distribution of perfect attendance awards by Harry Farchmin.
The culmination of the evening was the installation of the 2021-2022 officers. Those officers are:  Dr. Thom Arndt, President; Harry Farchmin, Vice-President; Christine Spresser, Secretary; Dr. Thomas Steinbach, Sergeant-at-Arms; Mark Zalewski, Treasurer; and Gordy Miller, ER Foundation Treasurer. Jeanne Allen, Bonnie Bertram, & Paul Langer also became Directors of both the club and the foundation.
Incoming President, Dr. Thom Arndt, paid tribute to the outgoing officers and directors and encouraged everyone present to "Serve to Change Lives," the Rotary International Theme for 2021-2022.
At its Changing of the Guard ceremony held on June 30, Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) announced forty-three Paul Harris Fellow recognitions.  These included six first-time Paul Harris fellows, six presented as gifts from a Rotarian to a spouse or child, and thirty-one additional recognitions of Rotarians who were already Paul Harris Fellows.

The remarkable number of Paul Harris Fellow recognitions was partially the result of the fact the COVID-19 pandemic had prevented recognitions that were earned during the prior fifteen months. However, the principal reason for the extraordinarily large number was a new, limited-time Paul Harris matching program instituted by ERC earlier in 2021. Under the club’s matching program, the club matched each donation of $500 to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) with a transfer of 500 Foundation recognition points. The TRF points are provided by the club itself and by members who have accumulated a large number of recognition points.

Announcement of the matching program generated a Paul Harris “buzz” among club members and prompted many of them to make contributions they might not otherwise have made. The matching program, which runs through the end of the current calendar year, has already generated more than $9,200 of donations to The Rotary Foundation. In addition, the presentation of so many recognitions at the Changing of the Guard event has prompted several members to indicate that they will make Paul Harris donations before the end of the calendar year.  The net result of the matching program has been a substantial increase in contributions to The Rotary Foundation and more engagement by the members of Elmbrook Rotary Club.
The July 2021 edition of the Elm Grove News - Independent is available by clicking here.
A major ERC article on the "Literacy Services of Wisconsin" (written by Jan Constable) is located on p. 6. The July 2021 ERC meetings (with program speaker information) are listed in the "Calendar of Events" on p. 5; and ERC's paid advertisement appears on p. 3.
Do support our local newspaper!
The annual Elmbrook Rotary Club’s fundraising campaign has officially ended.
The final results included approximately $59,000, 118% of the overall goal, raised in support of charities.
The overall winning race team was "Supper Club" (Jackson Bubolz, Manager; Jackie Radomski, Jockey).
Congratulations to all teams and participants for the great results!
The April 2021 edition of the Elm Grove News - Independent carries a major article on Rotary International (RI) District 6270's announcement of the selection of Alaina Eckert, Sussex, WI, as its Global Grant Scholarship applicant for 2021-2022. Ms. Eckert was referred to the D-6270 selection committee by Elmbrook Rotary Club leadership. Click here or on the image below to access the article.
Ms. Eckert is a graduate of Sussex Hamilton H.S. and of The University of Wisconsin—Madison. She has already begun a dual degree, Master of Science/Master of International Nature Conservation, in a cooperative program of the Georg-August Universität in Göttingen, Germany, and Lincoln University in Lincoln, New Zealand. Since her Area of Focus is "Environment," the Global Grant will be one of the first in this newest emphasis of Rotary International, which takes effect on July 1, 2021.
The practical approach of Ms. Eckert's study program is to preserve the integrity of nature, in combination with the assessment of risk management and conservation strategy, and offers an invaluable experience in the education of international conservation. The four-semester program offers new perspectives to maintaining biodiversity and ecosystems that allow local communities to be resilient to future ecological changes, maintain economic stability and growth, use adaptive conservation management strategies for both the betterment of the community and the ecosystem, and preserve critical ecological systems. Thus, Ms. Eckert’s program of studies aligns closely with RI’s newest Area of Focus, the "Environment."
The amount of the Global Grant Scholarship is U.S. $30,000. RI District 6270 is providing $16,667 of that amount, and The Rotary Foundation is matching it at an 80% level with another $13,333. The Rotary Foundation, RI districts, and Rotary clubs invest in our future leaders and philanthropists by funding scholarships for graduate study through the Global Grant Scholarship program. Information about Rotary’s other scholarship programs can be accessed at:  https://www.rotary.org/en/our-programs/scholarships.

