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Rotaract taps into young potential

The St. Croix Valley Rotaract Club holds its second annual Keys to Success dinner 6-8:30 p.m. April 30 at the Hudson Golf Club. It welcomes members, prospective members, supporters as well as anyone interested in having a fun evening or hearing the two speakers' messages.

It encourages companies or mentors to send its young professionals to check out the club.

The two-year-old service organization, an offshoot of the Rotary Club and geared at 18-35-year-old members, formed a year ago and chartered in 2008 under the River Falls Rotary.

Since then it's been meeting twice monthly, raising money and providing both funds and volunteer labor to causes throughout the St. Croix Valley: Climb For a Cure to benefit cystic fibrosis research, for which members climbed 50 stories (1,280 stairs) and raised $1,750; Shelter Box, which delivers emergency aid to areas hit by natural disasters; Feed My Starving Children; the Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties; and Rotary Club events like the spaghetti dinner at Relay for Life.

Club members also meet occasionally just for fun activities like a game of disc golf, kayaking on the Kinnickinnic River or tubing at the Badlands Sno Park.

Rotaract meets 7 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the SOS Players House, 900 4th Street, Hudson. It encourages young professionals to join; dress is business casual in a relaxed atmosphere.

Rotaract members make it their mission to learn more about needs in the St. Croix Valley then choose the events and causes that most support those needs.

Dinner offers insight

Rotaract's Keys to Success event features two main speakers - Jay Gabrud, "a dynamic and professional speaker," and Dale Klapmeier, Vice Chairman of Cirrus Aircraft.

Gabrud promises a program that challenges attendees to eliminate everyday roadblocks to their success. Though he tailors his message to the audience, the speaker promotes core ideas to cultivate excellence: Thriving in difficult times, customer service culture, organizational adaptability, building alliances and dialogue and engagement.

Gabrud's web site says he values the contribution of all people's personalities and characteristics at the office and home. Through his presentations, he honors people's differences and seeks to create an environment of mutual respect.

Klapmeier will speak to young people and relate some of his own experiences working at Cirrus. The company began out of Baraboo in 1984 and grew to a leading world innovator of single-engine, piston-powered aircraft.

Dinner attendees begin social hour at 6 p.m., eat a dinner of parmesan-encrusted chicken at 6:45 p.m. then see if they won any of the prize drawings at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $35 each and can be bought from any Rotaract member or by contacting the club via e-mail at

Learn more about Rotaract on the club's web site: