|Interfaith Senior Programs||Posted||on Feb 22, 2017||
Important resource for seniors and adults with disabilities
Waukesha County seniors and adults with disabilities are just a phone call away from a valuable resource. Heather Stoskopf, development manager at Interfaith Senior Programs, reviewed aspects of her organization during our meeting on Feb. 22.
Though founded in 2007, Interfaith's roots date to 1997. That's when Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Waukesha County started. Its goal was to match interested volunteers with projects in the area.
In 1991, Interfaith Caregiving Network was formed to to meet the needs of adults and seniors with disabilities. The two organizations merged in 2007, and became Interfaith Senior Programs. (The executive director of Interfaith Senior Programs is Kathy Gale, president of the Waukesha Noon Rotary Club.)
Interfaith serves adults 18 and over with disabilities, along with seniors 60 and over. According to Stoskopf, a typical client is a widow in her upper 70s to early 80s. She lives alone on limited income and does not drive.
Some clients are in dire financial situations. "We've had clients call and say they're splitting pills in half to save money," Stoskopf says.
Interfaith's goals are varied, Stoskopf explains, and include:
Engaging seniors: Partnering retired seniors with area high schools. Volunteers are involved with tutoring, a pen pal program, teaching US history, and an inter-generational art program, among others.
More than 360 seniors contributed 19,701 hours in 2015, Stoskopf says.
Serving seniors: Interfaith offers rides to the grocery store or food pantry, pharmacy and doctor's office. Their volunteers perform yard work and simple home repairs for home-bound seniors. The program served 1,101 seniors with disabilities in 2015. In addition, volunteers provided 3,490 rides to medical appointments and another 1,838 rides for other needs.
Holiday Giving Program: Select needy seniors receive packages containing essential items such as clothing and personal care products. For some people, that's the only holiday gift they receive. "It's really neat we can participate," Stoskopf says.
Interfaith currently has 2,000 volunteers on call. Ages range from children to seniors. Prospective clients (or their family members) are welcome to call Interfaith Senior Programs at 262-549-3348. More information is available on their website.
|Murder at Deadwood Saloon||Posted||on Feb 11, 2017||
Dealing a mystery of Old West proportions
It was a rowdy time at the Deadwood Saloon (aka New Berlin Banquet Center) Saturday night. Poor Mitch Maverick ate some lead right after winning $100,000 in the annual poker tournament. But who dunit? That was the task for the record 175+ people in attendance. After enjoying a hearty buffet dinner, attendees hunkered down to figure out this ace high mystery.
We're still tallying the results, but we can say that this was our largest turnout to date. A hearty 'thank you' to all the donors, sponsors and guests. This would not have been a success without your support. And, of course, a tip of the 10 gallon hat to all the Rotarians who chipped in. It was an incredible night.
More details to come. Meantime, feel free to check out other images from the event. Hover over or click on each to read its caption.
|Plaque from police department||Posted||on Jan 11, 2017||
A hearty "thank you" from the Police Department
Since 2011, Rotary Club of New Berlin has donated more than $4,500 to the New Berlin Police Department. These funds were used to support the department's Midnight Volleyball program. We're very happy and excited to help that valuable cause.
In recognition of this, on January 11, Police Officer (and School Resource Officer) Christopher Bayley presented a plaque to club president Pat McLaughlin. "We are proud and honored to be a part of the program," McLaughlin said, "and we look forward to working together in the future."
During this meeting we decided to also support the Police Department's Midnight Basketball program. (Each program will receive $500 from the club.) Bayley and McLaughlin show off this year's Midnight Basketball and Midnight Volleyball t-shirts. These are handed out to participating youth.
|Weatherstone food drive||Posted||on Dec 03, 2016||
Helping out at the food pantry
Rotarians and New Berlin National Honor Society students lend a hand for a good cause on Saturday, Dec. 3. For two hours that morning, volunteers sorted and stacked food collected by residents of New Berlin's Weatherstone subdivision. The collection filled 19.5 barrels, totaling an estimated 5,580 pounds. Almost all was food, but a number of personal care items were donated as well. The Weathstone drive, held in December, has been taking place for more than 30 years.
In addition to the Weatherstone collection, members of New Berlin West's National Honor Society chipped in with their donation. According to Anna, a senior at West, each Honor Society member received one Society point for each item donated. Some students donated 10 items, she said. The collection, held in November, netted 301 items. This was the first year for their collection. "We'll try to make it an annual event," Anna said. Eight Honor Society members helped out at the food pantry on Saturday.
The first step is to check the expiration date. Any food item more than six months beyond expiration must be discarded. Items are then shelved by type and expiration year. The New Berlin food pantry serves 132 families each month; this collection is expected to last into February.
Rotarians participating were (front row) Carmelita Stehr and Stephanie Friemoth. Back row: Dianne Moore, Shawn Schnabl and Tom Fuszard. This is the fourth consecutive year our club has assisted with the project. The Weatherstone collection is the second largest for the food pantry. Even larger is the annual postal service collection, held in May.
|Participating in Christmas parade||Posted||on Dec 03, 2016||
A time to celebrate the holidays
Rotary Club of New Berlin participated in the city's Christmas parade, held in the afternoon of Dec. 3. Our float touted Rotary's water-related efforts in impoverished communities around the world. While walking the route, we provided candy to many of the youngsters we encountered. A hearty 'thank you' to Rotarians Kathy and Mike Erickson. They constructed the float, and lent their trailer and pickup truck. Costco of New Berlin provided nine cases of bottled water for the display. That water will be donated to New Berlin Police Department's Midnight Basketball program.
Participating were (from left) Rotarian Dianne Moore, two high school students, and Rotarians Tom Fuszard and Kathy Erickson. Not pictured--because he was taking the picture--is Rotarian Mike Erickson.
For more images from our events this day, check out our photo album.
|Gail Rust, image consultant||Posted||on Nov 09, 2016||
Reviewing the finer points of a fine image
Gail Rust provided an interesting overview of image building during our meeting on Nov. 9. A professional image consultant, Rust stated that we have just three to seven seconds to make that positive first impression. A polished image builds credibility and trust, improves our confidence, and can lead to a better income, she says.
According to Rust, 55% of the image we project is nonverbal, while 38% is based on the way we speak. (Only 7% of that image is related to content.) Therefore, 93% of your message is relayed "before you open your mouth," she says.
We don't have any control over our race, gender or age, Rust reminds us, but we can control our appearance and actions, such as handshake. To that end, she offered suggestions for the proper handshake also. It should be firm but not overpowering, and no pumping.
Rust handed out copies of her points-based dressing system for men and women. Each item (tattoo, belt buckle, bracelet, and so on) is worth one point. Rust suggests men keep their point totals to no more than 12 for "best dressed" and social occasions. Women should strive for a value of 14 for a professional look.
Dressing well and acting confidently help us project that the image we strive for. "Wow factor happens when the beauty on the inside matches the beauty on the outside," Rust says.
Also during the meeting we reviewed upcoming volunteering opportunities. On Nov. 12, the Weathertstone subdivision is holding its annual buckthorn removal program at Weatherstone Park.
Rotarians have two opportunities to help on Dec. 3. In the morning, we're welcome to sort and stack food items at New Berlin Food Pantry. Residents of Weatherstone subdivision are holding their annual food drive that day. It's a big event--the second largest the food pantry sees--and will be larger this year due to a food drive held at New Berlin High schools.
New Berlin's Christmas parade will take place at 3:00 p.m. that day. Our club will again have a float; Rotarians are encouraged to walk along.
|Robert Beezat||Posted||on Oct 26, 2016||
Studying the characteristics of good managers
We've all had good (and bad) managers. But what makes a good manager? In a word, character. That was the heart Robert Beezat's message to our club on Oct. 26.
We began by reviewing traits of best and worst bosses. In surveys, employees used terms like liar, autocratic and demeaning to describe a bad boss. Good bosses are honest, they treat employees with respect, and they want employees to succeed.
Beezat, who has more than 40 years of experience in management, management consulting and teaching, notes that "character greatly influences the quality and effectiveness of our decisions and the success of the people and organizations we manage." Rotary's Four Way Test (shown on our home page) helps build character by encouraging ethically and morally strong behavior.
Improve your character, Beezat says, and you can enhance productivity, effectiveness and job satisfaction. "If you want to be better," he says, "you have to work at it." One way is to take advantage of the free Character Based Management app offered on his website. The app allows managers to track and focus on characteristics so they can remain good leaders.
This management tool includes a 10-point self-assessment checklist. Among the characteristics addressed:
- Listening: How well do you listen so that you understand what the person is saying?
- Involving employees in defining and solving problems.
- Helping your employees grow. Honestly assess their strengths and weaknesses.
- Being friendly and genuinely respecting and caring for employees.
"Managing people is something we are called to do in one way or another," Beezat says.
|District Governor Julie Craig||Posted||on Oct 12, 2016||
Rotary overview from District Gov. Julie Craig
We were treated to an interesting review of Rotary activities during our meeting on Oct. 12.
Craig began by reviewing Rotary's five Avenues of Service--Vocation, Community, Club, International, Youth--and encouraged members to get involved. "There are so many amazing things you can do in Rotary," she says.
A member of Rotary Club of Kenosha West, Craig's term as our district governor runs from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 (the Rotary year). District 6270 is comprised of 54 clubs throughout eastern Wisconsin.
Craig recalled fondly the international conventions she has attended, the 2005 convention in Chicago and the 2009 convention, held in Birmingham, England. They provide a great opportunity to establish friendships and connections near and far, she says. Craig encouraged us to participate in next year's International Convention. It will take place June 10-14 in Atlanta. "Rotarians are really the friendliest people you will meet," she says.
Another good opportunity is our district convention, June 2-3, 2017, in Milwaukee. Rotary Vice President Jennifer Jones, the first woman to hold that position, will pay a visit. Potowatomi Hotel is offering a special room rate for Rotarians who wish to stay overnight.
Now in its 111th year, Rotary International is comprised of 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs worldwide. Craig calls Rotary a "one-stop for volunteers," providing opportunities to do good deeds locally and internationally. These can include "random acts of kindness" and community events, among other initiatives.
Next year is the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation. Started with just $26.50, the foundation has received more than $3 billion in donations since. During fiscal year 2014-15, the foundation granted more than $162 million for humanitarian projects around the globe (including $123.4 million for polio eradication). "If you want to be a part of an organization that is changing the face of the world," Craig says, "we are it."
A Rotarian for 15 years, Craig is amazed at her rise to position of district governor and participation in corporate functions. "You never know where your Rotary journey will take you," she says.
We are happy to once again make a donation to New Berlin School District. Here, club president Pat McLaughlin presents a check for $1,500 to Natalie Baertschy, Director of Choirs for New Berlin Eisenhower. The funds will be used to purchase a digital piano. This donation is the result of our KIDS From Wisconsin concert in August. "Thank you for your support and generosity," Baertshy said.
Joining in the celebration are Rotary District Gov. Julie Craig and Joe Garza, Superintendent of New Berlin School District.
|Milwaukee Food & City Tours||Posted||on Sep 28, 2016||
Experience the taste and history of a neighborhood
People who enjoy dining with some local culture can do both through structured tours. Theresa Nemetz introduced us to her business, Milwaukee Food & City Tours, during our meeting on Sept. 28.
Food and culture tours are not new. Nemetz estimates there are some 500 tour options in about 32 cities. Several Milwaukee firms offer tours of breweries or other businesses. Nemetz credits her great-grandparents, both Italian immigrants, for inspiring her to showcase Milwaukee's rich ethnic neighborhoods.
The seed was planted while visiting New York City one day. After spotting a tour group, husband Wade commented, "You should do that in Milwaukee."
What was supposed to be just a hobby is now nearly 10 years old. "It's a hobby gone wild," Nemetz says. Wade has since left his regular job and is a partner in the business.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours offers a wide variety of walking and bus tours. They are also open to booking a custom tour. While many of the businesses and neighborhoods visited are in Milwaukee, tours have taken customers outside of the metro area.
Cooking shows are driving the public's interest in food preparation. "People want to go and meet the little old guy who makes sausages," Nemetz says. But not all tours involve food. One, popular with shutterbugs, takes patrons to interesting and historic buildings in Milwaukee.
Some of the trends in culinary tours that Nemetz has observed include:
- Allergies: Popular with young people as well as seniors. Those with sensitivities want to know what their dining options are.
- Foodie: Adventurous eaters interested in exploring new neighborhoods as well.
- Generational changes: How changes in the ethnic makeup of a neighborhood are reflected in its cuisine.
- Succession planning: Visiting long-standing family businesses that must adapt when children don't want to take over. "How do you bring an old restaurant to the forefront to make it relevant?" she asks.
Another trend is the shortened lead time for meetings and conferences. Restaurants, caterers and other vendors must become more flexible, as businesses strive to hold events on short notice.
|Captain Encouragement||Posted||on Sep 14, 2016||
Using compassion to trounce violence and bullying
Captain Encouragement, aka Nicholas Domingo, brought an important message to our meeting on Sept. 14.
Domingo knows bullying all too well. One day during second grade, he was stomped on and dragged across the playground. The incident left a permanent impression on him. "Bullying is an extremely serious thing," he says.
His program, the result of just "bouncing ideas around in my head," is borne out of a desire to make a difference. While traveling the country he would routinely compliment people and tell them they mattered. Studying our culture, he noted the negativity and violence in much of our media and entertainment. Even superheroes were not immune, using force to overcome evil. "Young kids believe they can punch their way through anything," he says. Cast as a superhero for TV programs, he knew that was the proper vehicle to connect with youth. Out of this came his firm, Call To Inspire, and alter-ego, Captain Encouragement. Now 25, he launched his program in March 2016.
A resident of Twain Harte, Calif., Domingo visits schools across the country to teach children about non-violence and anti-bullying. "To change the world," he says, "you have to change the mindset." By using a superhero character, he hopes to show kids that being compassionate is "cool." One goal of this program is to lower the incidence of suicide, a leading cause of death among those aged 14-24.
Domingo teamed with a writer (also a victim of bullying) to produce a comic book and poster. They are offered for sale online and during his presentations. Proceeds support the entire effort.
Is the message getting through? "I really like what you're doing," a 7-year-old offered one day. "I think this is what my age group should see."
A member of Twain Harte Rotary (Twain Harte, Calif.), Domingo joined because he saw the good work Rotary does. Though he has a full time position in Twain Harte, he--er, Captain Encouragement--offers his message when he can. Upcoming speaking engagements include visits to a Rotary club and schools.
For more information or to book Captain Encouragement, visit his website, or call 951-852-2257.
|Posted||on Aug 24, 2016||
A Miss New Berlin with a classical twist
Our meeting on Aug. 24 had a classical flair thanks to Miss New Berlin, Ashley Rewolinski's, violin.
A native of Ottawa, Wis. (pop. 3,867), Ashley was introduced to the violin at age nine. ("Late" in life, she says. Performers start as young as age three.) Although of fan of Miss America pageants, she had never considered participating. The turning point came in December 2015 when Ashley happened upon Gretchen Carlson's book,"Getting Real." An anchor with Fox News, Carlson was Miss America for 1989 and the first classical violinist to win that title. Carlson entered the pageant not for fame, Ashley says, but to help pay off student debt. As someone about to complete a Master's program, "this opportunity sounded awfully appealing to me!"
Even more important was the service aspect. Miss America pageants (which entail local, state and national contests) have four aspects, of which Service is one. Winners select a platform for their terms. Calling music "her life," Ashley knew that she would advocate for music education.
After being crowned Miss New Berlin, on Feb. 26, her final semester of graduate school "just became a whole lot busier." She spent a month in Miami playing numerous concerts and operas under a String Fellowship with the Miami Music Festival. This past May she earned her Master of Music in Violin Performance from Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts. Soon afterward, she started preparations for the Miss Wisconsin pageant.
Ashley is a huge supporter of the Barry Manilow Music Project, which donates instruments and materials to school music programs. For her part, Ashley has collected six cases of music. These will be donated to schools in New Berlin and throughout Waukesha County. (She also donated her previous violin.)
Ashley's current violin was made in Germany by Gustav Ficker in 1926. During our meeting she played snippets from two classical pieces, "Sonata for Solo Violin" by Sergei Prokofiev and Johann Sebastian Bach's "Presto" from Sonata No.1. "I love finding rare pieces like these and playing them for audiences," Ashley says.
