The Decorah Rotary Club participated in the 53rd Annual Nordic Fest this year through its contribution of a float entry in the Nordic Fest Parade, held on Saturday, July 27. As has become a recent tradition, our float made a great impression and stood out among the many parade entries in no small part to the creativity and energy of our intrepid float designers and builders.
Our club extends its heartfelt thanks to the follow DRC members and friends to contributed to the design, construction, and operation of this year's float: Don Arendt, Darrel Branhagen, Kurt DeVore, Shannon Duncan, Sierra Duncan, Ivan Hackman, Wyatt Hackman, Alec Lerstrom, Kelly Reagan, Kathleen Rittner, Uwe Rudolph, Jeff Tomlinson, Ciara Wedmann, and Sage Wedmann. Extra special thanks to Alan Lerstrom for his leadership of the effort and Ward Budweg for spearheading many of the materials logistics and hosting the location for construction. Thanks to all for your many contributions!
For additional photos see the companion photo album: Nordic Fest 2019 Float and Parade
Photo credits: Kurt DeVore, Jeff Tomlinson
Nordic Fest 2019 Float and Parade 2019-08-02 05:00:00Z 0
DRC Rotary Foundation Chair Jeff Tomlinson awarding Kathleen Rittner with her Paul Harris Fellow recognition
At the Club's regular meeting on July 2nd, DRC member Kathleen Rittner was formally recognized for her recent achievement of Paul Harris Fellow status. The Paul Harris Fellow program recognizes individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. We extend our congratulations and thanks to Kathleen!
Photo credit: Shannon Duncan
Kathleen Rittner Recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow 2019-07-12 05:00:00Z 0
DRC member, world traveler, ultra-athlete, and raconteur Ward Budweg describes his amazing cross-country ski trip across Finland at the club picnic
The Decorah Rotary Club (DRC) enjoyed great food and fellowship at our recent Club Picnic hosted at Whalen Cabin in Phelps Park in Decorah. DRC member Ward Budweg provided the program and some fascinating insights into his cross-country ski trip across Finland this past winter. Our thanks to everyone for supplying the attendees with the nice selection of side dishes and treats. A special thanks to Grill Master Matt Burkey for his culinary skills.
For more photos from the picnic see the accompanying photo album: 2019 Decorah Rotary Club Picnic
Photo credits: Shannon Duncan
2019 Decorah Rotary Club Picnic 2019-06-04 05:00:00Z 0
(L-R) DRC member presenter Phil Iverson, Secretary/Treasurer Kelly Reagan, "Flat Paul Harris," and President Lorraine Borowski
At a ceremony conducted during DRC's regular meeting on May 14, DRC Secretary/Treasurer Kelly Reagan was recognized for achieving his eighth Paul Harris Fellow certificate. The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 during any calendar year to The Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. Our congratulations to Kelly for his philanthropic leadership and generosity!
Photo credit: Shannon Duncan
Kelly Reagan Receives 8th Paul Harris Fellow 2019-05-23 05:00:00Z 0
On May 8th at ceremonies held at the Decorah High School, the Decorah Community School District Foundation presented scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Included in those awards were four $1,000 scholarships sponsored annually by the Decorah Rotary Club (DRC).
The 2019 DRC Scholarship recipients are Rose Gullekson, Rachel Hudson, Christian Johnson, and Josie Numedahl. Our Club extends its sincere congratulations and best wishes to these outstanding students!
2019 Decorah Rotary Club Scholars 2019-05-14 05:00:00Z 0
DRC President Lorraine Borowski and DRC Member John Moeller planting a replacement tree along Mechanic Street in Decorah
On Saturday, May 4th members of the Decorah Rotary Club (DRC) in cooperation with the City of Decorah Tree Board and other volunteers from the Luther College Athletic Department completed the planting of 42 new trees in several locations around Decorah. The DRC Tree Replacement Project was supported by a 2019 Rotary District 5970 Foundation Grant, with matching funds provided by our Club. On behalf of the City of Decorah, the Tree Board encourages the planting of trees by its residents so future generations may enjoy the benefits of reduced pollution, a more beautiful city, increased habitat for wildlife, and the conservation of energy from the natural air conditioning and wind protection that a diverse tree cover provides. The initiative has taken on greater importance in recent years with the widespread loss and preventative culling of ash trees in response to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation.
DRC members participating in the project included Lorraine Borowski, Ward Budweg, Eliot Christian, Mark Donhowe, Shannon Duncan, Larry Grimstad, Tina Hall, Phil Iverson, John Moeller, Kathleen Rittner and husband Rod, Uwe Rudolph, Samantha Scholles, Paul Scott, and Dr. Liang Chee Wee. Our Club extends its sincerest thanks to Shannon Duncan for her leadership of the project and administration of the District Grant.
More photos may be found in the album accessible by this link: Decorah Community Tree Planting Day
Photo credits: Shannon Duncan, Paul Scott
2019 District Grant Project - Decorah Tree Replacement 2019-05-07 05:00:00Z 0
Brett Wilker and students from the Decorah High School Robotics Club preparing to demonstrate their robots against the Rover Ruckus scenario
The DRC was thrilled to host students from the Decorah High School (DHS) Robotics Club, along with their faculty sponsor Brett Wilker, at our regular meeting on April 23rd. Each of the students spoke in turn about the design, construction, and operation of their robots followed by a live demonstration that recreated the scenario challenge from this year's FIRST Tech Challenge competition. Teams comprising students from 7th – 12th grade are given an obstacle course scenario and, based on that scenario, the teams design, build and program robots to compete with teams from other schools. This year’s scenario is Rover Ruckus, which takes its inspiration from the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. The playing field includes two fake moon craters, moon “minerals” and a moon lander, and the teams are able to score points through the completion of a variety of tasks. The DHS teams have been extremely successful this year, having qualified for the Super Qualifier Event in Sioux City.
