We felt some raindrops as we entered the Radisson but the warm smile of Hyon Kim brushed away the rain and welcomed us to the meeting.  Just as we began to eat and before the meeting started Gayland Bender gave a description and slide show of the joint district conference.
President Terry Carlson rang the bell quite early at 12:20 to start the meeting.  Kim led the Flag Pledge, Terry led recitation of the 4-way-test, and Dick Einan gave the invocation.  One visiting Rotarian was introduced and there were no  guests.
  • Early registration for the 2017 RI Conference in Atlanta ended Monday, June 6.
  • Roger Reistad reminded us that the Bridging project is Thursday, June 9.  Our task will be assembly of dressers.  They have a simplified kit design that is much easier to assemble, but read the instructions before you start work!
  • Luke Ferden and Jerry Hromatka updated the Taste-of-Rosefest preparations: Thursday, June 23 is the date everyone is asked to work that day and not think the "R" word between now and the 23rd. Sponsors, donations for the silent auction, and wine donations are still needed,
  • President-elect Brad Kirscher, suffering from jet lag from his flight from Korea, gave enthusiast extemporaneous comments.  Being with 44,000 Rotarians from all over the world really caught his attention.  He will give a formal report later.
            Terry Carlson, Brian Crabtree
Brian Crabtree talked about "Crabtree Scientific” which is working to "Transform Developing Countries by Engineering Safe Water".
Brian started by describing a device that can automatically purify water for human use.  It uses modern electrical technology in a very robust self-powered device.  Through the eyes of us engineers, a very neat design which is solar powered, difficult to destroy, and easy and inexpensive to repair.
But, this is only the "tip of the iceberg”.  Brian is an Environmental Engineer and his wife, Heidi is a Pharmacist.  The live in Rochester Minnesota, Brian works for Olmstead County providing water support for the eleven county areas.  This developing country project is their pastime; I think it should be called their passion.
Some years ago they took a vacation to Guatemala, Brian and Heidi visited the small community of El Dalmar which had been ravaged by the civil war.  They found that most of the people had diarrhea. They looked into their water supply and found it was shared with pigs, cows, and wild animals; Very polluted.  They told the local people, through a Mayan language interpreter that they could help and would be back.  The locals said yes we have heard that before.  They went home and built this pure water device on their kitchen table with the help of their two dogs.  They took another "vacation" to deliver their device to El Dalmar, worked with the people to install a clean water system, educated them on hygiene, and earned their trust.  They have taken a number of "vacations" to Guatemala since and visited many communities that have the same kind of problems.
Brian and Heidi have paid for all this out of their own pockets except for a couple of exceptions.
They have received a small grant from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and some help from the Rochester Rotary.  This looks like a great project for the future that is currently in its infancy.
Thanks Brian and Heidi for your good work!