Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Mary-Frances Makichen
Makichen Consulting LLC

Date Joined: 8/25/2021
Rotary Sponsor: Kris Hemenway & Melly Kinnard

Mary-Frances Makichen is a Colorado transplant who has lived in every state on the west coast. Her professional background is in marketing and public relations but she’s recently transitioned to consulting work. Mary-Frances developed a passion for helping people navigate times of change after going through a series of changes herself, including the passing of her late husband, Walter. She thoroughly enjoys using her intuitive and emotional intelligence to help people learn to trust themselves and connect with their own inner guidance.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at

2021 Peach Sale Report


“This was the smoothest pick-up process I’ve ever experienced!”

“This peach sale was so organized this year!”

“How many volunteers do you have?  There are so many Rotarians here this year!”


When you receive notes like these repeatedly from your fellow Rotarians you know SOMETHING must have gone right!  And indeed, it did.  So MANY things went right for the peach sale that it will be difficult to describe it all but here goes…

Sales this year were the highest they’ve been since the Peach Sale began.  Through everyone’s immense efforts we sold 1,540 total boxes with a record setting Gross Sales figure of $74,566 making the total Net Proceeds $12,054, split 50/50 between your (Local) Denver Rotary Club Foundation and The Rotary (International) Foundation!

There was so much creativity and experimentation this year and you can see it paid off.  Partnering with the Junior League of Denver not only fostered an even stronger relationship with this organization, but they are credited with driving over $2,000 in gross sales through their efforts.  Brad Be Jammin’s Jam’s brought in an additional $4,963.  And then of course the phenomenal sales from our members, friends, email acquaintances, the list goes on!  You all took the call to act and sell this year and each box you bought or sold pushed us to this incredible accomplishment!

It’s also extremely important to note those Rotarians who exceeded the call of duty and made it to the Top 10 Best Sellers of the year, lead of course by our crowned Peach King, Chuck Everill who sold a total of 104 boxes bringing in a gross revenue of $4,210!  But Chuck, don’t rest on your laurels.  These 9 colleagues will be nipping at your heels this next year and a special shout out must go to Shannon Stone and Rotarian Earl Wright for hosting the Peaches and Prosecco event at AMG, bringing in nearly $2,400 in gross sales.  Shannon was a new member for a short three-months prior to offering this exciting opportunity to the Club!  The Peach Sale Rookie of the Year Award absolutely belongs to you Shannon!

Everill Chuck 104 PEACH KING!
Guice Bryan 55  
Harris Dale 44  
Wilkins Jim 42  
Shelledy Kevin 34  
Kinnard Melly 29   |
Tied for 6th place
Mast Lauren
White Jim
Kane Don 28  
Ellison Harry 22  
Stone Shannon 18  
Scott Virgil 17

Lastly, this successful event as we all know doesn’t just happen.  It takes a tremendous amount of work, planning, testing, arguing, agreeing, arguing again 😊 and agreeing even more.  Your peach committee team and the tremendously supportive, patient and selflessly giving band of volunteers knocked it out of the park this year and when you see them, they deserve your handshake and probably a cocktail!  Here’s just a sample of what each brought to the Committee this year.

  • Bryan Guice: Coordinated all communication and delivery of the peaches from the orchard to your car, and he drove the forklift to prove it!
  • Harriet Downer: Completely owned the entire peach jam experience, not to mention her tremendous efforts training and running our volunteer crew!
  • Jill Santuccio: Lead communication, wrangled our corporate accounts, through sheer guts and perseverance managed the entire delivery service! What didn’t you do, Jill?
  • Debbie Wilkins: Joined the committee half-way through the year and strolled in like a champ! Debbie personally arranged our entire Volunteer crew and they’ve never been more organized and ready!
  • Kevin Shelledy, Chair: He’s really good at starting a Zoom call, so the incredible Committee can get to work! CLEARLY, our leader and peach champion, a top ten seller, the one who brought everything together to make this the most successful peach sale to date!

Please be sure to thank all these incredible volunteers for the work they did in loading your cars, tracking the purchases, guiding traffic, and all around being so pleasant and helpful!  And thanks to all of you who bought a box! Can’t wait for Peach Sale 2022!

