Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, December 9, 2021
Please wear your mask when you enter the Methodist Church
and whenever you are not eating. 


December 9 — Becky Ford
A Year of Service: How Americorps Members Contribute to Rice County's Flourishing
In 2020-21, 45 Americorps members served at 24 host sites across Rice County. Unfamiliar to many people, Americorps is quietly making a positive impact in the lives of children and families in our local community. Through strategic collaboration and leveraging of federal resources, Americorps provides an opportunity for individuals to get started, give back and make connections! A youth development professional for 20 years, Becky Ford works for Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) coordinating outreach and support of Americorps members serving in Rice County schools and human service organizations. Becky also serves as Faribault Youth Investment's Director and is passionate about facilitating community collaboration. Hosted by Anika Rychner.
December 2 —
Andrea Berube, Adam Olson & Jackie Johnson
Northfield Splash Pad
A trio of advocates for a $500,000 splash pad at Memorial Park said it would be an inclusive, community gathering spot that would keep young families from leaving town for family recreation.
Adam Olson, Andrea Berube and Jackie Johnson said their vision includes a free, zero-depth water park designed for all ages and all abilities, with dedicated sections for different age levels. It would cover 3,000 square feet and sit next to the municipal swimming pool to take advantage of existing infrastructure. Their plan calls for a “best of class” water recycling-filtration system to keep operating costs to a minimum and to respect community water needs.
The group, Northfield Splash Pad, has formed a public-private partnership with the City of Northfield. The city has promised to assume ownership and operate the facility if it can be built with private funds. The group has yet to fully launch a fundraising campaign, but hope to do so soon. Their goal is to have it built and operational next summer. For more information, go to the
Lee Swan (S. Richardson) and
Erika Velasquez (Fulton-Foley)
Duane Benson, our longest serving member, died December 1. Duane joined Rotary in 1966 and remained active in the club until the end. He was a major donor to the Rotary Foundation. He is survived by his wife, Marie, and two children, Sarah and Mark, and four grandchildren. His funeral was last Tuesday. Here is the link to his obituary.
Mary Ellen North
Don Stager endorsed home energy audits offered through Xcel Energy. It cost him $70 and his home is now buttoned up tight.
  • Todd Thompson requested help moving Rotary “assets” — turkey trot, bike tour supplies etc. — to our rented storage unit in Dundas. If you are available, meet up at Estenson’s immediately after today’s meeting.
  • Richard Collman is in need of an applause meter for our “crazy socks and hats” contest Dec. 23. See him if you have an idea…about applause meters.
  • Emily Fulton-Foley (in the form of Kristi Pursell) announced that The Northfield Union of Youth is partnering with Awakened Healing with Leslie for a fundraiser during the holidays. Just make a donation of $25 or more to the Union of Youth through their donation website and you will receive a 30-minute massage or energy work in Northfield by Leslie Reynolds (limit one per person).
  • Kristi Pursell thanked those who have donated to Clean River Partnership during the year.
  • Jim Pokorney pointed members to an email inviting us to sign up for Meals-On-Wheels the week of December 26.
  • Jim Loe talked Scott Richardson into donating his winnings as seed money for the Northfield Splash Pad, and encouraged other Rotarians to join this effort (see donation link in article above).
  • Jim Loe also offered leftover Turkey Trot t-shirts to interested Rotarians.
  • Bruce Morlan appreciated people asking about his recent Dupuytren Contracture surgery.
  • Amy Goerwitz wished everyone a happy Palindrome Day, December 2, 2021 (12-02-2021)
  • Chris Weber is celebrating Anna Weber becoming a finalist for a Truman Scholarship at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
  • Carl Caskey is happy that cancerous cells were removed successfully from his nose.
December 16 — David Anderson
News From St. Olaf
St. Olaf College President David Anderson will present an update on activities and plans at St. Olaf. Hosted by Barry Carlson.
December 23 —
Holiday Meeting and Festivities
This year will unveil a head-to-toe modification of our club’s traditional “Ugly Sweater” contest. On the 23rd, please come adorned with your most beautiful socks and the ugliest headgear you can locate or construct. Also, be prepared to cast your ballot for the beauty-garish contrast!
December 30 —
NO Rotary meeting, stay warm, stay safe, will see you next year! 
January 6 — Kimberly Smith and Anna Hori
Affordable and Sustainable Housing:
A 20-Year Vision for Northfield
Achieving a stock of housing that is both affordable and sustainable requires a long-term plan, drawing on the best scholarship and practices on sustainable local development. We hope to begin a rich and lively discussion aimed at developing such a plan. Kimberly Smith has taught environmental law and policy at Carleton College for 22 years and has served on the Northfield Environmental Quality Commission. Anna Hori is a senior Carleton College student majoring in Political Science and minoring in Education Studies.  Hosted by Beth Kallestad.


