Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 04.16.2015

April 14, 2015

Today: Beth Berry, TORCH, (Hillmann)

Birthdays: Wayne Abdella (4/17)

Next Week: Sister Monique Godde, Former Exchange Student (Brown-Wescott)

Last Week:

Peru is home to Marcelo Lecaros. The land of alpacas, Incan ruins and spectacular scenery is near and dear to his heart.

Peru hugs the Pacific coast from Ecuador to Chile. Besides those north-south bookends, it shares borders with Brasil, Colombia, and Bolivia. It is a country of climatic extremes — tropical in the east, dry desert in the west and the stunning frigid Andes Mountains.

Marcelo comes from Ilo, a small city on the coast in southern Peru. He says it is beautiful. There are four in his family. His father, who serves as president of the local Rotary Club, is a builder. In addition, he and Marcelo’s mother own and operate a hotel and restaurant. He also has a sister back home who is a year older. She has had a son since Marcelo left on exchange, so Uncle Marcelo is eager to meet his nephew and teach him how to surf, one of his favorite pastimes.

Marcelo studied engineering in college for one year before coming to the United States. When he returns, he is considering changing course and studying theater and cinema.

He highlighted some of the cuisine he enjoys at home, including ceviche, raw fish marinated in citrus juice. He also shared some the folk culture such as the elegant Paso Horse and Marinera Dance.

Marcelo found a warm welcome in Northfield. He was surprised to find our fall milder than he anticipated. He reserved a huge “gracias” for his host families who have made him feel so at home during the year.


Pat O’Neill focused on his family for this tour of duty. His wife, Dawn, teaches art at Greenvale Elementary School. John, their oldest son, is an ophthalmology resident at the University of Minnesota. Regan is working in technology and web programming, and their daughter, Meara, is working in marketing in Chicago.

Good Neighbor:

Judy Code was named the Rotary Good Neighbor of the Year for 2015. She was recognized for her work to beautify Northfield. A retired teacher, Judy has been active with the Northfield Garden Club for a long time. She can be seen downtown weeding flower gardens on Bridge Square, around the library and other public spaces. She has created a butterfly garden, is creating a dragonfly garden and is working on the Arts Corridor Project. Judy received an honorary Paul Harris Fellowship and a $200 stipend.    



Northfield High School was recognized for its contributions to the success of our Youth Exchange Program. The administration’s flexibility in accommodating student needs is appreciated, said Vicki Dilley. As a token of appreciation, this year’s exchange students gave flags from their respective countries to the high school. Accepting for the high school were Superintendent Chris Richardson, Principal Joel Leer, Director of Administrative Services Matt Hillmann and Director of Technology Services Kim Briske.


Guests: Judy and Mark Code (Zweifel), Norm Umberto (Weber) and Joel Leer (C. Richardson), Marcelo’s host parents: Karen and Cam Davidson, Pete Carlson and Mark Heiman; and lots of Marcelo’s high school friends (Marcelo).


Scholarship Enhancement: Too Good to be True Jim Pokorney


— Matt Hillmann still needs Rides to RYLA for two high school students on Friday, April 24. Camp St. Croix is near Hudson, Wis. If you can help, see Matt.

— Art Monoghan was the big winner in our inaugural NCAA Men’s Basketball Pool. We had 64 participate, which netted $320 for the club and $320 for Art.

— Jan Stevens noted several local events last week that commemorated the 150th anniversary of General Lee’s surrender to General Grant and the assassination of President Lincoln on April 12, 1865.

Outbound Exchange Students

Beimers, Henry – Norway

Beimers, William – Brazil

Carlson, Samuel -Argentina

Estrada, Gabriella – France

Hahn, Erin – Thailand

Hodel, Christoph – Indonesia

Kelley, Caitlin – Chile

Lunderby, Jack – Brazil

Mandsager, Erik – Zimbabwe

Martinez, Odalys – Japan

Muir, Mason – Taiwan

Olson, Josiah – Colombia

Regnier, Eli – Brazil

Rodriguez-Vazquez,Leslie – Brazil

Scheffert, Jenna – Italy

Seitz, Zoe – Denmark

Washburn Chapman, AhnaCole – South Africa

Woitalla, Jessica – Brazil.


Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on YouTube

Coming Up

April 30 — Jodi Greene, Deputy Under-Secretary of the Navy (Policy) (Madigan)