Volunteers: Sandy Adams, Debbie Beasley, Dave Benson, Sid Brooks, Raúl Chávez Fields, Alison Clark-Hardesty, David Dickmann, Mark Donovan, Past District Governor Bill Downes, Harry Ellison, Lisza Gulyas, Kris Hemenway, Jean Herman, Matt Isola, Jagdish Jaganath, Jim Johnston, Maeve Johnston, Peg Johnston, Don Kane, Frank Lawrence, Lasa Ledua, Thomas Longino, Mary-Frances Makichen, Jeff Mason, Anne McGihon, Sandy Purcell, Marilyn Renninger, Elizabeth Ritter-Seawalt, R.J. Ross, Rich Spong, Brian Sweet, Alexis Sweet, Pete Wall, Debbie Wilkins, Keat Wilkins and Mark Wipper.

Photos curtesy of Rotarian Dave Benson of Dave Benson Photography: 


Memorial Resolution

Francisco D. Sabichi
December 14, 1927 – June 28, 2021
Denver Rotary Club 31 Member – 39 years
“Hospitals & Geriatrics”

Compiled and read by Jim Wilkins, October 21, 2021

Fellow Rotarians and guests, we pause today in memory of our friend and fellow Denver Rotarian Francisco David Sabichi, who passed away peacefully on June 28, 2021.  He was 93 – a full life with his physician wife Lynn that was jam packed with a focus on improving health care and living conditions in Nepal.  Here in Colorado, he loved music and the arts, hiking and always working to improve health care.

Francisco was a hospital administrator.  After attending Pomona College and the University of Colorado, he graduated with a BA from Denver University.  He later earned a MBA in Hospital Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.  He held Executive positions at Children’s Hospital here in Denver, the Penrose Community Hospital in Colorado Springs, Beth Israel Hospital in Denver and he was President of Health High, Inc. in Denver.  His wife Lynn was an MD and was always working with Francisco on his Rotary projects.  They summited all 54 of our 14,000’ peaks here in Colorado while maintaining an active lifestyle.  Francisco served in the U.S. Navy as a medic in WWII in his early years.

Let me give you some of the highlights of his Rotary history.  Francisco did everything in Rotary with his wife Lynn.  They were energetic and focused Rotarians – Francisco for 39 years and Lynn for 16 years.  They are what you would describe as a “Rotary Power Couple” and a marriage that thrived for 62 years!

They spearheaded and were awarded one of the very first 3H Grants (health, hunger humanity) in The Rotary Foundation’s history for drastic improvement of sanitation and construction of permanent housing for the 200-bed government hospital and its staff in Biratnagar, Nepal.  This $325,000 grant was increased by Denver Rotary’s $25,000 gift and other Rotary Club’s contributions in our District 5450.  This 3H project corrected crowded and unhealthy conditions for the medical staff and their families.  Francisco coordinated the shipping of containers full of used and new medical equipment to the hospital.  A brick two-story building with sanitary water and sewer was built.  The Rotary Club of Biratnagar oversaw the projects and Francisco and Lynn would go over for months at a time volunteering and living in third world conditions.

Here are some of the Rotary awards Francisco and Lynn received: 

  • World Community Services “Continuing Service Award” (2006-07)
  • Denver Kids “Rotarians of the Year” (2002-03)
  • Rotary Club of Denver “Rotarians of the Year” (2001-02)
  • District 5450 Award for “Service Above Self” (1997)
  • District 5450 “Four Way Test Award’ (1995-06)
  • Major Donors of the Rotary Foundation
  • The Rotary Foundation Fellow
  • Denver Rotary Club Foundation Fellow
  • Honorary Members of the Rotary Club of Biratnagar
  • Honorary Member of the Rotary Club of Denver (2015)

After Lynn died in 2013, Francisco moved to Clermont Parks Retirement Community here in Denver and became an integral part of that community.  He served on the Spiritual Affairs Committee, the Finance Committee, Scholarships Committee benefiting its dedicated Clermont employees, and attended Willshire Presbyterian Church nearby.  Wherever Francisco went in his life, he made things better.

Francisco is remembered for his positive attitude, a smile and “two thumbs up”.  What a fabulous Rotarian and friend.  We are proud of you Francisco.

This Resolution was accepted by a standing vote of the members of The Rotary Club of Denver and others at the Warwick Hotel on October 21, 2021.

Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Chris Marseilles
Real Estate Broker
PorchLight RE Group

Date Joined: 9/21/2021
Rotary Sponsor: Transferring Rotarian & Kris Hemenway

As a child, Chris’ family lived in Killington, VT and later Pinehurst, NC. He returned to Vermont to attend Middlebury College, where he received a B.A. in History.

After college, Chris moved to San Francisco, where he held various positions in the real estate industry and skied in Lake Tahoe at every opportunity. In 1998 he earned an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco.

Later that year, Chris moved to Boston and spent seven years with General Investment & Development as an Operations Analyst and Communications Coordinator.

