This week's program featured the Jr. Rotarian speeches by Ashleigh Arntson, Amanda Groth, Devon Randall, and Abigail Bentley.

 
First to the podium was Ashleigh Arntson from Esko High School. She told us about her project to collect donated prom dresses to give to students who can't afford to buy expensive new ones. If you have a prom dress in clean and good condition to donate, contact her at asharntson@esko.k12.mn.us.
 
Amanda Groth from Carlton High School spoke next about her family's recent visit to California. She was fascinated by Yosemite National Park and gave us its history, while she passed around pictures. Indigenous people lived there before European contact, then miners moved in and conflict broke out. After President Lincoln made 
California a state in 1850, John Muir established Yosemite as a National Park. She was truly moved by its beauty and long, rich history.
 
Next up was Devon Randall, also from Carlton High School. She spoke about her experience at Camp RYLA, which was a real life changer for  her. It teaches you how to be a leader and live with other kids as a family. Each family has 2 counselors called facilitators. Her family and facilitators were so nice, and only had a few minor difficulties they resolved. They had many laughs and made wonderful memories and still keep in touch, even with the facilitators. She highly recommends attending Camp RYLA for all students.
     
The last speaker was Abigail Bentley from Esko High School. She gave us a personal history of her family's project, Bentleyville. Twelve years ago her father started decorating the front of their house in Esko with lot of lights. So many people drove by that they expanded to having a walk through area in their back yard. Her Mom made hot chocolate for everyone and someone offered to be Santa Claus. A friend said they should call it something like Dr. Seuss' Whoville. So Bentleyville was named. When they moved to the country, Bentleyville expanded, so they created 2 parking lots and bussed people in. Then Mayor Don Ness asked them to  move Bentleyville to Duluth and the rest is history.

Excerpts taken from the Cloquet Rotary log, edited by Rachael Martin
 
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