Diane Donaldson January, 2014 Diane Donaldson, sometimes known as "Georgia" is our Elk of the Month for January, the first month of 2014. She was born in Statesborough, Georgia (hence her nick name, or is it the distinct southern drawl we hear). Her love interest in a guy from Minnesota brought her here, and after being diagnosed with breast cancer, the fact that Minnesota’s health facilities are 2nd in the country for breast cancer, has kept her here. Although she and her Minnesota guy are no longer together ( She’s available!!) he was very supportive during her bout with cancer, and they have remained best friends. March 6, 2014 will mark her 14 years cancer free!!! She is employed by Fugi Film as CSR for Eastern states sales, she sells pull tabs at the Hopkins Legion, works in the leasing office of her apartment complex, and keeps books for Kull Industries. And she still finds time to volunteer at the lodge. Speaking of volunteering, she's only been an Elk for 3 years, but manages to use her "extra" time to cook in the kitchen when needed and for Easter, & Thanksgiving brunches, do dishes when needed, assist Candyce with decorating the lodge, and the Raspberry float. She furnished the pots, plants & roping to beautify our "back yard". She’s also been known to furnish a "sober taxi ride" to some of our members when needed. She has three sons, three daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. One son, a daughter- in-law and two grandchildren live in Florida. Two sons and their wives as well as two grandchildren live in Atlanta, GA. She has a chance to visit every 2 – 3 months. She likes the Elks because of all the work we do with children, and the warmth and friendliness of our members. Enjoy your month, Georgia!!!
Dean Lunski November, 2013 Our Elk of the month for November is Dean Lunski. Born in Grafton, ND, he is a graduate of Grafton High School, ND State School of Science, and the University of Oklahoma. His majors were Business and Mechanical Engineering. After his move back to the Twin Cities in '93 he started Process Systems Int. that dealt with water and air purification. In the Mid 2000 he started a Real Estate Investment Co. TIC Development. After his move back to the Twin Cities in '93,he met his first (last and only) wife Amy, whom he married in 2004. They have four children – 6 year old George, who attends XinXing Academy, 4 year old Rock, who attends pre-school at Wooddale Church, and 1 ½ year old twins Jude and Giana, who are at home with mom. Dean has been an Elk for 9 years and his wife Amy was his sponsor into the Elks. In mid 2000 started her own business – Sunshine Car Wash and Detail Center in Hopkins. At many of our events and silent auctions you will find donations of certificates for free car washes and car detailing from Sunshine Car Wash. Dean has been a member of the Gouda's cooking team for 8 years, and cooks the 1st Thursday of every month. And as he modestly said, his team puts out the best steak ever!! He has also participated in the Rib Fest for 6 years , placing 4th each time. They're working on improving their "secret recipe" and intend to come in first in 2014. He spends a lot of his "spare" time with his children, especially his 6 year old George, who recently took up racing. He races an open wheel race car and has numerous trophies. You can find their family riding their bikes on the pathways in Hopkins, and many other outdoor activities. Dean loves Hopkins, he lives in Hopkins, and he has businesses in Hopkins, and is very excited to watch Hopkins grow in the next ten years. As part of his love of Hopkins he has a special place in his heart for the Elks. The people, their generosity and friendliness, and his 1st of the month cooking team at The Grill at 2221. Thanks for all your hard work on behalf of our lodge and enjoy your month!!
Ron Schibilla October, 2013 Our Elk of the month for October 2013 is Ron Schibilla. Ron was born in Minneapolis, MN, and has been a Minnesota resident all his life. He attended Minnetonka High School and after graduation attended Normandale Community College. While attending college he also worked for the Hopkins School District on a part-time basis. After college, he remained with the Hopkins School District on a full time basis in the capacity of Maintenance & Repairs & custodian. He remainedthere until just about three years ago when he retired. His family (outside of the Elks) consists of a brother & his family who live in Plymouth, and an uncle and his family who live in Coon Rapids. When not visiting them, you can find Ron relaxing on his favorite stool at the bar. His sponsor for membership in our Elks lodge was Patty (aka Ma) Connery. He's been an Elk for 11 years and he has been the unsung hero for many of our events volunteering during Raspberry Festival, the Rib Fest, and giving his all during kitchen clean-up. Periodically you'll also find him in the kitchen doing dishes for various smaller events. His favorite thing about his membership in Hopkins #2221 are the people and the friendly atmosphere. Thanks for everything you do for the lodge, Ron, and enjoy your month.
