Club Information

Welcome to our Website!

Duluth Harbortown

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 7:00 AM
Holiday Inn
200 W 1st Street
Duluth, MN  55802
United States of America
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
Charity Rupp, Director of STARBASE Minnesota will introduce our club to an exciting new program in Duluth that provides a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education curriculum to local 5th grade classes.
STARBASE Minnesota offers a unique hands-on, technology-rich, immersive environment where students are performing as scientists and engineering to solve real-world problems. STARBASE takes the math and science concepts required for 5th grade learning and turns them upside down as students navigate challenges in a STEM setting.  STARBASE partners with the 148th Fighter Wing, where the STARBASE classrooms are located.  Students also explore STEM careers that are found right here in our region and the experience culminates in a Launch Ceremony where students have the opportunity to meet and interact a real-world scientist or engineer.
Get ready for a a hands-on experience yourselves as a STARBASE instructor takes Harbortown Rotary through a technology activity and tests your coding abilities!
Bolivia 2018 update by Karl Everett, Harbortown Rotary Duluth International Committee
In September, 2018, a team of six Rotarians from District 5580 and St. Paul District visited Rotary projects in the Real Cordillera Mountains and Amazon Rain Forest in Bolivia.  District 5580 representatives Karl Everett, Stacey Ackerman, and Alena Pringle had a very successful twelve day journey to Bolivia visiting numerous Rotary funded medical clinics, water projects, schools and road projects.  We thank Segundo Velasquez of Mano a Mano International and Dr. Jose Velasquez of Mano a Mano Bolivia for working with Rotary on current and future Bolivia Rotary projects, and for support on our Bolivia tour and tours of the Mano a Mano Headquarters and Agricultural Center.
No Meeting December 26th!  Merry Christmas to some (Bob Hansen) Happy Holidays (Boxing Day, Saint Stephen's Day, Day of Goodwill, Kwanza, etc.) to others!
Next Meeting, January 2nd, 2019, Dr. Greg Bambenek AKA Dr. Juice. 
Thanks to All who helped out at Bentleyville!
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A reminder that this Wednesday and next Wednesday we will be collecting contributions and donations for the support of nine families this holiday season.
The families were selected through the Mentor Duluth program.  We will be looking for volunteers to shop for and wrap gifts, so please consider stepping up to take this on.
"Wish Lists" will be provided for the families outlining their sizes and several items they have requested.
Thank you! If you have any questions or would like to volunteer to shop for a family, please contact Jim Wheeler at
The Will and The Way: A book about Duluth’s leaders who helped shape Duluth into what it is today
Author of the first volume of The Will and the Way Donn Larson  with former Duluth Mayor Don Ness (Ordean Foundation) join us on Wednesday and shares stories of innovative leadership projects that have taken place in Duluth over the last 25 years since the first volume of The Will and the Way was released. The second volume was released on November 14, 2018.  Please read the excerpt below from the Duluth Leaders website.
This collection of community success stories captures the passion and initiative of community leadership in Duluth as they help continue Duluth’s remarkable transformation. Written fourteen years after the original, Volume II features 42 volunteer authors giving their first-hand account of the stories behind the projects that have made Duluth a premier national example of community revitalization. It’s not magic, as you’ll see in these pages, it takes confidence, hard work, and leaders who have The Will and show the Way!


While our rotary giving does not stop when the holiday season ends, the time of year does provide us an opportunity to be thankful for our blessings and help those in need.
Please consider Harbortown's two charitable funds when you are evaluating where your funds may have the most impact.  Both the Robert Hermans Scholarship Fund and the Donald Holm Founders Fund serve separate and valuable purposes in our community and within our Harbortown initiatives. Both funds provide 501(c)3 tax-deductibility.
If you have questions or would like to give, please contact Scott Fisher at
What a great Foundation Day!  We raised over $13,000 for the Rotary Foundation and made 11 new Paul Harris Fellows.  We were also able to raise some seed money for the St. Paul Rotary Club's Foundation Day. 
Thank you to each of you that contributed.  Most members present at the meeting turned in their contributions already, however some did not so please do send in your contribution using the form given or visit and click on Donate to make the contribution on-line.  Please select the Annual Fund or Polio Plus.  It is easy to do and you can even set-up a reoccurring contribution.  
For the 20 or so of you were not able to attend the meeting you too can click on the link above and make your contribution to the Rotary Foundation.  I will also hand out forms over the next several weeks for your use.  Please send me a quick note to let me know how much you are giving so that I can update our club's giving tally.  I thank you in advance for supporting the Rotary Foundation.
On behalf of the Rotary Foundation and the millions of people who are impacted by the good deeds that the Rotary Foundation makes possible I say THANK YOU.  Clean water in Haiti, schools in Guatemala and and numerous local projects are all possible because of YOU! 
Have a most awesome day knowing that YOU are making a difference in the world.
The address to mail your contribution is:
The Rotary Foundation
14280 Collections Center Drive
Chicago, IL 60693  
There will be no morning meeting on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. Instead we will celebrate the season with fellow rotarians and loved ones.
Harbortown Holiday Party: Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Ridgeview Country Club
700 W. Redwing Street
Duluth, MN 55803
Social Hour will begin at 5:30 PM
Buffet style dinner and program at 6:30 PM
There will be a social/cocktail hour followed by a buffet-style dinner. This year we will enjoy a performance by the Duluth East High School Choralaires.
The event is FREE for members to attend. Guests are $25 each. The registration deadline has passed but contact Tony Hansen at if you have any questions.
Harbortown Rotary Goes Footloose!

