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Club Information

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
River Club
12400 N Ville Du Parc Dr,
Mequon, WI 53092
United States of America
Home Page Stories
Amy Luft has a passion for working with veterans. Amy's work with veteran's stems from her desire to honor her late father, a WWIl Army veteran. Amy is a life-time member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She is a Past President of her local unit ni Grafton, and currently serves as the State Vice President. Amy is also a member of the Ozaukee County VFW Auxiliary.
In addition, Amy is very active with Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. Her involvement began as a volunteer guardian in April 2009. In October 2010 she joined the Board of Directors and was then appointed Vice President in 2013. In her role over the years, she served as Director for guardian training, assisted with Call Center, helped with flight logistics and worked closely with the medical team in organizing flights. Amy now serves as an ambassador for the program and to date, has completed 50 Honor Flights.
Amy works at Family Sharing of Ozaukee County as an Assistant Manager. In addition, she serves as a Trustee for the Village of Grafton where her and her husband, Todd, reside. They have two grown daughters and two grandsons, all who belong to the American Legion Family.
Congratulations to Past-president Rob Kos, recipient of the Paul Harris PLUS TWO Award. The presentation of a Paul Harris Fellow recognition is The Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programs. The recognition is named after Rotary’s founder, the late Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer, who started Rotary with three business associates in 1905. A world of goodwill and better understanding comes closer to reality today because Rob has made a substantial gift to The Rotary Foundation and a Paul Harris Fellow recognition may be presented. In being named a Paul Harris Fellow, he joins a remarkable company of people throughout the world, all recognized for their commitment to Service Above Self to benefit local and international communities. We congratulate you Rob, and thank you for your commitment to Rotary’s common goals of world understanding and peace.
Jenne, Nancy, and Russ visited the Milwaukee Domes last week. The Georgia O'Keefe exhibit is lovely.
Part of the CAC's 2024 Annual Funding was a donation to Mel's Charities for their annual Magical Moments Dance. Over 120 attendees attended the dance at Cedarburg High School. Jenne (Coach Jenne) is pictured here with members of her Special Olympics basketball team.
We send our deep condolences to Karl Hertz for the loss of his beloved wife, and our dear friend, Carol Hertz.
Carol Sue Hertz, 88, passed away April 5, 2024, in Thiensville, Wisconsin. She had an accomplished career as an educator and was a devoted wife and mother. Carol took great joy in her family, community service, reading, gardening, and spending time in Door County.
Carol was married 66 years to her husband Karl Hertz. She described him as “her partner in life.” She dearly loved their three children : Karen Hertz-Sumnicht (Steven), Michael Hertz (Dorothy Thomas) and Sarah Chance. Her deep affection also extended to her five grandchildren: Mary Casper, Anna Casper, Jake Casper (Richard Tijerina), Charles Hertz and Eleanor Hertz. Carol was the daughter of Clarence and Maude Gruber and was born in French Lick, Indiana in 1935.
Carol received her undergraduate degree from Purdue University, her master’s degree from Butler University and a certificate of advanced studies from the University of Chicago. She started her long career teaching high school English in Indianapolis and ended her career as the K-12 curriculum director in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
There will be a visitation at Lumen Christi Church in Mequon on Friday, April 19, 2024 from 12:30pm until a short prayer service at 2pm. Carol will be remembered at a private family Mass in the chapel at Our Lady of Peace Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(Photo taken at the October 2022 District 6270 Foundation Dinner)

MEQUON — The Mequon Park and Open Space Board tonight will consider a new all-user playground adjacent to the south pavilion at Rotary Park, 4100 Highland Road.

The Rotary Club of Thiensville-Mequon is presenting the plan.

If approved, the Rotary Club would plan, construct and donate the playground to the city of Mequon. The Rotary committee that is planning the playground is chaired by Club President Jenne Hohn and former Mequon Mayor John Wirth.

"An all-user playground, sometimes called an inclusive playground, is a play area with equipment and resources that meet the needs of all people — not just children — with a wide range of abilities and ages," Hohn explained. "It is an all accessible play area where users of all ages and all abilities will be able to play and thrive."

Such a park was initially identified as a need in the 2019 master planning efforts.

Designed by Zimmerman Architectural Studios, the current concept plan consists of a large center structure with ramps, slides and climbing opportunities, surrounded by swings, including a wheelchair swing, sliders, archways, mounds, exercise equipment and a variety of other playground equipment. The playground would also feature internal paths, landscaping, benches and shaded rest areas, with its colors and design resembling the park’s existing landscape, the club wrote.

