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After Hours News
A call to act in a time of crisis
While maintaining social distancing, RAH explores new ways to put Service Above Self into action
At our last club meeting we presented a $5000 check to the Razia's Ray of Hope project to purchase a bus and a van for a school for girls in Afghanistan. I'm confident this will be a great project that will significantly impact many lives in the best way possible through access to education and opportunity.
 
We also explored how our club can leverage our strengths to serve our community during this difficult time. Below are the question headers and the top ideas for each as determined by those at the meeting.
 
WHAT DO WE SEE AS OUR ROLE IN SERVING THE COMMUNITY AT THIS TIME?
  • Support local businesses or restaurants.
  • Raise money for meals and educational items for students and kids out of school
  • Be a supporter and promoter of other initiatives happening
  • Partner with another organization that has a plan or system in place
  • Encourage social responsibility to keep people healthy, but also support needs with funds. local businesses, people without access to resources, etc
WHAT SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES DOES COVID-19 PROVIDE FOR US?
  • Letter writing to individuals socially isolated (E.g. nursing homes, Hagen); kids draw pictures, etc. Include writing letters to Hagen as part of any letter writing we might do?
  • Mobile Meals delivery
WHAT ARE SOCIALS OUR MEMBERS WILL WANT TO ENGAGE IN VIRTUALLY?
  • Game nights/HH (Trivia, Apples to Apples, Bingo, etc)
  • Movie Night
HOW DO WE LEVERAGE OUR STRENGTHS TO SUPPORT OUR AFTER HOURS MEMBERS (& OTHER AREA ROTARIANS) DURING THIS TIME OF UNCERTAINTY?
  • Virtual meetings
  • Subsidize dues for those members who may have job loss
 
The board will be discussing these and other ideas at the next board meeting. Feel free to reach out and share any additional suggestions to any board member.
Read more...
COVID-19 Meeting Update
Please join us for RAH's first ever virtual meeting to address how we can be people of action during a time of crisis
Due to the unprecedented circumstances presented by a global pandemic, RAH will adhere to CDC, state and federal guidelines by putting in-person meetings and events on-hold for now. To deal with the challenge, the meeting on Tuesday, March 24 will take place online via Zoom.
 
Details how to join the meeting have been sent to club members via email. Please contact club president Brandon Harris if you have any questions or need to request the information again.
 
Here is the message from Harris regarding the changes:
 
"I hope you are adjusting to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 public health situation, and I hope you and your family are healthy. Our board met this week via videoconference to discuss our club’s response to the current circumstances. As you may have already seen, our Beer Tasting fundraiser and off-site meeting at UWL have been canceled with the intention to reschedule them at a later date. 
 
Since we are Rotarians and People of Action, we will keep our meeting on Tuesday, March 24th at 6 PM, but hold it virtually. We will have an open brainstorming discussion about what our club can do to help our community through the current crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our friends and neighbors are suffering and many more will, but Rotary After Hours can make a positive difference that will help ease suffering. We have the ideas, the connections, the funds, and the power to make a real difference. Please start to think of ideas and join us online Tuesday to share them. A videoconference link will be sent out soon.
 
The format of future club meetings will be communicated on an ongoing basis. 
We are slated for our District Governor visit on April 14th, which is likely to also be a digital experience. Information will be sent out as details are determined.
 
We’ve decided to host a virtual social and encourage all RAHtarians to support a local restaurant by ordering take-out or delivery and posting a photo with your grub to the FB event. Our area restaurateurs have supported many of our fundraisers in the past and could use our support after being forced to shutdown dine-in services. So, maintain your social distance, but grab some food and share the love.
 
Again, my heart goes out to everyone whose lives have been significantly impacted by the spread of this virus, and if you are in need of support, please reach out. We will stick together and help each other through this."
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Tourism boom provides local opportunity
With tourism booming in La Crosse, RAH members get an update on the numbers
 
Deb Carlson and Anna Baughman of Explore La Crosse (the La Crosse County Convention & Visitors Bureau) gave a presentation to the Club at February 25th's meeting. The topic of the presentation was the impact of tourism.
 
Statistics were shared regarding the steady increase in visitors and dollars spent by visitors in Wisconsin. La Crosse County ranks 9th out of 72 counties in the state of Wisconsin in total dollars of visitor spending. 
 
