Tim Conners and Laura Wondra 

Camp Rising Sun

When Tim was 15 years old, he was fortunate to attend Camp Rising Sun. Camp Rising Sun was established in 1930 by George E. Jonas, known as “Freddie.” It first started out as a camp to provide boys who could not attend summer camps a chance to grow intellectually and form lifelong relationships. Camp Rising Sun continued to grow with Freddie’s vision in mind. The camper cohort became increasingly international with individuals from many different countries. Before Freddie’s death in 1978, Freddie created the Louis August Jonas Foundation, and this Foundation has run this camp ever since. In 1989, the Camp Rising Sun Clinton, a camp for girls based on the same original principles, was founded. Currently, the Louis August Jonas Foundation serves 60 boys and 60 girls each summer, helping them develop necessary leadership skills.


The mission of the Louis August Jonas Foundation is to develop in promising young people from around the world a lifelong commitment to compassionate and responsible leadership for the betterment of their communities and the world. The camps goals are to foster an appreciation of both diversity and our common humanity, expand intellectual horizons and heighten artistic sensibilities, develop leadership abilities and self-reliance in a safe environment as well as offer and demonstrate a philosophy of living to serve society through the pursuit of humanitarian goals.

Camp Rising Sun is a full scholarship program due to the Louis August Jonas Foundation and multiple supporters. For more than 90 years, Camp Rising Sun has educated many individuals around the world, and it still continues to have the same mission that Freddie had when he started Camp Rising Sun long ago.

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  • Prafulla Vegunta reminded Rotarians to make sure their microphones are turned off during the weekly meetings. Additionally, the weekly meetings use the same Zoom link so saving it will make it easier to get into the Zoom call on Tuesday mornings.

  • Prafulla Vegunta also reminded Rotarians that The Rotary Foundation and the EPAM Rotary Club’s foundation are two different foundations. 

  • John Credule shared more about the event COVID-19 and Rotary Around the World. The topics discussed included the impact and influence of COVID-19 in Uganda, India, England, USA, and Timor-Leste.

  • John Goergen announced the need for drivers for Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels needs twenty drivers each week, and we need more drivers from the Rotary, so it could be more of a Rotary sponsored event.

  • Tim Conners informed Rotarians about Lakes Street Businesses and urged individuals to support them since we are trying to build long term relationships with citizens in our community.

  • Nathan Nyren announced the link to request speakers has gone live, and it can be found on the EPAM Rotary’s home page. Hopefully, this is an easier and more straightforward method to request speakers. 

  • Jane McGinty informed Rotarians that Jay Simpson fainted in his home and is currently in the hospital, and Dan and Mary O’Brien are still recovering from COVID-19. She asked Rotarians to reach out to them and ask how they are doing.

  • Jane McGinty also gave an update on the EPAM Rotary Virtual Holiday Party on December 22nd. In preparation for the party, there is a holiday playlist and a list of tasks for the 12 days leading up to the holiday party. Additionally, there are many more exciting things planned for the holiday party, so please attend!

  • Julia Wang, one of the Rotary’s interns, announced that the Rotary is currently promoting The PROP Shop, Senior Community Services, and Cornerstone. She urged Rotarians to donate and fill out the form for donations in order to track donations made this holiday season.

Spotlight on John Goergen

John Goergen was born and raised in Shawano, Wisconsin. He received a Bachelors in Political Science from the University of Michigan, and he later attended the University of Wisconsin. He also served in the military. After serving in the military, he worked for the state of Wisconsin for five years. In 1980, he joined the company IBM and worked in Madison. Then, he moved to the Twin Cities in 1988. In 1992, he moved to the company Lotus. In 1994, he became a Lotus Notes Instructor at connect education services. In 1996, he moved back to Lotus/IBM as a consultant. In 2001, he joined Medicom Health Interactive as CFO. John retired in 2015 but has been busy. He has been occupied with organizations such as PROP Shop, Meals on Wheels, STRIVE, Test Drive at Eden Prairie High School, Feed My Starving Children, Church Finance Committee, and AARP Tax Aide. He also enjoys traveling around the world. He has been married to his wife Barb for 48 years, and currently, he loves spending time with his family, including his grandchildren and children.

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Happy Fives

  • Cathy Haukedahl was excited to announce she accepted a new position in Arizona, and she is looking forward to starting her new position soon.

  • Josh Swanson was happy to announce the school board got to hear about the Designing Pathways program for the first time. He was also thankful to Elaine, Holly, and Terry for their service on the school board.