Rotary Club of Denver Board of Directors Nominees

January 8, 2020

 The following members have been nominated to serve on the Rotary Club of Denver Board of Directors for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2020.

  • Colleen Cozad
  • Hassan Latif
  • Alison Oyler-Mitsch
  • Matt Isola

Their names will be presented for election at our Club’s Annual Meeting which has been rescheduled to next Thursday, January 16 and will take place during our regular Club meeting. Additional nominations for Directors may be made in writing and signed by six members and filed with the Executive Director prior to the Annual Meeting.

Directors whose terms expire June 30, 2020 Ben Allen, Melissa Bowen, Susan Brushaber and Chad Tyler.

Our thanks to Brian Sweet, Louise Westfall, Harriett Downer, Rich Spong and Chuck Everill for serving on this year’s Board Nominating Committee.

PolioPlus Update – December 2019

Another not pretty week:  two (2) in Afghanistan and seven (7) in Pakistan bringing this year’s total to 125 vs. 29 last year at this time.  Of this year’s total, 24 are in Afghanistan and 101 in Pakistan, illustrating the magnitude of the problem we have in the latter (almost assuredly attributable to the interruption in vaccination campaign occurring earlier in the year).

The cVDPV cases are also of concern, as we’ve seen sporadic outbreaks in various countries as detailed below.  Remember that these cases aren’t caused by the vaccine, but are caused when the weakened virus sheds from those who have been immunized (and in turn providing some inoculation to unvaccinated individuals) but circulates in a relatively unvaccinated community long enough that the virus mutates back to a virulent form which causes paralysis.

Why don’t we just use the monovalent inactivated vaccination which would prevent cVDPV cases (the type of injected vaccination we use in the United States)?  There are at least three good reasons:  (1) the weakened live virus used in the drops does provide some additional “halo” vaccination effect – as long as it doesn’t circulate long enough and mutate; (2) the distribution chain difficulties (maintaining cold storage long enough, volume of material being transported) isn’t robust enough to allow distribution of the injectable; and (3) cost and skill …. Almost anyone can squeeze a couple of drops of the weakened live virus vaccination; providing training sufficient to allow use of the injectable, along with the significant added cost of the vaccine, syringe, needles, sterile supplies and cleaning agents – is simply not possible.  There are other reasons, to be sure, but these are the primary ones.

The solution for now is to maintain immunization efforts even in those areas without endemic wild polio virus cases to assure that the community “herd immunity” is enough to prevent the circulation of the weakened live virus.  While the primary focus of our efforts are in Pakistan and Afghanistan to eliminate the endemic polio, we must remain vigilant elsewhere, too.  This is why we must continue to raise funds and awareness for the eradication of polio.

Pakistan still remains problematic for carrying out the government’s freshly-renewed mandate of vaccination campaigns:  it was reported yesterday that gunmen shot and killed two police officers escorting a polio vaccination team.  The campaign has been temporarily suspended in the Peshawar, Lower Dir district area.  While fortunately none of the vaccination team were injured, the loss of the policeman is tragic.

Please share with your clubs and districts the importance of continuing this fight until it is complete.  For those looking to make year end donations, this is a good topic to raise.

While it is easy to focus on the difficulties of Pakistan and Afghanistan and become discouraged, remember that we have successfully eliminated polio everywhere else in the world except for these two countries.  It was long thought that the African continent would never be polio free, and yet we know it has not been declared polio-free.  Our will, commitment and fortitude has led directly to that result.  And I’m confident that with your continued help, we’ll have the same result in due course in Pakistan and Afghanistan!

I wish you the best of the holiday season (including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Winter Solstice and of course Festivus for everyone else!).


Ken Howell
PDG District 5400 ’15-16, Zone 27 End Polio Now Coordinator

2019 DCIS Travel & Language Fair

Join Club 31’s Adopt-A-School at the 2019 DCIS Travel & Language Fair


Please join us at the 2019 DCIS Travel and Language Fair where you, along with other exhibitors representing Gap Year, Student Travel, Study Abroad, Cultural Exchange, Language Immersion, Language Learning, Nonprofits, Service, and Volunteer Opportunities (national as well as international), will interact in person with members of the entire DPS community and beyond.

This “Showcase of Opportunities for Students 4th to 12th grade” is FREE and Open to the PUBLIC on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019 from 5 – 8 PM at the Denver Center for International Studies (574 W 6th Ave. Denver, CO 80204), Denver Rotary’s ‘Adopt-A-School”, public middle and high school with a global focus and an unique curriculum with double social studies and the opportunity to learn French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Lakota.

