Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
Upcoming Events
Arlington Race Track Social
Arlington Race Track
Jul 21, 2018
Jul 20, 2018
Spikes Awards Breakfast
Jul 27, 2018
Pro Health Care's new Heart & Vascular Center - Brookfield
Aug 03, 2018
Aug 10, 2018
Serenity Inns ~ a home for men in Recovery
Aug 17, 2018
R.I. District Governor
Aug 24, 2018
Haiti Microlending
View entire list
Club Donates 60 Trees for RI President Challenge
Club member Gary Zwirlein recently announced that as part of RI President Ian Riseley’s challenge to plant a tree for every Rotarian during this 2017-2018 year the Elmbrook Rotary Foundation made a $1,200 donation to Simple Hope for 60 trees.
Club member Tom Curl also helped in the effort and the following photos show just some of 50 trees that were delivered to a site in Tanzania as coordinated by Simple Hope. As they get 50 trees per truckload the other 10 will go on the next shipment.
RI President Ian Riseley challenged every Rotary club to make a difference by planting a tree for each of its members between the start of the Rotary year on July 1, 2017 and on Earth Day on April 22, 2018. Trees remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air, which slows global warming.
“It is my hope that the result of that effort will be far greater than the environmental benefit that those 1.2 million new trees will bring,” Riseley said. “I believe the greater result will be a Rotary that recognizes our responsibility not only to the people on our planet, but to the planet itself.”
Thanks to Gary, Tom, and everyone else in the Club who contributed to this effort. For more information on Simple Hope, please visit
This Year’s Spikes Was a Smash!
Congratulations to all Elmbrook Rotarians on another Great Spikes Extravaganza! The weatherman co-operated and over 40 Teams had a great time playing Volleyball highlighted by the first ever Brookfield Central vs Brookfield East All Star Game which was won by East 25-18.
As always, there was great food and lots of good fellowship. Thanks to everyone who helped with set-up and take down – getting the teams on and off the court on time and to those who cooked, served, and cheered on the teams. Congratulations to Marie Owens who was the winner of this year's Spikes Raffle and thanks to John Allen for getting another $1,100 in raffle tickets by twisting a few arms!
A big thank you goes out to all those of you who sponsored a team, or solicited a team sponsor. If you did, there are extra 2018 Spikes Long Sleeve T-shirts for each of you so make sure you pick one up at our Friday meeting. Extra T-shirts can be purchased for $5.00 each.
And finally, mark your calendar for July 20th when we will have our Spikes Sponsor Thank You Breakfast and Awards Ceremony. Please invite those who donated $500 and over to join us.
Thanks again to everyone – This is a true team effort and couldn’t happen without the hard work of our committee chairs and everyone who volunteered their time. And with your help, we were able to reach our fundraising goal of over $50,000!!
The next big event is the Elmbrook Rotary Changing of the Guard on June 20th. It’s a great night to celebrate the Rotary year, those who served the Club, and look forward to the year ahead. Please plan to join fellow Rotarians, along with their spouses, significant others, and guests, for a fun evening at the Western Racquet Club later this month.  
Greetings from Guatemala!
Now in it's eight year, the Guatemala Vision Team is finding time to enjoy the beautiful Guatemalan countryside while working on various projects. This years teams consists of eight Elmbrook Rotarians including John and Jeanne Allen, Pati Allen Brickman, Doug Jacobson, Erik Moeser, Wally Smanski, Kathy Becker, and Jim Finn.
In addition, nine relatives and friends will join Rotarians including Matt Smanski, Janie Jacobson, Carol Moeser, Joe Becker, Toni Allen, Rotarian Don Drecktrah, Past District Governor Nancy Rhodes, and the Jacobsons’ twin grand daughters Allison and Christine Brankle for this year’s trip to Antigua, Guatemala.
As with the seven previous teams dating back over the years we will stay at the Common Hope compound, and begin a work week of service bright and early on the morning of February 19th including building a house, teaching math skills in public “Common Hope Partner Schools”, making social work calls on CH affiliated families, and visiting 10 children sponsored by the team members and ERC.
Common Hope’s mission simply put is literacy and education, and more specifically guiding children who otherwise would be lucky to make it past fourth grade all the way through to high school graduation. This is a big deal in Guatemala and serves to allow career paths in fields such as bookkeeping, medical, computers, mechanics, and tourism. The alternative is all too commonly a life of work in agriculture, which can begin with small children and often last a lifetime.  Supporting housing, health care, and family stability are the tools that CH uses to create environments conducive to having children stay in school as long as possible.  In the past 30 years more than 2,000 children of Common Hope affiliated families have been able to complete high school, in a country where only 40% of students enroll in 7th grade, and only 10 to 15 percent make it to high school graduation. In addition to students sponsored and enabled by Elmbrook Rotarians and friends, the club itself sponsors a high school senior at risk for dropping out, and has had volunteers travel to Guatemala in November of the past four years to attend the graduation ceremonies and to support the graduate and his or her family.
The Guatemala Literacy Project of Elmbrook Rotary was initiated in 2011 by then President Charley Shirley, and was chosen because of the demonstrated need, relative proximity to the USA, and the template of service Common Hope offers to provide teams with a highly organized and meaningful week of international service, all of which in the areas of concentration promoted by Rotary International. In the subsequent years 24 ERC Rotarians have participated, 7 Rotarians from other clubs, and more than 30 others, many more than once.
There is already a team being identified and assembled for February of 2019, with the usual mix of newbies and veterans, of ERC Rotarians, spouses, and friends. Those interested in that or future trips may contact any club member who can answer your questions or direct you to those with more detailed information.
Those interested in learning more should contact your club leadership, International Committee members, and our ERC members who have already helped us make the impact we have.
Images shown below are of the 2016 Elmbrook Rotary Guatemala Vision Team.
Get Ready for German Holiday Market
Join Brookfield area residents and Elmbrook Rotarians this Saturday as we support this year's German Holiday Market at Brookfield Civic Plaza on December 2nd from 1 pm to 7 pm. Take the family on a hayride, enjoy authentic German food and music, plus visit a number of vendors selling holiday gifts!
For those who've never attended this special annual event, the German Holiday Market features a nice variety of vendors providing everything from German food to holiday crafts along with the fun and entertainment for kids and families. A number of Elmbrook Rotarians will be on hand to oversee the hayride wagon that our club will be sponsoring as it makes its way around the Civic Plaza. Past Rotarians who attended include Mayor Steve Ponto, Past President Mark Zalewski, and visiting Rotarian Thorsten Bonifer from Seligenstadt!

Announcing ERC 2017 Business Person of the Year

At our club meeting on Friday, October 27 we announced long-time journalist Lisbeth Passalis-Bain as the recipient of our first annual Business Person of the Year Award. The program recognizes the leadership and accomplishments of a successful Brookfield or Elm Grove individual.
Passalis-Bain is the founder, owner, publisher, and editor of the Elm Grove News-Independent, which celebrates and chronicles the Elm Grove community news with coverage of Waukesha County, the Elmbrook School District, Elmbrook Humane Society, Elmbrook Historical Society and more. She oversees the entire production including all news coverage, advertising, and distribution. Passalis-Bain has made significant contributions to her industry through her work for newspapers in her home state of California and in Wisconsin.
Her local community involvement includes membership in the Elm Grove Woman's Club, Friends of the Elm Grove Library, Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (Past President & Secretary), and City of Brookfield Police Reserves (2001-2009).
“Lisabeth promotes Elm Grove, its people, and its businesses at every opportunity,” said Ralph Gould, Program Chairperson. “She carries extra copies of the News-Independent wherever she goes so as not to miss an opportunity, potential reader or advertiser.”  
Nominations for the ERC Business Person of the Year Award are open to the public in the spring and are completed through an online form. For more information about the program, visit:
India E-Learning Updates from Jane Koons

Several months ago, honorary Elmbrook Rotary member Jane Koons visited our Club and gave updates on the success of the E-Learning program in India. The following is a report from Jane about the growing interest and the positive impact that the E-Learning program we helped initiate is having on the students in India.
Good morning, Elmbrook International Committee Members from India.
I have now had the wonderful opportunity of visiting all four of your new E-Learning schools.  Each school is elated to be included in the program and sends special thanks to you.
Teachers frequently comment on the positive impacts of E-Learning:  Students are more engaged in what they are learning ; they remember more easily what they have learned; they are always eager to have 
E-Learning classes and frequently ask for more. We are beginning to gather data on E-Learning, so we will have more information for you in the future.

But the ALC Kariyalur Elementary School for students from tribal communities in the Kalrayan Hills in Tamil Nadu wins the prize for the most enthusiastic support of E-Learning. As you can see from the photos, parades and rallies all celebrate their appreciation of E-Learning.  And they remember you!  'Elmbrook Rotary Club' rolls of the students' tongues. 
Parents who traveled long distances to experience E-learning for themselves can't believe that their children are learning in this novel way. Since there are three ALC elementary schools for children from tribal communties in the Kalrayan Hills, Kariyalur Elementary school is sharing this opportunity.  We continue to get support the District 2981 Rotarians.
For those of you who are able to come to India in January/February 2019, the Kalrayan Hills will definitely be on the itinerary as well as the Yercaud school.  You can experience all of this for yourselves. It was great to be with you and visit the Club in June.  It's always like coming home.
Way too many thanks for all the projects and programs you have sponsored over the years for the ALC School Project. The students are the beneficiaries.
All the best, 
Final Numbers on School Supplies Collected for CWA

ImageLast month, many of you contributed to the Capitol West Academy School Supplies Drive initiated by Jan Constable and the Community Service Committee. This used to be a once a year event but with the increased demand, our club rose to the occasion and donated the following supplies.

The following supplies were collected over a two week period in August for Capitol West Academy. This included:

  • ERASERS - 147
  • SCISSORS - 43
  • GLUE STICKS - 223
  • LOOSE LINED PAPER - 1,000 Sheets
  • 3 x 5 INDEX CARDS  1,400
  • BACK PACKS  - 55
  • PENS - 302
  • CRAYONS - 168 Boxes
  • PENCILS - 1,086
  • RULERS - 3

Jan Constable and the entire Community Service Committee want to thank everyone who contributed and made donations! Because of you, the kids at CWA have started the school year off right and well-equipped!

Elmbrook Rotary Tutoring Program Starting Soon at CWA

ImageWith the school year starting, next month will mark the start of the tenth year of our tutoring program at Capital West Academy! 


Since 2008, Elmbrook Rotary has had a strong partnership with Capitol West Academy (CWA), a University of  Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM) Independent Charter School, and has provided tutoring to students. Though the literacy project started with a tutoring program, the scope quickly expanded to include other programs including:“Diane’s Dictionary” distribution, summer reading program support and Elmbrook Rotary Club sponsorship of the spelling bee competition at Capitol West Academy.

Over two dozen Rotarians take part in the tutoring program for individuals and groups of children twice a week and during the school day.  The school’s enrollment is over 220 students, grades K4-8.  Approximately 80 percent of the students qualify for the Department of Public Instruction free/reduced lunch program. CWA celebrates the 100 percent annual attendance at parent/teacher conferences and the highest parent satisfaction rating among all of the UWM Independent Charter Schools.T

Tutors have included: Kathy Becker, Marie Owens, Bonnie Bertram, John Allen, Greg Bonk, Wally Smanski, Erik Moeser, Jan Constable, Darcy Constable, Jo Gould, Jeannie Bon, Kathy Jungen, Doug Jacobson, and Janie Jacobson, Ralph Gould, Jack Nelson, Mary Krauss, Phyllis Blodgett, Yvonne Zalewski, Don Hill, Sue Hill, and Jan Komar.

CWA is committed to a school environment that results in students who are prepared socially and academically to enter the high school environment and young adulthood with a vision of success.

For more information on the ERC Tutoring Program or if you'd like to take volunteer as a tutor, please contact Elmbrook Rotarian, Kathy Becker at:


Packer Ticket Fundraiser a BIG Success - Winner's Announced!
Our 2017 GO FOR THE GREEN & GOLD - Green Bay Packer Ticket Raffle fundraiser ended on Friday, September 1 and the winners were selected at our morning meeting. Steve Stocker helped draw the winners and Gary Zwirlein reported that we met our goal of $5,000 raised after expenses!
Winners were drawn for each game until all 8 games had been pulled and surprisingly, 3 club members won tickets including Jim Dunn, Arne Landsverk, and Barry James!
Everyone did a tremendous job in reaching our goal, especially those who volunteered at the Brookfield Farmers’ Market over the past month where former Packer, Bob Long took part in the fundraiser by selling tickets and showing everyone his Super Bowl Ring. The following is the list of winners who won 2 tickets to an upcoming Green Bay Packer home game during the 2017 season. CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners!
Jim Dunn 
Sue Bellehumeur 
Barry James 
Kamara Welch 
Jean Guzzetta 
Mark Natzke
Arne Landsverk
Ted Blum 
Thanks to everyone who took part in buying or selling raffle tickets or promoting the event! GO PACK!!
Gary Zwirlein
Steve Stocker
Last Chance to WIN Green Bay Packer Tickets!
Our 3rd Annual Green Bay Packer Ticket Raffle Fundraiser will come to an end tomorrow when we draw winning pairs of tickets to each of the 8 Green Bay home games during the 2017 season! We are close to reaching our goal of $5,000 and looking for one final push before tomorrow's drawing. So, if you haven't already sold or purchased raffle tickets, you have one last chance today and early tomorrow to GO FOR THE GREEN & GOLD! 
The Packer season is here and this is a great way for our club to raise additional funds that will benefit Elmbrook Rotary Literacy Programs including Diane’s Dictionaries, our programs at Capitol West Academy and more! 
See the attached flyer with information for any last minute sales to friends, family, neighbors and business associates. We’ve also been selling tickets at the Brookfield Farmer’s Market and local retailers over the last four weeks. 

Tickets are $10 each with 3 tickets for $25, 10 tickets for $50, and 25 tickets for $100. Winners will be drawn at our meeting tomorrow on September 1st, with 1 winner or 2 tickets for each of the 8 home games this season. Winners will be notified and posted on online at our website.
Thanks for everyone's support and donations over the past month and watch for the list of winners who will be posted online and contacted in the next week!
Questions? Contact Steve Stocker at or Gary Zwirlein at for more information.
Elmbrook Rotary Announces Business Person of the Year Program
The Elmbrook Rotary Club announced this week the creation of a Business Person of the Year Award that will recognize the accomplishments of a successful Brookfield or Elm Grove individual. The program kicks off this month with nominations being requested online and will run through September 22nd.
According to Program Chair, “The Business Person of the Year Award is a way for the club to recognize and celebrate individuals in our community who are service-minded and doing outstanding work. The program will recognize those with a customer focus and an entrepreneurial approach, along with those who’ve demonstrated strong leadership in the community."
Nominations for the ERC Business Person of the Year Award are being accepted and must be completed using the online form. A selection committee of ERC members, City of Brookfield City and Elm Grove Village members will review all nomination forms and select the award recipient. The deadline for receipt of nominations is Friday, September 22nd and the individual will be honored at the ERC meeting on Friday, October 27, 2017.

