Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, November 19, 2020


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 853 8396 5788
Passcode: 601997
   Ed Marek
Ed Marek, 5960 District Governor, District Governor's Club Visit. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.
Jim Prichard and Matthew Rich (11.17).
David McKee-3 (11.15.2017); John Ophaug-37 (11.17.1983); Jean Wakely-14 (11.17.2006); John Stull-39 (11.19.1981); Bruce Morlan-5 (11.20.2015).


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.

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.

Paul Edwards of Cannon Falls (L. Dilley), Glenn Rogers, Fred’s brother (Rogers), Elizabeth Ciner, Alexandra Miller and Rachel Matney, CAC board members (Wopata).


Board member Beth Kallestad reported that directors are considering using $50,000 of club reserves to meet some of the extraordinary local and international “raining day” needs caused by the pandemic. More to come. Directors agreed to become the fiscal agent for multi-club collective climate action work. The board is also reviewing club bylaws to see if any changes are necessary.

President Dilley reviewed how we are currently using member dues, while we are meeting remotely. We are providing 30 lunches each week to kids at The KEY, providing $250 to the CAC each week and another $250 weekly to a variety of local charities on a rotating basis.


Jim Loe reported that our 2020 Free Range Turkey Trot has 370 participants, an extremely healthy number given these COVID times. Registration is now closed, but people are invited to donate to the event, if they choose.

Janice Lehmkuhl is looking for club members to help with interviews of prospective 2021 outbound students. They will be meeting remotely Monday, Nov. 30, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Contact her if you are interested in helping.

The CAC is also re-imaging Operation Joy, an annual gift-sharing program for families living on the margins. According to Michelle Lasswell, who sits on the CAC board, the program typically brightens the holidays for some 800 children in the area. Because of COVID-19, gift cards will be distributed this year instead of toys. Michelle said there is a place on the CAC website for donations.

Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a car raffle to replace some of the fundraising events that have been shelved due to the pandemic. Only 750 $100 tickets are being sold. You can’t win if you don’t play.

President Dilley invited members to take a short League of Women Voters’ police experience survey available on the group’s website. 


Jack Hoschauer was happy to learn a slow-growing cancerous stomach tumor is in retreat. 


   Scott Wopata

Scott Wopata, Carbon Neutral Emergency Housing. Hosted by Fred Rogers.

Northfield Community Action Center (CAC) is now raising funds for a forward-looking sustainable, affordable housing project on North Highway 3, the site of the former Hillcrest Motel. 

Scott Wopata, executive director of CAC, said they hope to break ground on the $4.7 million Hillcrest Village in 2021. They have arranged for $2 million in financing and have already raised another $1 million. They need another $1.7 million to make the project work. 

The project will deliver 17 affordable units — three duplexes, two four-plexes and one triplex — built with energy efficient envelopes designed to reduce energy costs by a hefty 62 percent. A solar array will be built on site to make the project energy positive. 

This project was undertaken with a lot of forethought. After careful study, Scott said CAC concluded that marrying energy efficiency with affordable housing is the right thing to do. Climate action is not reserved for the elite and the wealthy, he said. Low income people are often the most impacted by climate change and the least able to afford responsible solutions. Preserving tenants’ dignity was also a guiding principle in the project’s development. CAC’s support services will be available to tenants.

Local partners, Rotary being one — RCAT helped fund the project’s planning grant — have helped bring this project forward. Northfield Shares, Sheldahl and Capital Bank have all supported this work. 

CAC is accepting donations. Go to the CAC website and click on Donate and look for Hillcrest Village. Gifts can be pledged over a five year period..

For more information, contact Scott at

The entire November 12th meeting can be viewed here.



November 26 — Thanksgiving, Turkey Trot with Your Chosen Flock.

