Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 11.14.2013

November 11, 2013

Today: District Governor Gary Campbell (Bierman)

Birthdays: Lee Dilley 11/10, Greg Carlson 11/11, Carl Caskey 11/14

Next Week: Rep. David Bly and Sen. Kevin Dahl, Legislative Update

Last Week: 

A year from now a long-awaited dream will become a reality. The Northfield Area Family Y will have its very own new building!  All the many existing Y programs that are currently spread throughout the community will have a home base and the Northfield area will finally have a true Community Center accessible to everyone.

And who do we thank for all this?  Countless committed individuals throughout the community who have worked for years to realize this dream and especially fellow Rotarian Virginia Kaczmarek, executive director for the Y.  For six years Virginia has used her leadership skills, her business training and skills, her vast experience with Y programming, her persistence, passion, persuasiveness and optimism to fill a major gap in Northfield’s programming for healthy activities.  Virginia’s happiness and justifiable sense of accomplishment were evident in her concise presentation and her informative answers to questions about the project from the audience.

Groundbreaking was held November 5, 2103, for the building project, an $8.2 million two level building located on five acres behind Target and Cub. Phase one will include an indoor aquatics center, group fitness studio, cardio and wellness floor, supervised children’s center, locker rooms, offices, and multi-purpose community gathering space.  $5.3 million has so far been raised but there is still opportunity and the need for further donations to the Northfield Y Capital Campaign.  With enough funding phase two can also be built adding a full-sized gym and indoor walking track to the building.

The new Y will fill a need for people of all ages who do not have access to college recreation facilities or the Senior Center.  The Northfield Area Family Y will provide scholarships for those who are already receiving assistance from other local nonprofits.  The mission of the Northfield Area Family Y is to build strong kids, strong families, and a strong community and thanks to the generosity of our community and donors, the Y will not turn anyone away from its membership or programs because of an inability to pay.

Mini Classification:

Virginia Kaczmarek’s passion for Y programs began while she was a student at St. Cloud State University.  As a single mother with two young children, Virginia was working several jobs and was pleasantly surprised to receive scholarships allowing her kids to attend two weeks at a Y summer camp.

Virginia completed her degree in Economics at St. Cloud State and later earned a Master’s degree also in Economics at the University of Kansas.  Since 2000, Virginia has worked for various YMCA organizations, in Minneapolis, St. Paul, River Falls and now Northfield.

The oldest of four children, Virginia is a former Marine where she learned to be a diesel mechanic.  Her interest in antique cars remains from this era but now she prefers outdoor activities and reading in her free time.

Congratulations, Virginia, you are such a great example of how to live a life of service above self!

Last Week’s Guests: Our exchange students, Yoshino, Gunho, Rodolfo and Lucas, Stina Bartels (Yogi), Bernadette Lawlor (Leo), Mike Lane (Estenson)

Scholarship Enhancement: Chris Kennelly


The Annual Rotary Turkey Trot is coming soon!  If you know of another possible sponsor please contact Kurt Larson and if you have not already signed up to volunteer and wish to do so please contact Robert Bierman.

Today is MN Give to the Max Day!  As a fun way to participate and to learn more about Northfield Area nonprofits everyone is invited to attend “Northfield Gives at the Grand” today, November 14, from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Grand Event Center, 316 Washington St.   Music, drinks and snacks will be available while you can find out about our many local nonprofit organizations.

Coming Up:

Nov. 28 – Turkey Trot – no meeting – Happy Thanksgiving!

Dec. 5 – Mark and Sara Hewitt, Farming Today

Dec. 12 – Rudolfo, Exchange Student Presentation