Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 06.28.2012

June 28, 2012

Today: Vera Belazelkoska, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Argentina (Bill Carlson)

Birthdays: RuthAnna Miller 6/25, Richard Collman 6/26, Devon Barnes 6/30

Next Week: The Brazilian GSA team – Erin, Monica and Ann (Vicki Dilley)

Last Week:

Virginia Kaczmarek, Executive Director of the Northfield Area Family YMCA, provided a comprehensive overview as to how the Y is meeting its mission to build strong kids, strong families, and a strong community. Four million dollars of the needed $6.5 million has already been pledged to construct phase one of the new facility for the Y’s many programs which will be located on property located behind Target and adjacent to Char Carlson Park.

This new facility will include an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, walking track, wellness center and community space.

Collaborations with other local non-profits such as the Northfield Retirement Community, the Senior Center, Just Foods Coop, Carleton, St. Olaf and over 20 other organizations continue to provide imaginative and healthy programming initiatives for the entire Northfield Community.  A staff of over 80 and an additional 70 volunteers provide programs and services to over 8,000 people annually in more than 30 locations.

The Y fills a gap in the community for activities for adults and families who do not have access to college facilities and are too young to qualify for senior programs.   A commitment to providing scholarships makes the Y’s programs accessible to all.  The Y’s focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility adds tremendous quality of life and value to our community and we thank Virginia for her competent leadership.


Virginia Kaczmarek came to Northfield in December 2007 to be the Executive Director of the YMCA.  Virginia, a former Marine, worked her way through college in St. Cloud while raising her then young children, Alex and Brittney.  Having received very timely scholarships from the St. Cloud Y that allowed her to send her children to summer day camp, Virginia became hooked on the mission and values of the Y.  She has now spent 14 years displaying her infectious energy, enthusiasm and leadership skills to enhancing the Y and we are very fortunate to have her here in Northfield!

Guests: Katy Hargis, Jeff Eckhoff, Jon Snodgrass (Kaczmarek), Andrea and Maggie Willgohs (Willgohs), Dan Brogan (Williams), Nichapat.

Visiting Rotarian: Bill Talen, currently from Del Ray Beach but formerly from Northfield, our club’s first Paul Harris Fellow.

Scholarship Enhancement: Brad Frago, whose wife Michelle Laswell appropriated most of the take.   Was that a family law “settlement fee”?


— President Bierman thanked outgoing Program Committee Chair Peggy Prowe and outgoing Treasurer Curtis Tiano for their excellent service to the club.

— Mark Abbot reported the exciting news that two new projects proposed by our club have been approved for matching grants by Rotary International.  Funds for cisterns and toilets for schools in Northern India and funds for 50 beds of housing for the elderly in Brazil were both approved.  Of each $8,000 project half will come from our club fund raising and half from Rotary International.  Congratulations to Betsy Spethmann, Vicky Dilley and others on the International Service Projects Committee for making this possible.

— Former Rotarian Orv Marks turns 95 on July 6. Rotarians are encouraged to send their good wishes to Orv at 410 Odd Fellows Lane, Northfield, Mn. 55057.

Coming Up:

July 5 – Vicki Dilley & the Brazilian GSA team – Erin, Monica and Ann