For program information and details on making a nomination, please visit:
A Little Rain Couldn't Stop The Fun! 
On Saturday June 3rd, we held our 30th Annual “Spikes for Tykes” Volleyball Fundraiser at Mitchell Park in Brookfield on a day that was suited more for ducks, with rain throughout the morning. Despite the foul weather, the event was a huge success with over 50 teams showing up to play. Combined with with over 50 Elmbrook Rotarians, their spouses, friends and guests, everyone pitched in and made it a fun event.
Boys and girls from area schools made up the majority of teams in addition to teams from area businesses and other Rotary Clubs. Volunteers spent the day setting up the volleyball courts, registering teams, handing out event t-shirts, cooking and serving food and beverages, and making sure everyone had fun while trying to stay warm. Fortunately, the Mitchell Park shelter provided a place to stay dry.
As most of you know, “Spikes for Tykes” is the Elmbrook Rotary’s major fundraiser of the year with amounts raised going towards a variety of worthy causes and organizations.  Programs range from Rotary International’s effort to eradicate Polio worldwide and literacy programs in the Milwaukee area and Guatemala, to scholarships for local high school students and support for The Waukesha Women’s Center.
According to event chairperson Mark Zalewski, the event has raised almost $46,000 and with additional contributions coming in after the event, we shouuld reach our goal of $50,000. For anyone still interested in donating, we are still collecting funds up until the end of June when our fiscal year ends.
On behalf of Elmbrook Rotary, Mark wants to thanks everyone who sponsored a team, played volleyball, or volunteered at this year’s event and braved the elements.  It turned out to be a very successful and fun day!
It's Almost Here - Spikes for Tykes This Saturday!
It's less than one week until our 30th Annual Spikes for Tykes Volleyball Spectacular - our biggest fundraiser of the year that will be held this coming Saturdaym June 3 at Mitchell Park in Brookfield. Are all your teams registered and sponsors signed-up?! Find out more about Spikes here!
Club Social Visits China Lights!
Elmbrook Rotarians came out on a chilly Wednesday night in October to enjoy the China Lights Exhibit at the Whitnall Park Boerner Botanical Gardens. Over a dozen Rotarians and friends enjoyed the numerous lighted sculptures, whimsical animals, Chinese jugglers and acrobats.

Taking part in the festivities were Kevin and Sue Roche, Dean and Karen Johnson, Jan and Darcy Constable, John and Jeanne Allen, Kate Bloomberg, Linda Wickstrom and Bob Borch, Thom Arndt, and Mark and Evonne Zalewski.    
The Exhibit ran through November 6th and part of the exhibit was located on the Boerner Memory Walk - a project sponsored by our fellow Rotarians from the Whitnall Rotary Club and these pictures are just a few of the many displays that were shown.
Thanks for Donating! - Community Days Fundraiser Results
Thanks to all Rotarians who contributed $825.00 to the Boston Store Community Day coupon book fundraiser. $740.00 will go to the Veteran's start-up photography class, enabling the Recreation Therapist to purchase 5 digital cameras and framing supplies.
The balance of $85.00 plus a $165.00 allocation from our SaintA Christmas party budget will enable ERC to make a $250.00 gift to SaintA residence/school, from their Wish List, in addition to the pizza and magician entertainment for the resident boy's Christmas party on 12/8. Thank you for your support and generosity!
Elmbrook Rotary Tutoring Program Starts Up at CWA

Image Last month marked the start of the ninth year of our tutoring program at Capital West Academy! New for this year, a math component has been added to our reading tutoring as well as a group of seniors from the Brookfield Senior Center who are reading to the K4 class.

Since 2008, Elmbrook Rotary has had a strong partnership with Capitol West Academy (CWA), a University of  Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM) Independent Charter School, and has provided tutoring to students. Though the literacy project started with a tutoring program, the scope quickly expanded to include other programs including:“Diane’s Dictionary” distribution, summer reading program support and Elmbrook Rotary Club sponsorship of the spelling bee competition at Capitol West Academy.

Over two dozen Rotarians take part in the tutoring program for individuals and groups of children twice a week and during the school day.  The school’s enrollment is over 220 students, grades K4-8.  Approximately 80 percent of the students qualify for the Department of Public Instruction free/reduced lunch program. CWA celebrates the 100 percent annual attendance at parent/teacher conferences and the highest parent satisfaction rating among all of the UWM Independent Charter Schools.

This years tutors include: Kathy Becker, Marie Owens, Bonnie Bertram, John Allen, Greg Bonk, Wally Smanski, Erik Moeser, Jan Constable, Darcy Constable, Jo Gould, Jeannie Bon, Kathy Jungen, Doug Jacobson, and Janie Jacobson. New tutors in the program include: Ralph Gould, Jack Nelson, Mary Krauss, Phyllis Blodgett, and Yvonne Zalewski. We also have 3 non-Rotarian seniors helping including Don Hill, Sue Hill, and Jan Komar.

CWA is committed to a school environment that results in students who are prepared socially and academically to enter the high school environment and young adulthood with a vision of success.

For more information on the ERC Tutoring Program, please contact Elmbrook Rotarian, Kathy Becker at:


September New Members
Over the past several weeks, President Mike Hogan has inducted two new members to the club. They include Daniel Zomchek, who was sponsored by John Allen and
Jamie Williams, who was sponsored by Kate Bloomberg. Daniel is Director at the Milwaukee VA and Jamie is a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Jamie also gave his Classification Talk already so watch for details on his background in the next month. Welcome to Elmbrook Rotary!

In addition, Courtney Hull who is another new member and joined the club in June, gave her Classification Talk this past month with a PowerPoint! Between her background in fire fighting with the Menomonee Falls Fire Department and as an educator for Emergency Medical Services at WCTC, not to mention her work with Burn Camp in East Troy and travels abroad, make her a great example of the Rotary spirit and Service Above Self. Learn more about Courtney here.
Highlights from Our Last Meeting - August 19, 2016

Our speaker last Friday was Mame McCully, Executive Director of the Milwaukee County Historical Society – and also coincidentally is the wife of Elmbrook Rotary member Andy McCully. Two club members, Fred Gettelman and Mark Zalewski also serve as Directors of the Society.
Her enthusiastic presentation highlighted the role of the Historical Society in preserving the history of Milwaukee County and presenting it to a new generation in a way that is interesting and exciting as well as educational. 
The Society also owns 5 historical properties in then county, including its museum in a renovated 1913 former bank building in downtown Milwaukee and the two oldest county residences which are the Kilbourntown House in Estabrook Park and the Lowell Damon house in Wauwatosa. Mame also highlighted the recent History of Milwaukee Brewing exhibit; the upcoming  exhibits on Milwaukee Music History; the 50th Anniversary of Summerfest; and the Harvest Arts And Crafts Fair at the Society’s Trimborn Historical Farm on Sept. 10th and 11th.
As the archive for 150 years of historical county documents, a treasure trove of artifacts and well over 1 million photos, the Historical Society is a mecca for genealogy and history buffs alike.
To learn more about the Milwaukee Historical Society and upcoming events, please visit
Updates from Scholarship Recipients and Sponsored Students
Several weeks ago, we had four talented and smart young women attend our club meeting who we have sponsored with scholarships and at recent youth seminars throughout the state. Their talks were inspiring and each of them exemplifies the spirit of Rotary.
Pictured from left to right:
Laura Schmit – Our most recent scholarship winner from Brookfield Central High School who is going to Marquette University.
Hayley Griffin  – Who received a scholarship from our club two years ago and is going to be a junior at Creighton in Omaha, Nebraska.
Grace Chialiva – Who is a junior at Brookfield Central High School and attended the Wisconsin Business World at St. Norberts College in June. In partnership with the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce, we sent four students.
Aparna Jayashankar –  Who is a junior at Brookfield Central High School and attended the World Affairs Seminar in June at Carroll University. We sent Aparna and another student to the event.
Thank you for attending our meeting and providing updates on your progress at school and involvement in activities!
Packer Ticket Fundraiser a BIG Success - Winner's Announced!
Our 2016 GO FOR THE GREEN & GOLD - Green Bay Packer Ticket Raffle fundraiser ended on Friday, August 5 and the winners were selected at our morning meeting. Club President Mike Hogan pulled each ticket out of the raffle drum and Chairperson Gary Zwirlein reported that we exceeded our goal of $5,000 and raised $5,720 after expenses that will go towards the programs and organizations we support in the coming year!
Winners were drawn for each game until all 10 games had been pulled and surprisingly, 5 club members won tickets including John and Jeanne Allen, Bonnie Bertram, Thom Arndt - and even Gary Zwirlein!
Everyone did a tremendous job in reaching our goal, especially those who volunteered at the Brookfield Farmers’ Market over the past month where former Packer, Bob Long took part in the fundraiser by selling tickets and showing everyone his Super Bowl Ring. The following is the list of winners who won 2 tickets to an upcoming Green Bay Packer home game during the 2016 season. CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners!
Jeanne Allen  
Bonnie Bertram  
Melanie Maki
Mark Natzke
Dave Case  
Ted Blum
Gary Zwirlein
John Allen
Thom Arndt
Dan Sutton
 Thanks to everyone who took part in buying or selling raffle tickets or promoting the event! GO PACK!!
Gary Zwirlein
Steve Stocker
Our Rotary Years Ends and Begins With a Bang!
The last several weeks has seen a flurry of activity for Elmbrook Rotary as we ended one Rotary year and began another along with celebrating activities on July 4th. Last week, on June 29th we had our annual Changing of the Guard where we celebrated our achievements from the past year and swore in of our new Officers and Directors. We also thanked outgoing Club President Mark Zalewski for his dedicated year of service.
Changing of the Guard also saw additional funds raised through our Silent Auction which was run this year by Linda Wickstrom who did an amazing job. A total of $$6,402 was raised from donations and when combined with the amounts raised from Spikes for Tikes that was held on June 4, our overall total for this fundraising effort was $50,286 which will be put towards our programs over the next year. Thanks to Linda for all her efforts and to everyone who donated or purchased items! 
Then on July 4th, our new Club President, Mike Hogan rode in the Brookfield 4th of July Parade while Club Members John and Jeanne Allen were overseeing the annual 4th of July Fun Run in Elm Grove Village Park that we’ve sponsored for years. At the same time, Thom Arndt and a group of volunteers were setting up the concession stand, grills for serving food and beverages that lasted throughout the day until after the Fireworks.
Our 2016-2017 Rotary year is off to a BANG so thanks to everyone who took part or helped out with these activities.
Thanks to Everyone for a Successful Food Drive!
Image On Friday April 1st and Friday April 8th, Elmbrook Rotary held our Annual Spring food drive to benefit the Waukesha Food Pantry which was lead by club member Arne Landsverk. The club collected 42 items weighing 46lbs and $736. In addition, the club contributed $1000 bringing the total cash donations to $1,736. Thanks to everyone for helping those in need!
Highlights from Last Weeks Meeting - April, 29, 2016
A lively crowd was on hand last week to get us going on this Arbor Day – a day to celebrate everything green. Also lighting up the room was our Club’s Marathon Man – Chris Salani who just back from a week in Scottsdale and sporting a snappy pair of Ferrari logo blue running shoes. They looked fast even sitting still!
We were joined by a number of guests including David Bonk – a visiting Rotarian from Winona MN who also happens to be the son of ERC member Greg Bonk. David took a few minutes to tell us about his recent stay in Salem, India teaching English in an elementary school there. Salem happens to be very near Yercaud, India, where our Club sponsors a school and where we have a major e-learning initiative with the local Rotary District. It really highlights the international reach of Rotary and we will look forward to opportunities to partner with Yarcaud and Winona for possible future programs in India.
Charlie Shirley introduced our Guest Speaker Heather Gerhke of the Elmbrook Humane Society who talked about the programs available from the Society. Humane treatment of all animals is the overriding philosophy – which includes a no-kill policy. The society works with residents looking for rescue pets as well as those with concern about wild animals and their welfare. 
Our next meeting will be at the Milwaukee Veterans Health Facility where we will learn of the many service available to our returning Veterans and have a tour of the facility. Other dates to remember: May 13th and 14th District 6270 Spring Conference at the Osthoff in Elkhart Lake. Sign up through the District Website at Our Club will pay for your registration fee, so we hope to see you there!
Get To Know Your Members - Karl Schultz
At a recent club meeting, new member Karl Schultz gave his Classification Talk and the following provides an overview on his background. Like many Rotarians, Karl has no shortage of interests and achievements between multiple patents as an engineer, membership in the the Porsche Club of America, and former Alderman in Brookfield - list goes on...
Karl Schultz - Classification Talk
Where you grew up
I was born and raised in Oshkosh, WI.  I attended public schools in Oshkosh and Technical College in Appleton, studying Engineering with continuing education courses at UW in Madison.
My wife Nancy & I have been members of the Porsche Club of America (the largest single marque car club in the world) for 37 years.  We enjoy reading, travel, theatre & nice restaurants. Nancy and I have lived in 10 cities in 5 states on 2 continents. 
I am a past 5-term President of my Neighborhood Association, former 4-term Alderman in Brookfield, serving on the Plan Commission, Parks & Recreation Board, Finance Committee, Master Plan Committee and as Chairman of the Board of Public Works for some years until my relocation to Ann Arbor, MI for a new career opportunity.
My professional life
Following my Engineer Dad’s lead, my career trajectory has been: Designer, Project Engineer, Chief Engineer, Engineering Manager, VP of Engineering, Director of Sales & Engineering.  I hold Patents for innovative oilfield and construction equipment.   
My current position
I am currently a Business Development Manager for a Waukesha Manufacturing company.  The key clients I serve include Harley-Davidson, Caterpillar, Snap-On Tools, Mercury Marine and many others.  I travel a bit to develop new business - predominately in the Great Lakes area but periodically to Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.
What attracted me Rotary?
Former Brookfield Mayor Kate Bloomberg has been a mentor to me for many years and she suggested that I might enjoy Rotary.  I’ve never regretted following Kate’s advice.
I’m very impressed by Rotary’s long history of service.  We’ve all been blessed in so many ways with strong families, well governed communities, good educational opportunities and I feel like it is our responsibility and a truly, a source of great satisfaction, to help others enjoy similar blessings.
Spikes for Tykes 2016 - Big Fun! Big Success!!
Our 29th Annual Spikes for Tykes Volleyball Spectacular on Saturday, June 4th is in the books and the day couldn't have turned out better! We had over 52 teams playing and almost 100 sponsors that raised funds to support our programs that help individuals and organizations in our community and throughout the world. Still need to find out about Spikes?! Go here to learn more - What is Spikes for Tykes?
Elmbrook Rotary Club Vision TEAMS Recap!
That is correct, plural, as this year for the first time we fielded two Vision Teams to Guatemala!  The first one, under the leadership of John Allen, was from February 7 to 14, and the second, under Christine Spresser was from February 21 to 28.  
Housed at the Common Hope complex in Antigua, both teams were made up of a nice mix of new and old participants, balance of men and women, and a broad spectrum of ages. Combined there were 23 people, including 7 ERC Rotarians, 8  family members, and 8 friends, including Rick Debe, a Past District 6270 Governor and his wife Terry from a nearby club.  Each team built a house, taught craft and educational classes at the El Hato school, made social work calls, visited crafts people, and met with their sponsored children, either in the family homes or at school.  These are all things that have characterized our team visits dating back annually to  February of 2012. Please see the following photo diaries from Common Hope of the Vision Team's trips:
The photo diaries certainly tell the story, and detail a lot of how each week went, and what the activities were.  The Common Hope staff provides the "template of service" which we follow and modify as needed, to provide a benefit to the organization and the families they serve, as well as having a fun and memorable experience for our team members. The fund raising component  underwritten by the ERC International Committee and a District 6270 Grant enabled books, supplies, and infrastructural improvements to be provided to one of the partner schools, in this case, also the beneficiary of the 2015 trip, Escuela Guardiania El Hato, located in a remote northeast corner of the Antigua area.  Based on the exploratory visit made by ERC members to the school in 2014, the improvements are dramatic, with the spirit and enthusiasm of both the staff and students reflecting  the freshly painted facilities, modern lighting, and other improvements our funding has caused, including adoption of best practices in class room organization, discipline, and innovative learning approaches.
Those interested in our Guatemala Literacy Project can contact Erik Moeser at or any club member for more information.
Diane's Dictionaries Continues to Help Young Students
Club member Barry James recently announced that this year’s presentation of “Diane’s Dictionaries” took place at Capitol West Academy, St. Martini School, and Trowbridge Street School. Now in the seventh year of the program, it has provided 1,439 dictionaries to young people.
For newer members or those who aren’t familiar with the program, Barry’s wife Diane James passed away in Nice, France while they were on a cruise in the Mediterranean Sea in June of 2009. Barry’s two daughters along with Kathy Becker came up with the idea of giving dictionaries to the school children at Capitol West Academy (which is a Charter School) where our Elmbrook Rotary Club was tutoring students who needed to improve their reading skills. It also ties in well with literacy which is one of the key initiatives that Rotary Clubs are involved in.
The program began by giving “ Pictionaries “ to grades 1, 2, and 3 and regular dictionaries to grade 4 students at CWA. Then in 2010, we expanded it to include St. Martini Lutheran School and Trowbridge St. School. Now in our seventh year of doing these presentations it's incredible to think that almost 1,500 young students have received the dictionaries. The program has been well received by the schools and of course by the students who have been helped by improving their reading skills while making learning fun. All dictionaries handed out also have a personalized label inside the front cover mentioning the Elmbrook Rotary Literacy Program.

