Welcome to our Club!
Holmen Area

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 7:00 AM
Hybrid Meeting- Via ZOOM or in person at the Holmen Community Center
600 N. Holmen Drive, Suite 200
P.O. Box 661
Holmen, WI 54636
United States of America
You can donate to the Holmen Area Rotary Club anytime via VENMO using @holmen-rotary
July 2024
Facebook Link
Club Officers & Directors
 Holmen Area Rotary Club
Home Page Stories
Holmen Rotarians did their first donation for Project Aunt Jane. This is an initiative to provide Joy for All animals to memory impaired or elderly patients that can benefit from the companionship. Donna and Ron got their cats today and were so thrilled to have them. Thank you to Caretta for allowing us to share this gift with them. We will be doing more of these animals very soon.
Wednesday, June 26th evening's Holmen Area Rotary Club Picnic Social marked the end of the Rotary year and a changing of the guard. The annual HARC picnic is where the outgoing President, Kelly Dunn, hands the club gavel over to the new incoming President, Eric Davidson. Speeches are made, as it is a time to reflect on the past and look toward to the future. Kelly kicked it off by talking about the club's past many accomplishments. The ongoing activities like the Holmen Community Garden, Highway Clean-up, the Xmas Giving Tree, RYLA, Student of the Month and School Scholarships. New projects like the Teacher of the Month, Dialysis in India and Aunt Jane's Comfort Animals. Multiple successful fundraising efforts like the Annual Service Auction, Holidays in the Park and Kornfest Bingo where held. Kelly mentioned Justin recently being named as the club's Rotarian of the Year and how his simple bracelets over the years have raised over $30K for Casa Hogar Orphanage and the fight against polio. He expressed appreciation for Justin's efforts as co-President and announced that Justin will continue his duties as co-President for the coming year. Unfortunately we will have to wait to hear what the future holds for the club, as incoming President Eric was unable to attend due to Covid. I am sure it will be very bright indeed. Members also inducted new member Anca Bolohan into the club. Welcome Anca!  
The Holmen Area Rotary Club will hold their Service Auction fundraiser on Friday Evening, May 10th at the luxurious Waterfront in the spacious Cargill Room and patio. The event starts with a social hour at 5:00 and includes an appetizer buffet, a Live Auction of unique items and services, bucket raffles and more. Auctioneer Alex Goodman sets a fun and active pace for the evening. Live Auction items in the past have included gourmet cakes, airplane flights, sailboat excursions, weekend getaways, special dinners, grass cutting, car detailing and many, many more. Items will be listed on the website as they are announced. Tickets are only $35 or invite some friends and reserve a table for 8 at $300. Reserved table centerpieces have a sign announcing the company or organization that is reserving the table. Price of the ticket includes a fabulous hot appetizer bar and there will be a cash bar.
Justin Bodin was named Holmen Area Rotary Club's Rotarian of the Year at the Club's Annual Dinner. He joins a list of dedicated Rotarians recognized for their contributions to the club. Justin has been an active Rotarian for the past 10 years and has worked hard in helping others. Through his creative talents, he has raised over $25,000 to help the Casa Hogar Orphanage in Peru along with being a 3X Paul Harris Fellow. Justin currently is co-chair of the Club's International Committee and serving as Co-President of the Club. Congratulations Justin on your well deserved recognition and award!
At the February 28th Holmen Area Rotary Club meeting, the club unveiled their "Teacher of the Month" project. The club has been honoring outstanding Holmen High School Students with their "Student of the Month" and felt that it would be good to also honor the outstanding educators in the Holmen Elementary School system. Holmen Elementary Students can nominate their special teacher by filling out and submitting a short and simple questionnaire on why they feel their nominated educator is special. For February, Student Lana B.'s nomination for her teacher, 2nd Grade Viking Elementary Teacher, Mike Kline was chosen by the Vocational Committee. Mike has been teaching in the Holmen School district for 20 years from Kindergarden to 5th grade. The Teacher of the Month is awarded some cool swag and also $200 that they can use for something special in their classroom. Congratulations Mike, for making a memorable difference in your student's school experience!
At the first Holmen Area Rotary Club meeting in February, the Club recognized February's Students of the Month, Berit Gilbertson and Quinn Moldenhauer. They were chosen by Holmen High School as outstanding students that take on a task with enthusiasm, try hard, are very involved in activities at school, have exceptional manners and are actively planning for their future. Someone that is top of mind of their peers and school staff, going above and beyond what is expected. Berit has been an avid powerlifter and member of FCA, leaning towards a degree in Exercise Science. Quinn has been a student council member, active in DECCA and part of Audition Choir. Quinn plans on attending UWM and study genomics with her eye on becoming an OBGYN. Congratulations Berit and Quinn and the best of fortune to you both on your future plans!
Get to know your District Governor Nominee Designate, Scott Ryan of the Rotary Club of Holmen. Scott has held several roles in his club, particularly in the area of youth development. He is humbled and excited to be asked to serve in this leadership role for District 6250.  Congratulations, Scott!
At the January 3rd Holmen Area Rotary Club meeting, the Club recognized January's Students of the Month, Alexander Leifeld and Taylor Aliesch. They were chosen by Holmen High School as outstanding students that take on a task with enthusiasm, try hard, are very involved in activities at school, have exceptional manners and are actively planning for their future. Someone that is top of mind of their peers and school staff that goes above and beyond what is expected. Alexander has been active in robotics and graphic arts, leaning towards an engineering degree. Taylor was involved with the recent Holiday School Store, been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and is passionate about helping people. Congratulations! Alex and Taylor. We wish you the best in all your future endeavors!
And the Winners are!? The votes have been cast and counted. The Holmen Area Rotary Club's Holidays in the Park Tree Trimming Contest Winners are: Business- Bangor First National Bank, Organization-Bible Study Fellowship and Family- Retired Monday Golfers. These winners will have a $250 donation each made in their name to the Holmen Boys and Girls Club. Thank you! to all those that sponsored trees, came out to experience the displays and those that voted! You made the Holiday Season special.
Hello 2024! The Holmen Area Rotary Club finished out the year working Rotary Lights on Saturday Dec 30th. Rotary Lights is in it's 29th year and has supplied the Coulee Region with over 5 million food items through it's collection efforts. Thank you! to all the folks that came out, enjoyed the 3.5 million lights and donated to the cause. You help make it a success. We hope to see you again in 2024 at Rotary Lights!
What a great way to cap off Jinglefest last night with a parade and the lighting of the trees in Halfway Creek Park. Santa showed up at the end of the Jinglefest parade and fired off the nearly 50 christmas trees. Thank you! to the tree sponsors and all the folks that came out to witness the parade and tree lighting. Sponsors are trying to win top prize for their tree trimming skills. Now it is time to vote for your favorite. Each vote costs $1 and can be made via VENMO app to @holmen-rotary or use the QR code provided in the pics. Make sure you put the tree number the vote is for in the message part of the VENMO request. 
The Holmen Area Community Center and Holmen Area Rotary Club joined together again this year to host a giving tree at the Holmen Community Center. The tree was initially loaded with one family provided by the county but the cards were quickly snapped up by this generous community. Another was added and the cards again rapidly disappeared and gifts showed up. HARC members stayed after their Wednesday meeting today for a wrap-o-rama. Thank you to all that opened your hearts and fulfilled the holiday wishes of local families in need. Thank you to the Holmen Community Center for organizing and creating a space to make it all happen.
At today's Holmen Area Rotary Club meeting, the Club recognized December's Students of the Month, Tess Moling and Landon Ellis. They were chosen by Holmen High School as outstanding students that take on a task with enthusiasm, try hard, are very involved in activities at school, have exceptional manners and are actively planning for their future. Someone that is top of mind of their peers and school staff that goes above and beyond what is expected. Both Tess and Landon have the goal to become medical doctors. The future looks bright. Congratulations! Tess and Landon!
Trees are ready! Thanks to all the Lumberjacks, Lumberjills, light hangers, sign puteruppers, tree wranglers, Holmen Village post pounders and young muscle that showed up at Halfway Creek Park in Holmen yesterday to put the finishing touches on the Holidays in the Park preperation. Now it's up to you- the expert tree trimmers to show us your stuff. There are a few trees still available so reserve them today! Go to https://holmenarearotary.org/page/holidays-in-the-park for more info.