Feel free to check out additional photos using this link: Decorah High School Robotics Club Demo
Photo credits: Gary Mineart, Paul Scott
Decorah High School Robotics Club Demonstration 2019-04-23 05:00:00Z 0
Registration for the 2019 Decorah Rotary Club's Loop de Loop Half-Marathon and 10K/5K is now open and available. This event is scheduled for Saturday, September 21, 2019. It will be the 8th annual edition of this popular run.
Please see the drop-down menu in the upper-right corner of our home page for links to the registration information.
See you on the gorgeous Trout Run Trail in September!
Registration is Open for the 2019 Loop de Loop 2019-03-12 05:00:00Z 0
DRC Member Amy Loera shows off her new Rotary badge with President Lorraine Borowski
DRC was pleased to introduce new member Amy Loera to the club at our 2/5 regular meeting. She serves as Admissions Coordinator at Wellington Place. Welcome Amy!
Photo credit: Kelly Reagan
DRC Welcomes Amy Loera 2019-02-06 06:00:00Z 0
(L-R) Ivan Hackman, Don Holmertz, Lorraine Borowski, and Jim Morrow make an efficient and cheerful serving line at Friday's DRC Chili Supper
DRC hosted their annual Chili Supper fundraiser at the Decorah High School Cafeteria on Friday, January 11th. This was the first year incorporating a chili cook-off as part of the festivities. The public was invited to "vote" for their favorite entries through free will donations. The selections were plentiful and delicious. Our thanks to all of the superb chili chefs for sharing their time and culinary talents! As a capstone to the fun evening, the Decorah High School girls basketball team secured their inaugural victory of the season.
For more chili supper photos please check out the following link: 2019 DRC Chili Supper
Many thanks to the Chili Supper Committee members for their creativity and enthusiasm, and to everyone who came out and supported the event!
Photo credits: Gary Mineart, Kelly Reagan, Ward Budweg
2019 Decorah Rotary Club Chili Supper 2019-01-12 06:00:00Z 0
Angela LaBelle of Kadens Kloset in Decorah describes the meager belongings of many fostered children during her recent DRC presentation
The Decorah Rotary Club was pleased to host Mike and Angela LaBelle from the Decorah branch of Kadens Kloset during its regular meeting on Tuesday, November 27th. Kadens Kloset is a 100% volunteer and donation-run, non-profit organization hosted by the local Decorah Covenant Church. It exists to provide tangible necessities for foster and adoptive children, plus families and children in need in the area. Mike and Angela discussed the positive impact the local organization has had in the few short months it has been up and running and itemized the avenues of support available to the local community.
For more about Kadens Kloset visit the organization's website at
Photo credit: Paul Scott
Kadens Kloset at Decorah Rotary 2018-11-27 06:00:00Z 0
(L-R) Rotarians and friends Shannon Duncan, Elliot Christen, John Baker, Jason Soland, and Jacky Budweg share some morning cheer at the start of Saturday's service project
Our club managed to find the best weather day in many weeks for the final Rotary Roadside Clean-Up Day of 2018 held on Saturday, October 13. Thanks to all of the superb volunteers who shared their spirit of service and dedicated time to help keep Decorah beautiful: John Baker, Jacky Budweg, Ward Budweg, Matt Burkey, Elliot Christen, Shannon Duncan, Roger Huinker, Jim Morrow, Paul Scott, Jason Soland, and Jeff Tomlinson. Special thanks to Ward for his leadership in organizing this event and taking care of the logistics.
Photo credit: Ward Budweg
Rotary Roadside Clean-Up Day 2018-10-15 05:00:00Z 0
To our 2018 Loop de Loop participants,
Thank you!
On behalf of the Decorah Rotary Loop de Loop team, thank you for participating in this year’s 7th annual event. If you were a visitor to town, we hope you enjoyed your time in Decorah. It turned out to be a chilly but beautiful morning to be out on the trail.
Every year the Decorah Rotary Club uses a portion of the proceeds of the race to benefit the Trout Run Trail system in some way. It may be needed repairs, new benches, landscaping or other amenities. The remaining proceeds are used for local and international Rotary programs and activities such as local scholarships and internationally fighting Polio. Thank you for supporting these efforts.
The 2018 complete race results and finisher's videos may be found on this link.
A year-end participant’s survey may be found on this link:  Please take a moment to let us know what you thought about the race and your time in Decorah.  The committee will be looking at ways to re-energize the event in 2019, so we value your input!
Thank you very much for supporting our event!
Decorah Rotary Club Loop de Loop Committee
Thank You to our 2018 Loop de Loop Participants 2018-10-12 05:00:00Z 0
(L-R) DRC Secretary/Treasurer Kelly Reagan, DRC President Lorraine Borowski, and District 5970 Governor Neil Fell
The Decorah Rotary Club was pleased and honored to host District 5970 Governor Neil Fell for our regular weekly meeting on Tuesday, October 9. Governor Fell regaled the attendees with Rotary history highlights, commended our local crooning prowess, and provided some insightful thoughts on membership composition and growth and on the Rotary Four-Way Test. Our members came away with an energized appreciation of the current Rotary Year theme "Be The Inspiration" and avenues to contribute to that theme. Our Club extends its thanks to Governor Fell for his time and uplifting message.
