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Brainerd Rotary Club conducts change of gavel celebration

Jeff Torfin was installed as president of the Rotary Club of Brainerd June 28, receiving the gavel from outgoing President Mike Sands in a program at the Gull Lake Yacht Club.

Jeff Torfin was installed as president of the Rotary Club of Brainerd June 28, receiving the gavel from outgoing President Mike Sands in a program at the Gull Lake Yacht Club.

"Our main focus for the 2016 year will be our local Brainerd Rotary Foundation which helps out with programs affecting our youth," said Torfin while addressing the club at the change of gavel ceremony, according to a news release.

Members and their spouses and guests gathered for appetizers, drinks and fellowship. Entertainment was provided by harp player Kristin Ringhand. First-time Paul Harris Fellows received medallions, outgoing officers and directors were recognized, and new officers and directors were installed. Richard Slieter was selected as Rotarian of the Year for 2015-16.

Peter Nelson is the new president-elect and Bob Nystrom is president-nominee.

Mary Devine Johnson (community service fundraising) was elected to the board of directors. Kevin Egan (club service) was re-elected to the board. Other directors on the board are Slieter (international service), Carol Johnson (new generations youth), and Gloria Mink (public relations). Stacie Bednarek is the club secretary and Patrick Wussow is the new club treasurer.

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The theme for next year set by Rotary International President John F. Germ is "Rotary Serving Humanity." Noting Rotary's ability to bring together committed professionals to achieve goals, Germ believes "now is the time to capitalize on our success: as we complete the eradication of polio, and catapult Rotary forward to be an even greater force for good in the world," the release stated.

The Rotary Club of Brainerd meets at noon on Tuesdays at the Blue Room in Yesterday's Gone, 219 S. Ninth St., Brainerd.

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