In 2007, he left GID to work as an independent real estate broker and investor, acquiring, renovating and managing residential properties.

In 2020, Chris moved to Denver and joined PorchLight Real Estate Group as a residential broker. He enjoys living in downtown Denver, traveling, skiing, golfing and experiencing all sorts of visual and performing arts.

During his career, Chris has devoted significant time to nonprofit board service, helping arts organizations achieve sustainability through strong management practices, strategic planning and fostering partnerships throughout their communities.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at

Concert for a Cause – Education Through Music (DRCF Grantee)

Education Through Music Colorado was provided a$7,000 grant from our Denver Rotary Club Foundation from the 2020-21 “New Projects” grant.  

Happy October! I’d like to extend an invitation to a very exciting event taking place in just a few weeks to celebrate Education Through Music-Colorado. ETM-CO is a growing nonprofit that partners with under-resourced schools to provide music as a core subject for all children, and utilizes music education as a catalyst to improve overall achievement, motivation for school, and self-confidence.

Despite the many challenges that COVID-19 has posed, ETM-CO has doubled in size each year and now partners with 8 Title I schools in Denver providing music education for nearly 2,500 students.

On October 23rd, ETM-CO will be hosting an evening of live music, food, drinks, and more to showcase and celebrate their growing programming!

The event will showcase performances by The Reminders, a rare and remarkable duo with undeniable magical chemistry, The Dana Landry Collective ft. Kim Dawson, a finalist from The Sing Off and NBC’s a cappella competition, as well as a performance by our very own ETM-CO students!

I hope that you will support this incredible program that I truly believe in. I’ve been fortunate to witness the impact of this programming and ETM-CO is doing important work to break down barriers and ensure that music education is equitable and accessible.

If you’re interested in attending, I’ve listed the Eventbrite page below where you can purchase tickets. Let me know if I or the ETM-CO team can answer any questions for you as you consider. Hope to see you there!

Mallory Bernstein
Executive Director


Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Lasa Ledua
Vice President of Technology
Warwick Hotels & Resorts

Date Joined: 9/21/2021
Rotary Sponsor:
John Finegan

DYNAMIC AND RESOURCEFUL IT leader known for leading teams, driving projects, and delivering on key deadlines. Loyal, enthusiastic decision-maker who is tenacious, determined, and motivated. Dedicated to providing innovative technology solutions that resolve challenges. Committed to mentor and develop teams to exceed expectations. Rapid and sustainable user growth is my true passion. Getting life-changing experience on the use of technology to the hands of millions of people is my calling. Empowering a team provides me with enormous gratification.

  • Leadership ● Vendor Management ● Budgeting ● Training ● Team Management ● Strategic Direction ● Performance Management ● Enterprise Resource Planning ● Security Oversight

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at

Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Lucy Van Dusen
Senior Project Architect
Rocky Mountain Group Engineers

Date Joined: 8/25/2021
Rotary Sponsor: Chad Tyler

When I was studying architecture at the University of Colorado, I won the Temple Hoyne Buell Architecture Scholarship offered by the Rotary Club International.  It allowed me to study architecture at the University of Rome La Sapienza in Italy, and travel around Europe experiencing centuries of buildings and monuments for one academic year.  It was a life changing experience and one that I continue to draw from to this day.  I am a thirty year veteran of the profession of architecture, having been a student, a sole practitioner, and an employee in an architecture firm.  I am a mother of two awesome children: Matt, 19 and Ella, 15 – and a wife to a very special husband for twenty years.  I enjoy golf, reading, biking, hiking, tennis, pickle ball and walking my dog, Rocky.  I am basically a Colorado native, but lived on the East Coast in New York City and Connecticut for a while after graduate school.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at

Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Shannon Stone
Senior Relationship Manager
AMG National Trust Bank

Date Joined: 5/18/2021
Rotary Sponsor: Past President Jim Goddard

Shannon Stone is a native of Denver and joined AMG National Trust in 2013 as Senior Relationship Manager. Before that, Shannon served as Senior Relationship Manager at Wells Fargo. Over her 18 years of experience, Shannon has managed the depository and treasury management needs of large and small businesses, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and associations. Shannon serves as Board Member for GlobalMindED, a Colorado nonprofit organization that is passionate about closing the inequity gap in education for underprivileged communities.  She also serves on the Foundation and Funders Equity Team and is a Co-Lead for the GlobalMindED Mentorship Program where she organizes a team of mentors to offer guidance on key career stepping-stones, to diverse, young first-generation college students. Shannon is a mentor within the program as well. Shannon enjoys spending time with her husband Michael and two kids, Alexander who is currently 11 and Connor who is 21. She is currently crafting an influencer blog on healthy REIKI living and writing a book about authentic leadership. If she lived near the ocean, she would watch the waves at sunset, every night.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at

Foundation Presidents Report – “A Year in Review”

Prepared by:  Carter Sales, Foundation President 2020-2021
June 24, 2021


When the Denver Rotary Club Foundation was founded in 1969 we had an annual operating budget of just $100 per year.  In the past 52 years we have come a long way. Today our operating budget is now almost $300,000.

