September Meeting Notes

September Meeting Notes

Written by Bethany Lerch

September Meeting | Rotaract Oshkosh

There wasn’t much on the agenda at yesterday’s September meeting. Mostly, we just wanted to get past the formalities and bring in our new executive board. Just a few changes:

While I’m sad to be leaving, Rotaract is excited to have you on, Joe!

September Meeting | Rotaract Oshkosh

Next, we covered a few upcoming events:

  • First, the Tough Mudder, coming up on Saturday, 7 September. Rotaract has a group volunteer slot from 9 AM until noon. Contact Becky Snyder to get involved. (All proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.)
  • Next, the Christine Ann Center will need volunteers to help them move back into their residence which is renovated following their recent capital campaign. Then, they will need other volunteers for their Take Back the Night event. Becky will have information for these opportunities, too.
  • A chili cook-off is coming in October. We’re looking to have two teams already. (Competition will be die-hard as our new veep Joe Walk was part of last year’s winning team.) Proceeds for the event will benefit the Day by Day Warming Shelter, a nonprofit we have volunteered at in the past.

September Meeting | Rotaract Oshkosh

A few changes worthy of note:

  • We have decided that we will switch our meeting venues each year. We began at Manila Resto & the Algoma Club and are presently looking for another establishment to hold meetings. Many thanks to Manila for providing such a memorable first year!
  • All of our “Change for Change” money will be collected at the end of each year and go to an organization to be determined via vote by all members.
  • We’re going for a more social feel, too. More dynamic events to draw more dynamic crowds!

That’s all for now. Next month’s meeting is going to be Tuesday, 1 October. Stay tuned for deets on the new location. (Time will remain the same.) Thanks for checking in!September Meeting | Rotaract Oshkosh

Meeting in Review: August 2013

Meeting in Review: August 2013

Written by Crystal Seeley, Interact Chair

If you missed our August meeting, here’s what happened:

First, Jerry discussed our fundraising efforts. For those of you who were not able to make the Rotaract Brat Fry at the Butcher Block, the event was a huge success. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and volunteered!

Rotaract is again partnering with Peabody’s Ale House (located at 544 North Main Street in Oshkosh) for Bar Trivia. Trivia will be this Tuesday, August 13, at 7 pm. Bring some friends and form a team to test your skills against some awesome trivia. Prizes will be awarded for the top teams. (Psst, it’s free!)

This Thursday, August 15th, Rotaract will be joining forces with the Downtown Rotary to run concessions and help with ticket collections for Waterfest. The shift runs 7-11 (at the latest). The Tubes will be headlining.

Rotaract will be receiving a portion of the sales, so this will be a fundraising effort.If you’re available on Thursday and you’d like to listen to some great music while hanging out with some fellow Rotaractors we would love for you to join us!

Becky reminded us of the Tough Mudder coming up in September. The Tough Mudder benefits the Wounded Warrior Project and can use a lot of volunteers to make the event successful. To volunteer, check out the Rotaract Facebook event for more information. There are some pretty cool benefits to volunteering at the Tough Mudder. Think free food, free t-shirt, free beer, and free entry to the event.

Our speaker this month was Karlene from the Women’s Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. She spoke on the Campaign to End Isolation. Information on this campaign (along with how you can help) can be found in a previous blog post, here:

During our meeting we also enjoyed some tasty appetizers from Manila Resto and passed out our newly created brochures.Lastly, we finished off our meeting with the Rotary Four Way Test. Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? 
July Meeting Notes

July Meeting Notes

Written by Joseph Mann, Historian

It’s July! Already eight months since our very first meeting – can you believe it?

Summer weather has arrived and Rotaract Oshkosh events are going on full force this summer! For those who were enjoying the nice weather or on vacation for the Fourth of July, here is a rundown of our July meeting:

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance at 6 PM at the Algoma Club. Bethany then welcomed our special guests:

Following Bethany’s warm welcome, we all shared the best part of our day for this month’s Change for Change.  There was a wide variety of answers from “not being late to work” to “being here tonight.”