In addition, there would be a safe entranceway, perimeter barriers and improved paths leading to the playground.

“The lake and parking areas at Rotary Park can be tempting to kids and those with autism,” Hohn said. “We want this to be a safe experience for all guests of the park and enjoyable for guests’ parents, grandparents and caregivers.”

The club, which hopes to improve other facilities at the park, either with the playground or in future phases, said the project would not impact the nearby soccer fields. It plans to seek additional input from the community and various organizations that represent intellectual and developmentally disabled people.

Due to the scope of the project, the club anticipates the playground to open in early 2026.

“This will be another great project in our club’s 87 years of giving back to Mequon and Thiensville,” Hohn added.

According to the Mequon Park and Open Space Board’s agenda packet for today, the current playground at Rotary south was constructed in 1996, as several of the playground components were either donated or moved from other locations and are older than 1996.

It wasn’t until last summer when the club approved an initiative to move forward with planning documents for a proposed playground.

The origin of this fund takes us back to the late fifties (1958-60) during the presidencies of Rudy Peters and Ralph Huiras. Ralph had been initiated into the mysteries of corn roasting by Doc Elbe, and very quickly Ralph conceived a plan for a family picnic to be known as the Annual Corn Roast and Bratwurst Fry. Others joined in on the development of the fundraiser which would also serve as a community service project. The net profits from the picnic were to be used to finance Boy Scout programs and school scholarships, and in some cases the fund could be used for other community projects. These profits were kept in segregated funds and invested separately from the club’s operating fund. Over the years, successive Corn Roasts continued to generate profits and the segregated fund grew to the point that earnings were enough to finance the Scouts and the scholarships. The goal had been set to build the fund to $25,000.
By 1967 when Jack Wiese because president of T-M Rotary, the fund had grown to $13,000. The time seemed right to set up the fund in a more formal and legal format. Wiese appointed a committee to study the entire Scout-Scholarship Fund situation and come up with a recommendation to the club. The committee consisted of Merton Campbell, Chairman, Dr. T. D. Elbe, Clem Freitag, Ray Hintz, Ralph Huiras, Francis Meer, Russ Risley, and Harry Schmit. After several meetings the committee finished its job, with Ralph Huiras providing the legal expertise. In September 1967, the report was submitted to President Wiese, who then presented it to the Board of Directors for its perusal. The Board accepted the recommendations with a few minor changes, and shortly thereafter the THIENSVILLE-MEQUON ROTARY CLUB FOUNDATION became a legal entity. The purpose was to provide scholarships to aid graduates of Homestead High School, to provide support to the Boy Scouts of America in the Thiensville-Mequon area, and to provide for emergency services connected exclusively with services to the communities of Thiensville and Mequon or to non-profit or charitable organizations within these communities. A Board of Trustees of five members of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club was to administer the fund, and the method of selecting the Board was specified. The first Board of Trustees consisted of Ralph Huiras, Harry Schmit, James Schmitz, Harold Viste and Jack Wiese (past president). In 1986 the FOUNDATION was reviewed again and some amendments were made, namely; (1) A modification was made in the selection of Trustees, with the treasurer to serve a five-year term; (2) An annual donation of $1000 was to be made to the Frank J. Weyenberg Library Foundation; and an annual donation of $1000 was to be made to the International Rotary Foundation as a Paul Harris Fellowship; this became known as an Honorary Paul Harris Fellowship to be determined by the Club Board of Directors.
Shortly after T-M Rotary launched the Rotary Park project it was necessary to review the foundation again and amend it to cover the initial expenditure of $80,000 plus additional future expenditures toward this $2,500,000 project. Currently the fund is entitled the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Park Foundation, Inc. The foundation continues to be a vibrant force, as was it’s predecessors for the past 33 years, in meeting the service obligations and commitments of Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club as it serves our local communities.
Congratulations to our most recent Student of the Month, Hailey Case.  We honored her during our March 5th meeting at the River Club.  Both of Hailey’s parents, Michelle and Mark Case of Mequon, attended with her.  Hailey was selected for her commitment to serving her community and school through the Rotary Interact Club at Homestead High School and various volunteer opportunities at Rotary Park, the Mequon Nature Preserve and the Ozaukee Food Pantry.
She has also pursued her passion for art by leading the National Art Honors Society as the activities director and now co-president.  She also enjoys the slopes with Homestead’s Ski & Snowboarding Club.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, GEMS (Girls Exploring Math & Science) and has earned the Merit Award and High Honor Roll all 4 years, to name just a few of her accomplishments.
Hailey plans to study engineering this fall and, impressively, has been accepted to all of the schools she applied to and is deciding between University of Wisconsin-Madison, Purdue, and Minnesota.  Hailey, congratulations and thank you for your “Service Above Self”!
A very special THANK YOU to Jim Counsellor for arranging a private tour of the VA Campus. We spent time with Dona Drew and Dr. Bret Berger along with other VA dignitaries. The Veterans Affairs committee from the Sunrise Club joined us. It was an extremely informative event.