Thanks to Barry and Kathy for all their efforts, in addition to Jan Constable and the club for continuing to support this important literacy program.
New Member Classification Talks
At a recent club meeting, we were fortunate to have not only one, but three classification talks from new members! Franklin Onwubuariri, Andrew McCully, and Pete Moegenburg shared their backgrounds on career, family and why they decided to join Rotary. And just last week, our newest member - Spencer Taintor, who serves as the Head of School at Brookfield Academy, gave his classification talk. Read on to learn more about Pete's talk and watch for more write-ups from newer members in the weeks ahead.
Pete Moegenburg Classification Talk -
I was born in the Milwaukee area, and raised with three siblings in a traditional family in Brookfield. After spending years within 50 square miles separated from reality (UW-Madison; undergrad & graduate school), I left the area to work in investment banking in Boston, and corporate real estate workouts in Connecticut.  In the late 80’s, when the commercial real estate market was imploding, I helped form a real estate valuation consultancy in Chicago, and co-ran the group for five and one-half years.
While active in Chicago, I was living in the Milwaukee area.  The joy of commuting to Chicago several days each week led me to re-locate our business to Milwaukee.  During this time, I was married, and started a family.  Last fall, my wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary, and our boys have grown up (Peter is a senior at Cornell University, and Sam is a junior at Pius XI High School).
I have enjoyed the concept of giving and serving others all my life.  From the early memories of participating in 4H Club, Key Club in high school, matriculating through Boy Scouts (Eagle Award), to working in start-up activities with my brother (summer painting and landscaping business), to remaining engaged with UW (School of Business, Alumni Board Member, and current student mentor), financially supporting the Door County Land Trust, and assisting in men’s worship activities at my church (Elmbrook Church).
My first exposure to Rotary International came in high school.  My parents enjoyed inviting young students to stay with us as part of the AFS (American Field Service, student exchange program).  We enjoyed the company of students from China, France, Brazil, and Argentina.  In fact, it was the young man from Argentina that was so inspiring; his father was active in his local Rotary Club, and was sponsored to participate in AFS.
When I hear the stories of giving, and the inherent desire by fellow Rotarians to help the needs of others, this instills a sense of purpose in me. It’s why I want to be associated with this group.  It’s an outlook that is part of my DNA. I look forward to participating in that giving and service to others.
Final Numbers on School Supplies Collected for CWA

ImageLast month, many of you contributed to the Capitol West Academy School Supplies Drive initiated by Jan Constable and the Community Service Committee. This used to be a once a year event but with the increased demand, our club rose to the occasion and donated the following supplies.

The following supplies were collected over a two week period in January for Capitol West Academy. This included:

  • ERASERS - 20
  • LOOSE LINED PAPER - 1200 Sheets
  • BLACK PENS - 228
  • BLUE PENS - 286
  • CRAYONS - 47 Boxes
  • PENCILS - 1,127
  • SCOTCH TAPE  - 3

Jan Constable and the entire Community Service Committee want to thank everyone who contributed and made donations! Because of you, the kids at CWA have started the New Year off right and well-equipped!

Members, Relatives, and Friends Making a Difference in Guatemala!
As plans are being finalized for our trip to Guatemala next month, we are very excited to announce that there will be not just one Vision Team, but two! The first one, led by John "Julio" Allen (and no doubt ably assisted by Jeannie) will be leaving on February 7th and will include 7 veterans of previous trips and 5 "newbies". The second team will follow on February 21st, led by Christine Spresser, "with a little help from her friends", and will be made up of 4 veterans and 7 new to the experience.  ERC members that are involved for the first time are Jim Finn and Marc DeVries, who will travel with Christine.

Including an initial exploratory trip in 2011, four successful Vision Teams sent annually to Common Hope's campus in Antigua from 2012 to 2015, and two trips for high school graduation ceremonies in 2014 and 2015 to help club sponsored students and their families celebrate. 35 individuals (14 of them ERC members)  have participated, many more than once, totaling over 50 people visits.  This has been instrumental, along with funding for books and infrastructural from the ERC International Committee, in advancing the Common Hope mission focusing on education and literacy, health, housing, and social work.
Arising from the Vision Team trips have been almost 30 sponsorships of children to enable them to stay in school instead of being "economic commodities", which is sadly the case in many Guatemalan families.  While we all hope for graduations from high school, even completing 6th grade makes an amazing difference in the life prospects for a Guatemalan child.
Of course plans are already in the works for 2017, and those interested should make that known, as teams fill up fast, often leading to waiting lists, and while having two teams can help balance the supply/demand equation we can't always count on that to accommodate everyone.  In addition, we plan to again have a club representative attend the graduation in November of our newly sponsored "club kid", Linda Hernandez,  who has just started her senior year in high school, and who our member Gwen Condon and her husband Ken were able to visit recently while attending the graduation of Yenifer Garcia, who has specialized in accounting.
Those interested in learning more should contact your club leadership, International Committee members, and our ERC members who have already helped us make the impact we have.
CWA Spelling Bee Results & Winners!
Since 2009, Elmbrook Rotary has sponsored Capitol West Academy's (CWA) Annual Spelling Bee. This year, almost 200 students participated in the event! Each year we’ve provided the first and second place winners at each grade level with prizes including gift cards from Barnes and Noble Book Store. In addition, Club members act as the pronouncers for the event. Each grade level held a preliminary spelling bee in their classrooms and the top three winners for each grade completed in the school spelling bee on January 14th.
The first and second grade students completed with the first place winner staying on the stage to complete against the third and fourth grade students. The winner of these grades stayed to compete against the fifth and six grade students. The winner of the these grades stayed to compete against the seventh and eighth students.
After all of the grades had completed, a fifth grade student was the overall winner. He will compete in February at the Regional Spelling Bee against other schools in the division. The winner of the Regional spelling bee will compete in Madison, WI for the overall state spelling bee championship. Prior to the actual spelling bee on January 14 the CWA K4 and K5 classes held their own spelling bee.
Their bee started out with the students writing the sounds of the alphabet they heard. After the two classes had four students left their completion changed from sounds to words. The student that won spelled "help' correctly. Could you have spelt 'help' when you were in kindergarten?
Shown in the photos with Darcy Constable and Kathy Becker are the first and second place winners of grades 1 and 2. Club members Wally Smanski and Jan Constable are shown with Tyler Robey who was the overall school 2016 spelling bee champion.
Thanks to the Club for continued support and those who volunteer at this years event.
Global Grant Update - E-Learning Project in India

Members of the International Committee recently reported on the implementation of our Global Grant E-Learning project which began this past July with the purchase and installation of the equipment including computers, projectors, screens, software. For newer members who may not be aware, our club was asked in 2014 to consider being the Primary International Sponsor of a Global Grant application by a club in District-2980 Tamil Nadu State, India. The grant was to fund a proposed internet-based learning system for 60 schools across the state with District-2980 being the Primary Host Sponsor.
The application was formally submitted for review to The Rotary Foundation [TRF] in April 2015, and in late May 2015, a global grant was awarded in the amount of $81,350. The sources of funds consists of:
  • $25,000 in District Designated Funds [DDF] from Rotary India Foundation in D-2980
  • $10,000 DDF from  D-6270. The combined amount of DDF dollars received a 100% match from TRF
  • $7,500 in cash from Elmbrook Rotary Foundation - receiving a 50% match from TRF
The International Committee is happy to report that the first teacher training sessions were conducted for representative teachers from all 60 schools on September 22 and October 10.  Full implementation phase will take several months. Local Rotarians and parent groups will be involved in monitoring implementation. An evaluation study of the impact of the technology on student learning will also be undertaken. Interim reports to TRF will be made by the Primary Host Sponsor at the district level in India. We will be sharing such reports.
In our grant application to the D-6270 Global Grants Committee in August 2014 for some DDF dollars for our Global Grant Application to The Rotary Foundation, we [Barry James, Doug Jacobson, Tom Pyne] requested $12,000 and were allocated $10,000 which was the maximum allowable under current district policy. The commitment had to be made prior to our knowing whether our application would be approved. However, actual expenditure of those dollars was contingent on grant approval. 
As we look forward to applying for another global grant sometime in the future, say in the 2018-2019 Rotary year, it is important to remember that the amount that will be available to the District in District DDF dollars in that year will be a function of the amount contributed to TRF this year in 2015-2016.  
A certain level of contributions to TRF is required for a club or District to be eligible to apply for a Global Grant. Happily our Elmbrook Rotary Club and our District had no problem in qualifying in 2014-2015. Help assure that this will be the case in 2018-2019.  
On behalf of the beneficiaries of this grant including thousands of kids in those 60 schools in India, a special word of thanks and appreciation is in order for all of those Elmbrook Rotarians and Rotarians across D-6270 who made a donation to The Rotary Foundation back in 2012-2013 through participation in the $100 EREY Program - $100 Every Rotarian Every Year. If you have not been participating, please consider it now because of how much this program can payback to benefit our club's efforts. The total amount of those donations back three years ago in 2012-2013 was a key factor in determining the available DDF dollars flowing back to D-6270 in the 2014-2015 budget year ~ the year of our global grant application. There is a three-year time lapse in the recycling of funds back to the districts. It is a case of only being able to reap in 2018-2019 what we sow in 2015-2016. Our District had an approximate DDF budget in 2014-2015 of $50,000.  
Highlights From Last Week's Meeting - January 15, 2016

Our Speaker at last Friday's meeting was Cathy Lin, who took us through 5000 years of Chinese cultural history in 20 minutes. Cathy is with the Chinese Cultural Center which is sponsoring the Shen Yun Performing Arts presentation next month in Milwaukee.
Cathy talked about the Chinese philosophy of oneness of people, the earth and the heavens and how this philosophy endured for thousands of years. During the Post WWII Cultural Revolution era it was almost obliterated, but the past 15 years has seen a reawakening of China in its Cultural Heritage. Now the Shen Yung Performing Arts – a New York based troupe - is bringing the music, dance and stories of China to audiences worldwide.
Highlights from Last Month's Meeting - December 18, 2015

A crisp morning gave us a hint of Winter, but it didn’t chill the warm fellowship at the Elmbrook Rotary annual Christmas program.  The room was bright with Christmas sweaters from festive to downright weird and members shared their favorite Christmas memories – with stories ranging from family traditions and grandchildren, to a visit from a tipsy Santa Claus. To cap it all off, our own Elmbrook Troubadours - Jim Finn, Gary Gilmore, Kevin Roche, and Ned ”the Grinch” - took us through a range of Holiday favorites in a Christmas sing-along. 
From the hilarious Chipmunk Song to an emotional version of Silent Night, the Club was in fine voice and it all was a fitting way to end the year. We’ll be taking a Holiday break and be back on January 8.  So until then – Health, Happiness and all the Blessings of the Season to our fellow Elmbrook Rotarians, family and friends.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

International Committee - Guatemala Update
As this years Guatemala teams prepare for their trip in February, and we look back at the recent trip by Gwen Condon and her husband Ken, the program has made incredible strides. Read on to learn more about how our International Committee, along with Common Hope, has made this into a sustainable program that will benefit students, families and Rotarians for years to come.


In February 2012 Tom Pyne led our club’s first Vision Team to Guatemala. The Vision Team model is an all-inclusive package and comes with a requirement that a team raise $4,000.  Since February 2012 three additional teams have taken the trip to Guatemala in February 2013, 2014, 2015. Teams 5 and 6 will travel in February 2016.

Its mission is to promote HOPE and opportunity in Guatemala, partnering with children, families, and communities who want to participate in a process of development to improve their lives through education, health care, social services support and housing. While education is at the heart of its work, Common Hope believes in taking a holistic, comprehensive approach in order for children, families, and communities to be truly successful. This comprehensive support is necessary to achieve long-term, sustainable outcomes. Gwen and Ken Condon got to see, first-hand in their short visit, the work being done by Common Hop’s staff and volunteers in the Partnership schools. They were impressed. They decided to sponsor a student.

As of December 2015, over 3,100 children attend school with Common Hope’s help and its programs serve over 11,000 people. The Common Hope staff includes 7 long-term volunteers, 140 professional Guatemalans, approximately 15 short-term monthly volunteers, and 12 employees in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  It has had a presence in Guatemala since 1986 and is now well known and highly respected. It graduated its first high school student in 1996. Since then over 1,100 have graduated. Now some of those students are pursuing a university degree. This speaks to sustainable outcomes and the way to lift people out of poverty. The organization has maintained a three-year average of spending 83% of its funds on programs. It enjoys a four star rating from Charity Navigator.
Since February 2012 our club’s International Service outreach to Guatemala has led to sponsorships of 28 students. Sponsors have included both Rotarians, their friends and two clubs including our own Elmbrook Rotary Club and the Port Washington-Saukville Rotary Club.  We are pleased to report that Gwen and Ken Condon have undertaken to become the sponsors of our 29th student. One more to go to reach 30! In February 2012 we received from Common Hope a box of packets containing the Profiles of 30 students. It became an informal, unspoken goal to secure 30 sponsorships. Erik Moeser championed this initiative. He deserves all of the credit for managing the sponsorship challenge.

As of December 2015, over 3,100 children attend school with Common Hope’s help and its programs serve over 11,000 people. The Common Hope staff includes 7 long-term volunteers, 140 professional Guatemalans, approximately 15 short-term monthly volunteers, and 12 employees in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Common Hope Inc. is based in Antigua, Guatemala. Antigua is a World Heritage designated site, a very beautiful spot, with wonderful weather and a great place to be from November to February — if you happen to live in Wisconsin. One returns home with much more than a tan and nice memories. We are NOW assembling members for our Elmbrook 2017 Vision Team. Interested in going? Contact Tom Pyne at or Erik Moeser at for details.
Packer Party Packs a Punch!

On Sunday, December 13 a group of 19 Elmbrook Rotarians packed Mark Thurner's man cave to watch the Packers take on the Dallas Cowboys.
It was an exciting game with plenty of scoring and a variety of excellent, craft beers and tasty treats. To add to the excitement, every time the Packers scored a touchdown, Chris Salani ran around and gave high fives to everyone and got people pumped up!!
A Fun Time at German Holiday Market
Elmbrook Rotarians once again supported this year's German Holiday Market at Brookfield Civic Plaza on Saturday, December 5th and a host of happy hayriders took in the "balmy" conditions.
The annual event featured a nice variety of vendors providing everything from German food in addition to holiday crafts along with the fun and entertainment for kids and families. A number of Elmbrook Rotarians were on hand to oversee the hayride wagon that our club sponsored as it moved around the Civic Plaza while Santa stayed warm inside City Hall. Among the photos is our fellow Rotarian from Germany with Mayor Steve Ponto, our President Mark Zalewski, and visiting Rotarian Thorsten Bonifer from Seligenstadt!

Gwen Goes to Guatemala for Graduation!

