Stillwater RotaryStillwater Sampler
   Stillwater Rotary Club
          Stillwater, Minnesota

Welcome to the St. Croix Valley


Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 11:45 AM
Lowell Inn Banquet Room
102 N 2nd St
** Check "Speakers" for Meeting Location Changes **
Stillwater, MN  55082
United States
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The Lake Elmo Rotary Club needs our help. Each year they volunteer at the Washington County Fair by driving carts of seniors and others who need help from the parking lot into the middle of the fairgrounds. Shifts are two hours.   Available slots are as follows:

Saturday, August 5 (one additional person for each slot)

10 am- noon

2 pm - 4 pm

4 pm - 6 pm

Sunday, August 6 (one additional person for each slot)

10 am - noon

2 pm - 4 pm

4 pm - 6 pm

If you are able to help or have any questions, please email Paul Erickson at Paul.L.Erickson@Lakeview.Org .




You and a guest are invited to join us on Thursday, June 29, from 6-8:30 pm at Washington Square park in Stillwater (across form Lakeview Hospital) for dinner, fellowship, and a brief program as President Bill passes the gavel to President Elect Nathan. We hope you can attend.

Dear Members,


As reviewed during our last two Club meetings, our Club has an opportunity to support a deserving project in the war torn region in Juba, South Sudan.  


This project is being pursued in conjunction with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), in partnership with Global Health Ministries (GHM).


The Stillwater Club has a District matching project slated for the 2017/2018 Rotary year for approximately $35,000.  There is a very good chance that we will get matching funds – however, the container that GHM is preparing to ship is expected to sail in the next month or so – quite possibly before our matching grant is approved.


If the project is  set to ship before the end of July, we would sincerely like to gauge interest in supporting the project NOW, so please contact Scott Mercer or Orv Johnson if interested.


If we can partially support the project now, we have a very good chance to support a Phase Two project in the 2017/2018 project year. 
A Description of the Need
The South Sudan Minister of Health has listed fistula repair as a top priority for South Sudan and requested that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) offer training in fistula repair to local doctors using the ELCA’s newly constructed medical center in Juba, South Sudan. This comes at a time when South Sudan faces enormous challenges for its population of 8.26 million people. It is the world’s newest country, but one of the least developed after years of civil war. Systemic poverty, displacement of huge numbers of its citizens, and political instability continue to cripple any efforts to provide adequate medical care for its citizens.

According to the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth website (2013), “A recent report found 33 functioning hospitals in the whole country, with only 16% of all health facilities having electricity. It is estimated there is only one doctor per 100,000 people… South Sudan reports some of the worst health statistics in the world.” 

This challenge of inadequate health care is exacerbated by a tendency for young marriages of women, teenage pregnancy, and high fertility rates. Again, from the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth website, “Only 19% of women are estimated to give birth with a skilled birth attendant, 12% to give birth in health facilities, and 13% to use antenatal care. For these reasons, South Sudanese women are considered to be at high risk for obstetric morbidities, including fistula.” UNICEF confirms that “Maternal mortality in South Sudan is one of the highest in the world,” as stated by Romanus Mkerenga, UNICEF Chief of Health and Nutrition in South Sudan. (UNICEF 2012) Each woman has a 1 in 28 chance of dying from pregnancy-related causes during her lifetime. What is more, for each woman that dies in childbirth, an estimated 20 additional women suffer from devastating childbirth injuries like obstetric fistula (WHO 2014).The United Nations Population Fund estimates that “approximately 60,000 women and girls are thought to suffer from fistula.” (UNFPA 2014) 

More compelling though than any facts or figures may well be the statement of GHM consultant Dr. Mark Jacobson in his description of the need in South Sudan:

"Obstetric fistula is one of the most horrendous complications of pregnancy and childbirth imaginable. Consider a woman going into labor with her child in her womb with all the hopes and love of a mother for that child. And then, because of lack of simple medical resources, there is an obstructed labor and the child dies and the mother ends up incontinent. It is simply hard to imagine a greater injustice which can befall a woman, especially in Africa where bearing children remains such a value to women and gives them status in society. 

Fistula occurs because of a lack of resources for prenatal care and especially for women around the time of delivery. When a woman suffers an obstructed labor leading to fistula and incontinence, often her very life and family relationships are made to be outcasts. Incontinence is horrendous anywhere in the world and even more so in places where there are no resources to respond to this condition.

South Sudan currently has the highest Maternal Mortality rate in the entire world. Most women have no access to maternal care at the time of delivery and certainly, not to an operating theatre and a possible Cesarean Section for delivery. With the war of independence and subsequent civil and tribal strife, the number of women silently suffering this affliction has grown dramatically. It is impossible to document the growth in fistula yet the awareness that it has increased greatly is well known within the medical community.

In discussions with the South Sudan Ministry of Health, one of the priorities the Minister of Health listed was for fistula care and for training of South Sudanese physicians to be able to provide surgical relief for women with obstetric fistulas. 

