Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | March 1.2018

February 28, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, March 1, 2018

Today: Sera Shin, exchange student (Galdeen)

Next Week: Mary Hahn, Classification (S. Richardson)

Birthdays: Jesse Steed (2/24), James Schlichting (2/25), Larry Fowler (2/28), David Stanford (2/29) and Jennifer Novak (3/3).

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:
Kengo Osumi wants to make his exchange year in Northfield count. He finds everything here new and interesting.

He comes from Osaka, Japan, a city known for its sight-seeing and shopping. His family back home includes his mother, an office worker; his father, a train engineer; his sister, a nursing student; and his grandfather, who makes Kengo laugh.

Kengo knew something about southern Minnesota before he arrived. His family hosted a young man from Owatonna last year. The high sky and distant horizons are a contrast to his city life back home. In Japan, there are 127 million people wedged into a land area the size of California. Tokyo alone has 13 million people. Kengo describes his home country as culturally diversified and scenic. He speaks with reverence of temples that date back to the 14th century and with amazement of contemporary skyscrapers.

School in Japan requires riding a crowded train to and from. Classes are 50 minutes long, running from 8:40 a.m. t0 3:15 p.m. After school, most students participate in club sports and activities.

Kengo expressed appreciation for this opportunity and for all of the support he has received from his host families, counselors and others in school and them community.

Brad Frago was raised in Ohio, Connecticut, New  Hampshire and Des Moines, but he fell in love with Northfield and Minnesota when he came to Carleton College. After graduation, he attended law school and clerked for a district judge in Renville County. There he met his wife, our own Michelle Lasswell. Brad’s first job as a practicing attorney was in Faribault, and he and Michelle now both practice in Northfield. An aspect of his practice he especially enjoys is serving as a neutral party in legal disputes. He is a self-professed weather geek, enjoys amateur radio and aviation. Brad joined Rotary in 2001.

Guests: Jill Fisher, JD Schuerman, Christopher Frago (Kengo), Kucheang Mangok (V. Dilley) and Bia’s sister, Isabel Aylin (Bia).

Scholarship Enhancement: Denny Hanson


— If you are interested in joining our Youth Exchange team, there is a meeting Thursday, March 1, 5:15 p.m. at the Sivanich residence. See Wendy Sivanich for more information. She is also on the hunt for host families for next year’s five inbounds. If you have any candidates, share them with her.

— Rotary is responsible for support staff for Thursday’s Table on Thursday, March 29, at the Northfield Community Resource Center. If you can help, see Jim Pokorney.

— The membership committee will hold an orientation session for new members on Tuesday, March 20, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Community Resource Bank. We will share the club vision and opportunities to serve on club projects and teams. A light supper will be served.

HELP WANTED: The board is inviting applicants for our club treasurer position. David Wolf is stepping down from the post after five years of service. Don’t hesitate to self-nominate, if you can balance a checkbook. Talk to President Wakely, President-Elect Richardson or Past-President Michelle Lasswell if you are interested.

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:

March 15 —Pau Ortenberg, Youth Exchange Student (Chavies)

March 22 — Kristi Purcell, Executive Director, Cannon River Watershed Partnership (W. Sivanich)

March 29 — Jim Hunt, Fast for Hope

April 5 — Bia Rebello, Exchange Student (Stevens)