Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 01.14.2016

January 20, 2016

Today: Todd Bornhauser, Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce (Madigan)

Birthdays: Ragh Singh (1/10), Lynne Pederson (1/11), Erica Zweifel (1/14) and Rick Esse (1/16).

Next Week: Katie Hargis, Classification, (Joe Hargis)

Last Week:

“The greatest legend that America ever forgot” is how author Terry Kerber thinks of  Major Taylor, the subject of the book he co-wrote with his brother, Conrad.

Major Taylor was the most celebrated athlete of his time and dominated the world of competitive cycling from 1896 to 1910. He set numerous world records and won 117 of his 168 races. Over an eight-year period when he was at the peak of his career, he was the highest paid athlete in the world.

But despite his success and celebrity status, his story — dramatic and inspiring — remained untold until the Kerber brothers, partners in a retirement investment advisory firm, decided to write their book.

Competitive cycling was the NFL of its time. In the dawn of the 20th century, this dangerous and sometimes deadly sport captivated the imagination of the masses, worldwide, drawing huge crowds, sometimes as many as 50,000, to see men on bikes compete in one, two and five-mile races on a hardwood track.

Marshall Taylor, his given name, was an African-American from Indianapolis who had a gift. Overt racism prevented him from capitalizing on his talent until mentors and sports promoters helped him gain access to the sport and an opportunity to prove himself on the track.

He was most comfortable racing in Europe and Australia where he felt liberated from the bigotry he faced at home. His deep commitment to his faith meant he observed the Sabbath and refused to race on a Sunday, which greatly frustrated cycling promoters.

Major Taylor made the equivalent of millions of dollars during his career and lost it all to bad investments. He died a pauper, but his legacy survives in the form of Major Taylor cycling clubs that exist across the nation.

Mini Classification:

Elizabeth Child shared her “three things” profile with us. They include:

  • Three names she has answered to: Libby, Lizard and Elizabeth;
  • Three places she’s lived: London, Boston and St. Petersburg, Fla.;
  • Three places she’s worked: Dudley Riggs Espresso, a flower shop in Boston and The Reader;
  • Three things she enjoys watching: Palobolus Dance Company, The Voice and her cats bathing;
  • Three things she is looking forward to: scuba diving in the British Virgin Isles, making or exceeding the United Way campaign goal, and hearing Terry Kerber talk about his book “Major Taylor.”

Guests: Bruce Dybvik (Briske), Barbara Johnson (Lasswell) and Dave Stanford (Tiano)

Scholarship Enhancement:  Carson


  • Northfield Y’s Rotary challenge netted an amazing $75,000 for the Y’s latest capital campaign. The club contributed $5,000, the American Center for Philanthropy $10,000 and Rotary members individually did the rest. That good work will earn us more recognition at the Y and our inbound exchange students will have free membership for the next five years. The Y is raising $1 million to pay down outstanding debt.
  • Treasurer David Wolf reminded members that invoices are now being sent electronically. If you do not remember receiving one, see David to make sure he has your correct e-mail.
  • David Brown said your quarterly payment is a good time to add to the Every Rotarian Every Year $100 donation to the Paul Harris Foundation. With a contribution of $1,000 you will receive a Paul Harris Fellowship.
  • Charlie is still selling Polio Plus ties. A $200 donation will earn you a tie similar to the one Bill Gates wore when he announced his foundation’s commitment to eradicating polio and the satisfaction of knowing with the Gates Foundation match it will vaccinate 1,000 children.
  • Boxes for recycling cell phone are now available at our meetings. The phones are being collected by the Minnesota Zoo and used to fund its Recycle the Rain Forest project.

 Here is a list of this year’s outbound students. Some have already departed.

  • 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
  • Muir, Mason – Taiwan
  • Olson, Josiah – Colombia
  • Regnier, Eli – Brazil
  • Rodriguez-Vazquez, Leslie – Brazil
  • Scheffert, Jenna – Italy
  • Seitz, Zoe – Denmark
  • Washburn Chapman, Ahna Cole – South Africa
  • Woitalla, Jessica – Brazil.

Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on YouTube

Coming Up

January 28 — Jo Ann Sabin, Pollinator Friendly Alliance, (Kallestad)

February 4 — Alan Anderson, Climate Change Threatens Rotary’s Good Work

February 11 — Nicole Blaires, Exchange Student (V. Dilley)

February 18 — Jayne Hager Dee, Classification Talk (Prowe)