Rotary Club of Great Falls, Montana                

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Last week outgoing President Cari Yturri treated us to her swan song. While some might regard her leadership year as a year of challenges, Cari described it as a year of plenty. In every aspect of her presidency, wherever she looked she found talent, generosity, and a can-do spirit. Cari recognized various Rotarians individually and then presented certificates of appreciation to  the members of her board. She has made a donation to the Rotary Foundation in each of their names.
Cari emphasized that leadership doesn't come from a single person. It takes teamwork, partnerships, and friendships. Rotary is blessed to have plenty of all three. "We have shown that we are able to adapt, pivot, and sustain," Cari said as she turned the gavel over to Megan Connors.
President Connors closed the meeting expressing what everyone felt - deep gratitude to her predecessor and the promise to carry on the traditions that make our club so strong
“When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”  
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Every town with community pride has its generational stars, those individuals whose mark on the community is so profound that it passes, like a torch, from that person’s generation to the next, something that over time we think we were born with, rather than given. Our town - and this club -- lost such a star last week.
Bob Oakland was not a Great Falls native. He chose us back in the ‘40s, met his future wife here, started his own business here, raised his children here. And what a wife and business and children they were and are. City Motors has prospered for 60 years and more because Bob knew the value of quality – quality in the product, quality in the service, and quality in community engagement.
Last week fellow Rotarian Sherrie Arey and her colleague Chelsey Hutmacher at NeighborWorks Great Falls gave us a retrospective on that organization's remarkable accomplishments over the past 40 years in Great Falls. 
Right from the start,  NeighborWorks has been "committed to building strong neighborhoods, creating successful homeowners, and promoting quality, affordable housing throughout Great Falls."
Since 1980, the organization has helped over 2,200  community members own their first home. It has removed or renovated roughly 500 distressed properties and  added  over 350 trees, adding $50 million to the community's tax base. Programs in homebuyer education, including counseling on planning and budgeting for a purchase and preventing foreclosure, have given first-time homeowners a solid foundation to build on. Owner-built homes have given 135 families "sweat equity" in their homes since 2005.  The high school house program has resulted in providing 42 homes for the local market, with the ancillary benefit of providing career training for high school students since 1997.
NeighborWorks reaches out beyond its mission to be a true community team player. Programs like Neighborhood and Business Watch, the Annual MApril Clean-up, and the Downtown Safety Alliance are examples of their efforts to "stretch" the organization to realize our community's potential. We are fortunate to have such a ground-breaking program - literally and figuratively - in our community!
To keep the numbers down, a small crew of Rotarians visited Camp Rotary last weekend for the annual camp clean-up. They fixed benches at the upper and main camps, split wood, put the garden cart together, and took out the bridge upstream in Rafferty Creek. They also got a start on the trash. Since it will be a while till we can schedule campers, a more complete clean-up will take place closer to our opening date.

It was a beautiful day at Camp Rotary, Sheila Rice reported. She was also thrilled to learn, after all her years at Camp Rotary, that there is an upper camp! We'll all have to take a look when we do the super-duper cleanup ... hopefully soon!
It is always inspiring when you get a presentation from someone passionate about his or her work and we had two occasions to experience that feeling last week. At noon on Tuesday, fellow Rotarian David Thomas gave a power-point presentation on his recent trip to South Africa to teach in a program called Mathematical Modeling for Girls.
The strategy behind the program is to raise the college-going aspirations of adolescent girls by teaching them college-preparatory content with college-aged girls as mentors. At the University of Pretoria, David engaged the girls in Geogebra, Netlogic, and Tinker Plots, using hands-on tools and real-life situations to teach complex mathematical concepts. It's not so much what they learn that is important, David reminded us. "The most important discovery a child can make is that they just made a discovery." 
In his spare time, David enjoyed the beauty and the wildlife of South Africa. He showed us pictures of lions, giraffes, and hippopotami he encountered and told us a little about his observations.
Before Polio Plus, before Sabin, before Salk, there was Basil O'Connor. The scrappy son of an Irish immigrant in Massachusetts, he began selling newspapers at age 10, quickly organizing a monopoly of the best routes. He played fiddle in a local dance band to earn money for college. After graduating from law school, he struck up a friendship and then a law partnership with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The rest is history.


Knowing that social gatherings are not recommended right now, we have decided to cancel the remaining March noon and evening meetings, including the monthly social on 3/19. 

The Board will reassess the public health situation after next week to decide if we should meet on March 31st.

Thank you for understanding.


To see how Rotary International is responding to COVID-19, please click here:

For local COVID-19 resources, please follow the CCHD's website at:

For the 25th consecutive year, Great Falls Rotary honored local Scouts who joined the Eagle and Gold Badge ranks during the last year. As usual Bill Harp organized the event, which honored 32 Eagle Scouts and one Gold Scout, who logged more than 104,603 community service hours to earn their awards.  They join the ranks of 705 young men and women our club has honored through the years.
Club Information

Welcome to Great Falls Rotary... 
Join Us for Our Next Meeting!

Great Falls

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM, and the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month at 5:30 PM.

Meadow Lark Country Club
300 Country Club Blvd
Great Falls, MT  59405
United States of America
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
President-elect Nominee
Immediate Past President
Club Historian
Club Risk Manager
Web Site Administrator
Public Relations
Bulletin Editor
Community Service Chair
Rotary International Foundation Chair
Great Falls Rotary Foundation Liaison
Camp Operations Director
Camp Rotary Director
Speaker Committee Chair
Great Falls Rotary Foundation Liaison
Thomas Risberg & Kristi Pontet-Stroop
Sep 22, 2020
Alliance for Youth
Sandy Carlson
Oct 13, 2020
District Governor Visit

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