Her visit to our club was her 27th appearance as Miss New Berlin. Now 24, her goal is 100 events, the most of any Miss New Berlin. She is particularly interested in visiting schools. (You can view her schedule and request an appearance here.) Use the contact form to inquire about donating sheet music and musical instruments.
|Posted||on Aug 10, 2016||
President Pat McLaughlin is flanked by Jeff Kortes (left) and Randy Wilinkski
Gaining a new understanding of Millennials
Ah, millennials. Those rude, self-absorbed, entitlement-minded, socially awkward folks who spend their days texting and engrossed in social media. Right?
Well, not so fast, as we learned on Aug. 10. Jeff Kortes, president of Human Asset Management LLC in Franklin, Wis., and Randy Wilinski shared fascinating insight during their "Making Millennials Great" presentation.
Generally defined as those born between 1980 and 1993, Millennials bring certain a certain philosophy to the workplace. Employers gain when they understand the needs of Millennials and manage accordingly.
Kortes and Wilinski offered three key suggestions to help mold Millennial employees.
1. Create a Vision. "Without a vision the people will perish," they say. A vision, especially one in alignment with the employee, will inspire and engage the person.
2. Provide opportunity for growth: 52% of millennials polled said growth within a company was more important then money. Companies need to focus on mentoring and training programs. Kortes helps businesses create a formal system.
3. Provide feedback: We've created a society where there are no winners or losers, Kortes says, just participation awards. The result is a sense of entitlement causing greed and a drop in self worth. Feedback, both positive and negative, is important. But also engage those Millennial employees in problem solving. Everyone should be asking, What is the solution?
Nathan W., WAS student
|Posted||on Jul 27, 2016||
A new appreciation for the value of water
Water is a very important resource, as New Berlin resident Nathan W. learned during World Affairs Seminar in June. Nathan discussed his experiences during our meeting on July 27. He was one of approximately 300 student-delegates from nearly 25 nations attending the event. The seminar, an initiative of Rotary District 6270, was held at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis. This year's theme was, "Water: A Global Resource to Share and Protect."
Among other aspects, Nathan enjoyed talking with students from around the world. One project entailed interviewing fellow delegates about their water usage. He created a video based upon those interviews.
Nathan, who will be a senior this year at New Berlin Eisenhower, is one of four New Berlin high school students in attendance this year. The others are fellow Eisenhower student Drisya, along with Illsia and Madeline from New Berlin West.
Representing New Berlin Eisenhower are Nathan and Drisya. Illsia and Madeline from New Berlin West round out the four student-candidates attending WAS. - See more at: http://www.rotaryclubofnewberlin.org/Stories#sthash.iK7uBLxo.dpuf
A focus on water issues was perfect for Nathan, who is interested in environmental science. His studies included a tour of Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District's facility. He saw how waste was turned into Milorganite, a popular fertilizer for golf courses, lawns and other areas. As a result of attending WAS, Nathan has already reduced the amount of water he uses daily.
World Affairs Seminar is designed to create global leaders and citizens through an international seminar with an innovative, rigorous program. The course involves high school students from across the US and around the world. This is the fourth year that our club has sponsored two students to WAS. (School District of New Berlin also sponsors two.)
Representing New Berlin Eisenhower are Nathan and Drisya. Illsia and Madeline from New Berlin West round out the four student-candidates attending WAS. - See more at: http://www.rotaryclubofnewberlin.org/Stories#sthash.iK7uBLxo.dpuf
Nathan said he hopes to attend WAS 2017. One of his counselors, a blind gentleman, introduced Braille to the students. Nathan produced a message he wrote in Braille stating, "Thank you Rotary for sponsoring me."
|Tre Waldren, Rawhide||Posted||on Jul 13, 2016||
Helping at-risk youth and others in need
When you hear of Rawhide, what thoughts come to mind? Probably Bart Starr, boys and donating cars. But there's a lot more to the organization, as we learned on July 13. According to Development Manager Tre Waldren, Rawhide provides a host of services at its Ranch and outpatient clinics.
Rawhide Ranch near New London, Wis., serves boys 11 to 18 years of age. Residential treatment is combined with life and work skills. Boys attend Starr Academy, a fully accredited high school. In addition to a standard curriculum, residents can study woodworking, culinary skills and automotive repair and other trades. Life skills training prepares the boys for living and working on their own. A scholarship program encourages further education.
Most youths are referred by judges or social workers. A 30-day initial assessment allows staff to determine whether Rawhide is the proper facility. Longer-term services include residential care, transitional group home and outpatient counseling, among others. Rawhide has a "tremendous success record" of 70%, compared to 14% among other organizations and programs, Waldren says.
Rawhide's Youth & Family Counseling Services serves clients from six outpatient clinics in the state. (A seventh is planned for 2017.) Available to anyone, treatment is available for those suffering from depression, anxiety, adolescent defiance, marital discord and other issues. Services are covered by insurance, Waldren says, adding that they offer a sliding scale for those in need. "We don't turn anyone away for an inability to pay."
According to Waldren, who also is a member of Rotary Club Amigos de Milwaukee, Rawhide differs from other facilities in three ways:
1. A traditional, home-based model at the Ranch. Each house is designed to mimic family life with a house father, a house mother and a standard environment.
2. Faith-based, but non-denominational.
3. Outpatient services. As noted above, counselors treat a variety of disorders. Among youth, opiate addiction is common today. Rawhide has a 100% success rate for those who stay through the 12-month program, Waldren says. Clients range in age from five to 72 years.
Rawhide Ranch currently serves 37 boys. Just one part of a sprawling complex on 714 acres, the campus includes an auditorium, equestrian center, maintenance shop and more.
Yes, they still accept cars, as well as boats and other vehicles. Refurbished cars are sold through a network of auto dealers in Wisconsin. Other items are offered for sale through eBay. These sales are an important source of revenue for the organization. Another source are the Friday fish fries. Held six times a year, the dinners provide important training for youth at the Ranch. Rawhide accepts cash donations, as well as books, CDs and DVDs.
Founded in 1965, Rawhide's biggest need, Waldren says, "is for people to understand us and use us." To learn more, visit their website, or call 1-800-729-4433.
|New President Pat McLaughlin||Posted||on Jun 21, 2016||
Ushering in a new era
A new chapter has opened in our club. Pat McLaughlin officially became club president during the Changing of the Guard ceremony on Wednesday, June 21. The event, held at The Preserve at Deer Creek, is an opportunity to reflect on the previous year and look ahead to the next.
McLaughlin has been a member of our club since August 2014. His goal is to strengthen the club through enhanced membership. One way to achieve that is to regularly invite a guest to meetings.
A licensed broker with Kutschenreuter Financial Services in New Berlin, McLaughlin is excited about a new feature in our meetings called Spotlight. Two members will be given the chance to talk about their businesses. The goal is to encourage members to do business with each other. McLaughlin further noted that being engaged and involved in club activities will only make our club stronger.
McLaughlin's term runs July 1 through June 30, 2017.
In his remarks, outgoing president Shawn Schnabl thanked club members for their efforts this past year. Though a smaller cub, ours still makes an difference. "Our footprint is very solid," he says. Schnabl called out each board member by name and acknowledged that person's particular benefit to the club.
Noting that no one person runs the club, Schnabl thanked everyone for working as a team. "Pat yourself on the back for giving back." He said he can't wait to see what the club accomplishes under new president Pat McLaughlin
Outgoing president Shawn Schanbl (left) is honored for his year of service. Incoming president Pat McLaughlin presents a plaque from the club.
You can find more images from the dinner by clicking on "Scenes from club meetings, events, 2016" at right.
|New member Melissa Palfery||Posted||on May 25, 2016||
Welcoming our newest member
We were pleased to introduce our newest member, Melissa Palfery, during our May 25 meeting. Palfery owns Excellence Organizing, LLC in Waukesha. She started her firm about a year ago. Homeowners preparing for a sale or just downsizing can benefit from some organizing. She also works with commercial accounts. Office efficiency improves with the help of her services, Palfery says.
Palfery was sponsored by club president Shawn Schnabl, who presented her membership certificate. Welcome aboard, Melissa!
|Helping out during USPS food drive||Posted||on May 14, 2016||
Lending a helping hand for the needy
Despite a brisk, autumn-like breeze and even a few snowflakes, dozens of volunteers descended on New Berlin Food Pantry on Saturday, May 14 to assist with the annual US Postal Service food drive. Over the course of seven hours, thousands of pounds of food was sorted and shelved for needy families in the area.y,
During the collection, which ran from 9:00 a.m. to roughly 4:00 p.m, multiple private vehicles and postal vans pulled up to drop off the many bags of donated food items. Volunteer "pickers" would sort the items into a multitude of trays and barrels. In fact, there was a receptacle for every type of food product (green beans, condiments, corn, cereal, and such). Once sorted by type, the food was taken inside for date verification and shelving. (Any food more than six months beyond its expiration date is discarded.)
By 1:00 p.m., the food pantry had received nearly eight tons of food. (Last year's food drive took in an estimated 34,000 lbs. of food.) A final estimate will be available later this week.
Rotarian Stephanie Friemoth shows other volunteers how and where to stack the crates of food. Each crate is for a specific food item and expiration year (peas 2017, for example). The food pantry also has a walk-in cooler for milk and other perishables they purchase throughout the month.
Sporting their Rotarian At Work safety vests are club members Melissa Palfery, Tom Fuszard and Art Angove. Rotarian Linda Joel and her husband stopped by, as well. But the sorting was all caught up at the moment, so they moved on. (It's the thought that counts, Linda!)
In addition to the postal service food drive, Rotarians assist with food sorting during the Weatherstone collection. Residents of the Weatherstone subdivision in New Berlin donate food items the first Saturday in December. These are two of the many ways Rotary Club of New Berlin gives back to the community.
New Berlin Food Pantry serves needy families in New Berlin, Elm Grove and Brookfield. Clients pick up groceries on Wednesday afternoon. Donations, both food and cash, are welcome from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday (the only day the food pantry is open).
UPDATE: According to Barb Jacob, Assistant Director, 28,500 lbs. of food items was donated during this drive. That's down from 2015, but last year's collection was a record. "I didn't expect to repeat that," Jacob says. This collection should last six to eight months.
In addition to Rotarians, members of New Berlin Eisenhower's football team, Greendale High School students and Boy Scouts from Troop 53 were among the many volunteers who helped out.
Donations are always welcome. The food pantry is particularly interested in canned goods (including meat products) and cereal. Cash is helpful, because the food pantry buys milk and eggs weekly. They cannot accept fresh fruits and vegetables, Jacob says. Remember that New Berlin Food Pantry is only open on Wednesdays. For more information, call 262-789-8040.
|WAS student-candidates||Posted||on Apr 28, 2016||
Getting ready for World Affairs Seminar
Three very enthusiastic student-candidates to Rotary's World Affairs Seminar visited us on April 28 to share their thoughts.
Representing New Berlin Eisenhower are Nathan and Drisya. Illsia and Madeline from New Berlin West round out the four student-candidates attending WAS.
All the students are excited to attend WAS. Nathan loves science and is particularly interested in how water and science tie together. He wants to know what can be done to protect this precious resource. Drisya is excited to absorb what she learns and pass on the valuable information to peers and others. Illsia is looking forward to meeting other students and working on the various projects. (Madeline was unable to attend our meeting.) Our club is sponsoring two students; the school district will sponsor the other two.
World Affairs Seminar is an initiative of Rotary District 6270, which comprises most of the clubs in Wisconsin. These events are designed to create global leaders and citizens through an international seminar with an innovative, rigorous program. The course is held at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., and involves high school students from across the US and around the world. The theme for this year's program, which runs June 21 - July 1, is "Water: A Global Resource to Share and Protect." This is the fourth year that our club has sponsored students to WAS.
The students will be invited back after the program to discuss their experiences. We wish them well.
Also during this meeting, Tina Weiss, Executive Director of KIDS From Wisconsin, provided an update on this year's concerts.
The KIDS will perform 70 shows this summer. There was such an overwhelming demand for performances, Weiss says, that they had to turn away 12 show-holder applicants. Rotary Club of New Berlin is once again hosting a show. Our concert will take place at New Berlin West on Friday, Aug. 19. Ross Spadaro from New Berlin and Emily Watt of Waukesha will be the show's "local" KIDS. Music selection will include Penatonics, Swing Jump & Jive, current hits and a tribute to Stevie Wonder.
Tickets will be available for purchase on our website soon.
|Officer Ament and Condor||Posted||on Apr 13, 2016||
Meeting one of New Berlin's 4-legged officers
Our April 13 meeting took on a furry angle as New Berlin K9 Officer JJ Ament brought Condor in for an introduction and presentation.
A purebred German shepherd, Condor has been partnered with Ament the entire three years he has been with the department. Now 4-1/2 years old, the dog is involved in both patrol work and drug searches. Condor is trained in all major narcotics and their derivatives, Ament says.
Condor's highly trained nose serves well in tracking. If a suspect touches a surface, Ament swabs that and lets Condor get a whiff. Condor is able to track over hard surfaces, which is unusual for dogs, Ament says. Wet grass holds scents particularly well, aiding in searches. Condor can track a scent 24 hours old, and could be used in cadaver recovery. When confronting a person, Condor is trained to grab and hold the subject.
Condor is used in about a dozen searches monthly, Ament says. Due to mutual aid agreements, some of those searches are at the request of nearby departments. Waukesha, for example, has called for help in finding homicide and armed-robbery suspects.
Throughout Wednesday's presentation, the "very excitable" Condor couldn't wait for his turn. Ament had placed several boxes on the floor, one of which contained a trace of narcotics. Immediately upon release, Condor made a beeline for the correct box. Later, he quickly "lighted" on the room's fire extinguisher. Ament had placed a trace of narcotic on the bottom. When lead nearby, Condor jumped up and started scratching the extinguisher (no harm done).
This scratching, done only at the location of the drugs, is sufficient to justify a search, Ament says. However, he has worked with Condor long enough to recognize other traits that indicate the dog is onto something.
Condor and New Berlin's other K9, Askan, regularly undergo follow-up training, Ament says. Included are two 8-hour days each month. The morning is typically spent involved in drug work, with the afternoon devoted to patrol duties (building searches, tracking, handler protection and such). The dogs may see additional training as time and opportunities permit, Ament says.
During this meeting we had the pleasure of presenting a check for $1,000 to the Police Department for its Midnight Volleyball program. Officer Tony Fus accepts the check from club president Shawn Schnabl. Accompanying him is Sgt. Dan Hanlon.
This is the 6th consecutive year that Rotary Club of New Berlin has contributed to the Midnight Volleyball program. Total donations now exceed $6,000. Midnight Volleyball (which actually runs from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.) is held Monday evenings at Malone Park throughout the summer. The games offer area high school kids a safe and healthy evening of activity.
|New Berlin Expo||Posted||on Mar 21, 2016||
Talking up Rotary at the Community Fair
We were proud to once again participate in New Berlin's Community Expo and Job Fair. This year's event, the third annual, was held at New Berlin West Middle / High School.
In this image, Rotarians Dianne Moore, club president Shawn Schnabl and Rotarian Tom Fuszard greet expo attendees.
Our club also hosted a candidate forum that day. Candidates for school board and 5th District Alderman participated in the forum, which was held in West's library. Rotarians Dianne Moore and Scott Klaas moderated.
We had the pleasure of meeting Miss New Berlin, Ashley Rewolinski. Rotarian Art Angove joined Shawn and Tom for an image with the city's official ambassador. A renowned violinist, Ashley has won numerous awards and has appeared with Milwaukee's Contemporary Music Ensemble and other chambers. Other honors include an appearance on E! Network's reality show Giuliana and Bill.
Crowned on Feb. 27, Ashley says she is excited to promote her platform, Music Matters. Good luck, Ashley!
The Expo gets off to a good start with a ribbon cutting. Doing the honors here is Cheryl Schober, New Berlin's 2016 Civic Person of the Year. Assisting were (from left) Ed Holpfer, Executive Director of the New Berlin Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Dave Ament; Schober; Rewolinksi; Ald. Chuck Garrigues; and Gary Szpara, president of the Chamber of Commerce.
|Philip Mason, Industries for the Blind||Posted||on Mar 09, 2016||
Helping the blind obtain meaningful employment
Nationally, approximately 70% of the blind and visually impaired are unemployed. Industries for the Blind, Inc., works to lower that figure, as we learned on March 9. According to Phillip Mason, IB employs the blind at its own facility, and encourages businesses to hire visually impaired.
IB employs approximately 80 people at its facility in West Allis, Wis. They produce a wide variety of products, including office and janitorial supplies, promotional items (team jerseys, corporate apparel), and other products. Another department provides full design and construction assistance for remodeling and rebuilding projects.
