Category Archives: Scotch Whisky, Lew Harned Society

LHS Celebrates 10th Anniversary

–submitted by Founder Moses Altsech; photos by Brian Basken


Pictured above from left: Phyllis Lovrien, Jed Engeler, Annette Hellmer, Haley Saalsaa, Beth Prochaska & Lew Harned

The Lew Harned Society marked its 10th anniversary on September 18 with a special event hosted by Founder and Dear Leader Moses Altsech.  Founded in 2007, the Scotch Whisky Fellowship was renamed in 2009 in honor of our great friend General Lew Harned, who has been there from the very first meeting.  We enjoyed great homemade food (presumably prepared at the caterer’s home), and music by a barbershop quarter courtesy of Ken Yuska–which coincidentally included someone who had served with Lew in Operation Desert Storm.


All guests received a gift box of Quintessential single malt Scotch-filled chocolates.  The selection of eight rare single malts included the Mackinlay, a Scotch salvaged from Sir Ernest Shackleton after the wreck of the Endurance, rediscovered in 2007, and faithfully recreated.


But as much as we like Scotch whisky, the Lew Harned Society is about much more than that.  It’s about Lew: How great a guy do you have to be for your friends to name a group after you?  It’s about friends: Our long-time regulars who are a standard staple, without whom we couldn’t imagine our gatherings, and new friends who want to join a group that’s fun and welcoming to all.  At Rotary we often talk about member engagement–and this is what member engagement is made of.  Goodwill, better friendships and Scotch.  Our group has the best-looking Rotarians, its very own General who’s always in a festive mood, and enough Scotch to keep us alive two weeks past the end of Western civilization.

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If you want to join our second decade, contact the Rotary office at once: Space is probably not limited, but why risk it?

Highlights from Scotch Whisky/Lew Harned Society Event at Overture Center December 15

–submitted by Wayne Glowac; photos by Gayle Langer

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”


From left: Regina Millner, Lew Harned and Brian Fick

Overture Center hosted the most recent Scotch Whisky/Lew Harned Society Fellowship Group on December 15.  Rotarians enjoyed the delightful company of each other while sampling exquisite Scotch Whisky selected by Ted DeDee.

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Photo 1: Ken & Ginny Yuska; Photo 2: Dan Dieck, Herman Baumann, Brian Koch & Brian Basken; Photo 3: Jim Ruhly & Regina Millner




Scotch Whiskey Lew Harned Society Event January 13

–submitted by Noel Pearson; photos by Noel Pearson and Ken Yuska

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Ken and Ginny Yuska hosted the most recent Scotch Whisky Lew Harned Society gathering in their home on January 13.

Rotary Scotch Jan 13 2014 009It was a very special evening.  Noel Pearson presented to Lew Harned,  (pictured at right) an Army fleece blanket that the UW and Edgewood Rotaract students made for him at their Holiday party in December at the home of Dick and Noel Pearson.  Lew was humbled and pleased by the act of kindness and plans to attend the next Rotaract meeting to personally thank the students.

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Photo 1: from left, Dewey Bredeson, Sandy Maier, Dan Dieck, Ellis Waller; Photo 2: from left Peggy Lescrenier,Ginny Yuska, Kay Schwichtenberg and Herman Baumann; Photo 3: from left, Herman Baumann, Ken Yuska and Mark Cantrell

Highlights From Scotch Whisky Event December 9

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Pictured above from left: Dick Pearson, Kay Schwichtenberg, Herman Baumann & Steve Holzhauer

Over 40 Rotarians and guests enjoyed the hospitality of Dick & Noel Pearson who hosted the latest Scotch Whisky Lew Harned Society event on Monday, December 9.  If you would like to be added to this fellowship group, contact the Rotary office, and you will be sure to receive upcoming invitations.  The group meets on the second Monday of each month.

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Photo 1: Peggy Lescrenier and Ted DeDee; Photo 2: Steve Musser, Dewey Bredeson & Sandy Maier; Photo 3: Dan Dieck, Nona Hage, Inez Brenner, Michael Brenner & Steve Holzhauer

Madison Downtown Rotary Club – One Club Fits All

IMG_0072–submitted by Ellis Waller, Chair of Lew Harned Society Fellowship Group

At the most recent Lew Harned Society Event, I was talking with Joy Rice about the many good things the Downtown Madison Rotary Club offers. We both agreed that the luncheon programs were superb, week after week. Upon giving further thought about why Rotary appeals to me it occurred to me that the Downtown Madison Rotary is an all-encompassing organization that provides a wide variety of opportunities for service, education, fellowship and leadership, all within one organization.

First, there are the luncheon programs that combine a balanced dose of food, information, programs and fellowship. Second, there are opportunities for leadership or just participation in any of the many committees and fellowship groups. Third, but not least, there are many opportunities for service. These range from simply writing a check, volunteering on a committee, or for an event like the Ethics Symposium, Triquest, or an international project.

Rotary members can pick and choose those activities that appeal to them.  If one’s career limits free time, then one can opt to attend the Wednesday luncheons until time is available for additional areas of service. Very little is required of our members and one’s involvement can be adjusted accordingly. There is no need to be a member of multiple organizations, as it can all take place within Rotary.