Kitchi Gammi Club

May 10, 2019

60’s, 70’s, and 80’s Music

DJ: Sounds Unlimited Entertainment, LLC

Two options:

Dinner and dance $40 per person (estimate)

Dance only $10 per person

Dinner in the Great Hall, Dance in the West Lounge

Club members should invite friends (particularly friends who might become prospective members).

In early 2019, Club Service will pull together a "Footloose Team" who will help sell tickets, help select dance songs for the evening and help with registration.  Questions or want to help? Contact Bradley Jenson at 

How I Got In The New York Times...And How You Can Too
How can you get your company noticed by traditional mainstream media? Nationally published author Robert Lillegard shares insights from behavioral psychology, US history, and the inner workings of a modern newsroom to explain what it takes to get in the press.
 Robert Lillegard works with companies to get them media attention. He rarely gets spaghetti sauce on his suit jacket before a big speech.


Intrigued? Join us tomorrow to find out more!


When is the last time you looked up at the night sky and took in all its glory?  Well, if you are Astro Bob, it's most likely a nightly occurrence!

Bob King, from the Duluth News Tribune joins us Wednesday morning.  Bob is a photographer and photo editor as well as an amateur astronomer and has been keen on the sky since age 11. His modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where he a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. Bob also teaches community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium and recently had his second book published, "Wonders of the Universe You Must See Before You Die" (available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound) about the best, must-see sky sights in the night sky.

You can follow Astro Bob's Blog or visit his Astro Bob website to learn more about his nightly endeavors.


RYLA students joined us last week and shared stories about their RYLA experience.  The life lessons learned was something that many students felt they would always remember or take with them into their professional lives.
"This experience will be valuable after high school because we learned skills that can be applied in the real world not just in school. These skills include public speaking, event organization, group work, how to meet new people, and, above all else; public service and community work." ~ Emily Tusken
"This camp will forever hold a special place in my heart. It taught me so many important life values of respect, honesty, and courageousness. I hope to use these values forever in my life when I forget how special I am, or to remind others how important they are." ~ Grace Semaan
The Community Service Committee presented a check to Joe Montisano, member and Great Lakes Aquarium Executive Director, in the amount of $300 at the October 17th meeting.

You may have noticed some mail in your mailbox recently from the Duluth Public School System. Most likely it was information describing the referendum that will be included on the ballot this November.

Cathy Erickson, CFO and Director of Business Services will be our guest speaker as she walks us through the details of the upcoming referendum and why Duluth students are in need of your vote.

Cathy started at the district earlier this month after 13 years at the Arrowhead Regional Computing Consortium (ARCC) in Duluth where she provided training and support in school finance for 31 regional school districts. 

As Finance, Funding, and Management Specialist Cathy's responsibilities included training superintendents and business managers in the areas of General Education Revenue, Budgeting, Levy Certification, Referendums, Debt Service and Audit Support, among others. Cathy created a Revenue Simulation Model currently being used statewide. 

Cathy's experience also includes Adjunct Instructor for St. Mary’s University in the area of Education Administration and Business Manager for the Lake Superior School District where she managed the district budget and helped successfully pass a building bond referendum.

Cathy holds a Bachelor of Arts, Management from the College of St. Scholastica and is a member of the Minnesota Association of School Business Managers.