While most of their business comes from federal agencies, IB is looking to increase its relationship with private sector businesses. This includes selling more goods and services, and placing individuals in jobs. (Unemployment rate for the blind in Wisconsin is about 60%.) IB offers grants to help businesses purchase the JAWS (Job Access With Speech) software. "Just about any job can be made accessible," Mason says. The visually impaired include doctors, lawyers and other professionals. "A blind person can do [nearly] anything a sighted person can do."
A for-profit company, IB looks to grow through new contracts. Wisconsin offers a 5% state tax credit for businesses that use IB's services. Want to learn more? Stop by their facility at 445 S. Curtis Rd. in West Allis. "You can't appreciate what we do until you visit us," Mason says. For more information, visit the Industries for the Blind website, or call 800-642-8778.
|Reviewing club activities||Posted||on Feb 24, 2016||
Reviewing club activities
Club Secretary Stephanie Friemoth reviewed several items during our meeting on Feb. 24. Due to a remodeling project at New Berlin Hills, we held our meeting at Holiday Inn Express in New Berlin.
We raised approximately $4,000 during our murder mystery dinner, which was "fantastic," Friemoth says. She asked for feedback from the club on ideas to make next year's event even better. The board has allocated $1,800 to send two high school students to Rotary's World Affairs Seminar and $1,000 for the New Berlin Police Department's Midnight Volleyball program. Both programs occur in summer.
Friemoth listed a number of volunteering opportunities for Rotarians to consider. These include:
- Annual USPS food drive on May 14
- Malone Park rebuild May 16-22 (see below)
- Midnight Volleyball games in summer: grill hamburgers during two or three games
- Clear buckthorn from Weatherstone Park early in November
By consensus, we decided to no longer sell watermelon slices during the city's 4th of July event at Malone Park. It is too difficult to get volunteers on July 4. A hearty thank you to Rotarian Dale Worden for spearheading that operation for three years.
Club president Shawn Schnabl mentioned two ideas he's considering. One is a social event for club members and spouses. The other, a pancake breakfast, would be a fundraiser. He will keep the club posted on those.
Rotarian Erica Moranski spoke for a few moments on the new playground going in at Malone Park. The design is set and moneys allocated. The big push now, Moranski says, is for volunteers. Construction will run around the clock May 16-22. No skills are necessary, though they need a skilled person to act as Site Captain for each shift. They prefer that person be available all seven days.
Moranski is also a member of New Berlin Junior Woman's Club, which is donating $175,000 to this project.
This will be an "amazing playground that will bring a lot of joy to kids, with and without disabilities," Moranski says. Among the new attractions will be a wheelchair accessible merry-go-round. Moranski handed out brochures and other materials to be distributed locally.
To learn more and to volunteer, visit the Playground At Malone website.
|Dale Worden, tax laws||Posted||on Feb 10, 2016||
How changes in tax laws may affect you
Rotarian Dale Worden, CPA, reviewed some of the changes in federal and Wisconsin state tax laws. He discussed how they affect filing for 2015, as well as what to look for in 2016. He had time for just a sampling, which included:
- Qualified adoption credit is $13,400. Can be carried forward for 5 years.
- Mortgage insurance premium is deductible on federal and state forms.
- Business write-off amount (Sec. 179) decreased to $25,000 on new or used equipment
- Auto mileage expense. 57.5 cents/mile in 2015. Reduced to 54 cents/mile for 2016.
- Farmland credit available for Wisconsin filing. Must own more than 35 acres.
- K-12 school tuition may be deductible on Wisconsin form. Maximum of $4,000; must compute.
Be sure to consult your tax advisor with any questions.
Also during this meeting, Rotarian Dianne Moore provided an update on the results of our murder mystery dinner. Preliminary indications are that we netted just shy of $3,400. Everyone agreed that it was a fun and successful event. Visit our image library for pictures from the event and a list of sponsors. Please support those businesses.
|Murder Mystery Dinner 2016||Posted||on Feb 06, 2016||
Solving a totally rad mystery
Normally, a prom is just an excuse for high school students to dance the night away. Not for the kids at Mayhem High. This was, like, too much. One of their classmates, Bobby Backer, didn't make it home from the prom. Yep, Bobby went belly up on the big night.
We learned that Bobby, a standout baseball player, had suddenly started doing well in math. (No way!) Of course, his parents promised him a car for good grades. That didn't sit well with twin sister Gabby Backer: No car for her. Meantime, Bobby dumps Sally Spirit, a cheerleader. (Wow!) And rumor had it that Bobby had bribed the math teacher. Oh, the list of suspects was longer than David Lee Roth's hair!
But eventually the bad guy--actually, a bad girl--as discovered. And the night was saved.
More than 150 guests turned out for our murder mystery dinner, held Saturday at New Berlin Banquet Center. Final numbers aren't in yet, but we hope to net more than $4,000. We appreciate the support of everyone, but a special tip of the hat to Angie Leikam. Angie and her husband, Dave, own Full Service Car Wash. Angie won the 50/50 raffle, and immediately donated her $440 back the club. (Coincidentally, Angie won last year's 50/50 raffle too. She donated those funds to the club, as well.) Thank you, Angie!
We were honored to have Miss New Berlin, Alyssa Weissman, assist with raffle ticket sales. Here she is tag-teamed with Rotarian Scott Klaas. Alyssa's superior sales skills helped us gross $880 in 50/50 raffle sales alone.
Proceeds from this, our 10th annual dinner, will support local programs, including the New Berlin Police Department's Midnight Volleyball program and Rotary's World Affairs Seminar (we will sponsor two New Berlin high school students), among others. We'd like to thank all the guests, donors and volunteers for making this a resounding success. (For more images, and a list of sponsors, visit our image library.)
|Larry Liesen, Linda Joel||Posted||on Jan 27, 2016||
Welcoming our newest members
We took a few moments during our January 27 meeting to welcome our newest members, pictured here with president Shawn Schnabl.
Larry Liesen, who, along with wife Jeannette, owns 1st Service Title & Closing, Inc., regularly volunteers his time. Larry says he's looking forward to being an active member of our club.
Linda Joel, president and CEO of LindenGrove, complimented New Berlin for its friendliness. She is happy to be involved in the community and our club.
|Eternal Wish Foundation||Posted||on Jan 27, 2016||
Granting a wish and leaving a lasting memory
Tom Chirafisi's calling--and a new cause--was borne out of a "mid-life crisis." Working in the family business, Paragon Printing & Graphics of Milwaukee, his professional life was going well. Yet at age 30, Chirafisi wondered, "What's my purpose?"
His thought was prompted by a personal incident. In 2000, his grandmother Lorraine Chirafisi was dying of breast cancer. Content with her life, she had just one wish: to treat her family to a vacation in Hawaii. Lorraine returned so energized she lived another year. The family took another trip, this time to Disney World®, before she passed.
In 2008, while reflecting on his grandmother's final wish, Chirafisi asked himself: Is there an organization like Make-A-Wish® for adults? Seeing none, he started one. And realized a calling.
Eternal Wish Foundation grants wishes to adults with life-threatening illnesses. Wishes granted are as varied at the recipients themselves.
One recipient asked to attend a Duke University home basketball game. He got his wish.
A Kenny Chesney fan wanted to meet her idol. Chesney's PR team said that wasn't possible. With some prodding from Chirafisi--who mentioned that Eternal Wish Foundation was a 501(c)(3) organization--the woman's dream came true.
Another recipient was unable to leave Wisconsin due to her debilitating illness. Eternal Wish arranged for her to visit Disney World.
One of their first wishes came from Grace Martin of New York. Terminally ill with cancer, Martin hoped to publish her book, "Broken Wing." It's a story of a Native American boy who learns how to overcome his disabilities. Martin got her wish. In turn, she just asked everyone to extend an act of kindness to a stranger.
Copies of "Broken Wing" have shown up in an orphanage in Africa and a homeless shelter in New York. "I never dreamed it would go this far," Chirafisi says.
Chirafisi believes strongly in the power of giving. "When you give outside yourself," he says, "you receive it back ten-fold."
Headquartered in Milwaukee, the foundation's reach extends beyond Wisconsin. One board member, for example, lives and ministers in South Dakota. The foundation is on solid final footing, Chirafisi says, but is always open to donations. A September gala raises funds and gives recipients a chance to meet their new "familiy." Staffed entirely by volunteers, Eternal Wish is always looking for others to get involved.
To learn more about Eternal Wish Foundation, visit their website, or call 414-375-8874.
Rotarian Erica Moranski provided an update on New Berlin Junior Woman's Club's plans for Malone Park. The design for the new playground will be unveiled at New Berlin West on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Design firm Play By Design will select from entries submitted by New Berlin students that day.
Construction of the new, all-inclusive playground will be an all-volunteer effort. Build week is May 16-22. Moranski estimates they will need 1,000 volunteers working in three shifts of 40-60 people each.
For more information, including how you can donate funds or volunteer, visit the Playground At Malone website.
|Erica Moranski||Posted||on Dec 16, 2015||
Welcoming our newest member
Our newest member, Erica Moranski, officially joined our club on Dec. 16. An enrolled agent, Moranski offers tax preparation to individuals and small businesses. She has been involved since 1999, and started her own business about four years ago.
Moranski and her husband, long-time New Berlin residents, have been married 29 years. Their two children are grown and live out of state.
Moranski (shown here with club president Shawn Schnabl) has been a member of New Berlin Junior Woman's Club for 25 years. "I love what I've done with that," she says. She spoke about NBJWC during her visit to our club on Sept. 23. It was then Moranski realized the value of Rotary. She joined Rotary to expand her professional network but also to continue her involvement in community service. Rotary, she says, is "another great organization to be a part of."
Also during this meeting, Rotarian Dianne Moore provided an update on the Christmas gifts for our three "adopted" families. Between club funds and individual donations, she had $600 to buy gifts for 11 people. Most were teens and adults. Recipients requested mostly practical, everyday items, she says. The one child requested a model race car.
We learned of these families from Barb Jacobs at the New Berlin Food Pantry. Moore delivered the wrapped gifts to the food pantry on the 16th. This is the second year that our club has participated in this program.
|Weatherstone Food Donation||Posted||on Dec 04, 2015||
Sorting food for the needy
Erica Moranski, our newest member, joins Stephanie Friemoth and club president Shawn Schnabl at the New Berlin Food Pantry on Dec. 5. They assisted dozens of other volunteers in sorting and shelving hundreds of pounds of food items collected by the Weatherstone subdivision in New Berlin.
Brainchild of former homeowners association president (and now alderman) Dennis Horbinski, Weatherstone residents have been collecting and donating food for more than 30 years. This is the third time members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin assisted with this project.
Each item is reviewed to ensure it is not past its safe date, then shelved by type and expiration date. Each Wednesday, the New Berlin Food Pantry serves dozens of needy residents of Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin.
Spreading the holiday cheer
Dec. 5 was also the date of New Berlin's Christmas parade. Several Rotarians and high school students participated. The weather was more comfortable than in years past. Participants handed out candy to the excited children (and some parents!) lining National Avenue.
|Giris Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast||Posted||on Dec 02, 2015||
Girls Scouts make a difference in their lives, community
There's more to Girl Scouts than great cookies, as we learned during our meeting on Dec. 2. According to Rosanne McGuire, from Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, Girl Scouts is a leadership organization. McGuire, shown here with club president Shawn Schnabl, says the girls learn by doing.
Girl Scouts "discover a little bit about themselves," McGuire says. "They take action and make the world a better place." A food drive is the genesis for a presentation on hunger in their community. Scouts in Tess Corners, Wis., created an outdoors classroom for their grade school. Another troop devised a water filtration unit for a community in Tanzania.
Wauwatosa Girl Scouts developed a plan to convince the Canadian Pacific railroad to make their community a stop for the Holiday Train. Considered a "huge community event," this stop will allow Scouts and others to donate goods for needy families. A Wauwatosa stop will now be a part of the Holiday Train's schedule. "They [the Scouts] made it happen, [and] it'll be sustainable," McGuire says.
Girl Scouts serves students in grades K-12. This chapter has more than 28,000 members in six counties, with about 700 Scouts in New Berlin.
The seemingly simple cookie sales event is actually a financial literacy program. Scouts set goals, call on prospects, and handle cash transactions. "All of those life skills," McGuire says. Girl Scouts have gone on to become astronauts, CEOs and members of Congress.
Scouting spans generations, too. Mothers who were once Girl Scouts see their daughters join this venerable organization.
Travel is another big part of scouting. Girls have been to London, Costa Rica, Europe, and other destinations. "Anywhere their hearts desire," McGuire says.
Men have a place in Girl Scouts, too. In fact, the southeast Wisconsin chapter is holding its annual Men Behind the Mission luncheon on Dec. 9. The event is open to the public.
For more on Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, visit their website, or call 800-565-4475.
|Preparing for Murder Mystery Dinner||Posted||on Nov 18, 2015||
Gearing up for Murder Mystery 2016
Rotarian Stephanie Friemoth kicked off our march toward our 2016 Murder Mystery Dinner. The theme for this event is, "Total Rad '80s Prom Gone Bad." Our dinner will take place at New Berlin Banquet Center on Saturday, Feb. 6.
Friemoth reviewed the list of items we need. They include gifts and gift cards for the raffle and bottles of wine for the wine pull. She encouraged all Rotarians to reach out to local business for donations. The DJ, Scott of Magnum Entertainment, is already signed up. We've used him before, and he's excited about the prom theme for this event.
This is one of two fundraisers our club holds during the year. Funds go toward local youth projects, such as World Affair Seminar and the Police Department's Midnight Volleyball program. We raised about $3,600 this year, Friemoth says. Her goal for 2016 is $5,000.
If you or your business would like to donate a gift, contact Stephanie Friemoth through the email link at left. Stay tuned to our website. We'll have a lot more details, as well as your chance to buy tickets. We hope you'll be up for an '80s-style prom event on Feb. 6!
Also during our Nov. 18 meeting, Rotarian Dianne Moore informed us that our club "adopted" three families for the Christmas season. We budgeted $290 for this, one of our regular club projects. Moore selected from a list of needy families that had applied at the food pantry. Their requests tend to be for "everyday items," Moore says: winter boots, socks, and so forth.
Club members will purchase the items in the coming days. The wrapped gifts will be delivered to the food pantry on Dec. 16.
|Heather Stoskoph||Posted||on Nov 04, 2015||
Helping Waukesha County seniors remain independent
Waukesha County seniors have access to yet another valuable agency. Heather Stoskoph introduced us to Interfaith Senior Programs during our meeting on Nov. 4. Interfaith's volunteers assist with some basic tasks, allowing many seniors to stay in their homes. "All seniors have the right to live in their homes as long as they choose to," Stoskoph says.
According to Stoskoph, a typical client is a widowed homeowner in her 70s or 80s. Services, which are provided free, include transportation (to the grocery store and doctor's office), seasonal yard cleanup, and non-medical respite caregiver support. Interfaith serves approximately 1,100 seniors in Waukesha County each year. Having them stay at home, as opposed to taxpayer-supported assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, saves $60,000 per person per year.
Active seniors are welcome to volunteer their time and talents. One gentleman shovels driveways for six of his neighbors. "It gives him a sense of purpose," Stoskoph says. Other possibilities include being a pen pal for seniors and tutoring youth in math and reading.
Interfaith Senior Programs began in 2007, the result of a merger between Interfaith Caregiving Network, Inc. and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Waukesha County, Inc. With the county's senior citizen population expected to grow 34% by 2020, Stoskoph says there will be an increasing demand for their services. Interfaith currently is in "desperate need" of drivers.
Donations and fundraisers, like the upcoming Santa 5K Run, provide valuable funds. To learn more, or to volunteer, call Interfaith Senior Programs at 262-549-3348, or visit their website.
|Pam Signer||Posted||on Oct 28, 2015||
Providing meaningful employment for those with disabilities
Pam Signer of Pantheon Industries introduced us to her firm's services during our meeting on Oct. 28.
Since 1988, Pantheon has been helping adults with disabilities achieve their full potential through employment opportunities. Pantheon, with offices in New Berlin and Oconomowoc, provides a broad array of services for clients in and around Waukesha County. The goal is to find and maintain regular employment. "We emphasize possibilities over limitations," Signer says.
They begin with vocational assessments to determine a client's skill level and preferences for work. Through their Business Partnership Program, area businesses outsource tasks that are completed at Pantheon's offices. In some cases, clients are placed at the business in a pilot assignment. The firm is welcome to hire the client if it's a good match. "Try before you buy," Signer says.
Services provided include assembly, materials handling, quality inspections, pick/pack/ship, and visual and gauge sorting. These projects are the "foundation for all training and assessment," Signer says. Clients earn a competitive wage while receiving this valuable training.
