"For more than 100 years, our guiding principles have been the foundation upon which our values and tradition stand. The Four-Way Test, Object of Rotary, and the Avenues of Service express our commitment to service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership."




News & Updates


This year the Rotary Club of Garner is sponsoring Katie Oetken on a Rotary Youth Exchange to Spain.  Click here to follow Katie's adventures via her blog.  Buena suerte Katie!



Be a gift to the world

To the Garner Rotary Club:

Since joining Rotary I have been so glad to be part of a club that puts Service above Self.

When I agreed to be president I never realized what a big job it would be. The last two years watching Holly Brink and Ivan Dodd leading the club has been quite an inspiration.  We have seen our club grow in members and becoming more service orientated in both the community and internationally.

I feel so lucking to have such a wonderful board to work with. I am looking forward to work with our two new board members Carol Peterson and David Solheim.  I would like to thank ahead of time both Reid Weiland and Mike Bahnsen for all their hard work as Secretary and Treasurer.  They say that these two positions do most of the work and I would agree with that. 

One new thing I would like to start this year is that before you introduce your program bring the club up to date with a quick, 30 second bio of yourself.

Another thing we can achieve is record our volunteer hours.  This is driven by Rotary awards that our club I eligible for. 

The new committees have board members as chairpersons.  We will ask that all committees meet at least every other month, so the chairperson can report to the board meeting the first Wednesday of the month on their progress.

I believe that our cookie sales can double this year and with the profits I would love to see both our community and international giving grow. Also I am excited about joining Mason City Noon Rotary, Clear Lake, and Forest City, raising money for a great cause like Family Alliance for Veterans of America (FAVA). The board is looking forward to all four clubs getting to know each other and growing in our friendships as Rotarians.

I am proud to announce that we are 8th in the district for giving to the Rotary Foundation. We are hoping that we will encourage more giving to the foundation and have more Paul Harris Fellows.

We are also so proud to mention again that we have an upcoming District Governor in our club, Neil Fell.

When I was at President Elect Training we always recited the four way test:

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


With those thoughts let’s go into our new year being a gift to the world,

President Deb Schmidt


District 5970 “Rotary Rush” is on again!
The definition of “rush” is: a sequence of social events sponsored by a fraternity or sorority for prospective members prior to bidding and pledging. Following that line of thinking, our “Rotary Rush” this year will focus on the “pledging” aspect of the Rotary Foundation.

Have you heard of the Rotary Program “Rotary Direct”?  It is Rotary’s recurring giving program. You may set up contributions by credit card on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.  This program saves…

  • Time- Sign up once to give continuous support

  • Money- Lower administration costs means more money for Rotary programs

  • Lives- Give to the Rotary Foundation to do good in the world

From November 15, 2014 to January 15, 2015, the District is offering an incentive to all Rotarians. Several generous Rotarians have offered their points to help with this promotion.

Each Rotarian that becomes a Rotary Direct donor during the promotion period will receive 100 Paul Harris Fellow points.  One lucky Rotarian will receive 1000 points to become a Paul Harris Fellow, multiple fellow or gift a Paul Harris Fellowship to a person they deem deserving.  Why wait? Sign up now!

This promotion is only available to the first 400 Rotarians who submit their requests.

  • Complete the Rotary Direct form attached, Sign up online at www.rotary.org/give  or call 1-866-976-8279.

  • We highly recommend directing the donation to the Annual Fund, so that one half of the donation will return to the District.

  • Forward the acknowledgement letter you will receive from RI to Marion-East Cedar Rapids Rotary Club, P. O. Box 11413, Cedar Rapids, IA 52410-1413 or my email to:      michelle@marathonforshoes.com

What are you waiting for? Make a difference today!  Thank you in advance for giving to The Rotary Foundation.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ~ Anne Frank 




It seems that all of us have been so busy all summer that it just slipped away on us. Here it is, colder weather setting in, kids in school and the ever favorite, football season. It does seem some time ago since I have put together a letter and so much has happen within our club it is difficult to start.
Just when our membership was on the verge of getting into the higher 50’s we lost some dear members to moving away. I want to emphasize once again that our club still has room to grow and I know there are potential members out there, so let’s go
ask someone to come to a meeting.
Thanks to our Social Committee we had a nice picnic with family and friends. I was disappointed that more members could not make it but understand other commitments were in the works as well.
Our Shoebox stuffing went very well and thanks again to all who helped with that project. We are looking at our next year international project of helping the soccer club in Jamaica that Dr. Wood has been seeing for several years. Hopefully we can partner with a local club to make this happen.
We had our District Governor visit us in early September to do her assessment of the club. While she was here we had several members receive their
Paul Harris Fellow’s with upgrades. Those members were Holly Brink, PHF, Reid Weiland, PHF, Don Furman, Roy Tesene, Tim Tusha, PHF +1, Deb Schmidt, PHF + 3 & Neil Fell, PHF + 4. Congratulations to all of you. For a club our size this is quite an accomplishment. For those of you that are not yet into the program, contact Neil or Don for more information.
Our Service Committee is actively looking at some project for this fall and next spring and will be presenting them to the club when more information is available.
As I have stated in our meetings this is our 75th year of being an active Rotary Club in Garner. There has been a committee formed to get this planned and if any member wants to be a part of this, contact Deb Schmidt. Any help is appreciated. The rumor has it that this is going to be a combination Christmas Party and 75th celebration. It sounds like we are in for a good time. More as plans get put together.
In closing I want to say that this could be a very good year for our club and with everyone’s help a fun one as well.
Your Prez  “Ivan”



Dear Club Members and Surrounding Community,

I am pleased to report that at the District Conference this last weekend that the Garner Rotary received some pretty high honors which include the District Governor’s Citation and the 2013-14 Presidential Award.  The award requires multiple activities in the following areas: Promote Membership Growth, Enhance Humanitarian Service through the Foundation, and to Strengthen our Network through the family of Rotary. 
Deb Schmidt received the Avenues of Service Citation that recognizes individual Rotarians who personally recognize the five avenues of service which include: Club, Vocational, Community, International, and New Generations.
In addition,
Reliance State Bank was presented with the Community Service Award for their support to Rotary and to the Garner community.
 I am very proud to be part of our local Rotary chapter who has been recognized at this level.  Congratulations to all on a job well done!
Holly Brink, Garner Rotary Club President

See a photo of club members and their awards Shown here are (L to R) Neil Fell, Ivan Dodd, Holly Brink, District Governor John Bender and Deb Schmidt.

Garner Rotary is currently offering free points for members wishing to start working towards their first Paul Harris Fellowship.
The Garner Rotary Club has earned "points" which can be used as dollars toward donations to the Foundation.  If you have not yet earned a Paul Harris Fellowship, Garner Rotary will match the first $200 you give to the Foundation, helping you earn your first Paul Harris Award.  For example:  If you donate $200 to the Foundation, Garner Rotary will use 200 "points" so that you will be credited with $400 towards your Paul Harris Fellowship.  (It takes $1000 to earn a Fellowship.)  We want everyone who wishes to become a Paul Harris fellow to be able to achieve this honor.

Governor's Newsletter, Feb/Mar 2014

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Mat's Place in Garner.  

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