The Rotary Club 13 Buzz Saw
This Week's Meeting
November 25, 2021


Last Week's Meeting
November 18, 2021
After some delay, Pres. T. Andresen got the meeting under way in the confines of The Gallery’s Kill Devil Club room. (The great news is that the acoustics of the sound system in that room were great – very easy to understand everyone behind the microphone.) We stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and listen to Brad Kleindl’s thoughtful invocation of thanks for our many blessings. Then Charlie Huffman (with the able assistance of the piano player, one Carl Bolte) instructed those with November birthdays (I think there were one or two.) to stand while we serenaded them with the Birthday Song.
Our guests were welcomed, the ZOOM attendees were thanked, and the International Committee was thanked for serving Welcoming duties. A couple of members with membership anniversaries in November were noted:  Ron Trachsel, 42 years, and Ted Higgins, one year. Fortunately, there were no “sick bay” reports. 
Announcements included a sighting report concerning Jan Armstrong, who, while roaming about town, ran into long time member (51 years) and former Kansas City Mayor Dick Berkley. Ms. A. said they had a nice conversation. Tim Tholen reported that there are a few open spots for Salvation Army bell ringing. See the sign-in website. Drexel Hall reminded us about the Holiday Cocktail Party on Dec. 9.  See the Buzzsaw.  Barbara Dolci, chair of the Community Service Committee provided a detailed report about the committee’s projects and encouraged other Club members to participate.
T. Andresen introduced our speaker, Andy Rieger, President of J. Rieger & Co., who was with us to talk about the history of his company. Tony’s introduction did a good job of capturing the essence of Mr. Rieger’s story: “It is a great story for a lot of reasons. It’s a great story of Kansas City’s colorful past from the 1880’s, the stock yard across the street from the livestock exchange building right up through prohibition in the 1920s.  It’s a great story of present-day Kansas City. And it’s a great story of one company’s contribution to today’s revitalization of Kansas City.”
Mr. Rieger then presented a lively and spirited account of the history of the company accompanied by great slides that held the rapt attention of everyone in the room. Some bullet points along the way:
  • The company’s history began with the arrival of Jacob Rieger who immigrated to America from Austria/Hungary in 1877, and moved to Kansas City in the early 1880s, where he opened a grocery store.
  • Jacob Rieger immigrated to America from Goritz, Austria/Hungary in 1877 with his wife Mary, son Alexander, and daughter Sallie. When he arrived in America, Jacob’s last name was actually Rizor, but like a lot of immigrants during that time, his last name was changed. After initially settling in Cincinnati, Jacob moved to Kansas City in the early 1880s, where he opened a grocery store.
  • Jacob founded J. Rieger & Co. in 1887, a maker of “booze” in the KC West Bottoms.
  •  In 1900, Jacob turned over the operations of the company to his only son, Alexander Rieger.  The company became the largest mail-order whiskey house in the country, offering over 100 products.
  • Alexander Rieger built the Rieger Hotel in 1915 near the new Union Stations.
  • Prohibition in 1919 cause the shutdown of the company in 1920 and shortly thereafter, the sale of the hotel.
  • The family moved into the banking business until the 1980s, the same decade when our speaker, Andy, Jacob’s great-great-great grandson was born.
  • Ryan Maybee, operated a bar in the basement of the Rieger Hotel.  In 2010 he and a partner opened a new restaurant, named The Rieger on the main floor of the hotel. Our speaker, Andy, Ryan met and decided they should bring back the old distillery. After several years of planning and with the input of other business people, Andy and Ryan opened a new distillery with the old name of J.Rieger & Co. in 2014, beginning with one product, whiskey.
For the rest of the story, I refer you to a: the recording of Andy’s remarks on the Club’s Facebook page, and b:  the amazing story of the history of the company on its website, The History of J. Rieger Co. (
After a lively question and answer session, P. Andresen closed the meeting with the Oscar Hammerstein II quote, “Everything’s up to date in Kansas City” and the 4 Way Test.
And another quote from the same musical that I love, “They’ve gone about as far as then can go in Kansas City.”
Westside CAN "Day Labor" Christmas Gift
Westside Community Action Network Center
Day Labor Workers Christmas Eve Celebration
Westside Community Action Network Center (Westside CAN) is community-based service organization that has been working in the Westside Neighborhood of Kansas City since 1994 to help create a safe, healthy, viable, civically engaged community.
Since 2002, the Westside CAN Day Labor Program has provided 60-90 immigrant men access to short-term labor jobs every day, Monday through Saturday. That’s well over 2000 workdays a month. These men work outdoors in the weather performing forming manual labor in our community.
We will help Westside CAN provide winter jackets, gloves, hats and a hygiene/Covid-19 preventive kit to the men that participate in the Westside CAN Day Labor Program. At a Christmas Eve Celebration, Westside CAN we will give these men coats, gloves, hats, and a personal hygiene kit. We have been asked to donate a minimum of 15 gift sets to help them meet their goal of distributing the gifts to some of the day laborers who work in the Program.
How to donate:
Follow this link to the signup document. Select your donation and indicate whether you will buy online and have delivered to the Westside CAN or bring it to one of our Rotary Meetings PRIOR on or before December 16th. Marc McCarty will collect the items brought to one of our Rotary meetings. For the hygiene/ COVID19 kits. Please sign up to make a cash donation and we’ll buy the items in bulk. All items must be delivered to the Westside CAN no later than December 19th. 
Participate in Person
We can be part of the Christmas Eve celebration. Westside CAN has invited up to 6 Rotarians to help be part of the Christmas Eve celebration and distribute gifts to these men from 10-1 on at Westside CAN Center, 2038 Jefferson. Please indicate on the sign up sheet if you would like to be part of this.
Rotary Holiday Cocktail Party

