The Wheel – March 2016

The Wheel

Newsletter of The Rotary Club of Caledonia

March,  2016

P.O. Box 413, Caledonia, MN  55921                                  

2015-16 Rotary Officers

President:  Ben Barton; President-elect:  Bruce Bulman;  Secretary, Naomi Fruechte; Treasurer, Manon Hoscheit

March Programs:

March programs are courtesy of Mary Mell.  Please thank her for her efforts on this important part of our club meetings.

March 4:                    “The Rotarian” magazine quiz.  Rotarian Steve Reiman will again challenge our retention of what we read in our monthly magazine.  He gave a somewhat qualified assurance that the quiz would be based on this month’s magazine.  It is okay to be loud and irreverent in this program.

March 11:                  Laura O’Heron. Laura is a Houston County Public Health Nurse-Family.  Be sure to attend to hear what program she has begun.

March 18:                  Adam Swann.  Adam is the new Caledonia clerk/administrator.  One of his topics will be an update on the pool, kind of a tie in with our Rotary theme on water this month.

 March 25:                  Randy Mell.  Randy’s program will be on the Root River Watershed, as part of this month’s Rotary theme on water.

Meeting Location

We meet at 7:30 a.m., Fridays at the Farmhouse Eatery & Gifts, 219 North Kingston St. Caledonia.

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN                                                                                ­

Hello Rotarians,

Spring is upon us and we can look forward to our social gathering on Friday,  March 18, as well as our great Neighbors Day service project later this spring.  The well project will continue to be a something that we want to showcase.  Below is the article that we wrote to place in the Argus for those that didn’t get a chance to read it.  We should be pleased with the progress that we have made but cannot be satisfied as we have more work to do.  See you this Friday!

Building Wells in Tanzania

Have you ever sat back and reflected on just how lucky we are to be born where we are and how blessed we are for that?  Most of us born in this region do not need to worry about some of the most basic necessities to life like having access to clean water or the opportunity to receive an education.  This cannot be said for other parts of our world.

Some months ago Sister Michaeline from St. Mary’s Church spoke at our local Caledonia Rotary about a project that she was passionate about.  Sister shared details about the Sister Water Project that works with an organization called Safe Water For Life and Dignity (SWLD).

The primary activity of SWLD is the provision of safe water for the poor people in rural communities throughout the world.  About 95 percent of projects to date have been in remote rural villages that do not have access to clean and safe water.  This organization facilitates the building of wells to allow for villages to have access to clean water.  It costs approximately $5000 to build a well.

Our local Rotarians were immediately interested in supporting this project and began action planning to raise the necessary funds to assist in the building of wells.  The first step was to identify what areas of the world had great needs.  We immediately zeroed in on the country of Tanzania in East Africa.  Rotarians reached out to the Interact Club, which is the Rotary club for young people between the age of 12 and 18.  Our Interact members shared in the excitement and immediately partnered with other school organizations including: Student Council, National Honor Society, WE Day participants, and the student body as a whole.

The Caledonia Rotary has committed to match up to $5,000 that the other groups raise.  We are confident that we have the ability to raise enough funds to build two wells in a remote rural village.  In addition, we have had discussions on what resources it would take to send a group from Caledonia to Tanzania to assist in the building of the wells.  Over the last several weeks we have observed our students rally behind this cause to make a difference to others in the world.

We have made great progress so far and are very proud of the work happening.  However, we have a ways to go to reach our goals.  If you have any interest in donating to this cause you can send monetary donations to the Caledonia District Office or the Caledonia Rotary.

This project serves as another example of building great partnerships throughout our community.  The Caledonia Public School, Rotary, and Church Communities are binding together for our small community to make a real difference in another community thousands of miles away.

-Ben Barton


Caledonia Rotary & Read Across America

We are, again, going to ask Rotarians to read to all the grades K-5 during their library time for Read Across America. Read Across America is a month long event to celebrate reading.

Some other events that will be occurring in the elementary school include:  Stop, Drop, and Read, Where in the World is your teacher?, “Caught you Reading” pictures, and many more fun classroom activities.

This year we are just going to ask Rotarians to read the third week of March. A sign up sheet will be available the next two Fridays for this event. “We want to thank you for your willingness to model and communicate with our students. Having community members come to our building is an opportunity we welcome,” said Caledonia Elementary Principal Gina Meinertz, who is a fellow Rotarian.

Rotary’s Cabin Fever outing is Friday, March 18at MaCalGrove

President Barton gave only passing mention, but we’ll celebrate his birthday at our second annual Cabin Fever social at MaCalGrove on Friday, March 18, at MaCalGrove.

We need a commitment of 20 Rotarians and guests for appetizers and a cash bar for this event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The signup sheet started at last week’s meeting.  It is $10 a person.

Yes, we’ll have a practice session for the following night’s Trivia Contest. Come and help us  celebrate.  Who else but our “Rotarian” trivia master Steve Reiman to be out host.  There could be a mystery emcee for this portion.

Here’s something to warm up your brain, “It’s the Caledonia  Lions’ 50th anniversary of their charter.  Who are the remaining charter members from 50 years ago?”

How well will we defend our string as Lions Trivia Night champs?

The Caledonia Lions Trivia Night is  Saturday, March 19, at the Four Seasons Community Center.  Rotarian Nancy Runningen is in charge of the signup sheet.

Our club has won the event every year.  Let’s put together another competitive team to challenge all comers.

Hint:    Attend the Cabin Fever social the night before to ‘get in shape.’


Board meeting is Friday, March 5

The monthly board meeting will be on Friday, March 5, following the regular meeting.