On Saturday November 4th, a team of HARC members were at Logan High School packing meals at the annual iFeed event .iFeed is a one-day event where High School Interact clubs and community volunteers will work toward alleviating hunger in the world and in our own communities. Teams of 10-12 people come together to pack basic meals to be shipped out to hunger hot spots along with a food drive to help alleviate hunger locally. The teams have fun competing while packing the meals. The best costumes, team cheer and largest team food drive. Having fun, all for a greater cause. Thanks Interact and all those that participated to make this event an annual success!
The  Holmen Area Rotary Club recognized November's Students of the Month, Alia Jeffords and Maya Amundson. They were chosen by Holmen High School as outstanding students that take on a task with enthusiasm, try hard, are very involved in activities at school, have exceptional manners and are actively planning for their future. Someone that is top of mind of their peers and school staff that goes above and beyond what is expected. Congratulations! Alia and Maya!
The 4th Annual Holidays in the Park Christmas Tree Decorating Contest Fundraiser is now under way. The Trees will be harvested and set up in Holmen's Halfway Creek Park.  Organizations, Individuals and Companies can sponsor a tree to decorate. During the month of December votes are made by the public for their favorite tree. The category with the most votes wins. The winner gets a $250 donation made to the Dave and Barb Skogen Boys and Girls Club in their name. The contest kicks off at the end of the Jinglefest Parade on the evening of Dec 2nd and continues until midnight, Dec 31st. Vist the holmenrotary.org website  and click on the Holidays in the Park menu item for full details and links to sponsor a tree.  Rotarians will be on hand Friday and Saturday evenings until 6:30 to receive your votes or vote via Venmo by using  @Holmen-Rotary
Saturday was a perfect bluebird day. And also a great day to pick up the garbage! The Holmen Area Rotary Club took to Holmen Drive and collected the summer's accumulation of trash from the 4 lane down to Schnick drive. A big thank you to the Holmen High School Interact Club members for coming out in force. You made the job fast and fun. Let's get together and do it again in the spring!
At Wednesday's Holmen Area Rotary Club meeting the Club recognized October's Students of the Month, Jadyn Roden and Caroline Klock. They were chosen by Holmen High School as outstanding students that take on a task with enthusiasm, try hard, are very involved in activities at school, have exceptional manners and are actively planning for their future. Someone that is top of mind of their peers and school staff that goes above and beyond what is expected. Congratulations! Jadyn and Caroline!
The Holmen Area Rotary Club asked visiting District 6250 Governor Michelle McGrath to pick the Shed Raffle winner. There are actually 2 winners- One for the Shed and one for the 4 UWM Badger tickets. First drawn ticket gets choice. And the Winner is! (drum roll please).
1st - Austen Heidlage
2nd - Travis Johnson
Thank you! to all that contributed and bought tickets. Actually, we are all winners- money raised will be used to start a Building Skills program at the Holmen Boys and Girls Club
At today's Holmen Area Rotary Club meeting we heard from recently installed Rotary District 6250 Governor, Dr. Michelle McGrath. It was great to meet Michelle and hear about the focus for the incoming Rotary year. Michelle is a member and past President of the Rotary Club of Madison. She has been extensively involved with youth programs and has been District 6250's director of the RYLA program. The goal for this year is to " Create Hope in the World" and will focus on Mental Health, Promoting Peace, Growing DEI and Unlocking the Power of Women. The District will be using the power of storytelling and the power of partnership to enhance and extend their reach into the community. As Rotarian's, there are three key commitments that get us there; Show up, Surround yourself with good people and Serve yourself so you can serve others. Showing up and participating can lead to new opportunities and avenues to serve. Surrounding our selves with good people feeds our need to belong and leads to positive outcomes. And taking care of ourselves gives us the ability to help others in a healthy way. Thank you Michelle for coming today and sharing what our District will be working towards and also sharing a bit about yourself
Last night's 33rd annual gathering of the nine La Crosse area Rotary Clubs was a great way to review the prior year's accomplishments, honor hard working club members and break bread with like minded Rotarians. The Holmen Area Rotary Club was recognized for their involvement in the International Karnataka Dialysis project and for their Vocational service with the Build My Future event. Holmen club member, Cory Berget was recognized as Holmen's Rotarian of the year and Nancy Proctor received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive involvment in Rotary and the community. Congratulations! to the award recipients who exemplify Rotary's "Service Above Self"
Today we heard about Wren and Elsa, two young women taking advantage of Rotary's STEP program. STEP stands for Short Term Exchange Program. It is where during the summer, a high school student from here is matched up with a student from over there. The students take turns, traveling from their home country to stay with the other's family for 2-4 week stretch. Elsa is from La Flèche France and has been staying with Wren and her family for the past two weeks. She has been shown the marvelous sights around La Crosse and been with the family on their trip to Grand Marais Minnesota. In a couple weeks it will be Wren's turn to stay with Elsa's family in France and experience their culture. We applaud these young women for their courage to step out of the box to find adventure and new experiences. As Mark Twain so famously said- "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
The evening of Sunday June 9th, was special for the Holmen Area Rotary Club. We met with the Rotary Friendship Exchange group from Poland at Halfway Creek Park for barbeque and to get acquainted. Barry Ploessl broke more than a sweat cooking his epic brisket, ribs and pulled pork for everyone to nosh on. It was amazing! The group got into town on Friday and it was like Ferris Buehler's day off, as they did literally everything the last three days- Guadalupe Shrine, Mississippi Queen Dinner excursion, water skiing, pontoon boat float, International Garden tour, Rotary Lights tour, Rotary on the Go Mobile Clinic presentation, Pettibone lunch, Moxies, Elmaro Winery, Catfish Days Parade, the Trempealeau Hotel, (There's more but I am forgetting some of it) and then a barbecue with the club. I hope we didn't break any of them. At the end of the meal a representative from each one of the four clubs present stood up and gave a short description of what their club has been working on in their communities. Representing Poland was Rotary Club of Szczecin, Rotary Club of Poznan, Rotary Club of Bydgoszcz Stare Miasto and Rotary Club of Olsztyn Varmia. A common theme throughout was the war in Ukraine and how the clubs were responding to the great need of the recent refugees now living with them. A very special group and we are glad to have met them. It is with a heavy heart we say "till next time'" to our new friends as they fly back home.
At Wednesday, June 28th's Holmen Area Rotary Club's Annual year end picnic, members reflected on last year's successes, transferred leadership to the new president and heard about what the next year might bring. The passing of the gavel from current President, Nancy Proctor, to incoming President, Kelly Dunn exemplifies the dynamic nature of Rotary. A new year with fresh ideas and a look forward. Thanks Nancy! for providing leadership to the club this past year. The club also welcomed its newest member, Carla Toppen with a short induction ceremony. All while noshing on terrific tacos from Hacienda Vieja Mexican Grill and some truly spectacular homemade desserts. It's gonna be a great year!
Wednesday, June 14th's Holmen Area Rotary Club's meeting was a treat, with the delegation from the India Rotary Friendship Exchange in attendance. Representing Rotary Club Of Belgaum South were Dr. Renu Pattanshetty, Dr. Sanjay and Dr. Sheetal Porwal and Mukund and Rupali Bang. Representing the Rotary Club of Belgaum were Dr. Shridhar and Dr. Sushma Shetti and Sanjeev and Surelha Deshpande. Their visit is in response to members of our Rotary District 6250 spending time in their country. These fellow Rotarians from India are living with local host families and traveling Wisconsin to learn about how we live and meet new people. Friendship Exchange is an international exchange program for Rotary members and friends that allows participants to take turns hosting one another in their homes and clubs. It fosters peace in the world by broadening international understanding while building enduring friendships. It was interesting to hear from them and learn a little bit about their culture and also what they thought about their experiences with ours. Thank you! for sharing your home with our club members and allowing us to share our homes with you. Travel safe!