Last month, from November 5th to the 9th, club member Gwen Condon and her husband Ken, travelled to Guatemala, to the Common Hope facilities in Antigua, to represent our club at the high school graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2015.
The decision by our club to sponsor a student was made at the suggestion of current club President Mark Zalewski, following his first trip to Guatemala back in February 2013.
The club sponsored its first student in 2014-2015, a 19-year old young man named Esvin, who was struggling to complete high school. Well. The good news! He made it to graduation and club member Linda Edelstein attended his graduation in November 2014. Our second sponsored student was Yenifer. She just graduated and Gwen and Ken Condon were there to represent our club in November 2015. In the current year 2015-2016 we are sponsoring a young woman named Linda. She will graduate in November 2016.
Would you like to represent our club at Linda’s graduation? The cost to you, including your airfare and hotel is approximately $1,100. Your time in Guatemala will be organized and managed by Common Hope, from airport pickup to departure. The school year in Guatemala extends from January to late October. Guatemala is a great place to spend a few days in November if you live in Wisconsin.
Thursday, November 5
7:00 a.m.               Welcome breakfast at Porta Hotel Antigua ~ Gwen reported they had luxury accommodations.
8:30 a.m.               Partner School Event.
10:00 a.m.             Tour of Common Hope’s Antigua site
11:00 a.m.             Carnival and lunch
2:00 p.m.               In-depth look at Common Hope’s Programs
5:00 p.m.               Activities end for the day
Friday, November 6
8:00 a.m.               Cultural activity (as selected by Gwen and Ken)
1:00 p.m.               Visit San Rafael.
6:00 p.m.               Welcome Reception for all visitors and Common Hope staff
Saturday, November 7
12:00 p.m.             Picnic lunch with graduating students and their families
3:00 p.m.               Graduation Ceremony and Reception
It all goes back to February 2011 when four members of our club — Jan Constable, Fred Gettelman, Erik Moeser and Tom Pyne — travelled to Guatemala to assess an international service opportunity where members could put their “boots on the ground” in an international service mission. The team liked what it saw. The rest is history.
At ELMBROOK ROTARY - We Rise & Shine!
As most of you are aware, we recently announced the creation of a Club tagline — WE RISE & SHINE that was the result of our Club Visioning session that happened last year. While the recent fun phrase shared by a boy at the SaintA Christmas Party on what he thinks Rotary is — “It’s a Portable Carnival” — is catchy, the new tagline will help to quickly communicate to audiences what we really do.
So, when we say "WE RISE & SHINE” to others, it means:
  • WE RISE to meet early every Friday.
  • WE RISE to the occasion by helping those in need.
  • WE RISE to make a difference in our community and the world.
  • WE SHINE by living the Rotary 4-way Test.
  • WE SHINE by staying positive and encouraging others.
  • WE SHINE by lighting the way for service above self in Brookfield, Elm Grove and beyond.
The new tagline appears on our new Coffee Mugs, and will appear on our website, on club emails, and other communications going out. Try using the tagline the next time you’re talking to someone about Rotary or if you’re interested in purchasing an Elmbrook Rotary Coffee Mug for $7.00, let myself or SAA, Kevin Roche know!
Steve Stocker
Elmbrook Rotary – We Rise & Shine
Meeting Highlights From Two Week's Ago - December 11, 2015
Our annual Christmas party, for the boys of SaintA Home the night before, had everyone in good spirits this morning. Magician Gil Girard dazzled the boys with his slight-of-hand – including lifting Barry James’ watch right off of his wrist. The Grinch showed up and tried to spoil the event but fortunately Santa arrived with gifts for everyone and a pile of new games for the school game room. Poor Kevin Roche missed seeing Santa again. Seems he leaves the room every year right before Old St. Nick gets there. Maybe next year Kevin….
Everyone caught the spirit and when our MC for the event – Wally Smanski, asked if the boys knew what Rotary was and one youngster piped up “It’s a Portable Carnival!” That young boy was right – Elmbrook Rotary is definitely a fun place to be!
Our Speaker this morning was John Becwar of Oasis Senior Living Options. He talked about the many choices and decisions faced by older adults when considering a change of residence due to aging or health concerns. 
On Sunday, we’re having our Packer Inside Tailgate Party hosted by the Mark and Jackie Thurner with a start time of 3:00 pm. Bring a snack to share and your beverage of choice.
Next week, join us for our annual Christmas Celebration, and that Old Grinch may stop by but we won’t let him spoil our fun. And part of the program will include “Your Special Memories of Christmas”
What was your favorite gift, received or given? And what is your favorite Christmas memory? It promises to be a fun and memorable event.   
Get To Know Your Members - Ron Jones
Last month, longtime Rotarian and club member Ron Jones gave his classification talk at a Friday meeting and the following is his write-up. Ron's diverse career path and his dedication to volunteering are great examples of "Service Above Self."
I grew up in Sparta, WI on a 240 acre dairy farm located very near Fort McCoy. I have been able to drive a tractor since age 5 and a pick-up truck since age 10. I attended Grades 1-8 in a one-room/one-teacher country school with 38 students called Bush Prairie School. At age 8, I joined the local 4-H club and became club president at age 12. I graduated high school at Sparta Senior High School and after graduation I attended University of La Crosse for 2 years…then I went on to St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in Racine. In 1969, I graduated there as a Registered Nurse and earned a BS and MBA degree in Health Care Administration from 1980-1994.
I have two adult married daughters: Tamara who has 3 children and Robin who has 4 children.  My first wife Camilla passed following her 15-year battle with breast cancer. I then met Barbara on-line through “Senior People Meet” and have been married to her for 4 1/2 years. Together, we have a total of 18 grandchildren.
In 1955, I had polio and because of all of the fantastic nursing care I received, it left me with a favorable impression in my mind that I could become a Registered Nurse. So from my freshman year in High School I believed that my education would prepare me to be a Registered Nurse. My nursing career began as a Kidney Dialysis Nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital Milwaukee, Staff RN, Nurse manager, Research Nurse studying the Drug L-Dopa with Neurologist Dr. John Baker, Night Supervisor, Director of Nursing, Vice President of  Patient Care Services, and Vice President of Professional and Support Services at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital (24 years all total).  I changed professions and my career by becoming President of the Siebert Lutheran Foundation, a $100 million Dollar foundation which funds Lutheran ministries and Lutheran schools in Wisconsin. I served the organization as President for 21 years and will be officially retired from the Foundation on December 31, 2015.
Dr. Sri Vasudevan, a physician at Elmbrook Hospital introduced me to Rotary and we launched the start-up of the new Brookfield Sunset Rotary Club. On October 22, 1986 The Sunset Rotary Club was chartered with 26 members. At the event, Dr. Edward Cadman, who was past president of Rotary International in 1985-1986, was the key note speaker. Jim Dunn and I were charter members and present at the Charter ceremony and I was President-elect. Other Brookfield Sunrise Rotary members who, together with Jim and I, became members of the Elmbrook Rotary Club on November 2, 2001 include: Gary Gilmore, Tony Consiglio, Linda Wickstrom, and Mike Hogan. I have been a Rotarian for 29 years and since 1986. 26 of those years with perfect attendance.  
Today, my daily schedule includes playing Sudoku and doing whatever Barbara has planned for the day.  We do volunteer work at Serenity Inns which is a half-way home for men in recovery, as well as a non-profit called New Threads of Hope in addition to taking part in church committees. I also love polishing and taking care of my car. 
My Rotary Friends and involvement with our community have kept me attracted to Rotary. Involvement with the Scholarship committee for 11 years along with grilling and cooking at Spikes and the 4th of July events are a few of the things I’ve enjoyed while being part of our club.
Ron Jones  
Highlights From Last Month's Meeting - November 20, 2015
A crisp morning with the promise of the season’s first snow for the weekend. Todays’ meeting highlighted the Rotary fight to eradicate Polio worldwide. Our World Polio Day activities raised over $1600 that will be matched 3:1 by the Gates Foundation. Joining us was Ronn Blaha the advisor to the Brookfield Central Key Club (yes, we can even get the Kiwanis to help fight Polio).The Key Club kids raised $500 selling End Polio Now Crocus pins. Thanks Kids!  
Our guest speaker was Deb Wente, District 6270 Polio Advocate. Deb presented a fascinating program on her trip this past February, along with 64 other Rotarians - to India to inoculate over 170,000 children – one just 22 days old – against Polio. As a result of these efforts, India has not had a new case of Polio in over 3 years and is now certified Polio Free.
Gwen Condon returned from her trip to Common Hope in Antigua Guatemala to attend the graduation of our Club sponsored student – Yenifer Chacon Garcia. Yenifer was our 2nd sponsored Senior and next year the Club will sponsor Linda Hernandez as she completes her education in accounting. Gwen will be giving us an update on her trip at a future Club meeting.

Ron Jones presented his Veteran Member Classification Talk and told us that his battle with Polio as a young boy in Sparta, Wisconsin was a major factor is his decision to enter the medical field as a Registered Nurse and continue on to senior administrative positions with Elmbrook Hospital. Later as Executive Director of the Siebert Foundation, Ron continued his contributions to support the health and education charities of Milwaukee. And during this time he has totaled up 26 years of perfect Rotary attendance
Special Congratulations to Sergeant-at-Arms Linda Edelstein. This week the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) was presented with the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by First Lady Michelle Obama in a ceremony at the White House. MYSO is one of the many Cultural Organizations supported by the Elmbrook Rotary Foundation. Congratulations to Linda, hers staff and all the kids at MYSO!
There will be no meeting next week Friday on November 27th after Thanksgiving. We wish a very happy Thanksgiving to all our members, family and friends.
Highlights from Two Weeks Ago - November 13, 2015
Bright sunshine bursting through this morning swept away any gloom associated with Friday the 13th. It was also World Kindness Day – a celebration which began in 1997 in Japan - and has expanded throughout the world to focus on the better side of human nature.  All of which was placed in stark irony by the events that occurred later in the day in Paris. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
The purpose of Rotary International is to make the world a better place and our program this morning was a big Thank You to our major donors to Spikes for Tykes.  “Spikes” – Elmbrook Rotary’s Spring Volleyball Extravaganza - is our major fundraising effort and the generosity of our major donors is essential to our ability to fund the Elmbrook Rotary Foundation Charities Highlighting these activities, our Avenue of Service Chairs gave brief presentations of the many recipients of Elmbrook Rotary funding.  Among the many sponsored projects:
Vocational Service Committee
  • 4 year scholarships to Students at Brookfield Central, Brookfield East and Waukesha County Tech College,
  • Sponsorship of Students to World Affairs Seminar,
  • Brookfield Chamber and Elmbrook Schools Vocational project
Community Service Committee
  • Literacy Services,
  • St A’s Christmas Party, Capital West Academy tutoring, Wilson Center for the Arts, Eisenhower Center, Diane’s Dictionaries, Waukesha Food Pantry, Waukesha Women’s Center
International Service Committee
  • Vietnam - Micro Lending,
  • Ecuador – Andean Health – resident physician training,
  • Guatemala – Esperanza de Familias – student sponsorships, library books, home construction and water filtration projects
  • India – Yercaud School and Orphanage – construction projects, and
  • Global Grant with India Rotarians to fund a 60 school E-Learning program
Next week’s speaker will be Deb Wente – Rotary District Advocate for End Polio Now. Deb will give us an update on the recent World Polio Day and Rotary’s efforts – in partnership with the Gates Foundation – to eliminate Polio worldwide.
SaintA Fundraiser Exceeds Goal With Help From Community Days Event!

It is very exciting to announce that Elmbrook Rotarians have surpassed the Community Service fund raising goal set to develop and expand the library at SaintA.  The goal was $1000.00 and to date we have raised $1,325.00 as a result of donations from club members for Boston Store Community Days Booklets that were sold over the past month.
The check will be presented to Michelle Fox, SaintA’s  librarian, at the Christmas party on December 10th. Community Days is a fund-raising event for local nonprofit and school organizations that provides them with a fun and easy way to raise money.
Prior to announcement of the library fund raising endeavor, Bonnie and Kathy toured the existing library at SaintA to find it meager at best. Most of the books in the room were limited to donated books and there was only $100 available to purchase books and resource materials that met the needs of the residential students.
According to Kathy Becker, "Staff at SaintA actually witnessed a teacher in the library searching for free apps on her laptop that she could use to assist the boys in reading.  She was thrilled to find a free app that pronounced words that a student could not recognize. According to her, the 16 year olds are too embarrassed to admit their limitations of word recognition; thus, the app word pronunciation saves them the embarrassment."
Library development updates at SaintA will be provided as students from Cardinal Stritch will be coming on board to help with the extension of the library. In addition, the Elm Grove Librarian, thanks to Jack Nelson, is reviewing ways that the staff may be of assistance. 
Thanks again to everyone for not only meeting the goal but surpassing it! You have just given a holiday gift that will keep on giving.
Chairpersons - Kathy Becker, Bonnie Bertram, and Jeanne Allen
Highlights from Three Week's Ago - November 6, 2015

