Posted by Jenifer Loon

Ricky Arteiro - Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Brazil

Introduced by Kevin Kraemer, the club had the opportunity to learn more about this outgoing, dynamic young man who is spending the school year with the Eden Prairie community. Ricky fulfilled a dream of playing football (the American kind) as the kicker for the J.V. Eden Prairie Football team. He made 20 of 23 extra point attempts and got to play in one varsity game, earning his varsity letter. Way to go, Ricky!
Brazil is Ricky’s home country and he prepared a slide show to convince Rotarians that Brazil is the best country in the world. The 5th largest country, Ricky hails from a northeastern coastal area, Recife, known as the Brazilian “Venice.” Brazil is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world with many unusual species of animals. It is filled with natural beauty from the Amazon River to waterfalls, beaches to rain forests. The temperature is hot–in winter the average low is 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and the summer is very, very hot.
Ricky’s family consists of his father Jose, mother Virginia, and younger brother, Gustavo, who is 13 years old. His school is much smaller than Eden Prairie High School, with a total of 400 students or 60 per grade. Brazil boasts delicious foods like Picanha steak (a cut known as the sirloin cap in the U.S.) and Brigadeiros, chocolates that are described as “fudge balls”. There is also a cheese bread, known as Pao de Queijo, that is popular as a snack or breakfast food. Ricky said football (the real one—known as soccer in the U.S.) is almost like a religion in Brazil, and Ricky absolutely loves it. He told a story of an exciting championship match attended by his family in which is grandfather learned—the next day—that he had a heart attack during the game! The national anthem of Brazil is rather a long song, so many times the playing is abbreviated before a match begins, but the players and fans all stand and continue to sing the full song. Carnival is a huge holiday in Brazil (one of many, as the people of Brazil love a good party!). Tradition is for people to cross under a bridge holding a large rooster statue or balloon at midnight, and stay up all night enjoying the revelry.
Ricky has had many fun adventures since coming to Minnesota. He has spent time at a lake cabin, gone to the Renaissance Fair with the McGinty’s, dressed up for Halloween, and saw Mt. Rushmore with his host family. He loved going out for football and especially loved his helmet! John Urbanski took Ricky and fellow RYE student, Clementine, to a Wild game and Ricky would like to go again, hoping for a win. He has also been to a Timberwolves game and tried to make a free throw—just barely missing it. Ricky loves the snow (not so much the cold) and has even enjoying shoveling the driveway. When Ricky returns to Brazil next year, he will turn his attentions to school and studying for an examination that students take to gain entry to college.


  • Our Holiday breakfast will be held on December 17 th beginning at 7:15 a.m. featuring the EPHS Chamber Choir and Santa Claus! Cost is $10 for children (ages 14 and under) and $20 for adults. All Rotary members and their guests need to register in advance so we can give an accurate attendance count to Bearpath. You can sign up on line in Clubrunner, or on the sheet that will circulate during the meeting. Please list the ages of any children attending.
  • Swallowship will be held on Wednesday, December 11 th at Old Chicago Pizza in Eden Prairie.
  • No meetings December 24 or December 31 st . See everyone on January 7, 2020!
  • Our January fundraiser is fast approaching. We will be sponsoring a 5k run, a cross country ski race and a raffle to compliment a winter festival sponsored by the city of Eden Prairie on January 18th . Please contact Bev Aho if you are willing to help.

Spotlight on Jay Simpson

Jay embarked on what he labeled his “Tumor Talk” by telling the story of his beginning as a misdiagnosed stomach tumor in his mother. His parents  had been married 17 years before the little tumor—Jay-- appeared on the scene. Jay grew up in Austin, MN and has one younger sister. He went on to St. Olaf College (Um-ya-ya) where he studied economics and psychology, eager to learn how business works and how people think. Jay continued his education at Drake University Law School. He became a corporate lawyer, working for several different companies over 15 years. In the year 2000, Jay decided he wanted to have more control over this career, and he started a private practice, helping people buy and sell businesses, manage independent contractor relationships, and other aspects of business law. Jay and his wife have been married 30 years and are the proud parents of two above average children. His daughter is a medical illustrator and his son works in finance. Jay shared that one of the reasons he left corporate law practice was a feeling that something was missing—a sense of community was lacking in the culture. Jay joined Rotary and did not anticipate the depth and breadth of the relationship he would enjoy with his fellow club members as a community of givers. He thanked members for the opportunity to get to know them and for the impact they have had in his life.

New Member Inductions

Five new members were inducted at Tuesday’s meeting!! We look forward to hearing more about each of them during their vocationals in the coming weeks. They are:
  • Debjyoti Dwivedy (“DD”), sponsored by Jenifer Loon.
  • Sharon Borine, sponsored by Carol Bomben and Laurie Pryor.
  • Russ Hendrickson, sponsored by Lyndon Moquist.
  • Andrea Jamison, sponsored by Jane McGinty.
  • Nathan Nyren and Amy Nyren, sponsored by Jane McGinty.

Happy Fines

  • Brad Aho informed the club that Rob Hiller’s wife, Pam, had emergency gallbladder surgery and urged fellow Rotarians to keep them in our prayers.
  • Blake Cadwallader recently accompanied his mother to a Rotary gathering in Panama.
  • John Georgen is back with us after a trip to Australia.
  • Prafulla Vegunta will be travelling to India to visit family and will see us all again in January.
  • Patrick Donahue invited the club to stop by City Hall for a One Million Cups event to hear updates from 12 entrepreneurs on Thursday, December 6, 2019 beginning at 5:00 p.m. Food and beverages will be served.
  • Bill Falk expressed gratitude for the great group of kids who want to be RYE students in attendance at our meeting this morning.
  • Glenn Olson said there is one less 14-point buck in Oklahoma, where he was pleased to have the opportunity to hunt with his son-in-law over the Thanksgiving holiday.