Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, August 26, 2021


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 kitchen window.
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.
Emily Lloyd
August 26 — LGBTQIAP 101: Past and Present — Emily Lloyd. Club members will leave this session with a clearer understanding of “what the letters mean”, etiquette when interacting with LGBTQIAP people, new trends in coming out (such as age), and a quick grounding in the past to where we are now. Emily is the Youth Services Librarian & Selector at the Northfield Public Library. Hosted by Beth Kallestad.
Amy Goerwitz., 8/22
No anniversaries this week.


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, Jean Wakely.


Sandy Cripps (Mary Ellen North).


Brett Reese


President Todd expressed his gratitude for Beth Kallastad – Todd met her during a NAG performance years ago. She represents part of the City’s concern for Climate Change, and Local Volunteerism in our Rotary Club.. 


Brought to you by, President Todd Thompson:  Ride your bikes!  Amber Chavie is selling bracelets at Gaphic MailBox made from 100% plastic garbage from the ocean, and reminds folks that there is a Minnesota-made oil for cars by Amsoil.


Jean Wakely announced Rotary’s sponsorship with the 4th Annual Northfield Library’s Hispanic Heritage Days on Thursday, Sept 18 from 11 – 6 pm.  We will send out a Sign-Up Genius for three shifts that day, Set up and Host, Mid-day Host, and end of day Host and take-down of our booth.  For more information go to this website
Jim Loe announced that meetings have started for the 2021 Turkey Trot.  Please join Jim at Community Resource Bank on August 24th at 4:30 pm.  Please contact Jim to let him know you would like to be involved:
Meredith Galdeen announced that tickets are now available for the 4-Way Taste, Thursday,  September 16th at the Red Barn.  There will be more vendors and more grass this year!  Tickets online or Face Book at, open “Events” to purchase.  In 2019 the event sold out quickly.
John Sinning announced that the Rotary Bike Tour will be needing Volunteers, both from the club and from ‘friends of Rotary’ for the September 25th event.  Volunteers will be needed in every capacity on Friday and Saturday of that weekend.  Please check your calendar.  Many hands make light work!!  Next year we will return to “Normal!”   Please watch for an invitation from Sign-up-Genius about this opportunity to volunteer. 
Steve Underdahl
COVID: What happened, What's next? — Steve Underdahl. A brief review of the impact of COVID-19 on our local Medical Center and some thoughts about what might lie ahead. Steve is the President and CEO of Northfield Hospitals and Clinics. Hosted by Richard DeBeau.
Steve Underdahl gave us the good news first:  Northfield Hospital and Health Community vaccinated 20,000 citizens last year against the Corona Virus.  Then the bad news: England reported a variant in the disease, now termed the Delta Variant Virus, and it was spreading fast. 
As we watched the numbers climb with strategic planning and vaccinations, we seemed to get to the edge of the graphic ‘cliff’, and vaccinations fell as the ‘willing population’ was satisfied with their care.  Then the population dropped dramatically into the Believers vs. the Non-Believers and vaccinations rolled to a stop. 
Those who got sick with the Covid virus, the numerical chances are you would spread the virus to 2 people.  The new Delta Variant Virus numerical chances are now that you would spred the virus (without a vaccine) to 4 or 6 or more people.  Since the virus is a Scientific Fact and a Numerical Entity, it gives everyone just two choices:  Get a vaccine or get sick.  People who participated in any of the vaccines offered may or may not get sick, but will not end up in the hospital and will not die.  Please note, says Underdahl, that the Northfield Hospital does not have ventilators.  If needed, you will be shipped to another location where ventilators are available – if available due to over-crowding. 
The continuing sad news is that the Delta variant is affecting children.  When adults do not vaccinate and acquire the virus, their children also end up in the hospital in the juvenile ward.  It is simply the scientific math that cannot be denied. 
Working closely with Matt Hillman, Superintendent of the Northfield School system, Hillman has taken the road of safe precaution for our children in school by mandating masks on campus.  We know from listening to Hillman a few weeks ago, the Northfield Schools will now continue with a variety of hybrid learning programs through the district.  The mask mandate will stay in place until….
Underdahl says that currently the Northfield Hospital is ‘OK’, full but with all kinds of patients needing Covid care and elective surgeries.  However, please keep in mind and be patient if you are at the hospital.  There is a staff shortage due to many factors caused by the virus:  many have retired, many have taken a leave, many have changed professions.  All staff here are required to be fully vaccinated.  The hospital is doing all they can to meet people and staff “where they are” in their position to be vaccinated.  Meaning, that research shows that the people who are most resistant to vaccinations are from the political left (not the right as many believe).  It is the educated professionals who question vaccination the most. 
Currently there is an enormous effort to defeat the illegitimate claims on social media claiming that the vaccines are (bogus / ineffective / morally! wrong / etc.).  An interesting fact is that women, more than men, are choosing information given by (anyone) over on FaceBook over information given to them by their doctor.  Social media is a multiplying machine and for those searching down the rabbit hole for covid information, it creates algorithms of more misinformation. Even the CDC’s official website has been exploding with incorrect algorithms of mis-information. People are wearing safety pins to detect ‘magnet’ activity, while others are fearful that a person and ‘spew’ or spit vaccine on another person thus needing masks.  Wearing masks is a good thing no matter what you believe, actually. 
Underdahl suggests that our “Minnesota Nice” attitude should be checked when in conversation with folks about vaccination.  A slight nod of the head, which means ‘I agree with you’ may mean totally the opposite suggesting ‘I don’t want to argue with you about this subject.’  We need to be clear.  But we will not change anyone’s mind by calling them ‘stupid’ either.  Be intentional and respectful when speaking with others on this subject.  At the same time, be careful and respectful is someone tells you on the “KT” that they are getting the vaccine even though their group / family / club / office mates are against the vaccine. They may want to share with you, but do not need you to share it with the world.
Finally Underdahl wraps up by saying that we are now a generation who knows a lot about very little, due to social media.  The intententional specific study of science or the sciences is often researched on social media sound bites rather than course work and lab study.  He suggests further reading, “The Death of Expertise” by Tom Nichols about the rejection of experts.
(While typing this report my computer threw out several searches about the vaccine for me to follow…down the rabbit hole!)  Last bit, vaccines for 3 to 11 year olds should be here by the end of the year.  Stay tuned, stay vaccinated, and listen to your doctor/specialist. 

The entire August 19th meeting can be viewed here.



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.
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.
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. 
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. 

Todd's two cents


Todd Thompson, President

Todd’s Two Cents:

I got a call this week from one of our members saying we need some local volunteering opportunities. I started thinking, yeah, we haven’t had as many lately…then I remembered, oh yeah, the pandemic. Well, we are a club of actions.
Of course, we have our fund raisers coming up the Taste, the Tour and the Trot. And we need you guys to come out to help with those events.
Kristi Purcell sent me the invite to “Clean Up The River” September 18, 9-12noon. That’s a good chance to help (and get a little dirty too!). Janine just told me she is starting up the feeding kids at the Key once a month dinner. Great work guys!!!
Local volunteering is a good way to get to know each other in the club and those around us in the community. Things we have done in the past: Halloween party at the YMCA, meals on wheels, renovate the Key, feed kids at the Key, etc.
Yours in 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.