On May 5th, the Holmen Area Rotary Club held their 15th annual Service Auction Fundraiser. The entire club pitched in, donating something special and also working the night to make sure guests had a good time. The club would like to thank all of those that came out and supported the club, bidding on items, playing the games and taking chances on winning one of the 28 fantastic baskets displayed. Thank you! to our sponsors, King Furniture, Altra Federal Credit Union, Verve a Credit Union, Fleis Insurance, Emerj360, Moen Sheehan and Meyer LTD, Mayo Clinic Health System and WNB Financial. Your support made the event possible.
The Holmen Area Rotary Club got together last night to reflect on the year, recognize members for outstanding service, hear about the recent friendship exchange trip and ruminate on things to come. The annual dinner was held at Cedar Creek and the food was delicious. Cory Berget was named 2023 Holmen Area Rotary Club's Rotarian of the Year. The award and recognition is well deserved, as Cory has handled the club's treasury duties with dynamism for the past 10 years. Club President Nancy Proctor handed out Paul Harris Fellowships to George Hammond, Todd Ondell, Tom Knobloch, Nancy McHugh and Kelly Dunn. The club's many accomplishments were listed, like the Holmen Community Garden, the commitment to the Boys and Girls Club, sponsoring the Holmen Community Center and Holmen's Hope, Highway Clean-up, Holidays in the Park, Interact, Students of the Month, Student Scholarships, Youth Exchange, AED Distribution and on. The night was capped off with a slide presentation from Dean and Nancy McHugh and Carrie and Daryl Travis. They had just returned from a 10-day Rotary Friendship Exchange trip, visiting other clubs, touring their projects and staying with club members in India. It was interesting to hear about what other Rotary Clubs are working on in other parts of the world and listen to how the culture and experiences affected the travelers. It sounded like a fun and meaningful trip. Congratulations Cory! Thank you! to George, Todd, Tom, Nancy and Kelly for your Paul Harris Fellowship and Thank you! to Dean, Nancy, Daryl and Carrie for the wonderful storytelling. Glad you made it home safe. I feel that the upcoming Rotary year is gonna be a good one!
At the January 18th meeting, the Holmen Area Rotary Club presented Craig Coe, Executive Director of Holmen's Hope with a check for $2000 to help support their efforts. Holmen’s Hope is a non profit, non-denominational organization established by like minded community members with a desire to serve our community. Their main focus to date has been to alleviate child hunger in the Holmen area.
Holmen Area Rotary Club's 2022 Holidays in the Park Christmas Tree Decorating Contest  is now over and we have our winners!!!
These are the trees that garnered the most votes in their class -
Business - Doggie Business, LLC
Organization - St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church
Family - In Memory of Keaton Michael Bende
A $250 donation to the Holmen Boys and Girls Club will be made in your name! Thank you to all the contestants who sponsored a tree and decorated your heart out. We hope to see you all again next year! 
Brrrrrr but what a night! Santa and Mrs. Claus visited last night and turned on all the Christmas Tree lights at Halfway Creek Park to kick off Holidays in the Park. It was a fantastic way to cap the Jinglefest Holmen for the Holidays event and parade. The trees will be lit until New Year's Day so come on over and check em out. You can vote for your favorite at just $1 per vote. Entries in the decorating contest are separated into 3 categories: Business, Organization and Family. There will be a winner announced in each category. The winners get bragging rights and also a $250 donation to the Holmen Boys and Girls Club made in their name.  Votes can be placed by visiting the Park between 4:30 and 6:30 Friday and Saturday evenings (except Xmas eve weekend) or can be made anytime through the VENMO app to @Holmen-Rotary. Just put the tree sponsor name or tree number in the comment field. All proceeds from this fundraiser goes to support the Holmen Boys and Girls Club. Thank you! to all our tree sponsors. Thier efforts are very creative. Here is a listing of tree number and sponsor- 
On Wednesday december 7th, the Holmen Area Rotary Club recognized December's Students of the Month, Emma Brezinka and Carson Kopecky. They were chosen by Holmen High School as students that take on a task without question, try hard, are very involved in activities at school, have exceptional manners and are actively planning for their future. Someone that is top of mind of the school staff that goes above and beyond what is expected. Congratulations Carson and Emma!
The 3rd Annual Holidays in the Park Christmas Tree Decorating Contest Fundraiser is now under way. The Trees have been harvested and set up in Holmen's Halfway Creek Park.  Organizations, Individuals and Companies can sponsor a tree to decorate. During the month of December votes are made by the public for their favorite tree. The category with the most votes wins. The winner gets a $250 donation made to the Dave and Barb Skogen Boys and Girls Club in their name. The contest kicks off at the end of the Jinglefest Parade on the evening of Dec 3rd and continues until midnight, Dec 31st. Vist the holmenrotary.org website  and click on the Holidays in the Park menu item for full details and links to sponsor a tree.  Rotarians will be on hand Friday and Saturday evenings until 6:30 to receive your votes or vote via Venmo by using  @Holmen-Rotary
This morning I put up a Giving Tree for local Holmen families at the Holmen Area Community Center.
I have wanted to give back in this way since I was a little girl. My family went through a hard time when my mother was sick and our community wrapped their hands around us and made sure we had a Christmas. I’ll never forget the feeling of coming home to garbage bags of presents on our doorstep.
Recently I let my Holmen Rotary Club know of my want to do this I had 10 volunteers come up to me to help. Next, I reached out to Aubrey & Karen at the HACC and they quickly joined forces with our club and made all of this come together. I have shed a few thankful tears over this.
If you have it in your heart to help get these families what they need this Christmas please see below.
*Stop into the HACC during open hours and grab a tag or two.
Mon - Thurs 7:00- 4:30 and Fri 7:00-3:00
*Bring back the gift by Dec. 12th with your tag attached and leave your gift unwrapped under the tree. You may also make a monetary donation and we’ll do the shopping for you!

Address: 600 N Holmen Dr., Suite 200, Holmen WI 54636
The Holmen Area Rotary Club recognized November's Students of the Month Gabrielle Abbott and Taylor Bembnister. They were chosen by Holmen High School as students that take on a task without question, try hard, are very involved in activities at school, have exceptional manners and are actively planning for their future. Someone that is top of mind of the school staff that goes above and beyond what is expected. Congratulations Gabrielle and Taylor!
The Holmen Area Rotary Club has earned a Rotary Citation for the 2021-2022 Rotary Year for achieving it's stated goals. Past District Governor Karen Hebert presented the award to Past Holmen Area Rotary President Kathy Reinolt.  From the Rotary International Website- "The Rotary Citation awards recognize the hard work clubs do throughout the year. Taking action toward achieving the citation goals helps clubs engage their members, stay relevant in their communities, and run more efficiently. A welcoming and engaging club also reflects the values of Rotary. When clubs achieve citation goals, they contribute to the overall health and culture of Rotary for generations to come." Congratulations to the club and Thank You Kathy for your leadership!
A beautiful sunny day for our highway clean-up project on Highway 35 with help from some of our Holmen High School Interact club members. Thanks to all who helped!
At Wednesday's Holmen Area Rotary Club meeting the Holmen High School's students of the month for September and October 2022 were recognized. The Holmen Area Rotary Club would like to congratulate Molly Twitchell and Anna Marie Johnson for being chosen as September's 2022 HHS's Rotary Student of the Month and Shyleeann Xiong and Emily Nelson as October's 2022 HHS's Rotary Student of the Month. The Holmen High School students are chosen by their teachers and peers as someone that goes above and beyond, is helpful to others, does well in school, has a plan for their future and displays courtesy and good manners throughout. We congratulate them and wish them well on their future adventures!
The Holmen Area Rotary Club has become a sponsor of the Holmen Area Community Center. A check for $2400 was presented to new Holmen Area Community Center Executive Director Karen Kuhlman by HARC President Nancy Proctor and HARC President Elect Kelly Dunn.
During Kornfest last month, our Club ran the Bingo game. It is a fun and popular activity. Members of the Holmen Band Association also helped us hand out the game cards. At this week’s Club meeting we gave the Band Association a donation of $1,166 to help them offset some expenses as the band travels later this year to a bowl game in Florida.
Today members of the Holmen Area Rotary Club went to the La Crosse Airport to meet this year's inbound foreign exchange student, Hyun Suk KIM (AKA Alfred). Alfred is from South Korea and is taking part in the Rotary International Youth Exchange program. Rotary Youth Exchange builds peace one young person at a time.
