Category Archives: Madison Rotary Foundation

Mentor Scholar Mixer Highlights

–submitted by Mary Rouse; Photos by John Bonsett-Veal and Stacy Nemeth

IMG_0207All Rotary Scholars and their mentors were invited to get together prior to the January 8, 2014, Rotary meeting. It is an annual event sponsored by our Club. Mentor Leader Ellie Schatz convened the 11AM meeting.  Twenty-five Scholars and 20 mentors attended this event which opened with a mixer bingo quiz for both groups to provide more opportunities for the students and Rotarians to meet and get to know each other.  Prizes were awarded to the top finishers.

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Photo 1: Lynn Phelps and Juan Becerra; Photo 2: Cristian Claudio Teutli; Photo 3: Wes Sparkman and Melanie Ramey; Photo 4: Karen Bauer and Mike Wilson

Ellie continued the discussion by posing several questions to the entire group for reflections and anecdotes about their experiences, talents and interests. Here are two examples: Scholar Cristian Claudio Teutli  plays the drums and sings.  At the request of group members, he provided spontaneous entertainment by drumming on the table and by singing a song a capella in Spanish.  Another student, Karen Bauer attends UW-Eau Claire and has recently assumed the presidency of an interfaith student organization. 

IMG_0208Dick Lovell  (pictured at left with scholar Karen Bauer) outlined the Rotary Internship Matching Program and encouraged the students to register by January 31, 2014, if they are seeking internships for the summer of 2014.   He also encouraged them to sign up on the Rotary Scholar Mentor Facebook page.

Bob Shumaker, current chair of the Scholarship Committee, presented and narrated a video which was just made about the Mentor Program in 2013.

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Photo 1: Marcy Martinez and Leslie Grendahl; Photo 2: Karl Gutknecht, Nate Brand and Juan Becerra; Photo 3: (back row, from left) Cristian Claudio Teuli, Alex Carrera and Lynn Phelps, (front row, from left): Mike Wilson, Cristian Claudio Teutli, Jordan Johnson and Patty Wilson

The recurring theme of the meeting was how much the Rotary Scholars are valued by our Club members with a focus of making sure they have all the support they need to ensure their graduation.  The meeting adjourned to the weekly Rotary Club luncheon where, once again, the Scholars were welcomed and their graduation from college expected.

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Photo 1: Kody Parman and Dean Nelson; Photo 2: Jordan Johnson and Patty Wilson; Photo 3: Roth Judd and Carlos Solano

Celebrating 100 Years: A Look Back in Our Club’s History During the Progressive Era

Rotary Club of Madison-Centennial LogoAs we celebrate our 100th anniversary, our History Sub-Committee is taking a look back in our club’s rich history and is sharing highlights from the past century.  This week’s message is shared by committee member Rich Leffler:

The Rotary Club of Chicago was founded in February 1905. The Rotary Club of Madison began in 1913. Both were products of the Progressive Era, a period marked by a terrible depression and war. Huge corporations and trusts came into existence. It was a time of brutal competition among businesses and business people. Labor and capital were locked in violent, bloody conflict. It saw an ever-increasing and rapid change from rural to urban America, the growth of cities in not-so-wholesome ways, leading to terrible living- and working conditions. It was also a time when people were searching for ways to control and channel all of these developments. Progressivism, which sought to use government to control these forces of change, and the Social Gospel, which sought to modify economic life and social conditions with the gentle influence of Christianity, had an important effect on Rotary.

The Social Gospel was “Built on the premise that social justice and Christianity were synonymous,” and it “emphasized the humanity of Christ, especially his concern for the poor and the destitute.” Advocates of the Social Gospel “called for major social reforms to achieve a more equitable, a more Christian society.”1

rosenberry 3An Address given by Madison Rotarian and Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Marvin B. Rosenberry (left) in 1917, “The Spirit of Rotary in Business,” demonstrates the powerful effect of combining the Social Gospel with the imperative of Service, and it explains what Paul Harris meant when he said “Rotary’s supreme purpose is to serve.”2

You will notice in the Address that Justice Rosenberry was not a supporter of service by checkbook, which is the predominant way of service for our club today. But in 1922 he became one of the founders of that quintessential checkbook service, what is today the United Way of Dane County, and he was the first chair. The size of our Foundation at $8.5 million, our annual fund raising at $130,000, and our annual giving at $500,000 suggest that service, always important to our club, has become a passion. I think Justice Rosenberry would approve.
1. Lewis L. Gould, “Introduction,” The Progressive Era (Syracuse, 1974), p. 13.
2. Paul P. Harris, My Road to Rotary: The Story of a Boy, A Vermont Community and Rotary (Chicago, 1948), p. 253. I should also point out that while Justice Rosenberry’s ideas were obviously informed by the Social Gospel, he was not a Progressive. Actually, he was a “Stalwart” Republican, strongly opposed to the La Follette Progressive Republicans. In fact, La Follette referred to Rosenberry as “a rank reactionary,” which is clearly not true. See Ann Walsh Bradley, “Marvin B. Rosenberry: Unparalleled Breadth of Service,” Wisconsin Lawyer 76 (October 2003), online edition

Madison Rotary Foundation Annual Fund Drive – We Met Our Goal!

