Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 03.12.2015

March 11, 2015

Today: Ken Drivdahl, Life of a Skier and Cyclist (Madigan)

Birthdays: Bob Will, the reigning Joseph Lee Heywood Award winner, (3/8) and Jim Herreid (3/10)

Next Week: Guilia Mercanti, Inbound Exchange Student (Brown-Wescott)

Last Week

Albert Nyembwe is a grateful man, an inspiring man, a man who puts service above self.

He is the face of Cilongo Foundation, a nonprofit that supports education for children living in Africa and Haiti. Operating from his home in the Twin Cities, his aim is to provide school children with the tools they need to acquire an education, to have life choices and to have a voice in their communities.

“Education is the way out of poverty,” he says.

His philanthropy has touched the lives of children in Liberia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Sierre Leone, Kenya, Zambia and Haiti. Since 2006, he has been sending them financial support, books, school supplies, backpacks, bicycles, PCs and shoes. The shoes have special meaning for Albert. They speak to his own life story. When he was a boy growing up, he walked 45 minutes to school each day….without shoes. He knows how challenging that can be, and he wants to remove that barrier for others.

Albert began this work when he immigrated to the United States. First, he sent support to his family back in The Congo. Then, the mission broadened to include friends, friends of friends and then an ever-expanding circle of service.

Our club learned of his work last year and secured a district grant to help ship donated shoes, socks, clothes and backpacks to schools in Democratic Republic of Congo. We also partnered with Books For Africa on the shipping, which allowed for more books to be sent. Northfield Rotary committed $2,000 for the project; Woodbury Rotary contributed $500; and the district matched that with a $2,500 grant.

If you are interested in continuing to support Albert’s work, you can donate by going to:
Cilongo Foundation

PO Box 490602

Blaine, MN 55449

Mini Classification

Since we last heard from Betsy Spethmann, she is fully immersed in writing and editing projects. She has nine on her plate at this time. But the rest of her life — by the numbers — goes like this: 17 years in Northfield, 2 children, 36 years with her husband, the aforementioned 9 active projects, 2,000 dollars donated by our club to the Cilongu Foundation, and 700 pairs of shoes delivered to children in the Congo.


Diet Prowe, Peggy’s husband, died Saturday, March 7, at the age of 74. He taught modern European history at Carleton College for 42 years. He is survived by Peggy; two children, Derek and Freya; and five grandchildren. A memorial service for Diet will be held during Carleton’s Alumni Reunion on Friday, June 19, at 9:30 a.m. in Skinner Memorial Chapel.

Guests: Leah Rich (Rich), Patrick Plonski of Books For Africa (Cogan/Maus)

Scholarship Enhancement: Lydia


— The Rotary Clothing Incentive has been extended. Many have taken advantage of it. A gift of $100 to the Rotary Foundation qualifies one to wear the Rotary colors.

— The club will offer its own NCAA basketball pool as a fundraiser to replace the youth basketball tournament of yore. It will be an online event. All are encouraged to participate and to extend the invitation to friends and family. The winner will receive half of the proceeds and a call from the Minnesota Attorney General.

—There will be a Rotary Women’s Event at Community Resource Bank Saturday, March 14, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. A $15 donation is recommended. Proceeds will go to the skate park. For more information, see Jean Wakely.

— Friends and family will gather Sunday, March 15, 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Northfield Golf Course, 707 Prairie St., to remember Ken Bank, former President and CEO of Northfield Hospital & Clinics and a former member of this club.

Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on Youtube: NorthfieldRotaryClubVideos

Coming Up

March 26 — Denny Hanson, President and CEO of Community Resource Bank, Classification (Weber)

April 2 — Kevin Born (R. Lorang)

April 9 — Marcelo, Inbound Exchange Student (O’Neill X 2)

April 16 — Beth Berry, TORCH, (Hillmann)