Businesses benefit in several ways. Pantheon clients love to work, Signer says, and are happy to do repetitive and menial tasks. Turnover is reduced and profits rise through improved efficiency and productivity. Pantheon also offers a limited amount of laundry and document destruction services in their offices. Contact them for more details.
New this year is Pantheon Employment Readiness Training. This intensive, 8-week program includes jobs assessment, interviewing, resume writing, job shadowing and follow up.
Is your organization holding a fundraiser? Pantheon clients produce a wide variety of candles for you to resell. If you need screen printed promotional items, they can help with that as well, Signer says.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Pantheon Industries welcomes cash and gift donations. Product donations are limited to office needs. Cash donations go toward operating expenses and in building a foundation. If you have a project but don't have the help, contact Pantheon Industries. "Give that work to people who desperately need it," Singer says. To learn more about Pantheon, call 262-567-2133, or visit their website.
Also during this meeting club president Shawn Schnabl presented a check for $200 to Lyndsay Dake. Dake is a student at New Berlin West and member of Club Unify, which assists students with disabilities. Our donation was for Club Unify's upcoming Friendship 5K walk.
|Dist Gov Elect Julie Craig||Posted||on Oct 14, 2015||
An overview of District 6270 and Rotary in general
District Governor Elect Julie Craig visited us on Oct. 14. Craig, a member of the Kenosha West club, provided a fascinating review of our District and of Rotary itself. Among the many highlights she provided:
- Membership in Rotary is 1.2 million, up 34,000 worldwide (though our district is down a bit).
- 2016-17 is the Centennial year for The Rotary Foundation. Rotary predicts that polio will be eliminated during that year, Craig says.
- There are 54 clubs in District 6270 with more than 2,900 members.
- In the past year, those members donated more than $325,000 to Polio Plus and The Rotary Foundation. "Our District is very passionate about this," Craig says.
Because appealing to young people is so important, Craig reviewed the World Affairs Seminar (300 participants this year) and Rotary Youth Exchange program. In addition, she discussed Rotaract (for young professionals 18-30) and Interact (youth 12-18).
District 6270 has several priorities, Craig says. Chief among them are to support Rotary's polio eradication efforts and to build membership.
Craig invites all Rotarians to attend the focus groups she is holding around the District. What they learn at those meetings will help the administration "find a better way to run the District for the benefit of the clubs," she says.
Rotary Club of New Berlin is proud to donate to the school district's music program. Club president Schawn Schnabl presents a check for $2,200 to Natalie Baertschy, Director of Choirs for New Berlin Eisenhower.
The money will be put toward a digital drum set. "We're pretty excited about it," Baertschy says. It will produce more varied and authentic sounds for such performances as "AIDA," scheduled for February 2016. While primarily for the benefit of Eisenhower's theater department, Baertschy says the choir and marching band will use the drum set on occasion.
This is the second consecutive year we have donated to the music program, for a total of $4,200. These contributions are made possible due to the successful KIDS From Wisconsin concerts we host in summer.
In other news, Rotarian Stephanie Friemoth returned from maternity leave. She brought her little pride and joy, Lucy Adele, to our meeting Wednesday. Lucy, now two months old, decided against a grand appearance, opting instead for a long nap. Congratulations, Stephanie (and husband Bill)!
|District Governor Karen White||Posted||on Sep 23, 2015||
Sounding an upbeat message for Rotary
District Governor Karen White brought a message of hope and inspiration to our meeting on Sept. 23.
White, a member of Rotary Club of Plymouth, began by imploring Rotarians to "Get your ask on!" Meaning, proudly wear the "Ask Me About Rotary" buttons that are available from International. She also encouraged us to be a "gift to the world" by giving of our time, talents, and resources.
White's district, 6270, comprises most of eastern and southeastern Wisconsin, and includes 55 clubs. She encourages every club to have each member take the Every Rotarian Every Year pledge. This is a commitment of $100 to Rotary Foundation each year. This money is invested for three years, after which 50% is available for matching grants to clubs. (See the article below for more on Every Rotarian Every Year.)
On the polio front, White noted that Nigeria has been polio free for one year. If no new cases appear in the next two years, the country--and, indeed, the entire continent of Africa--will be declared polio free.
The fight against polio has made great strides elsewhere. Afghanistan had 304 cases in 2014, and 27 so far this year. There were 28 cases in Pakistan in 2014, and just 6 this year. White praised the efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its support over the years. She says the foundation is committed to the cause until polio is eradicated.
White acknowledged that our club meets just two times a month, down from weekly. As district governor, she will encourage clubs to think outside the box. Doing so can help clubs remain vital and strong.
Nearing the end of her visits to Rotary clubs, White now turns her attention to Interact and Rotaract clubs in this district. "It's important that they feel connected to Rotary," she says.
White reiterated this year's theme as her call to action. "Be a gift to the world," she says, "for our time is now."
Also during this meeting, Erica Moranski of New Berlin Junior Woman's Club discussed the efforts of her organization. For years, NBJWC has been raising money for a splash pad at Malone Park. They have raised $175,000 so far for a project estimated at $1 million.
Part of that cost, she says, would be for removing the existing playground equipment. The city is expected to do that next spring anyway.
Moranski learned recently that the city will not provide any tax dollars. NBJWC is now considering a universally accessible playground, possibly with a small splash pad. That will bring down the total cost. She invited Rotary Club of New Berlin to consider a donation.
To learn more about NBJWC, visit their website.
|Barb Senn||Posted||on Aug 26, 2015||
Encouraging Rotarians to support the Rotary Foundation
Barb Senn, Annual Giving Chair for our district (6270), discussed Rotary's Every Rotarian Every Year program during her visit on Aug. 26.
She began with a review of Rotary Foundation's efforts, led by the polio eradication program ("an amazing feat," she calls it).
Next, Rotary will turn its focus to water and sanitation issues, she predicts. "We take it for granted in this country to turn on the tap and get clean water."
All told, Rotary is involved in six service activities:
* Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
* Disease prevention and treatment
* Water and sanitation
* Maternal and child health
* Basic education and literacy
* Economic and community development
With that as backdrop, Senn encourages Rotarians to donate to the Rotary Foundation. Contributions are invested for three years. Rotary uses income from those investments for operational expenses, then returns 50% of the funds to the districts. (The other 50% is applied to international efforts.) Clubs can apply for matching funds for qualified projects. As a result, it is possible for members' donations to be returned to their communities.
Senn, a member of Fond du Lac Morning Rotary Club, says Rotarians can give as little or as much as they like. Those donations can be annually or spread throughout the year. It is the commitment she asks clubs and members to make.
As she travels the district, she reminds Rotarians about our core philosophy of Service Above Self. By supporting the Rotary Foundation through Every Rotarian Every Year, Rotarians help the organization "continue the good work we do." Download a brochure about the program here. (Adobe reader required.)
|KIDS From Wisconsin concert||Posted||on Aug 21, 2015||
Patrons wait to enter the auditorium prior to the show.
KIDS From Wisconsin rock the house
A nearly packed auditorium greeted the KIDS From Wisconsin as they brought their "No Place We'd Rather Be" concert to New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School on Friday, Aug. 21. During their two 40-minute sets, the 33-member troupe sang, danced and played their way through a wide range of music, including hits from Journey, as well as Carole King, Bruno Marx, and Taylor Swift. The 20 singer-dancers were backed by band that included a 7-piece brass section, which separately took center stage and treated everyone to music from Frank Sinatra and Chicago.
Their second set featured an extensive review of work from the musical "Bullets Over Broadway." The KIDS capped off the evening with a touching patriotic number that including parts of "God Bless America" and "America The Beautiful." Their well-choreographed routines generated hearty applause throughout the concert and a standing ovation at the end.
"It's a really great experience," bass player Isaac Surprenant commented afterward. "It's the best musical training you can have at this age." The New Berlin native will be a sophomore at UW-Madison this year.
That feeling was echoed by the group's other "hometown KID," Kyle Johnson-Evers of Muskego. "[It's] one of the best opportunities for someone this age to be in a group like this," the 19-year-old keyboardist says.
This image shows KIDS greeting patrons after the concert. Isaac Surprenant is at far left. Kyle Johnson-Evers is in the center, wearing the red vest.
Executive Director Tina Weiss was touched by the effort she witnessed this season. "They took a piece of my heart," she says, adding that she was impressed with the talent and passion displayed by the KIDS. Weiss, in her second season as executive director, notes that these young people form friendships that will endure for a lifetime.
We sold 475 tickets for this, our second annual KIDS From Wisconsin concert. Only a smattering of open seats were available in the newly renovated Lohmiller-Sutherland Theater. A majority of the proceeds, which are still being tallied, will be donated to the school district's music program.
Rotary Club of New Berlin would like to thank the advertisers, sponsors,
|World Affairs wrap up||Posted||on Jul 22, 2015||
World Affairs Seminar leaves impression on New Berlin youth
The four New Berlin high school students would attended World Affairs Seminar this summer returned on July 22 to share their experiences. Rotary Club of New Berlin is proud to again sponsor two New Berlin students to that prestigious event. (School District of New Berlin also sponsored two students.)
Attending were Margaret C. and Megan W. from New Berlin Eisenhower and Manisha V. and Danny W. from New Berlin West. Each offered some thoughts about the program.
Danny and Manisha appreciated meeting people from across the US and all over the world, including Canada, Africa, the Cayman Islands and Great Britain. Presenters said that the world will need multiple sources of energy to solve our energy problems. They noted major companies represented included WE Energies, General Electric and Johnson Controls.
Margaret: Said this was the most amazing thing she has experienced. She really liked the ice breakers, during which she met people from 22 states and 13 countries. She learned that compressed algae could be a source of energy. She took part in a field trip to General Electric to learn more about their operations. Had fun during the talent show at the end of the program. Has set a goal for our Interact Club to work with many students toward a really big project.
Megan: Like the others, she enjoyed meeting people from other areas. For her, those included Canada, Norway and the east coast, to name a few. She was impressed to learn the that wasting less food could save so much energy. She really liked the dance at the end, especially after getting to know so many people. Her takeaway was the value of community gardens. She hopes more people will grow their own food, which will save energy and cut down on food waste.
World Affairs Seminar is an initiative of Rotary District 6270, which comprises most of the clubs in Wisconsin. These events are designed to create global leaders and citizens through an international seminar with an innovative, rigorous program. The course is held at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., and involves high school students from across the US and around the world. The theme for this year's program, which ran June 20-26, was "Global Energy: Who's Got The Power?"
|Rosalie Smith||Posted||on Jul 22, 2015||
Helping our youth make the right choices
We were treated to a powerful story from Miss Wisconsin 2015, Rosalie Smith, on July 22. Although she enjoyed talking about her pageants, Smith is most passionate about her cause, which is named for her late brother, Colin.
Colin suffered from alcohol addiction for several years, and eventually entered a rehab facility in Boston. He returned home after 18 months of treatment a changed man. "[Colin was] finally the big brother I wanted," Smith says. A gifted young man, Colin spoke four languages (including Russian) and played several instruments.
He wanted to return to UW-Milwaukee, Smith says, but the alcoholism "consumed him." Soon after returning from Boston, Colin reconnected with some old friends. His was drinking even more than before. One night in April 2013 Colin attended a party at a friend's apartment. He became severely inebriated, and collapsed and died. Calling her brother her "hero," Smith realized that she wanted to make a difference. She recalls a friend telling her, "Rosalie, this is your chance. Colin is looking down at you."
A 2014 graduate of Waukesha North High School, Smith competed in this year's Miss Wisconsin pageant as Miss New Berlin. She received her tiara on June 20. Her platform is the program she created to honor Colin: “Centered on Loving in Need – Substance Abuse Awareness.” Smith, who is available for booking, shares her story in hopes that young people can avoid the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse. "He inspired a lot of people to come clean," Smith says. "I want to do the same for the community."
In this image, Smith is joined by club president Shawn Schnabl. As Miss Wisconsin, Smith receives a $10,000 cash scholarship (among other awards) and will compete in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City on Sept. 13.
She is attending UW-Milwaukee's Nursing program, and will pursue a career in pediatric oncology. Online courses allow her to continue her studies while she performs her duties as Miss Wisconsin.
|July 4 event||Posted||on Jul 04, 2015||
Serving up some delicious treats
Members of Rotary Club of New Berlin served up slices of tasty, juicy watermelon during New Berlin's 4th of July Celebration at Malone Park.
The annual event, held July 2-4, offers fun, food and entertainment for the whole family.
This is the third year that Rotary Club of New Berlin has offered watermelon. Pictured are just three of the many people who helped out: Rotarians Dale Worden (left), Tom Fuszard and Pat McLaughlin. Sales were hampered on Thursday and Friday (2nd and 3rd) due to the cooler temps. But things really heated up on Saturday. With the thermometer topping 80 degrees, customers lined up all day and night.
We went through a record 29 watermelons during the three-day event, and served more than 230 plates! The warm weather on Saturday helped, of course, but those watermelon slices were a refreshing, nutritious and inexpensive treat for fair goers of all ages.
Our watermelon booth is the brainchild of Dale Worden. A certified public accountant and our second longest-serving member (he joined in July 1971), Worden felt it would be important for the club to show its support for New Berlin. "Our club should be involved at the [4th of July Celebration]," he says, reflecting on his thoughts in 2012. The idea wasn't as much to raise money as to promote the club. Proceeds from this event were added to our general donation fund.
We'd like to extend a hearty "thank you" to all the Rotarians and friends who assisted during this event. And a special "thank you" to Dale for organizing this event and manning the table the entire time. That's quite an effort.
|Changing of the Guard||Posted||on Jun 24, 2015||
Ushering in a new era
Our Changing of the Guard dinner on Wednesday, June 24, was a particularly significant event. We officially installed Shawn Schnabl (above) as our president for the 2015-2016 term. He took the reins--more accurately, the gavel--from Scott Klaas. And, Rotary Club of New Berlin celebrated 45 years of service.
Schnabl, a mortgage officer with Providence Home Lending, thanked Scott for his leadership and service to the club, then recognized the board members present.
The year just concluded was a busy one for our club, Schnabl noted. He ticked off the many of our events and volunteer projects, including:
- 4th of July booth at Malone Park (selling watermelon)
- Assisting with Police Dept.'s Midnight Volleyball program
- Clearing brush in parks
- Hosting a KIDS From Wisconsin concert
- Donating to a needy family during Christmas
- Sorting food at the New Berlin Food Pantry
Assisting at the food pantry is especially important to Schnabl. "It weighs heavily on my heart knowing kids go to bed hungry," he says.
Among his goals, Schnabl would like to build upon the 14 projects and events of last year. He'd also like to see our membership grow, and to continue building the Interact program that Klass and others started.
"Be a gift of Rotary," he says, challenging members to invite others to our meetings, and attend our events and projects. "If we can bring our gifts to our club," Schnabl says, "our club will grow and we'll crush it."
In his remarks, outgoing president Scott Klass reflected on his term. "I can't believe it's been a year already," he says. "It is a very exciting time."
Klaas reviewed the goals he set for the club. Those included:
- Starting an Interact Club in New Berlin high schools. Thanks to the support of the school district (in particular, Superintendent Joe Garza, and district employee and club member Kathy Erickson) that is a reality. "We've got some excited kids, and we'll grow next year," he says.
- Improving attendance by members and involvement of the club. Those 14 projects and events allowed us to raise and donate money, as well as raise awareness of Rotary. "We have a really active club," he says.
As he looks to the future, Klaas, a broker with Shorewest New Berlin, sees only good things. "I feel very confident with where we are going."
Amazing, but Rotary Club of New Berlin has been serving the community and the world for 45 years. Yes, in addition to local organizations and groups, club members have volunteered their time--and, in some cases, money--for worthy causes overseas.
Chartered on June 20, 1970, Rotary Club of New Berlin held its first meeting on July 3, 1970. Club meetings have occurred at a variety of New Berlin businesses, many of which are long gone. We currently meet for lunch the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at New Berlin Hills Golf Course.
We were honored this night that three noteworthy members were able to attend.
When Carmelita Stehr joined in November 1987, she was our first female member. Dick Clemins, owner of Fortress Forms, Inc. in New Berlin, is our longest serving member. He joined in December 1970. And Dale Worden, a local certified public accountant, joined in July 1971.
|Tom Gaumond||Posted||on May 27, 2015||
A win-win situation for New Berlin businesses, schools
Do you care about New Berlin's schools? Would you like to support them through donations? Now you can. Tom Gaumond, president of CARING Group, introduced us to his program during our meeting on May 27.
