Palmer Rotary

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Turkey Red
550 S. Alaska St. Suite 100
Palmer, AK 99645
United States of America
Club Activities

Jan Helfrich becomes our newest member.  Her husband brought Jan's Mom (from Anchorage) and their
daughter up from  Oregon to surprise her.
District Governor Cheryl Metiva and Jan's sponsor Joan Tolstrup. 
Rob Grogan and Rylee Rudd gave a great presentation on Josh the Otter.
Full House!
As usual, Craig Thorn doing an incredible job as our Sergeant of Arms
Trish Zugg, Career and Technical Education in MSBSD gave an outstanding presentation on how
the School District prepares students for the world of technology.  
Jodie Anderson, Interim Associate Director at UAF gave a great presentation on the Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center. 
Register now for the District 5010 Conference, to be held on May 12-15, 2022 at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge in beautiful Talkeetna, Alaska.  It will have been 3 years since we have had a District Conference and DG Cheryl wants to celebrate with all of us!
 D5010 Rotarians who are first time conference attendees are encouraged to come see what a district conference is all about with a low introductory fee of $150.  This low rate has limited availability, so register NOW.

It's the event of the year
Saturday, November 6 At 5 PM
Private Showing of newly released movie
Finger Foods, Free Popcorn & Soda
Silent & Live Auctions & Fun!
Beer /Wine Available to purchase
1 for $50    2 for $80    Student $20
Get your tickets today!
Our guest speaker was Commissioner Adam Crum with the Alaska\
Department of Health and Human Services, DHSS.
He gave an incredibly interesting presentation 
on the the State's progress on COVID vaccines.  
Les Helfrich receives his seventh Paul Harris
Bryant McGraw receives his first Paul Harris.
Congratulations Bryant!
Elda and Bryant McGraw receive this years "Quiet Rotarian" for their
tireless work in keeping our club running. 
Our very own Kevin Bottjen of the Salvation Army gave an incredible
presentation about all the good things this amazing group does.  They
are currently looking for volunteers for the Holiday Season. 
If you'd like more information, click here.
Carole from Alaska Assistance Dogs gave a wonderful presentation on her groups fantastic work. 
For more information, click here
John Moosey, the City of Palmer Manager gave us an update on our local government.  Very interesting.
For more information about the City of Palmer, click here
Rhys Allen gave a great presentation on his exchange visit in Thailand.  .  
What a great lunch!  Our newest oubound student Lucy Shea let
us know the country she'll be staying in is Hungary.   For more
information on Rotary's Student ExchangeProgram,
click here.
Derrick Pennington  from LINKS – Linking Information and Knowledge
about Special needs spoke to us and passed along some great
informaiton about their organization and how they help local residents
in the valley.
For more informaiton about LINKS click here.
Welcome to our newest member, Elaine Philips!
Rick Allen, Assistant District Attorney for Palmer gave an incredible presentation on the lastest trends in the Valley. 
Lance Arnold of Active Soles shoe store gave an outstanding
presentation. Lance is a local business person just a block
from Turkey Red! He brought the science of feet and the
science of shoes and movement to the club.
Brad Gambell, Past District Governor gave a presentaiton on the great work 
The Rotary Foundation is doing.   What a great story!
Jon Hunt with Frontier Safety & Supply gave a great presentation on safety.
Jeremy Lilly gave a great presention on the Alaska Dive Search Rescue and Recovery Team.  
For more information on this incredible organization, visit the on their Facebook Page
Ben Cagel presented on Taking Action on Your Sleep: How and Why Sleep Might be Your Limiting Factor
Colonel Blake Gettys, Vice President of the Eagle River Chapter of
Midnight Sun Service Dogs gave a wonderful presentation about
service dogs and how they are helping our Vets who are suffering
from PTSD.  
For more information on this wonderful group, visit
Today was a sad yet happy day for Palmer Rotary.  One of our founding member Henry Guinotte,
is moving to Florida to be with family. 
Henry was a 10x Paul Harris Recipient, a mentor to many and will be truly missed.
Today Bob Watson gave us an incredible accounting of how he joined the Coast Guard as a Rescue Diver. 
It was an incredible and inspiring story. NEVER QUIT!
Packed house!
Welcome Nicolas Jenkins as a new member of the club!
Mark Stigar from Mat-Sar Rescue gave a very interesting presentation on their organization of dedicated, highly trained volunteers, working cooperatively with the Alaska State Troopers, Emergency Services, and other agencies to assist with search and rescue operations in the State of Alaska.
For more information on MatSar, click here.
District Governor, Diane Fejes was our Guest Speaker. 
She gave a very inspiring presentation about "What is Rotary" and got to
pass out some Paul Harris Awards!
District Governor Diane Fejes desribes what the Paul Harris Foundation is. 
Stephanie Allen gets her first
Paul Harris
Kelly Larson gets her first 
Paul Harris
Tammy Bruce gets her 3rd
Paul Harris
Group picture of some
outstanding ladies!
Rotary Uncorked
Casino Royal ~ A Time to Bond
October 13, 2017
6-9 PM
Dress up and Wear your best Bond Attire!
Doors open at 5:30

Menard Center
Wasilla, AK
Tickets are now available at
Rotary Fellowship at the 
Alaska State Fair
August 23,2017
12:30 - 1:30 PM
Gates open at 12:00!
A great way to start the Alaska State Fair 
Today we changed the Palmer Rotary Guard.  Teri Seward handed the gavel to Kim Carver. 
Teri did an amazing job as our President and we're very grateful for her service to others.  We are looking
forward to the upcoming year with Kim at the helm.
Joe Davis is our President Elect. 
This week was extra special.  We got to indoctrinate a new club member, Linda Menard. 
Then Annika Gagnon, our outbound Exchange Student gave a presentation she will be presenting when she arrives in Argentina. 
What a day!

