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Bettering the Albert Lea community

Variety of people, age groups come together to serve in clubs

Albert Lea LakeView Lions members, in front, are Arline Richter, Lorna Berg, Jan Drew, Della Simmons and Lioba Forman. In back, from left, are Mary Beese, Pam Hobson, Linda Laurie, Sue Tripp, Angie Hoffman, Cheryl Paige and Meg Tibodeau. – Provided

Albert Lea LakeView Lions

How many members: 22

President this year: Della Simmons

Date of origin: 1992

Meeting times: At 6 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month at Wedgewood Cove

Projects the club leads:

• Backpack project (for foster children)

• Pies for Eyes

• Glasses collection

• Highway cleanup

• Local scholarship

• Peace poster contest

Projects the club supports:

• Cloverleaf and LakeView Lions annual breakfast

• All three local Lions clubs provide eye exams and glasses to needy children in the local schools

How to join:

Call Mary Ferleman at 373-8702 or look up LakeView Lions on Facebook.

The Rotary Club of Albert Lea meets at noon every Wednesday at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club. – Provided

Rotary Club ofAlbert Lea

How many members: 30

President this year: Kelly Goskeson

Date of origin: May 1, 1922

Meeting times: Noon on Wednesdays at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club

Projects the club leads:

Rotary is an international service club whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.

Rotary’s motto is “Service above self,” and the club helps people in Albert Lea, in the rest of Minnesota, around the county and all over the world.

One of the local club’s primary objectives is to promote and support projects related to youth literacy. The club recently raised funds for a Little Free Library at each of the elementary schools in Freeborn County. For a number of years, the club has provided a book to each child at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea at their annual wellness visit, and it donates funds to the Friends of the Albert Lea Public Library for the purchase of children’s books. 

In addition to literacy projects, the club provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors, helps maintain Eastgate Park, serves lunch on Tuesdays at Semcac Senior Dining and  provides peanut butter at The Rock. Its recent large project was the sponsorship of the Albert Lea Dog Park. 

Over the years, the Albert Lea Rotary Club has hosted many international exchange students and has also sent several students abroad as well. Rotary’s international exchange program is an opportunity for students to be immersed in another culture and truly become global citizens. Rotary also has opportunities for adults to travel abroad though group study exchange teams that travel to another country and share vocational information with the representatives of their respective professions in that country.     

Over the years, the local club has participated in a number of national and global projects. Annually, it hels support the District 5960 Fast for Hope initiative that seeks to work with the local community of El Corozo, Nicaragua, to build capacity and help create a replicable and sustainable model to address extreme poverty in the developing world.

Albert Lea Rotary was also very involved in helping establish a clinic in India, which has since received United Nations funding and other grants to immunize and treat people for tuberculosis and leprosy.

Rotary’s primary focus internationally is the Polio Plus program, which was established in 1985 with the goal of eradicating polio globally. Since its inception, polio cases have decreased by 99 percent, and currently only three countries remain endemic. The Albert Lea Rotary Club continues to help support the work of this program by donating to the cause and by spreading awareness of the program. 

Rotary needs more willing hands, more caring hearts and more bright minds to move the work forward! Anyone interested in joining the Albert Lea Rotary Club would be welcomed to help on the projects listed, along with many others. Contact a Rotary member, email AlbertLeaRotary@gmail.com or stop by a meeting at noon Wednesdays at Wedgewood Cove for additional information. 

Albert Lea Noon Kiwanis Club members meet at noon every Monday at the Albert Lea American Legion Club. – Provided

Albert Lea Noon Kiwanis Club

How many members: 56

President this year: Kim Nelson

Date of origin: Aug. 19, 1922

Meeting times: Noon every Monday at the American Legion Club

Projects the club leads:

• Highway cleanup

• Park cleanup

• Pastors Day

• Kiwanis annual pancake breakfast

• Kiwanis peanut sales

• Kiwanis car wash

• Bringing up Grades program

• Children and families Christmas shopping

• Albert Lea Duathlon

• Donations for area causes

Projects the club supports:

• Bell-ringing for the Salvation Army

• Land Between the Lakes Triathlon

• Disc golf sponsor

• April Sorensen Memorial Half Marathon

• Scholarships

• Boy and Girl Scouts

• Albert Lea Family Y

• Reading Oasis Room at Brookside Education Center

How to join:

Contact through club website at albertleakiwanis.org or any club member.

The Day-Breakers Kiwanis Club annually supports Operation Christmas Child by donating shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts for children ages 2 to 14.
– Provided

Day-Breakers Kiwanis Club

How many members: 26

President this year: Matt Twedt

Date of origin: June 4, 1976

Meeting times: 7 a.m. every Friday at Country Inn and Suites (meeting/conference room).

