Posted by Sudiksha Talla

Rodney Provart - Executive Director of the Open Hands Foundation

As the Executive Director of the Open Hands Foundation, Rodney Provart oversees the operation of Hope House, a teen emergency shelter located in Chanhassen. Hope House strives to offer more than just a roof over the head; it provides endless support and resources for teenagers facing homelessness. Open around the clock, the House has professional staff available at all hours, extending beyond shelter to empowerment—a symbol of resilience and community solidarity.

Hope House is a lifeline for teens grappling with abuse and neglect, offering assistance and a refuge from challenging circumstances. Graduates of the program can transition into a supportive transitional program, equipping them with essential skills for their future careers. Despite its impactful work, the shelter has had to turn away twice as many teens as it could host over the past three years. With the necessary funds and support, Hope House II can become a reality, connecting seamlessly with the original House.
 
The proposed Hope House II, designed specifically to cater to the needs of teens, signifies a step toward expanding outreach and awareness in schools, county offices, youth centers, and community enters. Thanks to the generosity of Rotary members, Hope House acquired a new van, facilitating the mobility of teenagers. Hope House II can become a testament to the community's commitment to addressing homelessness, providing a haven for those seeking refuge and a pathway toward a brighter
future. Together, Hope House and Hope House II embody a narrative of positive transformation through compassionate outreach in the lives of those they touch.
 
Future Meetings
  • January 16--Monica Opalinski: Opal Upcycle— "Upcycled & Recycled Home Furnishings”
  • January 30—Club Assembly. Dan O’Brien said that he (Dan) will be passing his presidential duties to Bill Gaddis at this assembly as Dan will be heading south for the rest of winter. Bill will continue as President of EPAM Rotary for the rest of Dan’s term.
  • February 6—Rob Thompson, Director of Communications & Development: Performing Institute of Arts High School
  • Please contact Lyndon Moquist with any Program ideas.
Appreciation Announcements
  • Thank you to Lori Thune and her team for the successful and fun Bingo fundraiser! Gross intake was $1350. Net: $750. Initial expenses included bingo cards and daubers which will not have to be purchased again for quite some time, so Bingo fundraisers from here on will be mostly profit.
  • Kudos to Frank and Mary Jo Sherwood for a fabulous Holiday party!
  • Thanks to Janna and other volunteers for providing bell ringing services for the Salvation Army!
Announcements
  • Blake Cadwallader spoke about the Christmas meal for Onward Eden Prairie. Plans are proceeding for a tasty meal for the residents!
  • Carol Kampman spoke about the new QR code for accessing members’ photos and information.
  • Janna Berkholtz and Tim Conners, co-chairs for upcoming Eco Expo on April 20, 2024, spoke. Eco Expo will be in the Eden Prairie Mall again this year. Janna and Tim said that, in 2023, we had 46 exhibitors and sponsors and about 3000 attendees, and we net $11,000 for the club’s foundation. At the Eco Expo, we make money via sponsors, exhibitors (who pay for tables), and raffle tickets. Expenses for Eco Expo include venue rental from Eden Prairie mall, tables & chairs. and marketing. Some new ideas/possibilities for this Eco Expo include test driving Electric Vehicles (EVs) and having the EP High School chamber orchestra play. Janna and Tim said that volunteers will be needed both for planning the event and for the day of the event. Of special note, help will be needed to help the Family Fun Zone, and leads will e needed for Volunteer planning and Website updating.
  • John Goergen spoke about the need for Meals on Wheels drivers for dates in 2024. The specific dates needed were shown at the meeting, but they have also been sent in an email to all members. Delivering Meals on Wheels has been a long-standing service provided by members of our club. It takes about two hours per delivery. Contact John for more details if you are able to help.
  • Sharon Borine reminded members that there is still time to contribute to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) before the end of this year.
 
Happy Fives:
  • Lori Thrune saw “The Beauty and the Beast” performed at Stages Theater and said it was great! Lori is also happy to have her mother-in-law, Jean, visiting here through the holidays. (Jean, a fellow Rotarian, was present at the meeting. It is always good to see you at our meetings, Jean!)
  • John Goergen recently received new hearing aids. He is happily surprised with how well his wife speaks now! John is also happy to have buckthorn removed—professionally--from his backyard.
  • Aaron Casper is happy that his children are all back home to celebrate the holidays together!
  • Jean Cadwallader is happy to be a great grandmother again! She has a new great grandson.