Elmbrook Rotary members and guests participated in the annual "Walk for Hope," supporting Common Hope's programs in Guatemala, on Saturday, June 5.

We walk because less than 20% of kids graduate from high school in Guatemala. We walk to support education for students living in poverty, so that they can graduate and help end generational poverty for their family. We walk for the kids just starting school, where they will likely hold a book for the first time. We walk so that families have access to quality health care. We walk to help young people dream, grow, and succeed.

Now more than ever, all of us appreciate the Power of Healthcare, Community, and Hope. Let's walk the Extra Mile to fight poverty with diplomas!

Each $1,200 we raise will sponsor a student and their family for one year. Approximately $3,000 was raised on Saturday morning, June 5.  Support our team by going to our fundraising/registration page (click here).

See a handful of photos from the June 5th event by clicking here.

Barry Nelson James, Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) member since 1984, died on Tuesday, May 25. He was 87 years old.
A memorial service occurred at the Becker Ritter Funeral Home, Brookfield, WI, on Wednesday, June 2. The full "Tribute" (obituary) on the funeral home's web site can be read by clicking here.
Barry was an avid, devoted Rotarian whose own maternal grandfather, Canadian John Nelson, served as Rotary International President during 1933-34. Barry himself served terms on Rotary International District 6270's District Grant Committee and Global Grant Committee. In the local club he served as ERC President during 1990-91. He also initiated "Diane's Dictionaries," one of ERC's many projects which was named after his first wife. Information about this charitable effort can be read by clicking here. He was also the Primary Contact (driving agent) for ERC's Global Grant initiative for an e-learning project in India during 2014-15.
ERC President Tom Hochuli remembers about him, "Barry was generally the first person to arrive at our meetings each week and during this past pandemic year has been in attendance for the majority of meetings on Zoom." Indeed, he will be missed.
The Elmbrook Rotary Club's Board of Directors has acted to rename the ERC annual golf outing to the "Barry James Memorial Golf Outing" and to designate any proceeds from the outing for use by the Elmbrook Rotary Foundation. As the official "Tribute" notes, "It never mattered what his score was as long as he got the round in within 2 ½ hours."
Requiescat in pace!
If desired, memorials can be given (by family request) either to "Elmbrook Rotary Club" or to "Living Hope Presbyterian Church."
The Rotary Western Great Lakes District Conference successfully held its first virtual conference during May 1-6.  To help Rotarians to be inspired, to become engaged, and to be change makers, the Conference Committee has provided:
  • 5.5 hours of General Sessions
  • 11.7 hour of Breakouts covering Membership, Engaging Youth & Young Adults, Leadership, and Fundraising
  • 3 hours of House of Friendship
RWGLDC is pleased to announce the launch of its YouTube channel with Rotary International President Holger Knaack's Opening Remarks, https://youtu.be/KhrDqGJs3uQ, Past District Governor Bill Gormont’s Magic of Rotary, https://youtu.be/Sz8DVgHlqWA, and more.
This new channel enables you to share a video of how you were inspired.  Perhaps there was a breakout session held at the same time as the one you attended. You have the opportunity to see what you missed and grow in Rotary.  By subscribing to the Rotary Western Great Lakes District Conference YouTube channel, you will be alerted as more conference videos are posted in the coming days. 
So, please subscribe today by going to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtVqm9kQe93t0dNv88Hcx4g and pressing the red SUBSCRIBE button.
ERC President Tom Hochuli presented scholarships to the following students from Brookfield East (on May 19) and Brookfield Central (May 25):
Brookfield East:
Christian Stiyer—4-year scholarship to attend Ohio University and pursue degrees in Wildlife Biology and Film Production.
Brookfield Central:
Hannah Heun—4-year scholarship to pursue a nursing degree at Saint Louis University.
Seth Olski—2-year scholarship to attend UW Milwaukee in pursuit of an Associate Degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science (or Pre-Physical Therapy).
Congratulations and best wishes
to these aspiring post-secondary scholars!
Rotary District 6270 has welcomed a new satellite club in Fond du Lac. New clubs make it possible for current members, past members, and new members of Rotary to create more opportunity for service in their community and in the world. A special thanks to Barb Senn and the Board of Directors of the Fond du Lac Morning Rotary Club for spearheading this effort. It is wonderful to see how Rotary can renew itself and adjust to new times and circumstances. The new club is currently meeting virtually once a month but is looking to change to hybrid meetings in the coming months. With ten (10) active members, the club is set for growth.
A satellite club offers current members of a club the opportunity to meet a changing schedule or circumstance, past members to rejoin Rotary, and new members to join at a time and place that fit their work hours or family schedule better.
A few comments from club members to illustrate some of the many reasons for clubs to offer an alternative to a traditional Rotary experience:
    “We used to be Interact members and wanted to rejoin the Rotary World, but a morning club did not make that possible.”
    “We now spend several months out of state and the time difference makes it difficult to participate in a morning meeting.”
    “I am commuting to work at 7:00 AM and an afterhours club makes it possible to join Rotary.” 

