April 2019
Meeting Responsibilities
April 23
O'Leary, Maureen
April 30
Robertson, Dianne
May 7
Robertson, Dianne
April 23
Lysaught, James
April 30
MacFarlane, Ellen
May 7
Mader, Heather
April 23
Carr, Tim
April 30
Custer, Sandy
May 7
Davis, Todd
If you cannot fulfill your responsibility, please make arrangements for someone else to take your place.
Club Information

Thiensville-Mequon Rotary

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Ozaukee County Club
10823 N River Rd, Mequon, WI 53092
Mequon, WI  53092
United States of America
District Site
Venue Map
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
Home Page Stories
Riveredge Nature Center is southeastern Wisconsin's first independent nature center and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. Ted Neitzke first visited Riveredge in 1979 as a student in the Port Washington School District. That's when his love for nature and, particularly Riveredge, really began to blossom. Ted now serves as Riveredge's Board President and works hard to connect our communities to the outdoors through education and in their own backyards. Professionally, Ted is the Agency Administrator/CEO of CESA 6 with Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction. Riveredge is proud to have Ted as a passionate advocate supporting the organization's mission. 
There are lots of exciting things happening at Riveredge Nature Center, including the start of a charter school next fall, summer camps and other educational programs, and of course Frothy Forage on May 18, providing adults with an opportunity to drink in nature as god intended. They have been growing over the last several years, and have more than doubled their annual visitors from previous years. They are on track to have over 52,000 visitors in 2019 and hope you will be one of them. 
TM Rotary Club members interested in attending OED Outreach event on Wednesday May 1st, at Shully’s in Thiensville are more than welcome to attend but respectfully requested to please RSVP to the following:
Please RSVP to jhill@co.ozaukee.wi.us or 262.238.7730 on or before April 24th
Valet Parking Available
Tim Vertz and Son (sounds like a future company name)
Sam Azinger, Bruce Rowe and Sam's boys having a blast
Rob Holtz and Tim Carr full of smiles
Rob 'N Hood (Tim's other son, but I cannot help the play on words)
Dan Gannon and Kathleen Schneider not only swept the roadside for trash, but also mopped up as well, setting a record for most diligent roadside cleanup
TM Rotary Roadside Clean-up Crew met at 9 AM on Saturday morning and walked Cedarburg Road between Mequon Road and County Line. Not a single piece of trash was found, apparently due to the incredible job Dan Gannon must have done last Fall.
But really, Stan Smith and Sandy Custer (not pictured) along with a fine group of pictured Rotarians picked up 10 bags of trash and one Swiffer Wet Jet. The weather was cold, but the snow melted just long enough to get the job done before blanketing the ground once again. Thanks to everyone for participating. Not only is this event a great way to give back to the community, but it's also an opportunity to spend some quality time with fellow and future Rotarians and to instill values.  
"We believe our country is currently experiencing a uniquely 'teachable time' in its journey towards realizing its founding ideals of liberty and justice for all. We formed Nurturing Diversity Partners to advance and support that journey by using methods we’ve honed over many years to build bridges from our past to our future across racial/ethnic, urban/suburban/rural, generational, and other divides. We look forward to partnering with organizations and individuals who seek to join this journey and cross those bridges together." - Reggie Jackson
Reggie Jackson with Nurturing Diversity Partners spoke to our club at this weeks meeting. If you were expecting Mr. October, hopefully you were pleasantly surprised with the opportunity to instead learn about the history of segregation in Milwaukee, and discuss the obstacles and hurdles people of color have had to face in breaking the segregation.  There is still work to be done. 
Nurturing Diversity Partners is a program of Jackson-Kaplan Consulting LLC, providing education, training, and consulting services that foster diversity  inclusion, and equity within institutions and the greater society.  Reggie has served as the Head Griot (docent/oral historian) for America's Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM) since 2002, during which time he has become a much sought-after public speaker, researcher and writer for regional and national media.  Reggie has has garnered numerous awards for his work creating and facilitating public history programs, workshops, and interracial dialogues. 
