Posted by Editor: FDBobko
SEPTEMBER 14 , 2023
Kyle Haugen, Past District Governor
Rotary Club of Prior Lake, MN
Article by Stacy Trevenon
Photos by Pat Roma 

Liz introduced the day’s guest speaker, Kyle Haugen, Past District Governor from the Rotary Club of Prior Lake, Minn. Talking to us via Zoom, he told us about himself: From 2017 to 2018 he served as District Governor of Rotary District 5960; currently he is serving as a District Rotary Foundation Team Leader 2019-2021 and will serve as Region 36 Rotary Public Image Coordinator, 2021-2024. Liz met him when they served together on a polio immunization trip to India. The son of Rotarian parents and brother of a Rotarian, he had worked in insurance and coached T-Ball. A Rotarian himself since 2003, he had also visited Uganda, India, Haity and Rwanda; visiting Kenya on Rotary water projects, and was the youngest Governor of his district at the time. He and his wife are both Major Donors and members of the Bequest Society.

Throughout his talk, Kyle stressed the importance of story and, for all of us, the importance of telling our individual Rotary stories. He held the Half Moon Bay Rotarians enthralled, speaking encouragingly about membership and the Rotary Foundation, telling of his polio immunization trip to India and visit with a village leader, and his role as Rotary Public Image Coordinator, Zones 25B and 29.

He spoke about public image, “the delivery system” to members and to the public. We need to create an emotional response that makes people want to be involved -- everyone enjoys being part of a solution. Think about why you joined Rotary – Because you enjoyed being part of a group? Is there an emotional connection? What’s a good way to forge that – telling your story,  helping listeners to create a picture of themselves in that situation? Could you picture yourself there? Does that make you proud to be a Rotarian? Without an emotional connection, there is no story.

He discussed how storytelling creates an emotional response, and how the power of membership, the Foundation, a vibrant club and district, the opportunities offered though Rotary, all forge that. He discussed various avenues of letting people know about Rotary: Rotaract, visible events such as sports gatherings or Rotary at the U.N., or public service projects that he had been involved with, such as installation of public bathrooms in India. 

He added, “All of us have a Rotary story,” (which) keeps us continuing to be members, and which are key in getting people excited. He encouraged listeners to think about things like the impact we have through Coastside Hope, the $10,000 raised for the Coastside Adult Day Health Center, the Lobsterfest or Fund-a-Need, “great examples of the story and emotional connection.” And he pointed out how the impacts from the upcoming Pumpkin Festival and chowder will “create stories you can share.”

Personal connection is a key: “Much as you are changing kids’ lives, they’re changing mine too,” and in the greater picture: “Our stories are about how you, as a Rotarian, are impacting the world around you.” For example, he said, we and our parents and grandparents are not so worried about disease in the modern world; “we are making an exponential difference.” And he discussed “positive peace” and why we do what we do: “The more people we have, the more we can do.”

The more grants Rotary employs, the greater our impact of what Rotary does, and a vibrant public image helps get people engaged. “We have something for everybody,” he said. In other words, it does take a village. Discussion turned to Fund-a-Need and the eight families that our club helps support, and how stories figuratively shine the spotlight on Rotary in the world.

He gave food for thought with the Pumpkin Festival and stories of Rotary impact; “when we share fun, we get others interested in how Rotary impacts us as well.”

He spoke how through Rotary he gained confidence in his personal and professional life. “The more we tell stories, the more people will want to be involved with us” and the more the world will benefit from having us there. “Look at your Pumpkin Festival and the chowder .. you have fun doing it and it creates stories you can share,” he wrote in an email. “The more fun you have, the more people want to join you… Our stories are about how you, as a Rotarian, are impacting the world around you … and  how Rotary is impacting you.”

President Liz invited club members to share their Rotary stories. 

Irwin Cohen recalled how, some time ago, he heard about Rotary impact on the “crawlers” of the world – the children who, due to polio, cannot get around as easily as we do, and how the story “nailed me right there.” Liz asked club members to think about the moment they jumped “from being a Rotary member to (being a) Rotarian.” She recalled her experience of hearing about the shooting of a farmworker in Half Moon Bay and how the Rotary club stepped in to help: drawing money from our foundation to help the community after that, how it isn’t the big things that Rotary does but how it identifies those who need support, and she told the story of how we provided mattresses for families in need. 

“We have plenty of stories. All of us do,” Kyle said in conclusion. “It’s just a matter of knowing your stories and finding the right time to tell them … It’s about how you, as a Rotarian, are impacting the world around you … and how Rotary is impacting you.” As an example, on a personal level, the added that it was through Rotary that Laine Hendricks met her spouse.

Liz told Kyle how, as we do for our speakers, 15 local children will now be immunized against polio in his name. She thanked Kyle for his vision and leadership, and invited him back to speak to our club next year.

She also encouraged club members to think about what being in Rotary has done for us, and invited stories from those present.

Steve Wilson recalled going to Mazatlan where he saw a man who was disabled and inquired if he needed a wheelchair, which he could help get to him. Upon hearing that, the man was in tears, he said.

