Category Archives: a. Rotaract

Rotary Club of Madison Welcomes UW & Edgewood Rotaract Clubs on March 5 2014

–article submitted by Mark Stover; photos by Moses Altsech and Jeff Smith

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The Downtown Rotary Club of Madison, WI got a glimpse of the future on Wednesday,March 5.  Students from the Rotaract Clubs of Edgewood College and UW-Madison took over the helm and the program.  Rotarians heard details about how the Rotaract Clubs got started, what they’ve been working on this year, and their respective plans for the future.

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Cory Kundert, President of the Edgewood College Rotaract explained that the word “Rotaract” is a mash-up of the words “Rotary” and “Action.”  True to the Rotary spirit, Rotaract members are all about taking action in showing how they live “Service Above Self.”

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The Edgewood College club members volunteer to support our Ethics Symposium, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Gilda’s Club.  They also support the good work of other groups like the Heifer Foundation, Combat Blindness International and Badger Honor Flight with fundraisers.

Brittni Palkert, President of the UW-Madison Rotaract Club, told a similar story about her group’s work.  The UW-Madison Rotaract Club got started as a merger of the International Student Business Association on campus with the Rotaract Club concept.  Members of the UW-Madison club volunteer in support of Wisconsin Public Television Pledge Drives; work with senior citizens in the Triangle area of Madison; and also support Relay for Life.

Brittni also mentioned work that the UW-Madison Club has done with a connection to an AIDS support group in Harare, Zimbabwe.  Fundraisers in Madison have gone to help students with AIDS in Africa attend trade schools and colleges so that they can become financially independent.  Contact Brittni if you’re interested in a yoga fundraiser they have going this spring!

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Both Presidents pointed out that the value of Rotaract has been to help their members gain skills and hone talents that are useful in their vocations.  Leadership and teamwork are critical components of keeping these self-managed groups operating effectively.  In a video of former Rotaractors from both clubs, this theme of preparing for professional lives came through for the former treasurer of the Madison club (now a financial analyst for Kohl’s Corporation).

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Finally, hats off to Dan Larson, Moses Altsech, Dick Pearson, and Jacqui Sakowski for the many hours of support they have provided to the two clubs.  Our Rotary and global future looks very bright indeed based on the people we met today.

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What is Rotaract?  Rotaract is a club for adults ages 18-30 that meets twice a month to exchange ideas, plan activities and projects, and socialize. While Rotary clubs serve as sponsors, Rotaract clubs decide how to organize and run their club and what projects and activities to carry out.  Our Rotary Club sponsors two clubs – one at the UW-Madison that was formed in 2002, and one on the Edgewood College campus that was formed in 2008.

Rotaract clubs organize local hands-on service projects, they have fun networking and social activities, they provide professional development opportunities for their members, and they have an international network of young leaders.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in our Rotary Club’s Rotaract Advisory Committee, contact the Rotary office to sign up (rotaryoffice@rotarymadison.org or 255-9164).

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

Annual Rotaract Holiday Party on December 7

-submitted by Dick & Noel Pearson

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“This event was absolutely the best ever!  As each student walked in the door, they were asked to hang at least one ornament on the tree.  We have an All-Faith Christmas tree!

They all got together and tied knots on 15 no-sew fleece fringe blankets to be given to First Responders in a few weeks.  They also made a blanket with US Army fleece, for Rotarian Lew Harned, but he was not in attendance.  Moses Altsech will help  figure out how to get it to Lew.

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One of the  highlights of the evening, was the “Who  has the ugliest Christmas sweater” contest.  Moses was the judge.  His commentary was hilarious.

Each student brought a gift for  exchange.  They all gathered around the Christmas tree while Brittney read aloud “The  Night Before Christmas.”  She added the words “left” and “right” every so often.  When either left or right was spoken, bags were to be passed in that direction.  The anticipation and excitement at the passing of each gift bag  was fun to see.  The reactions of the students as they had to pass a bag with a gift they wanted to keep were very creative.

