Each year the Excelsior Morning Rotary Club requests submissions from the community for the Ross McGlasson Award for Leadership in Community Service.  This award honors the long standing and extensive community service of Ross McGlasson.  This is a community leadership award and the criteria for selection is focused on visionary/strategic thinking and action, innovation to meet new situations, communication skills that generate actions, and mentoring.  The award, given by the Excelsior Morning Rotary Club, is a $1,000 donation to the winner’s charity of choice. 

Charlie Kanan grew up in the Excelsior community and has been active with many groups throughout his life. Leadership contributions to the Minnetonka community are a regular part of Charlie’s life.  When there is an opportunity to build community, solve problems within the community, or help others, Charlie is in the middle of the work. He has made significant impact on this community in many ways. 
 
Since 2005, Charlie has been a volunteer and board member for the Minnetonka Diamond Club and currently serves as its President.  The Minnetonka Diamond Club is a fundraising entity for Minnetonka softball, baseball and football that raises $300,000 per year. That team of volunteers made a commitment to raise over $4 million dollars to build what is now known as Veterans Field and Legacy Fields on the Minnetonka High School campus.  No taxpayer money was used to pay for the construction of those fields.
 
"It all comes down to having phenomenal volunteers who understand teamwork," said Kanan. "Minnetonka has a large passion to give back to its community. Volunteers donate time, effort, and sacrifice time with their families--all to leave something behind."
 
In 2010, Charlie became secretary of the Minnetonka Public Schools Foundation; an organization that secures community resources which support and fund innovative programs creating broad sustainable change in educating all Minnetonka students. 
 
In 2011, Charlie received the Minnetonka Alumni Associations Distinguished Service Award.   This award recognizes Minnetonka Alumni for their significant volunteer service benefitting the greater good.
 
Also in 2011, Charlie joined the Excelsior Morning Rotary Club, a group that organizes several fundraisers each year including Bingo and Burgers by the Bay, the Concerts in the Commons music series, and most recently Tonka Together.  These events raise over $100,000 per year.  Those funds are given to local and international charities, helping pay for the Excelsior fireworks, drawing thousands of people into the city each year to support these events and bring business to the local merchants of Excelsior.  Charlie has served on Rotary’s board in the capacity of Fundraising Chair, President-Elect and President.
 
From 2012 – 2015 Charlie served on the Minnetonka School Board serving as Director, Vice Chair and Chair.  During his time in service, the Minnetonka High School’s VANTAGE Program was created. He has served as a mentor for that program for several years. 
 
In 2017, Charlie joined the Minnetonka ICA Food Shelf as a member of its board.  The ICA Food Shelf mission is to offer hope while providing assistance to neighbors in need. 
 
Charlie is an alumni of St. John the Baptist School and Church in Excelsior.  He has been a longtime volunteer, Co-Chair of fundraising events, and currently serves as Chair of the Parish Council Advisory Board. 
 
Whether it is leading groups at his church or taking the lead on community involvement, Charlie is a strong consistent contributor. Not only is he a great leader...he also rolls up his sleeves and does the work.   His personal mission is to give to others…he simply cares about people and the community and uses his skills, experiences, and connections to make the world a better place.  Our community is a better place because of Charlie Kanan.  
 
The Excelsior Morning Rotary Club congratulates Charlie Kanan as the recipient of the 2020 Ross McGlasson Award for Leadership in Community Service!