Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, June 18, 2020


An announcement from our District’s Rotary Foundation Team: 
We are over halfway through our District’s “PUSH for $400K” for giving to The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund, and we are off to a great start so far! Over 200 of our Rotarians have contributed to the Annual Fund so far this month, and they have donated more than $25,000!  If you are one of those donors, thank you … your contribution will help make the lives of people better! If you haven’t yet donated, don’t worry … there is still time. The deadline for contributions is June 30, but there is no reason to wait until then!
Remember, there is a special opportunity as well: if you can give at least $365 (the equivalent of a dollar a day), some of our current Foundation Champions will utilize their recognition points to make you a Paul Harris Fellow. That’s right … for this special PUSH for $400K month, $365 is all it takes to be a Paul Harris Fellow!
While there is special recognition at this level, any amount is important, as it’s not about the amount or the recognition, but it’s about the impact you’re making.  our donation will help teach kids essential skills, prevent mothers and babies from dying, create peace, treat and prevent disease, provide economic opportunities and improve clean water and sanitation … all improving the lives of the recipients of our projects! 
You can donate online through My Rotary or send a check to The Rotary Foundation. Reach out to your Club President or Foundation Chair for more information. Thank you for your gift to The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund this month as you help us PUSH for $400K!
This Week's Meeting
This week's speaker is Pam Tschida on Fast for Hope.
Rotarians Around the Globe
Ann Leming (6.14.2018), Jan Stevens (6.16.1994).

ZOOM in Thursday, June 18, 2020
Members: Watch for a separate email message with login information for this week's Zoom meeting.



Brett Reese, co-chair of the Jesse James Bike Tour, said his committee planning on holding a bike tour this fall, despite the cancelling of Defeat of Jesse James Days. Members are considering a scaled down event with a limited number of pre-registered riders only. It hasn’t quite taken shape yet, but it is tentatively planned for Saturday, Sept. 12. More to come.

President Carlson reported that all of our fundraisers — The 4-Way Taste Festival, the bike tour, the turkey trot — are still in play for the coming year. He encouraged members to become involved in both the planning and execution. We need our best people on these projects.

[Correction from 6.11.2020] Exchange student Kopano's name was inadvertently auto-corrected to Pango in last week's Cogwheel. Our apologies Kopano. We're happy you will be with us through December!


Alan Anderson celebrated the reopening of indoor dining in Minnesota. He and his wife had a delightful dinner at The Reunion in downtown Northfield. Hitchhiking on Alan’s comment, Brett Reese, one of the Reunion owners, said it is great to be open. It was tough sledding going without any revenue for two months, he said. 


George Davis spent most of his adult life working in science education, first in a high school setting, then 31 years at the post-secondary level. Early on, he focused his efforts on learning how students learn. He ushered in the use of computers and then watched as cyber education was amplified by the Internet. He’s been curious how students have adapted to distance learning, and invited Dr. Matt Hillmann, superintendent of Northfield School District, to share Northfield’s experience during the pandemic.  


Dayna Norvold on Northfield Housing Task Force hosted by Scott Wopata.

Home ownership is beyond the reach of many essential Northfield workers. 

The problem is both lack of income and the rising price of housing. It is complicated and intertwined with racial disparities, absence of income security, physical health, mental health and behavioral health. For these folks it is a fragile existence. Loss of work or an unexpected household expense can push them over the fiscal cliff, according to Dayna Norvold, executive director of Rice County Habitat for Humanity and a member of Northfield Affordable Housing Task Force, and Kathleen Doran-Norton, another task force member.

They said Rice County is the third most expensive area in the state, trailing only the Twin Cities and Rochester. Studies show that one in four households in our area already spend more than 30 percent of household income on housing. Rental housing is in short supply, and it is difficult to find a safe and healthy house for under $70,000. The Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying recession have only exacerbated the housing problem. Kathleen said the CAC reports a steep increase in housing assistance applications this year. 

Access to affordable housing can change the trajectory of lives for the better and is the key to ending generational poverty, Dayna said. 

Yet, in her 12 years working for Habitat the challenges have only grown in magnitude. The price of new construction, apart from the price of land, has ballooned from $65,000 in 2008 to $135,000 to $140,000 in 2020. 

Northfield Affordable Housing Task Force was formed three years ago as a subgroup of Northfield HRA. Our own Jayne Hager-Dee, a member of the HRA, is its godmother. The task force is designed to bring relevant players to the table to develop a common understanding of the issue. It has no authority and no money. But Dayna said she has been energized by the work that’s already been done. 

Its goals are:

  • dispel the myth about who is in need of affordable housing;
  • encourage support of the local non-profits who are working on this issue;
  • create an affordable housing trust fund to help finance affordable housing projects.

She pointed us to a number of resources to get a better understanding of the issue. They include: the Mapping Prejudice Project, Minnesota Housing Task Force and Rice County Housing Profile.

To contact Dayna, email her at


June 25 — 4-Way Taste Plans

July 2 — Club Meeting, Transfer of Power (B. Carlson and V. Dilley)

July 9 — Richard Huston, Polio Eradication in Pakistan (Cogan)

July 16 — Rick Olson, Ugandan School Project/Roteract

July 23 — Todd Jenkins, Rotary Diversity and 2020 (V. Dilley)

Barry Carlson, President

Barry's Buzz

Dear Rotarians,
Hope you have had a great week and stayed safe.  We are glad you are staying “connected” with the Northfield Rotary Club during these unprecedented times!
This week our speaker is Pam Tschida,  providing us with details and updates on a District 5960 wide initiative, Fast for Hope. I didn't know much about this project so here are a few details prior to our presenation.
Fast for Hope
Rotary District 5960 Team Lead Rick Heidick Email.

The Fast for Hope Initiative is based on the belief that while project based funding is critical to address immediate needs in developing parts of the world, a new model needs to be created in order to more effectively address the problem of systemic poverty in the world. This new model is based on a belief that the local community knows best what they need and that the community must take ownership of any solution in order for it to be successful. Finally instead of doing a project in multiple communities, this is intended to be a multifaceted effort simultaneously addressing the myriad of needs that are interconnected and which cause the residents of one or two particular communities to live in extreme poverty.

Goal is to create a replicable and sustainable model to address extreme poverty in the developing world. Base in part on the book The End of Poverty which maintains we are the first generation with the ability to end extreme poverty in the world. The premise is that this cannot be achieved by doing projects. Rather we need to work on a community wide basis addressing the myriad of issues that cause a community to be in extreme poverty and that once the community achieves a basic level of economic success than they can continue to grow without further assistance. The issues will vary community to community, but may include lack of access to education, lack of access to transportation and markets, limited experience organizing as a community, culture of dependence on charity.

I hope you can join us Thursday!

If you didn ‘t see it in the MinnPost here is an article our very own Charlie Cogan wrote about WHO.

Lastly, a quick reminder to encourage all Northfield Rotarians to give a gift to the  Rotary Foundation before July 1.  Even small gifts make a difference, and a gift of $365 with matching dollars from District gets you a Paul Harris Fellowship.
See you Thursday!  Go and serve!!!

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.