Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | February 1.2018

January 30, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018

Today: Human Trafficking (Thompson)

Next Week: Penny Hillemann, Classification (Kaczmarek)

Birthdays:  Scott Wopata (1/27) and our fearless leader Jean Wakely (2/3)

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:

Destiny Rescue is a faith-based nonprofit that rescues girls and young women from the Southeast Asian sex trade.

Lew Anderson, once a pastor at what is now Life 21 church in Northfield, returned to tell of the organization’s success. Since 2011 they have rescued nearly 2,500 girls from being exploited by a dark and violent human trafficking trade. Around 80 percent of those rescued escape that lifestyle with the aid of group homes, counseling and education.

“We are seeing an amazing success rate,” Lew said, pointing out that government success rates are closer to 5 percent.

Destiny Rescue was started in 2001 by an Australian business man who saw a need to help these girls. The organization now has 250 employees and works in India, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic. Agents with backgrounds in either military or police work do the dangerous work of making contact with the girls in the brothels. They will pose as customers in an effort to establish a relationship that builds trust and leads to the girls’ escape.

Most of the girls are not there by choice. Some have were sold to sex traffickers by their families. Lew’s organization attempts to revive the girls’ sense of dignity and empower them through education and skill-building. They integrate girls back into society as soon as they are ready. If it is in their best interest, they try to reunite them with their families.

Destiny Rescue is funded by independent donations. Lew said it costs about $1,500 to rescue one girl. We can help by donating money, buying jewelry made by the girls or hosting a jewelry party. To learn more, go to:

Jack Hoschouer grew up near Chicago and graduated from St. Olaf College with degrees in German and Political Science. He joined the U.S. Army in 1968. Around that time, he met a nursing student named, Ayako, who became his wife. Jack’s work took him overseas and when he came back in the United States, he settled in Northfield.

Paul Harris Recognition: Mark Quinnell was recognized for a second Paul Harris award. Mark said he contributes because of the world-wide impact Rotary has through youth exchange and initiatives such as Polio Plus. He said he also appreciates the fellowship.

Guests: Anika Rychter (Blaha),

Scholarship Enhancement: Steve Underdahl


Matt Hillman encouraged members to sign up to be a reader to elementary students during their pre-school breakfast time. Rotary would like to have 30 members contribute to this important literacy program sponsored by HCI’s Northfield Promise. We currently have 15 signed up. Reading proficiency is critical to opening the door to Northfield’s rich curriculum, he said. This is one way to give every student a chance to succeed.

Rotary is holding a district meeting on Human Trafficking on Friday, Feb. 23, in the Twin Cities. We would like representatives from education, the faith community, law enforcement to attend. If you know anyone who is interested, have them contact Todd Thompson or President Wakely.

Lynne Pedersen announced that the Northfield Senior Center is now renamed “Fifth North.” She encouraged members to check it out.

There will be two events in February that may be of interest to those who work or live in and around the silver tsunami. Survey results compiled by “Creating an Age-Friendly Northfield” will be shared Feb. 3, 10 a.m. at the Northfield Public Library. On Thursday, Feb. 8, 6:30 p.m. the Northfield High School Auditorium, Cathy Wurzer of MPR will lead a conversation on living and dying well. The event is called “Reconvening Northfield.” See Shelly Holden for details on either event.

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:

February 15 — Robert Massoud, The Power of a Mission Driven Business (Rogers)

February 22 — Kengo Osumi, exchange student, (Frago)

March 1 — Sera Shin, exchange student (Estenson)

March 8 — Mary Hahn, Classification (S. Richardson)