Cori Plehal September, 2013 The Hopkins Elks is proud to announce September's Elk of the Month , Cori Plehal. She was born in Minneapolis to our Elk members Chuck & Harriet Lodermeier. She graduated from Benilde-St. Margaret's and worked 20 years for the Hopkins School District with at Risk Youth at Hennepin County Home School. She is married to Scott Plehal and has two wonderful grown children, Sarah and Nick. You will see them around the club helping Cori. Cori became a member of the Elks on June 16, 2000. Since she walked through our doors she has participated on many committees. To name a few, she was ENF Chairperson, House Committee member and Penny A Day Chairperson. She was good at making sure those pink pigs were filled with coins. Cori created and organizes our famous Mexican Fiesta night. She also participates in many special events, such as, Raspberry Days, Rib Contest, Mardi Gras and the MS fundraiser. You can always depend on Cori to give to any event she participates in 110%. She is always looking on the bulletin board for what is needed for the club or lodge. If it is volunteers we need, she will find them. She has been on many breakfast or dinner cooking teams, and for many years waitressed during the Friday Night Appetizers, she is known for her fantastic Nachos. People might not realize it but Cori has been making all our Event posters. Over the years she has saved our club so much money on her beautiful and correct spelling posters. Thanks Cori When Cori is not at the club she is at their family cabin relaxing. She loves working with flowers and making jewelry. Scott and Cori have plans to purchase a camper and travel in their spare time. Cori, do you really have spare time, with all you do for the Elks? Enjoy. Cori has one of the biggest hearts and is so dedicated to our lodge. She is not afraid to tackle anything that is given to her. We are proud of your energy and dedication. Cori please enjoy your month, you deserve this recognition for all you do. Thank you
Candyce Ferrentino August, 2013 Our Elk of the month for August is Candyce Ferrentino. She has been an Elk for 8 years, and currently heads our Decorating, Drug Awareness and Flag Day committees. She was born in St. Louis Park and attended Minnehaha Academy for high school. She moved to St. Petersburg, FL where she lived for 10 years and opened a boutique named "Sassy But Classy boutique". She and her husband also opened the first Pawn Shop in the Pinellas County area, learning the value of rare and unique items, and how vast we are in human nature. To this day she enjoys a day of Treasure Junking to relax. Her son Josh, who is 30years old, was born in Florida but now resides in Newport Beach, CA. where he has started a recycling company. He also served our country in the Iraq war. Her biggest accomplishment was raising him completely on her own. She returned to Minnesota and went back to school, receiving several certificates in the nursing field. She worked at Methodist Hospital, Meadowbrook for 10 years in the Otolaryngology and Oral Maxillary departments. Currently she operates her own residential cleaning business. With her medical training she uses the universal rules of precaution when cleaning and sanitizing homes. She has run her company for 9 years and takes pride in her work. She enjoys the families and pets that she serves. She is proud to announce that she is purchasing a home of her own, and says it will be a place to keep her safe and take her into her mature years gracefully. Candyce is a very active Elk. Along with the events mentioned above, she is involved with Teaming Up for Teens, she has put together our Elks float for the last several years, participates in the bean bag league, served on the House Committee and anything else she can find to do at the lodge. And you can thank her for the outside flower displays she is tending to. She is also involved in ABATE of Minnesota, a motorcycle rights and safety organization, where she facilitates the fashion show at the state rally each year. Putting it all together using the vendors, and ABATE members….. all done in just 2 days. She believes that volunteering is one of the major keys in life. If a person is struggling with self-esteem, ability to commit and follow thru with tasks at work or personal issues, volunteer and watch how you can evolve into a more productive and well-rounded individual. Planning ahead and enjoying the moment at the same time is who she aspires to be… Enjoy your month!
Marty Bickel July, 2013 Our Elk of the Month for July, 2013 is Marty Bickel. Marty has been a member for 5 years. He first became acquainted with the Elks thru Sandy Elliott and Charlie Phillips when Al's on Main Street closed. He was looking for someplace to replace Al's and Sandy & Charlie brought him to the Hopkins Elks. He liked what he saw, the place felt comfortable , the people were friendly and he liked the diversity of people and age groups. So with Charlie Phillips as his sponsor he become a member. Marty grew up in Sioux Falls, S. Dakota (since 3rd grade), until his father was transferred by The John Morrell Co. to Humboldt, Iowa. When it came time for college, he went back to South Dakota and attended the University of SD obtaining a BA in Business Management. He put those skills to work after graduation, following in his father's footsteps, and joined the corporate world of John Morrell Co. It didn't take too long, and Marty suffered from "corporate world burnout" and left John Morrell. After a short period of unemployment ( approx. 9 months) he took an over the road driver position with Budweiser. This position allowed him to see some of the "seedier" warehouse districts of the 5 state area, and left him with not such an active social life, so after 4 years he went on to greener pastures. He now has a truck driver position with SuperValu with somewhat normal hours 5 days a week with Wednesday and Thursday being his weekend. This is how the Bean Bag tournament emerged. During an evening of brainstorming at the Elks with Rick & Gretchen Peterson and Chris " Zukes" the idea was hatched. Marty wanted something to do on his "Friday Night", which was actually Wednesday night. A few ideas were tossed around, but finally everyone agreed that a Bean Bag Tournament would give Wednesday evenings the push it needed for attendance. And it gave Marty his (Friday/Wednesday night) weekend activity. They started out with the fall league having 8 teams. It has now grown to 16 teams for the summer league. He said he may be the face of the tournament, but the "behind-the-scenes" muscle is Rick, Gretchen and Zukes. Something special is in the works so watch your calendars for July 10… Enjoy your month Marty!!!
