Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | August 2.2018

August 1, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, August 2, 2018

Today:  Kurt Schrader on Large Scale Farming (Morlan)

Next Week: Brent Nystrom Classification (Reese)

Birthdays: Brent Nystrom (8/7)

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. 


Kristi Purcell (Hager Dee)


  • John Ophaug shared the “Rotary Almanac” with us, giving background on “Mr. Rotary” Les Gustafson. Les served as President of the Austin, Owatonna and Northfield clubs. He worked as a Principal and Superintendent at Owatonna before joining the faculty at St. Olaf. The Northfield club celebrated Les Gustafson day and when Les was asked “What does Rotary mean to you,” he replied, “I’m here to become a better person.” This was especially remarkable considering that Les was in his 80’s with late stage cancer at the time. What a great perspective from a 55-year Rotarian!
  • Rick Estenson reminded us how fitting it was that our meeting was held in the Amerman Pavilion. Rotary and more than 100 individuals donated to raise the funds to build it in honor of Jeff Amerman.
  • Larry Vorwerk reminded us of the many negative effects of climate change. Extreme weather affects mammals, birds, insects, trees, oceans, coral reefs and sea life. Come to the Climate Change event on August 16th at the Weitz Center from 6-8:30pm to hear more.
  • If you haven’t volunteered for the Jesse James Bike Tour, see Shelley Holden to sign up.
  • Jim Holden says that his book sales raised $240 for the Rotary Foundation. He is also offering free fly fishing lessons with a donation to the Rotary foundation. See Jim to sign up.

Last Week: 

Chris Weber was born in Evanston, Illinois and grew up in the North Chicago area. He studied economics and political science before meeting his wife Deanne. They moved to Northfield in 1999 where he is now an Investment Manager at Community Resource Bank. They have a daughter who will be a senior in high school and a son who will be in 8th grade. Chris credits their academic success with early literacy and is a big part of our club’s literacy efforts. Rotary supports the book collection box program where the community can donate books for children. We purchased bookshelves to hold the books in the waiting areas of local businesses. Through a SMIF grant, we were able to purchase more books written in Spanish. Our club also helped the Northfield Library purchase the new Bookmobile and participates in the Rotary Readers program in our local elementary schools. These literacy initiatives are made possible by collaboration with HCI, the Y and the Northfield School District.

Laura Turek is the Northfield Promise Coordinator at HCI. She shared more about the great work that is happening through the literacy initiative. Every three-year-old child in Northfield receives a birthday card, which contains early childhood screening information. It is very important to build readers at an early age to help get them ready for kindergarten. 301 children ages 3-5 completed early childhood screening. HCI is reaching out to daycares and preschools and each child who completes a screening gets a free prize provided by Rotary.

Some of the work that has been accomplished includes the Bookmobile, the Book Bike, book baskets, and the breakfast buddy program (which boasts 30 Rotarians). There are 90 students who eat breakfast at Greenvale, 60 at Bridgewater and 30 at Sibley every Monday through Friday during the school year. If you would like to become a breakfast buddy, watch for the signup in August. You can also volunteer with the summer reading program at the Y for a few more weeks.

Coming Up:

Aug 16 – no lunch meeting, Climate Action Team presentation at the Weitz Center 6-8:30pm

Aug 23 – Susan Brower, The Impact of Northfield’s Changing Demographics (Blaha)

Aug 30 – Greg Siems, Classification (Hanson)

Sept 6 – Jesse James Bike Tour lunch (Rich/Reese)

Sept 13 – Meredith Galdeen, Classification (Melby)

Our club’s giving for the 2017-18 Budget Year:

Ruth’s House $500

Habitat for Humanity $500

Hope Center $500

Project Friendship $350

Northfield Arts Guild ‘Art Out & About Program’ $500

Martin Luther King Day Celebration $150

Northfield Earth Day $500

Health Finders $500

Operation Backpack $300

Community Action Center $500

Northfield Community Band $250

Laura Baker Services $250

Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative $300

Northfield Union of Youth $500

Cannon River Watershed Partnership $400

Total $6000