Photo credit: Gary Mineart
District 5970 Governor Visit 2018-10-09 05:00:00Z 0
DRC Rotarians Kelly Reagan and Ward Budweg recently received photos from Mr. Wilson Dalto, friend and fellow Rotarian in Tangara Da Serra Cidade Alta, Brazil. The Tangara Da Serra Cidade Alta Rotary Club recently held a celebration parade for people who have received assistance through the Adult Literacy Program coordinated by their club.  The Decorah Rotary Club has donated funds to this ongoing project in the amount of $3000 over the last three years. This partnership between the Decorah Rotary Club and the Tangara Da Serra Cidade Alta Rotary Club is an excellent example of the good works Rotarians are doing around the world, and in this case, with our direct support.
Rotary Club of Tangará da Serra Cidade Alta Celebration Parade 2018-09-18 05:00:00Z 0
DRC member Mike Huinker piloting the lead vehicle, along with happy passengers and the following caravan, at the start of one of several Trout Run Trail Day 12-mile loops
The 2018 Trout Run Trail Tour Day, sponsored by the Decorah Rotary Club (DRC), was hosted this year on Tuesday, August 21. This is an annual event allowing an opportunity for the elderly and those with physical limitations preventing routine access to the Trail to experience the beauty of the entire 12-mile circuit. As with past years, the local community came out in large numbers and filled every available seat on each of the multiple loops of the trail. The luncheon hosted at the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery was enjoyed by all.
Our Club extends its thanks to the following DRC members and friends for their volunteer service: Andy Nimrod (signage); Jim Morrow and Jerry Aulwes (registration); John Baker, Phil Iversen, and Elliot Christen (set-up); Cal Anderson, Jon Christy, Robert Dahl, and Dacia Monson (meal service); Maury Lenz, Jim Dale, and Ron Taylor (take-down); Mike Huinker, Paul Scott, Darryl Branhagen, Don Arendt, Collyn Bridges, Dallas Steffen, Harlan Satrom, Bill Brennig, John Kerndt, and Les Askelson (vehicle operation).
A special thanks to the following implement dealers and individuals who donated the use of their off-road vehicles: Bodensteiner Implement Company - Decorah, Decorah Kawasaki Sports Center, M&M Lawn and Leisure - Rushford, Les Askelson, John Kerndt, Adam Thornton of Thornton’s Feed and Grain in Decorah, and Jeremy Bjerke.
Thanks also to the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery, the City of Decorah, the 28-E Committee, Quillins, Java Johns, and Decorah Rental for working with our Club to facilitate this event.
Sincere thanks to DRC members Francis and Marilyn Peterson, Mike Huinker, and Harlan Satrom for helping coordinate the event. Last but certainly not least, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to DRC member Jennifer Gipp for her leadership and vision in establishing this event as an annual DRC tradition and maintaining its continued success and popularity.
Finally, DRC would also like to recognize and thank all of the land donors who made the Trout Run Trail possible and such a special addition to the Decorah community.
More photos from this year's event may be accessed using this link: DRC Trout Run Trail Tour Day 2018
Photo credits: Jennifer Gipp
DRC Trout Run Trail Tour Day 2018 2018-08-24 05:00:00Z 0
The Decorah Rotary Club's sponsorship of information signs around the entirety of the 12-mile loop of the Trout Run Trail continues to be appreciated by its patrons. Our Club recently received the following email note from Carol and Lyle Rasmussen of Waverly:
"Thank you so much for providing the trail signs on the Trout Trail loop around Decorah. While the loop is easy to follow, it was always good to have the assurance that we were on the right path by following the easy to read signs."
Thanks to Carol and Lyle for the feedback!
A "Thank You" for the Trout Run Trail Signage 2018-08-21 05:00:00Z 0
Our Club's impressive Nordic Fest float during Saturday's parade; a happy group of customers in front of the Cheese Curd Booth
The Decorah Rotary Club continued its traditional involvement during Nordic Fest 2018, hosted in Decorah on July 26-28, along with a brand new service opportunity this year. The Rotary brand received lots of attention as a result of our parade float "Stairway to Lefse," considered by many independent observers to be the most awe-inspiring float in the entire parade. Also, for the first time, our members served made-to-order cheese curds Friday and Saturday evening at Canopy Five adjacent to the main entertainment stage, using equipment provided by Homestead Dairy in Waukon. The fresh, hot curds were clearly popular with the crowds attending the musical events!
Our Club owes a huge debt of gratitude to DRC members Shannon Duncan and Ward Budweg for their leadership and tireless efforts in bringing both of these Nordic Fest volunteer opportunities to fruition. We thank all of our members and friends who contributed to the construction and operation of the float, including Ward, Shannon, John Anderson, Cal Anderson, Kurt DeVore, Alan Lerstrom, Sandy Evans, Francis Peterson, Kelly Reagan, and Jeff Tomlinson, with particular thanks to Alan for his design inspiration and guidance. Thanks also to all of the Cheese Curd Booth set-up/operation/take down volunteers: Ward, Shannon, John, Kurt, Alan, and Jeff (again!); Matt Burkey, Don Holmerz, Phil Iversen, Gary Mineart, John Moeller, Jim Morrow, Kathleen Ritner, Rod Ritner, Ron Snell, and Heidi Snell. A special appreciative nod to Ron and Phil for loading and returning the equipment to Homestead Dairy.
