March 2, 2021 Meeting Preview

Loren Morschen, Waconia Rotarian

Global Grant for Solar Power in Southern Madagascar Hospital

 On Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021, Loren Morschen will speak about the Waconia Rotary Club's global grant for solar power for a Southern Madagascar hospital suffering from insufficient and unstable power.  
Duty Roster 06/01/21 - 06/15/21
 June 1stJune 8thJune 15th
GREETERJohn CrudeleMatt CraneTim Conners
INSPIRATIONSharon BorineCarol BombenAaron Casper
VOCATIONALGlenn OlsonDan O'BrienAaron Orwick
Notes from February 23, 2021

Jenifer Loon, Chair of the Eden Prairie Local News Working Group

Revival of an outlet for local news in Eden Prairie

Jenifer Loon started off by speaking about the history of the decline of local journalism in Eden Prairie. Between 2004 and 2015, 1800 newspapers closed, and 1700 of those newspapers were weeklies. Additionally, COVID-19 has accelerated these trends, leading to a closing of 9 suburban newspapers and weeklies in The Twin Cities this year. One of those newspapers was The Eden Prairie News, which closed after 46 years in April of 2020.

Next, Jenifer Loon talked about the importance of local news. Firstly, timely, unbiased local news is essential to make everyday decisions. Secondly, local journalism tells” the story of us;” the only news source that reports on Eden Prairie’s unique social, economic, recreational, and institutional chemistry. Additionally, research shows residents are less engaged-they vote and volunteer less- in communities with no local news sources. Furthermore, local news sources serve as “watchdogs” for accountability of institutions. Lastly, absence of a regular local news source threatened to sap Eden Prairie’s vitality and its standing as one of the best cities in which to live and work. These were the prime reasons that led to the formation of the Eden Prairie Local News.


The Eden Prairie Local News’s mission statement is to deliver timely, local, non-partisan, accurate news and information about Eden Prairie’s dynamic, diverse community of residents, businesses, schools, institutions, innovators, cultures, sports, faith communities and public health, safety and political issues.

From May 2020 when the idea of forming the Eden Prairie Local News began, there have been many accomplishments. One accomplishment is they have recruited and organized 25 steady volunteers, and they have identified thought-leaders that care about local journalism. Additionally, they have established a Fiduciary sponsor (EP Community Foundation) and filed Articles of Incorporation. They have also organized weekly meetings for editorial, operations/ bus development volunteers, and they have published over 100 articles. Moreover, they have set up social media assets, a Media Kit, and Google Analytics. In addition, they have signed up first advertisers, and they have a completed business plan, roadshow presentation as well as a job description for editor/publisher. Furthermore, they have hit 21,500 page views, 815 subscribers, 334 Facebook followers, 226 Twitter Followers, 161 Instagram followers in January of 2021.

Along with their achievements, the Eden Prairie Local News has also been mentioned in the news in multiple news mediums including Kare 11, MinnPost, Star Tribune, City of EP, Institute for Nonprofit News, and Youtube. Jenifer Loon also mentioned the plans for the Eden Prairie Local News in 2021. These plans include hiring an editor/publisher, being approved as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, hitting 2000 newsletter subscribers, applying to foundations for grants, and holding a live event on an aspect of Eden Prairie. 

Jenifer Loon ended the presentation by speaking about the ways that you could help the Eden Prairie Local News. These comprise of becoming a donor, sustaining members pledge annual contributions for up to three years, promoting your own company or organization on Eden Prairie Local News’s trusted platform, making a legacy gift to Eden Prairie Local News, and networking. 


Brett Johnson grew up as an only child in Minnesota. His mother worked for the catholic church for her whole life, so he grew up in the church where he helped his mom and other people. He thinks that helping out in the church gave him his sense of service. Brett Johnson’s father was a letter carrier, and many individuals were impressed by him because of his wide range of knowledge. Brett went to Marquette University where he graduated with  a degree in Journalism. He started working for community newspapers in the Twin Cities area, and he has been doing public relations for school districts since 2002. 

Brett has been married to his wife, Andrea, for 17 years. Andrea is an occupational therapist. Additionally, Brett has two kids aged 16 years and 13 years. His daughter is 16 years old, and she is an artist. His son is 13 years old, and he is a baseball player.

Member picture


  • Tim shared more about the new seventh focus, which is the environmental issues task force. One opportunity to learn more about this seventh focus is to join Ian Riseley, Past President RI 2017-18 and chair of The Rotary Foundation Environmental Issues Task Force as he shares the stories and reasoning that inspired the Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors to unanimously approve our newest Area of Focus, Protecting the Environment. Register at this link:

Happy Fives:

  • Aaron Casper was happy to celebrate his big birthday

  • Jenifer Loon was happy that Aaron Casper had a good birthday

  • Glenn Olson was happy he got the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

  • Josh Swanson was happy he could watch his daughter’s final varsity ski race in warmer weather

  • Holly Link is happy that her Phd survey is up and running

Please support these 2020-2021 Rotary Sponsors
Their generous support helps sponsor all that our club does in our community and around the world! This includes the Above and Beyond Awards Dinner, the Golden Eagle Awards, the Ethics Lunch and STRIVE scholarships and much more. Interested in becoming a Rotary Sponsor? Click here
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Bronze Sponsors: ($500 - 999)