Rotary Club experiences often affect not only the community, but the members themselves as they engage with others, and that’s why Ben Bauer likes the mission statement: “Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities and ourselves.”

Governor of Rotary District 6250, Ben visited the Waunakee Club Oct. 27 as he’s been making his rounds to clubs across the state. He’s a Marshfield Rotary member, and said for him, co-chairing RYLA for 10 years connected him to Rotary. 

Rotarians are usually focused on the current project they’re working on and can sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. He said it’s easy to forget about the changes that happen in ourselves as we do this work. 

Rotary also helps with our own professional development and allows us to meet people. By pausing every now and then to recognize the change in ourselves, or to “smell the roses,” we can best share the message of Rotary with others, Ben said.

Ben showed an upside down pyramid, sort of an organizational chart of the nonprofit, with Rotary International on the bottom, with zones, then districts, then clubs and the members on top, because it’s the members themselves who do the work. 

But the District and Rotary International provide support, and by checking out the website, members can see the action plans with the tools to complete all of the goals. They can be found at, and Ben encouraged members to check out the site. It includes templates, tools and other resources, so each club doesn’t have to invent the wheel. 

Rotary Clubs look different today, with some dedicated to causes like ending human trafficking or helping veterans. COVID has helped clubs gain flexibility, too, with the option to attend meetings remotely. 

There is an effort to work on diversity, equity and inclusion, Ben said, noting Jennifer Jones is the first woman president of Rotary International. While the term DEI can stir division, the goal can be just to create a sense of belonging for all members, perhaps even by just making Rotary more accessible. 

One example would be to provide the opportunity for kids at alternative schools to attend RYLA. 

Clubs have an opportunity to earn a citation by achieving 13 of 25 goals and reporting them by the end of the Rotary year. 

Ben urged club members to attend TriCon, the convention in La Crosse. It will run April 27-29. To register, visit




Other News

-Mick Holm reported that Food for Kidz in Waunakee packed 237,000 meals, 60,000 of which were distributed locally. Another Food for Kidz event took place in Stoughton, and between the two, 250,000 meals were shipped to Ukraine. 

-Halloween at the Farm was a success, with four different groups of high school students helping out, including one from Madison Memorial. The club sold $2,150 worth of popcorn, Jim Elvekorg reported. 

-Ken Pesik said the club received its $5,000 grant for the solar lights at the dog park. 

-Jim Kattner has sent a link to sign up to greet at the Rotary Lights. It will be open to Rotarians until Tuesday then will go to other organizations to sign up. 


Guests: Gabrielle Hamele, guest of Randy Guttenberg.


Visiting Rotarians: Michelle McGrath, Madison Downtown; Toni Pabon, Sun Prairie. 


Birthdays: Nov. 4, Roxanne Johnson; Nov. 5, Nick Mischler.


Anniversaries: Nov. 6, Tom and Kari Roepke; Nov. 9, Bill and Jeanette Erickson.


Greeters: Nov. 4, Peggy Acker Farber and Leonard Allen; Nov. 10, Bob Arntz and Ken Ballweg; Nov. 17, Roberta Baumann and Joe Beck; Nov. 24: Happy Thanksgiving!