Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 01.05.2017

January 3, 2017

Today’s Program | Thursday, January 5, 2017

Today: Darcy Ellerby, Dakota Curling Club (D. Hanson)

Birthdays: Fred Rogers (1/4), Ron Linde (1/5) and George Davis (1/7)

Next Week: Paul Krause, Documenting Northfield (Sinning)

Last Week:
Mike Leming has been helping Santa celebrate Christmas for 26 years. This year, alone, he is booked to represent the big guy at 29 different events. His physical gifts — white hair and beard, natural padding worthy of a Bierman carpet commercial, and a big heart — have put him in a position to personally witness the power of giving.

In 1990, Mike decided to learn more about the Karen people in rural Thailand. He remembers a friend and colleague, Mac Gimsey — telling him: “Wherever you go, always give back.” Mike connected with a children’s hostel in Thailand and uses his Santa Claus gigs to support the kids who live there. He continues to involve others in the project, and his work has generated a $10 million investment in educational facilities in that area.

Back here at home, his Christmas calendar takes him to the local trailer parks and other places were people live on the margins. He is moved by the special moments when kids light up after experiencing Santa’s affirmation or feel safe enough to share their heartfelt struggles.

Throughout all of this, Mike has witnessed the mystery of people creating abundance out of scarcity. One act of giving, generates another and then another and then still another. If we follow the Rotary motto — service above self — we can change the world, he said.

Ugly Sweater Contest
Entrants in our Ugly Sweater Contest displayed not only poor fashion sense, but a good deal of courage. Several sweaters were declared to be a public nuisance, but they wore them anyway. There were six entrants in the sweater competition: John Ehresmann, Barry Carlson, Todd Thompson, Vicky Langer, Pat O’Neill and Duane Benson. Pat and Duane made it to the final round with Pat winning the day with something that looked like it came out of a blender. In the ugly sweater vest division, Dave Wolf went home with bragging rights, besting President Lasswell and Richard Schulte.

Guests: Santa and Anna Claus (Leming)

Scholarship Enhancement: The newly-minted Grand Guy Duane Benson

We are looking for nominations for this year’s Rotary Good Neighbor Award. Nominees should be people whose work in the community reflects the Rotary motto of “service above self.” They must live in the Northfield School District and cannot be Rotary members or relatives of Rotary members. Erica Zweifel has nomination forms. The deadline is Monday, Jan. 9.

The Paul Harris Foundation Centennial Dinner is planned for Thursday evening, Feb. 16. Put it on your calendar.

Inbound students are:
Daniel Chien from Taiwan

Emma Nielsen from Denmark

Nico Suarez Toloza from Colombia

Eric Kwun from South Korea
Wanzita Ally from Tanzania
Matteo Lombardo, Italy

Our 2016-17 outbound students are:

Sage Brinton, Argentina

Caroline Hummel, Norway

Noah Klein, South Korea

Jane Ludwig, Colombia

Yizel Marcial, Germany

Daiki Nishioka, Taiwan

Liliana (Lily) Noble, Italy

Emma Pritchard, Taiwan

Nathaniel Urke, Brazil.

Coming Up

January 19 — Janine Atchison, Classification

January 26 — Emma Nielsen, Exchange Student (Frago)

February 2 — Tesgaye Nega, Improving Cooking Solutions in Ethopia (Rogers)

February 9 — Andrei Sivanich, Classification