Rotary Club of Ely

Meeting Summary - February 21, 2024

Tom Saari - Ely Sober Squad 


Club Reminder: 

President Angela Campbell

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

Guest Speaker Notes

Tom Saari - Ely Sober Squad

Tom is a native Elite. Career: Medical Equipment Repair, St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Little Falls, retiring in 2013 Tom served as flagger Communicator for motorcycle and car racing at Brainerd Internationsal Speedway and race tracks across the country. He moved back to Ely last year.


  • Sober Squad is a Native-American based recovery group new to Ely
  • Purpose: To empower & support individuals in recovery and to build healthier communities
  • Group listens, offers resources regarding jobs, finances, housing etc. 
  • Native and non-native people attend meetings
  • Tom became a peer coach with Sober Squad
  • Ely group formed under Tom’s guidance on 9/2/2023
  • Weekly meetings are on Saturday, 2:00 p.m. 715 S Central Ave, Ely Mn 
  • For more information see Ely Sober Squad Facebook page

Tom also shared information about his flagging experiences at the various racetracks he served. He explained the colors of the flags and their meaning. 

He suggested viewing the Vets on the Lake mural that Annie Humphrey painted. 

Thank you to Tom for sharing more about Sober Squad. WeIt was interesting to learn more about the flags for car racing too. 

Other notes:

The pot for the card drawing is up to $295+. Come to the meeting to try for a chance to win. 

The club has black and navy colored hats available for $16.00 and a ladies size medium polo shirt in navy, $29.00. They will be at the meetings or contact Cathy Coombe to purchase at 218-290-7777. 









Members Present:

Angela Campbell

Terri Olson

Lindsay Przybylski

Jeff Sundell

John Mills

Craig Loughery

John Bollins

Lisa Ledel

Cathy Coombe

Karen Zupancich

Zoom: Tom Moore, Kurt Soderberg and Irene Hatfield


Card Game Drawing:

Craig’s ticket was drawn this week, but he did not win the cash. The $295+ carries over to next week.




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