Day Meeting Minutes - 03/21/2023


Lake Mills Rotary Meeting Agenda:

3/21/2023, Pyramid 

Good Afternoon and Welcome to Rotary

Pledge of allegiance and 4 way test


  1. Visiting Rotarians, Guests / Speaker, Zoomers

    • Emily from Summit Bank is new to the community! She was visiting with Janine. 

Happy Bucks and Fines

  • Ken S mentioned that our Rotary is really thriving as he has heard from other clubs saying that they are struggling with membership and attendance. 

  • Ed H attended Jim Oertel's funeral which was very well attended. He also went to the Big Band Swing Show and it was great. 

  • Steve S was approached by Officer Johnson who said that there are some students who want to work on model cars and airplanes. He is looking for interested parties to chair this program. 

  • Tara Topel went to a Leadership 2.0 conference. It was amazing to talk about the future of the industry. Ford just applied for a patent so that if you miss a payment the car can drive itself to the dealership itself. Tara called an uber and when he arrived he had a rotary sticker. He bled ROTARY! He traveled all over the rotary to make a difference! It was amazing to hear. 

  • Amy L is selling tickets to get a “grandma cooked meal” at the congressional church tomorrow. There is the annual chicken a la king fundraiser. 

  • Nicole F there is a presentation on the new townhall proposal tonight at Town Hall 7:00pm. 

Student Rotarians

  1. March

    • Leyla Chavez - Bio A senior at Lake Mills High School. She has 4 siblings. She moved to Lake Mills from Madison. She is going to Eau Claire to study next year. She is in Interact and Junior Optimist Club. She plays soccer year round and also plays for the High School. 

    • Marissa Topel - absent

    • Ava Heckmann - LS Bio  She comes from a big golf family! You may know her from this. She intends to attend Belmont College in Nashville next year to study entertainment or psychology. 

    • Averi Wolfram - LS Bio She has two siblings. One older and one younger. Her older sibling is adopted from Guatemala. Her mom is a stay at home mom, and her dad is a salesman. Next year she is going to UW Madison to study biology. She wants to go to medical school to become a surgeon. 

Birthdays / Anniversaries

  1. March Birthdays

    • Rob Lewis March 2

    • Greg Renz March 17

    • Steven Wilke March 17

    • Kenneth Stetson March 21

    • John Chavez March 21

    • Thomas Vinz March 23

    • Wayne Garnell March 24

    • Debb Lins March 28

    • Brian Benisch March 30

Committee Reports or Announcements

  • Music in the Mills will be occurring September 23rd from 10:30am through 9:00pm. Look for the save the date post soon! 

  • There is new member orientation on Friday at noon at the Lake Mills Family Restaurant. Please RSVP with Jenny if you can attend. 

  • The inclusion committee is working on a workshop. April 20th at Topel’s Service Center 6:00pm. “Jump Start Your DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Journey”

Club Business

  1. New Member Applications

    • Rob Lewis - Ready for Induction

    • Janelle Kwarciany - Induction

  2. RYLA Update

Upcoming Dates

  1. Rotary Club Social Come socialize with the surrounding area's Rotary Club members and check out Tyranena Brewing Company's new downtown location! 

    1. When:  Wednesday, March 29th from 5:30-7:30 pm

    2. Where:  The Fharmacy Public House, 203 N Main Street, Lake Mills, WI 53551

    3. Who:  Lake Mills, Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Watertown and Stoughton Rotary Clubs

  2. No Day Meeting Tuesday March 28th


His mother was told by the Principal that he may never graduate High School. He then went on to pick up a doctorate, a law degree, and wrote multiple books. How many mothers are told their kids will fail? How many succumb to this fate? That’s why he wrote his books. 


Nick started by telling a joke. ”He is married, he has kids, no one ever listens to him! He needs to take a minute to take all of this in. A little bit about Nick-  was in a gang, he was an alter boy, he was an eagle scout. Nick shared that poverty is more than just not having enough money, but it is also how you feel about yourself. He thought if him and a rich kid fell off a building he would win because the rich kid had more to lose. 


His book “Weepers” won a variety of awards which led him to many speaking opportunities. One little girl in one of the sessions asked him “how would the story change if the lead was a girl” and then asked “why he wanted to be a writer”. This led to reflection.


Flashing back, he remembered the conversation between the Principle and his Mom. His principal called Nick “stupid” and his mother, being a second generation Italian, believed him. A student overheard this and took Nick to the teacher lounge and made them tea. She had just been shopping and had bought a pound cake. She shared it with him, giving him a piece with the most frosting. With this she also gave him a book of poetry. She told him to believe in himself and to always eat the cake with the most frosting. He realizes that this  changed his life. 


Everything that you say to a child, they will remember. Teachers have so much impact. He shared that his daughter heard this story, and not surprisingly went into teaching English. When he was younger there was a lot of gang activity. He would sell items on the street, and the local gangs would know he would be out and try to steal from him. He would run from them, but eventually decided to form his own gang called the “Grim Reapers”. He got in his first fight and cried. From then on they were called the “Weepers”


Writing these books is like living twice. You remember things that you had forgotten. If you can’t afford to travel, read. Reading is an escape.


Hopefully Daydream Believer Book and Gifts will be carrying his books soon!

Upcoming Events
Day Meeting
Pyramid Event Venue
Mar 21, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Evening Assembly
Mar 28, 2023 5:00 AM
Day Meeting
Pyramid Event Venue
Apr 04, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Night Meeting
Tyranena Brewery
Apr 05, 2023 6:00 PM UTC-05:00
Day Meeting
Pyramid Event Venue
Apr 11, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Day Meeting
Pyramid Event Venue
Apr 18, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Night Meeting
Tyranena Brewery
Apr 19, 2023 6:00 PM UTC-05:00
Day Meeting
Pyramid Event Venue
Apr 25, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Day Meeting
Pyramid Event Venue
May 02, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Night Meeting
Tyranena Brewery
May 03, 2023 6:00 PM UTC-05:00
View entire list
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