Andrew Kurka presented at our club.  Andrew has a gold and silver medal in the Paralympics.  
Charter Member
Henry Guinotte and his wife
Martha  celebrated their 65th
Wedding Anniversary. 
President Teri Seward invited her
relatives, Emma Jenski, Amy Roberts,
Chailyn Roberts and daughter,
Allie Seward to lunch today. 
Jim Egger gave a great presentation on Astronomical Phenomenon in Alaska.  He has created some amazing
equipment and had some fantastic photographs. 
Guest Speaker for today's lunch was Michelle Tabler from the Better Business Bureau
Staff Sergeant Luis G. Gonzalez talks to us about the Toys for Tots Program
Amy Lalor from Big Brothers Big Sisters gave a great presentation on their group.
Henry Guinotte was this weeks selection to wear the Tiara!   Remember, the person who is chosen can wear
the Tiara, pay $5 to take it off or pay $25 to have somebody else wear it. 
Today, guest speaker Rick Casillo of Battle Dawgs gave an incredible presentation about the work his organization is doing.  
For more information about this great group, click here


August 24th, 2017

Join us for the annual joint meeting hosted by the Rotary Club of Palmer.

We encourage all Rotarians state wide to join us at the Alaska State Fair on

"Buddy Day".

Join fellow Rotarians for an entertaining meeting then stay to see the fair.

Stand by for Ticket information.



