Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, August 13, 2020

We were robbed! The Jesse James Bike Tour has Gone Non-Virtual.

We were all robbed of the 2020 Jesse James Bike Tour. While the Tour will not be held in its traditional form this year, you can still support the numerous causes it benefits. The Rotary Club of Northfield’s Jesse James Bike Tour has seen thousands of riders over its history and donated over $250,000 to the Mill Towns State Trail and various international and local Rotary projects — eradicating polio, providing clean water in Guatemala, literacy and International Youth Exchange, to name a few.

You are invited to show your support by registering for the non-virtual version of this year’s non-tour. We cut straight to the chase. We need the money. You seem like the type of person who likes to help others.

For a mere $20.20 plus $4.80 shipping, a total of $25.00, you will receive an authentic “I Was Robbed” t-shirt and a “Certificate of Non-Participation” which gives you the freedom to not ride your bike if you so choose. Watch for details on how to order your shirt. If you want to ride, go ahead and ride. We don’t really care. Just stay six feet apart and be safe.

Thanks for your support, and we’ll see you in person in 2021!


Rachel Marzahn will give an update on the South Metro Rotaract Club.
Rick Olson
Rick Olson will tell the story of the Nakivale Rotaract Club in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda, and what that has led to - Best Future School, the site of some Prior Lake Rotary Club projects.
Rotarians around the globe.
Kristi Pursell (8.9.2018), Charlie Cogan (8.10.2000), Chris Richardson (8.10.2004).

ZOOM in Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11:45 a.m.
Zoom in here at 11:45 for casual conversation in a break out room before joining the regular meeting at 12:10.


Our Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT) is dedicated to making climate change a strategic priority and to raising awareness, providing education and encouraging individuals and businesses to act in the interest of our planet.

For additional information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or



Dr. Nicole Christina Stuhrmann, RC Wiesbaden-Kochbrunnen, Germany; Jim Hart, St. Paul Rotary Club; Jackie Johnson; and Henning Schroeder (Yogi); and Melissa Hanson (Atchison).


Bruce Morlan asked that we take a moment of silence in memory of the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing 75 years ago. It has remained a disturbing and profound cautionary tale for all who strive for peace and understanding throughout the world.


The COVID-modified 4-Way Taste was a success, according to Brent Nystrom, one of the co-chairs of the July 31 event. Final numbers are not yet in, but he is confident we will net some where around the $7,000 we made last year.

Brett Reese reported that there will be no Defeat of Jesse James Bike Tour this year due to the COVID pandemic. Instead, there are plans to build a fundraiser around a commemorative T-shirt announcing: “I was robbed in 2020.” The idea is to sell sponsorships and the T-shirt to past riders, supporters and sponsors. Alex Esse, Rick’s son, is working on a T-shirt design that will tell the tale.

Xcel Home Energy Audits will be available at 50 percent discount ($50) through August, Beth Kallestad, a member of the RCAT team said. To make an audit appointment, call 651-328-6220. 

Kopano reported that he has completed his theater program offered by Northfield Arts Guild. 


Kristi Pursell celebrated her family’s fourth annual trip to the Boundary Waters. It was successful on all fronts, tail winds aplenty and no emergency room visits. 

Beth Kallestad is grateful that soccer is still “a go” for the high school fall season.

Brett Reese is happy that Mike Leming and Yogi provided great one-two punch with their spirited conversation at his ranch during the 4-Way Taste.



Thilo Von Debschitz


Fritz Kahn, a pioneer of infographics, is not a household name. But his groundbreaking 20th century work is experiencing a revival thanks to our speaker Thilo Von Debschitz. 

Thilo, founder of a graphic design house in Wiesbaden, Germany, and his sister, Uta, an architect turned journalist, met Kahn’s son by happenstance in their early professional years. Only later did they discover Kahn’s work and his brilliance describing the human body through technical metaphor — man as machine. The brother-sister duo published a book of Kahn’s drawings in 2009.

Kahn was a German physician by training, but published some 20 books, five that revolved around his infographics on the human body. Kahn couldn’t draw, but he had a gift for translating dense lessons in anatomy and physiology into easily digested concepts and images. He rode the wave of 20th century industrialization to reach readers. 

For instance, the body, as a whole, is portrayed as an industrial company with distinct departments. The heart is depicted as a series of elevators, sending blood throughout the body, the nervous system as a switch board with electrical cables connected to relevant anatomy. He explained mastication with an analogy to assembly line work. One of his drawings even presaged telemedicine 50 years before its time. 

Fritz Kahn was Jewish. As Nazism took hold in the 1930s, he was forced to flee Germany. His books were banned and burned. For a time, he lived in the United States, sponsored by the likes of Albert Einstein. Kahn lived in the U.S. and Europe until his death in 1968.

Thilo said three questions would be answered during his talk about Kahn. Here they are:

How long can humans go without food?  About 12 days.

How much does our hair grow each day? If all of our hair was combined into one strand, it would grow 98 feet in one day.

How does an erection happen? You’ll have to look that up.

Kahn’s work has inspired a number of today’s graphic artists. Tatoo artists have even adopted his style.  

Thilo's presentation and the entire August 6, 2020 meeting can be viewed here. 


Reggie Haslett-Marroquin

August 20 — Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Regenerative Agriculture (Lee Dilley)

August 27 — Kopano (Penny Hillemann) plus Children's Day

September 3 — Terry Friedrichs and Bill Keilty, Creative and Critical Thinking Skills of Our Students (Larry Fowler)

Vicki's Vision

Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Fellow Rotarians, 

With much sadness I share with you some news regarding our District Governor and his family.  Ed and Sue Marek's beloved daughter, Mandy, passed away this past weekend after a battle against breast cancer.   I was at a District event two years ago and I remember being with Ed and his wife, Sue, when they shared with me the news they had just received...Mandy's breast cancer had returned.  I could see Sue and Ed at that time leaning into this dreadful situation with all the might within their beings.   Let us continue to keep the Marek's in our hearts and minds as they walk through these dark days, let us lean into whatever ways we can be a support to them.  
Your board met for two hours last night discussing numerous things.  I would  like you to know that the board is made up of individuals that are committed to make 2020 a year of service and sincere care for all of the Northfield Rotary membership.   

It was decided that the lunch money from your dues will go to making certificates available at the Kahlo restaurant. I will let you know more about how to use those certificates, as the details are worked out.  We heard you say you would like some of those certificates to be used by others in need in our community, we will work to make that happen too.  Maria will be guaranteed payment for 30 lunches per week.   We will continue to pay $250 to the Community Action Center for the needs they have and another $250 will go to a rotating list of other service organizations in our community.   We listened to what you told us on the survey we sent out, we responded with the 4 Way Test in mind.... and we feel this is the best decision for this time.   We can re-evaluate this decision later, particularly if our time of distancing continues into longer months.  
Stay tuned for an announcement about a possible social distancing, sack dinner at the Estenson ranch, on a date in September.   If you are not comfortable coming, we completely understand.  This will not be a meeting, it will just be a time of fellowship.  
I hope you have a great week, that you get to enjoy time outside on a patio, deck or dock.  Feel free to drop by our place at 714 Highland Ave for  a little visit.... we are open to anyone who wants to stop by, and we can easily social distance then.  
In your service, 



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.