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Dan Larson selected a nice variety of pizzas from Glass Nickel.

When some of the students realized we have a dog and a cat, they politely asked if I would let them visit Ralph and Peter.  Ralph, the cat, was his usual 20-pound nonchalant self.   Peter, the 2-year-old black  Lab rescue, loved and hugged everyone in sight.

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Each student gave me a hug as they left and expressed thanks for a wonderful party.”

Our thanks to Dick and Noel Pearson for hosting this event at their home on December 7.

13th Annual Rotary Ethics Symposium on March 1, 2013

Our club’s strategic plan includes a goal which states, “Identify and focus on up to four areas of need toward which the Club will dedicate its service, attention, and financial resources to optimize impact and make plain our role in the community.”  One project that our club continues which helps us achieve this goal is the annual Rotary Club of Madison Ethics Symposium.

DSC_0018On Friday, March 1, at Monona Terrace (left), there were 213 high school juniors in attendance at our 13th  Annual Rotary Ethics Symposium, and they came from 19 Dane County high schools.

This year, our planning committee, chaired by Dora Zuniga, worked closely with Edgewood College Prof. Denis Collins and Edgewood College Rotaract students to develop the day’s activities to help teach these high school juniors how to work through ethical dilemmas using a R-O-T-A-R-Y Six-step Framework.  We also welcomed back the First Wave Group for our opening session, and the students gave high marks once again to this group.  The First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Learning Community is a cutting-edge multicultural artistic program for incoming students at UW-Madison.

DSC00248  DSC00261  DSC00265(Pictured above are various breakout sessions.)

We’d like to thank the following 50 Rotarians who helped out during the day’s event: Steve Aune, Ken Axe,  Brian Basken, Sean Baxter, Donna Beestman, John Bonsett-Veal, Scott Campbell, Sharon Chamberlain, Karen Christianson, Nelson Cummings, Dave Ellestad, Jed Engler, Neil Fauerbach, Jim Fitzpatrick, Rico Goedjen, Dick Goldberg, Cary Heyer, Donna Hurd, Steve Johannsen, Mary Kaminski, Paul Karch, Karen Kendrick-Hands, Robyn Kitson, Ranette Mauer, Kathryne McGowan, Gregg McManners, Renee Moe, Tim Muldowney, Dick Pearson, Laura Peck, Maggie Peterman, Marty Preizler, Melanie Ramey, Bill Reay, Mary Romolino, Joe Sensenbrenner, Bob Shumaker, Larry Smith, Bob Sorge, Wes Sparkman, Ross Squires, Tim Stadelman, Jim Taylor, Jeff Tews, Jerry Thain, Ellis Waller, Mike Wenzel, Marcia Whittington, Bill Zeinemann and Dora Zuniga (chair).

DSC_0028  DSC_0021  Edgewood Rotaract Students
(Pictured above from left:  First Wave Group from UW-Madison; General photo during Opening Session; Edgewood Rotaract Students: front  row from left to right: Michelle Karn, Victoria Ortiz, Ashley Schoenoff, Abby Trollop, Chelsea Culver, Lauren Carpenter; back row from left to right:  Ben Sheperd, Cory Kundert, Nick Walusayi, Aliou Traore, Bill DeVault)

In addition, our thanks go to Edgewood Prof. Denis Collins and Amy Gannon, along with the following Edgewood College Rotaract students:  Lauren Carpenter, Chelsea Culver, Billy DeVault, Michelle Karn, Cory Kundert, Ashton Lareau, Victoria Oritz Sayago, Ashley Schoenoff, Ben Sheperd, Aliou Traore, Abby Trollop and Nick Walusayi.

