Speaker Date Topic
Adventures of a La Crosse-Area Tour Guide Feb 29, 2024
Kelly Krieg-Sigman, Julie Keitel and Margaret Lichter
Kelly Krieg-Sigman, Julie Keitel and Margaret Lichter

Between the months of July and October 2023, over 2200 people toured La Crosse on motorcoaches as part of their Viking River Cruise experience. 

On top of that, another few hundred visited our city from other cruise lines, private motorcoach tours, and specialty tours offered by Explore La Crosse. 

What do they see?  How is the story of our city told? 

Join our own Kelly Krieg-Sigman who, along with fellow club member Julie Keitel and Margaret Lichter from the La Crosse County Historical Society, will share the experience of being a tour guide, the reactions to our city from the guests they see, the kinds of questions they receive, and the unbelievably high importance of well-located restrooms!

Sleep in Heavenly Peace: Mike Suchla Mar 07, 2024


We fully believe that a bed is a basic need for the proper physical, emotional, and mental support that a child needs. 

All children deserve a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads. Across the U.S., too many boys and girls go without a bed – or even a pillow – to sleep on. These children end up sleeping on couches, blankets, and even floors, which can affect their happiness and health.

That’s where Sleep in Heavenly Peace comes in. We’re a group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need.




Gifts to the Rotary Foundation: Elizabeth King, JD Mar 14, 2024

Lizzy joined The Rotary Foundation as part of the Planned Giving Team in December 2022.

At Rotary, she is responsible for cultivating and administering life income agreements, donor advised funds, and estate gifts. Lizzy’s territory covers the Rocky Mountain and Plains States to the Great Lakes (Zones 26E, 27E, 28E, and 29).

Lizzy’s involvement with Rotary dates back to high school when she was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. For a year, Lizzy lived in Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Ecuador. Her experience with Rotary as an international ambassador fueled her passion for community leadership and involvement on a global level, which is reflected in her education and career path.

Lizzy is a summa cum laude graduate of Western Michigan University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Global & International Politics. As an undergraduate, she lived in Burgos, Spain, and returned as an international studies program recruiter, encouraging peers to experience the benefits of cultural diversity through global citizenship. The Spanish Department awarded Lizzy with the Presidential Scholar, which is one of the highest academic honors at Western Michigan University. Lizzy received her law degree from Marquette University Law School, holds her law license in Wisconsin, and will soon be sworn in for Michigan. In law school, her focus was conflict resolution. She held a position as the supervisor of the Mediation Clinic and was inducted into the Pro Bono Society with over 120 hours of service. Lizzy was selected to travel to the Middle East for a specialized course in international dispute resolution. She was later recruited to participate in the 2019 International Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition in Vienna, Austria, winning best mediation strategy. Following law school, and prior to joining The Rotary Foundation, Lizzy worked as a defense attorney with Hennessy & Roach, PC. In her free time, Lizzy enjoys travelling, reading, and engaging in a variety of outdoor activities.

Rotary Lights Presentation: Pat Stephens Mar 21, 2024
VENUE: THE HATCHERY - 410 E Veterans Memorial Dr, La Crosse
VENUE: THE HATCHERY - 410 E Veterans Memorial Dr, La Crosse



The annual Rotary Lights display began in 1995 and has grown tremendously since then due to the fantastic support from the greater La Crosse community.

Pat Stephens has partnered with incredible volunteers and volunteer organizations since then and now, nearly 130,000 visitors per year enjoy this holiday tradition while driving, walking or taking a carriage ride through Riverside Park.

At our meeting, the past year's illumination of the downtown waterfront and some of the people who helped make it a success will be celebrated with checks to multiple organizations.

Pat Stephens retired in 2013 from UW-L after many years in leadership with its Foundation.  He is the "Irish Man of the Year", an Iverson-Freking Ecumenical award recipient, long-time leader of Freedom Fest, recipient of Viterbo University's Pope John XXIII award and the driving force behind many community fund raisers and community events.

Rotary Lights Board of Directors

Roger Bjorge - Onalaska Hilltoppers
Mike Diveley - Onalaska Hilltoppers
Bill Hoel - La Crosse Downtown
Brad Johnson - Onalaska Hilltoppers
Aaron Miller - After Hours Rotary
Neil Wieser - After Hours Rotary
Terry Miller - La Crosse East Rotary
Spencer Niebur - La Crosse East Rotary
Sherry Sime - Caledonia Rotary
​Mark Etrheim - Valley View Rotary


Brad Quarberg - Valley View Rotary
Nancy Proctor - Holmen Rotary
Steve Holman - La Crescent Rotary
Beth Stempinski - Caledonia Rotary
Pat Stephens - La Crosse East Rotary
Dave Ebner - La Crescent Rotary
Jim Warren - Valley View Rotary
Bill Wiesjahn - La Crosse East Rotary
John Wettstein - La Crosse Downtown
Mark Dahlke - La Crosse East Rotary

Is laughter really the best medicine?Brian Udemann Mar 28, 2024

Is laughter really the best medicine? Give yourself permission to laugh more and improve your overall health.