Thank you Reggie for taking the time to speak to our club, and for the important work you are doing in our community. 
Thank you to this weeks speaker, Deb Paschke, executive director of Camp Hometown Heroes. Camp Hometown Heroes is an organization which brings children together for a week of camp who all have something in common, in that they have lost a parent who served our country in the military.  The week of camp allows the campers an opportunity to not only have fun, but also to spend a week with other children who have experienced a similar loss.   
Rotary proudly welcomed new member Peterson Apfelbach as the newest member of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club. Peterson is a financial advisor with in the Thiensville Edward Jones office located near Fantasy Flowers. He is committed to our community having been raised in Mequon, and having a desire to give back. If you haven’t had the opportunity to introduce yourself yet, please do so. Welcome Peterson. 
Thiensville's new Police Chief, Kurtis Kleppin spoke the the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club at Tuesday's final meeting at Village Hall. Chief Kleppin certainly took the opportunity to identify the trouble makers in the group... Jim Lysaught!  It was a fun opportunity for Rotarians to get to know a new member of our community and hear about his background and some of his stories. He indicated that he wanted to be a chief, and due to the shortage of officers, he was able to be selective in the communities in which he applied. When Thiensville's position came up, he thought it would be a perfect fit for him, and was pleased to find he would be a perfect fit for us.  
Chief Kleppin told his stories about his encounters with State Patrol, and the tickets he has received since becoming a police officer.  Needless to say, if you think knowing the guy will get you out of a ticket in Thiensville, you might want to think again.  You're better bet is to slow down and not break the law.  Thanks for taking the time to speak to the club, Chief, and we look forward to your future here. 
Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club met at Homestead High School this week to celebrate the National Honor Society inductees. Thanks to Rotarians who were able to attend, and to President-Elect, Rob Kos for delivering an inspirational speech highlighting the importance of involvement in the community. 
Colleen Landisch-Hansen is officially the new Village Administrator as well as the newest Rotarian.  Colleen gave a thumbnail presentation with her own twist, using props to describe herself and her family. Pictured first with a bag full of fun and a block of Wisconsin cheese in hand, Colleen went on empty the contents of the bag (seen on the chair in the second photo), and to describe her family's love for the Bucks and Disney. She is encouraged to dress as seen in the second photo for her first day on the job. 
As the newest member of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club, Colleen is invited and encouraged to join the Tony Von Rueden Fan Club!
Picture of Rotary Club Birthday Celebration for Doc. Witte on February 26, 2019. George Witte pictured front and center wearing his finest suit with red tie. Also pictured from left, (don't get mad, I'm not looking up how to spell everyone's name) Rob Holtz, Tim Vertz, Sam Azinger, Heather Mader, Tony Von Rueden (top), Rachel Muchin Young, Jim Ott, Shelley Weston, Jim Lysaught, Ellen MacFarlane, Dan Gannon, Jack Wiese, Stan Smith, Kathleen Schneider, Dianne Robertson, Herb Hillman, Peterson Albelbach (top) Maureen O'Leary, Stan Lind, Megan Borland, Karl Hertz, Bruce Rowe, Nancy Witte-Dycus, Dave O'Connor, Russ Witte-Dycus, Colleen Landisch-Hansen, Greg Sommersberger, Roger Kirgues, and Tim Carr. Rotarian's not featured have 1 week to find and like this post on Facebook or the Tony Von Rueden Fan Club will make a certified recommendation to fine you $5 at the March 12 meeting. 
Happy Birthday Doctor George Witte! Abraham Lincoln once said "And in the end it's not the years in your life that count; it's the life in your years."  By that definition, you have lived more than anyone in history. Happy Birthday, friend. 

