Category Archives: Annual Roast Program

Today in History: Saying Farewell to “Brownie”


–submitted by Rick Kiley; photos by Valerie Johnson

DSC00484   DSC00488  DSC00496  DSC00500

June 29 was the annual Changing of the Guard “Roast” of outgoing Club President Ellsworth Brown hosted by Club members who have joined during the past year, a.k.a. the Roast Committee.  All agreed it was very creatively staged and “hit all the right notes.” Several veteran members said it was among the best they’d seen.

President Ellsworth Brown began the program thanking the Rotary Office staff and those who supported him during the past year: his wife Dorothy, Assistant Julie Schultz and members of the club.  He thanked the Club for it’s commitment, action, willingness to say “yes” and volunteerism, ending with a quote from Yogi Berra, “It isn’t the heat that gets you, it’s the humility.”

DSC00502  DSC00501

President Ellsworth then ceremonially passed the President’s pin to incoming President Michelle McGrath, and she passed the Vice President’s pin to Donna Hurd.  Past President Tim Stadelman welcomed Ellsworth to the Past President’s Club; Renee Moe presented him the Past President’s plaque and Wes Sparkman presented him a Paul Harris Fellow pin.


The Roast was a Jeopardy-style TV game-show theme.  Of course, one of the contestants was 50-week reigning champion Ellsworth “Brownie” Brown.  The show kicked off with a video from Reno, Nevada, of a trauma helicopter pilot, Ellsworth and Dorothy’s son, Lincoln, and his wife Tia.  Lincoln then made a surprise entrance in his flight suit.

The game show’s categories of Jeopardy-style answers included Early Ellsworth, Hysterical Society, Rotary Rites of Passage, 50 Shades of Brown and Word of the Day.  Of course, the winner was Ellsworth Brown.

DSC00523  DSC00526  DSC00530

Winner’s prizes included a collection of pens donated by Club members (to enhance Ellsworth’s own collection), a historical pen from a sycamore tree at the place President Lincoln and General Grant once met, and a special edition of the Isthmus with Ellsworth’s caricature on the cover.

Finally, a parting video featured new President Michelle McGrath donating a unique “artifact”, Ellsworth himself, to the Wisconsin Historical Society.


The Roast of Tim

–submitted by Stan Inhorn; photos by Pete Christianson

Special guests from left: Fellow Rotarian and high school classmate Dan Olson, Rick Stadelman (Tim’s brother), Arlene Stadelman (Tim’s mom), Lori Stadelman (Tim’s wife), Ross Stadelman and Justin Stadelman (Tim’s sons).

Special guests from left: Fellow Rotarian and high school classmate Dan Olson, Rick Stadelman (Tim’s brother), Arlene Stadelman (Tim’s mom), Lori Stadelman (Tim’s wife), Ross Stadelman and Justin Stadelman (Tim’s sons).

The annual passing of the gavel turned out to be a rather poignant affair. Starting with the welcoming into the Past President’s club, to the thanks that went to all who guided Tim in his memorable year, there were tears and applauses galore. Tim passed out a year-end summary, which included a list of large-scale impact projects in which great progress was made.

DSC_0008   Tim S Photo2  DSC_0036

Photo 1: President Tim prepares to deliver his “Swan Song”; Photo 2: Tim places the President’s pin on Ellsworth Brown; Photo 3: Renee Moe places the Past President’s pin on Tim 

The roast, co-chaired by Lee Schwartz and Mark Fraire, started with a Jump Around that had all the Rotarians on their feet in recognition of Tim’s strong Wisconsin roots. Then there was recognition of Tim’s most significant attributes, starting with his hair or lack thereof. His penchant to cry when moved emotionally was seen, not as a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength, love, caring and sexiness. His college exploits at Whitewater in baseball and table tennis were extolled.

DSC_0006  Tim S Photo3  DSC_0040

Photo 1: From left: Michelle McGrath, Paul Riehemann, Wes Sparkman, Renee Moe, Ellsworth Brown and Tim Stadelman sitting at the head table; Photo 2: Mark Fraire gets everyone to “Jump Around”; Photo 3: The head table “Jumping Around!”

