April 5, 2022 Meeting Report

We hear about the "changing of the guard" from Ross Blaha to Andrew Sukowaty as the new director of the Water Utility at the City of Two Rivers and much more!

April is Maternal and Child Health Month


The Van der Brohe Arboretum Annual Tree Sale is happening now. Receive a 20% discount on nursery stock with proceeds benefiting the arboretum. Check out their website for ordering details.
Manitowoc Rotarian, Barry Nelson, is at the Polish/Ukrainian border helping refugees.  He is being supported by a GoFundMe effort “War Uber.”  This war is real and this is a place to connect with what is happening there.

Today's Program

Today's guest was the Water Utility Direcctor from the City of Two Rivers. Ross Blaha. After mid-June, Ross's role will transition to Andrew Sukowaty.

Responsibilities for the Water Utility Division of the City of Two Rivers include:
  • Operate Water Ultrafiltration Facility
  • Operate Water Distribution System, including two elevated storage reservoirs (water towers) and a high lift pumping station and reservoir serving a second pressure zone
  • Install & Remove Meters
  • Turn services on and off
  • Exercise Valves and Flush Hydrants
  • Perform Fire Flow Tests
  • Operate Laboratory
  • Cross connection inspections and record maintenance
  • Meter testing, maintenance and change-outs.
  • Provide Reporting to WDNR / PSC / EPA
  • Diggers Hotline Locates for Water, Sanitary and Storm Utilities
Under the objective of providing safe, clean and efficient water to our community, Ross highlighted a number of activities:
  • Rates are under control (described as flat-lining) with oversight of the PSC
  • Intake cleaning has significantly improved operation
  • PFOS/PFOH (forever chemicals) are drawing attention with preparation made for pending rules
  • Tele-monitoring upgrades 
  • Study to optimize current systems
Tours of the facility are available upon request!

Club Operations

📰  Check the program schedule for your next chance to contribute to meeting programming.

🎳 5th Tuesday Bowling! A scoring of the event was provided underscoring the fun had by all attendees.  It was reported that Peter C. is deadly at darts! 🎯

🗣 Annual Dinner Auction 2022. This week’s edition of “Dinner Details” with a report/impressions of the event!  Lisa V. has requested a picture sharing to capture the retelling of the evening’s festivities.

Subjective impressions of the event were shared using such terms as awesome, spectacular, great venue and best organized ever. A number of anecdotes and tales of treasure were told.  Objective measures (by the numbers) built on this report:
  • An estimated net of close to $22,000 was disclosed…making this the most successful single fundraising effort in our history.  
  • There were 68 attendees…many of them first-timers.  
  • This fund-raising total, when combined with previous funding pledges, is getting us close to the $65,000 commitment for the park project.
  • This progress is well-aligned with the project’s total with $1.3 million of the projected $1.8 million cost already in hand.
Lessons learned include:
  • A personal “ask” yields new participants
  • Target key community leaders for contact
  • Prompt follow up with appreciation is advised (Betty B. and Lisa V. have this covered)
  • Start solicitation of donations earlier in the year
  • Earlier set-up makes for less stress
  • Kudos go around for the planning team…great job!
Keep your eyes on the prize…
Winter ice skating pond and loop, south half of park (pond overlays splash pad area)—planned for artificial ice
Club Secretary opportunity. After many years of service as Club Secretary, Colleen Inman has announced plans to step down from this role. Detailed instructions and mentorship is available. If you are interested, please let Steve D. know. 🎉 Update: A “divide and conquer” option is available with a division of tasks among a couple of members to make the opportunity more palatable.
Please consider the opportunity to express the Rotary ideal of service in the above role.

Club Events / Service Opportunities

🐣 Two Rivers Ecumenical Pantry (TREP) Easter Bag project. Brenda G provided leadership in coordinating the project.  Eighteen (18) kiddos were served. Easter Bag items include books, stuffed animals, and activities that are age appropriate. Kudos was extended to Colleen for her acquisition prowess. The project will be completed and “in the bag” by Friday morning for a planned Saturday distribution. Look for pictures/posting on our Facebook Page.
🍽 🚗  Meals on Wheels. Next up is April 18-22! A sign up and invitation has been made available on the website.  Thanks for all those that take the opportunity to help our community’s most vulnerable. 
💰 District Grant (2022-23) – One idea being developed includes support for a Sensory Trauma Room for Kids to be located in the Aurora Emergency area.  The need for such an area was raised by Lakeshore Foster Families to help already traumatized youth in our area.  Partnerships have already been formed with LFF to advance the project. Member “grant” training is needed for our Club to apply for District Funds. Betty B., Brenda G. and Lisa V. round out those members trained and ready for the task.
(Diane J.) Get the Community Back in our Schools. (Diane J.) This is an opportunity for our Club to build student connections.
  • The Raider Reporter serves to shine a spotlight on positive aspects of our schools in the community.  Contributions from community partners are welcomed for inclusion in the quarterly publication.  Chris E-R. has offered to contribute a piece from our Club for the June edition.

Looking Ahead...

🍔 Senior Volunteer Luncheon. Logistics are being discussed at this week's board meeting.
World Affairs Seminar Reimagining Global Health and Wellness: Contagious Ideas will be held on Saturday, June 18 – Friday, June 24, 2022  Promote World Affairs Seminar information at the high school. There is one student with interest at this time. A members suggested that we reach out to the returning Europe trip kids as a natural fit for this Seminar.
Promote the Rotary Club of Two Rivers Scholarship at the high school.  Our intent is to offer multiple scholarships for technical college education to phase out this program’s funding. Last call!  The application deadline is April 13th with judging and awarding to follow.  We are anticipating a last minute flurry of applications. Who knew it would be this hard to give away money? Thanks to Stanley P. for coordinating this program and to Brenda G. and Deborah B. for helping “judge” the applicants.
And, looking way ahead. Interest was expressed in resurrecting the idea of a Rotary Float as a highlight of the 2022 Christmas Parade. This would be a fine idea to kick off our Club’s Centennial Year! We can check and see if the Rotary Rose Parade float is available for our local use 🎅🏻 🎄

District Activities

⚙️  TriCon 2022 in Elkhart Lake April 29-30. Still Time to Sign Up and Join Fellow Rotarians. Learn all you need to know about TriCon 2022 at rotarytricon.com
💵. Happy Bucks. Collections from the next two meetings will be funneled to the annual dinner "bag o’cash." 💰  This prompted a number of our attendees to open their wallets. Highlights included
  • Kudos (and dollars) were shared by many members for the dinner success and for “Bob the auctioneer.”  
  • Spring is officially near (here) marked by the return of Deb B.  
  • Of note is the effort supported by a Go Fund Me page “War Uber” and Manitowoc Rotarian, Barry Nelson
Birthday and Anniversary Report
Michael Ditmer (4/12)  🎂
Keith Lyons (3 years) ⚙️
Lori Zimney (3 years) ⚙️
Next week’s Program Chair is Todd Nilson. Next week’s program: Belinda Esquinas-Gilbert, executive director of The Crossing of Manitowoc County