Thank you to Tom Mlada and Josh Schlicht with Ozaukee Washington Land Trust for speaking to the club at Tuesday's meeting. Ozaukee Washington Land Trust is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to preserving and restoring natural areas and wildlife habitat in Ozaukee and Washington counties. The organization has protected more than 6,700 acres and has 33 nature preserves open to the public for nature-based recreation including hunting, hiking, bird-watching and more.

“Having worked very closely with OWLT on a number of difference-making community-based stewardship initiatives throughout my time as mayor, I have witnessed and experienced the very real impact of this extraordinary organization,” Mlada said. “I am humbled by the opportunity to join Executive Director Tom Stolp, his team, the board of directors, and all OWLT’s friends and stakeholders to continue to advance their preservation and protection efforts.”

Mlada was elected mayor of Port Washington in April 2012. In 2018, after serving two three-year terms, Mlada announced that he would not seek re-election to a third term in office.  While serving, Mlada treated the part-time mayor's position as a full-time job. Upon his election in 2012, he left his full-time job as development director at St. Monica Parish in Whitefish Bay to focus on his mayoral duties.

Remember that every time you visit a park or preservation, there are dedicated people who make it possible for us to enjoy such places. For a list of preserves to which we can be thankful to OWLT, visit their website.

Following is from the email sent to members from Club President, Tim Vertz, notifying of Dr. Jacob's passing. 
"It is with great sadness we let you know that one of our longest serving and honored Rotarians, Dr. Robert Jacobs, passed away peacefully [], Friday, February 15th. 
Dr. Jacobs has been a devoted member of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary since 1958 and had 59 years of perfect attendance. Prior to his retirement, Dr. Jacobs spent his professional career as a podiatrist in Thiensville. 
Dr. Jacobs also served his life as the Rotary Chartered Organization Representative to help oversee our Cub Scout Pack 3852 and Boy Scout Troop 852 where he served in this capacity from the 1970’s until the recent past few years. 
Dr. Jacobs was certainly an avid traveler and he visited Rotary clubs all over the globe including Denmark, Jerusalem, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Japan. 
Our heartfelt prayers go out to his wife Marilyn and his entire family. 
Services for Dr. Jacobs will be held on Monday, February 18th at 11am at Goodman Bensman Funeral Home which is located at 4750 North Santa Monica Boulevard in Whitefish Bay. His full obituary should be listed on their website [] (https://www.goodmanbensman.com/). 
On a personal note, Dr. Jacobs has been a wonderful mentor to me in my years in Rotary and helped prepare me to help mentor and advise our Cub Scout Pack 3852 and Boy Scout Troop 852 who we sponsor. 
We all are incredibly appreciative of a well-lived life of service that Dr. Robert Jacobs gave to his community."
“I have a passion for honoring our veterans. My work is in tribute to my late father Robert Akright, who was a WWII veteran and charter member of the building of the WWII Memorial in Washington DC.” -Amy Luft
Much like the commitment of our war heroes, a little snowfall (something like 12"-18") wasn't going to stop Amy Luft from speaking to a few dedicated Rotarians attending Tuesday's meeting, and to everyone's delight, the story of the Honor Flight and the stories about the Honor Flight Magic were inspirational, breathtaking, and tear jerking. But before we get into that, I'd like to take an opportunity to thank our veterans for their service to our country, specifically our Rotarian veterans, Sandy Custer, Dan Gannon, Herb Hillman, Bob Jacobs, Karle Naggs, Jim Ott, Stan Smith, Jack Wiese, and George Witte. Thank you gentlemen for your service.  
Amy Luft is the Community Liaison for Horizon Home Care and Hospice and on the Board of Directors for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Inc. was started in 2008 by Joe Dean and a merry band of volunteers, after Dean had seen a brief national news segment. Joe recalls thinking, “someone should do this in Wisconsin.” The next day Dean, son of a WWII Hero (David Dean, US Navy), woke up with one overwhelming consideration of who that person should be, “Oh man, I should do this in Wisconsin!” Within days, the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight wheels were in motion. Recruiting the busiest people he knew, Dean asked each potential board member three questions: “Why not here?” “Why not us?” “Why not now?” The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Board of Directors became a reality and the board booked the first flight at their second meeting, with a grand total of $250.00 in the bank. The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight story was told to one person or one small group at a time, and grew from tiny fundraisers to partnerships with many local organizations and individuals, who have all stepped forward to ensure that our WWII and Korean War Veterans feel appreciated. To date, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has flown over 4,500 veterans. Our community has been phenomenal in its support, and we are forever grateful.
The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has grown to take so many of our veterans, who otherwise never would have been able, to see the memorials built in their honor in Washington D.C.. The sacrifices made by these men and women to provide us with the freedom that we know and love are deserving of as much appreciation as can be bestowed upon them. To hear the stories of certain veterans and what going on the Honor Flight meant to them was truly inspirational, and we cannot be more grateful to Amy for speaking to the club and sharing some of the stories, and those who have made the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight a reality.
Amy encouraged us to say thank you to our vets when we see them, and to encourage everyone to apply to go on an Honor Flight. Just last year, the Honor Flight was opened to Vietnam War veterans as well, causing a list of applicants to grow to a level seen only when the organization first began. The commitment to see every one of the vets who have applied to get on an Honor Flight still remains. Anyone is encouraged to donate at starsandstripeshonorflight.org or to attend a Homecoming Event at General Mitchell International Airport to welcome our veterans home from their Honor Flight. 

