As we looked forward to the warmest day of the year today – the snow is melting and Spring can’t be far behind. That prospect has Club Member, and resident lawn care expert, Mark Thurner rubbing his hands with delight at the prospect of numerous green and growing lawns.
 
Our speaker this morning was ERC Member and  Brookfield Mayor, Steve Ponto. Steve gave us updates on a number of exciting projects under development along the Bluemound Road commercial corridor. He touched on plans for development of Brookfield Square, Plaza 173, in addition to the former WTMJ and Ruby Farms Property. 
 
In Brookfield Square – the largest taxpayer in Waukesha County, new retail development is slated for the former Sears location and west of Boston Store. Plaza 173 – on the corner of Bluemound and Calhoun is targeted for a makeover to include a Fresh Tyme organic grocery – the first in Wisconsin. And the former WTMJ and Ruby Farms property will be designated a TIF development area with retail, office and potentially a hotel and conference center on the drawing boards. Exciting developments to keep Brookfield at the forefront in a growing and competitive economic marketplace.
 
This morning we also conducted some Club Business with updates from the Foundation Committee Chairman Kevin Roche, and future Foundation Committee Chairman, Charley Shirley who took a few minutes to remind everyone of the many ways to contribute to both the Rotary International Foundation, and our own Elmbrook Rotary Foundation.
 
Through Spikes for Tykes, direct gifts or remembering the ERC Foundation in your estate, every member can contribute to the good work we do as a Club.   
Rotary International also has a number of ways members can participate. And these funds ultimately become available to us and other Clubs for major projects. The most common ways to give are Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) encourages us to give $100 annually, with special recognition for our Club if we all participate.
    
Paul Harris Fellowships recognize Rotarians who have given $1000 over time - and Elmbrook helps by paying the last $200 to get you there. Become a Sustaining Member by giving $25 or $50 every quarter, and you can get to a Paul Harris Fellowship in no time. And it’s all Tax Deductible!
 
Next week we have a combined program with our recent Vision Team to Guatemala and Club Members, Linda Wickstrom and Kate Bloomberg - another former Brookfield Mayor, as they report on their recent Vision Team experiences.