Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 10.25.2012

October 23, 2012

Today: Jacob Conway Tells All (Bierman)

 Birthdays: Barry Carlson (10/22), Rob Martin (10/23), Doug Crane and Brett Reese (10/25)

 Next Week: TBA

Last Week:

It is one of the most vexing and persistent incongruities of our time. The United States produces an abundance of food, and yet, one in six people in this country goes hungry.

Jack Rinack, a regional representative for Channel One Regional Food Bank, reminded us that hunger is a nagging problem that eludes resolution. “We grow enough food to feed everybody,” he said. “Our challenge is to get it to the people who need it.”

His organization provides food to local food shelves in a 13-county region in southeastern Minnesota. They build partnerships with businesses and organizations that help with food recovery, transportation and inventory.

The largest food shelf users are the working poor, next comes the elderly and disabled, and then there are the emergency-crisis situations. These folks are often making difficult choices between food and utilities, food and mortgages or food and medical care.

Rice County and Northfield are no different than any other place in the country. Channel One provided more than 700,000 pounds of food to Rice County food shelves last year. In Northfield alone, 500 plus families use the food shelf each month.

The cost of meeting a growing demand is challenging, Jack said. Cash donations are important. They can be leveraged through Channel One’s network. One dollar can provide five meals. Forty-five dollars can feed a family of four for a month.

Jack invited us all to be agents of change. We can help by volunteering, advocating and donating. For more information, go to:

Mini-Classification: Jim Blaha

Born in St. Paul. Married to Kay. Their three sons live in Chicago, Taos, New Mexico and Corsica. Worked in Ramsey County nonprofit before becoming executive director of the Northfield Community Action Center.

What would Paul Harris do?

President Fenton, in her unrelenting drive to get us on the straight and narrow, revealed the answer to last week’s ethics question. Is it alright to take a pen from the bank?

Her ethics consultant — I don’t think it is Lance Armstrong — suggests taking a pen from the bank is permissible if you ask the teller and only take one.

This week’s cliff hanger: If you get return address stickers in the mail from a nonprofit hoping to receive a contribution from you, is it ethical to use them if you don’t make a contribution?

Guests: Mizuki (Mickey) Oeda from Japan, Hsin-Yuan (Cindy) Wang from Taiwan, Spencer Fredrickson and Frank Calivario from the KEY (Fenton)

Scholarship Enhancement Winner: Hannah Puczko


Jim Prichard said the Membership Committee is starting to roll. If you are interested in participating, talk to him.

Robert Bierman announced that the Turkey Trot is off and running. The 5K Thanksgiving run/walk has become a Northfield tradition. Sponsors are flocking to underwrite the event. Flyers are printed, and online registration is available.

Judy Brown-Wescott is still looking for a dozen more members to help with outbound candidate interviews on Monday, Oct. 29, 6 to 9 p.m. She will train and feed you.

Charlie Cogan reported that Rotary International has committed another $75 million to close the gap on the campaign to eradicate polio. Only 150 cases were reported last year in three countries — Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Lynne Young, longtime director of the Northfield Library, and Hannah Puczko, director of Northfield Public Schools Community Services, both announced their retirements. Hannah will be replaced by Rotarian Erin Mayberry. Lynne will stay on in a part-time capacity until her successor is named.

Carl Caskey is back from Ireland with a nice sweater and a slight brogue.

Coming Up:

Nov. 8 — District Governor Joe Kovavarik (Esse)

Nov. 15 — Open

Nov. 22 — Turkey Trot