For more photos please check out the companion photo album here: Nordic Fest 2018
Thanks again to our members for their cheerful and dedicated service!
Photo credits: Shannon Duncan/Kelly Reagan/Jeff Tomlinson
Nordic Fest 2018 2018-07-30 05:00:00Z 0
(L-R) DRC President Lorraine Borowski, Chuck Long, DRC Secretary/Treasurer Kelly Reagan
DRC was honored to host Chuck Long, former Iowa Hawkeye quarterback standout and one of the most renowned players in the history of the University of Iowa football program, at its regular meeting on June 19th. Our members and guests thoroughly enjoyed his recounting of the most memorable events and experiences from his stellar Iowa football career. Copies of his biography, which is authored by Aaron Putze, a fellow Rotarian from Waukee, were made available. Chuck was generous with his time and offered to personalize copies of his book. Our club extends its sincere thanks to him for our shared time together.
Photo credit: Kurt DeVore
For additional photos of Chuck Long's visit, please see the photo gallery at this link: Iowa Quarterback Chuck Long Visit
Legendary University of Iowa Quarterback Chuck Long Visits Decorah Rotary 2018-06-19 05:00:00Z 0
Special guests at our June 12 meeting speaking on their Rotary Youth Exchange Program experiences include (L-R) Annie (student from Mexico), Isabel (outbound student from Cedar Rapids), Iowa Rotary Youth Exchange Director Elizabeth Daly, Lon Weber (host family from Belle Plaine), Augusto (student from Brazil), and Jody Weber (host family from Belle Plaine)
DRC members Jeni Grouws and Ward Budweg, with the assistance of Iowa Rotary Youth Exchange Director Elizabeth Daly and other welcome guests of the club, gifted us with insights into the Rotary Youth Exchange Program and provided an update on the local initiative to institute involvement by our club in the Program. Our guests included a host family from Belle Plaine, Lon and Jody Weber, and several students both inbound and outbound who were able to share their interesting, captivating, and moving personal experiences both as hosts and as current and prospective exchange students. Our club extends its sincere thanks to Jeni and Ward for their energy and leadership of this initiative and to all of the co-presenters who gave our members a new appreciation of the many positive aspects of the Program.
Photo credit: Jeni Grouws
Rotary Youth Exchange Program Presentation 2018-06-13 05:00:00Z 0
(L-R) DRC Rotarians John Moeller, Elliot Christen, Grillmaster Matt Burkey, and Jon Christy along with a satisfied customer at the recent Electric Vehicle Fest(EV)al
Sincere thanks to all of our dedicated Rotarians who volunteered to cook and serve brats at the local Winneshiek Energy District's Electric Vehicle Fest(EV)al held at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 2nd. Much appreciated!
Photo credit: Gary Mineart
DRC Food Service at the Electric Vehicle Fest(EV)al 2018-06-02 05:00:00Z 0
DRC member John Baker (right) hammers away while DRC member Ward Budweg (left) assists a young future Rotarian with his birdhouse assembly...a great example of intergenerational Decorah Rotary service to the community!
The Decorah Rotary Club combined its traditional "Fifth Tuesday" evening meeting and service project on May 29th with the club's annual picnic, hosted at Whalen Cabin in Decorah's Phelps Park. This particular service project consisted of the construction of birdhouses, some of which were given to children in attendance and the remainder provided by DRC member Samantha Scholtes to Mosaic of Northern Iowa for distribution to homes under their auspices in the communities of Decorah and Waukon. Special thanks to the following DRC members: Ward Budweg for leading the birdhouse logistical preparations and donating supplies, and Shannon Duncan for sizing and cutting the wood. Thanks also to DRC members Uwe Rudolph and Joe Hammel for their lumber donations, John Anderson for the hamburgers, Matt Burkey for his grilling skills, Jon Christy for setting up the dining area, Jerry Aulwes for the beer sampling and Mike Haluska for the wine tasting. Thanks also to everyone who brought delicious side items to share, and to all the folks who came out and joined us for this fun event.
Photo Credit: Kelly Reagan
For more photos please see the accompanying photo album: 2018 DRC Annual Picnic and Service Project
Photo Credits: Kurt DeVore
DRC Fifth Tuesday Picnic and Service Project - "Birdhouse Construction" 2018-05-30 05:00:00Z 0
Decorah Rotarians (L-R) Maury Lenz, Ward Budweg, Jim Morrow, Kent Klocke, and Uwe Rudolph preparing to police the highway
Our club was blessed with superb spring weather for the first Rotary Roadside Clean-Up Day of 2018. Thanks to all of the volunteers who dedicated their time to help keep Decorah beautiful: Ward Budweg, Kent Klocke, Maury Lenz, Gary Mineart, Jim Morrow, Uwe Rudolph, and Paul Scott. Special thanks to Ward for organizing our participation.
Photo credit: Gary Mineart
Rotary Roadside Clean-Up Day 2018-04-28 05:00:00Z 0
University of Northern Iowa President Mark Nook and Decorah Rotary Club President Ashley Klocke
The average University of Northern Iowa (UNI) student now leaves college with just over $22,000 in debt.  While that's still a large sum of money, it's $4,000 lower than the figure from ten years ago and $10,000 lower than the national average.