July Meeting | Rotaract Oshkosh

We briefly recapped Trivia Night at Peabody’s and agreed that if we choose to do another, we need to get more people to attend.  We also passed around a sign-up sheet for our upcoming brat fry fundraising event on July 27 at the Butcher Block in Oshkosh.  The brat fry is from 10am to 2:30pm and I encourage you all to come volunteer, or buy some burgers and brats!

July Meeting | Rotaract OshkoshKate Salter shared the Oshkosh Women’s Fund Campaign to End Isolation. You may notice telephone booth like structures around the area. This is a part of the project.  They need volunteers to stand in these booths, as well as help outside them handing out information.  Sign up via Volunteer Spot (will be put up on Facebook as an event).

July Meeting | Rotaract OshkoshNext up was Bill Thimke to tell us more about an upcoming travel opportunity to Lima, Peru in November. There, Oshkosh Southwest Rotary helps support an orphanage to “assist hundreds of children by providing funding and on-site assistance.”They also have a something known as a “Soy Cow,” which is a machine that produces a milk substitute from soybeans. Southwest sponsors five of these installations outside Lima, each of which serves thousands each day. Rotaract Oshkosh members are free to go on this trip with other Oshkosh Rotarians. For more information, contact Bethany Lerch.

Finally, after everyone grabbed some appetizers from Manila, Jeff Bollier shared with us several up-and-coming improvement plans for the City of Oshkosh. He presented on new residential developments just across the river from Beckett’s, Pioneer Island and the happenings of the former Buckstaff factory buildings—including a rare inside.

July Meeting | Rotaract Oshkosh

Check our Facebook for upcoming running events including the Titan 5K on July 20.  If you plan on going to the Titan 5K, please sign-up on and run with us as a team!

Until next time, happy Summer everyone!

June Meeting Notes

June Meeting Notes

Written by Becky Snyder

DSC00483I can’t believe it’s June already! While the weather maybe doesn’t indicate (yet) that it’s the beginning of summer, Rotaract Oshkosh is ready and hungry for what the next few months will bring – our goals include new members, bigger service projects, epic fund raising and of course, fun.

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, and, as Bethany mentioned last month, we now have an American Flag hanging proudly in our meeting space at The Algoma Club. Jerry kicked off the meeting by introducing the newest board member, Crystal Seeley, who is now the Chair of Interact Relations. Crystal will manage the relationships between Rotaract Oshkosh and the area’s three Interact groups – Oshkosh West High School, Oshkosh North High School, and Lourdes Academy. She will help us by communicating news and events from one group to the other as well as coordinating joint service projects. Crystal will be a huge asset to Rotaract Oshkosh’s board and will play a significant role in the development of the Oshkosh Interact groups.

Per usual antics, we have to have a little free brain storm session at the beginning in the form of Change for Change – a game in which we pass around a change jar, collecting spare money for ideas. And, we usually have a lot of ideas! Last nights topic was “how can we promote our group in Oshkosh?” Many great thoughts were shared and we’re excited to implement as many as possible. So make sure to listen and watch for us in the community this summer!

The meeting was packed full of information on fundraising and upcoming events. Read on to find out more on what’s to come this summer….


Peabody’s Ale House TriviaMonday, June 24 6-7:30pm
Jerry has set up a trivia night hosted by Rotaract Oshkosh at Peabody’s Ale House in Oshkosh. Jerry will be running this event (he is a trivia expert) and we encourage everyone else to form a team and come to participate! Rotaract Oshkosh will receive a portion of the night’s proceeds and if we are successful, this could be a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly event for our group. So make sure to stop by Peabody’s and support the group, and tell your friends and family to stop by, too! Let us know if you’re attending on our Facebook page. 

Butcher Block Brat FrySaturday, July 27 10am-2:30pm
Becky has arranged a brat fry sponsored by Rotaract Oshkosh at Butcher Block in Oshkosh. We will need 4 people at the stand at all times – and can do this in two shifts. Please sign up on Facebook if you can help. We will buy all of our products (brats, burgers, chips, soda) from Butcher Block, decide a price to charge, and then receive all the proceeds. Pretty sweet deal! Plus, we’re helping out a new, local business. Joe is going to help with getting signage around the area.

