Hello Rotarians!  I hope you are having (or had) a terrific Easter Break and that you found the time to spend the holiday with family and friends.  Tiffany and I stayed in Brookings with her family and had a relaxing long weekend.  This month, we have excellent programs scheduled.  I’m very excited.  I’d like to highlight our April programs. 
On April 2, one of our own, Dan Nelson, will bring us up to date on work in the State's Attorney's office. Then on April 9th, we will be meeting at Lincoln Hall on the SDSU campus.  Lincoln Hall was recently renovated and SDSU would like to show it off!  Lunch will be catered by SDSU (available to all who attend, regardless of whether you have a meal plan with our Rotary Club) and then we will tour the newly renovated building.  More details about parking will be disseminated at our April 2nd meeting. 
Next, on April 16th, Senator Tim Reed will visit our club to provide us with an update on bills being debated in the SD Legislature.  It’s a blessing that State Senators, University leaders in higher education, and others in leadership roles value speaking to our Rotary Club.  They visit time and time again because of YOU and how engaged you are with our speakers.  Thank you so much for your presence and excellent questions for our speakers. 
The tradition of Thirsty Thursday is still going strong.  On April 4th, we will meet at Wooden Legs Brewing Company with donations going to the Brookings Regional Humane Society.  Hundreds of animals are adopted each year from our humane society and they need our support.  Let’s come together and donate for this worthy cause! 
Then on May 11th the Brookings Rotary Club will be volunteering for the Brookings Marathon.  Craig Johnson and Van Fishback (regular volunteers at this event) tell me this service by our Rotary Club to the marathon has been going on for more than 25 years and probably longer.  We will need volunteers so make sure to add this to your calendar. 
I will end by thanking a few Rotarians for their hard work these past few months.  First, we are blessed to have Jim Gilkerson and Dave Odens helping with setting up and tearing down our meeting space each week and ensuring that lunch arrives.  Jim also is our contact person for the Brookings Marathon.  If you see them around, please thank them.  Gregg Jongeling will be taking over again this Spring with these tasks.  Gregg is our unsung Rotary “hero”; in addition, he serves on the Board and prepares the COG you’re reading right now.  Finally, Chad Vilhauer continues to make sure our financials are in good shape each month despite what must be a crushing workload this time of year during tax season.
I thank people very often in Rotary because, of course, no one needs to do anything for us.  Rotary is a volunteer organization.  The people I mentioned above are giving their time and talents without any expectation of a reward.  They embody the true spirit of Rotary.  Would you like to get more involved in Rotary?  Please let me know!  What we do can’t happen without the engagement of all of our members. 
Michael Gonda