Recent Rotary Fellowship Group Events

Rotary Wine Fellowship Group Event on August 16, 2012
–submittted by Ellie Schatz; photos by Dori Hosek

Keeping 15 wine tasters listening and in a semblance of order can be a daunting task. So on Thursday evening, August 16, host and fellowship group leader Mike Wilson displayed his greenstone, a form of jade found in the South Island of New Zealand. Used by the Maoris as a weapon and considered more valuable than gold, our group was duly impressed with his trinket, but not given to voting any wine the best of the evening unless it truly passed an individual test for color, aroma, body, bouquet, finish, etc.

From left: Steve Landry, Robyn Kitson, Becky Steinhoff, Mike Wilson & Steve Mixtacki

Peggy Lescrenier & Robyn Kitson

After tasting 9 of the 12 wines featured, Mike called for a vote. With a few abstentions, a zinfindel from central California won by a 7:4 vote. This gave reason for Peggy Lescrenier and Robyn Kitson to raise their glasses in celebration of their fine wine-tasting judgment.

(Pictured above from left: Patty Wilson, Peggy Lescrenier, Steve & Meryl Mixtacki, and Keith & Juli Baumgartner)

Steve Mixtacki surprised us all with an unusual finisher: a red-wine gelato. Chocolaterie Stam, a shop on Deming Way in Middleton, makes gelato out of just about anything your heart desires. Here’s to Steve’s blend of Bordeaux with ice cream. I know where I’m getting the dessert for my next dinner party!

Rotary Bicycling Fellowship Outing on August 18, 2012
–submitted by Jeff Tews

We had a delightful Saturday morning for a Bike Fellowship ride around West Madison. In attendance (above), from left, Cindy Waldbillig, John Faust, Ted Waldbillig, Sue Faust, Susan Prest, Karen Ostrov, Michael Ostrov, Jeff Tews, Allen Sherwood. Picture taken by Susan Rather.

Rotary Scotch Whisky Fellowship Event on August 20, 2012
–photos submitted by Noel Pearson
The event was hosted by Lew Harned at his home on Lake Mendota.

From left: Dan Dieck, Melanie Ramey, Lew Harned and Mike Wenzel

Rotary Fellowship Groups – Great Opportunities to Make Connections

Our Rotary Club has over 20 fellowship groups to help members make connections with others that have like interests.  At the March 21 Rotary luncheon, members present received fellowship and committee sign-up forms for the 2012-13 Rotary year.  Members not present will be receiving one via email soon.  Be sure to fill out your forms and return them to the Rotary office as your current assignments end June 30.

Below are photos of some recent fellowship group activities.  Other fellowship groups are encouraged to submit photos to the Rotary office for future blog postings.

Fly Fishing Group at On the Creek

Fish Stories Told Here…Some True! 

The fly fishing fellowship enjoyed its best turn out ever with eleven members attending our “ice breaker” meeting on March 8. Todd Opsal and Nick Volk of On the Creek Fly Shop in Cross Plains led an informative discussion on fly fishing. The meeting covered everything from equipment to basic stream side insect life. Wine, cheese and crackers complemented the presentation on fly fishing and most importantly the good fellowship enjoyed by all. Our next meeting is scheduled for 7:00pm on April 12 at On the Creek Fly Shop in Cross Plains. There is a good chance that we will do a road trip to sample some of the trout fishing in southwestern Wisconsin on April 6. We hope to firm up dates for future outings at our next meeting.  Proposed ideas include the ever popular Black Earth Creek, Gordon Creek and a late May trip to Lake Waubesa for Blue Gills followed by a Canadian style shore dinner. 

Submitted by Dana Corbett, Chair of Fly Fishing Fellowship Group

Gayle Langer & Curt Brink

Scotch Whisky Fellowship Group Event

On Monday, March 12, Gayle Langer and Melanie Ramey co-hosted the March Lew Harned Society’s Fellowship event at Gayle’s Cherokee home. Pictured above are Gayle and Curt Brink.  Gayle and Melanie put together a fine selection of scotch and complimented it with some quality cheese and some wonderful shrimp.  Fellowship Chair Ellis Waller gathered feedback from the attendees on what type of community project the group would like to participate in as part of our club’s Centennial Celebration.

–Submitted by Mike Wenzel, member of Scotch Whisky Fellowship Group

Members and guests of the Wine Fellowship Group enjoyed the hospitality of Steve and Meryl Mixtacki on February 12. Pictured here from left: Mike Wenzel, Dick Pearson, Noel Pearson, Todd Perkins, Tracy Perkins and Pat Wilson.

Our Notable Books Fellowship Group meets at Takara Restaurant in Whitney Square. Pictured from left: Ruth Ann Schoer, Darrell Behnke, Rich Leffler, Joan Leffler, Frank Stein and Roberta Stadky.

The Bridge Fellowship Group meets at various homes of its members on a monthly basis. Pictured above from left: Mary Helen Becker, Lori Kay and Jim Ebben.

Congratulations to Rotary Bowling Team I which is currently in first place in this year’s Madison Civic League.  Main bowlers for Rotary I this year are Gerry Thain (pictured at right), Doug Gerhart & George Keehn (pictured at left) with help this season from Dick Goldberg and Mike Engelberger.