Clyde Ulku June, 2013 The Elk of the Month for June is Clyde Ulku. Clyde has been a member for just over 7 years and is our resident volunteer cook. He rarely turns down an opportunity to volunteer and cook for the many events our lodge hosts. He is part of a regular cooking team the first Thursday of the month as well as many other Thursdays when needed and/or special events. Clyde grew up in the Glen Lake area and graduated from Lindbergh High in 1976. He attended college at Normandale and the University of Minnesota. He got into the construction business working for Republic Homes and has been a carpenter / handy man ever since. He met his wife Teresa while working at Shakey's Pizza. He moved into management at Shakey's and ran the Falcon Shakeys where he met and hired Teresa. They've been married for 32 years and have 3 girls: Sarah (30), Annie (27) and Molly (25) with 1 grandson. They enjoy their time up at their cottage on Lake Lamont between Luck and Cumberland, WI. Clyde loves to fish, smoke cigars and work in his vegetable garden. He admits he's a quiet guy but he's always watching and listening :) Thanks for all your volunteering Clyde—we hope you enjoy your month!
Jim & Kathryn Zirbes May, 2013 Our Elk of the Month just happens to be a husband and wife team. Paul "James" and Kathryn Zirbes. You can see them frequently in the kitchen cooking for the Golden Chef's Wednesday lunch. And if not cooking, they are among the regulars eating lunch. Lenny Korbel got Jim interested in cooking on Wednesdays. They at first they started with Simek's Lasagna, then got a little bolder and used an old family recipe for Pork Chops that was well liked. Kathryn was born in St. Paul, MN, graduated from St. Paul Central High School and the University of Minnesota. Jim (as he prefers) was born in Albany , MN, graduated from Washburn High school and furthered his education in the "school of hard knocks". This is a second marriage for both of them and in December they will have been married for 34 years. Between them they have 11 children. Jim's youngest, Dan, has also been seen cooking in our kitchen alongside his father. After High School, Jim joined his father and went into the furniture business. He started in Sioux Falls and in the early 60's moved to Las Vegas, came back and in the late 60's worked at Dayton's. After that he went on the road as a rep. Currently he has taken a position with Ashley Home Store in Shakopee. One stipulation was that he could have his Wednesday's off…. Didn't want to miss the Golden Chef's lunch. Jim has been a member of the Elks for 25 years, following in his fathers footsteps again, who was a member for 50 years ( starting in Sioux Falls and ending up in the Sacramento CA area Elks. ) Jim was sponsored by Mike Lott. What they really like about the Elks, (of course, the Wednesday Golden Chef's lunch), is the camaraderie and the friendships they have made there. Congratulations, and enjoy your month Jim and Kathryn Zirbes.
Dave Evans April, 2013 The Elk of the Month for April is Dave Evans. Dave was born in Minneapolis and was a graduate of Benilde in 1962. He went to the U of M and started in Pre-Med but decided that wasn't for him and finished in Theater. Dave was married in 1965 and has one son, Christopher. He went to work at Northwest Camera Repair and then moved on to work for Life Touch where he worked for 22 years until 2004. Dave has been a member of the Elks for 27 years. His sponsor was Herman Loeffler. Since Dave has been a Hopkins Elk, he was ER in 1997-1998, he was a House Committee Chairman, which at that time included managing the club and he has also been a Trustee for four years. In 1998, Dave and the Hopkins Ritual Team went to the National Ritual Contest in Anaheim, California. Dave won All American at the ER position in the Western Division and also our Esquire and Chaplain won the All American Award. Dave is pretty proud about this accomplishment, and rightly so, as only five people in the history of the State of Minnesota have won the All American Award and four of them are from the Hopkins Elks Lodge! Dave is still very active with Ritual. He has been one of the ritual coaches since the year after he was the ER. One other thing Dave really has enjoyed being involved in at the Elks is being part of the Mystery Theater. He has been an actor in the last six productions! Dave is a very dedicated and valued member of our Lodge. He is definitely someone that can be counted on to volunteer his help when needed. In his spare time, Dave enjoys riding his 3 wheeler bicycle and he loves doing his yard work while riding around on his "little John Deere tractor". He said he also likes to play his X box 360. Congratulations Dave and enjoy your month!
