Visiting and prospective Rotarians are always welcome. We hope to see you there! 

Club Information

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Mequon/Thiensville, WI 53092
United States of America
Home Page Stories
Congratulations and thank you to Nancy Witte-Dycus for being the March 2021 Biggest Bragger. Nancy bragged for $101 during March meetings. All money raised for brags during virtual meetings  will be donated to the Rotary Foundation #tradesamazingerforthesamazingertrophy. In the words of Nancy “wow, it’s actually a real plaque.” Now it’s your turn. Are you the biggest bragger for April? Rest assured, that’s a real plaque too!
Tony, if you're readying this, you are missed *clap* (maybe *clap clap*). 
Without Tony's presence at our virtual meetings *roaring applause* a vacuum was created in collecting people's money. Although there is truth to Aristotle's observation, that no true vacuums exist in nature because the difference in pressure results in an immediate force that acts to correct the equilibrium, there is also truth to Sandy Custer's observation that if there is a vacuum in the TM Rotary Club, Sam Azinger will fill it and probably include an award that contains Sam's name. 
Introducing the Biggest Bragger Award, presented by T. Samuel Azinger. When you brag in March, April, or May during our virtual meetings, you are asked to commit a dollar value to your brag. At the end of the month, you'll receive an email asking you to pay the amount you bragged during the month.  Brag dollars will be contributed to Rotary International Foundation #bringbackthetrophy in the name of the bragger. There are 3 plaques up for grabs, which will be presented to the Biggest Bragger for March, April, and May. Weekly status updates will not be provided.  If you want certifiable confirmation that you are the Biggest Bragger in the club, you'd better get bragging and putting substantial dollar amounts on your brags at our weekly virtual meetings! 
This message has been authorized by Sam Azinger, President of the Tony von Rueden Fan Club (the "TFC"), all rights reserved.  This message contains the views and opinions of the TFC and does not necessarily express the views and opinions of Tony von Rueden, his affiliates, heirs, agents, or assigns. Tony von Rueden is not responsible for the content of this story. 
Molly Eldridge is the director of Development for the College of Arts and Sciences of Marquette, leading and developing their Civic Dialogues curriculum.  One facet of that curriculum is the understanding that education is a key means to reversing the polarization of America, especially with the recent developments.  John Frantz is supporting with class content and further outreach being the actual starter of the whole initiative of reversing polarization.
Americans are reporting a loss of confidence in government, news, and each other, which has led to an escalation of polarization in views.  Marquette University and John Frantz are working together to create education solutions to teach our children and ourselves how to understand, adapt to and begin to reverse polarization in a bipartisan way. 
Molly is leading the Civic Dialog Program at Marquette University in the college of arts and sciences.  The new Dean of the College Dr. Bostic was the recipient of a Rotary Scholarship which allowed her to study abroad in France and has opened the door for the program.  The program is designed to allow the exchange of ideas through civic dialogue, with the ability to share different points of view without to suppressing viewpoints. 
The program is designed around having a speaker series, having a civic dialogue leader in residence, and high-impact student experiences. The outcomes include encouraging the community to have meaningful civil dialogue, and establishing Marquette's leadership position as a faith-based advocate.  
The pilot program is looking for 2 years of funding to get the program off the ground.  If successful, they will look for an endowment to keep the program running.  If you're interested in additional information, contact Molly Eldridge at or (414) 288-4497.
Tuesday's virtual meeting featured Kristin Gies as our guest presenter. Kristin is the Executive Director for the Mequon Nature Preserve, a great resource in Southwestern Mequon. 

Kristin received an AS in Landscape Horticulture from MATC; a BS in Botany from Concordia University; and a MS in Environmental Science from Concordia University, and since 2007, as the director of the Mequon Nature Preserve, Kristin is living her dream – giving back to the community she grew up in and a career that she is passionate about. With Kristin’s leadership, MNP offers a series of educational programs to students K5-college and have helped over 10,000 low income children annually experience the outdoors and learn about nature ‘up close and personal’ – free of charge. It is rewarding to be able to go into work every day knowing that you are helping children who have never experienced the world without concrete learn about nature and all its wonders.

Kristin is married to Michael Gies and has two children, Gavin and Adia.

There are a lot of exciting changes coming to the Mequon Nature Preserve, and everyone is encouraged to appreciate this gem in our city. 

Thank you to Kristin for joining us on Tuesday. It truly was a pleasure to have her great energy at our meeting. Feel free to check out their website.