A hint of autumn was in the air last Friday – after a great week of Indian Summer weather. We welcomed new member Andy McCully into the Club at the meeting who was sponsored by Fred Gettelman. Andy is a Senior Revenue Analyst with FedEx and he and his wife Mame live in Wauwatosa with 10-month old Callan. Surprisingly, Andy ended his first meeting today by winning the weekly raffle – including the big prize of $90! Welcome to the Club Andy – but don’t expect that kind of luck every week.
We got word that club member Alice Lambie had an unfortunate fall and was in the hospital with a broken ankle. Details weren’t available but will be passed on as we get updates. Best wishes to Alice for a speedy recovery.
Our speaker this morning was Lynn Olenik of the Waukesha Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) of Waukesha County. Lynn talked about the work of the organization, including its expanded role of caring for not only unwanted pets, but those displaced by disasters or events that make it impossible for them to be cared for by their owners. With its expanded capabilities, HAWS can place in new homes, many pets that were previously not able to be saved. And Lynn described how HAWS goes beyond the usual dogs and cats, to rescue a menagerie of animals including sheep, alligators, deer, turkeys and HAWS is currently adding a facility for orphaned chickens.   
Our meeting on November 13 is a big Thank You to our major donors for this year’s record Spikes for Tykes event. We will be highlighting the many Community and International projects that benefit from the proceeds of Spikes for Tykes.
Greetings from Otto Mattila!
Club member Tom Pyne recently connected with our former Rotary Exchange Student, Otto Mattila from Finland and here's what he's been up to since returning home!
It’s over a year since I got back to Finland. First it was weird feeling coming back and not having the Rotary Club and any of my friends here (except the Finnish friends). Returning back home was more difficult than arriving to US. I had to start to study even harder and all the daily stress I could avoid in Wisconsin came back.
One and a half months ago I began my last year of Finnish high school. The last year includes some amount of final exams (6 finals for me) which decide what you are capable to study in college. I just had two of my finals (which went… okay) English and Swedish. In Spring I will have German, Finnish, Math and social studies. I will (or I should) graduate the 4th of June, and you are all welcome to my graduation party that day! Then in July I’m supposed to go to military. Joining military is mandatory for boys in Finland. I don’t know yet what I will be doing there but I will find out in Spring.
In ten days I will go for a backpacking trip to India with two of my friends. We don’t have any big plans, so we are just going there and try to find out how to survive three weeks there. Our main destinations are Goa and Dharamshala (that is close where Dalai Lama lives). Me and my family are also planning to visit the US next summer. I’ve made my mind that I will visit the US in the summer but my family is still thinking a little. Our plan is to visit NYC, Ohio (where my sister was in exchange and where Maura, girl who stayed with us, lives as well), Chicago and obviously the Milwaukee area. I wish I could come to a club meeting, if the days fit.
After all, my life hasn’t really changed. I don’t think I have changed either. I’m still very thankful that I had chance to have my experience with the Elmbrook Rotary Club. I love you, and I miss you all.
Otto Mattila
(I don’t have many pictures of myself. This picture is the picture in my Indian Visa, that’s why I look mad. I don’t think I always look like this, or do I?)
Get To Know Your Members - Erik Moeser
Recently, club member Erik Moeser gave his classification talk at a Friday meeting and the following is his write-up. How many of you knew that Erik has a degree in Anthropology?
At a recent meeting I was privileged to have the opportunity to present an update of my “classification talk” to the current Elmbrook RC membership. This is being written to briefly summarize what I had to say and, because of the limited time allowed, to add a few things that I knowingly omitted or have thought of since.
I noted how past decisions, good and bad, somehow lead a person in a direction, even if undefined and sporadic, that get to the present time and place. While it is useful to regret bad choices in general, it is not constructive to regret specific ones, but good to have learned from them.  Think of all the forks in the road one takes, and how the sum total lead right to the present, and how much different, perhaps worse, things might be now if at any point another choice was made. So, no regrets.
I was born at the “Mary Hitchcock Clinic” on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was considered the best hospital in the region, and my parents lived about an hour away (by the roads of the time). Since their home was in Vermont, I grew up as somewhat of an “outsider”. Believe it or not, being a “native” Vermonter counted for something.  I could well imagine that if I had lived in Vermont for my entire life, at my passing the eulogist would start out with “though he was not one of us...” Truth stranger than fiction I suppose. But those were the days when the population of the state was constant year to year at 370,000 people.  When a baby was born some man hurriedly left the state, was how that was explained.
I attended a private kindergarten in the home of the teacher, and then on to North Springfield Graded School, where along with 29 other kids made the way through sixth grade. There were 6 teachers, one doubling as Principal, one maintenance man who also was the bus driver, and no other staff. We did get a weekly visit from a physical education teacher, an art teacher, and a music teacher. They also spent time at the several other small grade schools, much like ours, in the town.  In junior high school and high school I somewhat coasted and then glided down to graduating with less than flying colors, and then continued that path through a summer and two semesters at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  From there, with my “exit ticket”, I worked for a summer as a draftsman in the thread tool department of the Jones & Lamson Machine Company, in my home town, Springfield (Vermont as I have said).  Following that there was no good place to go but into the US Air Force, where in the first week of basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas, I was turned abruptly and totally around and started a more positive approach to life.  In the 3 years, 9 months, and 3 days that I was with the military, about half of that was in technical schools in Mississippi, St. Paul, MN, and California, and the balance of the time divided between actual work assignments at SAC HQ in Omaha, Nebraska, and Tan Son Nhut AB in Saigon. I attended on-base extension college classes from a variety of institutions, earning one year of college credits during my service time.
After the military I returned to full time educational pursuits in California, and in 1972 received my BA Degree in Anthropology from the University of Vermont. After a couple of years working in a bank data processing center in Burlington (at the end of which working for Ross Perot’s Electronic Data Systems) I moved to Wisconsin, familiar to me because my parents grew up here, with my wife Carol, who I was introduced to while in Vietnam, as a pen pal. How quaint! I joined First Wisconsin National Bank’s management training program, and spent the next 30 years doing just about all the jobs that make up the banking industry.
Since retiring I have spent time on things like traveling, reading, r/c flying, music lessons, and of course Rotary.  
September New Member Inductions
Over the past several weeks, President Mark Zalewski has inducted two new members in Harry Farchmin, who was sponsored by Mayor Steve Ponto, and Ted Wentzel, who was sponsored by John Allen. Harry is a Civil Engineer and Ted is a Marketing with an IT company. Welcome to Elmbrook Rotary!
Don't Miss These Upcoming Rotary Events and Discounts!

Club President Mark Zalewski wanted to make everyone aware of several upcoming worthwhile events including the District Conference on October 10 in West Bend along with the World Polio Day Event on October 23. You can also earn Rotary rewards for discounts on hotels, dining and more!
For Elmbrook Rotarians looking to get more out of their membership, the District Seminars are a great opportunity to learn new ideas and have fellowship with other Rotarians. Make plans now to attend the District 6270 Fall Seminar - Success Summit on October 10, 2015. Five Sessions will be held during this 3.5 hour event:

- Rotary 101
- RI & District Websites
- Foundation 101
- Social Media
- Membership Recruitment Techniques & Follow Through
2151 N. Main Street, West Bend, WI 53090
RSVP Your name and club name to Colleen by October 5, 2015:
For complete information, please see the flyer under "EVENTS"
How close are we to a polio-free world? What’s needed to finish the job? Can we make history together? Join us on 23 October for our third annual World Polio Day event. We’ll be streaming live from New York City, so tune in at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time to watch a global status update on the fight to end polio and take part in the conversation. Guests will include Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, celebrity ambassadors, polio survivors, and others. For more information, go to:    

Rotary's new member benefits program gives Rotary members access to discounts on a variety of products and services selected with their interests in mind. For more information, go to:
Get To Know Your Members - Bonnie Bertram
Recently, club member Bonnie Bertram gave her classification talk at a Friday meeting and the following is her write-up. Like many of us, Bonnie was 'recruited' by John Allen and joined the club in 2000.
I grew up in West Bend and when I was 9, my Dad received a Fulbright grant to teach English as a foreign language in Turin, Italy. We traveled to Italy on the SS Constitution and my sister and brother and I attended the Montessori School in Turin.  For 2 years, we traveled throughout Italy and Europe seeing the sites and going to the museums and Dad always said “take a look at this statue or painting” because you’ll study about it later on in school, and that was true. 
We returned to West Bend where I completed 7th and 8th grade, but my parents had enjoyed the travel and before you knew it, Dad joined the Foreign Service and we were off to Mexico.  My sister and I went to Marymount High School in Cuernavaca, run by the Terrytown Nuns from New York. I graduated from Marymount and received a scholarship to Beloit College where I did my Freshman and Sophomore years with a semester in Rennes, France. I finished up at UW-Madison with a Major in Spanish a Minor in French and a Teaching Certificate.
When I graduated there were not many teaching jobs available so I attended Prospect Hall secretarial school and was hired into First Wisconsin’s International Division and worked for two area officers for South America using my Spanish for typing and communicating.  I stayed on at First Wisconsin, which became Firstar and then US Bank for 31 years. and got into Personal Banking, working for Jeanne Allen for many years before she and John had their girls. I also got my Series 7 and CFP and ultimately retired from Private Banking in 2004.
John Allen recruited me to Rotary in 2000 and at the time, our club was fundraising for the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center. I was on the Business for the Arts Committee for the Wilson Center doing the same, so we had something in common.  However, what attracted me and what kept me coming back was the friendliness of the members I met in those beginning meetings, folks like Ned Consigny and Barry James both of whom also made my Mom feel welcomed at Changing of the Guard. 
Now that I am retired, it is nice to give back some of my time in Rotary to the tutoring program at Capitol West Academy and to the Christmas Party at St. A.  I have also enjoyed working on the food for Spikes for Tykes with Gordie and Jeri Miller and Marie Owens.  And over the last 3 years, I have worked with the Community Service Committee and  especially Jeanne to coordinate the Boston Store Community Day coupon book sales which have raised on average $1,000 a year for Capitol West’s summer school program, music program and St. A therapy drums.
Bonnie Bertram
Elmbrook Rotary Tutoring Program Starts Up at CWA

This fall marks the start of the eighth year of our Tutoring program at Capitol West Academy! Since 2008, Elmbrook Rotary has had a strong partnership with Capitol West Academy (CWA), a University of  Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM) Independent Charter School, and has provided tutoring to students. Though the literacy project started with a tutoring program, the scope quickly expanded to include other programs including:“Diane’s Dictionary” distribution, summer reading program support and Elmbrook Rotary Club sponsorship of the spelling bee competition at Capitol West Academy.

If you are interested in becoming a tutor please contact club members Jeanne Allen, Kathy Becker or Jan Constable. Tutors can be Rotarians, spouses or friends. Here's some background information on the program:
We normally tutor students who are in the grades K4 and 3rd. If students do not have the proper reading skills by 3rd grade they tend to struggle throughout their elementary and secondary school years. Struggling with reading, comprehension and vocabulary has a direct impact on whether students finish high school. For each tutoring session your assigned teacher will have a lesson plan put together for you, and you will normally tutor the same one or two students each week. If you have two students you will tutor each student for 1/2 hour. From time to time if your student(s) are not available you will be given different student(s). Tutoring lasts one hour with most tutoring being done in the school cafeteria. Accommodations can be made if the cafeteria is not a good location for you.
It's important to know that all tutors must fill out two background identification documents. One of the documents is from the Capitol West Academy. This form needs to be filled out annually. Jeanne Allen has copies of this form. It needs to be filled out prior to the orientation meeting on September 21. The second background document you will need to fill out is from Rotary. You will be contacted by the Elmbrook Rotary Youth Protection representative if you do not have a document on file or you document is out of date.
We will be having an orientation meeting on September 21, 7:30 A.M. to 8:00 A.M., at the Capitol West Academy. During this meeting you will meet your teacher, get classroom information, learn about the student(s) you will be tutoring, generally discuss the types of lesson plans you will be using and trade contact information.
An actual start date for tutoring has not been determined but it could be on September 21 right after the orientation meeting. We normally all tutor at the same time on Tuesday's between 8:30 A.M. and 9:30 A.M. Limited accommodations can be made if Tuesday's and the 8:30 A.M. start times are not good for you.
If you are new to tutoring you will find that the students really look forward to your tutoring sessions. They are happy that you are there for them and they really enjoy learning. I have students that I tutored three, four, five years ago that run up to me in the hallways to give me a high five or a hug. The students will not forget you or what you have done for them.
Jan Constable
Elmbrook Rotary Tutoring Program - Chairperson


Global Grant Project Kicks Off in India
Club Member Barry James recently announced the start of our Global Grant Project in India to bring literacy to 60 rural schools through E-Learning. The Inauguration Ceremony was held on September 4 at the Jaya Jothi Primary School in Omalur, Salem District, India.
Congratulations to Barry, Doug Jacobson, Erik, Moeser, Tom Pyne and the entire International Committee for a great job in achieving our very first Rotary Global Grant. A special thank you goes out to Elmbrook Rotarian, Dr. Dave Engle for initiating our connection to Honorary Member Jane Koons in Yercaud, India which is how this all began.
This is an incredible example of the impact of Rotary Clubs from diverse parts of the globe working together to do good work in the world. Lets hope this is the beginning of many more projects.
Mark Zalewski
President - Elmbrook Rotary
CWA School Supplies Drive Gets Help from BEHS Students
Jan Constable of the Community Services Committee reported that the results of this years school supplies collection got a big boost from Brookfield East High School students. Donations were recently delivered to Capitol West Academy after the two week drive but in addition to donations from club members, we also had help from Brookfield East students. Dan Roads coordinated the effort with the Brookfield East Interact Club as they collected school supplies from the high school students as they were cleaning out their school lockers prior to summer vacation.
It was so successful, Dan is going to try to do the same thing next year with the Brookfield Central High School students. All cash donated was given to Donna Weber, Executive Director at Capitol West Academy to purchase additional supplies. The following is the list of items collected by the club as well as the Brookfield East students.
2015 ERC School Supplies Drive - CWA
3x5 Index Cards 9 Packs
 Glue Bottles 14 Bottles
Glue Sticks 124 Sticks
Ink Pens -  Blue 170 Pens
Ink Pens Black   99 Pens
Ink Pens Red   46 Pens
  Total Pens 315
Dry Erase Markers 61 Pens
Washable Markers 150 Pens
Permanent Markers 134 Pens
  Total Markers 345
Highlighters 27 Pens
Hand Sanitizers   7 Bottles
Tissues -Individual 11 Packs
Tissues Large Boxes 12 Boxes
Individual Pencil Sharpeners 7
Erasers 63
Foot Long Rulers 9
Protractors 4
Scissors 11
Pencil Bags 6
Two Pocket Folders 84
Trifold Folder 1
Spiral Notebooks 45
Blue Line Paper 23 Packs 
3 Ring Binders  36
Crayons 8 Pack 1
Crayons 12 Pack 6
Crayons 24 Pack 21
Crayons 36 Pack 7
Crayons 48 Pack 8
Crayons 64 Pack 1
  Total Crayon Boxes 44
#2 Pencils 5 Pack 4
#2 Pencils 7 Pack 10
# 2Pencils 8 Pack 6
#2 Pencils 10 Pack 5
#2 Pencils 12 Pack 16
#2 Pencils 16 Pack 24
#2 Pencils 20 Pack 1
#2 Pencils 24 Pack 6
#2 Bulk Pencils 120
  Total #2 Pencils Black 1048
Colored Pencils 12 Pack 8
Colored Pencils 24 Pack 1
  Total Color Pencils 120
Back Packs 23
Linch Bag 1
Bag of Candy 1
Box of Colored Chalk 1
Cash $230.00
In addition to the supplies and cash donation from the club the Brookfield East Interact Club collected the following:
Pens.  18
Folders. 15
Notebooks. 29
Three ring binders. 53
Pencils. 43
Highlighters.  1
Scissors. 1
Dry markers. 7
Post its. 8
Hand sanitizer.  1 bottle
Stencil kit. 1
Calculators. 3.  ($50+ each)
Stapler. 1
Locker shelving. 5 sets
Padlocks. 2
Crayons.  1 box
Notebook paper.   Loose and in wrappers - the total is over 14 inches high
Thanks to everyone who collected and donated supplies to this years successful effort!
Jan Constable
A Big Turnout for the Edelweiss Cruise and Becker Home Tour
With over 60 people attending, The Edelweiss Boat Cruise and tour of Kathy and Joe Becker's home on the east side of Milwaukee was our largest social event of the season! Here are some of the highlights:
  • It was a very hot and humid day so there was no better place to be than near the lake to cool off with both the Edelweiss Cruise and the Becker’s lakefront home.
  • The Edelweiss tour gave us all an appreciation of how vibrant the Milwaukee river and lakefront has become over the past few years. It was also fun to see so many people out and about enjoying the various bars and restaurants as we floated by.
  • Open house attendees were greeted with stunning views of Lake Michigan as they entered the Becker’s exquisite home along Lake Drive.  As everyone made their way to the patio they were treated to a staffed open bar and a buffet that contained small sandwiches and other appetizers.
  • Kathy & Joe Becker were very gracious hosts with Joe giving guided tours down to Lake Michigan past his lovely terraced gardens.  A tram was available for those who didn’t what the “stair stepper’ work-out.  Meanwhile, Kathy was providing guided tours indoor of her beautifully decorated home.
  • The events brought together both new- and long-time club members who enjoyed each other’s company sharing tips on the best Bourbons, learning how Joe Becker bought an Ansel Adams print from Larry D’Attillio years ago, and generally ooh’ing and aah’ing over how fortunate everyone was to share the day in such fabulous surroundings & good friends.
Thanks to the Becker's for opening their home and to everyone who helped in coordinating these wonderful events!
Chris Spresser
Club Service Committee Chairperson
Youth Protection Updates and Background Checks
Elmbrook Rotary Youth Protection Committee Chairperson Gwen Condon recently talked at a Friday morning meeting to let members know that every year Rotary International asks clubs to renew and maintain their commitment to youth protection. All Rotarians who have one-on-one contact with children must have background checks completed. Gwen is looking to complete this process as soon as possible, especially with the school year starting at Capitol West Academy.
According to Gwen, if there is a current volunteer affidavit on file, (less than 5 years old)  we will submit the current information for an updated background check.  If there was never one completed  or it has been 5 years or more, the form can be completed online at the following link  that can be found on the District 6270 website in the Youth Protection information section,   link to the affidavit:
Also, if there are any Rotarians who have current affidavits but have moved and need to change their contact information, please contact Gwen as well.
Gwen Condon
Youth Protection Committee Chairperson
Elmbrook Rotary
Office: 414-615-4893
Cell: 262-893-1536
The goal of the Youth Protection Committee is not only to meet Rotary’s expectations to protect youth, but also to educate and protect Rotarians from undo risk. Current plans include:
  1. Developing an educational program for the members
  2. Maintaining compliance documentation for Rotary
  3. Serving as a resource for members on youth protection issues throughout the year.
Packer Ticket Raffle a HUGE Success - Winners Announced!
One of the winners in our 2015 GREEN BAY PACKER TICKET RAFFLE, Greg Thomas and his wife attended the Packers vs. Saints game at Lambeau Field on August 29. Fundraiser Chairperson Gary Zwirlein, reported that we not only exceeded our goal of $8,000 but went beyond expectations and raised a total of $9,035. For more on the fundraiser and a complete list of WINNERS read-on.
After costs, our total was $6,655. Gary and others did a tremendous job with this first year effort. especially over the last two weeks with appearances at the Brookfield Farmers’ Market featuring former Packer, Bob Long.
Thanks to everyone who took part in buying or selling raffle tickets or promoting the event. It turned out to be a rousing success! At our club meeting on August 14, President Mark Zalewski drew the winning tickets then pulled a game ticket out of a separate bag until all 10 games had been pulled. Surprisingly, we had 2 club members win tickets in John Allen and Mike Schmeling!
The following is the list of winners who won 2 tickets to an upcoming Green Bay Packer home game during the 2015 season. CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners and thanks for supporting Elmbrook Rotary and the causes we support in our community and around the world. GO PACK!
Mike Schmeling
Greg Thomas
Jim Stewart
Ted Blum
Scott Gierhahn
Dave Lorenz
Ken Aronson
Kim Stewart
John Allen
Jeff Boyum
Club Cookout –Thanks to the Curls!

