June 29: Changing of the Guard – the June 29th Rotary Meeting Looked Back on a Year of Accomplishments and an Optimistic Future

–submitted by Sharyn Alden

“I’ll see you on the other side of ‘Service Beyond Self.”  Those parting words by out-going Rotary president, Teresa Holmes, met with a standing ovation during a tribute to her role in leading the Rotary Club of Madison this past year.

   She pointed out her passion for Rotary became more deeply rooted after she attended the Rotary International Conference a few years ago. “It helped me grow as a Rotarian, especially when I looked around and saw all the great things Rotarians accomplish, not only in our club, but beyond,” she said.

   She was good-naturedly ‘roasted’ with a video of “Bloopers.” It showcased her effervescent spark of enthusiasm for her commitment to Rotary and her sometimes cadre of mispronounced words –i.e. -‘Rodeo Club,’ which brought a round of laughter from the audience as well as from Holmes.

   With the ‘Changing of the Guard,’ Paul Hoffmann transitioned from being president-elect to becoming the 2022-2023 president of the Rotary Club of Madison. He spoke about the many highlights that have helped the club connect, grow and serve over the last year, and his looking forward to the upcoming year as president.

   One area summarized in the “Year in Review” portion of the program highlighted a show of community support in terms of funding. The club provided $755,253 for a wide variety of community projects. Additionally, the Community Grants Campaign raised $155,556 to support local projects, and the Rotary International Campaign raised $53,458.

   Congratulations to Paul Hoffmann in his new position as president of the Rotary Club of Madison!

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2jXF_eJtZI&t=10s.

June 22: The Rise of Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics at UW and Beyond

–submitted by Janet Piraino

Author Doug Moe pictured here with Club President Teresa Holmes

On the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Doug Moe, local author extraordinaire, regaled Rotarians with stories from his new book on Kit Saunders-Nordeen and her advocacy of equality in women’s sports.  Title IX, which forbid discrimination on the basis of sex for any activity receiving federal funds, started a sea change in women’s sports, but was initially met with resistance and legal challenges.  Two years after enactment of Title IX, when Kit was named UW-Madison’s first director of women’s athletics, the sports editor of the Wisconsin State Journal advised her “don’t be a bitch,” and said he would never put news of women’s sports on his sports page.  As late as the 1950’s, women were prohibited from running distance races for fear their uteruses might fall out.  Even today, local ski jump Olympian Anna Hoffman said despite concerns over women jumping from highest ski jumps, she had gone off the highest jump many times and bragged that she was “still intact.”  Doug advised that while we should celebrate this momentous anniversary, there was still much to be done to ensure that our daughters have the same athletic opportunities as our sons.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SZlsFJCoac&t=734s

June 15: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

–submitted by Ellsworth Brown

UW Professor Yoshiko Herrera’s subject was one that grips us all:  Ukraine, Russia and a war of punishment and increasing brutality.  Superimposed on the United States, Ukraine ranges from New York City to beyond Chicago.  There are three focal questions:  who, how, or why did it begin; how might it end; and what can we do about it?

Succinctly, Professor Herrera provided answers:  Putin is responsible for the war, stoking Russian citizens’ fears—of NATO for example—as motivation and enforcing it with highly controlled information and brutal internal suppression of opposition.  Similar confrontations in Chechnya, Georgia, Crimea, and Syria drew little attention, and an isolated Putin perceived a weak NATO and a divided United States would be little concerned about Ukraine.  His miscalculation was massive.

Herrera forecast that “Putin will continue until someone forces him to stop.”  A united Ukrainian defense will probably prevail, though at great cost, and then join NATO—it is a country large enough to avoid a takeover, and Russia’s historic tactics have been to punish and destroy, not conquer.  Meanwhile, sanctions have begun to work within a context that will damage Russia and remove trust of it for decades.

And what can we do?  We can talk to friends and acquaintances, support local protests on behalf of Ukraine, make donations to humanitarian aid for Ukraine, and write to our senators and representatives.

We all hope . . . .

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAgiZ3n_dKQ&t=161s

June 8: A Wisconsin for All – Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS)

–submitted by Kevin Hoffman

Our own Rotary Club of Madison member Dawn Crim, the Wisconsin Secretary of the DSPS, spoke to the membership about the important role the DSPS plays in the conduct of our everyday lives.  This important agency touches everyone, directly or indirectly, by ensuring that industry (such as construction and other commercial businesses with safety responsibilities), licensed professionals (such as healthcare and legal practitioners), and public policies are operating in the public interests of safety and economic development.  She cited a few of the many programs from health care to prescription opioid control to clean energy to military veteran transition to equity and inclusion that support and protect citizens and businesses. 

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/fs0jpPYUuDg.

June 1: Rotary Scholarship Program Grows in 2022

–submitted by Valerie Renk

Rotarians met 26 outstanding scholars at the June 1 luncheon. More than $388,000 will be awarded to the 2022 class of Madison Rotary Foundation scholars over the next four years.

Laura Peck, Chair, introduced the scholars; President Teresa Holmes presented each with a certificate.

Daniel Obi, 2017 French Scholar, gave a keynote. He shared how his Rotary scholarship and mentor relationship with Neal Fauerbach made a real difference helping him work towards becoming a Physician’s Assistant. 

Roger Stauter was also inducted as a new member. His introduction included he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma.  The meeting was sponsored by Jen Savino, KW2.   

May 25: Reshaping The Future of South Madison

–submitted by Janet Piraino

On May 25th, Madison’s Director of Planning and Community and Economic Development Matt Wachter talked about the great redevelopment plans for Madison’s South Side. South Siders told the City they wanted new gathering places, affordable child care, better parks, improved bike and pedestrian infrastructure, increased transit service and better connectivity across Park Street.  Most importantly, they wanted to avoid gentrification of, and displacement from, their neighborhoods.  The City is focusing on The Village on Park, the Thorstad property and the Perry/Ann Street corridor. Common elements of the plans include transforming giant parking lots into buildings/programs that foster affordable housing, create job opportunities, support small business and improve amenities.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1n8Hl72np0&t=1317s.