One of the most important functions of the DRCF is the granting process and how we positively impact our local and worldwide communities.  Since our inception, we have granted over $8 Million to our local and international communities including partnerships with Rotary District 5450, Rotary International and local Rotary clubs here and throughout the world.  75 years ago our club founded what is now known as Denver Kids, Inc.  I am pleased that we continue to support DKI which is our longest standing Grantee and partner organization. During that time our grants to DKI have totaled more than $4.5 Million.


We measure the success of our mission in terms of the impact that our Grants provide, primarily supporting youth and Education.  For example during the year:

  • The High School Scholars Grant supported 13 students who were awarded $1 Million in Scholarships and Grants over their 4 year College Careers.
  • The Scholastic Art Awards Grant led to 2,200 Art Entries and $34,000 in Scholarships for those students.
  • The World Community Service Committee Grant funded 18 Humanitarian projects totaling $52,000
  • The Community Resources, Inc. Grant enables 10 DPS students to be matched with 10 career mentors.
  • The Denver Kids, Inc. Grant helps to support 1,100 kids with a HS graduation rate of 82%.
  • The Junior Achievement Grant supports 100 students in the JA Finance Park program.

This year The Grants Committee was chaired by Jack Green and awarded $149,000 in grant awards. Committee member Jim Johnston suggested innovative ways to revise the application format and granting guidelines to attract more Grant Applications, and the committee agreed.  The net result is that we added   four new grantees. They are EarthLinks, Music Through Education, Colorado Center for Civic Learning & Engagement and the St. Francis Center.  These new grantees will broaden our reach in our community while enabling Club 31 members to expand our active participation in these deserving organizations. These grants will be funded beginning in July when we begin the new fiscal year.  Special thanks to the Grants Committee!

During the year the COVID-19 virus continued to challenge everyone. We, as Rotarians, stepped up to meet the challenges and I am pleased to report that the DRCF had another successful fundraising year.

  • Our first club fundraiser, the peach sale, was on the verge of being cancelled due to a spring freeze devastating the peach crop. The resourceful peach committee co-chaired by Bryan Guice and Kevin Shelledy found a grower in Paonia, CO and our peach sale was saved.
  • Harriet Downer organized our annual drive to support Colorado Gives Day. 37 members donated over $7,500 making it the highest level of support in 5 years.
  • We approved a disaster relief fund of $5,000 that went 50% to COVID Disaster Relief and 50% to the District 5450 Colorado Wild Fire Relief fund.
  • Our first spring fundraiser, The April Fools unTalent show was a huge success thanks to our energetic and spirited un-organizers Jill Santuccio, President Debbie and Lauren.  We raised an impressive $38,000 along with two donors who provided matching funds of $5,000 and $10,000.
  • The First Annual Rotary Woohoomanity Bike Challenge was also successful as we were the second highest fundraising club in the district and raised a total of $4,562. The DRCF sent 1/3 of the funds in the amount of $1,519 to Polio Plus. Thanks to Jim Goddard, Brian Sweet, Colleen Cozad and her husband, Brad, for joining the Club 31 Woohoo team. Thanks also to the donors who supported the Club 31 Team!
  • I also want to give a special shout out to Todd Bacon who publishes our Celebrate our Service series that highlights many of the works and positive impact that the DRCF achieves throughout the year.
  • Our members continue to step up and support the DRCF. This year seven Gold Fellows, three Silver Fellows and two Fellows were recognized for their contributions.  Thank you to those members and the other members for your continued support of the foundation.
  • Finally I am pleased to report that our investment portfolio reached $4 million in value for the first time since 2007.

Before I hand the leadership baton to Sid Brooks, I want to sincerely thank Lauren Mast who not only is the Executive Director of the club but she is also the Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation.  This was her first year taking over for Darlene and going solo.  Her untiring work and knowledge of the club and the foundation made my term as president easy and I could not have done it without her.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Foundation president. I have also been fortunate to have the support of our board of Trustees, Debbie and the DRC Board of Directors, Jill and of course Lauren. Thank you Club 31 members and friends who have supported the DRCF to make this a rewarding and productive year!

