Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 08.30.2012

August 30, 2012

Today: Brett Feldman, CEO of Parks and Trails (Prowe)

Birthdays: Hannah Puczko (8/28) and Jean Larson (9/1)

Next Week: Bike Tour Chalk Talk — Go, Fight, Win

Last Week:

We met some new friends last week, courtesy of Todd Thompson. He introduced us to students from a school in Guatemala that he has been visiting on a regular basis over the last three years. Let’s see….we met Lisbeth, Oscar, Emerson and many more.

Todd discovered the school while on a mission trip with St. Peter’s Church, and he was smitten. He’s been back 10 times and has established an informal exchange program with students who are in the Companeros program at Bridgewater Elementary School.

The Guatemalan students come from tough places. They attend school only half days, and most end their formal education at sixth grade. Todd is developing a morning enrichment program for the other half of their day. He also would like to help move the school from its hardscrabble neighborhod and expand it to include a middle school.

A teacher licensed in chemistry, physics, math and music, Todd finds it’s his music that allows him to reach across the language barrier and build relationships with the kids. He’s used technology to connect them with their cohorts in Northfield and let them sing to one another. Who knew there was such power in “Itsy Bitsy Spider?”

Todd and his eight-year old son, Gabriel, are just back from spending two months in Central America.

Mini Classification:

We know Richard Maus as author of “The Lucky One,” memoirs of his childhood struggle with polio. Last week, he told us how he spent the years between his childhood and his literary career.

Richard was a teacher. He taught at Pine Island for three years before moving to Robbinsdale, where he taught math and computers. As computers came of age and gained a foothold in business and education, he helped start an educational software company. He needed to take leaves of absence from teaching to manage the company’s growth. Ultimately, he decided he couldn’t keep pace with the dynamic, fast-moving industry and went back to the  classroom.

He and his wife were looking for a community to retire to where they could build a house with no steps. Northfield was an easy choice, he said. Besides his involvement in Rotary, Richard volunteers at the senior center, teaching computer classes, and, for his own benefit, makes fruit jellies and liqueurs.

Guests: Roni Duelays and Aurino Nery from Jequie, Bahia Brasil (V. Dilley), Don Hasseltine (Hargis), David Bly (L. Dilley) and Joshua Kaste (Kaste)

Scholarship Enhancement: Matt Hillmann


Bike Tour Volunteers: Please see Peggy Prowe if you can volunteer to help with the Jesse James Bike Tour on Sept. 8

Inbound Exchange Students: Four of our six inbound exchange students are with us today. Please give a warm welcome to Mizuki (Mickey) Oeda from Japan, Diatou Gueye from France, Adnan Mansjur from Indonesia and Hsin-Yuan (Cindy) Wang from Taiwan.  Carolina Riofrio from Ecuador is scheduled to arrive tomorrow and Rachael Dawson from India on September 7.

Good Neighbor Award Nominations: This award goes to a NON-Rotarian who has served the community in a notable way. Please contact Carl Caskey for nomination forms. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 20.

Hospital update: Mark Henke is doing better. He is now in Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute for more intensive therapy. Lucas Halvorson is scheduled to come home from the hospital on Labor Day.

Coming Up:

Sept 13 – Break out session with Committee Chairs