Brian Udermann is a health and motivational humorist, and the author of “TV Rots Your Brain … Or Does It?” and “25 Ways To Cure The Hiccups.”

Brian has been a professional speaker for over 20 years and his interactive and energetic style is entertaining and appeals to a wide variety of groups and organizations. 

Brian speaks to school districts, colleges and universities, government agencies, small and large businesses, hospitals, non–profit organizations, and national and international associations.

Brian's passion is encouraging people to laugh a bit more, stress a bit less and regain the healthy balance most people desire.

Canine Companions: Luna & Lisa, Mayo Clinic HS Apr 04, 2024
Canine Companions: Luna & Occupational Therapist Lisa Morgan, Mayo Clinic Health System
Canine Companions: Luna & Occupational Therapist Lisa Morgan, Mayo Clinic Health System

Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse is the first health system location to have a full-time, trained facility dog. Lunar III, known as Luna, graduated from Canine Companions for Independence in Delaware, Ohio. She was assigned to Mayo Clinic Health System free of charge.

Luna is an expertly trained assistance dog and can understand over 40 commands. She is trained to assist patients and the health care team in the hospital setting

Luna's commands can be modified for patients' needs. She can assist with exercise, motivation and calming; open and close drawers or doors closed; retrieve all kinds of items; and pull pediatric patients in wagons or on scooter boards or helping them swing.


Luna lives and works alongside Lisa Morgan, a supervisor in Occupational Therapy at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. She visits patients and staff in the Stephen and Barbara Slaggie Family Cancer and Blood Disorders CenterCardiac Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Services, Acute Care and other departments. She assists La Crosse's child life specialist and travels with Morgan to other clinics in the region, including Onalaska, Sparta and Tomah.

While Luna will provide comfort and support to patients and the healthcare team, she is different than a therapy dog. Therapy dogs are commonly found at hospitals, schools and nursing homes, and are solely there to provide joy to others. It's important to remember that no national standards exist for the training of therapy dogs, and they are not certified. Rather, the dog-handler teams that pass evaluations are registered as a team, according to Canine Companions for Independence.

On the other hand, facility dogs are bred for this line of work and must pass the nationally standardized public access test administered by a certified evaluator. Luna must pass follow-up assessments periodically to ensure safety in a public setting.

Luna can be requested to visit or participate in patient care, and she also can be requested to visit families and staff members.



Classification Talk: Hope Hembd Apr 11, 2024
History of Rotary Classification Talks
When Rotary was established by Paul Harris and three others, each person came from a different walk of life. This diversity is a cornerstone of Rotary. The intent is to have a cross-section of business and professional experiences in your community.

For decades Rotary International listed a range of professional “classifications” and restricted how many representatives of each could be in a club. This ensures that each club reflects the community in which it serves. It also reminds us to not have one profession as a dominant voice in our club. Over time, these restrictions have pretty much given way, but your classification continues to be of great interest to your fellow club members. That’s why your Rotary badge carries your name and your classification.
Classification talks help us learn about the life experiences and professional backgrounds of new members.
DEI Committee Quarterly Program: Wayne Bottner Apr 18, 2024
Wayne Bottner: Prevalence of Disability & The Origin of Implicit Biases
Wayne Bottner: Prevalence of Disability & The Origin of Implicit Biases

Wayne Bottner is a practicing Hematologist and Transfusion Medicine specialist at Gundersen Health System, where he has worked for the past 35 years. He is also a survivor of the 1953 polio epidemic, the last prior to the introduction of the Salk polio vaccine. His current interests include using his life experience to help dispel the implicit biases surrounding disability and advocating for approaches that will make the world more accessible for everyone. Summary of talk: The presentation will include a brief personal history, information ab

The presentation will include a brief personal history, information about the prevalence of disability, and the origin of implicit biases about it. Building on that foundation, contrasting conceptual models of disability will be presented and practical advice given to encourage incorporating disability into our approach to issues, both personal and civic.