If you would like to exhibit and use this opportunity to interact in person with members of the entire DPS community and beyond, especially students from elementary to high school and their families, the Registration Form is here or contact Marie if you have any questions or comments.  Students and Teachers can register for free to have a table at the Travel & Language Fair (we especially encourage food sales and travel and language fundraisers).  Community Service and Event credits available to student volunteers. Vendors and exhibitors pay a $100 participation fee or $50 for nonprofits, and we will provide a table and chairs; no electricity available.  Please be in compliance with the relevant tax regulations.

All teachers, students, and parents from DCIS, other schools in Denver Public Schools, and our neighboring communities are welcome.

The Travel & Language Fair will be a lot of fun for everyone. Please get ready learn and explore at the Travel & Language Fair on December 12th this year – see you there!

Help Denver Kids, Inc. win $166,000!


Help Denver Kids, Inc. win $166,000!
Denver Kids is a finalist in the 2020 Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards and the Opus Foundation’s Gerry Rauenhorst Building Community Award!



2020 Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards
Help us win $100,000 by voting between September 9 and 30!

      Vote for Denver Kids, Inc. in the West Region at:

      You can also vote by using the Chick-fil-A app:

  • Download the Chick-fil-A app on your smartphone
  • Create an account
  • Open the app and click “Rewards” at the bottom of the screen
  • Click “News” at the top of the next screen and tap “Vote Now”
  • Select the “West Region” and cast your vote for Denver Kids!

Opus Foundation’s Gerry Rauenhorst Building Community Award
Help us win $66,000 by voting between September 24 and October 4!

      Vote for Denver Kids, Inc. at:

Learn more about Denver Kids at

DMHR: Champion for a District Grant to Provide BrainWise Training for Denver Kids’ Counselors

Denver Kids is a jewel in Rotary’s community programs.  Rotary Club 31 of Denver helped found Denver Kids after World War II to help at-risk youth in third through 12th grade graduate from high school.  Club 31 Rotarians continue to serve on the organization’s Board of Directors and help fund operations that include twenty full-time counselors.  Rotarians also recruit volunteer mentors who work one-on-one with students from third grade through high school, provide YRYLA and RYLA scholarships and offer numerous educational, career, and recreational activities.

Last year, Denver Kids served more than 900 students in 160 schools who participate for an average of seven years.  The children are recommended by school counselors and may qualify for free reduced lunches and in addition to family, social, educational, and behavioral health challenges.  This combination of strikes belies the 83 percent graduate rate Denver Kids achieve compared with the 65 percent rate of DPS students.  These successful outcomes are a hallmark of Denver Kids.

In 2018, following a training for their counselors in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Denver Kids’ administrators sought a curriculum they could use with students and families.  After a review of programs, they selected BrainWise, unaware that the curriculum had been developed by DMHR Rotarian Pat Gorman Barry.  Neither did they know that BrainWise was being taught in Denver, Jefferson County, Weld County, and Aurora public schools, as well as in Rotary projects at Eagleton Elementary and CEC.

This connection opened an opportunity to seek a District Grant that would cover the training expenses.  In addition, the project would make a wider range of Rotarians aware of mentoring opportunities with Denver Kids.  Denver Mile High Rotary members Tom Cella and Diane Messamore stepped up to be co-champions of the District Grant with Club 31, Denver SouthEast and Castle Pines Rotary as partners.  The grant was approved and Denver Kids’ counselors and administrators were trained in BrainWise in January, 2019.

The recent merger of Denver Kids and Denver Urban Scholars will provide additional opportunities for DPS students to learn SEL and the executive function skills needed to make positive life choices and decisions – with Rotarians and other volunteers serving as mentors.

2019 Peach Sale Club Report

The three goals of the peach sale are

1) The Member involvement in a quick easy project with emphasis on new members
2) Fellowship on pickup day in a “working on a common goal” atmosphere
3) Raise funds to help our Denver Rotary Club Foundation and The Rotary Foundation.

This year 130 Club 31 members, sold or bought peaches.

Pick up day was a blast. With the help of a Forklift from Giles & Farris Machinery and Hassan Latif, Bill Imig, Steve Mast, Pete Wall, Chad Tyler, Rich Spong, Jack Green, Rick Leuthold, Jeff Kleinschmidt and his sons Ian and Isaac Kleinschmidt, 1440 boxes of Peaches were unloaded and loaded. 