Students learn a new language, discover another culture, and truly become global citizens. Exchanges for students ages 15-19 are sponsored by Rotary clubs in more than 100 countries. Alfred will be living with various host families while going to Holmen High School for the year.
Alfred looked tired and hungry after his long journey but was all smiles. Your support means a lot to Alfred as well as his host family. Thanks to all that came to give him a very big "Wisconsin/Holmen Rotary welcome". Welcome to Holmen Alfred!
BTW - Starting in September, HARC will be looking for a local student that would be interested in an outgoing exchange possibility for the '23-'24 school year.
At the August 17th Wednesday morning Holmen Area Rotary meeting we had the pleasure of hearing from Noel Furger, Director of Development for the Father Joseph Walijewski Legacy Guild and Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II Orphanage. Casa Hogar Orphanage in Peru is a project of the La Crosse Diocese and is a unique operation. The orphanage is set up into 'family' units with 4 groups of 8 girls and 4 groups of 8 boys, each headed up by a 'mother' and 'father' teacher. These 64 children from the poorest parts of Peru have been given a brighter future as they learn and experience a relatively stable childhood. Noel updated the club on recent improvements and future challenges at the orphanage. A majority being repairs and capital improvements due to earthquakes in this part of the world. The club has a connection to the orphanage due to the multiple water projects done in Peru. Club member Justin Bodin has made it his mission to help the orphanage by creating bracelets and artwork that are auctioned off at the club's annual Service Auction. This years' Service Auction netted $4203 for Casa Hogar.
The 2021-2022 Rotary 'Avenues of Service' Dinner was held August 16th at the La Crosse Country Club. The dinner is an annual get together of the nine Rotary Clubs from the Coulee Region that make up the Rotary Works Foundation- La Crosse. The Rotary Works Foundation creates grants to help fund local club initiatives.  For 2021-2022 the foundation doled out $16,550 in grants amongst the 9 clubs on 10 local projects.  The dinner is also a vehicle to reflect on the past year and recognize outstanding achievements amongst the nine clubs. The Holmen Area Rotary Club won two awards, One for Club Service and a second for New Generations. The Club Service award was for steps taken to successfully work through the pandemic and increase club awareness that resulted in 8 new members. The New Generations award was for the Club's commitment and support to the new Boy's and Girl's Club in Holmen. Accepting the Club Service Award was past Club President Kathy Reinolt. Accepting the New Generations Award was current Club President Nancy Proctor.  Hard working and humble Lisa Fisher was honored at the dinner for being the Club's Rotarian of the Year.  Congratulations Lisa!

August 4th at Moon Tunes, Rotary turned the keys of the new Rotary on the Go mobile clinic over to Jason Larson, Executive Director of St. Clare Health Mission. St. Clare Health Mission exists to provide preventive, primary health care, and specialty services for those without access to insurance and healthcare. Those participating in the St Clare Health Mission initiative share a belief that all individuals, regardless of financial status, are deserving of basic health care, and that all share in the benefit of that care. St Clare has been providing free care from their clinic located on Ferry Street in La Crosse since 1992. The mobile clinic will allow the mission to provide care in the rural surrounding communities to folks unable to make it to the La Crosse location. This $250K mobile clinic is the result of a two-year collaborative effort by 10 Coulee Region Rotary Clubs, 3 Rotary Clubs from the Netherlands, and 1 from Germany, utilizing your donations, Rotary District grants and Rotary International grants to make it happen. The Holmen Area Rotary Club is honored to be part of this effort. I am sure it will be affecting people's lives in a positive way for years to come. For more info go to http://stclarehealthmission.org/
At the end of the 2021-2022 School Year the Holmen Area Rotary Club awarded 4 deserving graduating seniors with scholarships. These four scholarship recipients are active in their communities, have post-secondary goals that include formal education and exemplify the Rotary spirit and embody its slogan of:" Service Above Self.:" Peg Knobloch from the Holmen Area Rotary Club presented the $750 scholarships.
The recipients are Hailey Brueggen, Olivia Hall, Kassandra Mueller and Elle Stussy.
On the evening of Wednesday, June29th, the Holmen Area Rotary Club got together for an end of the Rotary year picnic. The members noshed on a tasty Hacienda Vieja mexican grill & bar tacos and the salads and desserts brought by club members. During the meeting part of the event, the club inducted six new members. Welcome! Kristin Beseler, Zeena Dowd, Jamie Thielker, Joel LaPlount, Scott Ulik and Tim Medinger. Outgoing President Kathy Reinolt gave a short speech recapping the challenges and successes from the 2021-2022 Rotary year before handing the gavel (no gavel present - had to use a wine bottle) off to new incoming President Nancy Proctor. Nancy gave a short speech promising to build on the past year's success. Thank you! Kathy for your leadership, time and effort you gave the club this past year. And welcome Nancy, we look forward to a successful new year!
Last night the Holmen Area Rotary Club held their 14th Annual Service Auction Fundraiser. It was a great evening with tons of fun and delicious food. A lot of folks went home with some sweet swag and a pocket full of money from their winnings. The Club also won, as shown by the generous giving spirit of the Coulee Region. Funds provided by the Auction will go to further the Club's goals in serving the community. Funds generated by the sale of Justin Bodin's friendship bracelets will specifically go to help the children at the Casa Hogar Orphanage in Peru. A big THANK YOU to all that came out and helped make for a wonderful evening. It was so much fun we might have to do it again next year!
Today the Holmen Area Rotary Club (HARC) held an event to present 5 of the 9 AEDs that are being placed into the community as part of their AED initiative. The units are being given out to Holmen Ace Hardware & Rental, Be Fit Gym, The Holmen Area Community Center, Features Holmen and Drugan's Castle Mound Golf Course. Kelly Dunn, HARC Project Coordinator kicked off the event by explaining the program and how it came about. Dr. Carrie Travis followed up, explaining how her graduating nursing students from Winona State became involved, canvasing the community, updating the Pulse Point AED App and making recommendations as to possible AED sites. Patrick Corran, the La Crosse Fire Department's Community Risk Educator stood up and expressed appreciation for the AED efforts and stressed the importance of having AEDs readily available. Dr. Cheri Olson, Chair of the 7 Rivers Cardiac Arrest Preparedness and Education (CAPE) built on Patrick's message, stating that there are over 300,000 heart attacks a year and is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. If someone has a heart attack and there is no AED available there is only a 5-10% chance of survival. But in areas with AEDs available and systems in place to speed treatment the survival rate rises to 40-50%. Every minute delay in responding to a heart attack leads to a 10% decline in recovery rate. Dr. Olson shared that her life had been saved in 2008 by a quick response and an AED. One of CAPE's missions is education and they will be participating with the Holmen Community Center on May 25th and 26th in basic CPR and how to utilize an AED. There are four more units for the Holmen Area are to be awarded in May. Applications need to be in to HARC by 5/1
Did you know that each year the Holmen Area Rotary Club provides Scholarships to graduating seniors of Holmen High School? Two graduates of the Class of 2021 each received $750 to support their advancement of their education. Abby Molstad is currently attending the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point pursuing a Health Science Major with Pre-Physical Therapy emphasis. Vienna Zibrowski is attending the University of Eau Claire pursuing a major in Education and Human Sciences with a minor in English & Language Arts. The Holmen Area Rotary Club is currently reviewing submissions received for this year's two scholarship awards. For next year the plan is to increase the number of scholarships awarded from 2 to 4. The Holmen Area Rotary Club is proud to support these students and looks forward to supporting other graduating seniors in the future to pursue their dreams
The Holmen Area Rotary Club conducted their 15th Anniversary Dinner at the Holmen Community Center Friday night. It was a fun night of great food, good friends, accolades and entertainment. Fellow Rotarian Mary Cody catered the delicious meal while La Crosse Rotarian Pat Stephans regaled the crowd how the Holmen Club came to be. Paul Harris Fellowships were awarded to Judy McHugh, Kathy Reinolt, Todd Trautmann and Adam Fleis. Thank You for your support to Rotary International!  The worthy recipient of the Rotarian of the Year Award was Lisa Fisher. Lisa is a recent member and has jumped in with both feet. She has brought her Master Gardener skills to bear at the Holmen Community Garden, cooked many a fine meeting meal, spent countless hours working the club's fundraisers and has volunteered to take on the club's secretarial duties for the next Rotary year.  Congratulations Lisa! The night finished up with a fun game of Rotary Trivia via the Kahoots App.  Many thanks to the Membership Committee for putting on a very enjoyable night. 