Elisabeth with her AFS friend, Marianna, from Mexico.

Taken at Holy Hill where her ski team was competing.

Enjoying a no-school/snow-day tobogganing with her first-time-playing-in-snow friends from Mexico and Cameroon.

Our German RYE student, Elisabeth Burschel, has been living with Jan and Bob Blazich since early December. After spending August with Blazichs, she moved to the Timmer family home (behind Pukaite Woods) in September and will be with her third family, the Tischers, starting sometime in March. The Tischers live about a mile north of Freistadt. Her planned second family fell through when the father took a job in Denmark and the high school daughter decided to attend school in Spain.

Elisabeth is a very bright, caring and social young lady. She tends to be high energy and often challenges herself by keeping a very full and demanding calendar. She tries to keep a balance in her life, but the requirements of her coursework and activities often dictate how she uses her time. She knows that she pushes herself too hard at times, but resists cutting back on her schedule. She lives life to the fullest, and that is especially true during her short year in the US. Why else would she take the Polar Bear Plunge on New Year's Day?

Elisabeth is an outstanding student. She is currently taking AP Latin 5, Honors English Literature, Art, Orchestra and US History. She is on the Homestead ski team, plays violin in the chamber orchestra and is part of the pit orchestra for the upcoming spring musical. Elisabeth earned Senior High Honors for her first trimester at Homestead and played on the JV tennis team in fall. She recently started attending the Homestead Interact meetings when her schedule allows.

Elisabeth has built a wonderful circle of friends during her months at Homestead. This is often one of the hardest tasks for our visiting students. Elisabeth has three best friends and about 7 or 8 other friends. One of her best friends is an AFS student from Mexico. She has gotten to be very close to the other Rotary students in our district and hosted a group of them for an overnight on New Year's Eve. She recently attended the Homestead Winter Formal with a group of girls and hosted 8 friends afterwards for a sleepover party at the Blazichs’ house. Nearly 20 girls attended her 16th birthday party at the Timmers' in late November. When she has free time, which is rare, she enjoys going for coffee, connecting on the internet or attending house parties with other students. The Blazichs’ two dogs are her constant companions when she's home, and she willingly helps with meals, dishes and general tasks around the house.

Being 4000 miles from home hasn't always been easy for Elisabeth. Shortly after arriving in the US, she learned that her mother had significant heart problems and was not able to work for almost 2 months. Barbara, her mother, is doing well now. Of course she missed her family over the holidays, but was able to connect with them often thanks to the internet. Elisabeth has kept up with several friends in Germany, but that can be good and it can be bad depending on how her friends back home are doing. She enjoyed a short visit with an aunt and uncle in early January, and her parents and brother will be coming to visit her later in the school year.

Elisabeth is now just over half way through her time in the US. Upcoming events for her include attending a Latin convention in Madison, joining the Homestead lacrosse team in spring and taking the RYE student west coast trip after graduation.

-Images and Story courtesy of Bob Blazich

Kate Hoffman, Ron Johnson & Kirsten Coenen
Apr 30, 2019
Kettle Morraine YMCA
Erica Turner
May 07, 2019
Bridge the Divide
Ed Garza
May 14, 2019
Healing Patriots
Upcoming Events
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Director of Club Service
Director of International Service
Director of Community Service
Director of Vocational Service
Past President
Exec. Secr. Tres.
Rotary Foundation Chair

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