Our clinic in Juba hopes to help address this need. While we are technically a clinic, we have intentionally designed our facility to be able to host "fistula camps" where surgery and after care can be provided to those in need. Working with Dr. Andrew Browning, we will run several camps per year. Of great importance is that these surgeries will be done collaboratively with South Sudanese doctors who can learn and carry forth this restorative surgery. 

What a life restoring event this will be for women of South Sudan."
The Project Description

Given the high risks facing South Sudanese women for obstetric morbidities and fistula, as well as the approximately 60,000 women and girls currently thought to suffer from fistula, the South Sudan Minister of Health has made fistula repair a high priority for the country.  At his request, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has constructed a Lutheran Center and Clinic in the city of Juba to provide much needed medical care for many who would otherwise not have access. The clinic is being built in a newly developed residential and business area known as “Referendum Area” where there are no current government or private services such as running water, electricity, clinics, schools, or sewer systems available. 

It is a sizeable camp for Internally Displaced Persons who have moved to this location from Sudan and from areas experiencing conflict throughout the country. The population in Referendum Area is estimated somewhere between 300,000 – 400,000 and will be served by The Lutheran Community Center and Clinic along with a surrounding radius of 2-3 miles.

The initial foci for the clinic will be to address: maternal and child health, community health programs and nutrition for mothers and children, family planning and health education, immunizations, and fistula repair. Thus the expectation is that the clinic will address broad maternal and child health issues for the population surrounding the center while also specifically providing fistula repair and training in fistula repair for local doctors. 

Global Health Ministries (GHM) is partnering with the ELCA to equip and furnish the new clinic including the provision of all the medical equipment needed for this fistula repair wing to be fully functional as soon as possible. GHM is working with Dr. Mark Jacobson to support focused outreach camps at the Lutheran Center and Clinic under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Browning. The first such outreach camp is expected to occur in the second half of 2017 with subsequent sessions being planned for 2018 and beyond. 

The following medical equipment will be purchased in the US and shipped to Juba for use in the clinic and for fistula repair focused outreach camps .

1 Surgical table
2 Surgical lights
1 Portable ultrasound machine
1 Anesthesia gas machines
1 Electrosurgical generator
3 Oxygen concentrators
1 Ultrasound
2 Sterilizers
2 Suction pumps
4 Fetal Dopplers
2 Microscopes

TOTAL cost to purchase and ship these pieces of medical equipment: $35,000.   In addition, GHM will supply a full 40' sea container including these purchased items along with hundreds of other items from beds to consumable supplies. 

This container is expected to sail in late June or early July – quite possibly before we can access matching funds from Rotary District 5960.  

Please contact Scott Mercer or Orv Johnson for additional information on project safety or related concerns and find out how you can help NOW.


Thank you !


Article 5. Section 6., of our Club's Bylaws provide "Members are strongly encouraged to attend district and RI meetings and conferences which are open to members."
Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski gave us updates on both newsworthy and important city and community issues.
Congratulations to Gretchen  --  named Business Woman of the Year.
Scott Mercer presented a District Grant Project opportunity that Dr. Mark Jacobson, the ELCA, and Global Health Ministries are involved in.    The project is to build and equip a community and health center in South Sudan.  Our donations will facilitate the purchase and shipping of surgical equipment.  Due to timing of this shipment (expected mid-June), this may not be eligible for matching district funds, but future shipments may be.  See Scott Mercer for additional information.
The four Avenues of Service are the philosophical and practical framework for the work of this Rotary club.  They are Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service, and International Service.  This club will be active in each of the four Avenues of Service.    (From our Bylaws) 
Sally Anderson presented the results of the Service Survey taken last fall.
Congratulations to Jordan Wallace and Camryn Davis, recipients of this year's Stillwater Rotary Scholarships.
Congratulations DJ Raduenz -- 21 years as a Rotarian!  
Thank you for your fellowship and service!
Keri Bischoff (one of our newest members) is a Gallup Certified Strength Coach and teaches the Strength Finders Philosophy to group, business, and individuals.  The Stillwater Area Foundation (an affiliate of the SCV Foundation) has used strength finders.  Keri has been married to Tim for 37 years, and enjoys cheering on her favorite team -- her family.  Keri has four beautiful daughters - Libbie, Luci, Alyssa and Maggie, and recently received the best present of all -- a granddaughter.
Last week's program included a Member Profile from Keri Bischoff, and an update on the Sparks! Social Enterprise Camp from Tom Triplett.
The Stillwater Noon Rotary Club has a history of supporting the community.  Following is a list of organizations we have given financially to this past year.
               River Valley Riders
               916 Education Foundation
               American Cancer (Relay for Life)
               Acres for Life
               Camp Odayin
               Captain Crash Bash
               Century College
               Community Thread
               EVOLVE Adoption and Family
               Stillwater Jr High – H20 for Life
               Help at Your Door (Store to Door)
               MN Marriage
               Our Community Kitchen
               Pollinator Friendly Alliance
               Stillwater High School Scholarship
               Stillwater Senior Party
               Story Ark
               Tree House
We were joined by the Stillwater Lions for Law Day.  We received an update on Human Trafficking in Washington County by Imran Ali, Washington County Prosecutor; Kathy Woxlund, Victim Recovery Specialist; Gary Wallner, Program Coordinator; and Aimee Schroeder, Criminal Analyst.

