After Hours News

Welcome to the 2020-21 Rotary Year!
Rotary International President Holger Knaack chose “Rotary Opens Opportunities” to be this year's theme. 

How timely! Instead of focusing on what we can’t do, imagine our opportunities and what we CAN do! 

There are big shoes to fill following the strong leadership of our past presidents. While I am nervous about the responsibilities ahead of me, I am excited to share some of the opportunities that lie in front of us and to continue our club’s legacy of doing great things!

I love being a part of Rotary After Hours, composed of 58 incredible individuals who are committed to Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.” We have a strong board in place and several highly dedicated members chairing our committees. Together, we will increase our IMPACT and REACH within our community and the greater world. We will increase the ENGAGEMENT of our members and will continue to ADAPT to our changing environment.

We’ve been challenged by the Coronavirus the past three months and have had to ADAPT to new ways of doing things. We’ve missed the opportunities to ENGAGE with one another in person, but new doors have opened for us and thanks to the leadership of Brandon Harris, we accomplished quite a lot in quarantine! We’ve moved our meetings virtually, not skipping a beat. We supported Razia’s bus, donated $1700 worth of diapers to The Parenting Place, supported many local restaurants forced to shut down and began the process to buy a van for The Good Fight… just to name a few. We continue to make an IMPACT on our community and the world. Be proud RAHtarians. I’m proud to be a part of this group and proud of all the great things our club does. 

But... it's important that we don't get complacent or satisfied with everything we have done. We are going “digital” much faster than we may have anticipated. We will continue to offer a virtual option once we slowly and carefully return to meeting in person, as a way to ENGAGE our members with another way to stay connected and involved. This will help us become stronger, more adaptable and even more aligned with Rotary’s core values.

Rotary's founder, Paul Harris said, "We have to be revolutionary from time to time." Now is OUR time RAH! We will try new ways of doing things and rethink what it means to be in Rotary. After Hours members are the future of Rotary. We enjoy service and want to be active. We are bright, energetic and are known as the club who gets things done! We are faster, more effective and impatient. Our impatience is a virtue that leads to our overall IMPACT.

Rotary provides opportunities for service projects that can be performed and completed by us. These projects are meaningful and sustainable. We don’t just donate the money, we also role up our sleeves and do work, and see the lasting IMPACT of that service firsthand. 

RI President Holger Knaack encourages us to choose new members carefully and to ensure that they are the right fit for our club. On the other hand, we need to make sure that we meet their expectations. We will be intentional and take our time. Every one of you is invaluable and we want every new Rotarian to be a lifelong Rotarian — a lifelong friend in Rotary. I will do everything I can to make sure you enjoy your membership and you find coming to After Hours functions fun and meaningful. If you aren’t already there, I hope each of you will come to enjoy each other’s company as much as I do. For those of you who I don’t know as well, my goal is to consider you a great friend before next July rolls around. 

Rotary offers endless opportunities. It gives us opportunities to make new friends, travel the world, and gives us opportunities for leadership.

“We are here because we believe in Rotary opportunities, in opportunities for others and for ourselves. We believe that our acts of service, big and small, create opportunities for people who need our help. We also know that every act of service will inspire and change us. “ - Holger Knaack

It opens opportunities for you to live a richer, more meaningful life. Everything we do opens another opportunity for someone, somewhere. With any opportunity, one must decide to step through the door to pursue it. I hope each of you will choose to join me in taking advantage of the incredible opportunities that Rotary has to offer. 

I look forward to seeing you all at our first socially distanced, in-person club meeting on July 14th at Upper Hixon (weather permitting). Come hear more about the opportunities in store for the 2020-21 Rotary year and celebrate our accomplishments as we wrap up our 3-year Hixon Forest project. 

I am honored and proud to be your club president for the 2020-21 Rotary year and look forward to accomplishing great things together. It's going to be a great year!

Marissa Dickinson

UPDATE: Razia's Wheels of Hope Project
$13,300 of the $45,000 goal has been raised for Razia's bus, with After Hours being a lead contributor of the area Rotary Club project. With our support, we are creating a life-changing opportunity for Afghan girls, young women, their communities and generations to come. 
Consider where would you be today if you hadn’t received an education? The ability to read, of itself, opens a world of opportunities. Can you imagine what life would be like without it?  The local Rotary Clubs' international project, Wheels of Hope, will provide safe transportation for girls attending the Zabuli Education Center in Afghanistan, so that can get an education and break the cycle of forced marriages.
A district grant has been submitted for additional funds. If you'd like to make a donation to the project individually, you can support the girls' brighter future by giving at:
Paul Harris Fellow Recipients June 2020
The Paul Harris Fellow recognition is Rotary’s way of expressing appreciation for contributions to the Rotary Foundation. A contribution to the Foundation is an investment in goodwill, peace and understanding. It is an ideal held high by more than a million Rotarians worldwide.