Club Presidents Report – “A Year in Review”

Prepared by:  Debbie Beasley, Club President 2020-2021
June 24, 2021

It has been a year for the record books!  There are phrases used throughout the year that feel overused but are also accurate in their description of our experience.  Words such as pandemic, resilience, social distancing, pivoting, and more.  Here is a quote that sums it up from Brian Tracy: “Flexibility in a time of great change is a vital quality of leadership.”

When I attended President Elect Training in February of 2020, we were asked to write ourselves a letter which would be mailed to us at the halfway point of our presidency to provide reflection on how the year has gone.  At that time, there were murmurs of a virus going around and soon COVID-19 would be a familiar term.  Who knew then what challenges we would face and how resilience would come into play?   At the president training, my goals were threefold:  1) Promote “the power of One” to further our engagement with each other and the district; 2) Identify who we want to be as a club through strategic planning; and 3) Pursue communications and transparency around dues structure among other potential improvements.

We have been successful in all three areas – even in the midst of coronavirus. We grew our district (and Rotary International) involvement through record participation in a virtual lunch with RI President Holger Knaack.  Jim Johnston was nominated for and selected as upcoming District Governor for District 5450.  I accepted the role of Assistant Governor to lend support to the FIVE downtown Denver clubs.  Our club participated in the District Day of Service on May 8 including Project Cure, 9News COVID Vaccination Clinic, Cherry Creek Trail Clean up and Project Worthmore. And multiple club members participated in the Virtual Rotary International convention.

In the strategic planning arena, we made progress through important and incremental changes based on club member feedback and strategic planning goals.  There were town halls, Board of Director reviews and strategic planning working sessions with the action teams and our Executive team.  We approved a new mission statement which is:  To create a dynamic network of diverse leaders who serve ethically and take action to impact Denver and the world.  

That mission statement is part of one-page, eye-catching recap of our club.  We have more work to do and the desire, commitment, and energy to make it happen.

The last goal I had jotted down was to have transparency and communication around our budget and other potential improvements.  Like the year itself, our budget was also like no others we had seen before.  We moved to a Zoom meeting setting that was delivered in a professional and quality manner.  Yet that also allowed for reduced expense in terms of our venue costs.  During my monthly presidential updates, there was (in my opinion) full sharing of our financial position and also other accomplishments and changes.  A full recap of all those accomplishments will be included in my final monthly update which will share a recap of this year.

I now want to recognize those who made it possible.  And it starts with a thank you to Lauren Mast, our Executive Director.  Among navigating a pandemic year, this year marked the first time our club moved to one Executive Director.  Lauren made it look flawless – as if she had done this role alone for a hundred years.  I consider her to be my friend, my partner, my confidante.  Lauren makes this club look good.  Wait, let me rephrase that.  She makes this club look professional and downright outstanding.  Her desire for deadlines and checklists were a perfect match to my style.  I could not have done this without her.  I could usually tell when I was getting a “nudge” to get something done!

Next, I want to thank my husband, Chris.  He has been my studio engineer, my advisor and my coach through all this.  He was always willing to read a draft of this or hear an idea and discuss options.   He never commented on the number of Zoom calls I attended or the amount of time reading emails.  He also made sure I found balance through many camping trips and ski outings.

The Executive Committee this year has been a second family to me.  Each person delivered in a year that presented challenges and threw us curve balls.  The accomplishments we can boast of this year are a result of the team effort from this group.  It is a team that has laughed together and cried together.  OK, so truth be told it is just me that has done the crying.  So, a big shoutout to Ian, Jim, Troy, Chris, Rick, Lisza, Mark, Jill and Chad.

  • Ian Campbell, Communications AND incoming president
  • Jim Johnston, Immediate Past President and Strategic Planning leader
  • Troy Szymanski, Secretary
  • Chris Peters, Treasurer
  • Rick Leuthold, Meetings & Events
  • Lisza Gulyas and Mark Wipper, Service Team
  • Jill Santuccio, Fundraising
  • Chad Tyler, Membership

In addition, thank you to the Board of Directors.  They have helped guide our club through this year and have served in an important leadership role for our club.  Thank you to Lucius Ashby, Nancy Austin, Colleen Cozad, Harry Ellison, Matt Isola, Bob Kapelke, Hassan Latif, Alison Oyler-Mitsch, Brian Sweet, Andrew Walker and Louise Westfall.  An always-welcome guest to our Board Meetings was Carter Sales who served alongside me as the President of the Denver Rotary Club Foundation.  Carter has been a trusted partner throughout the year, and we have both put priority on that partnership and in moving the club forward.