Rai Berzins March, 2013 The Elk of the Month for March is Rai Berzins. Rai became interested in becoming an Elk when he came into the club with Dwight Koenen a few times. He liked what he saw and decided to become a member. Since that time, Rai has been a very active member of the Hopkins Elks. He has gone through the chairs, became Exalted Ruler and is currently the President of our Hopkins Elks PERS. Rai loves to cook and help out wherever he can. Whenever help is needed you can always count on Rai to help out when he is asked, and it is really nice to see Rai around the club. He always has a big smile on his face and is just a guy that is happy to do anything to help our Lodge prosper and grow! Rai is another one you see every year at the Rib Fest. He participates in the event and is a tough competitor! He has won the coveted "People's Choice Award" and also 2nd place one year. Of course, his goal is 1st place and he said he is already working on the perfect rib "secret" recipe and plans to walk away with the winning trophy this year! Rai has also been involved with the Mystery Dinner Theater every year which involves months of hard work and dedication. Rai grew up in Minnetonka and went to Lindbergh High School. He graduated in 1975. He met and married Cathy Martini, his high school sweetheart, and they have been married for 32 years. He has two children; A.J. and Genna, and three grandchildren. Cathy and Genna have been involved with the Mystery Theater a few times too! In his spare time Rai said he has been very busy re-building his cabin in Park Rapids which was destroyed by a tornado in 2008. Congratulations Rai on being Elk of the Month! Take some time to relax and enjoy your month!
Keith Prader February, 2013 The Elk of the month for February is Keith Prader. Keith has been a member of our lodge for 25 years. He came to the Elks looking for a job back in 1988 and started as a custodian. After just a week as a custodian, Keith was promoted to the position of bartender. He was also the club manager from 1991 to1996 and then resigned from that position and returned to bartending and is a great asset to the club as both an employee and a volunteer. Keith is always willing to help out when needed whether it be cooking for special events, Sunday breakfasts or helping to decorate the lodge for all of the different events and holidays. Keith can always be counted on when asked to help out with anything! Keith was born in St. Louis Park and graduated from St. Louis Park High School in 1984. During his younger years and all the way through high school, Keith was very involved in sports. He played on the basketball and baseball teams and he said he really loved doing that. After high school, Keith joined the military and was stationed in Bamberg, Germany from 1985 to1988. His job was field artillery. When he would get time off from the military, he said he was able to travel to different parts of the world like Italy, France and Yugoslavia and that he really loved that part of being in the Army. His favorite part of the world, however, is the Caribbean. He has been there about six times and he absolutely loves it! Keith returned from the Army in 1988. That is when he started working at the Elks. He met his wife Jeanette at the St. Louis Park VFW and they have been married for 22 years. They live in St. Louis Park and have a dog named Mickey. One of Keith's favorite hobbies is collecting beer cans. He has a huge beer can collection with some cans dating back to the 1900's. Keith is also an avid sports fan as is his wife Jeanette. He says he loves every sport there is except ping pong! Congratulations Keith! Enjoy your month!
Arliss Sandberg January, 2013 The Elk of the Month for January 2013 is Arliss Sandberg. Arliss has been coming to the Elks since her husband Harry joined in 1961. Harry was a volunteer for the Minnetonka Fire Department for 20 years and during that time he met Virg Cathers. Arliss said that Harry really liked the Elks so Virg sponsored him and Harry was a member until he passed away in 2002. While Harry was a member, he and Arliss used to come to the Elks quite often for old time dancing and to spend good times with fellow Elks. Arliss was born and raised in North Minneapolis and graduated from North High. She married Harry in 1947 and they moved to Minnetonka. Arliss has three children, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren! Harry was a baker at the Lincoln Del and Arliss was self-employed as a dressmaker while their children were growing up. Arliss lives in Hopkins now and is still a dressmaker on the side for family and friends. Arliss volunteers at the Elks and helps out in many ways. She volunteered to sew all of the tablecloths for the dining room to fit each table perfectly! It was a big job! She also volunteers at the VFW putting together and serving the lunches for funerals. You can always see Arliss up at the Elks on Tuesdays playing cards with the ladies. She says that is something that she really enjoys to do! Congratulations Arliss on being the Elk of the Month for January!