Upcoming Running Events:

Titan 5k, Saturday, July 20 8:45am start time (Through Menominee Park)
Shelly will be organizing a Rotaract group to run in this 5k. Anyone interested should sign up on the Titan 5K website. Cost is $15 per person, $17.50 per person after July 8. The race benefits the Endit Movement, specifically for the Love146 Charity (which is for the abolishment of child trafficking and exploitation).

Tough MudderSaturday, September 7 – Sunday, September 8, EAA Grounds
Tough Mudder is coming to Oshkosh! If you are interested in running, please contact Shelly Dei. If you are interested in volunteering – please sign up! They need a lot of help those days and volunteers get great perks. Like a free shirt, reduced event admission for a future race plus free admission day of (spectators must pay an admission fee!). Rotaract Oshkosh will have a volunteer team which you can sign up for on Facebook.

Upcoming Service Projects:

The focus this summer is going to be on big service projects with the most “bang for their buck.” We hope to get close to a full turnout at all service projects from all of our members.

Oshkosh Community PantrySaturday, June 15 9am-12pm
Join us for a morning helping stock shelves at the Oshkosh Community Pantry. Everyone please try to attend. Sign up on Facebook if you can attend.

Men Who Cook BenefitSaturday, June 22 5-10pm, UWO Reeve Memorial Union
Christine Ann Center is hosting their annual Men Who Cook Fundraiser at Reeve Memorial Union. Men from the community will be preparing a delicious meal. Admission is $65. Christine Ann is looking for volunteers interested in helping out with anything from bartending to cleaning to helping with the raffle. If you are interested, please contact Dale DeVries at [email protected]

In addition, we are working with Dale at the Christine Ann Center to determine a time to hold a four hour advanced volunteer training. This training is needed to work directly with clients and children. Please use this Doodle poll to elect the best dates for you. Please note: The training is 4 hours total. The options are to either do the training in one day or to break it into two, two hour trainings. Keep that in mind when selecting your dates (if you are available for two, two hour trainings, please make sure you select at least TWO different weekdays to attend).

Last but surely not least, we welcomed our amazing guest speaker, Cari Tetzlaff from the Oshkosh Area Humane Society.  Cari is the Volunteer and Foster Coordinator with OAHS. As a proud owner of an adopted animal from OAHS, this meeting was especially interesting!

Cari spoke on behalf of fostering pets and how to help keep pets happy and healthy. What was really interesting are all the reason that fostering an animal is really something that I personally think anyone can do! Whether you take a pet into your home or you provide monetary or supply donations to a shelter, there are a ton of ways to help.

Animals in foster care are there because they are not yet ready to be adopted. This can be for a number of reasons – perhaps kittens are not yet old enough, an animal may be recovering from surgery and just needs the extra attention, there could be an illness, or it may just be an anti-social pet who needs lots of love and attention before being adopted. Whatever the reason, there are always animals who need a foster home.

Cari at OAHS is a pro at matching each person or family with the perfect animal to foster. If you have kids,  have other pets, live in a small apartment or have never had a pet before, it doesn’t matter! Cari will help you find a foster animal that will fit perfectly with your situation. For more information on how to foster, contact Cari at 920-303-3166 or [email protected]

Our next meeting will be held at Algoma Club and 6pm (same time, same place!). We are still waiting to lock down the guest speaker, more details to come soon.

Until next time!

May Meeting Notes

May Meeting Notes

Written by Bethany Lerch

The May meeting for Rotaract Oshkosh began with the pledge of allegiance. I share that only because the remarkable bit is that we are now the proud owners of an American flag… and because there once was an instance where he said the pledge without it. (Whoops!)

Jerry Medina, our vice president, opened by sharing exciting news about our chartering (a success!) and the opportunity to travel to South America with the Oshkosh Rotary groups come October. Destination: Peru. Service + Machu Picchu. Awesome or awesome? Details: Stand by.

May Meeting | Rotaract Oshkosh

This month is packed with service opportunities. Here’s a quick look:

Meals on Wheels: Meals on Wheels is a service provided by Oshkosh Family, Inc., a social welfare organization. Volunteers take one hour one day each week over their lunch break to retrieve 8-12 meals from Evergreen and then deliver them within a specific geographic area in the city. For this, we will need to do an orientation. If you’re interested, please drop a line to [email protected].