Last, and certainly not least, thank you to each and every one of you.  During my very first meeting of my presidency, I said that I “stand on the shoulder of giants”.  That is so true and a tribute to the club presidents that have come before me.  It is also true for the special club and club members that we have here.  As you have heard me say many times in the past, I LOVE ROTARY.  Thanks again to all of you.  I am excited for our journey ahead and am confident in the leadership that Ian Campbell will provide.  Let’s make this next year another one for the record books….minus a pandemic, of course.


Rotary Club of Denver 2020-2021 Detailed Year-in-Review:

District and Rotary International (RI) Involvement:

  • In October 2020, a record number 60 club members signed up for the virtual lunch with RI President Holger Knaack.
  • Jim Johnston was nominated for and selected as upcoming District Governor for District 5450.
  • Debbie Beasley was selected as Assistant Governor for Area 1 clubs in District 5450.
  • Our club participated in the District Day of Service on May 8th including Project Cure, 9News COVID Vaccination Clinic, Cherry Creek Trail Clean up and Project Worthmore. (See Service Projects section for details.)
  • Multiple club members participated in the Virtual RI convention.

Strategic Planning:

  • During 2020-2021 fiscal year, this effort was led by Immediate Past President Jim Johnston with additional leadership support provided by Incoming President Ian Campbell. Multiple core teams were established to lead the key areas identified through our planning process.
  • Jim Johnston hosted two Town Halls on Quest 31 and a report to the Board of Directors was also shared in November 2020. Important and incremental changes made to the club in response to member feedback and strategic planning goals.
  • A strategic planning session was held in January with coordination between the Quest 31 team and our executive committee.
  • Two written updates were provided to the club found in Appendix 1 of this update.
  • A one-pager for our club was created based on the foundational work provided at the initiation of our strategic planning also found in Appendix 1.

Diversity & Inclusion:

  • An important communication was also shared with the club in September 2020.  The core message was around the importance of building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive culture for our Club members and guests – one where each person feels valued and respected for who they are as well as for the skills and experience they bring to our Club.  Every member and guest should feel comfortable and welcomed.  Our goal is for the diversity of our Club to reflect the diversity of the communities and, in fact, the world we serve.
  • In February, I had the opportunity to attend “Exploring the Black Experience in Rotary”.  Current Rotary International President Holger Knaack was quoted within this webinar saying: “There is no place within Rotary for racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, classism, or ageism.  We do not believe that this is a political stance and we do believe we should openly discuss these issues within our organization.”  We are on a journey here and in the spirit of the “Power of One” I invite you to spend One hour watching the recording from this session.  It was phenomenal.  The recording is still available and may be found here:


  • The Vice President for Fundraising for 2020-2021 was Jill Santuccio who was in her 3rd year in this role.
  • Rotary International (RI) Annual Fund Goal of $50,000 and Polio Plus Goal of $10,000 exceeded with big thanks to Peg Johnston as The Rotary Foundation chairperson for this year. In addition, there is a pending $35,000 estate gift to the Endowed SHARE fund of Rotary International.
  • Other Club 31 Contribution Statistics related to Rotary International:
    • Paul Harris Society Members: 24
    • Annual Fund Per Capita Giving for our club $293 compared to the District at $155 and also compared to our 2019-2020 club per capita giving at $256.
    • Every Rotarian Every Year at 94 this year compared to 90 last year
    • Major donors / Arch Klumph Society: 34
    • Bequest Society / Legacy Society: 16
  • Our club held a successful Peach Sale on September 12th after the peach crop was impacted by an early frost. Net proceeds were $19,331 with 50% going to the Denver Rotary Club Foundation, 25% to The Rotary Foundation Annual Fund and 25% going to Rotary International Polio Plus.
  • unTalent Show on April 1st raised over $37,714 for our Denver Rotary Club Foundation (DRCF)
  • Highlighting of award-winning Bosnia project shared with the club including a review of how projects benefit from “the multiplying impact” when DRCF provides a grant to World Community Services which is joined with funds from other clubs and District Designated Funds (from RI Foundation) and matching RI funding resulting in 10-20 times impact. See Celebrate our Service recap that was shared with the club in June 2021.

Meetings & Events:

  • The Vice President for Meetings & Events for 2020-2021 was Rick Leuthold who was in his 1st year in this role.
  • Rick lined up Mike Dineen and Thomas Longino to lead our newly formed Audio Visual (AV) team.  This will allow us to build on our technology usage for our meetings and improve the overall experience.
  • We held our first hybrid meeting in 2020 on April 15th at the Warwick Hotel.  We were at our maximum participants allowed in a safe room set-up. The planning, technology and logistics helped make that meeting a success as well.

