Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | December 14.2017

December 13, 2017

Today’s Program | Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

Today: Andrew Ehrman and Betsy Allister, Spring Wind Farm (Morlan)
Next Week: Laura Turek, Northfield Promise Literacy Team (Weber)
Birthdays: Jim Holden (12/6), Carl Behr (12/12) and Dale Ness and John Ophaug (12/15)
Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Last Week:
Dorothy Ishler’s early years are a study in post-war European politics. Her Polish-German home of Silesia was a spoil of war for generations. If it wasn’t the Austrian Hapsburg dynasty claiming agency, it was the Prussians. It remained a part of the unified Germany until the Nazi defeat in 1945. Then it was ceded to Communist Poland as part of the Potsdam Agreement. Dorothe says of her identity: “I am 30 percent Polish and 70 percent German.”

She was born in 1958, but life in Communist Poland was still a hard scrabble existence, marked by poverty and deprivation. The state appropriated property and the population endured shortages of food and clothing. People survived on faith and humor, Dorothe said.

She contracted polio as a one-year old and spent months quarantined in a hospital. She is considered a miracle baby. Physicians predicted she would never walk, and walk she does. But for much of her youth, she was labeled a cripple and not always treated kindly by her peers.

In 1976, after many attempts to seek visas were repeatedly denied, Dorothe and her parents were allowed to immigrate to Germany with only the clothes on their backs and one big wooden crate. They made a life for themselves. Dorothe said she admires her parents’ courage and resilience. They started over with nothing and did well.

Dorothe studied psychology in Germany and came to the United States at the invitation of her uncle. She said she never married well, but has three lovely, kind-hearted children.

Jean Wakely’s daughter went to Poland on youth exchange. Later, Jean attended a few meetings as a visitor. Jean Larson, a club member at the time, prompted her to seek membership. Jean said she’s found the club to be warm, welcoming and interesting.

Guests: Zane Anway (L. Dilley), Andre Simonette, Dave Antonneau, Marilyn Neville, Jane Rinehart and Kathleen Edwards (Ishler)

Scholarship Enhancement: John Stull

The “Return of the Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest” will be held Thursday, Dec. 21, at our regular noon meeting. Dress accordingly.

Rotary is joining forces with The Key to address one of local youth’s critical needs — food. Janine Atchison said a group within the club is proposing a one-year pilot project that would provide a meal for local youth at The Key on the second Wednesday evening of each month. The group is also proposing the club commit $1,000 in 2018 to fund the project. The project will do a test run on Wednesday, Dec. 13. If you are interested in contributing to this effort, contact Janine or Scott Wopata.

The International Film Forum at Carleton College will focus on focus on ecological and civilization sustainability in a 10-week series beginning Monday, Jan. 8, 7 to 9 p.m. and extending through February. For more information, go to: or contact Alan Anderson.

Jim Pokorney and Betsy Spethmann announced that we have responsibility for delivering Meals-On-Wheels for a week in January and a week in June next year. Please consider signing up for this important piece of Northfield’s social safety net. (Funny Story: Once this Cogwheel editor was picked up by the police while delivering Meals-On-Wheels. I thought he was giving me a community service commendation. Apparently, No Parking means No Parking.
So much for moral relativity and the higher calling.

Nominations for this year’s Rotary Good Neighbor Award are due by Thursday, Jan. 4. Nomination forms are available on the club’s website, or see Erica Zweifel for some.

President Wakely shared that former club member Steve Wilmot is now in hospice care in the Twin Cities. Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve and his family. John Sinning is recovering from hip surgery. Cards were signed and will be sent to both of them.

Our 2017-18 outbound students are:
Madison Asp — Finland
Joan Erickson — Argentina
Annika Fisher— South Africa
Bergen Hoff — Czech Republic/Slovakia
Emma Iverson — Spain
Alex Kovach — Japan
Joseph Kreis — Italy
Benjamin (Ben) Mohlke — Brazil
Piper Nelson — Germany
Jenna Olien — South Korea
Jack Overstreet — Brazil
Gregory Pelletier — Argentina
Espen Richardson — Norway
Elizabeth (Betsy) Schuerman — Denmark
Allison (Al) Weise — Thailand

Coming Up
December 28 — No Meeting. Holiday Break
January 4 — Pau Ortemberg, Inbound Exchange Student (Chavie)