Officers and Avenues of Service chairs are urged to attend and have the right to vote.  Any member’s attendance is welcome.

Rotarians with perfect attendance in February

Those with perfect attendance for February were  Ben Barton, Bruce Bulman, Tom Danielson, Merrill Deters, Sibyl Floyd, George Frisch, Naomi Fruechte, Mary Jane Hendel, Mary Mell, Tom Murphy, Arien O’Heron, Steve Reiman,Nancy Runningen, Beth Stempinski, Mike Werner.

Thanks to our secretary Naomi Fruechte for providing this record.

Rotarians with perfect attendance in January

Those with perfect attendance in January were Ben Barton, Bruce Bulman, Tom Danielson, Merrill Deters, Sibyl Floyd, George Frisch, Naomi Fruechte, Mary Jane Hendel, Mary Mell, Tom Murphy, Arien O’Heron, Steve Reiman,Nancy Runningen, Beth Stempinski, Mike Werner.

Thanks to our secretary Naomi Fruechte for providing this record of attendance.

 2015-2016 Chairs for Programs, Greeters, Invocations

Here is the roster of Rotarians who have made the commitment to select programs, serve as a greeter or offer invocation for  our Rotary year.

            Theme                                   Programs                 Invocation                Greeter

Mar     Water and Sanitation           Mary                           Steve R.                     Merrill

Apr*    Maternal & Child Health      Ann                            Sibyl                           Tom D

.May    Youth Service                       Naomi                         Ann                            Eric

June   Rotary Fellowships              Steve R.                     Arien                          Tom M.

*Denotes a month with five meetings.  Please plan on having one meeting day devoted to committee meetings.

-Thanks for serving Rotary!-

 Avenues of Service Committee Memberships

At our quarterly Club Assembly, in the months of January and April, 2016,  the updated committee composition and chairpersons for the Rotary Avenues of Service will meet


Mary Jane Hendel, Ben Barton, Steve Ingvalson  Gina Meinertz,  Naomi Fruechte, Joe Welch,  and Dianne Schuldt.


Steve Reiman, chair;  Bruce Bulman, Merrill Deters, John Pongratz, Beth Stempinski, andTom Murphy.


Sibyl Floyd, chair; Tom Danielson, Joe Hammell,  Manon Hoscheit, Julie O’Mara Meyer, Ann Thompson, Arien O’Heron, Matt Schuldt, Jimmy Westland and Eric Wurm.


George Frisch, chair, Sherry Sime, and Mike Werner.

New Generations (Interact Club)

Nancy Runningen, chair; Mary Mell, Tom Murphy, and Dan McGonigle

Rotary Outreach

Caledonia Rotarians have more opportunities to network with other Rotarians at their weekly meetings in the La Crosse area.

One of the club’s goals is to attend weekly Rotary meetings at the eight other Rotary clubs in the La Crosse area.  Here are the updated time, date, and location of each of the clubs’ weekly meeting:

Monday, Noon,                   La Crosse Rotary  East, Piggy’s Restaurant

Monday, 6 p.m.,                    Onalaska Rotary, Blue Moon

Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.             La Crosse After Hours, Downtown Radisson,  2nd and 4th

Tuesdays; Social Hour at 5 p.m., Meeting at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, 7 a.m.,            Holmen Area Rotary, Village Hall

Wednesday, 7:30 a.m.,       Valley View Rotary, Famous Dave’s

Wednesday, Noon              Onalaska Hilltoppers Rotary, La Crosse Country Club

Thursday, Noon,                  La Crosse Downtown, Radisson Center

Friday, 7 a.m.,                     La Crescent Rotary, Corky’s

Caledonia Rotary Board Meeting

February 12, 2016

Members present:  Ben Barton, Mike Werner, Naomi Fruechte, Manon Hoscheit, Tom Danielson, Bruce Bulman, Steve Reiman, George Frisch, and Nancy Runningen.

Meeting was called to order by Ben Barton at 8:40 a.m.  Secretary’s report was approved as emailed.  Treasurer’s report was approved.  Balance in the checking account is $4,431.17.

Motion made by Steve Reiman, seconded by Bruce Bulman, to accept the resignation of Donald Ingvalson.  Carried.

International committee reported:  Mike Werner, Tom Danielson and George Frisch attended the grant training workshop at Tomah.  They reported that a RI grant requires much work and one needs to be sure the cooperating club in the receiving country is on board and meticulous about accounting for funds.

The committee talked about the July 19th Music in the Park event as a fundraiser for the water project as well as a means to promote our Rotary club and Interact.  A raffle and supper would be included in that event.  We could apply for Thrivent funds to offset some expenses.

Nancy Runningen reported on Interact activities.  She attended and Interact advisors meeting with La Crosse area Interact advisors which she felt was beneficial.  They will analyze the future of IFeed.  IFeed reps have been asked to speak at PETS and at the District 6250 conference.  They hope to have and Interact conference for District 6250 in LaCrosse.

RYLA—Our club  has budgeted for two sophomores to attend from Caledonia.  At least one should be an Interact member.  This will be at the Dells.  Deadline for registration is April 1 and cost at that time is $200 per attendee.  Rotarians may also attend.  I couldn’t find any specific information on the District 6250 website about that, other than they welcome Rotarians.  Chairs to contact are: Michelle TerMaat-McGrath (Madison Downtown Rotary Club):  Email -or- Phone 608-241-7107; or Ben Bauer (Marshfield Sunrise Club): Email -or- Phone 715-223-7968.

The District 6250 Conference will be held at Madison in May.  Members should receive information.

George moved and adjourn the meeting at 9:18 a.m.  Carried.

Naomi Fruechte,


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