Congratulations to Fond du Lac Afterhours. Four growing, active Satellite Clubs are now part of Rotary District 6270.

Elmbrook Rotary Club was not able to send a team of members, along with “friends and family,” to Guatemala this past February as it has done since 2012 because of COVID-19 issues. Instead, the club applied for a District Grant from Rotary International District 6270, representing 54 clubs in southeastern Wisconsin, to provide help for 7th grade students who are at risk of dropping out of school (now particularly difficult to deal with due to the pandemic).

Elmbrook Rotary was able to provide ten (10) LG tablets, loaded with software and internet capability, to a new “Resource Center” in a remote village. The center was designed in cooperation with Common Hope, an NGO based in the World Heritage City of Antigua. Common Hope promotes literacy and school attendance through work in housing, health, nutrition, and social services. The tablets are being used to enable contactless interventions, enabling staff to encourage students to remain in school. The technology enables working with the families to improve their circumstances and to make decisions, without the risk of in-person visits. Once the family decisions are made, the tablets can then be provided to another student, and so forth.

The issue is, and has been, economic in nature. A school-age child can be seen as an “asset” in third world areas in a country like Guatemala, being forced to work in fields to increase the family income. That leads to a cycle of poverty, which Common Hope tries to break by its efforts. Since Common Hope’s inception in Guatemala, those efforts have resulted in more than 3,000 high school graduates. The average level of school completion is roughly five years, and illiteracy in some remotely indigenous villages can be 60% or more.

For more information on how you can help, contact Elmbrook Rotarian Erik Moeser.

The Elmbrook Rotary Club and Foundation have been honored to support the Veterans in Focus Photography Group at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center since its inception in 2017.

The idea for the photography group came from visits that Courtney Zeller, HUD VASH Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist, had with veterans in their homes. Since many veterans had challenges finding stable housing in the past, Courtney took note that their living environments were “relatively stark."   A photography group class could potentially enable Veterans to experience the health benefits of camaraderie and self-exploration while additionally creating personal framed photographs to display at their home.

Veterans in Focus has been very successful and has evolved over the past five years, with two sessions offered annually in the spring and in the fall.  Together with three talented community volunteers, the veterans learn the technical skills of using the camera and photography along with skills that can be applied to improve their mental health. Then they explore various places in the community to practice their skills.  Some of these places have included the Milwaukee Lakefront, the Milwaukee Urban Ecology Center, the Water Tower, and the Harley Davidson Museum, to name a few.  Each session is concluded with a  photography exhibit open to the public for the veterans to display and share their work. The past community venues which have offered their sites for exhibits have included The Wilson Center, Northwestern Mutual, Carroll University, Milwaukee County Library-Central Branch, and the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center.

The exhibits are accompanied by an online slideshow which proved to be especially helpful in 2020 due to the pandemic. The most recent slide show, dated October 14, 2020, can be viewed online at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAbD6RAKq6g . The 10 minute slideshow demonstrates the stunning photographs taken by the Veterans during the  Fall 2020 session, and takes one to the rich venues visited, including the Sculpture Gardens, Havenwoods State Forest, Mitchell Domes, 3 Bridges Park, MKE Urban Stables, and the War Memorial! One of these photographs (taken during the fall session by Jeffry Peterson) is exhibited in this article.  

The following quote is from a veteran who was a participant in the fall session which encapsulates the benefits of the program:  “I gained inner growth, patience, and more awareness of my surroundings.” Another surprising outcome of the program has been that two of the past veteran participants are pursuing a future interest photography and are taking college education courses in photography related fields of study. 