UNI President Mark Nook spoke Tuesday, April 3rd, to a meeting of the Decorah Rotary Club.  He gave much of the credit for the lower student debt among UNI graduates to a program at UNI called "Live Like a Student."  UNI students are given a free, three-week non-credit course that includes financial planning that helps them examine their spending habits.  The school also requires students who take out a private loan to meet one-on-one with a financial counselor about their expenses and financial aid package.

Nook says financial literacy is an important skill for college students to have.  He calls "Live Like a Student" a "remarkable program" that is now drawing national attention.
Photo Credit: Paul Scott
Decorah Rotary Hosts UNI President Mark Nook 2018-04-10 05:00:00Z 0
The Decorah Community School District Foundation has announced the names of students awarded scholarships sponsored by the Decorah Rotary Club. Our scholarship awardees for 2018 are Rachel Hines, Maggy Hovden, Sarah Mikkelson, and Kaitlyn Nimrod. Congratulations to our students!
The formal awards presentation will be held on Wednesday, May 9th at 7:00 pm in the Decorah High School Auditorium.
2018 Decorah Rotary Club Scholarship Recipients 2018-04-02 05:00:00Z 0
Decorah Rotarians (L-R) Gary Mineart, Lorraine Borowski, and Shannon Duncan at the Toppling Goliath Brewery release event
Our club recently collaborated with Mabe's Pizza in a local fundraiser, serving pizza at a major release event being hosted by Toppling Goliath Brewery at their new facility in Decorah. The event attracted more than two-thousand "beer tourists" from the upper Midwest, across the country, and around the world.
Our thanks to DRC pizza service volunteers Don Arendt, John Baker, Chad Bird, Lorraine Borowski, Collyn Bridges, Robert Dahl, Shannon Duncan, Roger Huinker, Gary Mineart, John Moeller, Uwe Rudolph, Ron Taylor, and Jeff & Christy Tomlinson. Special thanks to DRC member Kelly Reagan and Mabe's Pizza owner Steve White for all of their planning and logistical support.
DRC Mabe's Pizza Service at Toppling Goliath Brewery 2018-04-01 05:00:00Z 0
The Decorah Community Food Pantry has procured a new freezer, facilitated by a $500 grant from the Decorah Rotary Club.
A faith-based ministry serving northeast Iowa since 1996, the Decorah Community Food Pantry provides food, personal care, and household supplies to individuals and families in need. It has recently transitioned from a committee-based effort to an independent 501(c)3 organization with a governing board comprised of representatives from 16 congregations in the Decorah area.
For more information and service opportunities please visit the following page: Decorah Community Food Pantry
Photo credit: Jeff Tomlinson
DRC Supports the Decorah Community Food Pantry 2018-03-24 05:00:00Z 0
Both on-line and mail-in registration forms are now available for the 2018 Loop de Loop on the Trout Run Trail!
Please see the drop-down menu at the top-right of this page. Links to Trout Run Trail maps are also provided. Maps of the precise race routes are under development and will be added when available.
There are sizable discounts for early registration. Hope to see you on September 29th!
2018 Loop de Loop Registration Now Available 2018-03-21 05:00:00Z 0
DRC Secretary/Treasurer Kelly Reagan and District 5970 Foundation Grant Subcommittee Chair Donald Meyer
The Rotary Foundation Grant Subcommittee Chair from Rotary District 5970, Mr. Donald Meyer, paid a visit to the Decorah Rotary Club during its February 27 regular meeting. Mr. Meyer used the occasion to recognize DRC member Kelly Reagan as our most recent inductee into the Paul Harris Society. The Paul Harris Society is comprised of Rotarians who have made a commitment to long-term financial support of the Rotary Foundation on an annually recurring basis.
Photo credit: Paul Scott
District 5970 Rotary Foundation Grant Chair Visit 2018-03-08 06:00:00Z 0
The Decorah Rotary Club met for its "Fifth Tuesday" evening meeting, supper, and service project at T-Bock's Upstairs on January 30, 2018. The focus for this service project was the collection of household cleaning supplies to be distributed to families in need by the Helping Services for Youth & Families non-profit organization. Club members in attendance also applied labels with Helping Services contact information to coffee cup stock for ultimate use by Impact Coffee for their customers. The club extends its appreciation to DRC members Shannon Duncan and Carson Eggland for their planning and leadership of this project.
Photo Credit: Gary Mineart
DRC Fifth Tuesday Service Project - "Helping Services Supplies" 2018-01-31 06:00:00Z 0
Decorah Rotarians (L-R) Elliot Christen, Alan Lerstrom, and Chad Bird at the Chili Supper
The Decorah Rotary Club hosted our annual Chili Supper Fundraiser on Friday, January 12th in the Decorah High School cafeteria. For the first time tickets were based on free-will donations rather than a fixed price. Through the generosity of all of the participants, approximately $1,500 in proceeds will be made available to supplement funding for our Club's Scholarship Program. Our sincere thanks to all of the volunteers for their commitments of time and service, and to all of the chili consumers for their appetites!