A few letters have come in from recipients of our Valentine's Day Gift Cards program. Needless to say, being a part of this should give everyone some warm fuzzies​ (that's what my mom called that happy feeling you get on the inside, but I'm not sure if that's a real thing or just something my mom said). Anyways, enjoy. ​​​​​​
The following was sent to Mel at Mel's Charities:
Dear Tom,
This is just a quick note to tell you how grateful I am to receive the recent donation from the Thiensville- Mequon Rotary Club on behalf of Mel's Charities.  
I am not sure you would have any idea what a lifesaver receiving this was for my daughter and I, and so I wanted to share a personal story with you.  
These last few months have been financially challenging, this has been for a variety of reasons.  However, I am certain my situation is much better than many others right now, so I do not mean to complain in any way.  I just have had a bit of a rough "go of it" in recent months. 
To help alleviate some of the extra debt I took on in this last year, a few weeks ago I took on a part time independent contractor job doing grocery delivery on the weekends.  My daughter can accompany me, and we have fun with it.  She is building some great skills with it too, so it is a big win for us to have an opportunity to make a little extra money right now while working together.  It takes a while to get the hang of it though and so the earnings have been slow going, but I know they will get there soon.    
With that being said, we came home Sunday after a long weekend of doing grocery delivery.  I was exhausted and was nervously thinking to myself exactly how I was going to make it until the end of the week (payday).  I had used all my gas doing the grocery delivery and had a couple medical appointments for my daughter coming up during the week.  My bills were paid but I did not have much money left for groceries.  I was worried that I might have to ask someone for help and was not sure who to ask.  
I then went to sort through my mail expecting there to be a heap of medical bills, etc. to sort through.  You can imagine my shock when I came across the Valentine's card from you.  I could not believe it!  It truly felt like a prayer that I had not said out loud was answered. It was an absolute lifesaver at exactly the time I most needed it.   
I was so moved by the message in the card.  I really try to set a good example for my daughter regarding work ethic and instill in her a passion to work hard no matter the task.    
 I just wanted you to know how very much this gift helped us bridge the gap and keep going.  Thank you so very much!  My promise to you is that I will give every bit I can back to Mel's, and let people know what a positive impact Mel's Charities and Thiensville-Mequon Rotary makes in our community.  Thank you.   
[Name Removed for Privacy]
New features to Zoom meetings are being discovered as we learn to adapt to our new virtual world. I was very excited to discover a toggle to allow closed captioning of meetings is available. Closed captioning will be featured in our Zoom meetings going forward. We hope this will allow accessibility and better participation for those who are hard of hearing!  
The Sunrise Club's Environmental Sustainability Team has organized a Candlelight Walk-in-the-Woods for Saturday, February 20 from 5PM to 9PM through the Pukaite Woods at Rotary Park. Ice luminaria will be set along all the trails which will be lit with candles to make the walk just a little more magical in the dark of night. The trails are groomed and fire pits and hot beverages will be ready to go for what should be a magical event.
To keep everyone spread out, registration is requested at
They are also looking for volunteers if members of the Noon Club are interested. If you're interested in helping set up from 10AM-Noon or from 4PM-5PM, or if you'd like to prepare and serve hot beverages, contact Connie "the Woods" Pukaite. Her email will not be published, but email Sam if you'd like to connect with her. If you'd like to make some ice luminarias, here's how:
  1. Fill a bucket with water to about 2 inches from the top  (easiest to handle a 3-gallon bucket, though 5 gallon buckets will work ... just heavier to move around)                                                                                   
  2. Set bucket outside, preferably north side of house out of the sunlight and elevated ... up on a trailer, lawn chair or table.  If you leave it on the ground, it may freeze solid on the bottom, which you don't want.   
  3. Leave it for about 20 hours to freeze … but watch so it doesn’t freeze solid
After 20 hours, bring it into a warm space for about 10 minutes so it will melt a bit around the inside of the bucket, then tip it upside down to get the luminary out ... do that outside, because there should be a liquid 'bowl' on the bottom of the frozen bucket, which will now become the top of the ice candle.  You will pour off the water, and that bowl will be the receptacle for the candle.
A problem some had making luminaria last week is an earlier instruction was to leave the bucket out for only 12 or so hours, and that was not enough.
It was approximately 4:17 PM and 33 degrees on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 when the large circular Mequon-Thiensville logo arrived at the scene of the Gateway Promenade feature on the corner of Mequon Road and Cedarburg Road. The large structure is the final piece to the project, with the exception of the donor wall on the interior which is to be added this spring.
See, I told you it was approximately 4:17 PM and 33 degrees, but did you believe me?.. Probably. 
Shortly after the structure arrived the crew got to work. They quickly realized the small ladder would not suffice for the project and switched to the big guns.
By 8:15, this beauty was complete! Thank you to everyone who has put so much effort into this project. It is truly amazing seeing the hard work of Ratarians coming to fruition!
The Vertz Marketing Rotary Small Business Innovation Center program to provide free marketing assistance to local businesses, and a learning opportunity for students is seeking 10 Ozaukee County Businesses.  If you have a business and are interested in participating in the Winter 2021 program, visit for more information or to apply. 