If you or your company would like to learn more about the Veterans in Focus photography program, please contact Courtney Zeller (Courtney.zeller@va.gov).
The Civic Music Association, Milwaukee, is one of many charitable organizations that are sponsored by the Mini-Grant program of the Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) and the Elmbrook Rotary Foundation (ERF).
The CMA was founded in 1918. It has served many hundreds of young musicians and music educators over the years through educational experiences, scholarship programs, performance opportunities, and award recognition. In recent years, the emphasis has increased on private music lessons based on financial need and other factors. Elmbrook Rotary Foundation donations have in the past been recognition of that effort.
Civic Music’s Board of Directors is made up of musicians, MPS music teachers and community leaders. CMA has maintained an association with MYSO (Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra) and the Steinway Society of Milwaukee. It has had to re-invent itself in the past year, and on-line lessons and recitals have been substituted for live participation due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Some programs have been pushed back pending the return of normal health considerations, which all hope for in the not-too-distant future.
Serenity Inns addresses an unmet community need for residential treatment for men who are recovering from addiction and who have no insurance or funds to pay for treatment. The organization provides support for mind, body and spirit. 
Their goal is to provide the men with the support and accountability they need to rebuild their lives and to become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community. The need for this program is demonstrated by statistics attesting to the rising rate of opioid addiction along with an ever-present and growing waiting list.
All of the men served by Serenity Inns are battling addictions. They are typically between the ages of 18 and 55; they have an addiction to heroin/opiates, cocaine, or alcohol; and they are without the ability to pay for treatment. They must complete detox before arriving at Serenity Inns due to the possible medical complications that detox entails. Nearly 100% of the men served at Serenity Inns have a history of incarceration.
Serenity Inns’ main program is the residential Recovery Program, which is supplemented by the Alumni House independent living program (see photo) and the Outpatient Program. Together the programs served approximately 100 people annually.
For the second year in a row, Serenity Inns recently was awarded “Best in Milwaukee” by the Shepherd Express in the Alcohol & Drug Rehab Center category.
Elmbrook Rotary Club and the ERC Foundation are pleased to support Serenity Inns through our Mini-Grant program.
The Elmbrook Rotary Club's International Committee has elected to  support a unique collaboration between Jhoole in India and Womanspace in Rockford, IL.
Jhoole is a nonprofit ethical fashion social enterprise based in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, India. Founded by Hannah Warren, a past Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and President Elect for the Rockford Rotary Club, Jhoole employs women to help them gain economic independence, invest in education and break the cycle of poverty in their community. Jhoole focuses on empowering women both financially, through employment and vocational training, and as individuals, through community programming in literacy, mindfulness, health, and creative arts.
In a new collaboration, Jhoole has partnered with Womanspace, a unique nonprofit organization in Rockford, IL, that focuses on empowering women to become creative, confident, impactful leaders. A group of artists from Jhoole and Womanspace have cross-pollinated ideas and techniques to design an athleisurewear collection that will be manufactured, hand-dyed and block-printed by Jhoole. The collection is available for purchase here.
Elmbrook Rotary's Puzzle Palooza online auction netted $10,000 in support of The FOOD Pantry Serving Waukesha County.
The online auction had over 200 items, including some new puzzles and puzzle company gift cards. The $10,000 was raised through bidding on gently-used puzzles and cash contributions (both matched dollar for dollar with a grant from the Elmbrook Rotary Foundation).
Karen Tredwell, Executive Director of The FOOD Pantry, reports that pantry usage was 30% higher in April, May, & June of 2020 compared to 2019, and increased usage has remained comparable this year. The FOOD Pantry is currently serving about 6,000 individuals per month throughout the entire Waukesha County area. A "digital check" was presented to Director Tredwell in ERC's Zoom meeting on Friday, March 5. The paper check was sent via USPS.
The FOOD Pantry intends to utilize the funds received from Elmbrook Rotary for the new mobile unit at Elmbrook School District's Burleigh Elementary School. A major article in the March 2021 edition (see p. 7) of Elm Grove News - Independent features the fundraiser. Click here or on the image above to access a PDF copy of the EGNI edition.
Ana V. Ramirez is the 8th student at the Common Hope School in Guatemala who has been sponsored by the Elmbrook Rotary Foundation.
Ana's family income is U.S. $364/month, and the six-member family lives in a small concrete-block home (10 meters by 10 meters). They obtain water and electricity from neighbors and must use an outhouse for a bathroom.
Ana is an 11th Grade student, enrolled in Marketing and Advertising Certification. Her anticipated graduation date is November 2022. Since 2014, six members of Elmbrook Rotary Club (accompanied by four family members) have made the trip to Guatemala for the graduation exercises, a weekend-long celebration with, and support for, our sponsored student and her/his family. Any club member can volunteer to represent the club. Contact Erik Moeser if interested.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on August 25. 2020, announced that transmission of the wild poliovirus has officially been stopped in all 47 countries of its African region. This is an historic and vital step toward global eradication of polio, which is Rotary’s top priority.
[Click on the photo above to read the full story.]
Now that the African region is free of wild poliovirus, five of WHO’s six regions, representing more than 90 percent of the world’s population, are free of the disease. Polio caused by the wild virus is still endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan (the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region).
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
It is now possible for members of Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) to make online payments and donations both to ERC and to the Elmbrook Rotary Foundation (ERF).
Two separate commercial merchant accounts have been activated which intend to keep transactions separated between ERC and ERF.
To make payments to ERC, simply follow the link provided in one's individual club account (and quarterly statements). A surcharge of 5% is billed to one's club account when utilizing a credit card or debit card.
To make donations or payments to ERF, simply click the "Donate" or "Donate Now" button that can be found on multiple pages on the ERC web site. Or, one can click the URL link that will be provided in ERF invoices to club members. Please ensure that donations or payments intended for the ERF account are not made to the ERC account. The opposite is also true. And, please remember that not all payments to the Foundation [a 501(c)(3) entity] are tax-deductible. IRS rules and policies must be followed.
Finally, one can always use the old-fashioned (and least expensive) way of payment/donation with an individual check or bank check via "Bill Pay" at one's bank.
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!
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.