Find Zoom link here.
Meeting ID: 843 1983 0113
Passcode: 264180
For times, see information below.
11:45-12:10 — Opportunity to visit with fellow zoomers or check in with the people at the tech table. You don’t have to join this early if it is not convenient.
12:10 — Settle in for the meeting to begin.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.
11:45-Noon Arrive at the United Methodist Church at 1401 Maple Street. Visit with club members and guests.
Before 12:20 — Pick up your lunch.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.
  • Limit of 4 people per table.
  • Wear masks when not eating.
  • No group singing.
  • We require attendees to be vaccinated. Rotary International is a big supporter of vaccines. 
  • If you bring a guest, make sure they are vaccinated.
  • If you are not vaccinated, we still value you and your membership, and we have hybrid meetings so you can join our Thursday meetings on ZOOM during the pandemic.


Todd Thompson, Club President
Here are some proverbs about hands.
  • Many hands make light work
  • Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • Wash your hands often, your feet seldom, and your head never.
  • You cannot carry two watermelons in one hand.
I think some of them might apply to the following request. We need some help after the meeting this Thursday (10/9) to move all of our club’s important assets from Rick’s barn to our new storage unit by the Dundas Dome. We (royal we) are forming a new group called the Rotary Storage Unit Moving Crew (RSUMC). The RSUMC is an equal opportunity group. So, come on over to Rick’s barn at 2 p.m. Thursday to help. 

Happy Holidays!

Duane Benson
July 21, 1939 - December 1, 2021
Our beloved friend and fellow Rotarian, you will be greatly missed.
  • Alan Anderson—December 5
  • James Holden—December 6
  • Jim Pokorney—December 7
  • Jack Hoschouer—17 years
  • Jim Schlichting—17 years
  • Fred Rogers—20 years
Please be sure to watch for and welcome this new member.
Carrie Carroll
  • December 13th, 7 PM, PR and Communication Committee meeting at Vicki Dilley's home. All are welcome.
  • December 14th, 4:30 PM, Northfield Rotary Board meeting, all are welcome, if you would like attend via zoom, please contact President Todd.
As part of our Club's Strategic Plan, the DEI Committee is looking to have conversations with at least 20 people to learn more about their perceptions of Rotary, barriers to participating and their areas of interest. We need your help. Do you know 1 or 2 people who you could spend 30 minutes or less talking to?  We'll provide a script of questions. We are especially looking for people who are not typically represented in our club right now. We are asking that interviews be done by January 15, 2022. 
If you'd like to help with these interviews, contact Beth Kallestad ( by December 16. 


Click for a Thanksgiving message to all of YOU from our most recent Inbound student, Kopano from Zimbabwe.  

  • Northfield Racial and Ethnic Equity Collaborative is asking us all to participate in their short survey. Learn more about the NREEC member organization here. 
  • Meals-On-Wheels needs volunteers for the week of December 26. Sign up HERE.
  • Opportunity to team up with Santa Claus (aka Mike Leming) on an important project in Thailand, building dormitories for orphaned children.  Want Santa to visit you before Christmas?  Email to
Do you have something club related to say to fellow members? Try posting it in The Cogwheel. Send your short blurb to
If you haven't yet responded to our RCAT survey, please do so now by CLICKING HERE.
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. Read our climate action statement HERE.
For more information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team contact our chair, Alan Anderson, at
People of Action
make it happen again!
Thank you to these volunteers who helped make the 
2021 Rotary Youth Exchange Interviews  a success!
(our sincere apologies for
any name overlooked)
  • Amy Goerwitz
  • Ann Leming
  • Brad Frago
  • Brent Nystrom
  • Bruce Morlan
  • Charlie Kyte
  • Don Stager
  • Dorothee Ischler
  • Eric Johnsrud
  • Jack Hoschlauer
  • Jan Stevens
  • Janice Lehmkuhl
  • Jean Wakely
  • Jesse Steed
  • Jim Holden
  • John Stull
  • Kari Johnsrud
  • Kristi Pursell
  • Lee Dilley
  • Mark Abbott
  • Michael Leming
  • Richard DeBeau
  • Rick Estenson
  • Sebastian Burset
  • Vicki Dilley
  • John Sinning – Zoom host
  • Riana Dilley - Interpreter


The 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.