Our club recognizes two Rotarians for their personal support of The Rotary Foundation. Earning Paul Harris Fellow recognition in June include:  

James Murray is receiving his first Paul Harris Fellowship. James has been a Rotarian and member of our club since November 2019. He has volunteered at numerous club service projects and has devoted many hours to developing our strategic plan.  

Josh Mansee is a Paul Harris Fellow +4. Josh has been a Rotarian and member of After Hours since 2015. He spearheaded the Mexico water project and brought sHARk Tank to life. He is a Bequest Society member, a Paul Harris Society member ($1000/annually), serves as District 6250's Foundation Chair and is our club's President-Elect.

Congratulations to James & Josh! Thank you for your generous support of the Rotary Foundation.

Area of Focus: Supporting the Environment
The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors have added a new area of focus: Supporting The Environment.

The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors have both unanimously approved adding a new area of focus: supporting the environment.

More than $18 million in Foundation global grant funding has been allocated to environment-related projects over the past five years. Creating a distinct area of focus to support the environment will give Rotary members even more ways to bring about positive change in the world and increase our impact.

Supporting the environment becomes Rotary's seventh area of focus, which are categories of service activities supported by global grants. It joins peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and community economic development.

Grant applications for projects will be accepted beginning on 1 July 2021. Gifts and commitments from Rotarians and others will be sought to provide global grant support for the new area of focus.

More information about this new cause will be announced soon.

Foundation Minute
Good News! Nigeria is certified Polio-Free!
Rotarians, your End Polio Now work is making a difference. The news buzzing around the Rotary world is that the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Polio is no longer endemic in Nigeria and that the most populous nation in Africa is certified Polio-Free. Nigeria has not had a case of wild poliovirus since July 24, 2014. All laboratory data has confirmed that a full 12 months has passed without any new cases.

Rotary International has contributed, through TRF about $268 million to fight Polio in Nigeria; so, this is a victory worth celebrating. The chair of Rotary’s Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, Dr. Tunji Funsho, while acknowledging the milestone, cautions Rotarians about celebrating too soon. “It’s paramount that we ensure all doors are locked to the re-entry of the wild poliovirus into our country.”

As recently as 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide. However, according to WHO, no less than 200,000 volunteers across the country repeatedly immunized more than 45 million children under the age of 5, to ensure that no child would suffer from this paralyzing disease. Commenting on this huge accomplishment, WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan said “we must now support the efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan so they soon join the polio-free world.”

Since 1988, polio incidence has been reduced by more than 99 percent. Before then, the virus was paralyzing an average of 350,000 children every year in more than 125 countries.

As we begin a new Rotary year, let us continue to support all efforts at eradicating Polio from the face of the planet.
“There’s been an amazing organization that’s been behind this… It was due to Rotary that the campaign was started.” Bill Gates on Eradicating Polio.
In Rotary,
Olabisi Gwamna, PhD
Mount Pleasant Evening Rotary
Editor, Foundation Minute.
Honey Bees Program
Get ready for an un-BEE-lieveble hands on view of the world of honey bees right from your very own computer (and air conditioning) at our July 28th Club Meeting!
Marissa and Josh will be hosting this unique meeting on location with local bee expert Dr. Cathy Schuman and thousands of our new flying friends. This will be a fun presentation as we get up close and personal with the hives to learn more about some of the most important creatures in our environment. 
In June, "Supporting the Environment," was officially approved as Rotary's seventh area of focus, which are categories of service activities supported by global grants. This program is timely and aligned with the good news from Rotary International.
You may not know what all the buzz is about but we hope you will BEE with us on Zoom for our July 28th meeting! 
La Crosse Area Beekeepers Association website:
STAR Meeting

The next STAR meeting will be on Thursday, July 9th from 7-8am via Zoom.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the Rotary organization and our Five Avenues of Service (Club, Vocational, Community, International, and New Generations)?

Led by Downtown Rotarians Jodi Widuch and Todd Restel, the STAR (Specialized Training for Action in Rotary) meeting is especially great for new members, but open to anyone wanting to learn more! They happen six times during the year... January, March, May, July, September and November. The topic changes each meeting.
July 9th's meeting will cover: 
  • The Rotary structure – From your local club to the Rotary International Organization
  • Promoting Peace (one of Rotary’s seven areas of focus)
  • Rotary’s Monthly Themes:
    • Membership and Extension
  • Websites and Club Runner
  • Q&A and Idea Sharing
All new members or anyone interested are encouraged to attend; pop onto Zoom and learn something new for the day!
RSVP to Jodi Widuch at  Jodi will then send you a reminder with the invite to the Zoom STAR Meeting.
Rotary Works Grant Recipients
The Rotary Works Board helped our local schools with awarding the following grants in June:

$800 - GROW La Crosse: To build a new garden for the La Crescent-Hokah Elementary School. The garden will be a learning place for kids at the school as well as supplying the school and La Crescent Food Shelf with some fresh vegetables. It will also create a defined learning space for students to learn and experience the garden together.

