Upcoming Events
Club Progressive Dinner - SAVE THE DATE!
Mayor Steve Ponto Home
Jan 23, 2016
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Club Progressive Dinner - SAVE THE DATE!
Locations TBD
Jan 23, 2016
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Dec 25, 2015
Jan 01, 2016
Jan 08, 2016
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Franklin Onwubuariri
January 4
Jan Constable
January 5
Dan Hansen
January 7
Erik Bergstrom
January 8
Dean Johnson
January 15
Bill Isbister
January 26
Wally Smanski
January 30
Alice Lambie
December 21
Bill Petterson
December 27
Ed Doolan
December 28
Carol White
December 30
Spouse Birthdays
Evonne Zalewski
January 1
January 7
December 20
Michael Schmeling
Jessica Schmeling
December 11
Join Date
Carol White
January 1, 2003
13 years
Arne Landsverk
January 9, 2015
1 year
John Washcovick
January 9, 2015
1 year
Dan Hansen
January 14, 2005
11 years
Ed Doolan
January 16, 2015
1 year
Mike Mamayek
January 27, 2012
4 years
Bill Isbister
December 1, 1983
32 years
Gary Zwirlein
December 3, 2004
11 years
Bill Bulloch
December 5, 2003
12 years
Kate Bloomberg
December 5, 2014
1 year
Steven Ponto
December 10, 2010
5 years
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Sergeant at Arms
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
Highlights from Last Week'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!

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!

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.  
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
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!!
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.
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.
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  
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