Rotary Club of Ely

Meeting Summary - February 14, 2024

Lucy Soderstrom, Director - Ely Folk School


Club Update: 

President Angela Campbell

  • Todd Heiman: Financials are in good order
  • Jeff Sundell: Penny Jar Update: $8105. Target amount is $8500 

Interact Update: 

February is Mental Health Fair

Rose Sale Update:

Angela met with Terri Olson and Diane Loughery to discuss upcoming Rose Sale.         


  • Calendar Timeline
  • Ticket Sales
  • Vendors
  • Volunteers
  • Shout out to club members for support

Casino Night Update: 

  • Members of the Club have received an electronic survey, to learn their thoughts and concerns about this idea as a fundraiser. If members have not yet completed the survey, please take 10 minutes to do so. Lindsay and Lacey have volunteered to spearhead this fundraising event.

Donation Request: 

  • Ely Historic Theater “Name A Seat” in “Ely Rotary Club”

Visioning Sessions:

Scheduled dates -

  • Wednesday, April 17 - Rotary Presentation with Blaine Johnson
  • Thursday, May 9 - 4 1/2 hour working dinner from 4:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the Grand Ely Lodge

Other updates:

  • Rotary Awareness Day - St. Paul, MN - February 19.  This year we are advocating for successful passage of a Rotary license plate bill under consideration this legislative session.
  • Tom Moore will attend via Zoom - District meeting Tuesday, February 20th and President Elect Training on March 7 & 8
  • The first Rotary Club was established in Chicago on February 23, 1905. February 23rd is now recognized annually as World Rotary Day


  • Erin Soderberg Downing Book Party - Ely Folk School Monday, February 26 6:00 p.m.

Guest Speaker Highlights: 

Lucy Soderstrom, Director - Ely Folk School

Lucy moved from Tacoma, Washington during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She previously was a canoe guide with the YMCA Camp Widjiwagon. She also organizes programming for the Ely Film Festival.

Lucy spoke to the Ely Rotary Club about the mission and vision of the Ely Folk School, including programs and classes offered.


  • Concept of folk schools originated in Denmark
  • Lucy covered Ely’s Folk School history
  • Artists share knowledge about specific areas with the community
  • Learning and engaging in local craft and skill increases connections
  • Play and creativity increases empathy and connection 
  • Neighbors teaching neighbors skills increases self sufficiency
  • Non-competitive environment with intergenerations learning for life

Programs and events offered:  (Full list on their website)

  • Instructors make the classes possible
  • Birch bark canoe building
  • Variety of crafts and arts with local artists
  • Baking classes such as optic
  • Ceramics
  • Community potlucks - Offered during the holidays or as special events such as crayfish boils, arts and crafts events
  • Spring Bonfire at Semers Park - Live music, refreshments, card games and a bonfire with neighbors

Upcoming events:

  • Dinner in Brazil - March 2
  • Sled Dog Soire’e - March 9

To find more information: 

  • Learn more about instructors and classes at the Ely Folk School Mercantile location on Sheridan Street
  • Hours are: Wed - Saturday 10-4 and during lasses
  • Enjoy a gallery of displays at the mercantile. 
  • Website:

Thank you to Lucy for an informative, enthusiastic presentation. This is a gem to our community. 



Members Present:

Angela Campbell

Susan Polege

Terri Olson

Lindsay Przybylski

Emily Roose

Lacey Squier

Jeff Sundell

John Mills

Cathy Coombe

Jodi Martin

Zoom: Tom Moore

Card Game Drew: Drawing: 

Cathy Coombe won the opportunity for the Rotary drawing. Did not win. 



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