Rotary Holiday Cocktail Party

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021

5:00 - 6:30 PM

Historic Drexel Hall

$25/person (2 drink tickets included)

Gourmet Hors d’oevres

Featuring the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra Trio

Festive Holiday Attire Encouraged

Register Now!

Book Discussion Group
Please join the Rotary Book Discussion Group on Zoom for the discussion of the book Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann.  The book is available at Rainy Day Books and the discussion will be led by Vivien Jennings.  All Rotarians and guests are welcome.
Event: Rotary Book Discussion Group
Date: Monday, November 29, 6:30 PM
Zoom Meeting
About the book:
In the 1920’s. the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma.  After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured cars and lived in mansions.  Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed.  Mollie Burkhart watched as her family became a prime target.  Her relatives were shot and poisoned, Other Osage were also dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who investigated the crimes were themselves murdered.  As the death toll rose, the case was taken up by the newly created FBI and its young, secretive director, J. Edgar Hoover.  Struggling to crack the mystery, Hoover turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White, who put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent. They infiltrated this last remnant of the Wild West, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
We meet Thursdays at Noon
The Gallery
14 & Main
Kansas City, MO 
Upcoming Events
Rotary Book Discussion Group
Nov 29, 2021
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Rotary Bowling League
Ward Pkwy Lanes
Dec 01, 2021 4:30 PM
Bagel Run
Dec 04, 2021
Rotary Bowling League
Ward Pkwy Lanes
Dec 08, 2021 4:30 PM
Rotary Holiday Cocktail Party
Historic Drexel Hall
Dec 09, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Bagel Run
Dec 11, 2021
Women and Friends of Rotary
Dec 14, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Rotary Bowling League
Ward Pkwy Lanes
Dec 15, 2021 4:30 PM
Under 40 Holiday After Hours
Dec 16, 2021
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Bagel Run
Dec 18, 2021
View entire list
Dec 02, 2021
Dec 09, 2021
Holiday Party
Dec 23, 2021
View entire list

Salvation Army Bell Ringing
We still have several spots left for Bell Ringing this Year! THIS YEAR OUR HELP IS NEEDED MORE THAN EVER! There are still opportunities to ring on the first two Saturdays of December. 

Bowling News
by Tim Tholen
Hello Rotary Club 13,
Another great week of bowling was had! John Lawrence brought along his youngest son Jack to substitute and he opened with a 153! We are not bowling next week, as it's the day before Thanksgiving.
200 games:
Matt Ho 225
John Lawrence 212
Kay Roscoe 6/7
Nick Cutrera 8/10
First place, at least last week, is Split Happens Captained by Kristine Grimsley, with Will Bowl for Beer, Captained by her husband Chris Grimsley, one game back!
As always, please come down to watch and cheer!

The Satellite Club will meet on Tuesday, November 23rd, 5:30 PM in the meeting room at the Tower Tavern, 401 East 31st Street.  Taylor Jackson will serve as Moderator and, following networking, the group will have a discussion on membership. All Club 13 members are welcome to attend.

Congratulations to Rotarian Nathan Guthrie who was married to Alex Compton on Friday, November 19. 
Rotary Youth Camp Update
Throughout the year we have so many reasons to be thankful! Two great reasons are our volunteers, donors, and supporters who donate both time and money to ensure we can serve the youth of Kansas City to the best of our ability; and our user groups and campers, who without them we would not be here today. Providing much needed camping experiences to the youth we serve for the last (almost) 100 years has been an honor, and we look forward to the next 100 more! What are you thankful for?
Remember the Rotary Youth Camp in your Giving Tuesday donations! You can donate directly from the website or send a check to the camp.
And be sure to check out the Camp's Facebook page for more pictures of the Construction update.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!