Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, February 11, 2021


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 853 8396 5788
Passcode: 601997

  Cal Mann

Cal Mann, A Rotarian’s Peace Corps Volunteer Service Adventure in North Macedonia 2017 - 2020. Cal will share his experience as a Rotarian serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Eastern Europe. He was among the 7,400 global Peace Corps Volunteers who were evacuated in March 2020 due to Covid-19. Hosted by Ann Richards.

Robert Craig (2.7); Kristi Pursell (2.13).
Vicki Dilley-16 (2.10.2005); Michelle Lasswell-10 (2.10.2011); Dorothy Ischler and David Stanford-5 (2.10.2016); Dayna Norvold-11 (2.11.2010).


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. 
What We Can all DoSee a list of Rotary action ideas list for individuals and businesses here.
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.

Beth Kallastad noted that she and her son submitted a video to a call from International Rotary about ‘How I am fixing the planet’ on #ESRAG. They submitted a short video about our club’s help with EV Stations in Northfield. Please find and vote for our video! 

Charlie Cogan showed a photo of hand washing stations we helped fund for the schools in Togo from our Rainy Day Fund, along with our financial support for delivering rice, oil and other food stuffs to communities near Togo.  

Vicki shared Dave Brown’s notes that International Rotary has a Share the Love campaign. For every $100 donated you will receive 2 points toward a Paul Harris award, only during the month of February.  Vicki will share this info again.  

The 2021 IR Convention in Taiwan will be virtual, which means the entire club can sign up and attend this convention! Get your slippers on, cozy up to the computer, and be transported!  

Todd Thompson, as VP, is leading the Strategic Planning meeting via Zoom. All members who would like to participate please sign up. This planning meeting will navigate our club for the next five years. Your voice is important!

If anyone has extra furniture to donate to a returning Exchange Student and his family, please contact Vicki asap.


Scott Richardson reports that we received excellent coverage on his article about our $50,000 donation to the community. It was also carried by KYMN Radio as well. We thank Scott for running with this story for us. 

We all wish Vicki well as she has her knee surgery on Monday. She hopes to be coherent on our Thursday meeting next week. 


    Beth Kallestad

Beth Kallestad, Let's Get UNcomfortable!

Beth Kallsestad is our club leader for the Racial Diversity group. Today’s conversation is entitled, Let’s Get UNcomfortable based on the presentation of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man (YouTube). Most of the club indicated that they had at least watched he Episode 1 video. But it was not necessary in order to participate in the group discussion. Before starting, Beth asked the club to take a short inhale and exhale and ground themselves to the conversation coming. She quoted that racism is a virus of the mind, and the ‘fix’ is to begin these uncomfortable conversations.  

Episode 1 of the film began with host Emmanuel Acho

Episode 2 of the film is with Matthew McConnaughey – White Allergies / My responsibility

Episode 3 of the film is with Chip and Joanna Gains & Children – Color blindness and Hope for the future.

Please finish viewing as you are able. There are several other episodes you can view on your own as well.  Some of the questions Beth posed for conversation were (I didn’t get them all written down):

What was what you heard that surprised you?

Can you give examples of blind spots in your own life?

How will you learn more about racism?

What was uncomfortable for you?

What is your hope for the future?

We broke into 8 groups of 5 members, and offered some starting questions led by a group discussion leader.  

I led group 6 through a short 15 minute ‘pop up’ feedback on what they were doing, reading, thinking around this subject:

Jan S – She and her husband have been reading about this history for years and are deeply involved in Civil War History. She has a realization of great sadness – like being in a ‘concentration camp’. She notes the power that the Census takers had during those years yielded great power if they categorized you as ‘black’, or not. Your life depended on what they put down. Noted that history books were / are written in ‘Confederate’ Texas.  

Jim H – retired teacher is in a book club that has focused on black reparations, anti-racism, and caste. He remembers being trained as a young school teacher regarding race in the Minneapolis school system. He heard that more is ‘caught’ than ‘taught’ in schools. He asks, ‘where have we failed?” How do we root out racism? 

Jesse S – His family is very bi-racial with cousins and in-laws both white and black – which was normal for him. Yet he has a cousin in Chicago who is being harassed based on their being a black store owner, period. His challenge is “as being part of the problem, how do I fix it?”

Jean W – My family adopted and raised 3 Blackfeet Indian sisters – who now live back on the Reservation. They were one of the first Indian children enrolled in our school, which was ‘5 blocks” from the boarder of the Blackfoot Indian Nation Reservation. Our schooling never included any information about our Indian History in any class or book.  Ignoring the issue was the way it was dealt with in my neck of the woods. 

