Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, December 17, 2020


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

Is it the Truth? - Richard DeBeau, Patrick O'Neill and Jim Pokorney

Is it the Truth? is Northfield Rotary's game show based on the first pillar of Rotary's Four Way Test. We will choose from stories that you have sent in. For the show, we will tell you a story without revealing the author. A panel of three contestants will then try to convince you that they are the author of the story ... you will have to decide who is telling the truth. It's a great way to find out little known facts about our members as well as revealing who is good at lying! The grand prize will be an appointment to apply for the CIA's lie detection program. Plus, holiday harp music played by Richard Collman.

Dale Ness and John Ophgaug (12.15); Bob Thacker (12.17); Blake Abdella and Vicki Dilley (12.21); Bill Carlson (12.23).
Stacey Longwich-3 (12.15.2017); Russ Halverson-11 (12.21.2009).


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. Hit the green links below to read more.

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, Penny Hillemann.


Inbound Kopano Tsambalagwa gave an update on school and a photography project he’s been doing for the club (recording all the club banners we have been presented with over the years). He is enjoying a Foundations of Art class and showed his in-progress painting of a rhino. He expressed thanks for the recent Club donation to him of the unused funds in his school lunch account. Vicki described Kopano as an exemplary exchange student in this difficult year: positive, joyful and appreciative.

Board meeting update from Treasurer David Stanford:

  • Brad Frago is the president elect nominee.
  • Strategic plan is wrapping up.
  • Budget approved - will withdraw about $6,000 from savings to cover club expenses and service projects.
  • Youth Exchange is accepting applications for next year.
  • Possible Earth Day event. 
  • Beth Kallestad is working on inclusion efforts, more diverse speakers.
  • Members Tim Peterson and David Koenig will be moving away.

A slate of officers was presented to the membership, moved and seconded, approved on a voice vote:
Todd Thompson, President
Brad Frago, President Elect, Membership and Club Service
Brent Nystrom, Fundraising, President Elect 2023-24
Tony Huettl, International Service, President Elect 2024-25
David Stanford, Treasurer
Kari Nelson, Secretary
Meredith Galdeen, PR and Communications
Mark Abbott, International Service
Jake Conway, Community Service
Beth Kallestad, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Vicki Dilley, Past President 

The December 17 meeting will be a festive time. Wear an ugly sweater if you like. There will be harp-playing and a farewell to Kopano, who returns to Zimbabwe at the end of the month.

There will be no meeting Christmas Eve but we will have another casual meeting on New Year’s Eve.


   Meredith Galdeen

Annual Club Meeting and Election of Officers plus Meredith Galdeen, Using Our New Northfield Rotary Website. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.

Meredith Galdeen previously worked for the software company Blackbaud. For the past two years she has worked for Carleton College as associate director for milestone reunions, focused on the 25th Reunion classes. She enjoys working with the alums and volunteers.

ClubRunner, our new website and membership platform, was designed for Rotary Clubs. It gives our club a strong online presence, maintains club data, helps with communications, and helps organize events and volunteers.

Key features:

  • Every member has a profile. You can update your profile directly, including email, photo, birthdate, and any other info you want to share. It syncs with Rotary International (RI) records.
  • A customizable website platform including calendar, stories, photo albums, sponsor ads, member documents, social media feeds.
  • It's the tool we have been using for the e-Cogwheel. It’s easy to incorporate news from the website into the e-newsletter, email it out, and archive it. And it can be used to send emails purposes as well. 
  • Member directory. There is also a ClubRunner app for easy access to up-to-date member contact info wherever you go.
  • Calendar — subscribe to the calendar to stay aware of key dates.
  • Events: This includes meetings, service projects, fundraisers, etc. 
  • We are not yet using ClubRunner for our volunteer sign-ups, but we may in future.

Meredith asks every member to log into ClubRunner to make sure your info is up to date, including adding birth years to birthdates so we have better demographic info. 

