Major COL Milestones

For more than 35 years, Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary Club has conducted countless community service projects, including neighborhood cleanup and house painting projects, giving holiday gifts to Minneapolis families in need, and supporting many human service organizations in the Twin Cities and across the globe. Here are just a few highlights from our club's illustrious history.

Rotary Gala
COL was formed as a Provisional Club by Mpls. No. 9 Rotary and met at the Normandy Hotel.
Dedicating a Little Free Library
COL was chartered on Feb. 15 at a gala at the Amfac Hotel.
Two COL Rotarians with funny hats
  • The Rotary Rooters were formed by Walt Jacobson and Doug Schmitt.
  • PolioPlus initial campaign raised $115,000.
  • Our own Dick DeVore Foundation was established.
Hanging the COL Rotary Sign
  • Built a playground in Aruba.
  • The Minnesota/Iowa Football Fundraiser began.
Flag Exchange
COL began meeting at the Minneapolis Club
Knicker Open Golf Tournament
  • We formed a Sister City relationship with the Ibaraki East Rotary Club in Ibaraki, Japan.
  • The Knicker Open Golf Tournament began at the Bent Creek Golf Club in Eden Prairie to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.
Students jumping for joy
  • Mary Balzer became the first woman President of COL.
  • Established Micro Loans Project for low-income people in Cuautla, MX.
  • Donated a generator and an ambulance to a hospital in Jinja, Uganda.
  • Chartered Minneapolis South Rotary Club.
Golfing at the Knicker Open
COL assumed ownership of the Knicker Open Golf Tournament.
Cyclers in the Haiti Outreach Ride for Water
  • Don Backstrom became the first District Governor from COL.
  • A group of 8 COLers made a medical/educational trip to remote villages in Guatemala.
Gangsters enjoying a drink together
Led by DG Don Backstrom, COL hosted the District Conference.
Another happy hour
Another COL group delivered a Discovery Grant for $20,000 to a hospital in Antigua, Guatemala
Riding on the train to Chicago
  • COL donated a van to the YCAP Program at Dunwoody College.
  • COL made a major commitment to the Freshwater Program in Haiti and has funded drilling several wells.
  • 1,000 people from our two local Districts took an antique train to the Chicago 100th International Convention.
Building the musical playground at Jackson Park
  • COL participated in a program that built a new school in Haiti.
  • In recognition of its 25th Anniversary, COL donated 7 outdoor playground instruments to Jackson Square Park in Northeast Minneapolis.
  • COL participated in the first Deep Freeze Dunk for Haiti at Fish Lake Regional Park in Maple Grove.
Volunteers at Community Emergency Service (CES) Food Shelf
  • COL donated/assembled new cribs for East Side Neighborhood Services.
  • Established Richard Parrish Emerging Leadership Award, given to new member of the club.
Jim Nelson dons his beautiful yellow blazer
  • COL was a co-founder and participant in Dist. 5950’s first Food Pack Project at the Eisenhower Activity Center in Hopkins.
  • Jim Nelson became the second District Governor from COL.
Giving away books
Kicked off “Read and Feed” initiative to get 10,000 books and meals in the hands of youth. End result of the campaign was XX books and xx meals.
Installing new bookshelves at the Boys & Girls Club
Signature Project funded a reimagined literacy area at Boys & Girls Club Jerry Gamble Center.
A young girl enjoys clean, fresh water
  • Received $800,000 Rotary Global Grant for water project in Honduras.
  • Russ Michaletz becomes the third COL Rotarian to serve as District 5950 Governor.
Friends enjoying each other's company
Received second Rotary Global Grant to support a new water project in Honduras.
Rooters singing at the holiday party
Every Year
  • Rake, Rattle, and Roll
  • Holiday Gift Drive
  • Youth Exchange