An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) is an important lifesaving device used to treat individuals experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest.  According to the Pulse Point App there are 20 AEDs located in Holmen Area schools, some churches and other area businesses. The Holmen Area Rotary Club has established a new grant program that would significantly reduce the cost of buying an AED. The goal is to encourage more businesses to have one of these life saving devices available at their place of business.  The Holmen Area Rotary Club is partnering with a group of Nursing Students from Winona State University to assist in updating current AED location information and encourage businesses to install an AED into their facilities.  Businesses located in the Holmen School District can indicate their interest in obtaining a AED by  5/1/2022.  If selected to receive an AED, they would receive a unit, a wall cabinet and signage at no cost from by the Holmen Area Rotary Club. 
It would be a good idea to load the Pulsepoint App into your phone so that you can home into the closest AED in an emergency.  The App can be found through the App store located on your phone. It is a free download. 
We have our winners!!!
Holmen Area Rotary Club would like to announce the winners in the 2nd Annual Holidays in the Park Tree decorating Contest. Drum roll please!
In the Business Category: Tree #9 - Get Fit Studio
In the Organization Category: Tree #33 - Holmen Boys Basketball
In the Family Category: Tree #59 - In Memory of Keaton Michael Bendel
Congratulations! As you know, the participating tree in each category with the most votes has won a special $250 donation made in their name to The Dave and Barb Skogen Boys and Girls Club. Thank You! to all that participated and made this year's event a great success!
HARC welcomed Jason Larson from St Clare Health Mission and Josh Mansee, President of After Hours Rotary Club as speakers this morning. They were here to update the club on the current status of the Rotary on the Go project. Rotary on the Go is a collaborative effort by 10 of the local Rotary clubs to expand St Clare's health services by providing them with a mobile clinic. St Clare Health Mission utilizes volunteers to provide health care to the working poor, homeless, immigrants and uninsured. Basically, the population that has fallen through the cracks. They operate a free clinic on Ferry Street in La Crosse but not everyone who needs care can get there. With local Rotary donations, community participation, international partners and the magic of matching funds, the clubs were able to raise the $240K needed to purchase a rolling clinic with 2 exam rooms and all the amenities to provide remote care. The clinic is being constructed and is estimated to be ready come May 2022. The plan is to utilize the clinic in remote areas of Trempealeau, Monroe, Vernon and Houston County. This expanded avenue of care provides future opportunities for Rotary involvement as the project will require drivers, durable medical equipment, interpreters and medical professionals. And there will be continued operating costs to keep it rolling. The clubs that are involved are Holmen Area Rotary Club, Rotary Club of Caledonia, La Crescent Rotary Club, Rotary Club of La Crosse-After Hours, Rotary Club of La Crosse - Valley View, Onalaska Hilltopper Rotary Club, Rotary Club of La Crosse East, Rotary Club of La Crosse Downtown, Sparta Rotary and Rotary Club of Onalaska. Thanks Josh and Jason
Saturday December 4th's Holiday's in the Park opening was a special event. At the end of the Jinglefest Parade, Santa came into Halfway Creek Park and lit the Christmas trees. Come on down and check it out. Trees will be lit until January 1st. Vote for your favorite through VENMO at @holmen-rotary .
Members of the Holmen Area Rotary Club recently voted unanimously to provide Thanksgiving turkeys and $500 in grocery gift cards last week to New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Centers, Inc. . The support will go to the families currently in shelter and in their program to make their lives a little easier. You can get more info on New Horizons at http://www.nhagainstabuse.org/
Friday November 26th was the kick-off parade for the 27th annual Rotary Lights in downtown La Crosse. Holmen Area Rotary was there with the big wheel and a number of Rotarians to show support. Rotary Lights is a combined effort of the area Rotary clubs and collects hundreds of thousands of food items every year to help feed those in need. Grab a few food items and come on down! It is amazing. For more info go to https://www.rotarylights.org/
Last year was such a success that the Holmen Area Rotary Club will be  holding the Holidays in the Park Fundraiser again this fall! All the decorated and lit holiday trees are spectacular, making it a must see for the family. The  club will be setting out 75 trees in Halfway Creek Park this year and for a measly $100 donation, you can show off your tree decorating skill. Folks can vote on their favorite tree and the tree with the most votes wins. The contest is open to businesses, organizations and individuals.  It is a great way to get your business or organization's name in front of the community and can become a teambuilding event for the employees or a fun  activity for the family .  Trees will be ready to decorate November 20th  with an opening ceremony and initial tree lighting Saturday December 4th at 4:00 PM. The winner in each class will have a $250 donation made to the Boys and Girls Club in their name.  Trees can be purchased online at https://harc-holidays-in-the-park.eventbrite.com/  and votes can be cast via Venmo anytime or at the park from 4-6:30pm  weekends Dec 4, 5 , 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19.    
The Holmen Area Rotary Club (HARC) is looking for students interested in living abroad for a year. The La Crosse Area Rotary Clubs have sponsored dozens of students over the years. These students have enjoyed a unique experience of attending high school while living in another country. The Rotary International exchange program involves over 10,000 high school students living nearly a year abroad. This is a life changing experience and many say it has been the best year of their life. The Holmen Area Rotary Club has sponsored at least one outbound and inbound student a year until the program was suspended due to Covid. The program is being restarted and HARC plans to sponsor a School District of Holmen student for the 2022-23 school year. If you know of a student that might be interested, they and their parents should attend the informational meeting being held Wednesday September 22nd at 6:30 PM at the Children's Museum of La Crosse, 207 5th Ave. South, La Crosse. Students should be sophomore to senior at the time of application and 16-181/2 when they depart for their assigned country. Freshmen students are encouraged to attend to learn about the program. For more info go to http://www.csrye.org or contact Jamie Schloegel at 608-304-7489
At today's Holmen Area Rotary Club meeting, four new members were inducted into the club. A very warm welcome to Bill Katra, Lisa Fisher, Kim Clark and Bret Gullicksrud! I feel good things gonna be happening!
The last items up for bid at the 2021 Holmen Area Rotary Club Service Auction were a series of hats with the Boys and Girls Club logo on them. All proceeds from the sale of these hats was specifically designated to go towards scholarships to the Holmen Boys and Girls Club. Generous folks at the auction ponied up a total of $4250 for these 9 hats. The BNG club never turns any child away and these funds will help defray the cost of serving those children in need. Accepting the check from Holmen Rotary President Kathy Reinolt and Service Auction Chair Judy McHugh is Boys and Girls Club representative Brett Gullicksrud.
The Rotary 'Avenues of Service' Dinner dinner was held last night at the La Crescent Event Center after a taking a year off due to Covid. The dinner is an annual get together of the nine Rotary Clubs from the Coulee Region that make up the Rotary Works Foundation- La Crosse. The Rotary Works Foundation creates grants to help fund local club initiatives. The dinner is also a vehicle to reflect on the past year and recognize outstanding achievements amongst the nine clubs. This year the program was extra long as winners from the past two years were announced. For 2019-2020 the Holmen Area Rotary Club dominated the awards with 3 out of 5 Service Awards, a Rising Star and Lifetime Achievement Award. The Awards were; For Club Service- 'Battle of the Beards' accepted by Art Lyons, Community Service Award - 'Better Sleep and Better Education' (aka Bed Build) accepted by Adam Fleis, Vocational Service - 'Student of the Month' accepted by Peg Knobloch , Rising Star - Bob Buck, Lifetime Achievement - Scott Ryan.
The Holmen Area Rotary Club busted out the Rotary Big Wheel float and marched in the 2021 Holmen Kornfest Parade. The club members handed out candy for the kids and membership literature to mom and dad. It was a blast to walk with all the other Holmen area businesses, scouts and clubs while listening to the local marching bands. 