From the evaluation forms completed by students at the end of the day, we heard some favorable comments.  Here is a sampling:
–  It was very inspiring and I appreciate it very much.  It changed the way I think about these situations.
–  This was a meaningful experience for me, and I will never forget it.
–  I was surprised by how much fun it was.  I thought the all of the discussions were very fun.
–  This was a wonderful experience. I was open to so many new things.
–  I loved the entire experience and cannot express that enough.  The world needs more people who think this way.
–  I really enjoyed it and met new people while learning about problems at my school that I wasn’t fully aware of.
–  It was intriguing and brought me together with new people.  I was a little confused and uncomfortable at the beginning, but it quickly got better.  Thank you for the opportunity!
–  Thank you for the event.  I feel like it has made a positive difference for my ethical decision process.
–  I think the sessions were effective and the student based discussion was key.

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(Pictured above from left: Denis Collins (center) consulting with Rotaract students; and breakout session photos) 

As 2013 Ethics Symposium Chair Dora Zuniga closed the event, she drew a name of one lucky winner from the audience for the iPod prize drawing, and Jeffrey Reinholz from Verona Area High School was pleased to be the recipient.  Our thanks to Ranette Mauer and the Hilton Madison Hotel for donating this door prize.

 

 

Rotary District 6250 Annual Conference

Rotary District 6250 Annual Conference, June 8th & 9th in LaCrosse, WI

June 13, 2012 //
Submitted by Jacqui Sakowski
 
When I accepted President Paul’s invitation to car-pool to LaCrosse the environmentalist in me leapt at the chance.  I learned so much about Paul’s life – his family, his aspirations for the future, his perspective on Rotary as he approaches the passing of the pin. What a bonus!

We arrived for the Business Meeting where we got to vote on the budget and other operational issues, before attending a very fun and inspiring lunch. We were addressed by a remarkable woman – Rotary International’s first female corporate officer and cancer sufferer, who was clearly in poor health, but spoke with confidence, energy and passion about the origins of the Four Way Test.  She was to address us 4 more times before the conference ended. A display of resilience that we were all proud to witness!

Afternoon presentations on The Holocaust, the plight of children around the world and programs that help youth adopt and live by life-enhancing values made for a very informative and fast-paced afternoon. Inbound RYE students shared cultural insights about their country before supper. Our first Oktoberfest in June, was colorful and celebratory, as you can see …

It’s June 8th it must be Oktoberfeste!

Lots of connecting and re-connecting over dinner, made for lively breakfast meetings the next morning. After you dined with a District Governor clad in leiderhosen, it’s hard to stand on ceremony ever again! We celebrated gifts to the RI Foundation, and were in awe of the impact of RI dollars, and the creativity of clubs around the district who had doubled and quadrupled funds by leveraging Rotary and non-Rotary grants to expand their reach.

Mary Kessen shares the RI Foundation update.

Jerry Mcnellis tells us why Polio is one of the gifts of his life.

Rotary Club of Madison’s Honored Hero, Nelson Cummings

At lunch on Saturday we honored Rotarian’s, selected by their own clubs as Heroes. Here Nelson Cummings is greeted by Emily, a very bright RYE student who presented him with a certificate.

The afternoon flew by with programs on wellness, Rotaract, Interact and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards – the future of Rotary and the world seems to be in great hands if the young people who addressed us are the measure.

The faces of Rotary’s future. Pauline, Charlotte and Emy.

At dinner John Hewko and Betsy Demaray spoke about the importance of documenting Rotary’s true impact in the world, before the conference concluded with the (slightly early) installation of Rob Stroud as 2012-2013 District Governor.

Rob took the pin and then the stage, from where he invited Rotarian’s to assemble in Madison on May 31st and June 1st next year to celebrate 100 years of Rotary Service and Fellowship in WI, at Monona Terrace.

Paul and I headed out of LaCrosse at about 9;15 p.m. As we compared experiences on the journey home we realized that we each had new friends, new appreciation for the works and opportunities of Rotary, and an invigorated Rotary spirit to bring to our best efforts in the coming months.  I am already excited for next year!

