Rotary Club of Ely

Meeting Summary - january 10th 2024

Lisa porthan - northwoods partners


Presidents' Announcements:

President Angela Campbell provided board meeting update:

  • Todd will continue as treasurer. Suggested ideas for streamlining. Board agrees. 
  • Penny Jar - Over $7,000 currently. Exploring ideas for more exposure. 
  • Membership Dues Outstanding are caught up. 
  • RYLA update: Streamlining process and information.
  • Projects update: 
    • Define role of Community Service Projects Coordinator (Lindsay’s role)

Board is meeting to discuss fundraisers. Met five times so far. Next meeting is Jan 10 prior to meeting. Several ideas are under discussion. .

Donation request: 

  • Ely Community Health Center - Dental
    • Approved $1,000 one time donation
  • VA Clinic Community Gardens
    • Buy 5 ft table with wheelchair - full cost is $1731, $862 half


Sent flowers to Jean Peshel

PRESENTATION - Lisa Porthan:

Lisa thanked us for supporting Northwoods Partners. She provided brochures and fact sheets at each table for reference. She commented that we live in an amazing community with a very high rate of volunteerism. All of Minnesota has a high rate of volunteering. 


Northwoods Partners supports people who start to have health issues was the age and want to stay in Ely rather than perhaps move closer to children who live away. 

  • Highlights of services:
    • 500 people in our community served. 
    • 10,000 hours serving area’s seniors with two staff and 87 volunteers. 
    • The oldest volunteer is 87 years old. 
  • Transportation offered through volunteer drivers
    • Rides to meetings, errands and social events
    • Local and long distance rides are arranged for medical appointments.
    • 588 long distance rides for healthcare to Duluth, Hibbing or Virginia. Program is a lifesaver for some people who don’t have resources to access. Can get personal needs taken care of too. Everything is donation based.
  • Exercise programs. 119 people participated in the exercise programs. An example is TaiJi Yuan - Moving for better balance.
  • Over 3240 friendly visits for people who are homebound or alone and want or need contact with the greater community.  
  • Tasty Tuesday - Chef to share meal ideas. 
  • Caregiver support -  Provide professional assessments, information, education, and support for caregivers and receivers. They provide an opportunity to talk through care available resources, and offer support. 
  • Memory Care support groups meet monthly in Ely and Babbitt for caregivers who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and provide resources and consultation to reduce stress and offer the family support. 
  • They have team dinners. 
    • Lisa shared a story about Sheila Gruba (a volunteer) and her mom who is 93 years old and came to the team dinner celebration. She brings out moments of joy. The stories touch so many people. 
    • Next dinner is the Wild, Wild West in June? 
  • Northwoods Partners will be moving to a new space in the previous Revenue Building on Miners Drive. 
    • The new space will allow Northwoods to expand services and keep their operations more efficient and be under one space. 
    • The aging adults population is growing calling for a need to expand services. 
    • They apply for grants for financial support and appreciate all donations. 


How to help: 

  • Donate by sending a check by mail to; 328 W Conan St. Ely, MN 55731. Phone # 218-365-8019
  • Donate online with a credit card on their website:
  • Volunteer your time. As little as one hour a week is very helpful to visit or exercise with someone, or volunteer to drive them to a medical appointment or to do errands. 


Thank you to Lisa Portman for joining us to update us on the wonderful efforts of Northwoods Partners. 


Members Present:

Heather Fitzgerald

Cathy Coombe

Jeff Sundell

Karen Zupancich

Greg Buckley

Angela Campbell

Lindsay Przybylski

Lacey Squire

Kurt Soderberg

Craig Loughery

Terri Olson

Thomas Moore

Michael Musich

Joe Owens

John Bollin

John Mills

Susan Kasbeer

Guests: Lisa Porthan
Card Game Drew: Drawing: Angela 5 of diamonds. (Winning card is the 2 of spades)


Kurt Soderberg - Good news: Erin Soderberg books. Coming Monday 2/26 to Ely at the Ely Folk School

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