Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 04.30.2015

April 29, 2015

Today: Jodi Greene, Deputy Under-Secretary of the Navy (Policy) (Hoschouer)

Birthdays: Richard Maus (4/24/39) and Geralyn Sheehan (5/2)

Next Week: Paul Krause, Classification (Sinning)

Last Week:
Monique Godde is a living testament to the strength of connections formed through youth exchange programs.

She was an American Field Service exchange student from Paris, France who in 1958-59 lived with Judy Brown-Wescott’s family in Bloomington, Minn. When she returned home, she studied nursing and later answered a call to be a Catholic nun.

She has served in schools and youth programs in Africa for more than 50 years. Twenty seven-years ago she founded a special youth program in Chad and is its Head Mistress. Judy had visited France in 1962 and connected with Monique and her family. But other members of Judy’s family had not seen her in 55 years. Judy’s brother sent Monique a plane ticket to bring her to Minnesota for a visit.

Monique painted a grim picture of life in Chad. It sits in the heart of the African continent. Bordered by Libya, Niger, Cameroon, Sudan and Central African Republic, it is the fifth largest country in Africa, but 45 years of civil war has left it weary and impoverished. It is a diverse country with 200 ethnic and linguistic groups. The majority of the people are Muslim, but there are many Christians, as well. Boko Harem, Nigeria’s militant Islamic fundamentalists remain a threat to destabilize the country even further.

Families have no resources for education, so Monique has developed a community center and a school. She has built a 14,000-book library collection and has many success stories to share of former students who have gone on to become teachers, surgeons and broadcasters.

Monique has herself been caught in the middle of armed conflict, weathering one three-day fire fight in her home city. She thinks of Americans as a cheerful, pragmatic lot who know to make things work. (Editor’s Note: She must have caught us on a good day.)

Guests: Sue Johnson (Brown-Wescott) and Kathy Jasnoch (Kaczmarek)

Scholarship Enhancement: David Wolf, chancellor of our exchequer

Tall Tale from Down Under:

Now that the statute of limitations is up, President Rich shared some of his misadventures traveling to Australia for the International Rotary Conference. His parable is titled: The Man in the Blue Shirt.” My take away is: never travel with Matthew Rich. Bad luck sticks to this guy like a koala bear on eucalyptus.


— Charlie Cogan thanked Barry Carlson for taking time on a week day to represent the club’s skate park project at the district level. His presence helped secure matching funds.

— Chris Weber reported there are seven candidates for Rotary’s Global Grant Scholarships, four with a Northfield connection. The person selected receives a $30,000 fellowship.

— Jim Pokorney is tie-worthy again for another donation to the Polio Plus campaign. Will he now dress for success? You be the judge.

— Jim Blaha invited members to consider attending the Bridges Out of Poverty event Wednesday, May 13, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. Olaf College. To register, go to:

— Treasurer David Wolf reported that your quarterly invoices are in the e-mail.

— Tim Madigan, program director, would like to use the week before Memorial Day to talk about people who have inspired us. If you would like to pay tribute to someone who made a difference in your life and has passed on, talk to Tim. He is looking for three or four Rotarians to share their stories.

— On Thursday, May 14, we will be meeting at the Weitz Center at Carleton College. The church is not available that day.

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

May 14 — Fred Rogers, Carleton’s Master Plan (Madigan)


May 21 — Tribute to Those Who Inspired Us (Madigan)


May 28 — Michael Maas, RSVP Retired Volunteers (Blaha)