Christine Ann Center Packer Tailgating: A handful of past and present Packer players were in attendance at the Oshkosh Convention Center on Tuesday the 14th for an evening of “tailgating” to benefit the Christine Ann Center.

May Meeting | Rotaract OshkoshWhen the change for change jar went around, we had an array of fundraising ideas (and Visa cards). Here’s what the group came up with:

  • Bake sale
  • Brat fry
  • Social – pay to get in!
  • Concessions – bartending at Water fest
  • Local band
  • Celebrity calendar – Police, high school, coaches, etc.
  • Online Facebook auctions
  • Run the steps at Lambeau field
  • Seroogy’s candy sale

There are a handful of running events on the horizon, too. The next big team run will likely be the Irish Fest 5k, which will be the first Saturday in June. Race starts at 8 AM. Participants get free admission into Irish Fest the rest of the day! Don’t forget, Michelle and/or Bethany like to run three miles on Thursdays.  Feel free to join! Just come to 100 North Main around 5:15. (But send a note to our Gmail account that you’ll be there so we know for sure – thanks!)

May Meeting | Rotaract OshkoshFor our main presentation, we were joined by Angie and Megan, from the Day by Day Warming Shelter, a local homeless shelter open seasonally from October to April. Here are some of the interesting things they shared with us:

In a study conducted via ADVOCAP, it was found that there were 12-15 “unshelterable” people each night. That’s when the City of Oshkosh facilitated a sheltering option for them with the establishment of the Day by Day Warming Shelter, which exists to fill the gap for people who don’t meet other criteria for area shelters like Father Carr’s and the Christine Ann Center. At first, the shelter was equipped with 20 guest beds, but they hit capacity three weeks into the season. The following year they added five overflow beds and were full by the third week—again.

In its first season, Day by Day accommodated 106 different guests. In its second: 127. Where they had six employees their first year, they now have 16 members of staff and more than 400 volunteers. Despite the help, though, they had to turn away 16 people this season. Angie and Megan noted that about half of Day by Day’s population is chronic, that they are trapped in the kind of poverty they cannot get out of. And although they work very closely with the VA, they have helped 19 veterans, up from 11 in its first year.

“We accept people where they’re at,” Angie noted. “Their reality is that they have no place to go and we want them to know that they are a worthy human being no matter how many bad choices they make.

May Meeting | Rotaract Oshkosh

However, guests have a clear understanding of what’s expected of them. While there are instances of substance abuse, “the responsibility is on them… they have to be able to take care of themselves because there are 24 others we’re taking care of, too.”

As for Rotaract, we’re waiting for Day by Day’s third season to come around so we can start helping again. Many thanks to Angie and Megan for joining us and sharing more of Day by Day’s story; we’re so grateful to be a part of the wonderful work you do.

May Meeting | Rotaract Oshkosh

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, 4 June. Same time, same place. The speaker will be Cari Tetzlaff, the Volunteer and Foster Coordinator at the Oshkosh Area Humane Society. There will also be a special guest, a former member of Rotaract in Beirut, Lebanon.

It’s Official: We’re Official

It’s Official: We’re Official

Written by Jerry Medina

On Tuesday, April 30, Rotaract Oshkosh and the Oshkosh West and Oshkosh North Interact clubs had a party: We celebrated our official charters from Rotary International!   We were joined by members of local Rotary Clubs, and even our Rotaract Fond du Lac friends, whose Chartering ceremony we attended back in September.

Oshkosh West Interact | Rotaract Oshkosh
Oshkosh West Interact club

It began with a simple social hour with drinks and food from Manila Resto.  After a while of meeting the area Rotarians, we began the presentation. Our fearless leader Bethany MC’d the presentation. After her introduction, we started with a “changing of the guard” for the Oshkosh West and Oshkosh North Interact clubs.  The current officers “passed the torch” to next year’s officers, while giving sound advice and perspective based on their own experience with Interact.