District Governor Karen Hebert attended our meeting on August 4th. Karen was just the 2nd woman to be a member of the Chippewa Falls Rotary Club when she joined Rotary. She is very excited to serve as District Governor for District 6250 for the 2021-2022 Rotary Year. Karen's message focused on a commitment to service and service above self. In addtion, Karen spoke about members committing to Foundation giving and growing membership through each one bring one.
THANK YOU! to all that came out to the Holmen Area Rotary Club's Service Auction last evening. If you missed it and discovered how much fun it was, you would be bummed. There was lots of laughter, great food, fellowship and plenty of excitement throughout the evening. The Auction raised money that will allow HARC to continue to serve the community and humanity. Money was also raised specifically for scholarships to the Holmen Area Boys and Girls Club. I am humbled by the generous, caring spirit of the people from the Coulee Region. Thank You again and hope to see you next year!
Wednesday Night was a make up Holmen Area Rotary Club Annual Dinner and a changing of the guard event all wrapped up into a wonderful picnic at Halfway Creek Park in Holmen. Club awards are normally handed out at the club's Annual Dinner in February but was missed due to Covid. A very deserving Vicki Lyons received the Rotarian of the Year award. She saved our club during Covid by taking on the technical challenges of meeting online. Even setting up a virtual auction site so the club could still have their Annual Service Auction last year. Thanks Vicki! Three Paul Harris Awards were given out. Judy McHugh donated her points this year to Gerry Knobloch for his hard work with the community garden and Bob Buck for his help with Fundraising. Bob Buck was again awarded this year through his contributions to the Rotary Foundation.
The night was bittersweet as outgoing President Tom Knobloch relinquished the club gavel to incoming President Kathy Reinolt. Tom spoke about the year's accomplishments and how the club was able to thrive, even during the pandemic. Kathy talked about the future and how the club will continue their commitment to the Boys and Girls club and Community Center and also work on other initiatives to help the community and the world. Thank You Tom! And welcome Kathy! It's gonna be a great year.
Today's Holmen Area Rotary Club meeting featured David Inmam from Water Mission. South Carolina based Water Mission is a non-profit organization that facilitates the production of clean water in 3rd world countries. Their activities include assessment, planning and construction of new water systems but also supplying clean water and their services as emergency response during natural disasters. The organization strives to create sustainable projects by assessing the community and their needs, establishing and training key community leaders and monitoring and following up after the installation. A major initiative is to also train the community in WASH (Water and Sanitation and Hygiene) methods to promote safe hygiene behavior. Water Mission projects have effected the lives of over 7 million people. To carry out their work they employ 350 staff members throughout the world. Water Mission has been given 4 out of 4 stars for the past 13 years from Charity Navigator. Water Mission works with many charitable organizations to help fund water projects. The Holmen Area Rotary Club has made a difference by helping fund 5 of their Peru projects in the past 13 years. Thank you David and Water Mission for allowing the Holmen Community to make a difference in the world!
The Holmen Area Rotary Club recently acknowledged the generosity of certain members. Peg Knobloch, TK (Tom Knobloch) and Nancy McHugh received Paul Harris Foundation Awards. Paul Harris founded Rotary back at the turn of the 20th century. The resulting Rotary Foundation funds many humanitarian and educational programs throughout the world Folks who provide significant funding to the Rotary Foundation are recognized with a Paul Harris Award. Each Paul Harris represents a commitment of at least $1000. And these individuals are repeat Paul Harris winners- Peg at 2x, TK at 3x and Nancy at 5x. Congratulations and Thank You!
Holidays in the Park inaugural year was a smashing success! Out of 52 trees set up, 48 were purchased and decorated. Initially designed as a Covid safe way to connect the community and raise some funds the consensus from the public has been that it needs to be done again next year.
All the trees looked awesome and there are some real creative decorators out there.  Funds raised will go to the new Holmen Boys and Girls Club. The trees were broken into three categories, Organizations, Businesses and Families. Votes were gathered from the beginning of December until New Years.
The winners are!
Organization- PCCW (Parish Council of Catholic Women)
Business- Triple L Cleaning
Family- Berget Moss Families
The Holmen Area Rotary Club is having their inaugural Holidays In The Park Christmas Tree decorating contest . Businesses, Organizations and Individuals can purchase a tree to decorate. The trees will be set up in Holmen's Halfway Creek Park and will be on display from December 4th to the 31st. Viewers can vote for their favorite trees and the Business, Organization and Individual with the most votes will be awarded a significant donation made to the Holmen Boys and Girls Club in their name.  Each vote costs $1 and can be done in person at the Park during the event's operating hours or at any time via the Bid Beacon App - https://app.bidbeacon.com/invite/#QS47RE . All proceeds go to benefit the Holmen Area Boys and Girls Club. 
Get in on the fun! Sponsoring a tree to decorate is only $100.  If you would like to compete you can buy a tree at https://app.bidbeacon.com/invite/#QS47RE . Or contact a HARC member at  holmenrotary@gmail.com to get signed up. For more info on rules and dates go to page/holidays-in-the-park
A Paul Harris Fellow is a award through Rotary that goes to a Rotarian who has contributed at least $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation and it’s humanitarian projects.  The award can also be presented to a community member, Rotarian or non-Rotarian, who has helped to improve the community through their service and action. Three members of the Holmen Community were recognized with Paul Harris Fellow Awards this fall by Holmen Area Rotary Club members for their significant contributions in making our community better and brighter. These three individuals are Laurie Kessler, Sharon McHugh and Patty Barge. 
Click on 'Read More' to find out about these amazing recipients and how they have affected our community - 
The bed building project has been completed. Thursday October 8th,  Alex Goodman and Adam Fleis delivered the remaining beds to their intended recipients.  The excitement from the Children and Family’s when they showed up was incredible. The euphoria of giving fills a void that is so desperately needed right now.  
The Holmen Area Rotary Club started this project the middle of last year. The School District of Holmen identified children in need of a bed and provided this list to the Holmen Area Rotary Club. The club stepped up and using club manpower, donated funds, materials and district grants to provide a total of 42 beds for those community children in need. The beds were a mix of bunk, twin and queen size beds depending on the need. Queen size beds were required in some instances where the room size did not allow two twin beds. Each bed included a custom built headboard, frame, new box spring and mattress combo, linens, blanket and a pillow.  A special thank you to those area vendors that helped with the effort -  to the folks at King Furniture in Holmen for supplying the box springs and mattresses at their cost, for Ameridown and Beer By Bike Brigade for providing the pillows and Wisconsin Building Supply for a portion of the lumber used for the headboards.  The special Rotary emblem was burned into the headboards by Tulips and Treasures out of Arcadia.
Though the initial project has been completed, the need continues and HARC will revisit this issue in the coming months and assess where it can help. 
The Holmen Area Rotary Club took advantage of the sunny weekend weather and spent Saturday morning picking up trash along Holmen Drive. Twice a year, the HARC comes out and picks up litter along route 35 from the 53 interchange, south to Schnick road. The Holmen High School Interact Club also showed up in force and we were done in no time. Thank you to all who took time out of their weekend to make Holmen a better place!
The Holmen Area Rotary Club put together a small team to build beds. The beds consist of a unique headboard, frame, new mattress, bedding and a pillow. The beds are destined for children in the Holmen area that do not have one. The list of those in need is provided by the
School District of Holmen. Delivery date for the beds is yet to be determined.
The Holmen Area Rotary Club was glad to host Rotary District 6250 Governor Bill Pritchard at their August 12th meeting. Bill is a Holmen native and this was his 285th club visit. Bill went on to explain the theme for the year "Rotary Opens Opportunities". With today's Covid challenges we have been forced to change how we do things. This has not been all bad. Take the ZOOM meeting for instance, Rotary meetings are now accessible to folks that weren't able to make it before. Even holding room and ZOOM hybrid meetings open the door to new participants. Membership has still remained strong and increased in some ways. Dealing with the virus has made us become more creative in solving problems, like how the HARC Service Auction went from a room full of people to an online format. His suggestion was to now dust off the club's strategic plan and ask; "Why do we exist?" and " What do you do?" given the changing environment. Bill also talked about After Hours member David Knutson, who was the ultimate Rotarian. David would not say no whenever the need for serve arose He believed that saying YES to service leads to a happy life. Bill had asked all the clubs in the district to identify the member that most exemplified David's Rotary spirit. HARC's Executive committee chose Scott Ryan as the YES recipient. Scott generously donates his time, was a past president, is uber involved in the youth exchange program, RYLA and Interact. Scott received a plaque with the Ben Franklin quote " What good shall I do this day?" Congratulations Scott! A well deserved honor.
