Posted by Jenifer Loon

Clementine: Our RYE Student from Belgium

One of two RYE students to be hosted by Eden Prairie Rotary Clubs this year, Clementine presented some fascinating information about her home country, Belgium. Belgium is a small country nestled between France and Germany, with three regions and two distinct languages spoken—Dutch and French. There are 10 provinces in Belgium and Clementine is from the Flemish Brabant province. Belgium has a monarchy, and Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Philippe, went to school with Clementine.
Some fun and interesting facts about Belgium that Clementine shared with the club are that the Manneken Pis (the famous statute of the boy putting out a fire by relieving himself) is dressed in various seasonal costumes throughout the year; the cartoon “Smurfs” was created by a Belgian writers; and that French Fries actually originate in Belgium. Putting French fries on bread is a commonly enjoyed food treat, as are waffles, beer and chocolate—all signature items from Belgium.
Clementine has two older brothers, one studying civil engineering and the other law, and a 13 year-old sister. Her school schedule in Belgium was a bit different than in Eden Prairie. In Belgium she had 7 classes per day rather than 4 with the EPHS block schedule, and students do not have as many choices or electives for classes in Belgium. In response to an inquiry from a Rotary member, Clementine thought classes at EPHS were not as hard as in Belgium, with the exception of AP classes, which are more challenging than those she experienced in Belgium. Clementine’s father had traveled to Texas as a student and eventually went on to study archeology. Clementine’s mother home-schooled Clementine for some of her education.
Clementine just turned 17 years old and is a senior at Eden Prairie High School. She participated in the Trajectories show during the first week of school and plays the part of the tour guide in the musical “Guys and Dolls”. She also sings in the choir and will be going on the choir trip to Chicago this year. Clementine speaks Dutch, French and English and is learning Spanish. She recently took a trip to see Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota with her host family. Since coming to Minnesota she has gone to the State Fair, “up North” (a phrase she initially found confusing), went to the Homecoming Dance, and the Renaissance Festival. She would still like to go skiing and ice skating this winter. To date her observations about Minnesotans/Americans: people like a lot of ice in their water; we unabashedly give hugs; “that’s the T” is teen speak for “That’s the truth”.
Clementine will have the opportunity to take a trip to the East Coast after school is out and before returning to Belgium just after July 4 th . She plans to attend university and may major in business engineering. Anyone can attend college in Belgium, as the cost is much more affordable at about 900 Euros per year. When asked about reasons why more Minnesota young people don’t become exchange students, Clementine noted that obtaining entrance to college is more difficult in the U.S. and it may be hard to take a year and be an exchange student while working on getting into college. Clementine is a delightful and extremely outgoing young woman who seems to be enjoying her experience as a Rotary Youth Exchange student. 


  • November 11 th the annual Veteran’s Day luncheon will be held at the Edina Country Club. Sign up through Club Runner if you missed the sheet circulating during our Rotary meeting.
  • This year’s first STRIVE meeting will be held on Friday, November 1 st in the Performing Arts lobby area of EPHS beginning at 7:40 a.m.
  • Make plans to see the Eden Prairie High School’s production of “Guys and Dolls” and starring our RYE student, Clementine, as one of the cast! A block of tickets is being purchased for the November 14 th performance for Rotarians to see the musical. We will meet at Tavern 4 & 5 at 6:00 p.m. for dinner before going to the high school for the performance. Contact Holly Link with questions/request for tickets.
  • Onward Eden Prairie will be holding its one-year anniversary celebration from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Cummins Grill House on Sunday, October 27 th . The public is invited to attend.

Spotlight on Glenn Olson

Glenn Olson has enjoyed many jobs over the years (even picking radishes at 6:00 a.m. when he was a youngster) including serving as production manager over the plant that made Cool Whip, but he believes the best job he has had is being Dad and Grandfather to his children and grandchildren. Glenn enjoys spending time with his family, going fishing in Canada and other outdoors activities. Glenn has taken up a new hobby, learning and writing about the history of their family farm in Becker County, Minnesota. Glenn learned that his farm can be traced to land owned by T.B. Walker, a surveyor in Minnesota who started a very successful lumber company –the Red River Lumber Company—the largest in the Midwest. Mr. Walker built the first public library in Minneapolis and was a collector of fine art. He would open his home on Sundays for people to come and see his collection of paintings. Today’s Walker Art Center was started by T.B.’s children who created a charitable foundation for his collections.
Glenn’s research revealed his great grandfather was a lumberjack in Northern Minnesota and a newsletter told stories about a great lumberjack called Paul Bunyan. Glenn encouraged members to write down family stories so they can be remembered and passed down to the next generation. He also suggested noting the names and dates on the backs of family photographs, so that information and details will not be lost.

Happy Fines

  • Bev Aho reported the Winter Fest Wellness Event fundraiser plans are off and running. Our Rotary Club is partnering with the City of Eden Prairie to sponsor a running race, ski race and raffle to augment the other activities the city has planned for the event, to be held January 18, 2020 at Staring Lake Park.
  • Josh Swanson took his two children backpacking—no cell service—and it was great! He also accompanied EP students to the Minneapolis Convention Center to participate in the Student Conference, a gathering of over 2000 Minnesota students to work on creating equitable school environments.
  • Patrick Donahue noted that today EPHS is holding a Career Fair. Patrick will be attending representing One Million Cups and several inventors will be there, as well.
  • John Crudele signed a lease for a townhouse at Hartford Commons in Eden Prairie and will be moving into his new home on November 15 th . He will also be serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the Risen Savior Mission gala on Saturday night to raise money to deliver food from Feed My Starving Children to the Philippines.


Ricky Arteiro - Exchange Student
Mark Beyer - Eden Prairie Noon Rotarian
Harriet Bollig - RYE Parent
Sharon Borine - Prospective Member
Blake Cadwallader - RYE Parent
Lori Cadwallader - RYE Parent
Clementine Depierpont - RYE Student
Debjyoti Dwivedy - Prospective Member
Andrea Jamison - Guest of Jane McGinty
Jeff Jiang - Prospective Member
Jack Kuehn - Burnsville Rotarian
Krista McGinty - Guest of Jane McGinty
Madeline McGinty - Guest of Jane McGinty
Amy Nyren - RYE Parent
Nathan Nyren - RYE Parent
Jamal Rushdy - Prospective Member
Jason Sedlak - Prospective Member
Mrinalni Iyer and Nicki Kunz - Student Interns