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Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary Club is a vibrant community of energized people, working to create change both at home and around the world. Welcome.

Upcoming Speakers

March 29, 2023
Vernon Castillo, 2022–2023 COL Rotary Exchange Student

Vernon Castillo

COL Exchange Student Presentation

April 5, 2023
Eyleen Braaten, Giving Voice Chorus

Eyleen Braaten

Giving Voice to Well-Being

April 19, 2023
2023 Sunrise Forum

Special Event
2023 Rotary Sunrise Forum

The Crisis Is Ours — Kids, Schools, and Mental Health

Upcoming Events

Our Impact

By the Numbers

What's Happening at City of Lakes?

The first-ever Rotary Awareness Day was held Monday, January 30, 2023, at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. The event attracted approximately 100 Rotarians from three Minnesota districts. Thirty-six high school exchange students visiting districts 5950, 5960, and 5580 who are part of the NorthStar Youth Exchange — including Vernon Castillo, City of Lakes Rotary’s exchange student — enjoyed the tours, speakers, box lunches and many, many group photos with legislative leaders. 
The Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary Club has supported CES Food Shelf for more than 20 years. Club members volunteer monthly to pack groceries for Home Delivery neighbors. The Club also financially supports CES, and we contribute hats and mittens each year to the Warm Hands, Warm Heads, Warm Hearts project. CES Staff Saundra and Krista were invited to join the Club’s meeting on January 18, where, together with Daily Bread Wellness founder Colleen Saumweber, they donated 139 pounds of food items to the food shelf.
We had so much fun at our service project to benefit Days for Girls on February 4. Fifty people helped make 300 feminine hygiene kits for girls in Kenya so they can continue to stay in school and have choices in their lives. The World Health Organization says that the single most effective way to spend a $1 on global health outcomes is to educate girls and women. As Days for Girls states, "Let's turn Periods into Pathways for girls around the world."  
Thank you notes from Way to Grow to COL Rotary
City of Lakes Rotary Club recently received a wonderful "Thank you" package from Way to Grow! There were personal notes and pictures of the children unwrapping their holiday gifts along with notes from all the teachers. They were so grateful for our support! Here are a couple of samples of the notes on the card:
“Your kindness multiplies-we are so encouraged by all of you-Thank you for making the holiday BRIGHT!”
“If only you could see the faces of the families when they receive the gifts, it is indescribable joy, for them and for us , too!”
“Thank you-your support of WTG families- for your kindness-we appreciate it!”
Click read more for additional images of the cards.
City of Lakes Rotary members pack gift bags for the CES food shelf holiday event.
On Saturday, January 7, members of the City of Lakes Rotary Club (COLRC) and their guests fulfilled food orders for 80 home delivery clients of the Community Emergency Service (CES) food shelf. This is an ongoing, bi-monthly club project which offers an opportunity to help senior and lower income community members in the inner city of Minneapolis. It is one of several service projects conducted by COLRC to support CES initiatives for those in need.
Click through to see additional photos from this great event!
City of Lakes Rotary members pack gift bags for the CES food shelf holiday event.
Friday evening, December 16th, and Saturday morning, December 17th, COL Rotarians volunteered helping our partners at CES get ready for their first Holiday celebration since Covid. Friday evening, we built 250 gift bags for their clients and helped decorate the building for the next morning. Saturday morning was the celebration and our volunteers served cider and cookies to the clients that our club provided. There was music, face painting and pictures taken, which helped to create a very festive event! We had a great team volunteering at both events!
Saundra Holden, CES's Director of Operations, sent us this thank you note after the events:
“I just wanted to take time to thank you and the rest of the Rotary Club members for supporting our 1st Indoor Christmas Distribution since the Pandemic hit. You all came with your Holiday Joy & Warmth and our neighbors appreciated your company. I also want to thank you for coming in on Friday to pack the Gift Bags. We had a good time and decorated the place as well.

“Being of Service to Others is my passion and doing that side by side with others who feel the same makes the pot of tea that much sweeter. You guys are awesome and I hope you’ll come back for the sequel in 2023!”
Click through to see additional photos from our work. Happy Holidays and thanks to all!
As mentioned during morning announcements on Wednesday, December 21, because of some quirks of Zoom, we had to change the link that you use to join the weekly Zoom meeting. So, if you've got an old link stored on your computer somewhere, it won't work anymore.
Once you do so, Zoom will email you with the new link you can use each week to attend our meetings. At any time, you can register (or reregister) for the meeting by going to our website,, and clicking Attend a Meeting at the top of the page. 
If you have any questions or need some help getting signed up, please feel free to reach out to COL Zoom Master, Brock Ray!
The recently-released December 2022 newsletter for CES Food Shelf features an article about City of Lakes Rotary — titled “Service Above Self” — including an interview with COLer Gary Mosiman. Gary notes that COL Rotarians “see the need, and we know that CES is doing good work in the community.” Read the full article here. 
We received a very nice “thank you” letter from CES for our annual $4,500 donation to help with their mission (and to help fulfill our Community Service “feed” initiative). From the letter: 
CES is serving more of our low-income neighbors across the Phillips-Midtown neighborhood who are struggling to make ends meet and put food on their table.… Your grant will provide nourishing food, hope, and stability to our low-income neighbors who are struggling. That is a powerful gift!