The concept is simple. Businesses sign up for the program. Customers, known as members, also register and designate which school(s) are to receive their donations. While checking out at a participating business, customers mention they intend to make a CARING purchase and provide their phone number. This ensures the transaction is tied to the particular member. (All members of a household can use that phone number when making purchases.) Any product or service offered by the business is eligible for this program.
CARING (Companies Actively Reinvesting In Neighborhood Growth) Group began in Brookfield to support the Elmbrook School District. Two staff members from the School District of New Berlin attended this meeting to discuss how the program will be extended into New Berlin.
CARIING is 100% free to businesses and members. However, they ask that participating businesses donate at least 5% of member sales. CARING Group is a 501(c)(3) organization, so all donations are tax deductible to the business. The CARING Group website tracks all donations, which are handled automatically through a direct debit process.
The schools decide how to use the funds, Gaumond says. One school invested in its theater. Another applied the funds to its library. Members may select which school(s) are to receive their donations. Both public and private schools are eligible for CARING Group donations.
If you would like to register your New Berlin business, or join as a member, contact either of these Rotarians:
Scott Klaas: 262-347-9329
Jeremy Rynders: 414-795-6675
|Jason VanderPal||Posted||on May 13, 2015||
Enhance your leadership skills with improved speaking skills
Jason VanderPal provided a lesson in the value of strong communication skills during our May 13 meeting. VanderPal, a local minister and professional sales trainer, walked us through his formative years with a major retailer out west.
Employed at Guitar Center in California for several years, VanderPal was asked to give a speech during the firm's 2007 national conference. That presentation was so well received, he was offered the manager's position at Guitar Center's Hollywood location - their flagship store. "I have a 20-minute speech to thank for that," he says.
Interested in enhancing his public speaking skills, VanderPal joined Toastmasters, then enrolled in an intense, three-day workshop created by renowned public speaking trainer Bill Gove. VanderPal shared some important tips from that training.
1. Make a point, then tell a story. Segue into your story by saying, "Let me give you an example." Examples and stories help audience members understand your point.
2. Think funny. Incorporate a joke if you can. If not, relay an anecdote from life. "Funny things happen everyday," VanderPal says.
3. Avoid being a "teacher." Don't bury your audience (or customer) in features and details. "You don't get paid to teach," VanderPal says. "You get paid to entertain." Make your presentation lively and interesting.
4. Make sure you rehearse. You become more comfortable with your material, which improves your delivery and helps you overcome any glitch during the presentation.
VanderPal left Guitar Center in 2011. His career to that point had been, by any measure, a success: being named one of top five salespeople in the nation and earning an Outstanding Innovation award for his approach to retail sales. A Wisconsin native, VanderPal had been involved in the ministry in California. He learned of an opening for a ministry position in the Badger State. Seeing that as a new calling, VanderPal accepted the role of Executive Pastor at The Ridge Community Church in Greenfield, Wis. It was "too good of an offer to pass up, " he says.
Meantime, he continues to speak, and offers sales training to retail organizations through his program, Rock n' Roll Retail. For in the end, a lot of one's success depends on communicating well.
"The key to your next level of leadership," VanderPal says, "might be to take your speaking skills to the next level."
|USPS food drive||Posted||on May 09, 2015||
Sorting food for needy families
Sporting their "Rotarian At Work" safety vests, members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin, along with other volunteers, sorted food at the New Berlin Food Pantry on May 9. The food items were collected during the Postal Service's annual food drive.
Most of the food items were delivered by postal employees. Some private citizens also stopped by to drop off bags of food. Barb Jacob, assistant director, estimates that the food pantry took in 34,000 lbs. of food items. This was perhaps the largest food drive to date, "which is awesome," she says.
Rotarians helping out included Art Angove, Stephanie Friemoth, Tom Fuszard, Pat McLaughin, Dianne Moore and Bob Schaefer. Several Interact students, from New Berlin Eisenhower, also took part. Rotary Club of New Berlin was glad to help out for the third consecutive year.
The food items, which were bagged and stored in postal bins, are initially set into wheeled carts. This allows the food pantry to estimate how much food (by weight) was donated. The gentleman at right keeps track as each cart is loaded. Note how full this particular postal vehicle was.
The full carts are then rolled next to the table at left. There, volunteers empty the bagged goods into cardboard trays. When full, the trays are transferred to the middle table, where the sorting begins.
This gives you a better perspective of the arrangement. Each bin and barrel is for a specific food item (green beans, tuna, pasta sides, boxed potato, and so forth). Food pantry staff and other volunteers, working inside the food pantry, review each item's expiration date, then shelve the products for distribution.
The New Berlin Food Pantry serves needy families in Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin. The pantry is open only on Wednesdays. Food donations are accepted from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. (Please do not donate expired food. It must be discarded.) Needy families may collect their food items from noon to 5:15 p.m. Any questions, call the food pantry at 262-789-8040.
Jacob expressed her appreciation for the Rotary club's help. "You did an awesome job," she said. "Thanks a lot."
|Paralyzed Veterans of America||Posted||on Apr 22, 2015||
Gus Sorenson and Ken Matthews
A helping hand for those who served
Military veterans with paraplegia and other spinal cord dysfunction have a great resource in Paralyzed Veterans of America. And Milwaukee is blessed to be home to the Wisconsin chapter. Gus Sorenson, Government Relations Director, and chapter Vice President Ken Matthews reviewed their organization during our April 22 meeting.
PVA helps individuals with spinal cord injuries, as well as those with MS and ALS. The injury does not have to be service related. Gus' quadriplegia is the result of an automobile accident that occurred years after he left the Army. ("Please lock your seatbelt," he says. "We don't need any more statistics.")
The organization helps veterans obtain quality healthcare and counseling, and advocates for accessibility and other needs. Matthews says PVA is highly regarded in Congress for its advocacy efforts. The PVA secured more than $1 billion in funding this past year. "No benefits group has gotten as much for vets as Paralyzed Vets of America," Matthews says.
Problems with VA hospitals in Phoenix and Tomah, Wis., have tarnished the VA's image somewhat. Even so, VA hospitals consistently get high marks in surveys. "Nobody can care for a disabled vet like the VA can," Matthews says.
In addition to helping with healthcare needs, PVA encourages veterans to participate in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Wheelchair-bound veterans compete in a variety of sports, including track and field, swimming, rugby, table tennis and trap shooting. "[The games are] great fun and great confidence builders," Matthews says. The newly injured, especially, realize that they can accomplish things.
Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded in 1946. The Wisconsin chapter, located in West Allis, opened in 1982. It has about 330 regular members and more than 300 associate members. While their efforts are limited to current and former service personnel, the office occasionally receives calls from nonveterans. They gladly offer information and referrals. "We do whatever we can to help people," Sorenson says.
For more information, visit their website, or call 414-328-8910.
In other news, club president Scott Klaas announced the formation of an Interact club at New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School. Eight students, including all four World Affairs Seminar students, attended the inaugural meeting. "They had a ton of enthusiasm, and I believe this will only grow," Scott says.
|New Berlin Citizens Academy Alumni Assoc||Posted||on Apr 07, 2015||
Supporting those who protect us
We received in interesting education in the New Berlin Police Citizens Academy Alumni Association during our April 8 meeting. Representing the association were president Stephanie Brown, Treasurer Jerry Vogel and (seated between them) board member Bernie Kramer.
Founded in 2011, the association is open to all alumni of the New Berlin Police Department's Citizens Academy. As Stephanie Brown explains, the academy is a free, 11-week course that exposes citizens to all phases of law enforcement work. "[The course] is designed to give people a better understanding of what the police department does."
Each session focuses on a separate area of law enforcement. Subjects include crime scene investigation, drug investigations, patrol procedures, and firearms fundamentals, among others. Students also get to ride along with an officer during a shift. The ride is especially valuable, Stephanie says, because students "get to see firsthand that [the police officers] are just like you and me." The course is open to adults who live or work in New Berlin.
Graduates are welcome to join the alumni association. Dues are $10.00 per year. In addition to quarterly membership meetings, the association hosts several fundraisers throughout the year. Since starting in 2011, the association has donated $32,000 to the police department. Those funds have gone toward a variety of projects, including:
- Quick Clot Medical kits for each officer
- Tables, chairs and lectern for a new training room
- A SWAT team shield
- Custom lockers for the SWAT team
- Three pieces of exercise equipment for the department's gym
For more information on the citizens academy or the alumni association, call 414-425-4997.
Also during this meeting, Mark Juds, a board member of KIDS From Wisconsin, requested raffle items for the KIDS' premier show on June 24. The raffle with raise funds for the group's outreach efforts. KIDS alumni mentor students interested in music. If you'd like to donate an item or have a question, call 414-266-7067.
Mark, son of Rotarian Audrey Juds, is a KIDS alumnus. He played the trombone during their 1969 season.
|World Affairs Seminar students||Posted||on Mar 24, 2015||
Introducing the World Affairs Seminar students
Four New Berlin students headed to the World Affairs Seminar in June visited us on March 25. Our club is proud to again sponsor two New Berlin high school students to that prestigious event. (The School District of New Berlin sponsors the other two.) Pictured are Margaret C. and Megan W. from New Berlin Eisenhower and Manisha V. and Pranay V. from New Berlin West.
World Affairs Seminar is an initiative of Rotary District 6270, which comprises most of the clubs in Wisconsin. These events are designed to create global leaders and citizens through an international seminar with an innovative, rigorous program. The course is held at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., and involves high school students from across the US and around the world. The theme for this year's program, which runs June 20-26, is "Global Energy: Who's Got The Power?"
All the students are juniors. Each spoke about what to expect from the seminar.
Margaret: Her favorite subjects are Spanish and Geography, so she's looking forward to meeting students from other countries. Hopes to learn from them and bring ideas back with her.
Megan: The topic is appropriate. Her interest is energy, and is planning a career in environmental energy.
Manisha: Interested in meeting students from around the US and other parts of the world. Hopes to bring some lessons back to the community.
Pranay: Also looking forward to meeting other students. Hopes to learn more about alternative power sources, a keen interest of his.
These students will return on July 22 to discuss what impact the seminar had on them. We wish them the best.
|New Berlin Community Fair||Posted||on Mar 19, 2015||
Talking up Rotary
Club members enjoyed talking with guests of all ages during New Berlin's Community Fair, March 20-21. The event, held at New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School, featured dozens of businesses and organizations from New Berlin and surrounding communities.
This was the second annual community fair, a joint venture between the New Berlin Chamber of Commerce and the School District of New Berlin. Pictured here a club members Tom Fuszard, Olivia Kelley and Dianne Moore. Also assisting with this presentation were Rotarians Bob Schaefer, Shawn Shnabl and Stephanie Friemoth.
Other images from the fair, as well as from our meetings, can be found in our library of images.
In addition to participating in the Community Fair, Rotary Club of New Berlin hosted a forum for school board candidates. That was held in the Eisenhower's library on Saturday. Rotarians Audrey Juds, Scott Klaas (club president) and Dianne Moore coordinated that.
We're already looking forward to New Berlin's 2016 Community Fair. Why? We have a secret in store for guests. Make sure you visit our booth next year!
|Workplace violence||Posted||on Mar 10, 2015||
Learning how to react during a dangerous situation
Sgt. Dan Hanlon and Officer Tony Fus of the New Berlin Police Department brought their very important discussion of workplace violence to our meeting on March 11.
Some of these incidents escalate into active-shooter events (ASEs), so that was the focus of their presentation. Disgruntled former employees and employees who are about to be fired can be cause for concern. Hanlon recommends calling the police department if you are anxious about firing an employee. An officer will stand by and even escort the person out if needed.
Statistics show that 37% of the incidents occur in businesses, 34% in schools, and 17% in public places such as restaurants and theaters; the remainder are in assorted locations. "It's a scary world we live in," Hanlon says. "Even if you're retired, you're not immune to workplace violence." You could be shopping or dining, for example, and encounter a situation.
One common element in these incidents is prescription drugs, particularly Zoloft, Luvox and Prozac. Most people under care are responsible citizens, Hanlon says, but "there's a segment of society that can't handle these meds."
Sixty percent of ASEs involve a gun, and in 74% of the cases, the person entered the business through the front door. Hanlon says that many firms issue handheld radios so employees can stay in touch. "Radios are really central for keeping you safe," adding that the PA system sometimes fails.
What do you do if you find yourself in an active-shooter situation? Remember this: Run, Hide, Fight. Adapted from the video of the same name, these steps could literally save your life.
Run - Get out if you can. Encourage others to leave, but don't let them slow you down. Once outside, discourage anyone nearby from entering the premises. Don't hang around, though. Get as far away as possible.
Hide - If you can't escape safely, find as secure a hiding place as possible. Lock the door and/or block it with a desk or other heavy object. Turn off the lights and silence your phone. If you can't get to such a room, conceal yourself behind a large object. Do your best to remain calm.
Fight - A last resort. Use anything that can be a weapon - fire extinguisher, chair, object on your desk, your fists and feet. Commit to taking down the assailant.
Remember that a disgruntled person often gives off clues. Watch for changes in behavior, and take note of dangerous comments the person is making. Always call the police if you see a suspicious person. Sometimes, Hanlon says, the result is disorderly conduct tickets. But you may have prevented an issue from escalating.
Hanlon and Fus offer this presentation free to any New Berlin business or organization. Call Officer Tony Fus at 780-8148 or Sgt. Dan Hanlon at 780-8106 to schedule a presentation.
|Welcoming new members||Posted||on Mar 03, 2015||
Welcoming some of our newer members
Our March 4 meeting gave us a chance to learn more about several of our newer members. Each received a Certificate of Membership and was invited to offer a few thoughts. Assisting with the presentation were Membership Chair Dianne Moore and President Scott Klaas.
Prior to joining, Hamilton Dowden, DC, of Pure Family Chiropractic in New Berlin, had been asked to speak to our club. That visit provided some understanding of Rotary and our club, but Hamilton wanted to learn more. In particular, he was curious about how Rotary served New Berlin and the world. He joined soon after that meeting. "I love what we do," he says.
Hamilton says he is excited to serve as vice president during the next term, which starts July 1. "Hopefully continue what you guys built on," he says.
Pat McLaughlin has "always been involved in doing something; helping people." A licensed broker with Kutschenreuter Financial Services in New Berlin, Pat and his wife have cared for some 30 foster kids over the years. He says it was natural for him to join Rotary.
A 30-year resident of New Berlin, Pat spent 36 years in the automotive business prior to joining KFS in 2010. Pat hopes to take in some networking while enjoying the service aspect of our club. "I'll do my best to help you," he says.
Our newest member is part of a husband-and-wife team, one of two such arrangements our club is honored to include. Michael Erickson recently followed his wife, Kathy Erickson, who joined several weeks ago. They alternate their schedules so one is usually able to attend our meetings.
Michael owns Above Par Golf Cars in New Berlin. An authorized Club Car dealer, his firm offers rentals, repair work and parts sales to customers throughout the area. According to Michael, Above Par Golf Cars has 67% of the business in Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha and Milwaukee counties. Michael joined the firm, then known as Tiziani Golf Car Corp., 27 years ago. He bought the business in 2010.
Kathy Erickson is CFO. She is also special-education teacher with the School District of New Berlin. Her schedule with the school district meshes well with the needs of Above Par Golf Cars. As the school term winds down, the golf car business picks up.
Michael was intrigued to hear from Kathy that Rotary Club of New Berlin was involved in New Berlin's Christmas parade. "Any organization that helps other organizations prosper, I'm all in," he says.
After these members introduced themselves, Membership Chair Dianne Moore had some suggestions for all club members. Her first was that we read Rotarian magazine regularly (all members receive a subscription). The magazine contains "a real wealth of information," Dianne says. She also suggested that members always wear the Rotary pin. Business people will see that you're a Rotarian, she says, which "puts you one step ahead when looking for business."
"Be proud of Rotary," Dianne says.
|Moving New Berlin Forward||Posted||on Feb 10, 2015||
Keeping New Berlin moving forward
A coalition of groups has been quietly working to align the city's resources with the needs of its schools, businesses and community. John Kegel, chair of Moving New Berlin Forward, introduced us to the organization during our Feb. 11 meeting.
The seeds were planted several years ago, John says. Act 10, passed in 2011, resulted in cuts to state aid to schools. That prompted the school district to search for new resources. One thought was to get businesses engaged with the schools. Business breakfasts were used to gain input, but attendance was modest.