Oshkosh North Interact | Rotaract Oshkosh
Oshkosh North Interact club

Jerry Medina | Rotaract OshkoshThen it was Rotaract’s time to shine, represented by yours truly.  It was important to thank everyone who was able to join us for the ceremony, as it is their continued support that has allowed us to get to where we are today. I also spoke of my time thus far with Rotaract, and how it has taught me things I otherwise never would have learned. From the Warming Shelter, to the Christine Anne Center, to the Humane Society, we have the opportunity to do things as a group that some of us may not be able to do on our own. (I don’t want to spoil anything for our non-member readers who are considering joining, but Rotaract will change your life.)

John Hobbins | Rotaract OshkoshThe presentation continued with some words of wisdom from our District Governor Jeff Reid, who gave all of the clubs high praise for our continued efforts and the changes we have made in the community. We then heard from John Hobbins, a local Rotarian who has been instrumental in our growth. While John always has wonderful words for us in general, the main motive behind us asking him to speak was so that we could recognize his dedication with a gift. I can’t phrase it any more succinctly other than, well: John, you are the man. Thank you. (That goes for you, too, Algoma Club.)

With that, the ceremony was over, photos were taken and we continued to mingle and socialize.  It was an amazing time that I won’t soon forget. It’s a shame we aren’t able to get chartered every year. Still, it’s amazing to me how much we have been able to accomplish in less than one year. Here’s to the next one!

Rotaract Oshkosh
Left to right: Michael Scott, President of Oshkosh Southwest Rotary; Joe Mann, Historian, Rotaract Oshkosh; John Hobbins, New Generations Chair at Oshkosh Southwest Rotary; Michelle Dei, Running Events Chair, Rotaract Oshkosh; Jerry Medina, Vice President, Rotaract Oshkosh; Bethany Lerch, President, Rotaract Oshkosh; Becky Snyder, Secretary, Rotaract Oshkosh; Dan Snyder, Treasurer, Rotaract Oshkosh; Karen Frederick, Southwest Rotary; Jeffrey Reed, Assistant Governor, District 6270
April Meeting Notes

April Meeting Notes

Written by Rotaract Oshkosh member Joseph Mann

Hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful “spring” weather in Wisconsin! Anyways, we had our fourth meeting at the beginning of April. (Another good turnout – thank you!). If you missed our April meeting, here’s what happened:

Pledge: We started our April meeting how we start every meeting, with the pledge.  We now have an American flag that has been donated to us! (Yes!) Then, after a fun game of baseball trivia, with a few curveballs, we got right down to business.

DSC00457Housekeeping: Part of being an official member of Rotaract includes an annual financial commitment of $50.00. When you are a paid member, you will receive a Rotaract t-shirt, pin, and will be able to have an online profile on our site (How cool is that?) So, for those looking to become a paid member, please contact Dan Snyder.  For those who have paid and want to have an online profile, please contact Bethany Lerch.

April Volunteer Activities:

  • Food Pantry, April 1 – Volunteer in good company in another round of stocking food and organizing donations for the pantry. Next tentative date is Monday, May 6 from 5PM-7PM at the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry.
  • Blood Drive, April 8-12 – The Community Blood Center has picked Rotaract Oshkosh as their organization of the week! During the week of April 8-12, the Community Blood Center will feature us in their media and has asked that, in return, we donate blood. If you did not have a chance to donate during our week, feel free to call and make an appointment at any time.
  • Propel-Discover Mercy, April 17 – Propel Oshkosh has extended an invitation to Rotaract members to attend the Discover Mercy seminar at Affinity Mercy Medical Center on April 17. It is free and includes a tour of the new robotic surgery suite, cancer center, and fitness for the physically challenged and P.E.A.C.E Program. After the tour, meet with hospital leaders and enjoy a social with cheese, sausage, fruit trays and wine, beer, soda, and water. RSVP is required by calling 920-223-0522.
  • Earth Day, April 20 – Join Rotaract Oshkosh and Habitat for Humanity on Earth Day to help plant garden boxes and beautify Oshkosh. Just for volunteering, you receive a free t-shirt and free lunch (Glass Nickel, Roxy…). Volunteering is from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. (Lunch at noon). Meet at 100 North Main Street (Bethany’s apartment) at 11:45 and we will head over together.
  • Half Marathon, April 20 – The Christine Ann Center is looking for volunteers to help with the kids run the weekend of the Oshkosh Half Marathon. Volunteers are needed on Saturday, April 20 (day before the actual Half Marathon) for the following time slots:
    If you are not able to attend the Habitat for Humanity Earth Day project, or would like to volunteer in the morning as well, please join this event on Facebook or email us at our GMail account to coordinate. (So far, just Bethany will be going in the morning for the Christine Ann and is looking for friends!)