The Club Service (a.k.a Social) Committee started off the new Rotary year with a summer cookout, thanks to Past-President, Tom Curl and his wife Lynda who hosted the event on July 11 at their home on Nagawicka Lake. Over 30 members attended and enjoyed an evening of sharing stories and taking boat rides – some were even brave enough to even go tubing!
2015 RI International Convention Recap from Mark and Evonne
At our Friday meeting on July 10, Club President Mark Zalewski and his wife Evonne gave a wonderful presentation on their recent trip to South America which included their attending the 105th Rotary International Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The following is a a list of highlights from this spectacular event.

Over 12,000 Rotarians from over 100 countries participated in the fellowship of the Convention highlighting the themes of outgoing RI President C.K. “Gary” Wang to “Light Up Rotary”, and incoming RI President, Ravi Ravindran to “Be a Gift to the World”
The attendees also experienced a flavor of Brazilian culture with special presentations by the Sao Paulo Symphony, the Phoenix Fire Dancers, and a Carnival Festival and Parade
The overriding theme of the Convention was  “Engagement”. Rotarians were urged to seek opportunities to make the world a better place and find common solutions that can be sustainable. There should b eless focus on meetings and attendance and more emphasis on involvement, inclusion, peacemaking and diversity. Rotarians were encouraged to seek out and address the needs in their communities - locally and worldwide.   
Keynote speakers included:
  • Dr. Oscar Arias,  - Former president of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Laureate in 1987 for his efforts to end the civil wars devastating Central America.
  • Rosalía Arteaga Serrano, - Former president of the Republic of Equador and President of the Advisory Board of FIDAL Foundation dedicated to improve the quality of education, and the consolidation of democracy in Ecuador and Latin America
  • Steven Killelea  - Founder of Integrated Research Ltd., The Charitable Foundation and Institute for Economics and Peace
  • Katia Dantas - Latin America and the Caribbean policy director, International Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • Dr. Hamid Jafari, - Director of Global Polio Eradication Operations and Research at World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the progress made on eliminating  Polio. With India now polio free and Africa seeing no new cases for 10 months, only Pakistan and Afghanistan remain in the fight against this disease.
And the power of local Rotarians impacting their communities was highlighted at the Plenary Sessions and the smaller Workshops and Breakouts
  • Lucia Gomez Garcia - a ten-year-old volunteer leader from Argentina speaking about volunteerism – “Never too young to change the world.”   
  • Thais Ferreira and Sabine Vergamini, - Instructors at Rio Branco School for the Deaf. which is supported by the Rotary Club of Sao Paulo
  • Beth Murphy - filmmaker, journalist and founder of Principle Pictures, introduced her documentary film  “What Tomorrow Brings”  about Massachusetts Rotarian and Afghan native Razia Jan, founder of Ray of Hope Foundation and the Zabuli Education Center School for girls in rural Afghanistan
Highlighted among the hundreds of Project exhibits in The House of Friendship were -
  • A “Feed the Hungry” Project - Where Rotarians could volunteer to pack boxes of meals to be distributed to food pantries in the Sao Paulo area. Over 10,000 meals were packed on the first day
  • Rotary Peace Centers - In an effort to educate tomorrow’s peacemakers and diplomats, up to 100 Rotary Peace Center fellows are sponsored each year to study in areas related to peace and conflict resolution at one of six partner universities around the world.
  • Rotarians Against Malaria - According to the World Health Organization, insecticide-treated bednets are the most cost effective way to prevent malaria. Buy-a-Net has protected and treated approximately 500,000 people from malaria.
  • Project Peanut Butter - Works with local farmers in Africa to produce a high-calorie, fortified peanut butter-like paste, called Chiponde. Project Peanut Butter annually manufactures between 1,000 and 1,250 tons of Chiponde in its own facilities in Malawi, Sierra Leone, Mali and most recently, the Philippines, and helping to alleviate hunger in Haiti, Somalia, and the other countries in the Horn of Africa.
  • H2OpenDoors - a Rotary project that raises funds to provide clean drinking water to communities in Thailand and the Philippines. Each year, the organization picks a different location and partners with local Rotary clubs to raise funds to buy and install water purification units where they are needed the most.
  • Rotary India Literacy Mission: T-E-A-C-H Program - Through improved school infrastructure and hygiene, teacher training and modern technology, child development support and more, Mission T-E-A-C-H aims to help every child in India go to school. The program also provides adult literacy and skill development training
  • ShelterBox -  Rotary’s project partner for disaster relief, has responded to earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, landslides, typhoons and conflict, delivering emergency humanitarian aid to communities in need. Highly trained ShelterBox response teams distribute aid on the ground, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs. ShelterBox aid is tailored to victims’ needs according to each disaster, but typically includes a disaster relief tent, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and children’s activity pack.   
Thanks to Mark and Evonne for representing Elmbrook Rotary at this years convention and sharing highlights from their trip. The 2016 Convention will be May 27 – June 1 in Seoul, Korea.
Get To Know Your Members - John Washcovick
Several months ago, one of our newer members - John Washcovick gave his classification talk at a Friday meeting and the following is his write-up. John was a member of the Wauwatosa Rotary Club before moving to Elm Grove and joining Elmbrook.
I grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Wauwatosa East High School in 1982. I then went to UW-Milwaukee and graduated in 1986 with a BA in Communications. My college education was paid for with the money earned operating a painting business during my college summers. Shortly after college, I married Carol Moritz on July 4, 1987. We have two children; Emily, born December 3, 1989, and Joseph, born July 8, 1992. For fun I enjoy traveling, hiking, biking, running, reading, golfing and spending time with my family.

My professional career has been in sales, marketing and operations. I spent my first 3 years after college selling for a local family owned business; Tews Company. I then spent the next 22 years working in pharmaceuticals. I held sales, sales management, marketing, operations and director level position over my 22 year career with four companies. During this time I was involved with two start-up pharmaceutical companies, which gave me the confidence to join two partners and start a payroll service company called Payroll Control Systems in 2010. Running my own business is rewarding and filled with challenges every day. The biggest challenge is finding good employees to support our growth and expansion. As one of the partners, my primary responsibility is to bring on new clients and drive profits for PCS.

I joined Rotary in the fall of 2010 right after starting PCS out of my home in Wauwatosa. The service to others and networking opportunities drew me to Rotary. My business partner, and founder of PCS, Joe Reilly, has been a Rotarian for over 20 years and encouraged me to join as we were just getting the business started. I enjoy the active fund raising and getting to know others with an interest in serving the community and beyond.
Capitol West Academy School Supplies Drive August 7 and 14
Mark your calendar for our annual Capitol West Academy School Supplies Drive happening at our weekly meetings on August 7 and 14! This will be our seventh year of helping students that don't have the means to purchase their own school supplies.
School Supplies
  • Large glue sticks
  • #2 pencils
  • Pocket folders of various colors
  • Boxes of crayons
  • Washable markers
  • Three ring binders 1-1/2"
  • Trifold boards for projects
Classroom Supplies
  • Large boxes of tissues
  • Clorox wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Dry erase markers
  • Backpacks
  • Gently used or new backpacks.
Without basic school supplies, many students choose not to go to school. Please help support this terrific school by bringing any of the supplies listed above to our Club meetings on August 7 or August 14. Our generosity also helps teachers defray the cost of purchasing some of these classroom supplies on their own. The items we donate are controlled by Donna Weber, and given to students of need prior to the start of the school year and as these students run out of them.
Thank you in advance for your support of these kids!
Our Rotary Years Ends and Begins With a Bang!
The last three weeks have seen a busy stretch for Elmbrook Rotary as we ended one Rotary year and began another along with celebrating activities on July 4th. First, on June 25th we had our annual Changing of the Guard where we celebrated our achievements from the past year and swore in of our new Officers and Directors. We also thanked outgoing Club President Tom Curl for his dedicated year of service as he was recognized with the Rotary Presidential Citation – one of only three given within the District.
Changing of the Guard also saw additional funds raised through our Silent Auction which was run this year by Linda Wickstrom. A total of $5,456 was raised from donations and when combined with the amount that was raised from Spikes for Tikes, put our overall total for 2014 fundraising at $51,746. Thanks to Linda for all her efforts and to everyone who donated items! 
Then on July 4th, our new Club President, Mark Zalewski rode in the Brookfield 4th of July Parade while Club Members John and Jeanne Allen were overseeing the annual 4th of July Fun Run in Elm Grove Village Park that we’ve sponsored for years. At the same time, Thom Arndt and a group of volunteers were setting up the concession stand, grills for serving food and beverages that lasted throughout the day until after the Fireworks.
Our Rotary year is off to a BANG so thanks to everyone who took part or helped out with these activities over the past month.
Get To Know Your Members - Kathy Becker
Last month, Elmbrook Rotarian Kathy Becker gave her Classification Talk that was both inspiring and heartfelt. The following provides the details of Kathy's talk in her own words. She exemplifies what it means to be a Rotarian and like many of our long-time members, we're fortunate to have her in the Club.
I was born in Louisville (or Louvall and Lewisville) Kentucky and grew up in a middle class family. My Mother instilled in us an appreciation for the arts even though, as teenagers we balked at going to “Shakespeare in the Park” on a Saturday night. From my Father we received an education in hard work as he owned and operated many restaurants in Louisville.
I graduated from Indiana University and worked for the Army Corps of Engineers. Congress voted to close and realign Military installations on a nationwide basis and tasked the Corps of Engineers to accomplish the mission. Fort Sheridan in Highwood, Illinois was one of the installations I was involved in transferring lands to the private sector. Unlike some installations that posed significant environmental issues prior to transfer, Fort Sheridan was a pristine parcel of property located on Lake Michigan with many positive selling points.
It was on one of my return trips from Chicago to Louisville on United Airlines that I was seated next to a man who is now husband. The flight was an hour and 10 minutes and I am sure we entertained everyone on the plane with our conversation. Subsequently, a year later we were married in Chicago.
Moving to Wisconsin was an easy transition, as Joe, my husband, was active and had lived in the Community for a long time. Thus it was easy to meet new friends.  Since I grew up in a business the transition of working in the Becker Ritter family business was a natural feeling. My job at Becker Ritter Funeral Home includes HR duties, accounting, overall management, purchasing and support to the funeral directors including the individualized set up for visitations. I am proud to be a part of the business as my husband has always set a high standard for the operations of the Company.
Why am I a Rotarian? I believe you join Rotary…but become a Rotarian. I have become a Rotarian on many occasions.  For example, In the fall of September 2014, we just finished distributing “Diane’s Dictionaries” to the first graders at St. Martini’s  school. I was standing behind one of the students seated at his desk as we were looking through the pages of the dictionary. Then, all of a sudden he turned to me with his big smile and beautiful big brown eyes and said “we just moved here.” I smiled back and said “oh you did?”. He said “yes we used to live in such and such place, and then we moved to such and such place, but we are very happy here because we have food to eat!" My heart sank and it took a few minutes to talk again. Yes, Rotary keeps me humble and through the service projects Rotary has to offer it takes me out of my safe and comfortable environment and places me in an environment that I can make a difference in the world. It truly has given meaning to my life.  
Kathy Becker
Our First Global Grant - Doing Good in India
It was almost three years in the planning, but Elmbrook Rotary’s first ever Rotary Global Grant application was approved in May 2015. The grant to fund an E-learning Program in 60 schools in D-2980 in Tamil Nadu State in India was sanctioned by the Rotary Foundation and the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation (TRF). The total amount of the award is $81,345. Applicants were Rotary India District 2980 as the Primary Host Sponsor and Elmbrook Rotary Club as the Primary International Sponsor.
What are Global Grants?
Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in one or more of the following activities. Six Areas of Focus, under Rotary International’s new grants model, was launched worldwide on July 1, 2013.  Global grants must:
  • Be an international partnership between a Rotary club or district in the country where the activity takes place and a Rotary club or district outside of that country
  • Be sustainable and include plans for long-term success after the global grant funds have been spent
  • Include measurable goals that are demonstrated through progress reports
  • Align with one of Rotary’s six areas of focus
  • Respond to real community needs
  • Include active participation from both Rotarians and community members
  • Have a minimum budget of US$30,000
  • Meet the eligibility requirements in the grants Terms and Conditions  
Our Connection with India
Since 2008-2009, our club’s International Service Committee has developed a relationship with an Elementary School and Boarding Home in Yercaud, Tamil Nadu State in Southeast India.  Most of the students are from tribal communities in the Shevaroy and Kalrayan Hills. The school is one of 96 schools of the Arcot Lutheran Church School Project.  Dr. Jane Koons of Minneapolis serves as a consultant to the ALC School Project.  As a long-time friend of Dr. Dave Engle and his wife Jensy, she was the initiator of our relationship with the Yercaud School starting in 2007.  
Elmbrook Rotary’s  Grants to the Yercaud School

