Rotary Clubs and SLP youth

St. Louis Park has two Rotary Clubs, both who have long-term commitments to supporting St. Louis Park young people.

The Rotary Club of St. Louis Park (known as the noon club) provided the impetus for the creation of Children First. A stir was caused by the speech of one of their members, Carl
Holmstrom, who was superintendent of schools. The club looks for ways to live out their Children First commitment.

Noon Rotary has a monthly mentoring program that has been in existence for more than a decade. This year Rotarians, and other members of the community, work with students from Admission Possible at St. Louis Park High School. Admission Possible is dedicated to helping promising, low-income high school juniors and seniors prepare for and earn admission to college. Rotarians meet monthly with students to support their endeavors by focusing on topics such as college essays, enrichment activities, financial aid and career information. At the end of the year, seniors will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships provided by Rotary with the selection based on 5 As: academics, attendance, active participation, attitude and activities.

The Sunrise Rotary Club works with the Meadowbrook Collaborative doing many things that help neighborhood families and their children. This past year they provided support for the creation of a multi-cultural garden.

The idea for the garden came about last year after Betsy Packard (daughter of Wayne, who was a Rotarian and one of Children First’s founders) brought vegetables to share with residents in the Meadowbrook Neighborhood. The fresh produce was such a hit, the Meadowbrook Collaborative worked with several community partners to establish a community garden. One of them was the Sunrise Rotary Club whose members built a shed, a fence and a compost bin. The garden helps the diverse Meadowbrook community create common ground and plants the seeds of friendship as well as corn, tomatoes and onions!

Top photo: (left to right) Nick Lampi works with Ibrahim on his essay while Alexandru talks with Phil Rand.
Lower photo: Matt Schadow is one of the Sunrise Rotarians who built a fence for the multi-cultural garden.