In addition to data and statistics, club members learned about the inner workings of Explore La Crosse and the role Explore La Crosse plays in booking and promoting conventions, sporting events, and other events in the area. 
Read more...
Service Above Self on display at WAFER event
RAH stepped-up to serve with members dedicating their Saturday morning to helping supply those in need with essentials.

RAHtarians met in the WAFER food pantry warehouse on Saturday morning, February 22nd. A long line of pallets stretched from one end of the warehouse to the other. Each pallet held its own variety of food stuffs. Volunteers were instructed to stand one person on each side of every pallet. They paired off and got ready.

When 10 a.m. hit the people started pouring in. Some held bags or boxes, others pushed shopping carts. Folks were sent down each side of the lineup of pallets. It was like a buffet accessible from both sides. Volunteers handed out the goods. From Cocoa Pebbles to Spam and even Hershey’s Gold candy bars. There was oatmeal and apple juice, milk and corn; Frozen burger patties, chicken breasts, and rice. One gentleman making his way through the line came upon the pallet of Chow Mein noodles and paused to softly express: “My mother used to make a great recipe with these when I was a kid,” as he placed them gently into his bag.

The WAFER service event was a wonderful opportunity to serve. It was an assembly line of community. Thank you to all who participated.

Read more...
A Vision for 2020 and Beyond
Please join us on Tuesday, March 3rd, for RAH’s Visioning/Strategic Planning 2020 and beyond.
We need you to help shape the future of Rotary After Hours for the next three to five years. 
Your ideas. Your voice. Your passion. 
Together our members will determine our priorities and big picture goals and decide where we should aim to go. 
 
Agenda
5:00-5:30 p.m. Food and beverages provided
5:30-7:00 p.m. Visioning/Strategic Planning
7:00-7:10 p.m. Break
7:10-8:45 p.m. Visioning/Strategic Planning cont.
8:45-9:00 p.m. Close
 
Visioning/Strategic Planning 2020 will be held at the Franciscan Planning Center at Mayo Clinic Health System. The Franciscan Planning Center is located in the Professional Arts building at 615 10th St, La Crosse, WI 54601 (between Market & Ferry Street). You can park in the flat lot across the street at that time of night otherwise street parking is available. Head in the doors and take the elevator up to the 5th floor. As you exit the elevator, proceed through the doors ahead and take a left. Follow the signs for the Planning Center located just down the hallway.
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UPDATE: Dave Knutson Youth Sponsorship Award
Dave's presence is greatly missed, but we celebrate him with the announcement of the "David Knutson Youth Sponsorship Award."

Happy Heavenly Birthday to our friend David Knutson.

Through many generous donors, our club has raised $4200, allowing us to establish a fund that will provide an annual student sponsorship to RYLA in Dave's memory.

On December 16th, 2019, Dave passed away unexpectedly from a health condition. He was an active member of the Rotary Club of La Crosse - After Hours with a passion for supporting Rotary youth programs. From 2015 to 2019, he attended our district's Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp. RYLA is an annual leadership camp for high school students and was one of Dave's favorite weekends of the year.

The scholarship will honor his legacy of supporting the youth of our community, while continuing to provide opportunities for students into the future. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed in memory of Dave and all he did in the name of Rotary.

Happy 40th Dave. We miss you.

Read more...
Upcoming Events
Ugly Sweater 5K Virtual Style
Myrick Park to Riverside Park
Dec 02, 2020 - Dec 12, 2020
 
Club Meeting: Gundersen All Of Us Research Program
Zoom
Dec 08, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
 
Leadership Series with Dr. Jeff Thompson
Zoom
Dec 10, 2020
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
 
Rotary Lights Volunteering
Dec 13, 2020
4:45 PM – 10:15 PM
 
Remembering Dave Knutson Trivia Night
Big Al's Pizza & Virtual
Dec 16, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
 
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President
 
President Elect
 
President Elect Nominee
 
Immediate Past President
 
Treasurer
 
Secretary Elect
 
Secretary
 
Sergeant-at-Arms
 
3-Year Director 20/21
 
Programs/Socials
 
Past Secretary
 
1-Year Director
 
Membership Chair
 
Public Relations/Social Media
 
Service Projects
 
Foundation Chair
 
Youth Exchange Officer
 
Youth Protection Officer
 
Youth Exchange Counselor