Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, September 9, 2021
NOTE:  Masks are to be worn when you enter the Methodist church and
to be on when you are not eating. 


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting

Find it here.
Meeting ID: 843 1983 0113
Passcode: 264180

Here is the UPDATED TIMELINE for our IN PERSON MEETINGS and ZOOM CALLS. On some days there will be slight variations, but not for coming on to the call.  
11:45 - Noon — Club Members and Guests are invited to join and go into a break out room for casual conversations.

IN PERSON: Noon - 12:15 — Pick up your lunch at the buffet line, please wear your mask when doing so.  When you are not eating, please put your mask back on.
12:10 — ALL Zoom callers are invited back together to begin the meeting. Generally, the meeting will begin with an Invocation, the 4-Way Test, introduction of guests and then introduction of our speaker. Speaker and Questions/ Discussion.
12:20 — Meeting Begins.
1:15 — Meeting is dismissed until next week.
September 9  Update On the Upcoming 4-Way Taste and Northfield Rotary Bike Tour  Brent Nystrom & John Sinning. Listen and learn about two of this year’s important Rotary Club fundraising events (and maybe volunteer!) Leaders from each event will provide details on how the 2021 versions of each event will work, who is attending, and how you still might be able to help.  
Chris Richardson, September 6
David McKee, September 8
Rachel McIver Morey, 6 years
Thomas Neuville, 30 years


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. 
RCAT –The world's climate scientists have put out a new sobering report we should all read, if we want to try to preserve a livable world for the future.  See attached link.
Our Climate Action Statement - Read our climate action statement here.
For additional information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or


Thanks to last week's Cogwheel reporter, Scott Richardson

Dennis Olson (DeBeau)
Amy Goerwitz
President Todd Thompson gave the nod to Alan Anderson for his tireless work sounding the clarion call on global warming and climate change. His leadership was pivotal in the formation of our very active and productive Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT). Thank you, Alan.

Special presentation of the Good Neighbor Award by Carl Caskey to Beth Berry

The 2021 recipient of the Good Neighbor award goes to Beth Berry, founder of the TORCH program and a tireless advocate for youth, especially those who live at the margins. Beth was named this year’s Rotary Good Neighbor. In addition to her work with TORCH and Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, she has actively worked to support programs at the Community Action Center and was a key fundraiser for the CAC’s sustainable Hillcrest housing project. She received a Paul Harris fellowship in her honor and a stipend from the club.

Beth Berry and Carl Caskey
--- Anika Rychner and Brent Nystrom announced its “all hands on deck” time for the 4-Way Taste Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Red Barn east of Northfield. We need volunteers to setup, operate and take down. We need tickets purchased, and we need you to share the announcement in your social media circles.
--- We are on notice. John Sinning, co-chair of the Northfield Rotary Bike Tour, said we have 70 volunteer spots to fill for the upcoming Rotary Bike Tour, Saturday, Sept. 25. His appeal will come soon. In the meantime, he encourages members to share our announcements on social media. The bike tour will follow COVID protocols adopted by the club.
--- Kristi Purcell said the 13th annual Cannon River cleanup will take place Saturday morning, Sept. 18, 9 to 12 at eight locations in the watershed, two in Northfield, Riverside Park and the arboretum. See the Clean River Partners website for details. She also invited members to the Downstream Film Festival Friday, Sept. 24. Again, go to Clean River Partners for details. And, one more, Clean River Partners will have a members’ party Saturday, Oct. 2, at Keepsake Cidery. Details to follow.
--- Jean Wakely announced the presentation of “Quilt Story --- Women of the Plains” at the Rotary book club meeting tonight (Wednesday) at 6:30 p.m. Phone Jean to reserve a spot.
--- In a gesture of support for our new president, past, past president Barry Carlson gifted him one of the loudest Rotary shirts in captivity. Must be seen to be believed.
Beth Berry and Sarah Lee
September 2 — TORCH and The NCCC: Past, Present, and Future — Beth Berry and Sarah Lee. Learn about the history of the Tackling Obstacle and Raising College Hopes (TORCH) program, how it led to the creation of the Northfield Community College Collaborative (NCCC), what both programs are doing today to help Rice County youth, and the ways in which we hope to grow and continue to build and nourish community partnerships and impact.