On Friday Hartowntownians, Tony Hansen, Max Holm, Matt Minnea, and John Hutchinson did prep work for stucco work on the foundation and hung a door. 
On Saturday Scott Soderberg, Rick Cleath, Mark Erickson, Mike Cochran, and Jim Gruba did the stuccoing of the foundation, plus removing a tree and some brush from the lot.   
We still need a couple more volunteers for Friday October 19th, Friday the 26th, and Saturday the 27th.   If you can help, please email Jim Gruba at
What is the RYLA Experience?
This week we have the pleasure of hearing from several students about their RYLA experience this past summer and they will be joined by a RYLA Alum turned Camp Facilitator, Cory Netland. 
In Cory's words: "RYLA has been a part of my life since 2012 when I was a camper. Every year since, I have volunteered as a Camp Facilitator. I love going back, because I always get to watch students evolve from leaders who are unsure of their untapped potential to leaders who can confidently say they can make a change in the world, and it only happens in one week! If students are willing to fully emerce themselves in the experience, they will leave with tools to make them a better leader and a better person."
What you may or may not know about RYLA:
  • The goal of RYLA is for students to become better leaders, citizens, classmates, and friends.
  • The camp is a weeklong leadership training held on the U of MN Crookston campus each summer
  • About 150 students from all over District 5580 attend.
  • The training is based on Sean Covey’s book ‘ 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens’.
  • The students are given exercises and challenges that are designed to foster critical thinking, co-operation, problem solving, self-awareness, confidence and more.
When asked about the RYLA experience, the students has this to say:
"At RYLA I realized how strong and brave I am. Everyone there helped me realize it. This camp will forever hold a special place in my heart. It taught me so many important life values of respect, honesty, and courageousness. I hope to use these values forever in my life when I forget how special I am, or to remind others how important they are."  ~Grace Semaan
"I learned that when I am in a new or uncomfortable situation I am pretty quiet  but eventually there comes a point where I jump right in and apply myself completely not worried about what others will think. I also learned that I have a tendency to make people laugh to ease any tensions within a group. This experience will be valuable after high school because we learned skills including public speaking, event organization, group work, how to meet new people, and, above all else; public service and community work." ~ Emily Tusken
Tony Dierckins, author of Naturally Brewed Naturally Better, joins us this week to highlight the history of breweries in The Twin Ports
Excerpt from The Growler, September 25, 2018 by Holly Day:
There are lots of stories that people want to believe about history,” says Tony Dierckins, publisher at Zenith City Press in Duluth, Minnesota. “Like the People’s Brewery ‘creation myth,’ for example. It was supposedly started as this socialist movement of tied house saloon-keepers that revolted against the corporate breweries, and all this other stuff, but it turns out that it was actually a group of independent saloon-keepers who just wanted to buy their beer cheaper than they were getting from other places.”
Dierckins and fellow beer historian Pete Clure should know. They’ve spent countless hours poring over Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin, brewery documents, area newspaper clippings, and other historical resources to pen their new book, “Naturally Brewed, Naturally Better: The Historic Breweries of Duluth & Superior,” released on September 20.
Join us on Wednesday to hear more to this story and why the Twin Ports have reemerged as a brewery hotspot.
Dr. Julia Williams, Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies for the College of Education and Human Services Professions at UMD will be joining us this week as our guest speaker.  We will also be joined by our Junior Rotarians.
Dr. Williams is the author of the book "Jules on Schools, Teaching, Learning and Everything in Between."  
Overview: Teachers and Parents: This timely collection of essays addresses the rewarding work of supporting schools and nurturing the learning of schoolchildren today.  In writing this caring, funny, and lyrical commentary, Dr. Williams draws from a deep well of professional knowledge as well as the personal experience of having raised six children as a mom and a stepmom. Beginning with the idea that all of us are trying to do the right thing for kids, she shares with readers some of the wonders that are being discovered about how children learn, and she illuminates how schools and parents can use what the research is telling us. As Williams says in the book, "We all need to learn and grow and go forward in our roles, holding hands and reaching out to embrace the opportunity that surrounds us and the children we love."
Upcoming Events
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Past President
Community Service
New Generations
International Service
Club Service
Public Relations
Website and Scuttlebutt
Charity Rupp
Jan 16, 2019
Starbase - Minnesota
Fireside Meeting
Jan 23, 2019
Dave Hoops
Jan 30, 2019
HJoops Brewing
Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival
Rotary District 5580
Harbortown Rotary Apparel
Connecting the world

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