See more photos of this event in this photo album: 2018 Decorah Rotary Club Chili Supper
Photo credit: Kurt DeVore
Decorah Rotary's Chili Supper Fundraiser 2018-01-23 06:00:00Z 0
Wilson Dalto of the Rotary Club de Tangará da Serra “Cidade Alta” in Brazil
The following is a message received from Wilson Dalto, the Rotarian contact in Brazil for their Adult Literacy Project that the Decorah Rotary Club has helped support for the last three years:
Dear fellows of Rotary Club of Decorah
Dear friends and fellows Ward and Kelly
We are immensely grateful for the partnership and trust of the members of this great club  to our Adult Literacy Project. We sent to you some photos of the closing party of the third and the last year of partnershipship between the Rotary Club of Decorah and the Rotary Club of Tangará da Serra “Cidade Alta.”
We want you to know that since the beginning of this Project, the Rotary Club of Tangará da Serra “Cidade Alta” has taught more than 4,100 adults. In addition to literacy itself, the Rotary Club of Tangará da Serra Cidade Alta, a partner of the Rotary Club of Decorah, donated ophthalmic consultations and eyeglasses to the people involved in the project with visual difficulties.
Each year, at the end of each stage of the project, we held a festive meeting to deliver literacy certificates to students who finished the course and who actually learned to read and write. It is a very beautiful and exciting party, attended by a governor or a representative of the governor of the Rotary District and other authorities. At this great party the Rotary Club offers a dinner for all literate adults, delivering the certificates, and listening to the exhilarating testimonials of many students who have been enlightened.
The R.C.T.S "Cidade Alta” provides on this occasion satisfaction of the results of this important partnership between our clubs. We take the opportunity to invite this valiant club to renew our partnership, in the certainty that the resources coming from this partnership are applied with great seriousness and efficiency. Be sure that you, fellow Rotarians, through your club, have participated in one of Rotary International's most important social projects.
On behalf of the Rotary Club of Tangará da Serra "Cidade Alta," thank you and thank you very much. Have a very prosperous New Year.  A big hug in you all.
Rotary Club de Tangará da Serra “Cidade Alta”
Fellow Wilson Dalto
Additional photos may be found in this photo album: Rotary Club of Tangará da Serra "Cidade Alta Award Ceremony
Rotary Club of Tangará da Serra “Cidade Alta” Partnership Update 2018-01-11 06:00:00Z 0
(L-R): Decorah Rotary Club representatives Kelly Reagan, Kurt DeVore, and Lorraine Borowski with Rubaiyat owners Kim and Andy Bonnet
As recently reported in, Rubaiyat Restaurant owners Kim and Andy Bonnet presented the Decorah Rotary Club with a check for $12,200. The funds represent proceeds from this year's annual Rubaiyat beer and wine sampling fundraiser that also includes heavy hors d'oeuvres and a live auction. The funds raised during each annual event are donated to a local, non-profit organization. The funds raised this year will be used for a variety of Decorah Rotary Club projects, including support for annual scholarships awarded to graduating Decorah High School students. Our club extends its most sincere appreciation to Kim and Andy for their generous support.
Photo Credit: Paul Scott
Rubaiyat Fundraiser Supports the Decorah Rotary Club 2017-11-29 06:00:00Z 0
This is your opportunity to help Rotary International continue its fight against polio eradication. With just 11 confirmed cases so far in 2017, the world is on the brink of eradicating polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year. Please consider participating in the Decorah Rotary Club's “Dine Out for Polio” event on World Polio Day, designated as next Tuesday October 24. Dine at one of the local participating restaurants that day (Pizza Hut, Pizza Ranch, La Rana, Don Jose, and Magpie) and let them know you are doing it for World Polio Day. Those restaurants have graciously offered to donate towards the cause.
Rotary clubs worldwide are hosting events in conjunction with the Fifth Annual World Polio Day celebration. This year, the event will be co-hosted by Rotary International and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and held at the Foundation headquarters in Seattle. The program will feature an update on the global fight to end polio and an array of guest speakers, celebrities, and public health experts.
For more information on the many World Polio Day events, please visit
Thanks to all for your support!
World Polio Day -- October 24th 2017-10-18 05:00:00Z 0
The 2017 Loop de Loop is in the books, the hard work paid off and it's time to rest and recover.
On behalf of the Decorah Rotary Loop de Loop team, thank you for participating in this year’s 6th annual event. We hope you enjoyed your time in Decorah on September 30th. It turned out to be a beautiful day for being out on the trail.
Every year the Decorah Rotary Club uses a portion of the proceeds of the race to benefit the Trout Run Trail system in some way. It may be needed repairs, new benches, landscaping or other amenities. The remaining proceeds are used for local and international Rotary programs and activities such as local scholarships and internationally fighting Polio. Thank you for supporting these efforts.
The 2017 complete race results are available at this link:
New this year is a finishers video. The video was set up at the finish line and captures each runner as they cross the finish line. Visit for more details. On this website you can also share your finish information via Facebook and Twitter.
A year-end participant’s survey may be found on this link. Please take a moment to let us know what you thought about the race and your time in Decorah:
Thank you very much for supporting our event and here’s to 2018 - see you on the trail.  Mange Tusen Takk!
2017 Loop de Loop Results 2017-10-01 05:00:00Z 0
A few of the many volunteers who served at this year's Trout Run Trail Tour Day.  (L-R) DRC members Francis Peterson, Shannon Duncan, Kelly Reagan, Jennifer Gipp, John Baker, Judy Robinson, Don Holmertz, and Cindy Schissel
The Decorah Rotary Club hosted the 4th motorized Trout Run Trail Tour Day on Tuesday, August 22nd. Our club sponsors this event in order to provide guided motorized tours of the Trout Run Trail for the elderly and those with disabilities and physical limitations who are otherwise unable to access the trail. This year, 135 people were able to participate in the motorized trail tours.
