Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | March 15.2018

March 12, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, March 15, 2018

Today: Pau Ortenberg, Youth Exchange Student (Chavies)

Next Week: Kristi Pursell, Cannon River Watershed Project (Melby)

Birthdays: 3/21 Rich Lorang

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: Sera Shin returned to the podium (with good PowerPoint karma) to share details of her life in South Korea and Minnesota. She gave us a quick overview of South Korean culture – the country’s flag that symbolizes the balance of the universe; the varied cityscape of Seoul, from a gleaming shopping mall to the ancient Palace of King Chasun; the islands and mountains; the hit band K-Pop, who Sera doesn’t actually know, despite all the many people in the U.S. who have asked her that.

One highlight of the school day in Sera’s hometown of Yangpyeong is lunch: All grades share the same lunch hour, a social occasion. “Some students say they only come to school for lunch,” she says. Food is central to South Korea’s culture: Delivery is available anytime, anywhere.

For fun, Sera and friends like to play pool and sing karaoke. Sera likes being the youngest in her family because her two older brothers “give me money, and help me if I get in trouble,” she laughs.

As a student here in Minnesota, Sera has enjoyed trying lots of new things: baking, choir, Turkey Trot, cabin getaways, and skiing (her favorite). “I became an exchange student to challenge myself to new growth and new experiences.” Her host family and friends have been a very important part of that: “My host family shows me how to share life together as a new family. And I can’t imagine my time here without my friends.”

After graduation, Sera hopes to visit other countries and continue her adventures.

Mini-Classification: Rick Estenson stood before us just two weeks after receiving a new hip – with no cane, but plenty of praise for orthopedic surgeon Hans Bengtson, MD and Northfield Hospital: “I don’t know why anyone would go further than the other end of town” for excellent medical care. With two fresh knees and a hip, he knows what he’s talking about.

Guests: The Sharpe Family (Shin), Stephanie Snodgrass (Snodgrass) with a special guest on board: John and Stephanie are expecting their first baby in May, visiting exchange student Akari Murose (Hoschouer), Bob Kell of Main Street Project (Rykner)

Scholarship Enhancement: Dave Brown…wearing a tie just for the occasion


–Congratulate our newest Paul Harris Fellow, John Snodgrass. His is the club’s 79th Paul Harris Fellowship.

–Mainstreet Project is starting up a chicken CSA. Members can purchase six whole chickens for $100. Learn more at

–To support the Community Action Center during Minnesota FoodShare Month (March), Rick Estenson and Denny Hanson are engaged in a friendly competition to see which bank can raise more money and pounds of food for the food shelf. The winner (the loser?) will kiss a pig. Details are unclear whether the kiss will take place at a Rotary meeting. Cast your vote by donating at either bank or online.

–Our club will host a special screening of the feature film “Breathe,” starring Andrew Garfield as a young man who contracts polio at age 28. See the film on Saturday, March 24 at 10:00 am at Cannon Valley Cinema 10 on Hwy 3 in Dundas. Suggested donation is $6; pay at the door. Seating is limited to the first 139 people.

–The Convention & Visitors Bureau recently won an Excellence in Marketing award for its website. Congrats to Lisa Peterson!

–Spread the word: Northfield Shares is hiring a part-time (20 hrs/wk) administrative assistant. Know someone who might want to apply? Send them to

–Best wishes to Scott Richardson . . . get well soon.

–Mayor Pownell invites Rotarians and the Northfield community to the State of the City address Monday, March 19th at 6:30pm in Kracum Performance Hall at the Weitz Center.

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:

March 29 — Jim Hunt, Fast for Hope

April 5 — Bia Rebello, Exchange Student (Stevens)

April 12 — Jeff McLaughlin, Classification

April 19 — Amy Jivavitoonkit, Exchange Student (Ischler)