DSC_0113During our January 16 Rotary luncheon, Fund Drive Committee Chair Cathy Durham (left) was able to announce that we met our fund drive goal and, in fact, by the end of the meeting, we had exceeded it.  This was in thanks to several members who made contributions at the meeting.  In addition, we would like to thank Marv Levy who donated two courtside floor seats to the January 22 UW Men’s basketball game plus extras.  These tickets were auctioned off at the meeting, and this put us over our $130,000 goal.  Cathy thanked her committee members, those who donated prizes, and all of the members who contributed.  Here is a wrap-up report regarding our 2012-13 annual Fund Drive:

Total contributions and pledges were: $130,541.64 with 94% of members participating.  Our participation percentage this year was the highest it has been in the past 15 years.  Thank you to Cathy Durham and her Fund Drive Committee members: Frank Byrne, Mary Gaffney-Ward, Janet Gray, John Hayes, Patrick Marsden, Mark Moody, Lin Rohr and Carrie Wall on a job well done!

There were many wonderful prizes donated by club members.  Here is a listing of the prizes, donors and winners.  Our thanks to the donors and congratulations to the winners!

    UW Men’s Hockey Tickets donated by Kevin Hickman: Jon Nordenberg
    UW Men’s Hockey Tickets donated by Pete Christianson: Ted Ballweg & Steve Landry
    UW Men’s Basketball Tickets donated by Denny Carey: Virginia Bartelt
    Tickets for Globetrotters Game donated by Ted Ballweg: John Kanvik
    Frank Lloyd Wright’s Monona Terrace book donated by Dave Mollenhoff: Dewey Bredeson
    Madison: A History of the Formative Years book donated by Dave Mollenhoff: Beth Prochaska
    Gift Baskets donated by Scott Haumersen: Ted Ballweg & Denny Carey
    Wine Gift Basket donated by Tim Conroy: Peter Cavi
    MMoCA Gift Certificate donated by Steve Fleischman: Ralph Middlecamp
    Glass Bowl donated by Denny Carey: Nancy Welch
    Handmade Scarf donated by Nancy Welch: Ted Long
    Isthmus Beer & Cheese Festival donated by Linda Baldwin: Kevin Hoffman, Dave E. Johnson & Kit Nordeen
    Jersey Boys Tickets donated by Ted DeDee: Valerie Kazamias
    Rock of Ages Tickets donated by Ted DeDee: Mike Engelberger
    Rotary Centennial Stadium Blankets donated by Patrick Marsden: Fred Blancke, Joan Collins, Carol Koby, Dan Larson, Elaine Mischler Paul Riehemann & Carrie Wall
    Seiko Watches donated by John Hayes: Dawn Crim, Boris Frank, Jessica Schock & Tim Stadelman
    Wisdom from the Ancients books: Bryan Chan, Jim Christensen & Chris Henderson
    More Wisdom From the Ancients books: Mike Hoesly, Rachel Krinsky, Ted Waldbillig & Ellis Waller

While our fund drive officially ended on January 16, we will continue to accept gifts through the end of our fiscal year which is June 30, 2013.  Remember that we have the added convenience of PayPal which members can access via the homepage of our website at

Thanks to all members who participated this year.  Our grant committees are hard at work reviewing application forms received this year.  We will hear more about the results of the committees’ work in March when the process is completed.

Philanthropy Committee Completes First Year of Work

–submitted by Renee Moe, Philanthropy  Committee Chair 

“What’s the difference between the Rotary Club of Madison Foundation and the Rotary International Foundation?”
“Didn’t I already make my gift to Rotary this year?”
“I thought the annual fund drive supported scholarships.”
“What’s the expectation for giving? I already pay for my dues and lunches.”
“There seems to be an awful lot of asks coming from the podium – how much is too much?”

The Philanthropy Committee with input and approval of the Board and Trustees announced our Club’s four giving priorities at the July 25 lunch meeting which are, in priority order:
1) Annual Fund Drive;
2) Rotary International Foundation;
3) Birthday Gift;
4) Synergy Scholarship Fund

Click here for more information on these priorities; the timing of each; and recommended giving to each.

