Cogwheel Archive

Cogwheel – April 28, 2016

April 26, 2016

Today: Tom Hanson, retired Foreign Service Officer, the Geopolitics of Climate Change (R. Flaten)

Birthdays: Wayne Abdella (4/17), John Fossum and Dennis Hanson (4/19), Regi Haslett-Marroquin (4/28).

Next Week: Robert Garcia, Cinco de Mayo (Kallestad)

Last Week:

Project Friendship, a home-grown mentoring program that matches local college students with kids grades 2 through 7, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

There will be a special event Saturday, May 7, at Central Park, beginning with a 5K run-walk at 9:30 a.m., a 1K fun run at 10:30 a.m. and family activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sarah Van Sickle, executive director, said Project Friendship has served more than 4,000 children since 1965. The program goals are to improve self-confidence, self-worth and healthy decision-making in the lives of Northfield youth. Students from Carleton and St. Olaf are matched with a student based on similar interests. They meet one-to-one for an hour a week during the academic year and attend three large group activities. Most relationships last on average 2 ½ years. Many grow into lifelong relationships with life-long impact, Sarah said.

Statistics bear out the value of the program. Children who have the benefit of Project Friendship are more likely to assume leadership roles among their peers, more likely to participate in extra-curricular activities, less likely to become involved with alcohol or drugs, and more likely to go to college.

Sarah emphasized that there is mutual benefit in these relationships. The mentors get as much if not more out of the program as the kids. For them it is the multi-generational experience they don’t get on campus and a preview of life as a parent.

Project Friendship has 83 matches this year. Northfield Promise, a Healthy Community Initiative program that supports youth development cradle to career, has identified another 336 children who would benefit from having an adult presence in their lives.

The program is leveraging the 50th anniversary to build awareness of the program and to raise funds so the program can remain free to all.

For more information, go to:


As the Northfield Y closes in on a second anniversary (It opened in September 2014.) Virginia Kaczmarek, executive director, was excited to share some statistics with us. The Y has 5,000 members, 26 percent above projections. Seventy-five percent have a Northfield address.  Seventy-five percent sign up as families. The largest demographic is an adult 24-52 with children. During 2015, 3,392 guest passes were issued, and someone crossed the Y threshold 133,000 times during the year. She also mentioned Northfield’s Healthy Kids Day is coming up on Saturday, April 30. Lots of fun activities for the kids.

New Members:

Sharon Flaten and Richard Schulte were formally inducted into the club. Sharon, who is married to Robert Flaten, has a background in nursing and educational psychology. Richard is an active community member who serves on the Northfield Planning Commission. Sharon is sponsored by Peg Prowe, Richard by Richard Collman.

Guests: Tom Hanson (R. Flaten), Andrei Sivanich (W. Sivanich), Ramiz Allawala (Cogan) and Gunho Park, former exchange student, now in school in British Columbia, (Brown-Wescott)

Scholarship Enhancement:  Chris Weber, a testament to tenacity


The graduation party for our inbound students, Nicole and Carson, will be Wednesday, May 25, 5:30 p.m. at the Estenson Event Center. Details to follow.

On Thursday, May 12, we will be meeting at Community Resource Bank, lower level, for lunch and a performance by the fabulous Troubadours.

Northfield will host the District’s farewell party Saturday, June 11, for 60 inbound exchange students. We need chaperones for this overnight party. If you can help between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. let Jean Wakely know.

Charlie Cogan announced to upcoming sporting events to help benefit the Polio Plus campaign. The first is a golf tournament associated with the May 12 and 13 District Conference. The second is a Polio Plus night at the Twins-Yankees game Saturday, June 18.

Here is a list of our outbound students.

  • 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

May 12 — The Fabulous Troubadours and lunch at Community Resource Bank

May 19 — Kim Briske, Classification (Hillmann)

May 26 — Griff Wigley and Marty Larson, CROCT (Heinemann)

June 2 — Wendy Sivanich, Classification (Estenson)

Quote for the Day:

“There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.” Albert Schweitzer