Additionally, the following people came and volunteered their time to make this year’s Pickup Day and Pancake Breakfast a success:

PARKING: Harriet Downer, Susan Brushaber, Mark Donovan, Debbie Beasley, Anne McGihon, Drew Price and Lindsay Leuthold Rick’s daughter.
KITCHEN: Don Schlup, Virgil Scott, Kevin Shelledy, Melly Kinnard, Lisza Gulyas, Marjorie Lewis, Andrew Walker and Debby Kaufman.
PHOTOS: Todd Bacon and Bob Lowdermilk
CASHIERS: Darlene Mast, Lauren Mast, Peg Johnston and Marlene Wilkins
BREAKFAST SALES: Don Lewis and John Wilson.
If we failed to mention someone, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

After a small delay because of new equipment in the School Kitchen and the lack of “pancake inversion devises”, the Pancake and Peaches Breakfast went great and we served over 190 plates of Peaches and Pancakes.  A big Thanks to Roberts Italian Restaurant, a Deli in Littleton and the DTC for helping us order the breakfast supplies.

Special Thanks go to Jill Santuccio and Debby Kaufman for their work and organizational skills, Virgil Scott for running our kitchen, and our newly christened flapjack flipper Kevin Shelledy who benefited from the guidance and support of Chief Pancake Flipper Extraordinaire Don Schlup.

The Double Digit Top Sellers are:

224 Collard Case
65 Guice Bryan
56 Mills Craig
46 Harris Dale
40 Wilkins Jim
37 Yake Jay
33 Everill Chuck
28 Mast Darlene
26 Schlup Don
21 Miller Charles
20 Donder Warren
19 White Jim
17 Ellison Harry
16 Johnston Peg
16 Johnston Jim
16 Lowdermilk Robert
16 Penny Mary
14 Scott Virgil
13 Gandera Wynn
13 Kane Don
13 Wall Pete
10 Donovan Mark
10 Metcalfe Dick
10 Mosko Steward
10 Oyler-Mitsch Alison
10 Peters Chris

Again this year Case Collard continued what Tucker Troutman started at Dorsey and Whitney LLP, who used the opportunity to send clients Peaches…they bought 224 Boxes!

The total benefit to Our Denver Rotary Club Foundation and The Rotary Foundation should be over $21,000!

A BIG thank you again everyone who supported our peach sale through hands-on volunteering, contributions, partaking in the peach pancake breakfast and to everyone who bought peaches!

Bryan Guice
2019 Peach Sale Committee Chair

Business Mentors Needed | LaunchDENVER

You have probably heard about LaunchDENVER, a new program initiated by Denver Rotary to support budding entrepreneurs from the under-served communities of Metro Denver.  The program includes four components: (i) business training, offered through an eight week program conducted by the faculty of the Management Department at Metro State University of Denver; (ii) mentoring from an experienced business person; (iii) access to microloans to support the business, and (iv) networking with other graduates and community supporters of the program.

LaunchDENVER is preparing to accept its inaugural class of entrepreneurs in late September.  We are recruiting mentors for this inaugural class, and for future classes.  

Successful mentors will come with a range of profiles: entrepreneurs with current business operations, experienced business professionals and retired business persons with successful backgrounds.  All of them will share two common traits: a desire to give back to the community, and an interest in helping prospective entrepreneurs grow and develop.

Mentors will be expected to make a commitment of six months, including face-to-face meetings with their assigned mentee(s) at least monthly and connection by phone and/or email in between those meetings.  The first class of entrepreneurs will be assigned their mentors in early December, shortly after graduation from the training program, so your commitment would begin at that time.

To volunteer to serve as a LaunchDENVER mentor, or to request additional information regarding this opportunity, please contact the Rotarian Mentor Coordinator, Don Kane.

Congratulations World Community Service Team & Denver Rotarians!

Pictured: Cher Cruz, Christine Sparks, Rochelle Darling, Sue Davis-Hornby,
Club 31 Rotarians Bill Korstad & Ved Nanda, and Lakewood Foothills Rotary Club President Alan Harvey

Rotarians Bill Korstad and Ved Nanda are involved with improving water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in India.  Their recent water, sanitation and hygiene project (WASH) in India to bring toilets to a rural village where none existed, won our Denver Rotary Club the 2019 George K. Davis Water and Sanitation Award courtesy of the Lakewood Foothills Rotary Club and past Club 31 Rotarian Sue Davis-Hornby!

India, like much of the developing world, suffers a scarcity of facilities for disposal of human waste, a population unaware of safe hygiene practices or the need for them and a lack of clean water.  Insufficient water is a global issue which will eventually manifest itself in inter-state conflict.  An important aspect of these efforts is to create conditions that encourage local communities to properly maintain these facilities and develop similar solutions on their own.

The Davis award is presented to the Club who successfully completes what they judge as the best Rotary WASH project in the District 5450 that year.

Congratulations and THANK YOU to Bill, Ved and our World Community Service committee! 