6th Annual
Green Bay Packers
Ticket Raffle

[Click on football to go to the
raffle fundraiser web page.]
Printing donations by
National Sign & Design,
New Berlin, WI, and
Special Editions, Sussex, WI
Rotary 2021-2022 Theme
ERC Calendar
August 2021
2020 Business Person of the Year

The Elmbrook Rotary Club is pleased to announce that its 2020 Business Person of the Year award recipient is Village of Elm Grove Retired Fire Chief William ("Bill") Selzer.

[Click on the photo to view the presentation.]

Chief Selzer served for 47 years with the Elm Grove Fire Department, 31 of those years as Fire Chief. He retired, effective June 1, 2020; however, his legacy will last for much longer. Interim Fire Chief David Kastenholz commented, "Bill's command presence was unflappable! No matter what was going on, Bill remained cool, calm, and collected! That presence gave all of us the opportunity to do our jobs to the best of our ability."

Under committee chair Ralph Gould, the Elmbrook Rotary Club annually presents its "Business Person of the Year" award to an individual who has displayed unique entrepreneurial skills and abilities in the community.

Elmbrook Rotary Club also announced that it has named an annual two-year scholarship the "Elmbrook Rotary Bill Selzer First Responder Scholarship ," intended to motivate and financially support students who wish to become first responders.

Congratulations, Chief Selzer! Thanks for your service!

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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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
Linda Edelstein, Del Wilson, Betsy Corry
Aug 06, 2021
Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC)
Dan Freas, Fred Gettelman
Aug 13, 2021
Old World Wisconsin and The Museum of Beer and Brewing
Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Brad Schimel
Aug 20, 2021
Overview of the Waukesha County Drug Treatment Court Program
Ron Jones
Aug 27, 2021
All about Ron and Rotary
Upcoming Events
ERC Facebook Page
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Support the Foundation of the Elmbrook Rotary Club
Africa’s Agents of Change

The arrival of the first peace fellows at the new peace center in Kampala, Uganda, heralds the beginning of a new era for Rotary and the continent.

Rotary 2022 International Convention to be held in Houston

Rotary 2022 International Convention to be held in HoustonThe event will bring more than 20,000 participants from around the world and deliver $30 million in local economic

Rotary projects around the globe

Rotary projects around the

Former refugees help defectors adapt to South Korea

In 2016, North Korean immigrants chartered the Rotary Club of Ulsan Freedom — a fitting name for those who risked their lives for their freedom.

Club Officers
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Director (Past President)
Public Image Chair
The Rotary Foundation
In Recognition . . .
The Elmbrook Rotary Club and Foundation are pleased to recognize the following individuals.
Foundation Director Emeritus:
     William Isbister (deceased)
Club Honorary Members:
    Tom Ehrsam, Jane Koons, & Renato Westby
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