Projects the club leads:

Reading literacy project (in association with the Albert Lea Noon and Golden K-1 Kiwanis Clubs): Club members read and distribute books to children who are preschool to kindergarten age. The books are provided through funding from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

• Oasis Reading Library: The library is at Brookside Education Center and is available for children birth to age 8 and their parents. The library was made possible by a grant from Scholastic Books and SMIF and by donations from the Albert Lea Day-Breakers, Noon and Golden K-1 Kiwanis clubs. The club will provide ongoing volunteer and financial report.

• Co-sponsorship of the Albert Lea Aktion Club, a Kiwanis Club for individuals with developmental disabilities.

• Annual support of Operation Christmas Child sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse (donation of shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts for children ages 2 to 14).

Projects the club supports:

Annually awards a $1,000 scholarship to two Albert Lea High School graduates.

Annual tuition support for a student in Knysna, South Africa.

In the past year, has donated to:

• The Albert Lea splash pad project

• The Tiger Fund

District 241 Reading Program

Ecumenical Food Pantry

Red Cross Disaster Services

The Children’s Library at the Albert Lea Public Library

Newspapers in Education sponsored by the Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea elementary schools for classroom needs

Albert Lea Youth Bowling League

Kiwanis International Foundation

The Eliminate Project (a Kiwanis International project to eliminate maternal neonatal tetanus worldwide).

MN-DAK District Kiwanis Foundation

Youth Fund Drive at the Albert Lea Family Y

Destination Imagination team from the Albert Lea Schools

Freeborn County Bike-a-Thon

Alden-Conger Super-Mileage Team

How to join?

Anyone who is interested should contact any member of the Day-Breakers or call its current President Matt Twedt at 641-590-4290.

The Albert Lea Lions Club meets at noon on Thursdays at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club. – Provided

Albert Lea Lions Club

How many members: 45

President this year: Tammy Krowiorz

Date of origin: Celebrated 50 years in 2016

Meeting times: Noon Thursdays at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club.

Projects the club leads: Lions Bingo at the Freeborn County Fair, Lions eyeglass collection boxes (various spots around town), upkeep of the general store in the village at the Freeborn County Historical Museum, sponsor local child(ren) for Diabetes Camp, provide every third-grade student in District 241 with a dictionary, give out several scholarships a year for local graduating seniors and one to a current Riverland student.

Projects the club supports: Salvation Army Angel Tree program, local food shelves, regular donations to Albert Lea Family Y, Freeborn County Historical Museum, Albert Lea Public Library.  It donates to many other local programs like the splash pad, Little Free Library and more.  It also donates regularly to the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank and Lions Club International Foundation.

How to join:

Come to a meeting any Thursday at noon and check the club out.

You can also contact Tammy Krowiorz at 373-4680 or 402-5213 for more information.

Cloverleaf Lions members gather at their meeting earlier this month. From left, seated, are Tom Wentzler, Bob Miller, Lyle Hinz, Bill Bowman and Merlyn Andersen. Standing, from left, are Tom Ferleman, Lee Wiese, long-term care liaison, Curt Clarambeau, owner of Curt’s Pharmacy, Edward Hubbard and Tom Schleck. Wiese and Clarambeau were the guest speakers. The topic was benefits of locally owned businesses in a community. Provided

Cloverleaf Lions

How many members: 21

President this year: Edward Hubbard, president; Jason Hoiseth, vice president

Date of origin: 1973

Meeting times: 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month, social  at 5:15 p.m. 

Location: the American Legion

Projects the club leads:

Each fall, the Cloverleaf Lions Club gives rides and a luncheon to seniors in the community to see fall colors and visit areas in the community that might interest them.

These individuals may be shut-ins, residents of elder care, etc. After the ride, there is a luncheon for the group.   

The primary fundraising projects are:

Spring breakfast, Radio Days, ring toss at the Freeborn County Fair.

Projects the club supports:

The club locally supports the Salvation Army, Red Cross, The Rock, Hospice Walk, ARC, youth scholarships and many other local projects. 

State, nationally and internationally, Clover Leaf supports Can-Do-Canines, Leader dog, youth outreach and exchange, diabetes research, Vision Foundation and many other projects.

The club purchases eye glasses locally for youth who do not have the financial resources to obtain glasses.

How to join?

If you want to make a positive difference in the community and world, contact any Cloverleaf Lion member.

If you would like to develop a leadership role in the community to meet an unaddressed issue that you have a passion for, join the Cloverleaf Lions.

The club is looking for local unmet needs, which the Cloverleaf Lions can help members to support.

If you want to make friends, have fun and make a positive difference, Cloverleaf Lions need you.

Contact:

• Edward Hubbard: Call or text 507-383-1878 or office 507-373-1688, or email EdwardSteven@charter.com.

• Jason Hoiseth: Call or text 952-393-7560, or email JasonHoiseth@gmail.com.