Upcoming Running Opportunities

  • Oshkosh 5K and Half Marathon, April 21 – We have a couple members running around Oshkosh on Sunday, April 21. Michelle Dei and Taylor Cook are running the half marathon while Bethany is running the 5k (and finishing the Half with Michelle!)  For those interested in half price registration, please contact Becky Snyder. Not busy that morning? Come out to support the Rotaract runners! 

Chartering Ceremony: Tuesday, April 30, Algoma Club

  • 6:00PM – Cocktails and social hour
  • 6:30PM – Presentation
  • For more information, see either our blog post or our Facebook event!

PRESENTATION: Speaker 1, Lisa Koeppen

Community Blood Center at Rotaract OshkoshLisa Koeppen, from the Community Blood Center did a wonderful presentation on the importance of donating blood. The community blood center provides for many hospitals throughout Wisconsin. Lisa taught us about the four different components of blood that can be used to save lives. We were also informed of incorrect assumptions that many people have about donating. She discussed the importance donating regularly, so that in the case of a disaster, there will be a supply of blood available BEFORE something happens. The Community Blood Center has picked Rotaract Oshkosh as their organization of the week! During the week of April 8-12, the Community Blood Center will feature Rotaract Oshkosh in their media and has asked that, in return, we donate blood.

PRESENTATION: Speaker 2, Keri Ewing

Keri Ewing at Rotaract OshkoshKeri Ewing from (1) Habitat for Humanity and (2) D.R.E.A.M House Orphanage talked to us about the D.R.E.A.M. house project in Thailand. It is a home for both orphans and impoverished children in the northwest region of Thailand along the Burmese border. They protect helpless children from human traffickers. They strive to provide these children with everything they need, and then some. It is more than just a shelter with food and security; they give each child an opportunity for an education as well as cultivating all aspects of the child’s life. Keri also talked about the volunteer opportunity on April 20, through Habitat for Humanity. Please see the details in the upcoming events!

The next meeting: May’s meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 7, at 6pm at the Algoma Club, 103 Algoma Blvd, in downtown Oshkosh. However, don’t forget to join us on Tuesday, April 30, at 6pm for our Chartering Ceremony! As always, there will be some delicious food for everyone from Manila!

April Meeting | Rotaract Oshkosh

March Meeting Notes

March Meeting Notes

As we near the end of March, we also near another Rotaract meeting. April will mark our fourth meeting since our humble beginnings at the twilight of 2012. Have you been to one yet? If not, consider dropping by to take a look. In fact, here’s a breakdown of our March meeting…

Rotaract Oshkosh

Pledge. A fundamental part of any Rotary gathering, the pledge of allegiance marks the beginning of a meeting. And… we’re wondering if anyone would like to donate one?

Change for Change. This time our fantastic “change” jar was used to flesh out some ideas, specifically ideas regarding:

The Rotaract Oshkosh maxim. The coin jar made its rounds in an effort to extract some words from the group, words that describe who we are and what we do. Descriptors were abundant. Check ‘em out:

  • Community
  • Difference makers
  • Eager
  • Enthusiastic
  • Exploring
  • Exemplary
  • Friendship
  • Leaders
  • Optimistic
  • Opportunity
  • Prime rib (Very funny, Joe Mann!)
  • Teamwork

So, how about stringing some of these things together? Here are some examples:

  • Young optimism. Young opportunity.
  • Optimism. Opportunity. Service.
  • Exploring leadership through service.
  • Community difference makers.
  • Difference makers in service.
  • Community. Teamwork. Rotaract Oshkosh.
  • Community. Friendship. Rotaract Oshkosh.