DRC sincerely thanks all of the volunteers and equipment suppliers who made this event possible. Special thanks to DRC members Mike Huinker and Harlan Satrom for coordinating the motorized vehicles and drivers for the day, and to Francis and Marilyn Peterson for taking all the reservations for the trail tours. Extra special thanks to DRC member Jennifer Gipp, whose vision and energy were integral to making this year's tours such a success.
Photo credit: Jennifer Gipp
Additional photos of the tours may be found in this photo album: DRC Trout Run Trail Tour Day 2017
Decorah Rotary Club Trout Run Trail Tour Day 2017 2017-08-26 05:00:00Z 0
The Decorah Rotary Club has entered the realm of social media. Click on the image above to jump to our new, dedicated Decorah Rotary Club Facebook Page. Make sure you "like" our page so you can keep track of real-time Decorah Rotary news and information. Note we have added a permanent link to the top menu of the home page above for easy access.
Thanks to DRC Secretary/Treasurer Kelly Reagan for his efforts in establishing and maintaining our new Facebook Page.
Decorah Rotary Club on Facebook 2017-08-06 05:00:00Z 0
Photos from this year's Fourth of July Event conducted at Phelps Park are available in the Photo Albums.  Special thanks to DRC member Lorraine Borowski for her planning efforts and serving as master of ceremonies at the event.
2017 Fourth of July Event 2017-07-07 05:00:00Z 0
The 2017 Decorah Rotary Club Trout Run Trail Tours are scheduled for Tuesday, August 22nd. The motorized tours of the trail will once again be accompanied by a Community Picnic Luncheon at the Decorah Trout Hatchery Pavilion from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. We will be doing 4 laps and hope to accommodate 35 people per lap.  Our goal is to allow 140 people to participate. The laps will be at 8:30 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:30 AM, and 1:00 PM.
Reservations will start being accepted on August 8th. Please see the DRC Event Calendar Entry for additional information on the event and directions for making your reservations.
Date Set for the 2017 Decorah Rotary Club Trout Run Trail Tours 2017-04-24 05:00:00Z 0
Leboy Oltimbau, DRC President Kurt DeVore, and Musa Kamaika
Our Club was honored and privileged to welcome Leboy Oltimbau and Musa Kamaika from Tanzania during our regular meeting on April 18th. The association between Leboy, Musa, and Luther College students and faculty, initiated several years ago, was further cultivated during a recent January Term Paideia trip led by Luther College professor and DRC member John Moeller. We extend our sincere thanks to Leboy and Musa for sharing their personal experiences and for their fascinating and informative insights into the Maasai culture.
Photo Credit: Gary Mineart
The "Maasai Guys" at Rotary 2017-04-18 05:00:00Z 0
Early arrivals for the Roadside Clean-Up Day getting outfitted and equipped -- (L-R) Ward Budweg, Jim Beghly, Cal Anderson, Elliot Christen, and Lorraine Borowski
The Decorah Rotary Club held its Spring Roadside Clean-Up Day on Saturday, April 15th. Thankfully the weather stayed warm and dry throughout the morning facilitating a very successful event with a large volume of litter along IA-9, leftover from the winter months, picked up and bagged. The Club thanks members Cal Anderson, Jim Beghly, Chad Bird, Lorraine Borowski, Ward Budweg, Elliot Christen, Phil Iverson, Gary Mineart, Jim Morrow, and Paul Scott for their volunteer service. A special thanks to Ward for his organization and leadership.
Photo Credit: Gary Mineart
Rotary Roadside Clean-up Day 2017-04-15 05:00:00Z 0
The Decorah Rotary Club met once again for its "Fifth Tuesday" evening meeting, supper, and service project at T-Bock's Upstairs on January 31, 2017. The focus for this service project was the assembly of Valentine's Day gift bags destined for delivery to local Decorah-area businesses in appreciation for the services they provide to the local community. Our members assembled the bags and added personalized notes of appreciation. Many of the folks in attendance took custody of group of the gift bags and offered to make the local deliveries. The club extends its appreciation to DRC members Shannon Duncan and Lorraine Borowski for their planning and leadership of this project.
See additional photos of this event using this link: DRC Fifth Tuesday Service Project - "Decorah Valentines"
Photo Credit: Gary Mineart
DRC Fifth Tuesday Service Project - "Decorah Valentines" 2017-02-01 06:00:00Z 0
The Decorah Rotary Club met for its traditional "Fifth Tuesday" evening meeting, supper, and service project at T-Bock's Upstairs on November 29, 2016. The service project for this meeting, expertly organized by DRC member Shannon Duncan, was called "Operation Give Back." The members in attendance assembled care packages containing a variety of comfort foods and items supplied by the members or acquired through dedicated member donations for shipment to enlisted military personnel from the local area who are currently stationed overseas. John Budweg, son of DRC member Ward Budweg and and former active duty U.S. Marine and veteran of two deployments to Iraq comprising over 14 months of duty, delivered a moving personal testimony of the deep gratitude and sense of connection experienced when care packages such as these are received by our deployed soldiers and sailors. We extend our sincere thanks to John and to all of the DRC members who contributed to this project.