Rotaract Tour and Supper, 12.01.11

Dan Larson, Chair and Jacqui Sakowski, members of the Rotaract Advisory Committee, accompanied students from Edgewood College and UW Madison on a tour of Full Compass Systems and to supper at The Imperial Garden Chinese Restaurant.

Roxanne Wenzel, VP Sales & Marketing, left above, guided the party through showrooms, recording studios, the colossal 80,000 sqaure foot warehouse and the a la carte bistro.

Johnathon Lipp, founder took the students through the history of the firm to the present day. The students were truly inspired to learn how Full Compass had bucked the recession and grown dramatically by doing the opposite of conventional business wisdom.

During a half-hour Q&A session Johnathon shared some of the downs as well as many of the ups, so everyone left with a taste of success underpinned with a good sense of the reality of managing a growing business in a fast changing industry.

Cool space, fast growing, hi-tech, rewarding, inspiring, were the words much used over a luscious buffet style meal at The Imperial Garden Chinese Restaurant.

Many thanks to Full Compass Systems and to Imperial Garden Chinese Restuarant for their time and contributions to this fun evening.

The Full Compass goody bags and cartons of Chinese food were enthusiastically apprreciated by our group.

The Rotary Club of Madison has 500 members from business, academia, healthcare and public and community service. It is one of the ten largest Rotary International clubs in the world and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013. Rotary International is a service club with local and global reach. It’s 34,000 clubs in over 200 countries have 1.2 million members who meet weekly to develop friendships, learn, and work together to address important humanitarian needs.

Outstanding Fall Semesters at UW_Madison and Edgewood College Rotaract Clubs

Outstanding September meetings of Edgewood College and UW-Madison Rotaract Clubs, have set the stage for a great fall on our local campuses.

These informative and engaging meetings, are open to all Rotary Club members, and District officers, and we can all benefit from attending.

The meetings on the two campuses are slightly different in format, although both run from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

At Edgewood they generally have quite a bit to share about their volunteering activities before a 45-60 minute presentation from a professional from the community who challenges the audience to think differently about how they go to work. In September students and guests heard from an entrepreneur who had taken the risk of trying new ventures, she took the lessons from each as she drew a curtain over the past and moved confidently and more aware into her future, with plans not to repeat her past mistakes.

On UW- Campus  a short update on volunteering, is traditionally followed by a 10-15 minute presentation by an international student, who will share about the culture of their home country.  In September, Erman bought our friendship with Turkish Delight, which he passed around the group as he spoke. He definitely left the podium with many many new friends!  UW students were challenged to think a little less selfishly about their networking agenda in their professional presentation, and they very quickly realized that the more they serve, the more they will be served by the people in their lives.

With first class speakers, and students who lap up every drop of experience and wisdom we can share, these meeting should be unmissable.

Fall Schedule:-

UW-Madison – Grainger Hall

October 25th – Ralph Kauten, Biotech Entrepreneur, founder of Promega, PanVera, Mirus Bio and  Quintessence BioSciences.

November 15th – Ken Waysalik, International Business Consultant who works with US companies to expand their businesses into global markets.

December 6th – Tom Guerin , VP of Research & Development for Kerry Ingredients & Flavors, Americas, who travels the globe to ensure that products fit the markets they serve.

Edgewood College – Predolin Hall

October 19th – Carmen Porco, a member of our Rotary Club who will discuss community issues and answers in the works.

November 9th – Moses Altsech,  Rotarian and Edgewood College faculty will provide a workshop on creating a great resume.

November 30th – Annemarie Spitznagle, will share lessons learned in founding and operating Bloom Bake Shop in Middleton, WI.

The Rotary Club of Madison has 500+ members from business, academia, healthcare and public and community service. It is one of the ten largest Rotary International clubs in the world and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013. Rotary International is a service club with local and global reach. It’s 34,000 clubs in over 200 countries have 1.2 million members who meet weekly to develop friendships, learn, and work together to address important humanitarian needs.