Jerry Freeman, Yahya Abdullah, Jim Cummings, Junior Gibbly
May 8, 2024
Bob Olsen, Bob Tholkes, Kristen Stuenkel, Mike Oakley, Amada Marquez Simula, Chris Stein, Melissa Trent
17 members, visiting Rotarians Chris Stein from the Twin Cities Eco Rotary Club and Asst. District Governor Julie Gotham of Blaine-Ham Lake Rotary, and guests Jim Cummings, STRIVE coordinator at Fridley High School, Fridley STRIVE students Junior Gipply, Jerry Freeman, and Yahya Abdullah, and Melissa Trent, Agriculture Specialist at Columbia Heights High School, heard member Amáda Márquez Simula present a video and lead an informational program about the Rotary International Operation Pollination program and FCH Rotary’s Operation Pollination activities and partners. The presentation can be viewed at
Trent, who directs the Blooming Heights garden program at CHHS, reminded of the garden prep service activity offered next Monday, May 13, at the school (see below).
The Operation Pollination group met on Tuesday May 7, with Neil Granlund of Heights Next Community Group and Melissa Trent of Columbia Heights High School joining members Amáda Márquez Simula, Mike Oakley, Kristen Stuenkel, and Bob Tholkes. Plans for today’s presentation about the program and the group’s activities, details about the service activity to be offered next Monday, spring activities at Blooming Heights and Blooming Sunshine pollinator gardens, and plans for the August 8 Monarch Festival were reviewed.
Volunteers will shortly be recruited to participate in three planned club activities: the district grant proposal, ‘English Instruction for New Immigrants’, for funding of additional classroom instruction for new immigrants through the Adult Learning Center in Columbia Heights; the July 15 Golf Classic fundraiser; and the annual Rotary Fun Run at Fridley’s 49er Days town festival will be sought shortly.  Email or text president Stephen Keeler at
The club is offered a chance for a service activity to let us literally get our hands dirty: garden prep at the Columbia Heights High School Pollinator Garden, accompanying students in weeding, raking mulch out of the beds, and adding fresh compost, on Monday, May 13, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. The school is located at 1400 49 Ave NE.
The next Operation Pollination virtual meeting is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 4. Use Zoom reference
The next club board meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5, at Fridley Community Center. All members are welcome.
The annual Rotary Fun Run at Fridley’s 49er Days town festival takes place on Thursday, June 13.
Installation of the 2024-25 District Governor, Ed Boeve of Stillwater Sunrise Rotary, will take place on Saturday, June 29, at 5:00 p.m. at Rustic Roots Winery in Scandia. Register at
The 11th annual Golf Classic, the primary club fundraiser, is set for Monday, July 15, at the Refuge Golf Course in Oak Grove.
The Operation Pollination committee plans to participate in the Columbia Heights Monarch Festival on Thursday, August 8.
Rotary International announced that the 2029 RI convention will be held in Minneapolis. It will be organized cooperatively by Districts 5580/5950,5960, and 6250.
Additional mentors for Fridley STRIVE students are sought. Contact Steve Klaers at 612-599-8103. 
Rotary International produces podcasts on various subjects, available at
UPCOMING PROGRAMS: May 15- new member Kevin Kalihers will present his classification talk. May 22- Jill Chisholm and Norma Jorgensen of Be Safe Gun Safety provide an informational talk. May 29- Loren Swanson, Roseville Rotary, speaks on its Uganda Water Project.