Service Projects:

  • The Co-Vice Presidents for Service for 2020-2021 were Lisza Gulyas and Mark Wipper who were in their 2nd year in this role.
  • Cherry Creek Trail Clean-up was organized three times during this fiscal year beginning in August 2020 and continuing through 2021. The May 8th District Day of Service included this as one of the options and our partners at the Denver Five Points RiNo club joined our RCD club members in this event.
  • 9News COVID Vaccination Clinic was established due to the pandemic and multiple RCD club members have participated throughout the year including the District Day of Service.
  • Project Cure where our Rotarians help sort and pack medical supplies that were distributed locally during the COVID-19 pandemic (such as Personal Protective Equipment for front-line workers) as well as internationally to communities in need.  This was another offering in the May 8th District Day of Service where new volunteers from our club and from the Peace Corp Satellite club joined in.
  • The Denver Cherry Creek club has partnered with Metro Caring to deliver food to those in need. Demand grew from 20,000 pounds of food per week, to 80,000 pounds during the pandemic. Volunteers repackaged bulk dry goods, considered nutritionally dense, into 1-2 lb. packages to be distributed. Our club participated in this effort multiple times as well.
  • Project Worthmore in partnership with Denver Mile High and Denver LoDo clubs was another offering for the May 8th District Day of Service and RCD had club members in attendance there.


  • The Vice President for Fundraising for 2020-2021 was Chad Tyler who was in his second year in this role.
  • Our membership number at the beginning of the year was 176 and we concluded the year at 166. There was an overall loss of 16 and 6 new members joined the club for a net attrition of 10. Membership loss was due to multiple factors.
  • The strategic planning effort included a focus area around membership which is highlighted in the Strategic Planning section.

Communications / Social Media Presence / Media Stories:

  • Thanks to the strong Communications team, led by Ian Campbell during 2020-2021 with Kristen Brooks assuming leadership in 2021-2022, our social media presence has matured and been recognized as outstanding. Ian served in this role for 4 years.
  • The Rotary Club of Denver was awarded the Ed Bemis Award for Communications by the Rotary Club of Littleton and District 5450. The award is named for Ed Bemis, the late publisher of the Littleton Independent newspaper, Past President of the Littleton Club, and Past District Governor (way back in 1943-44). This award is a great tribute to Ian Campbell, our Communications Team Vice-President and President-Elect, and to Lauren Mast, our Executive Director, who has served the Communications Committee so ably over the past couple of years. It is largely due to the collaboration of these two that our Club has been recognized for the “Best Club Communications” in the District this year. The award consideration is equally weighted between newsletters, social media, and other blogs and projected-related outreach. The criteria for the award include the handling of Club news, education about Rotary activities, originality in content, and format and appearance
  • Our RCD has presence on Facebook and through our club website in addition to having a YouTube channel where meeting recordings and other key videos are held. Updates to our Facebook page and our website are performed as needed and responses to inquiries are monitored daily.
  • The October 2020 Rotary Magazine in the article “Fast Track to the Future” featured our RCD broadband project which continues to be recognized today.
  • “Ground Game” was an article in the April 2019 Rotary Magazine regarding our club Bosnia human trafficking and Roma girl’s education project. While that article was prior to this fiscal year, the project continues to receive accolades.  On February 24, 2021, a press release showcased this effort while announcing it as one of the winners of the prestigious Child 10 Award by Sweden.  In addition, a 4-minute video of the effort was created by Matt Isola and presented to our club on June 3, 2021 to demonstrate the power of one project.

Social and Networking Opportunities:

  • In August, our club celebrated the retirement of Darlene Mast’s after serving as our Executive Director for 16 years. AND it was our very first foray into an in-person gathering.
  • Our club sponsored a weekly informal Happy Hour throughout the year which proved to be a fun way to socialize via Zoom.

Financial Update / Club Budget:

  • As our club treasurer for 2020-2021, Chris Peters was key to navigating a very challenging and often unpredictable budget landscape. This year was like no other with Zoom meetings being the norm which created a unique, one-time (we hope!) situation where the club was not able to meet in person and therefore realized savings as a result of not meeting (and eating at) the Warwick Hotel.
  • This was also a year when we realized expense reduction as we moved to a one-person Executive Director staff.
  • The club budget came in with a surplus based on this unique scenario. The May 2021 financial results reported a surplus of $17,300.