HOLD Environmental Committee/Earth Week 2024 Apr 25, 2024
MEETING OFF SITE (Location TBD) HOLD Environmental Committee Quarterly Program
MEETING OFF SITE (Location TBD) HOLD Environmental Committee Quarterly Program

Contact: Jamie O'Neill, DEI Committee Chair

Writer & Director Nicole Magerko May 02, 2024
VENUE: RIVOLI - From iPhone to Big Screen: Creating Short Films on a Budget
VENUE: RIVOLI - From iPhone to Big Screen: Creating Short Films on a Budget

Special thanks to Rotary Club of La Crosse Member Clara Gelatt for hosting us at the Rivoli, the perfect venue for this week's topic!

Nicole Magerko: Writer & Director, Missing Connection

Have you ever wanted to make your very own short film, but felt constrained by lack of time, tools, or money?

Join Chicago-based filmmaker Nicole Magerko for a discussion on how she made her latest project with nothing but an iPhone and a dream.

After she walks you through the entire process from concept to completion, stick around for a screening of her short film Missing Connection to see the final product!

Jaakko: A year in Review May 09, 2024

Jaako will share his reflections upon life in La Crosse as a Rotary International Friendship Exchange Student from Finland.


The Rotary Club of La Crosse is sponsoring Inbound Youth Exchange Student Jaakko for the 2023-2024 school year!

Jaakko is a student at Central High School in the School District of La Crosse.

In addition to his trip to La Crosse this year, he's traveled to Mexico, Vietnam and Iceland.

Jim Salmo coordinates our Youth Exchange student's schedule with his host families, as well as the background check process required for Rotarians to spend time alone with Jaako.  Please contact Jim if you'd like to invite Jaakko along to one or more events this year!  Jim Salmo

Examples of outings that Jaako might enjoy:

  • If you are a musician, consider inviting Jaakko to a concert or jam session as he loves music and plays the electric guitar.
  • If you or your family enjoy hockey or ice skating in the winter, you may wish to invite him along as he enjoys and plays ice hockey.

Inbound Youth Exchange Officer: Jim Salmo

Inbound Youth Exchange Counselors: Julia Behrenbeck and Hope Hembd

Committee Members: Jack Haase, Hope Hembd, Cari Mathwig Ramseier, Eva Marie Restel, Jim Salmo, Jamie Schloegel, Anne Snow  

Extra Effort Awards: Tom Berkedal May 16, 2024

Continuing an effort begun by the La Crosse Tribune, our club will honor recipients from local high schools with the "Extra Effort Award".

Students will receive a financial scholarship donated through the generosity of many Rotary Club of La Crosse members.

Recipients will be joined by those who have supported them in their educational journey thus far such as their parents, administators, staff and fellow students.  

This is an ongoing project of our Youth Committee with leadership from Tom Berkedal.

HOLD Leadership Series Program May 23, 2024
Lee Rasch to Confirm
Lee Rasch to Confirm
LSO's Gundersen Fellow: Adrian Jackson May 30, 2024

The La Crosse Symphony Orchestra's first recipient of its Gundersen Fellowship Program is violist, Adrian Jackson of Austin Texas.

The La Crosse Symphony added the diversity-focused fellowship in partnership with Gundersen Health System. The new Gundersen Fellowship Program of the La Crosse Symphony brings Adrian to our community for each concert week this season. He works with the Central High School orchestra, the Boys and Girls Club Free Violin Lesson Program, and the healing arts program at Gundersen as well as performing with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra. Adrian Jackson will be bringing strong musical support and value to our community through his fellowship.

Jackson is a young aspiring performer, educator, and student. Adrian began studying music, initially on the violin, at the McCallum Fine Arts Academy in Austin,Texas. Adrian discovered the viola when he was fifteen years old. 

He is a Graduate of the Eastman School of Music and will be going on to pursue a professional studies certificate in orchestral studies at the San Francisco Conservatory studying under professors Dimitri Murrath and Johnathan Vinocour.

Adrian has served on the faculties of the Leander Music School, Rochester Music Collaborative, Bach to Rock Music School, and the Music and Arts Center teaching violin, viola, and piano to beginning through advanced students.

Adrian has performed as the Principal Violist of the Southern Tier Symphony, section violist in the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and the winner of the Dennis De Couteau Ballet Orchestra Fellowship. Adrian had attended esteemed festivals like the Interlochen Arts Camp, Heifetz Institute, Castleman Quartet Program, and Red Rock Chamber Music Festival.

Jackson has been on stage with the LSO while celebrating their 125th anniversary season.