Our first grant of $1500 to the Yercaud School was awarded in the 2008-2009 Rotary year. The grant was for library books and other educational resources. In 2009-2010 the Elmbrook Rotary International Service Committee, under Chair Tom Pyne, was charged with focusing on a few projects for the long term. The committee voted to make the Yercaud School one of just four international projects, where resources would be committed through 2017.  From 2010 to 2014, over $16,000 was contributed to the school in Yercaud to fund various projects such as new classrooms, a shower/toilet block, a new kitchen/dining hall, and a multi-purpose classrooms training center. The Yercaud Rotary Club, under the leadership of President Ajit Singh, was a strong partner of the school providing essentials such as uniforms, sleep wear, sandals, school supplies, sweaters and blankets (it’s cold in Yercaud) and food. Since most of the students come from tribal villages, the school is also a boarding home and nurtures and cares for students seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Rotary D-2980 in India Becomes Involved
Through President Ajit Singh, Dr. Koons was introduced to the leadership of Rotary D-2980. Her first connection was with Past District Governor (PDG) Asoka.  He became very interested in the school and the overall ALC School Project. He brought to the school his vision and perspectives from service as a board member for the nationwide Rotary India Literacy Mission. Conversations were subsequently conducted with Dr. Koons and District Governor Balasubramaniam (2014-2015), PDG Asoka (2011-2012) and Dr. R. Selvarangam, Chair of D-2980 Foundation Committee.  From those conversations emerged a proposal for Elmbrook Rotary to partner in a global grant application with D-2980. When PDG Asoka was visiting family in the USA, an invitation was extended to him to visit our club.   Barry James and his wife Thelma graciously agreed to host Mr. Asoka and his wife during their stay in Brookfield in the summer of 2014.
Rotary India D-2980 Issues Invitation to Elmbrook Rotary
On August 1, 2014 PDG Asoka presented a proposal to Elmbrook Rotary membership and invited the Club to be the Primary International Sponsor of the proposed Global Grant application for E-Learning for underserved schools. Mr. Asoka told our club that D-2980 would commit $25,000 DDF to the project that would earn a 100% match from TRF. Elmbrook Rotarians were inspired by Rotary India’s commitment to promoting education and literacy targeting the most underprivileged schools in their district.  Our Club International Committee subsequently voted to be the Primary International Sponsor. 
On August 8, 2014 Tom Pyne, Barry James and Doug Jacobson, on behalf of the International Committee, submitted an application to our District 6270 Global Grants Subcommittee requesting $10,000 DDF, which would earn a 100% from TRF.  On August 20th we were notified that our request had been approved. Our Elmbrook Rotary Foundation board subsequently approved an additional commitment of $7,500 in cash that would be eligible for a 50% match by TRF.  By September 2014, we had available $81,345 based upon the financial commitments of all parties, including the Rotary matching funds. 
The Global Grant application to The Rotary Foundation and Rotary Foundation (India) was drafted by Dr. Selvarangam, Chair of D-2980 Foundation Committee, who committed an extraordinary amount of time to complete the documentation. 20 Memos of Understanding from the school districts, for example, were required for the application. Significant efforts towards background research for the grant were provided by Elmbrook Rotary.
Rotarians in consultation with local school officials selected 60 schools in D-2980 for the E-Learning Project. 17 are ALC School Project Schools, including Yercaud Elementary School.
Funds for the E-Learning Project are now in a special Global Grant 1527030 Bank Account in India.   After months of tireless effort in both Wisconsin and India, things are moving quickly for implementation.  The first introduction to the E-Learning Program will take place this week for the 17 ALC Schools.  Thousands of students in India over the life of the project will be lifted up because of the efforts of Elmbrook Rotary and D-2980 in South India.
This is a major achievement and milestone for Elmbrook Rotary. Thanks to everyone on the International Committee for all of their hard work and persistence in making this happen. Elmbrook Rotarians, we are truly members of a global community!
Thanks for Making Spikes a Big Success!
On Saturday May 30th, we held our 28th Annual “Spikes for Tykes” Volleyball Fundraiser at Mitchell Park in Brookfield on a day that was suited more for ducks, with rain throughout the day and cooler temperatures. Despite the foul weather, the event was a huge success with a total of 55 teams, consisting of 6 players each showing up to play. Combined with with over 50 Elmbrook Rotarians, their spouses, friends and guests, everyone pitched in and made it a fun event.
Boys and girls from area schools made up the majority of teams in addition to teams from area businesses and other Rotary Clubs. Volunteers spent the day setting up the volleyball courts, registering teams, handing out event t-shirts, cooking and serving food and beverages, and making sure everyone had fun while trying to stay warm. Fortunately, the Mitchell Park shelter provided a place to stay dry.
As most of you know, “Spikes for Tykes” is the Elmbrook Rotary’s major fundraiser of the year with amounts raised going towards a variety of worthy causes and organizations.  Programs range from Rotary International’s effort to eradicate Polio worldwide and literacy programs in the Milwaukee area and Guatemala, to scholarships for local high school students and support for The Waukesha Women’s Center.
According to event chairperson Barry James, as of last Friday we were at $40,845 and getting closer to our goal of $50,000. For anyone still interested in donating, we are still collecting funds before the end of June when our fiscal year ends.
Several other highlights included:
  • Club member Bonnie Bertram, who oversaw the food and beverage area, said they sold over 26 pounds of hamburger along with turkey dogs, brats, chips, soda, beer — and a lot of hot coffee for a total of $870. The first burger order came in before 10:00 AM!
  • Bonnie said that Jeri Miller and Carol Moeser were invaluable in the kitchen again as both have helped with Spikes for years. Thelma James and Judi Down were also a big help with taking care of food orders.
  • Jackie Thurner helped in getting 7 playing teams of her school kids and bought each team member a food coupon so they could enjoy a sandwich and soda after playing.   
  • Sue Roche and Janie Jacobson braved the cold to help oversee the registration table.   
  • According to Linda Wickstrom, who coordinated student playing teams and gathered signatures for personalized thank-you notes to be sent to sponsors, “many students declared their hands to be so cold that it was a challenge to write, and one young man was even wearing socks on his hands!”
On behalf of Elmbrook Rotary, Barry wants to thanks everyone who sponsored a team, played volleyball, or volunteered at this year’s event and braved the elements.  It turned out to be a very successful and fun day!
2015 Elmbrook Rotary Scholarship Winners Announced
Ron Jones has been leading Elmbrook Rotary’s scholarship efforts for years and recently announced that the recipients of this year's awards have been named after a thorough process over the past few months.
The recipients include Elisha Vang from Brookfield Central High School and Cathy Liu and Ellen Smogoleski from Brookfield East. They will be recognized at the Awards Night ceremonies on Wednesday, May 27th at Central and June 1 at East where President Tom Curl will be giving them their certificates.
Elisha will be attending WCTC, Cathy will be attending UW-Madison and Ellen will be attending UW-La Crosse beginning in the fall of 2015. The College scholarships are valued at $1,000 per year for four years and the Vocation scholarship is valued at $1,000 per year for two years.
The process took three teams of club members to examine all 34 scholarship applications and interview the 6 finalist applicant Scholars.
Team 1 collated the applications with reference letters, made sure each application was complete, reviewed and scored each scholarship application to establish how active the scholar is with co-curricular and extra-curricular activities as well as their work History and rated their Essay. This process narrowed the applications down to 20. Team 2 then reviewed and scored the Rotary Supplemental Essay questions and Reference Letters for the 20 remaining scholars. The team selected the six semi-finalists to be interviewed and selected one Vocational scholar. Finally, Team 3 interviewed the six semi-finalists and Team selected the final three college scholarship recipients. The teams consisted of the following Rotarians:
Team 1   

Ron and Barb Jones  
Team 2  
Dan Roads
Jeanne Allen
Kate Bloomberg
Jan Constable
Jon Winkle
Ralph Gould
Barry James
Wall Smanski        
Team 3
Marie Owens
Dr. John Schesta
Dean Johnson

Thanks to all those who took part in this year’s effort and congratulations to the scholarship award winners. For more information on the each of recipients click here.
Ron Jones
Highlights from Two Weeks Ago - May 22, 2015
On the Friday before Memorial Day, our morning speaker featured Dr. Timothy McMahon who is a Professor of History at Marquette University. Tim shared his vast knowledge of WWI in a talk entitled, "Catastrophic Catalyst - The Seeds of WWI."
Most of us know that the war was one of the deadliest conflicts in history. Tim noted that more than 16 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of the war but his talked pointed to the events that lead up to the war that lasted from 1914 to 1918 and the impact it had on future wars and even today.
This included major political changes, the redrawing of maps in Europe and Russia, and the forming of the League of Nations which aimed at preventing another similar conflict. Unfortunately, with weakened states, economic depression, and renewed European nationalism, it wasn’t enough to prevent the events that lead to World War II.
With only one week to go until our major fundraiser of the year, Spikes for Tykes, Barry James announced that we’re 3/4 way to our total goal of $50,000 and that amounts raised after May 30th and through the end of June still count toward our total. So for Elmbrook Rotarians, if you still haven’t gotten a sponsor or made a donation, now’s the time!
Next week, our speaker will be Dan Glomski of the accounting firm, Komisar, Brady & Co. who will give a talk on “What is Your Business Worth.”
Get To Know Your Members - Kate Bloomberg and Tom Hochuli
At recent Friday meetings, two newer Club Members, Kate Bloomberg and Tom Hochuli gave their Classification Talks. Both have a long history of public service with Kate being a former Mayor of Brookfield and Tom being a board member of the Potawatomi Area Council Boy Scouts of America.
Kate Bloomberg Classification Talk
Most people are familiar with the more “recent” public life aspects of Kate's life including the invention of, and being owner of the company which was responsible for the development of “Shrinky Dinks.” The company was started in 1973 and she stayed with it until 1992. Others know her because of her long stint in public service where between 1982 and 1986 she served as Alderman with the City of Brookfield. This turned into a 16-year term of service as Mayor of the City before retiring in 2002.  Kate loved the job and the all the terrific folks with whom she served including Employees, Aldermen, Mayors and Village Presidents of other communities.
She enjoyed the Village President of Elm Grove enough to marry Dr. Frank Urban in 1991 which brought the grand total of kids and step-kids to 11 along with 28 grandkids. Sadly, Frank or “Hank” as he was known, passed away in 2008.
The lesser know facts of  Kate's life include being born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which makes her a UPer, and with no indoor plumbing until she was 16 makes me a true UPer!  Kate attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois where they did have indoor plumbing before moving to Massachusetts to teach and run a Children’s Summer Theater and Camp. She was married during this time and had 4 children who are now completely raised, on their own and producing a lot of grandkids.
Tom Hochuli Classification Talk
Originally from the New York Long Island area, Tom grew up with a sister and two brothers. After graduating from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, he worked for a few years in the Outdoor Advertising industry in New York before relocating to the Milwaukee area in 1983 to work for Clear Channel Outdoor.
Tom's wife Julie and he currently live in Brookfield and while he didn't have any children from his first marriage (also to a woman named Julie), he now enjoys being a grandparent to 9 grandchildren as a result to his current marriage and his wife who has three adult children.
Clear Channel is an outdoor advertising company operating worldwide and Tom serves as Import Sales Manager. He works on sales coming to the Milwaukee market from National and branch offices across the country.
As an active member of Cross of Life Lutheran Church in Brookfield and a board member of the Potawatomi Area Council Boy Scouts of America, He's participated in many service opportunities over the years.
Although he was asked by a few members over the past several years about joining, it wasn’t until recently that he felt ready to make the commitment to Rotary. Tom is pleased to be a new member and looks forward to the fellowship among members and the variety of opportunities to serve.
Welcome Kate and Tom – glad to have you both in the club!         
Highlights From Three Weeks Ago - May 15, 2015
Our Speaker this morning was Dr David Gaus who is Founder of the Andean Health and Development. He was joined by Laura Dries who is Executive Director. Working with the rural indigenous populations of Ecuador, Andean Health is one of the international outreach programs sponsored by Elmbrook Rotary.
Our club has sponsored 2 medical residents over the past 4 years who have committed to serve the impoverished native villages with basic medical needs.Dave talked about his journey from a young graduate accountant, disenchanted with his prospects, who was encouraged to return to Medical School by then President of Notre Dame, Father Ted Hesburgh.
During his early work in Ecuador, he realized to be effective any program needed to be locally based and self-sustaining. The first clinic located in the village of Pedro Vincente Maldanado has now reached that point and Andean Health is beginning efforts to establish Hesburgh Hospital in the town of Santo Domingo. It was a very impressive story and just another example of Elmbrook Rotary’s commitment to improving the conditions of our Community both locally and internationally.
Next week, in our last program before Memorial Day, Dr Tim McMahon of Marquette University will talk about the tragic and preventable events that resulted in WWI – The War to End All Wars.
ERC Changing Of The Guard Set For June 25th
Elmbrook Rotarians – mark your calendars for our annual Changing of the Guard Dinner and Silent Auction on June 25th at Western Racquet Club. Join in celebrating our successes from the past year and giving a rousing start to the new Rotary Year!
The event will be held on Thursday, June 25th beginning at 5:00 pm with dinner starting at 6:00 pm. The Silent Auction will once again feature a variety of items that'll appeal to everyone – from wine baskets and weekend getaways, to tickets for sporting events and a whole lot more. Remember that all amounts raised in the Silent Auction go towards our annual Spikes for Tykes fundraising so please take part and contact Linda Wickstrom if you have anything to donate for the auction.
The evening will also involve the installation of 2015-16 Club and Foundation Officers, the celebration of our new Paul Harris Fellows along with other recognitions and awards. The new International Theme for the upcoming 2015-2016 Rotary Year – proclaimed by Rotary President  K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran is, “Be a Gift to the World." So don’t miss the Elmbrook Rotary Club’s premier social event of the year!
All Club Members and their guests are encouraged to attend the event which is paid for as part of your annual dues. Note that there is no charge to Club Members and a guest for the dinner however, there is a cash bar for cocktails.  Watch for additional information on signing-up and dinner choices in the weeks ahead. And finally, as in the past, this event will take the place of our regular weekly meeting, so we will not meet on the following Friday morning, June 26th.
Hope to see everyone there!
Less Than A Week Until SPIKES FOR TYKES!
With less than a week to go until our Annual SPIKES FOR TYKES Volleyball Spectacular on May 30th, we’re over two-thirds of the way to reaching our goal of raising $50,000! If you haven’t been in contact with potential sponsors, sponsored a team for yourself, or got a team together to play, now is the time to make it happen!
For every Elmbrook Rotarian, this is the most important event of the year because it raises the necessary funds to help the organizations and programs that we support. Make sure you’re doing your part by making calls or asking your friends, family, business associates, co-workers or anyone else you know to see if they can help. Use the information that was handed out or direct them to our website for more information at
Thanks to everyone who has donated so far and for all those who have signed up to help out at the event. C’MON ELMBROOK ROTARIANS – Let’s meet our goal of 100% participation by members and setting a new record of raising $50,000!
Annual Magazine and Book Drive Delivers 872 Items
ImageThanks to everyone who took part in our Annual Book and Magazine Drive. Approximately 225 magazines went to the Brookfield Library. 164 soft covered appropriate books were delivered to the Waukesha County Jail. In addition, 389 books were dropped off at  Literacy Services of Wisconsin and 94 children books went to Capital West Academy. Wisconsin.
Every spring, ERC members and friends donate books and magazines that are then sorted and delivered to the Brookfield Library, Literacy Services of Wisconsin, Capital West Academy and Waukesha County Jail. The library gets the magazines that are first affixed with a sticker noting that it came from Elmbrook Rotary. Soft covered books to the jail, hard covered to literacy services of Wisconsin, and CWA gets the children's books.
Again, thanks to everyone who donated and took part in delivering the materials to each location.
Highlights From Three Weeks Ago - May 9, 2015
Our Speaker this morning was Sportscaster, Lance Allen from TMJ TV4. He talked about his early days as a kid growing up in Rice Lake and how he was fortunate to be able to channel his love of sports into his dream career. 
From his early days starting out at a Rhinelander TV station, as the Weatherman, he eventually shifting to the Sports Desk. A graduate of UW- Madison, Lance moved on the major TV market in the state where he anchors the Sports Department at WTMJ-TV and is also the Co-host of the Mike McCarthy Show – the weekly Packers talk show, and the weekly Preps Plus broadcast
Lance talked about the great year that Wisconsin sports has had. And how fortunate he personally has been to be at the center of some of Wisconsin Sports team’s greatest moments including Super Bowls, Rose Bowls and the NCAA Final Four. He also gave his outlook for the Packers, Bucks, and Brewers as we look towards the coming seasons. In all, Lance provided an enjoyable look inside the world of Wisconsin’s major sports teams.