$1500 - La Crosse Public Education Foundation: Complete the purchase of books for elementary school classroom libraries in the La Crosse School District. 
Thanks to Brandon Harris and Brian Richardson for serving as the After Hours representatives on this board.
RI & District Convention Videos
If you were unable to participate in the virtual District or Rotary International Conventions live, you are now able to stream the general sessions and breakout sessions on the District 6250 websiteRI website
The District Conference video can be viewed on YouTube at:
For the International Convention videos, simply click on the category you want to watch - General Session or Breakouts.  For breakouts, click on the topic you wish to view.  You can also click on July Breakouts and see what topics will be covered as well as dates/times.  
Virtual breakout session materials such as PowerPoint presentations and handouts can be accessed through the Rotary Learning Center.  You may be prompted to sign in. 
Holmen Area Rotary Club Service Auction

The Holmen Area Rotary Club is hosting their 12th annual Service Auction.  After Hours had planned to support their efforts by purchasing a table event, but due to COVID, they had to shift to a virtual auction.

Holmen club members donate unique services or items to auction off. The funds raised go to help the club perform service to the community, the region and internationally. This year, due to Covid, the auction is being held online starting July 6th and ending on July 23rd with a Live You Tube Channel event.
A new addition this year is a dedicated 50/50 drawing. The tickets are $100 and limited to the first 200 sold. You can win 1/2 of the pot, with the other 1/2 going to support the Boys and Girls Club of La Crosse - Holmen.
This year's service offerings include In Home Foot Care, a personal River Cruise, Genealogy Research,  Wine and Chocolate, Car Care and many others. Unique items up for bid include a Leather Harley Jacket, Art Glass, Nature Prints, Gourmet Bacon and many other unique items. And of course the delicious cakes will be there to bid on! Participation is easy. 
Bidding starts July 6th and runs 2+ weeks, leading to the live event streamed on YouTube on July 23.
Check out the items and bid away! 
How to Access the Auction:  Go to, click on Service Auction, and note 3 links: 
· Browse the full updated item list
· Register to bid at Bid Beacon
· Instructions on how to register
Or go directly to Bid Beacon to register:
On July 23, 6:30-8 pm, join Holmen Rotary Club's live-streamed event: 

MEMBERSHIP - July 1, 2020

Active Members: 58

New Members: 1 

  • Jennifer Luedtke transferred from Holmen Rotary. Welcome Jennifer!

Rotarians Leaving Us:

  • Alyssa Schaefer

  • Anna Baughman (relocated to Iowa)

  • Ashley Stehl

  • Emily Minnick

  • Emily Allen

  • Jasmyn Burke


Member Birthdays
Griffin Moe
November 6
Taylor Mathy
November 9
Jennifer Luedtke
November 13
Amy Schmidt
November 29
Upcoming Events
STAR Meeting
Capella Performing Arts Center
Nov 10, 2022
Youth Exchange Cultural Celebration
The La Crosse Club
Nov 10, 2022
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
RAH Friendsgiving
Driftless Axe
Nov 11, 2022
5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
RAH Social Event: BACA Chili Cookoff
All Start Lanes
Nov 12, 2022
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
BACA Soup Event
All Star Lanes & Banquets
Nov 12, 2022
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
RAH Youth Committee Meeting
Nov 15, 2022
5:15 PM - 6:00 PM
Rotary Leadership Series
Waterfront Cargill Room or Online
Nov 17, 2022
12:05 PM - 12:35 PM
RAH 11/22 Meeting: WAFER
The Main- A Event Space
Nov 22, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Service Committee Meeting
The Main Event Space
Nov 22, 2022 5:45 PM
RAH Club Meeting
The Main - an Event Space
Nov 22, 2022
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
View entire list
Club Information
Serve to Change Lives
La Crosse-After Hours
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM
The Main
422 Main Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
United States of America
2nd and 4th Tuesday of the Month; 5:30pm- Networking / 6pm- Meeting
District Site Icon
District Site
Venue Map
Venue Map
Photo Albums
Socials 2019-20
Youth Exchange
Paul Harris Fellow Recipients
Service Events 2019-20
Club Meetings 2019-20
Board of Directors & Officers
President Elect
President Elect Nominee
Immediate Past President
Secretary Elect
1-Year Director
3-Year Director 20/21
Membership Chair
Public Image Chair
Service Projects
Foundation Chair
Youth Exchange Officer
Youth Protection Officer
Youth Exchange Counselor