Appendix 1:  Strategic Planning Update #1 to the Rotary Club of Denver

June 2, 2021

Background:   In mid-2020, the Rotary Club of Denver (RCD) with support from the Board of Directors (BOD) agreed to initiate a strategic planning effort.  The following highlight accomplishments include: 1) Observation and review of meetings, surveys of club members and select interviews were performed, 2) An Action Group was formed of 17 club members plus consultant Kate Kalstein and work groups were identified, 3) Findings and recommendations were drafted, presented to the Action Group and then to the Executive Committee and Club Board with periodic review of updates and recommendations provided.  Most importantly, club leadership adopted an attitude that meaningful change to club activities and operations was urgently needed.

The key areas of review included:  Mission, Vision & Strategic Priorities, Meetings & Events / Programs, Service Team, Membership, Fundraising and Refinement of Roles & Responsibilities.  Actions and accomplishments will be shared for the items in bold.  The same will be shared on the other items in another update later in June.

Meetings & Events Summary: 

  • Reviewed primary program offerings and analyzed feedback on programs was completed January 2021.
  • Program feedback received included continuation of our strong speaker program and complement those with service opportunities, social events, and professional networking. Our incoming Club President, Ian Campbell, will share exciting news on this front in July!
  • As a result of the pandemic, an additional area of innovation was implemented to our weekly programs by utilizing Zoom throughout the majority of 2020-2021. Hybrid meetings, featuring both Zoom and in-person capabilities have been held three times.   Ongoing review of hybrid offerings is underway.

Service Team Summary:

  • Discussions held with each Service Project Chair and Co-Chair began in late 2020 and was reviewed in a team meeting in February 2021. Service Projects categories have been identified as follows.
    • Club 31 Sustaining Projects: World Community Services, High School Mentors / College Counseling, and DCIS: Interact & Adopt a School.
    • Volunteer Opportunities (chair needed): Cherry Creek Trail Cleanup, Denver Kids, Community Resources, Scholastic Arts Awards, Project Cure, Metro Caring, Junior Achievement and 9Health Fair.
    • Additional Review/Consideration: Rotarians for Mental Health, Rotary Youth Exchange (on hiatus), and RYLA. Shining Stars and Launch Denver will be removed.
    • Club Financial Support is currently provided to Denver Kids and other grantees identified through Denver Rotary Club Foundation which align to DRCF rather than the Service Team.

Fundraising Summary: 

  • Spring fundraising was piloted (unTalent Show) for improved fundraising calendar.
  • Ian will also be sharing an update on Fundraising as he kicks off the year and shares his vision based on these findings and innovative ideas.

Appendix 1:  Strategic Planning Update #2 to the Rotary Club of Denver

June 21, 2021

Earlier this month, an update was provided on our strategic planning process and included: Meetings & Events / Programs, Service Team, and Fundraising.  This update will cover the other key areas as promised including

Mission, Vision & Strategic Priorities, Membership, and Refinement of Roles & Responsibilities.

Mission, Vision & Strategic Priorities Summary:  The focus of the team working on this area was twofold:

  • Hone our club message around vision and values, and repeat the messaging at every chance
  • Align with Rotary International messaging
  • Accomplishments in 2020-2021:
    • A one-page document has been prepared based on the work done by this core team and is available in this appendix.
    • The new Mission Statement for our Club has been voted on and approved. It is:
      • Mission of the Rotary Club of Denver: To create a dynamic network of diverse leaders who serve ethically and take action to impact Denver and the world.

Membership Summary: 

  • The goals in reviewing our membership strategy included:
    • Enhance membership application including prospective member transmittal letter
    • Simplify membership categories
    • Focus on Membership Recruitment
  • Accomplishments in 2020-2021:
    • The core team aligned to this effort has met extensively in 2020-2021. Recommendations for changes to membership types, dues structure and other membership processes will be introduced in detail to the Club Board of Directors in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

Refinement of Roles & Responsibilities Summary:

  • The objective of this area was to streamline and refine roles and responsibilities as our club moved to one full-time Executive Director.
  • Accomplishments in 2020-2021:
    • Executive Director Lauren Mast provided leadership and collaboration by meeting with the six team Vice presidents, the current Club President Debbie Beasley and others as needed to restructure team organization, reinforce, and streamline communications between leadership and to implement a leadership succession plan
    • Vice Presidents included:
      • Ian Campbell – Communications and Incoming President
      • Jill Santuccio – Fundraising
      • Chad Tyler – Membership
      • Rick Leuthold – Meetings & Events
      • Lisza Gulyas and Mark Wipper – Service Team
    • Full details were provided in the Executive Director Report to ExCom & Board report presented to the Board on November 17, 2020.

Additional review was provided to the Board of Directors with approval vote received on April 20, 2021.