 John Harris

December 3 — John Harris, Co-founder of Politico. John Harris (Carleton '85) worked for over 20 years at the Washington Post covering politics and the White House before leaving in 2006 to co-found Politico, a political journalism media company, and become its editor-in-chief, a post he held until 2019. Politico delivers its message mainly via its website,, but also through its popular dally email 'Playbook' and a print version paper in the Washington DC area. As John puts it, he stumbled into journalism during his freshman year at Carleton College by writing a few articles for the student newspaper, The Carletonian. He was hooked. Currently John writes a regular article for the Politico Magazine called "Altitude" which is a weekly perspective on politics in a moment of radical disruption. You can find the series of articles online here: John will talk to the club on a timely political topic (likely election related!) and answer questions. Hosted by Brent Nystrom.

December 10 — Annual Club Meeting and Voting of Officers plus Meredith Galdeen, Using Our New Northfield Rotary Website. The Northfield Rotary Club has implemented a new website and membership management system powered by ClubRunner. An introduction to the new website and how to use some great new (and not so new) tools will be covered, including updating your member profile, accessing the member directory, and subscribing to the club calendar of events. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.

December 17 — Holiday Meeting - Social Committee Richard DeBeau and Sherri Meyers.

December 24 — Christmas Eve - No Meeting.

December 31 — Holiday Meeting - Social Committee Richard DeBeau and Sherri Meyers.

Vicki's Vision

Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Friends, 
How has your week been? Tough? Still trying to figure out how we ‘dance’ together in this time of Covid? Is the sunshine inspiring you to do something new and different? Me? I have my ups and downs, but I am trying hard to be thankful for all I have to keep those around me safe and healthy.
My heart is sad for Brett Reese, Brent Nystrom and their team as they endure one more loss with the fire at the Archer House Inn. Such a tragedy. I don’t know what the right words are to express our grief for you at this time ... we are so very sorry. Know that the entire community and your comrades at Rotary are here for you.  
Last Tuesday your Rotary Club Board met and made some significant decisions. Rick Estenson from the Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT) reported that the RCAT network is growing among clubs and individuals nationally. Last week, the network participants held a strategic planning session and they decided they would like to set up a separate bank account, outside of the ESRAG group, which is under Rotary International. Rick asked that our club be that fiduciary and they will set up a bank account and move the $1,500 from our budget to that account for them to manage and collect dues from other RCAT clubs who join. The Board felt good about this request, as it moved the work of RCAT one step further to being a bigger force for change with the combined partnerships of other clubs.  
Then, the other big news was the decision of the Board to allocate $50,000 taken from the Northfield Shares account, leaving more than $70,000 in the account for future needs. In preparation for this discussion, International Board Chair, Mark Abbott, presented us with a report from the research he did on the history of these funds and if any were earmarked for special funding. All seemed to be free and clear and it seems the funds grew to this amount when the days were filled with successful fundraisers and growing investments. It seems this money was intended to be used for a ‘rainy day’. As most of us on the board said, ‘if this is not a rainy day ...’.   
Along with Mark’s research, I called Greg Carlson for some of his input on these funds and their purpose, I spoke with Scott Richardson and I also spoke with Bob Will, they were all very helpful and encouraging. Bob was full of good cheer and sharp memory of the past events in regards to this fund. When I told him how much the account had grown, he laughed, I mean really belly laughed and he got me to laugh too! It was certainly a highlight of my day. He agreed, the rainy day had come.  
Two-thirds of this money will be given to a local charity, to be decided by the Local Grants Committee, and one third would go to an international project, decided by the International Service Committee. I hope you feel as good as we do about being able to step into this time of great need in our community and abroad, thankful for the careful stewardship of past board and club members. 
As the old African saying goes … if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far go together. Our efforts, when combined with others, can go far, whether that is with other clubs as RCAT is doing or with our District and other Districts that make up Rotary International, our potential is huge.  
I much prefer to travel this journey with all of you.
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow and hearing from our District Governor, Ed Marek, who travels with us. I do hope you will tune in on the zoom call. Happy Thanksgiving next week!  

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.