John Risdall welcomed his guest, John Johnson.  John Marg-Patton welcomed NBMV Past President Jim Kadechka.
Our Gold Plate Dinner fundraiser was a great success again this year.  Event chair Dana Rebelein, and many others, expressed their appreciation for all the hard work that goes into planning a successful event of this kind.  This is our sole fundraiser of the year, so we depend on a successful dinner to fund most of the good work we do in the community and the world.  Thanks to all for a job well done!
Our "Fourth Grade Foresters" Arbor Day tree giveaway was a hit again this year.  Thanks to the many intrepid Rotarians who delivered the trees and answered questions from the 4th graders.  Also thanks to Amy Wakem, who organized the event.
Our club will be represented at the Town Hall/Community Open House on Saturday May 2nd, 8-Noon, at the New Brighton Community Center.  Click here for details.
Cindy Carlson and Bev Aplikowski are each hosting a table at the NYFS Leadership Luncheon on Wednesday, May 6th from 11:30-1:00 at Midland Hills Country Club in Roseville.  Please contact Cindy or Bev if you can attend.  Get more information about the luncheon here.
Paul announced that the last performance of "And the World Goes 'Round" will be on May 17th, so those who had planned to attend on May 20th will need to reschedule.  Contact Paul to arrange a time to attend before the 17th.
Bob Barmore introduced his good friend Mike Cleary, who spoke to us about the need for careful pre-planning of your intended charitable giving as part of estate planning.  He stressed that if you don't have a well thought out estate plan, the government will provide you with one that you definitely would not have made if had the choice.  Charitable giving, as a part of estate planning, can be a valuable tool to maximize the benefit to a charity while minimizing or eliminating taxes on appreciated assets.  Charitable remainder trusts, paired with life insurance, are one example of estate planning that benefits the donor and the charity while the donor is still alive.  Mike's most important message was that NOW is the time to do your estate and charitable giving planning, and that concerns about the complexity and cost of estate planning can be greatly minimized by deciding what your giving goals are before you visit an estate planner.  By deciding three things (where the money will go, when it will go and how much will go) before you visit a planner/attorney, you can dramatically reduce the cost of estate planning.  Mike and Bob are pictured below.