President’s Message, 2019-20


Dear Rotarians,

It was a privilege to speak to you all on July 11th as President of Club 31!  Thank you for the honor, and thank you to those who were able to be there in attendance.

From the podium I answered the question, “Why am I a Rotarian?”  The first reason I joined is because…I was asked!  Thanks, Mom!  This is a reminder to all of us that we need to invite people to join us!  But then the real question is why have I stayed a Rotarian for 11 years?  Well, I see our group as good people endeavoring to do great things for others.  It is so easy to get involved.  It’s safe (though sometimes maybe too shielded and hands off), but I have mentored kids, taught in classrooms, cleaned up a crisis relief center and the Cherry Creek Trail, sorted medical supplies bound for Africa, and served meals to homeless people.  For me, Rotary has developed a basic awareness of humanitarian and community issues.  I want to look back and feel that I helped the world, that I was empathetic and chose to get involved in order to make a positive difference.

Being a Rotarian is a commitment.  I sacrifice other opportunities so that I can be a Rotarian: my time, money, energy…Yet, it feels good to be involved on the good side; the side whose intentions are truth, fairness, goodwill and benefit for all.  It relieves a feeling of guilt – that I can and should be doing more – and then I feel even better.  Pretty much the rest of my life is about my family and me.  Rotary, however, is about other people.

When I prompted from the podium, sixty-three people at their tables also answered in writing why they are Rotarians.  Well done!!  I look forward to incorporating members’ answers into some upcoming club programs.

Let me detail some important things about the year ahead. Darlene Mast, our marvelous and loved Executive Director, will retire on June 30th.  Her fifteen years of service to the Club will be remarkable in uncountable ways, including a lasting gift of her (and Steve’s!) daughter Lauren, being on track to take over the role on July 1st.  Related, over the next year our office will prepare to be a one-person operation supporting the Club with some tasks taken up by members and others done with more efficient technology.

Over the years, member have requested longer speaker programs, more emphasis on what we are doing as Rotarians, and more time to talk to each other.  Consequently, the structure of our regular meetings this year will aim to accommodate these requests by having dedicated speaker programs twice monthly.  We will also have dedicated Rotary engagement days once a month, and our customary special meetings once a month, including offsites and fellowships.  When we have five Thursdays in a month, there will be a service and/or social opportunity outside the normal meeting time.  My major objectives for Rotary-themed days are to build awareness, enthusiasm and participation: in other words, meaningful fun for our members.  Please let us know what you think: each Thursday at 1PM a survey link will be emailed to you asking for feedback on the week’s program.

We have an awesome group of members who agreed to lead the Club for the 2019-2020 year, including three new members and three people with Rotary experience beyond Club 31.  Please seek any one of us out with your comments and questions.  The executive team, meeting once each month, includes these folks:

Secretary, Brian Sweet                                                            VP of Communications, Ian Campbell
Treasurer, Chris Peters w/Seth Patterson                          VP of Fundraising, Jill Santuccio
President-Elect, Debbie Beasley                                           VP of Membership, Chad Tyler
Past President, Pam Adams                                                   VP of Programs and Events, Doug McLemore
Executive Director, Darlene Mast                                        VPs of Service, Lisza Gulyas & Jeff Kleinschmidt
Assist. Exec. Director, Lauren Mast

In addition, here is our Board of Directors, which meets every two months:

Ben Allen                                 Lucius Ashby                            Harry Ellison
Chad Tyler                               Nancy Austin                           Louise Westfall
Susan Brushaber                    Bob Kapelke                             Andrew Walker
Melissa Bowen                        Will Snider                               Debby Kaufman

Lastly, I shared a short video clip of a talk given by Mark Maloney, President of Rotary International for 2019-2020.  He is a good man from Decatur, Georgia, and has been a Rotarian since 1980. I encourage you all to give it a listen to gain insight to what our global organization’s leadership is thinking about and prioritizing in order to improve Rotary’s impact and member experience.  The full 20-minute video can be found here.  (During our lunch meeting, I showed from minute 18:22 through to the end.)

In closing, let me modify some great words spoken by U.S. President John F Kennedy:
And so, my fellow members of Club 31, ask not what Club 31 can do for you.  Ask what you can do for Club 31.  My fellow Rotarians of the world, ask not what Rotary will do for you, but what together we can do to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

What you can you do for Club 31?

  • keep coming to meetings!
  • volunteer as a mentor
  • organize a new opportunity
  • go to District 5450 events
  • occupy yourself on the website
  • donate to End Polio Now and our local Denver Rotary Club Foundation
  • ask people you know to join the Club 31

Thank you for being a Rotarian!

Jim Johnston
President, 2019-20
Rotary Club of Denver