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Downtown Duluth Annual Meeting and Celebration today


More than 500 business and community leaders will gather for Downtown Duluth’s 39th Annual Meeting and Celebration tonight at beautiful DECC Harborside Ballroom. Attendees will hear from organization leaders about 2024 priorities and they will also hear from Duluth Mayor Roger Reinert.

Additionally, the spotlight will be placed on a small business, as Emily Ekstrom from Hucklebeary shares about her entrepreneurial story. And the program is capped off with a keynote address from Brian Forcier of Titanium Partners, who will talk about an “Investor-Ready Downtown.”

“This important event shows support for our downtown,” said Kristi Stokes, president of the Downtown Duluth organization. “It also sets the stage for the new year and allows our stakeholders to be better informed on priority initiatives.  There are great things to come for our downtown area.”

The event begins with a social hour at 4:30 p.m., followed by a dinner and 6:30 program. 

Harbortown Rotary celebrates 40th anniversary

Harbortown Rotary is celebrating 40 years in service to the youth of our Northland communities. In celebration of this milestone anniversary, Harbortown President Tony Hansen set a goal of completing a combination of 40 hands-on projects and organizational grants in the local community.

“The Rotary phrase ‘Service Above Self’ is something we hold in high regard as a club, so what better way to celebrate 40 years of service than doing what Harbortown Rotary has continually done best; give back," said Hansen. "The 40 for 40 challenge is a way to thank our local community by challenging our club members to complete a combination of 40 hands-on service projects and community grants throughout the year.”

Getting hands-on with non-profits and youth-serving organizations is one way for club members to stay connected with the community and build strong partnerships with the children and families that the grants and projects support.

This year Harbortown is on target to fulfill its ‘40 for 40’ goal. Some of the projects Harbortown members have contributed to include a Lakewalk clean-up, Bentleyville, Lester River Rendezvous, STARBASE event set-up, packing backpacks at New Hope for Families, Life House furniture transportation, and helping First Witness move to their new location.

With four more months to go in the Rotary year, there are still many additional projects on the books that include supporting Chester Bowl, Family Freedom Center, and YMCA Camp Miller with hands-on projects. This year alone the club is on pace to give out more than $20,000 in local grants and scholarships and volunteer hundreds of hours more across more than 20 different hands-on service events.

About Harbortown Rotary

Harbortown Rotary is a non-profit service organization that has been established in Duluth since 1984 and currently has over 60 active members. The Rotary motto is ‘Service Above Self.’  Through fundraising efforts Harbortown supports a variety of local youth organizations as well as international projects that include clean water initiatives and medical clinic and school construction projects. 

Since 2000, Harbortown has donated over $$833,000 to local groups such as Boys and Girls Clubs, local robotics programs, NAACP, Chum, and many more.  Harbortown manages the Robert Herman’s Scholarship Fund which has provided monetary awards to 152 recipients since 1995 in the amount of $255,000. In 2018, Harbortown created the Donald Holm Founder's Fund to fund further community-based projects in the Northland.