What do you think? Any other ideas? We’d love to hear them! Oh, and don’t forget: If you’re dangerously creative and want to help us make the Rotaract symbol more, well, more Oshkosh, let one one of the executive know (Becky or Dan, Joe, Jerry, Bethany or Michelle).

Jeff Potts at Rotaract OshkoshSpeaker: Jeff Potts. Jeff Potts is a Rotary member in Oshkosh Southwest Rotary. He’s also the Marketing Director for the Oshkosh Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Jeff joined us on this particular Tuesday to impart some interesting (and unknown!) factoids about our pretty little city. For example, did you know:

  • William Waters was a hit! A celebrated architect in the late nineteenth century, many of the structures he designed in and around Wisconsin ended up in the National Register of Historic Places. And, lucky for us, he created many of the buildings that define our downtown, like the Grand Opera House.
  • Air Venture. Some of us know all about Air Venture while some of us aren’t as familiar with it quite yet. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is based right here in Oshkosh and each year at the end of July, hundreds of thousands of people drop by for a visit. While they’re here, they reminisce about aircraft past, learn about aviation innovations of the future and enrich our world with accents from… everywhere! (South Africa, Australia, Germany, Brazil…) It’s pretty cool to think that pilots from all corners of the globe make their annual pilgrimage to the City of Oshkosh, isn’t it?
  • Fires. Lots of fires. Happened here. Five of them. All in a span of 16 years, no less! (1859-1875) Who knew?
  • Music festivals abound! From one of the largest country music festivals in the country to a rock music festival that is fast-becoming one of the biggest in the country—and a Christian music festival that is the biggest in the country—what’s not to love about summertime in Event City?
  • Submarine history was made here. First submarine – in the world – was tested here. (No joke!)

But the best of Jeff’s presentation came in his final remarks:

  • Have as much passion for our city as I do.
  • Be engaged in your community
  • Invest time and effort and creativity, and you will make a difference.

Jeff was an excellent presenter and we’re very grateful for his insight and his encouragement. Thanks again, Jeff!

The next meeting. April’s meeting will take place on Tuesday, 2 April, at 6pm at the Algoma Club, 103 Algoma Blvd, in downtown Oshkosh. This time, there will be not one but two speakers! Join us to get the scoop on the Community Blood Center and the Dream Project Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Thailand that works hard to prevent human trafficking.

Food by Manila Resto | Rotaract OshkoshApril service opportunities. From a joint volunteer venture with Propel to a week with the Blood Center and a third outing to the Christine Ann Center, we’ve got lots of opportunity come April. Join us at 6pm on Tuesday to find out more.

Food. As always, [de-licious] food will be provided (with many thanks to Manila Resto!)

February Rotaract Meeting

February Rotaract Meeting

meetingWe hosted our second Rotaract meeting last night, February 5, at the Algoma Club in Oshkosh – too much fun!

After a rousing game of Trivia (we all need to work on our knowledge of airports and capitals!) and some internal Change for Change fundraising, we dived right into the business portion of our meeting. And, there was a lot of business to be discussed.

This month, we are volunteering all over Oshkosh.

  • Some of our members logged time at the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry (OACP) this past Monday (remember: we will be volunteering at Community Pantry the first Monday of every month from 5-7 pm).
  • A couple more members will be volunteering their time at the Day by Day Warming Shelter this coming Saturday.
  • And on Saturday, February 16, we will be volunteering at the Christine Ann Center. There is still room to come and help us out. You know what they say, “the more the merrier!”

All of these opportunities provide a great way to get involved in the community, help others, and really see all the ways our group can positively affect the greater Oshkosh area.

On top of volunteering, our group is eager to be getting involved in activities around the community to help support various causes – like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the Oshkosh Area Humane Society (OAHS), and Habitat for Humanity, to name a few. We will be participating in the Shamrock Shuffle 5k in March (woo-hoo for a 10am start time!) and Run Away to the Bay in April. Our resident runner (and newest exec member) Michelle Dei, is constantly putting together fun runs and different fitness ideas for us.

