Tag Archives: Madison Rotary Foundation

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.



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 www.rotarymadison.org.

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.

Mixer Magic – Rotary Scholars Came Together with Mentors on January 9

–submitted by Ellie Schatz, Rotary Scholar Mentor Committee Chair

Most members of the club are well aware that we have 80 scholarship recipients attending college with our support. But where are they; what are they doing? On January 9, we found out. About 40 scholars and mentors spent an hour learning about each other and sharing their stories. Kyle Gallagher Schmitz graduated in December and has new wheels to show for it, according to mentor Bob Shumaker. From our mixer questionnaires we learned that only Kyle has a motorcycle, only Dick Lovell eats oatmeal for breakfast and Brian Basken eggs!

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(Pictured in 3 photos above from left: Dick Lovell, Danielle Greenfield, Leslie Villarreal, Sharyl Kato, Lin Rohr and Ana Selenske)

The question of how mentors might better help their scholars resulted in the only moment of silence during the whole hour. But when reworded to ask what has a mentor done that you consider awesome, the scholars all seemed anxious to share: Sharyl Kato has been there for Leslie Villarreal day and night. Being that they are neighbors (how did that happen?) Ismat Bhuiyan and Deb Raupp take walks together regularly. Khadim Niang is proud of Tom Popp’s work in Malawi, and Sharyn Alden is proud of Emma Crawford’s trip to help provide dental care in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Raven Wood likes shopping with Melanie Ramey and Jazzmin Franks thanks Mike and Pat Wilson for finding her a job in the administration office at Madison College.

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(Pictured in 3 photos above from left: Patrick Mather, Ana Selenske, Sergio Becerra-Ramirez, Lily Gonzalez, Jazzmin Franks, Khadim Niang and Kyle Gallagher Schmitz)

We had fun trying to figure out who had traveled the furthest in 2012 and who was born the furthest away from Madison. Ismat thought she might have the record with both her birth and her recent trip back to Bangladesh. Several people thought Mike Wilson, our kiwi, might have it. With no geography expert in the room, neither could claim the prize. Pa Done Yang, born in Thailand, kept her claims for distance silent. She told me she hasn’t been back and instead is seeking scholarships to go to China to find her Hmong people’s roots. Internet research shows Christchurch is about 600 miles further than Dhaka, and although Christchurch has it over Bangkok by a hair, it had to be some distance to the refugee camp. Hats off to all three!

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(Pictured in 3 photos above from left: Juan Becerra, Karl Gutknecht, Kalia Winkle, Pa Done Yang, Julius Starlin and Mike Wilson)

Sergio Becerra-Ramirez thought it unusual that he and Juan Becerra were unrelated and shared a last name. Pa Done Yang and Chie Yang, also unrelated, said that’s not unusual — Yang is a common name in their culture. What they do share is a mentor — me, and I share the common-name syndrome with them, given my maiden name — Smith!   The bottom line: our Foundation scholarship money is being well invested in supporting these scholars. And, the mentors agree that their time is just as well invested. It was indeed Mixer Magic to spend time together with all these scholars and mentors.

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(Pictured in 4 photos above from left: Ismat Bhuiyan, Deb Raupp, Ellie Schatz, Chie Yang, Mary Rouse, Lily Gonzalez, Jazzmin Franks, Club President Wes Sparkman with Ellie Schatz)

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!

Highlights from 6th Annual Rotary Mentor-Scholar Picnic

–submitted by Stu Levitan

About 25 Rotary scholars and their respective club mentors enjoyed themselves at the now-traditional summer picnic at Nate Brand and Regina Millner’s beautiful Fuller’s Woods home on July 15. The kitchen crew of Kevin Hoffman, Mike Hoesly and Jim Ruhly, led by co-chair Gary Peterson braved the sweltering heat to staff the grill, as members supplemented the menu with salads, sides and desserts. Admiral Dick Pearson, who with Noel, hosted the first two Mentor-Scholar picnics, took several groups on tours of mighty Lake Mendota in his deck boat.  A fine time was had by all.


 Following are quotes from those attending the picnic:

“Ismat and I had a great time seeing scholars from last year and welcoming new scholars. The food, fellowship, boat ride and hospitality (thanks Nate and Regina) were wonderful! It was good to connect with a couple scholars who were having challenges during their freshman year away from the Midwest. This event allows for both celebration and problem solving.”  —Deb Raupp 

“The beauty of the lake and the gracious hospitality of Regina and Nate provided the perfect setting to celebrate and share with some absolutely amazing young adults! As I left I told my husband, this is another reason why I am grateful to be a Rotarian!”  —Lin Grace Rohr 

“We had a super GREAT time at the picnic and we felt it was the best ever. Leslie loved the opportunity to get to know the other students and she loved the food, the BOAT RIDE and the beautiful home of Regina and Nate!!!! Sharyl loved the opportunity to connect with the other students and other Rotarians as we don’t often have a chance to relax and chat at Wed lunch meetings. Sharyl REALLY loved the food, it all seemed extra yummy this year and special thanks to the “grill guys” who grilled to perfection on such a hot day!! Best, Sharyl Kato


Inaugural Rotary Tri-Quest May 20

Volunteers began arriving at The Legend at Bergamont at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 20th, to begin the registration and course set-up for our Rotary Club of Madison’s Inaugural Tri-Quest Event.  We had over 50 Rotary volunteers to help throughout the day, and the location and staff at Bergamont were superb.

By 7:00 am, many participants were on site—some were on the golf course and others getting ready for the 8:00 am 5K Run.  The 31K Bicycle Race started by 9:15 a.m. and we also had an afternoon golf event.

Weather cooperated in general, although many of our participants would tell you that it was a little warmer than they preferred and the wind presented more of a challenge for parts of the course.

Registrations totaled 129 for our event, and this was a good level for our first time around.  We will provide news on the total amount raised for our Madison Rotary Foundation Synergy Fund in the coming weeks but expect it to be at the $25,000 level.

Congratulations to the following winners:
Corporate/Relay Division
Mens’s               Group Health Cooperative
Women’s          Sun Prairie Rotary
Coed                  CUNA Mutual
Individual Division
Men’s                 Dave Nelson
Women’s          Karen Mittelstadt
Two-Person Team
Men’s                 John Ratkovich & Tim Schertz
Coed                   Paul & Debbie Zampelli
Four-Person Team
Men’s                  McGladrey
Individual Medalists
Run- 1st place Men’s              David Schneekloth (Smith& Gesteland)
Run- 1st place Women’s       Jennifer Norr (CUNA Mutual)
Bike- 1st place Men’s             Jon Furlow (CUNA Mutual)
Bike- 1st place Women’s      Glenda Hodge (M3 Insurance)
Golf-1st place Men’s               Rob Peters (CUNA Mutual)
Golf 1st place Women’s         Carrie Wall (Rotary Team #2)     

Dave Nelson


From left: Tri-Quest Committee Chair Scott Haumersen, Steve Goldberg (CUNA Mutual) and Larry Zanoni (Group Health Cooperative)

For additional photos in a slideshow format visit:
Rotary Tri-Quest

Thanks to everyone—sponsors, participants, volunteers and those staffing the event—for helping us to make our 1st annual Rotary Tri-Quest event a huge success.