It's Auction Time!
Bidding opens up July 6th
The Holmen Area Rotary Club is hosting their 12th annual Service Auction. Club members donate unique services or items to auction off. The funds raised go to help the club perform service to the community, the region and internationally. This year, due to Covid, the auction is being held online starting July 6th and ending on July 23rd with a Live You Tube Channel event. A new addition this year is a dedicated 50/50 drawing. The tickets are $100 and limited to the first 200 sold. You can win 1/2 of the pot, with the other 1/2 going to support the Boys and Girls Club of La Crosse - Holmen . This year's service offerings include In Home Foot Care, a personal River Cruise, Genealogy Research,  Wine and Chocolate, Car Care and many others. Unique items up for bid include a Leather Harley Jacket, Art Glass,  Nature Prints, Gourmet Bacon and many other unique items. And of course the delicious cakes will be there to bid on! Participation is easy. All you have to do is click on the following link and sign up for our auction with Bid Beacon. https://app.bidbeacon.com/invite/#M7JJ3T
The Rotary year is coming to an end and it is time to transfer the gavel to the new president. At Wednesday's online Holmen Area Rotary Club meeting, outgoing Club President Art Lyons reflected on a very busy, productive and tumultuous year. Highlights include bed building, working the thanksgiving dinner, commitment to Boys and Girls Club/Community Center, Rotary Lights, Holmen Community Garden, the new Holmen police dog, Holmen High School student support through scholarships, student of the month and STRIVE, Bea our foreign exchange student from Brazil and the monthly food/supplies drives along with many other initiatives. The club took on a totally new fundraiser with the successful Battle of the Beards Fundraiser. And then throw in the last 3-4 months dealing with the Covid crisis and how the club came together within a week of not being able to meet and establishing a regular online ZOOM meeting that still draws a crowd.  Art also made it a mission to improve the club's transparency by creating a written policy manual and make all past club documents available on Club Runner. Thank you! Art for your enthusiastic, positive and strong leadership. Incoming President elect Thomas Knobloch (A.K.A. TK) accepted the virtual gavel and spoke about keeping the momentum going and to leverage our club 's strengths with neighboring clubs to enlarge our ability to service the area. Welcome TK!
At Wednesday's March 4th HARC meeting a check for $6000 was presented to the Holmen Police Department to help pay for incoming K-9 Officer Halo and a portion of his training. Present were Officer Terry Kind, Officer Aaron Hintz, Lieutenant Erich Zwicker, Village of Holmen Administrator Scott Heinig and Past Holman Area Rotary Club President Barry Ploessl. Thank You! to the Holmen Police Department and their service to our community.
Unfortunately due to Covid19, HARC's Annual Service Auction Fundraiser has been postponed. The popular fundraising event originally was scheduled for March 26th. The new date has not been determined but will be announced once it can be verified.
Holmen Rotary Club President Art Lyons and his tech guru wife Vicki quickly put together a Zoom meeting last night so our weekly meeting could be still held in light of the new 10 person max for in-person gatherings. 20 of our 38 members attended. We will continue to meet weekly online in the near term to continue our Rotary fellowship and determine how we can best continue to serve in our comminty. Contact us if you are interested in Rotary and would like to join us for one of our online meetings. 
The Holmen High School Rotary Interact Club recently donated $2500 of their hard earned funds to the New Holmen Boys and Girls Club. According to Club Member Lizzie Pfaff in a recent Visions article, " We are so excited as a club focused on volunteering and community development to be donating to a place as amazing as the Boys and Girls Club. Both organizations have a very similar mission for their students and participants—we want all kids to feel appreciated in a safe space for them to learn and grow." You can read the whole article at-https://www.holmen.k12.wi.us/cms_files/resources/Visions%20Feb%20Mar%202020%20FINAL.pdf?fbclid=IwAR04uDigslkcZsVMiB57mIgB_geMU5OlC0yJ_3BvQmSHi0_vYvfcsNIE_sE
Saturday February 8th was Holmen Area Rotary Club's Annual Dinner at Drugan's. It is an annual event, where the club gets together, socializes, has a meal, reflects on the year's achievements, honors the youth exchange host families and recognize individual achievement. Congratulations Judy McHugh for being awarded HARC's 2019 Rotarian of the Year!
The Holmen Area Rotary Club was successful with their inaugural Battle of the Beards fundraiser Saturday night November 30th. A great crowd came out to the Pearl Street Brewery despite the weather and enthusiastically cheered on the contestants as they put their best face forward. There were some fantastic beards competing and the judges had a tough time distilling the groups to just the top three in each category.  Here are the winners, first, second and third:
Full Long Beard: Shaun Hanson, Dan Callahan, Duncan Beard
Partial Beard: Andrew Mattson, Cliff Hendrick,  Jim Spencer
Full Short Beard: Randy Dewhirst, Patrick Mc Hue, Ben Nugent
Fake Beard: Jenn Luedke, Terrel Schaefer, Kathy Weitekamp
No Shave November Beard: Jon Mc Kenzie, Matt Boshcka, Steve O'Malley
Styled Beard: Joe Weitekamp
Peoples Choice: Randy Dewhirst, Joe Heimann, Duncan Beard
The Rotarian No Shave November Award was taken away by Jon McKenzie. This traveling trophy is for the best No Shave November sported by a Rotarian. The challenge is on- Jon will have to bring the trophy back and defend his title next year. I'll be eating fertilizer for a year so I can take it away from him next November. 
Congratulations to all the winners! 
There was plenty of activity with the contest going on, 50/50 raffles, bucket raffles, peoples choice voting and beard tips from two National and World beard champions. If you missed it this year you have almost a year to get your beard on. We will host another raucous evening on Nov 28th, 2020. For more info go to https://battleofthebeardswi.com/ 
This year the Holmen Area Rotary Club joined the Onalaska Rotary Clubs in their annual free thanksgiving dinner at the Armory. HARC members helped with the meal and coordinated a limo-bus shuttle (donated by Town n' Country Title) to take Holmen residents from the Holmen American Legion to the Armory and back. We enjoyed meeting all the people in the Onalaska/Holmen area who came . Holmen Rotarians Judy, Art, and Vicki (and many others who served) had a great time! A big thank you! to all that helped, Town and Country Title and those that came out to dine with others on this thanksgiving.
Saturday November 2nd was an incredible day. So many things going on. The Holmen Area Rotary Club members were all spread out across the coulee region making this area an amazing place to live. This is only one of 3 things going on this day. We may only be 35 member strong but we sure know how to work. We are proud to make an impact in our community!!!!!
Our members participated in the IFEED event and turned out many meals locally and internationally! Way to go La Crosse Area Rotary's.
'2 little monkeys , jumping on the bed' - Well, first you have to have a bed! The Holmen Area Rotary Club was doing their part in putting together beds for children that currently have no bed to sleep in. The Holmen School District identified those children in need and Rotary responded. The beds come with custom headboard, mattress and box spring, pillows and bedding. The materials and funds to pull it off came from donations, Wisconsin Building Supply, Holmen Rotary Funds, a Rotary Foundation grant and Holmen's Hope.Just a preview of our incredible day! On Saturday, a Rotary crew delivered 19 beds to families in the Holmen school district!  The tears of joy, the hugs, high fives and genuine gratitude was amazing! 
Capping off an amazing day of giving!!! Beds for kids who don't have them, Food for people who need it! Now to brag about impacting people today and for future generations! Today we are finally able to announce our support for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse. We are committing to $50,000 of support to our community! This is our biggest reach yet! We are proud and We are humbled. We Are Holmen Area Rotary!!!
