Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | February 8.2018

February 6, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018

Today: Penny Hillemann, Classification (Kaczmarek)

Next Week: Robert Massoud, The Power of a Mission Driven Business (Rogers)
Birthdays: Vicky Langer (2/6), Dorothee Ishler and Robert Craig (2/7) and Amy from Thailand (2/8)
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.

Last Week:
Two weeks ago, we learned of the work Destiny Rescue is doing in Southeast Asia to help victims of sex trafficking. Al Zdrazil gave us a more global perspective on human trafficking in last week’s presentation.

First the numbers:
■ There are anywhere between 21 million and 46 million people stuck in the clutches of “compelled service” worldwide, more people today than when slavery was legal.
■ 1.5 million victims are involved in labor trafficking; the rest are in the sex trade.
■ Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry, generating more revenue than the 10 largest United States corporations combined.
■ 71 percent of those trafficked enter the U.S. with legal visas.
■ Minnesota ranks 13th in the country for youth participation in this industry.

Al said the industry systematically exploits those in poverty, minors who are homeless or run-aways and those with a history of abuse and trauma. The business is driven by demand, primarily from men. His goal is to drag this dark aspect of our culture out of the shadows and find a way to protect the victims.

“It hasn’t stopped because we haven’t stopped it,” he said.

He is hopeful that Rotary, with its worldwide network and successful track record of attacking big issues such as polio, can make a difference in this area. He invited us to attend or promote an upcoming district meeting on Human Trafficking Friday, Feb. 23, in the Twin Cities. He would like representatives from education, the faith community, law enforcement to attend. For more information, contact Meg Low at

Todd Thompson is a nice enough guy. Born in Mora and raised in Burnsville, he went to school at Carleton College and the University of Minnesota. He has four children, one of whom was a Rotary exchange student. He said he is proud to be a member of Rotary.
New Member Induction: Anika Rychter (Blaha) and Jennifer Novak (Rich) were formally inducted to the club. Anika works for Northfield Community Action Center and Jennifer is an attorney with Grundhoefer and Ludescher, a Northfield law firm. Welcome Anika and Jennifer.

Guests: Karen and Denny Vinar (Wakely), Tim Peterson (Collman), Stephen Coccarelli (Allawala) and Larry Vorwerk (Brown-Wescott)

Scholarship Enhancement: Russ Halverson

The Rotary meals at the Key are going well, reports Janine Acheson. We need members to sign up for the second half of the year. If you are interested in any one of a variety of tasks, see Janine.

While vacationing at Lake Tahoe, Nev., Alan Anderson was invited to give his climate talk to two local Rotary clubs.

Charlie Cogan reported that our Rotary district has raised almost $1.5 million for Polio Plus since 2007. That amount has been matched two to one by the Gates Foundation.

Despite the unsettling affects of a false nuclear strike alert, John Ophaug gamely finished his quest to run a marathon in all 50 states in Hawaii last month. Chances are the alert, shall we say, “motivated” him to quicken his pace. To celebrate his accomplishment, he is making a donation to the Rotary Foundation.

The “World In Your Lobby” workshop, postponed from January 11 to February 23, will address working with people of different cultures and identities. The workshop, provided by CAC-Northfield Works, is being funded by the Ames Fund.

Our 2017-18 outbound students are:
Madison Asp — Finland
Joan Erickson — Argentina
Annika Fisher— South Africa
Bergen Hoff — Czech Republic/Slovakia
Emma Iverson — Spain
Alex Kovach — Japan
Joseph Kreis — Italy
Benjamin (Ben) Mohlke — Brazil
Piper Nelson — Germany
Jenna Olien — South Korea
Jack Overstreet — Brazil
Gregory Pelletier — Argentina
Espen Richardson — Norway
Elizabeth (Betsy) Schuerman — Denmark
Allison (Al) Weise — Thailand

Coming Up:
February 22 — Kengo Osumi, exchange student, (Frago)
March 1 — Sera Shin, exchange student (Estenson)
March 8 — Mary Hahn, Classification (S. Richardson)
March 15 —Pau Ortenberg, Youth Exchange Student (Chavies)