In early 2013, Superintendent Joe Garza suggested forming a committee to include service clubs, the chamber of commerce, mayor's office and the school district. Its goal was to "get all those people talking and working together," John says. The group's name reflects its mission. John, who is Senior Project Manager at Selltis, LLC, has served as chair of Moving New Berlin Forward since its inception.
Their meetings, typically held the first Thursday of the month, involve the mayor or his staff, the Superintendent or his staff, a school board member, and various business leaders. In addition, a pastor or two will attend, John says.
John ticked off a number of accomplishments:
- Launched a program to help prepare students for college, career or other opportunities
- Established Career Day in the schools
- Created an online job board
- Expanded course offerings to include offsite curricula; a certified nursing program is one such class
- Created Biz Town, which exposes 5th graders to business-related matters
- Enrolling 75 students--roughly 12% of high school students--in co-op and apprenticeship programs
- Collaboration on events. Discover New Berlin Expo is one example
While there is a great partnership with the School District of New Berlin, Moving New Berlin Forward is also working with private schools. Those include Holy Apostles and, in fall, Heritage Christian School.
Looking ahead, John says they would like to see more businesses participate in Moving New Berlin Forward and partner with the school district. "We're trying to help all of you anywhere get engaged," he says. They hope, also, to enhance collaboration with Waukesha County. Anyone interested in participating is welcome to call John at 262-613-0703.
Finally, John offered a plug for this year's Discover New Berlin Community Fair, on March 20-21 at Eisenhower High School. Friday is geared toward businesses, while Saturday's programming is aimed at families.
Also during this meeting, we received a recap of the murder mystery dinner. Rotarian Stephanie Friemoth says that they're still tallying the results, but it appears we netted at least $4,500. That contrasts with last year's event, which raised $3,100. Another example of growth: We had 27 raffle baskets this year compared to 13 last year.
She invited the group to select the theme for next year' murder mystery. We chose, " '80s Prom Gone Bad." Stay tuned!
|Murder Mystery 2015||Posted||on Feb 05, 2015||
Solving a mystery of Herculean proportions
An evening of gladiator warfare and celebration was planned for all of Rome to enjoy. Shockingly, Titus, a grand champion gladiator, went to the Colossuem in the sky during the party. (But not before feasting on a sumptuous meal of chicken breast, tenderloin tips, home-style mashed potatoes and sweet corn.) Whodunit?
It was up to the 145 guests--a record attendance--to solve this baffling mystery. A plot with more twists than a gladiator's moves and more turns than a chariot race, this tale had everyone on the edge of their seats. (Well, at least scratching their heads a bit.)
While poring over a mountain of evidence, guests interviewed each suspect - could they believe what they were hearing? And such intrigue! Who brought the tonic? Who wrote the note left on Titus? Why did Felix tear up his divorce decree? Eventually, six of the 17 tables correctly identified who the bad guy--or more accurately, bad gal--was.
Our murder mystery dinner featured a wine pull, standard raffle and 50/50 raffle. A wine spritzer was available, with a portion of each sale going to our efforts. We're still crunching the numbers--wore out one abacus already--but we raised at least $4,500 during the night. That includes $582 that the winner of the 50/50 raffle, Angie Leikam, donated back to the club. Angie and her husband, Dave, own Full Service Car Wash. Thank you, Angie!
In addition to solving the mystery, dinner guests were asked to select the best costume among the cast members. The gentleman at right wearing the helmet took first place.
Proceeds from the event will support local programs, including the New Berlin Police Department's Midnight Volleyball program, Rotary's World Affairs Seminar (we will sponsor two New Berlin high school students), and the New Berlin school district's music program. We'd like to thank all the guests, donors and volunteers for making this, our 9th annual murder mystery event, a resounding success. (For more images, click on the link under "New Berlin Rotarians in Action" on the home page.)
|Some changes in tax laws||Posted||on Jan 27, 2015||
A brief review of changes in tax laws
Long-time member Dale Worden, CPA, puts a little enthusiasm into what he calls a "boring" topic: changes in the tax laws. During our Jan. 28 meeting, Dale reviewed some of the changes to expect for 2015, as well as reporting needs for filing last year's taxes. Some highlights from his presentation:
- New forms related to federal healthcare law. Use Form 8962 if you earned a credit, form 8965 if you need to pay the penalty.
- If you purchased insurance through the federal exchange, you should receive a form 1095A from the insurance company by Feb. 1.
- Residential energy credit: Available only for major solar improvements to the home.
- Mileage expense increases this year to 57.6 cents/mile. The rate for 2014 was 56 cents/mile.
- The income ceiling for Social Security tax was $117,000 in 2014.
- Medical expense floor for deduction is now 10%; that's up from 7.5%.
- Some previously allowed deductions have been phased out. Read the materials carefully. Dale stressed that everyone's situation is different. Consult with a tax specialist if you have questions.
Dale also took a moment to caution us about IRS scams being reported. Callers claimed to be from the IRS, and threaten residents with imprisonment or seizure of their automobile. Report those calls to authorities.
On a side note, Dale is our most veteran member, having served our club continuously for more than 40 years. Congrats and thanks, Dale!
Long-time member Dale Worden, CPA, puts a little enthusiasm into what he calls a "boring" topic: changes in the tax laws. During this meeting, Dale reviewed some of the changes to expect for 2015, as well as reporting needs for 2014's taxes - See more at: http://rotaryclubofnewberlin.org/PhotoAlbums/scenes-from-club-meetings-events-2015#sthash.9QA0UwjX.dpuf
Dale Worden, CPA - Long-time member Dale Worden, CPA, puts a little enthusiasm into what he calls a "boring" topic: changes in the tax laws. During this meeting, Dale reviewed some of the changes to expect for 2015, as well as reporting needs for 2014's taxes. - See more at: http://rotaryclubofnewberlin.org/PhotoAlbums/scenes-from-club-meetings-events-2015#sthash.Eb0h1fs9.dpuf
|Trevor Marsicano||Posted||on Dec 16, 2014||
Skating through an award-winning career
Trevor Marsicano, speed skater and Olympic silver medal winner, offered a fascinating review of his sport and career during our meeting on Dec. 17.
He began by discussing the difference in the skates used for short track and long track. He then displayed his racing suit. Among the unique features: Its arms are textured for aerodynamics, similar in theory to the dimples on a golf ball. The back of the suit keeps him in the stooped position for maximum performance.
A native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Trevor first took to ice skates at age 4. He played ice hockey up to age 13, when he switched to speed skating. Saratoga Springs has a nice track, but Trevor knew that to advance he'd have to move to either Salt Lake City (home of the US Olympic Oval) or Milwaukee (Pettit National Ice Center). He settled on the Pettit Center. In 2008, at age 18, Trevor moved to Milwaukee. Upon seeing the Pettit Center, he knew he made a good decision. "I fell in love with the place," he said.
Trevor enjoyed remarkable success early on. He won four medals (one gold, one silver, two bronze) in the 2009 world speed skating championships. His gold medal was for setting a world record in 1,000 meters. His time, 1:06.80, was 0.2 seconds faster than the previous record, and represented the first time anyone had skated 1,000 meters in under 1 minute 7 seconds.
His proudest moment, of course, was winning the silver medal during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Trevor participated in the mens 1,500 meter event. In this image, Trevor displays his silver medal accompanied by club president Scott Klaas. (The medal is quite impressive. Cast of nearly pure silver, it weighs a hefty 5 lbs.)
Today, Trevor is Client/Event Manager at the Pettit. Back and knee injuries have sidelined him for the time being. Now 25, he still could compete and it remains on his mind. In addition to his duties at the Pettit, Trevor enjoys working with youth groups. One passion is an anti-bullying message, which he brings to area schools.
|Fascinating look at Ethiopia||Posted||on Dec 09, 2014||
A fascinating look at "a very unusual country"
Members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin were treated to an interesting look at Ethiopia during their meeting on Dec. 10. Frequent traveler Rex Fritischi talked about his trip, which he took back in March.
Formally known as the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the country occupies an area of approximately 420,000 square miles in the Horn of Africa. Its population of roughly 88 million is "very religious," Rex says; 85-90% are members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Churches were a common theme in Rex's presentation. He offered numerous images of churches both modern and old; some dated to 5th or 6th century BC. One, St. Mary of Zion Church (in Axum), claims to hold the Ark of the Covenant.
Rex, a certified travel consultant, has more than 30 years of travel experience involving approximately 160 countries. He was amazed and enlightened while traveling throughout Ethiopia, which he called "a very unusual country."
Rex's images displayed many facets of Ethiopia, including market day, the terrain (both high ground and lowlands), daily life, school days, farming, and more. With religion playing such a pivotal role in everyday life, we were treated to numerous colorful religious displays in churches and privately held artwork.
Wrapping up Christmas cheer for needy families
After our meeting on Dec. 10, club members wrapped gifts for three needy families in the area. This is a regular project for the Rotary Club of New Berlin, and one which brings us the most pride.
The gifts are scheduled to be delivered on Dec. 18.
|Helping at the food pantry||Posted||on Dec 05, 2014||
Sorting and stocking to help the needy
Sporting their yellow "Rotarian At Work" safety vests, members of our club sort and stock food items at the New Berlin Food Pantry on Dec. 6. The food was collected by residents of the Weatherstone subdivision in New Berlin.
Brainchild of former homeowners association president (and now alderman) Dennis Horbinski, the Weatherstone food collection adds hundreds of pounds of food and other important items to the food pantry's shelves. This was the association's 30th annual collection and the second time members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin assisted with sorting and stocking.
Each item is reviewed to ensure it is not past its safe date, then shelved by type and expiration date. Each Wednesday, the New Berlin Food Pantry serves dozens of needy residents of Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin.
In this image, Shawn Schnabl and Jeremy Rynders are reviewing the expiration dates. Pat McLauglin brings in another barrel of items that had just been dropped off by donors. Stephanie Friemoth heads to the shelves with more items. Olivia Kelly, assisted by two handy helpers, is partially visible along the right edge of the image.
Many thanks to the folks in Weatherstone for another huge collection and to our members for taking time out of their Saturday morning to help out.
|2014 Christmas Parade||Posted||on Nov 28, 2014||
Gearing up for the parade
Members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin, along with a local high school student, gather at the club's trailer/float prior to New Berlin's Christmas parade on Nov. 29.
Participating in the parade are Pat McLauglin, Hamilton Dowden, club president Scott Klaas, Jeremy Rynders as Santa, Bob Schaefer (seated), Rick Hobbs, a New Berlin high school student, Art Angove and Tom Fuszard (kneeling). The photographer was fellow Rotarian Kathy Erickson.
Marveling at their handiwork are Rotarians Audrey Juds, Bob Schaefer, Scott Klaas and Rick Hobbs. Not pictured but also assisting were Rotarians Hamilton Dowden and Kathy Erickson.
The trailer was trimmed out inside Rotarian Jeremy Rynders' garage.
|Kelly and Peter Brands||Posted||on Nov 19, 2014||
Carrying the spirit of the Peace Corps to Panama
Members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin were introduced to a fascinating example of volunteerism during the Nov. 20 meeting. Kelly Moore Brands and Peter Brands provided a recap of their work in Panama as members of the Peace Corps.
Kelly and Peter, daughter and son-in-law of New Berlin Rotarian Dianne Moore, arrived in Panama in May 2012. They worked in a number of communities in the province of Ngobe Bugle, which is in the central mountains of Panama. During their 2 1/2 years, Kelly and Peter:
- Built a 17' x 20' home for themselves. That involved cutting down trees and collecting other materials in the forest.
- Helped build latrines for more than 50 homes, in the process improving sanitation for the residents and their communities.
- Designed and built several eco-stoves using readily available materials.
- Started an Agricultural Education Program so farmers could improve the quality of their coffee crops.
- Created a number of games and activities for young children. Sadly, alcoholism is prevalent among adults. Kelly and Peter hope that their activities, which continue today, will steer children away from alcohol.
Pictured are some of the colorful clothing items that Kelly and Peter acquired during their stay.
Since returning to Wisconsin in August, Kelly has been pursuing opportunities in sustainable agriculture while Peter hopes to parlay his carpentry skills into a position that involves restoring older homes.
|Pathways Transition Program||Posted||on Nov 11, 2014||
Helping young people with disabilities develop independent lives
Life is challenging enough for young people, but especially so for those with disabilities. Pathways Transition Program, offered by the School District of New Berlin, fills that need for individuals aged 18-21. Kathy Erickson, the District's Transition Teacher, reviewed her program during our meeting on Nov. 12.
Operating from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during school days, Pathways offers a host of programs designed to develop each student's vocational and interpersonal skills.
Kathy says her students could have cognitive or physical disabilities, but are still able to work. Her staff matches the job opportunity with the student's interests and skill set. An onsite coach is provided if needed.
One major component entails finding part-time work for these students, whom she says are "the best workers." Kathy sought to dispel the myths and fears employers often have about hiring those with disabilities.
1. Work comp premiums will increase. Premiums are based upon the hazards and accident rates at a business, not whether any employees have disabilities.
2. Providing accommodations is expensive. Generally not true. Any costs are typically less than $600, and tax incentives make it easier to cover those costs.
3. The Americans With Disabilities Act requires employers to hire unqualified candidates. Not true. The Act protects against discrimination. Businesses can always select candidates based upon capabilities.
4. Employees with disabilities have a higher absentee rate. "I think it's actually the opposite," Kathy says. Her students actually have a lower absentee rate.
5. Under ADA, an employer cannot fire an employee with a disability. Also not true. Termination is allowed, as long as A) it is unrelated to the disability; B) the employee does not meet the qualifications for the job; and C) the disability poses a direct threat to health or safety at work.
Kathy points put that employees with disabilities are very focused while on the job and not prone to distractions as other employees might be.
If your business could use some part-time help in the morning, call Kathy at 262-789-6590, ext. 2255. Perhaps one of her students is just right for you. "All [my] kids want to work," she says. "It gives them a sense of self."
|District governor sets goals||Posted||on Oct 14, 2014||
District Governor sets goals for District, Rotary clubs
1) To help each club as much as possible.
2) To discuss the benefits of giving to Rotary Foundation. The Foundation can be one of the top charities Rotarians consider giving to. She shared many examples of how a little bit of money donated can go a long way.
3) To encourage each club to set an international goal and consider sponsoring an exchange student.
4) To promote the education and fellowship provided by the district. She encouraged members to attend the semi-annual district seminars. The Fall Seminar is this Saturday; the next one takes place in Spring 2015.
5) To have fun! Have fun at the meetings, have fun at community events, and let the community see how much fun Rotary is. Help prospective members join our exciting club.
Mary Beth reminded us that this year's theme is, "Light Up Rotary." It comes from the saying, "It is better to light a candle than to sit and curse the darkness." Mary Beth encouraged Rotarians to "light a candle" in their own ways.
|Heritage Christian Schools||Posted||on Oct 07, 2014||
Update on Heritage Christian Schools
John Davis, president of Heritage Christian Schools, talked about his schools and their plans for growth during our meeting on Oct. 8. Some of the key points John shared with us include:
- The school started in 1973.
- They have now graduated more than 1,700 students.
- Moving to New Berlin from Brookfield will allow them to consolidate all campuses at one location. They have an accepted offer on Glen Park, the old Elementary School at 3500 S. Glen Park Rd. Plans call for a four-phase renovation program that will add classrooms and a high school-quality gym.
- Their mission is To Train and Inspire Servant Leaders through Exceptional Christ-Centered Education and Programs.
|Nina Race, Spa Paw & Tail||Posted||on Sep 23, 2014||
Offering pet care and community service since 2009
Nina Race, co-owner of Spa Paw & Tail in New Berlin, introduced us to her business and business philosophy during our meeting on Sept. 24.
Opened in 2009, Spa Paw & Tail offers a full array of grooming and spa services (including facials and nail trims), play time and boarding. While it caters mostly to dogs, they will take care of your cat as well.
It was back in the '80s that Nina conceived of a place "where people can bring their dogs and play."
"People told me I was crazy," she says. She stuck with her idea, doing research and visiting other facilities. She and her husband opened Spa Paw & Tail in August 2009. It was an immediate success, and has seen double-digit growth each year. Ninety percent of their clientele live in the city. "New Berlin has been really supportive," Nina says.
They recently purchased their building, which will allow them to expand from 9,300 to 21,000 square feet. Nina says they hope to add workshops and other presentations to an enhanced operations.
Devoted to our community, they organized a Strut Your Mutt walk at Malone Park last October. The event raised $2,800 for the police department's K-9 unit. One hundred people participated during that event; Nina hopes to double the attendance this year.
Nina is particularly proud of their emphasis on hiring military veterans, the unemployed and those with disabilities. "I think it's therapeutic to work with pets," she says.