The Holmen Area Rotary Club is glad to announce its inaugural Battle of the Beards Wisconsin competition event for people with beards and mustaches, raising funds for Coulee Region Community needs. Contestants go chin to chin to win the best beard or mustache. Multiple categories make up this event with full long, full short, partial beard, mustache, styled beard and peoples’ choice. Ladies and the beardless can be involved as part of the 'fake beard' category! The event happens on November 30th in conjunction with No-Shave November for men's cancer awareness. This is a unique event for the Coulee Region and has already garnered a ton of interest. We expect 70 contestants and about 350 people to attend at the Pearl Street Brewery on November 30th 2019 from 5-9 PM located in the former Rubber Mills at 1401 Andrews Street, La Crosse, WI. Information, tickets and registration for the Battle of the Beards Wisconsin can be found at https://battleofthebeardswi.com/
Get involved in support of our community!
Low air in your bike tires got you huffin' and puffin? Don't despair. Now you can pump them with air at Holmen's new bike repair stations. The Holmen Area Rotary Club has donated 2 self contained repair stations that have recently been installed in the Village of Holmen parks. Each stand features an air pump with gauge, bike stand, screwdrivers, metric hex wrenches and special open end wrenches to fix most ride related maladies. One has been installed at the start of the Half-way Creek bicycle trail, right behind the Holmen Library and the other one has been installed in Deerwood Park next to the ball diamonds. Ride On!
Today, September 25th,  the Holmen Area Rotary Club received a Rotary Foundation grant of $5000 towards their bed project. The School District of Holmen has identified 35 children in the district in need of a bed to sleep in. HARC, with the help of Wisconsin Building Supply are planning to build the required bed frames. To complete the project with mattresses and bedding, money from the grant along with donations from Holmen's Hope and others will allow the project to be completed. A bed building day will be announced in the near future. Accepting the grant from Rotary Foundation members Liz Evans and Laura Milner are HARC members Alex Goodman and Adam Fleis. 
The Holmen Area Rotary Club recently received 2 awards at the Avenues of Service Dinner at the new La Crescent Area Event Center last Tuesday evening. Every year, the nine regional La Crosse Area Rotary Clubs get together and acknowledge the clubs in the area that have created programs that have excelled at moving Rotary's goals forward. Holmen Area Rotary was awarded the Club Service trophy for their successful Service Auction and another trophy for Vocational Service with their STRIVE student mentoring program. Judy McHugh, fundraising chair accepted the award for the Service Auction and Scott Ryan, Youth Coordinator accepted the trophy for STRIVE. The individual club Rotarian of the Year Award recipients were also honored. Holmen's own Scott Marshall was present for the tribute. Thank you! to the members that have put in the time and effort to create these most excellent award winning programs.
The August 17th Holmen Kornfest Parade was a blast. HARC busted out the spinning wheel float sporting new paint (thanks Scott and Kathy!) and banners. There had to be a few thousand people lining the parade route. A couple of bushels of candy were handed out to the kids. (couldn't throw it this year sad ). This slowed down the walkers that then had to do a Kornfest 1.5K fun run to get back to the float and restock. The kids were like piranha - give one piece out and you were swarmed by others wanting some too. And you didn't want to disappoint any. Along the route hairy faced folk were accosted with Battle of the Beards information for HARCs upcoming beard fest November 30th.
Info on the Holmen Community Garden was passed out to get people interested in coming out. Best time too, as the harvest is peaking. At the end of the parade route both the candy and the parade walkers were totally exhausted. A really fun event, with smiles and laughs all around.
At the July 17th HARC meeting, the club met this year's Short Term Exchange Students. The Rotary Short term exchange program joins interested youth in a low intensity exchange situation that is part vacation-part education. The student is paired up with another individual from a distant country. The home student's family hosts the distant student for 3-4 weeks and then the home student travels to the distant student's home for 3-4 weeks. Students have a chance to share their culture and also learn about how other people around the world live, work and play. The Short Term Exchange Program gives the students a little taste of what the year long Youth Exchange Program may be like. Programs like this make the world smaller with every exchange.
This years participants are Holmen Interacters Hailey Bruegger and Chloe Lichucki who are sharing their homes with Laia Aibar Vidal from Miranda de Ebro Spain and Maria Blanco from Barcelona Spain. They were coming to the end of the home visit and would be traveling soon to Spain for the second portion of the program. Their description of what they had done the past couple of weeks sounded like a version of Ferris Buehlers Day Off, with lots to do and plenty of adventure. Welcome to America Laia and Maria!
At today's HARC meeting we said so long to Kajus Bjorkroth, the club's 2018-2019 inbound youth exchange student. Kajus has been with us here in the states for almost 11 months. Kajus will be heading to Grand Rapids over the weekend to a gathering of all inbound and next semester's outbound students. Then it is back to Pargas Finland to see if his folks will still recognize him. We are all much richer to have experienced Kajus's fun loving wit and stoic Nordic presence. We wish him well and safe travels!
A short video of a recent Clean Water project in Peru. Holmen Rotary participated with Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch and several other clubs to help bring clean, safe water to this community. Please check out the video to see how a small amount of money from our club helped make a big difference in the lives of the 100 families in Ivan Vasquez community. It's well worth the 90 seconds out of your day.
The Holmen Area Rotary Club's April 4th Thursday Night Service Auction was unforgettable! Dynamic MC Dustin Luecke and fast talking Auctioneer Alex Goodman kept every one on the edge of their chairs and the laughs coming as they peddled the unique services the club was offering. For the live auction, members offered everything from a summer of lawn mowing, sailboat excursions, plane rides, meals on wheels, custom jewelry, custom smoked meats, paddlewheel party packages, internet marketing service, signed football helmet, car cleaning, Limo Service  to a whiskey and cigar extravaganza. The  Gourmet Cakes did not disappoint this year and were deeelicious!
There were plenty of activities besides the live auction to keep folks occupied. 20 bucks bought you 20 chances to win one of the many interesting and valuable baskets.  Or for just 20 bucks you could have won over $1300 in Holmen Business gift certificates. For a measly $10 bucks you had 7 chances to throw a ring over a bottle of Dom or MGD, depending on your skill (or luck). And for $5 you could get into a 50/50 raffle to win a quick $130. The food was fantastic and plentiful and the drinks cold and tasty.  The live auction ended by selling handmade friendship bracelets created by Justin Bodin. All proceeds from the bracelet sale will go to Casa Hogar Orphanage in Peru. Thank you to all that came out and supported the Holmen Area Rotary Club! We hope to see you next year! If you could not make it this year you missed a very fun event. We hope to see you too! 
Saturday night, February 9th,  Holmen Area Rotary Club members got together at Drugan's Castle Mound to break bread and reflect on the past years achievements and listen to future plans for the club. Barry Ploessl stood before the crowd and listed the year's many efforts and also put out a challenge to provide significant support for the proposed Holmen Community Center.
Scott Marshall was voted as the Rotarian of the Year. Scott has been active with the Holmen Community Garden and also providing a good story and a welcome laugh at the weekly club gatherings. Congratulations Scott!
Incoming President Art Lyons spoke about his plans to continue the successful programs but to also look at new opportunities for the club.
Upcoming Events
Rotary 4 Way Test
  1.  Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? 

Various Current and Past Projects
  • AED Distribution
  • Purchased 1st Police K-9 for Village of Holmen and significant contribution towards replacement K9
  • Beds for Kids
  • Holmen High School Scholarships
  • Adopt a Highway Roadside Clean-up
  • IFEED 
  • Students of the Month for Holmen HS Seniors
  • Holmen Area Community Garden supporting Holmen Area Food Pantry
  • Bio-sand Water Filters in Peru serving over 2,500  Residents
  • Youth Foreign Exchange Program with Holmen HS
  • RYLA Leadership Training for Holmen HS Students
  • Centralized Sanitation and Water System in Rural Peru Community
  • Rotary Lights of La Crosse
  • Bike Repair Stations 
  • Holidays in the Park Tree Trimming Contest
  • Thanksgiving Dinners for New Horizons
  • Rotary Clock in Halfway Creek Park
  • Back Pack school supplies
  • Tons of Taters Potato Donation to Food Pantry
  • Holmen's Hope Monthly Community Dinner
  • Boy Scout Building Restoration at Camp Decorah
  • Deerwood Park shelter construction
  • Kenya Cow Project
  • Christmas Presents to children in Peru
  • STRIVE Program for Mentoring Holmen HS Students at risk
  • Respect Retreat for Holmen HS Students
  • E-Waste Recycling
  • Habitat for Humanity Workdays