All fundraising chairs will reference these priorities at the podium throughout the year to provide focus and clarity when members make their personal decision regarding what to support throughout the Rotary year.

   The questions above led the 2011-16 Strategic Planning Committee to think about our Club’s Philanthropy. Over the years, many creative ideas and forward-thinking Rotarians developed new and innovative reasons and methods for giving.

By 2011, there were no fewer than two dozen ways to give and projects/areas to give to!

The multitude of options created a need to “clean up” and re-focus our Foundation’s philanthropic initiatives for increased member understanding. Membership comments seemed to boil down to this:

“I want to do the right thing. I want the right thing to be reasonable and advance our Club’s priorities. Help me understand what that right thing is, because as giving programs are communicated and executed now, it’s confusing to know what my expectations for giving actually are.”

   Further, we determined it was very difficult for new members to understand that giving is a cornerstone of member engagement and participation. While the expectation is included in orientation, the various appeals and programs were difficult to understand as they were presented throughout the Rotary year. We did not want this to become a disincentive for member retention and a quality member experience.

“It took me three years to figure out the giving programs. I thought I made my gift when I joined and made my first dues payment. Then, the annual fund drive came up. I assumed I had already given and was surprised when I got a follow-up call asking me to give.” 

“It took me a while to figure out what money went where. I really liked the Ethics Symposium and scholarship programs, and didn’t realize dollars for each came from different sources within the club.”

   So, the Club’s strategic plan called for the creation of a Philanthropy Committee. It was to be composed of Chairs of all the major fundraising groups, as well as club leadership:

  • Madison Rotary Foundation President and VP
  • Rotary Club of Madison President and VP
  • Fund Drive Committee Chair
  • Madison Rotary Foundation Major Gifts Committee Chair
  • Rotary international Committee Chair

Its charge is to:

Provide a venue for the planning and execution of an overarching philanthropy strategy for the Rotary Club of Madison and Madison Rotary Foundation, inclusive of other Rotary world interests such as Rotary International Foundation and Rotaract. The Committee works in concert with the committees and boards represented on the committee, as well as with other club members and staff working on Tri-Quest, Centennial (including Family Fun Fair), Scholarships, and other fundraising activities such as birthday contributions, fines, memorials and new ideas.

The committee’s duties include:

  1. Serving as a clearing house and evaluation mechanism for ideas
  2. Creating opportunities for communication and planning
  3. Articulating a philosophy, strategy and plan for philanthropy, including an annual calendar and member expectations

Members of the inaugural committee included Renee Moe, Ellsworth Brown, Michelle McGrath, Paul Riehemann, Wes SparkmanFran Taylor, and Tripp Widder. The committee worked very hard to keep the strategic objectives and members’ best interest at the forefront of all decision making. Care was also taken to update the Board and Trustees and get their input throughout the year, as well as to keep membership informed of committee progress from the podium. In the 2011-2012 year, the committee met six times to advance their work plan, engaged both Boards four times; and made membership update announcements six times.

The Committee was pleased to accomplish all objectives set out for the year. Specifically,

  1. Evaluating and documenting current giving programs
  2. Developing a system of criteria and an evaluation process for new fundraising proposals
  3. Recommending priorities for member giving, including a donor giving profile to clarify priorities for an improved member experience

A recap of these results and the new donor summary was shared with the membership at the July 25 Rotary lunch. Members not in attendance received their summary via mail. So far, all responses have been positive.

“The Giving Profile is excellent.  Well done!  This is exactly what we need.”

“Congratulations on producing the giving summary. The comments at my table were extremely positive. People really seemed to “get it” and appreciate the effort that went into this thoughtful tool.”

It should be noted that all previously exiting projects/areas remain available to be funded by member gifts.

The Philanthropy Committee will continue to meet quarterly and has developed its 2012-13 work plan. Ellsworth Brown has agreed to step into the Vice Chair role and will take over as Chair in 2013-14 for a smooth leadership transition.
Committee membership now includes: Renee Moe, Ellsworth Brown, Richard Bliss, Cathy Durham, Michelle McGrath, Ruth Shelly, Wes Sparkman.
It is our plan that the membership, orientation and other key committees work in concert to consistently communicate our Club’s overall expectations of membership (dues/lunches, attendance, participation in leadership and fellowship committees, philanthropy), including our four giving priorities (annual fund drive, RIF, birthday, Synergy).
Ultimately we hope that you, our members, have a better understanding of the various fundraising “asks,” know more about where your donations are being put to work, and have more clarity around overall giving expectations for better, personal decision making.

   The Committee welcomes your feedback and will use it to improve upon this first year of work. Thank you for your generosity and Service Above Self!

