Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 01.29.2015

January 28, 2015

Today: Lydia shares her youth exchange experience.

 Birthdays: Rotarians around the globe

Next Week: Tanner Schieck, Schieck Orthodontics (Taylor)

Last Week:

The Northfield Women’s Center is a pregnancy resource clinic located in the Medical Arts Building in downtown Northfield. The non-profit offers pregnancy testing, birth education, life coaching and support to primarily young women and their partners who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy.

Liz Blanchard, RN, the executive director, said the center’s mission is to help young women make fully informed decisions. Their clients usually fall between the ages of 15 and 24. The center’s services are free.

When confronted with an unplanned pregnancy, Liz said, a teen is often overwhelmed by fear. This can spiral into a despair that does not lend itself to sorting through difficult choices. The women’s center walks with the young women through the decision-making process. Staff does not attempt to make decisions for their clients, Liz emphasized; their aim is to empower them so they can arrive at a solution consonant with their values.

The center offers support groups for young mothers, “earn while you learn” classes, and a Stepping Stone mentoring program. They also network with local social service agencies to better serve their clients. Dads are invited to take advantage of these programs, too.

The center is funded by private donations. Liz extended an invitation for us to visit the center and see what it is all about.


Nancy Amerman said when her first husband died, she understood how important networks of support are for young people. Her children would not benefit as she had from a father’s presence and support.

That’s why Nancy has a passion for the Northfield Women’s Center. It is a place where she can offer hope, support and encouragement to young people who don’t have a strong support network to fall back on.

State of the Club:

Six months into our program year, President Rich declared the state of the club is strong. We have 119 club members, four inbound exchange students, 15 outbound students this year and another 18 next year. Our fundraisers have exceeded expectations. We have elected to donate funds to Save the Depot ($5,000), the Outdoor Musical Playground at Way Park ($15,000) and the Skateboard Coalition ($15,000). We have also committed money to an internationa project in Togo and are considering other projects in Nepal and Ethiopia.

 Going forward, President Rich said we are actively working find more efficient methods of operation and to be more assertive on the public relations front. We also need to identify the next round of service projects to support. If you have ideas, please share them with him or other board members.


Rotary formally presented our $5,000 donation to the Save the Depot Committee. Rob Martin, a club member and a member of Save the Depot Committee, accepted a check on behalf of the committee. He said the depot will be moved sometime this summer.

Guests: Jeanette Frahm (Martin) and Riana Dilley (Lee Dilley)

Scholarship Enhancement: Kurt Larson


— Former Rotarian Gerhard Nygaard passed away at the age of 90 this past Friday. Gerhard served as our club’s secretary for several years and president in 1988-89. His funeral was earlier today at the Northfield Retirement Community.

— Chris Richardson was recently named the 2015 recipient of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators Polaris Leadership Award. The award recognizes Chris for his 38 years of work in educational administration. In 2012, he was named the Minnesota Superintendent of the Year. Congratulations Chris.

— Vicki Dilley is looking for help with the New Generation Exchange Program. We will be hosting two young adult men, both engineers of sorts, who are coming to Northfield for six-week exchange experience. She is looking for people to host them during their visit and for learning opportunities for them while they are here.

— Jean Wakely would like all who do not yet one of our signature yellow Rotary service T-shirts to see her. We would like members to wear these at our fundraiser and service events to promote the club and its mission.

— Betsy Spethmann noted that the Northfield Area United Way was recognized by Rep. John Kline with a North Star Award for the 100 Percent Local music festival it has organized the last two years.

Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on Youtube: NorthfieldRotaryClubVideos

Coming Up:

Feb. 12 — Mary Jo Christofaro and Erica Zweifel, Northfield Solar Project (Zweifel)

Feb. 19 — Denny Hanson, President and CEO of Community Resource Bank, Classification (Weber)

Feb. 26 — Philipy inbound exchange student (Quinnell)