Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 07.02.2015

July 1, 2015

Today: Rachel Estrella, Classification, and Changing of the Guard (Halverson)

Birthdays: Scott Richardson (7/1), USA (July 4) and Dayna Norvold (7/5)

Next Week: State Senator Kevin Dahl (Anderson)

Last Week:

St. Olaf College student Leonard Francis Vibbi was born and raised during the Sierra Leone Civil War. He grew up surrounded by violence and fled with his single-parent family from town-to-town to escape it. By the time the war ended in 2002, after a decade of death and destruction, more than 50,000 lives were lost and 2.5 million people were displaced from their homes.

Sierra Leone Rebels forcefully recruited many children to fight in the war.

The legacy of that war was violence, Leonard noted.  It became part of everyday life in Sierra Leone. College campuses there continue to experience periods of violence as even minor disagreements can lead to physical conflicts.

Leonard believes he has an obligation to help spread the message of nonviolence in his country and has dedicated himself to that mission. He has started a GoFundMe campaign to purchase equipment to create an FM radio station, Students for Nonviolence FM (S4N-FM), which will broadcast across college campuses in Sierra Leone. FM radio is one of the most popular means of mass communication in Sierra Leone, and Leonard wants to use creativity, innovative programming, and music to help advocate for nonviolence and non-violent approaches to conflict resolution.

Leonard still needs to raise about $41,000 to cover start-up costs for the station. He has received some financial support from the Northfield community and local churches and invites anyone with interest to join him by making a gift.

His GoFundMe page can found at

Leonard has been long been committed to serving his native country. In the past, he has worked with several charitable groups that deliver aid to Sierra Leone, including the Save the Future Generation organization that provides help to disabled children.

Mini-Classification: Chris Weber grew up in Evanston, Ill., and attended St. Olaf College, where he met his wife of 23 years, Deanne.  Together they have a daughter Anna, 14, who loves music and recently performed with the Northfield Youth Choir at Carnegie Hall.  She also plays in the band and is on the tennis team. Son Thomas is 10 and enjoys all kinds of sports, especially basketball, tennis and golf.  He also plays the cello and alto sax.  An investment executive at Cetera Investment Services, Chris is active at St. John’s Lutheran Church and also enjoys mowing, golfing and running in his spare time, as well as cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks, Cubs, and occasionally, the Twins.

New Member Induction:  Kathy Jasnoch (Kaczmarek)

Guests:  Claire Spencer (Zweifel) and Leah Rich (M. Rich)

Scholarship Enhancement:  John Sinning


Russ Halvorson reported that the car raffle is now open to sponsorships. Cost for a sponsorship is $250 and for that you get your name on that Ford Focus to be raffled off. If you’re interested in a sponsorship, please see Russ.

Matthew Rich is looking for a few more volunteers to help with the ethics workshop project. Contact him if you are interested.

The Rotary Summer Social will be Thursday, July 23, 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Estenson Event Center. There will be a happy hour at 5:30 p.m., catered meal at 6:30 p.m. followed by a club meeting. We will celebrate Matthew’s year of masterful executive leadership and welcome Russ Halverson in as our next fearless leader.

The Bike Tour Committee is inviting businesses and individuals to sponsor the 2015 Defeat of Jesse James Bike Tour. If you are interested, contact Dale Ness.

Outbound Students 2015-16

  • Beimers, Henry – Norway
  • Beimers, William – Brazil
  • Carlson, Samuel -Argentina
  • Estrada, Gabriella – France
  • Hahn, Erin – Thailand
  • Hodel, Christoph – Indonesia
  • Kelley, Caitlin – Chile
  • Lunderby, Jack – Brazil
  • Mandsager, Erik – Zimbabwe
  • Martinez, Odalys – Japan
  • Muir, Mason – Taiwan
  • Olson, Josiah – Colombia
  • Regnier, Eli – Brazil
  • Rodriguez-Vazquez,Leslie – Brazil
  • Scheffert, Jenna – Italy
  • Seitz, Zoe – Denmark
  • Washburn Chapman, AhnaCole – South Africa
  • Woitalla, Jessica – Brazil.

Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on YouTube

Coming Up

July 16 — Nick Stoneman, President Shattuck St. Mary’s School (Cogan)
July 23 — Summer Social, 5:30 p.m., Estenson Event Center and Chris Kennelly Classification (Reese)
July 30Lori Pulkrabek, GSE Team 2014