With winter approaching, Nina advises pet owners to take care of the paws. Simple treatments like warm water and honey alleviate the effects of the cold weather. "The main thing is taking care of their feet," she says.
Also during this meeting, club president Scott Klaas presented a check for $2,000 to Natalie Baertschy, Music Chair of the School District of New Berlin. We raised these funds during our KIDS From Wisconsin concert on Aug. 22. Natalie says they will be used for instruments in the elementary general music classrooms.
"This truly is a gift that benefits many," Natalie says. "We look forward to our continued partnership with the New Berlin Rotary Club."
|What Rotary means to us||Posted||on Sep 09, 2014||
What Rotary means to us
Club president Scott Klaas used our Sept. 10 meeting to review the value of Rotary in our lives. He invited members to share their reasons for joining and what they hoped to get out of their membership.
Scott said that he joined the Rotary club to meet people and help out in the community. His decision hit home as he was sorting food at the food pantry during the Postal Service food drive. He was amazed at the amount of food collected and the number of families helped.
Here are some of the comments offered by members:
Hamilton Dowden, D.C.: A new club member and co-owner of Pure Family Chiropractic, Dr. Dowden said he was drawn to Rotary's motto of Service Above Self. "I wanted to join an organization that shared our values," he said. (Rotary's 4-Way Test is shown at left.)
Brady Reinke: Another new member, Brady, principal at Poplar Creek Elementary School, said he joined to learn more about New Berlin and see how he could serve the community.
Patrick McLauglin: Our newest member has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry. A licensed broker with Kutschenreuter Financial Services, Pat said he wanted to "get involved; to do something." He and his wife have raised approximately 30 foster children over the years, so "we were always involved."
Dianne Moore: One of our veteran members, Dianne realized years ago that joining Rotary could help her professionally. Co-owner of All Inclusive Vacations in West Allis, Dianne said that she has always cherished meeting people. "Getting to know other people," she said, "helps you with your career and as a person."
Stephanie Friemoth: The immediate past president of our club, Stephanie said she wanted to meet new people in our community. A financial advisor with Edward Jones in New Berlin, Stephanie said she looks forward to projects and events that she can get involved with.
John Pelishek: An automobile sales representative, John said he thought this would be a good way to meet people. "It's been a very good experience," he said.
People join Rotary for a host of reasons. Among them is a desire to help others. We invite you to visit one of our luncheon meetings so you can learn more about our club and Rotary in general. Our calendar is at right. Feel free to stop by someday; we'd love to meet you. Lunch is on us, and there is no obligation.
|Creating good out of tragedies||Posted||on Aug 26, 2014||
Club president Scott Klaas with Miss Wisconsin, Raeanna Johnson, and Miss New Berlin,
Creating good out of tragedies
Members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin were treated to somber and powerful messages during the Aug. 27 meeting. Raeanna Johnson, Miss Wisconsin 2014, and Megan Patrick, Miss New Berlin 2014, talked about the cause (known as a platform) they will promote during their terms. Each is rooted in a personal tragedy.
Raeanna's passions include Children's Miracle Network hospitals and Tyler's Legacy, named for her late brother, Tyler Amann. On Aug. 4, 2005, Tyler tragically took his life. The family later learned that Tyler, just 18 years old, had been consuming methamphetamine for sometime.
In an effort to help others in a similar situation, their mother, Beth Buhr, established Tyler's Legacy, Inc. The organization offers education and support for families struggling with substance abuse and addiction. Raeanna later picked up the cause and made it her platform upon being crowned Miss Wisconsin in June. Her next step is the Miss USA contest in September. "I look forward to sharing that [Tyler's story] with the judges in Atlantic City," she said.
Megan Patrick also taps into a personal tragedy to teach others an important lesson. A West Allis native now living New Berlin, Megan promotes SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). Her brother Steven Miller died in a drunk driving accident on September 10, 2010, at age 23. Steven accepted a ride from a friend who had been drinking. Another student hopped in the car, and all three died in the crash.
Steven's death "pushes me to do more with my platform," Megan said. "I would like to go into schools and make sure kids are making good decisions." One of her goals to hold a crash scene re-enactment in the area on an annual basis. She feels the realism portrayed sends a powerful message to teens. "I think it is a good way to show the effects of a bad decision rather than just hearing about them," she said.
Club president Scott Klaas provided an update on our KIDS From Wisconsin concert Aug 22. More than 410 people attended the performance, which raised approximately $2,600. We will soon make a donation to the school district to support music programs at New Berlin schools.
We'd like to offer a hearty thank you to the sponsors, advertisers, attendees and KIDS for making this concert a success. We look forward to an even bigger event in summer 2015.
|KFS concert||Posted||on Aug 21, 2014||
Gearing up for the big performance
Members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin greet guests prior to the KIDS From Wisconsin concert on Aug. 22.
Approximately 400 people attended the show, held at New Berlin West High School. During their 90-minute performance, the talented KIDS sang, danced and played their way through a variety of genres and eras. They paid tribute to Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, the Swing era, a Tony Award-winning play, and contemporary artists.
We are still tallying the results, but all involved agreed that this concert was a success. We'd like to thank the sponsors, advertisers and attendees for making this, our first KIDS From Wisconsin concert, a memorable event and one we will build on in future years.
|2014 WAS delegates||Posted||on Aug 12, 2014||
WAS students share their experiences
Student-delegates to this year's World Affairs Seminar visited our meeting on July 23 to discuss their experiences and the impact this program had on them.
World Affairs Seminar is an initiative of Rotary District 6270, which comprises most of the clubs in Wisconsin. The mission of WAS is to build global leaders and citizens through an international seminar with an innovative, rigorous program.
An annual event, World Affairs Seminar brings together students from more than 20 countries. The program is held at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis. The theme for this year's event, which ran June 21-27, was "World Health: Issues and Responsibilities."
Pictured are David B., a student at New Berlin Eisenhower, along with Dmitri B. and Austin P., who attend New Berlin West. The fourth WAS student-delegate, Eisenhower student Brandon E., was unable to attend.
World Affairs Seminar had a positive impact the student-delegates. Each came away thinking more about how he could help others. One student commented how the program gave him "a lot of time to think; a lot of time to listen; a lot of time to learn." Another mentioned that the presentation on polio inspired him to help out.
All expressed an interest in helping the Rotary Club of New Berlin establish an Interact Club in the high schools. Our club was proud to partner with the School District of New Berlin in sponsoring students to this year's World Affairs Seminar.
|Midnight Volleyball 2014||Posted||on Jul 20, 2014||
Serving up for a good cause
Rotarians Stephanie Friemoth and Bob Schaefer prepare to cook hamburgers and hot dogs for the Midnight Volleyball game on July 21.
Hosted by the New Berlin Police Department, Midnight Volleyball (which actually runs from 8:00 - 10:00 p.m.) is held Monday evenings at Malone Park throughout the summer. The games offer area high school kids a safe and healthy evening of activity. At its peak, the games draw more than 100 kids in friendly but very competitive games of volleyball.
Rotary Club of New Berlin is proud to donate $1,000 to this year's program. In addition, Rotarians volunteer to cook during three of the games; this was the latest example of Rotarians helping out.
|Dr. Hamilton Dowden||Posted||on Jul 08, 2014||
Reduce your stress and improve your life
Dr. Hamilton Dowden of Pure Family Chiropractic in New Berlin offered a very informative presentation on stress management during our meeting on July 9. In addition to chiropractic care, Pure Family Chiropractic offers a corporate wellness program.
Using a bucket as an analogy for the human body, Dr. Dowden said that an increasing level of stress is like adding water to your "bucket". If you don't reduce intake or eliminate that "water," you reach a tipping point. That tipping point often is heart disease. "Ignoring a problem is not fixing a problem," Dr. Dowden said.
Our bodies face three types of stresses:
Physical: from sitting all day, a serious accident, physical exertion
Emotional: Work, home life, financial issues
Chemical: Alcohol, processed foods, caffeine, among others
Dr. Dowden's 5 tips for reducing stress and improving overall well being:
1. Exercise at least 30 minutes each day. If you can't exercise for 30 minutes straight, break into 10-minute increments: one in the morning, one during lunch, and one in the evening.
2. Create a "stop doing" list. As the name implies, these are activities or tasks that you are to eliminate: smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, tasks at work (let your manager know you need to restructure your work flow). "Create an actual list, and stop doing them," he says.
3. Take some down time. Schedule 10 minutes each day to relax and meditate. Make sure to turn off the radio, TV and other stimuli.
4. Drink more water. A good formula is 1/2 your weight in ounces of water. For a 200 lb. person, that means 100 oz. of water. In addition to helping maintain a proper hydration level, water flushes toxins from your body.
5. Maximize your intake of antioxidants. Dark green, leafy vegetables are best. Antioxidants remove free radicals from your body; those are known to cause cancer.
|Watermelon sales on the 4th||Posted||on Jul 03, 2014||
Serving up slices of refreshment
Visitors to New Berlin's 4th of July Festival at Malone Park were treated to tasty slices of watermelon thanks to the Rotary Club of New Berlin. Continuing an idea we started last year, we set up a booth and sold slices of watermelon for $1 each.
The first night, July 2, was cool and drizzly, but we still sold nearly $20 worth of watermelon. By the end of the fair, we cut up and sold 19 watermelons. All told we took in more than $300 for the event. Proceeds will be used to support our ongoing efforts in the community.
Pictured here are Rotarians Dale Worden and Dianne Moore getting ready to start a new day. Dianne is holding a plate of samples; diners received a half slice of watermelon, much like the image in the banner.
Several Rotarians and friends assisted in this event, for which we are thankful. The Rotary Club of New Berlin extends a special thank you to Dale for organizing this event--it's a lot of work!--and manning the booth all three days. And of course, thank you to the hundreds of visitors to our booth who helped make this year's watermelon sale a success. We'll see you again next year!
|Change guard 2014||Posted||on Jun 24, 2014||
Dawn of a new era at Rotary Club of New Berlin
A new chapter opened on June 25 as Scott Klaas officially took over as president during our Changing of The Guard ceremony. Held at Cleveland Pub in New Berlin, Rotarians and guests enjoyed great food and friendship while participating in the annual milestone for our club.
Playing off the theme for the new fiscal year, "Light Up Rotary," Scott said he would continue the club's focus on volunteering, and encouraged all members to get involved. "[Even] something little can go a long way," Scott said.
Scott, a broker with Shorewest Realtors in New Berlin, will serve from July 1 through June 30, 2015. He outlined several goals for the club. They include:
- Start an Interact club in New Berlin. The students attending this year's World Affairs Seminar, two of whom were sponsored by Rotary Club of New Berlin, will provide a good foundation for an Interact club. The School District of New Berlin is "super excited" about the concept, which will involve students from New Berlin West and New Berlin Eisenhower.
- Increase membership in the club. Membership grew this past year due to efforts by outgoing president Stephanie Friemoth; he intends to build on that momentum. Scott suggested that members talk up the volunteering they do. Recent activities include sorting food at the food pantry and performing grounds keeping at the community center. "When I talk about Rotary," Scott said, "I talk with excitement."
Complimenting Stephanie for her efforts this past year, Scott said "[it was] another successful year for Rotary, and this will be an easy transition." (In this image, Stephanie receives a plaque recognizing her contribution to the club.)
In her final remarks, Stephanie thanked members for the opportunity to serve this past year. She also thanked them for stepping up to assist during the volunteer projects. Our next project and fundraiser, the KIDS From Wisconsin concert on Aug. 22, is "going to be huge!"
|K9 Condor||Posted||on Jun 10, 2014||
Offering four-legged law enforcement
Condor, the New Berlin Police Department's newest K-9 officer, displayed some of his skills and personality during our meeting on June 11. Born in the Czech Republic in September 2011, Condor made his way to the Steinig Tal Kennel in Campbellsport, Wis. Steinig Tal runs a K-9 academy, and that's where Condor received training in narcotics detection and tracking. After being acquired by NBPD, in June 2013, Condor was assigned to 3rd shift Officer JJ Ament.
Ament and Condor got introduced to each other during an intensive 4-week course at Steinig Tal. They return for two 8-hour courses of follow-up training each month.
Though Condor sports a plush coat of black fur, he is pure German shepherd, Ament says. That coat gives Condor a "fluffy and cute" appearance, but the dog is all business. Condor learned his commands in German, and now also understands some English.
As is typical with police dogs, Condor lives with his handler. Ament and his wife have another dog but no children. "He [Condor] is a member of my family," Ament says.
Condor is involved in narcotics detection, searches and suspect apprehension. Just a year into his career with New Berlin, he has assisted in 20-30 arrests, according to Ament. Condor is the 10th dog the New Berlin Police Department has had in a program that stretches back to the 1970s.
One of the biggest challenges, Ament says, "is asking the dog to make human decisions," particularly involving apprehensions. He and Condor have developed a rapport in the past year, and Ament expects the two to fully "mesh" in another year or two.
As a reward for a job well done, Ament offers Condor a rolled up towel to chew on. "It's play for him," Ament says. Condor showed that during a friendly tug-of-war match with Ament after a "search" during our meeting.
Ament says that Condor is performing very well. "[He] works great for what we need him for."
|Spruce up community center||Posted||on Jun 06, 2014||
Sprucing up the grounds at the community center
It was nice summer day as members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin, along with a guest, donned their work gloves for a good cause on Saturday, June 7. They pulled weeds and spread mulch in two sections on the grounds of the New Berlin Community Center, 14750 W. Cleveland Ave.
Pictured are Rotarian Dianne Moore; Dianne's husband, Bill Moore; and Rotarians Scott Klaas and Rick Hobbs. Rotarian Tom Fuszard also assisted. The Rotarians are wearing their "Rotarian At Work" safety vests, used for volunteer work.
Rotary's motto is "Service Above Self." Rotarians enjoy participating in these types of events, because they allow members to give back to their community. As we say, we try to make our community an even better place one project at a time.
For more images, look for the link to this event under "New Berlin Rotarians In Action" on our home page.
|Emilia from Chile||Posted||on May 13, 2014||
Gaining a connection to Chile and a lifelong friend
Our foreign exchange student for the year, Emilia, introduced us to her home country during our meeting on May 14. Emilia arrived in New Berlin in August 2013, and will return home in July.
Emilia, a senior at New Berlin Eisenhower High School, lives in Chillan, Chile. Chillan is a city of about 175,000 in the Bio Bio region, which is in the central part of Chile. Approximately 250 miles south of Santiago (Chile's capital), Chillan boasts a diverse array of culture and businesses.
In addition to experiencing life is Wisconsin--including taking in a Packer game at Lambeau Field--Emilia visited Florida during Spring Break. She is also scheduled to visit Colorado and California before leaving the US.
Emilia said she's always wanted to visit the US. though didn't expect to come to Wisconsin. "I like it," she said.
After returning home, Emilia will finish her studies at her school, Deutche Schule, and will graduate in December.
The Rotary Club of New Berlin is proud to help fund Emilia's stay here in New Berlin. We'd like to thank the host families who have provided for her, as well as the numerous individuals who introduced Emilia to the many facets of life in Wisconsin and other states.
|USPS food collection||Posted||on May 09, 2014||
Lending a helping hand to feed the hungry
Members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin help sort food at the New Berlin Food Pantry on Saturday, May 10. The annual Post Office food drive brought in 32,500 pounds of food, according to Barb Jacob of the food pantry. "That was a little above last year, which was awesome," she said.
This is the New Berlin Food Pantry's biggest food drive of the year, Barb said, adding that the collection should get them into autumn. The New Berlin Food Pantry plays a very important role in this area by serving needy families in New Berlin, Elm Grove and Brookfield.
Numerous organizations assisted on Saturday, including civic groups, churches, local schools and at least one New Berlin firm. "A little bit of everybody," Barb said.
Pictured are club president Stephanie Friemoth, Tom Fuszard, Bob Schaefer, Audrey Juds and Carmelita Stehr. Rotarians Art Angove and Rick Hobbs also helped out. Representing Rotarian Jeremy Rynders were his wife, Jodi, and two daughters.
The safety vests say "Rotarian At Work" on the back. We like to wear these during volunteer projects so we are easily identifiable to anyone passing by.
For more images, click on "Scenes from club meetings, events 2014" inside the New Berlin Rotarians in Action section at right.