DSC_0059   DSC_0062  Tim S Photo4

WHAT IF…..Photo 1: “Tim” became a world star table tennis player; or Photo 2: “Tim” was a Rock Star interviewed on the red carpet by Tina Fey; instead, Photo 3:  “Tim” complains about his accounting homework at UW-Whitewater

While at Whitewater, Tim had some difficulties with his major in accounting, and had concerns that he might not succeed. So he thought of other possible fields of endeavor. Perhaps he could return to cheese-making. A long shot would be to play in a Rock and Roll band. What if a career in professional table tennis could lead to fame and glory? As he nervously pondered these possibilities, his accounting professor announced that he had passed his final exams. So then he applied for a job at several accounting firms – Enron, Arthur Anderson. Fortunately, they rejected his applications because a savior arose right here in Madison–J. H. Findorff & Son was looking for an individual with Tim’s unique talents. So today, Tim is living the good life in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wonderful wife, Lori, and family. Though he is still a young man, he has already achieved his goal of becoming President of one of the nation’s largest Rotary clubs.


Tears & Laughter: The Changing of the Guard

DSCF2341In relinquishing the gavel, President Renee Moe (’13-’14) cited many of our club’s accomplishments among which were moving up to 5th largest Rotary Club in the world and the Foundation’s Endowment breaking the $10 million amount.  She thanked her parents who were present, her fellow workers at United Way, the Rotary office staff and her family, especially her husband, Jason.  All of this with her usual modesty.  (CLICK HERE to read her thank you to the club.)

President Renee concluded by saying to us what her parents taught her as a little girl, “Thank you for inviting me. I had a wonderful time.”  All of this, of course, accompanied by tears.

DSC_0068Tim Stadelman took the gavel as our new president (’14-‘15) and after gaining control of his tears presented Renee with her past president’s pin.  Then past presidents Wes Sparkman, Juli Aulik and Paul Riehemann moved us to laughter as they presented related benefits of becoming a past president.

DSCF2379  DSCF2392  DSCF2382
(Pictured above from left in Photo 1: Monique Scher, Mike (“Cafe Renee”)  Bress & Bill Haight.  Mike Casey served as chef at Cafe Renee.)

DSCF2370  photo3 6 25 14  DSC_0090

(Photo 1: Charles Tubbs, Sr. & Renee Moe; Photo 2: Renee Moe & Cartoonist Phil Hands; Photo 3: Front row from left: Al Ripp, Stan Kitson, Jason Beren, Barb Wiley and Laura Gallagher; Back row from left: Dan Larson, Kris Ashe and Phil Hands.)

Finally, the new members’ Roast Committee introduced us to “Café Renee” after Chief Charles Tubbs, Sr. served her with a bench warrant for her arrest with the chief complaint being “excessive modesty.” The “Café” motif was that of running on time and using strategic planning.

DSC_0087  DSC_0088  DSC_0089
(Photo 1: Ellsworth Brown & Juli Aulik; Photo 2: Paul Riehemann & Wes Sparkman; Photo 3: Tim Stadelman & Renee Moe)

One of the diners was Jason Salus, Renee’s husband, who shared his view of the past year.  It was so successful the committee concluded that he would be invited back for President Tim’s Roast.

DSC_0077  DSC_0063  DSC_0049
(Photo 1: Renee Moe & Pat Jenkins; Photo 2: Mike Kosolcharoen & Renee Moe; Photo 3: Mike Bress, Renee Moe & Andrea Kaminski)

Words cannot do justice to the entertainment that the Roast Committee provided us this year at the Changing of the Guard, nor the service Renee Moe has given us.

Our thanks to this year’s Roast Committee co-chaired by Kris Ashe and Stan Kitson; to Laura Gallagher of The Creative Company for video services including a “PRESS” FILM prepared for the Roast Committee; to John Bonsett-Veal and Valerie Johnson for photography and video; and to Larry Larrabee for this review article.