CORRECTION: The previous February 29, 2024 Gimlet sent had the incorrect photo for this week's speaker. We apologize for the error. 
February 29 2024
For Those Attending in Person
Lunch Buffet
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
This Week at Rotary
Veterans Resilience Project
Jenna Graen, Northern Minnesota Outreach Coordinator
Jenna Graen
Air Force Veteran
The Veterans Resilience Project inspires lifelong change for Minnesota Veterans.  Recently funded by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, the organization helps military members and their families access mental health therapy to recover from symptoms of trauma.
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Darlene Anderson
Is this really February in Duluth?  The unseasonably warm weather made for lively discussions as Rotarians gathered in the Holiday Inn Ballroom. Their attention was turned to the meeting when President Gary Melander rang the Rotary Bell and requested all to join him in reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” and the “Rotary Four Way Test”.
President Gary Melander checking to see just how lucky are we
Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom provided the Rotary Reflection and reminded us that 44 years ago was a dark time for America.  With the ongoing threats during the Cold War we needed a ray of hope. The Winter Olympic Games crowning event was Ice Hockey. The USA team of college-aged amateur players met the hugely favored professional Russian hockey team. It was not an even match in anyone's mind. Sports broadcaster Al Michaels asked, “Do you believe in Miracles?” And then it happened: the USA team won the game now known as “The Miracle on Ice”. After beating Russia, the USA team went on to defeat Finland to capture the Gold Medal. A ray of hope!
Phil Strom reflecting upon the Miracle on Ice.
Allen Anway shared that his granddaughter carries on the family tradition by entering the Birkebeiner. Allen Anway was asked how many Birke's he has skied.  His answer was 41 consecutive years.
Jerry Pelofske presented a $1,250 scholarship from the Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation to Yousif Alzamily who came from Iraq to the USA two years ago. He is in his first year at Lake Superior College studying mechanical engineering. He thanked the Foundation for its financial generosity.
Jerry Pelofsky awarding a Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation scholarship to Yousif Alzamily
Allen Anway remembered and honored Dr. James Monge who was a member since 1965 and who died on January 14, 2024. He often served as chair of the Rotary International Foundation committee and was noted for his quiet and effective leadership. While working at Essentia, his passion was performing complicated medical procedures. After retirement, he continued to serve in northern Minnesota hospitals. For many years he and his wife MaryAnn flew together around the world on medical missions performing surgeries in third world countries. Club members stood for a moment of silence in memory of Rotarian Dr. James Monge.
Allen Anway giving the eulogy for Dr. James Monge
President Gary Melander and Treasurer Elaine Hansen led a discussion about changing our weekly meeting location from the Holiday Inn to the Kitchi Gammi Club. Many comments, questions, and answers were shared. This topic will be discussed again at next week's meeting.  After that a survey will be sent to all club members. Concerns and comments are being collected and considered before any decision is made.
Elaine Hansen explaining the options at both the Holliday Center and the Kitchi Gammi Club
President Gary Melander introduced our speaker, Patrick Weber, from the Northern Expressions Arts Collective (NEAC). Patrick noted that he first attended our Rotary Club 10 years ago when he was presented a $500 check to assist with NEAC's first event. Now he reports on what that initial investment is doing in our community. Their theme is “Strengthening Families Through Artistic Play.” This is accomplished with unique programs such as “Creativity in the Kitchen,” where families come together to have fun as they learn new ideas about food preparation and nutrition. “PlayTime” connects participants with civic leaders such as police officers, firefighters, and the Mayor as they play games together and have open question times, building relationships. “Lake Superior Seedlings” is currently focused on mushing in the Iditarod. “Imagination Station” featured making and shooting model rockets. Coming in March is “The Good Egg Hunt” where attendees are asked to nominate a “Good Egg” or unsung hero in their community. Many varied and unique experiences are offered to assist families in building healthy relationships.
President Gary Melander with our Speaker, Patrick Weber
The program has been recognized in our community as a positive influence in bringing families and community members together.  Participants range in age from preschool to 75. NEAC is now undertaking a two-year pilot program called Community Connection Initiative, where they will expand and conduct programs in several areas of Duluth, including the Central Hillside, Morgan Park, and Lincoln Park. They do not have a facility of their own.  They contract with existing neighborhood venues for their events.
To learn more about Northern Expressions Arts Collective visit 
Make your nomination today.