Patrick is a music teacher, composer and performer.  In college, Patrick excelled in psychology and philosophy.  He considered a career in medicine but chose the path of the artist instead.  Music credits include many films and numerous bands in which he played guitar, bass and piano with styles covering rock, jazz, country, ambient and techno.  In 2007, Patrick co-founded Guitars for Vets (G4V) with his student and friend, Vietnam Era Marine, Dan Van Buskirk.  Since then, G4V has grown to more than 150 chapters throughout the USA.  He is credited with developing the G4V “four-way path” known as PAGE—Patience, Acceptance, Gratitude, Empathy.  The G4V community applies these principles in all aspects of operation as they strive to open “windows of serenity” with our military brothers and sisters that live with the challenges of PTSD.  Patrick continues to compose and perform music in his band, Kharma Shotgun.  His vision for the future is to offer the G4V program to all wounded Veterans throughout the USA and beyond.

Annette Meyer is the founder of Annette Meyer Studios and Meyer Music Therapy Services.  Having established these businesses in 2001, both have expanded to service numerous counties in two states, bringing music and all its benefits to both adults and children alike.  Our clients all share the joy of music, and we use this as a means of achieving personalized goals designed around each individuals talents and skills.  
Working with a diverse range of clients, we work to cultivate and empower each one, as the key to motivation and success, by introducing possibilities utilizing their own strengths.  Having established small and large group programs, as well as working one-on-one, Annette is able to customize and deliver a positive, goal based experience, which benefits all participants.  
This commitment to music as a means of personal expression is the foundation of Annette’s approach and methods.  Music is a positive construct on so many levels, and whether listening, active playing, song writing or collaborating, everyone can experience the benefits on an intimate level.
Join us to honor the first female member of Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club, and former Mequon Mayor Connie Pukaite on Tuesday, June 4 at North Shore Country Club. 


The Mequon-Thiensville Community Foundation (MTCF) will hold its annual Pillars of the Community Award Luncheon on Tuesday, June 4th at 11:30 a.m. at North Shore Country Club. This year, the Foundation will honor Mequon resident and former mayor, Connie Pukaite.  “Connie’s passion for people and the environment shines through everything she does – in her past professions, her service to the city of Mequon, and her countless projects that have positively impacted our community and beyond. Connie truly exemplifies what it means to be a Pillar of the Community,” says MTCF President Lori Lorenz.

Connie moved to Mequon in 1966, having been raised on a farm in Massachusetts that was settled by her ancestors in 1725. Those early roots proved to be foundational to her love of woodlands, trees and all-things nature, driving a passion to preserve and maintain natural spaces for future generations to come.

Connie’s life of service is remarkable, with a mission to make the lives of those around her better than how she found them and to strive for service over self. However, her service to ourcommunity didn’t begin for several years after settling in Mequon. Instead, she immersed herself in work to advocate for those who couldn’t advocate for themselves: elevating the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities; helping draft legislation to establish special education in public schools; and fighting for affordable housing and neighborhood renewal in the Milwaukee Lindsey Heights inner city neighborhood.

Indeed, according to close friend and prior Pillars award recipient, Sandy Custer, “To say that Connie is a pillar of Mequon-Thiensville doesn’t begin to take into account the profound influence she has had beyond our community. To me, Connie is a Pillar of Ozaukee County, the city of Milwaukee, and the state of Wisconsin, all in one.”

Connie’s impact in our own community is indeed immense. She served as Alderman for eight years over three different terms; as Mayor and Chair of the Planning Commission for six years; as President of the Mequon Police and Fire Commission for three years; and held numerous leadership positions for the Sunrise Rotary Club over the past 15 years. In fact, Connie was the first woman elected to a top governmental position in Ozaukee County, and was the first female member of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club when they asked her to join in the mid-1980’s!