Heather Bodmann recalled a similar trip to deliver firetrucks to Mexico, and how good a time the participating Rotarians had on that trip.

Nancy and Irwin Cohen recalled a trip to Guatemala to deliver hospital supplies to an urban hospital. 

Liz made a donation to the Coastside Adult Day Health Center , and told about how donations go for the center’s memory care work.

Rose Serdy recalled a visit from Ralph Ely at their home when they were recovering from falls that required the assistance of a physical therapist. That wasn’t a big problem, Rose said, and she and her husband continue recovering.

Kyle reminded us,  "We have plenty of stories ... it's just a matter of knowing your stories and finding the right time to tell them. You'll see your club grow and, more importantly, your impact grow!"





The regular meeting of the Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay took place inside the Half Moon Bay Library community room, with food for lunch set up buffet-style in the back of the room. President Liz Schuck rang the bell at 12:14 p.m. Ralph Ely led Pledge of Allegiance. Asked for a motivational thought, Steve Wilson offered gratitude for the blessings we have living here on the Coastside, and for the heart he sees manifest within our community and within its residents.


Liz held up for all to see, a large billboard “check” for $10,000 – emphasizing the donation made by the club out of funds from our recentMagic of the Coastside Lobsterfest, to the Coastside Adult Day Health Center for its memory care unit. 

Also tacked up were large sheets of paper on which club members could sign up for volunteer shifts at the upcoming Pumpkin Festival, scheduled for Oct. 14-15. President Liz asked members to sign up for two shifts, as well as the preparatory work on Friday evening, Oct. 13. She also encouraged members to invite friends and neighbors to help out with the festival, a major fundraiser for our club.

She also read a thank-you note from Sen. Josh Becker, congratulating our club on our successful fundraiser.

Liz also greeted club members who were participating in the meeting via Zoom, including Susan Kealey and Renee Lewis.

Stacy commented on having recently chatted with former Half Moon Bay resident and Coastside Adult Day Health Center mainstay Ralph Coons, with whom she remains in close touch.


Guests included formerly active club member Arancha Casal, who plans to rejoin the club after a two-year absence. She updated us on her health, noting that she had been undergoing physical therapy but feels good now; her children are growing up and, as she said, “Life is good.”

Another guest was Kate Shea of El Granada, who had worked with ALAS.

Another guest was Emma Preugh, who discovered our club via a Rotary outreach function online and pursued learning about the club. She has lived in the area for a year, having originally come from Southern California before relocating to Pescadero, quite a different locale which she liked. The daughter of a Rotarian father, she wants to become actively involved in our community.

Dave Dickson's wife Marla Wong was also recognized.



With Pumpkin Festival coming up, President Liz handed out a Busy Bee award to Paul Wrubel, who consistently sets the right tone by ordering the bread bowls and cans of chowder that we will use. 

She also read a thank-you note from Sen. Josh Becker, congratulating our club on our successful fund-raiser. And she had a notice about an upcoming farmworkers’ back-to-school event.



To wish Mary Rogren a happy birthday Sept. 22, the club sang “Happy Birthday!” accompanied by Irwin on kazoo. It was mentioned that Charise is soon celebrating a birthday too. And Steve and Kathy Wilson are celebrating their eighth anniversary on Sept. 21. “Every lawyer ought to have a psychotherapist for a spouse,” Steve said, deadpan, adding that he will soon be “moving his center of gravity” to Lakeport County, north of San Francisco, but he will still have one foot firmly in this club, which he joined in 2001.


Susan Kealey encouraged members to take part in the California Coastal Cleanup Day, set for 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 23 at Dunes Beach. She said she has cleanup materials for us to use, and added that we will be joined by Rotarians from the Woodside/Portola Valley club.

Our next social is planned for Saturday, Sept. 30, from 5 to 8 p.m., and Liz said she hopes that members from Peninsula clubs will join us in the socializing.

Liz had a notice about an upcoming farmworkers’ back-to-school event

This Saturday, a celebration of life will be held for Bo Bobko at the Colony Club in Ocean Colony, and Dianne invited all to attend. 


Liz thanked Emma for attending, and urged everyone to join in for the preparation of the bread bowls on the Friday evening before the Pumpkin Festival weekend. 

Warren Barmore described how we contribute funds for the Rotary Foundation, and recommended signing up for Rotary Direct. He described how a portion of the contributions Rotarians make to the annual fund share, come back to us. 

Liz closed the meeting with, " NASA has a poster hanging with bees that reads: "Aerodynamically a bee's body is not made to fly; the good thing is that the bee doesn't know ". The law of physics says that a bee cannot fly, the aerodynamic principle says that the breadth of its wings is too small to keep its huge body in flight, but a bee doesn’t know, it doesn’t know anything about physics or its logic and flies anyway. This is what we can all do, fly and prevail in every moment in the face of any difficulty and in any circumstance despite what they say. Let us be bees, no matter the size of our wings, we take flight and enjoy the pollen of life."