This is an excerpt from a StarTribune article dated April 22, 2017

North/East metro briefs: Molly O'Rourke gets high marks for leadership of Washington County

Administrator Molly O’Rourke has received high marks for her skill in leading the Washington County government workforce, said Commissioner Lisa Weik, chairwoman of the County Board.   The board conducted a closed-door annual review of O’Rourke’s performance on April 4.


Weik said the board applauded O’Rourke for building relationships and partnerships across the county and in the community. Commissioners also commended her for maintaining the county’s high bond rating, for positive responses received on the county’s residential survey, and for efficiencies she has introduced to county business practices.

Also noted was O’Rourke’s respect for others, her ability to hear all sides of a situation and the strong leadership she provides to the county’s department managers.  


Jim was born in Jackson, Michigan and moved with his family to Minnesota in the early 1960s and as such considers the Twin Cities area his home.   Jim graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and started with 3M in 1984 in Prairie du Chien WI. In his nearly 30 year career at 3M, he has held a wide variety of positions including Process Engineer, Production and Materials Control, Customer Service, Warehousing and Transportation, Distributor Relations, Economic Forecasting and Strategic Planning.
Jim is married to Deb Lauer, an ESL teacher in the Mahtomedi School District. They have two sons, Luke, who was a Rotary Foreign Exchange student to Turkey, graduated with a degree in Economics and currently lives and works in Minneapolis. Eric graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering and is based in Minnesota. Jim and Deb unofficially adopted a Costa Rican foreign exchange student, Gerardo, who lived with them for seven years and in 2013 returned to Costa Rica to teach band.
The Rotary connection started in 1990 when Jim was invited to join the Prairie du Chien Rotary club. When he relocated to the Twin Cities in 1992, he immediately transferred his membership to the White Bear Lake Rotary club. Jim served as club president in 2003-2004. In the 2008-’09 year, Jim was selected as GSE team leader to South Central India where he spent most of the month of January 2009 seeing Rotary in action in the Hyderabad area. He initiated two Rotary matching grant projects that resulted in 177 wells being drilled in District 3150 to provide fresh drinking water for 45,000 individuals. Jim joined the district grants subcommittee in 2009 and has been serving as a grants mentor for the past five years. He has also served as GSE / VTT chairperson for D5960 from 2009-2013 during which time he coordinated three in-bound GSE and two in-bound VTT teams.
The International focus of Rotary has led Jim to be involved in several projects with the White Bear Lake Rotary club which has resulted in two trips to Costa Rica, the month in India with GSE, a visit to Krasnoyarsk, Russia and two International Conventions.   Over the past couple of years, Jim has become involved with the District Fast For Hope Initiative, visiting Nicaragua in 2011 as a member of a cultural delegation and returning as the team leader for a delegation in 2012. In 2013, he became a member of the FFH steering committee.
Jim has been active in his community, being a founding member of the Mahtomedi Environmental Commission where he served as a commissioner for five years from 2009 through 2013.   He has been a local election judge since 2009 and in 2012 became Head Election Judge for his precinct.
Jim and Deb are both active outdoors people, enjoying biking, camping, kayaking, hiking, skiing (both cross country and downhill) and sailing. Jim is also an avid woodworker.
Bev Driscoll is attending all three days of the Rotary District Conference.  Bev attended her first conference her second year as a Rotarian -- because she was involved with Fast For Hope and was presenting -- and hasn't missed a conference since.   The Conference and other Rotary Events are not only for those in club leadership, but is for all members.  It seems that some Rotarians don't sign up because they're concerned that they won't know anyone.  The conference is a great opportunity to find out what other clubs are doing, you'll make new friends, and you look forward to seeing them at future Rotary events. 
Bob Sherman is a self professed "recovering lawyer" who is currently the Executive Director at Youth Service Bureau.   Bob has had an interesting career with varied positions and locations in law, business, education and non-profits.   He enjoys his service to Rotary, recalls his involvement in a project providing artificial limbs to veterans that made him a Rotarian, and had a great opportunity to work with the Rotaract at the University of Minnesota in Duluth with many international students.    Bob hopes to continue to work with other clubs collaboratively, Rotary is truly a global organization.
Katie Bang is one of our newest Rotary members, but has known Rotary her whole life, thanks to her mother (Tracey Galowitz).   Initially, Katie was a member of the Woodbury Rotary Club.   (Remember last year when Woodbury won the annual cook-off competition with one of her mother's recipes?)   After Katie and her husband moved to Stillwater, she wanted to be involved in this community; so she changed clubs to be active in the community she lives in.   Katie studied Business Administration and Economics at St. Benedicts and is currently an Assistant Vice President of Trust and Estate Services at Lake Elmo Bank.  She enjoys traveling (has visited 18 countries), music, and family time at the cabin.
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Club Executives & Directors
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Vice President