See additional photos of this event using this link: DRC Fifth Tuesday Service Project - "Operation Give Back"
Photo Credits: Kelly Reagan, Shannon Duncan
DRC Fifth Tuesday Service Project - "Operation Give Back" 2016-11-30 00:00:00Z 0
DRC members Ward Budweg and Darrell Branhagen, assisted by the planning efforts of DRC member Jeff Tomlinson, traveled to Msaranga in Moshi Urban, District of Kilimanjaro in the country of Tanzania, Africa in late August. Their trip was the culmination of the DRC service project to deliver expandable sandals and school supplies to the Msaranga Primary School for further distribution to children at several schools in the area. Over 120 pairs of sandals and 100+ pen/pencil sets were delivered to the Headmaster of the Msaranga Primary School, to the deep gratitude of the communities reached in the Moshi area.
Read the Rotary District 5970 news coverage of this project using this link: Shoe Project Pairs Decorah, Moshi Clubs
You may access the photo album associated with this story using this link: Rotary Service Trip to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Decorah Rotary Service Trip to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania 2016-11-01 00:00:00Z 0
On behalf of the Decorah Rotary Loop de Loop team, thank you for participating in this year’s 5th annual event. We hope you enjoyed your time in Decorah on October 22. It turned out to be a beautiful day for being out on the trail. While the decision to postpone the races from the original September 24 date was difficult, it was the right thing to do given the flooding on the trail in September and out of respect for those seriously impacted by flooding and its ravages to personal and public property.
You can access the 2016 Loop de Loop photo album with this link: 2016 Loop de Loop 5K/10K and Half-Marathon
Photo credits: Paul Scott, Maureen Duncklee
Every year the Decorah Rotary Club uses a portion of the proceeds of the race to benefit the Trout Run Trail system in some way. It may be needed repairs, new benches, landscaping or other amenities. This year the Rotary Board has pledged a portion to helping those in need because of the flooding. Thank you for supporting these efforts.
The 2016 complete race results may be found on this link:
A year-end participant’s survey may be found on this link. Please take a moment to let us know what you thought about the race and your time in Decorah:
Thank you very much and here’s to 2017 - see you on the trail!
2016 Loop de Loop 5K/10K and Half-Marathon Results 2016-10-24 00:00:00Z 0
Earlier this year the Decorah Rotary Club executed a service project consisting of the planting of seeds and initial cultivating of the seedlings for delivery to several of the local area assisted living facilities.
The following message was recently received from Andrea Hexom, Activity Services Director at Aase Haugen Senior Services:  "Thanks again for the flowers and plants you dropped off this spring.  I would like you to know how much everyone enjoyed watching them grow.  Our residents ate the squash for dinner today!  We had a ton of squash from just a couple of plants!"
Thanks again to everyone involved in the project, and especially fellow Rotarians Shannon Duncan and Ward Budweg for their leadership efforts.
Photo credits: Andrea Hexom
Decorah Rotary Seed Planting Service Project Bears Fruit 2016-10-17 00:00:00Z 0
Thanks to all of the Decorah Rotarians who volunteered their time and talents at the Bratwurst Cookout on Saturday, October 15. This was the inaugural hosting by Pulpit Rock Brewery for this recurring fundraiser, with many new happy patrons served by our group. Thanks again!
Decorah Rotary Brat Cookout at Pulpit Rock Brewery 2016-10-16 00:00:00Z 0
DRC Celebrates the 100th Birthday of the Rotary Foundation 2016-10-10 00:00:00Z 0
District 5970 Awards Trout Run Trail Matching Grant to the Decorah Rotary Club 2016-10-05 00:00:00Z 0
September 24th Loop de Loop Postponed 2016-09-23 00:00:00Z 0
140 local residents enjoyed motorized tours of the renowned Trout Run Trail, courtesy of the Decorah Rotary Club's second Trout Run Trail Tour Day held on Tuesday, August 23rd. This event represents the only time motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail. It provided an opportunity for seniors and others with physical limitations to enjoy all of the sights along the trail. The event also included picnic lunch and free helmet and bike bell installations. The club thanks all of the volunteers and sponsors who made this special day possible.
See more photos of the day's activities at this link: DRC Trout Run Trail Tour Day 2016
Photo credits: Paul Scott
Decorah Rotary Club Trout Run Trail Tour Day 2016 2016-08-28 00:00:00Z 0
What is it like taking a large team to Africa?  It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. A large trip is a real blessing because each person sees Ghana and our work in a different way.
Saving lives in Ghana 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0
For years, Angalia Bianca had slept in abandoned buildings throughout Chicago. She stole. She did drugs. She spent time in and out of jail for forgery, theft, trespassing, and possession of narcotics. But after she landed in prison for the seventh time, something changed -- Bianca knew she wanted a better life. She just didn’t know how to make it happen.
Finding Safe Haven 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0
Music has been an important part of leading an ordinary life for students at the Music School for Children With Disabilities in Honor of Paul Harris in Lublin, Poland. Founded by Rotary members, the school serves 20 students with various disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, and visual impairments. The Rotary Club of Lublin-Centrum-Maria Curie-Sklodowska has provided funding with help from Rotary Foundation Matching Grants and the Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society, which houses the school.
Helping people with disabilities make their own music 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0
Throughout India and around the world, Rotary clubs are celebrating a major milestone: India has gone three years without a new case of polio. The last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal on 13 January 2011. To mark this historic triumph, Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with four simple but powerful words, "India is polio free."
India celebrates three years without polio 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z 0


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