Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | May 17.2018

May 16, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, May 17, 2018

Today: Susan Brower, MN State Demographics (Blaha)

Next Week: NO Rotary luncheon.  Meet at Rick’s Event Center, 5:30 PM to help celebrate our Youth Exchange Graduation.  All family members are welcome!  This is an important Rotary Social for our club.

Birthdays: Russ Halverson (5/15), Penny Hillemann (5/16), Daniel Knutson (5/17), Andrei Sivanich (5/17)

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. 


  • Nabumi visiting from Japan (Hoschouer)
  • Suzie Nakasian (Blaha)


  • Sign up to deliver Meals on Wheels June 3-8—only a few spots left to fill! See Jim Pokorney for more info
  • Northfield Works will host a seminar on employees and diversity here TODAY after our lunch meeting
  • First Friday Art Night is June 1 from 5-9pm in Downtown Northfield, hosted by the NDDC. It will continue every first Friday of the month—Jenni Roney invites Rotarians to attend and share the Facebook event. Donations welcome.
  • David Koenig announced that Northfield High School students will be notified this week of their nomination for participation in the Ethical Leadership workshop next October.
  • Vicki Dilley shared a story about the great Rotarian support network that supported an inbound from Chile who needed medical help in Houston recently.

Scholarship enhancement: Mark Lancaster

Last Week: Andrei Sivanich is the Director of Community Relations at Laura Baker Services. He worked in a similar industry before managing sales teams in the corporate world. Laura Baker provides housing and support for adults with disabilities. Andrei has been learning a lot in his first year at LBSA, such as: affordable housing within the developmentally disabled community is hard to come by. 70% of this group lives with a family member who is older than 65. Intellectual developmental disabilities are projected to double by 2030. There is also a big funding gap for organizations like LBSA. Medicaid reimbursement has not been increased since 2014. One example is their client Britney who lives an apartment with 24 hour staff member Kate. Kate gives her amazing support, calms her anxiety and helps her communicate. The skill and empathy of Laura Baker’s staff is outstanding, yet most of them must work two jobs—the starting wage is only 10.50 per hour for this important occupation.

Sandy Gerdes started a summer job at Laura Baker as a St. Olaf student and decided to stay for 35 years. She became the Executive Director in 1997. She says LBSA needs a spectrum of support for a wide range of unique needs. Children with disabilities were placed in institutions 50 years ago, but they belong in our community with the opportunity to make a contribution. It is important for them to establish their own lives in adulthood. But as the perception of disabled persons changes and they are seen as more capable, the support for services has declined. 

Rotarians can get involved by following Laura Baker on Facebook, receiving their email and print newsletters, volunteering (opportunities are on the website), donating (golf tournament and gala), and advocating (as an advocacy champion).

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:

May 31- Peggy Prowe—National Trails Week is June 2

June 7 – Stacey Longwich—Classification (Carlson)

June 14 – Vicki Dilley—Trip to Tanzania

June 21 – Scott Richardson—State of the Club