May 10, 2022 Meeting Report

Rotary International Districts 6220, 6250 and 6270, covering Rotary clubs in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the majority of Wisconsin, combined their district conferences on April 29th in order to provide a lively, educational and fun-filled Rotary experience. Today's meeting featured Tales from Tricon 2022.

May is Youth Service Month


Junior Rotarian A week in the life of a stellar student…Eleanor shared that she is busy winding up the school year with events such as the last band concert and prom.
The Van der Brohe Arboretum Annual Tree Sale is happening now. Receive a 25% discount on nursery stock with proceeds benefiting the arboretum. Hurry and order by May 15! Check out their website for ordering details.

Today's Program


Tales from Tricon 2022!

Today's program featured attendees at large who shared impressions, highlights and takeaways from Tricon, the meeting of Districts 6270, 6220 (to the north), and 6250 (to the southwest). Our banner, signifying our #3 standing "We Try Harder" in district per capita giving to the Rotary Foundation, was proudly displayed.

Dennis Swetlik
With a finance focus as District Treasurer, Dennis discussed the “shift to service” as a compelling recruiting tool for new members. He contrasted shift with the system of mandatory meeting rules that guided member actions in days of yore.

Terry Gahl
With a connection focus as a non-member, Terry enjoyed meeting neighbors and friends from around the state. Keynote speakers were a highlight and served to underscore the impact of Rotary’s community connections.

Jean Andrews
Jean remarked that Clubs, with a focus on a visible community need, have a powerful story to tell and an appeal to membership.

Lisa VanLanen
Focused on breakouts of interest, Lisa noted Braver Angelsa group with a mission to support principles (and a method) that bring us together rather than divide us.  Like any successful gathering, this meeting provided a good mix of business and fellowship.
Bob Gahl
Bob focused on the modified Rotary Four Way Test: the Five Way Test with Fun added to the mix.
Michael Ditmer
As incoming Club President, Michael focused on mastering acronyms beyond PETS and TRICON
  • DEI initiatives were explored with the intent to diversify Club membership.
  • Interest in the RYLA program was generated at the meeting with possible applications in our District.
  • A directive to rethink meeting/service structures: what is it like to participate in our Club driven by member needs/wants and tailor accordingly.
  • The importance of tending to our public image by promoting community collaboration and participation in projects. Our Club can/must lead. However, broader community engagement will increase impact.
  • Create “peaceful places” both locally and out into the world.


“Peace is a place where human beings are thriving”

Club Operations

📰  Check the program schedule for your next chance to contribute to meeting programming. You can find the program schedule on the home page of the website in the downloads section toward the bottom of the page. (Direct link to the program schedule)

📀 Rotary Club digital repository. Options for centralizing the storage of/access to Club documents are being explored, archiving the collective wisdom and experience of our members. A report out from last Friday’s Zoom meeting included four options brought to the discussion table. These ranged from a simple data dump and storage to full online collaboration.  The “simple” option of using Google Drive bubbled to the top pending board action for presentation to the membership.  Thanks to Todd N., Brenda G. and all of those who contributed their thoughts to finding the most appropriate fit for our Club’s needs.

🗣 Annual Dinner Auction 2022.  A report out from the final meeting of the planning group was presented at this week’s meeting.  

The final funding number was $21,665.08, making this the most successful single fundraising effort in our history. The Club board has directed $15,000 as the 2022 contribution to the Central Park West project with the remainder moved to replenish Foundation coffers. A check presentation is being scheduled for July.

Get ready for next year’s event scheduled for March 25th, 2023!

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. Deb B. has declared her intent to partner with another member in this role. We still need one more volunteer to work with Deb!
Please consider the opportunity to express the Rotary ideal of service in the above role.

Club Events / Service Opportunities

🍽 🚗  Meals on Wheels, May 16-20 Thanks to all of those who have stepped up to serve our community’s most vulnerable citizens
💰 District Grant (2022-23) Support is building 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. 
  • The need for such an area was validated by the two area health systems. When kiddos are removed from their homes, they are received in an area Emergency Department holding area. The current areas are quite institutional/sterile and add to the trauma burden.
  • The proposed Sensory Trauma Room(s) will be designed to soften this transition trauma. The startup costs have been estimated at $7K with an annual cost of $20K to sustain them. 
  • Since district grants capped at $3K per Club as well as the area wide impact of this project, we are seeking outside sponsorships to help make this a reality. The clock is ticking, however, with applications due by June 1st. 
  • The next planning meeting is scheduled for May 10th at 5:30pm at the Lakeshore Foster Families office, 1011 Washington Street, Suite 6, in Manitowoc. Update: At the conclusion of this meeting, we should have a better idea if this is the winning project for this year’s grant.  Failing this, we have another idea being prepared in reserve. Under the guidance of Woodland Dunes, this would involve creating a pollinator garden aspect to the Central Park West project.
(Diane J.) Get the Community Back in our Schools. (Diane J.) This is an opportunity for our Club to build student connections. Diane J. (in between sniffles) shared a full agenda of school activities with our Club.
  • The first “Grandfriends Day will be held on Friday, May 13th at LB Clarke starting at 9am.  An invitation has been extended to Club members.  Further details will be shared this week.
🎸 🏖 Bands on the Beach 2022 will be using a new concession format. Now under control of the Two Rivers Parks and Recreation staff, the revenue will be shared with area organizations at a much reduced level (10% of the take). The Club will therefore participate at just one event and will instead explore other revenue opportunities. This limited participation will serve to show support of the event as well as exposure for our Club. The new process and schedule remain to be defined.
🍎 Applefest 2022 and beyond. The TRivers Lions Club wishes to transfer “ownership” and control of this annual event to another community organization. Recognizing the learning curve needed to conduct this event, our Club would like to partner with the Lions Club leadership this year to be followed by full Rotary ownership going forward. The annual event is an important fixture of our community and offers opportunities to build on its history while providing needed Club revenue to support its program. 
  • The TRivers Lions Club is receptive to working with us in transitioning the event to Rotary control.  
  • Construction on the Central Park West project will have an impact on Applefest logistics. The City has indicated that construction will commence this fall. However, access to Central Park East (the City Hall side) is planned, along with use of the Community House.
  • Gerald Schmidt, from the Lions Club, has agreed to serve as our Club’s tutor as well as providing access to the needed equipment. 
  • Erin G. has stepped up to provide leadership for our Club … Thank you!
  • This year’s event is scheduled for October 8th with big plans for future growth going forward.

Looking Ahead...

🌎 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. Update: Two (2) worthy recipients have been awarded $1000 scholarships. One was seeking EMT training and the other training in cybersecurity. Appreciation was extended to our esteemed panel of judges
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 was held in Elkhart Lake April 29-30. Once again “the Little Club that does Big Things” was recognized with a banner representing our position as the #3 out of 54 Clubs in the District for per capita giving to the Rotary Foundation.
💵. Happy Bucks gives us the opportunity for each member to share their personal “quips and quotes” of experiences over the past week. This week's highlights included:
  • Jean A. noted her safe return from a journey to Florida.  
  • Michael D. returned from a journey back in time after enjoying an Earth, Wind and Fire concert at the PAC.
Birthday and Anniversary Report
Betty Bittner (5/16)  🎂
  Next week’s program chair is Tim Schroeder
2021-22 Board Members:
President: Steve Denzien
President-Elect: Michael Ditmer
Secretary: Colleen Inman
Treasurer: Jeff Zimmerlee
Past President: Betty Bittner
Members at large: Betty Bittner, Jeff Zimmerlee, Steve Romero