Rotary Ethics Symposium 2012



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High School Juniors Examined Hot Button Ethical Issues on February 17 at Rotary’s 12thAnnual Ethics Symposium

 –Submitted by Sharyn Alden

   When more than 200 students from 17 area high schools gathered at the Monona Terrace, they were part of history in the making. They were participating in Rotary’s 12th annual, nothing-quite-like ethical decision making symposium that provided interesting and compelling topics that tackled the big question, “What would you do in this situation?”

   As a volunteer at past Symposiums (PR Chair of this year’s event), I had not yet had the privilege of sitting in one of the roundtable discussions expertly guided by area leaders who had expertise in specific topics at hand. 

   Here are the 12 topics which students could select from. They had time during the morning’s event to attend three of the following sessions:

  • Ethics in Advertising led by Jim Armstrong, Advertising Executive, Good for Business
  • Ethics in Business led by Denis Collins, Professor of Business at Edgewood College
  • Ethics in Bullying/Cliques led by John Bonsett-Veal, Rotarian & 
    Optometrist, John Bonsett Veal, O.D.
  • Ethics in Dating/Friendships led by Amy Bellmore & Ting-Lan 
    MaDissertator, UW-Madison School of Education 
  • Ethics in Environment led by Paul Riehemann, Rotarian & Director, 
    Integrated Property Assessment System for WI Department of Revenue
  • Ethics in Health Care led by Bill Reay, Chief Pharmacy Officer & Senior 
    Director for Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
  • Ethics in Social and Internet Use led by Bryan Chan, Rotarian & President of Supranet Communications
  • Ethics in News Media led by Colin Benedict, News Director for WISC-TV
  • Ethics in Politics and Political Campaigns led by Andrea Kaminski
    Executive Director for WI League of Women Voters
  • Ethics in Racial Justice led by Norman Davis, Contract Compliance  
    for City of Madison
  • Ethics in Sports led by Scott Campbell, Rotarian & Dean, School of 
    Graduate &  Professional Studies for Edgewood College

   I decided to sit in on Ethics in Advertising guided by discussion group leader, Jim Armstrong, founder of Good for Business.

   The hypothetical case study involved a domestic violence shelter which was hosting an annual fundraiser event to raise desperately needed funds for its shelter.  The dilemma presented was this: a sponsor with deep pockets came forward, a liquor distributor who wanted to promote a new brew while also promoting the shelter’s fundraiser. But the high school students attending this session also learned that some studies have found alcohol is linked to domestic abuse between 80-90 percent of the time and that women are more likely (about 95 percent) to be victims.

   The primary ethical question that needed to be answered was this:  Should the domestic violence shelter accept the liquor company’s sponsorship?  The students broke into small groups to discuss the situation and apply the Five Approaches to ethical decision making discussed earlier that morning during the opening welcome presentation.

   My small group of five students quickly drew the conclusion that it would be hypocritical to take the sponsorship and might in fact deter other sponsors from contributing to the event once they learned of the alcohol distributor’s sponsorship. 

   The full group discussion followed and involved about 20 students who came to nearly the same decision with the vast majority in agreement with my group.

   Interestingly, Armstrong had kept track of how all three groups (ours was the last group of the morning) had previously voted. The first group that sat in on Ethics in Advertising that day had a completely different consensus than our group. Their majority voted to take the sponsorship while the second group of the morning resulted in a more mixed vote.

   What did I learn from this?  This one group discussion on one topic might be a good example of how we all look at decision making. Clearly, there is no one way of examining a topic and coming to the same conclusion.

   The votes of the numerous teens who attended these three Ethics in Advertising sessions proved just that.

   And that alone, is a compelling reason why the Rotary Club of Madison’s annual Ethics Symposium is an excellent resource for helping future leaders better prepare for ethical decision making.

Our thanks to Sharyn Alden for working with local media to cover our event:   Wisconsin State Journal Article dated March 12, 2012

 WISCTV Neil Heinen Editorial 

Small Group Discussion About Ethics in Sports


Rotary Club of Madison Annual Fund Drive a Success!

From Renee Moe, 2011-12 Fund Drive ChairRenee Moe Photo:

Thanks to the participation of 410 of our members – and more who have shared they still plan to contribute – we have exceeded our $130,000 annual fund drive goal.

Much appreciation to each and every donor, the fund drive committee, members who donated incentives for our weekly drawings, our anonymous donor who encouraged numerous members to give for the first time with an innovative match gift, Pat and Jayne in the office, and a special thanks to the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation for making a generous gift in memory of Irwin and Bob and their long standing relationship with Downtown Rotary.Madison Rotary Foundation Logo

Our Board of Directors has confirmed that the annual fund drive is the Club’s top philanthropic priority. Thank you for demonstrating your commitment to our Club’s programs through  your financial support.

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. 

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