Teri Seward at her first meeting as Club President.  
She did an AWESOME job!
Terry has started a tradition to
raise funds.  At the beginning of
each meeting, she will draw
a name from a hat and the lucky
recipient can wear a tiara for
lunch or pay $5 to not wear it. 
The first "volunteer" Kevin chose
to wear it. We have to admit,
he really pulled it off.
Our Guest Speaker was Delany Mitchell.
She gave a very informative presentation on her work
with the  "Welcome Anchorage Project"
Spring Clean Up!
At the Rotary Foundation Dinner last November, fellow Rotarian Mark Lee purchased a spring cleanup service from our club.  This past Saturday, he dedicated that service to his neighbor. 
Jackie Kenshalo
President Elect, Teri Seward
Les Helfrich manning the thatcher
Teri's daughter Ali pitches in!
That's a lot of grass!
Michelle Overstreet gave an incredible presentation about My House.
Below, Tim Eschers Dad  (Bill Escher) visited us from the Lodi Wisconsin Rotary Club. He has been a member since 1970.  
He presented his son a book called Adventures in Service 
Beth Skow and Katie Schweisthal from the Palmer City Library spoke to us about their program,  
"Books are Just the Beginning"
This evening, Palmer Rotarian Joe Davis presented scholarships to four Palmer High School Students;  Mary Crowdey ($1,000), Julie Irvine ($1,000), Signey Feigi ($1,000) and Madeline Ko ($2,000).  
These scholarships came from the combined effort of the 5 Matsu Valley Rotary Clubs.  
Last night, we enjoyed a dinner of South African food made by our Youth Exchange student Tasha.
This is a fundraiser for Tasha, as she works very hard to pay her way for a West Coast Tour with the other Youth Exchange students. If you would like to support Tasha, please contact our President Brenda Shelden by clicking on the Club Executives & Directors link at the top left of this page.
Left, Tasha explains that the meal she prepared was made entirely from ingredients she brought with her from South Africa.  What a truly authentic dinner.
Right, Tasha discussed "Freedom Day", a national holiday in her country.  It was a very informative presentation.
What a great lunch!
Stacie Stigar receives her 6th Paul Harris.  Congratulations  Stacie!
Jeffrey Josephson, and Kim Carver gave a classification presentation (they told us a little about themselves).
President Elect Teri Seward speaking to the group about next years initiatives. 
District Governor Michelle O'Brien presented at our lunch.
District Governor Michelle O'Brien with President Brenda Shelden, President Elect Teri Seward and Foundation Chairman LaMarr Anderson
Presenting a check from the Rotary Uncorked event to My House
Annual Cabbage Classic at the Alaska State Fair!
This year's winner was: Beth Clapper who lives right here in the valley.  
She won $780!
Winning cabbage weight 83.4 lbs, her guess 83.5 lbs.
The other half of the pot went to Scholarship Programs right here in the Valley
Palmer Rotary meets at 12:00 pm on Thursdays at the Palmer Ale House. 
Join us we hear from community members, discuss our community events and enjoy Rotary fellowship.
Want to know more about Rotary? Follow our link to Rotary International to learn all about this outstanding organization!
Rick Allen, Statewide Director, Office of Public Advocacy and special guest, George Friese, one of the Fairbanks Four, will be bring us up-to-date on the decision that freed the foursome.  You won't want to miss this meeting.  Get the inside scoop. Invite your friends.  
Jeff Johnson giving a presentation on our Youth Exchange Program
President Elect Brenda Sheldon speaks about next years goals and strategies
Current President Kelly Larson and President Elect Brenda Sheldon
Club President Kelly Larson and President Elect Brenda Sheldon welcome Kim Carver to the Club
Youth Exchange Officer Jeff Johnson
introduces our Exchange Student Keny
for a presentation on his home
country of Indonesia. 
Foundation Dinner committee planning
a great event.  For more info,
2015 Alaska State Fair Giant Cabbage Weigh Off
The 2015 Giant Cabbage Champion is Steve Hubacek with a 92.15 lb. cabbage!  
The lucky winner of the Annual Cabbage Classic was Mary McGinnis of Palmer.
Changing of the Guard!
President Kelly Larson takes the gavel.
An anonymous member donated Paul Harris points to Jackie Kenshalo
Guest speaker was Joe Hannan,
Palmer City Manager discussing 
"Economic Strategy for Palmer"
Thanks for a great presentation!
Sara VanTassel, President of Janicki BioEnergy, spoke with us about septic and clean water issues in developing nations. Her company has engineered machinery that can take any solids (besides large chunks of metal), or liquids and turn it into clean drinking water and ash. The process also creates electricity that can be then sold or distributed to a local populace. The machine is starts with a diesel powered generator, then with several minutes becomes self powered through the energy created from input materials. 
President Les Helfrich and Sponsor Tammy Bruce welcomed  new member Teri Seward owner of Solestice Reflexology.  
Ken More, Owner and General Manager of Arctic Air Academy of Palmer, shared the current status at Palmer Airport as well as the exciting possibilities for future use of the airport.
Palmer Rotary had a very informative meeting with great information from Marc Van Dongen about Port Mackenzie
The Palmer Rotary Club, on Thursday March 19, presented a $3000 grant to the Malawi Children's Village. The grant, made on behalf of the Palmer club and the Alaska-Yukon Rotary District, will be used in Malawi to buy badly neededdesks and school supplies. 
Rotary Exchange Students Daniale Alarcon from Chili and Victor Sayar from Brazil ​prepare to jump into a lake with Palmer Rotary President Les Helfrich 
Taking the PLUNGE!
Everybody had a GREAT time!
LaMarr Anderson and Les Helfrich welcome Erick Cordero Giorgana back to the club.
Treasurer Brenda Shelden presents a
gift of appreciation to Jeff Johnson for his hard work
in securing a van for the Palmer Ski Team.  
Thanks for all you do Jeff! 
Our Exchange Student Dani making a presentation
 on her home country of Chili.
Jeff Johnson presents the keys to Palmer Moose Ski Team
Here's the van he donated. 
Rotary District Governor Dick Sutliff was our presenting speaker. 
Mariana Marvel our inbound student gives a presentation on her Exchange Student Experience in Denmark
Mariana with President Les Helfrich
Mariana with Dani (our exchange student from Chille)
Service Project.  Putting up some very needed benches in the Downtown Palmer Gathering District.

Brad Sworts, Pre-Design & Engineering Division Manager spoke to us about Capital Projects including road and school projects.


Campus Director, Matanuska-Susitna College - Talis Colberg was our guest speaker.  He gave us an update on the latest news at the MatSu College


Dr. Deena ParamoMSBSC Superintendent gave us some great insight in the operations of the second largest school district in the State


Big week for the Palmer Rotary Club.  After extensive planning and work, our signature Cabbage Classic!


Amanda Sanders from Bryant, Arkansas was the Cabbage Classic winner!

President Les Helfrich and Sharon Hein welcome new member Cecil Sanders, the owner of the Last Frontier Magazine









Sydney Fouch (Palmer's outbound exchange student) gives a presentation on her upcoming trip to Belgium.





Right: Les Helfrich presents the Palmer Rotary Banner to Sydney to take with her.



Jonathan Bittner presents information on local economic development and industry trends.



Later that evening, Kelly Larson makes a presentation on the Sudsey Program to the Wasilla Sertoma Club.

Jeff Johnson received his 3rd Paul Harris pin.  Congratulations Jeff!
Before she goes back t0 Mary our exchange student gives a presentation on her experience here in Alaska

On June 26th, 2014 LaMarr Anderson passed the gavel to Les Helfrich.

Thank you LaMarr for a year of outstanding leadership and guidance!


Lamarr presents a think you gift to Bill Allen for his support
Lamarr presents a thank you gift to Jeff Johnson for his support
Brad Gambell thanking Lamarr for the past year
Thanks Lamarr!
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
The Rotary Foundation
Club Service
Board Member-at-Large
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Join our Thursday meetings via Zoom
September 2022