Regenerative Medicine: Dr. Gary Poehling Jun 06, 2024
Off Site/Location TBD
Off Site/Location TBD

Dr. Gary G. Poehling received a B.S. degree from Marquette University in 1964 and his M.D. degree from Marquette School of Medicine in 1968.   He completed an internship and residency in general and thoracic surgery at Duke Medical Center from 1968-1970.  He served in the United States Air Force from 1970-1972 at the 655th Tactical Hospital in Tachikawa, Japan.  After fulfilling his military duty, Dr. Poehling completed his orthopaedic residency at Duke Medical Center from 1972-1976, serving as Chief Resident his final year.   He subsequently joined the faculty of Bowman Gray School of Medicine, now Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery as an Assistant Professor.  Dr. Poehling served as Interim Chair of the Department in January 1989 and was formally appointed as Chair in October 1989 and served in that capacity for 18 years and served as Editor in Chief for the Journal of Arthroscopy for 24 years.

Dr. Poehling has over 48 years of experience as an orthopaedic surgeon. He pioneered the use of arthroscopy and was influential in defining various procedures that can be performed arthroscopically. Together with James Roth, MD and Terry Whipple, MD, Dr. Poehling pioneered the use of wrist arthroscopy in 1985. Dr. Poehling also was one of the first orthopaedic surgeons to use arthroscopic operative techniques in the elbow. Dr. Poehling has also served as a proponent for the development and use of minimally invasive surgical techniques. As an academic surgeon he has promoted the application of computer technology for training residents and medical students. Is a faculty member of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.


Humanitarian Committee Program: Alison Fiebig Jun 13, 2024
Humanitarian Committee Program: Alison Fiebig, Brand Journalist
Humanitarian Committee Program: Alison Fiebig, Brand Journalist

Alison Fiebig, Brand Journalist

I feel deep in my being I was put on this planet to help others share their journey with the rest of the world, to offer up new perspectives, and to expose different ways of life and thought.

I’m a journalist, a question-raiser, idea crusader, and a permanent pupil of this strange and beautiful life.

The journalist in me is “on” more often than “off,” and I’m always chasing the desire to create wonder!

My mission is to tell soulful stories, inspire a compassionate response, and experiment with raw and revealing writing and visual storytelling while helping to create a community I want to live in.

The opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives motivates me to pursue and expose the issues that are most difficult to address and fix, to break down stigmas, and embrace individuals of all walks of life.


HOLD Speaker Details to be Released Soon Jun 20, 2024
HOLD Speaker Details to be Released Soon
Passing the Gavel & Incoming President's Message Jun 27, 2024
Passing the Gavel (Eva Marie Restel to Mark Jolivette) and Incoming President's Message
Passing the Gavel (Eva Marie Restel to Mark Jolivette) and Incoming President's Message
This week's program is the Passing of the Gavel/Changing of the Guard where we'll welcome new club leadership.  
Mark Jolivette is our La Crosse Rotary Club President for this Rotary year (July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025).
Special thanks to Eva Marie Restel who will complete her year of service as club president when she passes the gavel to Mark.
We appreciate all those past and present who have accepted formal and informal leadership roles within our club!

2023-24 Board of Directors

Eva Marie Restel (20-25)

Mark Jolivette (21-26)

Regina Siegel (23-28)
President Nominee & Rotary Works Foundation Liaison

Rob Palmberg (20-24)
Past President

Lauren Journot (21-24)

Mike Nickel (22-25)

Mary Ann Gschwind (22-25)

Scott Horne (22-25)

Youth Protection Officer



Julia Behrenbeck (23-26)

Carolyn Bostrack (23-26)

Tim Ehler (22-25)

Ryan Geister (22-25)
Trish Grathen (22-24)
Nancy Mueller (23-26)
Lee Rasch (21-24)
Mark Solyst (22-25)
Candice Tlushtosch (21-24)

No Meeting/4th of July Jul 04, 2024
OPEN - Email Richard if you have a program idea! Jul 11, 2024
Email below for Richard Strauss, Program Chair 2024-25; Rotary Club of La Crosse
Email below for Richard Strauss, Program Chair 2024-25; Rotary Club of La Crosse

Instructions for Emailing Program Requests to rhstraus@gundersenhealth.org

Subject of Email = Proposed Rotary Program from (Insert YOUR NAME)

Body of Email = Proposed Topic/Title AND Proposed Presenter (attach bio & photo)

Remember: There is to be no advertising or fund raising included in presentations to the Rotary Club of La Crosse unless permission is granted by 2024-25 Club President, Mark Jolivette.