She will be sending step by step instructions via email

To access member-only content, you will need to log in. The default username for most is FirstLast9011. Contact Meredith, Vicki Dilley or Kari Nelson if you need assistance.

Meredith is looking for help:

  • Content for the website — write a story, share photos.
  • Help add events to the calendar.
  • Help other members update their profiles. 
  • People with some web design background: Meredith would love some creative help to co-administer the site and help with web page updates.

The entire December 10th meeting can be viewed here.


December 24 — Christmas Eve - No Meeting.

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

Vicki's Vision

Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Rotary Friends,
This is that time of the year when we think about what to give to our loved ones, what might they need ... 
Talking about giving, your Northfield Rotary Board, as you know voted in November to try to bring some relief to those in our community and abroad that are suffering right now. After hearing how much need there is for services at the Community Action Center, we knew we needed to release some of those well saved funds that we understood were put aside for a rainy day. We decided it looked pretty rainy out right now. 
We assigned the Community Services Committee and the International Committee the task of deciding how to spend these funds, one third going international and two thirds going local from the $50,000 gift.  
The Community Service Committee has decided and that distribution is listed at the end of this writing. 
This all reminded me of another story from our time as Peace Corps Volunteers in Tuvalu. All of us in the village lived without electricity which meant now refrigeration and we had to be careful with any food that might spoil. Lee and I never learned how to fish in the ocean for our fresh tuna or other seafood, we had no pigs and we certainly did not know how to climb a coconut tree to get our fresh drinking nuts or the mature nuts. We could barely manage the banana trees in our yard, we had a lot to learn about those. We did have chickens which on special occasions became a meal, but mostly we consumed their eggs everyday.  
Community was important in Tuvalu, for peace and fellowship and for basic needs. We were certainly dependent on the community and our diet was not restricted to hard crackers, canned cheese and our bananas and eggs.  
There was a lovely thing that would happen mid afternoon on a fairly regular basis. A child, usually about 10 years old, would come knocking on our entry to our home (there were no doors to open and shut, our walls were only about 2.5 feet tall and our roof was thatched ... perfect for the tropics). The child would be carrying a plate, either a small cloth or a banana leaf covering the content.  The child would shyly say, "mo koe" (for you) and I would give a slight bow, raise the plate above my head and say "fafetai lasi" (thank you very much). I would take the food to my little kitchen and put it on my own plate, wipe the gift bearers plate and return it to him, saying "fafetai lasi" one more time. Sometimes I knew which household the gift came from and sometimes I did not. And If this happened more than once, maybe twice or three times in one afternoon and we already had more tuna than we could eat in one meal, I would become the representative from our house to seek out a neighbor who may not have any fresh fish or fried taro and keep moving the gift forward. If I had an extra can of cheese I would return the plate with my contribution back with the child. No one was keeping more than they needed with this method. It was not polite to say, "Oh thanks, I already have more fish than I can use". We were to take it, give thanks and keep the gift moving on.
I used to think how this might work all around the village, how the gift is given and re-given until it arrived to where it was most needed. I see our gift to these other non-profits much the same way.  We have extra, no need for us to hold tight to it when there is so much need in the community and abroad ... let's give it to them to re-gift until it arrives to where it is most needed. This way we can do our small part to make sure everyone in our village is covered and we can appreciate our portion and know our neighbors are covered too.  
I am thankful for all of you. I wish you Happy Holidays! 
Local Donations:
CAC for food and housing insecurity in Northfield and Faribault—$15,000. 
The Key for youth food and housing insecurity—$3,000.  
Healthfinders for healthcare access—$5,000.  
Laura Baker for general support trough the pandemic—$3,000.  
Ruth’s House—$2,000.  
Hope Center—$2,000 
Northfield Retirement Community for general support through the pandemic—$1,500 
Three Links Care Center for general support through the pandemic—$1,500.

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.