Today: John Stull, interim executive director, Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce (Estenson).
Birthdays: Missy Arens (1/24)
Next Week: Beth Kallestad, Classification
Gunho Park describes his hometown of Seoul, South Korea as “nice, but busy,” charitable for a city of 11 million people. His parents migrated to the metropolitan center of the country from a southern province. His father works for the Seoul subway system and his mother is a homemaker. Gunho has one younger sister.
His high school is a 50-minute subway ride, one way, so he stays in a dormitory. He said his studies are demanding. Even the non-residential students stay at school until 9 p.m. each night for study. The goal is to be admitted to a good college.
Gunho said he is a better soccer fan than soccer player. He is known to his soccer teammates as the “homerun king.” He has a tendency to kick the ball over the crossbar. He’s played the piano since he was seven, and we have all benefited from this training and dynamic musical style.
South Korea has gone through a great transformation in the last 40 years, he said. His grandparents had a difficult time finding enough to eat. His parents did not grow up with many material comforts. Gunho’s life has been very different.
Travel is not new to Gunho, but he always dreamed of immersing himself in a different culture. The Rotary Exchange Program has allowed him to do that. He was impressed by our verdant landscape and his learned a lot about cultures beyond ours from his time with our other exchange students.
These mini-classifications are becoming almost therapeutic. In what bordered on a personal confession, Judy Westcott-Brown boldly stated that she is afraid of ghosts and considers herself a closet Italian.
She grew up in Bloomington, Minn., attended Coe College and then graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in English and group work. She raised two boys and then worked in the nonprofit sector — a YWCA and hospital — in the areas of volunteer recruitment and training and development. She moved to Cray Research for 10 years before going out on her own in 1989. Since then she has worked with small businesses on organizational development issues.
Her hyphenated last name was a second choice, when on the steps of the Ramsey County Courthouse just minutes before they were to be married, her husband balked at Judy’s suggestion of Wescotti. She thought it had an Italian ring.
Good Neighbor Award: Margit Johnson, a longtime Northfield community-builder, received the Rotary Service Above Self Good Neighbor Award. Over the years, Margit has contributed to local efforts to improve literacy, sustainability and civic engagement. Among her many community activities, Margit is a long-time member of the Northfield League of Women Voters, a member of the Friends of the Library, a member of WINGS, a member of the Northfield Roundtable, and a past member of the Northfield Planning Commission. Margit received an honorary Paul Harris Fellowship and a stipend to help her continue her work in the Northfield community.
Last Week’s Guests: Beth Vivant and Suzie Nakasian (Reese); Eric Johnson (S. Richardson); Maddie Guyott, Bethany Jewison (Amerman); Andrei and Wendy Sivanich and Kevin and Peggy Fink (Gunho).
Scholarship Enhancement: John Stull
Pat O’Neill reported that David Koenig has been diagnosed with throat cancer. You can learn more by going to Caring Bridge. Our thoughts and prayers are with David and his family.
You can be part of the Rotary Dream Team — India 2014 and participate in a polio National Immunization Day. The team will depart February 14 and return February 25. The trip includes travel to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal, and Jaipur to visit the famous Rotary Jaipur Limb factory. The cost is $2,299 plus roundtrip airfare and Indian visa fees. To sign up, see Charlie Cogan.
Rotary’s Fast for Hope group will be traveling to Nicaragua March 7-16. If you are interested in applying for this experience, contact President Prichard.
February 6 — Karl Hakanson, Cultivating Conservation (Kallestad)
February 13 — Yoshino, Exchange Student (B. Abdella)
February 20 — TBA
February 27 — Craig Hall, Classification (V. Dilley)