During her many years of service, she made an indelible mark throughout the community.  Connie was instrumental in creating the first comprehensive land-use plan for Mequon; developing the Mequon Industrial Park and saving Garvey Woods; constructing the Mequon Police and Fire Station; developing the gateway feature that graces the entryway to the Town Center; and securing the site for the Spur 16 development, just to name a few!  

While mayor, she set the vision for Rotary Park, noting the need for a park large enough to bring the community together to celebrate and recreate – the first park of its kind in Mequon. And on her last day as mayor, the city honored Connie with an 18-acre parcel of land abutting the northern edge of Rotary Park and bearing her name: Pukaite Woods. For the past 16 years, she has been the chief steward of that land, clearing buckthorn, establishing a prairie meadow and oak savannah areas, and maintaining it for all to enjoy.

Joining the Sunrise Rotary Club in 2009 brought together two of Connie’s passions: love for the environment and a desire to serve. As chair of the Environmental Committee she organized the planting of hundreds of native redbud trees throughout the Town Center, tamarack trees along the Riverwalk, and oak trees in Pukaite Woods, providing a bounty of natural beauty throughout the community.

Ask anyone who knows Connie and the praise is effusive. According to Cindy Shaffer, long-time friend and owner of Shaffer Development, “Nearly two decades ago our paths crossed at Mequon Thiensville Sunrise Rotary, and since then, her unwavering dedication to service has left an indelible mark on all who know her. Connie’s commitment to bettering our environment and promoting the common good has been a guiding light for me, both personally and professionally. She embodies the essence of the Rotary motto—service above self—pouring her heart and soul into initiatives that uplift and enrich the lives of those around her. What sets Connie apart is not just her visible contributions, but the countless acts of kindness and generosity that often go unseen. In a world that often seems chaotic and divided, Connie stands as a beacon of hope, reminding us all of the transformative power of compassion and selflessness.”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that for the past dozen years Connie has been tirelessly advocating for the homeless in Ozaukee County and helped to co-found the first homeless shelter, Family Promise of Ozaukee County. Initially her efforts centered around partnering with local churches to provide shelter but soon realized the need was so much more. Fast forward 11 years later, and Family Promise opened its doors in early 2023 – the first free-standing shelter in Ozaukee County – with an emphasis on human dignity and seeking to determine the root cause of homelessness and preventing it in the first place.

Connie lives in Mequon and continues to work on several boards and committees, serving the people and the city that she loves. For Sponsorship Information or to register for this event, please visit our Pillars of the Community event page!

The first meeting of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club was held July 29, 1937, with the charter being officially presented on September 21, 1937. There were 20 original members.

From the very beginning the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club was alert to community needs and began immediately to support and initiate worthwhile community projects and programs. One of the earliest projects was sponsorship of the Boy Scout Program; and this support still continues in 1993, fifty-six years later. Other early projects were the County Apple Show and Smokey the Fire clown (a school program). During the World War II years, the club was involved with the sale of war bonds, clothing drives, and similar wartime activities. Many more projects have been initiated since those early years; and these are listed elsewhere in this program book. The most recent major project is the City of Mequon Rotary Park, a project officially launched on September 19, 1987, at the fiftieth anniversary ceremonies of the club. Thiensville-Mequon Rotary is working closely with the city of Mequon and initially presented a check for $50,0000.00 toward start up construction, with $30,000.00 in reserve for fundraising activities. Progress has continued in construction and fundraising. Ultimately, over $2,000,000.00 will need to be raised. The Thiensville-Mequon community has always been very supportive of Rotary's fundraising activities which finance numerous worthwhile community projects and programs; and we appreciate that and thank all of our local supporters. It is you who have helped finance the many activities of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club.
Membership in T-M Rotary represents a cross section of the business and Professional individuals in the community. Not only are they good friends, but they are united in a common commitment to serve others for the benefit of the community. This commitment to service has been a dynamic force which has made a solid impact upon our activities and community involvement. The T-M Rotary Club is very proud to be an integral part of the community.
History written in 1993 provided by Shelley Weston
Frankie's Gift Shop is hosting a Book Fair on Sunday at Shully's Cuisine and Events. Our own Dr. Bruce Rowe is a featured author at the Fair. Dr. Rowe's book is entitled "Everything Under the Sun: A Family Doctor's Reflections on Life, Love, Loss and Renewed Hope in Medicine." We look forward to seeing you there.
Our speakers on Tuesday, March 19 are Lisamarie Arnold and Jenny Strom, MA, LPC.
Jenny Strom, Director, MA, LPC
Jenny is a psychotherapist and director of North Shore Center in Mequon. She specializes in working with children, adolescents, young adults, and families by creating a safe context from which change can occur. Jenny is devoted to helping clients navigate their way through difficult life issues, whatever those may be, in order to heal. 