Jayne HD – She is outraged when Covid hit our community and shut down the packing plants that employ Mexican and Somali neighbors. The community outcry was for the poor animals that had to be wasted, and not for the workers affected.    

Time’s Up!  Beth led us back to a ‘chat-fall’ of comments in the Chat Room. John Sinning will capture our 1-2 sentence wrap up from each group presenting. Robert Craig noted that this is the first time, and ‘about time’ that our club has ever openly discussed racism in our club. Beth called for a show of hands of members who would like to participate in a Rotary Book Club focused on this subject.  The hands carried and members were asked to jot their names in the Chat column to be contacted later. 

Our guest speaker on March 11 Sam Ouk, school counselor in the Faribault School System. He will continue the subject of racism in his own life and of the students in school.  Not to be missed. Sam is a powerful and educating speaker. 


February 18 — RCAT/Peter Fiekosky Founder and Chair Emeritus, Foundation for Climate Restoration, Foundation for Climate Restoration "F4CR." Hosted by Lee Dilley.

   Jennifer Barrientos

   Natalia Marchan

February 25 — Jennyffer Barrientos, Growing Up Healthy Director, Northfield and Natalia Marchan, Growing Up Healthy Director, Faribault, Reducing Energy Burden in Rice County Mobile Homes. Growing Up Healthy, the City of Northfield and the City of Faribault are collaborating to connect low-income, Latinxs residents living in Faribault and Northfield mobile home parks with Xcel Energy's Home Energy Squad initiative and weatherization supplies, in order to help families improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

Vicki's Vision

  Mark Abbott

Board Member Mark Abbott is filling in for Vicki this week. Mark Chairs the International Service Committee.

In kneed of encouragement in this age of plague? I’ll try not to anesthetize you while Vicki recuperates.

A US team has won the “world” championship Super Bowl of American football for the 55th year in a row! We do love our sports! Though each game has a winner and a loser, the fans win in the watching. Sports offer pleasant and entertaining distraction, of which there are too few these days, and teach us losing is not the end of our world. It seems to take some maturity to accept loss. Pity those who can’t.

I took a ride in the Tyrolean Alps today without leaving the safety of my home. A stationary bike with video took me to Austria. Diana and I envisioned traveling in these first years of retirement. The travel will wait while we live vicariously through virtual journeys.

The phrase “Every Rotarian Every Year” strives to inspire us to support The Rotary Foundation (TRF). One may reasonably ask how the donated funds are spent?

Here’s how TRF works.

Rotarians donate each year. The Rotarians in our district 5960 donated $236k to TRF in 2014-15. That money is invested for three years, the earnings from which support the staff and operating costs of TRF. In 2018-19 (3 years later) the $236k is pulled out of the investment funds and distributed as follows. Half ($118k) goes to support Polio Plus, World Peace Centers, and Global Grants. These funds are managed by TRF. Half ($118k) is returned to our district in the form of District Designated Funds (DDF). The district grants committee oversees these funds and distributes them to worthy projects presented by clubs in our district in the form of matching grants.

Most projects involve multiple clubs and often multiple districts. DDF projects may be local or international with a total project cost up to $35k. The district will match funds contributed by clubs at 1:1 up to $3k per club and up to $12k per project. Projects over $35k in total cost are considered Global Grants, qualifying for 1:1 match from the District plus 2.5:1 match from TRF. International projects must involve one of the seven areas of focus including Preventing Disease, Providing Clean Water, Supporting Education, Growing Local Economies, Saving Mother & Children, Promoting Peace and Supporting the Environment.  Our club has led and completed Global Grants in Guatemala, Togo, and Thailand. Our club has also supported Global Grants in Togo, Tanzania and elsewhere, meaning projects contributed to by us but led by other clubs.

International projects must involve a partner club near the location of the project. This is a big reason TRF and Rotarians are highly successful at implementing humanitarian projects around the world. Having partners in Togo, Thailand, Guatemala, Tanzania, and elsewhere make the difference in getting the work done. Funds are very efficiently spent on the true need. This makes TRF one of the most efficient and successful non-profit granting organizations in the world.

How does our club decide on projects to undertake? You make that decision!  Every project has a local champion. If you have an idea for a project or a passion to help those in need in a specific area or manner, please bring your idea forward!

Mark Abbott
P.S. Our next Rotary Board meeting will be Feb 16th at 4 pm. Ally Northfield Rotarians are welcome to attend.
Login here. Meeting ID: 884 2385 5016
Passcode: 202419

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.