Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | December 6.2018

December 5, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, December 6, 2018

Today:  Elise Marillet, Inbound from France (Frago)

Next Week: Barb Wornson Classification (Hillmann)

Birthdays: Carl Behr (12/12), Jim Holden (12/6), Jim Pokorney (12/7),

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.


Nikki and Che Regnior, Amy Goerwitz (host mother of Indonesian inbound Itty), Lucas Schmidt (Janine Atchison’s adult son–happy news – he survived an accident that totaled his car yesterday, he’s fine but they are car-shopping today), Jon and Deve Drenth, Michelle Drenth, Pepe’s host families and grandparents


  • Rachel Estrella – thanks to all the volunteers who interviewed outbound applicants last week — it’s a good, varied pool of applications this year
  • Wendy Sivanich – asking on behalf of Andre — still need 3 more vol’s to valet park for LBSA gala
  • Rachel McG Morey – noting program is being projected on wall, not screen. This is transitional. They will not be using the old screen anymore. Please don’t get it out of its storage spot.
  • Alyssa Melby – St. Olaf 2018 Midterm Elections Conference next week, Dec. 6, 1:30 to 7:30, 280 Tomson Hall – all invited
  • Mike Leming – went to Greenvale School where volunteers are planning a community meal for Viking Terrace and nearby apt bldgs on Dec. 19 – hoping each child’s family will get a turkey, a gift, and a meal that night. (I asked for clarification after the meeting whether he was looking for volunteers or donations. He said he thinks they have what they need, not asking for help)
  • Richard Collman – mentioned the nice pics of Rotary volunteers serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Key in the Northfield News. Also, he has a t-shirt for Karen Olawalla.
  • Scot Richardson says the Big Idea survey is out – it was emailed Monday morning. Please complete it by Friday of next week (Dec 7).

Scholarship Enhancement:  Tuomas

Rotary Almanac with John Ophaug:

John asked the audience how the Ford Foundation has changed the world; how the Rockefeller Foundation has changed the world — no obvious answers … BUT:

Rotary started 30 years ago to do something that did change the world. In 1982 they decided to do something big for their 100th anniversary in 1985. They selected PolioPlus as this initiative, with the goal of seeing that all the children in the world were vaccinated by 2005. They set a $120 million fundraising goal. In two years they raised more than twice that amount. They used top-down fundraising where each region told each district how much to raise, each district told each club how much they needed to raise — about $250 from each member, locally.

Then they went to the World Health Organization and said “we want to eradicate polio” – which was not well received at first. They said, “You’re just a service club” — then Rotary told them “we have a million volunteers on the ground and $240 million raised.” “Come on in!” WHO said. To date $1.8 billion ($450 million from the Gates Foundation) has been raised by Rotary for this effort. There were 350,000 polio cases worldwide when they started; last year, just 22.

WHO later said of all the organizations in the world there was no one but Rotary they could turn to for such an effort. Rotary did something that dramatically changed the world. Turkey Trot helps provide our annual $10K contribution to the Rotary Foundation.

Last Week:

Jim Pokorney, Pepe’s counselor, introduced Pepe and said he likes the counselor role because he gets to play the “crazy uncle.”

Pedro “Pepe” Gomes do Nascimento shared with us about his life in Brazil. He says that Carnival is a major attraction in there, and the carnival in Rio is the best in the world. He showed us a video about Rio. There is the street carnival where people dress in costumes, and also there is the big parade with huge floats.

Belo Horizonte is Pepe’s hometown — the capital of the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil. He was born there, then moved to a small city and spent his childhood there. Pepe’s father teaches sociology and politics at a university and is also a writer. His mother works in state government helping the counties. He also has a little brother Miguel, age 13.

Pepe told us about Junina Party, a celebration that happens every June where they dress in costumes, have dancing at schools, food. Families come to see their children dance.

On vacations his family likes to go to beach cities and to visit relatives.

Brazil is the biggest country in South America and the only one that speaks Portuguese. They have a population of over 208 million population, making it the 5th largest country and 6th most populous. The capital is Brasilia. Brazil has 26 states and 5570 cities. It is also one of most culturally diverse nations, due to their history. The capital Brasilia was built in the shape of an airplane. The Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio is one of the modern 7 wonders of the world.

Pepe showed a video about the Amazon rainforest, which reminded us that the earth depends on a healthy Amazon – clean water, stores carbon, etc. Our choices can make a more sustainable world and protect the Amazon for future generations. The Amazon Jungle is the biggest rainforest in the world, with the largest river in the world. 10% of the species there are yet to be discovered, scientists say.

Pepe is enjoying his classes at Northfield High School and he is taking German He played football this fall, where he made a lot of friends. He learned how to play American football and also learned lots of life lessons.

He had an amazing time with his first host family and thanks all his host families for taking him in (he was originally supposed to go to Faribault but is glad he is here!)

From the Q&A:

  • People told Pepe that MN would be very cold. They were right! He had the option of choosing MN or FL for exchange — wanted to go somewhere different from Brazil so he chose MN.
  • He does not yet know what he wants to do with his career. He hopes to discover a lot about himself through his exchange year.
  • People have been very friendly to him — he thought they might be more cold.
  • He had the idea that people in US are very sedentary, but has found people to be active and involved in sports.
  • He had taken some years of English before coming.
  • Q about politics in Brazil. This last year was very controversial, country very divided. His family was not very happy with the results. You can vote at age 16 in Brazil.
  • Q about travels since he has been here: Has been as far as southern Iowa so far.
  • Would like to see the Northern Lights while he’s here.
  • In Brazil he did swimming as a sport and a sport that’s like boxing.
  • Was asked who plays “real football,” Americans or Brazilians — Brazilians!

Coming Up:

Dec 20 – Holiday Cheer meeting

Dec 27 – No lunch meeting