What a treat we had, as Rotarians Maureen O'Leary, Rob Kos, Heather Mader, and Bruce Rowe and the Rotary Band to be Named Later gave the exclusive release of some holiday favorites at Tuesday's virtual meeting!
Tim Vertz presents George with his last 2 digit birthday cake. 
George surrounded by friends at the celebration of his 100th birthday.
George surrounded by friends for his 101st birthday. 
Doc Witte has been a staple to our club for decades, and a staple to our world for over a century. Doc passed away on Sunday, October 25, just a few months before what would have been his 102nd birthday. He led an incredible life, which was recaptured at his 100th birthday celebration, and can be viewed at VIDEO OF DOC WITTE'S 100th BIRTHDAY! 
George's family will hold a private funeral on November 1, but we will celebrate his life with a weekly segment in our November meetings to allow people to tell their stories about George. Because our November meetings will be virtual, you will be responsible for preparing your own martini. Out of respect for George's caregivers, you are asked to "water it down a little."
Sandy Custer is making arrangements to have a donation made in George's memory on the Gateway Promenade.  He is looking to raise $500 and asks that anyone desiring to contribute make checks payable to the TM Rotary Foundation and include George Witte Gateway in the memo line. Donations should be given to Sandy Custer. 
Below is a link to the virtual meeting option starting Tuesday, October 6th. 
There is no password, but people joining will be vetted through a waiting room. If you're sitting in the waiting room, please be patient and we'll get to you soon. I'd rather you wait a few moments rather than deal with what our virtual participants had to deal with in week 1. 
You can also find this link at the website and clicking "Join Us Online" in the club information section. You will have to be logged in for that link to work. If you need your login information, it should be firstname.lastname.5716. Your password I can't help you with. See you then!
Topic: TM Rotary Club Weekly Hybrid Meetings
Time: Oct 6, 2020 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
        Every week on Tue, until Feb 2, 2021, 18 occurrence(s)
Meeting ID: 882 0844 8704
Passcode: ROTARY
Dial in (312) 626-6799
Meeting ID: 882 0844 8704
Passcode: 519411
Sam Azinger and John Rosing
Home Page News
         It has been brought to our attention that many Rotarians are doing their end of year donation planning and that they would like more information about donating to the M-T Community Promenade project. As you know Rotary and Rotarians have been actively working on the Town Center and River Walk projects since 2002. As a capstone landmark for this area we have been active in the planning and now the fundraising for the Mequon-Thiensville Community Promenade on the north east corner of Mequon and Cedarburg Roads.
        First, prospective donors should know that both municipal governments – Village Board for Thiensville and City Council for Mequon – have collaborated to get this new landmark designed through a Joint Gateway Committee appointed in August 2017. And, the Village and City have pledged as many tax dollars as elected officials feel they can toward its construction. Collectively, the Village and City have committed $200,000 toward the total cost of design and construction.
        We know private fund raising is not an appropriate function of municipal governments; therefore, we are personally and collectively committed to raising $500,000 in private contributions to meet the total projected cost of $700,000. As a club, we have donated $15,000 already with more to come after the Community Action Council meets in December. $30,000 remaining from the efforts for the River Walk have been transferred to this project. It is our expectation that more will come in the next two years.
          The City has indicated willingness to authorize a construction contract to build the Promenade as soon as 75% or $375,000 of the private funds needed are pledged or in the bank.
        Our Promenade Landmark Campaign Committee, composed totally of volunteers, has kicked off a quiet campaign to secure commitments for as many lead gifts as possible by January. We hope the Council will be able to issue that contract in February in preparation for construction in Spring 2019.
         We are working independently, without the services of a professional fund-raiser so that funds raised will be used for construction, not fund raising.
         Before asking others, Campaign Committee members pledged their own donations. Since then, we have secured four (4) lead gifts of $25,000 or more thus far, plus ten (10) commitments at other levels totaling private dollars raised of $211,400 to date Nov 10, 2018. More has come in since then, but we don’t have the latest figures.
         Donations of $500 and up will be recognized on the donor wall. Pledges can be made to spread out a donation over three years. If you have an employer that will match your donation, please help us make that contact. Tax deductible donations are to the T-M Rotary Foundation, note to Promenade.
         In the past, Rotarians have amazed us with their generosity, many pledging over three years. Our goal is to have donations from everyone in the club, no pressure on amounts, but eager participation.
         Please feel free to share this information with others who may be interested.
         Sandy Custer, Stan Smith, Dan Gannon, Tim Carr
Members include representatives from many businesses:
The Sommersberger Group
The Carr Buttler Group
WE Wealth Management Group
April 2021
Meeting Responsibilities
If you cannot fulfill your responsibility, please make arrangements for someone else to take your place.
March 9th
Weston, Shelley
March 16th
Wiese, John
March 23rd
Wirth, John
March 9th
Landisch-Hansen, Colleen
March 16th
Lefko, Michael
Msrch 23rd
Lind, Stanley
March 9th
Daily, Barkha
March 16th
Davis, Todd
March 23rd
Gannon, Daniel
Club Executives & Directors
Vice President
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Executive Secretary / Director
Community Service
International Service
Vocational Service
The Rotary Foundation

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