Excelsior Rotary Club Meeting for 7-21-2020 With Tim Litfin
Opening Marshall was John Ferm and led the 22 attendees in the Pledge and 4-Way Test.  Visiting guests (and perspective new members in August) were Jill Holter and James Gresham.  Jon talked about the passing of Congressman John Lewis and background information about the “I Have A Dream” speech by Martin Luther King and owner of the original transcript of that historic speech.  President Kate called upon Darel Leipold to recite an original poem he wrote about Rotary on Zoom.  President Kate reviewed the Birthdays and Anniversaries.
In announcements President Kate noted that members would receive a survey about our Rotary Club.  She announced that our meetings in August will be a club assembly centering on five breakout groups to discuss our club’s future and efforts in 2020-21 in the areas of Membership, Fundraising, Meetings/Speakers, Social/Service, and Marketing/PR all on Zoom.  Our August 18th speaker will be Dr. Dennis Peterson on Minnetonka District Plans for 2020-21 School Year.  Kate pleaded that we need speakers for our Rotary year and to share potential speakers with Jenny Janson.  Kate then showed potential “Wanted” type posters advertising members to be used to promote interest in our club in social media and posted around town.  Everyone loved the idea!
Our Speakert was Tim Litfin and he discussed both the current state of affairs of Minnetonka Community Education and Tour de Tonka.  Tim expressed his appreciation of our clubs grant of $2,000 for MCE Covid 19 signage.  He went on to explain that participation was down 3,400 and that refunds due to the pandemic were usually around $18,000 but this year so far has been over $470,000 with overall revenue down over $1,000,000 and even web participation is way down.  Since MCE is fee based there is no state or national support for community education.  Luckily MCE has reserves and has been able to keep staff with just minor layoffs of summer staff.    However, unless things change the program will suffer in the fall and the entire district is awaiting the Governor’s guidelines on July 27th.  But this in not deterring “can do” Tim and his staff is getting ready to provide community services and postponing the printing of the fall catalog until August 15th for fall programs and classes. 
Tim then talked about Tour de Tonka and due to the pandemic it was cancelled for this year but will be back on August 7, 2021!  The current plan is to hold a virtual Tour de Tonka we can sign-up on-line for $19 ($5 of which goes to ICA) and participants will receive a Tour de Tonka face mask.  Also a small bike ride is scheduled for September 27th for 250 riders that can choose an 18 mile or 28 mile ride.  This will fill-up quickly as people are hungry to participate in something positive.  In fact there is currently a huge bike shortage.  The Treck Company alone is 400,000 behind in bike production.  Time noted that he will need volunteers and thanks club members that have always helped with Tour de Tonka.  He ended his comment by saying that Rotary is a great organization and especially our club as we are there for our community!
President Kate called on Steve Frazier to give a golf update.  Steve focused on three needs of the Golf Classic to be held on Tuesday, September 15th at Deer Run.  First the need for Event and Hole Sponsors.  Second the need for golfers and the safety measures at Deer Run. And third the need for large and regular auction items for our virtual on-line auction preceding the event.  He noted that our two Rotary Clubs have a great golf committee of 21 members of which we have six members from our club- Kate, Nick, Scott, Lou, Karen and Steve.  Steve urged members to get involved and to seek out one of the committee members from our club.
Kate then opened up the Zoom to Virtual Happy Bucks and members contributed their thoughts.  One worth noting here is the plight of the Excelsior Chamber of Commerce is in danger of closing its doors at the end of July due to no revenue coming in from community events.  Nick Ruehl emphasized the importance of the Chamber to our Greater Excelsior Area and we need to contribute both individually and from groups and organizations in our area.  Our Board will take up the need at our August 4th Board of Directors Meeting to make a donation from our Operating Budget as the Chamber is not a non-profit and there for not eligible to receiving funding from our Excelsior Rotary Foundations.
Kate reminded members to complete the survey and the results will be part of our August 4th Club Assembly along with our breakout group discussions.