She has worked with clients to make positive and long-lasting changes around issues such as: PTS D, Complex trauma histories, Anxiety, Depression, Mental health and substance abuse, Child sexual abuse, Self-injurious behavior, Family violence/conflict, Grief and loss, as well as emotional, behavioral and relational problems affecting children. 

She is intensively trained by the Linhan Institute in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and is a candidate for certification. She also has advanced training in Behavior Activation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP). Jenny serves on the board of REDgen and Ozaukee Family Services and cares deeply about their missions and their impact on the community.

Lisamarie Arnold is the executive director of REDgen. REDgen School is peer to peer resilience program designed to educate and empower student leaders to raise resiliency within their school community through connection, reflection and conversation. REDgen School uses the Roots of Resilience curriculum building the foundation for all youth to move from surviving into thriving, both in school and in their lives. Students and staff advisors meet weekly to explore the Roots of Resilience. REDgen School uses education and self reflection to inspire change within themselves and the wider school community.

Rotarians associate the naming of a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person who has demonstrated a shared purpose and support for the educational and humanitarian objectives of The Rotary Foundation.
The recognition is named after Rotary’s founder, the late Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer, who started Rotary with three business associates in 1905. A world of goodwill and better understanding comes closer to reality today because Sam Azinger has made a substantial donation to The Rotary Foundation and can be named as a Paul Harris Fellow – PLUS THREE. 
Becoming a Paul Harris Fellow is a tremendous accomplishment and honor. So much good begins with these gifts: wells are constructed, children are vaccinated against illness, senior citizens are afforded meals and services, children and adults are educated and given professional opportunities. This work is vital to the children, families, and communities who benefit. Only when people’s basic needs are met, can they pursue the larger elements of human life including conflict resolution, community building, and peace. Paul Harris Fellows, in a very tangible way, provide steppingstones to a more harmonious world.
Sam has repeatedly gone above and beyond in “doing good in the world.” Thank you, Sam, for using your time, talent, and treasure to enhance the lives of others. Your generosity means so much to so many. On behalf of the club, we thank you and welcome you to receive your new multiple Paul Harris pin. Please wear this with pride in honor of all the lives that you will reach through your generosity. Sam Azinger continues to put “Service above Self.” 
April 2024
Stars & Stripes Honor Flight
Apr 16, 2024 12:00 PM
Amy Luft/Special Activity
Dr. Matt Joynt
Apr 23, 2024 12:00 PM
MTSD Annual Update
Jenne Hohn
Apr 30, 2024 12:00 PM
Business Meeting
Dr. Shekar Kurpad, MD. PhD
May 07, 2024 12:00 PM
Wisconsin Institute of NeuroScience
Omar Shaikh
May 14, 2024 12:00 PM
Dining & Development of Milwaukee
Jenne Hohn
May 21, 2024
Business Meeting
No Meeting
May 28, 2024 12:00 PM
No Meeting
Jun 04, 2024 12:00 PM
Pillars of the Community Award Luncheon Honoring Connie Pukaite
Jeramey Janeene
Jun 18, 2024 12:00 PM
Urban Milwaukee
Changing of the Guard
Jun 25, 2024 5:00 PM
Changing of the Guard
Family Night
Aug 13, 2024 5:30 PM
Rotary Park
Meeting Responsibilities
If you cannot fulfill your responsibility, please make arrangements for someone else to take your place.
April 16th
Rowe, Bruce
April 23rd
Kos, Robert
April 30th
Weston, Shelley
May 9th
Wirth, John
May 14th
Niemann, Angelica
April 16th
McLean, Donald
April 23rd
Shneyder, Melissa
April 30th
Shneyder, Melissa
May 9th
Lysaught, James
May 14th
Melbinger-Wagner, Julie
April 16th
Melbinger-Wagner, Julie
April 23rd
Hunzinger, Nicholas
April 30th
O'Leary-Guth, Maureen
May 9th
Rowe, Bruce
May 14th
Counsellor, James
Club Executives & Directors
Vice President
President Elect
President Elect Nominee
Past President
Executive Secretary / Director
Club Service
Community Service
International Service
Vocational Service
Public Relations
The Rotary Foundation
Director, Veteran's Affairs

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