Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 05.28.2015

May 26, 2015

Today: Michael Maas, RSVP Retired Volunteers (Blaha)

Birthdays: Joe Hargis (5/29)

Next Week: TBA

Last Week:

Memorial Day was originally called “Decoration Day.” It was created at the end of the Civil War to pay tribute to the 600,000 casualties from that brutal internecine conflict.

With Memorial Day close at hand, Tim Madigan invited members to pay tribute to people who had inspired them or made a difference in their lives. Peggy Prowe and Adrian Thomas both gave a nod to their grandmothers.

Peggy’s grandmother modeled patience, generosity, justice and culinary skills. As a young person growing up in Topeka, Kansas, Peggy was puzzled by the segregation that forced African Americans to use the back door of her grandfather’s pharmacy and to only order take out from the lunch counter. Her grandmother addressed the injustice in her own way, underwriting the education of a local African American student, who became Kansas’s first licensed African American pharmacist.

Adrian’s grandmother was Dagmar Tisdale, a local potter. He grew up in her house where she provided him unconditional love and acceptance. She was a constant in his life and helped him identify his passions, which have shaped his career choice.

Vicki Dilley does not remember the name of the woman who inspired her, but she said she will never forget her generous actions.

A family emergency forced Vicki to drop out of college to care for a younger sister. The catch was Vicki had missed the deadline for withdrawing from classes. She was faced with the prospect of paying for a semester she could not attend and could not afford. Consequently, she would receive Fs for all of those phantom classes.

A Dean of Students at Augustana College broke with school policy and quietly back-dated Vicki’s petition to withdraw, sparing her a heavy drag on her academic record. Vicki went on to graduate from another college, but never forgot the helping hand from that Dean of Students.

Guests: Kirsten Cahoon and Mirwais Wakil (Weber); Kris Estenson, Pat and Dave VanWylen (Estenson)

 Paul Harris Fellowship:

Pat and Dave VanWylen received a Paul Harris Fellowship in honor of their many contributions to the community. They are moving to Holland, Michigan this summer where Dave has been named Dean of Natural and Applied Science at Hope College. The VanWylen’s have been active in civic, faith and school circles. Kris and Rick Estenson sponsored the fellowship.

Scholarship Enhancement: Judy Brown-Wescott


— Charlie Cogan reported that the district foundation approved a matching grant for Northfield’s skateboard park. The Faribault Rotary Club contributed $250 and two other matching grants will be considered in the next fiscal year. He also announced a $10,000 grant from Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council for Rotary Outdoor Musical Plaza (ROMP). Our original donation of $15,000 has been leveraged another $12,000 from Rotary sources. For more on this, go to:

— Mirwais Wakil, our Global Grant Scholarship recipient, said he will study Refugee and Forced Migration Studies next year at Oxford University in Great Britain. The St. Olaf College graduate has more than a passing interest in the topic. Forced migration is a large part of his personal story. He made his way from his homeland of Afghanistan to Sweden and ultimately to the United States and St. Olaf College. He said he wants to repay those who helped him on his journey by helping others and making this a better world.

— Jon Snodgrass says golf in the upcoming Northfield Lions Tom Blaisdell Golf Tournament; Pat O’Neill said be careful.

Outbound Students 2015-16

  • 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

June 11 — David Wee, All Things Baseball (S. Richardson)

June 18 — Nick Haggenmiller, Northfield City Administrator

June 25 — Leonard Francis Vibbi, Sierra Leone Project (Weber)

July 2 — Rachel Estrella, Classification, and Changing of the Guard.