Next week our speakers will be Laura Dries and Dr. David Gaus who is founder of Andean Health and Development which is one of Elmbrook Rotary’s major international initiatives.
ERC Members Gather at Bullwinkles Sports Bar
A group of a thirteen Elmbrook Rotarians and their guests gathered on May 13 at Bullwinkles Sports Bar in Brookfield as part of the ongoing effort by Chris Spresser and the Club Service Committee to have more social gatherings. Even the Prez and incoming Prez took part! Watch for upcoming details about the next event on June 11th at Nagawicka Lake.
Brookfield East Interact Club Clean Up!
The Brookfield East Interact Club recently took on a project to support and recognize Earth Day which was on April 22nd. The Interact Club talked with Club Supervisor and Vocational Committee Chair, Dan Roads about ideas for a project and they were aware of past Interact clean-up projects that Club Member Jack Nelson had coordinated.
Jack referred Dan to Richard Paul at the Village of Elm Grove Park's Department then scheduled a time to tour the Recycling Center that’s located south of the Elm Grove Village Park. They thought it could use some attention so it was the perfect choice for the project.
A total of 7 volunteers originally signed up for the project that was scheduled on Saturday, April 25th. Fortunately, a total of 11 people showed up on the day of the event and their efforts over a three-hour period made a big impact on the Recycling Center.
The Village provided garbage bags and the group picked up everything from debris and bottles, to tires, auto parts, cans, and plastic containers of all types. They even walked the creek (in waders) to pick up garbage in the water like pallets and metal construction waste. Everything was collected and brought to the Recycling Center and it was such a significant amount, it would’ve been nice to see how much it all weighed!
According to Dan, the Interact Team did such a great job and he received an e-mail afterwards saying that they had a 'really good time" which is a surprising thing to hear considering it was a work project. Dan commented that this speaks to the attitude the kids brought to the effort and for the projects they'll take on in the future. In addition, everyone said they’d like to do the project again next year.
We look forward to seeing what the Brookfield East Interact Club is up to for the rest of the school year. Thanks to Dan for all your efforts.
Highlights From Two Weeks Ago - April 24, 2015
We had a full room this morning and a number of guests including Donna Weber and students from Capitol West Academy and Art Salani, President of Global Fastener and Supply were on hand in addition to Club Member Jack Melloh, who we wished a Happy Birthday. It was also was fitting that on Arbor Day 2015, we meet in Elm Grove which is know as the City of Trees! 
Donna Weber of Capitol West Academy and two of her young students stopped by to thank all of the ERC members and friends who have contributed their time as tutors this past year. CWA will hold a special Appreciation Event on May 26 to honor all the Tutors.
As mentioned, we also wished a special birthday to Jack Melloh this morning. But Jack denied that he was around to celebrate another birthday coming this week – the Universe which, according to Johannes Keppler will be 6,992 years old on Monday.
One of our newer members, Tom Hochuli gave us a quick Classification Talk on his background.  Originally from New York, Tom is a sales manager with Clear Channel Outdoor. He and his wife Julie are Pewaukee residents and when they were married Tom became an instant grandfather – times 9!
We also got word this morning from Barry James that longtime member and Foundation Treasurer, Bill Isbister will be undergoing chemo treatments for the next several weeks. Knowing Bill however, he will be making every effort to be sure that his 31 Year Perfect Attendance string stays intact. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bill and his family.
Finally, our speaker this morning was Art Salani who is President of Global Fastener and Supply and the father of ERC member Chris Salani. Art talked about the formation and growth of his company into a worldwide provider of – literally - the nuts and bolts of industry. Art emphasized the key role that distribution plays in keeping the wheels of our economy greased and rolling.
Next week or speaker will be Tim Engel of Better Earth Textile Recycling. Ever wonder what happens to those old Fun Run T-shirts you donate to charity?   Find out next week.
This Week's Meeting Highlights - May 1, 2015
Our speaker this morning was Tim Engel who is President of Better Earth Textile Recycling (BETR).  A seasoned Marketing and Sales Executive, Tim is using his professional skills to address the challenge of keeping over 24 billion tons of discarded clothing and textiles out of our landfills each year.
BETR collects old and unused clothing and through its worldwide network, distributes them to struggling countries for resale, or recycles them for use as industrial or building materials. The materials find new uses as industrial rags, upholstery filling, or insulation. His company also provides opportunities for clubs and non-profit organizations to raise funds by collecting unused or discarded clothing, which BETR then processes. Tim provided a very interesting story with a positive theme for jobs and the environment.
In addition to Tim's talk, this morning we had a Member Classification Talk from former Brookfield Mayor, Kate Bloomberg and inducted our newest member, Vicki Schroeder who was sponsored by Kathy Becker.
Next week our meeting will feature WTMJ TV4’s Lance Allen will be here to give us his insights on the collection of Wisconsin sports teams that have been having a good year –– despite the recent slow start by the Brewers!
ERC Members Go To Camp - Bar That Is!
A group of a dozen Elmbrook Rotarians and their guests gathered on April 15 at Camp Bar in Wauwatosa as part of the ongoing effort by Chris Spresser and the Club Service Committee to schedule more casual social outings. These are great opportunities to get to know each other a little better while checking out some of the local establishments. Camp Bar has a unique "up north" theme that would make you think you're in Eagle River, WI! Join in the fun next month as the event is scheduled to be at Bullwinkle's Sports Bar in Brookfield on May 13
Travel Tips and Adventures from Dana and Alice
Last month, two of our speakers were two of ERC’s more noted travelers in Alice Lambie and Dana Johnson. At our April 10 meeting, Dana shared her knowledge on travel safety with great reminders about how to stay safe when traveling abroad and then on April 17, Alice shared her adventures with the Polar Bears in Manitoba, Canada. Learn more about their presentations and watch a video from the National Habitat Adventures on Alice's Polar Bear trip!
Learn more about how to staying safe while traveling from resident expert and ERC member Dana Johnson and go through her presentation.

Or watch a video from the National Habitat Adventures on the trip that our global traveler Alice Lambie took last year.
Annual Magazine and Book Drive This Friday, May 8
ImageIf you haven't seen or heard the notices, our collection date for the ERC Annual Magazine and Book drive starts this coming Friday, May 8, 2015. Please talk to your coworkers, friends, and neighbors. We all have books and magazines that we have read sitting in our offices and homes. The nice thing about these donations is that it allows others to have the same enjoyment you had while reading them. The magazines will go to the Brookfield Library's magazine exchange rack. Children books will go  to the Capitol West Academy, soft covered appropriate adult books to the Waukesha Jail, with the rest of the books going to Literacy Services of Wisconsin.
On May 8, books and magazines will be collected from club members prior to two Friday morning meetings in May.  After the second drop off day, the items will be distributed to the three organizations. One of the primary focuses of our club is literacy and this book/magazine drive allows others to enjoy and benefit from the used materials. Another focus of our club is youth and the children’s books are given to Capitol West to encourage them in their reading programs.
On the drop off dates, Jan Constable and Mike Schmeling will collect and sort the materials into Hardcover Books and Children’s Books, Magazines, and Soft Cover Books and drop off the items after the collection dates.
Thanks to everyone for taking part in this worthwhile program.
Less Than 4 Weeks Until Spikes for Tykes!
It's less than four weeks until Spikes for Tykes Volleyball Spectacular - our biggest fundraiser of the year that will be held May 30 at Mitchell Park in Brookfield. Now is the time to be signing-up sponsors and registering teams! What is Spikes for Tykes? Visit our Spikes for Tykes page to learn more!
Spirited Dice Rolling at Club Bunco Event!
Club Member Gordy Miller and his wife Jerri hosted a Bunco game at their home on March 22 and the event was a big success.
Joining them were 20 other Rotarians and their guests who enjoyed some spirited dice rolling, lots of tasty food and good conversation. Prizes were awarded to the players with the most points and most number of Bunco’s. Thanks to Gordy and Jerri for hosting and to everyone who took part.
Highlights from Last Month - March 27, 2015
As some of us celebrated Wisconsin’s win over North Carolina on Thursday in the Sweet 16, our Friday morning meeting featured a lot of red sweaters as the outside cold temps were in the 20’s and still well below normal. With all the talk of basketball and the NCAA Tournament, we were joined by representatives from the Milwaukee Bucks, Peter Feigin and Alex Lasry who were gave us updates on plans for the new arena and talked about the direction of the team.
Peter and Alex talked about the process of bringing together local and statewide stakeholders and governmental agencies to work through the financing of the new arena while building a higher profile throughout the state. They also stressed the importance of building a team and an organization for the future so that in 5 years, they’re competing for a championship.
Part of their talk touched on the long-term impact of not-having a new downtown arena and an NBA franchise in Milwaukee, and the resulting loss of jobs and income for businesses who benefit from having the Bucks in town; not to mention the national awareness that the team brings to the city. Peter and Alex made it clear that they, along with owner Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, are committed to turning the franchise around and making the Bucks a winner again.

Next week, our club has its Spikes for Tykes kick-off event. This our 28th Annual Volleyball Spiketacular with members raising funds that benefit a number of local and global organizations. Watch for details in the weeks ahead and for more information, visit our Spikes for Tykes page on our website.
Our Common Hope Connection Grows
Our Friday meeting last week was highlighted by several reports from two recent teams that visited Common Hope in Antigua, Guatemala for outreach efforts. (See the story below for details on the ERC trip). Our Elmbrook Rotary Club recently returned from their fourth trip to Guatemala and was instrumental in helping the Brookfield Congregational Church (BCC) send a team for the first time in late January 2015. Between the BCC and ERC, almost 50 people have experienced the work of Common Hope on the ground. The video clip above helps give an idea of the invaluable work they are doing. If you are interested in making the trip to Guatemala next year or having your organization field a team, please contact Club President Tom Curl.
Thanks to Everyone for a Successful Food Drive!
ImageWe held our semi-annual Food Drive over the past several weeks which was coordinated by Dr. Thom Arndt of the Community Service Committee. The event benefits the Waukesha Food Panty and is held in both March and during the summer in June and July. The drive this year was ran so that it would be completed to take advantage “Match Day” sponsored by The Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
One of the primary focuses of the Elmbrook Rotary Club is community involvement, and as most of us are aware, food is a basic need throughout many of our communities and not just around the world. Another focus of the Club is youth, and 1/3 of the people served by the food pantry are children.
Prior to the drop off date, Rotarians were reminded of the event, and encouraged to collect non-perishable foods to donate. In addition, the Club sets aside $500 to match the first $500 members donate. On the drop off dates, Thom, along with Community Service Committee members Mike Schmeling and Arne Landsverk, collected the items and cash donations. After the collection Arne dropped off the food at the Waukesha Food Pantry on Friday March 13th.
In addition to collecting two laundry baskets full of food, Elmbrook Rotarians donated a whopping $1,029, easily exceeding the match of $500 for a total of $1,529.  This will be donated through the Match Day website to receive an additional “proportional” match.
Thanks to everyone involved in this important program and for your generous donations.
Mike Schmeling
Chairperson - Community Service Committee
Elmbrook Rotary
Highlights from Two Weeks Ago – March 13, 2015
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.
Elmbrook Rotarians take part in Read Across America Day

ImageOn March 2, eleven Elmbrook Rotarian's and their spouses were part of over 30 participants who took part in Read Across America Day at the Capitol West Academy School on 88th Street in Milwaukee. The Read Across America Day event celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday and focuses on creating a love of learning. The message to kids is: reading is important, and fun!

Each participant read two Dr. Seuss books to groups of elementary students. After the reading sessions, the students who participated in the reading along with the entire student body, gathered in the school's auditorium to hear the second grade students sing several songs in addition to hearing the eighth graders recite the school's pledge in a fast, upbeat tempo.
Joining in the day’s event was Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President of Community Affairs, John Steinmiller, who addressed the students after the performances.  His presentation focused on the importance of reading each and every day and touched on all the fun and interesting things you can learn just by simply opening up a book and reading.
Thanks to everyone who attended or took part including Elmbrook Rotary Club members, CWA Board members and guests.
Another Successful Trip to Guatemala for the ERC Vision Team
The Elmbrook Rotary Club Vision Team for 2015 returned from Antigua, Guatemala on Sunday, March 1 after a week of service with Common Hope, Inc., a St. Paul, MN based Non-Profit organization which has spent the last 30 years improving lives with education, healthcare, housing, and social services.
Joining Elmbrook Rotary Club President Tom Curl and Vice President Mark Zalewski were their wives Lynda and Evonne respectively, along with team members Jan and Darcy Constable, Past Rotary District 6270 Governor Ted Gurzynski, current District Assistant Governor Sandy Bosin, and representing the Port Washington Rotary Club, Ruth Lansing, a veteran of two prior trips, and Bob Henckle.
Local families in Antigua become engaged by agreeing to keep their children in school and through hard work and “sweat equity” by taking part in various projects. Unfortunately, the typical outcome for many of the children in the area is to become an “economic unit”, as families put them to work in the fields from the time they are five or six years old, with very few kids not getting more than a third grade education. This sad cycle repeats itself to where many of the children have the same kind of life their parents have had with little hope for a better life.  Fortunately, with the support of Common Hope, a child has a very good chance of making it through sixth grade and beyond to high school. Since they’re beginning, over 1,000 kids have graduated from high school as a result of the Common Hope programs.
The Elmbrook Rotary Club team, like more than 20 other teams that participate each year, spent a week building a simple home, working with kids in the classrooms of several of the Common Hope Partner Public Schools, distributing books, supplies, and sporting goods, much of it donated to the team from friends and local businesses and transported as excess luggage. They also provided welcome support for many social work visits, with team members being a required “witness”, allowing social work staff to make double the amount of calls they make during a typical week. In addition, and as part of a community effort in conjunction with the Antigua Rotary Club, filtration equipment was provided for many families who have no dependable supply of safe water.
The house that was built by the team, is for a family who have earned it through many hours of working with Common Hope at their facilities, and in the schools that partner with Common Hope, in the kitchens and in the maintenance departments. The house is “panelized” at the central work yard and transported to the site which may be owned or leased by the family who will live in the house. There is a tile or poured floor and two rooms, a total of approximately 250 square feet, and some functions are already in place outside the walls, such as communal bathrooms and cooking facilities.  For the people who don’t own the land, the houses are easily disassembled and moved to another site if the need arises, including the tiled flooring.
Since 2011, Elmbrook Rotary Club has sent  5 Teams including the “Advance Team” that did the initial legwork for our efforts.  Over 35 members including their friends and family members have traveled to Guatemala, with many making the trip more than once. Each person do so at their own expense which includes airfare and room and board while in Antigua. A small part of the trip also includes some sightseeing while enjoying the local culture of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage City boasting a long, interesting, and important history in  Central America. A number of participants have extended their stay beyond the weeklong program, in order to see more of Guatemala’s amazing sights and attractions, including the Mayan ruins at Tikal, Lake Atitlan, and the giant Mayan market held in Chichicastenango.
Another very important aspect of the Common Hope program is the opportunity for Elmbrook Rotary Club members and their friends to sponsor a specific student directly, with visits to the family home and written communication throughout the year.  The sponsorship helps tie in a family affiliation throughout the year while making school attendance possible for the children who don’t have to spend every day contributing economically to the support of the family.  This past November, Elmbrook Rotarian and Sergeant-at-Arms, Linda Edelstein traveled to Guatemala to help Esvin Hernandez, a young man who the Club has sponsored over the past several years, as he celebrated his graduation from high school with his family.  Recenty, the club has taken on another student who will graduate in November of 2015, and the intent is to help students get through the last year or two where the risk of having to drop out of school is high.
While this is a problem, it’s not issue with sponsored students and in all, Elmbrook Rotarians are helping 22 kids stay in school!
Sandy Bosen – our current DG had such a good experience on the trip that she personally donated $1000 to the ERC Foundation to be used to help one of our members – who may not otherwise be able to make a Vision Team trip
A very nice gesture
For anyone who is interested in learning more about this program or any of Elmbrook Rotary Club’s International programs, including outreach efforts in India, Vietnam, and Ecuador, you are invited to contact Club President Tom Curl at