Emily DeryOur guest speaker last night was Emily Dery from the Christine Ann Center. It was so special to have Emily join us to present information on the Christine Ann Center. It’s safe to say everyone has an idea of what it is this particular domestic abuse shelter does, but I for one had no idea the depth to which their services extend. From providing shelter to those in need, to advocacy, to community events, to public awareness campaigns, to a 24-hour helpline … it’s an amazing organization and we are very honored to be able to help out howsoever and whenever we can.

A big thanks as well to Brooke Miller from Oshkosh North High School Interact and John Hobbins of Oshkosh Rotary Southwest for attending our meeting. And, we were lucky enough to have some amazing foreign exchange student guests, Ailén and Patrick, join us last night. You guys are all awesome!

Lastly, many thanks to Manila Resto for providing us with excellent appetizers. (Becky and Bethany aren’t seafood girls, but we had the crab rangoon, anyway.)

We can’t wait to see you all (and maybe even some new faces?) at our next meeting on Tuesday, March 5 at 6 pm at the Algoma Club. Jeff Potts from the Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau will be speaking.

– Becky

January Meeting Notes

Rotaractors and Aspiring Rotaractors,

If you weren’t able to make it to our first meeting on Tuesday, January 8th, no worries. Here’s what you missed:

  • Change for Change. We decided to start bringing a money jar for small bills and loose change. We’ll pass it around each week to get service project ideas, find out what changes you’re seeing in the community, or put you on the spot for a classic movie line. (You never know…) We’ll use that money to donate to an organization of our choosing once we fill it up or we’ll add it to our funds to assuage travel expenses down the road. Tuesday’s Change for Change brought many ideas for future service project locations including the Women’s Fund, Plan International, Self-Sufficiency Project, Habitat for Humanity, the local animal shelter and the Salvation Army.
  • Battle on Bago raffle tickets. Rotaract Oshkosh has the opportunity to earn a good deal of money through the sale of Battle on Bago tickets. We have packs of 5 for $20. Dan Snyder, our treasurer, is keeping track of them and Bethany, our president, has an extra stash of them, too. This is a great opportunity to raise some money for Rotaract, so if you know any fishermen, give us a shout at [email protected]. Check out for information on the actual event including raffle prizes – winners don’t have to be present to win and there are great prizes for fishermen, non-fishermen, and out-of-state folk, too.
  • Membership. If you’d like to be a Rotaractor, we ask that you commit to at least one meeting or one service project each month.
  • Fees. As a Rotaractor, there’s a small yearly fee attached: $50. It will be used to offset food expenses at monthly meetings and go towards general fundraising.
  • Run, run, run. There are some pretty cool running events coming up, events we can volunteer at or run in—it’s up to you. We think it would be pretty awesome to do a run or two each month as another way of giving back. There are a number of area races coming up, all of which you can check out and sign up to run in on our Facebook group: Rotaract Oshkosh.
  • Christine Ann Center. We’re exploring an ongoing partnership with the Christine Ann Center in Oshkosh, a domestic abuse organization located in downtown Oshkosh. With that comes numerous opportunities to volunteer.
    • At the Christine Ann Center | Rotaract OshkoshIn the toy room. We’d like to adopt the toy room. That means 2-3 of us going to the toy room to organize it and clean up a little bit on a monthly rotation.
    • During playtime. Twice weekly, resident children come to the playroom for 90 minutes of playtime. That’s where volunteers are needed. Playtime happens twice weekly from 5:45 to 7:15 pm on Monday and Thursday nights. However, a volunteer orientation is needed first, so if you’d like to sign up for in, email us at the above address so we can coordinate a group orientation,
    • February service project. We’ll be returning to the Christine Ann Center in February to do some more volunteer work and perhaps impart some resume and interview skills to some of the residents. Potential dates so far are Saturday, February 2nd and Saturday February 15th. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information.
  • Trivia. You also missed a pretty amazing round of trivia. But! Luckily, you can catch the next one Tuesday, 5 February at 6 pm at the Algoma Club in Oshkosh.

Feel free to sign up for our events on Facebook at any time, or email one of us directly at [email protected].

Sending good thoughts,
Bethany & Becky