Sarah is the director of the NCCC and Beth is the founder of TORCH and a current member of it's advisory board, as well as a steadfast supporter of HCI's programming and a mentor to and champion of youth in Northfield and everywhere else. Hosted by Scott Wopata.
By all measures, Northfield’s TORCH program (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) is a wild success.
Seventeen years ago it started with a modest 17 students. It now serves more than 750 middle school, high school and graduated students with tutoring, career exploration, college exposure and a myriad of supportive services. These kids are primarily students of color, students for whom English is not the primary language spoken at home, or students from low-income homes. Over these 17 years, 98 percent of TORCH students have graduated.
Beth Berry, the person who launched the program in 2004, said the most important element of TORCH is hope. “Without hope, nothing really develops,” she said.
The program nurtures that hope by exposing students to higher education, providing experience on college campuses or in job settings, setting high expectations and delivering the education. They surround the student with information and a network of support more mainstream students receive from their families.
In 2018, TORCH established Northfield Community College Collaborative (NCCC) in partnership with Riverland Community College. TORCH students now can earn college credits, even an associate of arts degree, without leaving town.
Sarah Lee, the director of NCCC, said they hope to expand their curriculum to include a bachelor’s degree option. They currently have a law enforcement track and would like to add a teaching track.
NCCC is always looking for people with master’s degrees to teach, tutors for the students and job shadowing opportunities, Sarah said. Most of all, she encourages people to share the NCCC story.

The entire September 2nd meeting can be seen here



Eric Runestad
September 16  Classification Talk: A Winding Path of Purpose and Microadventure  Eric Runestad. Eric will share his personal and professional story that has led him around the Midwest and then back to Minnesota in 2020- six houses, five states, two children, two dogs, and one excellent wife. Hosted by Fred Rogers.
Rick Heidick
September 23 Fast for Hope and the Water Project.   Ricki Heidick  Rick will update us on how our district Fast for Hope program has led to our current water project in Nicaragua and explain how we are using district and global grants to help us bring water to a rural community of about 120 families. Rick is the chair of the district Fast for Hope Initiative. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.
Benjamin Hauser
September 30  Perspectives  a classification talk Follow Ben Hauser's journey to Northfield, MN which started from a small dairy farm in a little village in South Korea. He will share what he has learned and the different perspectives he's been able to experience as he had to learn a new language and culture at the age of 7  and return to his land of birth at the age of 27 where he had to relearn a language he had completely forgotten as well as the culture. Hosted by Jesse Steed.

Todd's two cents


Todd Thompson, President

Todd’s Two Cents:

As a Freshman at Carleton College in 1973 I went to my first Defeat of Jesse James Days. I ran the road race and went to a dance as I recall. I have only fond memories of all the DJJDs. Make sure to thank those on the DJJD committee for keeping such a vibrant celebration alive and well all these years.
Being a teacher, this time of year is like New Years. New students, new weather, new adventures. I enjoyed teaching a class today, walking in this beautiful weather, and making pico with Amber with the fresh veggies from the Open Hands Farm. What an abundant life!
We have two fund raisers coming up, help us share our abundant lives here in Northfield. Sign up to volunteer.
  • Four Way Taste - Sept. 16
  • Northfield Rotary Bike Tour – September 25
See you there!

Be sure and buy your tickets for the 4 Way Taste here.  Covid Health and Safety Protocols, please read here. 

Sign up Genius to volunteer to help.


Sign up to ride in the Northfield Bike Tour here. 


A BIG THANK YOU to our Sponsors for the 4 Way Taste and the upcoming Turkey Trot!  Please support and thank these businesses when you have the opportunity! 
American Center for Philanthropy
Community Resource Bank
Merchants Bank
Neuger Communications/Engage Print
Rebound Partners
Bierman's Partnership
Carleton College
Carlson Capital Management
Edward Jones/J.Snodgrass
Holden Farms
Keith Pumper Plumbing & Heating
Northfield Insurance
Professional Dental Group
Schmidt Homes
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Benson and Langehough
Cannon Point Chiropractic
College City Beverage
Firehouse Liquor
Frago and Lasswell
Frandsen Bank
Heartman Insurance
Hogan Brothers
Larson's Printing
Northfield Construction
Paper, Inc.
Premier Bank
Event Partner
Northfield Municipal Liquor Store

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.