We'd like to offer a special thanks to all the Rotarians and other citizens who volunteered during this very important day for the New Berlin Food Pantry.
|Midnight Volleyball donation||Posted||on Apr 22, 2014||
Teaming up for Police Department's Midnight Volleyball program
The Rotary Club of New Berlin is proud to again contribute to the New Berlin Police Department's Midnight Volleyball program. Held at Malone Park on Monday evenings, Midnight Volleyball gives New Berlin high school students a fun and healthful way to spend part of their Monday nights. This year's "season" runs from June 9 through Aug. 18.
This is the third consecutive year that the Rotary Club of New Berlin has been the main sponsor of Midnight Volleyball. Officer Dan Hanlon and Capt. Mike Glider accepted a $1,000 check from club president Stephanie Friemoth. Assisting Stephanie is Rotarian Shawn Schnabl. Our donation is used to pay for weekly expenses (food and beverages), as well as t-shirts for the participants.
In addition to the donation, club members will volunteer as cooks during two of the volleyball games. Shawn Schanbl has already volunteered to help out one night. Way to go, Shawn!
We'd like to thank all the guests and sponsors of our Murder Mystery Dinner on Feb. 22. Their participation helped make this donation possible.
During this meeting, we also learned:
- Froedtert Health Center at Moorland Road and West Beloit Road is hosting a prescription drug drop-off this Saturday, April 26, from
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. This is the best way to dispose of unused medications.
- Annual Safety Saturday at Froedtert Health is May 17.
- The Police Department has received a lot of requests for their Workplace Violence presentation. This presentation is free to New Berlin businesses. Contact Officer Hanlon or Capt. Glider to schedule the presentation.
- The industrial parks are still seeing a rash of thefts of metal, aluminum in particular. The Police Department is working hard to crack down on these thefts.
|Review KIDS From Wisconsin||Posted||on Apr 08, 2014||
KIDS From Wisconsin to rock the state during summer
Our club got a taste of some fine Wisconsin musical talent during our meeting on April 9. Tina Weiss, executive director, and Mark Juds (red sweater vest) stopped by to introduce us to KIDS From Wisconsin, a musical troupe comprised of high school kids from around the state.
Starting its 46th season, KIDS From Wisconsin is gearing up for a full schedule of concerts around Wisconsin this summer. This year's theme is "Can't Hold Us." Weiss played snippets from previous concerts. The very talented young people sing and play instruments during the shows, Weiss said. Music genres include jazz and swing, current hits, and show tunes, among others.
This year's troupe is comprised of 33 kids from all over Wisconsin, including Isaac Surprenant, a senior at New Berlin Eisenhower High School. KIDS alumni have gone onto prominence in many areas of entertainment, Weiss said. A 2012 alumnus was a finalist on "American Idol"; another alumnus works on Broadway.
KIDS From Wisconsin performs everyday of State Fair, in addition to their regular schedule of more than two dozen shows during the summer. Annual auditions, held in Madison, Eau Claire and Stevens Point, are "very rigorous," Weiss said. "[The performer] has to be the epitome of a KID From Wisconsin."
The Rotary Club of New Berlin is proud to host a KIDS From Wisconsin concert this summer. The show will take place at New Berlin West High School's auditorium on Aug. 22. Watch for more details in our calendar.
Also during this meeting we were able to meet three of the four student-candidates to this year's World Affairs Seminar. All are looking forward to the program. When asked why they applied for the WAS program, they responded:
- Connect with people all over the world
- Help others in their communities
- Help people in other parts of the world
The Rotary Club of New Berlin is a proud sponsor of two WAS students. New Berlin School District is sponsoring the other two. Superintendent Joe Garza enthusiastically supports World Affairs Seminar. "What they experience will be central in their preparation beyond 12th grade," he said during the meeting.
These students will be invited back to a Rotary Club meeting in late summer to share their experiences at the World Affairs Seminar. You can learn more about World Affairs Seminar here.
|Fire Chief Lloyd Bertram||Posted||on Mar 11, 2014||
Protecting life and property for 60 years
Fire Chief Lloyd Bertram visited our meeting on March 12 to review the city's fire department. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the New Berlin fire department's four stations offer New Berlin residences and businesses the full array of fire services.
For decades after its inception in 1954, the fire department was an all-volunteer force. That started changing in 2001, Bertram said, when the city decided to switch from a private volunteer company to a municipal fire department. From 2001 to 2008 the department gradually transitioned toward a full-time staff. In 2008, the first personnel trained to the paramedic level began working 24-hour shifts.
Bertram started his firefighting career with the Franklin Fire Department in 1989. He was hired at chief of New Berlin Fire Department in October 2010.
New Berlin Fire Department handles 3,700-3,800 calls each year, Bertram said. Of those, 80% are for ambulance services. "Everything from cuts to pulse-less, nonbreathing [individuals]," he said.
Mutual aid agreements allowed the city to close one fire station, at a considerable cost savings. Additional savings were realized when New Berlin joined the Waukesha County Communications system. "All calls go seamlessly through the dispatch center," he said.
Responding to a question, Bertram advised everyone to install a carbon monoxide detector at home. The detector, which can be placed anywhere in the house, is a "very worthwhile investment."
Bertram is very happy to be New Berlin's fire chief. "It's the best job in the world," he said. "I wouldn't trade it for anything."
|Murder Mystery Dinner||Posted||on Feb 21, 2014||
Murder Mystery a swashbuckling success!
More than 140 people turned out to for our Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 22. All enjoyed a sumptuous dinner, head-scratching mystery, and some fine dancing later on.
This was our largest Murder Mystery event to date, and we raised $3,800 for our programs this year. Funds will be used to support scholarships for World Affairs Seminar, as well as other youth-oriented events.
We'd like to extend a hearty thank you to our sponsors:
The New Berlin Real Estate Team (Scott Klaas and Jeremy Rynder)
as well as all the guests for helping us make this such a success.
|United Way Waukesha County||Posted||on Jan 21, 2014||
Simple exercise yields a powerful lesson
We learned a powerful lesson in budgeting during our meeting on Jan. 22. Rebecca Schimke, from United Way in Waukesha County, illustrated the difficulties the working poor have in making ends meet.
Using pieces of candy representing money, Rebecca walked us through various scenarios. In each case, we had to allocate our 15 pieces of candy between rent, healthcare, meals, technology (computer, cell phone, TV), laundry facilities, shopping (convenience of store), and spare cash.
Let's say a family member loses a job and gets no severance pay. The "cost" is four pieces of candy. What do you now have to give up?
People in Waukesha County make these tough choices all the time, Rebecca said. Approximately 16% of the households in the county earn incomes that are below the federal poverty level.
United Way's Financial Stability Program works with the disadvantaged to help them become more financially literate and gain control of their finances. Working one-on-one with a case manager, Rebecca said, clients learn budgeting and negotiating skills; the latter is helpful in obtaining higher pay and lower credit card bills. Those in need aren't always visible. "They are your friends, coworkers, neighbors," she said. "You just may not know [it]."
Rebecca said her chapter's goal is that by 2023 they will reduce by 85%--a total of 610--the number of targeted working poor families. She noted that one successful family has purchased a home in the area.
The United Way also offers programs for children who struggle in a traditional school setting. Students are offered a school/work program with local industries, she said. The students learn valuable skills while receiving classroom instruction. This allows them to graduate on time with their classmates.
|Giving refugees fresh start||Posted||on Jan 14, 2014||
Giving refugees a fresh start in a new land
Jeffrey Kirk, local entrepreneur and refugee resettlement volunteer, spoke about his experiences during our meeting on Jan. 15.
At any time, there are 10 million to 20 million refugees in the world. The four largest refugee camps are found in Kenya; the largest there holds 138,000 people. The average stay in a refugee camp is 17 years. Many teenagers have spent their entire lives in a camp. Fewer than 1% of the world's refugees find new homes, Jeffrey said.
The resettlement process begins at the highest levels. The UN first certifies that the person meets certain criteria. The application then moves onto a federal agency. Once cleared, the refugees are then handled by refugee resettlement volunteers in the US.
Working with Lutheran Social Services, Jeffrey and wife Bryn have resettled eight familes since September 2001. They have come from Bosnia and Russia, among other countries. Aided by grants and donations, the Kirks first find an aparment for the refugee family. One early step involves applying for a Social Security card so the person can get a job.
They teach basic tasks such as using appliances and purchasing groceries. "We show them our lives," Jeffrey said. When possible, an area person of similar ethnic background is enlisted to help with the transition. Their goal is to have the person self-sufficient within six months. So far, three resettled families have purchased homes in this area, Jeffrey said.
Success rate for the program is "100%" Jeffrey said, because the individuals do not go back to the camps. "They become former refugees."
|SAYES||Posted||on Dec 10, 2013||
Beatrice Alexander of SAYES and club president Stephanie Friemoth
Partnering needy seniors with willing volunteers
New Berlin is fortunate to have an organization like SAYES (Senior Advocate Youth Exchange Service). SAYES pairs willing volunteers, usually teenagers, with seniors who need simple tasks done.
According to Beatrice Alexander of SAYES, the organization began in 1999 at the request of then-mayor Jim Gatzke. (City hall receives many calls for assistance from the elderly). Volunteers help approximately 225 families each year by cutting grass, raking leaves, grocery shopping and some house cleaning. Several adult volunteers also perform simple repairs for homeowners. All services are provided free. Recipients pay only for any parts or materials replaced.
Beatrice, who spoke during our Dec. 11 meeting, said her motto is:
"We want seniors to say, 'Yes, I need help,' and our volunteers to say, 'Yes, I'll help you.'"
Three youth groups worthy of mention include:
New Berlin West football team: For each of the past five years, the coach and several players have assisted five families.
New Berlin Eisenhower: Last month, members of the softball team helped five families with their chores.
Elmwood School Boy Scout troop 83 recently helped two families.
Dependent entirely on donations, SAYES receives a small grant from the city of New Berlin, with occasional donations from local organizations. Donations are appreciated. Funds pay her salary (Beatrice works two hours per day) and office expenses. For assistance or to help out, call the SAYES office at 262-860-8720.
|Sorting food at food pantry||Posted||on Dec 06, 2013|
|2013 Christmas parade||Posted||on Nov 29, 2013||
Holiday cheer in pirate garb!
Members of the Rotary Club of New Berlin and their friends prepare to stroll along in the New Berlin Christmas parade on Nov. 30, 2013.
They're dressed up in pirate costumes to promote our Murder Mystery dinner on Feb. 22, 2014. It will be a swashbuckling event you won't want to miss! Stay tuned to our calendar for all the details.
|Jeanne Holden, food pantry||Posted||on Nov 12, 2013||
Rotarian Dianne Moore with Jeanne Holden of the New Berlin Food Pantry
New Berlin Food Pantry helps needy families throughout the area
Founded in 1987, the New Berlin Food Panty serves needy families from New Berlin, Elm Grove and Brookfield. The food pantry is located inside the New Berlin Community Center, 14750 W. Cleveland Ave.
Jeanne Holden, our presenter on Nov. 13, 2013, has been with the food pantry since its inception. She said the food pantry serves 35-50 families each week, with more than 90 familes receiving aid during the Christmas season. Donations arrive from numerous sources, including churches, Sendik's Food Market, the Rotary Club of New Berlin, and other nonprofit organizations.
The food pantry moved into its current location, the site of the old library, in 2008. This has allowed the organization to serve an every-growing need. The food pantry has touched many lives over the years. Jeanne shared a number of stories with us.
The Food Pantry has containers for food collection all over New Berlin. They are always in need of personal products such as shampoo, conditioner, diapers and toothpaste. The Rotary Club of New New Berlin Rotary regularly donates gift cards at Christmas time. This year we will donate $1000 worth of gift cards to help those in need.
The Food Pantry's biggest event each year is the collection held the Saturday before Mother's Day. Postal carriers graciously pick up bags of donated goods and deliver them to the food pantry for sorting. We will help out from 2:00 - 6:00 pm that day in 2014, as they need a lot of helping hands!
|Brush clearing at Weatherstone Park||Posted||on Nov 01, 2013||
Clearing brush at Weatherstone Park
Rotarians teamed up with residents of the Weatherstone subdivision to help with their annual brush eradication project on Nov. 2, 2013.
Working under the guidance of the Weatherstone Home Owners Assoc., Rotarians removed buckthorn, an invasive species, from one section of the park.
Pictured here are Jeremy Rynders (left), Bob Schaefer, Scott Klaas, Dianne Moore, club president Stephanie Reiske, Art Angove and Tom Fuszard.
The safety vests say, "Rotarian At Work." We wear those whenever we're doing volunteer work in our community. Perhaps you'll ses us "in action" one day!
|CherryBerry recap||Posted||on Oct 22, 2013||
During our meeting on Oct. 23, 2013, Mario Ciofani, General Manager of CherryBerry New Berlin, presented a check for $63 to club president Stephanie Reiske. This represents the proceeds from the fundraiser he held for our club on Oct. 16.
Including the donations we collected from customers that evening, we raised $268 for the New Berlin Food Pantry. Thanks, Mario, for helping out!
Also during this meeting, Kristin Stoll of Smart Choice MRI introduced us to her organization and the services it provides.
Smart Choice offers communities a high-value option for a procedure that can be quite expensive. Their 3,500 participating doctors have already served more than 25,000 patients.
Smart Choice provides the same MRI services that the hospitals do but at lower prices ($600 instead of typical $3,000). Smart Choice MRI is an in-network and top tier insurance option. They are a great alternative for non-emergency MRIs.
|CherryBerry fundraiser||Posted||on Oct 15, 2013||
Serving up for a good cause
Rotarian Art Angove (in safety vest) joins other Rotarians and customers for a dish of tasty frozen yogurt on Oct. 16, 2013.
CherryBerry Self-Serv Frozen Yogurt graciously donated 15% of its proceeds from that evening to our collection for the New Berlin Food Pantry. That amount came to $63. Combined with the $203 we collected from customers that night, our total for the event was $268. We will donate those funds during the holidays.
Congratulations to Lisa Farrell. Lisa won a $25 gift card to CherryBerry. The drawing was held in conjunction with our fundraiser.
Thanks to all the Rotarians and customers who visited CherryBerry on Oct. 16. And a special thank you to General Manager Mario Ciofani for hosting our event.
By the way, the yellow vest says, "Rotarian At Work." We wear those when performing volunteer work in our community. Perhaps you'll see us out and about someday. If so, stop by and say hello.
|Steve Seyfert||Posted||on Sep 24, 2013||
Steve Seyfert of the Milwaukee Zoological Society discusses the organization's Bonobo & Congo Biodiversity Initiative during our meeting on Sept. 25, 2013.
There are only about 50,000 Bonobos left in the wild. All are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Milwaukee County Zoo has 16 Bonobos - one of the largest groups in North America.)
The goal of the Initiative, an ongoing project, is to protect those important apes. Working with the Congolese government, the team is involved in:
- Surveying the Bonobo and elephant populations, trying to protect from poaching and hunting.
- Supporting and training the local guards, so they can better protect these important animals.
- Community assistance, including adult literacy instruction and various projects in primary schools.
To reduce their dependency on Bonobos, the Initiative is teaching citizens to cultivate their own grains, including rice.
Thanks for the very interesting and informative presentation, Steve!
|Sprucing up Calhoun Park||Posted||on Sep 13, 2013||
Sprucing up Calhoun Park
Rotarians and a guest gather at Calhoun Park on Sept. 14, 2014, to spruce up the park. Under the guidance of Mark Schroeder, Director of New Berlin Parks & Recreation, our group cleared brush, spread mulch, and otherwise spiffed up the park.
Picture are (from left) Rotarian Art Angove; Emelia, our foreign exchange student from Chile; Rotarian Dianne Moore; Stephanie Reiske, club president; Rotarian Scott Klass; and Rotarian Jeremy Rynders.
This is just one example of how the Rotary Club of New Berlin works to keep New Berlin the high-quality community it is.
We were happy to participate in this project, and look forward to helping out at Weatherstone Park on Nov. 2. A hearty "thank you" to the Rotarians and Emelia for taking time out of their Saturday morning to participate in this project.
|Family Fun Fest 2013 recap||Posted||on Aug 10, 2013||
Our first ever Family Fun Fest on Aug. 11, 2013, was a tremendous success. The event, held at Stonefire Pizza Company in New Berlin, raised $2,700 for YMCA's Splash program. During a meeting in September, we acknowledged the sponsors of the event.
Maureen Buss of Innovation Station (right) accepts a certificate of appreciation from club president Stephanie Reiske and member Jeff Hoffman. Innovation Station donated $1,000 to our Family Fun Fest.
Liz Unruh of Stonefire Pizza Company (right) accepts a certificate of appreciation from club president Stephanie Reiske and member Jeff Hoffman. Stonefire Pizza Company hosted Family Fun Fest.